Saturday, March 22, 2014

Slogging Through Engine Sentai Go-Onger Part 3: Highs and Lows

Welcome back, everyone! This time around, I'm changing up the format of my Go-Onger reviews rather significantly. Instead of just glossing over and crunching all five episodes together, I've decided the most enjoyable way for you guys to get some entertainment value out of this is by reviewing and breaking down each episode individually. This means more screencaps, much more thoughts, and a post that's hopefully a lot longer and thus more worthwhile to read.

In this third batch of five episodes, we see the best Go-Onger has offered so far hand-in-hand with the worst. There's still 35 episodes, some Net Movies, a DVD special and a few theatrical movies left before we make a final judgment call, but this should be pretty indicative of the quality I can expect for the rest of the series. Now, for your reading pleasure, Engine Sentai Go-Onger episodes 11 through 15!


GRAND PRIX 11: "Air Wave Jack"


Coming Soon: Gunpei Ishihara Is THE FUGITIVE

We begin this episode with Gunpei and Hant alone in Ginjiro-go. Hant is working on his newest part-time job, which seems to be putting plastic flowers together (how useful?) and complains yet again about not being rich. Gunpei makes a postive observation about how easygoing Hant is (make note of this for later) and states that recent Gaiark attacks have gone down because of their new mecha: Engine-O G6. Bomper comes in and shows the two special news reports happening on television. Sosuke has decided to leave for Monaco to participate in the Grand Prix, Saki's become an idol, and Renn is becoming an undefeated quiz show champion!


There are worse ways to write your Red out of a series. Ain't that right, Sun Vulcan?

The two are naturally shocked, but the news continues. It's announced that Hant has inherited a fortune from a millionaire he's never met who is claiming to be Hant's grandfather. Hant, being the loyal and cunning man he is, brushes off that he now has a third grandfather, immediately ditches Gunpei and falls for this obvious set-up because Hant is a tool.


Yes, that's right, kids. Don't fall for what the TV says all the time! Oh, but be sure to remember to get your parents to buy the newest toys from our show so you can pretend to be a hero on your favorite TV show! Oh, and seriously, Hant ditches the team AGAIN for monetary reasons. This kid is supposed to be someone we're supposed to trust with the fate of the world?


Fuck you, Hant.

Of course, the entire scheme is the responsibility of this week's monster, Antennae-Banki. When the Gaiark generals explain the plan, which is to broadcast signals that tell the Go-Ongers their greatest dreams have finally come true, Yogostein and Kegalesia are rightfully irritated that the Go-Ongers are so happy. However, Kitaneidas tells him to rest easy because the best of his plan has yet to come. His target is actually Gunpei!

As it turns out, the police has completely fallen for this too and tries to arrest Gunpei for robbery, even though there is absolutely no evidence that Gunpei has done anything illegal. The police also don't seem to recognize him, even though he's a former detective himself. He's forced to Go-On the run (snickersnicker) and tries to get in contact with the rest of the Go-Ongers. First, he finds Saki at an outdoors photobook signing event surrounded by adoring fans.


Japan in a nutshell

When he fails to break through the crowd and into her skull, he tries his luck with Renn. Renn is so good at the quiz show, he answers correctly before the host even gets a chance to finish asking the questions. Now, if I was a producer on this show, I would find that to be a pretty strong sign that something fishy is going on and would call Renn out on grounds of cheating. But that is, of course, trying to apply some actual logic into this totally idiotic episode.

When Gunpei tries to talk sense into him, Renn acts like a robot and Gunpei is chased off the property by more cops. Meanwhile, the Gaiark move their plan into the next stage: sending out a news broadcast claiming a law has been passed allowing factories to release more smoke into the air and dumping trash into the streets is now perfectly legal. Of course, because everyone believes what they see without even a second thought, the "laws" go into effect immediately much to Gunpei's despair. Gunpei hits up Hant's new home yet and....you know, it's about Hant. I don't care. Gunpei hits up Sosuke's track next and tries to convince Sosuke that he needs him and he's OBVIOUSLY FALLING FOR A DAMNED SCHEME BUT THESE CHARACTERS ARE SO STUPID AND AGGH.


Insert your own SosukexGunpei (or Sospei) joke here.

