The 26th episode is ripe for review. Anything can happen now so click "read more" for the full article.
The episode begins with Kogure and the Lupinrangers being summoned by Noël Takao about a new Lupin Collection item that is being auctioned off in the black market. (The intro played in-between Noël Takao's entrance and saying why he summoned everyone.) This info, was stolen by Noël Takao from the Global Police.
The plan is simple, Noël Takao will use the Lupin Estates money (via a checkbook he gets from Kogure) and will have Umika accompany him to the auction to look less suspicious. Since when are illegal auctions taboo for single people?
I have to say this now, why are these masks taken so seriously? They were offered some at the door but brought their own. Do they really fool the cops in this world?
The auction is in dollars instead of yen just to make it sound like a lot of money. Noël Takao successfully wins the auction with a bid of $2 million, which is roughly 200 million yen and that makes Umika faint. Kinda hard to be culture shocked by your own culture. However, of course, a Gangler appears and steals the Tiny Bubbles. Monster of the week time.
Umika and Noël Takao follow the Gangler, Gurisuto, into a forest area (which everywhere in this season is near) in their Lupinranger forms and begin to engage for battle. Gurisuto's power is revealed, he can run really fast and throw exploding pine cones. Shortly after this fight begins, the Patrangers show up which causes Gurituto to retreat using the new Lupin collection pieces power of bubbles to disappear. This event throws some tension between Noël Takao and the Patrangers.
Back at the Lupinranger's Bistro, Noël Takao is getting letured by Tooma and Kairi about "being taken for a ride", but he has a plan. Noël Takao knows that the Gangler had to be one of the bidders in disguise and since their masks didn't have anti-identification functions like the Lupinrangers, he instructs Umika to sketch the crowd of people.
Two things, one, since when is Umika a brilliant artist who can sketch from pure memory? Two, is this implying that the Phantom Thieves' masks work because they have powers?
Noël Takao orders Jim Carter search the sketches through the Japanese police's database. Red flag! Using this information, he stages a second auction inviting his 4 prime suspects.
The plan goes well, except it turns out non of the bidders were the Gangler but rather the auctioneer himself. With Gurisuto's identity revealed, the 4 Lupinrangers henshin up and attack. Their fight is very one sided in favor of the Lupinrangers with no pordermen and very little resistance from the Gangler. They take the collection piece back, and finish off Gurisuto with extreme overkill where all 4 of them launched different finishers. It made a very colorful explosion. Naturally, this is where Goche appears and makes the monster grow. Has anyone seen the Patrangers? They should have made a move by now.
The giant battle is mostly a CG shootout with Gurisuto dodge some attacks but failing to land any of his own. It ends with the Cyclone Knight formation in another one sided battle.
Finally, the Patrangers show up to arrest the 4 bidders that got lured to this fake auction. Sakuya is happy to see the case solve, but Keiichiro and Tsukasa have gained an uneasy feeling. The two state that this victory was just handed to them by Noël Takao and that it was more like "cleanup" than a victory. You can tell Noël Takao is slowing loosing the trust of the Global Police.
The episode ends with Tiny Bubbles being returned to Kogure and Umika giving Noël Takao a good long lecture about wasting money since that second auction cost another 100 million yen.
This was defiantly an episode. A pretty forgettable one unfortunately. Nothing super wrong about it, just didn't have much purpose in the grand scheme of things. I guess, the main point was to begin a wedge between Noël Takao and the Global Police. That is actually a concept I am a little disappointed by; Noël Takao being most defiantly on the Phantom Thieves side. When Lupin/Pat X was first introduced, it was unclear as to what his true motives were and I was hoping their would be some deeper story there. However, it seems now that he is just using the Global Police and was always of the Thieves side. As if the Phantom Thieves weren't favored enough already. As a whole, I would say skipping it wouldn't hurt, but I will give this episode a pass. 3/5