Episodes 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-51

Twenty-one | Twenty-two | Twenty-three | Twenty-four | Twenty-five | Twenty-six | Twenty-Seven | Twenty-eight | Twenty-nine | Thirty

巻之二十一 仮面とナゾナゾ
Kamen to Nazonazo
Masks and Riddles.

Another day aboard the Centipede. Wendinu is indulging in egotism. She's putting on makeup, in front of an oval mirror two Magerappa hold for her, while she sits on another one who is digging through her makeup box. She complains he is slow as he digs out things to hand her. She's making herself up to look good for their sixth, whenever that one gets around to arriving at last. Furabijo wanders past between Wendinu and the mirror, carrying her bubble blower and similarly lacking patience. She blows bubbles into the air and Tao Zanto comments on the importance of waiting for this sixth. Sargain nobly steps forward and asks for more information and why hasn't this person come before, while Wendinu waves the Magerappa with the mirror away. It occurs to Wendinu to wonder where Manmaruba's gone off to, and Furabijo poutingly replies he's gone for a walk, then gets back to her bubble blowing.

Someone is indeed walking, through a covered area, seemingly ignored by the people walking blissfully ignorant to their jobs, schools, where ever. He walks soundlessly on those heavy feet, great brown cloak covering his body, golden armor across his shoulders. A man chatting away on a cellphone collides with him and falls, then sits up in confusion touching the empty air, wondering what he'd run into. Riding up an escalator between other passengers, he is invisible to their sight.

Baseball! Yousuke is the batter at a baseball practice place, where a machine spits balls at him and he tries to hit them. He's not alone, though. Kouta is in the next spot, and Nanami in the one past him. They happily bat, doing darned well and trot out of their respective cage to meet and happily say their scores. Nanami says happily that they're great because they trashed Chuzubo. They trot off happily, never seeing the cloaked Manmaruba watching them from the batter's cages. "Not here," he comments, and walks off. As our heroes trot off chattering, it occurs to Yousuke he wants to call the others.

The others in question most likely being the Goraijer. These two are busy at their job in construction. Isshu hands a heavy bar down to Ikkou, who sets it in a pile of others. Another man is using an automatic machine to attach bolts. No one sees the cloaked Manmaruba. "Hurry up," Ikkou tells the man above him (I think Isshu), then stiffens and looks wide-eyed to his left. He looks straight at where Manmaruba stands, but... "Bro? What is it?" Isshu has another bar to pass down to him. Startled, slightly worried, Ikkou looks up at him and says quietly, "Nothing, just a strange feeling." He glances back, puzzled, then takes the bar to put it down. Before he can, something strikes him hard in the stomach. He falls with a strangled gasp of pain. Isshu is about to leap down when he, too, is struck. He falls landing on his back. Ikkou moves protectively over him, but then someone says, "Where am I, see?" Frantic, the Goraijer and their fellow workers looks around but there is nothing, until Manmaruba drops his cloak. Fighting ensue. Manmaruba manages to force Ikkou to drop his Horn Breaker, then strikes him viciously with a glowing light. Ikkou falls hard, and a scorpion symbol appears on his belly then disappears. Isshu leaps to make sure he's all right, and he thinks he is, but Manmaruba tells him the god of death is hanging over his head.

The girls are waiting excitedly for the sixth person. They see someone coming, but it is only Manmaruba. But then presents fall out of the air into their hands. One for the cutest of the Jakanja, Furabijo reads her card. One for the most beautiful, Wendinu's says. One for Lord Sargain and one for Manmaruba. When the first three open theirs, they are hit in the face by pies. And then the sixth arrives, cheering his own prank and asking them if they enjoyed it. He is most disappointed that Manmaruba had not opened his. The others half glare at him as he bounces off the walls.

The Goraijer have called in the Hurricanger, who are helping bind their wounds and they tease them mercilessly, to Ikkou's annoyance. He is warning them to be careful, then suffers a spasm of agony in his belly. Isshu worries but Ikkou insists he's alright. The staggered man doesn't notice the four scorpions that crawl out of his pants leg. Each of the others suffers a surprising, sharp pain. But they are all distracted by the arrival of a Jakanja, already gone giant. When they call in the Shinobi Machines and get ready to slash with their blade, Ikkou who is watching notices something strange and hollars at them to stop. It's too late. They slash, only to find the enemy was never there. They've bisected an office building. Frustrated, Ikkou groans. Mugensai back at base hollers about the idiocity of this. And then Satorakura arrives. This laughing, confusing being has magic tricks, jokes, insane laughter. The five facing him are more than slightly confused and finally Yousuke leaps in to attack. He gets flicked in the face for his troubles. And around the city their enemy is shocking people and turning them into giant exclamation points. Probably thousands are being stolen away. Oboro tries to track all this and there are one thousand five-hundred people taken. Statorakura explains what's going down. These marks are being turned tiny, into power. 100,000 lives, animal and human, will be destroyed. Yousuke fires at Satorakura, who simply hops out of the way. Then he traps them in a box of cards.

Caught inside, they are burst from their costumers. Ikkou holds Yousuke protectively, Isshu helps Nanami. They get back onto their feet to find they are expected to engage in a Quiz game. Satorakura even has his own laugh track. The Goraijer get ready to change back into armor, but are informed that if they do that, all five of them will die. Yousuke defiantly starts to do so anyway, but is cut off by a flare of light. So the group is forced to stand helpless. Maybe, just maybe they can answer their way out of this. And a worried Mugensai is worrying for there are so many people in Tokyo who can die. Oboro is furious.

Even the Jakanja are trying to figure out the answers to the first riddle. But Ikkou is targeted for it. Yousuke calls encouragement to him. The first riddle is about hot water and fire below. The first thing the Hurricanger think is a guy in a hot tub. This should be easy. But the Goraijer have totally different ideas. A panicked Ikkou comes up with Fire and Flood. But that's not it. Neither was the hot tub. It is a boiling pot. And the floor drops under them. They see far below hot lava. The next riddle is targeted for Isshu, somthing people eat. Yousuke thinks it must be bread. Everyone has a different answer. Ikkou even prays and finally Isshu in fear cries, "BREAD!" Well, it was right. BUT he hadn't answered fast enough, and the floor drops farther. The panic-stricken group holds on. And the news is broadcasting. A family watches, when the newscaster is struck. Then they are hit, too. And our heroes are in grave danger. Oboro is panicking, calling her father who's disappeared. He's dialing his cellphone but the person he's calling is not there. That person is playing in a baseball place. And Yousuke is next for a riddle. Nanami slides down towards the lava. Ikkou catches her wrist and holds on, while Yousuke tries desperately. The question involves a food old men hate. Manmaruba is laughing. Suddenly Oboro finds and picks up Mugensai. "Father, what is the food you hate?" They are all praying, and time is running out. Yousuke votes Papaya. Nope. The floor drops more and Isshu slides down, clinging frantically. And the strange man playing baseball has reached an amazing score. He's ready to head into battle.

File 21 on Jin Girown
巻之二十二 翼とニンジャ Tsubasa to Ninja Wings and Ninja
Our heroes get out, but they are in pain, and in comes the new ninja.

Twenty-one | Twenty-two | Twenty-three | Twenty-four | Twenty-five | Twenty-six | Twenty-seven | Twenty-eight | Twenty-nine | Thirty

巻之二十二 翼とニンジャ
Tsubasa to Ninja
Wings and Ninja

The answer was wrong, a red X appearing on the tv screen. "Buu buu!" cheerfully shouts Satorakura. "What are you -" protests Yousuke, leaping to his feet. But the floor drops several centimeters farther and he falls, everyone sliding. Ikkou keeps his death grip on Nanami's hand, but Isshu is the one who ends up with long legs dangling furthest towards the lava below. He gasps and casts a terrified glance downwards. Kouta, who'll go in head-first if that happens, grabs tight to Isshu's wrist. "I won't let you fall!" When the wild-eyed man protests, Kouta smiles painfully back. "I know, it's hot. You're one of us." The listening Satorakura responds, "Yes, that's right, it's hot," and something more about whether or not they'll be able to defend the world. He looks down at his table for the next riddle. Our heroes have ended up in a ring, heads facing in towards center, hands splayed for balance where not clinging to either the wall or one of the others. Ikkou utters breathless encouragement to the group, suggesting they change, but Yousuke is afraid they'll get blown up if they try. Ikkou whispers that they don't really seem to have a choice, do they? Damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of thing. Nanami and Kouta put their two cents in about timing, and someone making it. Ikkou's face is battered, especially badly bruised around his right eye, he tells them in a stern whisper, "We can do it." Yousuke stares at him, then says wistfully, "We're one group," causing Ikkou to meet his gaze intently, then nod affirmation. He glances to Isshu, who nods and passes the glance to Nanami, who does so, passing to Kouta, whose nod is firm and eyes brilliant. Satorakura has chosen the next question, but before he can ask it, all five roll onto their backs and hit their changers. A furious Satorakura acts quickly to set off the destruction of the box, it bursts apart in brilliant light. Oboro, who was watching, drops Mugensai and covers her mouth in horror as the air turns to white-orange fire. At last the flames are gone and where the box stood is only a crater. Satorakura comes to see the results of his wicked plan. I'm not sure if he's peeved that the game is over so soon, or smug that he's destroyed them. He drops his helmet, sign, banner, and then it proves that he is neither as he shouts "COME OUT!" for the five are still very much alive. And they do come, surrounding him with all their gadgets out and aimed for his head. He seems a bit astounded, holding his hands way above his head, then touching each of their barrels with amazed surprise. Finally he pushes Yousuke's aside and says, "Yeah, but I'm not the obstinate one." "HUH?" And he tells them there is something in their bodies. He shrinks and bounces off of Ikkou's right shoulder, annoying the man no end and then Nanami's and Kouta's heads before taking off skywards, laughing. His face fills the sky above, tongue out mockingly before the image bursts and fades away, the startled group staring up. Yousuke decides this is something to celebrate, Nanami is shaking him to stop him, but the Goraijer are looking at their own bodies with puzzled concern. Yousuke sees this and snaps, "You know he's lying, right?" But then Oboro signals them and calls them in, adding urgently that they should bring the Goraijer. All five are quite startled. "US?!" gasps Ikkou. Isshu gapes at him (we assume this, as they're in armor and we can't see their faces). "Go to the Hayate's place?" Oboro, frustrated and worried, shouts frantically, "HURRY UP AND COME BACK!" slamming her hands on the table in front of her keyboard, alarming Mugensai who is very nearly hit.

Meanwhile, on the Centipede, Satorakura is laughing his head off. This is his normal state so no one should be too alarmed. He bounds over to a stiff and formal Manmaruba, ignoring the disapproving stances of the others. He's expecting praise, but what he gets is shoved angrily away. "Don't touch me!" Furabijo is curious and comes to ask for explanation. He informs her that he'd stuck Kabuto Raijer with the scorpion. This delights Wendinu, who hadn't really known about it. She asks for confirmation and he nods and tells her so. Then he relates how four offspring had spread into the bodies of the other heroes. Sargain is impressed. Manmaruba points out that the kids are as good as dead. He laughs....

