Uchu Sentai Kyuranger – Episode 24 Review

The main threat this episode, that the non-red, non-pink, and non-chef members of the Kyurangers were trapped inside a monster’s stomach having their blood slowly drained was pretty damn dark for Super Sentai. At least we had Balance there, once again forgetting the differences between robots and humans, to lighten the situation up a bit. In fact there was quite a lot of blood this week considering Tsurugi’s wounds were the main way to visualise his new mortality. If nothing else I suppose it raised the stakes and made it more believable that, after 88 warriors literally died for Tsurugi, the other Kyurangers might be next. I’d hate for Sentai to become a cynical show about death, but this was a particularly serious episode so it fit the tone well.

Tsurugi’s backstory not only continues to make the character richer and more complex but it manages to make Don Armage, our main villain, much scarier. We’ve come a long way from the main villain of Zyuohger sitting on a throne looking bored out of his skull every week. Armage has presence and menace, and the best way to convey that in a villain is through their reputation. We haven’t actually seen him in the flesh yet, instead just glimpsing him in holograms, but he’s already one of the most impactful final boss-tier villains Super Sentai‘s had in years.

The decision to make Lucky and Tsurugi both red rangers was a stroke of genius from the design team behind Kyuranger because it works so well with the relationship between those characters. Not only are they learning to work together as a team despite both being their own leaders, they’re also learning to view each other as equals. On a meta level, we as viewers understand the high-ranking connotation of a red lycra suit in Super Sentai, so their story has an extra layer to it. Not only are the Kyuranger suits cool looking, but now the colour choices are influencing how we understand the plot and adding more depth to it, which is a wonderful use of Sentai‘s established tropes. Seeing two red rangers work together, even from the same series, felt special to see and added a lot of weight to the episode.

The theme of the two reds working together culminated in the debut of Kyutamajin, a combination incorporating all 12 Kyutama rather than all 12 individual mecha. Using just the Kyutama was a nice way of representing the whole team but I’m not sure how I feel about having the two reds be its only pilots. It makes sense in the context of this episode because this was about the two reds working together, not the whole team. Still, as a combination designed to represent everyone, I’d have liked it more if everyone was in their cockpits, as crowded as that would have been. In terms of the design, the multi-coloured globes look a little bit busy but it’s way more coherent of a design than it would be if all 12 full mecha were mashed together. Still, it looked big and powerful and it made some cool explosions, which means it ticked all of my mecha fight boxes.

The introduction of Kyuranger licenses was a nice way to tie things in with the theme of unity and the team coming together. For me, the presence of official rebels means there will at some point be unofficial rebels, whether that means imposters or, as I’ve often speculated, the show will end with ordinary people rising up to help defeat Jark Matter. Either way, the licenses were a nice way to bring everyone together in one group at the end. The ending of this episode also dropped a pretty big bombshell that time travel is about to be injected into the series. As a Doctor Who fan as well as a Star Wars fan, I can’t wait to reference that a million times too.

These last few episodes about HououSoldier’s introduction to the team have been really well-paced and allowed the character and his motivations plenty of time to breathe. Rather than Lucky teaching him a moral lesson immediately, he’s had time for his story to develop and his connection to the rest of the team to change gradually. Next episode, when all 12 rangers fight together, it’ll feel much more earned than if the show had jumped straight to it.

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