7 Thoughts About Kyuranger Episode 20:
1.) It's crazy to think that for the past few episodes, the Kyuranger have functioned at something like 3/4ths of their full strength: with Kotaro in training, Stinger watching over Champ and Champ...well. Of course, having to make it on seven members isn't really the hardest thing in the world; the Flashman team would be astonished and Sun Vulcan might just break down laughing if they heard you needed eleven people to take down a single alien organization, but still.
2.) As I'd expected, Stinger had some secret technique that involved stinging himself to increase his own abilities and keep up with his brother. The thing that bugs me the most in Sentai series is that whenever the word "special technique" is mentioned and it can't be turned into a toy, it's almost always useless. GekiViolet spent an entire episode once learning to use the ultimate fighting technique and after the main boss saw it once he was able to counter it perfectly. It would have been nice if Stinger had been able to actually go toe to toe but exhausted himself due to the venom--at least then it would've made more sense than, oh...y'know...using the powers that increase your strength without killing you.
At this point Kotaro might well be the best developed kid character in a Tokusatsu ever. He feels fully formed, not merely playing pranks around the Orion or being a "funny" guy while fighting the villains.
5.) Twenty episodes in, I'm rather shocked the writing team has managed to keep up the dramatic tension. By now, most other series that had an abundance of members would also have an abundance of mecha to throw at the enemy; I distinctly recall some episodes of a few Sentai from prior years where the heroes would toss out two mecha just to deal with one robot.
As much as I enjoy watching the good guys pick on the bad, it did have a habit of sucking the fun out of things. You just knew they were going to would make it because if one robot got blown up, the second would take the job. Here not only are they in a tight spot, but they're even outnumbered for once? Impressive.
On that note, I have to say the action was excellently choreographed this episode--from the beginning Stinger/Scorpio battle to the showdown between Kotaro and brainwashed Stinger, all of it kept my attention from beginning to end.