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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kyoryuger Episode 19 Review: Culture Shock

In this episode of Kyoryuger, Ucchi deals with a spoiled brat while the cutey monster makes her way into the scene as she is not as cute as one would think (no duh!)
So this is another cute monster episode as brought up recently from Akibaranger as they dealt with a cute robot girl. Unlike that episode this monster quickly reveals her true self. There are parts I do like about the monster as the designs do work well. You got the cute one being mostly pink with big bulging blue eyes and some items to make it look like a baby. What I was surprised though was that she actually used that rattle as a weapon as it could fire lasers. Then while in the cute form she manipulates parents to ignore their children and only have her be a higher priority. She even takes this a step farther by picking families where the children are spoiled so that leaves themselves to be completely weak and unable to do anything by themselves. It's a pretty good plan and even though she is part of the sadness type of monsters her cuteness also brought happiness to the adults so good work.
Now onto her evil form because remember this is the cute monster trope episode. Now she doesn't reveal it at the end and we did get the usual not showing it at her beginning scene. I was still thinking she was going save it to the end, but she actually loves to fight I would guess. The evil form looks like a Vampire, maid, and a little of dominatrix a very odd combination. She wields a whip into battle and uses it very well as she even stole Ucchi's device after her first fight. She even knows when to use her cute form so she can avoid an attack. Now as I said before this is following the trope, but it does have some differences compared to those other episodes (now I haven't seen all of these so keep that in mind). As I said before she did reveal herself pretty early in the episode and the episodes easily had a good joke on this. She switched back to cute form once to trick the other Kyoryugers, but luckily King wasn't affected as he just shoots her. I have to give credit to King for that.
So now onto the other characters who had focus, oh wait it was mostly Ucchi. For an episode that dealt with parents and children this would have been a great Ucchi and Nossan episode. I mean really this could have been a great moment to show Ucchi's strictness clash with Nossan's parenting since even if he doesn't have a child he raises his niece like she is. Now I bet Nossan doesn't spoil his niece, but it would have been great to see him help Ucchi with the one of the children. Also imagine all the puns we would have had then. Now does the focus for Ucchi is still good as it's a nice callback, but I think this episode could have came later in the series. I mean we are already getting a callback for Ucchi's past and that hasn't even been over ten episodes yet. I guess this was hinted by the way Ucchi acted in the last episode as he did get a good moment that really shined. Oh well at least it focuses on a good part of Ucchi.
The episode looks into Ucchi's soft side of children as the beginning of the episode has him struggling to help a child to get up because he would think the child would do it by himself. He doesn't though as he uses an alarm system to get his parents to help. The parents then give Ucchi a living hell of yelling for not helping their poor precious child. Ucchi was completely speechless when he saw this and I love that and the kid although being spoiled, at first he just seemed like a devious child who uses his parents. The child is just used to this and suspects other adults to help him whenever there is an issue. Then going onto Ucchi's part this acts like culture shock for him since he's not used to the monster parents. Kinda odd that this is the moment he suffers from culture shock and not I don't know, technology! It's nice that they finally go into how Ucchi should act sometimes because he is from the time of samurais I think the high tech would make him scared for all we know. I guess he got used to that quickly, who knows.
Now with the spoiled child this part of the episode does give a little bit of social commentary since there are easily more spoiled children overall in the world. I don't know personally how it is in Japan, but I would think it's not that uncommon to have "monster parents." I easily know in China that families can treat their little boys like kings though so maybe it's a little joke towards China (probably stretching it there). Then this episode does hold a good message then for kids in general. There are situations where you have to do things by yourself as this boy learns that. Ucchi tries to help him a little by giving him a list of recipes so that he could make his own dinner, but that doesn't work. The child though thinks of eating bread for breakfast though so he was onto the right path. Also another part that works well in this episode is how it connects it to Ucchi's development which is becoming stronger.
Ucchi also had an issue where he thinks he has to be stronger which is true, people do grow stronger each day if they take the right steps. Ucchi though dealt with issues with his emotions since his past lord told him his kindness was a weakness. This episode even played out in a similar fashion where Ucchi sees that he has made the same mistaken again as he couldn't strike down the cute monster and then it leaded to more problems. Then I loved how Ucchi was dealing with the child as in the beginning their banter was pretty funny at times. This moves on though to Ucchi helping the boy to be more independent as this also goes to how Ucchi feels on becoming stronger. He still sees weakness in him, but he knows that each day he is trying to do better for himself. So this episode makes Ucchi look good and develop on a big part of his character which is good, but again this episode could have came later in the series since he already tops some of the characters in focus episodes.
Now there was a bad moment for him though and it did sour a big part of the episode. First the episode seemed to be hinting at a focus episode between Ucchi and King since at night King is telling him that he has a team backing him up. It would have been nice to show a scene where he calls the team when he knew the boy was kidnapped. Now I know the team members can be far away at times which is fine since the idea of the kid having to do things by himself was well done in that moment where Ucchi was being held down by the parents. Still in the big fight then Ucchi still seemed to be more solo still. Also the episode hints that Ucchi didn't call the team as when the team appeared King said that he shouldn't have worried. Going on, at the big fight he actually took more of a leader position which wasn't he against in the last episode. So yea there are still some errors, but maybe that is just one area he needs to improve on.
Now onto the action where I will skip the first fight mostly because it was usual struggle fight as the monster used her whip well to get Ucchi's device. I would have liked to see the other commanders fight since Lucky and Aigaron were around a good amount of times in the episode. The big fight was good, but again the message of having the team was ruined. Ian gets manipulated by the monster as he does what she wants. This leads the three other guys to hold down Ian. Ucchi has Amy use the love battery on the grunts so that they would completely go for the monster. To do this he holds a mirror (where the hell did he get that?) and the grunts see the monster in the mirror. I was thinking that Amy would have used the Love battery on Ian to get him back on the team's side and thus having a big team fight as Ucchi follows along, but nope he took the leader position, no wonder Tessai wanted him to be the leader.
Finally the mecha fight was good, but Ucchi goes in alone...... going on it was still a good fight. First we did get to see Pteraiden-oh which hasn't made too many appearances lately shockingly. The monster even used the cute form to hide behind buildings and blast the mech. King comes to help with Bunpachy though as it rams the cute little monster back into her ugly form. King joins Ucchi in the mech then when Bunpachy combines with Pteraiden-oh. Then they bash her around a little before going into the finisher. I am getting a little more happier with the mech fights since they are taking more time than usual. I will say they missed out on a good opportunity to use more lightning effects since the finisher wasn't much at all in both concept and effects. One last thing they finally didn't play the theme song for once ending the four episode streak. We got the usual instrumental fight theme and Gold's theme.
This episode could have been a lot better if it had more focus for other characters along side the minor character as well. Also the whole having a team message was ruined in this episode since Ucchi took the initiative again. Then I will say some comedy did not end up being funny since it was predictable at times mostly with the whole cutesy gag. Still the overall message wasn't stained as some kids do need to learn to do things themselves. Also the monster was good since she didn't play out like the usual trope and the episode did poke at that too. So I would give it a C+
Next Time: King's father?!

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