Recap and Season Review: Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger, Episode 51 – I’m Sure I’ll See You Again

Dogranio laughs at Zamigo having been defeated, resulting in all the frozen people being restored, unharmed at all. And also at the fact that the Lups are trapped inside his body forever. Good Striker panics and flies off.

The Pats won’t give up, however. They take on Dogranio’s unlimited Piece power head on. The Lups conclude that this is the end for them. They assume the Pats will choose saving the world over opening the safe and saving them. Kairi says it’s alright, he’s just happy his brother and the others are unfrozen.

The Pats are forced to demorph. Noel runs in to take Dogranio on himself so he can save the Lups as well as save the world. But it’s no use. Dogranio easily forces him to demorph as well.

The Lups look at all the Pieces floating around them when they suddenly realize something.

Tokyo is burning. Dogranio wants to rampage in a less-ravaged area. Keiichiro, Tsukasa, Sakuya and Noel still won’t give up and they are resolved not to let Dogranio go without paying for his crimes.

Dogranio uses more Piece powers and is about to kill the Pats for good. But the Lups are transferring the Pieces from inside Dogranio’s safe using Kogure’s book, back to the Lupin vault.

Dogranio is losing his powers one-by-one. The Pats grab the opportunity and do a helmetless morph.

The Lups are happy that Noel may still have a chance to wish for Lupin’s return now with most of the Pieces back.

Noel goes Super and the Pats are able to really take it to a now weaker Dogranio. Noel points out that the Pieces were holding together Dogranio’s old, frail body.

Just then, Good Striker arrives to drop off Siren Striker. Noel hands it to Keiichiro and he is able to go Super as well.

The Lups say their goodbyes to their loved ones. Keiichiro shoots at Dogranio and it’s an immense power as Dogranio tries fighting back. Tsukasa and Sakuya help Keiichiro push back at Dogranio.

A huge explosion, but the chains are still very much intact on Dogranio and the safe. Keiichiro orders Dogranio to surrender and Noel orders him to open the safe.

Dogranio refuses. Commander Hilltop and Jim Carter are watching from HQ.

Commander Hilltop tells the Pats not to hesitate and that he will take responsibility for whatever happens. Just destroy Dogranio!

Keiichiro lowers his blaster. He then remembers Kairi saying that Keiichiro saves the peoples, not kaitous like him.

Keiichiro walks toward Dogranio as he continues to remember more moments with Kairi. Sakuya falls to his knees as he and Tsukasa remember moments with Tooma and Umika. Noel remembers moments with the Lups as well.

Keiichiro not being able to help someone like Kairi weighs heavily on his mind. He arrives in front of a weak Dogranio and points his blaster at his head. He still can’t bring himself to shoot.

Keiichiro finds himself in a dreamland with Kairi smiling at him.

Keiichiro screams and a shot can be heard as we smash to black.

One year later, Tokyo has been completely rebuilt again with the peoples living in peace and kids playing with Patranger toys. The Pats have been working the last year taking care of Gangler stragglers.

Kairi’s brother Shori, Tooma’s fiance Aya and Umika’s BFF Shiho seem to have been able to get back to their normal lives. Umika is an aspiring manga artist who is presenting a story involving the Lups who she says will be returning to action soon.

Meanwhile, Dogranio is alive and chained to a monolith deep in the bowels of the GSPO with tons of firepower pointed at him. He says he would rather die than remain imprisoned and powerless.

Jim Carter alerts the Pats to a Gangler appearing downtown. Commander Hilltop deploys them.

The Pats arrive in a dance hall and they realize the Gangler has a Collection Piece. They suddenly hear Kairi’s voice say it is the last Piece in a Gangler posession.

The Pats look around and are shocked to see Kairi, Tooma and Umika standing on the balcony, safe and sound.

They jump down and explain how they got out. Jackpot Striker flies out of nowhere to say he opened the safe. Keiichiro remembers that his power is to control people’s actions.

Turns out he flew out of the book while Umika was cutting Tooma’s hair to control Dogranio’s chains and release them from the safe.

But apparently Jackpot Striker was missing all this time. So who brought him to the Lupin vault? Three mysterious figures approach them.

Three new kaitous…

Shori, Aya and Shiho.

The Lups share an emotional reunion with their formerly-frozen loved ones. Kairi apologizes to his brother for being a jerk and they hug.

Kogure had recruited the three to become kaitous to find a way to save the Lups. Noel jokes that Kogure is a horrible person for doing that. Good Striker says Noel is one to talk since he was the one who trained the three.

