Monday, April 10, 2017

Juspion 11-15





11: Scientists begin going insane, renouncing science and destroying technology. Each Scientist had went and seen one Professor Tsubuka, and upon return where white haired and completely mad, only to suddenly disappear after their respective rampages.
Juspion reads about this in the news paper and decides to check it out, starting by making a visit to Tsubuka.



As Juspion travels, he discovers a burning car off the road, and a young boy throwing a fit as his mother and younger sister are shaken up by this irrational behavior. When Juspion intervenes, the Boy (Susumu) turns on a portable tv where the exposition hour is playing.

Pretty sure that TV is muted.
The man on the tele goes on about how the earth is doomed by Science, before screaming Gamagorath, which becomes an infectious chant by Susumu as he runs off.

Elsewhere, Miya and Anri discover a MegaBeast: Gamagorath.



Juspion hurries to their location but is unsuccessful in his attempted rescue. Juspion contacts Enjin for more background on the M.O.W. Gamagortha was once a peaceful megabeast, but after a nuclear explosion, it mutated and has been devolving into a mindless brute. The Beast is capable of turning invisible and it secretes an oil that allows the drinker to live upwards of a thousand years, but the consequence is insanity.
Making matters worse, the beast is fairly resistant to most weapons, but is rumored to fear it's own reflection. With that, Juspion sets out.


Gallant is currently passing a bowl of Gamagorath's oil around, each white haired man taking a drink as they prepare to attack a large gathering of scientists. Juspion discovers their lair, using the Garbin Tank to drill through. While Gallant attempts to hold off Juspion and allow the militia to escape, Juspion is able to use his gun's stun setting to shock all of them, reverting them to their senses. After freeing everyone, Juspion calls in Daileon to fight a rampaging Gamagorath. Victorious, the men of science go back to their projects, and Juspion spends a day at the Science convention with Anri, Miya, and Susumu's family.


Thoughts.


I'm a little confused by what Gallant was trying to accomplish. I think the idea was turning the scientists mad and having them carry out destruction of the profession would perhaps help discredit them...maybe? I suppose that was the intent, as seeing well known intelligent people go off the rails would invoke some response of the sort. Though I think maybe brainwashing them and putting them to use with delivering false information would have perhaps worked better in that regard.

On the lighter side, Ejin's scene when Juspion is talking about the Megabeast is unintentionally funny. The only way I can describe it is Ejin having a brain fart, because he just completely blanks on Gamagorath's name, almost like he completely forgot who they're fighting.

Yeah, sure, I guess the Megabeast empire could be using a megabeast with mind altering body oil.

Jokes aside, I do appreciate a little back story for the creature, it's a reminder that most of these are just animals by in large, twisted by some outside force.

Visuals.

Well the most obvious thing to address is Juspion getting a hair cut, which takes place near the beginning of the episode. I like it. While I will admit the Afro was charming, it's a hair style I associate more with the 70s, but this is a show in the 80s, so an update was nice. I like to think of it as something of an unintentional visual metaphor. Juspion underwent a change, and so will the series over the next couple of episodes.
The MegaBeast this time was pretty neat. Gamagorath having a very horned lizard appearance. I wanna say parts of the suit are reused from others, as certain aspects feel familiar, but they did a good job adding to it and making it stand out enough. The battle with the Gama is for the most part kinda sloppy, but there's some stand out moments with Daileon being slung around by the the creatures tongue and the Daileon flying Superman style for the finishing move, blowing the monster up.



Always satisfying.

There's some decent camera transitioning during the first chase with Gallant. They again reuse some footage, but there's an fairly impressive scene where Gallant pulls up in a fog, leading Juspion right into the monster.





Music.

Ryusei No Senshi makes it's debut in this episode and I freaking love this track. It's so 80s with a sweet shredding guitar and synth. I highly suggest you check out the full version, especially for the end bit where it just keeps building and then the vocals just scream. It's so good.



