End of the line.
[ブライ死す…] Burai Shisu…
The Death of Burai
Writer: Noboru Sugimura
Burai brings Kouta to the hospital and gives him his Dragon Medal, in hopes of its powers healing the boy. Geki finally learns of the dream Burai had and that despite his yearning to live and have a life with his brother, he’s ready to die if it can be for something good. As the battle rages against Dora Mimic, Burai feels its time to enter and so he boards Dragon Caesar untransformed. While in the other world, Goushi and Dan meet the guardian they’re supposed to defeat and find that they’re no match against it without their Dino Bucklers. After Mei, Boi, and Geki deal with Griffozar and the Golems, Geki begs DaiZyuJin to grant him the power to save his brother’s life while only five minutes remain. Their request is then granted and our heroes are finally allowed to transform once again as DaiZyuJin returns to the battlefield. Quickly forming Ultimate DaiZyuJin, Dora Mimic is defeated by Geki, Burai and the others. Goushi and Dan finally defeat the guardian in the other world, only to learn that it’s actually Clotho and that no matter what, Burai has to die because he’s already died and is living on borrowed time. The two lament this, but they know that Burai’s final wish can be granted and deliver the Water of Life to Kouta. As Burai lay dying, he gives Geki his powers and share some final words with his brother before Clotho appears and takes his body away, finally allowing Burai to rest in peace.
And with that, we come to the end of Burai’s story in Zyuranger. It’s a pretty spectacular ending at that! Izumi delivers his best performance all series long as he’s fighting so desperately to save Kouta throughout this episode and the previous one. It’s so easy to believe him as someone who has had a rough past and is now trying to take a new path in life, even if it’s eventually going to lead to his death. Throughout the episode you just know that, as much as he really wants to live and stay with his brother, his death can’t be avoided. Izumi plays it as this guy who knows what the right thing to do is, but because he’s human, still can’t completely suppress what he wants. And can you blame him? After the terrible start he and Geki had, it’s a shame to see their relationship cut so short.
The rest of the cast also put in a pretty good performance themselves, specifically Seiju Umon as Goushi. I think he really took control of every scene he had in this episode. Granted, that isn’t difficult given the circumstances, but he really sold it for me as he started crying when he realized he wouldn’t be able to save Burai.
There are very few times throughout this series that Bandora actually does something that makes you want to hate her and this is absolutely one of those times. She’s angry that Burai betrayed her and has wanted revenge ever since, so when the opportunity presented itself, she jumped on it. Getting these glimpses of her true villainy earlier on is something I think the series would benefit from, but now that we’re reaching the end game of the series, it’s as good a time as any to drive the point home that she’s just not the sort of person you want to like. I can only wonder what the series could have been if Bandora was on her A-game like this throughout its entire run and, y’know, not rapping.
Something I’ve gotta wonder, though, was Burai always fated to die, even with the Water of Life? I think there’s a pretty cool message in there. As much as we try to fight it, we can’t escape our ultimate fate. We can change the circumstances that lead to that fate, but fate itself can’t be prolonged or escaped. I really like that idea. It makes Burai’s character seem all the more heroic in the end. He could have gone out on the battlefield against a random monster, but instead of anything that simple, he pretty much died giving his life so that Kouta could live. Maybe there’s even something about an angry writer in there too? “Hey, we’ve got to get rid of this Izumi fellow well before the end of the series, so let’s make his exit something people are going to remember for years to come!” seems like something you can imagine Sugimura might have been thinking as he tried to figure out where to go with Burai’s arc.
Even if you’ve never seen an episode of Zyuranger, it’s fairly likely that you know Burai is going to die. It’s just one of those things that everyone seems to know about. It’s unavoidable and that’s pretty much a shame, but as I watched these episodes, I realized that, while everyone knows Burai dies, it’s very rare that anyone knows why he died. I can’t imagine there are too many people out there who know about Kouta and that Burai goes out like a true hero thanks to that kid. It’s kind of refreshing to know that, even if it’s spoiled, there is still a lot about Burai’s death that people don’t really know about from just the discussion that goes on in forums.