Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Episodes 32-38

Every so often I start up an article with the full intent of finishing it only to have the basic outline wallow on my hard drive for weeks, if not months. Such is the case with this Super Sentai recap that I originally started writing weeks ago when everybody was losing their shit over the election which I tied up in a fancy bow as a theme for our recaps. Problem is, when you don't finish an article and wait until your mind is more concerned with ingredients for Thanksgiving stuffing, you sort of lose the point. Oh, wait, maybe that can be our theme. This whole recap is pure stuffing; a senseless yet tasty combo of old bread and anything that's not tied down.

Alright, so when we left off last time the villains have decided to get off their butts and be bad guys again instead of letting Bangley take over the whole series. With this goal they send out a monster that amplifies peoples hidden emotions which not only caused strife among the team but revealed more of how they really feel about Misao. Poor guy had to toughen up and face the fact that he's a bit of a handful.
The best part of this situation was how the monsters ability had zero affect on Leo. Our painfully honest lion stood back to offer commentary on all the horrible thoughts his friends keep in check. Likewise, Tusk had an unforeseen side as he revealed he likes Misao much more than he tends to let on. One would think this would deepen their friendship but Misao's personal brand of puppy love is still aimed squarely at Yamato.

Another stand alone adventure came along as our cat themed rangers, Leo and Amu had to train in the art of Sumo in order to defeat the newest alien threat. This has to be one of the most enjoyable episodes in some time even though it feature hideously built men in sumo thongs. While one may think Leo would be the cat to save the day, it actually comes down to Amu. Though she was far too weak to beat the baddie in a match of brute strength, she faked some romantic interest to move in for the kill.

The silly stuff out of the way it was time to get back to the bigger story at hand. Bangley continued his hunt for Cube Whale to the point of making copies of the rangers and even kidnapping Yamato because as we all know this isn't a proper recap unless one of these kids finds themselves in a creepy bondage situation.

Bangley furthers his plans to break Yamato's spirit and prove the futility of friendship. In a big dramatic moment, most of the team is seemingly murdered by a laser beam, causing Yamato to loose all hope. Of course this is still a heroic show for kids so everybody was fine.
Several major developments came out of this two-part tale. First and foremost is the death of Bangley, and might I say thank god for that. The big B may have been an interesting addition at first but he soon overstayed his welcome by becoming something of a one trick pony. His prescience wasn't a total waste however as it gave Kubar some character development, especially when he steals Bangley's mind-reading hand for himself to use in some still secret revenge plot. The final development was the appearance of a new robot form made up of all the cube animals thus far. Don't get too excited though as the show introduces another new animal just two episodes later.

Of all the neat surprises we actually got a Halloween episode this year. As far as being a Halloween tale it was a bit of a let down. The main focus of the story was on a preteen girl who develops a crush on Tusk. We eventually learn she's just prone to being in love with anyone since she later moves on to Amu. While not the best fit for the holiday, there was still plenty of nice, spooky scenery and it proved that both Amu and Leo can totally pull off cross dressing.

After that we've got a two-part story where the group finally meets back up with Larri the gorilla and Bard the bird. There's a whole sequence of events in the group getting the cube octopus as well as the bird guy becoming a 7th ranger. Essentially he get's Yamato's costume with different trim and more of an orange tone. He doesn't stick around for long so I suppose he'll be a sporadic teammate.

More important that just getting a new ranger is finally learning why the bird guy hates Zyuland so much and why he prefers to keep the link between realms shut down. Years ago he was a link cube guard just like most of our heroes. One day he encountered an injured young boy who had stumbled through the gateway. Though his duty as a guard was to take the kid to the palace, Bard decided to nurse the child back to health first and in the process developed a friendship. The higher-ups of Zyuland didn't treat the kid quite as nicely, first locking him in a cell so he could never return home, and eventually chasing him off a cliff during an escape attempt. The whole thing was covered up and never spoken of again. Angered by this turn of events and fairly certain it wasn't the first incident of this kind, Bard left his home behind. Seeing Yamato and the others fight side by side has somewhat rekindled his hope for both species one day working together, just not enough to stick around permanently.

Holy crap, we're finally caught up. As you can guess the show is making something of a return to form after dragging a bit during the previous batch of episodes. More than anything, the writers have done a better job of inserting character development in unexpected places. For instance during the two-parter with Bard, Misao finally figured out how to best help the team and stop screwing up so much.

With only a few months left to go before this series wraps I've been wondering whether or not to continue with Sentai coverage on this site. At first I'd been thinking it was time to quite the recap game when Zyuohger ends but I've noticed there seem to be less and less websites offering this sort of content on the web. Now I've shifted into trying to find a way to still cover the franchise while leaving more time to write about other topics (rather important since I hope to expand my contributions to other sites). Over the remainder of this series, I'll be experimenting with the formula a bit more in an effort to find something shorter, faster, more concise, and hopefully more frequent. I want to hear what you folks out there crave the most from your recaps. Do you demand the basic beat by beat run through? Or would you prefer something more vague and snarky? Lemme know and I'll keep on writing.

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