Uchu Sentai Kyuranger – Episode 39 Review
This episode got off to an amazing start. Champ’s whole arc has been one of the strongest in the show and this is probably its most significant episode. Not only do we have the return of the Champ prototypes, but the appearance of Professor Anton as a villain. It feels instantly refreshing to see a cackling villain who isn’t playing the part while wearing a big rubber monster suit. There’s something unsettling and horrifying about the zombie professor who exists merely as a hologram. He’s such a unique idea for a villain and the actor has genuine screen presence in the role, much more so than any of the other non-ranger human characters we’ve had.
The episode was bursting with creative ideas, even if those ideas didn’t always sync up very well. The RPG aesthetic was fun and allowed for a lot of good gags, but it didn’t particularly gel well with the Champ stuff. Don’t get me wrong, the Champ stuff and the RPG stuff were both excellent and worth doing, I just don’t know if they really help each other by doing them in the same episode. I suppose there are times when the Champ stuff gets a bit heavy and it’s good to have lighter scenes sprinkled in, even if it did feel like watching two different episodes spliced together. It maybe would have made more sense if the RPG storyline matched up more with what was actually happening; but the idea of Champ being a princess who was kidnapped and being forced to marry Professor Anton was a little bit forced. They clearly came up with the idea to parody RPGs first and the justification for it second.
Still, I had a lot of fun with this episode and I liked it overall. Professor Anton’s new backstory makes him probably the deepest character outside of the main cast, and certainly the one I want to see more from. Beyond the big stuff, there were a lot of little moments I liked. For example: “All I can do is sing!” “Then sing at him!” As well as being a funny moment, that sums up the whole philosophy behind Kyuranger and Lucky’s outlook: everyone can do something to help, no matter what that thing is. And of course, singing to Champ works. It’s a very optimistic Super Sentai attitude and I love it. Some of the RPG jokes were also quite fun, like the use of catchphrases as spells during combat and Lucky kicking the text prompt out of the way.
The final fight scene had some slicker choreography than usual and I liked the return of the prototype Champs. They’re a cool design, with exposed robot parts designed to look like the skeleton of a living thing, mirroring the idea that Champ is more than a machine. However, Madako trading in her immortality for a slightly cooler design was pretty weird. I like the new design but I don’t get why she would throw away her ability to keep coming back, or why she’d announce to the rangers she’d done that. It feels like the writers wrote themselves into a corner with how to get rid of her and realised that had to rebalance her stats to make it fair. She still gets away and shows up in the next few episodes, so I don’t see why they even bothered. Anyway, the character doesn’t really interest me all that much so I’ll be fine with whenever they choose to blow her up for good.
I thought this was a good episode that kept things moving forward and gave us potential for a cool new recurring villain with Professor Anton.
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