Recap: Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger, Episode 32 – Challenge to a Duel

The FrankenGangler disembiggens. Goche decides he needs more tweaks, but the Lups attack, hoping to steal the five Collection Pieces. But Noel realizes the five safes are connected and must be opened at the same time.

cap: <i>Noel also sees Goche has the Guéris le monde Collection Piece and he frantically tells the Lups to retreat immediately.

At the GSPO, Jim Carter says the FrankenGangler must be made up of several Ganglers mashed together. Commander Hilltop is in France to discuss what to do.

At Jurer, the Lups try to figure out how to get five people to open the safes. Noel has an idea. Next day, he goes to the GSPO and asks the Pats to help and work with them. The Pats say they should be taking the kaitous into custody, not work with them.

Noel says they should work together to open the safes, grab the Pieces and then defeat the FrankenGangler. Just like they did with Raimon. Keiichiro says it is not the same situation. He points out how the kaitous have let Ganglers get away and allow more people to die after they’ve already gotten what they wanted with the Pieces.

Noel grows angry and challenges Keiichiro to a duel. If Noel wins, the Pats will help the kaitous. If Keiichiro wins, Noel and the kaitous will turn themselves in.

Down in the underworld, Dogranio and Destra go to watch Goche as she finishes the tune-up of the FrankenGangler.

On their way to the duel, Keiichiro is firm on knowing he must use his power to protect people. Noel thinks to himself that he can’t afford to lose.

They both morph and battle. Keiichiro says their mission is to defeat the Ganglers as soon as possible and protect the love and peace of the world. Noel says they can do that while allowing the kaitous to continue stealing Collection Pieces.

Keiichiro says Noel can’t continue being both a cop and a kaitou. But Noel says it’s not about can or can’t. Unlike Keiichiro and “Red-kun,” Noel says he has chosen this path.

Meanwhile, the FrankenGangler starts rampaging downtown and killing thousands of people in buildings, so Tsukasa and Sakuya hurry over. They have trouble against the five safe-heavy Gangler. The Lups arrive and decide to join in.

Noel says he and the kaitous will bring back their loved ones while also defeating the Ganglers. Keiichiro remembers Kairi mentioning his reason for being a kaitou.

Noel wants to take advantage of a distracted Keiichiro.

Tsukasa, Sakuya and the Lups are about to be finished off by the FrankenGangler, but Keiichiro and Noel arrive just in time. They don’t say who won the duel, but Keiichiro has agreed to help open the safes.

The Lups and Pats work together and they are able to open the FrankenGangler’s safes which contain repainted Sentai phone morphers.

The Lups and Pats with Good Striker are able to finish off the FrankenGangler’s first life. Goche appears and embiggens him. Good Striker suggests they continue to all work together and they form Kaiser VSX to finish off the FrankenGangler for good.

Later at Jurer, Kogure is placing the phone Pieces into the book. But he freezes when they tell him about Noel recognizing Goche’s binoculars Piece. Kogure closes the book, takes the two remaining phones and hurries to speak with Noel.

Noel is at the Toei caves and thinks about what happened earlier. Turns out Keiichiro actually won the duel. Noel says he owes Keiichiro one in the future.

At the GSPO, Tsukasa, Sakuya and Jim Carter see Keiichiro must be hurting from losing the duel so they give him space. But Keiichiro is actually thinking about Noel’s revelation about the kaitous needing to collect the Pieces.

Episode Thoughts

So, this was supposed to be another big episode as we get the two teams working together again. But this was not as good as Episode 25. And them mentioning it and defeating Raimon together just emphasizes how there has been no movement in the story since then.

The duel was pretty meaningless because you already know the Lups are not going to turn themselves in. And that’s regardless of who would eventually win the duel. It would’ve been just another way for the Lups (including Noel) to outsmart the Pats once again. That seems to be the goal for the series.

Noel says unlike Keiichiro and Kairi, he has “chosen” this path. Umm… last I checked Keiichiro chose to become a cop. And Kairi has chosen, in a way, to become a kaitou. And I looked at different translations of those lines. They all say the same convoluted thing.

We already know Noel’s situation, whatever it is, is different from the Lups. It’s not as simple as he wants to bring a loved one back from the frozen dead. He’s got a secret and as we learned before, it somehow involves and/or includes Kogure. So there’s nothing new with the sketchy behavior from Kogure at the end of this episode.

My hope is that whatever their secret(s) are, it absolutely pulls the rug right out from under BOTH the Lups and Pats. Otherwise, what’s the point. It would be very surprising if in this “VS” season, Noel and Kogure weren’t a separate faction on their own.

