Sunday, February 9, 2014

Kyoryuger, a review part 2: the villains (Deboth army)

The Kyoryuger's enemies are the Deboth army, entities born from a creature from outer space, Deboth. Deboth's aim is to go to different planets to destroy every life living in it. After several attempts to destroy Earth, and with Deboth's heart being frozen, the Deboth army started a new big attack, only to have a full team of Kyoryuger opposing them.
Deboth's most faithful servant is Hundred-faced priest Chaos, who is one of his earliest creations and is the leader of the army. Chaos in turn created the different Deboth Knights, who are the main commanders. Each of those general’s aim is to gather emotions from humans, in order to make Deboth come back to life and evolve.
Amusing trivia: the four main generals, Aigalon, Dogold, Candelira and Luckyuro have both a trump card theme (Aigalon = spades, Candelira= heart, Luckyuro = diamonds, and Dogold = club) and, more important, a Wizard of Oz theme (Candelira = Dorothy, Luckyuro= scarecrow Aigalon = Tin Man, Dogold = Cowardly Lion)

1) Deboth

The true leader of the Deboth army, he's a big entity which goes from planet to planet to destroy all life living there. However, when he first came to Earth, during the dinosaur era, he was opposed by his own offspring Torin, who fought back with the dinosaurs. While Deboth, Chaos and the Deboth army were successful in making the dinosaur disappear, the spirits of some of the dinosaurs stayed alive, and in a big battle involving Torin and the Zyudenryu, which were big replicas of the dinosaurs which contained the spirits of the dinosaurs, Deboth's heart was frozen, with a lot of Zyudenryu dying in battle, notably the Guardians and Bragigas. Since then, the Deboth army was weakened by the absence of its leader. After gathering human emotions, Chaos tried to bring back an incomplete Deboth, which appeared as a big monster with some dinosaur and bug design. However, because Deboth was incomplete, it was defeated by Bakuretsu Kyoryujin, with Deboth escaping death by having his heart entering Chaos's body. Deboth continued his evolution inside Chaos's body, gathering human emotions. While a new plot involved Deboth clones, none of them had a real impact in Deboth evolution. At the end, Deboth ended up gathering enough human emotions to take over Chaos's body, and then at last, get a body on his own using the frozen palace. Thanks to all those human emotions, Deboth could evolve into a green humanoid creature with great intelligence. Immediately after resurrecting, Deboth started a countdown for Earth's destruction, and his power was so great that it could stop the Kyoryuger's melody, preventing them to transform. Deboth even deceived Dantetsu by making him believe that he would spare non-human life forms if he killed Torin, and he had no problem with killing useless servants, like Candelira, Luckyuro and Aigalon. At the end, Deboth was defeated in a one-on-one showdown with Daigo/ Kyoryu Red di Carnival, the latter being powered up by Earth's melody which was sung by his teammates. Daigo seemingly died during the explosion of the frozen palace, but was saved by the Zyudenryu.

My opinion of Deboth: while at first he seemed to be nothing more than a mindless beast, his final evolution allowed him to show much more intelligence and danger than expected before. As such, he's a well done final Big Bad for the show.

2) Hundred-Faced High priest Chaos

The acting leader of the Deboth army, and the one who leads the plans to resurrect Deboth. He's been one of the earliest creations of Deboth, as well as Torin. However, unlike Torin, he stayed faithful to the Deboth mission, annihilating all life in a planet populated by bug-like creatures, and leading the battles to destroy Earth. However, he was opposed by his younger brother Torin, who even severed one of his wings. Because of this betrayal, and this wound, Chaos deeply hated Torin, and never missed an opportunity to hurt him, by reminding him of his failures, how he is weak without having Kyoryuger as allies, and even having Dogold possess the body of Utsusemimaru, Torin's ally during the Sengoku era. One of his most cruel tricks involved using an evil song to force Torin onto fighting the other Kyoryuger, and revealing to them Torin's identity as a Deboth and as his younger brother. However, Torin managed to survive, kept the friendship of his team, and even was able to become Kyoryu Silver.
Chaos is a good strategist, using diversion tactics for further aims, like when he brings back Pteragodon, which was at the time controlled by Dogold and a strong weapon against the Kyoryuger. When he realized how powerful bravery was in opposing their goals, he created a new general who was powered by hate, since hate seemed to be the best way to oppose bravery. He also wisely managed to bring back to life the powerful demon Gadoma, who would have done intense destruction, if it hadn't been stopped by Bragioh. Chaos knows how to act in secret : while he knew Endolf wasn't dead, but possessed by Dogold, he never let Dogold know that he knew, and only punished him after Endolf's comeback, by allowing Endolf to keep Dogold obedient thanks to a device. Likewise, he created in secret new Knights of Joy and Sadness, after noticing that Aigalon and Candelira were failing in their mission. While he dislikes killing his generals, even when they are useless, because he sees them as family, he's pragmatic enough to admit that they are too dangerous to be kept alive since they might rebel like Torin. He's been however taken aback once, because he didn't realize that Dantetsu Kiryuu killed Torin at the latter's request in order to destroy the Deboth hell. However, he learns quickly, and even used his own death as a strategy, but letting Dantetsu kill him and send him to the Deboth hell, in order to protect it from Torin and the Spirit Rangers. However, he was defeated there by them, with the help of Candelira and Luckyuro, who decided to help the Kyoryuger to, thanks them for protecting them.

