7 Thoughts on Uchuu Sentai Kyuuranger Episode 9: "Burn! Dragon Master"

We're back with what's easily my favorite episode yet!

1.)  Spada really kind of ruined himself with me these last two episodes.  Before it kinda worked as he was just a chef that happened to be a superhero--he wasn't edgy or overly goofy, he just did his job and that was that.  But these past two episodes have been infuriating; over and over he proves himself incapable of respecting Xiao's commands, with this time finally having negative consequences for him personally as he refuses to simply join the rest of the team's escape.

Having said that, I suppose this is the cost paid for having a commander just "pop" up and he wastes most of his first appearance on the show making puns.

2.)   Here we set up what would be an interesting bit of lore, only...it's going to prove itself a lie not once, not twice, but (spoilers) three times in what I assume to be very short order.  Still, it was pretty cool to see that Xiao was basically smart enough to bypass the normal "rules" of the Kyu Globes, as he explains there are "change" and "skill" globes, and Xiao's been using a "Skill" globe all this time to transform.  I was thinking a form as powerful as his simply had a time-limit because no person's body could take the energy, but it looks like Xiao's just been cheating the system.   It's pretty cool when you think about it, but it does raise the question why are we soon to have twelve Kyuranger if there are only nine Kyu Change Globes.

Yes, Xiao gets a tenth but...ehhh....you'll see why that's not something you should hope repeats itself soon enough.

3.)  Annoying as it might be that the first time the Extra Senshi joined the team didn't have the entire group, this was a good set-up to keep a third of the team off the show for this episode.  Still in a faraway galaxy, Balance, Champ, and Naga realize the short amount of time the team has to save Spada means there's no chance they'll ever get back in time to help.   This keeps these three off-screen for most of the episode with a much better reason than "we didn't come up on the roulette wheel of chance", which is funny enough to think about but completely, utterly stupid in practice.

4.) If you were wondering whether Sentai was still capable of going "dark" (not boring dark like that MMPR fan film), this episode sees a young Xiao's headstrong behavior get the Supreme Commander of the Rebellion Big Bear gutted by Ikagen and Madaako, and a dying Big Bear use his body as a last-ditch suicide attack in order to save his young charge.

More importantly, this explains why Xiao is initially so adamant about not believing he's a Kyuuranger.  The weakness of his transformation lead to the direct death of his friend and leader, and so he sees himself as a failure, with only the "real" Kyuurangers able to affect any change.  Thus, despite being clearly stronger than the rest of the team he refuses to help them even in the few dire situations they'd been in since he joined, because he believes that would only result in them being injured or worse.   It's rare we explain things this deeply--DekaMaster straight-up just told the team "Eh, YOU'RE the field agents, figure it out on your own" and would only appear in the most dire of situations.   At least here we get a reasonable explanation for why Xiao hasn't helped thus far.

5.)  Lucky is OP Update:  Continuing to back my headcanon of "Lucky is secretly the will of the universe personified", this episode we get a full-on miracle thanks to our series Red.  As Xiao's self-sacrificing attitude reaches its maximum, Lucky finally tells him that it doesn't matter what's happened in Xiao's grim past, nor does it matter what the legends say--he's simply a Kyuranger now, and that means there's ten of them, making reality "better than the legends".

After this heroic speech, the nine existing Kyu Change Globes all combine from across the universe and summon the spirit of the Dragon constellation, who grants Xiao what he desires most: the power to fight alongside the Kyuranger as Draco Violet.   After uttering this wish, the spirit of that constellation transforms his skill globe into another Change Kyu Globe, allowing Xiao's transformation to finally be complete.    So essentially Lucky and Xiao's combined hopes summoned Shenron from the nine Dragon Balls so Xiao could become a proper superhero.

At this point you don't even have to confirm my headcanon--as long as it's not outright disconfirmed I'm just going to go on assuming Lucky is some major part of the universe.

 6.)  As if someone wrote this episode just for me, when Xiao finally gets his mecha the Ryu Voyager, they introduce it with a shot right out of my favorite Sentai series of all time, Dairanger  Shit looks almost exactly like RyuuSeiOh coming out of the sky.  If it could only make a robot by itself (with the other members acting as armor), it'd be my favorite Sentai mech of the last two decades, easy.

Still, it's enough that someone was clearly in love with Dai enough to go through the trouble of mirroring RyuuSeiOh's entrance, swapping the sun with the moon.

7.) Next Ep: If you were wondering how long it'd be before our eleventh Kyuranger joined up...well, apparently not that long at all!   Kotaro's transformation is literally an episode away, as the team finds themselves trapped on the Orion as its headed towards the Sun, with only Lucky and Kotaro capable of taking out the Enemy of the Week.

I do have a question though: It looks like this is from Big Bear's constellation--where did it come from?  Is it another case of the guy transforming through a Skill Globe, or is this a mysterious "tenth/eleventh" Change Globe that no one knew about?


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