Recap: Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger, Episode 32 – The Dark, Two-Faced, Hypocritical Side of the Heart

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The Zyuohgers are having a pancake party at the treehouse. Tusk scolds Sela and Leo for being so dumb as Sela dumps a whole bowl of batter onto the griddle while Leo attempts to flip batter that hadn’t even been on the griddle for a few seconds. Amu, meanwhile, can’t bring herself to do any work so she acts cute and has Yamato (who is more than happy to get ordered around) do all the work for her.

Misao, meanwhile, is enjoying decorating his pancake with lots of toppings. But Tusk decides to scream at him the loudest. That of course makes Misao feel bad. Leo calls Misao a pain in the ass again, but Tusk apologizes for being too harsh.

Yamato pipes in while Sela and Amu patronize Misao with fake compliments.

Up on the Sagitariark, Azarudo asks Ginis to restart the Blood Game. Ginis agrees it’s a good time to do so and Cubaru introduces his next player, Omoteuria.

Omoteuria heads downtown and causes pairs of people to start fighting when one of each of the pairs put on red eye makeup and get brutally honest, revealing their innermost thoughts. The Zyuohgers arrive and morph.

But Omoteuria shoots at Yamato, Sela, Amu and Leo, turning them all brutally honest about their impressions of each other. (Though Leo is unaffected since he’s already a blunt jerk all the time.)

Misao tries to get Yamato, Sela and Amu to stop fighting. But instead, the three of them just admit how much they hate him. That would make anyone feel bad. Misao runs away.

Omoteuria laughs and says this was a great test run. But the main event in which he turns Japan upsidedown is coming up next.

Omoteuria leaves and that releases everyone affected from their two-facedness. Cubaru and Azarudo watch from a rooftop.

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Back at the treehouse, the Zyuohgers regret having their true, innermost feelings revealed. They wonder if they should all be an asshole like Leo, even though they’re all pretty jerky on their own. Leo says that would only make Misao an even bigger pain in the ass. Tusk says he’s pretty annoying too, but the others say that’s different because they like him. They come up with and are satisfied with some convoluted justification for being douchebags. Yamato spouts off some pretentious nonsense and they all feel better about themselves.

Uncle Mario comes in to clue the Zyuohgers on the fact that Omoteuria is going to start World War III by attacking the G5 summit in Tokyo.

The Zyuohgers go to face Omoteuria, but they get shot with the truth serum. Misao comes stumbling toward them as they attack him with insults. But Misao is the martyr and says he will take the time and muster up the courage to accept their abuse.

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Tusk, however, speaks up. He calls Misao self-centered/self-righteous. But that he loves him. Yamato, who can apparently weave in and out of Omoteuria’s two-faced control any time he wants, explains that the normally introverted Tusk is finally sharing his true feelings.

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Misao gets up from the attacks he received from the Zyuohgers and morphs, armed with immense power and strength. He knocks Omoteuria into a planter which releases the others from telling the truth.

Misao says he feels good getting bullied by them.

Tusk gets the idea to go back to back with Misao to counter the “reverse” power of Omoteuria. The others follow their lead and are able to defeat Omoteuria’s first life.

Ginis comments that it’s a good thing Omoteuria didn’t reveal the innermost thoughts of those on the Sagitariark.

Naria Continues Omoteuria and the Zyuohgers hop into Wild Tousai King and Dodekai-Oh to finish off Omoteuria for good.

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Back at the treehouse, Misao makes the others all dessert pancakes. Sela and Amu say it’s too sweet. But Leo doesn’t care since it all ends up in the stomach anyway. Yamato asks if Misao is okay and Misao says he understands the first step to friendship is to accept verbal abuse. Tusk says that’s correct!

Tusk says he and Misao can continue to be a good combi together for life. Leo agrees. But Misao breaks it to Tusk that he actually has a crush on Yamato. Sorry.

