Pirate Sentai Gokaiger: The Finale (Episodes 50/51)
Gokaiger has finally come to a close, and what a year it’s been has finally come to a close, and what a year it’for Sentai! While it’s not hard to see that the show has been nothing short of nostalgic bliss as well as all round entertaining but what the finale as good as what the lead up to it had been promising or was it not able to match its quite wonderful legacy that precedes it?
PIRATE SENTAI GOKAIGER: THE FINALE
First off this review is a follow up to my recent Kamen Rider Decade vs. Pirate Sentai Gokaiger articles so I’d read them first as I’ll be referring to them as I go, you can read them on my site and HJU. Also I’m treating episodes 50 and 51 as one big finale given that they follow on directly from each other and themes and plot arcs follow through them both while they can also be treated as standalone episodes.
Episode 50: — [Incoming Spoilers from this point!]
For the most part I’m assuming you’ve already seen the finale episodes as this is more of an analysis then a review overall.
The story jumps right into right where episode 49 left off with the Zangyack fleet arriving and the Gokaigers heading to GoKaiOh and GoJyuJin to fight back the army. This is the final mecha fight of the series and it’s a genuine spectacle to watch. Using every grand power they have at their disposal against the fleet! While they make short work of the ships and Gai makes a lovely remark about how this is the result of the true combination of the 34 grand powers that won the last war.
While their victory is rather short lived given that the ‘true’ main fleet then arrives and pretty much wipes the floor with them ejecting them from their mecha as final fights go it was actually pretty awesome! One of the things I’d just gotten used to over the years are big 1 one on fights between a major villainor mecha where everything would be set up for a final battle on foot. While the outcome was predictable with the fleet getting the best of the Gokaigers seeing them fight the fleet with their own army of grand powers was really fun to watch. Again with the use of grand powers that allow the mechas to take to the sky was a welcome change after not seeing them used much as all, I’d forgotten that they even had that power.
After the CG spectacle the episode then kicks into its main focus, with most of that focus being put on Marvellous and Gai, who essentially have now become equal lead main characters. Now this fits as the natural extension to Gai’s character; he’s the only human on the team so he has to be put up with Marvellous given that he’s the sole representative of humanity on the team given the other Gokaigers are from other worlds. These two will be the main focus of the analysis as at the end of episode 50 they are on true equal footing as the strongest of the team.
Separated after the battle; the Gokaiger’s attempt to regroup while seeing the fallout from Zangyack declaring victory, running across some characters introduced before. While it shows how the Gokaigers have become openly caring towards the people or Earth, Marvellous also getting to show how the Gokaigers have effected other people, running across the young boy he ran into in episode 2, now a much more strong willed character after his past interaction with him.
Once again Gai is the exception here while trying to helpful an injured person Mammoth Ranger comes to his aid, helping Gai to come to terms with the morale dilemma of using the great treasure to destroy Zangyack. I actually kept forgetting that this episode is also a Zyuranger tribute episode, while it is clearly not the focus of the story but does complement it well.
With the Gokaigers finally re-uniting Gai attempts to get them to use the Great treasure to destroy the Zangyack, though the team shoot him down, helping him realise that they are actually capable to destroying the Empire without using the great Treasure as the 34 Sentai powers were given them in good faith and they take that responsibility greatly. At this conclusion of this discussion Gai destroys the Treasure as he sides with the rest of the team in fighting Zangyack themselves. This is the true end of Gai’s character development, as of this point he’s really one of the Gokaigers, he had become them in their pirate thoughts as much as they have become as human as he is in regards to helping the people of Earth.
So they decide to mount a renewed defensive against the Zangyack, while a clearly Zyuranger inspired fight ensues to play out the episode we actually see how much Marvellous and Gai have become like one big major character, the fight really shows the connection of these two as they play off each other perfectly in the battle, Gai using the Dragon Ranger powers to block a blast aimed at them with Marvellous transforming Zyu Red to take the shield for a power up to counter the previous attack. It’s such a simple thing but done so well that you really see how they make a highly effective team. This is only expanded on further as we go into the final episode which follows on directly as we finish mid battle.
Following straight on and unfortunately despite their big revelation about how they are a Super Sentai and it’s their duty to protect the planet the Zangyack fleet makes short work of them again UN transforming them and only saved from the intervention of Navi who has found Basco’s old ship and uses the shields to protect them. This is really the finale arc for Navi, who has now overcome ‘her’ relative status as series McGuffin and actually come to the aid of the Gokaigers, providing them with a chance to strike back against the Empire, it was easy to write Navi out at this point but it was a surprising return and gains the Gokaigers a moment of reprise to formulate a plan.
The plan they come up with involves sending Marvellous and Gai up to the head Zangyack ship in an attempt to destroy the emperor while the rest stay and fight off the general leading the attack. In viewer terms this translates as Marvellous and Gai do plot related stuff and the rest provide fan service! The high point of the 4 left behind has to be Joe (as Dekamaster) using Doc (as Sword Zubann) to finish off the commander.
