Shuriken Sentai Ninninger – Episode 47 (Finale) Review
Well, here we are again: the very last episode of the series. Ninninger overall started off strong but slowly slid into mediocrity. There was rarely an episode I hated but there were very few that stood out to me either. To me it was like a popcorn Sentai; fun to snack on but lacking any real substance. That is of course until around the Episode 40 mark. Ever since then we’ve had one of the strongest endgames a Sentai series has had in a while. Unlike ToQger‘s final episodes, which each ended on dramatic cliffhangers that failed to deliver the following week, Ninninger has gone from strength to strength with some genuinely shocking moments, like the permanent death of the Last Ninja (if this was ToQger, the team’s ‘IMAGINATION!!!’ would have brought him back to life almost instantly). All-in-all, this series ended on a really strong note.
By far the weirdest thing about this finale is this it sets up Kyuemon as being MidoNinger and then does absolutely nothing with the concept. I can only assume he’ll return in a movie or something as the 7th ranger because otherwise that whole plot thread with the green shuriken was entirely pointless. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a new addition to the team. I just wish they actually followed through on it instead of setting it up and taking it nowhere.
The final fight scene was pretty good; so good in fact that I almost didn’t mind that they totally pulled a ‘power of love’ move that allowed them to henshin one last time. Almost. This episode as a whole was well shot and there were certain moments where the camera felt more handheld and got closer in on the action which helped to ramp up the intensity a few notches. There weren’t any insanely impressive moments, like the one long shot on the roof in Episode 44 where the framing kept seamlessly changing from one desktop wallpaper-worthy image to another. That being said, the direction was slightly above the usual standard and there was an appropriate level of scale and epicness to proceedings.
On my first viewing, the whole ‘wishing away the End Shuriken’ thing seemed to come out of nowhere and was a really weird scene. Thinking about it however, it does make sense why it was included. It’s sort of like the Elder Wand from Harry Potter: once all the fighting is over, what are the heroes supposed to do with the absurdly powerful super-weapon that could destroy the world? The only real option is to destroy it so it can never be used again. That being said, the scene could have been handled better so it took place during the climax of the final battle instead of being a strange little epilogue.
In the end this was a pretty standard Sentai finale which is fair to expect given that all the big moments like the death of the Last Ninja and Kyuemon getting a new form happened last week. All that was really left for this episode to do was the big final fight which was well done but there wasn’t really anything unusual or new about it. Honestly, a better final fight would have been the one from the start of Ninninger 46 with all three generations working together. Nothing really surprised me about this episode (other than the fact they actually kept the Last Ninja dead). What makes this all the stranger is that they had the opportunity to do something memorable and didn’t take it by introducing Kyuemon’s green shuriken. Having Kyuemon become MidoNinger during a final fight against his father would have given this finale that little something extra and ended Ninninger‘s finale with a bang.
As it stands, taking the last five or so episodes into consideration, the series still ended superbly. MidoNinger aside, there’s very little I’d actually want to change about the last few episodes. Shuriken Sentai Ninninger as a whole wasn’t the best Sentai series ever but it had great characters, some of the best designs in years, and by far the best character arcs I’ve ever seen in Sentai. Our heroes started the series as students and ended the series as masters, and it’s been immensely satisfying to watch.
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