Join us as we start on a wild ride through Dobutsu Sentai Zyuohger! Can Yamato lead his Zyuman friends through an adventure to save the human world from the Deathgalien? Find out how we think he’s doing as we share our thoughts on:
Dobutsu Sentai Zyuohger; Episode 4 – Roar in the Ring!
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Before we start Sono is going to give credit where it is due:
Dobutsu Sentai Zyuohger; Episode 4 – Roar in the Ring!
Episode Writer: Komura Junko
Episode Director: Katou Hiroyuki.
This is the same duo from last week, so no need to rehash everything.
Zyuohger 04’s Monster of the Week: Amigard from Team Kubard
Animal Instincts – Overall Thoughts about the episode & it’s message
SONO- Look, I really like the plot of Leo’s unintentional chivalrous good guy sexism, and Sela wanting no part of it. Especially with Leo as a lion, I could see that being taught to him and him internalizing that and not realizing how insulting it is. I love that Sela has no hesitations in calling him out on it and forcing Leo to confront it.
Most of all I love that at the end of the episode, the conflict ISN’T SOLVED. This has been a bad habit of sentai since Kyoryuger. Big character conflicts just get “turned off” at the end of an episode. It’s over and everyone moves on. (The only exception I can think of is Mio’s dislike of men, which persisted and was never “fixed” because Mio doesn’t have to like men if she doesn’t want to.) You can’t just suddenly be like “WELL I GUESS I’M NOT GOING TO THINK THIS WAY ANYMORE” and the problem is solved. Leo now is aware of the problem and has to think on his own feelings and Sela has to think on hers. She has to figure out how she wants to confront Leo on this.
The fact that they’re letting this go beyond one episode really makes me feel like the creative staff is going to put effort into Leo and Sela’s feelings and that this is going to have a really nice pay-off for the two of them in the end.
AMMIT- I like the ideas here, but I’m not sure it went quite far enough. I am not ready to let go and and just trust the Creatives behind Zyuohger, despite the fact that Ghost has been such a great re-direct for Kamen Rider and I have knowingly enjoyed Junko Komura’s work since Wizard on and maybe even some stuff I didn’t know he had written. I fell a lot of unease, but it’s almost like the sensation at the top of a roller coaster, where it could develop into something exciting and interesting to experience. Then again, that feeling of being on a precipice also sometimes comes right before falling down a mountain side. Leo’s sexism isn’t terribly surprising and Sela didn’t beat it out of him. It’s something he will have to deal with, but I don’t read him as having any intention to fight it. Sela on the other hand wants to sort things out with him and I hope that comes to fruition, because seeing the turn in Leo and what it means to Sela would be so interesting.
As for the message, so much of what it is depends on one’s filters. Sela’s grit and determination to be seen as equal is great, but the narrative lens seems to shy away from focusing on it and instead leans into Leo’s reaffirmation of male over female superiority. It’s a bit muddled and sad.
ALEPH- I guess I’m sort’ve in the middle of both of you, ‘cause I’m right there with being REALLY uncomfortable with Leo’s condescending nonsense looking like it’s gonna be a thing that’s gonna keep going but at the same time, it’s that rule when addressing social problems that you have to point out that they’re problems and then have them be things that are dealt with continuously because if you “solve” the problem in the fiction, it gives the impression that you think the problem is solved generally?
Just. Guh, so frustrating. I could’ve handled it if they were out shopping and Leo was just laying on some steps sleeping while the ladies went out and hunted for things he was planning on eating before getting into a fight, but…
I dunno, overall I mostly just liked Sela’s argument the whole episode where if someone is good enough to challenge you to a fight and ask you not to hold back, you respect their desire to measure themselves against you. They can’t gauge their skill if you’re cheating. If they’re going hard and you aren’t showing up, you’ve disrespected how hard they go.
