Alright! Back again with the 5th episode of Lupinranger vs Patranger, geez this is the season of long titles. So far most of the episodes have been really good (except for episode 3) so the bar is set really high going into this one. I know that is not a great mindset to have but it can't be avoided. The title is pretty basic given the theme, so anything could happen this time around. However, last episodes preview showed off LupinRed having a serious argument with Patichigou so lets see where that leads.
Destra Majjo appears.
Tooma is the one to say they should not act right away because something feels off. This coming from the same guy who nearly abandoned the team for not wanting to act right away. Well, he may be right as it seems this Bundolt person is taking orders from Destra who leaves after a short chat with him. Little do the Lupinrangers know about Destra being a right hand man to the main villain Dogranio. Either way, he takes off with the Lupinrangers giving chase.
Cutting away, we see Commander Hilltop transporting a suitcase. Possibly some new arsenal? Unfortunately, his transport vehicle is attacked by Bundolt who reveals himself to be yet another Gangler.
This all silver creature steals the suitcase revealing it to be even more of the Lupin Collection. Wow, this one looks the most...toy-like so far, which is saying something.
Regardless, the Lupinrangers are happy to have the chance to get two pieces of the lupin collection and jump at the chance; they quickly morph up and begin the attack. During which, Hilltop calls Jim Carter to dispatch the Patrangers thus cutting to theme song. Quite a lot happened in just those few minutes. What does this new treasure do? Hard to say from the design but it gets you curious.
After the intro we are back at the main villains HQ where Destra is being questioned about his actions by Goche. Destra has been acting behind theie boss Dogranio's back and she thinks he's looking to double cross. He denies this, but given how much Dogranio has been siding with with Goche more than him it is not hard to imagine.
Back to the fight, Lupinred manages to steal the white treasure item out of the suitcase before the Patrangers show up. Rather than the traditional 3 way battle, Kairi throws a calling card at Bundolt, who agrees to whatever it says, and then they all retreat leaving the Patrangers confused. I don't think it is hard to guess what that calling card said but I am glad they didn't go the predictable route with another 3 way struggle which always ends the same way.
As predicting, cutting back to the Lupinrangers restaurant, was an invitation, or challenge, with a time and place given that both sides want the other's treasure item.
However, how the Police got a hold of two more Lupin Treasure items is still a mystery. They begin to suspect their recruiter Kogure who has obviously been hiding things from them. Regardless, cutting back to the Patranger's base, we now get to learn what those new treasures were, VS vehicles (zords). More specifically a bike and helicopter that HQ decided to issue to the Patrangers before they were stolen. Apparently, these are strong enough to destroy the world according to Hilltop.
Given that this kind of information was revealed it is safe to assume that these Collection items won't be just stored in the book like the others. The Patrangers are determined to get them back given the circumstances and ask if there is a way to track the Gangler. Hilltop says there is no need.
Finally getting back to Destra, turns out he is on an investigation. He believes the collection items that the humans are using are different from the ones they have and wants to find out exactly how. Also, he revealed he had an informant to figure out the police route, possibly an enemy spy?
Moving along, it is about time for the duel. Bundolt eagerly awaits the Lupinrangers at the meeting point only to be meat with a surprise. No, not a trap but rather the Partangers show up, Yup, turns out there was a tracker in the suitcase that the Gangler didn't notice, how convenient. Well, it was an ambush as the area was filled with Pordermen (the grunts of this season) battle begins. The Patrangers actually show off some pretty interesting moves, mainly blowing up a metal object as a distraction to move forward when the Lupinrangers show up. There surprised to see the Patrangers but don't care as once again they walked into a trap for them and intend to take advantage of the situation. They morph, join the fight, and now we get the obligatory 3 way struggle.
In the midst of it all, Patichigou manages to get the green Collection item from the suitcase which prompts Lupinred to challenge him putting both theirs on the line. He accepts and other 4 move on to handle the Gangler.
