The English subs have finally arrived and the latest episode of Kyuranger was definitely worth the wait. While it was mostly filler, it was also a Balance and Naga episode and every week should be a Balance and Naga episode. Balance is excited to turn 300 years old – until evil Malistrate Toomey steals his birthday! With Balance on board the ship crying in the fetal position, it is up to Naga to steal back his friend's birthday. This episode gave Naga a chance to play with some new emotions (mainly sadness and happiness - his actor is very good at making forced smiles) while also highlighting how much self-proclaimed bad guy Balance cares about his friend. I also liked the reminder that the two were thieves – and quite good at their jobs.
This was also a Kamen Rider crossover episode, but it was really hard to tell until Ex-Aid's single fight scene. His appearance also seemed rather early in the series. That said, this was a good (albeit inconsequential) crossover. I quite like the idea that there is a rare Kyu Tama that could potentially make Ex-Aid appear whenever the Kyurangers need help, even though it'll never be used again. His collaboration with Lucky during the fight was well-done, highlighting both of their abilities. I wish that a future season of Super Sentai will use the annual crossover for a full episode of Kamen Rider shenanigans, but I'm not keeping my hopes up.
This episode did its best to pay a little attention to each member of the crew: Garu and Spada have their silly cooking scene, Hammy gets to show off some of her ninja abilities, and Champ was shown to still harbor a grudge against Stinger. Speaking of Stinger, his continued loner status was highlighted well; he is always sitting in a corner, far away from the rest, and he halfheartedly celebrates with everyone at the end. But he still fights side-by-side with Lucky and continues to prove that he is a good guy – just not the kind who does teamwork well.
Even Xiao had a good episode; for the first time ever, he seemed like a responsible commander. He obviously has some connection to Ikagen and Madako, which will definitely be covered next week given the previews. I already like the two new villains so I am looking forward to the first real confrontation between them and the Kyurangers. The gang's all together, so they can't keep running from the more powerful members of the empire they've vowed to destroy.
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