Uchu Sentai Kyuranger – Episode 20 Review

The pre-title sequence for this episode did a good job of raising the stakes and reminding us how alien Stinger is. Now that he’s left the Kyurangers, using the antares technique was a nice bit of alien culture that the two brothers share that both added to the worldbuilding of the series and showed that Stinger is now fighting on his own terms with his own distinct style. The initial fight between the two of them was pretty strong although after injecting himself with his own venom I expected Stinger to be a bit more savage rather than pulling off flawless acrobatics. Still, the moment where he gets kneed into a column which explodes out behind him was wonderful; a great use of practical effects to show the impact of the blow.

Stinger’s decision to bring the real Kyutama along to his fight with Scorpio was completely idiotic. After spending several weeks collecting them all, the set has once again been split up and needs to be reassembled. In a way it’s actually impressive: 20 episodes into a Sentai series and we have our first frustratingly obvious example of padding. As least ‘the Kyutama that helps us find the other ones hasn’t recharged yet’ is an explanation. Why Stinger thought it was a good idea to bait his brother with the real actual Kyutama is never explained, so I have to assume he’s just stupid.

Which is a real shame, because his brother is the best villain the show has had so far. Now that the entire world has been covered in Jark Matter ships and Scorpio has turned the humans against the Kyurangers, the situation feels much more dire. That being said, it would have felt even more extreme if we’d have seen a little bit of the ships landing and the reaction of normal people in person, rather than by cutting back and forth between two view screens. It was an okay way to do it, but seeing it all play out on screens gives it a degree of separation, as if our heroes are just watching another episode of Kyuranger on TV. I think to get the scale of the invasion we actually needed some shots of the ships arriving around the world and people reacting. That’s a minor complaint though. The invasion is still effective at raising the tension and creating some urgency.

The Kyurangers walking through the angry mob through. THAT was a well-done moment. It was a very simple scene but really impactful. I’ve speculated for a while that Kyuranger will at some point extend the Rebellion to include normal people who the main heroes have inspired in order for there to be enough people to throw Jark Matter off of every planet in the universe. It’d provide a cool message about ordinary people doing the right thing as well as being an optimistic power of love ending that Super Sentai does so well. The fact that they’re including scenes of how ordinary people react to the Kyurangers makes me think that ordinary people rising up against Jark Matter might actually be how the show ends, and I’m looking forward to see if it happens.

The final fight scene was pretty good, although it was obvious that the antidote from a few episodes ago was what they were going to use to cure Stinger. Kotaro is finally back from HQ and got a fair bit to do in this episode, including some fun slow-mo scenes dodging Stinger’s tail to give him the antidote. I wondered why he took Champ’s Kyutama with him at the start because surely if Champ woke up while Kotaro was away he’d have needed it. Turns out it was just so Stinger could see it when it flew out of his pocket. Regardless, it was a good ending that did a good job at setting up the next episode.

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