Brave 01 & 02

01

We open to ancient times. Dinosaurs still roam the earth in an impressive CGI sequence by Toei, which is something we rarely get (need I remind of you GokaiOh on the moon?). The narration mentions their extinction, and we cut to the modern day where the narrator mentions that the world as we know it is also under threat of extinction. To Antarctica! An iceberg cracks open and this spire with tentacles is released. It wedges itself into the seabed below.  This appears to be the villain’s base…and the inside is designed to resemble a ribcage! (Upon first viewing, my brother nicknamed it ‘The Ribcage’…and apparently, that sounds like a hipster club. I concur!). Overall, The Ribcage is…special. I can’t take it seriously, but in a weird way, I love it – especially the faces on the pillars. It’s just ridiculous. Anyway, we meet our main villain and leader of the Deboss Army, Many-Faced High Priest Chaos – and after billions of years, they have finally revived. All over the world – in Europe, in the Arctic, in Japan, in America, and on an unnamed island – the Deboss foot-soldiers, the Zorima, have appeared!

On this unnamed island in the South Sea, someone combats these Zorima. This is Kiriyu Daigo, who is called ‘king’ by the islanders. The Zorima are no match for him, but he is soon helped by this winged creature – Torin. He’s basically the Sha Fu/Doggie Kruger of this season. So yeah. Torin gives Daigo a golden gun, which is obviously a huge advantage in battle. Torin snaps his fingers, and a volcano just erupts! Right there and then. Emerging from the fire is Gabutyra, a huge mechanical tyrannosaurus. Of course, when isn’t the red Zord a tyrannosaurus? I have to say, this whole volcano sequence is pretty impressive in terms of cinematography. Daigo holds a jewel around his neck and says ‘I met a dinosaur, Dad!’, before being blown away by Gabutyra’s breath. Torin reveals that Gabutyra and himself are searching for warriors to fight evil – otherwise known as the Kyoryugers.

CUE MONTAGE – The Kyoryugers, around the world, fighting off the Zorima with their unique styles. Daigo seems to think this is perfect for him, and Torin calls him brave for declaring that so resolutely.

GABURINCHO. CUE OPENING SEQUENCE. I’ll just dive right in. I’m in love with the entire thing – the visuals, the music, the lot. I also love how the opening scenes are obviously directed by Koichi – the cast run from explosions, the shakycam, they pose in front of explosions, and they morph in front of explosions! I like the explosions though, as long as they’re not slowed down (glances at Disney-era PR).

1 month later, and Daigo has been facing Gabutyra’s challenges every day. He refuses to quit though, and manages to beat Gabutyra by…riding a rock into his mouth and then shooting everywhere. It was weird. According to Torin, this is the first time Gabutyra has been beaten by a human! For some reason though, his GabuRevolver hasn’t activated…so it seems that Gabutyra hasn’t truly accepted him. Suddenly, Torin senses something!

Back at the ribcage, the villains defrost Chevalier of Anger, Dogold, from a block of ice. We are then individually introduced to Chevalier of Sadness, Aigallon; Chevalier of Joy, Candelira; and Emissary of Amusement, Luckyuro. I see they have an emotion theme. Also, Luckyuro is easily my favourite right now, just because of the wackiness of his design.

Back at the quarry, Torin informs Daigo that the Deboss Army are making their move; but Torin also informs him that if he can’t transform, then he can’t be involved. Suddenly, a battery flies out of Gabutyra and he deactivates. The battery shrinks and Torin takes it. According to Torin, packed into the batteries, known as the ZyuDenchi, are the spirits of the extinct dinosaurs. Eh. I’m not really enthused by this year’s gimmick. And then, Torin takes off into a vortex, but Daigo grabs him and is also teleported.

