Monday, February 10, 2014

Kyoryuger : a review part 5 : final thoughts

Globally, I pretty enjoyed Kyoryuger, which was a pretty entertaining Sentai series, and I feel it really brought back the true spirit of Super Sentai after the awkward Go-Busters. However, Kyoryuger has important flaws, and because of them, it's not one of the best Sentai series made during the franchise.

The Good

- Kyoryuger is exactly what it is supposed to be : a show made to entertain kids, and it's very successful in being a fun show, with its fun spirit, with catching music, dances, and very enthusiastic heroes : Kyoryu Red is a charismatic leader, and his friends have really a great time fighting with him.

- Kyoryuger also has a nice world building with the concept of the fight between the Kyoryuger and Deboth army going on since a very long time, and it has a very diverse cast of heroes of different eras, different generations, and different backgrounds, even different countries and species : there are ancient warriors from Europe and China, scientists, adventurers, college and high school students, a family man  : there are even warriors belonging to the same family ( Daigo and his father Dantetsu, Dr. Ulshade and his granddaughter Yayoi, and Nossan has his sister (who's also the mother of a small kid) who joins the fight towards the end) ;  and the mentor is none other than a former member of the enemy group, who rebelled because he would rather protect life to destroy it, and who would become himself a ranger.

- The enemy group, the Deboth is not badly done either: its concept is classic, but it has a very diverse cast as well; while some villains are merely comic relief (Candelira, Luckyuro), other are very dangerous (Chaos, Dogold, Endolf) and bring a feeling of danger.

- Kyoryuger has a reasonably well done storytelling with plenty of narrative arcs, some of them being well written, like the Kyoryu Gold intro arc (despite being very similar to the Gao Silver arc) or the Endolf arc in the middle of the show; as such, the show mostly avoids plot stalling, with even fillers having elements which would become important in more plot-heavy episodes.

- There are some well-done rivalries between heroes and villains, like Kyoryu Gold vs Dogold; Torin vs Chaos (made even stronger by the fact both are siblings, and Chaos being basically the evil counterpart of Torin); a strong rivalry between villains is the Dogold-Endolf rivalry

- Kyoryuger has some nice original ideas, like having recurring Kyoryuger who appears sporadically to help the main heroes when it's needed, with the use of seldom used colors, like cyan, grey or violet; the concept of having some heroes passing their powers to successor was fine too, and allowed some interesting surprised

- An interesting concept is that being part of the Deboth army doesn't make you necessary evil : if a Deboth general begins to have feelings for the universe he's destined to destroy, he is able to rebel, and forsake his evil plans : it's the basis of the character of Torin, and it would be the key element of Candelira and Luckyuro's redemption arcs (Candy liking Kyoryu Blue, and Luckyuro enjoying mangas) : as such, Kyoryuger felt less like a basic "Good vs Evil" show.

- While Kyoryuger is a light hearted show, it still has some serious arcs which manage to bring a good balance.

The Bad

- While the cast of heroes is very diverse, it is unfortunately very uneven, with some characters being especially annoying, because either they are too much stereotypes, even by Sentai standards (the Ulshades, Amy), or because they don't have enough focus to become interesting (Souji, Nossan, the Spirit rangers, and even Ian): some of them are really wasted, with Nossan's family man theme being not enough used (compare with Abared)

- A big problem of Kyoryuger is that Daigo/Kyoryu Red has so much focus it completely steals the spotlight from the others, with most of the main story arcs being focused on Daigo: even when another hero has some spotlight, it has to share it with him (the Kyoryu Gold, Kyoryu Violet, and of course, the final arc are good examples). That excessive focus on Red is one of the main reasons why most of the ranger cast is underdeveloped: the only ones who manage to get some focus are those who have a rivalry with the villains, like Torin and Utchy, and in a lesser way, Ian: it allows them to defeat important generals, with Torin defeating Chaos with the help of the Spirit rangers and Candelira, Utchy involved alone in Dogold and Endolf’s defeats, and Ian being the one finishing the two Knights of Sorrow. The Kyoryuger Di Carnival made it even worse, by making Red so powerful it didn't even need his partners.

- Another problem with Daigo is that the other rangers are pretty much a Daigo fan club: Daigo seems to only receive praise from his partners, including Torin, the mentor: the girl rangers (Amy and Yayoi) are the guiltiest in that regard. It doesn't make the dynamics between rangers feel very interesting, since Daigo's leadership is never challenged.

- Some villains are inconsistent in their writing, like Aigalon, which is either a vicious villain or a comic relief, and Candelira, who had the problem of being an evil being involved in bringing joy to humans, and being voiced and even played live by the cute Haruka Tomatsu. While, the final arcs of those villains were reasonably well done, the writing was often pretty awkward. As such, the rivalry between Ian and Aigalon suffered because of that, notably because it was pretty much forgotten during most of the second half of the show.

- The Zyudenryu are supposed to be the heroes’ partners, but it's very seldom seen in the show: the only exception being the partnership between Daigo and Gabutyra (notably thanks to the Carnival arc). While the Zyudenryu are clearly shown to be sentient being, the interactions and the bond between ranger and Zyudenryu partner is almost never shown, which isn't really a good point.

- The storytelling also had some flaws, notably the late introduction of plenty of new generals which never had enough time to shine, or, some plot stalling, like between episodes 13 and 20. Most of the filler episodes weren't very interesting, and the final romance plot between Daigo and Amy was a pain to watch.

Globally, Kyoryuger is a good show, but not one of the best; my final mark is 7/10

1 comment:

  1. i have very similar opinions but i have to give it a 3/10...very below average