Sunday, August 11, 2013

Kyoryuger : an update

I had written weeks ago a first review of Kyoryuger after the first 18 episodes. Since then, 7 episodes have aired, and I'm gonna complete my review based on what has been seen since my last review.

I must admit that Kyoryuger has shown some interesting points since my last review, and that my opinion of the show is better now (even if I still think that Kyoryuger is a flawed series).

Let's see how I feel so :

- While episodes 19 and 20 were mostly fillers (except some potential new elements about Daigo's dad and his relationship with Torin (and likely a potential knwoledge about the Kyoryuger), the Kyoryuviolet arc was pretty well done, with several very interesting elements in it. Witl a length of four episodes, it allowed plenty of development.

It involved a big showdown with the Deboth, including a first glimpse of the Big Bad, Master Deboth. The return of the three main Debomonsters responsible for the dinosaurs's extinction allowed for some fun scenes, notably when they imitated a sentai team (more specifically, Sun Vulcan), and they were reasonably well used during the arc. The return of the monstruous Master Deboth was also a climactic moment, where the heroes have been really in trouble, and while they were able to stop the big monster, it wasn't an easy victory like before. However, it must be siad that Deboth's design isn't the best, and that he looked more silly than threatening at times. Still, it's obvious that Chaos wanted to start an huge attack against Earth and the Kyoryuger and he realy raised the stakes there?

The introduction of Kyoryuviolet was also interesting because it introduced some background about the items the team use for their fight, like the Gaburevolver and the Zyudenchi, which were created by Dr Ulshade/ Kyoryuviolet. We also learn more info about the Deboth before they came to Earth. Unfortunately, Dr Ulshade was a pretty annoying character because of his completely over the top personality (and the way Shigeru Shiba portrays him) and it's pretty difficult to take him seriously.

However, his granddaughter, Yayoi has shown some potential and her growth as a character is the highlight of the Kyoryuviolet arc. She's shown some competence as her grandfather's assistant, and since she's likely to be her grandfather's successor, she has the potential to become a useful technological helper for the team. More importantly, Yayoi has shown interesting character development during the Kyoryuviolet arc. At first, she was scared, completely unsure of herself, and while she was ready to help the team as much as she could, her self-confidence was deeply hurt when her first effort to upgrade Plesion were thwarted by Debovirus. We also see that she has a crush on Daigo, and that she relies a lot on his opinion of her. Thanks to Daigo's moral support, she was able to send her "Brave" (bravery) to Plesion, and thus, allow the Zyudenryu to awaken its full power and help the team win against the revived Deboth.
However it wasn't enough. Yayoi at that time relied too much on the opinion of others, especially Daigo. Because of his bad back, Dr Ulshade wasn't able anymore to be a reliable Kyoryuviolet, and he hoped to have Yayoi as his successor. However, Yayoi wasn't able to awaken Plesion's Zyudenchi and become Kyoryuviolet. When a revived DeboIceage appeared, Yayoi was still a scared young girl, unable to fight, because of her lack of self esteem. However , Amy helped her realize that she doesn't have to seek strength from others, but that she has to find her strength and courage from her own heart and own desires. Yayoi realized that she wanted to become Kyoryuviolet because she deeply admired them and wanted to follow their footsteps. As a result, she stopped crying and expexting to be saved by the heroes (notably Daigo) and decided to fight back, awakening the powers of Plesion's Zyudenchi and at last, became the second Kyoryuviolet (the first female violet warrior of the sentai franchise). Once she became Kyoryuviolet, she's shown to be a very competent and brave warrior against the Deboth, and she was a welcome addition into the team. In four episodes, Yayoi Ulshade has shown impressive growth as a character, and while she wasn't around in episode 25, it's shown she'll be back in episode 26, so she's likely to stay around, and become the second major female protagonist in the team, and it's gonna be interesting how she's gonna fit into the team in the long run.

A last few elements : thanks to Yayoi, we see more of Ian's playboy personality, and it's nice to see that this element of his character hasn't been forgotten. Moreover, there are some glimpses that his rivalry with Aigalon has shown a new development, with Aigalon pissed at him because he took his favorite gemstone. While Ian was pretty much a background character until now (except during his focus episodes and his arc involving his desire to avenge his slain friend). Episode 26 may add some additional development to Ian, since it seems that he's gonna have to act as a replacement leader for the team.

Episode 25 also allowed to see more of Souji, and it's nice to see his high school female friend coming back, because it adds some world building.

The Kyoryuviolet arc also allowed some focus on Amy. When at first, it was pretty annoying, because it looked she was gonna dislike Yayoi because of a potential rivalry about Daigo, fortunately, that element was forgotten, and Amy had a key role into making Yayoi find her inner strength and become Kyoryuviolet. Amy confirmed her role as the one who brings moral support for her teammates, as it was previously seen with Ramirez/Cyan and Utsusemimaru/Gold. While it's still pretty stereotypical role for a female ranger, it still allows Amy to have focus in a good way.

Episode 25 also confirmed that the Deboth are tougher than expected by the heroes, and Chaos is pretty determined to win against the team, even deciding to create a new warrior, Endolf, the Warrior of Regret to make the fight even more difficult for the heroes. It's gonna be interesting to see how Endolf is gonna change the dynamics in the villain team.

Since episode 18, Riku Sanjo has really done some nice storytelling, by introducing a long story arc, and introduce a very new dynamism in the Kyoryuger story. While Kyoryuger still has a lot of the issues mentioned in my earlier review, it has also undoubtely shown interesting development, both sttoryline wise and character wise, and it confirms Kyoryuger has a long running world building.

For all those reasons, I've decided to raise Kyoryuger's mark to 6.5/10 (up from 5.5/10) with the potential to raise even more, if Sanjo continues to build his world in an interesting way.

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