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[パパは吸血鬼!?] Papa wa Kyuketsuki?!

My Dad’s a Vampire?!

Writer: Takaku Susumu

This time we’ve sort of kind of got ourselves a focus episode! There’s a little girl chasing her dad around with a baseball bat, a vampire police officer, Totpat getting some longer than average screen time and delusions for the kid of the day!

We see Totpat scoping out a girl, apparently he hasn’t sucked blood in a long time and being a vampire, well, you kind of need it. He seems to lure her in and she screams for help when she realizes what’s going on – and here’s when Totpat makes the amusing comment “I haven’t even done anything yet!” because, yeah, that’s going to make all the difference in the world. A girl nearby hears this and runs in with a baseball bat looking to bust some heads, only to find no monster around. Totpat has hidden himself from view, well, sort of hidden himself. The girl is stepping all over his foot without even realizing it.

The girl rushes to tell her father that there’s a monster in the park, and of course the dad has no reason to believe the daughter. So what does she do? Why, she chases her dad, the police officer, around with a bat. Great parenting at work here! Dan walks by and instantly believes the girl saw a monster because…hey, given everything that’s happened thus far, wouldn’t you? Actually, yeah. Given everything that’s happened thus far, why does a monster sighting seem so difficult for citizens to believe? The first two episodes had a witch planting her space castle on top of a skyscraper. Japan sure is a weird place at times. Or maybe there’s something here about how society can be blind to the evils right in front of its eyes for a sense of complacency. Or maybe it’s just bad writing. Actually, I’m gonna go with the former just because it sounds like something a Sentai writer would toss in there.

So, Dan helps the girl look for the monster while up in her palace, Bandora requests a new monster that won’t fall asleep – she asks for this after realizing that two of her goons spend all of their free time sleeping. So DoraArgos is born! This thing’s body is made entirely of eyes, it’s definitely very strange to look at. Oddly enough, the entire plot of the day seems to be about getting Totpat some blood. Hey, Bondora does care about her goons!

Totpat and DoraArgos trick the girl Dan met into thinking her father is a vampire and thus the girl becomes very disheartened. The reason she tells her father about monster sightings is because he’s a simple neighborhood cop and she wants him to become a famous detective. After the usual mid-episode ass kicking the team gets, Dan realizes the only way to beat DoraArgos is by destroying the eye it uses to create illusions. In doing so, he forces Michi, the kid of the day, to realize that her dad isn’t a vampire and that she was tricked by Bandora’s monster. The battle escalates to giant proportions and before long, DoraArgos is no more.

I think this might be the first episode of Zyuranger I’m actually not terribly fond of. The story with the girl and her dad was kind of cute, but they don’t actually get a terrible amount of focus. No one does actually. It’s odd. Episodes like this make Zyuranger feel like it’s just a series of events and not the grand, fairy tale/J-RPG inspired series it’s supposed to be. Regardless, it’s not an unwatchable episodes. None of Zyuranger’s episodes are at this point. Things so far tend to range for good to watchable at worst, which I supposed isn’t too bad to ask from a series.

When the DinoTanker was brought out at the start of the giant battle, I had to wonder what the point was. That thing was on screen for the briefest of scenes before it becomes DaiZyuJin. For a series like Zyuranger that has established some very unique and creative giant fight scenes, the DinoTanker doesn’t get a ton of play.
Also of note, this is writer Takaku Susumu’s first Sentai episode in ten years. The guy is known as one of the early prolific Sentai writers and had done a bit of work on Goranger and JAKQ as well, but his Sentai resume progressively grew smaller and smaller until there was a decade’s worth of shows without him.