Hikari Sentai Maskman

2331c18avlcsnap-2018-06-21-15h23m56s685The Mysterious, Beautiful Runaway (美しき謎の逃亡者) – An action-a-minute opener that sets up the formula and story well while still leaving plenty of questions open. The characters aren’t given a whole lot of time to shine (aside from Takeru’s relationship with the mysterious girl Rio), but show potential. The concept of an underground civilization like Tube has been seen before in past Toei programs such as Kikaider 01‘s SHADOW and Kamen Rider Stronger‘s Delza army, though certainly not to the developed extent as Tube. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-16h38m40s910Strange! The Dark Underground Castle (怪奇! 闇の地底城) – Essentially the second part of the first episode, another pretty solid episode that begins to explore the team’s Aura Powers and also reveals more about Rio. Development for the team is again pretty sparse, though the Tube members do get some time to shine. Also introduced is the obligatory mech (and its carrier the Turboranger, not to be confused with the show of the same name) and the obligatory fight it has, though said fight is rather unique given the monster’s splitting ability. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-16h39m45s363The First Step into the Unknown! (未知への第一歩!) – Picking up where the last episode left off with the Maskmen still exploring their aura powers and the city frozen. Takeru continues to mope over Rio, which is getting old, though Sugata scolds him for it. The fight against Fumin and Igam in the thawing city has a unique blue filter. The monster of the week is also quite interesting, as it is not a monster but rather a series of Tube fighters connected to form a snake-like thing. Good, though the rangers outside of Takeru continue to be put aside. Final appearance of Sugata’s English-speaking assistant. 4/5

Burn! F1 Spirits! (燃やせ! F1魂!) – The first stand-alone episode of the show, but still an important one as it introduces the Spin Cruiser. Also revealed is why Sugata chose a racing club as a front for the Maskmen – to assure that they can all work together as a team. And while their days of racing are on hold, they still aim to one day win the championship. Tube’s plan of trapping all vehicles inside a mobius tunnel, plunging the world into chaos had potential, but doesn’t really go anywhere. Once more, Takeru is the center of attention. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-16h41m46s045Blue, The Small Swordsman (小さな剣士ブルー) – The first episode focused on someone other than Takeru, with it being Akira. As the youngest member (only 16 years old), he’s prone to immaturity, but Sugata stands by him and assures the team that he is fit to be Blue Mask. The face-swapping ability of the monster has a few funny gags but really doesn’t go anywhere or play into the story overall, and Tube doesn’t seem to have much of a plan with it other than to bring chaos (kind of like their previous endeavor). Nothing stellar, but fine. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-17h01m32s159The God Hand of Dreams (夢のゴッドハンド) – After just one episode, we’re back to a Takeru-focused adventure. A pretty standard fare with him trying to lift a kid’s spirit who believes Takeru to have “The God Hand”, something initially thought to just be from a comic book, but learned to be more than just a legend. Tube’s plot is a lot more straightforward this time, with them opting to cause a giant earthquake. Alright, but nothing that special. Guest stars Yuriko Hishimi. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-17h05m35s344Explosion! Kenta’s Love (爆発!ケンタの愛) – The first Kenta-focused episode, and a pretty fun one. He’s shown to be a hopeless romantic that cares deeply for the safety of others. His relationship with the girl he meets isn’t developed too much, but its forgivable in what little time there is. The opening scene of him walking around Tokyo trying to impress girls is reminiscent of the infamous dance sequence in Spider-Man 3. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-17h09m41s021Burn! The Flower’s Sword (燃えろ!花の剣!) – An episode centered around both Akira and Momoko, both of whom are deemed the most inexperienced members. The two have good chemistry and try their very hardest to save their friends who were frozen by Igam (frozen in honor of Ial’s birthday, apparently wanting to distance his family name from her actions even further). Igam’s plot of luring Akira and Moko to obtain an antidote to unfreeze the others is somewhat clever, though why he’d actually bring the real thing when he has decoys is questionable. 3.5/5

