Recap: Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger, Episode 1 – The Exhilarating Animal Land

or “The Dokidoki/Heart Pounding Animal Land” 😉

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Kazakiri Yamato is leading a group of kids and their families on a nature tour through the forest. An old man, Mario and friend of Yamato, dressed in a deer costume interrupts the tour.

A young boy, Keita, brings Yamato-sensei an egg that’s fallen out of its nest. Yamato takes it back up the tree to the applause of the tour group. Keita says he’s an awesome guide, but Yamato says he’s a zoologist.

As Yamato jumps back down, something falls out of his backpack. He chases after his “good luck charm,” but ends up rolling down the hill right along with it.

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The cube starts glowing and Yamato is surprised to see a huge box thing floating above the creek. He approaches it and it moves closer to him, almost as if to show him a spot for a cube on one of the sides.

Yamato decides to insert his cube into the slot and the big cube suddenly opens and swallows him up. Yamato is taken through some kind of portal until he lands back on hard ground.

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He looks up to see four strange creatures standing over him. He gets to his feet and gets a good look at them, taken aback by these animals standing up, wearing clothes and talking!

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A shark (Sela), a lion (Leo), an elephant (Tusk) and a tiger (Amu). And they are just as amazed to see a human.

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Yamato takes a look around him and surveys this strange world he’s arrived in.

Up in space, a bow-like ship carries a group of aliens who are looking forward to playing some kind of bloody game while destroying this world that is called Earth.

Ginis, sitting on some throne, orders Jagged to go down and terrorize.

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The animal-people, known as Zyumans, take Yamato to the town market and introduce him to Zyuland. Yamato is in awe of such undiscovered species. Leo says not to stare, but Amu says they’re just as intrigued by humans as well. The only connection between Zyuland and the human world is the Link Cube.

They head back to the Link Cube, which the four of them are guardians of. But they’ve never been able to go to the human world because the key for using the Link Cube was stolen.

The key is the King’s Mark, one of six cubes which are said to possess amazing powers for protecting the Zyumans. One of those cubes stolen. Yamato flashes back to one rainy night as a child when a mysterious person (Zyuman?) gave him his cube.

Tusk comes riding in on an elephant. He holds Yamato’s cube and asks where he got it. Leo grabs Yamato’s collar, suspecting he is the thief.

Meanwhile back in the human world, Jagged has touched down on Earth with an army of Moebas. He attacks where Yamato was just at and his tour group run for their lives amidst the burning forest.

Yamato tries to explain to the four that the cube was given to him. But suddenly, the Link Cube starts rumbling. They go closer to it with the other Zyumans also puzzled by it’s strange action.

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Yamato is worried if the Link Cube is destroyed, he won’t be able to go home. Leo tells him, the “thief,” to shut up. But Yamato will not. He grabs the cube from Tusk and runs over to the Link Cube. Inserting his cube into the slot, the Link Cube once again opens up and swallows him. But this time, the four Zyumans get pulled in as well.

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The Link Cube spits them back out into the human world. But now, the forest is in flames and the Moebas continue attacking the the people. Leo says he never though the human world was this dangerous. Yamato says it shouldn’t be this way.

Suddenly, all four of the Zyumans’ tails stand up with a pain. Amu says she’s never felt this kind of vicious malice before.

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Yamato sees Jagged about to kill Keita, so he runs over to protect him. Yamato demands to know who these people are.

Jagged introduces himself and his buddies as Deathgaliens. And starting today, the Earth will be their playing field for a blood game.

Jagged continues shooting fireballs everywhere and he hits the Link Cube, making it crash into the rocks.

The Zyumans pick their cubes up and stand up to Jagged. Suddenly, the cubes transform. They open them up, press some buttons…

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And they henshin into Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger!

They fight the Moebas and even get power ups to finish them off. Yamato watches as the Zyuohgers use Zyuoh Busters to go after Jagged.