The Pats are emotional by the Lups return. But they realize the Lups have gone back to kaitou-ing. The Lups say they will take this last Piece as well as swipe all the ones in GSPO posession.

One last roll call for the Lups as they and the Pats take on the Gangler, Podamans and each other.

Episode Thoughts

Hmm… probably the one thing I *loved* this episode were those awesome solo shots of the LuPats before the all white title card.

Very pretty!

Otherwise… it was an okay finale for a season I just didn’t connect with. Though the fact that they used a movie toy (Jackpot Striker), that was never mentioned in-series, as a finale deus ex is pretty sketchy.

I guess it’s really hard to comment on the finale without going right into my season thoughts, so here we go.

Season Review

I honestly feel some sort of apathy to the season itself. I don’t hate it or dislike it like I do maybe Zyuohger or Kamen Rider Ghost (probably my least favorite Sentai and Kamen Rider seasons). But the season is definitely nowhere near my favorites either.

Instead, I found it hard to truly connect with any of the characters. And the biggest reason might be the imbalance in how the show treated the Lups vs the Pats. Then there’s the lack of a truly cohesive and well-developed story and weak foundation for what should’ve been a strong endgame.

These are the kinds of things I tend to give a pass to if I find something else to truly enjoy during the season. Just look at my season reviews of other Sentai or Kamen Rider seasons. I do point out areas the seasons might have come up short in or instances where they’ve dropped the ball. But I usually am able to point to something else during the season that can redeem the season for me or at least keep me engaged and help me enjoy still watching.

With LuPat, while there were some good things, even great things, during the course of the season, I arrive at the end of the season feeling apathetic and unsatisfied.

I point to Zyuohger as my least favorite Sentai season mainly because of how unlikeable the Zyumans ended up being and how horrible they and the show treated Misao who had a legitimately emotional backstory. A backstory involving a violent and sad past and trauma that was turned into a running gag and joke. Absolutely disgusting.

So I have strong feelings about Zyuohger (even though negative), but I honestly don’t for LuPat.

Another comparison to Zyuohger for LuPat is the horrible lack of development for the villains. Dogranio and Goche are essentially discount versions of Ginis and Naria from Zyuohger. The only difference is Ginis’ evil was on display all season, despite him lounging about on his throne (technically his body) all year. Dogranio sat on his throne without a clear goal other than wanting to find a successor which actually ends up inconsequential in the end. Goche and Naria also suffer almost the exact same fate after spending the season in the exact same roles. Destra was completely wasted as well and the tease of some tension between him and Goche and even Zamigo eventually went nowhere.

Even for Kyoryuger (which, again, I still haven’t finished past Episode 30 or something), while it’s also far from being one of my favorites, I can still say it was fun for as much as I saw. And the villains were certainly more fleshed out and unique as well.

For LuPat, the season focused probably 75% of the time on the Lups with the Pats taking up 25% of the focus. That’s can be okay with proper writing. But unfortunately, it didn’t work. And it wasn’t even just an imbalance. The show routinely dumbed down the Patrangers in order to boost or prop up the Lupinrangers.

For example, the Lups must always outsmart the Pats. The Lups always have to swoop in to finish the job. The Pats get shoved to the sidelines or are made to look like incompetent buffons just to make the cooler Lups even that much more awesome.

The imbalance in focus and treatment made me root for the Pats more than the Lups. And the favoring of the Lups by way of being propped up by the Pats proved too tiring for me.

That in turn made me not care about the Lups’ predicament. That’s as much on me as it is on the writing itself.

*spoiler alert for previous seasons*
But other seasons and series did similar things in the past and LuPat didn’t necessarily do anything much more creative or refreshing or different.

Go-Busters had the team wanting to save their parents, only to have to see them die, twice. Gokaiger had the “Gotta catch ’em all for a wish/treasure” plot already (not to mention Kamen Rider Ghost).

The fact that the Lups wanted to save their loved ones didn’t register immediately for me. Partly because they weren’t easily accessible at the beginning of the season. But also because you go into the story assuming the loved ones are going to be saved, no matter what. There was no sense of urgency or danger. It was only until the idea that the frozen people might actually be dead and that Zamigo ripped their skins off their bodies so Ganglers can use them did this part of the overall plot start to seem interesting and exciting.

Zamigo’s lack of screentime (an injustice to the talented Jingi Irie) when he was the key to the loved ones being “restored” also lessens any depth to what is pretty much the central and driving force for the season and the versus concept.