Combine! Aura of Life (合体!命のオーラ) – Yet another Takeru-focused adventure (still no love for Haruka) and sadly the first dud of the series. It does showcase how far-reaching Aura powers can be, with Takeru’s reaching an alien boy from planet M-5. Takeru and his friends don’t seem at all phased by coming into contact with alien life, but I guess after dealing with an underground race of demons, that wouldn’t be too crazy (and if we are to believe all Sentai shows are set in the same universe, the past several shows involved aliens invading Earth). Light on plot otherwise, and Takeru’s supposed friendship with the boy doesn’t go too far beyond them sharing a power and admiring the Earth’s scenery. 2/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-17h12m20s261Igam vs. Takeru (イガムVSタケル) – Another episode of the Takeru Show featuring The Maskmen, though a very strong one. Igam is still ashamed of his sister’s betrayal, and challenges Takeru to a duel to the death to try and end it once and for all. Also learned is just how Sugata recruited Takeru to join Maskman, which is certainly unconventional, but quite interesting. The two are shown to have a very close bond. A strong, action-packed episode. 4/5

The Refugee From Underground (地底からの亡命者) – An important episode (centered on Kenta) that reveals quite a bit about Tube, mainly in that there are defected members fighting against their attempt to conquer the surface world and that Zeba didn’t always dream of such awful things. Set up is the plot point of there being a secret behind Zeba and Tube, located here within an ancient crown. The titular refugee and her father have a history with the empire, and you’d think she would go on to become a recurring character in the Maskmen’s quest, but alas, this is her only appearance. Guest stars Daisuke Ban. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-17h50m51s828Challenge! The Pride of a Shinobi (挑戦!忍びの誇り) – Finally, a Haruka-centered episode, and a pretty good one at that, with her trying to stop a battle between Fumin and Oyubo that civilization is getting caught in. Haruka is revealed to have been raised in a family on ninjas, likely her reason for being recruited for Maskman. Apart from Fumin and Oyubo, both who are competing to become the Super Shinobi, Anagmas is given a bit of time to shine, revealing he might be a bit more than just a lap doggy. 4/5

Chase the Idol! (アイドルを追え!) – An entertaining, Kenta-centered episode with a pretty silly, but decently-executed concept. The method of people getting autographs with ink that gradually transforms them is clever, but somehow I feel there would be more practical ways of gathering people. However, it might make sense with Igam being behind the plot, as he is very young and naive. Kenta’s relationship with the photographer is fun and is a shame it wasn’t explored a bit more. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-17h52m00s914The Great Escape to the Blue Sky! (青空への大脱出!) – Another strong, occasionally heartwarming episode focused on Akira that really showcases Tube’s cruelty. Akira’s naivety but eagerness to help is well-suited to the adventure, and this plot element will return again later into the show. The ending, though maybe a bit schmaltzy, is quite moving. 4/5

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Farewell, Dear Flower! (さらば愛しき花よ!)
– A Momoko-centered story and a really good one despite the slightly creaky opening. Momoko’s magical Carol Love flower initially seems like a simple MacGuffin to cure Tube’s poison, and while it still is to a degree, we are provided an explanation for its appearance that’s quite clever and dives further into Tube’s history. Momoko’s willingness to end her beloved flower for the sake of the lives of others are commendable. Another strong episode. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-17h56m53s827Deadly! Blazing Baraba (必殺!炎のバラバ) – A Kenta-focused episode that reveals a bit about his past (having trained heavily under a master) and essentially has him fighting for all of his friends, being the only one with his powers intact. Tube doesn’t have much a plan other than to drain the Maskmen’s powers and for Baraba to absorb them, but after the constant defeats they’ve had thanks to Maskman, it makes sense to just get them out of the way before embarking on a new scheme. A fun, “teamwork” episode. 3.5/5

Smash! The Hellish Labyrinth (破れ!地獄の迷宮) – A Takeru-based episode that initially promises a “double” episode with Takeru being framed for a robbery he did not commit, but quickly turns into him (Already enraged by the accusations) being trapped by a still spiteful Igam. Another episode that really shows the whole team working together with what they have, as the others try their hardest hardest to rescue Takeru. Light on plot, but enjoyable enough. Though Takeru should probably not wear his jacket for a bit considering that was among the features listed… 3.5/5