But I have to mention another song that makes it's introduction here. It's an English version of the opening (Ore Ga Seigi Da! Juspion) called I Am Juspion.
This song isn't good, lets get that out of the way first. But- it's sort of amazing. It's so cheesy and awkward that it's so bad it's good.
I've decided to copy over the lyrics used in the episode for you to read. I've checked this section to make sure it's accurate. Any errors or strange usage of words/grammar is what's said.

"Come on boy! Show me your smile- Come on Boy! While you have pain! Then you take back the courage you lost.
You know you are boy! I know you are young! Courage Fire shining in your heart! Look back yesterday, you find it petty for you. Raise your face up to get endless tomorrows! Juspion! Whatever evil do! Juspion! Anytime I fight to beat! Yes I do, yes I do, yes I do justice of all! Juspion!"

The is some Grade A Engrish. I wonder, since that was a cover of the opening, was that used in the international versions or was it dubbed over? Kinda curious.


Final thoughts.

This was fine. Again, I think Gallant's plan is questionable, but there's enough good moments here that make this a fun watch. Hell, the English song alone is worth it. But don't let that over shadow the legitimately good aspects like the music and some of a fun Special Effects.




12: Enjin discovers another piece of the Gallactic bible, revealing that a Golden egg has something to do with Satan Gorth's demise, and speak of the devil Gorth arrives destroying the fragment before battling Enjin, though the latter party holds out and even absorbs enough energy to reflect it back, sending him away.



On a mountain top, the punkiest monkey that ever popped.

Meanwhile on earth, Juspion, Anri and Miya are taking a trip to the mountains, Anri commenting they haven't seen Boomerang in quite sometime. Their trip is interrupted by the car suddenly being taken out of Juspion's control, driving itself to the nearby residences of one Princess Kaguya. Kaguya is a psychic of sorts, having precognition of seeing Juspion once more, and knowing full well Anri is an android. Anri herself takes this opportunity to ask on the whereabouts of Boomerang. Turns out he's just southeast of their location and in danger.
On their way, Miya discovers an injured child, Mitsuo, who claims his village has been brainwashed. After returning the child to the nearby village, it's obvious something is very wrong. While the villagers have not been brain washed, they have been enslaved by Mad Gallant.


Juspion, fully aware of the abnormality of the situation returns and finds the villagers digging, Boomerang among their numbers. After rescuing him and allowing the rest of the townspeople to escape, Boomerang informs Juspion that Gallant is looking for an egg of some sort. Immediately following this, Enjin projects an image of himself quickly relaying the message of the bible fragment's discovery and it's contents. Fully aware of what this means, Juspion intends to get more answers from Kaguya, but it set upon by Gallant's men. Gallant himself finding out about Kaguya and intending to prevent her and Juspion's meeting.
After the excursion and an escape, Juspion leaves Boomerang to the Towns people and Anri, as he heads off once more.

However, Juspion is too late, Gallant beating him to Kaguya.


After a very brief encounter with Gallant escaping, Juspion realizes Kaguya is still alive, if barely. With her last amount of strength she informs him that she had waited over 4000 years to deliver a message to him. The egg contains a golden bird, one that can in someway defeat Gorth.
She dies, reverting to her true form as an alien, a Meronian.


Mad Gallant apologizes to this father for having not yet found the Golden Egg, just as Juspion arrives brandishing just that.
A battle ensues, and during so, Juspion drops the egg, revealing it to be fakeout. Gorth does not take this well and retaliates. Juspion having to call in Daileon and battle the enraged demon. Gorth easily outmatches the great metal giant, but Juspion- of all things, begins bad mouthing Satan Gorth, inducing a form of shock in the monster with images of the great golden bird. Juspion uses this opening for the Cosmic Crash, sending the villains packing.

At the end of it all, Juspion and Anri see Boomerang off at the airport as he heads off for training.

Thoughts.

The stuff with Kaguya feels...weird. I really dig the aspects with her. A messenger from many years ago to meet a hero that will defeat a great evil. It's something I can really get behind as I love fantasy aspects like that. But I also don't really get the execution of it. There's not much of a reason as to why she doesn't tell Juspion everything the first go round. She say's they're fated to meet again after he becomes a real hero, which I assumed would set up a future episode, like Juspion possibly overcoming a great trial of some sort. But apparently it just meant resolve the relativity simple dilemma in this one episode and that was it. Feels rushed and full of untapped potential.

