Lupinranger VS Patoranger – Episode 21 Review
Episode 21 is the second part of Noel’s introduction, and so far he seems like a perfect ‘sixth’ ranger. Not only do I love his suit design and mecha, but his inclusion to the series complicates the formula in interesting ways and gives us a little more insight into Lupinranger VS Patoranger‘s lore. This episode doesn’t touch on it in much detail but with Noel being the creator of some of the rangers’ gear and having a previous relationship with Kogure, there’s plenty of room for the show to get into some of the history of the Lupin collection. His previous relationships with both Kogure and Good Striker, as well as his attachment to the police, make him feel like a natural part of the show than a character who’s just walked in out of nowhere.
I love how up-front Noel is about playing both sides. When I first heard that we’d have a ranger who was part of both opposing teams, I thought we’d have some secret identity farce stuff where he helps both teams without the other one knowing, constantly having to work behind everyone’s backs to hide his secret identity. Instead, both teams are aware that Lupin X and Patoren X are the same person and he openly admits that he’s in contact with both of them. It adds a fun level of suspicion to everything he does now that both teams know something’s up.
For a show about two Sentai teams with VS in the title, there’s surprisingly little ranger vs ranger action in Lupinranger VS Patoranger, with most fights being both teams fighting the Ganglers instead. Because of that, seeing the main three Lupinrangers and Lupin X fight was surprisingly refreshing and had a lot of weight to it (as well as reinforcing that the four Lupinranger suits look great together). The final twist at the end of the episode that the fight was staged to trick the Patorangers was brilliant and makes perfect sense looking back at it. I love how completely Noel is taking what we know and turning it on its head.
This episode did an excellent job of showing how Noel fits (or doesn’t fit) into the current status quo. I’m excited to learn more about him and also for Noel to tell us more about this show’s work in general. Hopefully we’ll get to hear more about Kogure and Good Striker and the background of the Lupin collection now that we have a character like Noel who knows so much about them.
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