So anyways, that fails and Gunpei tracks down the source of the signals with Bomper's help. The two face off and Antennae Banki explains that the hypnotic effects of his TV signals make people believe what they want....wait a minute. Hypnotic effects? Okay, outside of Renn acting like a robot for one line of dialogue, I call bullshit. If these waves are hypnotic, why isn't Gunpei falling for it and becoming a criminal or accepting that the other Go-Ongers are moving on? This is never explained. Also, it's pretty clear, again outside of Renn, that everyone is acting totally normal. It comes off more as the Go-Ongers just being gullible twats and not hypnotized. So yeah, I think it's pretty clear the writer of this episode had to make up for the Go-Ongers looking like tools and wrote in a half-assed hypnotism angle.

Speaking of which, this episode was the first Sentai episode ever written by Kenji Konuta. Konuta will write about 5 more episodes of this series, but he has yet to work on another Toei tokusatsu. He's best known for being the head writer of Library Wars, which I've heard takes itself far too seriously. Seems like Konuta is not a very well-liked writer as that's his only major anime credit. He also wrote for Gransazer and Sazer-X but his library of work is pretty small. From what I can tell, I can see why. Whereas Naruhisa Arakawa burst onto the Sentai scene brilliantly with "Ramen Cup" from Jetman, or how Yasuko Kobayashi debuted by writing many memorable episodes of Megaranger; this is a pretty weak way to start your hopeful Sentai writing career.

Back to the episode! A short fight between Go-On Black and Antennae Banki ensues, but the Banki Beast gets the upper hand. Gunpei is caught by the police and Antennae Banki decides to televise his execution on live television! Cheery! Naturally, the other Go-Ongers watch as Gunpei makes a big speech which leads to them snapping out of it (this of course assumes they were ever in a spell) and rushing to Gunpei's aid. The Go-Ongers fight the bad guy and win, leading to the monster growing large. The Engines are summoned and then AWESOMENESS STARTS WHEN THIS INSERT SONG STARTS PLAYING.


Seriously, I really like this song. In fact, a lot of the insert songs in this show are really good. So while I may not be a big fan of the show, I will admit that the soundtrack is pretty solid. Back to the episode again! The Go-Ongers swiftly beat the monster with Engine-O and Gunbir-O and everything returns to normal. Gunpei starts getting overly pampered by the other Go-Ongers and that's the end.

This is without a doubt the worst episode yet. The writing is sloppy, the fights are short and feel nothing short of obligatory and the majority of the Go-Ongers look like even bigger jerks coming out of this episode. Now, let's move on with:

GRAND PRIX 12: "Sosuke Banki!?"

Sosuke, now is not the time to pick your nose. Heck, that's not even your nose, weirdo.


So the episode begins with the Go-Ongers fighting each other. Turns out they're training but Sosuke is being left out because he has a cold. It turns out that Sosuke is so obnoxious that even his sneezes are boisterous. To give you an idea, imagine you're a director and you're getting ready to start the take, but you end up sneezing right in the middle of yelling out the word "ACTION". It's like the staff didn't think Sosuke was quite loud and irritating enough.

Anyways, Bomper and Speedor tell Sosuke to take it easy but Sosuke, being the impatient little boy he is, is uneasy. A Banki Beast starts attacking the city and wreaks all sorts of havoc. We get some magical stock footage before Bomper informs Sosuke that there's trouble. Sosuke rushes into battle despite ignoring Bomper's warning and runs off to fight the monster...by himself. Your team leader, everyone.

Oh hey, I remember this shot. From 1996. Keep recycling that footage, Toei.

The rest of the Go-Ongers are called by Bomper and follow Sosuke, trying to be an actual team and back up their leader who is in no condition to fight but is too stupid to listen to reason. Sosuke confronts the Banki Beast, called Generator Banki, and transforms into Go-On Red. They tussle for a while, with Sosuke sneezing inside his helmet all the while. Yes, Red. Go fight by yourself, ignore your friends who're trying to keep you healthy, AND obscure your own vision with your own snot. Good going. Go-On Red runs up to him as Generator Banki lets out a lightning bolt which ends up electrocuting the both of them and leaving behind a crater.

The worst threat to humanity has finally been extinguished, along with Generator Banki.