But instead of going for the high stakes, the season went for the easy route. And what could have been a MaGMCM for me on any other season, went by with not even a quiver on any part of my face.

Noel and especially Kogure disappeared this final episode too. And I actually might be annoyed at how all the mystery surrounding Kogure and his sinister smiles throughout the season turned out to mean nothing. Even his focus episode where he regrets putting the Lups in this kind of danger is almost counter to the way they portrayed him throughout the season before that.

Sometimes I do wonder what’s worse. Apathy or strong dislike.

But the season did have some good to great things going for it.

The strongest episodes of the season for me were the big, emotional two-episode (14 & 15) focus on the Pats earlier in the season, the Keiichiro girlfriend ep (17), the episodes where Tooma broke through his cold personality to be an older brother-type (12 & 23) as well as the Tsukasa-Tooma ep (41) and the Christmas episode (45).

The use of handicams/GoPros for some of the fight scenes as well as continued expansion in the use of drones were also huge pluses. They helped make the usual and familiar choreography and locations feel fresh and new. And in turn helps keep Sentai feeling modern and contemporary.

Overall for LuPat, I don’t dislike it. I’m not even sadly disappointed by it. I do think this had the makings of an epic, dramatic season. These final episodes showed that it was possible. But despite whatever exciting and dramatic moments these final episodes had, it all just fell short. The VS concept is interesting on paper. But if you’re going to do a versus concept, there should be parity between the two teams.

And the show didn’t seem interested in doing that. I remember regularly seeing tweets from fans that it was because the Lups drove toy sales more than the Pats. Perhaps the in-series jokes about the kaitous being more popular than the cops was more meta than anyone could ever think.

Even though I know Sentai continues to exist because there are toys to sell (even if sales continue to drastically drop as they have the last few years), I’m here to watch a fun show with a great story, great cast and all that good stuff. Unfortunately, I finish this season unsatisfied. And feeling more excited for the upcoming four-episode miniseries than feeling separation anxiety for a just-concluded season.

6 thoughts on “Recap and Season Review: Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger, Episode 51 – I’m Sure I’ll See You Again

  1. One thing I didn’t like it was “Oh, not that again!” in the ending – Lups and Pats battling with each other again! Although Umika and Sakuya said “Heya” to each other LOL

    Otherwise, for me it was pretty “fin”. Tears turned in my eye when Keiichiro was forced to arrest Dogranio along with Lups in his safe. You can immediately that he really liked Kairi and his friends despite the differences and it was pretty hard for him to accept the situation. And for others too. But when Lups reunited with their love ones, I completely cried. I always cry when family/friends reunite or have to say goodbye. Generally, just like I said, beautiful finale. Now we can wait for “Super Sentai Strongest Battle”! 🙂

    Regarding the whole series, I really like it. I like look at the world from the point of view of both teams. As befits VS movies. In every team there’s many problems to solve and when two teams are meeting, they really can learn a lot from themselves. Of course, it won’t go without bickering and fights. Everyone has their own opinion, but when needed, all Rangers can get along and make the impossible.
    Too bad Zamigo was absent in the most of episodes. He was very important Gangler, because he prisoned Lups’ loved ones. I wanted more episodes with him. LOL
    My favorite character was Noel. Thanks to him, Lups and Pats got along and I like his approach to reality. Umika and Sakuya were cool too, and primarily, funny. LupinYellow and Patren#2 always wanted to solve problems calmly but, to put it mildly, they were ignored.
    Toei could make more episodes focusing on Pats’ history, IMO it wasn’t enough (although I might be wrong).
    Generally, just like said, I really liked Lupinranger VS Patranger. Now we can wait for their team-up movie with Kyuranger and later, with Ryusoulger! 😀

  2. This is my favorite Sentai series! Thank you for having followed it! I hope you’ll do the same episode coverage for Ryusoulger!

    This ending was so good. During the series, I sort of joked to myself that the Lupinrangers were more a team of people unable to accept the loss of loved ones, than thieves, as they seemed very damaged by their losses. I still think they don’t take people in their lives dying well. But as someone who lost their mother earlier last year, I felt very sympathetic to their desire – and felt so happy at the ending when they got to see their loved ones again.

    Great incredible series!