And I think I now understand some people’s feelings during ToQger when they said they were more interested in the villains’ stories than the Rangers. Because that’s exactly how I’m feeling here with LuPat. Especially with Zamigo being one of, if not my favorite character this season and he’s only been on screen for like 4-5 minutes total out of 32 episodes.

There’s a serious lack of character depth for both the Lups and Pats. Everything is so shallow and surface-level. You’ll get a good character episode here and there. But it’s really one step forward, two or more steps back. They’ll always just revert back to the caricatures and the simple set-up of the Lups being amazing and 100% justified in everything they do and the Pats being incompetent, bumbling idiots.

13 thoughts on “Recap: Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger, Episode 32 – Challenge to a Duel

  1. So, for you Keiichiro choosing to lose the duel when thinking about the possibility that the lupinranger are not bad people showing that it is not the same hard head that would go to the end of the world to catch them is not character development… ok.

    • That’s more of a tiny plot development than character development. Character development would be like Tooma’s loosening up his cold personality with Sakuya or that episode where he cared for the little boy runner. Even Kairi’s seemingly incremental change in demeanor toward the Pats is character development. The Pats continue to be written as one-note characters ever since that one breakthrough episode.

      • I don´t see how it can be considered “tiny” see a character who initially only saw the lupinranger as dangerous criminals and constantly trying to capture those without caring about the rest, changing his position little by little without actually trusting them but being able to ally with them from time to time; either swallowing his pride allowing Kairi to take the vs vehicule splash to save people’s lives or in this case and despite his initial disagreement with teaming up with them finally deciding to put aside everything and voluntarily lose the duel.

        • Well, Keiichiro is a cop and the Lupinrangers are criminals. So…

          It’s really more of a plot development if Keiichiro starts changing his tune about the Lups. It’s already been established that he’s an honorable, upstanding police officer. If anything, all three Pats’ characters have regressed from being good cops to instead turning into bumbling fools.

          The Lups on the other hand have actually had good character development. Which by now is not a surprise considering the Lups are the headliners and stars of the season and the Pats are just supporting characters.

          For Tooma, he was initially presented as a cold jerk. But in his focus episodes, we see he was a good boyfriend, he cared for the little boy and he even befriended Sakuya. For Kairi, he’s presented as a huge brat, especially to his older brother, and sometimes cocky and full of himself. (We see him using his “charm” in Ep 33 even) But in the moments with Tsukasa and Keiichiro, we actually see he might not always be bratty and selfish and can actually accept other people caring about him. Which he did not before, his brother being the best example.

          • Again, you say that basically the police are fools that have nothing to offer and that is completely wrong.
            Keiichiro from the beginning was shown as a guy who only cared to catch the lupinranger no matter what. Then when Tsukasa made him come to his senses he realized that his work involves more than just tying criminals and both this episode and 30 showed the continuation of that idea (which you did not mention either in this review or that other episode) Keiichiro is more than a policeman who is only able to think about his work.
            With Tsukasa and Sakuya, they can have moments where they are nothing more than support but there are also occasions where they prove their worth as a team.

          • Look, my biggest problem with the season is the obvious imbalance in characterization between the two teams. Toei and Bandai have obviously decided the Lups are the main stars and more profitable team, which is why they get all the focus and are the ones that get to look good and cool 100% of the time. They can do no wrong. The Pats then in turn get thrown to the wayside and lately have even looked more like comic relief than co-leads. What’s the point of this VS gimmick when they write the teams as unequal.

            They’re merely now using the Pats to support or prop up the Lups instead of giving them their own stories. I still prefer the Pats over the Lups, and that’s partly because of the obvious bias the company has for whatever reason.

          • Also:
            “The duel was pretty meaningless because you already know the Lups are not going to turn themselves in. And that’s regardless of who would eventually win the duel.”

            The reason for the duel was not knowing who will win but how he will win. The case could easily end with Noel beating Keiichiro by force but the turnaround that Keiichiro allowed himself to win seeing the possibility that maybe the lupinrangers are not really bad people and that there could be a reason for their actions instead of simply finishing off Noel was something that at least I did not see coming.

          • And that’s my problem. Because I honestly could care less about the Lups’ problem or their end goal. Like that episode where they thought they lost a Piece when the Pats defeated the Gangler first, I was happy.
            Unlike the show, I don’t put the Lups on a high pedestal. I’d much rather see both on the same level. But it’s too late for that now.

          • it’s funny,you complain that the lupinranger take the center stage when the reds of the last 5 series were stealing all the protagonism leaving the rest as support characters there were not many objections, just let it go. Do not get me wrong, I’m not saying that the way this series handles the “VS” is fine. But I think lvp has done more than what his detractors want to admit.