So the Hurricanger have brought the Goraijer home with them. The two men are taking off their jackets and shirts and gosh, Isshu has a nice back. Oboro doesn't seem to notice his body except for the need to examine him. "Sit down," she says worriedly and he obeys, in the chair in front of her. She pulls out her scanning device. Green light comes from the front and she passes it rapidly down his torso. Suddenly a red image appears on his skin and the green light goes out. The red image is a scorpion. Isshu lifts a terrified gaze to hers. She meets his eyes, looking stricken. Then she sets the scanner aside and tells him she'll have a look at this picture. Dismissed, he moves away. He gets his shirt back on (WAH!) while she reads the data appearing on her screen. Her voice is slightly winter-shaken. "Yeah, this is it." I don't know if they know yet that all of them are infected. Nanami asks what they can do, but as yet there is no answer. She tells them it'll move. "But what happens when it moves?" asks Yousuke worriedly. Ikkou answer him quietly, "We die." They jump and come to the Goraijer quickly, eyes wide with worry. "That's what it is, right?" he asks Oboro over Nanami's head. The Hurricanger turn frantically, hoping she'll deny it. When she doesn't answer right away, Nanami calls her name. Oboro stands. She doesn't have a sure answer for them, but after all that's probably what will happen. And all five of them blink in shaken worry. The Goraijer look worn. They'd gotten quite a beating earlier at Manmaruba's hands, after all. Mugensai cuts in softly to ask what they can do. Oboro turn to tell them she can't think of anything, and this is terribly hard. Kouta and Yousuke sit down heavily. Ikkou folds his arms over his stomach and stares pensively downwards, an activity Isshu is also doing. Nanami is badly shaken, standing in the midst of all of them.

Elsewhere stands a great mecha, bathed in green light. Someone sits in the cockpit where all the instrumentation is thick with cobwebs. "Teach me what?" he asks in English, waving his arms at no one. Chattering in Japanese to himself, he starts the task of cleaning up, pulling the thick webbing aside and wiping panels with a towelette. He starts wiping the thick dust from the windows. This could be a while.

The Jakanja creature from last episode is busy, too. He's set up a the case containing the people turned into exclamation points to explode, and there is golden liquid on the floor. He laughs gleefully.

It is Ikkou, of all people, who breaks the miserable silence. "Would... would you lend me your computer?" he asks tentatively. Startled by the question, everyone stares at him. Oboro stutters weakly, "Y-yes, but..?" "I remember something," he tells them as he heads for the computer. Something about the weight and size of the Jakanja they faced. He settles in Oboro's chair and Yousuke anxiously leans close to see what he's going to do, while the others all gather to look over his shoulder. He starts typing and the information he's inputting goes into use at one. They've located the Jakanja. What should have been a source of smug joy is now only a "Well, what do you know," for him. Yousuke nods slightly and stands up. "Let's go everyone," he says firmly. There is still a catch in his breath, though, and they all stare numbly at him. Then Kouta stands up and nods firm agreement. Ikkou, who never once thought of hesitating, is on his feet and he and Yousuke lead the race out of the underground cave. Oboro calls quickly, "Yousuke, guys wait!" Pausing in their rush, Isshu holding his jacket, they look at her and she tells them they mustn't do this. The more active they are - well, you can guess. But Ikkou tells her sternly, "We have to go now. Protect the Earth." "That's right!" Yousuke agrees urgently. Voice slightly hoarse he says, "It's our lives, and we'll use them to protect." Ah. I guess they DO know they're all infected. "Yousuke," Oboro starts painfully. But then he tells her with a grin that he has faith she'll find a solution and save them. And once again he dashes off, the others following him enthusiastically. Oboro watches them go, opening and closing her mouth, finding no words until at last she turns in angry protest to her father. But there is nothing HE can say, either, except that he believes in them all.

And down below the city, the Jakanja starts the fuse burning on his bomb. This'll be the end of the world, the last day, he laughs. Then a blur flashes by and the bomb is gone from its moorings. The blur becomes Yousuke, who pulls the fuse away with a fierce snarl. The Jakanja clutches his cheeks in dismay. He then finds he is facing five angry heroes who transfer into battle armor to fight. The Goraijer, then Hurricanger identify themselves and leap into battle against the outraged Jakanja, who targets Yousuke because he's still carrying the bomb. Mugensai calls through the communicator with a warning about the danger it represents. He's gotta get that bomb to safety. But the Jakanja wants it back, and when Yousuke refuses, traps him in inky blackness, mist roiling around his feet. Yousuke is not disoriented. When his enemy rushes at him, he brings out his blade to strike. Only when he strikes what falls are the Goraijer pair. Horrified, he comes to them to make sure they're all right and tell them why he'd struck them. They are recovering from his hit (when did they get so fragile?) and breathe that he must be careful, but now he finds he is under attack... from Kouta and Nanami?! Kouta fires gun-mode at him. He keeps between the shots and the Goraijer, who scramble back to their feet. "Why are you doing this?" he cries. Kouta only snarls and attacks, gets past him to strike at the Goraijer. Nanami's hitting Yousuke, who tries to protect the bomb. And she shouts something which proves she thinks he's the Jakanja. "No, no! Open your eyes!" he cries back. Finally he has to strike her down, even as a furious Ikkou strikes Kouta down. The pair land heavily in the mist, but when they look up the spell's been broken, and they see the three images of the enemy warp and become their three companions, shouting at them to wake up. "Guys!" gasps Kouta. "Wh-why were we-" starts Nanami. She is cut off by the Jakanja's cackle. As he approaches, they gather together. For that is this creatures's skill, to make you believe you are attacking the right thing when you are not. They do not intend to be fooled again. Unfortunately, that's not so easy. For the Jakanja disappears with a mocking remark on how they'll be able to figure out who's their friend. As Yousuke watches, the other four's bodies warp. All he can see is the enemy. He gasps in horror, knowing he'll not be able to tell when the real one comes. Then he is attacked viciously. "Is it the real one?" he begs himself, blade out to defend. He is being rushed, and risks a swing only to find he's hit Kouta. He can't fight, he realizes. And then a strange voice reaches him. "Hey boy," it says cheerfully in English, then switches to Japanese. "You gotta close your eyes if you want to see your enemy." "Who are you?!" Yousuke pleads. There is only the darkness around him. The voice is male, strangely pitched and yet gentle with compassion. "Close your eyes, you'll see your enemy. Listen to me, boy." Something else and then a final, warm, "Good luck, my boy." (in English) Disoriented but not panicked anymore, Yousuke considers the advice and is happy to go with it. He opens his face-plate and closes his eyes. "If I see only with my heart, I won't be forced to attack my friends." He stands still and brave in the mist and darkness, waiting. Around him form four laughing images of the enemy. They mock him, but he does not move. Then... "You!" his eyes snap open and he spins and fires on one of them. "It's YOU!" And the blackness lifts. The Jakanja is indeed the one he'd hit, rolling away on the hard cement ground to vanish from sight. The rest of the team, still staggering from getting hit, assembles around him Nanami saying his name. Kouta adds, "There was this really weird voice!" "Oh, you heard it too?" Nanami answers, "Yes, I heard it." "Who was it?" And then Yousuke utters a strangled gasp of pain. He drops his blade and falls to his knees, clinging to the bomb. Nanami reaches to help him, but now they are all affected, the other two falling in helpless agony. The Goraijer are last to fall, fighting it. There is a skittering, frying sound filling the room. "My chest!" gasps Ikkou. They know what it is. We know what it is. The Scorpions are reaching their hearts.

Of course on the Centipede, all this is being witnessed by a very pleased Manmaruba and the girls. Satorakura, on the other hand, doesn't seem so pleased. He's still waiting to see what happens. Mist forms above the five fallen heroes. It coalesces into an image of the Jakanja they were fighting, and he rains down golden lightning on the helpless group. They fall again and he appears, walking smugly towards them. Yousuke still clings to the bomb. The group gets back to their feet, and they assemble the Victory Gadget. Amused, their enemy puts out a dozen of so images of himself. This doesn't faze them, they still prepare to fire. And now they do. All the images are destroyed, and he himself falls and explodes. The staggered group watches in relief. And then the bomb Yousuke holds pops open. Shining multi-colored lights flash out and head into the sky, beautiful exclamation marks heading back to point of creation, to become startled human beings again. All over, they are restored and delighted. It is a major relief. And it would be for our heroes, too. Except for the little problem of their lives. Mugensai sings their praises then turns to Oboro, who has been programming and researching wildly. But she has no answers yet. "It's too freaky!" she cries, slamming a fist onto the table.

Satorakura is laughing his head off, tongue hanging out. Wendinu tells him to shut it, Furabijou joining her in glaring at him. "Well here, use this!" he tells her, and in his hands is a sweet, large thing which at one glance looks like a gigantic pendant of a bat, and on the other looks like a mask you'd put over your eyes. Considering the story, I go with mask. He tosses it to her and she catches it, staggering slightly under the weight of it. "You want me to use THIS?!" "Please?" he asks her. With a snarl of fury, she throws it like an enormous boomerang. It whirls out from the Centipede. It reaches the destroyed Jakanja, pulling its remains up and recreating a giant skeleton. Covering the eyes of the skull, it reassembles the dead one into a giant. Our heroes are in no shape to deal with this, but they'll try, calling in their Shinobi Machines. They face off against him, and he hits them badly. Worries, Oboro sends out a new Karakuri Ball. Number 09, the Karakuri Mat. A fine, red scarf that when next the enemy throws a bolt at them, can be used as a deflective shield in much the way a matador uses a red cape against a bull. Then they throw the cape and it swings around the Jakanja's head, blinding and electrocuting it before returning to their hands. They swoop it around their heads and vanish. He is not impressed and hits the area sending up flames. They reappear, shaken and blasted, and are exploded from their cockpits to land under the brilliant blue skies. They hit the ground in the underbrush, and their bodies crackle with lightning until their armor fades away. This pleases their enemy no end, for they are fragile and ever so vulnerable, now.

Oboro witnesses this development with a cry of horror. She calls them, and Mugensai is afraid. Satorakura is pleased he's helped make this happen, and Furabijou is delighted that she'll be able to mark off both the Hurricanger and the Goraijer today. She laughs happily.

But our heroes are still alive, however much in pain they are. Yousuke makes it to his feet, clutching at his chest. He staggers, and then falls rolling onto his back. "It's over," he breaths, glaze-eyed. Their enemy blocks the bright sunlight to look down at them. He is reaching down, probably to squash their fragile bodies, when the atmosphere around turns red. Startled, he looks up and around. Suddenly the air is filled with whirring sounds, leaves and debris tossed on strong winds. And something whips the air like helicopter blades. Yousuke, unable to move, gazes up thinking he's delirious. "What's that light," he wonders. And then a mighty machine lifts up, between them and the great, setting sun. It looks a lot like a helicopter. And it is not alone. Perhaps a dozen more just like it rise up and fly in formation. The Jakanja doesn't know what to make of it, and neither does Yousuke who finds the strength to roll over and stare up. They begin firing. Hit badly, the Jakanja staggers back. The five heroes all start getting up to watch. Back at base Oboro asks, "Father, who is that?" Mugensai narrows his eyes and says calmly, "I don't know." *snort* And on the Centipede, Furabijo gasps while the others stare in surprise. Tao Zanto growls in quiet fury.