My opinion of Chaos: Despite his bizarre design, a mix of the Statue of the Liberty and a robotic skull, Chaos is a very good villain and a very well done acting leader of the Deboth army. He's the perfect evil counterpart of Torin, as a wise leader, and being his brother makes it even more true. While he doesn't go into battle often, he's pretty good in battle. He's also a good strategist, able to make very quick decisions in order to avoid complete defeat, and start the fight once more. Chaos is pretty sadistic, especially towards his brother Torin, and their rivalry is a highlight of Kyoryuger. All in all, a very well done villain.

3) Knight of Anger, Dogold

The Knight of Anger, his mission is to gather anger from humans using monsters who forced humans to feel angry. He's a violent warrior, who often goes into battle to oppose the Kyoryuger. He's always angry, which probably is due to his very nature. Dogold is a living armor which needs an external body to be really alive; otherwise, he's only alive as a pretty powerless flying lion mask: Dogold hates being a parasite needing a body to survive. While he uses Cambrima bodies when he has no other choices, he deeply dislikes using them since they melt after only one moth of use, and he's forced to possess another. He was able to have a much stronger body during the Sengoku era, when he slaughtered, with an army of Debo Monsters and Zorima, a big clan who was opposing them. One of the fighters, Utsusemimaru, was so angered after seeing his friends being killed and Torin about to be killed that he attacked Dogold blind with fury, which allowed Dogold to possess him and take his body. After a few centuries, Dogold had even forgotten that he was using Utchy's body, until the samurai was able to take advantage of the fact that Dogold was weakened after a big fight against the Kyoryuger. After a big struggle, Utchy was able to separate completely from Dogold, and became a dangerous rival for him. Since then, Dogold was forced to use Cambrima bodies, and an attempt to use a powerful robot ended up in failure. He still was a tough opponent, and the general who is the most involved in the biggest Deboth plans.
However, when Chaos created Endolf, Dogold realized he has a big rival, since as the Knight of Hate; Endolf has a position pretty similar to his. Because of that, Dogold started a bitter rivalry with Endolf, who made it even worse by calling him "armor", reminding him in a painful way of his parasitic nature. Dogold hated Endolf so much, that he even gave info to the Kyoryuger to have them go in his way. At the end, he took advantage of a weakened Endolf to take over his body, which allowed him to become even stronger, using Endolf's weapons. Dogold hid the fact he took Endolf's body from the other Deboth generals, hoping one day to take over the Deboth army and become the leader, while faithfully serving Chaos, as usual, until an opportunity came. However, while possessed by Dogold, Endolf was growing stronger, and little by little, he began to take over Dogold's mind, even suggesting him the Yanasanta plan. At the end, Endolf was able to free himself from Dogold's possession, and Dogold only escaped death thanks to Candelira. While Chaos spared Dogold, he allowed Endolf to force him into submission by using a device sending painful waves to Dogold's body. At first Dogold, while furious about it, remained obedient, realizing how the changes in the Deboth army were threatening all the generals, and he was the only one of the four early generals that were still fighting with Chaos during the final battle. However, during a final battle with Utsusemimaru, he realized it was the opportunity to get back at Endolf for humiliating them, and he decided to briefly ally with Utchy, taking Endolf by surprise, and managed to defeat him with Utchy. Mortally wounded, he died as a proud warrior after a last showdown with Utchy.

