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Monday, February 10, 2014

Kyoryuger Episode 43 Review: Family Reunion!

Well Kyoryuger is done and I finally know how many episodes I have left. I'm very close to finally reviewing a whole Sentai series. For this episode it's a Souji focus episode as his mother has come back to take her son back and away from the violence, but Torin has an idea.
Now let's get the obvious aspect of this episode done with first. Both of Souji's parents are played by Sentai veteran actors. Souji's father is played by Jyunichi Haruta who has played Dyna Black, Goggle Black, and he even had some recent appearances in Kamen Rider like him being the Eye Dopant in the Eternal movie. Then Souji's mother is played by Sayoko Hagiwara who played Dyna Pink and even has the villain Ley Nefel from Flashman. I can tell this was a little nod to the Dynaman fans since now they can imagine that Souji is the son of Black and Pink. Now they are completely different characters in Kyoryuger, but it's still a funny joke at least. Along with some jokes there was a context joke that I did like, Souji's father is the one who taught him how to use the sword and he is pretty much tranquil most of the times. Now his mother is a completely different story as she's from the fashion world and she comes with bodyguards and takes her son by force. So the swordsman is the non-violent one, but the fashion designer is the violent one, I don't know if that was on purpose, but it got a laugh out of me when I thought about it.
For an episode that revolves around Souji's past with his parents, how do is play out? Actually it plays out fine, I was hoping for a little more, but it works out. First is how I like that neither of these parents is playing around. The father hears the news and storms out of his house to find his wife, while the wife is already making Souji into a fashion model. So both of them are looking out for what they think is the best for their son as I thought what would play out is that the father ask King to help get Souji back. I'm happy that the side character had focus for a change of pace and for fact it's been a long time since he's been shown so it's amazing that he had this much screen time for the episode. The only thing I got to say that's really bad on his part though is that Jyunichi doesn't do that good with the acting. He got the stern man part done perfectly, but whenever he was displaying other emotions it didn't feel real. The best example was when he was on the floor in sadness. It didn’t sound real as he just made his voice a pitch higher and went with that, not really having any sounds or grunts. Maybe it's just different than most of the crying I have seen, mostly mine... ignore that. Overall, I'm happy the father got used, but for some reason the actor just wasn't on top this time.
As for Sayoko, she did much better. The first thing is that both of the actors can do angry well as Jyunichi does the stern type of mad while Sayoko is cat girl angry. When she comes she's ready to bare her claws as I love when she picked up her voice as it made it sounded like her temper was increasing as the episode went on. She gets the same amount of screen time as well since when the father comes to play they are sharing all of their scenes. For the character she played, it's a good bossy lady as she does have her own type of power and personally I would be more afraid of her than a strict swordsman (mostly because his sword is made out of wood, it could also be the fact she has bodyguards). Another good part for the actor is when things got resolved she easily shown her compassionate side well. Her voice was a lower tone and was even speaking at a slower pace. Again it felt like she was just getting more and more angry as her speech shown this a lot and in the end she finally calmed down. So the character was just a simple character being portrayed by a guest star, but Sayoko does well in the acting department that makes the character more memorable at least.
Wait a second, Reiko Tanaba, Rei Tachibana... How did I not notice that?
So we had one actor who did okay and another who did a really good job, so how did the actual scene go? Sadly the execution of the family fighting really fails, big time. I don't blame the actors for this one all that much since the direction was just odd in this episode. The example I would use is when the family is fighting each other, it really plays out like a Spanish soap opera. There was even an awkward push that Souji does to separate his parents, even though they weren't that close to each other so it just made Souji look like he tripped. Also to add onto the goofiness was what Souji was wearing, his father was right it was extremely gaudy and his mother is a fashion designer? The family drama scenes were just off at many times as two of the actors didn't do as well as they should have which I will get to Souji later and it's funny and it's not on purpose.
