Episode Writers' Analysis Part 7: Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger
Go Go Power Rangers! Wait it's Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger! Now it's time to feature another episode writers' analysis of a show I watched from start to end. This was the beginning of the Noboru Sugimara era. I'll be doing some MMPR comaprison as well.
Noboru Sugimura (main writer): 1-6, 7 (co-written with Araki), 8-10, 11 (co-written with Araki), 14-15, 17-23, 28-31, 34, 36-37, 40-42, 47-50 (34 eps)
Episodes 1-2 would be the "Day of the Dumpster" arc. This gives us an idea of how Noboru Sugimara would write his intros with extreme blasts and a different approach. It's a two parter introduction and how different Zyuranger can be. It also gives us an idea of Bandora hating children which was never explained until later why.
Episodes 3-4 is the Legendary Weapons arc. Compared to most Super Sentai, Zyuranger is the only season to let them find their weapons. Most of the time, Sentai warriors get their signature weapons from their mentors but not in Zyuranger. It features a two part of episode at the Land of Despair, where the countdown adds to the suspense. While its predictable that the Zyurangers will win but how they will not isn't.
Episode 5-6 is the Daizyujin arc. Sugimara presents his weird sense of humor as Dora Sphinx asks riddles and blows kids away and traps them in trees. It shows also the Zyurangers' need to unite or the world will not survive. I just love how this two parter is much better than King Sphinx's introduction in MMPR. It also features Bandora's first headache.
Episode 8 has the hilarious Dora Circe episode. Bandora goes on a crash diet which Dora Circe was created to eat up all the food. An added plot was that Dora Circe can cause conflict in families when he eats their food so fast. I felt this was recycling Fiveman's plot of Dongoros trying to get rid of the world's food supply. To defeat Dora Circe, they had to use the Molly Herb though I don't see any reason why spicy food won't do (which was used in MMPR).
Episodes 9-10 introduces us to the dinosaur eggs and the idea of making two different versions of one monster since we had two Dora Cockatrice eggs. While MMPR just had Maria as a brat, this one had the important plot of the Apello tribe. They were punished by the gods with de-evolution that will turn them into monkeys. The Zyurangers learn of the dinosaur eggs yet they haven't know of the existence of those eggs, which will be explained in later episodes.
Episode 14 has Boi and Dan in focus. Compared to Trini's dream, this was real. An elf wants to work as Bandora's assistant but is rejected. A child is an outcast so they join forces doing mischief with the bottles. I found this episode to be pretty moral with the child and the elf involved.
Episode 15 has Goushi on focus. Also some footage here was also used in Zyuranger (Goushi's footage but face was never seen). This also featured the weapon of Dora Knight. Shigeru a child was also making the sword, which he was important to allow Daizyujin to beat Dora Knight.
Episodes 17-22 are the "Green with Evil" episodes. We are introduced to the sixth member, Burai and how compared to Tommy he is willingly evil and willingly good. This story shows more impact than that of MMPR's Tommy was just under a spell. A lot of cool stuff happening here especially when we see Bandora's cruel nature combined with her comedic antics in a nice mix. Geki learns Burai is his brother and wants to reconcile, which causes problems. Also it introduces us to the situation that Burai only has 30 hours to live, Geki's reconciliation and the inevitable death of Burai. We also see Burai unlike Tommy has no real allegiance as he also attempted to betray Bandora after they supposedly defeated Daizyujin. I love the whole Geki vs. Burai battle which brings the chapter to a close, which even impressed the Dinosaur God speaking through Daizyujin.
Episode 23 features Dora Pixie's love potion which causes people to fall for anything or anyone near them... this was also later reused in Ohranger with people falling for their appliance. Worse thing to happen was that Boi and Dan had a brief love triangle over Mei in this episode. Mei manages to show her warrior of love trait by breaking the monster's horn. MMPR had Tommy on focus though instead of Kimberly.