Hackles Up! – Problems & Nitpicks
- I’m a little ehhhhhh on the joke of Mario walking on on Tusk smelling Leo’s socks. It feels a little awkward and in bad taste, and honestly, Tusk wasn’t even holding the sock that close to his face. It didn’t look like he was doing anything with it. He could have just been sorting laundry. It just didn’t sit right with me.
- +1 on the Kink joke with the Tusk and the socks
- Naria’s glee at Kubard’s successful play with Amigard was really irritating. The suit actor and voice actor are selling her so believably, but it’s all stuff I hate to see, so, until that changes I think Naria’s bits in the show will continue to get my hackles up.
- The musicians fighting was brutal and while I don’t think it was too much for kids to see, it was really dark. There was something similar in Digimon 02, but this feels a lot worse because it is live action and we saw people not creatures fighting.
- Yeah, I. Look, I know I had a good laugh at the collars and whatnot in previous episodes, but making it out-and-out explicit like that? Booooo. BOOOOOO.
- Still mad that nobody even THOUGHT about “Nah, not gonna fight. Something’ll save us”. They didn’t even bring up the “go fight” tasers ‘til way later.
- Not warming up to Mario. Just not. Trying, but…
- And, yeah, Naria’s gonna be a going concern for a while I think. Keeps gettin’ ‘em drinks and it’s not okay.
- Leo. Just… Leo.
Tide Turners – Stuff you enjoyed.
- The way shots of Naria were framed give me some slight hope we may be right about her eventually stepping in and messing everyone up. Specifically the shot of her giving Genis his drink. Just something about the framing of it and how it seemed to move around her, instead of Genis.
- I feel like this is the first time I’ve really noticed Sela’s shark tail and I love it. Also, I noticed that the entire time that Sela and Leo were in the ring, their tails remained up, and I think that was a really nice detail since they never stopped being in danger.
- Leo and Sela got trapped because they were helping Amu, such good friends
- Yamato casually flying around looking for Leo and Sela
- Amigard taking Sela and Leo’s cubes
- Sock Sniffing to find Leo and Sela, the idea is right on for what we talked about earlier, but it could have been a shirt.
- Leo’s catlike fighting moves are so funny and great
- Sela calling out Leo for his bias and how he dis-honored her wishes and didn’t go 100% in that fight; it says so much about them and plants seeds for later on
- Basically just Sela. She is my fave even more than she was when she showed up and was a shark.
- Sela just totally going off on Leo. I just… I just want her to get her actual fight, y’all. Win or lose or whatever, I want her to get it and have it unequivocal that whoever won, they had to FIGHT for it.
Evolutions – What do you think this show has in store for the future?
Sono- Were we right about random Zyuman off living in the woods? I’m kind of interested to see where this gorilla dude is going to take things. From the preview, it seemed like the others all know him. Also it seems like we might get secondary animal powers for the main team like in Gekiranger? (Speaking of, I am almost positive that’s where they’re recycling this gorilla costume from.)
Ammit- Leo and Sela are going to have a rematch. She’ll lose, but she’ll be proud and he’ll be humbled by how great of a fighter she is.
I think Yamato will exclusively get secondary animal power-ups
Aleph- I just seriously want that rematch and for, afterward, both of them to high-five because that was one heck of a fight. Even though I keep feeling like in the SECOND rematch, Sela should win because, look, male lions spend all their lives (that is not sleeping and waiting for the hordes of lionesses to drag home kills) fighting other male lions, but female sharks are SO much bigger than the males and are cold-blooded killers.
Also wanna see Sela get into blood-frenzy sometime. She’s a shark. When she gets a taste of blood, she oughta just go off and… well, maybe not cuz then it’d be the end of the Porcupine Grongi and nobody’s ready for that.
So what are your thoughts of Leo and his ideas of what it means to “be a man”?
NEXT WEEK — EPISODE 5: Champion of the Jungle!
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Thanks Jason for sharing your thoughts with us.
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