Episode 3 Synopsis
After seeing the usual upbeat opening we see our protagonists Kou, Melt, and Asuna trying to find somewhere to hide their giant robot t-rex and after using an awfully specific ryusoul, place Tyramigo in a cave along with Melt and Asuna’s Kishiryus. Asuna gleefully names her Ankyrose (because of its color and species of dinosaur), Melt just kinda begrudgingly states the obvious about them being his partners and his Kishiryu turns around in disgust. Tyramigo translates that the blue triceratops doesn’t like to be looked down upon and it’s kinda left at that. We cut to Ui acting a bit tired as her dad goes to work, she checks her smartphone and sees a minusaur of all things on the loose. Just as convenient as that video popping up on Ui’s phone the three knights confront the new monster in the only normal sized fight in this episode. The Minusaur demands to be looked at and like an absolute buffoon, Kou does just that, turning him into stone. Now knowing the Medusa Minusaur’s gimmick, , elt and Asuna attempt to fight the monster blind but are thrown to the ground after a futile attempt. And obeying the laws of three the last convenience swoops in the form of two new Ryusoulgers, the ones we saw at the end of the last episode. Ryusoul Black manages to blind the creature and before him and Ryusoul Green attempt to fight it, Kreon shows up with Druidon footsoldier and retreats with the Minusaur. Green and Black quickly dispatch the enemies and Melt and Asuna are knocked out of their transformation by Tankjoe who shows up for no reason but to flex on Blue and Pink. After all the Druidons are gone Green and Black reveal their civilian clothes and basically say “hey are you really Ryusoulgers, because you’re all super weak”, which is very rich coming from people who only fought some level one grunts. Ui collapses and starts to glow a sickening green and the fact becomes known that Ui is the newest Minusaur. They quickly head off to Ui’s house and through the use of another hyper-specific Ryusoul Kou is healed of his petrification. Kou is happy about meeting the new Ryusoulgers but the band of brothers aren’t as peachy. After some introductions Melt asks how to beat the Minusaur, the answer, however, may shock you, because it sure as hell shocked me. Banba goes to Ui, with a stone cold look on his face and raises his sword ready to murder her. Yes, murder, in my children’s show, by a ranger no less. Bamba (Ryusoul Black) says that if they kill her, the Minusaur dies, killing one to save a thousand. Kou and co. are not having that and stop him from ending the poor innocent girl’s life. After a little exchange of ideals, logic and truth Kou states that he will save everyone and the super jerkio brothers take their leave. Ui wakes up and assumedly hears everything. Later that night Ui confronts her father about his job being a paleontologist, Naohisa saying that he’s seen as an oddball by his peers. Ui says that she’s sorry and morning comes. Asuna calls out for Ui but she’s no longer there, her dad says that she had to go do something and Asuna assumes the worst. Meanwhile the Minusaur begins its attack, now fully grown and only Kou and Melt are there to stop it. Asuna confronts Ui on the edge of a cliff where Ui fully intends to jump and end her own life. Ui reflects how she and her father dug for fossils there when she was young. In an even darker turn, she talks about how everyone around her is amazing and that whatever she does amounts to nothing at all and that the only way she can help is by ending her own life. Asuna tells Ui that she’s her friend and is able to coax her from going over the edge. Asuna swears to defeat the Minusaur and she takes off. The Minusaur manages to turn a lot of people into stone through television, billboard and phone screens (which betrays the ancient Greek myth about reflections of Medusa) and Kou summons Tyramigo into action. After getting trounced Asuna summons her own Kishiryu and forces Melt to snap out of his general pretentious attitude and summons Triken for him. Towa (Green) and Bamba consider murder again but are distracted by some CG dinosaurs and get jealous. Melt finally grows a backbone and states his desire to save everyone and Triken listens to his commands. F the third time, very specific Ryusouls, Medusa was blinded and for the first real time, Ryusoul Gattai initiates. Another quick and stunning battle begins for Kishiryu-oh Three Knights and the Minusaur is defeated. Towa and Bamba got so jealous that they dropped Ui off at her house (or just left her there to be picked up by Kou and co. but who knows) where they are all happy to greet her and see her awake at last. Asuna states that her feelings of loneliness and wanting to be seen by others, and especially her dad, gave birth to the Minusaur. Kou asks the question “If she wanted to be seen why turn people into stone?” Which leads Melt to show Kou the actual content of the Ui Channel in that it’s so boring that people become petrified by it. The episode ends with Towa and Bamba saying they need to find their Kishiryu so they can fight on the level of the other three rangers.