Daigo lands outside a café called Tiger Boy in Tokyo (I assume). In this café, Green and Black, Souji and Ian, sit at different tables. Blue, Nobuharu fixes a light. And finally, Pink, Amy, is the waitress. I found this hilarious for some reason – the only girl of the team is serving all the guys. Ian is a little, creepy, when Amy tries to take his order. Souji goes to break this up, but Daigo interrupts the creepiness first. Everyone is clearly unimpressed with Jungle Boy Daigo as he declares himself a king. Ian touches Amy on the shoulder briefly and Amy just does this roundhouse kick, knocking a sausage out of Ian’s hand. The sausage flies towards Souji, but he bats it away with his umbrella, sending the sausage into Nobuharu’s face. Nobuharu falls off a ladder, into Daigo, and then they both crash land. OH THE COMEDY.

Daigo spots a dinosaur emblem-thing on the floor and is soon transported to the Animariu- um, the Spirit Base. If you hadn’t guessed already, it looks like the Animarium. I’m okay with design I suppose. It’s nothing special. Anyway, Torin is there too! Daigo’s jewel glows again, and he reveals his dad gave it to him when they were travelling the deserts. The two wonder why Gabutyra hasn’t accepted Daigo, and then Torin senses the Deboss, and Gabutyra has gone off to battle.

In the city, Debo Monster Hyogakki freezes everything…and the Zorima fuse together to form a giant dinosaur monster-thing (inventively name the Giant Zorima). The Giant Zorima actually look awesome…and the regular Zorima do to…just throwing that out there! Gabutyra appears and just STORMS THROUGH THE ZORIMA. Now that’s how you get rid of footsoliders. Gabutyra doesn’t have a battery in his mouth though…so how is he fighting? I don’t understand how this ZyuDenchi works really. Anyway, Gabutyra takes on the Giant Zorima, and the Go-Busters style of Megazord action has stayed! I’m so happy! All of a sudden, Hyogakki freezes Gabutyra! Torin does note that he can’t unleash his power without the ZyuDenchi…

Daigo runs out with the words ‘While the battery charges, I’m gonna go wild on those guys”. They have to CHARGE? Interesting. Daigo is given a jacket on his way out, and he soon faces Hyogakki and an army of Zorima. Once again, Daigo easily takes down the Zorima. Hyogakki attempts to freeze Daigo too, but a frozen Gabutyra blocks the blast. Daigo realizes at that point that Gabutyra is trying to protect him, and that’s why he’s refusing to unlock the GabuRevolver. Daigo declares that ‘we braves will melt that ice age guy’. With that, Gabutyra unfreezes, Daigo’s GabuRevolver unlocks, and Torin throws four ZyuDenchi over to Daigo.

By inserting a ZyuDenchi into his GabuRevolver, shouting ‘Kyoryu Change’, and dancing for a little; he transforms into KyoryuRed! I love the dancing-to-morph…just saying. Daigo throws a ZyuDenchi into a Gabutyra and the two run into battle together. The cinematography and choreography of all of this is just the best thing. I love you Koichi and Hirofumi. AND THEN DAIGO DEFEATS A GIANT ZORIMA WITH A SLASH OF HIS GABURICALIBER. WHAT. Do they even need Megazords if ONE slash can defeat a Giant Zorima? Daigo goes to take on Hyogakki, and then, the other four Kyoryugers appear. They do their roll call – “The strongest braves in history” – and it’s awesome. I think this is the best time to discuss the look of the Kyoryugers. From what I’ve heard, the designs are not a fan favourite, but I actually really like the costumes, and I’m not even bothered by the lack of a yellow ranger. I like how they’ve gone back to a traditional look, unlike the Go-Busters’ leather-esque costumes…which worked for that season. However, I’m a little iffy on the helmets from certain angles, it’s odd. But mostly, I LIKE THEM.

Things are gonna get wild. THE FIRST BATTLE. It’s awesome. Like the previous battle, the combination of cinematography and choreography is just perfect. I’ve always liked Koichi’s work, well, except for the constant explosion/wire-fu mix and the ridiculously extreme shakycam in RPM. I did note however that I found the GabuRevolvers too noisy. I’m fine with the ‘Gaburincho’ and the ‘Gabutyra’ (or whatever Zord each one has), but then it starts saying ‘Vamola’ and ‘Vamola Mucho’ and it’s just all too much. I have the same problem with the Wizard Driver from Kamen Rider Wizard. I love the voices, but they just need to use them more sporadically. It’s not that big a deal though.