The copters approach, and the light returns to normal. The primary machine is a sweet green with a bird's yellow beak and claws. Its pilot stops out the door and stands on a ledge. Hauling out a microphone he says cheerfully in English, "And now, ladies and gentlemen!" Yousuke stares shockily. Then he speaks Japanese, his voice soft and gentle, "Sorry for taking so long!" Back to hard English. "I am ninja of the ninja!" A claim which will probably offend the Goraijer seriously. He continues in Japanese explaining he is the Green Tenkujima, Shurikenger! And he comes in with his giant helicopter. Far below the five watch him, faces white against the shadowed green backdrop. Their Jakanja enemy has a comment to make about what a slowpoke the newcomer is, to which Shurikenjer replies in English, "Oh, sorry," and he is clearly not remostly sorry. He holsters his microphone in his cockpit and gets ready to start the battle with happy enthusiasm. He starts firing, staggering the enemy who fires back, but cannot hit the weaving helicopter. "Let's go!" cries Shurikenjer (yes in English) and barrels in. He turns his copter on its side. The blades of his copter dig into the ground, sending up a huge spray of soil, (this must be tough metal) and he pulls up just short of collision with the startled enemy, who spins to follow the copter and doesn't notice the rifts in the ground opening up on either side of him. White light shines, the ground breaks and pulls apart, the place he's standing sinks. The ground shake sand quakes, staggering the group of watching five. Shurikenjer is pretty pleased with himself, and wants to engage the enemy and happily says, "Oh, good! Let's go!" and now he brings out a green orb. This causing a reconfiguration of his machine into a humanoid form, the Karakuri Tenkuujin. The Goraijer and Hurricanger are suitably impressed, gaping. The Jakanja has recovered and stares up at the hovering green mecha. "Tenkujin, suisan!" Shurikenjer says with a gleeful salute. There is a brief standoff. Mugensai says he has no idea what's going on, but hey ho go with the flow, I guess. Oboro nods and says, "So we've got one more," and she calls to him to go into battle. He answers her with a confident "Okay!" and pulls out a Shinobi medal. He has a Karakuri ball, to Oboro's shock. Ball #10 and contained within is the Bee (Hachi). It is yellow, silly-looking, with a cord to pull and send it spinning at the enemy. It hits and the resulting explosion destroys the Jakanja. Yousuke sinks to his knees in relief. Ikkou sets his hands on his hips looking slightly put out. Everyone else is busy sighing in relief. Oboro sinks into her chair, for the win does not cancel out the very real danger their kids are in. Tenkujin lands, and Shurikenjer leaps from his cockpit to come to Yousuke, who has managed to get most of the way back up by this time. Yousuke starts to move towards him, when the newcomer moves with slow grace to pull his weapon from its scabbard. This sets the frightened youngster back, for obvious reasons. He brings the wapon to bear on the group and stalks towards them, concentrating on the Hurricanger. They're in no shape to do more than stumble back, but they face him, Yousuke trying to spread his slight form to protect the others. Now Shurikenger stops, the blade held sideways. He calls a command, "Reitouken, please!" (Freeze-sword.) And he slashes out with the blade. It sends a beam of blue-white light which soaks into the five startled people, who try to leap back. Of course they are unable to move. They stand, bodies covered in ice, hands frozen protectively covering their faces. Shurikenger takes on Yousuke's still form first. He slices it until the scorpion falls steaming to the ground. Then another, another, another, and the last. Cheerfully he says "Sorry for surprising you! But now the poison won't spread anymore! Now, Haitoken, please! (burning blade)" and he takes another swipe in their direction. He is behind them now, so when they are released and fall they look frantically around at him. "Hey everybody. Eyes open again?" he asks cheerfully. They are still quite in shock. It takes them a moment to realize the pain is gone and they exchange startled glances. He thumbs up them with a soft, "Good!" Oboro sighs and slumps happily on her desk. "He helped them!" Mugensai says, "Yes, but who is this green ninja?" He bids his farewells and starts to head off. Yousuke quickly leaps forward. "Hey wait! Thanks for helping us, but... what are you?" Seeming perplexed by the question, he turns around and hooks his thumb at his chest. "Me?" he says in English. "Well, I'm the Shurikenger." (I have to make up my mind about spelling that). Nanami joins Yousuke quickly. "No, not that. Who are you really?" Mixing English and Japanese he asks back, "My identity?" He gives this a brief thought. "Well, I..." and then he takes off at high speeds, laughing merrily. He is gone in his helicopter and calls back, "That's the fun for next time!" Then in English, "Coming soon! See you again!" They watch him fly off, the last words echoing. "What is that guy?"

A sentiment echoed by the severely annoyed Jakanja on the Centipede. Satorakura is quite pissed, perhaps because Shurikenger is funnier than he is. "I never heard of this sixth one! Ah, whatever. This means it'll only be more interesting!" and he pats Manmaruba on the shoulder in passing. Manmaruba is less upset for... "There is still a god of death around Kabuto Raijer...."

File 22 on Satorakura
巻之二十三 コロンと名探偵 Koron to Meitantei Koron and the Famous Detective
The Goraijer are pursuing someone they find suspicious, a young man who carries a ball like Shurikenger's, but also seems clumsy and inept. Thus they have their doubts *smile*. Shurikenger comes in with a different appearance, golden shield gone, the other side of his mask to the front in sweet, arched wings. He has a yellow ball and is using his bat. Explosions all around!

Twenty-one | Twenty-two | Twenty-three | Twenty-four | Twenty-five | Twenty-six | Twenty-seven | Twenty-eight | Twenty-nine | Thirty

巻之二十三 コロンと名探偵
Koron to Meitantei
Koron and the Famous Detective

"Let's GO!" hollars Shurikenger, and he sends his Tenkujima at the enemy. Sinking him into the ground. "Oh, cool!" What's going on is that the enthusiastic Hurricanger are watching scenes from the battle over Oboro's shoulders as she madly programs. Kouta holds a tray with four cups. Nanami takes hers, and the three fret about who this Shurikenger is. Oboro observes the data in her computer, but it gives no answers to that question. Yousuke has his cup, and Kouta is holding the tray with the last cup. Oboro turns the question on Mugensai, who jumps slightly and says he has no idea. No one seems to think he's acting just a leeetle too innocent. Yousuke chatters about how that's a little bit like Ikkou and Isshu, which causes a disgruntled Mugensai to flick his ears back. And maybe he doesn't know, for he remembers a disturbing phone call he'd made. This is the person he'd called for, but WHO is that person?

And on the Centipede, Manmaruba is praying in front of an alter, saying his own name. The girls watch with curiosity for this is very, very strange behaviour. Sargain wants the attention back on him. They are thinking about the arrival of the Shurikenger, and Furabijo complains that he speaks English, AND speaks really strangely on top of that. Wendinu has a little clever smile on her face as she thinks about him and says she thought that was quite neat, which Furabijo is happy to agree with. However, that seems to trigger Satorakura, who is trying out Shurikenger's style. He says in English, "Oh, really?" and goes on in Japanese, dancing up to them with gifts he materializes in his hands. Vials of thin red liquid. They take the vials. (silly girls, don't they know him yet?) "Perfume?" delights Wendinu. She takes off the cap and sprays some on her wrist while Furabijo sniffs hers. Well, what do you know. They exclaim with delight on the scent. Sargain is not pleased, for... "Ugh, stop that! I hate that sent!" he goes into a coughing fit trying to clear his lungs while they watch him in surprise. Tao Zanto has noticed the scent too. "That scent... it's the perfume of the Kirakoron." Disturbed, Wendinu asks, "Kirakoron?" Satorakura joyfully tells him he's got it right. For he's got the Kirakoron perfume. And this is going to be fun. Tao Zanto rumbles with interest.

Bright day, shining light. People walking to work, during lunch? Who knows..? Young women with lovely legs, unaware of the pink liquid closing on them, but they stop to sniff the air, scent rising around them. The scent is lovely, they comment and agree with each other. They never notice the liquid that lifts up and takes form behind them. A female being. Perfume Ninja, Killer Korowne. She laughs, and the startled girls turn, take one look at her and scream. The goings-on have attracted someone else's attention. a young man in a black suit, wearing a red silk shirt and white tie. He ducks for cover behind a hedge with a gasp. The girls' reward for appreciating her perfume, well... Korowne sprays them with a mist of the stuff, they cringe in terror and become one blue and one pink liquid, which she pulls to her and contains in perfume bottles... for eternity! She whirls to go her way. The young man behind the hedge grins broadly and slaps his hat on. "A monster!" he whispers. Grinning like a loon, he leaps out to confront her. But she is long gone. "Eh?"

Back on the centipede, Furabijo and Wendinu are still admiring their bottles of perfume. They're very pleased thinking this was made from humans. Unfortunately, Satorakura tells them it isn't. This was made from space cockroaches. Both girls immediately are revolted. Then there is a startled cry from behind them. Sargain is diving back from a flying insect. It looks like a bee, and when it flies towards the others they dive for cover, dropping the bottles of perfume.

A dog, Golden Retriever (Choco having a guest shot?) barks furiously, only amusing the unwelcome visitor, Korowne. She turns him into perfume, a red-brown color. All that is left behind is his bandana. Next victim is a cat, we can still hear it meowing even when it's become perfume. Next she takes a big goldfish (must be the animal line). Oboro sees, Mugensai says what's happening (perfume made from the living beings of our star?!) and Oboro calls in the Hurricanger. When they arrive, there is no enemy to be found. However, Kouta has a clever idea. "Hayate Way Ninpu! Dog-nose!" and his friends star in surprise as his nose develops an extra on top. It sniffs, Kouta's eyes going wide. "I can smell it! Perfume!" Nanami races up beside him and points, so they start off in that direction. "WAIT!" someone hollers. They are cut off by that young man in his black suit. He holds his arms wide to prevent them passing. His words are rapid-fire, either accusing or asking and when they stare at him blankly, he pulls off his hat and frets. He doesn't think they should go this way. And then he stares at Kouta in surprise (how often do you see a guy with an extra nose on the end of his nose? When he starts at Kouta, Yousuke runs interference, "Who are you?!" while Kouta protectively covers his nose. Their... guest holds up a finger, then whips out a business card identifying himself. Yousuke reaches to take it, but he pockets it again and starts with what is obviously his favorite speech about what a great detective he is. Unfortunately his dramatic intro is interrupted by his stomach growling so loudly it could be heard a mile away, he is chagrined, and starving. "Can I... please borrow 1,000 yen?" he looks pitifully at them. Muttering to himself that business has been bad and he hasn't had anything to eat since breakfast, he misses it when they sneak past him and run on into the danger zone. But he's not TOO slow, and whips around to follow them. Except that his stomach reminds him of its emptiness and he weave dizzily, falls over a warning wall and gets stuck in a manhole. Furious he struggles to get out and shouts to the skies, "Maybe I don't wanna be a great detective!!"

There are people walking past the outdoor tables of a cafe. All seems quiet until a wash of pink approaches a young waiter clearing the tables and solidifies. Korowne. She laughs and prepares to turn everyone into perfume. The waiter suddenly shouts, "You wait, Jakanja!" for he and the two customers are really the Hurricanger. He's got these bleeding big glasses on, it's funny. So she finds herself facing the three Hurricanger, and then suddenly two other people come up behind her, one dressed as a girl but who happens not to be a girl (Isshu, if anyone's in doubt). They are just as quick to drop their disguises. She acts terrorized trapped between the two groups, and the Goraijer are quite menacing. Into their armor they go! She is not ready to deal with them.

Manmaruba and Satorakura glower into the viewing portal. "Goraijer," snarls Manmaruba. He turns from the portal in disgust. But while Satorakura continues to mock the image, Manmaruba goes back to his prayers, or magic-weaving. Satorakura calls in the Magerappa. All combatants race into battle with great enthusiasm. Our young detective finally arrives to stare at the scene in amazement. "Who are these crazy people!" The Hurricanger see him. "Him again!" snaps Yousuke. Nanami calls, "Stay away, Sasuke-san!" and Kouta adds, "HIDE!" Sasuke's survival instincts are obviously not well developed. He stares in shock. "Hey, that voice, before-" but cuts himself off for the Magerappa are upon him. He flees, practically crawling when he stumbles. Isshu notices him, "Who's that guy?" "Keep focused, Isshu!" cries his brother. He strikes down a Magerappa and then himself is struck down... by the crawling, burning sensation in his chest. Isshu sees him fall and leaps to knock a Magerappa away and try to help Ikkou up. "Bro?" Hoarsely, shaking his head, Ikkou answers "It's nothing." But he knows better, even as he keeps fighting. Satorakura laughs. He goes to let Manmaruba know his little plan is acting, if quietly. Manmaruba gives him a look and tells him he's noisy, then continues to work his magic in front of the incense brazier.

