Friday, August 11, 2017

Ninja Steel First 8 Wrap-up

The premiere was pretty much what I expect from Chip - a good setup for the season like Dino Charge. I liked the flashback with Brody's dad and our first look at Galvanax' game show was cool. Nice suit reusage. I still like that Campbell Cooley continues to basically voice everyone. Great to have Kelson Henderson back as well.

For being held captive, Brody must've been treated well, without any effort to make him look like he had been a slave all those years. Plus I liked how the first morph here was a little different than when Shelby and Tyler stumbled into it. I appreciate that they don't come out with "It's Morphin Time" right away. Also, I love that Sarah has a hoverboard. I like how the Rangers have possessions that look like the zords, but as we see later, the intro to the zords sucked, with no explanation about why they look like them (Still would've preferred Redbot becoming the zord).

As for the theme, kind of an odd hybrid - the most forced "GGPR" has ever been. At least with Megaforce, which I still sort of like better, it was just the open/end that didn't quite match. The "Ninja Steel" parts are okay but it'd be a lot better if the entire song was original and something that would fit during zord fights (As we've seen, the Dino Charge instrumental is STILL used during the finisher). I always enjoy the closing theme and this one isn't bad. I'm just afraid they'll change the intro for Super Ninja Steel, using stills for the credits like they did last year.

The next episode held a bit of an edge I thought. Nice focus on the in-show couple, Calvin and Hayley getting the powers. With how close to the start of Dino Charge the premiere was, this felt new and fresh. It took awhile to get used to the Prism being sentient, though the fact it can so conveniently get visions and make power stars has kind of made it one of the worst deus ex machinas PR has done.

4/5 for "RETURN OF THE PRISM" through "PRESTO CHANGE-O." 3/5 for "DRIVE TO SURVIVE" and the weakest episode thus far, "MY FRIEND REDBOT." "HACK ATTACK" was a fun Sarah episode earning a 4/5, while Levi's debut wasn't as good as Ivan's, which I'll give a 3/5 to. I really thought he'd start out evil after being held captive and hooked up to the machine. Instead, he seemed just too normal after all that (and it didn't help weeks had gone by between episodes). Plus it still annoys me how rushed Astrozord flew off to save him and Levi hopped right in. I would've preferred if one or maybe two of the Rangers had been into country music instead of just Brody not being a fan of Levi. I did like the Rangers thinking Tom the manager was Gold Ranger and Levi having a gold version of the morpher.

Unfortunately, it's been pretty clear that with the movie franchise going on for the adult fans, they're really only making the show for the young ones. It's not bad for a kids show and the character development among the Rangers has been decent. And now that we're a ways in, I gotta say the game show plot is fun and my favorite way they've done the villains in several years. I'm also enjoying the original morphed action. But compared to classic PR or even most of Disney PR, Ninja Steel's not that good, especially with how repetitive the comedic relief from Victor and Monty has gotten, as well as how overused "epic" (from Brody) and "Ninja Spin" are said per episode. Perhaps if we could get Barnie Duncan again with Kelson...