The Goshikidas have just had a wonderful breakfast together. Papa and Mama Goshikida are leaving for the university again today to continue their work in finding parallel worlds. Kaito feels a bit weird though, saying it feels like they haven’t been together like this in a long time. Both Grandma Yacchan and Secchan says they’ve had breakfast together every day, what’s Kaito talking about?
Kaito still feels a bit weird though, thinking how the shop feels so empty today.
Kaito heads to Tokyo Skytree hoping to bungee jump off it as the first person to do so. But just then, Kaito has a realization. He hurries to the university to ask his parents about them finding a parallel world. They say they haven’t yet of course.
Kaito reaches into his pocket and pulls out a Sentai Gear. Papa and Mama Goshikida have never seen one before, but Kaito says they are from Super Sentai worlds. He suddenly realizes that he has been in another world before.
Kaito hurries back home and asks Grandma Yacchan and Secchan where Zyuran and the others are. Papa and Mama Goshikida follow him home and listen as Kaito talks about the Tojitendo attacking when Earth and Kikaitopia merged together. No one knows what he’s talking about.
Kaito calls to the god who turns out to have possessed him. They have a conversation inside Kaito’s mind, much to the confusion of Grandma Yacchan, Secchan and Papa and Mama Goshikida who watch from outside.
The god is impressed that Kaito was able to be the first one to get his memories back.
The god explains that he usually makes worlds when he’s inspired to. He can unmake worlds too, but he feels it’s a bit of a waste to just destroy them. That’s why when he learned of Ijirude’s research with Tojiru Gears, he realized he could save the worlds in them as souvenirs. That’s when the god began helping the Tojitendo.
Kaito asks why the god would help the Zenkaigers then. The god says he was intrigued at how Earth was the last world not conquered and how they also had the capacity to develop Gears. It was very interesting to see a world like that and he decided it was to be between Earth and Kikaitopia as to which he would leave intact. And it ended up being Earth.
Kaito is upset, remembering all his friends. The god says they’re just back in their own worlds… which are of course stuck in Tojiru Gears. Kaito demands the god return everything back to normal. The god asks why Kaito is so worked up since Earth is still free.
Kaito says he was able to see all those different worlds where people lived and how he was able to make new friends from them. Not only that, all those people have their own hopes and dreams and struggles too. And they deserve to be free.
The god points out that it was those worlds that got Kaito’s parents kidnapped. But Kaito says it’s not the fault of those worlds. He demands the god set them free. The god says he doesn’t have the Gears on him anyway.
The god says he will tell Kaito where they are if he can beat him. They both henshin and battle through all the familiar Toei filming locations. The god compliments Kaito and says he sees how he was able to defeat the Tojitendo. But Kaito says he didn’t do it alone. He remembers all his friends who were there with him the entire time.
Kaito punches the god in the face and proposes they settle this with jankenpon. Winner take all. The god laughs, but agrees. They throw down and it is Kaito who throws paper while the god goes rock.
The god accepts defeat and says he didn’t really want to put all worlds away anyway. Maybe that’s why he lost. Kaito thanks him and the god says he’ll take good care of the worlds he creates from now on.
Kaito hurries over to Tokyo Skytree as that is where the god has hidden the Gears, atop the tower. He shoots at it and they are finally free. The Kikai4 and the Goldtsuikers appear, confirming that everything is back to normal.
Three months later, there is now free and encouraged movement between all the worlds and Zenkaitopia, the new name for Earth world. The media acknowledges Papa and Mama Goshikida’s research as helping to make this all possible. And this world was named in honor of the Zenkaigers.
Stacey comes in to the shop for a sundae. He updates them on what’s happening in Kikaitopia and says change comes slowly, but surely. One positive change is having real schools for children with the help of the books Vroom was able to bring over.
Magine also pops in from time to time and helps children who have trouble fitting in at school.
After he’s done with his sundae, Stacey is about to go back. But Grandma Yacchan reminds him that he is more than welcome to live here with them. Stacey says he wants this place to be somewhere he can come to when he needs a break since it is so special. That and also because he has found something he wants to do in Kikaitopia.
Stacey returns to Kikaitopia where people support him taking over as leader. But Stacey says he’ll only do that with everyone’s help.
Back at the shop, the Goldtsuikers come by to visit. And that includes Ricky and Cutanner in their human forms. Everyone ask how they were able to return to normal and it’s thanks to a pair of Shinkenger and Ohranger Gears. Now the twins are able to switch between human and SD forms anytime they want.
The Goldtsuikers say they will no longer steal from weak people anymore since it’s not fun anymore. And they only like fun things.
Later that night, Papa and Mama Goshikida tell Kaito that it’s time he moves out. They want him to travel and be happy with what he wants to do. They know he stayed home only because they were missing. Grandma Yacchan says Kaito just didn’t want to leave her alone and she thanks him.
But Kaito says that’s not true. He also wanted to wait for his parents with her.
Papa and Mama Goshikida say now that they’re back, it’s time for him to leave and go Zenryoku Zenkai.
Kaito packs up and accompanied by Secchan and the Kikai4, set off to travel to all the Sentai worlds together.
And with that, another Sentai season has come to an end. Before I talk about the season as a whole, let’s talk about the finale first.
This definitely felt like an epilogue. It was light on action and focused more on some character-driven points instead. The main point they got across was really just about coming together and making connections, even across different worlds. That’s a wonderful sentiment to have. But honestly, it comes a bit late. And I guess I’ll talk about that in a little bit.
I did very much enjoy seeing Kiita Komagine in that back and forth between Kaito and the god though. I always enjoy actors getting to play characters completely the opposite of their regular role. And he did a great job in that scene. I would’ve wanted to see more!