Ui keeps up her rep of being the best character in the show for the third week in a row being genuinely relatable to a much older crowd. The happy quirkiness we saw in the first two episodes was but a façade for a much deeply rooted problem that many young adults face in this day and age. Ui is depressed that she has accomplished nothing in life in comparison to her father and her peers. Coupled this with being the host for a monster that causes mass spread destruction she feels her only contribution to the world around her is no longer being in it. While Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters did this “sacrifice me to save many others” with Hiromu back in 2012, Ui is just a normal person who simply wanted to be recognized. When the only thing she can say she’s done is making an unsuccessful vlog, despair takes over her. Right off the bat, we see very three-dimensional characterization from a civilian character within the first 12th of the show’s life cycle. While I thought Melt would get more focus with his feud with Triken, Asuna gets more done as the compassionate one, saving Ui and telling Melt to get over himself. Kou does nothing too egregious for anyone to like or dislike him but the same can’t be said for the black and green duo. The show did a very good job of portraying them as jerks while contemplating suicide isn’t a first in Sentai, two rangers murdering innocents is. Though this is probably just a small one-time thing that will be glossed over and forgotten when all the Ryusoulgers have their mechas and can fight the giant Minusaurs. Towa is the most annoying though, constantly smiling and shouting his lines like he needs to be the loudest one in the room and is dangerously encroaching upon Melt’s twinky territory. Bamba is alright, the stoic older brother with no sense of humor, knowing Toei however he’ll probably be extremely protective of his brother or be weirdly obsessed with something random, like how Tsukasa was in Lupinranger vs Patranger.
As much as I enjoyed the much darker tone this time around, I feel as if the show played its hand too early. As I said before Go-Busters used this in the third act of the series, not at the beginning of the first act. I feel conflicted because after the second episode there will be a possibly big plot twist coming soon and at that time it may be too late to do such an episode. This also can only be done now as Bamba and Towa, after getting their Kishiryus will have no need to kill a host they don’t have to. The only urgency to kill Ui was born from the lack of a Kishiryu. I’m stuck in a rut of liking the episode and hoping they keep up the darker themes, but on the other hand, they may try to sweep the episode under the rug to prevent angry parents from trying to shut down Toei.
The problem that episode 2 had that I couldn’t properly articulate has finally crawled up from the depths of my throat. While the Sentai formula has always been fighting the monster, defeat the monster once and then they become big, Ryusoulger abandons that and breaks it in a bad way. Since the monsters naturally become big after a while the Rangers can’t “defeat” the monster when its human-sized. They’ll always find a way to escape so they can get big at the end for the mech battle. Maybe this is why Kishiryu-Oh is so quick and dynamic, they know since mech battles are more inevitable than ever, they had to spice up the combat in the robots. There is only one human-sized fight in the entire episode and it was only to show off Green and Black, Tankjoe only shows up to lead to Asuna and Melt’s defeat. I personally hope that Toei finds a way to circumvent this because Sentai has always had more colorful fights than Kamen Rider and more acrobatic than Pretty Cure’s low budget bouts. The highlight has to be Kishiryu-oh Three Knight’s debut, though they used some stock footage from episode one the rest of the fight was still fun to watch and hope that throughout the series and all the upgrades that they keep it fun and fast.
Overall Ryusoulger makes me feel conflicted. On one hand, I like what they’re doing with the series but I feel that they may be doing that way too quickly. Here’s to hoping Ryusoulger won’t burn it’s fuse too quickly