May 21, 2011

Review - Power Rangers Samurai Episode 12 "Room for One More" and Episode 13 "The Blue and the Gold"

  "Room for One More"'s beginning highlight's Kevin's mistrust of Antonio's abilities outside battle, as he's not had any formal samurai training. Jayden, despite wanting to see Antonio succeed, also knows full well his cocky unprofessionalism outside battle in addition to his cockiness in battle.

 This episode's Nighlok, Steeleto, is probably the only Monster-of-the-Week that battles the rangers to avenge his friend, in this case Vulpes from the previous episode. I did like the scene when all six rangers arrive at the construction site, and Antonio can't find a place to stand between the others.

 I was a bit disappointed that Antonio's fitting in with Mentor Ji and the team didn't take up more than one episode, since in Sentai a sixth ranger's redemption can take many episodes, but since many of the plotlines are happening in such quick succession, I wonder how quickly they'll happen in relation to the two-year run announced by Saban.

 "The Blue and the Gold", at least, doesn't totally write out Kevin's doubt concerning Antonio's seriousness about being a samurai. The unique thing here is that rather than just attempt to be a samurai and fail miserably, Antonio uses his tech-savvy and installs hidden cameras to observe Kevin and his daily samurai habits.

 In the American footage, Octoroo's mouth moves a lot more than in scenes from the Sentai. Here, his ears and coloring are more apparent, since he's in the daylight. Even more, he resembles Finster somewhat. I'm a bit flabbergasted that the Nighloks' evil plan was to take and destroy only thirty toys to fill the well with tears. You'd think that even in the past, there would be a lot more toys than needed to steal, and a lot of kids they'd want to cry. I mean, why target only the kids with favorite toys when you can target them all?

 Antberry, the Nighlok-of-the-Week, reminds me of Needlenose from the MMPR two-parter "Wild West Rangers", though here it's worth noting that he's voiced by Barnie Duncan, who played Piggy on Power Rangers SPD and Toby on Mystic Force. Oh, if only Piggy could have appeared! Still though, it's great to see past Power Rangers actors return in these numbers. It's probably a record already for the most in a series.

 Last of all, it's good to see Antonio lose much of the cockiness he initially had in favor of putting his focus on samurai training, as he was making Mike look incredibly humble by comparison.

Review - Power Rangers Samurai Episode 10 "Jayden's Challenge" and Episode 11 "Unexpected Arrival"

 The first series two-parter conclusion, "Jayden's Challenge", after the opening credits, starts off with Spike dreaming about Mia, a likely shout-out to Skull having a thing for Kimberly back in the day. It's probably the most ridiculous character dream in Power Rangers history, save for when Bulk and Skull dreamed they were rangers and had to pilot the Megazord ("BURGERSAURUS!" "DOGASAURUS!"). That dream, of course, was because of Goldar's spell in that episode.

 Several have wondered why Bulk and Spike haven't crossed paths with the rangers all that much. The main reason is that Bulk, long out of high school, doesn't see the rangers on a regular basis, as they're in samurai training and presumably older than high school age.

 On the Battle Wing Megazord, the mecha additions now make the megazord look like it has breasts. I know this probably wasn't the Sentai people's intention, and the Battle Wing's appendages had to fit somewhere, but still, it's rather strange to look at.

 "Unexpected Arrival" marks the debut of Antonio, the Gold Ranger. His inital battle with Nighlok-of-the-Week, Vulpes, and his Moogers mirrors Rito Revolto's first appearance, as he pretty much singlehandedly beats them pre-growth, and Rito singlehandedly destroyed the Thunderzords. I should mention that Antonio's Octozord looks a lot closer to a squid than an octopus, but I'll let that slide. The Gold Ranger's gold-and-black Mega Mode reminds me a lot of the Gold Ranger from Zeo, interesting since Antonio's regular ranger mode is gold and blue.

 Vulpes' powers include mirror attacks and invisibility, and the mirror abilities make me wonder whether the rangers' powers are strong enough to destroy them, as Vulpes reflects their powers and injures them enough to at least de-morph them. Checking Wikipedia, I found that he's voiced by Ari Boyland, who played Flynn on Power Rangers RPM.

 The flashback near the end with Jayden and Antonio was about average for me, though I'm glad the child actor for Antonio's younger self didn't speak with a noticeable accent, since Jayden's was pretty thick.

 All in all, a fitting, if not decent, introduction for the series' sixth ranger.