Uchu Sentai Kyuranger – Episode 26 Review
I’m so glad the show followed up on Naga’s lack of emotions being mentioned in 25. Since the character was first introduced I’ve been fascinated by the idea of a species that represses all emotions but so far it’s only been used for comic relief purposes. Seeing it return as a main plot thread feels like something we’ve been waiting on for a while and I can’t wait to see what the show does with it. Also, the opening scene of Naga looking bored in the cockpit followed by the reveal that he’s in the middle of a mecha fight was awesome, as was the animation of Kyutamajin splitting up and reconfiguring into the three smaller combinations.
Like with the Kyutama having to recharge earlier in the series, now it seems the Orion has to charge up before we can go back to the past. This is clearly a way to pad out the arc but I’m so glad this is how they chose to do it rather than having the rangers just decide to sit around and do nothing for a week. I’d rather they not go to the past because they can’t rather than because they don’t want to. It pads out the arc while keeping the characters and the audience focused on the challenges ahead and making the team more proactive. Still, I’d have liked a little more information on how the ship needs to get ready to sell the idea, instead of just ‘we can’t go to the past right now because reasons’.
Not that the lack of time travel was much of a problem for me considering what we got instead was so engaging. Naga’s dilemma over whether or not to release his emotions was such a unique twist on the whole ‘evil ranger’ thing. Usually a characters starts off bad and turns good, not the other way around, but besides that it was nice to see a goodie turn into a baddie for reasons that made sense. Naga’s species were originally warlike before they suppressed their emotions, so Naga being ‘normal’ means being a villain. I especially loved the moment where Naga attacked Hammy before he’d even been changed, reinforcing that his new emotions were just an extension of the way he’s always been rather than some magic spell changing his behaviour.
Naga’s new design, both in civilian form and suit form, looks wonderful, adding enough of the Jark Matter aesthetic to him without making him unrecognisable. The whole ‘Dark Kyutama’ and ‘Dark Change’ thing was a tiny bit weird and made it sound more like he was an outright evil ranger rather than someone who just had a disagreement with his teammates, but at least the new changer voice sounded cool. It’s a little weird that he’s strong enough to be a threat to the whole team but I suppose they had to do that in order to do the characters stuff. Otherwise he’d be taken down by force and nothing with his emotions would be resolved. The idea to turn Naga against the others works really well with how he’s been ignored and treated like comic relief up to this point and it’s great to finally see this thread develop.
This was yet another good episode of Kyuranger that set up the next arc effectively. The way they spelled out who was in which group and what their goals were at the end of the episode was a little heavy-handed but ultimately it’s a nice cliffhanger. Both threads, the time travel and Naga’s repressed emotions, are each interesting enough to carry an arc on their own, so the next arc looks like it has a lot of potential. I sure hope they don’t immediately throw this momentum away on a clip show or something.
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