Ikkou stops, at a loss, to find himself the straight target of Korowne. But he is obviously slowed down, and she hits him badly. He tumbles and gets back up again, while Sasuke the detective watches the battle from dubious shelter. Isshu moves to help his brother, and they both get caught in a cruel fire-blast. "Look out!" cries Sasuke, and races to help but as luck would have it, he trips over a bar and falls feet-first into another open manhole, his hat landing beside it. Nanami and Kouta see him fall and race to his aid, but the Magerappa slow them down, and Korowne catches them in her sights, turning them into blue and yellow perfume. "Nanami! Kouta!" Yousuke cries in horror, the Goraijer at his back sharing his alarm. Smugly, Korowne tells them that if these people aren't returned to normal within twenty-four hours... they never will be. "And you'll be joining them!" she says gleefully. He moves to defend as she readies to attack when something odd happens.

A slender man in a black suit is leaping down at her. It is Sasuke the detective, and he kicks Korowne in the head, knocking her down. The incompetence and bumbling are gone. He is fighting quite well through the crowd of Magerappa. Yousuke and the Goraijer are too astounded at first to help. They watch and admire his speed and moves. Ikkou stutters, "Why is he..." when Sasuke hauls out a gun and points it with shaking hand at Korowne and pulls the trigger. She cringes, but the gun is a face, a lighter. "Bang!" he cries, then mocks her with a wide grin and bright eyes. Furious, she gets ready to attack but Ikkou takes advantage of the distraction and fires on her. She falls and gets up, furious, to see the three armored men gather in support of the fiery stranger. She leaps up to a higher level and fires on them, but Sasuke dives, snatches up a broom, snatches a silver a green ball from his pocket holding it carefully concealed and uses the broom like a bat to send it at her. She is hit without even noticing it. The ball vanishes. Then she mocks them and takes off. Yousuke runs in pursuit past a very startled Sasuke. "Nanami! Kouta!" he cries. And then Sasuke speaks behind him in sharp English. "Don't worry!" Stunned, they all look at him. He switches to Japanese confidently. "I know where she is." He hauls a device out of his pocket. There is an orange light marking his target. "A homer?" asks Yousuke. He has transferred into his regular clothes, and so have the Goraijer. They gather around Sasuke to peer with interest and he confirms with confidence. Ikkou eyes him suspiciously, but it is Isshu who grabs his shoulder and demands to know what he is. Smugly, he replies "I am a great detective!" and then reminds them that there is a twenty-four hour time-limit to worry about here. He heads off to find the missing, and Yousuke enthusiastically goes after him, the Goraijer in pursuit. Their path leads them into a hilly area, and they have the astonishing experience of watching this young stranger flip high into the air to land atop a building, and look back down at them with determined eyes and a grin. Yousuke is impressed. The Goraijer exchange startled glances, but when he waves them after him urgently, all three follow.

Oboro sees the four arrive on a rooftop and wonders just who the heck IS this stranger in their midst. Mugensai says "Maybe..!" They arrive in what looks like a small zoo enclosure, empty and unused, abandoned. THey are on top of the enemy, but nothing to be seen. So Sasuke flips over a wall, the others following. Still nothing. But they are right there! Yousuke leans in frustration back against a wall, and it turns! A secret passage! But they don't get to use it, for Korowne has come out to play. She and the detective exchange mocking remarks, then she blasts them all. Sasuke leaps through the smoke to kick her and send her flying, then says mockingly in English, "I'm sorry!" This gets a startled response from the other three men, for this tendency to mix English and Japanese is exactly what they'd observed in Shurikenger. "What ARE you?!" demands Korowne. "Well, I said I'm just a great detective," he answers with a shrug then returns to English mockingly, "Don't you believe me?" "Don't make fun of me!" she gasps back at him, and he smirks. "Well, that's just too bad. " Back to English, "Attention, please!" and he hauls out a green and golden orb. This is the orb of the Shurikenger, whatever Sasuke really is. The Goraijer and Yousuke are not slow on the uptake, they know what they're seeing. As he cries out, "Tenku Shinobi Change!" and triggers the orb. In a whirl of light, a baseball stadium flashes his signature and he says in a different voice in English, "I am ninja of ninja!" And so the Shurikenger is there, facing her, to the shock of the other three men. The green sky Ninja. And Mugensai and Oboro are amazed to observe him. Well, Korowne thinks he'll make a fine perfume. But when she attacks he is proof against her bombs, though shaken, and he uses his bat-weapon in another mode to strike back. The Goraijer change into armor to support him, and Isshu sends Yousuke off into the wall to rescue Korowne's victims. He goes without question. Into a chamber lit by white candals, full of beackers of colored liquid. He searches for the ones he loves. Korowne is making a pretty good accounting of herself against the three ninja warriors. But Yousuke doesn't know which liquids are his friends and cries out in anguish. The battle is not going over well for Korowne despite everything. She tries a flame blast on the three and they dive. The fire hits the wall and pushes the door open, going inside. So the chamber is hit and endangered. Yousuke falls, panicking that he won't be able to help his friends. The room explodes, fireball wafting out and Ikkou cries Yousuke's name in furious denial. But the three are sent flying by the concussion.

Korowne thinks she's finished the Hurricanger and is gloating, but Yousuke comes out of the fmales in armor, carrying the vials made from living Earth creatures. Isshu calls his name this time, with relief. He fires on Korowne, gets breathing space and opens all those perfume bottles. Lights fly up into the sky, those who were taken are returned to their surprise to where they were stolen from. The two ladies. The dog (who has somehow grown an extra bandana, the one he'd had before lies on the ground). The cat, who runs off in surprise. The goldfish who falls back into her tank and swims blissfully unaware of anything. Yousuke listens in his suit's headphones frantically, the other three men gathering around him hoping for good news. "Nice play, Hurricane Red!" Shurikenger tells him enthusiastically. But he is frantic and grabs the Goraijer's shoulders. "They're not there! Nanami and Kouta are not there!!" "WHAT?!" "Maybe...!" and he turns to race to where Korowne stands, laughing at them. "Oh, I think these ar the ones you want." Yes, she has them, and Yousuke howls at her to give them back to him. She will... if he does as she demands. And when he halts, she sets her finger on fire and holds it beneath the blue vial, then the yellow, threateningly switching back and forth. All four men gasp in horror. The liquid in the bottles is beginning to bubble. And finally the four men drop their weapons in surrender, headed by Yousuke. "Give them back!" he cries. And she keeps her promise, shattering the bottles she holds. The liquid inside reforms into Nanami and Kouta, landing heavily on their backs, armor exploding. Yousuke, Isshu and Ikkou race to them. Yousuke and Isshu concentrate on Kouta, leaving Nanami in Ikkou's capable hands. But this puts them in a very vulnerable position, gathered in one place and easy targets for Korowne's flames. The only person safe is Shurikenger, who hadn't raced with them. And he is furious. Forgotten by the enemy, she does not see him clench his fist. Enraged, he snarls in English, "Just now!" and switches to Japanese about the flames rising inside him. He tosses his golden armor off, it langs on the ground hard enough to break the tiled floor. And he utters a command which swings the visor around the the arcing design on the opposite side, Shurikenger Fire mode. All the combatants are surprised by this change, which seems to be like the Hurry Up. For he speaks only in Japanese, and very fast, a long speech about himself. Oboro and Mugensai both puzzle out the things he is saying, watching with quiet perplexion. Shurikenger has a yellow baseball, which he pitches at Korowne and it hits her badly. She is having trouble defending herself, though she finally gets a fireblast in. But he is super-fast, and now attacks with the ball and his bat. The ball vanishes and then she is hit by a hundred raining down on her. They explode, destroying her. The other five are all quite impressed.

Back on the Centipede, our villains are rather upset. Satorakura weeps goes on his knees to "Win-chan!" Amused despite everything, she pats him on the head and says she will. When he hands her the mask, she sends it out. And so Korowne is giant, and the six she faces have to roll out from under her stomping feet. Shurikenger is first to call in his Shinobi Machine, and he fires happily on her, then forms it in humanoid mode. Tenkujin is ready to fight. They go at it. The others watch, and the Hurricanger dash off. Ikkou calls his brother, and they are about to do the same when he is hit by another attack. The agony takes him and Isshu holds on to him as he staggers and writhes in pain. Above them, Korowne laughs as she successfully pins Tenkujin, but that laugh is short lived. Sempujin Hurrier has arrived to join the fight. It kicks her away from Tenkujin, and Shurkenger grins and welcomes them with delight. In Double Hurrier mode, they tear down at the enemy and hit her badly. Shurikenger calls out his Karakuri ball, the Bee again, and uses it to attack. He has their style, and a happy enthusiasm that is like them. And Korowne dies at last.

Far below, the Goraijer are out of their uniform. Ikkou makes it a few steps before he falls against a wall and starts to slump. Deeply worried Isshu comes to him to hold him up. "Bro.... You all right?" Breathing weakly, Ikkou lies. "I'm fine. Don't worry." He turns his head so they can watch The Hurricanger bounding happily to keep up with the long strides of Sasuke, all out of their armor. Yousuke catches the man's shoulder, "Hey, wait!" And at this juncture Isshu pulls his weary brother away.

The Hurricanger are happily telling Sasuke how great he was, when they hear a sound and turn curiously to look down. A manhole cover shifts and turns, then raises. And out climbs a very upset, bruised and frustrated Sasuke. The Hurricanger's jaws drop. The man beside them simply stares. Sasuke clambers out of the hole, chattering to himself. "There I though I would help those guys all by myself," he grumbles, getting to his feet. "And where am I anyway," he turns around and stares straight into his own face. And the three people beside his doppleganger whose mouths practically hit the cement below. Nanami looks at the man beside them, and at the real Sasuke. "What's going on?" Sasuke stutters in shock, "Geez you look like me!" and their man looks at them, with a little smile of amused delight. They stare back, wide-eyed. Yousuke finally says it, "You're in disguise?" "Niju no kaomotsu ninja," he replies sternly. They repeat the phrase in shock. Then he smirks and closes his hands in front of his face. When he parts them, he is in armor. They gape. He tells them in his er... real voice, "The Shurikenger really loves playing together with you!" and we can hear the sound of his helicopter closing in. He leaps up on a dragline into his plance. In English he yells down, "See you again, boy!" The real Sasuke and the Hurricanger see him off, still astounded. "What is that guy?" gasps Sasuke. He starts talking to himself again, and falls down into the manhole. Even Mugensai is amused, but he might have an idea who Shurikenger is, and that idea leaves him in total horror, which certainly gets Oboro's attention. "Father?"

File 23 on Killer Korowne
巻之二十四 タイコと稲妻 Taiko to Inazuma Drums and the Lightning Flash
The Goraijer face a very fast Jakanja on their own, I think it's Manmaruba out of his cloak. Thus the Hurricanger are there when an armorless Ikkou suffers another attack of agony. Alone, shirtless *drool* he tries meditation, and worries about his brother back in his heavy leather jacket. A very alarmed Isshu faces him, probably trying to get him to seek help. The monster of the week seems to be drums, and the Goraijer get a new Karakuri weapon, the horseshoe crab Kabuto Gani.

Twenty-one | Twenty-two | Twenty-three | Twenty-four | Twenty-five | Twenty-six | Twenty-seven | Twenty-eight | Twenty-nine | Thirty

巻之二十四 タイコと稲妻
Taiko to Inazuma
Drums and the Lightning Flash

As Oboro programs away, Mugensai is deep in his own thoughts. "Is the Shurikenger in truth that man?" And then it occurs to him that this person is... Gozen?!? The person who spoke to the trio, that he'll always be there to play with them, and then took off in his Shinobi Machine, the gigantic green helicopter Tenkujin. Mugensai puffs out his cheeks as he thinks and worries. "He came to give us a boost. He'll push them."