          • The only recent season I think was overly Red-focused was Kyoryuger and I can’t even say that fairly since I haven’t finished that season. The only other one that comes close is Ninninger, but in the end it wrapped up with the whole family being the focus and endgame anyway.

            And I’ve already accepted (though still don’t like) that the Lups are the headliners and get top billing while the Pats are just the supporting characters.

  2. “There’s a serious lack of character depth for both the Lups and Pats. Everything is so shallow and surface-level. You’ll get a good character episode here and there. But it’s really one step forward, two or more steps back. They’ll always just revert back to the caricatures and the simple set-up of the Lups being amazing and 100% justified in everything they do and the Pats being incompetent, bumbling idiots.”

    Yep, I agree with you.

    There’s more I would like to add in here. I’m referring to Noel. He’s a double agent for both sides, but more heavy towards Lupins. Because he was in a different department and given different orders, he can simply act as his please in the police departments and use this excuse to withhold information from any members who questions him.

    One thing I want to point out here is that Kei-chan, in a way was simply irritated with Noel because of his endeavor in Episode 26, 28, and maybe 30. First, Noel wasn’t even telling that he wants to get involved with the case that the rest are handling in episode 26. Provided that if his authorities include intruding into other department’s matters. Second, if he wants to test out the Magic Dial Fighter, why not let the Pats try it? He just had to hide info from them regarding the ganglar’s hideout for this stupid intention. Episode 30, will you just let them do as they please for once. It’s not like it will harm your intention in the end anyway. The Pats, Hilltop and maybe Jim too really kept their patience with you merely because you had the authority to keep info confidential and gets to do things without their consultation.

    The thing I would like to point out is that Noel was being careful with his words around Pats and he wasn’t like that with Lupins. In other words, lack of communication. Even among teammates, Noel was keeping quiet on whether he wants the Pats to get involved in the battle against Ganglar. Dude, if you want them to trust and be more open to you, be sure you can keep your word as fellow officers, not as a smug worker who do as you please. But for Lupins, he wasn’t like this you know. It’s because he had nothing to hide from them.

    Following what happened so far, here’s a hypothesis that I come up with:

    Lupins are normal citizens who lost their love ones in the hands of Zamigo and happened to know a method to revive them by gathering all Lupin Collection. No matter how I look at this, there’s no way you can revive people from dead after they had been handling Ganglar and steal their collection in almost two years. Not to mentioned that in episode 18, Lupin Collection origin is from Ganglar world, hence, there is a high possibility that Kogure was just using the Lupins to gather collection in one book for his own purpose or the ganglar’s goal. It could also be that the Lupins are meant to gather only the VS Vehicles since their whereabouts are unknown compare to the ones that Ganglar possesses. Pats are simply officers who fought to protect the love and peace of Earth, it’s just as flat as that.

    I can see that Lupins are driven by desire of revenge and getting back the people they like. However, I believe that belief will only betray them in the end. More importantly, the Lupins could not accept the truth that their love ones are gone for good and despite they are preparing for the worst, they aren’t anyways. Trust me, no one can accept deaths that easily.

    Even in my own experience, I lost my grandma in last July. She was already old and her body was weak, to the point that she lost her appetite. Initially, I thought I wouldn’t be sad if people passed away when they are already old. However, I was proven wrong for a bit. I mean, because if the person who passed away did a lot for you, you just can’t part with them when you’re not and never going to be ready to say goodbye. However, mourning over their deaths isn’t going to bring them back and all we can do is pray that they are doing well in the next world. As for us, we should continue our lives and to meet their expectations. One more, as long as you remember about them, they are not completely gone. Isn’t that enough to know that they live within our hearts?

    That’s aside. I believe Pats strong points towards the Lupins would be, if they were to shown it later, in their desire to help them. Not as a police but as fellow human beings. From this episodes, I would like to believe that the Pats will be like that and they want the Lupins to be honest with them, not as criminals but as fellow human beings. I don’t know what I’m saying when I already wrote another one earlier so I lost the words to say them. My speculation that I predict, by the end of this series, Pats know what Lupins are trying to do and when the latter team are driven by madness of unable to get their wishes granted, Pats would give them a reason to continue living and not throwing their own lives so easily over their own despair.

  3. Both are Equal But Lupin direct to story than Pato (which each pato back story nothing with Gangler )

    I think it would be better if Each Pato have someone lost like Lupin.

    • That’s true. But I think it’s just the way the show has treated them. The Lupinrangers are always right and good and better while the Patrangers sometimes are made to be jokes and not good or annoying. They’re always like supporting characters to the Lups even though I think they should be on the same level.

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