21 years ago, a man out on a jog suddenly finds a crying baby inside a peach that has crash landed on the water.
In the present day, high school student and mangaka Kitou Haruka is accepting an award for her debut work Hatsukoi Hero. She is a bit bored by the whole thing. But on the way home, her taxi driver suddenly turns into a monster.
A man in a blue suit arrives, recites a poem about this unfortunate situation and transforms before taking on and destroying the monster. The man picks a flower up from the floor and hands it to Haruka who thinks he could be a real life Hatsukoi Hero.
Next day at school, Haruka’s classmates congratulate her on the award. One of her classmates, Yoshioka (whom she calls Yoppy) scratches his nails on the chalkboard and tells her not to be too cocky about it.
Haruka’s boyfriend Hanamura Hitoshi comes in to defend her from Yoppy who just walks away. Hitoshi says Yoppy has been acting a little weird lately. Both of them were on the table tennis team, but Yoppy quit last month.
Later, Haruka is at a café when her phone suddenly plays some kind of slot game. She hits three eyes and a pair of glasses pop up out of nowhere right on her face. With the glasses on, she sees strange beings all around her.
Haruka runs out of the café while a mysterious man seems to be watching her.
All across the city, Haruka begins seeing strange things and runs into strange portals in addition to the strange beings who, after realizing she can see them, chase after her.
Haruka calls for her blue hero as she finds herself jumping up onto a rooftop. A Don Blaster appears, shoots into the sky and she henshins into a yellow suit. She is announced as Oni Sister and she must now unexpectedly fight against this swarm of Anoni.
Haruka manages to escape their clutches and dehenshins, confused over what has just happened.
Meanwhile, a young man in red makes a delivery to a Suzuki Haruo who is not too welcoming. The young man forces Haruo to sign for the package and once he does, the man says they’ve finally bonded. Haruo is creeped out, but the young man says the whole world is made up of different bonds that connect or get mixed up and make miracles happen.
Haruo is just frustrated at how much he’s struggling with studying for the bar exam. The young man decides to clean Haruo’s apartment for him in a second and gives him some words of encouragement. That makes Haruo suddenly motivated and the young man says he also brings good fortune in addition to packages.
On the other side of town, Haruka’s publisher says they have pulled Hatsukoi Hero after plagiarism accusations. The news spreads quickly and her classmates no longer celebrate her. Even her boyfriend Hanamura wants nothing to do with her.
Haruka thinks this bad turn of events is due to the glasses. She tries to throw them away, but they only fly right back onto her face. She is suddenly transported to a strange place where she meets an imprisoned man.
Back at school, Yoppy challenges Hanamura to a table tennis match. But Yoshioka uses a paddle he’s hammered with dozens of nails. The balls he hits carry a monstrous power that injures Hanamura and everyone he challenges across the city.
In the strange world, the imprisoned man says Haruka was chosen to fight along with four others. First, she must find a man named Momoi Taro, bow before him and pledge her loyalty. “He never lies,” the man says. When she finds him, he can show her the way and help take back what she has lost.
Haruka is transported back to school and decides to go search for Momoi Taro, not knowing the young delivery man she has just bumped into is him. Instead, Haruka thinks the blue suit Hatsukoi Hero is Momoi Taro and hurries to find him.
Meanwhile, Yoppy challenges gold medalist table tennis player Kasuga Makoto to a deadly match.
As Haruka rides along on her bike, the Don Blaster appears again and she henshins before being automatically transported to the scene of Yoppy’s rampage. Anonis pop up and terrorize the locals.
Haruka tries to reason with Yoppy, but he shoves her aside.
The blue suit man arrives and Haruka quickly gets on her knees for him. But he just kicks her aside before he transforms and seemingly makes Yoppy disappear. “I eliminated him,” the man says.
Haruka is upset that the man she thought was a hero would do such a thing. As Anonis attack her, another man in a normal suit appears. But he also has glasses and a Don Blaster. Haruka thinks he is Momoi Taro. But he shows her that he is just like her.
The man henshins to Kiji Brother and the two of them battle the Anonis.
Just then, a great fanfare welcomes the arrival of the flashy red member of their team. Haruka wonders if this could be Momoi Taro, but she decides it can’t be. There’s no way.
Anyway, the red hero hops off his bike and takes on the blue suit who is disgusted by him, a human, being excited about the battle. Blue suit man turns to Kasuga who is staring at his gold medal. Blue suit recognizes this as greed and turns him into a monster before leaving.
The red hero locks in a Zenkaiger Gear and transforms into Zenkaiser. He shoots all the Anoni down before transforming back to his own form. Taking on the monsterKasuga, he is able to deliver a finisher that destroys its first life.
The defeated monster embiggens and a game-like world emerges in the sky, mirroring the real world when attacked. The red hero hops back on his bike and drives up into the sky game world. A black and white Zenkaiser watches the scene, locks in a Gear and shoots it in the sky too.
Don Zenkai-Oh is formed and the red hero hops in to battle the embiggened monster and finish it off for good.
After the monster is destroyed, Kasuga is released and a Ryusoulger Gear drops down. B&W Zenkaiser stores it in his belt and leaves.
Haruka approaches her red and pink teammates, but they say they can talk more next time.
Haruka returns to her own bicycle and wonders where she can find Momoi Taro.
It was a fun premiere. This definitely felt a bit more like a traditional Sentai. From the hero introductions to the villain teases as well. And again, not that Zenkaiger was bad or anything. It was just different. Of course, Zenkaiger will apparently be involved somehow into this season too. So we’ll see what all that is about.
Speaking of different though, Donbrothers also has some unique aspects even if overall it feels more traditional and familiar.
When the first images were revealed, I had no idea what to think about the strange CGI characters. Actually, I thought it would be horrible. Especially after coming off of Zenkaiger which really shortchanged the Kikai4 seemingly because they were suit characters without face actors. If they couldn’t write suit characters well, how could I get excited about potential CGI characters.
Thankfully, I was very relieved when it was later revealed that we’d actually get five human characters out of the suits. But then again, I still wondered Why the CGI? I honestly think it’s completely unnecessary. And I don’t really see the benefit from a production perspective or a toy perspective or budget perspective. If it’s just to be different and to try something new, it’s meh.
And I was even more confused when in this episode, Kiji Brother actually has a physical suit. At least, the top half of one for close-up shots. Like, I don’t get it. And we finally get a full-time male pink, but he’s a literal stick figure. What?
Both Sentai and Kamen Rider have been hit or miss with the increased CGI the last few years. Some amazing CGI, others not so much. But I get the CGI battles. I don’t get having actual team members be 95% CGI.
I’m honestly hoping some curse appears in the middle of the season and they turn normal. Because I find my nitpicky self more likely to be continually annoyed by the long and short CGI characters rather than get used to them. I dunno.
But one way I’ll be able to get used to that oddity is if the writing for the characters is good. When the leader of the team talks about bonds, I am expecting very tight, well-written bonds this season. Don’t go talking about bonds and connections and end up being distant and unapproachable. Lol So I’m definitely hoping to see some great character-driven story this year.
Not really sure what to expect overall, otherwise. I don’t really read much before starting new seasons. But what I did see so far is fun and interesting and as always, I’m hopeful for a good year.