The others arrive as it turns out Sosuke is not dead (duh) but was just blasted away by the explosion. Meanwhile, back at a Gaiark hideout, Generator Banki regains consciousness as we see through his eyes...but Sosuke's voice is coming out. He shocks a few minions and looks in a mirror. Lo and behold, Sosuke is inside Generator Banki's body and vice versa! That's right, everyone, it's the body-swap episode that Super Sentai can't help themselves but use every season. Some body swap episodes can be fun, but really they all follow the same basic formula. If you've seen one body-swap episode, you've pretty much seen them all. (Note: I'm sure there are exceptions but seeing as how I haven't seen every last Super Sentai yet, I'm just going by the 15 seasons I have watched.) 

Sosuke quickly figures out the lightning-bolt that struck them both swapped their minds somehow (never explained) and finds out that Gaiark is planning on using Generator Banki's ability to power up an amplifier device that could release a lightning bolt capable of destroying an entire city. Also, for some reason Sosuke still has his cold even though it's pretty common knowledge that colds infect the body and not the mind. Whatever.

Meanwhile, Generator Banki, in Sosuke's body, tries to sneak around Ginjiro-go and sabotage Bomper. However, the other Go-Ongers come in one after another, trying to heal Sosuke's cold with various ridiculous remedies. Gunpei joins in as well and it is during this scene that we get....this imagery.


I am not the only one who must suffer through this. I'm bringing all of you down with me.

Oh, Gunpei. You used to be the cool one. We cut back to Sosuke Banki who is being forced by Yogostein to use the device. He sabotages the device and Yogostein quickly figures out that Generator Banki is not what he used to be. Sosuke fights him, but Yogostein starts to make quick work of him. At the same time, Generator Sosuke is driven insane by the other Go-Ongers (I'm on the bad guy's side this time) and runs away. The Go-Ongers are about to chase him, thinking he's only acting the way he is because of his cold, but Speedor stops them.

Generator Banki and Sosuke meet and literally butt heads, trying to get their bodies back. The Go-Ongers arrive and are seemingly about to attack Generator Banki's body when Yogostein holds Sosuke's body hostage. Of course, the Go-Ongers don't attack Generator Banki but target Yogostein instead. It turns out Speedor told them everything, and we get a heartwarming scene of heartwarmingness. Generator Sosuke gets a hold of his Go-On Phone and transforms into Go-On Red, which pisses off Sosuke Banki. He promptly beats up Go-On Red and explains that because he's got such a fiery spirit, his own body can't compare. Or something. Whatever, it's inspirational! Speedor comes up with the idea that they load Sosuke's Soul into one of the Soul Casts and shoot it at his body. This brings up the "Body & Soul" concept that the show seems to have overlooked so far, so it's interesting how they play it up in this episode (and they will again in a later episode). Anyways, the Sosuke bullet is loaded and fired, returning Sosuke back to his body and forcing Generator Banki out once and for all! Thank goodness, too. It was getting really confusing trying to type this synopsis.

This happens.

Sosuke celebrates being back in his own body as Generator Banki has SOMEHOW caught the cold Sosuke had. Despite being a machine and AGAIN colds effect the BODY not THE MIND oh forget it. Generator Banki grows after being blasted and is quickly dispatched by Engine-O G6. After the battle, Sosuke returns to his room and sees the damage that he assumes Generator Banki caused but DOH HO HO it was the Go-Ongers just being annoying and boisterous. DOH HO HO.

Coincidentally, this face is similar to the reaction Bandai had to Go-Busters' toy sales.

This isn't a particularly bad episode, but as I alluded to earlier it just isn't a very distinctive one. Body swap episodes are so common in Super Sentai and this one doesn't really set itself apart aside from the Soul Bullet. Yasuhisa Furuhara's bad overacting is made very evident here when he overexaggerates Generator Banki's body movements. I hate to say it, but this episode is a solid reason why his career never took off beyond occasional tokusatsu guest star appearances. I also really dislike how Gunpei is so out of character in his few scenes. He's my favorite of the five because he's actually likable (aside for his dickishness in the first few episodes, but that was intentional), but here he's just as annoying as the others. It's a real shame seeing this character sink to their loud and obnoxious level. NEXT EPISODE.

GRAND PRIX 13: "Full Tank of Chivalry"

It must be nice having a vehicle powered by chivalry. Mine's powered by indifference.

Naruhisa Arakawa wrote this episode? Aw hell yeah, here we go. The episode begins with someone being chased down a tunnel (which is almost the exact way episode 7 began). It turns out it's a young woman being pursued by this week's Banki Beast: Trigger Banki. She screams so loud that everyone in Ginjiro-go can hear it from several blocks away. Renn breaks down some scientific facts on women's screams, saying this one is significantly louder than your usual woman's scream. Naturally, the Go-Ongers hurry to find and help her.

