Every review I’ve made of this show so far has been positive – almost overwhelmingly so. But in every review, I’ve also expressed my concern about the show’s pacing. This week’s episode was the worst so far, and it was because the show wasted what could have been worth an entire arc in one episode and a weak twist reveal by the worst character (Xiao).
This episode reveals the backstory of Stinger and brings the nine Kyurangers together. But does it really count if Stinger has been on the Kyurangers’ side all along, a point that Xiao just “forgot” to tell the rest of them? We learned that Stinger is kind of the Sasuke to Lucky’s Naruto: Stinger’s brother, Scorpio, betrayed their family and joined Jark Matter as their top assassin. Stinger becomes a spy with dual goals to infiltrate Jark Matter and to find his brother.
I think this story line for Stinger is great. It allows him to still be a bit broody and mysterious while also being sympathetic. But I feel like Kyuranger totally ruined the potential for this by revealing it so quickly. Even if the team found out that he was a spy in this episode but Jark Matter didn’t, there still could have been a ton of potential. We’d know that Stinger was a good guy, but he could still be involved and interfering with Jark Matter from the inside. Instead, Stinger is just going to disappear on his own for the next few episodes while he figures out what’s so special about Earth…something that he could have much more easily discovered if he was still connected with the group that knows why it’s special: Jark Matter.
Also, how will Champ’s tragic backstory be resolved? He is obviously still upset about his creator’s murder – in fact, the episode does a great job with consistently showing Champ’s hard feelings toward Stinger – but Xiao (who totally knows that Stinger is innocent) is apparently just going to let the poor robot continue to suffer awful nightmares.
However, if this is the worst of the show so far, that can also be seen as a good sign. There were some good moments in this episode. The Kyurangers finally defeat the first of Earth’s Menastrates, Eridrone, and they decide that this is the planet that they will liberate first. The people of Earth are developing more of a backbone – though the obvious clothing color contrast between the gray-clad adults and the brightly-dressed brothers suggest that the latter will become at least semi-regular characters. The fight scenes rely too heavily on weak CGI, but also included a lot of cool moments, like Hammy flying around with Raptor, a devastating All-Star Crash attack, and a great fight scene in space.
I wish I could see in advance what directions this show will take. How long will they stay on Earth? Given the amount of Menastrates, they probably could stay there for the next forty episodes. I sincerely hope that this is not the case. Of course one reason is because of pacing/filler concerns, but also because the show was doing such a great job with presenting creative new planets. We also don’t know much about the Kyuranger’s home planets. I would love an episode about Lucky’s home and how crazy or normal his family may be. The universe is infinite, and so is the show’s potential.
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