Saturday, September 12, 2015

Mirai Sentai Timeranger First Impressions

Yes I have decided to check out the first few episodes of another Sentai series. Alongside Bioman and Maskman, I had an itch to scratch with Timeranger's first few episodes, I ended up watching the first seven. A lot of stuff happened so lets get right into it. Spoiler warning for this one since I'm going to cover their first character episodes as well. All in all, I saw the first seven episodes.
The series opens with a beautifully done shot of a city in the year 3000. We are then introduced to a batch of new recruits being given a lecture on the history of time travel and why it is banned. Shortly after we see a nice setup with Don Dornheirno about to be put into cryo-stasis and stored with other prisoners. A break out orchestrated by his right-hand man Gien occurs and the two actually managed to impress me with their creativity. They actually trick the Timerangers into thinking they had jumped into the past so they can have the time ship knock them and their prison into the past when they tried to chase after them. Heck to even make sure that the plan works, they had Lira go undercover as the commanding officer of the group of recruits the Timerangers were apart of. I can definitely say this group is competent. Dornheirno is interesting as just destroying things or taking over the world isn't his main goal. Its all about the money with him. In episode 6, he basically told Gien not to send in monsters to destroy the Timerangers because it wasn't going to make them any money.
Aesthetically, the main members Londarz family (something they named themself after they escaped into the past) are nicely designed with lots of bright colors. Dornheirno looks like a big, intimidating space frog. Gien looks rather creepy with his robotic skeleton being covered up on only one side. The sculpting on Lila's chestplate has some nice detail. The pink hair really fits the rest of the suit.
Time Robo is an interesting case for a main mecha. It has two forms: Time Robo Alpha for general ground combat and Time Robo Beta for long range combat. Alpha's design looks nice with all the red being balanced with silver and black. That really makes the green portion of the chestplate pop out. Its major weapons are a sword and shield.
Beta's design is nice as well though the fins on the shoulder pads are a little distracting to me. Otherwise, the blue balances nicely with the silver. The time flyer becomes a gun for the mecha. Its interesting to see a mecha that can flip between the two on the fly. It shows its versatility rather well. I honestly hope we see another mecha like that at some point.
There is a third form called Gamma but it isn't exactly a robot mode. All the time jets combine into an even bigger Time Jet. It was mainly brought out to counter long ranged opponents so its a lot more agile and mobile than the other two.
The Timeranger suits are very nicely designed and they've all got the colored visors which is something I always like to see. The black surrounding the visors looks great while the white going across the chest complements the each color. I especially like that the Chrono Changers don't vanish when they henshin. They get added into the sides of the gloves. The sculpted silver mouth pieces are usually distracting for me but they really work well here. The belt buckles are nicely designed. Its one of those unique designs where you can immediately tell what team it is from without seeing the rest of the suits.

The Timeranger's themselves seem interesting. I like Tatsuya's dilemma with his father in episode two. Parents who plan their children's future for them usually strike a nerve for me so I really felt Tatsuya's need to get away from his father's influence. He makes a great speech about how even if they can't change history itself, they can still change their individual futures. Their reasons for joining the Timeranger's seem interest with Yuri being a cop in honor of her dead family, Ayase formerly training to be stock car racer, Domon being a disgraced fighter, and Shion being an alien. Ayase in particular seems to have more to him than the show is letting on. Episode 3 was a great bonding moment between him and Tatsuya. Shion potentially being the last of his kind and raised in a lab is a nice way to explain his overly naive outlook and it makes him all the more endearing to me. Yuri's tale of losing her family was a tearjerker and it made her capturing the Londarz responsible extremely satisfying since he was outright shown to be scumbag. Out of everyone, Domon seems to be the one most affected by the prospect of being stuck in the past. I feel sort of bad for the guy, feeling trapped in a strange place and the sadness that comes with it is a terrible thing. It isn't often a show makes me care for everyone so quickly but this is one of the shows that managed to pull it off.
The beginning of this show is packed with so much its was exhausting to watch, but in a satisfying way. It was time well spent. One of my friends wasn't kidding when he said it was dialogue heavy. I had to rewind a few scenes two or three times to catch everything they said but in the grand scheme of things, that isn't a big deal. The action was well paced and well handled despite some speed blur in the first episode but that is more of a minor complaint. The model city in episode two got some real use. It is one of the few times that I've seen a monster pick up part of a building and throw it at the heroes. These first seven episodes were great and I look forward to picking the series back up once most of it is subbed.

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