On the Centipede, Furabijo shows Satorakura his score sheet. "Be more careful. You're minus twenty points." In a huff he tears it from her fingers and scrunches it up. Wendinu's mouth drops open and she utters a gasp at his audacity. Furabijo just looks rather stunned. When he tosses it over his shoulder, snickers and heads away, she is on the verge of tears and turns to Wendinu for comfort. Wendinu obligingly gives her a brief, comforting hug. Satorakura giggles to himself, "What type of ninja should I call, and what type of plan should I use next?" While they commisserate, Sargain watches Satorakura go away. On the other side, Manmaruba is still busy at his altar, weaving a web of power. Sargain pleads with Tao Zanto, he wants to head an attack, and the tiny operator of the large suit gets the go ahead.

In a green and brown grassy clearing there is a man in blue yukata. He twirls drumsticks with a flourish and starts a strong beat on the large drum in front of him. But then the skies fill with dark, roiling gray clouds. The clear morning so suddenly become overcast startles the man and he pauses to look up, brows drawn together. "Hey, what's this? The weather report called for clear skies," he grumbles. Golden lightning streams from the deep clouds. It strikes the ground in a park and terrified people leap from where they were sitting to run, crying out in fright. A husband and wife race for it, their baby's stroller the focus of their protection. Lightning grounds on a shining orb held high in the sky, races down the support pillar to run over the frame of the pavilion below. Terrified people are trapped inside, crying. The Hurricanger arrive at the doors at about the same time as the civilians do, and help facilitate mothers and children escaping. Once they get those people clear they stop and gaze up at the darkened skies with worried eyes. Kouta comments how strange this lightning is, and Nanami responds that it's as though the lightning is controlled and, why that would be the Goraijer, wouldn't it?! The skies clear as she makes that statement, whirling to him. Fretful, Yousuke adds a fretful comment to the effect that they could be up to their old tricks. "Hey you!!" snarls a very indignant voice. And they turn to find the Goraijer standing glowering at them, while the people just rescued race off down a path. Isshu it is who speaks, still snarling. "You blame this on Ikazuchi Way?!" Weeeell, it isn't as though they'd intended to insult them. Yousuke and Isshu do a little eye to eye staredown, but Ikkou arrogantly ignores them and says they might if they were practicing. Nanami, startled and indignant, says "What kind of practicing is this?!" But then Kouta spots something and shouts, "Look over there!" pointing up. Atop a nearby building is a Jakanja

His name is Thunder Ninja Unadaigo, and he is essentially a drum-creature. He pounds gleefully on his drums, laughing about the terrified, fleeing people. The Goraijer seem to identify him as one of Sargain's, and the five race into battle, not noticing the man standing at the top of the stairs behind them. The drummer, he is, watching all this in quite bewildered surprise. "The lightning came from that thing," he logically realizes. Unadaigo's carefree minutes are over, though. He is hit by a blast then struck multiple times by speeding blurs. The Goraijer, who are most annoyed with having someone invade their field. When they challenge him, he pounds on his drums and hits them with lightning bolts that knock them for a loop. Ikkou clutches at his chest. But while Unadaigo stands there gloating, the Hurricanger arrive and call his attention to them, giving the Goraijer a chance to recover. They strike him with their blades and he responds with a backlash of powerful lightning. They all go a-tumbling down.

The watchers on the Centipede are delighted. Furabijo gleefully marks the scores while Wendinu praises a very delighted Sargain. He is quite pleased with himself for sending down something that could compete with the Goraijer's lightning. Unadaigo is doing well, getting the Hurricanger but good with his drumlet staff. Ikkou and Isshu race to the rescue, or at least to rejoin the battle. But when they hurtle towards the distracted enemy, someone in a heavy, brown robe steps between them. They skid to a halt in surprise. He is Manmaruba. He drops his cloak so they can see his powerful armored body. It is rather beautiful in a frightening way. They are only pissed, and up against him they go. But he is fast, devastatingly so. He gets in cruel strikes, one blow almost crippling Isshu. The Hurricanger are faring no better against Unadaigo, who gets above and rains down lightning bolts on them. The Goraijer see them fall and intend to go help, but Manmaruba distracts them. With ninja magic he changes form. Clothed in a fireball he hurtles at them, back in his larval form for this attack. Ikkou is hit hard and rebounds off a freight car. Isshu is left fighting alone, and Manmaruba beats him painfully down. With a snarl of fury, Ikkou starts up to take revenge when a terrible, piercing pain radiates through his chest and he doubles over. When he hits the cement he is no longer in armor, and he writhes, rolling in agony. "Brother!" Isshu cries, and scrambles up and to his side. He helps him into a sitting position asking frantically what's the matter. Ikkou, drenched in sweat and still unable to straighten up, stares through narrowed eyes at Manmaruba, who tells him, "The god of death in your body is getting big." A final comment and Manmaruba takes off with his cloak. Ikkou tries to leap to his feet but utters a strangled cry of agony, doubling back over with only his brother's armored, strong arms keeping him from bashing his head on the ground.

The commotion has attracted the armored Hurricanger, who race to them. Nanami cries Ikkou's name in a voice of birdlike distress, while Yousuke asks frantically if he's okay. But there is no time to dwell, for Unadaigo tells them he will attack with ninja thunder. This prompts a snarl of total outrage from Ikkou, who uncurls and launches himself into battle despite the agony he's in. Unfortunately as soon as he gets too close, he's in a river of lightning, staggering him back and then his body twists and dances in the electric current until it fails and he falls like a puppet suddenly without strings. The others race to him, calling his name frantically. Isshu holds him tight, while the Hurricanger move as if to fight their enemy. But to Unadaigo's surprise, that's not what they're up to at all. They drop smoke bombs and use the chance to vanish away.

But when they land in a clear part of the park, the Goraijer are not with them. They look around in concerned surprise. Nanami notes their absence. Kouta murmurs that something strange is going on with that guy (meaning Ikkou, of course). Yousuke hits the nail on the head, remarking it must have to do with Manmaruba and the god of death. His train of thought is cut off by someone calling them. "HEY!" A man runs lightly to them, leaping over the barrier of a staircase and approaching them calmly. (for the benefit of those who have wondered, this man is played by the same actor who was Matoi in Gogofive) He scolds them as he approaches in his light blue yukata and his white shorts. "You guys sure need more practice," he scolds and makes a few points that they hesitantly murmur responses to, looking rather confused. He continues, telling them they've got to learn to hold on. Why, he could beat that monster! As he makes a final point, a voice behind calls happily in English, "Thank you!" Startled, he turns. There is a whooshing sound. Shurikenger lands in front of him and says something to the effect of he'll be using that. He snaps his fingers in front of the man's face, sparks fly, and the man's eyes close and he stands motionless. "Goodnight, boy," Shurikenger says softly, and tenderly settles him down on the cement while the Hurricanger watch in confusion. Shurikenger stands and closes his arms in front of his face. When he parts them, he is the image of the man he's just left unconscious. The Hurricanger gape in delight. Not merely the form, but the voice he has adopted, as he turns to them. "Okay, I'll take it from here. See you later, boys and girls!" (as ever, mixing English and Japanese). He trots off and they stare open-mouthed after him with admiration.

In a dark cave, Isshu is preparing something in a pot over a fire. Ikkou is elsewhere in the area, pulling his shirt off of his shoulders. Isshu keeps giving worried glances over his shoulder as he stirs the contents of his pot. Ikkou sits lotus, shirtless and oh SO well-defined muscles. He performs a little ninja magic, focused on the large Rhinocerous Beetle he holds in his left hand. It glows golden and he puts it in his mouth. The glow travels down his esophogas and we can see his nervous system and skeleton, the dark mass of his heart. So can he in his mind's eye. But to the right of his heart, there is another dark mass, smaller... he cranes his neck to see with his body's eyes. "It's... it's an egg!" He stiffens in horror, eyes wide and frightened. For a moment he looks very young. For memory is strong of when Manmaruba first struck him, and he knows then the egg was implanted inside him. He remembers Manmaruba saying that the god of death in his body would get big. Determined, he clenches his lips and puts his jacket back on. Isshu is nearby and waiting for him with a cup he's made, avoiding Ikkou's eyes as he says, "Big Brother, here's some medicine." When he utters a worried comment, his brother refuses the cup of medicine saying it won't help. And his next comment puts Isshu in a panic. Ikkou is being stoic, but also furious. He intends that the two of them will show the Jakanja what the Goraijer can do.

Sargain paces behind the cloaked Manmaruba, who has told them what he's doing. Wendinu knows now that the egg is inside Kabutoraiger. This seems to gross out Furabijo, but it gets Tao Zanto's proud approval. He can continue with his plan. He bows to his lord. Then we hear Satorakura behind them. "Hello?" Startled, they turn. He has a cellphone to his ear and is speaking happily into it. "Vampirean! Hey, you coming to this star or what?" The exchange becomes giggles then a suprised, "What? You're busy this week?"

Drums beating. Skies filled with dark storm clouds. Lightning skittering. Unadaigo stands on a hill overlooking the city. Lightning grounds on him, adding to his strength, dancing along the small drums that ring his shoulders. He starts drumming happily again, drunk on power, when there comes a distant, echoing shout. He turns in surprise. There is a human running towards his lookout point. "Undaigo-sensei!" the human calls. Bewildered, the Jakanja turns his back and wonders, "A human is seeking me?" Thus he does not see the teleportation as the man in blue yukata arrives. The Jakanja gets disoriented when the man pops from one side of him to another, telling him how wonderful his playing is. Startled and flattered by the praise, the Jakanja doesn't quite keep up with the sudden disappearances and appearances, this time the man appears, kneeling. "Teach me how to play like you," he begs. Unadaigo is thrown and amazed. "Me? Teach a human?"

Thus, when the Hurricanger finally close in, they find the drumbeats they hear are the sound of the man they know to be Shurikenger in disguise, pounding Unadaigo's drums. "That's NO good!" snaps Unadaigo suddenly. He whacks the man a couple of times on the behind to emphasize his displeasure, but his student is determined and waits for correction without complaint. The issue is, it seems, stance, and our man resettles his position to one that gives his blows to the drums greater resonance. Oboro watches all this through her monitors. She is reasonably sure what the Shurikenger is up to, and with her father waits. But now Unadaigo tells his student to wait, to watch and see him call down the lightning. Starting with a rapid beat on the frame of his main drum, he then goes into the deep pounding. Arms folded, his student watches thoughtfully, sharply. Watches the electricity crackle from drumlet to drumlet. Listens as the skies answer the drumming with thunder. And suddenly those eyes blink and sharpen. There is a place on Unadaigo's shoulder, wherein the lightning collects and focuses. He swallows, lips thinning. But Unadaigo has finished and says encouragingly, "Like that, you get it?" Appreciative, his student kneels and applauds with his drumsticks. Then he straightens up, "You taught me a lot. Thank you." With a grin, he snatches a green and gold orb from the folds of his Yukata. "What is that?" asks Unadaigo. And the man grins back at him with friendly mischief. "This?" He turns, tossing it in his hand. "Why, this is the Shuriken Ball. I'm gonna use it on you." He whirls and activates it. Ninja of Ninja. Green Sky Ninja. And in his armor he tells the startled Jakanja that he knows now his weak point. The spot where the lightning charges him, and points at it. That place on Unadaigo's shoulder. And now he attacks, striking for it. But he is not fast enough, and Unadaigo catches his blade and then strikes him full in the chest with lightning, forcing him back and he utters a cry of pain. The Hurricanger have been waiting, but now they leap to help out. Into their armor they change as they race forward.

