Shinkenger has proved to be a popular season in Japan so I wasn’t surprised to see that the Shinkenger tribute was going to be a two-parter. I’m glad these episodes focused on Joe because I’ve been interested in his Zangyack background ever since we first heard about.
The guest star of these episodes was Kaoru Shiba, the female ShinkenRed. I think I’ve said this before, but I’m still wondering if we’ll ever get a guest that isn’t a Red Ranger. Kaoru is slightly better because she’s a female which we haven’t seen yet in a guest star. While this was a Shinkenger tribute episode, I feel that the Shinkenger parts of the episodes were just a sub-plot to the main plot of Joe and Barizorg.

In these episodes we learn that Barizorg is actually Joe’s comrade, Sid, from when he was part of the Zangyack. The reveal of Barizorg’s identity was really well executed because it wasn’t a typical “I am your father” reveal. Sid will probably show up again in a future episode, possibly even outside of a flashback.

The civilian fight in Episode 11 was awesome. It was great to see the actual actors doing some of their own stunts accompanied with one of my favourite insert songs and Koichi’s camerawork. I was surprised (a good surprise) to see the real actors doing some of the more complex stunts, like with Don doing a back flip and jumping over the Gormin. I’ve been trying to work out if Joe’s fight was in fact the real actor or a stuntman. I can’t work it out because his hair is often in the way of his face.

After this fight we saw the Gokai-Zyurangers (including Tiger Ranger with a skirt!), something that a lot of Power Rangers fans have been waiting for. I’m wondering if it was a coincidence that we saw this on an episode directed by Koichi Sakamoto.  I’m sure a lot of you have seen the fan-made video of this scene using MMPR voices. This shows that it would be possible to adapt Gokaiger into Power Rangers as an anniversary season. After this, we also see the Gokai Changes of Dynaman and Gingaman.

In Episode 12, we get to see how Joe became Gokai Blue. Marvellous meets Joe while rebels against the Zangyack. When seasons start with the team fully formed, we rarely get to see an origin story and how the team together. I really like this, and hopefully we’ll get to see the origin stories of the other Gokaigers. In these flashbacks we also get to see an emotional side of Joe, rather than his usual stoic self.

In Episode 12, a fight between the Gokaigers (except for Joe) and the Gormin results in a lot of Gokai Changes, mostly involving teams that we had never seen before such as Ohranger, Megaranger, Liveman and many more. It was good to see the Gokaigers adapt the characteristics of the suit that their wearing such as Don as OhGreen using boxing moves.

As usual, during the Shinkenger transformation, we get to see Shinkenger-style visual effects and the return of the Shinkenger theme song. As I’ve stated before, I love it when they do this because it completes the tribute.

I like that GaoLion can also be used for Shinken Gokai-Oh since it reduces the amount of ‘Zords’ we get in the season. Some seasons (Gaoranger, Goseiger) we can get an overload.

GRADE

I give these two episodes a 5/5 because I really enjoyed Joe’s back story and the fights in these two episodes were even more awesome than usual.

These episodes are easily adaptable because of the use of Shinkenger.

NOTE: Sorry about the lack of reviews. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on but I have some free time now to catch up.