3/17/06: First comments on the show, the premiere, plus "CODE BUSTERS" and "ROCK SOLID." So here we go. To start, the opening theme is unlike anything we've had and took some getting used to. Definitely not one of my favorites, but it'll do.
Glad to see the comic book theme is gone and destroying the MOTDs is back.
The great battle reminded me of how Wild Force began. I wasn't sure if I'd like the magical dimension aspect of the show, but I'm warming up to it. And I'm glad to see a lot more outdoor scenes and locations I don't recognize from past seasons.
A couple nice references so far, with Hydra Worm digging the pit and the Rangers wanting the gear. Let's hope good writing like this continues. It also seems they're using the words "Power Rangers" a lot more in the show now. The way Udonna said it felt off, but stories of Rangers are probably pretty well known throughout the world now, that it makes sense (and take Chip and Vida's eagerness).
I also like how the Rangers turn into their zords and have to use spell codes.
As for the cast... Udonna seems like she'll be a good female mentor and a step up from Princess Shayla. I enjoyed her morphed scenes. Xander is cool... I like having a Ranger with an accent and how he tries to reason with the enemies. Chip is a funny Dustin/Bridge combo (and a little over-the-top). Nick is pretty much a typical Red Ranger and reminds me of Jack. I like the way the girls are setup, with Vida, the tough one, as Pink for a change and of course Madison, the sweet one everyone likes. And Clare -- I know I'll like her the best. Antonia Preeble does a great job with all these different characters. It's also nice to have comedy from Kelson and Barnie again. Phineas is a little weird, but a perfect role for Kelson. And Toby is great -- It's like having Piggy another year, without all the garbage. :P
Morticon and his undead army is exactly what I wanted to see. I saw the Magi villains in their lair in a clip early last year and knew they just had to use it. I really like the set, with the Hidiacs all around and monsters coming from an established army. And we have a villianess directly from sentai with a human form. I knew something had to be up when she made a second appearance and the fact you could see her neck and part of her arms pretty much confirmed it. And then there's Koragg, a big power player, who is in disagreement with Morticon and we will undoubtedly learn more about. They also wasted no time showing glimpses of the master villain. Love it. Obviously, Kalish learned a thing or two.
So I'd give "BROKEN SPELL, I-II" 4 stars. Not as kick-ass as SPDs premiere but good enough for the start of a season. "CODE BUSTERS" gets 3 stars. SPD and DT had great "Red Ranger learns teamwork" eps, but this year it got tacked onto episode 2. The intros for the Racers and Titans weren't bad, but it was definitely jam-packed, since they only have so many eps to intro stuff. And "ROCK SOLID" was a nice Madison episode... 4 stars. I always like an episode that involves attacking civilians. And I'm not surprised the cycle fight sequence literally took up half the episode. The intro for Titan Megazord was a little too quick.
The underworld and magical dimension going on during past PR years is something to think about and will be fun to explore as we go along. I haven't had my hopes up much for the season, but that could change depending on how much they move the plot. We could be in for some good storytelling... and what we have now is working. ^_^ ________________________________________________________________________________
3/17: "WHISPERING VOICES" Best episode of the season so far! Very well written and had some good character development.
Koragg taking the Megazord power and Morticon rising above happened so fast, but it was great. Looking forward to the next battle, which could be Morticon's last. I always like a plot where the Rangers power is stolen. I also like how Koragg, Morticon and Necrolai are all basically generals to their hidden master.
Probably will give it 4 stars, but have to see it again. ________________________________________________________________________________
3/30: "LEGENDARY CATASTROS": No horsing around. Hehe... I love Clare. This running gag shes in is one of my favorite things about the show.
I'd like to see other characters get more focus, but otherwise this was another episode with a plot I enjoyed.
I thought Catastros had switched sides, so I was a little surprised when he went back to Koragg.
3/30: "FIRE HEART": Initiate Team Xander! That was one of the weirdest MOTDs I've ever seen... Something I'd expect from MMPR-3.
Nice focus on Xander this episode, even though he could've been written a little better.