My opinion of Dogold: Dogold is also a great villain, since he's a very active general and a dangerous fighter. despite being very hot blooded (his catchphrase is "Haradatashi " (this is irritating)), he's very smart, a good strategist who knows when to wait and only striking when a good opportunity comes, like using Utchy's rage or Endolf's weakened state to take over their body, and acting obedient to Endolf in order to make him trust him. He has a deep rivalry with the Kyoryuger, but more especially his former body host, Utchy, whom he loves taunting, calling him "Utsusemimaru chan". However, there is someone he hates even more than the Kyoryuger, and it is Endolf, who pretty much never stops humiliating him. This rivalry with Endolf is very well done, and it allowed for a very good final arc for Dogold, when he allies himself with Utchy to defeat Endolf, and dies at Utchy's hands as a true warrior. With two well-done rivalries and great fighting skills, Dogold is a well done villain

4) Knight of sorrow Aigalon

A warrior in a blue armor, Aigalon, despite a crybaby personality is a dangerous warrior who uses an axe as a weapon. He's using monsters in order to gather sadness emotions from humans. He's also a cold blooded killer, killing Ian's friend Mifune to steal him his amber gem, and seeing it as a completely normal thing. As a result, he becomes Ian's rival, who wants revenge against him for killing his friend. Ian manages to take back his friend's jewel from Aigalon, which enraged him, since he hates having stuff stolen from him. After Deboth's apparent defeat by Bakuretsu Kyoryujin, he was full of rage and attacked he Kyoryuger and tried to kill them by self-exploding. However, the Kyoryuger survived thanks to the Tuperanda Zyudenchi's power, and Aigalon survived as well, at least in appearance. However, since that event, Aigalon regularly started fits of rage, which he didn't even understand himself.
Aigalon was also very fond of Candelira, even sometimes working together, and one of the reasons he was able to control that new darker side was because he didn't want to scare her. When Aigalon realized that Chaos planned to kill Candelira, after having her replaced by Kilborero, he fled the frozen palace in order to warn his friend. However, Chaos sent the new knight of sorrow, Icerondo, who revealed him that he in fact died in his self-explosion, only coming back to life thanks to Chaos's dark powers, explaining why he had those dark episodes where he lost control. He was forced to beg the Kyoryuger to protect Candelira and Luckyuro, and ended up taking a deadly attack from Icerondo to protect Candelira. While at first Ian was furious against Aigalon, who had the nerve to ask him a favor despite having killed his best friend, he couldn't stop but be moved by Aigalon selfless final act, and decided to break his armor to allow his soul to be free. Just before dying, Aigalon showed remorse for all the killing he did. Ian ended up avenging Aigalon by killing Icerondo using Aigalon's axe.

My opinion of Aigalon: a big issue with Aigalon is the inconsistent way he's written. Because he was Ian's friend's killer, he was shown at first as a crying, but very dangerous and ruthless villain. However, as the series went on, he slowly was more written as a comic relief villain, in the same level as Candelira. As a result, his rivalry with Ian suffered from it, since after Ian learnt that Aigalon was his friend's killer, the topic was only addressed about twice through the series, notably at the beginning of the Endolf arc, when Aigalon told Endolf about him killing Ian's friend to help him gather hate from Ian, doing everything to make Ian feel hateful and angry, and of course his final episode. Otherwise, the issue was pretty forgotten, and Aigalon was more used with Candelira as an odd couple. However, he had a powerful final arc, where he showed some noble feelings. To sum up, a villain that had plenty of potential, but suffered from not enough focus and inconsistent writing.

