After quite the delay, Ranger Review returns with Power Rangers Dino Charge episodes 11, “Break Out” and 12 “Knight after Knights”, the introduction of the Gold Ranger.
In “Break Out”, the Stone of Zandar presentation begins at the museum. Kendall tells the audience the story of Prince Colin and his mighty knight Ivan. After finding the “Stone of Zandar”, the two are attacked by a mysterious creature. The stone manages to make its way back to an unconscious Prince Colin. As Prince Phillip, the real prince of Zandar, arrives to take back the treasures that are rightfully his, Fury takes the Energem from Phillip and his guards, and a long battle begins for control of the Energem. The Energem gives the gold presence inside Fury the power to escape, revealing himself to be Ivan, the knight of Zandar that Fury defeated 800 years ago. He transforms into the Gold Ranger and defeats the opposing threat.
In “Knight After Knights”, Tyler feels remorse over the fact that his father wasn’t the one trapped in Fury. The rest of the group introduces Ivan to the Dino Chargers and their home base, though he chooses not to stay with the team. The Bones monster steals the male Rangers’ “backbone”, turning them into cowards. It’s up to Shelby to persuade Ivan that they really are heroes worthy of his protection. Ivan, unaware of the current century’s technology or occupations, recruits a bunch of normal citizens to be the “Knights of Amber Beach”. Unfortunately, the group runs off at the first sign of danger. Keeper’s speech ignites the Rangers’ passion for justice and they get their backbone back. The group saves Ivan and fully joins the teams.
I chose to review these episodes together not only for the sake of catching up, but also because they really do flow well together. The two stories are most definitely independent, but together give a wonderful introduction into the character of Ivan, the Gold Ranger.
“Break Out” saw the near series-long story of Fury and what was inside of him. If the hints of the color of the energy, Fury being able to use the Ptera Zord and Ptera Charger, and near identical portrayal of the Kyoryuger storyline weren’t enough, it was finally revealed that Ivan was trapped inside Fury.
The whole story surrounding Ivan is fairly interesting. While out on an expedition with Prince Colin, the prince of Zandar 800 years ago, the two found the Gold Energem in the river. Fury, hot on the trail of the Energem, wasn’t far behind, as he attacked the prince. Ivan defends the prince, causing the Gold Energem to bond with Sir Ivan. Fury, desperate to gain the power for himself, absorbs Ivan, but not the Energem, as it falls back into the river, and into the hands of Prince Colin.
Though the episode was Ivan’s debut episode, it’s hard to fully feel that way, as the character is introduced so late into the episode, there’s no real attachment just yet. With gratuitous amounts of light and explosions, he certainly makes quite the entrance. Seconds after exiting Fury’s hold, he is able to morph and instantly kick butt. This raises the question on how he’s able to know all this, as both Tyler and Shelby still weren’t sure how to morph, even after bonding with their Energems. I suppose 800 years of darkness gives you a lot of time to think about such things though.
“Knight After Knights” puts the story on the back burner and brings in some much needed humor back into the series. Ivan’s struggle with the modern century is something that’s really interesting to see, as Koda is already well-versed in modern day by the time the series starts. The only things we ever got to see were brief flashbacks, so we see that Ivan is very inept at everything that’s not being a knight or being a Power Ranger. His reactions were a bit watered down to how I feel an actual knight would act, but his reactions to such trivial things like magicians and crossing guards was genuine and enjoyable. The elderly woman on the motor scooter trying to scoot out of the battle at .5 mph was amusing at the very least.
I also have to give props to the actors for their portrayal of the “backboneless” Rangers. Seeing them scamper around because of a mouse or fear for their life before being shoved into the mouth of the T-Rex to enter the base was hysterical as well. The additional message regarding their true bravery being on the inside, and not attached to some symbol like a backbone was nice as well, and really hits home.
There’s still a lot more to come with Ivan and his adaption into our society, and I can’t wait to see what other small jokes and humor arises from his actions. With the current story wrapped up, the show is ready to continue the quest to hunt down more Energems and recruit more Rangers to the team. Both episodes showcasing Ivan and his past tied together well, but still left a lot to be desired. It certainly wasn’t the best introduction to a sixth Ranger, or even the best Dino Charge has to offer, but both episodes were still entertaining and worth the watch.
Aside from Ivan’s sudden knowledge of how to morph, my only major complaint of both episodes is the lack of acknowledgement that his sword has “Zandar Thunder” written on it. After going through such great lengths to preserve the Zandar name in Dino Charge, it’s disappointing that he hasn’t brought it up during a final attack or anything like that. It’s a very minor complaint, just something I would have liked to see.
“Break Out” is an adaptation of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger’s “Brave 10” while “Knight After Knights” is an adaptation of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger’s “Brave 11”. Both episodes follow a similar plot, but of course take their own creative liberties.
“Brave 10” features the continuation on the attack on Dogold, as Souji (Green) and Amy (Pink) are captured. Thanks to Amy’s talent, they escape and the battle begins anew. Torin (Keeper) and Ramires (Aqua) combine their spiritual energy into a Zyudenchi (Dino Charger) to fire at Dogold, purifying the trapped Utsusemimaru (Gold). Kyoryu Gold takes the fight to the ground and makes quick work of the Deboss Legion. Pteraidenoh (Ptera Charge Megazord) is purified. Utsusemimaru, unsure of the group, vows he won’t join them until he knows they are worthy, and walks off.
“Brave 11” features the continued story of Utsusemimaru. Amy, determined to get him on the team, tracks him down, only to discover that Utsusemimaru is only acting tough, embarrassed by the fact that he was controlled by the enemy. Daigo (Red) bares a striking resemblance to his Lord during the Sengoku Era, which caused Utsusemimaru to get upset once more at his past failures. The other four Kyoryugers got attacked by a monster that can steal the “joint of love” of a person, turning them into lovesick fools. Fortunately, Amy isn’t effected and tracks down Utsusemimaru to assist. They regain the Kyoryugers’ bones and defeat the monster. Utsusemimaru continues his tough guy performance as Amy keeps his secret.
As I stated earlier, both episodes follow a pretty standard outline of one another, with Dino Charge taking some creative liberties. Most noticeable is just the way the Fury/Dogold character is handled. In Kyoryuger, Dogold is revealed to be a mask that is capable of attaching itself to a host to form the Dogold body. Fury, on the other hand, just has the odd ability to absorb people. I’m hoping that Fury’s ability gets fleshed out some later in the series, as it’s an absolutely odd ability to have and only use it once.
Ivan and Utsusemimaru are also vastly different characters. While both are temporally displaced, Utsusemimaru is a bit of a goof. He puts on a strong facade to cover his insecurities of letting his Lord down. Meanwhile, Ivan is quite the opposite. Ivan is a strong and noble knight that doesn’t quite understand the concept of jokes. I believe this is one of those times, however, that each show has the character that belongs. Each raises their version in different circumstances, and both are very fitting of the world in which they live. The relationship between Daigo and Utsusemimaru was rocky, but grew strong over time. It will be interesting to see how Tyler and Ivan’s relationship ultimately pans out.
Next time, Tyler and Ivan must learn to respect each other and work together in Episode 13, “Sync or Swim”, the official 800th episode in the Power Rangers legacy.