Unmorphed fighting! Woohoo!
Always like an episode that sets up for the next one. Necrolai should've taken off before Vida got to her, but it's more fun that the Rangers AND villains have their own part of the map. And it's nice to have buildup to an upcoming power-up.
Probably will give it 3 stars. ________________________________________________________________________________
4/20: "STRANGER WITHIN, I and II" I enjoyed this plot. We haven't really had a Ranger-vampire on the show before, except for "CARLOS AND THE COUNT" on Turbo.
The battle with Fly Trap went by too fast, but I'm getting kinda used to it (and almost thought this wouldn't be a 2 part episode).
The focus on Chip and Vida was nice. Angie's acting wasn't as bad and Chip wasn't so goofy. I have more respect for both characters now.
I like how honor is so important to Koragg.
I hate sudden morphing out of thin air. No spell code or anything. The one-minute zord battles are bad enough. -_-
I love it when the show reveals something others haven't figured out (Leelee ISN'T Necrolai but rather her daughter). Great job by the writers. Not at all what I was expecting. And these episodes had good character development for Necrolai.
4 stars for Part I and maybe 5 for Part II. Excellent. ________________________________________________________________________________
4/28: "PETRIFIED XANDER": Xander the Great. This was a fun episode. Great humor and scenes with the Rangers and supporting cast. And I was pleasantly surprised the entire cast had scenes.
Since the reveal at the end of "STRANGER WITHIN, II" we now start to get a better look at Leelee with Necrolai. Will be interesting to see what happens.
I like how Chip figured out to use the mirror to see the other side of the map.
I'm not a fan of boxing, but I enjoyed the boxing gloves sequence, a power-up we've never had on the show before. And with so much getting adapted from MagiRanger, it was nice to see a PR original fight.
4 stars -- maybe 5. Definitely one of my favorites of the season. ________________________________________________________________________________
5/18: "THE GATEKEEPER, I and II": Clare the Sorceress Awesome, awesome, awesome! Enjoyed Udonna's story and Clare getting her moms moon power.
Pretty obvious the Oracle was the bookkeeper from PRSPD's "ABANDONED."
It was funny how Leelee thought the Gatekeeper was Toby and Necrolai grabbed him. It would be nice if he finds out the Rangers identities sometime, but most likely not gonna happen. And I guess we'll see more PR footage of the underworld now with Leelee there.
Freakin' awesome fight scenes between Necrolai/Rangers and Koragg/Clare.
"Laser rope"? "Depleted life force"? -_-
Part I is without a doubt my favorite episode of the season. Part II was a step down. Morticon coming out of the gate happened so quick and his voice-over just seemed as weird and ruthless as it's ever been.
I'm glad Nick saving the day didn't last too long. Much preferred the team effort with Udonna to defeat Morticon.
Koragg using Clare's power was tense. I wish she could've kept it, but hopefully she'll become a sorceress again by series end (maybe become White Ranger).
Interesting flashback of young Udonna watching someone hold a baby in a red blanket... Has to be Koragg or Daggeron (the upcoming Solaris Ranger) holding Nick.
So the Master is coming into play more now. Looking forward to seeing him eventually. Even though we get sentai footage of MagiRanger's N Ma in the pool, they'll most definitely have a new suit for his debut here. ________________________________________________________________________________
6/08: "SCAREDY CAT": Wishing to keep the plot going. This was sort of a weird episode to me, but I loved the plot movement and foreshadowing.
New characters Jenji and Imperious, a baby dragon from the egg and Daggeron-as-a-frog keeping an eye on the Rangers.
Imperious kinda reminded me of Mirloc (from PRSPD "REFLECTION"). Totally the best monster voice of the season. Definitely looking forward to his story.
Weird but funny subplot with Toby and Phineas in the city. Now there's a pairing for ya. >_>
And again, Evil Leelee is teh hot. I like how Koragg is AWOL since Morticona's defeat, leaving Necrolai to wonder if he was destroyed, too.
Interesting use of some of the wacky sentai footage with Smokey.
