Friday, December 24, 2010

Engine Sentai Go-onger - Protect the Holy Night

Note: This episode jumps around a lot and I haven’t written everything that happens in the order it’s actually shown in an attempt to make things a little more streamlined.

Last time on Engine Sentai Go-onger, the evil Cleaning Minister Kireizki appeared and gave the Go-ongers a hard time right before Christmas. They thought they defeated him with an ingenious scheme, until it turned out he had a magic garbage can he could hide inside. I’m only bringing this up because the actual recap was narrated by one of the Engines, Birca, who peppers his sentences with words from various European languages for some reason, and was my favorite secondary character.

Having survived their best efforts, Kireizki sucks Santa and the Go-ongers into the garbage can, flinging them to the four winds.

Sousuke, Ren and Gunpei (the black guy) land in a kindergarten where a couple armed bank robbers have gone to ground. Hiroto and Saki (the gold and yellow guys) find themselves in a swamp surrounded by ghosts, and Marty Stu Hiroto takes one look at them and runs out of there like a dog with its tail on fire.

Hanto, Miu (green and silver) and Santa land on a pier, but one that’s not being attacked by anything. Doesn’t mean they don’t have problems of their own; Santa dropped the present bag somewhere, and right as they spot it some garbagemen toss it in their truck and drive away.

Gaiark is of course taking advantage of not having superheroes around to thwart their plans by coming up with a big one. In the spirit of the new years cleaning ritual (which is a major tradition in Japan I hear, but I’m really not the one to ask about day-to-day life there), Kireizki’s having them lay out strings of what appear to be innocuous giant Christmas ornaments, but are really bombs. Hurry on back, Go-ongers.

Saki finally finds Hiroto, who tells her to stop yelling or the ghosts will find them. Despite being an invincible add-on Ranger with literally every skill in the book, he’s afraid of ghosts because his grandpa was a little too good at telling scary stories when he was a kid. Saki convinces Hiroto to man up. He doesn’t want to go down in history as the guy who mastered every martial art but pussied out when he had to deal with a couple ghosts, does he? Watching Saki insult his manhood for being afraid of something stupid like ghosts comes really close to making up for episode upon boring episode of him and Miu being pretty much invincible.

Didn't you pick up anything from hanging around Kabuto?

They attack the ghosts only for it to turn out they were in an amusement park the whole time. D’oh!

At the kindergarten the robbers aren’t content with holding a bunch of kids hostage and decide to get mean, trampling the class’s Christmas tree. Sousuke’s seen enough and basically gives the robbers a “if you’re so tough, let’s see you actually use that gun” line. The robber bites, only to find out bullets don’t work on Sentai members and Sentai members don’t like cowardly punks who terrorize little kids. After dropping off the robbers, it’s back to dealing with Gaiark.

The three of them find the lesser ministers and demand to know what’s going on, and Kitaneidas defiantly refuses to tell the Go-ongers they’re planting bombs.

Because the other Gaiark are pretty much useless Kireizki rolls out his garbage can again, only for the Go-ongers to knock it out of his hands. Since his special weapons aren’t getting him anywhere he uses that time-honored fallback plan of Sentai bad guys: he grows into a giant. The three Go-ongers call the couple talking cars they have handy to hold him off.

Santa and his hangers-on make it to where all the garbage get dumped, but despair of finding the right one in the huge pile of garbage. They’re about to give up and admit Christmas is ruined when Hanto persuades Miu to use her sooper speshual poorly-defined Mary Sue psychic powers to find the present bag. Which works after Santa and Hanto pitch in by touching her hands. Gee, maybe they can still save this.

One by one the other groups show up to help the ones fighting Kireizki, bringing out more and more of their giant robot brigade. They blow up the detonator for his bombs, so it’s just him against them. They even do an over-the-top introduction for every single one of their five robots before not even using them, really. After a little bit of fighting the Go-ongers combine all their Engines into G-12, the ugliest mecha I’ve ever seen in all my days of seeing mecha. And I have a lot of days of that.

They set G-12 on fire and crash into Kireizki, which is finally more than he can stand and he blows up after a short but silly death speech. Like most of the villains in this show, actually.

Santa leaves to make his rounds without a bunch of surly Georgians this time, and right on cue it starts to snow, capping off a perfect Christmas Eve. And all those people waiting for Santa to come will never know the Go-ongers decided to leave all the bombs up because they make perfect decorations.

From Spectrum of Madness to you, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a gnarly chalkboard.

Screencaps taken from the fansubs released by TV-Nihon.

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