  3. Lupin VS Pat can be the worst and the best series, depending on what aspects one is referring to. Before I go on. Here is what the series is all about. Like all Sentai Series, we have our heroes and the villains fight each other, with the heroes saving the day by defeating the Monsters on every week until the Big Boss. However, this time, we have two team of heroes. The stylish swift Phantom Thieves, LupinRangers (Lupins) and the straightforward defensive Police, PatRangers (Pats). Members of Lupins are Kairi, Touma and Umika while for Pats were Keiichirou (Kei-chan), Sakuya and Tsukasa. Lupins fight to retrieve their loved ones that had been lost while Pats fight to protect the peace of the world.

    Overall, the series major focus was on Lupins because they had more personal reasons in fighting while Pats do it because it was their duty. On top of that, our villains, the Ganglar and even both teams used Lupin Collections. Lupins used Dial Fighters while Pats used Trigger Machine, with VS Changers as the core item to utilise them. Their collections are modified to be used by humans while the ones that Ganglars had, must be in a safe to use them. For our heroes, they had Good Striker (Goody/Goodie) as their ally, who decides on his good feeling who he wants to help, depending on the situation.

    Usually, it is normal that when there is a monster rampaging, our heroes should defeat them right away when they have a chance. However, because Ganglars had Lupin Collection in their safe, Lupins must retrieve them before destroying the Ganglars. It is compulsory because if they even miss one, their wishes cannot be granted. Hence, which is why whenever Pats are battling Ganglars, Lupins MUST be there, whether you like it or not. Trouble ensues because Lupins, apart from stealing, illegally possessing fire-arms and intruding into places, committed crimes like Obstruction of Justice (Get in the way of Pats to perform their duty) and Vigilantism (passed on judgement against the Ganglars by defeating them even if they are non-humans). What I mentioned was the specific thing they do. Usually, you don’t talk about laws in Sentai series apart from Dekaranger, which is the first police-theme Sentai because before this, the villains are either alien invaders, ancient lifeforms and such. On top of that, most of our heroes are civilians affiliated with organisation that has the authority. Gokaiger might also fall into this category because they are in fact space pirates, but their case is special because they are the only Sentai left on Earth that can fight and rely on the powers from previous heroes. Most of the previous heroes are considered like that as well.

    Now then, I think that is about enough for the introduction of what this series was all about. First and foremost, this series had TOO many fillers and the Ganglars became undeveloped. We all know that all the Ganglars was competing against each other to replace Dogranio Yaabun, who wants to retire and someone to succeed him and lead the whole organisation as the new boss. On top of that, we are introduced to Zamigo, the one responsible to APPARENTLY froze the Lupins loved ones to death. I can understand that the normal Ganglars did not betray Dogranio to become the boss because Gramps Doraemon said they just need to conquer the human world to become one (I call him Gramps Doraemon because his safe can put more than one Collection piece and he is literally the grandfather of the organisation). However, Zamigo was absent in action for 28 episodes after episode 10 (He did appear in 25 and somewhere before but his role was minor). On top of that, he never fought Pats at all and he cared about fighting Kairi, just like Fuwa Juzo cared in fighting Takeru in Shinkenger. His long absence and lack of past/motivation made me sceptical of how the Lupins would defeat him since he was untouchable and quite slick.

    Then we had Destra, Dogranio’s right man. Even if he was an enemy to our heroes, he deserves respect and I took a lot of liking on him. He does not just talk about what he said but he got brute to accomplish them. Most of our villains are too dependent on using Collection to fight but Destra proves to be a nuisance to our heroes because he was plenty strong without those items. Only because both teams work together that they can defeat him. The only thing that Destra lack was his past or motivation for working with the Ganglars and quite loyal to Dogranio. If we had that, I think that would be perfect.

    As for Gauche, we knew she was an experiment maniac. That’s it. I cannot understand her reason to exist to in the organisation when we only know her that much. Dogranio on the other hand somehow passed the minimum requirement to be the big bad boss but because he was only sitting at his chair for almost 47 episodes literally watching his own subordinates get pounded by our heroes, I do not really get why he never liven up the situation for a bit after episode 25 and choose to sit still without doing anything minor at the rangers.

