7 Thoughts on Uchuu Sentai Kyuuranger Episode 3: "The Man from the Desert Star"
2.) On the one hand, having the team just get handed all these Kyu Globes rather than earning them over the course of the series feels cheap--especially given the first one we see them use this episode literally let Lucky create two of himself. But at the same time, it makes for a memorable first appearance of the team's leader, Xiao Longbao. He pops up and claims himself leader and you wonder what qualifies him over Raptor or heck, even Lucky--who's done more to increase the size of the team anyone else--and then he more than doubles the fighting power of the team by dumping what looks like a dozen-plus Kyu Globes on them. It raises a couple questions: Where'd he find them? And, who's making the Kyu Globes anyway? But it also answers the question of the early game powers Sentai squads usually have that they seemingly learn about off-camera, so I appreciate that.
3.) Okay, Planetium isn't the most clever name ever--but names are hard and the villains are called "Jark Matter" so the bar isn't really being set terribly high. Still, this lays out one of Jark Matter' goals--Planetium is the energy that keeps planets from falling apart, and they're draining it for reasons that are currently unknown. It could be something boring like running their ships and weapons, or it could be for something far more nefarious that we'll see down the line.
4.) If I was wondering whether we'd get someone serious on the team aside from Raptor, here we are. We don't know Stinger's backstory, we just know he wants to face "strong guys" and is willing to fight other Kyuurangers just to make that happen. He's also got something to do with Champ's deceased creator from the past--it's quite possible he killed the guy, and Stinger is seeking to atone...but apparently part of his atonement has nothing to do with him being less of a dick. He serves as far more of a threat this episode than even Jark Matter! Speaking of...
5.) I want to be upset by this scene. Having recognized Stinger from his past, Champ rushes off to fight him mano-a-robot to make up for his creator's murder.....only Champ promptly gets his ass whooped. I want to be mad, because Champ is basically comic relief (a role filled by everyone) and the big, tough guy. Arguably, he's got the coolest design on the show because he was allowed to actually look like a strong guy who's strength is obvious in his large size--so showing him get manhandled like this isn't a good look.
....But come on! Stinger literally juggles Champ in the air for a multi-hit combo, Tekken-style! Sentai barely makes sense on the best of days, so sometimes you just have to give into the Rule of Cool. And this was definitely cool--possibly one of the best fight scenes I've seen from Sentai in quite a while.
6.) Last week I was hoping that the arrival of the Team Commander would bring some manner of seriousness to the group...but nope! This guy spends most of the episode thinking up punny catchphrases. I thought the team couldn't get an goofier, but then here this guy is watching his team get stomped by one dude and he's so distracted by leveling up his pun abilities he can't get any real work done. Of course, he did bring them all those Kyu Globes so I suppose he thought (rightfully) the team could take over from there. A friend of mine is operating under the idea that Xiao is actually just "playing" dumb, and that he's got some big secrets to reveal later on. His theory isn't based in much, but it does make you wonder--he found all these Kyu Globes, but not the one that will help him transform?
7.) I said last week I liked this year's mecha, but last week I didn't know these things had this kind of flexibility. Aside from Red's mecha which is the center, the rest of the team can offer KyuuRenOh multiple different offensive capabilities based on which ones are being used as arms. This episode, after Chameleon Green's extendable ropes get snapped by Jark Matter's robot, they swap to Silver's much more durable claws to get the job done. In theory, this makes KyuuRenOh's potential offensive capabilities nearly limitless--and its the first time in years the Sentai mecha's gimmicks make sense. Bravo.
Next episode we finally see Raptor obtain her powers--"completing" the nine...y'know, if we ignore that Stinger still hates the team. Uh-oh. See you next week!