Lupinranger VS Patoranger – Episodes 9 + 10 Review

As much as I like the Patorangers and their supporting cast, I can’t help but love the Lupinrangers more. Their stories are so much deeper, as is made clear by these two episodes. Not only do we meet Zamigo in these episodes, giving us a strong memorable Lupinranger-centric arch-nemesis, but the main focus of the two-parter is on what would happen if the Lupinrangers ever failed to get a collection piece.

It’s refreshing to have a Super Sentai team who aren’t just trying to defeat the monsters, but are actually trying to recover stolen property. In fact, as we see at the end of Episode 9, if one of the monsters is defeated it’d actually be a huge set-back for them. The Lupinrangers are forced to do shady things for good honest reasons, and it’s handled so well. They aren’t villains, nor are they goody-two shoes heroes. They occasionally do straight-forwardly good things and give good advice to people, but only when it makes sense for their characters. In Episode 9, Lupin Red tells Ema to spend more time with her sister before it’s too late, which is a nice message about family but it means so much coming from that character. Ema incidentally is a really memorable supporting character. She even managed to work out who the Lupinrangers were, something the police couldn’t even do.

As much as the Lupinrangers’ personal experiences can make them do good things, they can also cause them to lash out in un-Sentai-ish ways that I find really refreshing. Any other Sentai red would’ve told their team it’s okay they failed at the start of Episode 10, but Lupin Red was just angry at them. It was very in-character for him. The more I think about it, the more I think Lupin Red might be one of my favourite reds in recent memory. There’s so much to his character and personality already.

The set-up of a Sentai team being heartbroken because a monster got blown up is a strong unique spin on things, but I feel it was resolved too easily. The monster still being alive after all felt like the show taking the easy way out. It’s not like I wanted them to lose their chance of recovered their loved-ones; I never want Super Sentai to lose its optimism. That being said, I would’ve liked to have known what would actually happen if one of the collection pieces was destroyed. I wanted the Lupinrangers to have to find some sort of clever loophole instead of just ‘nah it wasn’t blown up really’.

The Ganglers are slowly becoming a strong villain faction after their fairly weak introduction. Destra is still the only monster among them that’s in any way visually memorable to me, but now we have Zamigo who’s another noteworthy character. As a side note, I liked the villains releasing a giant monster to combat the rangers’ mecha in Episode 9, rather than the other way around like usual.

These were two good episodes using a worst case scenario for the Lupinrangers to tell us more about their personalities and the unique premise of the show. A really strong two-parter.

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