Ikkou uses water to put out the fire beneath their cooking pot. He looks gravely up at his brother. "Let's go now, Isshu. We'll show the Goraijer's hand." He starts to get up, but doesn't make it as searing pain rips through his guts. Clutching his stomach, he bites his lip and sags back onto the stone he'd been sitting on. Isshu leaps frantically to catch him. The pain is too much, and Ikkou's head falls. Aching for him, Isshu says urgently, "We can't do this alone, big brother. We've got to go the Hayate Way for help!" His pain-weakened brother only shakes his head determinedly, the pain too much to let him speak. "Then I'll go myself. They'll help us, I'll get them to help for you!" as he starts towards the mouth of the cave, Ikkou manages to bite out an agonized "STOP!" and Isshu does. Unable to speak, Ikkou thinks through the pain. This egg... his life... I don't know... but he fights to control the agony, which slowly dies down to a manageable level. He looks at the still-steaming pot of medicine Isshu'd made for him. He can speak at last and looks up. "Five hundred years ago we of Ikazuchi way went into the darkness. Hayate way went into the light." He gets to his feet and joins Isshu, staring out the mouth of the cave at the sky. "I can't just throw all that away." Hoarsely Isshu protests, "Brother...." But Ikkou continues, "Now the darkness and light together fight to protect the Earth." Thinking he's delirious, Isshu grabs his shoulders to shake him. "Big brother!" Maybe he is, for Ikkou's gaze is fevered. Outside, lightning flashes and thunder crashes. Ikkou pats Isshu's shoulder, and then turns and walks out of the cave, head held high.

The four are still fighting Unadaigo, unable to get through his guard. Knowing his weak point, they cannot get to it. He slashes them down, then leaps to a high cliff and laughs. They are quite furious with their failure to stop him, and he is fully charged. The lightning he pounds out strikes down at them, setting the world aflame. This time when they fall the Hurricanger are out of armor, though Shurikenger is still in his, all clutched around the burning pain in their bodies. Breathless with pain, Yousuke looks up at the backlit monster, its eyes glowing red. Undaigo intends to deliver the final blow, but before he can start pounding, another pounding fills the air. Other drums are beating.

Startled by the even, doubled beating, he whirls. The Hurricanger, getting their breath back, turn too. And what they see startles and fills them with admiration. Two huge drums have been set up on the cliff across the way. Black banners flap in the breeze. Two men stand, one with long hair tied back firmly. They wear light tunics, hold drumsticks and beat in a unified rythym filled with special strength and courage. Isshu and Ikkou. As they beat, the drumbs crackle with blue electricity. They stop, and straighten up, eyes burning at Unadaigo. Challenge they issue, for lightning belongs to the Ikazuchi way. And he gladly takes them up on it, pounding his drums. The two beats clash, chosen patterns do not match, as both sides summon power in their drumbeats. "Ikkou!" gasps Nanami. "Isshu!" gasps Kouta. The four are stuck watching the contest, unsure what they should do. But Shurikenger is gleefully proud.

Black clouds roil in the sky above, answering the call of the drums. The Goraijer's blue lightning and Unadaigo's golden strike and negate each other above the valley. The continuing strong beats reach an unconscious man, and call him awake. "That sound!" he says, and gets to his feet. In the midst of the drumming, piercing agony again tears through Ikkou and he doubles over, clutching at his heart. Isshu drops his drumsticks to reach for his fallen brother, and Unadaigo takes advantage of their lull and pounds more fiercely on his own. The other four see and Nanami cries out, "Oh no! Ikkou's condition --" they start to race towards the pair. "Stop, Hurricanger!" Shurikenger says urgently. Unadaigo sees the trio and snarls, "Always getting in the way!" and thus they are the focus of his lightning strike rather than the Goraijer. They fall with cries of pain. Ikkou and Isshu see this, and it only makes them more determined. Ikkou's eyes burn with resolve as he tells his brother to keep pounding. Ikkou tosses his tunic, Isshu frees his right shoulder, and he starts the primary beat, then Ikkou joins in. Startled to find himself outpaced, Unadaigo goes back to this battle. And the Ikazuchi banners wave in the wind. Our young non-combatant has made it to the field and gazes up in amazement. "Fantastic," he whispers, watching the brothers drum from far below. He waxes poetic in admiration of the heart they're putting into this. I'll just bask in admiration of Ikkou's bare, sweaty chest. Unadaigo's drums crackle with electricity. So do the Goraijer's. Bolts from the heavens come dowan and charge their drums with silver-blue light. Detonation. The bolts hurtle out towards Unadaigo, who retaliates with his own. Both sets meet in the air between the two points. But the Goraijer's has more power behind it, and slams through Unadaigo's to hit him and send him flying. He lands below in pain, and the Goraijer change into their armor to take the battle down. Isshu gets in the first hit, flipping their enemy, and Ikkou hits with a lightning-charged Ikazuchi Maru. But a crowd of Magerappa come racing in. The Goraijer turn, but the Hurricanger are there and Yousuke calls the brothers to leave these guys to them. The trio changes into their armor. The Magerappa held off by Hurricanger and Shurikenger, the Goraijer use their Double Gadget to deliver the final blow to Unadaigo. He is destroyed. The other four sing their praises, even the watching civilian who hears Shurikenger say "Fantastic!" in English and snarls indignantly, "That guy!!"

But it's not over, for the copy giant arrives and reassembles Unadaigo in large form. The young man is nearly stomped on and, as it is, falls unconscious. But the five heroes call in their Shinobi Machines to fight. Sempujin and Goraijin face their giant enemy. Goraijin starts the battle, but in the midst of a killing strike, Ikkou is hit by the pain again and loses control of his half of the machine. They are helpless to strike back, while Isshu calls out frantically to his brother, Unadaigo takes the chance to beat them. Ikkou cannot move to take the controls, and thus only Sempujin's Sword Slasher is there to come between Unadaigo's blade and Goraijin. They force him back, and Yousuke looks around. "Are you okay, Ikkou?" he calls frantically. The attack waning, he is answered, "Yeah, I'm all right." But their distraction costs them, for Unadaigo strikes with lightning, hitting both robots hard. But Shurikenger arrives with his Tenkujin and calls to the Goraijer. He sends them a Shinobi medal that appears in Ikkou's receiving bay. Though confused, he takes the medal, reads the symbols and sends it out. The Karakuri Ball is purple, numbered 11, and out of it comes the Kabuto Spear. This one is based on a Horseshoe Crab design. The body is the hilt, the tail is the spear. Oboro is quite stunned to find Shurikenger has ball 11. Mugensai is fretting when he hears his cellphone ring. He goes to answer it. It is a familiar person calling and Mugensai quickly uses this chance to ask about the Shurikenger. But we don't know what or even if there is an answer, for we are back to the fight.

Shurikenger tells them to have at it, and Isshu thanks him for the present. Ikkou happily directs the fight. They slice and dice the enemy, then spear him through. Up into the sky and he blows violently apart. On the Centipede, an angry Furabijo marks him off as one of the dead. All this was ignored by Satorakura, who is getting off the phone with his friend, telling him he'll be waiting.

And on the rocky valley floor, our stray drummer wakes up again. He looks around in surprise to find it is all over, and no signs of the battle anywhere. "Oh, well, so. And he starts off talking to himself about what he'd seen. For he had recognized the Ikazuchi Way symbols, and their legendary control of the lightning. Legends alive in his time. But then a black-clad hand falls on his shoulder and he turns in surprise. There is a being dressed in black, one of Oboro's robots. It lifts its veil to flash his memory away, when a green-clad hand stops it and shoves it away. "Hi!" cheerfully says Shurikenger. The man backpedals away from him, finger pointing accusingly, then leaps forward angrily but Shurikenger snaps his fingers before his eyes and again the man's body stops, he stands eyes closed. "Everything you saw, you forget." He lifts the man a few inches into the air by his belt, then passes him off to the robot with a cheerful, "It's been a pleasure. Bye!" and the confused robot watches him run off.

Ikkou is in bad shape. He falls, clenching a railing for support and ends sitting on stairs. Isshu watches him anxiously as he fights the pain, coiling around it, then looks up. The Hurricanger are approaching at a delighted run. Kouta heads the group. "That was SO great! Ikazuchi Way is fantastic with the drums!" Isshu turns from them to hide his worry, as Nanami also sings their praises, and Ikkou looks somewhat stern as he hides his pain and stares at them. But his face is white. Yousuke sets his hands concernedly on Ikkou's shoulders. "Are you really all right?" he worries. Hiding the pain in an expression of annoyance, Ikkou brushes his hands off. "Nothing's wrong. I'm just tired, that's all." He manages to straighten to his feet as though he's fine, but Isshu watches him intently. Ikkou manages to issue a scolding for the Hurricanger's early wrong assumption, and Yousuke lowers his head in shame. Absently glaring at them as he moves from their midst, another comment that this time sets Yousuke off, making him grab Ikkou's shoulder. "Damn you, we were worried about those people!!" Ikkou slaps his hand away with a furious glare. "SHUT UP! This is just like the Hayate Way. Well, then the end of the world is near, isn't it?" he snaps and turns away from them. Yousuke loses his temper at that and launches himself after Ikkou. The others barely manage to catch him and haul him back even as his right hand snatches the tall man's shoulder. As they pin Yousuke, Kouta says frantically, "And we're worried about you, too!" Ikkou gets a really funny look on his face, but they don't know it as his back is to them. "I never asked you to." He turns now, in control, and glowers furiously. But Isshu has been listening, watching, allowing the Hurricanger to speak his fears for him. He remembers the conversation in the cave, and begins to accept his brother's costing pride in the Ikazuchi Way. And it hurts. And so Isshu helps him escape their concerned trio. Taking his arms he pulls his brother away, helping him walk without collapsing as the frantic Hurricanger call after them, Yousuke's voice loudest for he has invested a chunk of his heart in the oldest Kasumi brother. They realize that even now they cannot stop the Goraijer. Whatever fate has in store, the pair will meet it on their own terms. And Yousuke hangs his head in confusion and grief for a moment, before lifting his gaze to memorize their courage with his friends.

File 24 on
巻之二十五 オバケと女学生 Obake to Jogakusei Ghost and the Girl Student
A smiling girl drags Kouta off, shopping. Holds his head against her breast in a comforting manner. An old house wreathed in memories, a little boy. Yousuke and Nanami assuming a promised romance. The girl holding out a yellow tennis ball in a gesture reminiscent of the Shurikenger. The girl riding in Kouta's cockpit with him, and he with an expression of horrified realization as she meets his eyes.

Twenty-one | Twenty-two | Twenty-three | Twenty-four | Twenty-five | Twenty-six | Twenty-seven | Twenty-eight | Twenty-nine | Thirty

巻之二十五 オバケと女学生
Obake to Jogakusei
Ghost and the Girl Student

The beginning of Obon, a week of holidays to honor the dead in Japan. A time to mourn the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A time for all good Sentai to have a ghost story (Ultraman Cosmos had one, too!).

In a memorial yard, past the dozens of memorials for as many different families, is the one for Kouta's family. He prays before it. Nanami and Yousuke stand behind him, watching with silent respect. Finished, he says quietly, "Every year I come here to remember my grandmother." His words inviting conversation, Nanami asks "What kind of grandmother was she?" Thoughtful, he answers, "Well, she died in the summer when I was four years old. I really only remember one thing about her." A drift back into gray-gold memory. Kouta runs home, crying, to his grandmother who sits in the sliding door of her home, under the mats hanging to keep the sun out of the house. "Grandma!" he wails. She cuddles him in her arms, stroking his hair and asking with loving urgency, "Why, what is it? What's the matter, Kouta?" He keeps crying and she reassures him and makes him straighten up so he can look at her. She folds her arm and then squeezes the loose flesh together. "Look, a butt!" she tells him and he chuckles through his tears. The memory makes him grin, tears in his eyes even now. "She sounds like the best grandma," Yousuke says and Nanami agrees. Kouta stands up, still smiling. "She was always looking out for me. It was wonderful." And the sun shines through the trees.