Yamato picks his cube up from the ground and runs over. A mysterious cloaked person picks up another cube from the water.

Jagged starts getting the upper hand with help from flying Moebas.

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Yamato charges toward Jagged and tries to fight him, but only gets kicked and tossed aside. Yamato says he also wants to fight, to protect this forest and all life on Earth. He asks the cube to lend him power as well. Tusk says only Zyumans can use the cube.

But Yamato says humans are animals too! That’s when his cube transforms as well.

Yamato flips it open, pushes the buttons…

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And henshins into ZyuohEagle.

He takes the fight straight to Jagged and defeats him.

Genis is intrigued. He orders Naria to give Jagged a Continue. She takes the coin/medal and jumps into a stack of coins/medals to transport her down to Earth.

Naria says the Continue is full of Genis-sama’s cells. She drops it in the slot and embiggens Jagged.

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The Zyuohgers’ cubes light up and gets them to summon the Zyuoh Cubes from Zyuland. They hop into their respective cube animals and face off against flying triangles/pyramids. Tusk uses his cube animal to put out the forest fire while the others take out the triangles.

Three fiery squares pop up in the sky and Sela says they should pass through them in their cubes. Yamato, Leo and Sela are able to go through, but not Amu and Tusk.

Yamato initiates the combination. The three cubes stack upon each other and a giant sword appears to insert itself right through the middle to complete ZyuohKing.

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With Amu and Tusk providing backup in their own cubes, the Zyuohgers finish off Jagged for good.

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They all head back to the Link Cube and the Zyumans realize they cannot go back to Zyuland. Not only that but one of the King’s Marks is missing.

Yamato says he will help them and take care of them here in the human world while they figure out a way to get back. But how will they be able to hide their faces? The cubes manage to give them human bodies, though they still have tails.

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Yamato introduces himself as do Leo, Amu and Sela. But Tusk isn’t as friendly and says he will not be indebted to Yamato.
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Episode Thoughts

Animals, cubes, coins. It’s a fun clusterfrak! lol

I enjoyed the premiere. The overall story is very interesting. There’s a bit of Goseiger with the “ET phone home!” plot. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Zyumans and their hijinks learning about the human world.

Not too much on the Zyumans as characters yet. But Yamato is likeable. He feels a little like Kamen Rider Ghost‘s Takeru since he’s a happy, positive guy. His interest in animals also gives him an immediate character trait that we can relate to.

The Deathgaliens sound so morbid and dark. Blood Game? Damn. Like The Most Dangerous Game? lol

Now I’m not too keen on the aesthetics of the suits though. The animal print, like a literal print of an animal’s face on their chests, looks very awkward to me. Though apparently people love it so much. (????) I’ll get used to it though. Unlike people who continued to harp on ToQger’s suits even now.

And after years of fans complaining about boxy mecha, we get a mecha made of literal boxes. Cubes, to be precise. lol I’m not really into the toys and designs that much, so I’m never too critical on designs for the mecha and weapons and all that. But I am definitely amused by how creative they seem to be with the mecha and the animals they represent in their square shapes. They can have a lot of fun with them I think.

Flying pyramids though! for goodness sakes. lol

The blocky design for Zyuland and its buildings, now that’s a great aesthetic. The animal masks though… hmm… I mean, the horse head and pig masks I’ve always seen used as something strange or scary in various shows, movies or even music videos. So to see them here as nice, regular “people” will take getting used to as well.

Another great design is the Deathgaliens’ ship. A huge bow in space. Interesting.

So overall, lots of things to be interested in and excited for with Zyuohger.

2 thoughts on “Recap: Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger, Episode 1 – The Exhilarating Animal Land

  1. The Producer of this series also did ToQGer, Shinkenger, Gokaiger, so it will be interested series so far :3.

    I have strong believe on Koumura Junko – the main writer of Zyuohger. Her style is similar with Kobayashi Yasuko. When I watched first ep of Zyuohger, it reminded me alot of ToQGer and Sentai 80s.

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