Yeah, science! We open on an explanation of why Ganglers explode when killed, and how they can be revived as Kaiju. The prevailing theory is that the safe is the Gangler’s core. Before they can go into too much detail, though, we are met by this week’s Gangler attacking a wedding. It’s an odd crab-stingray-man and the Lupinrangers waste no time in engaging. This new threat demonstrates a body-swapping ability early on by turning Umika into a bird. This classic trope is the setup for the episode, leading to some confusing shenanigans as another attempt at swapping a ranger and a bird is made, only to turn Touma into the Gangler himself.
Touma, in a slightly foolish moment, attacks his own body right in time for the police to show up. Not knowing any better, they intervene and assume Touma is the same Touma they know from Jurer. The police know him by name, and they tell him to run, right in time for the real Touma, in the Gangler’s body, to be attacked by the police. The way it tries to swap back, for a moment, indicates that the power is a skill it has,not something connected to its Lupin Collection item.
There is a moment where it figures out it is attractive, by way of a pair of high school girls, while the monster Touma is simultaneously snuck home wrapped in a tarp. Everything in this episode screams of some missing levity returning to the plot. As always, Tsukasa is the first one to realize anything is off as the groups debate why Jurer is closed and where Touma is. The thieves react visibly, which would give them away in any other scenario. However, for plot reasons, their facial expressions are seemingly ignored.
A small, but important detail, is that after the body swap, Touma and the Gangler keep their own voices. For much of this episode, the Gangler’s voice and constant, random, “Yayyyy!” Grated on my ears like nails on a chalkboard, even with as interesting as it was to see how the Gangler adapted to being a human. Tonally, the episode does make a brief diversion back to the heavier darkness of the last few episodes as Touma makes Kairi vow to stop this Gangler, even if it means killing Touma’s human body. The result is the same in the end as if they do nothing, he says, and it sets up a duel between Gangler Touma and Kairi, fighting for control of Touma’s body.
A daring gamble on Kairi’s part leads to another dramatic moment, and then the fight resumes as the tone shifts back to the more familiar Sentai feel.
With all three thieves, we see a new combination form for LupinKaiser, replacing the blue and yellow arms with green and black, for the ScissorBlade and Cyclone Dial Fighters.
The battle comes to an end quickly after that, and things return to normal, with the police none the wiser. Back in Jurer, in a packed room full of all six main characters, the police call Touma out for skipping work, and caution Kairi and Umika about Touma slacking off to hang out with girls.
Next week, Keiichiro has a girlfriend?! Stay tuned and see. What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!