Uchu Sentai Kyuranger – Episode 19 Review

This episode got off to a strong start by getting us immediately back on the search for the Argo. As much as I love that the Kyurangers don’t waste any time in getting stuff done, up to this point they’ve still been working to their own schedule. The universe has already been taken over and districts get liberated when they get around to liberating them. In Episode 19 this changes, as the pre-title establishes that the time limit to find the Argo is now being set by Jark Matter, not them. They need to find the last Kyutama before the Jark Matter fleet arrives to destroy the Earth. The stakes have been raised, and as well as creating a sense of urgency, it was an effective way to demonstrating how powerful Jark Matter is. Emperor Not-Palpatine knows about the Rebellion, and he’s trying to do something about it. Jark Matter really feels like a controlling Empire with enough resources to keep the universe in line rather than just being a few monsters who show up every now and then.

It’s always fun when we get to see alien planets in the series, mainly because they use the old Doctor Who design method of getting a bunch of people together in a forest and giving them all the same face paint or prosthetic to make them look like members of another species. Want to convince the audience you’re on another planet? Just paint two red stripes on everyone’s face. Good enough.

The rock-faced monster had a memorable design and there were some fun moments when his expression got chiselled into something different, but the main threat here is Scorpio. He continues to be an amazing design and a strong presence in the series. For one thing, he seems to be the only characters in the show who isn’t afraid to question the Emperor. The fight between Scorpio and Lucky using the Shining Kyutama was brilliant. The speeding up and slowing down made each hit more impactful and gave the fight some real power behind it. When Scorpio does get defeated I imagine it’ll either be Stinger or a rebuilt Champ that does it, but seeing him fight the rest of the team for a change was nice.

I obviously knew Lucky was going to give up the Kyutama to save Eris; there are few Sentai reds who wouldn’t. I sort of expected Eris to catch it as it was thrown over her head through, but oh well. Also, why on Earth did Stinger have to bring the two other Kyutama to his brother to make the trap work? Scorpio came to him before he’d even made it clear he had them. It just seems like a ridiculous risk to take when attacking immediately would have done the same thing.

The mecha fight at the end of this episode had some pretty decent practical effects although the kicking with two legs was probably a better idea in theory. It’s a funny image but it isn’t really played for laughs so, like Kotaro’s awkward flail fighting style, I think they wanted me to think it was cool but it didn’t quite work.

It’s nice that the search for the Argo continues for a little longer than I first expected, and that the Stinger/Scorpio rivalry is now tied up with it. Tying plot threads together like this is keeping the show nice and focused, helping to build momentum for the upcoming episodes.

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