We’re back with another episode of Tasteless Power Rangers! When we last left the Pink Ranger, er… Cutie Honey, she had just had her first taste of failure and she did NOT like it! Not on that, but a new player is in town and the hospital is still causing trouble for those in the community, including her friend Hayami! Can she stop the EVIL hospital’s experiments before it’s too late? What does Watari have in store for her now that she’s caught his attention? Will the special effects get any better!? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins not long after what had happened last time and we see that Honey Kisaragi is still mourning the death of Matsuda who was taken away by Panther Claw after his arm detached at the bicep. Honey, being perceptive for once, believes that the hospital Matsuda had visited has something to do with it, but Hayami is not as eager to peg them as the bad guys considering that the hospital cured his illness in the last episode. Of course, WE know that he’s actually been injected with whatever EVIL medicine had turned Matsuda and others into uber powerful bio-cyborgs and that he’s on borrowed time until the drugs start to eat him away from the inside (as they have done with everyone else so far), but at least the guy can now throw a baseball pretty fast.
Honey ends up going back to the hospital to continue her investigation but doesn’t get much information from the pervy patients who just want to remind her how hot she is (as usual she takes it all in stride). It looks like she’ll have to take more drastic measures to get to the bottom of this mystery! She sneaks into the receptionist booth to find the files securely hidden inside. I don’t know much about hospitals, but I figure that they’d hide their evil plans somewhere else, like maybe a place that has a lock on it.
The charts she found may or may not have had the information she was looking for (probably not considering the experiments are SUPPOSED TO BE SECRET) but we’ll never know because the guy who wrote them has shitty handwriting which makes it impossible to read them. Fortunately, through the power of editing, we get to see exactly what they’re up to as we cut to the evil doctor who is talking to Duke Watari; the American (I think) representative of Panther Claw who’s in charge of this whole scheme. We don’t get much from this conversation other than the people being injected are intended to be sold at some sort of auction which points to this being a super solider program. DAMN YOU CAPTAIN AMERICA!! How many others must suffer because it worked out that ONE time!? From there, we follow Watari as he goes to business luncheon with Nakajou (the member of Panther Claw with split personalities and transforming chicken arms) and there is only one topic he wishes to discuss; the pink haired badass who’s been wrecking their shit on a regular basis. Watari has only seen her the one time when she vaporized one of the super powered dude’s in the last episode, but he is very intrigued by all this and is interested in what Nakajou might have learned from his run ins with her. Unfortunately, he’s interrupted by a clumsy waitress (he REALLY seems to run into a lot of klutzes in the service industry) who spills water on him. Needless to say that he responds to this in his usual understated manner.
Hayami by the way is only getting stronger as we find out when he’s able to fend off some douchebags trying to hassle him and his homeless friend as if he were a tacky Japanese Batman. So what exactly is going on here? If they’re going to sell these guys, why have they been allowed to leave the hospital and why have so many died so far? Well it looks like that all the patients up to now have been experiments as Panther Claw perfects the formula and they are only now starting to include mind control chips along with the drugs. The first seemingly successful patient (or at least the first one that we see) is one of the patients that Honey was visiting on a regular basis. It SEEMS to be a success considering that the mind control chip is SO POWERFUL that he can’t even muster up the urge to ogle Honey in her nurse’s outfit, but then he destroys a parting gift given to him by one of his fellow roommates. You’d think an evil organization like this would want their secret agents to be inconspicuous. You know who are EASY to point out in crowd? JERKS!!
These very unsubtle clues do not pass by Honey who decides to follow the patient (Kurabayashi) and see if he will lead her to some answers! It doesn’t take long though for him to go completely off the rails though as the chip in his head forces him to IRISH WHIP A MOTORCYCLE!!
DAMN!! That was a pretty impressive move that the mind slave was able to pull off! Kurabayashi, now having a means of transportation, finishes off the owner of the motorcycle by snapping his neck and then heads for the location that the voice in his head is telling him to go. All of this by the way is in plain view of Honey who decides to follow him by transforming herself (and a nearby bicycle) into Hurricane Honey; one of the primary transformations that’s been in most, if not all, iterations of the character.
Cutie Honey may be on the trail of the brainwashed Kurabayashi and Panther Claw, but she’s completely oblivious to what Hayami has been up to and what the doctor is doing to him right now as she’s looking for answers (spoiler alert: not good things). That will have to come later though as she finally reaches the Panther Claw facility being used for the super solider program and finds not only Kurabayashi there, but also someone else who used to be a patient she visited frequently (some dude with glasses); both of whom are ready to engage in Mortal Kombat… for some reason. Watari is inside the building and is hosting an auction for very wealthy eyeballs, all of whom are there to see the two new soldiers in action and buy whichever one lives after the fight.
