7 Thoughts About Uchuu Sentai Kyuuranger: "The Nine Ultimate Saviors"
The nine heroes are finally gathered together~!
1.) This episode really drives home how demoralized the Earthlings are after who knows how long of having Jark Matter occupy their world. It's gotten to the point that only a handful of children even have the spirit to be willing to fight back at all. It's a little overwrought, but that's Sentai for you--ultimately, Children Are The Most Important. Plus, it actually makes for a better story when by the end a pair of kids are explaining to the adults who the Kyuurangers are as the first sparkle of hope appears in the eyes of the grown-ups.
2.) It took all of four minutes for the team to catch another beatdown by Eridrone, the first of Jark Matter's 88 Menaster generals. And I mean, it's literally not even a fight--Eridrone just rains down daggers of light on them until they're all forced to de-transform, and they barely managed to escape with their lives. It's the kind of disparity in power that would make you think Eridrone was meant to be around for at least the first quarter or so of the series, and yet...well. Hold that thought.
3.) Normally, the "I believe in [clearly evil character]" part just makes whoever's saying the lines seem like they picked up the Idiot Ball. When there's tons of evidence to the contrary believing someone's good or that "there's good in there somewhere" isn't being a good friend, it's flat out being stupid. And a few episodes ago I would've called Lucky's faith in Stinger to be quite idiotic, but here Lucky actually shows off some impressive deductive reasoning and general genre savviness that qualifies him to be field leader. From episode one he's basically been the reason all the Kyuuranger could gather together in the first place, and now here at the team's first crucial moment he was capable of figuring out Stinger's alliances. Lucky might actually prove himself to be a much deeper character than I would've believed.
4.) Not surprisingly, Stinger has a tragic backstory. On his home planet, he and his brother appeared to have been really close...until one day Jark Matter came and mucked all that up. Only...plot twist! Stinger's brother actually betrays their home world and joins Jark Matter, becoming the organization's deadliest assassin and probably the Shogun's best weapon. This couldn't possibly be a set up for later, could it? Weak sarcasm aside, the question now is what route does this go: did Scorpio pull a Silver Surfer and get brainwashed into turning on his planet to save it? Is he an Itachi-type, pushing his younger brother Stinger to be strong enough to do what he can't and take down Jark Matter? Is he a potential 12th senshi because that's definitely a possible thing. Or is he just an outright dick that was waiting for the first possible chance to betray his people?
Either way, though introduced very early, this backstory helps to inform some of the things that happen in the latter half of this episode, and I appreciate that they're setting up plot points to knock down later on down the line. It's this kind of stuff that helps keep my attention in the earliest parts of a Sentai series.
5.) I am almost definitely reading too much into this, but I'm intrigued by the idea that Jark Matter wants to rule the universe for more than just the fact that they can, which is the usual rationale that Sentai villains have. That or, "Who better than me?" or similar motivations while always fun, could use a bit of a change-up. If the universe was at war before Jark Matter started to take over, and while they're in control there's peace even if it's a a sketchy one that's been forced upon the universe with an iron rule, that would make this whole series exponentially more interesting.
But like I said, for the most part I know better. This show is aimed at kids, and they don't need the bad guys to do anything for any other reason than "they're bad". Which, to be fair, is ultimately the reason why most bad guys in fiction or real life do bad things--even when they try to use complex reasoning to back their decisions up.
6.) The longer you watch Sentai the more you realize that good choreography, whether enhanced by CGI or not, doesn't come by that much. So you have to enjoy it when you get it because you never know when it could make another appearance. Having said that, while this certainly isn't the best tokusatsu choreo, it was still pretty fun! Watching the Kyuuranger gathered together, taking on their first major skirmish force feels like a milestone for them--and setting it to the tune of a song from Sentai music alums Psychic Lover? Even better, especially when you get to see the team pull off some pretty neat looking combo moves on Eridrone.
I'm a little surprised that he didn't last that much longer--I expected he'd be about until at least episode 10 or so, but this show really isn't fucking about in terms of not wanting to drag things out. The team finally collects itself after Stinger reveals himself as a spy for the Kyuuranger (he got all of one week's worth of intel), and with all nine together they go from getting destroyed by a special to obliterating Eridrone in the same episode. One Menaster down, 87 more to go.
7.) Next week: Speaking of quick pacing, we're only six episodes in and we're already getting a power-up? It's the Pegasus Kyu Globe that's either acting up or Lucky's going to learn how to use next episode. I suspect it's less of a power-up along the lines of Super Goseiger Mode, and probably much more along the lines of the Shinkenger's special battle robe--this will give a member of the team flight, or an extra gun or something. And since it's a Kyu Globe, my guess is that anyone on the team can use it, Lucky just got to it first.