What was with that zord battle?? The Megazord was a freakin' ant to Imperious! Almost had Goldgoyle deja vu. <_< His OWNING the Rangers was great and I enjoyed the spells he kept firing at them.
The writers sure must've had a good time with this episode, naming the Doctor after Tristian from RangerBoard and a line about DVDs and pirating. Not to mention Jenji's jabs... "Who's your Daddy now, Mummy?!"
I almost didn't think Udonna would be in this episode, but she appeared at the end and recognized Jenji and quickly mentioned Daggeron and someone named Bowen (who is obviously good-Koragg or possibly good-Imperious).
One thing that's helping me enjoy these episodes more is that I don't see the promo for the next episode until AFTER that episode airs, since Toon Disney doesn't show them during the midnight repeat anyway (the one I watch). So I don't really know what to expect going into an episode, except for the usual speculation and such. I'd rather know less about what's going to happen and be more surprised during the episode. ________________________________________________________________________________
6/15: "LONG AGO": Story, Solaris and Silly. Another very good episode with more backstory. I couldn't be more satisfied with the way the show is going.
We find out Imperious is Calderon and fought Daggeron before, which ended with both of them becoming cursed inside the cave. Nice job showing us who Imperious REALLY was and tricking Udonna. Could've done better with the actor, though.
I like a looney monster every now and then and attacking civilians is always a treat -- Something we never get enough of. I can forgive the silly mustaches and people carelessly almost falling off the building.
Ohh, I love you, Clare. Mama Clare and baby Fire Heart. ^_^
Great scene with the gang trying to catch froggy and Toby just dumbfounded.
They should've shown the team figuring out the symbols instead of Maddie quickly figuring it out.
Interesting how Daggerson uses the lamp as his weapon. I'm glad he's not an official Ranger and just "Solaris Knight." The punch card is a little... different. Kinda wish he had a different morph call to go with it.
Udonna wonders what happened to her baby boy Bowen, who she lost in the great battle and seeks answers. But Daggy doesn't know. Anyone who saw the end of "ROCK SOLID" can make the connection of course. And it seems our buddy Phineas has something to do with it.
I'm still sorta on the fence about what grade to give this one. ________________________________________________________________________________
6/15: "INNER STRENGTH": Daggeron is da man. Definitely much more of a filler episode.
Again, funny scene with Toby startled not once, but twice, hearing the train.
A John Tui character mentoring the Rangers and sending them on some otherwordly quest. Here we go again... >_> Although, deja vu aside, it's great having John back and playing a Knight (and a human).
Travelion totally looked like something out of a cheaply imported Disney movie. I'll be calling it by its sentai name, because, well, it was just SO obvious. <_<
And is Leelee still a bug?
4 stars. Can't go wrong with mentor-Daggeron and a Xander focus ep. ________________________________________________________________________________
6/23: "SOUL SPECTER": Getting into it. I like an episode that gets right into it. This episode did that and kept things face paced, not wasting time on morphing calls and sequences that we get all the time. Good plot, too.
Koragg vs Daggeron was awesome. And we get confirmation of who Daggeron's teacher was (SPOILER: Lienbow, who was Koragg-before-evil).
And speaking of which, where was Daggy when Lienbow "sacrificed himself" to seal the gate? Sounds like there's more to it by his response.
As much as I enjoy these direct adaptations of MagiRanger, some of the footage should really STAY there.
Oh, how I'd LOVE to see Koragg battle Imperious. The tension couldn't be more thick.
Probably will give this one 5 stars. Fun, fast-paced... Chip is a funny guy and I just love the city civilians-in-danger fights. Remember the days when the whole planet was in danger, not just... the city? >_>
And with this episode, Mystic Force is up to episode 16, halfway to the last episode. This turning into one of my favorite storylines since Lightspeed Rescue and rightfully so... It's coming from a great sentai.
I started watching MagiRanger every week and really enjoy it. Although I've seen most of ZyuRanger, this is the first subbed-sentai I'm watching regularly.
Lightspeed is one of my favorite seasons in terms of adapted footage and Mystic Force is climbing up there. It's gonna be a fun second-half.