5) Knight of Joy Candelira

The girl of the team, Candelira is a pretty fun filled villainess who only wants to have happiness around her. Whenever she sees her teammates feeling bad, she cheers him by telling them to keep smiling. She's always happy and usually very pleasant to be with, talking nicely even to her enemies. She's able to have a human form, using the appearance of a cute young idol. She loves singing and dancing, even imitating the Kyoryuger during their dancing transformations.   Her missions involve gathering happy feelings from people. As a result, her plans were often weird, since making people happy doesn't feel really evil. Indeed, some of her plans weren't evil at first, like when she wanted to have a monster to make cakes, or even her plans to make people believe it's was still summer. However, she often worked with dangerous monsters who often evilly manipulated people to give them false happiness, like Debovirusu, who made people sleep, or Debotanabata, a monster who made people wishes come true, but at the cost of their lives after one day (by far her evilest plan). Moreover, because of her deep wish to make her teammates happy, she was the one who sang the evil melody who forced Torin into being evil again.
Her turning point however was a plan where she was seducing people and trapping them in a movie making monster. During that plan, she interacted for a longer time Nossan/ Kyoryu Blue and started to get fond of him, since she liked his jokes. When Kyoryu Blue protected her against collateral ammunition, she was deeply moved by the hero's kindness, and even more when he protected her from his sister's wrath, despite knowing very well who she was. Instead of attacking her, Nossan begged her to release the people she trapped, and moved despite herself by the kindness and trust of her enemy; she ended up sabotaging her own plans. Since then, she lost motivation in fighting the Kyoryuger, despite staying with the Deboth out of loyalty, even stopping Endolf from killing Dogold. However, after Luckyuro was fired by Chaos and ran away, she followed him, and ended up being targeted by Chaos who had already replaced her by a new Knight of Joy and feared that she would rebel against the Deboth.  While at first, all she wanted was to survive, she witnessed with a lot of sadness the death of her dear friend Aigalon, who had just told her of his love for her, and only managed to find comfort thanks to Kyoryu Blue, and witnessed the magnanimity of her former enemies, who saved her life from Icerondo and were willing to give her a second chance. Deeply moved by that generosity, she ended up helping Torin and the spirit rangers to defeat Chaos once and for all. Torin even named her and Luckyuro as his successors.  While at first, she didn't know what to do after the battle; she then remembered that Nossan told her that, as the knight of Joy, she could find her way by genuinely making people happy. As a result, she started following that new mission by helping a little girl find her parents, with the help of Luckyuro.

My opinion of Candelira: Candelira is a very problematic villainess, because she has two main issues:
- How to be evil when your mission is to make people feel happy
- how to be hated when you're voiced by such an adorable looking seiyuu as Haruka Tomatsu, which was made even worse when Tomatsu played Candelira when she took an human form.
As first, the show had her manipulating people into happiness by giving them fake joys, like brainwashing her into being her fans, or looking for treasure in a place where there were none, and, worse of all, making people' wish come true but killing them the day after. Her status as evil was even taken further in her active role in brainwashing Torin.
But, starting with episode 40, Sanjo seemed to change his mind and started a redemption plot for Candelira, by making her being fond of Nossan. Starting with that episode, Candelira stopped doing anything evil and pretty much became a neutral character, until she definitely changed sides in the final fight. While Candelira's redemption arc was not done that badly, her change of heart in episode 40 was done pretty quickly, and Candelira suffered from inconsistent writing, which is a shame since her redemption arc makes sense.

6) Spy of Joy Luckyuro

A childlike villain, he's the one who makes the Debo Monster grow big thanks to the nutritious Jory potion. He's mostly Candelira's helper, being actively involved in her plans, since they're both involved in fun stuff. However, as a loyal servant of the Deboth army, he's able to work with any general. He manages to hold his own in a fight, and was even able to have a very devious plans when all alone, by using a monster giving nightmares to the Kyoryuger and not allowing them to sleep. However, because of his childish nature, he's often distracted during mission, loving playing games and being a huge fan of the shoujo manga "Love touch", even sending plenty of fan mail to the mangaka (who was, ironically, Kyoryu Grey's descendant). As a result, he ended up realizing that if Earth was destroyed, he wouldn’t be able to read fun manga, after a talk with Amy. Like Candelira, he ended up losing motivation in fighting the Kyoryuger, and when Chaos didn't need him anymore to make the monsters grow, he fired him. Luckyuro ended up running away from the Deboth, and at the end, followed Candelira's path in joining the Kyoryuger against the Deboth and start a new life by making people feel happy.

My opinion of Luckyuro: because of his childish nature, Luckyuro was basically following the path that his elders showed him, so he was evil because being evil was the model to follow. However, deep inside him, Luckyuro only wants to have fun, and he quickly realized that the "Love touch" shoujo manga was what gave him the most fun. When Amy realized it, she made him realize how the Deboth plans were in the way of his fun, and he quickly lost motivation to fight, staying only out of loyalty. Once he's been fired, he had no reason to be the Kyoryuger's enemy any more, and could easily follow Candelira in her redemption path. Luckyuro's character is written more consistently than Candelira's since he's more of a comic relief character than a true villain. As such, his redemption was less abrupt than her fellow Deboth knight, since he quickly showed that all he wanted was to have fun.

