Picking up where the previous episode of Ninja Steel left off, Viera’s ship has been damaged and she’s stuck on Earth. Seeking out the Power Rangers for help, Viera asks them to help her in finding a power source for her ship. Initially Mick refuses to help the princess, revealing to the group that he is from the Lion Galaxy, and that he was sold into slavery along with 100 others of his race at the command of the royal family.
With Drillion still alive, and looking to even conclude his battle with the Rangers and Viera, Mick must be convinced to help the princess if the team is to succeed.
‘The Royal Rumble‘ acts as a loose second part to the arrival of Princess Viera and the Fire Mega Zord. Whilst the episode has some great action sequences, it underutilises some great character moments and story beats that needed much more attention.
Ninja Steel has suffered from this in the past, with the characters taking a back seat to flash and robot fights. Sadly, here it’s perhaps the worst example, where the reveal that Mick was sold into slavery being quickly resolved and glossed over rather than explored. I’m not suggesting that this plot thread should have gone on to last for multiple episodes, but Mick should have been harder to convince to help Viera. Instead, he forgives her far too quickly.
With Mick and Brody having both been slaves on Galvanax’s ship for ten years the this would have been the perfect opportunity for the show to have the two of them show how deep their friendship is. Imagine how powerful it could have been if Brody had to convince Mick into giving a powerful weapon to the woman whose family ripped him from his home and sold him to a literal monster.
Power Rangers might be a children’s show, but it’s explored some heavy and emotional ideas in the past, with Power Rangers Time Force exploring racism and prejudice in the episode ‘Trip Takes a Stand‘, or the effects a loss of a parent can have in the Power Rangers S.P.D. episode ‘Reflection‘. Unfortunately, this story is lost in the rush to introduce the new Zord, as well as new power-up mode for the Red Ranger in which he receives Princess Viera’s armour.
Whilst the episode lacks the emotional punch that it almost had, and important character growth, the action sequences are incredibly well made, with some stunning shots and stunts.
If Ninja Steel could combine the pretty action sequences that it has been able to deliver so far with improved characterisation the series would increase in quality. As it is, the series is more style over substance so far, and with only five episodes left before the finale it’s looking less and less likely that the series will be able to deliver the quality of even last year’s Power Rangers Dino Supercharge.
Power Rangers Ninja Steel airs every Saturday on Nickelodeon. Let us know what you think of the season…