My Shifting Opinions On Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger
I admit, I got inspired by the fantastic Sentai Bandicoot on his entry on my personal favorite Chojin Sentai Jetman. In response, I thought I could reply with one series that I believe I have shifting opinions on and it's Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. Yes, that show. Watching the show from start to end prior to the Shout! Factory release also put me into shifting opinions. Right now, I'd just want to focus on Zyuranger for being Zyuranger without bringing up too many comparisons with Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers due to the huge differences in both shows. Instead, I could bring up past and present Super Sentai seasons and where it stands.
I remembered watching the Zyuranger fan subs which were taken down due to the Shout! Factory release. At first, I thought that I was watching something cool then there were some plot issues. Although I am fascinated by its action scenes (and I still think it beats Abaranger in that department) but there's the weakness of the child of the week. Some people even feel that the Zyurangers felt more like they were guests in their own show due to the child of the week focus. Yet, I didn't mind that too much though I tend to think that was a downside.
I do like the Zyurangers' identities as mighty warriors from five different tribes. I also like how for once, the Zyurangers fought for their legendary weapons rather than they always had it in the beginning. How often is it that Super Sentai warriors do what they did? The whole idea itself is something I wish can get repeated. It could have been cool if the Shinkengers went on a quest to get their five Hidden Discs in some quest like the Zyurangers. I could also imagine what if the Gingamen had to travel before they got their Beast Attack Rods the same way the Zyurangers got their Thunder Slingers.
The villains themselves are a wacky bunch with some nightmare fuel. Bandora's presence as a hammy cruel witch makes her both funny and intimidating. She always carries out really dumb schemes against children and she can't understand why she does it. But there could be the problem of them lacking personality. For instance, Griforther is a vicious warrior but I don't think he really matches other Super Sentai generals such as Baraba in Maskman or Zimba in Turboranger. I also feel that Lami while she's a vicious stinger -- she lacks the viciousness of Jarmin in Turboranger. Bukbak and Tottobatto just feel more like Laurel and Hardy than real threats in many occasions. Pleprecaun is the least interesting one except that he makes monsters - he's almost like how Gash got treated in Liveman.
I could also talk about one plot in Zyuranger that I find to be quite confusing. It's the relationship of the Zyurangers and Daizyujin. If Daizyujin is sentient why did he need the Zyurangers? If he's that powerful why did the Zyurangers need them to combine his body every single battle? I also find it confusing how Ryota and Gnome kept their ages for THAT LONG. Maybe I could mention the questionable scene where Ryota and Barza chased after a CHILD with vicious weapons like it were a Looney Tunes' episode. That scene alone was pretty one big flaw during the whole "Green with Evil" saga with Burai. Sure, Burai is one badass character but why put in that rather questionable scene of a grandfather chasing his grandson with dangerous weapons? Okay, I know gnomes don't get killed by dangerous weapons but still... WTF!
I even feel at times that the Bigger Bad, Dai Satan himself isn't all that developed either. He just comes and goes whenever it's convenient. For instance, we know he's truly the villain of Zyurangers and Bandora is his worshiper. But he just simply gets off then returns for the finale. I even feel that he did almost nothing. It could have been cool if he played a part in Bandora's downfall or if he actually gave orders behind the scenes. No, he's pretty underused when he's supposedly the ultimate evil. Fortunately, this mistake was fixed with Abaranger's invisible main villain known as Dezumozoryla. The Evorian god himself was far more active than Dai Satan ever was in Zyuranger. Sigh, only if Dai Satan was given a more important role.
But even with all these flaws, I still think Zyuranger has a special place in the Super Sentai franchise's evolution. It tried something new and brought in a lot of stuff to learn from. I still feel like saying Go Go Zyuranger even when I don't think too highly of it.