But I did really enjoy the build up to the series' plot Macguffin, as well as the villain's reactions to it. Satan Gorth isn't really an enemy with much personality, serving more as an end goal or obstacle than an actual character. But this is one of the times where he is shown some degree of emotion, with a great overwhelming fear at just the thought of this Golden Bird.
This is also the first time Juspion's gotten a really good fight with Gorth, outright hitting him with a finishing attack. Granted nothing happens that one wouldn't expect, Gorth is just fine after the brawl  if a little fatigued. But it's great seeing that he really is that tough.
Also, I was really surprised and appreciative of Boomerang taking a bit of an absence in the show to train. I think a lot of what it was for is the budget, which makes more sense in the coming episodes as they add a lot of cast members. But how it's handled here makes a great deal of sense narratively. Boomerang has gotten tossed around pretty bad in past episodes, and in this episode particular he was freaking enslaved. He's got to learn to be more sly and simply just a better combatant. Now while I do think that there's story potential to be explored in his training, if it happens off screen I can accept it.


Visuals.

There's not a lot to mention for this category, just two. The first thing that springs to mind is a particular stunt scene on that one bridge that appears in so many Showa series.


I swear it shows up like four times in Kamen Rider Black. I think it might even be in Super-1. Seems like every other decade Toei finds areas they really like filming in.


The other big mention is the battle with Satan Gorth, and you know what? I've probably said this before, but you don't get fight scenes like this anymore. Not with giant robots. Seriously, when's the last time we had a Sentai Mech tossed around doing back flips in just a fairly regular episode? You'd think the older series would be a bit less refined with the materials. And I'm sure that is true for some much older series like maybe Spider-Man and Daitetsujin. But here they're simply much better and more ambitious.
Then again labor laws might have changed so throwing the guy in a robot suit on a trampoline to jump head first over a prop sword might not be acceptable nowadays. Be one hell of an insurance story, though.


Music.

Okay. You know how the last episode had that really goofy English version of the opening? This one has the ending theme, and it plays during the battle with Gorth. It's hilarious.

"I'm only what I am, the only one in space. You're only what you are, the only one in space. Let's do chasing up! (Let's do chasing up!) How Far is a dream? (How Far is a dream?) Nobody but two of us can find the golden stars. Might it be coward sheep? Let it be sleeping on. Hey! Here we go I'm just a wolf in space! Juspion! Roaring in my heart! Juspion! Fighting off Evil! Wolf in Space!"

This track is so funny, and I know the people working on it did not know that. But it is a sound to behold. I do want to say that while it is the enjoyable kind of bad, I really really want to stress to not let it distract from the scenery of the Daileon fighting Satan Gorth, because it's pretty good. Thankfully the last of the fight is overtaken by Daileon's theme.

Final Thoughts.

Not much to add here, just another decent episode with some good character stuff.






13: This episode wastes no time and kicks off with the introduction of Four mercenaries hired by the MegaBeast Empire, each showing what they have to offer.




Ikki is cybernetic, carries a trident of sorts, and has Rocket fists on each hand.


Zanba carries a chained Flail/scythe weapon.


Brima throws daggers and has an electrical orb.


And finally Gyol, she plays a flute that's capable of turning herself and others into various animals. The flute also doubles as a blow dart gun.


Aboard the Daileon, Juspion sneakily unhinges Anri's sole in an attempt to replace a component for language, upgrading it so she'll know a total of 50. Though in the end Miya has to keep an understandably belligerent Anri held during the procedure. Soon afterwards, Enjin calls in to check on Juspion and his progress with the Golden Bird, Juspion informing him of the Meronian, a race whom Enjin is familiar with. Their planet is one of divinity, and the race themselves are servants of the Gods of their planet.
Enjin does not take this as simple coincidence, and the importance of having such a being on earth to meet Juspion must be an indication that the Egg Resides there.

Juspion, Miya and Anri all head back near the previous dig site. Rather than an Egg, the crew finds two children, a brother and sister (Yuichi and Midori) sitting near a stream. The boy is showing off a manga to his younger sibling, a story about Juspion, one which he created himself.


Juspion himself is rather enamored by this and kindly asks if the boy would be willing to continue the story, to which the child enthusiastically obliges.
Near by, Brima and Gyol are setting a strange rocky stone into the ground. Soon after, a storm brews as Satan Gorth arrives, blowing the pages out of the Yuichi's hand. One page lands on the tablet as Gorth shoots lightning into it.



The tablet takes on the form of the drawing, being a simple square shaped creature.
Juspion transforms, much to the amazement of the children. Figuring that since the creature took on the appearance of the drawing, it may have also taken on a personality from the writing. Juspion cranks the radio up in his car, causing the monster to dance and revert back to a simple tablet.

He and Anri speculate it must have been a Blank Megabeast, a creature which copies and takes on the form of the first thing it sees.
Later, Gyol and Brima inform Gallant of the unfortunate incident. Gallant decides to visit the child himself, in the guise of a talent scout.


He attempts to get Yuichi to redraw the manga with the monster being much stronger against Juspion, but when the boy refuses, Gallant has Gyol turn the boy's mother and sister into animals. Yuichi finally relents to Gallant's demands, resulting in the freedom of his mother and sister, who are none the wiser of their recent transmogrification.

With the monster's return, Juspion once again must fight the now significantly stronger foe. While both combatants put up a good fight, it's clear Daileon is at more of a disadvantage. Thankfully, Yuichi happens upon the manga page and rips it in two, causing cracks in the great monster. This is enough to allow the Daileon to take advantage of the new weakness and finally end the twisted creation.
Celebrations are cut short as the boy is kidnapped by Zanba.
Juspion follows Zanba to the usual rocky terrain where he battles the 4 generals a short while until Gallant presents Yuichi with a sword to his throat. Gallant forces Juspion to toss his weapons and to  detransform. With Yuichi in danger, he has little choice in the matter.


Juspion is immediately attacked by all 4 generals, getting knocked around quite a bit before finally transforming again and shooting Gallant. With Yuichi in hand, Juspion escapes. The episode ends with Yuichi creating a new Manga of Juspion fighting the 4 generals.


Thoughts.

I'm just gonna be blunt, the villains plan is stupid. The idea that the blank Megabeast would take on the form of a tank or missile is in itself questionable, but credit for at least thinking of doing something that would be more mechanical and/or explosive. But I have a very important question: How? How was that blank Megabeast going to turn into something feasible by being placed near a river bank? Many tanks and missiles come through there? How about a road near a base of some sort? Or better yet, how about a drawing of a tank? Also it would probably be best do it while inside a tent so a bird or something doesn't land, less you end up with a giant parakeet. I mean hell, paper and ink are apparently enough to work, so why not? I don't for a second believe they- the MegaBeast Empire- didn't know that would happen. Secondly, why would Gallant go through the trouble of dressing as a talent agent only to end up threatening the kid to redraw/rewrite his Manga? Pay someone to do it. The Megabest Empire is rich, they can find someone somewhere in the universe willing to. Hell, pay the kid if you have to. There's just better ways to go about this.

This is an idiot plot, everything here could have been avoided with the slightest inkling of common sense. I'm okay with villains being stupid at times. The Great Leader in Kamen Rider is a good example as he was a massive moron who only saw success through other smarter people (not to mention WWII parallels playing into that). But this? Gallant is spearheading this and he's a blithering idiot in this episode, and he should be smarter. Even at the end when he's shown to have the upper hand with Yuichi as a hostage, he has no reaction to Juspion re-transforming beyond fumbling around.

What's sad is I didn't expect the episode to be this. Kid episodes are always hit or miss, though this was overall handled well at the beginning, it's really charming seeing Juspion interact with the kids and just how happy they are. Yet that didn't last long, other issues overshadowing the charm.
The generals...are not utilized much, and seem very ill fit in this episode, almost as if it was written and then they just put them in.
Juspion changing Anri's language chip raises some questions I really did not expect to run into concerning A.I. in this series. That aside, I'm not sure how I feel about it in general. The chip slightly alters her personality, to the point where she loves animals. It seems like an unnecessary change in softening Anri, and one I don't know that I'll be okay with. Part of what I liked about her up to this point was her fieriness contrasting with Juspion. Sure, she had some times where she was perhaps too cold. But the solution to that isn't to take the easy way and have her programing changed via an update, you treat her like a human character and develop over time.

Visuals.

Might as well start with a generals, and they're pretty good. Ikki has a very cybernetic look going on, kinda looks like Major Bludd.  Zanba and Brima are okay, Zanba, like Ikki had a cybernetic Mad Max look, and Brima reminds me a lot of Cyborg Queen Hedrian because of the big ball helmet. Finally we come to Gyol, who is my favorite. How do I even describe Gyol? She looks like some weird freaky 80s demon with a sci-fi tinge and it works really well.

The Megabeast is very flat. It's blocky and looks like a cheap "native" decoration you see at flea markets. Which admittedly I like the idea of, but it's simply tat looking. Looks like something Ashens would burn on his couch.


Also, Anri is still adorable in her goofiness.

Final thoughts.


This is such a shame that the four generals are introduced this way, because getting new reoccurring villains is always good. But this really could have been better. I appreciate the sentiment, but the rest not so much. It really feels like two different episodes just got mushed together for a bit of a mess, I'm sad to say.

But looking back as of this writing...I wouldn't say the episode was horrible. I've seen worse, far, far worse. But this still wasn't particularly enjoyable and it was the least fun I had in both watching and reviewing during this batch.





14: A wedding takes place upon a boat located on Lake Hamana. After the ceremony, Satan Gorth appears in the distance, shooting his lightning into the water and causing a sea monster to rise. A young boy, Katsuya, gets a photograph of the creature.
Deep underground, Gallant and his soldiers monitor activity in the area, intending to incite panic and draw Juspion to the location with not only the appearance of a MegaBeast, but minor earthquakes.

Juspion is busy looking into the Golden bird, but so far has had no leads and is pretty aimless for the time being. However, after Anri brings over a box of stray kittens, Juspion notices a paper headlining the events in Lake Hamana. Once there, he finds a large crowed gathered, and Katsuya being bullied, accused of faking the photograph as the water is far too shallow to house anything that massive. After dispersing the bullies, Juspion, Anri, and Katsuya speed off into the boat, the boy directing them on the location is which he saw the beast. Now aboard a cable car overlooking the lake, they're beset by several of Mad Gallant's men, only for the entire cable car to be teleported into a cave with more combatants including Ikki, then teleported once more to a cliff side where the car explodes thanks to Brima. Juspion able to get Anri and Katsuya to safety, but they are once more relentlessly attacked by Gyol's flute, at least until Juspion is able to shoot and break the illusion.

Juspion returns the boy to the Hotel Listel, where the owner (the boys father) thanks Juspion and gives him a room, while also lamenting that their hotel is cast in a bad light due to minor earthquakes and speculation surrounding the monster. While neither he nor Anri intend to stay, they do admire the location. Or in the case of Juspion, the women there.


I think Anri is trying to turn into Joe Pesci.

Back on the Daileon, Anri researches info on OceanKing, discovering it to be from around 200 Million Years Ago, and that it may be able to survive in magma. Juspion doubts the latter, assuming that the fossil evidence must have ended up there from an earthquake. Speaking of, seismic activity in the area has been growing and it's not natural.
Gallant's plan is to use OceanKing to disturb the Pacific and Philippine tectonic plates, followed by an earthquake machine, causing a massive earthquake and tsunami, splitting Japan in two.


Back at the hotel, Katsuya becomes memorized by a crystal ball one of the guests has. The guest (Brima), hands the boy the ball as it takes control of him. Katsuya then immediately walks to the pool and jumps in, sinking to the bottom. Brima and Gyol jump in after the boy, and disappear with him.


Juspion in the the meantime is snooping around Gallant's base on the ground level, when the ground beneath him gives way and he falls deep into the chasm, finding an unconscious Katsuya. Gallant appears and taunts Juspion, having fallen into a trap. Every doorway is rigged with sensors and will cause an Earthquake. Thankfully Juspion has the power of convenience as he puts a barrier around him and Katsuya before flying up through the ground. Upon reaching the surface, he is assaulted by Ikki, leading to a brief fight between the two. This is followed up with Juspion quickly taking care of the earthquakes by drilling into Gallant's base, completely devastating their operations. Then it's on to take care of the now rampaging OceanKing, and though the battle is hard on Daileon, Juspion is victorious.

With the the latest threat defeated, Juspion and Anri take a much deserved rest at the resort.


Thoughts.


This episode was an vacation advertisement, I mean honestly that's what it was. Most Tokusatsu shows (Particularly of the showa era) do these sort of episodes. They'll get the cast and crew and go shoot in a resort like setting for a couple of days for an episode or two, usually showing off some of the sights and attractions. I don't really mind, but the episode is pretty obvious about it in some areas, like when they go out into a speed boat and for no reason only to jump to the the cable car. Does Juspion really need to do that? No, he has a space ship with radar. But speeding around in a boat is something you can do while you're there.

Other better things I liked were little touches like Ocean King being from over 200MYA. That would place it sometime in the Triassic period, which is when Plesiosauria first appeared.
I'm not sure about the comment on MegaBeasts not surviving in Magma, you know, considering we saw a literal volcano MegaBeast. But I'm not going to harp on it too much.
The minor subplot of the photograph supposedly being fake was a little odd to me given the number of witnesses. Buuuut I can somewhat get the idea of it being a publicity stunt. There aren't any buildings or homes shown in the scene aboard the boat, and the only known witnesses were on said boat during a wedding which was ran by a man who would profit from more tourism. So I can see how speculation would twist that, maybe he gave a huge discount to the families if they spun this fantastical tale for him sort of thing, that sort of thing. I admit that's me putting far more thought into a very minor sub plot than is needed, but it was something I found positive upon closer inspection.

The generals were also used decently in this episode, however brief they appeared. They had good teamwork in constantly keeping Juspion on edge. Every time he'd get out of one situation he'd find himself in another. I honestly don't know if that was just because of Gyol's powers since they were probably all fake/copies, but that's irrelevant given the presentation still being solid.


Visuals.

Okay I got to point out this small bit that made me laugh. When Juspion is fighting Gyol and he breaks the illusion, Gallant observes the situation from a control room and gets angry, punching one of the subordinates. It goes by so quick I honestly don't know if it was even intentional.

Also just to get it out of the way, bit of a mess up in the subs near the beginning.

Moving on, the MegaBeast in this is really great looking. Obviously it's loosely based upon sea serpents and the Plesiosaurus, but it of course has arms and legs as oppose to flippers.  It's rather interesting to me that it bares a very close resemblance to an illustration by collector Thomas Hawkins.


It's could just be coincidental given how vague sea monsters are depicted, but with the 200MYA bit and the fact Hawkin's was a bit of a 17th century loon that referred to the creatures as creations of the devil, I have a feeling someone put some effort into this.

The fight with Ikki was also very well handled and looks good. Particularly a scene when Juspion steals Ikki's trident and jumps over his rocket fists, followed by a roll and slide on the ground as he throws the trident back.



I really suggest checking the fight out yourself, as these still shots can't do it justice.

On the subject of fights, the battle with OceanKing is also pretty good. Lots of tossing the monster around, which is impressive given the size. It's also one of the times Daileon gets knocked around pretty bad, and as far as I can recall the only time Juspion sends the power into critical condition. Even knowing the outcome, it's pretty tense.





Final thoughts.

This episode is ultimately mixed. I am intrigued by Gallant's plan to lure Juspion out on their own terms, as well as the intent for mass chaos. But Katsuya does not add or even do anything in the episode that's all that important. I really do not understand why Gallant has him kidnapped either, there was no point to it.
But I do find the episode quite enjoyable. Again, I'm fascinated by some the details packed in. I'm not sure of some of those aspects would necessarily jump out to the viewer (They didn't with me until I began doing the review) though perhaps that in itself is a compliment, details that while not really important, still exist to be found and speculated upon. Good for rewatching. Katsuya also didn't detract from the episode in any significant way, so that's a plus.

Oh, and Anri I guess isn't all that softer given the ear pull. I guess the only massive change is that she likes animals. Huh.




15: Juspion goes to investigate a photographer by the name of Nanbara, who seems to have caught a picture of a Golden Bird, the photos gaining quite a bit of attention, including that of Mad Gallant. Gallant manages to get to the cameraman first, offering him 100 million to find the bird once more, and an additional 200 million after it's discovered.
Nanbara is tempted, but has a look of uncertainty about this dealing, needing time to think it over.

In the meantime, Juspion catches wind of the photo, him and Anri heading out to the gallery to meet Nanbara. He is not there however, having left after his meeting with Gallant to celebrate his daughter's birthday. Celebrations are cut short when he notices Gallant also having dinner on the other side of the room, staring directly at him.

Who's watching?
Nanbara tells his children (daughter Kanokoto and son Kenta) to come along as he hurries home, only to find a man standing outside their home- Juspion.
Jupsion apologizes for the odd meeting as they head inside to talk. Brima and Gyol watch from a distance.
Juspion explains what the golden bird is and it's importance, and why Gallant would want to get his hands on it. Nanbara understands the severity of the situation, but laments that in actuality he hasn't the foggiest of the Golden Birds whereabouts, as he isn't even sure it was real and possibly an illusion. Nanbara goes on to say he was simply taking a photo of a normal bird when suddenly the golden one appeared at the last moment. Regardless of the unlikeliness, he agrees to take Juspion to the location, but the conversation is interrupted by the screams of a puppy outside.




Juspion is able to revive the dog, who was simply in shock. Catching a glimpse of Brima and Gyol, he gives chase. After a brief scuffle with all four generals, Juspion begins to head back but is caught under Gyol's spell. When Juspion finally snaps out of it, he is near the ocean and it is suddenly morning.

After these harrowing events, Nanbara heads to the airport, sending his children and their dog off to stay with their grandma in Kyushu, hopefully out of harms way.
Nanbara himself is not out of danger, as he is ambushed by various thugs of the Empire. He manages to fend some off and even escapes off a bridge onto the back of a truck.


He decides that he needs to try and track down the golden bird himself, as it's clear there won't be any peace for him until the empire is destroyed.

Meanwhile, Kanoko is confronted at the gate by a woman claiming her father was in a car accident.


Juspion arrives back at their home and attempts to get an answer from inside with no response, until he hears cries of help near by in a mail box. He finds a tape recording left by Gallant, informing him that he has the children. Suddenly Enjin appears, wanting to know the situation.

I love that Enjin just whisks Juspion away to a carousel for this important conversation. He's like SantaChrist.


Enjin doesn't have much to say, only offering that the illusion saw by the Nanbara should be taken a message to keep searching, and that Juspion should protect the man who witnessed the event. With that, Juspion heads out in the Daileon to search for the children.
Elsewhere, Gallant is interrogating the two on where their father took the photo, but neither know. Brima hypnotizes Konoko, and while she honestly does not know where it was taken, she is aware of several locations her father traveled.

The two parties eventually converge, Juspion finding Gallant's search party in a forested area. Landing the Garbin Jet on an oddly located helipad in the middle of the forest, Juspion and Anri are sent crashing down as both the landing zone and ground shift around. This entire section of forest is in fact a Megabeast. Of course Satan Gorth makes the Beast go nuts. In a surprisingly risky move, Juspion fires the Garbin Jet's guns at Gallants men (and the children) he then heads out on foot and fights off several of Gallant's men, rescuing the children before taking on the monster in the Daileon.


Whooo! Child endangerment.

After a brief battle resulting the monster's defeat, Juspion turns his attention to Ikki, who is personally taking him on. The battle is quick but fierce. Juspion managing to make a gash in Ikki's armor, and Juspion losing his his weapons from one of Ikki's rocket fists. Juspion manages to turn the tide when Ikki sends another fist his way, only for him to catch it and throw it back. The resulting explosion is enough to allow Juspion time to grab his gun and shoot the disoriented Ikki. The man is resilient, however, and gets back up to charge Juspion. In the end, Ikki gains a massive slash across his body, Juspion adding another slice to fell the hired gun permanently.



The episode comes to a close with Jupsion leaving Konoko and Kenta in the care of Roto and Sachi.


Thoughts.

This was a pretty damn good episode. It wasn't perfect, the Megabeast came out of freaking nowhere and I really think killing off a general so soon was somewhat unwise with so much going on. But everything else was so good. I like that Gallant opens up with loads of money, then moves on to intimidation via stalking, and then finally threatening actions. It's what I wanted in 13 and how a villain like him should operate.
Bringing back Rotto (or just Lot, now) and Sachi was also nice to see, plus it makes sense for Juspion to leave the kids with them as their in a secure location. The children, Kanoko and Kenta, look like they're sticking around too. I'm not sure how I feel about that yet, but the fact they're not just going to be pushed away for x amount seems good. Plus if we're going to have kid characters you might as well have them be regular enough to develop and contribute to the show, rather than one offs that don't go anywhere. Granted some of that is speculation on my part but I liked what I saw here.

Something minor that I took notice to was Brima and Gyol accompanying Gallant around, almost like body guards. I bring this up because it feels like they're filling a function similar to the Amazon Warriors.



Visuals.

There's not too many things to talk about here, but what is in the episode is good and most of it isn't even special effects, simply well done framing. Gallant going into shock at just a photo of the golden bird is such a great illustration of it engaging a primordial instinctive fear in him. This is something the Big Bads just know is dangerous to them and it's terrifying, even if they can't explain it. Juspion's isn't as interesting simply due to context, but it's clearly one of peace and great power.



The Megabeast has a surprisingly good design to be what's basically a throw away monster, invoking a Styracosaurus vibe. The last few battles were good if again brief because of time.
The only visual that was sort not good was an incredibly small and honestly pretty damn funny. When the golden bird emanates from the ordinary bird, it comes out of its butt.

I don't wanna know Golden eye's secret.

Also this is unimportant, but the battle with Ikki has a slight flub with Juspion's Beam Scanner gun. It's not unusual for a production to use toy versions for stunts, which makes sense as they're pretty cheap and damn accurate at a distance. Though they do tend to fall apart easily when dropped. In the case of the gun, there is a plastic bubble on the rear end covering a small black screen.



whoopsy.



On a more important note, there's a flub in the subs.




Overall. 

This batch of episodes was for the most part enjoyable. 13 was certainly the weakest of the bunch, but even then there wasn't anything wildly terrible here. There's problems and stumbles, sure, but nothing I'd consider major. Juspion has finally gotten onto a proper goal in defeating the big bad, and despite some rushed execution, there is both a lot of heart and promise.


As for myself I'm thinking about maybe changing the styling of the reviews, at least when it comes to the synopsis. Part of the problem I have with it is how much time I spend on the goings on of the episode itself, and while I do abridge and leave out certain things when possible, it's still a fairly cohesive run through of the episode. Really the only issue I take with this is that I sometimes spend more time on the plot than I do on my thoughts about said plot, and when I don't have a lot to say about an episode, that feels like wasting time.  At the same time, if I do that I may just end up talking about certain plot details anyway just to explain what they are if I compliment or criticize them. So yeah, I'm still tossing the idea about in my head. I thought about doing a bare minimal summary for this one, but when it came to rewriting it had already been a while between posts and I got sick which prevented the rewrite and delayed this posting even more. After far too much procrastination, I've decided to just publish it because screw it.

 In any case, thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings, and as always if you wanna buy something off amazon I'd appreciate it if you did so through one of my links.