Beware of child actors! It is the 33rd episode of this cops and robbers season putting us nearly 2/3 of the way through this season. Let's keep that momentum going by clicking "read more" for this episodes review.
The episode begins with Sakuya reflecting on how strong the two teams are when they team up and is openly upset that they cannot join forces. Everyone else at the global police points out that they will lose all credibility as the law if they collaborated with the Phantom Thieves. Doesn't the general public favor the Phantom Thieves already? However, all these emotions are interrupted by the alert of a new Gangler. No need for serious scenes on the next...Lupin v Pat.
This birds nest in armor with a spiked frying pan weapon is named Envy and has the power to turn adults into children. Wouldn't having the power to restore youth make him a national hero? The Phantom Thieves show up on the battle field first and seem to be well prepared for Envy's attacks.
However, all three Phantom Thieves get hit by Envy's personal attack that turns them all into children.
Okay seriously, I would love to be hit by one of these attacks.
Then, from literally no where, Lupin X shows up and fights off Envy while the now child Phantom Thieves steal kids clothes from a local shop. The Patrangers arrive at this point which prompts Envy to flee. What a wimp. Sakuya then finds Umika's VS Changer on the ground that she dropped and confiscates it. Is the driving point of this plot seriously going to be the Yellow Ranger accidentally drops her morpher? Noël Takao fails to get the VS Changer back from the Patrangers who don't trust him, so the Lupinrangers decide to leave Envy's collection piece to Noël Takao while they plot to steal back Umika's VS Changer. That is so far one of the longest pre-intro set ups to an episode so far.
One theme song later, the 3 kid phantom thieves pose as lost children to Tsukasa and Sakuya.
These police detectives really should put two and two together here. Three kids that look just like Kairi, Umika, and Tooma appear right after they encounter a Gangler that turns people into kids.
Despite the complicated situation, Tsukasa gives into her love of cute and the 3 children get taken back to the Global Police base where they plot to steal back the VS Changer. I will give credit, those kid actors are doing a pretty convincing job.
Elsewhere, Keiichiro begins to question Noël Takao about the goal of the Lupinrangers and what the collection will do. Interestingly, Noël Takao reveals him that even the Lupinrangers don't know what will happen when all of the Lupin Collection is gathered and refuses to speak any further on the subject. Does this not scream trap to anyone else?
Back at the Global Police HQ, through a long series of childish antics, Umika does manage to get her VS Changer back. But, not without a silly chase scene to end things involving Tooma coming to the rescue.
Cutting away, Envy has re-appeared in town at the same place Keiichiro and Noël Takao were looking for him for plot convenience. Now, no time is wasted, they both morph and it is time for action.
However, before any fighting is done, the child arc is wrapped up. Why couldn't they just play that whole story together? Is it really necessary to cut back and forth every 2 minutes? A Kairi look alike shows up to steal the VS Changer (with no resistance from Tsukasa) and a Tsukasa look alike arrives claiming to be the children's mother.
They claimed Tsukasa looked like their mother earlier in the episode. I'm impressed they actually bothered to work that into the story. Just gonna guess, this was done with more Mission Impossible Masks.
With the sub-plot wrapped up, Sakuya and Tsukasa arrive to help Keiichiro and Noël Takao with the Gangler battle. Sadly, with so little time left in the episode, the Gangler barely fights back and Noël Takao is easily able to steal the collection piece.
|The looks, so familiar but I cannot place where.|
They finish off Envy with the Patrangers fusion and Lupin X finisher blow and everyone changes back to their proper age.
Cutting away, it is revealed that both the Kairi and Tsukasa look-alikes were Kogure using masks. Called it.
This was just another cut-away as there is still the giant battle. Patkaiser Trains and X Emperor is summoned to a new catchy song for the Patrangers. The battle is roughly 3 minutes long with 2 of the minutes being stock transformation and attack sequences and the last minute being incredibly one sided in favor of the Patrangers, extremely underwhelming. Monster goes boom.
The episode ends with Sakuya and Tsukasa apologizing for losing the VS changer with Hilltop and Jim Carter admitting it is their fault as well. However, they take comfort knowing they helped reunite lost kids with their mother. Ouch!
This episode was alright. It still suffers the same problems that many episodes before it has with a monster that barely fought back and the writers just not caring about the Patrangers. Even though this was a Patranger focused episode, the sub-plot with the Lupin Rangers felt like the more developed story. How ironic, the Phantom Thieves stole the show without ever morphing once. Despite the flaws, there were some funny moments like kid Kairi taking advantage of Tsukasa's weakness for cute things and Kogure playing dress up. Overall, I give this episode a pass. It held little to no meaning towards the greater plot, but was entertaining enough to be a peg above filler. 3/5
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