Soon, Gabutyra defeats the Giant Zorima; the Kyoryugers defeat the Zorima, and Daigo defeats Hyogakki with the help of Gabutyra. The Kyoryugers meet up and Daigo mentions finally meeting face-to-face…but everyone else is hesitant to reveal their identities. They want to keep their Kyoryuger lives separately it seems. Daigo demorphs though and introduces himself.

ENDING TIME. AND IT’S A DANCING ONE. I love it all. Also, I cackled at the dancing villains. It was just so unexpected.

Right, so, I thought this was a decent episode. I did feel like it focuses a little too much on Daigo, but since he’s the newbie, it’s to be expected. I will note that I actually like all of the characters, well, except for Torin, I don’t really care about him. Overall, I give this episode a 4/5.

02

Daigo sits on a wall by the harbour, drawing a picture of the Kyoryugers in crayon. Just like a child. From behind different pillars, each Kyoryuger watches – all just as confused as each other. They’re all just in disbelief.

Back in Nobu’s house. Nobu says goodnight to a child, Rika. As Rika leaves, Rika’s mother and Nobu’s sister, Yuuko (played by Ayumi Kinoshita of Dekaranger!) sits down next to Nobu. She wonders if the ‘monsters’ and ‘strange people’ will appear at tomorrow’s dinosaur expo. These ‘strange people’ are of course, the Kyoryugers. Nobu insists that the ‘strange people’ are good, but Yuuko just considers all dangerous people the same. Interesting.

At a mansion, Amy trains in her FANCY room. She’s quite agile. But she hears someone approaching. Her butler, Gentle enters, and she’s suddenly changed into her ‘fancy attire’. I love the name ‘Gentle’ for a butler…just throwing that out there. Anyway, Gentle came running because he heard a disturbance, but Amy just dismisses this and tells him to stop worrying about everything. In this scene, we also learn that Amy’s parents are in America.

In the Ribcage, Luckyuro has collected paraphernalia from the modern world – radios, shoes, hats, books, globes, EVERYTHING. Candelira, Aigallon and Dogold each touch a pillar, and some random purple glass chooses Aigallon’s emotion of sorrow as a basis for the monster – and Debo Peshango is born (created from a car-crusher).

Amy, Nobu, Gentle and Yuuko arrive at the dinosaur expo and find Daigo carving a tree trunk into a dinosaur head with his bare hands…and the kids are calling him ‘king’!  Nobu looks horrified, and Daigo recognizes them from the café incident. Amy goes to speak, but Gentle has to remind her to speak formally, because she’s all rich and whatnot. She asks why he’s there, and he reveals that he just happened to be passing and wanted to help some kids. Rika’s there and drags Yuuko into the whole building-a-dinosaur-out-of-logs-thing.

Nobu reveals to Daigo that Yuuko’s husband died, and Rika now looks up to him as a father. Amy wonders where Daigo’s family is, but he tells them that he just travels the world by himself. Suddenly, Peshango attacks and Giant Zorima roam the city. The human sorrow flows out of fleeing civilians in the form of …energy(?) and a meter on the sorrow pillar in the Ribcage raises. I actually like this little detail…even though I have no idea what the purpose of it is as of yet.

Peshango and an army of Zorima appear at the dinosaur expo. Yuuko and Gentle try to drag away their respective Kyoryugers, but Daigo immediately jumps into battle with an awesome morph sequence. Half-way through the battle with Peshango, Aigallon appears and his fighting style is hilarious. He’s quite tough, but he cries and whimpers throughout the battle – I love him. Green and Black soon arrive as backup though and activate Armed Mode in which their left arm gains spikes and a personal weapon. The weapons are…different (I’m not really sure what to think about them yet), but the spikes are glorious! Red also activates his Armed Mode and his weapon really reminds me of the Lion Fang from Wild Force.

