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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Kyoryuger Episode 17 Review: Hard Head

It's time for another Spirit Ranger to be introduced as Kyoryu Grey all the way from 1500 years ago from China. The problem here though is that he is not happy with the team and he sees that he has to train them. Will the Kyoryugers pass Grey's test and what will even happen to them from passing this test?
So our new hero Grey has appeared, but for right now we don't know much about him. We do know he's some sort of Chinese martial artist, but we didn't even see his human form yet. Also he is a very hard headed fellow and when he wants his way, it's his way. With that type of logic though he is a person who will take a lot of risks. With him though he takes them because he was probably trained in a familiar manner and I bet he knows what he is doing. I could also guess it's his old style of training and things like that were not safe at all back then. So Grey puts the five teammates in danger by putting them in training. Their souls are separated from their bodies so if they die there they will die for good. I bet Grey wouldn't actually kill them though..... at least I hope so. So mostly all we know about Grey is that he is one stubborn guy, but he does make a good teacher as he does a lot of knowledge.
Here's another thing then, I said only five of the team members had to go into training. Ucchi is actually already a passable warrior for Grey as shown from the beginning fight which I will cover later. It's the sixth ranger getting out of stuff like this cliche that is seen from other sentai series, but it does make sense here. Ucchi is a trained samurai and he already faced his demons so he can already express a lot of braveness in his attacks. Then Ucchi really shown that off in the first fight when he was the only one who could damage the new Debos monster. Then this even continued in the last fight where Ucchi picks up the Kentrospiker and uses it like a normal sword. He even manages to break the monster's shield by doing this. The series already did hint at Ucchi being strong, but I wasn't expecting that strong!
Now onto the training session cue the Rocky music! The first thing I have to mention about the training scene is that it went by much faster than I was expecting. I thought this was going to be most of the meat for this episode since training moments usually become a huge focus for an episode. The training was also very simple as Grey just had a ball on his head and each of the Kyoryuger's had to destroy it. Sounds pretty simple, but Grey steps it up. He uses Beast Batteries to up the ante. Ian had to deal with the fart clouding his vision, Nossan was being constantly tickled, Souji was held down by gravity, Amy dealt with constant dizziness, and King had all four! To my surprise though the five got the training done quickly by ignoring what is happening to them and just get the job done. Shockingly King was the one who finished first and he had all of them, so yea he passed.... or did he?
Now there was one aspect of the training I was not expecting. This is with being brave and all of that. The series has mentioned this many times, but we finally found out that it's some sort of energy for the team? To be more exact it's more just having their emotions being fired up so that they would put more power in their attacks. So the training was actually more of a mental and emotional test and not physical. When going into the training I was thinking the team was just going to get a power boost from this. Again the episode shocked me as it just gave the team more of a mental awareness. Grey really knows what he is doing. I have to ask though how the series mentioned it though made it sound like brave was an energy source. Torin mentions "brave power" and Ucchi says something like the training helps the team channel their brave power into their attacks. I really hope my meaning is the right one because "brave power" sounds a little farfetched for me.
Now here comes a real shocker, even though King passed the test he still failed. Now that may sound very confusing, but again it makes sense sort of. Grey notices that King is too perfect and thus he doesn't know his weakness so he cannot grow any more stronger. First thing I have to say this is really nothing special, it's a good message, but it never makes any sense. Accepting weaknesses are a good thing, but if you are a strong person who are strong. Having no weaknesses doesn't make you unable to keep growing stronger it should help you more. Also this is King having trouble with "brave energy" he's the bravest in the team, he risked two of his teammates' lives just because he had confidence in their strength. Also if Grey noticed this then he just put King in danger because the villains are much stronger now and battles are life or death situations. So I am not completey happy with this part, but there is still some good here.
The best thing to come out of this is a great developing moment for King. Really so far in the series he hasn't really grown anywhere emotionally. He has been King and that's it. Amy learned that she has to be herself and no fancy title is going to change that. Nossan learned being a hero means protecting his family as they give him strength. Souji is now more open with people and he isn't that mad of a person anymore. Then recently Ian puts his friends before any of his personal desires. Then going on with this I was not expecting it as well. I thought King would do as great as he was doing already. So I give credit to how the series did save this moment to be a shocking moment. I mean Grey kicked out King from the team because of this!
Now for the villains as I said before they are growing stronger because of the work they have been doing. The Debos leader is slowly coming back to life and each time he gets closer to being revived the villains get a boost of power. Even the grunts were a challenge for the team in the first fight of the episode. Then we have the final member of the the dinosaur killers. It's a Meteor motif monster and he comes with brute strength. In the beginning he could take any attack thrown by the team and the only one who could hurt him was Ucchi. Thanks to the training everyone except King can hurt him now. So the series is finally getting to the struggling point. This was something I mentioned in many reviews as the suspension for Kyoryuger was low. Thanks to this episode there actually was a touch of suspense because the powerful leader is now the weakest link. Also the villains have increased their powers so that helps as well.

I will ignore the first fight mostly because it was just the team struggling which I am still happy to see more suspense in Kyoryuger now. The second fight did begin the struggle like the first one did, but the four team members braved up and fought with more emotions. This gave us some nice fighting moments for everyone except King since King was in the way this time. That was another nice part about the fight of how it transitions into the shocking moment. Everything was going greatly and then when King tries to use his special attack we were thinking this would be it. Sadly though King's can't do anything against the Meteor monster. Then we had a nice reveal for Bunpachy, Grey's mech. This was a mix of using the prop and CGI effects. This fight actually reminds me of some old Godzilla movies where they would cut to the monsters bashing their heads or their bodies against each other. It was all well intact and the mech is pretty cool. I will say I don't like the head, but everything else is cool. It has a chain and ball on it's tail, but he's a hard head literally so he uses his head for combat as well. Then the ball can actually go on his head which is probably the only thing I like about the head.
Overall this episode was something I need from Kyoryuger. It's not an "A" worthy episode because of somethings that make me scratch my head. Thanks to some nice moments in the action department and some good suspense for once this episode would get a B+ it's close to an "A", but it needed a little more to get it.
Next Time: Grey continues his training

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