I also very much enjoyed the quick Grandma Yacchan and Kaito moment at the end. That’s another thing I would’ve actually liked to have seen more of. Especially in response to Papa and Mama Goshikida’s return. For years, it was just them two there for each other. And all of a sudden, the two missing children/parents just pop up like nothing happened? What a way to not cash in on all the emotional capital that was invested all season in one of the truly best written relationships on any Sentai season I’ve seen.
It was so refreshing to see Grandma Yacchan and Kaito’s relationship. Now thinking about it, I’m kind of upset Stacey took away some of the time that could’ve been devoted to Kaito and Yacchan instead. Especially when the Stacey-Grandma Yacchan connection didn’t really go anywhere but to show Stacey was lonely.
Anyway, while I felt like everything was just waved off by the god just deciding to turn over a new leaf after ONE round of jankenpon, I still appreciated the scenes of the worlds being more open and free.
Especially with what’s going on in the world right now as we speak, peaceful and happy connections between worlds (read: countries) and cultures and peoples is something we continue to all hope for.
So as a finale? It was nice and feel-good. But not necessarily all too exciting. And I guess that brings us to how I feel about the season as a whole.
I like Zenkaiger. It was a nice season. Simple and fun. Certainly a feel-good series. But as great as the season started, I slowly grew to feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled. What started out as refreshing and full of potential ended up as a bit disappointing. Not to the point that I dislike it. I definitely don’t dislike it at all.
But I feel like the season could’ve done so much more and really been something more than what it ended up being for me.
The season ended with the idea of meeting new friends, forming bonds and making connections across worlds. That’s exactly what I thought the season would be about. Having Kikainoids trying to adapt to the human world is ripe for such stories. The fish out of water aspect had lots of potential to allow for meaningful and relatable stories about friendship and differences.
Scenes of Kikainoids and humans, especially the children or the elderly of both races(?) were always a treat. And if you want happy and feel-good, seeing those interactions was welcome.
But the season didn’t really do much of that for most of the season.
Part of that I think is because of having four suit characters instead of regular human characters. At first, I wasn’t sure how to take that four members of the team were rubber suit characters. Mainly because I was worried there would be a lack of character development or even just plain personality from them. It’s not easy to have suit characters be distinct and be full of emotion. But they were able to do just that at first. Each of the Kikai4 had solid introductions. And for a few focus eps in the 10s, it seemed like they would get as much good writing as regular “human” characters.
Sadly, that wouldn’t last and instead the Kikai4 would get shortchanged in favor of filler-like, throwaway stories that you could interchange between any random characters.
There was a lack of focus on them, even when they were equal members of the team. But what I feared came true in that because they were just suit characters, they wouldn’t be getting the same treatment as regular human characters would. And that’s a shame.
Forgetting about the odd fetish storyline Gaon was saddled with early on, all four of Zyuran, Gaon, Magine and Vroom were great characters on their own. You liked them. They were fun. But they didn’t get much story on their own.
So what did the season focus on instead? It would make sense if they used the rest of the time on the human characters like Kaito, Grandma Yacchan, the Goldtsuikers or Stacey. But somehow they didn’t.
Or maybe it’s because the stories they did get eventually didn’t pan out to anything.
For example, like I mentioned above, Papa and Mama Goshikida’s disappearance ended up being almost irrelevant. What was the use of centering a big portion of Kaito and Grandma Yacchan’s story around their missing parents/children and then not having the emotional payoff in the end when Papa and Mama Goshikida finally returned home.
I want to say they were mere plot devices, but honestly, you could remove them from the season and still get the same result. Like, just have Ijirude come up with the parallel world research, for example. They ended up not being needed. And you can’t even say they were integral to the development and growth of Kaito and Grandma Yacchan’s characters because none of the reason we actually like them have to do with Papa and Mama Goshikida and their disappearance anyway.
I don’t get it!
Then we have The Goldtsuikers whose main storyline was them trying to get the twins back to normal. Aside from them not really eager or hustling to figure it out, the solution at the end was Flint just getting Zox to use two of the toys the show is trying to sell? After all that, that was the solution? And even worse, the twins didn’t even care whether they were human or SD at the end. What?
And then we come to Stacey who had probably the most dramatic initial story of anyone on the season. The son of an abusive father who has impregnated and abused women across the universe.
Uh yes, this is still Zenkaiger we’re talking about.
But Stacey’s story was also ripe for some powerful moments. Especially when the season was planting seeds for a Goshikida twist that never materialized. Okay, I understand Stacey feeling a connection with Grandma Yacchan was just him being lonely and missing his mother whom his father killed. But then why tease something more than that and then completely drop all of that later on anyway?
They could’ve still had the Stacey-Grandma Yacchan story without teasing that she’s his actual mother or stuff like that.
And I only bring up that teasing mainly because it speaks to probably my biggest problem with the season.
The season felt mostly like filler. As light and enjoyable as the individual episodes might have been, as likeable as the characters can be, there’s still an unfulfilled feeling for me. The season either relied heavily on filler episodes and side adventures or built up stories and set up foundations to stories that went nowhere in the end.
That’s quite disappointing. And very sad. I’m sad that I don’t like Zenkaiger more than I do. And I haven’t even touched upon the out of nowhere god nonsense and how the Tojitendo (like many other aspects of the season) ended up irrelevant in the end.
So overall, as much as the characters are likeable and the cast (human, suit and voice actors equally) was great, I’m leaving this season with that sense of being unsatisfied and unfulfilled. So much potential wasted and so many balls (gears?) being dropped. It’s too bad, but still Zenkaiger is far from the worst I’ve seen. Thank you to the cast and crew for the past year. But on to the next one.