Fine, I get that this is a bad guy trope, but why the hell would they invest SO MUCH into these soldiers and then have them try to kill each other, rather than sell them BOTH!? Couldn’t they have set up an obstacle course or a bunch of training dummies or something!? Anyway, the fight begins and Honey is unable to get to them due to the fact that she’s somehow INSIDE the building (with super non-destructible glass) while they’re OUTSIDE. Wait, how the hell did she get inside the building? Couldn’t she go out the way she came and then get to them before one of them is dead? Unfortunately, she couldn’t figure that out in time to save Kurabayashi who gets wasted by the other dude’s REALLY badly done special effects. Still, this does give Honey another chance to show off her dramatic skills.
Boy is she pissed now! Panther Claw goons might have her at the moment, but they don’t know who their fucking with! She gets dragged to the room Watari is conducting the bidding, but once she’s there she starts settling some accounts! These bills are past due and they’re gonna pay them in PAIN!! Watari though isn’t even fazed by her display of Kung Fu mastery, and instead relishes in the chance to finally meet her.
Usagi wastes no time though and rushes for him with a forty megaton punch, but unfortunately misses because Watari has bullshit teleportation powers that puts him well outside her range. He then starts monologuing about darkness and how dark it is and how it’s gonna rule the world and blah blah blah. Yeah, we don’t need a bullshit reason for Mark Musashi to be acting sinister and kicking ass. Somehow though, this speech that has nothing to do with anything causes Honey to realize that Hayami is next on the list for brain control implants and so she rushes out the door and straight for the hospital; leaving Watari to marvel at her handiwork on the Panther Claw goons and presumably plan his next move to either destroy her or get her to join his side.
She manages to make it to the hospital in record time, but still too late to save Hayami who already has the chip in his brain. He knocks Honey out of the way and goes to… some random garage with biker punks. Okay… why? The last two guys with the chip in their head went to the Panther Claw place, so why is he out beating the shit out of these punks? I mean, besides the obvious reason which is to have an awesome fight scene involving motorcycles, lead pipes, and lots of chains, but still…
All’s going well for the cyborg Hayami until one of them drives a motorcycle right into him (or at least near him and then the actor pretends it was a hit) which brings him down for the count. The driver turns around, heads right for Hayami to finish him off, and then Honey shows up out of nowhere with a flying kick to his face!! WOO!!
She manages to take down the rest of the bikers and confronts Hayami who’s back up and ready for round two. Fortunately, he doesn’t stand a chance against her even in his super powered state, and she regrettably is forced to knock him unconscious for his own good. Now all she has to do is take him back to the hospital, take out the chip, and find the doctor who’s responsible for all this! The good news is that at least one of those is done right away. The bad news…
Actually, bad news is WAY overstating it. Don’t forget; Cutie Honey is the best and therefore stops this mother fucker with a one two punch to the FACE!! She FINALLY drags Hayami back to the hospital to perform whatever surgery is necessary to get him back to normal, which I assume she’s more than qualified to do. She can transform into surgery scrubs, what more do you need!?
While the impromptu surgery is being performed (fingers crossed he’ll still have motor skills!), we cut back to the Foreshadowing Penitentiary where we learn that Miki is still in fact there. Trust me, it’s gonna pay off eventually!
Well that was fun. From there, we cut, rather jarringly, to Hayami and Honey training again; the former being back to his normal pathetic self. I guess that means surgery went well and I’m SURE there won’t be any debilitating side effects! Robot doctors for the win!! And so the day is saved! Honey is happy to have Hayami back and he seems none the wiser to what happened to him in the past few days. All for the best I guess.
This was a solid episode that continues to refine the formula towards a more and more perfect series. Everything just seamlessly blends together, from the humor and action, to the drama and acting with everyone here doing a great job with their roles. Sure the effects are still pretty bad (at least the CG ones as the practical fight scenes are solid) but it kind of adds to the charm. Not only that, but they’re doing interesting stuff with the terrible effect, so instead of seeing something lame try to pass as a legit effect, it’s stuff like arms turning into pulse rifles and shit like that! The way Honey is treated when she’s undercover is still bothersome and frankly is something that isn’t going away anytime soon, but at least it was kept to a minimum this time. Next episode is finally going to pay off Miki’s subplot by being an episode ALL about her, and trust me. The show gets EVEN BETTER when she becomes a primary character!