Uchu Sentai Kyuranger – Episode 30 Review

It’s strange to have something that feels like a final battle against the main villain in Episode 30 of a Sentai series, but here we are. We had an epic fight in a desert with cool drone shots and slo-mo, the main villain tried to attack the rangers’ base, and at least three characters were on the brink of death (and one actually died). It certainly felt endgame-y, and for me it’s exactly the sort of thing the mid-series of a Sentai show needs to keep the momentum going.

I said in a previous review about how much I like Lucky now that his decisions seem to be motivated by smart thinking rather than pure luck. That good work gets partially undone here when everyone is talking about how great he is, not due to his leadership skills, but because of his ability to make miracles happen. In a way it plays into Super Sentai‘s unrelenting optimism; OBVIOUSLY Lucky wasn’t going to die and neither was Tsurugi. Everyone in Super Sentai will always be fine because Super Sentai is a fundamentally happy show where good will always win over evil. That’s part of why I like it so much. The problem is, when you have a show where everyone always escapes death, the thing that keeps us watching isn’t “Will they live?”, it’s “HOW will they live?” What crazy loophole will be used to allow our heroes to save the day? Having the entire cast of characters acknowledge that lucky things just happen to them without them needing to try removes that tension.

Not only do we know that our heroes will survive every episode, but the show seems disinterested with explaining how they’ll survive, instead saying that it’s just good luck. So where is the tension? Where is the drama? Where is the hook for kids? What reason do we have to tune in every week, same bat-time, same bat-channel, if ‘how will our heroes get out of this one’ is always going to be answered with ‘pure luck’? Lucky’s luck is to me the biggest failing of Kyuranger (which in the grand scheme of things is a tiny issue). I wish the show would at least PRETEND there’s some tension, instead of having everyone say “Don’t worry! Lucky’s the main character so everything will be okay!” After all, pretending is all storytelling is.

Anyway, Lucky is obviously fine because of luck, and he’s back with a shiny new form! I saw an edit of this suit design a while ago on Twitter where someone had added gold and red accents to the whole thing, and it looked way nicer. As it stands, I like the design but the pure white looks a little empty. Still, the helmet and chest designs are nice, as are the two little capes that eject out the back when he transforms. I like the elegant way he moves and the portal-based fighting style, particularly all the weapons emerging above him for the finisher. It’s a cool form that’s apparently strong enough to beat the show’s final boss.

Yeah, so about that. Even after all the team has been through, we still don’t know how Don Armage keeps surviving, and I love that. Not only does Don Armage have a powerful presence, but he’s also relentless and unkillable. I did like how they tried to sell the series actually being over. Xiao Longbao and Champ agreeing to stay in the past and pass on the legend of the Kyurangers felt like a legitimate finale moment that might have had somebody convinced that this was a 30-episode series (if it weren’t for the fact that Naga was still evil).

Lucky’s luck aside, this was a good episode that wrapped up the main time travel arc and gave us our first real fight against Don Armage. Next episode has us back with Naga, so Kyuranger is nowhere near slowing down.

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