Episodes 28-31 is the Dokeeta Clay/Satan Arc. Bandora is desperate to get rid of the Zyurangers so she mines for Dokeeta clay to produce stronger monsters. It also shows the relationship of Geki and Burai when they seek to get the Thunder Slingers. The nightmare fuel presented here is just FANTASTIC. Bandora kidnaps thirteen children to revive her deity, Dai Satan who returns in episodes 30. We also learn of Burai living on borrowed life. This was also the introduction of King Brachion's role aside from a guardian, he was needed to form Kyukyoku Daizyujin!
Episode 34 touches on the issue of Burai yet again. Burai finds out that death may be better than life, if he has to live in solitude. It's Burai's first awesome adventure yet it also limits his life to just five hours. Burai learns it's better he lives his life to the fullest accepting he will die anyway.
Episode 36 features the Mirror of Death episode with Dora Ganrock. In MMPR, Jason was on a treasure hunt with a kid, here ti's Geki but the Zyurangers are stuck in a bigger predicament when they are pinned to the ground (ouch).
Episode 37 features the Zyurangers and the dinosaur eggs. Mei is caught by Dora Kinkaku wit two children. It's a pretty neat episode where the Zyurangers finally get the dinosaur eggs and must incubate them.
Episodes 40-42 is the "Burai's Death Arc". For this arc, we realize Burai isn't going to last long anymore and that he can die anytime. Bandora figures out where Burai's Timeless Room is and destroys it. The Zyurangers also encounter Dora Fake (who looks like a modified Gorlin from Fiveman) who can imitate their mecha. Burai knows he will die and somebody else will die. The Zyurangers must find the water of life to save Burai, only to realize it will no longer work on him. Burai begs the Zyurangers to take it to Kota. Burai departs for the afterlife rather peacefully. It's a sad arc indeed. While Tommy loses his powers, Burai loses his life.
Episodes 47-50 is the Doomsday Arc. Unlike most Sentai villains, we know why Bandora hates children as it's pretty rare for Sentai to tell us why main villains go evil while we tend to get more sidestories for subordinates like telling us why Igam and Shiima were evil. We learn Bandora had a son named Prince Kai who is resurrected by Dai Satan (who simply retreated during Kyukyoku Daizyujin's assault). For me, the finale arc was pretty intense considering Dai Satan has already plagued the world and the Zyurangers were nearly destroyed. After being trapped in an astral plane, they risk themselves to the point their hands bleed. I also thought that getting rid of Dai Satan was funny (he looked like he pooed a rock in that scene). Unlike most finales, Bandora and her gang were simply sealed again unlike most Sentai finale arcs were the main villains die. Then again, Hedrian in Denziman sealed herself away in ice.
Naruhisa Arakawa : 13, 24, 32, 38, 43-44, 46 (7 eps)
Episode 13 is a focus on Mei. We can see Arakawa can really write serious stuff and this episode is nightmare fuel. Unlike Kimberly's episode where it was her Uncle Steve that was poisoned, here Mei gets poisoned and nearly dies. Bandora knew that only an arrow can stop Dora Ladon so she attacked Mei. She also planned to turn children into apples so she can eat them. Ugh. I found this episode pretty scary!
Episode 24 is one funny episode. Both Totbat and Bukback create their own Dora Monster which nearly won if it wasn't for Boi finding some flowers to undo the spell. Mei, Dan and Goushi are frozen by the red light and Boi can't stop running because of the green light. I found the predicaments here pretty funny. But the plan was foiled after that making Totbat and Bukback both useless again at the end of the episode.
Episode 32 is another of Arakawa's masterpiece episodes. Here Geki must decide between his brother or the fate of the Earth. Geki must recover from his frustrations of being unable to save Burai. Goushi helps Geki recover one way or another. This episode was used past-Doomsday in MMPR.
Episode 38 has the rivalry of Mei and Lami done. In MMPR, there was no direct rivalry between Kimberly and Scorpina. Here Mei has seven metamorphoses which also kinda predicted the birth of Erina Nakayama (she was born in 1995). Lami is trying to collect the souls of children. MMPR did a bad job splicing this episode imo.
Episode 43 was Arakawa seeking to help Dragon Caesar. Dragon Caesar is weakened because of Burai's death, I felt sad for him. Geki helps Dragon Caesar recover so they can defend the Earth from Bandora's army. I love how Geki managed to keep his brother's wishes alive with him using his brother's power to defeat Dora Antaeus' heart.
