Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger – Episode 21 Review

Why do the Zyuohgers never just shoot Green Toxica before she can give the monsters a continue? Why do they always just stand by and watch her turn the monster giant right in front of them? “Guys, I know this has already happened like 20 times but let’s just see how this one plays out…”

Despite how easy it was for The World to be turned from the dark side of the Force, I’m so glad that Zyuohger is dealing with the aftermath of it in a satisfying way instead of brushing it under the rug. The episode kicked off with Tusk asking about the origins of The World’s Zyuohger gear, something I hadn’t even thought about because it’s the sort of thing that usually just gets ignored. Evil rangers tend to get their hands on a sixth set of gear just…because. Even though it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s nice to see the characters taking notice of this sort of thing and it highlights how the show is still making a big deal out of The World instead of letting him become boring.

Unfortunately the plot itself was pretty weak. Amu suggesting that the kidnapped people might be near the ocean would have worked if she’d mentioned the taste of the monster sooner after biting him, but the way it happened made it seem like the script was giving the team a free hint. It was as if the writer couldn’t figure out how to move the story along so just awkwardly gave them a lead seconds after Tusk told us they were near the ocean. Also, it was kinda obvious that Tusk and Misao were going to be separated from the group to allow for super special friendship bonding time. That being said, it is a good character pairing; Misao constantly feels sorry for himself after every single mistake and Tusk is always being harsh with people over their slightest failings. Together, Misao can learn to have more confidence and Tusk can learn to be less of a jerk.

This episode also mark the beginning of another grand Sentai tradition: the nerfing of the sixth ranger. He’s gradually gone from being an unstoppable force who can take on all five of the other rangers to not being able to beat a group of henchmen. At least there was an attempt to make a joke out of it with Leo’s line, “It’s like, is he strong or weak?”

The big main addition to the series this episode is of course Cube Bat, and I love the way it was introduced. Unlike the whole ‘ocean’ thing which felt like it was made up on the spot, the cube was literally hanging above Tusk and Misao the whole time and added a real sense of suspense to their scenes together. When is it going to drop? What is it? What is it going to do? I knew a Cube Bat was coming but I somehow forgot about it while I was watching the episode, so I had no idea until it transformed that that’s what it was. It was as if the show was going “Are you getting bored of this character stuff? Well there’s a new toy stuck in the ceiling so now you HAVE to keep watching to see what it is.” As it happens I felt that the conversation between Tusk and Misao was really engaging but it was made doubly so knowing that thing was dangling above them. I was watching the whole time thinking “when are they going to notice it?”

The reveal of Cube Bat led into a brilliant mecha fight which utilized every mecha they have so far. Also, can I just say how thankful I am that The World has been a good guy for two episodes and they still haven’t combined all the mecha together yet? By stretching it out and making us wait for it, the show is giving us more new stuff over a longer period of time and keeping my interest a lot more than if they’d just dumped all the sixth ranger stuff on us in a single week and then never talked about it again. The fact that they’re going deep into the aftermath of The World joining the team means that there’s some on-going story that’s pulling me back every week instead of letting me get bored with endless filler. I mean, Cube Bat aside, this was basically filler. It was essentially just Tusk and Misao talking the whole time. But what they were talking about was deeply engaging and made we want to spend more time with the characters. I want to learn more about The World and his outlook of life, and the show is giving it to us slowly over a few weeks.

I really enjoyed this episode. I love the character of Misao and how he’s fitting into the team, I loved the appearance of Cube Bat (although a bat boomerang is totally Batman’s thing), and the final mecha fight was a fun showcase of how far the roster has grown in 21 episodes. Next episode is when the new six-ranger mecha combinations start and by not immediately jumping into it as soon as possible, the show has actually managed to get me hyped up for it.

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