The Dear Bloodsucking Doll! (愛しの吸血人形!) – A Haruka-focused episode that gives us a bit more about his past as a ninja, with her parents forbidding all toys. An alright episode with some good development for Haruka and a disturbing concept, though somewhat flawed. At 6:00, a Doggler is set to emerge from a doll it possessed bought by Haruka, but given to a young girl. Tube decides to keep the Doggler in it and have it kill the girl, which would bring Haruka’s spirits down and possibly cause to her to quit Maskman. Not a terrible idea (and certainly disturbing), but it probably wasn’t the best idea for Baraba to immediately tell Haruka what was going to happen right after she gave the girl the doll. Takeru gives Haruka a nice speech about being a Maskman, though it’s sort of hampered by a pointless slap to her face. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-17h58m34s391Apparition! Anagumas (妖魔! アナグマス) – An Akira-centered episode that reveals more about his life before Maskman. He is struck with amnesia early on, but it wears off relatively quickly, probably due to the show’s strict runtime. After a bit of teasing episodes ago, Anagmas is finally given a chance to shine, using some of his sorcery, even if his plot is little more than another “Kill Maskman” one. Not bad, but not really a stand-out, despite some noteworthy things. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h00m44s984A Trap! The Sinking Giant Robo (罠! 沈む巨大ロボ) – The first in a three-part story arc focusing on Momoko and her martial arts-teaching she does when not saving the world, something she may have been full-time before joining. Her determination to win back and keep her students’ trust is highlight, and some of her unmorphed fight sequences (against one of the show’s more disturbing Dogglers) are very impressive. Anagmas continues using his own methods to bring down Maskman, and gets further than any members have up to this point. A great episode for Momoko that ends on one hell of a cliffhanger. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h01m41s200The Black Shadow of the Misty Valley (霧の谷の黒い影)/The Winds and Clouds of an Aura Storm! (風雲オーラの嵐!) – A two-parter in what is essentially a three-parter, and at long last, an episode focusing on Sugata, revealing a lot about him and how Maskman came to be. Not only was he far from the only person involved in its creation, including his late friend Professor Yamagata, but it appears to have had government funding as well. Revealed is the existence of another robot made to combat Tube – the Galaxy Robo, which much of the episodes consists of searching for. A very solid, tense pair of episodes that provides a lot of great backstory. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h02m57s502Mio Has Become a Demon (悪魔になった美緒) – A Takeru-focused story picking up where the last episode left off, with Zeba furious at Tube’s recent failure. Their plot of impersonating Mio (couldn’t Igam have just done it?) and having Takeru take her to the base is fairly clever, even if its far from a new trope in Tokusatsu. However, any sort of emotional weight or surprise is ruined by flat out revealing the plan and showing the creation of the doppelgänger before she even meets Takeru. Not a bad episode by any means, but pretty predictable. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h03m54s596The Grotto of the Boy Monster (鍾乳洞の少年怪獣) – A very “one-off” episode not focusing on any of the Maskman team in particular but instead a local child turned into a monster. The basic plot isn’t dissimilar to Ultra Q‘s Kanegon’s Cocoon and Spectreman‘s The Terrifying Monster Show (along with various other “kid turns into monster” stories), though lacks any sort of commentary like Kanegon’s Cocoon or the insanity of The Terrifying Monster Show. You do feel quite bad for this kid, and want him to be turned back ASAP. A nice nod to Mio’s pendant is featured, though it maybe would have been a bit more surprising had the last episode not been focused on Mio/Takeru. Nothing amazing, but enjoyable enough. 3/5

Akira’s Lover!? (アキラの恋人!?) – An Akira-focused episode that reveals more about his past, and in a very touching way. Haruka and Momoko’s gossiping about his potential girlfriend early on is fun, with them bringing up several then-popular idols. Tube’s plot is sort of hard to follow, but there is plenty of action to be had. Among the places Akira fights at is the Saboten Izu Park, which has been seen in countless Tokusatsu shows including Ultraman, Kamen Rider, Ultraman Ace and Bioman. 3.5/5

