Episode 04: Kurenai no kikku! Kudake mikuro dai sakusen/ Crimson kick! Shatter the great micro plan
Original air date: Saturday 26 April 1975
Note on episode title
This is an interesting title. Rangerwiki states that it is “A Crimson Kick! Smash the Great Microbe Plan”, however the word in the second part of the title is simply “micro”, not “microbe”. I think the meaning is clear, as it is about a great plan involving something very small (micro).
Crimson? Not pink?
I’m curious about why the title went with the colour crimson rather than pink, given it was centred on Momoranger. Up to now, every episode title colour has focused on the colour of the focus character, but Akaranger barely appeared.
Meet the Team
I really liked how the episode began with Jade Mask / Hisui Kamen identifying the Goranger team members to his minions. It gave some information that had not yet been revealed, such as the fact that Midoranger is only 17 years old. It also helped to explain how they match up as a team – each has a clear role to play. Pretty convenient that they were the sole survivors from their respective EAGLE branches… other than the other surviving EAGLE agents…? Hmmmm.
The entire episode focused around them having roles within the team, and relying on one another, even if it was far less blunt than in later Super Sentai series. Momoranger showed that, despite being “just a woman”, she is independent and capable – when she infiltrates the lab being used by the Black Cross Army, she kicks butt. She’s also clearly tough, moving from fighting using her powers to taking a guy out using a hairpin to gunning down Zolders with a captured machine gun.
It also really established the colour dynamics used by all later Super Sentai. We have a pink who can disguise herself easily, and can alternate between being girly to being a one-person army – I immediately thought of the episode of GoGo Sentai Boukenger where BoukenPink pulls out a machine gun, and then thought about how similar Momoranger and BoukenPink are in general…
We have a dumb, but compassionate and kind-hearted yellow. A kid-friendly green. A blue “second leader” who can operate entirely independently (nailing the hot air balloon from the Variblune) but also support his team (heading out to discreetly back up Kiranger and Midoranger when Gon felt they might need it). A red who trusts his team, telling the worried Momoranger to chill, knowing that Aoranger was likely on the way with a plan.
Really well done. I love the team. This may become my favourite series!
Early in the episode, Momoranger sees who she thinks is Dr Muto – later revealed to be a disguised Jade Mask – smoking. Later on, Aoranger is smoking while he entertains Taro with music at Snack Gon. I have no great issue with seeing smoking, etc. in film, TV or literature as long as it isn’t product placement / promotion. I was actually a bit disappointed when Nick Fury and Wolverine both stopped smoking in Marvel comics. I’m not a smoker, I don’t support smoking, but it is a thing which happens and it doesn’t harm you to see it – it also reveals a lot about characters.
That said, I am so used to not seeing it that I was shocked to see it!
When snooping around the lab, after climbing over a small garden wall, Momoranger leaves the big brown envelope she was carrying on top of the wall. It looked very intentional to me, like maybe it was going to lead to something later – maybe that was how Kiranger and Midoranger were going to work out where she was – but it was never mentioned again. I wonder what the deal was, and what was in it… did 1970s female reporters just carry them around?
Riddle!, from Taro to Kiranger
What kind of fish is bigger than a whale but smaller than a killifish?
There is no fish which is bigger than a whale but smaller than a killifish.
I swear, Taro is just messing with Kiranger at this point. That said, after Taro confirmed Kiranger was correct, he had a pretty blank expression – and Midoranger then took him aside to teach him new riddles. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be a trick, and he actually just doesn’t get how riddles work…