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Go! Go! Loser Ranger!
Episode 7

by James Beckett,

How would you rate episode 7 of
Go! Go! Loser Ranger! ?
Community score: 3.6


Okay, before we get into this week's episode of Go, Go, Loser Ranger!, I need to gripe about a couple of localization/subtitling issues that are specific to Hulu's release of the show here in the United States:

#1. The only subtitle track is closed captioning, which is already irritating because I have enough to keep track of when I'm reading the dialogue in a fresh episode without having to be reminded of the sound effects and verbal ticks that are happening. On top of that, for whatever reason, the captions cannot decide on whether to stick to family names or given names for referring to speaking characters, which has made it extra confusing for me to remember what to call all of these new damned Cadets!

#2. There is a pronoun-based joke in this episode where Fighter D is chatting with Komachi and accidentally slips into his more aggressive, natural way of speaking. Here's how the line is translated into English after Komachi teases F.D. for being afraid to scrap with Shion: “What? Ore? I mean, boku? No way!” Keep in mind, I actually added the italics for the Japanese pronouns, myself; now, imagine how confusing that exchange would be for anyone watching who doesn't possess my sub-preschool level of Japanese language comprehension! Why on Earth was the line translated like that!?

I don't know what's going on over at Disney+/Hulu but between these bizarre errors and the fact that the subtitle tracks are still constantly being programmed with incorrect timing, the House of Mouse needs to figure its shit out if it wants to stay in the anime streaming business. Or, better yet, Disney could stop trying to compete with companies that actually know how to localize, market, and distribute anime! There's some food for thought, eh, Iger?

Anyways, I suppose I should start properly discussing “The Zigzag Road to the Final Exam”, now. Unfortunately, this week's episode of Go, Go, Loser Ranger! shares many of the issues that I had with the last chapter of the story: It presents a muddled “exam” story with unclear stakes and too many new characters who remain underdeveloped—and the brief flashes of interesting world-building and cool action can't make up for the overall sloppiness that drags down the whole product.

On the plus side, Shion gets a tiny bit more characterization when we learn that he, like Hibiki, lost his family to a Boss Monster attack… though he completely disappears from the episode before the show can do anything interesting with that development. The reveal that the Boss Monsters are still alive is also neat but the way it is handled feels completely divorced from the ticking clock of the whole exam story: We get two minutes of Lord Petrila showing up to rescue Fighter XX and kill some guys, and all it leads to is a big, fat “To Be Continued…” that could have easily been saved for next week.

Fighter D's bonding with the other “loser rangers” of the Cadets is a nice direction for the story to take, too, but it happens so quickly that we end up glossing over moments that should feel more important than they are. Like, shouldn't it be a much bigger deal that Ranmaru, a character we barely know, learns about Fighter D's true identity? Do the other castoffs he is teaming up with know? Why doesn't D care? Is there some big scene that I missed while I was being distracted by Hulu sucking so bad at streaming anime?**

It's not an awful episode, by any means, but even if we disregard the technical issues, the material itself can be as shaggy as a dog from a maudlin family film starring Tim Allen circa 2006. I really hope Loser Ranger! wraps up this exam storyline soon, because I feel like we're starting to lose track of what made the show feel so fun and interesting to begin with.


**NOTE: Literally one or two minutes after finishing this review, Hulu Support reached out to me on Twitter to explain that they do not have any in-house localization teams, but rather rely on material from “the content owners.” That is an interesting bit of clarification, I suppose, though I don't know if that means that the subs/captions are made by some other entity within the Disney umbrella (because they own worldwide distribution rights, as far as I know) or if it's being done by a team affiliated with one of the Japanese companies involved in the production. Either way, there's still some obvious lack of quality control happening somewhere. Hopefully, things improve across the board in the coming weeks (though I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you).

Go, Go, Loser Ranger! is currently streaming on Hulu in the United States and Disney+ in other regions.

James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.

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