Marvellous and Gai ram the free joker into the Emperors flagship and fight their way up to the bridge where Gai uses his gold mode armour to withstand the Emperor’s attacks while Marvellous used the flagships cannons to destroy the entire Zangyack fleet; eventually causing the flagship to go down as well. It’s a pretty well done plan, as no one would dare fire back on the emperor’s ship Marvellous is free to target them at will. Gai is placed in what will be the first of a few potential death situations as well against the Emperor, while I’ve mentioned before the show seemed to be throwing out a lot of red herrings our way that something major was going to happen to Gai in the finale, it possible that this may have been an ending for him had the character not become so popular.
Anyway the 6 Gokaigers unite back on solid ground and are forced to take one final stand against the Emperor, though the tone of this is significantly different to previous shows as at this point the only villain left is the Emperor; while he may have proved a formidable foe against 2 Gokaiger’s you know it’s going to be a white wash with all 6 using the 34 powers to their advantage; and its nothing but a spectacle with at least one key from each team being used but all in clever combinations. Teams with similar powers and weapons are matched up, magic, ninja and vehicle based teams are combined for attacks while members like Bouken Red and DaiRanger are missed as lance based users. It’s a magical thing to watch and feels like the golden moment the whole series has been leading up to.
Naturally they save the best for last with the debut of the Super Rangers, using a combination of team’s super ranger power ups along with Gokai Silver gold mode to finish the fight. Another awesome moment to what you believe will be the final blow, however its not to be with the Emperor still standing so Gai charges forward with the Gokai Galleon Buster, plunging right into him as point blank range in what looks to be a suicidal attack but is quickly backed up by the rest of the team in a blow that their all caught in.
The after math of the battle is the point when we see that Zangyack has been destroyed and everyone has made it through alive, Gai even questions if he is still alive, perhaps a nod to all his previous ‘Gai is dead of going to die’ red herrings. The series ends with a bunch of kids thanking them for saving the planet; however say they simple beat a load of people they didn’t like and leave for the Zangyack home world in search of a new treasure.
Gokaiger: In summary
The last episodes of Gokaiger have so many high points it’s actually hard to name them all, and due to the heavy laying on of fan service there’s going to be something special for everyone and it will differ for everyone based on your favourite Sentai show. The battles that bookend the episodes are the best parts; showing off all the Sentai powers being used in conjunction with each other in both GoKaiOh and ranger keys on foot.
Depending on who your favourite characters are you may find yourself a little disappointed on the character development for the finale, with everyone except Marvellous and Gai effectively side lined and even then it’s possible the Gai has the biggest arc of the episodes. Though in fair this is to be expected as Gai is the human part of Gokaiger; and therefore has the most at state with the Zangyack invasion as well as all the hits that something major could happen to him. Marvellous really resolved his personal plotline with the death of Basco, but we get to see how Marvellous has inspired those around him, along with other previous cameos from other guest’s that the other 4 run into after their first defeat.
The possible death of Gai or other major revelation (my guess was that he was still in a Coma in hospital with him being nothing but a dream) was sneakily built up to make it seem like something was going to happen and this aspect has been built up all across the series; Being spoken too 6th Sentai members that died, his attacks all being called ‘dream’ in some form all another and not being able to see other dead Sentai the others could. I was actually thinking this could have happened and was expecting it after the suicide charge at the Emperor with the Galleon Buster, but it’s nice that it was given a throwaway line after like even Gai was shocked to still be there.
The smaller battles were also full of fan service, the Dragon Red Zyu Ranger was a nice surprise and fitting Zyuranger tribute that didn’t over shadow the main story and fit nicely into the battle, again with the 4 other team members fighting off the lead General, Doc’s reaction after being in Zubann’s sword mode was comic gold… then there’s the one thing everyone was looking forward too; the helmetless roll call, built up with an impressive speech it turned the whole feeling of the finale upside down as in that moment you knew that there was no threat left for the Gokaiger’s to tackle; the Emperor was as good as dead and they were going to use all 34 Sentai powers to take him down it ultimate style!
Say what you will of Gokaiger it has been nothing but entertaining at the very least and it will be truly missed, though we have at least 2 more films with them coming and while it looks like there will be some awesome fan service of Kamen Rider and Sentai nature alike I wonder if there will be any future continuation of their personal stories? Does it matter though really? Gokaiger has been amazing and it will be truly missed…
Anyway Go-Busters… Its Morphin time!
Posted on 03/07/2012, in Other, Text Reviews/Articles and tagged 50, 51, akared, finale, gai ikari, Game Reviews, go-busters, gokai red, gokai-oh, gokaiger, great power, marvellous, pirate, ryatta, ryatta reviews, super sentai, tokusatsu reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.