Episode 44 is a Goushi episode. I didn't find the episode all that entertaining. I twas decent though considering Goushi was rescuing the favorite celebrities of children. Hehe.
Episode 46 was sort of a remake of Fiveman's frame up episode. Unlike in Fiveman, the Zyurangers don't lose their powers but are imitated by fakes. The public has scorned the Zyuranger which was an effective way of dealing with them. Like the Fivemen, the Zyurangers clear their name in this episode!
Susumu Takaku : 12, 16, 25, 35, 39, 45 (6 eps)
Episode 12 was sort of like that episode in Black RX titlewise. We have Dora Argus who creates illusions to a young girl's mind her father's a vampire. I felt like what a way to traumatize a kid! Dan got his focus here and proves he's more than just a slacker.
Episode 16 has the Sneeze Plot. In MMPR it was some kind of amusement park taken over by Rita. Here, as stupid as sneeze plot sounds, it actually causes a lot of chaos because the sneezing is too uncontrollable. Worse a child is being manipulated into kicking the sneeze balls. Ouch! Well water was the only thing to save the day.
Episode 25 has the statue in a park made by an artist with his two kids. Bandora as a sour sport launches Dora Tarantula. It has Goushi in focus like the MMPR episode has Zack in focus. It was also a pretty nice episode.
Episode 35 has Boi trying to find the elixir of life. Bandora wants to get it for herself. Trini was to rescue her uncle who made an invisibility potion, for Boi it's to find a formula to extend Burai's life. I thought Boi's episode was more interesting. It also had the Zyurangers as ninjas and a possible shiptease for Boi. Too bad the Zyurangers had to depart to Heaven in the finale much earlier.
Episode 39 has the Godai monster in focus. I felt sorry for Godai when his eggs were eaten by Bukback and Totbat. It was a sad episode when the Zyurangers had no other choice but to finish Godai off. Sheesh, Bandora's one bitch isn't she?
Episode 45 has a pollution related episode when a boy is conned by Dora Unicorn. Again, Bandora loves to manipulate children for her own selfish ends. It also goes against hyper-environmentalism and extremism at the same time. Two lessons in one episode!
Kenichi Araki : 7, 11 ( both co-written with Sugimura) (2 eps)
Episode 7 was co-written with Araki. This features Dora Goblin a monster that was kidnapping children. A child had the caterpillar for an emperor butterfly for a girl he likes. Dan gets development here. The Zyurangers can't fight the monster as long as the shoes are on the right place for the Goblin. I kind of found this episode weird as well.
Episode 11 features the Djinn episode. The genie episode featured how dangerous instantaneous wishes can be compared to working for them. In this episode, Bandora is shown to be pretty cruel when she turns the genie evil. I love how the kids make the sacrifice to throw away the genie to spare him from being misused. This was the first time Zyurangers got help from kids when they found pieces of the lamp to counter Bandora's lamp.
Toshiki Inoue : 26 (1 ep)
This is an episode showing Inoue's bad sense of humor. Mei and Dan get possessed by a wickedness potion that makes them more wicked than Kimberly and Billy under Squatt's potion. The episode features Dora Boogaran which the Zyurangers are weak against. This is also an episode that Mei manages to outsmart Dora Boogaran and kill him single-handledly. Pretty good episode in spite of the bad humor.
Kyoko Sagiyama : 27, 33 (2 eps)
Episode 27 has Kyoko Sagiyama with another girl power episode. Mei's focus was one of the best, in fact she easily steals my attention with her life-risking move. If Doctor Man had flower bombs, Bandora has her turning flowers into monsters to spread a plague. I really thought of Dora Guzzler was a pretty intimidating foe. Mei used the Rishiya flower to lure it, she could have lost her life but she didn't. Too predictable on that part but a nice story nonetheless.
Episode 33 has Mei again and the Jewel of Bravery. This episode was used in MMPR for Madame Woe and Billy was the focus, not Kimberly. I love how Mei managed to show that strength is not the only thing needed by a team but also brains which she proves she IS the brains of the Zyurangers.