Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger episode 1Review

A Great Start To A Worn-Out Theme

Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger Episode 1 Synopsis

               After the disappointing sales of Kaito Sentai Lupinranger vs Keisatsu Sentai Patranger, Toei and co. pulls out Ol’ reliable and hits us with another dinosaur sentai, only being 5 years since Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger. How does it stack up? Well, pretty good actually. Going in and expecting a rehash of the past three dinosaur sentais, it seemed to take influence from completely different series. The show opens and talks about how in the time of dinosaurs, humans existed alongside them but also alien invaders called the Druidon. The humans of that time were able to survive the extinction of the dinosaurs and began to live in secret, a few select of these becoming Ryusoulgers, the rangers of this show. While Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger had a similar premise, the village and its residents more resemble Seijuu Sentai Gingaman’s hidden village and medieval fashion and values. The three rangers we are introduced, Kou, Melt (I refuse to call him Melto) and Asuna, are told that the Druidon is on their way and that they must protect their village and the secret of their home to the outside world. On top of that, they are to protect the Kishiryus, an ancient power that lives under the village’s hidden temple. They are still young but are in succession to their masters, not so cleverly named Master Red, Blue, and Pink. We are treated to a quick battle at the beginning of the episode with Kou and master Red. A lot of clever cinematography is used in this fight as Kou blasts through several grunts with the strength of a T-Rex and gets to show off the show’s gimmick, the ryusouls. They are tiny statues made to look like dinosaur heads until they flip up to reveal tiny knights holding a weapon and shield. During that time, we are introduced to the normal civilians who will later house the Ryusoulgers, Ui, a vlogger who’s lied to her userbase that she’s in the Amazon (a vlogger lying to her viewers, what a twist), and her father Naohisa, a paleontologist who apparently condones her behavior. She stumbles upon the Ryusoulger’s village and is told to leave at dawn and have her memories erased. Though right before Kou can erase her memories, and by erasing her memories I mean smack her on the head with a hammer, a giant Minusaur appears and the Druidon invasion begins. Kou and Master Redhead to the temple where they encounter the generals of the season, Tankjoe and Kreon. Meanwhile Melt, Asuna and Masters Blue and Pink attempt to fight off the giant Minusaur. Tankjoe overwhelms Kou and Master Red, and the master sacrifices his own life to protect Kou. While in the same breath Master Blue and Pink push Melt and Asuna out of the way from a fatal blast and meet the same fate. This immediately sets the stakes for the rest of the series and establishes motivation for the three young rangers. Kou holds off Tankjoe long enough to summon the mech of the series Kishiryu-Oh. We are then treated to the best giant mecha fight that Sentai has done in seemingly forever and with new resolve, Kou, Melt and Asuna transform again to fight more of the Druidon army.

The Characters

            Everyone was afraid that Kou would end up one like another happy-go-lucky, catchphrase-spouting red ranger like Right, Takaharu or Lucky but seems to be more hot-headed, determined but is not without a sense of humor. Kou has a very matter-of-fact way of speaking and acting, like saying Asuna has “monstrous strength” or being completely stone-faced when pulling out the “mind-wiper” a small red hammer, completely ready to smash Ui’s skull in for his village. We get a glimpse of his angry side when Master Red is killed and some decent acting for a newcomer. And while he may dress like an upper-class white collar dad on his day off, his ranger suit really incorporates the idea of dinosaurs and knights with the fangs of the Tyrannosaurus being the vents in an armored helmet. Melt, the blue ranger is your typical anime smart-boy twink who prefers being the brains than the brawn, we don’t learn much about him other than that, but that’s okay, this episode isn’t about him too much. The same can be said about the sole female of the team, Asuna. Mentioned earlier, her gimmick is that she has “monstrous strength” but is ashamed of it, which is code for, we want to use this girl for physical comedy but not for actually fighting because that would make too much sense. The ancient elder is very self-explanatory and the masters are… oh no they’re gone. Ui and Naohisa are the most interesting because they’re the most vibrant, obviously conning Ui’s viewers for clicks but now have gotten themselves too deep. After all Kou never got to erase Ui’s memories, or just give her a concussion. The villains Tankjoe and Kreon seem very generic, they’re the strong and slow type and the small kid archetype villains. Whether or not the show does anything with them is up to Toei.

The Toys

            This will be a brief section as describing each and every little gimmick would clout every review. So overall while the toys look cool and very dinosaur knight themed, especially the changer, the use of South American music styles just make it seem like it belongs in Kyoryuger. I would’ve preferred something similar to Baron’s standby theme with brass fanfare rather than what we got. The constant need to “bite down” with the sword breaks up the action and even at full speed it still requires 5 bites to gain the ranger’s soul armor, and another 3 to perform a finisher. All the gimmicks are in the sword so I wonder why they didn’t make the Kishiryuken the main changer, maybe Toei has something planned for it, not likely though. The sounds though are full of Japanese puns which Overtime subs did their absolute best to translate to stunning success and perfection.

The Fighting

            I yearn for the days of the choreography of the era of Gokaiger-Zyuohger, lots of dynamic flips and stylish combat that was not present in Kyuranger or Lupat (except when Patren X was in the picture). Ryusoulger promises me that with the quick and fun swordplay that Kou displays in his initial fight along with clever cinematography with the screen cracking from Kou’s finisher. Though the star of the show is Kishiryu-oh, the giant mech. Now more mobile than ever I witnessed one of the most exciting mech battles that didn’t require any CGI. With such an agile mech I hope the rest of the series has fights like these.

 

Episode Score: 8 rev

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