Lupinranger VS Patoranger – Episodes 7 + 8 Review
I’m so happy this two-parter happened. These two episodes raised the tedious issue of secret identities in Lupinranger VS Patoranger and dealt with it perfectly in an entertaining way before resting the issue so it doesn’t need to ever come up again.
I find it really boring when all you’re doing in a show is watching characters find out information you already know, so I was a little frustrated when Pato Pink, out of nowhere with no foreshadowing at all, looked at the Lupinrangers at the end of Episode 7 and recognised them. That being said, if they had to tackle the secret identity thing, and I suppose they did have to at some point given the two teams hang around each other so much, I’m glad this is how they did it.
It was a nice surprise when Good Striker let the Lupinrangers know they were being watched at the start of Episode 8. Rather than sit and watch the characters makes stupid decisions, the Lupinrangers knew what was going on too, making for a much more fun episode. If anything, the main group being tricked wasn’t the Lupinrangers or the Patorangers but us, the audience. When it’s revealed that the three Lupinrangers are both at the restaurant and out fighting, the mystery stops being about whether they’ll be found out and becomes ‘How the hell is this possible?’ I didn’t see the explanation coming but it made total sense, like all good twists should.
There were a few stand-out visual moments in these two episodes, particularly in Episode 7. The shot were we see Lupin Red being eaten reflected in Lupin Yellow’s visor, which transitions into her helmet to see the reflection on her eyeball followed by a flashback to her friend being frozen, was pretty damn effective despite the slightly sloppy CGI needed to edit all the bits of footage together. It’s one of the rare occasions when Super Sentai uses flashbacks effectively, instead of using them to reminds us of something that happened a minute ago. Also, the on-screen texts in Episode 8 were a good Sherlock-esque way of conveying information. The fight scenes continue to be well done and there’s a definite unique style to the way they’re shot this series, with the camera swinging around the action to keep all the moving parts at the forefront of your attention.
I like how this two-parter gave a bit of added personality to the supporting cast, mainly Kogure and the Patoranger’s robot thingy. Commander Hilltop and Good Striker are also great characters, and I liked hearing a little more about Good Striker’s motivations. He does what he wants but as we learn in Episode 8, he’s ultimately trying to protect the Lupin collection.
There were some issues I had with these two episodes but they were fairly minor. The monster’s powers in Episode 7 could’ve been better explained, and shown off through action rather than dialogue. The way it happens in the episode, Lupin Blue just says what the monster does out loud, rather than what usually happens in Sentai where we see a short scene of the monster showing up and demonstrating their power visually. So the monster can eat people but the Lupin collection item allows them to eat MORE people? That makes sense but it’s a little convoluted. Just having the Lupin collection item allow the monster to eat people at all would’ve made for a clearer explanation that could’ve been shown off in practise rather than through an exposition dump. Also, as I’ve already mentioned, something, literally anything, to foreshadow Pato Pink’s realisation at the end of Episode 7 would’ve helped a lot.
Still, these were two good episodes that handled the inevitable secret identity arc surprisingly well.
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