Uchu Sentai Kyuranger – Episode 45 Review

Following on from the reveal of Don Armage’s identity, I love that Tsurugi is now in the same position Lucky was in before. It’s easy to give out advice when you aren’t the one who has to make the final decision, so giving the same tough choice to Tsurugi about killing a loved one possessed by evil is a unique twist to the standard moral lessons in Sentai, or any kids TV show I can think of. But as much as it’s a neat twist to have two people deal with the same moral possession problem one after the other, I did love how it was about to happen a third time with Kotaro’s brother but Stinger just picked him up with his tail and avoided it.

I’ll admit I’m annoyed the big final battle of the series is taking place on Earth, instead of any of the far cooler and more imaginative locations a show about space travel can go to. At the very least they brought back Kotaro’s brother which is something they could’ve only done on this setting. It’s still a boring setting but at least it’s being used to shape the plot rather than just as a backdrop for fight scenes, in which case they really could have gone for somewhere more interesting.

Speaking of which, the fight scenes in this episode were all quite impressive, particularly Tsurugi’s fight with Don Armage and the final fight against Professor Anton, which is made much more memorable by the amazing song it’s set to. Professor Anton’s new body was also pretty cool but part of me wishes he was able to fight the Kyurangers in his human form. Part of what made him so unique to me is that he was a human villain rather than a big rubber monster. Much like fights between two rangers, having two human characters fight each other allows for more agile and acrobatic choreography whereas rubber suits are always a bit clunky. Still, the fight was suitably epic, although it’s odd that Champ didn’t at least get a moment after Anton was defeated to mourn his creator.

There were a few cool stand-out shots in this episode, like the rising drone shot on the bridge while Don Armage was monologing. Also, I really liked the thing with the spotlight on Tsurugi at the start, but then again I’m a sucker for in-camera lighting tricks (this wasn’t so much a ‘trick’ as a super obvious bit of dramatic effect, but still). The highlights of the episode for me were two scenes around the middle. Firstly, the scene where the humans helped with Kyurangers, because it’s clear that’s the direction the show has been moving in for a while and it’s so satisfying to see it play out finally. The whole message of Kyuranger is that anyone can make a difference, so seeing ordinary people fight back was lovely. Secondly, the scene on the ship where the rangers talk about what they want to do once the universe is at peace. It was such a strong moment because it make their reasons for fighting personal. In that scene we have 12 futures that the team is fighting to make happen. It’s cool to see the team have a strong sense of purpose going into the final arc.

This was a great episode of Kyuranger that spent a lot of time with the characters reflecting on what they were doing and what they had achieved so far.

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