This Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Episode 17
Rinse repeat, Super Ninja Steel is soulless. The episodes aren’t trying to be anything meaningful and they can’t even get that right. This episode isn’t as blatantly offensive as some of the last few episodes have been (not being shockingly racist helps), but it’s still not great.
The lesson this week is actually fairly decent, loving yourself despite what changes happen on the outside. Sure Levi reaches the lesson because of a really silly reason, but whatever. This is where the “kids show” explanation is totally acceptable. Having a fantastical situation illustrate a lesson is fine and for a zany world like Power Rangers, it can work well enough.
The problem is the follow through. It feels like the team behind the series just comes up with random lessons and thinks the characters just stating them is enough? It isn’t. Levi learning the lesson to like himself despite what’s happened is good but the moment he learns it? Boom. It’s no longer an issue.
Levi doesn’t have to “learn to love himself” because now he’s back to how he was before. There’s no lasting consequence. I’m not saying Levi should have stayed as a kid (but if it involved some alien Rangers showing up then I’d be down), but there’s more to learning a lesson than just saying it. You have to put it into action.
The kids watching this series should learn that applying this kind of lesson to your life isn’t easy. Maybe Levi could have faced some more challenges as a kid after he learned the lesson. Perhaps when he turned back into a twenty five year old man, err, teenager, he could have at least said, “I realized there’s a lot of other things I don’t like about myself. I can work on those to.”
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Perhaps the loss of his voice and how devastated he was by it could have made Levi take stock in how so much of his happiness resolves around it. The episode almost brushes up against this idea but doesn’t do much with it. Almost getting close to a good lesson is batting a thousand for Super Ninja Steel these days, but that doesn’t earn it too many extra points.
Super Ninja Steel also just… doesn’t know how to tell a story over a season of episodes. The Rangers Ninja Stars just suddenly only work with specific vocal commands? Wouldn’t that have been great to establish earlier? Why are Victor and Monty even in this episode if they do next to nothing? Tynamon has just kind of… randomly shown up and hung around? How are we five episodes away from the finale and it still feels like we’re languishing in the first ten episodes of a more traditional season?
But those problems are pervasive in Ninja Steel and Super Ninja Steel. They’re barely worth commenting on. They’re sadly surface issues. The true problem is the fractured core of the series’ morals. If it can’t even pull those off right, how can we expect it to tell a decent story in general?