[大改造! 粘土獣] Dai Kaizou! Nengou Juu
The Great Upgrade of the Clay Monsters!
Writer: Noboru Sugimura
This episode sees everyone but Geki getting themselves a job because…hey, good guys need money too! Barza hasn’t exactly got a lot of money and is only able to give the team about a dollar a day each as spending cash, which isn’t a ton. When the rest of the team sees that Dan’s gotten himself a job, they convince Barza to let them each get a job as well. Up until now, Barza forbade the team from getting jobs because they could potentially get in the way of their true mission. Barza finally relents under the condition that they consider it a learning experience (the reason he let Dan get a job) and that they drop everything immediately whenever Bandora attacks.
Mei finds a job at a fast food place, Boi as a delivery man, and Goushi helps with construction. Geki doesn’t want a job, just so he can always be on call should Bandora attack. Dan’s job has him working at a ramen shop, that soon finds itself infested with roaches and being blanketed in a strange orange fog. Investigating the occurrences leads Dan to Bandora and her gang underground, trying dig up a new form of claw to make stronger Dora Monsters.
The team faces off against Dora Franken, the first monster created by the new clay and find the battle to be near hopeless. The monster can withstand their Dino Horn sword and nothing they do seems to even scratch it. What’s worse is that Burai is nowhere to be seen as Geki calls for his brother in desperation and the episode ends.
Well, hey, another two parter, awesome! This episode was great all around, funny, creepy, and suspenseful, Zyuranger at its best. Totpat and Bukbak need more screen time, watching them up to their antics is always so much fun. I especially loved their human forms and that Totpat always has something resembling that eyepiece he wears in his true form.
I do wish we were shown the others in their jobs a little more, it was mostly one quick scene of them each while the majority of the episode was spent with Dan at the ramen shop. Either way, it was nice we got to see at least one member of the team interact a lot with modern day society. They still don’t seem to have all the rules down as we learn from Dan thinking a delivery order was for him, but they’re getting there! I also love the reaction from the team when they first find out Dan got himself a job. Mei’s “But we’re not allowed to get jobs!” sort of makes them all seem like kids and it’s kinda cute.
The random kid this week is the son of the guy who owns the shop, who himself is also pretty amusing to watch. His character struck me as a little schizo. Large and in charge when everything is fine, but wanting to curl up into a ball once your place is infested with roaches and strange fog. Okay. Yeah, I can understand that making him feel bad, but still! We eventually do see the ramen shop destroyed when we learn that the mining operation was right beneath it and…that’s actually a bit of a bummer. With the ramen shop portion of the plot more or less over, I always figured it would jump straight to the mecha battle.
Oh, and that mecha battle? Pretty fun. When I first saw this episode, I was thinking there was no way the story would be able to sustain itself in two parts. Maybe show the aftermath of the Rangers dealing with the new clay in the next episode, but I didn’t see that cliffhanger coming. The episode played, more or less, to formula and so you can image my surprise when the it ends right there, DaiZyuJin on the ground in defeat and Burai nowhere to be found as Bandora watches the battle and laughs.
And that new Dora Monster is…interesting. In the daylight it looks absolutely hilarious and cheap, but come night time? The thing is actually kind of creepy. The shadows in the night scenes really play nicely off against the bulges around the eyes and the general design of Frankenstein’s monster. I really wish the mecha battle had been at night as well, now that would have been a great way to punctuate the desperate situation the team found themselves in.
Seeing that Burai didn’t show up actually made me pretty happy. It means that his inability to be wherever he wants when he needs to is finally coming into play a little more prominently, it’s what leads to the cliffhanger after all. After this threat is dealt with, you just know that Geki’s going to need to have a chat with his brother and figure out just what the heck’s up with him not being around when needed the most.