Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Review

Zyuranger is a series I've seen get a lot of mixed reactions from people. Its a show that I can understand why some wouldn't like and some would love it. What did I think about it? Well read on and find out.
Plot: The witch Bandora awakens after being sealed away for 170 million years and begins her plan to takeover the world. The Zyurangers awaken from their long slumber to fight her off. Throughout the series, Bandora makes it a point of targeting and terrorizing children so naturally the Zyurangers come to their rescue.

I've seen a lot of fans complain about how the main five are under-developed but I honestly don't mind. Sure they're taking the backseat to the kids so I understand those complaints but I can at least get behind them because they're doing what heroes do. They protect the weak and the vulnerable which in this case is the kids. I can't honestly imagine the team without any of them because they balance each other's personalities out and feel like a cohesive team. Since they are under-developed, instead of simply giving me thoughts on them individually, I'll just mention my favorite episodes for each character. Burai however, I'll cover a bit more in-depth.
  • TyrannoRanger/Geki: My favorite episode for him is the one where he helped Dragon Caeser get over Burai's death.
  • MammothRanger/Goushi: My favorite episode for him is probably the Black Knight episode since it pretty much shows how he learned to be strong. The Dora Chimera episode is also a good one for him.
  • TigerRanger/Boi: My favorite episode for him is either the Dora Circe episode or the episode where he becomes a ninja.
  • TriceraRanger/Dan: My favorite episode for him was the episode where Tottopat was making a child think their father was a vampire.
  • PteraRanger/Mei: My favorite episode for her is the episode where Bandora was making apples grow out of children's heads so she could eat their youth and the Dora Silk episode.
Burai is pretty much the only one with an arc. Burai's introduction is really well handled. His introduction is a classic story of misplaced anger and shows just how hatred can consume someone. I like the idea of the candle representing Burai's life. Its a great way to show that the writers will only bring him in when its absolutely necessary. I'd have liked him to survive even though I knew he wasn't going to. His death re-enforced the message that the children's lives are more important and when it comes to heroes, well that is a message I can get behind. It also shows that for all their powers and skills, the Zyurangers are still human. My favorite episodes for Burai are his introduction arc and the lead-up to his death. Even though I knew it was coming, it still managed to make me tear up.

Bandora is probably one of my favorite villains in Sentai. She is one of the most fun villains I've seen so far. Her plans are very weird and kinda surreal. They also have this rather disturbing edge to them and she makes it a point to have them target children a lot. I'd honestly like to see Sentai try a villain like her again. One whose plans aren't simply to take over the world but who also manages to screw with people in weird ways. She also seems to be one of the kinder villains in regards to her subordinates, as far as Griffzor and Lamy are concerned anyway. Tottopat and Bookbak provide some nice comedic-relief. Bandora's reason for being evil is kinda tragic but her ending has a bit of optimism to it. One thing I really like is that in the 4 part finale, she actually kicks off her final attack by singing her theme song with her group to everyone in the city.

There is a nice amount of research involved regarding the Dora Monsters. A lot of them are taken from Greek/European myth and fairy tales. Their weaknesses actually line up pretty well with the myths and lore. The show knows how to bring out the creep factor with a few of the Dora Monsters. There are a few episodes that stand out to me in that regard: the Dora Sphinx episodes, the Dora Frank episodes, the clown from the sneezing plot episode, and that eyeball monster whose name escapes me at the moment. The episode with that spider Dora Monster was heart-breaking. Even though the heroes beat the monster, it still felt like they lost. One of the most sadistic plots Bandora uses is during the Dora Unicorn episode. She pretty much attached a kids nerves to the monster.

Mecha: The amount of combinations in this show are amazing. It manages to do a lot with just seven mechas. The mecha being gods in the show's mythos helps add an extra bit of depth to it. It is particularly interesting as here and there the Guardian Beasts can kinda be jerks. There are quite a few so I'll just talk about the main ones.
The prop work and detail on each of the Guardian Beasts are nice. In terms of detail, I think ZyuMammoth is probably my favorite of Daizyujin's guardian beasts. I love Daizyujin's design. The sculpting on it is great and all the colors mesh really well. It even has another mode known as the Dino Tanker.
However, Dragon Caesar is by far the best mecha in the show. There is so much detail on this thing. It has this nice animalistic way of moving and you can tell that there was probably some Godzilla influence in its movements. Its got some really nice details to it. It can merge with ZyuMammoth, SaberTiger, and Triceratops to become Gouryujin.
King Brachion is pretty nice looking. The black and white complement each other really well. There is also a lot nice detail in this thing, particularly in the head and neck. I particularly like that they took the time to detail each tooth in its mouth. This is the final part needed to create Ultimate Daizyujin which is pretty much the strongest mecha in the series.

Suit Designs:
I like the Zyuranger suits. They're nice and simple yet distinct and hard to forget. The white complements their colors rather well. The helmets look really nice and have a good amount of detail to them. The silver Dino Bucklers for the main five look really nice with the belts. As I've said before, some times the silver mouth-pieces look off to me but they work really well with these helmets. Burai's suit has a bit of a more epic feel to it thanks to the gold shield and gold Dino Buckler. I also love the level of detail in each of their weapons.

Final Thoughts: This is one of the shows that I probably won't forget. The team isn't really much to write home about since they're under-developed but I don't mind them that much. They're not really annoying and they're pretty much doing what I think heroes should do. They also don't fall victim to petty arguments.
I didn't talk about this earlier but I like the civilian outfits a lot. They have this ancient tribal vibe to them. The things I'll probably remember most are Burai and Bandora. The show also has this really surreal feel to it. The show's mythos is nice and makes it really feel like an ancient legend. The finale to this show has a good amount of tension to it and I find the ending rather satisfying. Overall the show does have some problems and I can see why some people wouldn't like it but I enjoyed it well enough to recommend it to others.

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