The fourth wall is down! I repeat, the fourth wall is down!

The Go-Ongers arrive and fighting ensues. Renn rescues the damsel in distress from Trigger Banki, and Trigger Banki promptly flees. However, the girl wakes up and thinks Renn is a pervert which leads her to clawing the hell out of the poor dude. Later, the misunderstanding is cleared up as the girl introduces herself. She calls herself Puukorin and claims she's from the sky and ends all of her sentences with "Rin rin". Ah yes, those strange people who are so disassociated with reality they act like anime characters. I hope this episode tears that honestly rather obnoxious attitude up.

And yes, I have known people like her. You're not from an anime or from space. You're a live action human.

Renn is defensive of her after Gunpei and Sosuke get on her case, and he runs after her after she runs away. Meanwhile, at the Gaiark base, a gangster is working out a deal with the villains to fund their evil empire but on one condition: they bring him a girl. You gotta admit, it's pretty interesting that this villain group is so incompetent they actually need to rely on the yakuza to get them the weapons and money they need to keep their evil operation afloat. 

The yakuza boss shows off his skill when he insults Trigger Banki for not bringing him the girl by slicing up all of the bullets Trigger Banki fires at him. Trigger Banki, humbled, swears to serve the yakuza boss as his henchman.

Pictured: My face every time I hear Shoji Yonemura's writing a new Kamen Rider film.

Renn tries to console Puukorin, claiming he believes her because he too ran away from home when he was younger. She doesn't like being suffocated by her overbearing father; he wants her to run the family business but she has other plans. Renn feels the exact same, saying that the best way to convince her father is be persistent about her dream like he had to be with his own dad. However, Trigger Banki and the yakuza boss spot the two from the top of Tokyo Tower and find them. They corner her and, lo and behold, the yakuza boss is Puukorin's father! Shocking.

Puukorin's father wants her back, but a very intimidated Renn promises to fight for her and her dream. Puukorin's father cuts a statue in half which scares Renn shitless, and Trigger Banki is about to attack when the other Go-Ongers arrive. Renn tells them to take care of the Banki Beast while Renn will challenge Puukorin's father to a series of strange duels.

Pictured: My face every time someone says Kamen Rider OOO is a better show than Fourze.

First, we get a duel of dice between the two with Kegalesia moderating dressed in a traditional kimono. Renn accurately calculates the dice rolling to equal an even number, but Puukorin's father LITERALLY scares the dice into becoming odd. That's really clever, even if it is overdone with cartoonish eyes that the dice form. So, it's looking bad for our heroes as Trigger Banki seems to have the upper hand on the rest of the Go-Ongers.

Fanservice.

Next, the two each have a tower of hanafuda cards stacked into a tower on top of a silk cloth. The point is to pull the cloth in such a way that the tower of cards doesn't collapse. Renn succeeds and Puukorin's father seems to at first, but his intensity once again scares an inanimate object into freaking out and thus the tower collapses. Finally, Puukorin's father challenges Renn to a duel of swords which Renn accepts. Renn is about to lose when Puukorin comes in and catches his opponent's sword with her bare hands. She stands up to him with all the toughness of a yakuza's daughter and her father finally learns the error of his ways.

With this finally finished, Renn is FINALLY able to help his outmatched friends and they quickly end Trigger Banki. Now, the Go-Ongers wish the father and daughter farewell but not before two big revelations. Puukorin decides to become the boss, but only if she uses their power to fulfill her dream which is to run an amusement park that everyone can enjoy. The other? It turns out Puukorin WAS from the sky: her and her father are from a faraway alien planet. They fly off, leaving the Go-Ongers very...confused. So wait, Puukorin was attached to reality? Aw, man...

What a twist!

It's a clever twist that's smartly foreshadowed throughout the episode thanks to some subtle hints and misdirection. It's my favorite episode yet, and I fully admit that's probably because of my bias towards this episode's writer. But it's a fun ride, which is more than I could say about many of the episodes before this one. NEXT UP:

GRAND PRIX 14: "Excitement Every Day"

So exciting.

