Haruka is back to normal. She’s won an award for her new manga, a sequel to Hatsukoi Hero and is back in her classmates’ good graces, including her boyfriend Hanamura Hitoshi. This is because she is no longer a Donbro.
Flashing back to a couple of days ago, Haruka confronted Master Kaito about having the ability to henshin. But Kaito instead brings Haruka’s attention to her having accumulated enough Kibi Points (thanks to helping Tarou last week) to have her wish granted. As Kaito is the “manager” of the points, Haruka doesn’t hesitate to redeem her points to go back to her normal life as a successful and well-loved mangaka. But that would mean no longer being a Donbro.
Master Kaito seems a bit surprised by her quick decision, but Haruka is perfectly content with it.
During a book signing, a young woman named Maeda Marina appears to be a huge fan of Haruka’s. When Marina shakes Haruka’s hand, she holds on very tight and tells Haruka to watch out for herself. Marina slips her phone number to Haruka and says to call her whenever she needs her.
Haruka’s manager tells her to watch out for crazy fans like that.
Downtown, another fan approaches mangaka Ippei-sensei while reading Haruka’s manga and asks for an autograph. After a few moments however, a Hitotsuki swallows Ippei-sensei whole.
Later, Haruka is on a date with Hitoshi who is inviting her to his home so he can introduce her to his mother who cooks a mean beef stew. Haruka, however, wonders how Tarou and the others are doing and remembers how she hasn’t even met Inu and Kiji Brothers out of their suits yet.
Hitoshi shows Haruka a news story about five mangaka having gone missing recently. Just then, she notices Marina watching from around the corner. Later as she is walking alone, Haruka senses Marina is following her. She runs into the manga fan who asked for Ippei-sensei’s autograph and he helps get her to safety from the supposed stalker.
But this manga fan is actually the Hitotsuki swallowing mangaka. Haruka tries to run, but trips over herself. Before the Hitotsuki can gobble her up, Marina comes running in and henshins to Oni Sister!
Haruka is shocked!
The other Donbros appear. Marina quickly kneels before Tarou who acknowledges her respects and tells her to follow him into battle. Haruka watches as her former teammates battle the Hitotsuki who they are able to drive away.
As the rain falls, Haruka arrives at the café where she is to meet Marina after calling her. Marina actually works at the café, much like Haruka in the past.
Marina introduces herself and tells Haruka not to worry because the Donbros will protect her. Master Kaito comes to serve the iced tea and kibidango that Haruka has ordered. Haruka greets her former café master, but Kaito doesn’t seem to recognize her.
Haruka would like to ask Marina a couple of questions. First, Haruka asks who the other Donbros are and if she gets along with them.
Haruka accompanies Marina to Shinichi’s home. Upon seeing Marina cleaning around the house, she assumes Marina and Shinichi are dating and she is quite excited about romance in Sentai. But Marina says she is only doing this because Shinichi wouldn’t be able to manage on his own.
Shinichi thanks Marina for her help, not only here, but as an important member of the Donbros. A bit jealous, Haruka decides to help as well. But she is instead too clumsy and breaks a vase.
Haruka and Marina head to Shirokuma where Marina delivers some homemade bento for Tarou and his coworkers. Marina says she only works for Tarou. Tarou says Marina’s food is very delicious.
Again a bit miffed, Haruka tries to get Tarou to acknowledge her. But Tarou just thinks she’s a weirdo. Haruka goes to make tea, but instead breaks the teapot.
At a restaurant later, Haruka apologizes to Marina for being so clumsy. But Marina says it’s okay since Haruka’s clumsiness is actually very cute. This only makes Haruka all the more embarrassed.
Marina says she will introduce Haruka to Inu and Kiji Brothers tomorrow.
Suddenly, Marina takes her knife and gets up about to stab a photograph on the wall. Marina explains that the photo was taken by her, but someone has plagiarized it and claimed it as their own.
Over at the virtual art gallery, Sonoi tells Sononi and Sonoza that the bus passengers are alive, but in the hands of the Juto. Sonoi says the seal on the Juto has been undone for some reason. And at this rate, the human and Noto world will be destroyed.
Detective Sayama, who was on the Juto-attacked bus, is in a ramen restaurant. The news on TV is reporting the identities of the bus passengers. And just as Detective Sayama’s face appears on the screen, the Sayama in the restaurant begins scarfing down all the bowls of ramen in the place. His faces morphs into that of a strange creature, as if possessed. He grabs the chef and smothers his face in the scalding hot soup.
The other restaurant patrons run outside and watch as the strange being rampages before sitting at a table and calmly doing some origami of a cat.
Haruka and Marina are by the water where Marina tells her story. Marina was an award-winning photographer before she became a Donbro. That’s when she lost everything when she was accused of plagiarism.
Marina’s father was also a photographer and he loved to take photos of rainbows. She points out that there have been less rainbows recently and her father once said that it’s because people’s hearts have hardened. Her father’s wish was to heal people’s hearts with photos of rainbows. So she has since continued her father’s wish.
Haruka thinks that is a very cliché story, but says she’ll accept it in this case.