7) Knight of resentment, Endolf

After the defeat of the incomplete Deboth, Chaos made a new knight, who was powered by hate, the Knight of Resentment, Endolf. He quickly showed himself to be a very powerful opponent in his first fight against the Kyoryuger. He also quickly showed his contempt for Dogold, which made the latter furious, calling him "armor", even "castle decoration".  He's a sadist that loves more than ever tormenting his enemies in order to have them hate him, since his function is to gather hate. Even Luckyuro didn’t like him. While he's very soft spoken (his catchphrase is "my head hurts"), his feelings are strong and his hate is deep. He started working with Aigalon, who tried to use Ian's rivalry against him to bring out hate from the young man, but Ian managed to control his hateful feelings. Endolf was still a dangerous opponent, making himself grow up using Luckyuro's Nutritious Jory. His next target was the Gabutyra-minded King, whom he hunted with two Debomonsters, always reminding the other heroes of how he's gonna kill their friend, and tried to make their hate increase by  preventing them to transform and make them powerless. But, as the incarnation of Chaos and Deboth's hate, his biggest plan targeted Torin. With the help of Candelira, he created a song that would be able to wake up all the darkness in Torin's heart and make him fight the Kyoryuger against his will. More hateful, Endolf and Chaos used that opportunity to tell the Kyoryuger the truth about Torin, and his origin as a Deboth general, hoping the Kyoryuger would hate Torin for hiding that secret. However, that plan failed, with Torin keeping the affections of his teammates, and even choosing to kill himself rather than hurt his friends. While the loss of Torin deeply affected the heroes, Daigo didn't want them to feel hate, out of respect for Torin's memory. Moreover, Daigo found a way to bring back Torin to life, using the amber gems and a good nice melody. At last, Daigo fought Endolf using the full power of his Carnival power up, using attacks mimicking the different modes of Kyoryujin, with the matching Zyudenchi. While Endolf survived Daigo's attack, Dogold used that opportunity to take over Endolf's body, taking revenge of all the humiliations he underwent because of him, getting rid of a potential rival as main general, and getting at last a new powerful body. However, Endolf waited patiently in Dogold's body to gather strength, and he was powerful enough in the Yanasanta's arc to suggest his own ideas in Dogold's mind, and at last managed to break free from the armor, more dangerous than ever. He took back his rank as second in command of Chaos, forcing Dogold to obey him thanks to a device which send pain waves to Dogold's body whenever he rebelled. Endolf fought several times the Kyoryuger after coming back, using Dogold as a servant. However, at the end, Dogold had enough of Endolf's humiliations, and allied himself with Utchy to kill Endolf and get revenge. Endolf himself was surprised of how much Dogold hated him.

My opinion of Endolf: probably the best villain in Kyoryuger, even rivalling Chaos. As the embodiment of hate, Endolf is a very dangerous enemy, who takes pleasure and power by making humans hate him, and as such is very sadistic. His plans not only involve directly harming people, but do it in the presence of people who care for his victims, to make them suffer and hate him. He's a completely hateful villain, and as such, a very well done villain. Besides, his deep contempt towards Dogold created a deep rivalry between the two, which made them even more fun to watch, but ended up being his downfall. Despite not having a lot of screen time, Endolf is one of the best villains of Kyoryuger.

8) Others

Minor generals 
At the end, two new generals appeared, the new Knight of Sorrow Icerondo and the new Knight of Joy, Killborero. At first they appeared as cloaked figures in black (icerondo) and white (Killborero). They are the one gathering the last feelings of joy and sadness needed to bring back Deboth. Icerondo was then sent to dispose of Aigalon, Candelira and Luckyuro, but he ended up being killed by Ian with Aigalon's axe. Killborero fought at first Plesioh and Kyoryuviolet, and then attacked the Spirit base before being defeated by Black, Blue and Green.
While both were very dangerous villains, they didn't have enough screen time to be developed.
Another villain, D, who in the movie used Tobaspino's Zyudenchi to become the evil Deathryuger and kidnapped the young singer Mikoto Amano to use her to destroy Earth with Tobaspinoh, came back, but this time, instead of kidnapping her, brainwashed her into being evil. However, at the end, D was again defeated thanks to Mikoto's sacred song.

Monsters and mooks
The Deboth used Debo Monster for their evil plans to gather anger, sadness or joy. Some Debomonsters deserve notice: the trio of monsters which were responsible for the dinosaur's extinction Debo iceage, Debo Virusun, and Debo nagareboshi (Debo shooting star). Another one is Mad Torin, who's basically what Torin would have been if he had been evil. Another notable element is that most monsters were used more than once in the show; often coming back (I guess that given the very high number of heroes, the budget for monsters was not very high). The Debomonsters are helped by foot soldiers, the protozoa design Zorima, who can gather together to make big monsters, the Kyodai Zorima, and elite mooks, the trilobite designed Cambrima, who also are able to grow big. The cambrima are also used by Dogold as default bodies. It’s interesting to see the Deboth mooks based after primitive creatures.

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