Friday, August 25, 2017

Korean Sentai: Power Rangers Dino Force Brave Episodes 7-12

This week has felt very out of place. Currently the temperature is in the forties, kids are back in school, the store had plentiful amounts of pumpkin spice treats, it's hard to believe this is still August and not the middle of Fall. The best way to keep myself in check and not drape the entire house in spider webs is to buckle down and wrap up some leftover Summer business. With that in mind let's talk about the second half of that one and thus far only Korean Sentai spin-ff, Dino Force Brave.

Having established all the basic structure and character traits during the first half, the remainder of the series decides to focus soundly on the relationship between estranged brothers. This is both a good and bad decision as it makes the rest of the team even less important. Hell, they barely even factor into the final episode. That's not to say anything of the mascot characters like Torin who I can only guess where a part of this series as their guy-in-suit nature made them easy to carry over from original Kyuryuger. Speaking of Torin, at the end of this show he magically disappears for some unexplained reason. Is he like a ghost something?

The one step forward, one step back nature of the narratives narrowed focus applies to other elements of the show. Most of the normal action sequences have improved with faster, more elaborate choreography. Giant robot scenes on the other hand are even weaker than before as the more cumbersome dino combinations are fully CG, preventing them from properly interacting with the guys in monster suits. Seeing as jumbo battles are generally the shorter of the two we can chalk that up to a partial victory.

One of my previous complaints about the series has been slightly addressed. Some of the monsters begin to use powers themed around their appearance though nothing all that creative. One guy uses a trumpet, not to brainwash people or anything so special, just some basic explosive blasts. Likewise another enemy utilized icicles.....that explode. You seeing a pattern here? It really would have been fun to see this batch of heroes work to outsmart or overpower a uniquely powered foe rather than these stock villains with the same three attacks.

As for the story; we come to find out that the gold ranger has been intentionally misleading the villains all this time to convince them that he has inherited the power of the dragon king. What's that you ask? Basically it's the touch or quickening, pick your mystical power source. This whole ruse is meant to protect his lil bro the red ranger. Sure enough the bad guys get wise and kidnap the fearless leader. Of course he's rescued, the baddies are put in the ground, and everyone returns to their old lives. Oh, and the Zyuohgers shows up in a glorified cameo.

Gotta mention that one fun bit about watching this show has been the different languages. About two thirds of my viewing has been in proper Korean with subtitles. The rest however are dubbed into Japanese and translated from there. I'd like to think that explains some of the more colorful dialogue but who knows, maybe the writing is just that silly to begin with.

In the end, Dino Force Brave wrapped up it's existence much as it started. The whole production has been a bit simple, more than a little predictable, and far too childish. Can't deny that that simple nature has continued to be a little refreshing. It's like an afternoon of cartoons and hot chocolate.
On the downside, the majority of the cast has little if nothing to do and there's nothing distinctively Korean about the plotting or style. That's why I'd much prefer to this sort of project attempted again with a longer run time, smaller cast, and deeper cultural bent. It'd certainly be a welcome opportunity to have alternative Sentai for years like this where the flagship show is rubbish.

Dino Force Brave wasn't the saving grace we Sentai fans needed this year but it was a moderately entertaining experiment. I wouldn't outright recommend it to anyone other than franchise fans in need of something new. For me, it was an easy way to get my Sentai fix this Summer. Think of it like one of those highly superficial Summer romances, fun while it lasted but we've each got to move on to more meaningful things.

That's all for now, folks. I should be back soon with another regular feature post before we hit September and a new batch of seasonal fun. See ya soon.

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