With heavy hearts we bid farewell to our Zyuman warriors. When Zyuohger began, I had very mixed opinions of it. I’m happy to say that the entire series exceeded my expectations and then some. While the costume designs weren’t particularly imaginative and were probably my least favorite part of the series, the story kept my attention from start to finish. Throw in a kick ass 1999th and 2000th episode commemoration with the Gokaigers and probably the most unique mecha to date, I was hooked.
The ending was far from what I expected, but I am so satisfied with how it left things I can’t properly explain it. Much like the mecha, the ending was so bizarre and unique, I can’t help but just love it. We won’t get too wordy to save any stragglers from spoilers, but I am pretty pleased with Zyuohger overall. Biggest negative? I feel kind like buying the cube animal recolors (Platypus, Owl, Leopard, and Zebra) was pointless – I knew they’d get limited screen time, but the amount they got was laughable.
But that’s all behind us now, and we get to look to the stars as Uchuu Sentai Kyuranger takes the screen. I will tell you all this: I love everything about this series. We were fortunate enough to receive all of our Kyuranger toys just five days after the first episode aired, and they are nothing short of fantastic. More on that later.
Within about 37 seconds of starting Episode 01 – The Super Stars of Space, I was grinning like an idiot. Spada, Hammy, and Champ immediately showed up strong with great personality, and the introduction to Lucky had me laughing like a goon. The special effects are, frankly, top notch; but I’d honestly expect nothing less from Toei and friends these days – Ex-Aid has been so intense I can’t even.
Costuming for Kyuranger is a most welcome and refreshing win – I’ve already said it once in this article: I was absolutely disappointed with all of the Zyuohger hero costumes with exception of ZyuohWhale. From the first promo shots of Kyuranger, I had high expectations for this series and so far I’m not disappointed – but it’s still early. I think the last Sentai costumes I liked this much were probably the Go-Busters (hate all you want, it was great).
The mecha concept is unique but fun.. and honestly kind of amazing. The Voyagers are all extremely well designed, highly detailed, and just visually fantastic. The relationship between the Kyutama, the series henshin device, and the Voyagers really is a brilliant idea – it’s imaginative, fun, lends extraordinarily well to the series theme, and translates in the most stunning ways to the toy line – the playability for this toy set is unreal. I am very excited for the potential that Kyuranger has and absolutely can not wait to watch it all unfold.
That brings me to probably the best part of this hobby – the toys.
I am just going to put it out there – this is probably the best Super Sentai toy series in the past decade. I could barely contain my excitement while I waited for all of them to arrive. Sadly, I initially (and wrongly) assumed that the DX Kyuza Weapon toy was going to be lame, so that won’t be here for about another week.
Kyurenoh and the Voyager machines will run you approximately $200-220USD + shipping from the right vendors, and they’re worth every penny. As we’ve come to expect from the DX Super Sentai mecha, the build quality for the full set is top notch. Unlike the past forever, these toys do not rely on the standard knob/socket/ratchet pieces to lock together but instead rely on attachment via the Kyutama. The DX Kyutama that attach to each Voyager can be detached for play with the DX Seiza Blaster henshin toy, and can even attach to the other Voyagers (although, canonically there’s not yet a purpose for swapping them). The core Kyurenoh Voyagers (Shishi, Okami, Oushi, Kajiki, and Chameleon) are somewhat lacking in articulation, but their movement capabilities seem relatively close to the on-screen Voyagers (as I remember it – I honestly haven’t compared them closely so this might not be totally true). When all Voyagers are docked in the Kyurenoh formation, Shishi Voyager has an excellent LED light system that’s capable of lighting all five cockpits in a variety of displays – 3 different sound modes have various LED light formations and are legitimately satisfying in every way.
The auxiliary Voyagers, Sasori, Washi, Tenbin, and Hebitsukai feature quite a bit more articulation and can also dock with Shishi Voyager in a Kyurenoh formation. Of note is that they will also combine with the unreleased Ryu Voyager, Ooguma Voyager, and Koguma Voyager to form RyuTeiOh. Ryu Voyager and Koguma/Ooguma Voyagers are currently scheduled for an April 2017 release.
Sasori Voyager features articulation in the tail, presumably as a cannon of some sort – hopefully we get to see on screen soon. Washi Voyager features articulation in the mouth, 360 degree wing rotation and 180 degree vertical movement while Hebitsukai and Tenbin Voyagers have the most articulation of all 9 machines. As humanoid Voyagers, both Tenbin and Hebitsukai have fully posable arms and legs with attached weapons – they change into unexpectedly detailed formations and as with all 9 Voyagers can be attached as arms or legs for Kyurenoh. Yes, that’s right. All of the Voyagers except Shishi (because, you know, it’s the core) can be attached to be an arm or leg piece for Kyurenoh.. in whichever right-hand or left-hand side positions you wish.
Best. Mecha set. Of. The. Decade.
Then there’s the DX Seiza Blaster. Definitely the best Super Sentai changer toy in the past decade. Maybe longer. Yes, even better than the Gokaiger Mobirate – yes, the keys were fun, but the key sockets were prone to breakage, the keys were easy to lose and prone to cover looseness, and the paint isn’t super tolerant of play.
The Kyutama plastics feel super sturdy, are visually appealing, easy to display, and the Seiza Blaster itself is so superbly designed I just can’t do it justice with a written review. Each Kyutama triggers unique sounds when connected to the Seiza Blaster which reads the connection using a punch-pin socket system like the Kamen Rider Ghost DX Ghost Driver. The Kyutama functions as a “joystick” of sorts with 5 unique sound modes that can be initiated from the control pad itself. Engaging the downward-mode enters the Voyager Control Mode which will let you move the Kyutama joystick to engage various mecha movement sounds as if you were controlling a Voyager. The last audio control function is engaged by holding the index-finger trigger for a couple of seconds to enter Control Mode without the accompanying Voyager Name and “Docking!” announcements.
Honestly though, if you’re interested in picking up a DX Seiza Blaster, check out the video below:
If you’re planning to pick up any of the DX Kyuranger goodies: be aware that they are selling fast and many shops are having trouble keeping them in stock due to their popularity. Check out our Where to Buy section if you need some guidance on where to find these guys.
If you can’t tell, we’re elated with Kyuranger. The potential for this series and the accompanying toy line are huge, and it does’t look like Toei and friends will be pulling any punches this year. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out, grab Episode 01 from your favorite fansubber now and prepare to be amazed (probably). Head on over to the Toy Gallery section if you want to see the DX Voyagers and Seiza Blaster in all their glory.
Until next time folks, thanks for hanging out with us.