Lives That Disappeared on Hot Sand! (熱砂に消えた命!) – A Kenta-centered episode with a very dream-like feel that further shows the cruelty of Tube to not only mankind, but also their Dogglers if they disobey. Kenta falling for the mysterious woman Sierra feels somewhat arbitrary (and besides, he already had a love interest), but makes for some decent drama, especially on Sierra’s part, who learns to make what she can of life. Not a stand-out, but certainly interesting. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h09m50s182Thief Knight Kiros! (盗賊騎士キロス!) – The introduction of Thief Knight Kiros, an unaligned scoundrel from the underground who proves to be an incredibly powerful threat to Maskman, destroying one of their most-used assets. Kiros also has the hots for Princess Ial, much to Igam’s annoyance. Rather shockingly, there is a nude scene with Ial during a flashback, with her privates being covered only by a plant. Its in the distance (and her actress Mina Asami was already kind of a viking with nudity), but still pretty raunchy for a family program. A very good episode. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h11m44s255Mio is Princess Ial!? (美緒がイアル姫!?) – Picking up where the last episode left off, with the team’s technicians, led by the idealistic Akaiki (Introduced here) helping create a weapon to replace the one previously destroyed. As suggested by the title, Takeru learns the truth of Mio/Ial in what was honestly a very pointless “secret” to keep from him, as we the audience knew they were the same and that she’s the sister of Igam from the very start. Takeru also learns of Kiros’ hots for Ial, which will make for an interesting dynamic. Another good one, despite the trite “revelation”. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h12m28s637The New Lethal Weapon of Friendship (友情の新必殺武器) – The conclusion to a trilogy of sorts, with the replacement weapon nearing completion. The center of focus is Akaiki, the leader of the technicians who was injured in a test gas attack by Tube during his childhood. Akaiki’s determination to complete the weapon, despite his weak condition is powerful, but a lot of the impact is lost considering we only just met him and even more so when you learn he never reappears in the show. A decent episode, but maybe a slightly underwhelming conclusion to this arc. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h13m20s745Mama!! Baraba’s Scream! (ママ!!バラバの絶叫!) – Picking up where the last episode left off, with Zeba furious at the recent failure (Despite it really being more on Kiros than anyone in Tube), and even sentencing Baraba to death for it (And presumably his other failures). Baraba sets out to prove himself worthy of living by obtaining a sacred sword, all while his mother intrudes. Baraba’s mother and her relationship developed with Akira (who was also raised by a single-mother like Baraba) is easily the highlight, even if the twist regarding her true intent is pretty predictable. Guest stars Machiko Soga. 4/5

It Appears! The Guardian Deity Igam Dragon (出現!守護神イガム竜) – A Haruka-focused episode that also picks up where the last left off, with Igam trying to prove himself worthy after Baraba’s success by also obtaining a great source for power. Haruka’s plot involves her attempting to overcome her possible loss in powers and prove herself capable. Some nice development is present for her and her rivalry with Fumin. Nothing amazing, but decent enough. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h15m52s154Oyobu’s Lethal Dash (オヨブー必殺走り) – A Kenta-focused episode revealing more about his past, with him being the only Maskman that was actually associated with race-car driving before being recruited. Him trying to cheer up his former down-in-the-dumps friend/racing partner is nice, and as suggested by the title, Oyobu gets some time to shine, but a pretty run-of-the-mill episode overall. 3/5

Takeru!! Severe their Love! (タケルよ!愛を斬れ!) – A Takeru-centered story featuring no Tube, but instead Kiros and a young woman madly in love with him after saving her life. Kiros’ complete lack of empathy for the girl really paints what a scummy character he is, and makes you wonder how he would treat Ial if he gets his way with her. Despite Tube having nothing to do with the story, Okelampa still shows up to make Kiros’ Doggler grow, because every episode just NEEDS to have a giant battle. Still, a pretty decent episode. 3.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h20m49s026Blues of Love and Murderous Intent (愛と殺意のブルース) – A very unusual and dream-like episode that’s unlike all of the others. Centered on Momoko and a mysterious man with an interest in her. His exact reasoning for being smitten with her is unclear, as is just how long they spent together (the montage shows them in different outfits, so possibly days, leaving Takeru without a car), but it is believable. Unsurprisingly, the ending is a downer, but perhaps leaves some hope. Despite being bent on defending Earth, Momoko and Hikaru not only dine-and-dash at an expensive restaurant, but also shatter its windows. Perhaps though, it was Hikaru’s rebellious nature that attracted Momoko, given how pure she seems to be. Guest stars Yasuhiro Ishiwata. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h17m14s994The Mystery of Zeba! The Forbidden Tomb (ゼーバの謎! 禁断の墓) – An episode centered on Akira, Kiros and to a degree, Zeba, who seems to exhibit emotions (crying green slime!) over Kiros’ releasing of an imprisoned Doggler, much to everyone in Tube’s confusion. Akira’s confidence that he defeated Kiros once and for all early on seems a bit far-fetched, even for him, but he is a taught a decent lesson. A pretty good episode that raises a lot of questions about Zeba and the imprisoned Lizar Doggler. 3.5/5

