The Ganglers we know are not the only dimension-hopping criminal syndicate. When the Lymon Gang arrives on the scene, even boss Dogranio takes notice, and we open this episode on the Ganglers plotting how to get around their competitors. A series of kidnappings against chefs leads to Noel asking Touma for help luring out the kidnapper, on the condition that Touma be allowed to claim any Lupin Collection items the group might stumble across. Noel makes the deal easily, knowing the GSPO have already failed in their mission to catch this criminal.
With the way Touma moves about his kitchen, teaching a class, it makes me wonder if the actor himself may be a chef, or trained as one. It’s certainly not an uncommon hobby, especially in Japan. The class, and the subsequent capture of Touma and Noel by a Gangler, all go according to plan, and they begin to explore the Gangler’s hideout, an old ship sitting in Tokyo bay. When discovered, they change and engage. This Gangler’s name is Ushibarock, and he is a member of the Lymon Gang, revealed when Lymon himself enters the fight.
Lymon is what Noel calls a, “Status Gold,” meaning that he has a gold safe. When Touma tries to open it, he gets the combination right only to be met by an error message. Noel theorises that VS Vehicles can’t open Gold safes, and the attempt may disable a VS Vehicle temporarily. It’s at this point that we learn Ushibarock’s motivation: He needs a chef for his hideout.
What begins to sound like the culinary Hunger Games quickly becomes something more akin to Iron Chef. With some encouragement from Noel, Touma agrees to take part in the contest. Noel confides that he is not a chef, but pours the same level of dedication Touma has for cooking into being an artificer. As the lead caretaker of the collection, his pride is wounded when a piece is damaged, and that is something he cannot allow. As the two work on their own trades, Touma contemplates if cooking might have been his true calling. One cannot be a phantom thief forever, after all.
When presenting his dish, Touma appears, at first, to have poisoned Lymon and his companion. Instead, Touma is appointed at once as Ushiarock’s replacement. Lymon, in his way, is seeking to become Dogranio’s replacement and tells Kairi as much during their first encounter on the ship. Here, we see the Scissor dial fighter make a return, with Kairi using the shield portion to protect Umika from a blast of flame. Through the best kind of teamwork, Noel and Touma are able to retrieve Ushiarock’s item and then the battle becomes 4-on-1, following the normal pattern from there forward.
The police are conspicuously absent this week, apart from the cameo of their failed cooking show plan, but all in all, this episode stands out as a high point of what this series can be. Lupinranger vs Patoranger continues to deliver, despite having minimal marketing items compared to its Kamen Rider counterpart, Build, and with the series currently approaching the halfway point of its run, there is plenty of time for the show to continue to improve.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!