The fear of losing his brother is finally getting to Geki, driving him to do some crazy things and lose focus, putting the rest of his team in danger.
[ゲキよ涙を斬れ] Geki yo Namida o Kire!
Geki, Slash Your Tears!
Writer: Naruhisa Arakawa
Geki awakens from a nightmare involving the death of his brother and though he knows that particular scenario was a dream, he knows he can’t escape reality. Burai is living on borrowed time and it’s finally starting to weigh heavily on Geki’s mind. When a plant based Dora Monster appears and takes root in the middle of the city and Geki is in no mood to piece together its weakness. Wanting to finish the monster off as quickly as possible so as to not necessitate Burai’s help, Geki makes of the mess of the whole situation and allows it to escape. When the team finally finds the center of the monster, Bandora appears and tells that that it survives by taking energy from beautiful people. The witch makes things a bit tougher to deal with when she tells Geki that the monster’s collected energy can be used to bring someone back to life like say…a brother living his final hours. Geki’s confidence is shattered and he stops Dan from destroying to monster. This hesitation allows for the creation of DoraNarcissus, a creature who wants to share its beauty with the world. Oh yeah, so subtle.
Geki runs off to attack the monster on his own but finds that he’s little match for its incredible strength. To make matters worse, a mysterious black knight appears and easily defeats Geki and takes his Dino Buckler. The knight proves to Geki that he’s of no use to anyone while his mind is so conflicted. Wanting to kill Geki for itself, DoraNarcissus steps in and steals energy from the knight, who we find out is actually Goushi. Realizing that saving his brother himself rather than simply having him live at any cost is what will make him happy, Geki’s vigor is renewed and he joins the rest of the team in DaiZyuJin to defeat a giant sized DoraNarcissus. Goushi realizes that the monster is in love with itself and using the reflections caused by the surrounding buildings, the team manage to catch DoraNarcissus off guard and attack it as it’s enjoying its reflection.
It’s not often we get to see Geki shown as a fallible leader. Zyuranger tends to play him up as this righteous sort of guy who almost always knows what to do or has the right words. Those episodes that manage to take him out of his comfort zone are a lot of fun to watch based on that alone. Stories like these always lead some better than average acting out of Yuta Mochizuki as well, so that’s a plus! Even though the formula isn’t too revolutionary, it’s unique for Zyuranger in that Geki’s supposed to be the rock of the group most of the time and here you have him unable to do his mission because he’s worried about saving his brother’s life.
Despite this being a Geki episode, it also really plays like a Goushi episode as well. Every good leader needs a right hand man to keep him in check and Goushi fits that role to a tee. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Goushi is the sort of character who looks like he would always put his mission before his personal desires. I think a show like Zyuranger could benefit from highlighting that aspect a little more often than it usually does. This a team of Rangers all about wanting to do the right thing on a personal level that having these challenging situations arise more often could shake up the formula.
But yeah, how but that Yuta Mochizuki? He always plays Geki as if there’s a little more under the surface and episodes like this (and really the whole Burai saga) help to make that much more visible. Yeah, dude isn’t the best actor out there, or really when it comes to Sentai, but he has this sense of conflict about him that sell the theme of the episode. Seeing him intercept Dan’s lance, his hands covered in blood and then he just falls to his knees is some strong stuff. You gotta feel for what he’s going through in this episode.
Action was great during this episode too, which I think is something the people working behind the show try to nail when it’s such a strong character focus episode that needs a strong out of suit fight. I don’t think the mysterious black knight had anyone fooled at all, you could totally hear Goushi in his voice, but it was still cool to think Geki might be up against two Dora Monsters. Mochizuki’s great with a sword and loves to put the weight of his upper body into his strikes, making for some very powerful shots. On the mecha side of things, the action wasn’t amazing, but the set up for it was great. There’s a lot of scale work going into the entrance of DaiZyuJin this time around and man do they make it work.
The monster this time around was…um, not very subtle at all. I think it all ties into the question of whether or not Geki is simply looking out for his own wants now or not. The way they defeated it was actually pretty hilarious. They made use of one of my favorite mecha scene techniques: reflections in the windows of buildings! Those reflections help to sell the idea of this battle being on such a huge scale to me for some reason, not quite sure why.
I think if anything bothered him this episode, it’s that the resolution didn’t work too well for me. I don’t know, Goushi’s little speech about Geki willing to sacrifice his team mates for his brother sounds like it has some substance to it from his point of view. I feel like this is one of those times a little more resolution for Goushi would have been great. Like, I honestly couldn’t makes heads or tails of whether or not Goushi actually believed that Geki would choose his brother over his friends or if it was all just something to help light a fire under his ass and get him out of his rut. Dealing with the possible trust issues something of that nature could bring up was a huge missed opportunity.
Finally…is it just me or does anyone else find it odd that Burai didn’t appear in this episode outside of that dream sequence?