Elimination! The Destructive Twin Girls (消滅!双子の破壊少女) – A somewhat confusing Takeru-focused episode, though not without merit. The Doggler using the bond between two twin girls to harness his power is certainly interesting, but isn’t really explored much. The girls learning to give each other some alone time is a nice enough message, and the two actresses (one of whom appeared in episode 24) aren’t bad. Mio’s pendant comes into play once again, with Takeru bringing up how her and Igam are twins. Not a great episode, but has enough good stuff to make it worthwhile. 3/5

Soldiers Who Bet on Their Dreams (夢に賭ける戦士たち) – A Kenta-centered story involving him losing all of his courage and ability to fight as a Maskman. What really elevates the episode is the presence of Ryosuke, a young man saved by Kenta who wishes to become a master chef who tries to give Kenta his courage back. An everyman in the role really makes the situation stand-out, especially had it just been his fellow teammates. Said loss of courage and the attempts to retain it is could have perhaps gone on for a bit longer (likely hampered by the 19 minute run time), but a good episode with a powerful message. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h27m42s410The Time to Erase Takeru (タケルが消される時間) – A Takeru-focused episode with a clever idea – Takeru meeting his younger self, thanks to Igam and Fumin going back in time to kill him 13 years before the events of the show. The chemistry between the current and younger Takeru is quite good and the advice he leaves him seems to resonate with his future self. The only gripe is the method of time travel – an apparent time tunnel underground accessed by a Doggler. Its mildly lazy and reminiscent of a Kikaider 01 episode where SHADOW (another underground organization) uses a time tunnel pulled out of nowhere. Perhaps they’re connected somehow? Speaking of which, young Takeru is shown playing Kikaider during a flashback. Perhaps he witnessed him in real life? 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h28m05s887Revival! The Mysterious X1 Mask (復活!謎のX1マスク) – A great episode that not only reveals more about Maskman’s history, but also further sets the template for what will become the concept of a Sixth Ranger. In addition to all of the mythos, the scenes with Ryo, X1’s identity and his relation with Takeru are really strong, and somewhat reminiscent of the relation between Ryu and Gai in Jetman. X1’s design is also very similar to the costumes in Battle Fever J (Battle Ireland?). It isn’t explained as to why X1 suddenly re-emerged at this time or if he used his powers beforehand (was he still using them to fight crime?), but a very good and important episode. It’s just too bad Ryo never returns in the show. 4.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h30m05s879Resurrect! The Lovely Melody (甦れ!愛のメロディー) – An episode that reveals more about Sugata’s past and also introduces the Merume clan, an underground race who’s music calmed people, and were almost entirely wiped out by Tube. Just who Mayu (the last survivor of the clan)’s savior was is pretty predictable, but does provide some nice development for the character. The Merume clan will never be mentioned again, though it is somewhat justified given there is only one survivor. Not amazing and a bit schmaltzy, but still an alright episode. Nimen Doggler, Guron Doggler and Haniwa Doggler can be seen dancing to music during a flashback. 3/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h33m26s504Female Thieves Haruka & Momoko (女強盗ハルカ&モモコ) – A pretty enjoyable “girl power” episode with Kiros brainwashing Momoko and Haruka to rob jewels for him to give to Ial. A pretty silly plot, and even weirder that that’s all he choose to do with two members of Maskman under his control, but a fun, lighthearted episode overall. The twist is predictable, but the way its handled, explaining how it was all done is clever. Despite Kiros being the only villain, Okelampa again shows up to turn his Dogler giant for the obligatory mech battle. 3.5/5

