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:
Episode 08 – Melody of the Savannah! & 09 – The Endless Day!
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Before we start Sono is going to give credit where it is due:
Episode 08 – Melody of the Savannah! & 09 – The Endless Day!
Episode Writer: Komura Junko (08) & Arakawa Naruhisa (09)
Episode Director: Takemoto Noboru (08) & Shibasaki Takayuki (09)
Sono: I’m going to be spending a not insignificant portion of this episode calling out Arakawa and Shibasaki on some very poor decision making.
Zyuohger 08’s Monster of the Week: Yabiker
Zyuohger 09’s Monster of the Week: Hanayider
Animal Instincts – Overall Thoughts about the episode & it’s message
So for 08, the angle they’re playing is pretty clearly that you can’t give up no matter how the odds are stacked against you in both Daisuke’s situation and the situation with the team’s vulnerability to the noise hypnotism, and I thought that played out in a very earnest, straight-forward way. There’s also a nice layer of taking responsibility for your mistakes coming through in Leo that I thought balanced really well with the message of not giving up. Everyone makes mistakes due to one factor or another, and Leo was fully prepared to lose a friendship over it. He was fine with that as long as he could at least try to make it right for Daisuke. Well played.
I had a little bit of a harder time with 09 just because the framework for this episode is one that I have a hard time getting into and god having to repeat the Zyuoh King stock footage over and over was tedious. I’m sure there’s a message in it, but I wasn’t able to pull one from 09. As much as I loved the bits with Sela and learning about her, I zoned out a little during the fights in this episode.
Don’t give up on your dreams. You have to keep working at something if you want to succeed. Perseverance is key to finding happiness and living out your purpose. Daisuke played even though it hurt with his injured hand and Sela did everything she could to guard against BWANANA and it worked. Daisuke failed, but got his foot in the door and I bet a good deal of that was how much heart he showed.
It pays to have GREAT hearing. But seriously, I got a strong vibe of perseverance again. I really enjoyed the insight into Sela’s family and the glimpse of something foreboding in Yamato’s past. I really want to get to know more about all the Zyumen and Yamato too.
I think the things I took away hardest in this one were the idea that winning isn’t as important as showing up and also that you should own up when you wrong people. Unless they’re awesome shark girls, I guess. Leo frustrates me, is what I’m sayin’.
Honestly, I sorta spaced on a lot of it on a thematic level and more that it was neat to see them play with format. Perseverance is a good read on it, and it’s not like it’s not important, just that on a thematic level, the show felt kinda thin.
Hackles Up! – Problems & Nitpicks
- So can Naria just… build stuff? Can she just build upgrades to strengthen the skills the “players” have? Why are we not exploring this more? I demand more of this immediately.
- I’m iffy on “Groundhog Day” plots as it is, but oh my god so much of this episode was taken up by stock footage. It really made the repeating segments drag and be a lot less interesting.
- Bothered that Leo got to do a combo finisher with Yamato in 08, but it was just the Gorilla finisher in 09. Let Sela do a combo!
- Leo never telling Daisuke to go to the hospital. I mean, his hand’s wrapped up so I’m guessing he did, but a thing where dude’s hands are messed up and he goes on and plays anyway would’ve hit a lot better for me if he would have gone directly to the hospital right after. Also sent Leo the bill ‘cuz the more adult thing is to do everything in your power to make sure Daisuke gets proper medical treatment. Then spend the next few episodes having Leo working odd jobs around town to pay it off.
- For all I understand that Yabiker is basically being portrayed as, like, an evil Leo, I kinda wish he’d’ve stuck around or something for a Sela focus episode. Maybe he’s got a brother?
- Outside of them playing with the structure, this episode honestly felt a little thin.
- So mixed on the baddies’ scheme this time ‘round. Like, it doesn’t really play to Genis’ stated desire of being entertained, does it? Like, a giant flower that eats sleeping people. Maybe I’m revealing my inner blood-drenched No Mercy run sadist, but how entertaining is that if you’re a crew that travels the stars playing the Blood Game? That’s a thesis proposal that would NOT pass muster at Grongi U, s’all I’m sayin’.
- Leo telling Daisuke to hit him if he wants. It’s not really healthy to advocate violence as a legitimate outlet like this, especially in a kid’s show, I get it, but it is bad, old thinking and should change. Even shows like Fourze got it wrong, despite how solid it was on weaving in really correct methods in addressing and weaving in proper psychological handling of issues.
- Leo knocking out Sela with his final shout
- Nothing stuck out to me much except for how Naria is still so under-utilized.
- That plan is NOT a cannibal if it is eating PEOPLE, who are NOT PLANTS!
08 I’m really mixed up on this one
- Watching the people go berserk was unsettling, this reminds me of one of the first Hybrid/Red Roimude that was getting neighbors to turn on each other. It is super-unsettling and done really well.
Tide Turners – Stuff you enjoyed.
- Oh my god Leo is quickly taking the lead as my favorite. He’s just so earnest. He puts all of himself into every emotion he has. When he wants to know something, he just grabs it and figures it out. When he loves something he completely loses track of everything else. When he screws up, he fully accepts the blame and whatever punishment may come from it. No excuses. He knows he’s supposed to be hiding that he’s a weird lion man, but he’s not afraid to make it known if it’s necessary. The entire arc of his relationship with Daisuke was really sweet.
- The detail of the writing from Zyuland being very square and blocky was really neat.
- We got some neat family details, mostly about Sela but also Amu made a comment about her mom. It’s really sweet to see how much Sela loves and misses her family though.
- Team Azald’s Yabiker looks like Drive – Type: Formulon
- Leo meeting Daisuke reminds me so much of Wataru and Kengo meeting and that stirs so many warm feelings.
- Yabiker’s shtick is that his NOISE blows people’s common sense away and they become self destructive. That is so inventive. Did Japanese parents in the early days of Rock and Roll fear it like Americans did?
- Team Kubard’s Hanayider has an… interesting design.
- Hanayider’s plan is SIN-IS-TER
- Sela’s longing to be with her family was really sweet and textures her in a nicely nuanced way
- Sela’s noise protection. It was really adorable and I like how we’re finding lots of ways to highlight everyone’s special powers while also giving them downsides. Also, realizing that having her power be hearing and Leo’s is loudness is actually a really clever way to show how they really need to come into conflict. Near writes itself, when you think about it.
- Daisuke should come back. I wanna know how he’s doing. I’d be really jazzed if we found out he’s a session guitarist or something later on.
- Good baddie plot, actually. There’s something so low-level frightening about the idea of a sound that drives you that special kind of self-destructively berserk while also offering some set pieces that give our characters opportunities to do their thing and keep on saving people as best they can.
- Look, the design on the Cannibali Bulb was really neat and that was legit a really good plan on a numbers level, reservations aside. I mean, I guess it’s got that “clicks per second” sort of efficiency going, which plays into these folks being the high hardcore awful nerds?
- Shame the flower dude is gone ‘cuz he had something like a personality and that bit where he’s all “You want them to get eaten while they’re awake? You guys are GREAT!” Was intense.
- Didn’t love this kinda crap Groundhog’s Day plot, but it was nice to see them playing around with structure in an episode that wasn’t high drama.
Evolutions – What do you think this show has in store for the future?
- We’ve now brought up Yamato’s parents, which is something I wasn’t expecting. Mario covered for him and gave him an out, but I expect this story to come back into play in the future. I’m glad it’s something we’re addressing, even if it’s a while before Yamato actually lets that story out.
- So Genis is going to have a turn next week. And it looks like with that, Naria gets to leave the giant roulette bow spaceship and actually do something for once. And at the very end we see Eagle man. So I guess we’re moving toward tying up that plot thread.
- We definitely should be getting into the story with Yamato’s parents. I’m going to guess that Yamato is not actually related to Mario, but was found after Eagleman saved him in the woods near Mario’s place and he took him in.
- Right, so… can we have a new group of baddies now? Really hoping this is the beginning of the end before Naria runs off to remove her helmet and reveal that all this time she was being played by Machiko Soga, reanimated by the need for Sentai to have some lady villains and she murders all the baddies and stuff gets all intense for a sec. I mean, I don’t think that’s actually what IS in store, but I wouldn’t mind it.
- Kinda hoping that since Eagle Zyulander’s showing up, he’ll be an old dude and if we can’t have a lady sixth, we can at least have Sentai try and have a sixth who’s a bit of a surprise. If people know who he is or what he looks like, don’t tell me, let me dream that something interesting will happen.
Quick Reflexes – Questions in reaction to this bit of Zyuohger.
How did the repeating day footage in 09 work for you? Was it too much? Was it okay?
So is Leo’s enhanced sense vocal?
What do we think of the show playing the enhanced senses also as potential weaknesses?
NEXT WEEK — EPISODE 10: The Most Dangerous Game
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