A Banki Beast starts targeting humans who are feeling overworked and stressed out. It teleports them inside of its head, which is a miniature hot spring, and traps them there in a state of relaxation.  How menacing! And yes, this Banki Beast is called Hot Springs Banki....no wait, it's called Kettle Banki. Okay then. At the same time, Hant is working on YET ANOTHER part-time job, complaining about being overworked and wanting to be in a hot spring when WHOA MY GOD HANT WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT RELAXING AND GOING INTO A HOT SPRING AND LOOK THERE'S A MONSTER WHOSE POWER MAKES PEOPLE RELAX IN HOT SPRINGS AND THEY JUST BUMPED INTO EACH OTHER COMPLETELY COINCIDENTALLY. Yup, that's some class A writing right there. Completely free of contrived coincidences and lazy foreshadowing.

....Well, not that I got that out of the way, Hant then gets teleported into Kettle Banki's skull and starts to relax. The rest of the Go-Ongers arrive and a fight ensues. Kegalesia arrives, explaining her scheme before the Go-Ongers cut her off, explaining the scheme before she gets a chance to. Kegalesia is impressed by their deductive skills, but judging from the hints the Go-Ongers were given (Hant's signal coming from inside the Banki Beast, Hant claiming how relaxed he was when the Go-Ongers called for his help, and Birca worrying about Hant being in a hot spring for too long) it would have been more surprising if they DIDN'T figure it out.

Please...

So, after that pointless exchange, Kettle Banki tries to capture the rest of the Go-Ongers, but Red redirects the attack....right at an innocent civilian. Good going there, Sosuke. Anyways, that civilian doesn't fall for the illusion and snaps everyone in the Banki Beast's head out of it with just a loud scream. Cuz it's Go-Onger and this show needs MORE SCREAMING. Everyone is forced out of the Kettle Banki's body and all of the civilians run off except for Hant...who is still loafing around. And no, you can NOT convince me that this is because he's still under the spell because everyone else, who was in there longer, snapped out of it. We even SEE Hant snap out of it momentarily when the man screams, so it's either inconsistent writing or Hant really is a lazy asshole who has no right to be a Go-Onger.


I'm thinking about calling this guy "Hanter".

Kettle Banki and Kegalesia run away, and the old man is so perturbed by Hant's laziness that he literally drags him away to train him as Sosuke follows suit. GOOD. Maybe some actual heroism can be instilled in these jerks. Meanwhile, Kegalesia is put to shame that her plan was foiled by a normal human, which leads her to drink. Again, these guys are supposed to be machines, how can they drink alcohol? Anyways, later, we cut to the old man and Hant and Sosuke. It turns out the old man runs a dojo deep in the mountains and vows to train Hant into becoming a less lazy, more active man. Again, this is a GOOD THING but I'm looking forward to seeing the show spin it into something bad.

Anyways, Sosuke is obviously only there for the ride and/or to mock Hant (which I can live with) as he stands by the old man's side as he disciplines Hant. Hant can't take this because "waaaaaahhhhh working's hard I don't wanna work waaaaahhhhh" and runs away. However, he bumps into a woman who is obviously Kegalesia (she doesn't even bother to hide the faucet on the back of her head) but since everyone in this show is stupid, he doesn't figure out that it's a disguise. She claims she wants to train under the old man, which drives Hant to stay because it turns out he's a horndog and wants to impress her.

More fanservice.

Fun fact time! Did you know that Kegalesia's actress, Nao Oikawa, used to be a porn actress? And not just an ordinary porn actress, but real hardcore porn? We're talking anal, strap-on, forced fellatio, and so on. After several years in the porn industry, she got tired of it and moved on to normal acting. She was cast in an episode of Garo because her curvy body was appropriate for the episode, which dealt with a monster that targeted men. Her appearance was so popular that she started making more guest appearances in tokusatsu shows, including Ultra Seven X and the live action version of Negima! before landing the role of Kegalesia in this series. So every time you see her in this series doing something fanservice-y, remember: you can probably just skip this show and watch some of her porn instead! Which, at times, sounds like a very viable option.

BACK TO THE EPISODE! After some "wacky" scenes of Hant trying and failing to impress Kegalesia, we cut to the other Go-Ongers. Gunpei wants nothing to do with Hant's easygoing attitude because it gets in the way of fighting (yes, thank you, Mr. Voice of Reason) while Renn and Saki are sympathetic because of course they are. We get a completely pointless spit-take when Gunpei drinks a hot cup of tea too fast, and we cut back to the dojo. It turns out Kegalesia's plan is to power up Kettle Banki by learning about the old man's secrets. She tells him the secret is to stand under a waterfall and forget all worldly thoughts, which Kettle Banki takes to heart. Surprisingly, he DOES reach a form of enlightenment.