Aboard the Centipede, Satorakura bounces gleefully into the throne room, provoking Sargain to ask him to explain himself. Furabijo scold him and Wendinu mocks him lightly. But he pretends to ignore them and moves to close to Manmaruba, the cloaked one with the glowing yellow eyes. He teases him, patting his hood, but then gets ready to explain himself. "Prick up your ears and listen hard, guys!" They are prepared to ignore them, but there is a high-pitched hum in the air. Startled, they try to pinpoint the sound. The hum moves around the room, they keep turning trying to catch sight of its source. (Except Manmaruba, who is too dignified for this) And then it raises and there is the sound of an impact. Something has landed on Wendinu's chest. Furabijo and Sargain peer at her chest. There is a tiny, black spot that looks like a freckle until you look close and realize (as Furabijo points out) it is a tiny Jakanja. Banba Iyarn. (Vampirean). A Mosquito Jakanja. From his position on her pale skin, he introduces himself. Tao Zanto identifies his type. A laughing Sargain points and says, "What can something so small do?" Wendinu, however, is getting rather annoyed with them all staring at her chest and lets them know it in no uncertain terms, shoving them away. But Satorakura leans in to talk to him and sends him off to attack girls. Wendinu flicks him off her chest, and when next we see clearly he is flying over the city. There is a stand, and women down there. Two office ladies are having lunch together, and look up sharply at the hum of his approach. He lands on one girl's neck. With a flourish, he pikes his probiscus into her and his eyes glow bright red. He sucks out not blood, but her energy. She closes her eyes with a small sound and slumps onto her startled friend's shoulder. The other girl grabs her, calling her name but then Vampirian gets her, too. They fall together. Another woman moves to investigate, and she is next to fall. Then two pink and white clad office ladies are hit, one at a time. Another young woman and as she falls, the passing Hurricanger see and rush into the area. They race to the fallen women. Yousuke to the first two who fell, Nanami to the last, Kouta to the pair in pink. There is no response from any of them. And in response to their exchange of questions, nasty laughter cuts the air. Satorakura is curled up in a round lookout window across the park's artificial pond. When they leap to confront him, he happily calls to them, "Don't you worry, I won't be giving you any riddles!" Nanami and Yousuke exchange relieved "Thank goodness!" comments, but Kouta sternly calls them to order. They get back to business as Satorakura calls his man, Vampireon. They look around nervously for the new Jakanja. They cannot see him, but he sees them. "I'm already full," but he can do something about that. And in the midst of the fallen people they see a brilliant light. It flares and pulses, then sends out six beams radiating. One tears straight towards the Hurricanger, and goes right over Kouta's shoulder. He turns, but there is nothing to see. The other five pulses curve out and away into the atmosphere. One hits bare cement. One the beach by the sea. On an empty viewing area. One the cement in a warehouse district. One a clearing in the woods with fallen trees and dead grass. "What happened?" wonders Nanami. But Satorakura's hyena laughter is the only response she gets. Then he waves goodbye and swirls away into nothingness, to be followed by Vampirean. They hear him buzz away, too small for them to really see before he's gone. "Did you see it?" asks Yousuke. "It was really small," answers an alarmed Nanami. Kouta's expression is tense with worry. He says to them urgently, "We have to do something." They nod worried agreement and Yousuke asks, "Yes but what should we do first?" And a girl's voice cheerfully answers him. "First we should go on a date!" Nanami and Yousuke fold their arms and nod. "A date..." then do a double take and stare at a very startled Kouta. He turns around slowly to find in surprise a delicate high school girl standing behind him, smiling. Before he can say anything, she reaches out and wraps him against her in a hug. He holds his hands wide in confusion, while Yousuke and Nanami watch with great curiosity. "Who is she?" wonders Yousuke. But the girls pulls away to gaze raptly up at Kouta. "You've gotten so tall, and your face..!" Nanami comes to the logical conclusion and holds up her pinky in ye ancient promise-gesture. "She must be Kouta's girlfriend from long ago!" Yousuke follows her train of thought easily and agrees. Kouta, however, tries to push himself from the girl's embrace to protest angrily that she is no such thing. But she, looking slightly perplexed, drags him off with her over his protests and he calls back to the bemused watchers for help. Oboro and Mugensai are, as always, keeping up with events. Oboro wonders about the girl. Mugensai wonders about the flashes of light.

Satorakura skips happily through the halls of the walkway. He hears Vampirean's whine and pauses mid-step. He remembers the flashes of light and says, "Hey, there were six flashes." And Vampirean says apologetically, "I was too hungry, and I sucked one more person." Absently Satorakura wonders, "Does that mean there's going to be one more mid-level ninja to be born?" He cackles happily.

The girl has dragged Kouta into a picture booth. When he tries to get out, she says his name scoldingly and drags him close. She smiles for the photo while poor Kouta looks pained. Afterwards she takes one of the stamp-sized pictures and puts it on his Shinobi Changer. She won't let him take it off, either, and drags him on with her. Down stairs to an indoor shopping center, she hurries him along. A stop in a shop with peach logos, she finds some cute stick on earrings. He gives her an exasperated look and moves past into the hats section, when she plops a big, pink straw hat onto his head. She wears a green one and giggles happily at him. Later she's choosing a dress. Pink or green, she can't decide and turns to him for help. He is flipping through shirts and glowers. "Whatever," which hurts her feelings and she glares back at him, pouting. Then she whaps him on the head which gets her a truly resentful glower back. "Let's go," she says and drags him out. To another 100 en Plaza, where they go in to see what they can get. Coming out Kouta's stuck carrying two bags of goods and trails in her wake. She eventually grabs his arm and hurries him along with her, and finally they stop to eat. Looks like lunch crepes. She eats daintily, smiles in pleasure at the taste, then calls him on with her. He protests as he hasn't got his change yet, but soon gives up and follows. She pulls him into a shop named Cue's as he protests that he's tired. Outside, Nanami and Yousuke sit at a table, watching all this with great amusement. Yousuke comments in amazement on the girl's energy and Nanami nods her agreement. Just then, Kouta escapes from the shop to come to them and plead for help. He is loaded with yet another bag, and strange sunglasses she's put on him. He collapses panting in the chair next to them. "Help, please! I can't take anymore!" heheheh. The girl races over and shows them her glasses she bought, they are red-tinted and Kouta looks helplessly at them from behind his purple-tinted ones. Yousuke decides to step in. He stands up and firmly takes the glasses from Kouta's face, scolding the girl all the while as he puts them into her hands. Nanami points out that they don't know her. Surprised, the girl looks down at him and scolds, "Kouta, didn't you tell them?" He looks back at her in exhausted bewilderment. "Me?" Sudden realization crosses her face. She swoops her glasses off, sets them on the table and leans down to peer in his eyes in surprise. "You mean you don't know who I am?" He gapes at her in weary incomprehension. So she decides to give him a clue. She pulls his head against her chest and strokes his hair. "Such a good boy, good boy," she says affectionately. Kouta is wracking his brains, trying to figure out who she is and blushing bright red. She loosens her hold, cocks her head and asks, "Do you remember now?" Nanami thinks she gets it and says, grinning, "Of course, Kouta!" He shakes his head and leaps to his feet, "No, no that's totally wrong!" and turns to confront the rather surprised girl. Thoroughly indignant he demands, "Just what is this, you?" She stares at him, lower lip stuck out in thoughtful annoyance. "I guess it can't be helped," she says, and pulls a yellow tennis ball out of one of the bag. She tosses it in her hand and says, "I guess it's showtime," (showtime said in English). She holds the ball straight out in front of her in her left hand. Kouta freezes, his thoughts logically going most probably to the Shurikenger. Yousuke starts, "Is she gonna change?" Nanami gasps, "Shurikenger?!" But the girl only stands there as they watch, then lowers her hand. "This won't do it," she mutters. Then she folds her arm and squeezes the flesh together with her fingers. Grinning, she says to Kouta, "A butt!"

HELLO! And the light goes on. "You've gotta be kidding!" "Yup. The playing is over." They are all regarding her with similar expressions of shock. But finally Kouta spits out, "GRANDMA AYAME?!?" for which he gets whapped upside the head. "Don't call me Grandma. I mean, look at me. Well, I guess..." and she thinks about it. "Ayaya!" she says cheerfully. "Call me Ayaya!" Yousuke and Nanami exchange stunned glances as all repeat "Ayaya!" And she explains later that she's always been there, hanging about, looking out for Kouta. And then there was that flare of light that passed his shoulder and enveloped her where she stood. Suddenly she was young again, rather than the ghost of an elderly woman. And then suddenly she was alive.

Kouta is finding all this a shock. "You mean it was because of that light?" and Nanami and Yousuke agree with the surprise. She knows what happened, though. She spins, telling them how it was a shock for HER, to be so young. And she tells Kouta that he looks a lot like his grandfather did when he was that age. "Really?" he asks, and she nods. She leans against the railing, staring out at the river below. "When I was young there was the war. We never got to go on a date. So since I'm young again, I wanted to make up for lost time." And then she grabs his arm and starts off with him again. "But GRANDMA --" he starts to protest. "I told you to call me Ayaya!" "Oh, sorry." And they are off, his two companions staring after them. Yousuke says softly, "Wow, she's a great gr-- um, Ayaya-chan." Oboro and Mugensai are glad of her being alive, but it occurs to them to wonder about the other five flashes of light.

And so they should, for the effects are starting to be felt. Light coalesces within cement. It takes form and becomes the Jakanja who'd died there. Light coalesces on the shore. There is the octopus Jakanja, pleased to find himself alive again. Light coalesces in the woods. Is that the cicada one? And on a lookout, it is the Dreamweaver. In the warehouse district, another. And they respond to Satorakura's call. They are not entirely real, perhaps. They fly, run, teleport. And one of them has attracted the attention of the ever-alert Goraijer. "Bro..." hisses Isshu. "There isn't only one," Ikkou answer him. "This is going to be trouble, the Hurricanger can't fight it alone." Oboro reaches Yousuke and Nanami with the news. In Sapporo dances the rapping Jakanja with five young people it's mesmerized. Yumebakufu is in Nagoya, spreading his power over the city. The flower one is in Osaka, plants twining tall buildings. The Cicada is in Hakata, his mini-cicadas taking the life energy of patrons at a wandering diner. The octopus is on a beach on Okinawa, terrified young women flee from him. They are all over Japan. And Satorakura laughs his head off. What can they do, cries a panicked Yousuke. Kouta has also heard the news, and has to beg off on his now young grandmother. But she doesn't want him to go. "GRANDMA!" he protests in helpless frustration. She takes his arms and tells him it's not about the date. It's about how Kouta Nakimishi is in terrible danger and she wants him safe. "I think you should quit being a Hurricanger!" Pained, he stares down into her eyes. "Oh, Grandmother...." For she remembers his grandfather, lost in the war. That was quite enough for her. She doesn't want Kouta lost, too. With a sigh of deep sadness, he pulls his arms from her hands and firmly pushes her arms down. "I'm sorry, Grandmother," he tells her. Then he races away to head into battle. She watches him go, sees him change. She is left standing under a lonely tree.

Kouta joins Nanami and Yousuke under a class building. But there are still only the three of them. Oboro signals to report that the Goraijer are out fighting, Ikkou in Sapporo and Isshu on Okinawa. Five heroes, five villains. Our heroes are relieved, and so they will handle the others. Yousuke will hit Hakata, Kouta to Osaka, Nanami will head for Nagoya. And they all three go in their Hurricane Wingers. Oboro folds his hands in prayer, not noticing the shadow at the entrance to their place. But Mugensai sees the girl come in. "You!" he exclaims. And Oboro turns around. "Oh... grandmother." Grandma Ayame's young self steps out of the shadows. She's come to apologize, and to watch her grandson she worries so about. We see him on the monitors, fighting in Nagoya. "Kouta!" she calls. He fights the flower Jakanja. And Nanami fights the dreamweaver. Yousuke is getting tumbled by the cicada, Isshu tossed by the octopus, and Ikkou thrown down by the rapper. Flower thinks he's won, but only Kouta's uniform lies on the cement. Having doubled himself, he attacks, singles again and slices his enemy to pieces. All over Japan they are doing the same. However, as soon as they burst apart, they reassemble. This is Vampirean's power, aside from annoying Furabijo and Wendinu.

