Time to continue our quest for thunder and chi. This is the second part of the intro saga that will now introduce the mecha in action. Click "read more" for my full coverage of episode 2.
The episode begins immediately where the last one left off with Ryo riding his Qi-Beast into battle. Ryo makes his way into the cockpit, fires some flame breath and the monster, then has the mecha transform into warrior mode.
The other 4 rangers join Ryo in the cockpit and they all get their own plasma globe. The two giants exchange some martial arts blows and it is fairly equal. Baron Strings does a fake out death to get a hit in, but once the Diarangers summon the mechas Dragon Rod, it is all over. Victory for the rangers with a spinning slash. This victory is quickly cut away to reveal the new monster of the week. Purse Monk.
Remember the purse monster? Nobodies favorite.
Cutting away, we see Shoji doing some physical training including boxing matches and running; all the while a kid boy is watching. This same kid is on his bike when he is stopped by a creepy basketball player.
Creepy is the theme of this season.
The basketball player holds a basket ball that turns into a mask which he throws at the kid and it encases his head. That sounds horrifying.
That looks horrifying!
Shoji hears the kids scream (who is revealed to be named Kendo) for help and rushes over. This basketball player reveals himself to be Purse Monk in disguise so, Shoji henshins and the two begin fighting. Purse Monk shoots more of those red heads out of its own head and they are enough to over power Shoji's chi.
All the Dairangers are called back to base. Once there, Master Kaku explains that the kids were most likely being captured for a Biidoro Boodoro ceremony. This ceremony is a way the Gorma would celebrate their return; they collect 5 humans with pure hearts and use their lifeblood as an offering. That's morbid. The Dairangers move out to try and stop the ceremony, except for Shoji who is told to stay behind. That last episode really did not need a part 2 considering this one has nothing to do with it past the opening battle.
Shoji explains that Kendo is just like him with their mothers and that he sees him as an older brother. (It is implied they both lost their moms.) Master Kaku explains why Shoji's attack failed with a video recording of the fight and gives advice on it while demonstrating proper Chi usage. Kaku leaves him to thing. Why isn't Master Kaku a Dairanger?
Rin witnesses another kid get captured and ends up getting captured herself while trying to chase after them. She is one of the 5 pure hearts.
Had to show this clip because we are halfway through the second episode and this is the first time we see anyone say Rin's name.
Shoji manages to find Rin's earring and even catches the Gorma's car driving off. Luckily, the Gorma's destination is close enough that Shoji can easily follow them on foot to where he stands guard waiting for the others. However, time is almost up as the ceremony is beginning. A short speech is given and the 5 victims are about to be cut down as sacrifices.
Now that is not a quality costume.
Shoji sneaks in to attempt a rescue with the other 3 still not arriving. Rin is up first to be sacrificed, but Shoji crashes through the window just in time to prevent it. A struggle breaks out, in the middle of it Rin is freed and the two of them have a decent unmorphed battle. The reaper looking person is revealed to be Purse Monk and the 4 children are freed. All seems to be going well, until the 3 Gorma leaders decide to join in.
They tried to fake being tugged towards the villains. But, it just looked like they were cartwheeling and flipping towards them.
Rin and Shoji take a few hits unmorphed before the other 3 finally arrive, crashing in through the windows on their motorcycles. Upon this, the 3 villain leaders teleport away and Purse Monk gives the order to run away, but it is too late for that. Now, everyone is morphed and outside for a proper ranger battle. Did they just ditch their bikes in that building?
This fight serves as a showcase for the Rangers Qi based attacks as well as giving Shoji a redemption moment for failing to stop Purse Monk earlier. It is a fairly standard fight with some decent give and take. There is a historic moment for Super Sentai, the rangers prevent Purse Monk from growing giant and destroy him while still small. Wow! Purse Monk is defeated by a new bomber finisher which is basically the rangers firing energy blasts.
The episode ends with Shoji resuming his training with Kendo and returning Rin's earing who is visibly grateful for the rescue. Happy ending!
This episode was good, but out of place. The first episode implied this would continue on to their Mecha's story arc, but instead it just quickly wrapped up the cliffhanger and did it's own independent episode. It was a decent Blue Ranger focused episode, action was good, tasks were real and Shoji grew as a character. When the rangers stopped the monster from growing, that was a genuine surprise because no team ever thinks to do that. But, it would have made a lot more sense if they saved this for episode 3 and used this to focus on the other 4 rangers mecha because we have only seen the red one so far. Or, if they wanted to hold off on revealing the other 4, than episode one should not have been a cliffhanger ending and just let this story be its own thing. I know, cliffhanger endings are a decent way to attract viewers, but bait and switching is a good way to turn them away.
Overall, it was a good episode that had the misfortune of being connect to the first episode when it want to be its own thing. It is a very weird thing to nit-pick about and I do not recall it ever happening besides here. At least, it is a fairly harmless mistake. 4/5
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