Fly! The Poem of a Timid Boy (翔べ!いじけ少年の詩) – A rather “one-off” episode focuses mostly on a kid of the week as opposed to any of the Maskman team involving magical underground mushrooms that turn the bullied kid strong, a concept that’s open to plenty of laughs, but doesn’t deliver much. The message at the end is rather nice and the kid is likable, but a pretty forgettable episode overall. 2.5/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h36m41s975Akira Loses His Eyesight! The Mysterious Spell (アキラ失明! 謎の呪文) – The first in a three-episode arc involving Akira losing his eyesight. Kiros is the main villain, and once again he attempts to summon the legendary Lizar Dogler, much to Zeba’s frustration. Clearly, there is a connection between the two. Throughout the episode, weird imagery, often involving Akira can be seen. Akira coping with the loss of his sight and trying his hardest to fight alongside the team is certainly courageous. A very good episode with a rather surprising twist leading into another episode with another twist. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h37m28s872Transform! Underground Empire Swordsman Akira (変身! 地帝剣士アキラ)/Prince Igam! You’re a Woman! (イガム王子!君は女!) – A two-parter (at least in my view, these episodes work as a back-to-back pair whereas the previous feels a bit more stand-alone despite leading right into this one) picking up from where the last episode left off, with Akira blind and the subject of attention from a strange group of people underground. The twist initially revealed regarding Akira is shocking, and even if it doesn’t quite turn out that way, the reasoning for it is well done, referring back to episode 14, in a nice, sharply written continuity nod. The rangers’ shock at the revelation and them having to pilot Galaxy Robo without Akira is tragic while also commendable. And as stated in the title, the second part reveals the true gender of Igam, which really shouldn’t be shocking to anybody considering she was played by a woman. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-23-18h39m53s053Counterattack! The Bloody Pond’s Secret (逆襲!血の池の秘密) – Picking up where the last episode left off, with Igam coming to terms with her exposed identity, and more being learned about the elusive Lizar Doggler and his relation to Zeba. You do feel for Igam somewhat, even if her struggle is a bit unclear, as do the Maskmen, who offer to help. Igam’s relation with Godai Doggler, who helped train her as a child is quite interesting and shows she does care for somebody. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-24-10h30m05s783The Night Prior to the Attack! The Dance of Death (出撃前夜! 死の踊り) – A Haruka-centered story that serves as just a fun little episode before the big finale. Indeed, it does have a pretty silly plot (Tube trying to get dancers for a big dance party to appease the gods), but there is some nice character moments to be had for Haruka, revealing more about her past and what she does when not saving the world. The end with the whole team dancing is goofy (though it has been done before in shows such as Sun Vulcan), but would go on to become a pretty common trope in the series. 3.5/5

Baraba! Death by Treachery (バラバ!裏切りに死す) – The beginning of the endgame, with Zeba once again sentencing Barba to death for his failures (presumably picking up where the last episode left off). He is of course given one last chance, but ONLY if he kills RedMask, therefore causing him to use Ial as bait. Oyobu’s relation with Baraba is explored a bit, and leads to a rather surprising turn of events. And of course, being that Ial is involved, Kiros finds a way to show up. A very good episode, despite the mech battle feeling more tacked on than ever. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-24-10h27m06s996The Revived Princess Ial (よみがえったイアル姫) – Continuing from the last episode, at long last, Ial returns, as suggested by the title. Takeru’s determination to rescue her is certainly extreme, but the team realizes how long and hard he has waited and fought for this moment, with Kenta even helping him reach her. Kiros’ motive for wanting Ial so badly is revealed a bit more – he collects all things beautiful. Certainly an interesting trait. Another very good episode that draws closer to the end. 4/5

vlcsnap-2018-08-24-10h29m04s419Zeba! His Hair-Raising Secret Identity (ゼーバ!戦慄の正体)/The Great Destruction of the Underground Empire Castle! (地帝城大崩壊!) – The series finale, and overall a pretty solid pair of episodes. Zeba’s true identity is revealed, and what the viewers have been lead to believe is somewhat true, though there is an interesting twist to it. Ial trying to reestablish her relation with Igam, with help from Takeru is fairly powerful. The final battle against Zeba isn’t the most climactic, but it can be justified by an event that takes place before it. What is somewhat disappointing is Galaxy Robo being used instead Great Five, as Great Five is technically their “main” mech. Maybe it would have been cool to see both mechs tag team against Zeba. The show ends on a somber, yet still optimistic note that nicely encapsulates the seires. As of 2018, the still-alive Okelampa has yet to return. Not the best finale ever by any means, but a pretty solid one to a pretty solid show. 4/5

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