The other Go-Ongers arrive and spot Kettle Banki, and thus a fight breaks out. The three are almost immediately trapped inside of his illusion, which leads to a pretty funny bit of imagery.

Sometimes, watching a bad Super Sentai can be worth it.

Bomper informs Sosuke that they've been captured and he asks his teacher how long the training will take. The old man responds, saying it'll be at least another three months, which naturally freaks both Sosuke and Hant out. Sosuke drags Hant away to help rescue their comrades, but not before Hant has to abide by his hormones and talk to totally not-Kegalesia. When Hant calls her beautiful, this angers Kegalesia because the whole point of Gaiark is to hate things that are beautiful. Feeling mocked, she vows vengeance on the Go-Ongers and attacks the old man. Sosuke and Hant are cornered by both Kegalesia and Kettle Banki, and Kettle Banki traps Hant.

HOWEVER! Hant is so driven by "Rena" (Kegalesia's made-up human name) that he doesn't fall for it and breaks the illusion, freeing the other Go-Ongers. That's right. Hant breaks out of the spell because he's really, really horny. And this is enough to beat the powered-up Kettle Banki, mind you. So yeah, hormones beat all.

It's his penis.

Hant takes the lead in this fight, leaving Sosuke to pick up the pace and the other Go-Ongers continue to loaf around. So what, does the spell have a more acute effect on the Go-Ongers or something? Why in the world did those civilians snap out of it so easily and the Go-Ongers can't? Gah, whatever. I'll just chalk it up to the writer needing a quick gag because this show has not been meeting a gag quota somehow. Seriously, the "Ramen Cup" episode of Jetman did this gag way better when Yellow Owl was taking over Red Hawk's lead because he was feeling antsy due to the ramen he ate. But enough about me trying to compare this show to Jetman, that's an exercise in futility.

Kettle Banki gets blown up and the Engines are summoned. However, Hant is so antsy that he mixes up the Engine Casts and their Souls, which leads to the Engines' voices and personalities not matching their bodies. So, not only does this answer my question if the Casts could be interchanged with the Souls, but this proves that this is a very ill-advised system that could lead to disastrous consequences. Anyways, the mixed up Engines combine into Engine-O G6 and have to learn how to completely readjust because of Hant's horniness. They do so, and knock Kettle Banki over, which makes all of the water spill out. As Hant points out, never heat a kettle without water in it! This advantage allows the Go-Ongers to finish off Kettle Banki.

Hant looks around for Rena, but to no avail. As the others wonder if Hant is in love with Rena, Kegalesia is off by herself looking at her reflection, remembering Hant's words. She laughs them off and attacks the water because why not?

Oh, Gunpei-sama. Please continue to bring us your words of wisdom.

For the end credits, we get a little something special! That's right, Toei got so desperate to get kids more involved with the show, they hired a group of kids to dance along with the ending. At this time, ratings for Super Sentai started their decline which is continuing today, so I could see this as a sign that Toei's been trying to remedy this for over 5 years now. Anyways, it's mostly harmless but the way it's so cheaply shot and how pandering it is makes it really distracting.

Also, I like to pretend Kyoryuger ripped this off as well.

This is just a poorly written episode. The enemy's power is inconsistent, it makes the Go-Ongers look like total idiots instead of legitimate heroes, it makes Hant even MORE unlikable, and it adds a romantic subplot that I can tell is not going to go anywhere. There are some good moments, like when Kettle Banki reaches enlightenment and the imagery of the suits relaxing in the hot springs but this is not a very good episode at all. Also, what happened to the teacher? Did Kegalesia's blow kill him? We never see him again, so I'll just assume this show decided to go a little dark just for the hell of it.

GRAND PRIX 15 - "Engine Stall"

I'd make a comment about how that looks like a vagina but pffft that'd make me look like a pervert...oh.

We begin this episode with a menacing new foe, loyal to Yogostein, approaching Earth. Meanwhile, everyone at Ginjiro-go is minding their own business when GASP SOSUKE FLIPS TAILS ON THE COIN HE'S ALWAYS MESSING WITH. Suddenly, his luck immediately turns sour and, after a strange series of events, leads to this:

It makes more sense in context. Although that's still not saying much.