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Episode and Zyuohger RANT

So I’ve really had a problem with Misao’s characterization. His main purpose has been to be the butt of jokes and to make the rest of the Zyuohgers seem like huge assholes, in a very similar way to the Samurai Power Rangers were to Mia.

In a kid’s show/toy commercial that’s supposed to teach the kiddies teamwork and friendship. At least, that’s what Power Rangers is required to be. I have no idea about Super Sentai when they sometimes have inappropriate, sometimes sexual jokes at 7:30 Sunday mornings on Japanese television.

But I absolutely do not understand the writers’ decision to write Misao and Zyuohger in this way. I’ve seen fans annoyed by him. And I don’t blame them. I blame the show’s writers for writing a horrible story.

I’ve absolutely been on Misao’s side since he first debuted. And that feeling has only gotten stronger as the Zyuohgers have acted horribly towards him. Just based on what’s been shown on the series itself. That first night they brought Misao back to the treehouse, he told them he’s been alone most his life. Now, it’s the writer’s fault that they didn’t make clear whether he was an orphan or homeless or has some mental problem.

What we do know is that he hasn’t had any friends and has been alone. Then he gets kidnapped and tortured by aliens who basically rape him by forcibly inserting three animals into his body. So who the hell is going to be normal after that?!

Now, I’m going to get into a serious discussion over a kid’s show/toy commercial. A TOY COMMERCIAL! But this has really annoyed me for months now.

No question Misao has some emotional problems. But instead of trying to help him (if they’re so amazing and well-adjusted themselves), the Zyuohgers have ridiculed him and despised him, treating him like the plague that they are forced to fight alongside with as a teammate.

What this story should have been is this: Introduce Misao as an awkward loner who has never had friends before and somehow lost his parents and had no family. (Maybe thanks to Bangurei or even another alien villain. Say a villain that could tie in with a certain team-up special anniversary episode?) The Zyuohgers then would try to draw him out of his shell and befriend him, teach him what it’s like to have friends and be part of a group. Especially Yamato who befriends anyone to the point that he invites strangers (emphasis on STRANGE, they’re Japanese-speaking animals!) to live in his small treehouse he shares with his Uncle Mario.

And then adding in the three Zyumans who reside in Misao’s head (whether real or his imagination or some kind of PTSD-type effects) should have made Misao one of the fuller and more well-thought out 6th Rangers in a long time.

But no. Instead the show makes Misao out to be some kind of pariah that should be avoided at all costs. The others regularly call him a pain in the ass. As if they don’t have their own very pronounced annoying traits. And worse, the show made the otherwise upstanding Yamato fake, insincere and condescending.

This episode played with drawing out the Zyuohgers’ true feelings, free of that fake, plastik outer shell. But instead of being a critique on Yamato being a hypocrite, Sela being a prideful snob, Amu being an act-cute fake, plus Leo and Tusk’s personalities, the show again turned all the blame onto Misao. It’s all Misao’s fault.

Umm… okay.
It was very funny how before admitting he was in love with Misao, Tusk calls him “self-righteous” or “self-centered” (depending on which subbing group you prefer). ORLY? Me thinks Tusk and the others should look in the mirror.

That final “Misao has a crush on Yamato” gag meant absolutely nothing and had any amusement from it erased from the horrible writing they put Misao through these last few months. Too little, too late.

I can’t even care to talk about the actual developments on the Sagitariark and their secrets and all that because it’s nothing compared to the crap writing we’ve seen so far elsewhere on the show. It’s been brewing for weeks and episodes, but it all came to a head in this Episode 32. I held out hope that the show had an actual plan when it came to Misao’s story and that there was a reason the Zyuohgers were acting like assholes.

But it turns out the whole purpose of the story was to make the Zyuohgers look like assholes and to make Misao the butt of a cruel, unfunny joke.

Congratulations Zyuohger. I don’t feel as disappointed in Kamen Rider Ghost‘s horrible writing anymore as I was last week.

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