Before I get to Souji there was one character who got involved with the family feud going on and that was Torin. I was really surprised that he stepped up and helped Souji; he even had Tessai give him the ability to take a human form. This was also a good way to get his voice actor on screen. I have to say he looked pretty cool in his human form and his voice just adds onto his cool image. It's a little goofy I will agree, but I can easily imagine a Japanese superhero dressing up like this. His addition to the scene did help out the problem a little bit, but I was still hoping that the parents would see Torin in his real form. Since Kyoryuger has been playing with how parts of Debos can live alongside with humanity so I was guessing Souji's parents would accept Torin has Souji's new teacher. It would have been a touching scene to have and again would fit nicely into the message that the series has clearly shown before. So Torin's addition did help the scene, but it easily could have been a better moment.
Finally onto Souji and with his previous focus episode not having that strong of development this episode does do better than the previous one, but at the same time it still has a similar direction. The similar part I'm going to mention is that Souji already had this trait. He clearly went by his father's side when the family broke apart and Souji just forgot why he went to his side. A little dumb I have to say, but at least his reasoning for staying with his father and what he gets out of this lesson is good. Souji remembers why he stayed at his father's side when he hears the mysterious new monster saying that the father has the most sadness. We see a scene where the stern father drops to the floor and cries because he couldn't protect his wife or son. When Souji was a kid he simply wanted to make his father smile and thus having him stay along with him. It's a nice touching moment and when he remembers he masters the Trinity Straizer since he needed the spirit for it. A little corny again, but it works and another good moment for Souji was when he started to tear up a little when he sees his parents getting along with each other and wanting to talk things out peacefully next time. Souji was a character who barely shown any expressions and here he does jump out more even though the actor didn't do the best job. I'm happy that Souji got to this point and the only thing I would have fixed is that there was more of a filler arc for this part of Souji.
So much GREEN!
For the villains, we had this so "subtle" hint that new commanders were coming into the series. There was this black cloaked figure that was gathering sadness, but wait isn't Aigarion sadness? Then there was a white cloaked figure near the end of the episode that had a trumpet and was playing a part of Candy's song, is that one going to be happiness, I wonder? Then we had some moments of Endolf being Endolf as he enslaved Dogold to do his bidding and Dogold is fine with this? It seems that Dogold has given up a lot and is just acting like a monster of the week. First if he disobeys Endolf too much, Endolf will make his own lightning be the death of him. During the fight, Ucchi was yelling at Dogold for giving up since even though he's evil he had his own sense of being himself. Ucchi had at least that to respect of Dogold and now he's just a puppet and again he's fine with this. A little different than I was expecting for the villain and yet again this so could have came earlier into the series. So it was a pretty interesting introduction to seeing Dogold in a new light, but again this is episode forty-three, how much time is there to fully develop this?
The action was for the most part pretty good when it got to Souji's part. Again even I am a sucker for his sword skills and the series knows how to shoot those moments well. First is Souji using Torin's special move as I do love the addition of the color green to the attack. The different shadings of green work nicely just like with Torin's silver shadings. Souji even had a good solo fight as he was flying across the battlefield and for once the mix of special effects is lovely with the scene. I can tell what's going on as the camera is still and the effects don't overwhelm the screen either. Another nice touch was the new character song, the singing was not the best, but the beat was good enough to get me pumped up a little bit. Too bad the giant fight was really awful as nothing really happens. Dogold even escapes from the final blow, so can anyone say useless robot fight?
Souji takes the stage away from King!
Overall it's an episode I don't hate, but I also don't like it. First there were thing I wasn't expecting as I did love the little surprises here and there. Sadly some of these moments were poorly executed and didn't get as much focus as it should. The parents had more screen time that I thought they did and yet their scenes do bring down the episode at the same time. Souji's part in the action was sweet and short, but we had to wait through some tedious fights and in the end one of the most boring robots fights I have seen from this series. There is just a balance with this episode when there is something good there is something bad, so I think a C is the perfect rating for this episode.
Next Time: A chaotic Debos!

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