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So I just finished up South Korea's first original foray in the Power Rangers/Super Sentai franchise: Dino Force Brave. Yes, it has its problems. It goes too fast, and just about every character other than Juyong, Juhyeuk, Deisaurus, and occasionally Torin feels extraneous. Purun and Dohee are probably the worst offenders, since at least Sechang and Hyunjun were beginning to get personalities--those two never really developed.

But the acting is pretty good. I think it's probably the hardest thing to act well in anything that has this number of special effects and people in costumes. There's this inherent sense of "...you know I'm talking to a giant bird with hair coming out of his eyes," and the focus on action makes it hard to develop chemistry between the cast. But I think as far as it went with everyone coming to trust Juhyeuk and how badly he realized he needed their trust and friendship--that was done well.

The final battle does have me wondering if the last battle in any Sentai season should eschew traditional effects and rely heavily on CG. It is thrilling...but at the same time, everything is going by so quickly that it's really hard to see anything. I think if Sentai can figure out a better balance of that, they could make the most boring part of the show, the giant robot vs. monster battle, one of the most exciting.

Also, props to the casts of Dino Force Brave and Zyuohger for one of the best hand-offs in history. The Sentai hand-offs are a tradition, usually between the Reds of each team. As far as Power Rangers is concerned, the only real hand-offs have happened in a meta sense, with one season's cast announcing the next during conventions, and the Sudarso brothers putting together their own Blue Ranger hand-off from Dino Charge to Ninja Steel. But I like how Juyong and Juhyeuk handled theirs to "Animal Force," or the Zyuohgers. It's a good way to get everyone pumped for the next season, and it looks like they tried to have at least Yamato's actor flown out to South Korea for the hand-off. It's cute.

Overall, don't expect anything mesmerizing. A lot of the issues with Sentai and Power Rangers as a whole are still there, but it's still pretty memorable. It's just meant to have fun, and that's sometimes what you want to see most.

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Akino Ame

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