Three masked, top hat-wearing “phantom thieves” burst into an illegal casino and reveal its owner is a monster known as a Gangler. They proclaim that they are here to take his treasure.
The thieves shoot up the place, causing enough chaos for the red guy to unlock the safe on the Bugler’s chest and collect the monster’s Lupin Collection item which he was using to manipulate the table games to his advantage. The Gangler Ruretta Gerou will not stand for this.
Meanwhile, three cops are on their way to the scene.
The thieves morph into spiffy new outfits that allow them to fight the Podaman grunts with even more firepower. The cops arrive just as the thieves finish them Podaman and Ruretta Gerou off for good.
Before the cops can take the thieves into custody, they are able to fly away. They leave a card saying they are the Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger and they have taken the treasure.
Next day, the red thief Yano Kairi spots the red cop Asaka Keiichiro as he expresses his annoyance with the phantom thieves. Kairi decides to mess with Keiichiro a little before getting picked up in a limo by Kogure.
The other thieves Hayami Umika and Yaimachi Tooma are at work at Bistro Jurer. Umika wonders where Kairi could be since it’s very busy now.
Meanwhile, at Global Special Police Organization, pink cop Myoujin Tsukasa and green rookie cop Hikawa Sakuya welcome back Director Hilltop to the office as he commends them for their good work last night. He gives them some youkan for a snack.
Jim Carter, robot assistant, complains about the expense. Sakuya says it’s a good thing the phantom thieves took care of the Gangler from last night that forced people in gambling debt to sell their body parts. But Keiichiro says that is not the right attitude to have since they are an elite force that should have the appropriate training to defeat the Ganglers.
Jim Carter shows them the dossier they’ve compiled so far on the phantom thieves. They are stealing mysterious antiques known as the Lupin Collection from the Ganglers.
Back at the limo, Kairi presents the Lupin Collection get from last night to Kogure. Kogure takes it and places it on a page of a Lupin Collection book which somehow absorbs the item.
Kairi explains that the Lupin Collection are treasures left behind by Arsene Lupin 100 years ago. Kogure adds that each antique possesses mysterious powers that would be very dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands. But that’s the extent of information he’s willing to give Kairi.
Kogure says he is grateful to the three thieves for what they’re doing since his master has been sad since the Ganglers stole the Collection.
Kairi says that’s fine, as long as Kogure and master don’t forget their promise. Kogure says of course.
In a big mansion somewhere, a large group of Ganglers are enjoying a birthday party for the big boss Dogranio Yaabun. He is accompanied by right hand general Destra Maajo. Goche Ru Medu approaches and kisses Dogranio’s hand, wishing him a Happy 999th Birthday. Destra and Goche don’t seem too keen to each other.
Dogranio takes a seat and says it’s been 500 years since he united the Ganglers. But at his age, he is ready to find a successor to take over as head. And the one who can take over the human world will be that successor.
Back in the limo, Kogure gives Kairi the next mission: to obtain the Lupin Collection of Garatt Nargo who uses it to burn even stone to the ground after heists.
Kairi accepts the mission and gets dropped off at the bistro. He immediately shoos the diners out so he can explain the mission to Umika and Tooma. They dress up and head to the Konoe Factory where Garatt Nargo hides out. They put on their masked costumes and sneak into the factory from above.
But Garatt Nargo and the Podamans know they’re crawling around in the vents. They shoot at them and have them fall out.
Jim Carter alerts the cops about a Gangler sighting near the wharf. They hurry out, but before they go, Director Hilltop has something for them.
The Lupinrangers make easy work of the Podamans, but Garatt Nargo uses his Collection fire power to keep them at what he thinks is a safe distance. Using some trickery, Tooma and Umika manage to sneak in to grab Garatt Nargo and hold him.
But Garatt Nargo grows out two extra limbs which push Kairi away. That allows him to attack Tooma and Umika.
Garatt Nargo says Ganglers can fight even without using the Collection. He gives Kairi a choice: Run away to save himself and let his friends die or stay and die with them.
Kairi hesitates. But he suddenly remembers the three of them making a promise. He lowers his weapon. Garatt Nargo takes this to mean he has chosen to die with his comrades.
Garatt Nargo shoots fire at Kairi, but he dodges it and then shoots at the ceiling to cause it to collapse on the Gangler and his friends.
Garatt Nargo has no problem digging himself out of the rubble. But where are Tooma and Umika? Kairi says they promised that even if one of the dies, the ones remaining will go ahead and fulfill their dream.
But even so, Kairi knows Tooma and Umika are not the type to easily die. Turns out, they dug a hole in the ground to escape. They say they knew Kairi wouldn’t save them.
But it’s okay. They can Kaitou Change together. They morph and do their first official roll call before battling Garatt Nargo.
The cops arrive and surprise the Lupinrangers by having VS Changers. They Keitsatsu Change into Patranger.
So another season begins! I enjoyed this premiere. There’s definitely a lot of potential with these two teams and the idea of rival teams working against each other (and obviously together at some point).
Interesting mix of characters so far. The Lupinrangers got the most focus in this episode and they carried it well. They could probably carry an entire season themselves.
It was a great opening with that typical shooting up a casino scene. Reminded me of classic gangster movies and such. There was some fun new camera work during the first battle post-first official morph and roll call. It was very nice and refreshing to see.
There’s certainly lots of mystery on the Lupin side. But I’m sure there’s also some nice twists on the Pat side as well. I also like that the Grunts this season are able to speak English. Not sure what to think about Goche Ru Medu being another female general who appears to merely want to flirt with her boss. I hope she emerges as a strong character on her own apart from this first impression. Though obviously, she and Destra Maajo will likely be in a battle for control at some point.
But overall, it was a solid premiere with lots of potential for the season. It’s certainly different.