Marina says taking a photo of a rainbow requires a lot of work, including being ready to take the photos even before it stops raining. Only then would a photographer be able to take the perfect, beautiful photo.
But Marina is unable to take photos anymore because her hand shakes badly when she holds a camera. She has since given up on photography. But it’s okay because she is protecting the peoples as a Donbro.
Haruka knows all of this is because she gave up being a Donbro herself and Marina has taken her place.
Hitoshi arrives and drags Haruka off for the lunch with his mother. But the Hitotsuki arrives as well, targeting Haruka as a mangaka. Hitoshi runs away screaming for mama.
The Hitotsuki says he wants to be a mangaka, so he will gobble up other mangaka and absorb their talents. Haruka calls him a fool and says you cannot steal talent which is something you need to work hard for yourself.
Marina henshins and battles the Hitotsuki. The other Donbros arrive and take on Anonis.
Sononi is also at the scene and hates the stench of human desire. She shoots an arrow toward the Hitotsuki, but Tarou blocks it and he goes after her.
Marina tries to shift her attention to the Anonis. But when she points her blaster at them, her hands begin to shake. Haruka realizes Marina has actually not given up and is still holding on to her dream of becoming a photographer. That is why Marina’s hands shake.
Haruka believes this is all her fault. And after clearing her head, she is now resolved to make things right. When her manager calls, Haruka apologizes and says she will quit being a mangaka.
Haruka runs to the café and demands Master Kaito return her to being a Donbrother. After admitting that he actually does remember her, Kaito opens his laptop, presses delete and Haruka finds herself back inside the Oni Sister suit.
Haruka is right in the middle of the battle she had just run from. But she is now back as a Donbro and she is fired up. She goes all-in on the Hitotsuki before uphenshining to Oni Robotaro.
Haruka goes crazy and Tarou tells the boys not to let her hog the spotlight. They all uphenshin to their own Robotaro forms. And with their powered up-selves, easily take care of the Anonis as well as drive away Sononi.
Haruka, delivering the finishing blows to the Hitotsuki, wishes Marina will be able to live her normal life. Haruka accepts that this is her own life now.
The Donbros deliver their respective finishing Robotarozans and the Hitotsuki is gone for good. The eaten mangaka are back to normal, as is the manga fan the Hitotsuki had been born from.
Master Kaito has the purified Gokaiger Gear and closes his laptop which shows Haruka no longer has any Kibi Points.
As Marina is accepting a photography award for her wonderful rainbow photo, Haruka’s life is back to the Donbro normal with her classmates calling her a plagiarist. But she is much happier and content as she salutes the beautiful rainbow in the sky.
I have been enjoying Donbrothers so far. But my favorite episode has been Episode 5. It was such an interestingly different episode as it was light on the action and focused more on just simple character moments. Aside from having the Donbros together for the first time, the episode was also just them sitting around and just talking about different things that had to do with the story and their own characters.
So this Episode 10, which is very similar in that regard, is probably now my 2nd favorite of the season so far. Thinking about these episodes, they remind me of one of my favorite Ryusoulger episodes, Episode 19: “Attack on Tyramigo.” It was such an odd, yet engaging episode that just felt different. Not just for the season, but for Sentai or even Kamen Rider in general.
These almost action-less episodes that focus mainly on the characters are very exciting to me. It is a very welcome and refreshing change of pace. Though I wouldn’t want an entire season of just episodes like this of course. But having them once in a while and them actually being very good and very enlightening from a story and character-perspective is wonderful.
Now the theme of this episode is a very typical plot, especially in Sentai. Having a hero doubt their responsibilities or position in the group or things like that. Whether it’s being pulled into this responsibility when they never wanted it or having to balance their real lives with being hero.
This episode took that idea and did some refreshing twists to it. And all while also relating the episode’s plot to further building up the grander narrative of the season as well, with respect to Kaito and the Kibi Points.
It’s a great Haruka-focus episode of course. We know how she had been working very hard to try and get back to her normal life. That is, her life as a much lauded and very popular mangaka. Complete with adoring fans, classmates who hang on her every word and a handsome boyfriend. But as we’ve seen her slowly accept being a Donbro over the last couple of weeks and actually care about her fellow Donbros, it was still very much in character for her to jump at the chance to go back to the way things were.
Haruka deciding to do the selfless thing and regain her spot as Oni Sister in order to have Marina return to her normal life definitely adds a lot of her character. And it’s the kind of simple, but important development that helps solidify characters as fully formed people and with the necessary depth that in turn helps the overall story as well.
Elsewhere this episode, the scene at the restaurant with the Juto was absolutely terrifying. I mean, the possessed detective literally smothered the chef in the hot soup and we end up seeing him lying lifeless on the ground. Like, WTF! Not to mention the white eyes and purple fanged mouth is very disconcerting as well.
Including that quick scene as well as the Noto assessing the situation are necessary moments to include, even if they’re far from being a focus in the episode. It adds to the season being a bit more serialized than usual as well. And I do like serialized storytelling with my toku, whether Japanese or American.
Overall, I really enjoyed this episode. Just something about it feeling fresh and different, while also being substantive in terms of character and story is great.
Non-CGI Donbro of the Week
None again! =(