Friday, September 30, 2016

Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Episodes 28-31

Ahoy Mateys! Surprised to see me back so soon? So am I honestly but I wanted to get another recurring feature caught up before October. Speaking of that glorious month, I can barely believe it's almost here. There's so much on my plate this year it's a little spooky, more so since I'm apparently going to be running a midnight Q&A session with some local filmmakers the Saturday before Halloween. If you're going to be in the Charlotte MI area and want to watch me bullshit my way though a public event, here's your chance. Alright, I'm exaggerating a little, I think it'll go fine, plus it should be good for everyone involved, including the Freakshow Film Festival group that I wrote about on Dreadcentral a while back. Should be a nice little achievement for the year.

On the matter of achievements, our favorite karate spandex franchise recently hit a major milestone with the 2000th episode. Consider that for a moment. Think of all the big nerd franchises out there like Star Trek, Dr. Who, any of that stuff and consider how puny they seem stacked up this monster. Combine that many episodes with all the solo, team-up, crossover movies, and video specials and you've got more content than a sane human being would ever dream of tackling. So how did they go about celebrating this milestone? Quite simple actually, they brought back the last anniversary team Gokaiger for a two part team up.

As usual of late, Bangley starts causing trouble but instead of being interrupted by our crew he is met in battle by Marvelous, pirate caption of the Gokaiger and major fan favorite among red rangers. Marv is back on Earth in search of a treasure located within the big cube that originally brought the Zyumans to our world.
The treasure is a golden cube with a message from the very first zyuohger, a whale who defended Earth centuries ago and later went on to create zyuland. He informs the team of the greatest guardian beast of all time, the cube whale.
In a nice bit of serendipity, the cube whale is the reason Bangley came to Earth in the first place. He's actually a beast hunter at heart and was merely entertaining himself with smacking around superheroes while he searched for clues about his big prey.

At first the prescience of the Gokaigers leads to conflict because....reasons. We get that old cliché where the older team was probably just here to lend a hand and history lesson for the new cubs but decided to fight first for the sake of entertainment. Honestly there wasn't even much of a reason for a team-up in the first place as this plot progression could have happened without the extra group in play. Still the point of the 2000th episode was pure spectacle and on that front they succeeded.
Once everyone was on friendly terms it was time for a double treat of Yamato's new whale form and both teams battling copies of big bads from previous Sentai series. It's all a big shiny birthday bash for this franchise and thankfully the writers were smart enough to keep the main plot moving forward instead of hitting the brakes for the sake of an anniversary special.

Getting back to normal we find ourselves in another two-part adventure as the team attempts to find and enlist the aid of cube whale. A task which turns out to be more complicated than it would seem. Cube whale is not only an illusive creature but also entrusting as it lashes out while everyone fights for control over it. Even Master Genis gets involved, sending down Naria in a newly updated G.I.F.T. While Kubar teams up with Bangley to poison the sea.

During the big three-way battle for whale supremacy we finally get a sub-plot for Misao and Sela. For whatever reason these two have been kept apart but they end up thrust together since each has an aquatic robot. Getting caught up in the aforementioned poison leaves them bedridden with a chance to bond. Misao has been screwing up more than usual due to repeat attempts at being more useful. Sela can relate due to her own attempts over the years to be a stronger person. Alright, so it's not a huge development, at least they tried to establish something between these two. It's not as substantial as the awkward guy friendship between him and Tusk or the love/hate standing with Leo, still it's something.

Something that is becoming an issue is Bangley. When he first arrived it was refashioning to have a villain other than the core group yet other than his dealings with Kubar he's become something of a one trick pony. That wouldn't be so noticeable except he's been at the forefront of villainy lately with the other baddies sitting back and taking a breather.

As the show stands right now, it can pretty much go wherever it wants too. The crossover special is over, the team has new robots, forms, etc, and there's a hint Master Genis might get off his ass and be a threat again. One dangling issue is the bird guy and Lari who were shown meeting in the woods like 5 episodes ago only to be quickly forgotten in favor of the anniversary antics.

All that will have to be straightened out come November cause from here on out it's all Halloween, all the time. Hell, I'm already into my first horror flick of the month. Sadly I've gotta start the month with work which means I'll be held up in a tiny guardhouse during a rainy weekend. Getting through that with all my sanity should be an achievement in itself.

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