It's about to get wild!
It was very obvious that I was counting down the days till Kyoryuger fills my body with a jolt of energy. Part of that excitement comes from the result of adding Koichi Sakamoto (Executive Producer for Power Rangers, Kamen Rider Fourze's director) to an equation that mixes samba and dinosaurs. Multiply the problem by having Riku Sanjo (Kamen Rider W’s writer) to the formula, and you have a recipe for ultimate victory -- RiKoichi Sambasaurjo!
Instead of having our backs up on the wall, let’s take a look into the 37th Sentai series that brings two great minds together, as they deliver a juiced up performance.
When Bandai promised Kyoryuger to be fun, they were not lying, because the first episode lays down a conga line of exciting things to come. Imprisoned in the ice for millions of years, the Deboss have awakened to bring chaos and destruction to our world -- you know, the typical evil group motive and whatnot. Many parts of the world fall into the hands of their evil, and then we focus on a tropical island with a man that's referred to as King! This man is none other than Daigo Kiryu, the hotblooded islander that's destined to become our new Red Ranger. However, he must do one of the most manliest feats known to man, so that he can be worthy of his new title. In other words, he must single handedly take down a dinosaur.
And that my good friends is one of the many reasons that I am in love with this series. To be honest, it’s not the dinosaur part, because Abaranger had a dinosaur battle in its first episode. However, the only difference is that Daigo was in his normal human form, so this segment breaks a new layer in extreme professional dinosaur combat. Either way, the important deal is that befriending a dinosaur can result a ridiculous partnership between man and reptile. But anyways, the real reason that I love this series is all because of the jolting feeling that each character puts into the series, which is one of the great things that can tap into the full power of tokusatsu shows.
Abaranger isn't the only series that Kyoryuger reminds me of, since Zyuranger sneaks its way in by having Daigo use “Kyoryu Change” to transform. However, the main difference is that Daigo breaks into a dance sequence that has samba beats playing in the background, which ends with him using his Gaburevolver to shoot his foes while he changes. If the dancing expands beyond the transformation sequence, then Kyoryuger has the potential to bring back the dance theme that was only used in Battle Fever J. Ironically enough, Sideshow and I had a conversation about how there should be a new Sentai show that has a dance motif, which was one of the many factors that got me happy when I saw Kyoryuger implement it.
From what we saw of the main villains, the Deboss are also showing signs of giving off the same energy that our heroes are giving off. Part of this feel comes from the villain's designs, since they all exhibit an array of wacky colors, along with having some cartoony expressions on their faces. It's also worth noting that Haruka Tomatsu (Asuna from Sword Art Online, Morgiana from Magi) does a great job in making Candelira sound cutesy and cheerful. Since this is her first role as a major villain in a tokusatsu series, it's going to be one heck of an interesting ride for folks that love her voice.
Considering that the Deboss's goal is to resurrect their master, their motive is also similar to the Evoliens from Abaranger. And not only that, their main base is also inside of a mysterious giant entity that's hinted to be the body of their leader. They also share similarities with Bandora and her minions from Zyuranger, since the Deboss were also sealed away for a long time. That said, the Deboss group has the potential to be as silly as the Bandora Gang, so they have what it takes to become a great set of villains that will keep the series strong and going.
At first, I talked down on the Kyoryuger's designs, due to the way how the helmets were designed. However, after seeing them in action, my opinion about them has changed from back then. Even though that issue has been resolved, I find the Kyoryuger’s dinosaurs look a bit too toy-like for giant robots. Then again, toys are fun, which can result in a good way to trigger a kid’s desire to go out and buy the deluxe Kyoryujin. But let's face it, Kyoryuger is working hard to push the franchise's ratings up, so the ridiculous designs are most likely there to contribute to this cause.
With all of this talk about the new Sentai series being a blast, Kyoryuger still has its own share of flaws. For one, the first episode suffers from the issue of trying to focus on too many scenes at once. This was mostly present during Daigo’s first battle, since they kept cutting to other sequences before we had the chance to take in what was going on. In a way, it felt like show was on a sugar rush during the middle of the episode. Hopefully, the series avoids this in the later episodes, since it’s a bad idea for a year running series to disorient its viewers. Other than that, the episode was mostly focusing on Daigo's path towards becoming a Kyoryuger. Not that I don't mind seeing Daigo in action, but I still want an idea of what to expect from the rest of the team. All in all, this is only the first episode, so I expect the tempo to step it up during the next few weeks.
Compare to the previous teams of the past, it was interesting to see a Sentai team where no one knows who the other person is. Depending on where they go with this theme, I could see it as a fun new way to explore the team’s development in working together. In regards to their fighting style, all five Kyoryugers focus on using the Gaburevolver and Gaburicalibur's special features, along with mixing in a few energetic moves that are all over the place. Just like the Gokaigers, the Kyoryugers also have their own unique ways of wielding each weapon in battle, which is a guaranteed blast for future fights to come.
After the exhilarating number performed today, Kyoryuger has shown us that dinosaurs and dancing are a great combination in making a fun and campy Sentai series. If Sakamoto continues with his energetic direction, then Kyoryuger has a fighting chance in restoring Super Sentai’s status. As long as he avoids the hyperactive cuts, then there's a high hope that Kyoryuger will earn its rightful place as the final piece in the Triforce of Dinosaur themed Sentai shows.
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