When we last left Ryu, he was able to gather up Yellow Owl/Raita Oishi, and White Swan/Kaori Rokumeikan. There are two members left and neither of them is going to be as easy to recruit as Ryu hopes.

After reading this review, remember to stop on by the discussion thread on the message board to take part in the viewing with other members!

This episode introduces us to the remaining members of the team: Blue Swan/Ako Hayasaka and Black Condor/Gai Yuuki and while we don’t get the clearest idea of who Ako is as a person, at least Gai gets that focus, but we’ll get back to him a little later on. Ako’s a high school student, and it seems a pretty superficial one at that. Once she discovers her powers, she decides to use them to her advantage by joining her school’s athletic club in exchange for a salary. Once Raita and Kaori arrive to recruit her, she agrees to join, on the condition that she gets paid for it as well.

Ako does eventually join the team for the right reasons, but it’s interesting to see what sort of character she is. Like Raita, it’s obvious she doesn’t quite care for the safety of others or even the world at the start of things. It’s not until they witness the severity of the situation firsthand that either one of them thinks joining the team might be a good idea. Though the key difference here is that Raita’s reason for not wanting to join, beyond seeming a little selfish, is that he doesn’t want to fight, simple as that. Ako on the other hand is, well, she isn’t any more complicated, but she’s definitely more superficial. Though they are working for the military, so I don’t think expecting payment is a big issue, it’s just not the only thing that should stop you from wanting to protect the world when you’re one of just five humans who have the ability to do so.

I think Ako can be one of the more interesting characters to watch because she is the youngest on the team and obviously isn’t as mature as the others. So she should be a fun character to watch as the series progresses, unless we end up with her somehow regressing – which wouldn’t be terrible this early on in the series, there’s lots of room to rethink your promises. It’s just not something we should be seeing later on in the series.

And, unfortunately, due to the episode mostly focusing on Gai, Ako is pretty overlooked. Her joining the team for all the right reasons is sort of glanced in over in favor of showcasing the drama between Ryuu and Gai.

Gai is, well, Gai! He’s the cocky and confident guy who is realizing he has crazy scary strength and wants nothing to do with the team and even less to do with the boy scout wannabe that is Ryu Tendo. The two are constantly in competition for each other, though Ryu doesn’t seem to take it as seriously as Gai does, which is pretty neat. For all of Gai’s confidence, he’s always putting himself out there while Ryu is very restrained. During their race to decide whether or not Gai would join the team, it’s pretty much a certainty that Gai would have lost had that monster not attacked that kid. Even during the earlier scuffle between the two, Ryu never lost his cool.

  It’s going to be a long road before Gai and Ryu ever get along. Even during battle, Gai didn’t like the idea of being told what to do by Ryu and held off on attacking the monster just because Ryu pointed out an opportunity. I’m not quite sure this is the sort of member you would want on your team, unfortunately, beggars can’t be choosers. There are only five people on the entire planet who can be the Jetman and Ryu’s going to have to bring Gai over to his side at some point, no matter the costs. Though I’m sure punching Ryu while the guy tried to make a peace offering isn’t the best way to get this relationship going.

We also start seeing the weird Vyram monsters here and today we’re treated to the tentacle/jet/ohgodwhy themed monster that hijacked the commander’s jet and used it as its host body. The action with the monster was pretty top notch, though personally speaking, I think the suits have a lot to do with it. The Jetman suits are some of the most unique and original among all of Sentai. There really are no other suits out there that look quite like the Jetman suits and I think that allows an added visual element. After a while you grow used to the look of a Sentai suit, but that’s not something that ever really happens with the Jetman suits.


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