Bomper tells the team that someone is breaking the dimensional wall, which Saki optimistically hopes means more new Engines. But no, it is indeed a new Gaiark minister. The Gaiark minister attacks a city, making his presence very well known, as the Go-Ongers arrive to attack. The Engines recognize him and his special aircraft immediately, the minister's name is....Hiramekimedes...wait, what? Don't worry, this episode smartly uses his ridiculous name as a running gag in how unbelievably hard to pronounce it is. Engine-O G6 is beaten by Hirameki...sigh...which forces them to retreat.

WETA and ILM, eat your hearts out.

The Engines are knocked unconscious and seem to be in dire straits. Renn does some maintenance on them, but Sosuke is worried that his partners might not pull through. However, they do pull through, ending a pointless fantasy of Sosuke running after Speedor with angel wings. Speedor doesn't want to talk to Sosuke though, and hides. The other Engines explain that Hiralknsjanxj was way too tough for them to beat back on Machine World because none of them can fly. Suddenly, Hiramdkssdcsjmsjm intercepts Ginjiro-go and brings the fight to them. The Engines refuse to fight, afraid for their lives, and the Go-Ongers fight without them. Naturally, they get their butts handed to them thanks to their cowardly partners and Hisdacasccsacd's ability to power up the Uguts soldiers. 

When Toei logos attack!

The Go-Ongers, now outmatched, run away. Yeah, that's it! Go, Gaiark, go! I mean, I am supposed to root on Gaiark, right? Ginjiro-go is parked inside of a tunnel that Hirarararara's aircraft can't access, even though Hirakamscsakcm totally can just step outside of his aircraft for five minutes, walk inside the tunnel, knock on Ginjiro-go's door and promptly kill the Go-Ongers and take the Engines but that'd require a villain who can be competent for more than two scenes in a row.

Clever girl...

The Go-Ongers, now cornered, are on the Engines' case about not backing them up. Sosuke is especially annoyed and, as shocking as this may sound, I agree with him. He has a right to complain about the Engines being really cowardly when they have no right to be since they have partners they have worked with for over 3 months now. Anyways, the Engines get some sense knocked into them and decide to help out like they should be doing.

Meanwhile, Yogostein is celebrating his sure-fire victory thanks to his subordinate as Kegalesia and Kitaneidas grumble to themselves. Meanwhile (again), Saki comes up with a plan of attack to knock Hiramygoshthisname out of the air which pumps everyone up. The Go-Ongers challenge him at dawn and they set their plan into motion. The plan, which involves lining up the Engines just right so that Speedor can be shot into the air and hit Hiraaaaah's aircraft, works, but the aircraft splits up into smaller aircrafts and the Go-Ongers are outmatched yet again. Sorry, Go-Ongers, breaking every law of physics isn't going to be enough. 

But suddenly, help arrives.

So does Bandai set a rule that new toys must be introduced every 5 episodes?

Without a hint of foreshadowing or any lead-up, two brand new Engines suddenly arrive that can happen to fly. The Engines, called Jetras and Toripter, make quick work of the bad guys with some really nice miniature work. Toei does flying scenes really well, and I wish they would do more. Preferably without CG. Also, so much for not being able to make comparisons to Jetman. So, you're right, Go-Onger. I should be watching Jetman instead.

♪ Jetto, Jetto, Jettoman~ ♪

Hiramekimedes is defeated by the new Engines (bummer...) and they fly off, victorious. The Go-Ongers ask the Engines if they've ever heard of them and the Engines, naturally, have never heard of flying Engines. Hmm, sounds like a mystery!

Phew, I almost forgot what channel I was watching. Thanks for that, Go-Onger.

This is another "meh" episode. The villain is unfortunately dispatched way too soon, the new Engines literally come out of nowhere, and the Engines come off as real cowards. However, the action in this episode is really well done and for once I don't feel that bad watching Sosuke and the gang work out a problem. Plus, the new Engines look pretty nice and I don't mind the idea of watching their further battles.


That's it for this post, everyone! Tune in next time as I dive into episodes 16 through 20. In the next five episodes, you can expect more forced shenanigans, more throwaway villains, and, yes a few new Go-Ongers. That's right, it's time to finally meet those Go-On Wings: Go-On Gold and Go-On Silver! Let's hope they're a bit more fun than our current team. Fingers crossed. Until then...

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