    Next, this series was obviously not balanced between the heroes. In terms of arsenal, Lupins are supposed to get Dial Fighters while Pats get Trigger Machine Upgrades. However, Pats remaining Trigger Machine, Splash and Siren Striker all goes to Lupins all because of the dropping in toy sales for Trigger Machines. While the debut of X Trains should had increase it back because it unites both teams to be one big robot, its design along with Good Striker was not good enough to hold VSX in place. I am specifying the legs of VSX because the toy versions of X train Fire and Thunder and Good Striker’s legs prevents children to lift them when fully combined. I will be blunt. The toys lack the proper design compared to Go-Busters. It’s like Heaven and Earth. Just look at their toy reviews video for that series, you will understand what I mean. The toy version aside, I cannot comprehend some things. Why Crane Keisatsu Boost wasn’t introduced earlier in episode 15 if it was planned that the core heroes each get armament upgrade? Sixth rangers are PLENTY strong without upgrades so why give Noel Super Form as Lupin X, not PatRan X? To be honest, I prefer either only Kairi and Kei-chan get Super Form, not Noel or just Noel, not Kei-chan and Kairi. I can complain this all day, but nothing changes because this series was already over and PatKaiser Splash never gets to make its debut. On top of that, Trigger Machines shift upwards was rather ugly when you had Triggers on the back. Anyway, this is the main reason this can be considered the worst series and made me lose interest to recommend this series to anyone new to Super Sentai. I would had been fine if Lupin Magnum was the only extra that Lupins got more than Pats, but Lupins are overpowering here when they got Splash and Siren Striker as well. The title itself was Lupin VS Pat yet the focus and toy attraction all gets to Lupin. I get it that Lupins are the first Phantom Thief-theme Sentai and needs attention, but I cannot comprehend WHY do they need to include a second team, which are theme after Police when this team did not get the attention needed. The basic concept of Versus sounds good on paper but the way this series was demonstrated leaning more as Lupin Featuring Pat. Someone had pointed out if Pats get equal attention as Lupins, it would be a second Dekaranger series. Now, here is what I want to ask. What about Abaranger, Kyouryuuger, Hurricaneger and Ninninger? Why do you have to repeat dinosaur-theme and ninjas again? That same question goes for Kishiryuu Sentai Ryusoulger are dinosaur-theme instead of dragons, when it has not been a decade. It is because Dinosaurs are popular among children in Japan and Dragons are considered Dinosaurs and Vice Versa. So, what is wrong with repeating a series themed after police that had been absence for more than a decade but now include Phantom Thieves? If this series name, like Ninpu Sentai Hurricaneger, had been only Kaitou Sentai LupinRanger featuring Patranger or just Kaitou Sentai LupinRanger in the first place, I would have no problem with how the story was implemented but the title and its implementation violates the concept. The series was more like Kamen Rider Drive, but I had nothing against Drive because our hero already working in a police department. I think the standard charisma for this series was nowhere as good as Kamen Rider Agito (or Ultraman Dyna) even if Sentai, Kamen Rider, Ultraman had different formula for the story implementation. Initially I was neutral but now I like Pats more than Lupins.

    Now, moving on. I do have several episodes that been my favourites. Episode 5-6 (Clash of Kairi and Kei-chan), Episode 14 -15 (Where Pats obtained Crane and Drill), Episode 27 (Touma-Sakuya dancing episode) and Episode 43 – 44 (Satoru Returns and Siren PatKaiser debut). I would had to choose Episode 27 as the best filler episode. Episode 14,15, 43, 44 are Pats focused and I think it was done quite well that I am at loss of words to compliment how good they were.

    Top 3 Favourite Heroic Characters, Kei-chan is the my first in this series because hot-blooded characters had the major influence. Next is Tsukasa. You can consider her as the second Jasmine in Dekaranger while Umika is the second Umeko. She is a tough beauty and her personality fits her well. It’s just sad that whenever Tsukasa got a good focused in Episode 13 and 41, she ended up collapsing and Lupins take over for the giant battle. Tsukasa’s role became less significant when figuring out the identity of Lupins, considering that she was the first to suspect Kairi, Touma and Umika as the Phantom Thieves. Yes, I would have wish she gave the deduction but Kei-chan got that honour of doing so when he was more attached with Kairi and saw Yano Shouri’s name among Zamigo’s victims. Not that I am protesting Kei-chan for it. I mean, this does prove him to be an excellent officer and good at deduction, like Hidari Shoutarou from Kamen Rider W, when he does not let his emotion go on a rampage. It’s just sad that Tsukasa ended up blending for a supporting role after episode 41. Last one is Touma. He is the most matured member of Lupins. I do like him being considerate in Episode 12, 23, and 27 when he was more aloof for most of the time.

    I think that is all I want to say. There are more but I have seen them explained so there is no need for me to do so. I had to admit, this series was the best one since ToQger, but it needs major improvement for the toy distribution mainly to be living up to such standard. Indeed, even though this series is good, I feel quite unsatisfied because of how the series was implemented on the second half and ended up becoming like Kamen Rider Hibiki and Kamen Rider Decade cliff-hanger for the ending of the series.

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