This red vs red duel is probably the highlight of the episode. They exchange a few words, arguing over who is in the right and who is actually stealing since the Collection originally belonged to the Lupin Estate and not the Global Police or Ganglers then begin to fight. It is pretty even with each exchange of shots and blows with a slight advantage for Kairi who I always thought came across as the more competent fighter. They exchange more words, arguing over whether or the the ends justify the means when it comes to defeating the Ganglers. Keiichiro, being his usual angry self, says they are always in the wrong of justice since they resort to stealing to win which causes Kairi to lose his cool for the first time. He thinks back to his lost loved one and screams; saying they are thieves because they have no choice so his justice means nothing. I really can't justify these exchanges with my summary. Between the emotion and word choice it is really powerful and has to be seen to understand.
Well, Kairi has lost it and goes a little crazy with attacks and knocks Keiichiro down. He is just about to take both the helicopter and Patichigou's collection item when Keiichiro gets up, summons the helicopter and takes off refusing to give up. Lupinred then summons the bike and gives chase. While all this is going on, the fight with Bundolt is nearly wrapped up but is interrupted by a barrage of missiles. Destra is back and he is not happy. He introduces himself and the Gangler leaders's right-hand man and is there to deal with Bundolt but ends up attacking the 4 rangers first which allows him to escape.
Back to the red vs red, it is a role reversal from episode 2's chase as Keiichiro is the one flying this time. However, until then, he is ultimately not able to out maneuver Kairi causing him to lose both VS Vehicles to the Lupinrangers.
The 4 remaining rangers aren't putting up much of a fight against Destra but he leaves after noticing Bundolt has fled and summons a Golem to pursue the lupin treasures. Now it giant battle time of course. Good striker returns out of no where (something he proudly announces) and interestingly chooses the Patrangers. Keiichiro hesitates to use him, probably still ashamed of himself, but snaps out of it and now the fun begins.
Sakuya says this has all been tiring and Tsukasa says they will finish it quick. A statement I couldn't agree more with. The fight itself is nothing special at all. They deal a few hits, take a few hits, repeat, and then quickly end it with the finisher. This Golem doesn't even have any lines and the Patrangers all look exhausted, as am I.
The episode ends back at the Lupinrangers restaurant they are going over everything that happened, all seems normal until Kairi quickly rushes outside to vent. Seems Keiichiro's words are still getting to him. He on the other hand is extremely frustrated over his loss to Lupinred and vows revenge ending the episode with a moon shot of both of them.
This episode was pretty hard to keep up with. I actually like the idea of the same story being told through multiple perspectives, but this just had way to many cuts back and forth. Parts of it really grabbed your attention, then just ends, and when it comes back you'd almost forgotten about it. That being said, what really saved it was the two Red Rangers. This was a strong point for both of their characters as it showed different sides of them and had a very real feeling clash of ideals. These two both could have had a solo season; I know this because they both resemble past Red Sentai Rangers. That opposing dynamic is really what I wanted to see with this season.
Keiichiro is arrogant, self righteous, and very blunt who never keeps his cool but still has a good heart and only wants to protect humanity. This is very similar to Himaru, Red Buster from Go-Busters in the blunt and arrogant department. Or even like Geki's (Tyranoranger Zyuranger) constant pursuit of justice. Kairi, I couldn't even begin to count his Red's in common. Calm, mischievous and always smiling despite willing to break a few rules. Calm and mischievous fits too many to count, Gokai Red, Deka Red, Kyoryu Red, it goes on. As for always smiling, that's at least half of them.
I'm not saying they are unoriginal. While they have "similar" characteristics to past Reds they are both still distinctly different. However, that is not the point I'm trying to make; it is the clash that I think sets this season apart. There have been Sentai vs Sentai movies in the past but those were all just one time things. Both Kairi and Keiichiro are strong enough willed to be Red and it takes another like them to push their buttons which is really nice for character development. Although, as deep as all that was to me, I still cannot overlook the first two thirds of the episode being so tiring and the ending giant battle was just terrible. It felt completely thrown in for the sake of meeting the status quo and lasted roughly under three minutes. 3/5