Monday, January 16, 2017

Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Episodes 39-44

Hello again my lovelies. As you can probably guess from the updates schedule so far, we're firmly within the early year slow period. Truthfully it's not something I should feel bad about given that unlike so much of the internet I don't take a break during the holidays. Anyhow, after the far too busy transfer period between years, I'm finally back to an almost normal schedule and you better believe I'm catching up on everything and having a pretty fine time doing it. So far, 2017 hasn't been too bad but there is a big piece of leftover business from 2016. No, this isn't about anything political, it's about Zyuohger. We've entered the final stretch for this series, and things are definitely heating up. Let's see what's been going on.

First we've got a couple mostly stand alone affairs, the first of which is focused on Sela. Her episode is actually something of a special case offering some legit development for the most underused member of the team. She's won over by a ladies man who is actually a duplicate that Kubar made, utilizing the hand he stole from Bangley. That's the only real development to the larger plot but it was nice to see a story that allowed Sela to show off her more loving and naive characteristics.

Bangley's hand factored into another tale focused on Leo training a kid in the art of being a man. This one really wasn't important, not to mention it was a bit underwhelming considering it was about my favorite team member. There were a few nice moments but this was a pretty forgettable entry in the show's history.
It wouldn't be a proper recap without a creepy bondage situation.

Of course those stories were just base level experiments for Kubar as he got used to using his new hand so he could finally take his vengeance on master Genis. This involved a convoluted plot of kidnapping Naria in order to make a copy of Genis to kidnap Misao, forcing the Zyuohgers to enter combat alongside a small army of copied monsters against the actual Genis. Bit over the top ain't it? Bitch of it is, the plan didn't work. Way back during the story arc about cube whale, Naria had gathered a disc of data on the creature which makes it so Genis can absorb the power of Earth and kick everybody's ass.

Now let's pose a question. Suppose you are a cunning evil alien who sets out on a conspiracy to avenge your planet only to find yourself woefully outmatched. Do you
A. Sit in a bar and wait for death.
B. Team up with other powered beings in a continued attempt at bring down a collective foe.
C. Go buck wild and destroy everything in sight to regain your evil organizations good graces.
Yeah, the big headed freak got a little out of hand and tried to destroy the Earth to get back in with his boss. Who could have the power to stop such crazed destruction, why that emotional cripple Misao of course. During his earlier captivity the poor guy was injured, leading to a brief stay at a hospital until he realized the danger his friends faced and totally manned up. I think this makes the character a fine role model for the kids who watch this show. He may be an absolute screw-up in nearly every regard but he's grown considerably over the series into a respectable hero.

Oh and during that hospital stay, you wouldn't believe who the team bumped into. Yamato's father is a practicing physician at said hospital and boy howdy do the two of them not get along. Right here is where the potentially biggest dramatic theme of the series pops up. Mario tends this house full of orphans. In the case of the Zyuman, they're cut off from their home, but Yamato is unwilling to mend bridges with his family. After Kubar's defeat, our red ranger comments that Misao may actually be more mature than him. Harsh, dude.

Things brighten up for the holidays during an adventure where the team attempts to get Mario a Christmas present. During the weekly monster fight, the old man actually witnesses their transformation. That leads us to episode 44 we got the cardinal sin of television tropes with yet another clip show. These have always been a blight on the Sentai franchise, and I can't figure out why recent series have doubled down on the practice. At least I can say Zyuohger has done as good a job as one can expect from a clip show. This one even went so far as to mildly progress the main story line while driving home the point that Mario is the defender of these kids spirit, providing a happy home for them.

A sub-plot through this stream of episodes involved Bard, getting into a fight with Azald, which provided an interesting discovery. During his usual body reshaping process, Azald absorbed several animal cubes rather than the cubes of his own body. Likewise the big guy has no memory of his existence before serving under Genis. Larri the gorilla notes that he had suspicions of genis's ability to transfer Zyuman power when altering Misao, as if he had access to it in some form or fashion. The conclusion to this mystery has already been revealed through magazines, Azald is actually the original monster we witnessed that whale guy fighting way back during the Gokaiger team-up. Gotta hand it to this show, it hasn't faltered so far with seeding plot twists long in advance. Now to see if it adds up to anything worthwhile.

As it stands we're just a few weeks away from the conclusion of this series. Which means there will most likely be just one more post on the topic before I reformat this feature for the upcoming Kyuuranger. As usual I'm excited for the new show to begin, but more than with previous series I'm sad to see this crew go. During the past year, Zyuohger has been something of an old standby. It's not usually the most exciting or innovative thing to watch but there's a level of enthusiasm and clarity of vision that has kept it entertaining. Currently it still has a chance of making the jump from good to great if it's willing to go the extra mile with the ending. We'll find out in just a few weeks. For now I've got so many other items to discuss with you all. Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment