Episode Reviews

Kyouryuu Sentai Zyuranger 8 – Dinner is NOT Served!

[恐怖! 瞬間喰い] Kyoufu! Shunkan Kui

Terror! Eaten in an Instant

Writer: Noboru Sugimura
Director: Shohei Tojo

This time around we’re dealing with a pretty funny monster by the name of DoraCirce. As the name might have given it away, he’s based on the Greek Circe and that comes into play later on in the episodes. 

This episode sees Boi meeting a kid by he name of Mamoru – who happens to be a little pudgy. But apparently that’s okay, his parents tell him there’s nothing wrong with that. When the kid gets himself stuck in a tree, Boi saves him and is invited to dinner with his family. Initially it comes off as odd to Boi, and to me as well. When Mamoru and his family are eating, it’s like they’re gluttons, going at every item on the table with lightning speed that puzzles Boi.

Eventually Boi comes to realize that while the family can’t go on trips or do anything too huge like other families, they can at least share meals together. So something about them putting their intensity into meal time makes the scene only marginally less creepy. The way it’s presented, I think the viewer is supposed to be okay with it, but there’s still something about it that bothers me as it their behavior almost mimics that of DoraCirce’s.

Speaking of the MotW! DoraCirce’s a really amusing monster. He’s essentially a giant pig head with feet who goes around stealing food from people. Also he has a odd manner of speaking that you can’t help but love. He doesn’t seem like the most threatening guy, but we learn that he doesn’t just steal your food once or twice, he is always taking your food and, much like the original myth, is doing this to play allies (families) against each other. The basic theme here is that Bandora really doesn’t like any sort of family togetherness and she’ll do whatever she can to disrupt it.

Despite DoraCirce being deceptively amusing, the Zyuranger actually have a difficult time fighting the guy. He ends up eating all of their weapons in battle – and pretty much anything else he can get into his mouth. At the end of their first clash, the team finds themselves being bailed out by a guy named Gnome, an old friend of Barza’s. Conveniently enough, this guy has just the right herb needed to make DoraCirce regurgitate everything he’s eaten so far. The only snag here is that the team has to partake in a challenge to get the secret weapon. So what’s the challenge?

They need to eat. A lot. At first it seems like a no brainer for the team, eating shouldn’t be too hard, but everyone soon starts running out of steam. Which gives us Geki’s hilarious line, “Even I have limits to what I can do for justice”… which kind of doesn’t really flow with his character. He’s been able to push pass physical limitations in the past, so it strikes me as odd. Well, I can give him slack because this is the one sort of limitation that would be difficult to push through in one sitting, but the line, funny as it is, didn’t sit right with me. I guess at the cost of a more lighthearted episode, we get some degradation in terms of our characters.

Either way, Boi pushes through because he wants to help Mamoru and his family, Gnome is touched by this and gives them the herb Molly to defeat DoraCirce…who gets his butt kicked pretty fast. Earlier in the episode we learn that Bandora is on a bit of a fast after gorging right after coming out of her long sleep. This all makes her a little too weak to use her magic to make DoraCirce grow. In the end Bandora basically just calls it a day and gives up and all is well.

It was an interesting episode, it certainly wasn’t bad, but there were a couple of curiosities here that I found strange. As I mentioned earlier, Geki’s out of character line might just be a throw away line, but it didn’t sit right with me. I think there’s also a little dark humor to be found in Bandora throwing in the towel and not caring to turn DoraCirce giant, the poor guy just isn’t having a great day. And, as you can imagine, we don’t get a giant robot battle. This isn’t the sort of thing you would see in Sentai these days after the robot has been introduced unless it’s a really big episode that can’t fit one in. I’ve always found it interesting that the series is able to avoid them from time to time, though I can’t help but wonder if this was some sort of cost cutting measure.

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