Suddenly, Pink arrives on her Zord! Way to make an entrance! This Zord – known as Dricera – simply drills through the Giant Zorima, destroying them. Peshango is nearly defeated by an awesome Gabutyra Fang attack-thing. I can’t even explain it, but it looks SO GOOD. He escapes though…after completely obliterating the log-dinosaur model.

Daigo recharges his batteries at the Animarium, and suddenly, Blue and Pink turn up. Pink immediately demorphs, surprising both Blue and Daigo! She says that enjoys facing things head-on when something exciting pops up and Daigo notices the similarities between him and her. She mentions that she hides her identity from Gentle, and Daigo wonders if everything will be in vain if their family got hurt somehow. Blue demorphs in a rage, claiming that Daigo doesn’t understand the troubles of having a family while being a Kyoryuger.

Back at Nobu’s house, he watches Rika and Yuuko sleep…in a completely non-creepy way. FLASHBACK! Rika is hurt in an attack. Blue helps her. Yuuko pushes Blue away in a get-off-my-child sort of way. The next day, Nobu returns to the dinosaur expo where the dinosaur model has been rebuilt with the help of Daigo. Nobu pulls Daigo aside, and Daigo reveals that he visited Stegochi – Nobu’s Zord partner – who in turn revealed that Nobu didn’t cause Rika to get hurt, but instead, Rika wasn’t hurt badly because of Nobu who protected her. Daigo asks Rika about the ‘blue hero’ who saved her, and she definitely considers him a hero.

Peshango returns along with the Zorima! Gentle immediately tries to protect Amy (oh yeah, forgot to mention that they’re there!), but after some thinking, Amy jumps into battle…and it’s quite a shock for Gentle. Amy asks Gentle to take care of the children, but Rika runs back to protect the dinosaur model. Peshango goes to attack, but Nobu saves her and declares that his family gives him strength, rather than being his weakness.

Gentle takes Rika aside, and the three Rangers morph! I don’t think the whole morphing bonanza will become old anytime soon. LOVE. Peshango stands no chance and he is soon defeated after an awesome battle. I do have one thing to say…Pink’s Dricera Lance is more like a tiny drill. I found it hilarious when she said ‘lance’. Definitely not a lance. Green and Black arrive…good timing guys(!). Luckyuro and Candelira skip onto the scene, and with a watering can, Luckyuro makes Peshango grow! A watering can. A WATERING CAN. I can’t even be annoyed by this. It’s so ridiculous that I love it. I love too many things about this season already.

Megazord battle time! Gabutyra, Dricera and Stegochi combine into Kyoryujin in the SLOWEST Megazord combination sequence ever. It looks and sounds cool…but it’s ridiculously slow. I understand they’ll speed it up eventually, but still. Oh, and the cockpit is just…ugh. ONE thing that I don’t love about this season. I just don’t even know what to say about it, I just don’t approve. Maybe it’s the whole no-controls thing? I’m fine with the actual look of Kyoryujin though…and I kind of like the massive dino-head shoulder. The battle is quite something with Kyoryujin jump off buildings and jumping around…and the final attack, like the Gabutyra Fang attack, is AWESOME. I’m glad it’s not the usual sword-slashing thing!

The three Rangers return to the ground and demorph right infront of Black and Green…and Daigo announces that he has an idea. Cut to the dinosaur expo, and Gabutyra stands as still as possible in the place of the log-dinosaur. Convincing! Yuuko asks Nobu and Rika who this mysterious Daigo is, but Rika bluntly announces that it’s a secret.

Oh, and Souji watches them from afar

I loved this episode. It gave some much-needed development to Amy and Nobu without the episode feeling rushed because of the amount of things that needed to be introduced and set-up during this episode. I’m definitely interested to see where the Nobu/Yuuko relationship will go with Yuuko’s hatred of the Kyoryugers. I give this episode a 5/5.