It is hard for Ayaya to sit and watch. She has an idea, though, based on the power she's witnessed. She reasons with them, then heads out before they can stop her. Kouta falls, and Oboro signals Kouta to tell him his grandmother has gone out into the dangerous battleground, trying to lure Vampirean. So Kouta has to leave this battle to find her. So he uses gun-mode, delays his enemy and takes off. Ayaya has made it to a rooftop and calls out the Jakanja in her sweet voice, inviting him to take her blood, her life. Kouta flies overhead, searching for her. And the others are being badly beaten by their opponents. Satorakura is starting to gloat when Furabijo says his name and then points out that Vampirean is nowhere around. Startled, he searches for his missing man.

Vampirean if flying down to the city, to search for another tasty meal for he is starving. And one has presented itself nicely atop a roof. Ayaya hears a faint whistling sound. Grinning, she turns around. But it is not the Jakanja. She sees Kouta far above in the sky, calls him. He sees her, cries her to hide, but her lure has proven strong enough. Vampirean lands upon her neck. Kouta sees the tiny Jakanja and leaps down. A quick slash with his blade. Ayaya is untouched, but Vampirean is caught on the very tip. His death is a very tiny explosion. Ayaya turns, says his name, then slumps into his arms. But she is all right and smiles tiredly at his frantic call. Satorakura sends down his mask to recreate Vampirean in giant form. However, giant form for Vampirean is normal human size, which he is rather surprised himself to find. Well, that's the way things go. And he rushes Kouta, only to find the blade ready for him. Kouta fights and flips, making short work of the Jakanja. But it is still not over. This time the mask pulls him giant, and this time he IS giant. Oboro tells Kouta she's sending the Shinobi machines in and the others are coming. Kouta wants Ayaya to stay out of danger, but she asks to stay with him. She begs when he says no, and then he agrees. So she rides with him into battle, in the cockpit of Hurricane Leon. And they form Sempujin to fight. Their enemy catches them and sucks out their power, staggering them. They manage to punch him off, but Kouta won't give up. He calls out the Goat Crusher. They hit him, but he won't be squashed and they are weakened. He hits them again, and Ayaya falls into Kouta's arm. But he won't give up. He tells her he'll fight for her, for his family, for the world. She smiles and maybe they don't see her weariness. Then the sound of helicopter blades cutting the air. Shurikenger calls, "Sorry I'm late!" But he also has some ideas, and asks Nanami to release her position. He tells Yellow he has nice fighting spirit (in English). He has plans, and Nanami does take her Dolphin off. And Shurikenger's mecha takes her place, forming Tenkusempujin. Nanami applauds, her Dolphin slaps its fins. Ayaya gawps in delight. Oboro is impressed and most likely still irritated. But their enemy thinks he can still win. Shurikenger calls Yellow to run the fight. They will use the Tornado attack, which shreds the mosquito to pieces. And with him destroyed, the cruel enemies, one of whom has pinned Isshu, vanish. They are too surprised to register it for a moment. The moment is long. Oboro sighs in relief and then she realizes....

Outside the robots, Grandma Ayame stands and nods proudly. But from her toes up, she is beginning to glow with golden light, and slowly vanish. The Hurricanger stare and then bite their lips. Yousuke says softly, "Of course. We beat him and now...." He cannot continue. Kouta steps close to her. "Grandma," he whispers softly. She scolds him lightly, "Didn't I tell you to call me Ayaya?" Sheepish he says, "I'm sorry. I promised you that date --" she cuts him off, shaking her head with warm eyes. "Oh no. That was the greatest date ever. But you're not Kouta Nakimishi anymore. You're really the Hurricanger's Kouta." He utters a fond laugh at that and nods his head. And then she reaches up and takes his head in her hands, pulls it down to her shoulder. "I just wanted to cuddle you one more time." She strokes his hair. The golden glow is reaching her head, now, her voice is taking on an echo. "You've really gotten big," she tells him warmly. Then she helps him straighten up and stares into his eyes. "Don't forget to be kind and sweet to your children, you know." She releases him, has a final word before she says goodbye. It isn't much longer before she's gone, a glow of dissipating light. "I get it, Grandma," he says mournfully, and he looks at the sticker she'd put on his Shinobi Changer, a lump in his throat.

File 25 on Vampirean
巻之二十六 弓矢と海水浴 Yumiya to Kaisuiyoku Bow & Arrow and Swimming in the Sea
Isshu has been struck by the love bug. He's courting Nanami, who's taken his bare hand. He brings her a present, writes her a love letter.... Has competition for her affections in the form of a young man with a flashy car. There is a cow, and laughing Jakanja ladies in bikinis on a beach. He walks away from the Hurricanger who are gathered together. Isshu is hit by an explosion protecting Nanami.

Twenty-one | Twenty-two | Twenty-three | Twenty-four | Twenty-five | Twenty-six | Twenty-seven | Twenty-eight | Twenty-nine | Thirty

巻之二十六 弓矢と海水浴
Yumiya to Kaisuiyoku
Bow & Arrow and Swimming in the Sea

Another day. A quiet day. And Isshu is with the Hurricanger. Except for the meter seperating them. Yousuke anxiously asks how Ikkou is doing, and Isshu quietly replies that he seems to be doing better. Nanami utters her relief and Kouta happily agrees. Isshu manages a pained smile for them. Suddenly he is startled when Nanami explains that she has to go. She has an audition, or something to that effect, for something that will put her with a famous tv star and Yousuke bounces with her in the potential of her career taking off. As they go on chattering in excitement, her pointing out that she's a huge fan of the guy, their childish joy starts really getting on Isshu's nerves and he snaps at them suddenly. "You guys!!" When they look at him in surprise he blusters to hide his embarrassment at such a strong reaction. It sounds as if he's pissed off that they called him if all they're going to do it talk about unimportant matters, and he heads off in a huff. Kouta watches him go sympathetically but mutters, "Well now he's pissed off." They lean over the wall and gaze after him. Yousuke mutters, "Well he sure is hard-headed." Nanami makes an agreeing sound. But she has to go, and takes off.

A woman walks calmly between bowers of green plants, unaware of a creature hidden ahead of her. A creature with arrows that have heart-shapes on their ends. He fires one at her. Hit, she staggers and falls against a lattice. Her attacker slips out of hiding. The Love-ninja, Chupid. (it's a mouse-critter, hence the Chu instead of Cu). It is quite pleased with itself. Isshu is walking that way, still snarling aloud his frustration with the Hurricanger until he sees the Jakanja. This is a welcome distraction.

A lonely lighthouse. A van out front. A man comes in and calls "It's time sir, please." Friendly, the man he calls straightens up and brushes hair back from his face. "Okay, I know." (for those who are dying to know, this actor is the same who played Megaranger's Blue) Chupid is watching from behind a hedge. Just as the young actor steps from the band, it fires. The arrow impacts firmly. He is shaken and gasps in pain, and then falls. There is a press conference waiting for him. Nanami is waiting to see him in her Hurricanger jacket. "He's not here, Katsuya isn't," she grumbles. Then her manager comes to her, half-hysterical himself for he's seen the boy. "Where, where?!" Nanami begs. He points and heads her off. Chupid pops up with his arrow ready to fire. Isshu has caught up, sees the goings on, and leaps into the line of fire. The bolt aimed at the cameraman pierces Isshu instead. He gapes down in surprise at the brilliant, glowing pink heart, then gasps in pain. Chupid comes out of hiding, annoyed at Isshu's interference. He heads off and Isshu purues, leaving a very startled cameraman blissfully unaware of his luck. But Nanami and her manager are at Katsuya's van, slightly miffed because they can't find him. The manager suddenly realizes they are out of time and he has to drag her off to work. This upsets her no end, because he'd PROMISED but, you know.... Behind the van, Katsuya has managed to recover and get to his feet. He rounds the corner and Nanami is the first thing his eyes fall upon. She is wreathed in romantic blur to his eyes, and he falls at first sight. "Venus!" he gasps. His Venus is being dragged away by her manager to HIS car. She struggles almost with conviction, not wanting to leave because she's till dying to meet Katsuya. Thus she is still out in the open when a searching Isshu runs out from a path strewn with low, perfectly manicures trees. He hears her protesting and his gaze falls upon her. The arrow's power is activated. Poor Isshu is bitten but bad. "Nanami?" he whimpers.

The Jakanja is having a grand time. He hits a lady coming home with her groceries. She falls in love with a little boy coming home from school. When she launches herself at him, the poor boy runs like any wise person. "I want to marry you!" cries the lady. He screams for help. A little old man chases after two terrified high school girls. A delivery man runs to get in his truck, he being pursued by another man. Satorakura is finding all this quite entertaining. Manmaruba, on the other hand, is not impressed. The others are trying to figure out what's the point if this doesn't kill people. Furabijo points out that everyone falling in love is not going to rot the world. Sargain chuckles. "Just keep watching," he says.

Ikkou is on break at his job, taking a drink. He pats his sweating face dry and then gives a grunt of surprise. Isshu is walking slowly towards him, deep in thought, clutching absently at his chest. Ikkou stands, curious. Finally Isshu's gaze turns outward. "Oh, bro. How are you feeling?" Setting down his drink, Ikkou reassures him he's all right and asks curiously what's the matter with him, though. "Big brother," Isshu says fretfully. Ikkou starts sipping his drink. "I'm in love." The spitting out of the drink is rather impressive.

Nanami is all dressed in her heavy green kimono. She's ready to start her work. Cheerful despite not getting to meet her idol as promised. She opens her door to head for the stage only to find herself walking into a huge bouquet of red roses. The man holding them lowers them and it is him, Katsuya. He's quite cute and does shy well. Nanami, on the other hand, has to battle a near heart-attack. "K-Katsuya Misaki!! You're... here... why..?!" She thinks she might be dreaming. It doesn't help when he tells her, "You're my Venus," and goes on about searching for her all his life, tenderly touching her chin with his fingers. "Will you be my girl?" he asks, holding out the bouquet, hand to his heart. Nanami is practically squealing with delight. Then her manager arrives in last-minute panic to drag her to the stage, he doesn't even notice who the man with the flowers is as he pulls her with him, snatching the roses in passing. "Venus!" Katsuya cries. She reaches back to him, being pulled along in her manager's strong wake. On stage, she's all business. Her singing is beautiful and sweet. I wish they'd give her another song to sing, though. Her small audience applauds, her manager most strongly. But then to their shock and terror the air fills with blue lightning. Isshu arrives on the other end of the stage. Nanami faces him in startlement. "Isshu!" Considering when last she saw him he was pissed at them, what he's up to is beyond her. He holds out a delicate closed scroll. "These are my feelings. Take it." Shaken, she carefully takes it in both hands and gazes at him in confusion. He then whirls away and vanishes in blue lightning. She stands with the scroll in her hands (I'm biased. I like his approach better). "My feelings...." Confused, she unrolls the scroll and starts reading. "To my dear Nanami... I beg your pardon for the abruptness of this message, but I'm in love with you! Isshu Kasumi." Nice clear easily read message there....

"I'm in love with you!!" reads a stunned Yousuke later at their base. "You're kidding!!" Kouta holds the bouquet of roses and asks, "And these are from Katsuya Misaki?" Oboro, who has taken to braiding her hair back from her face, finds this all quite interesting. Nanami, on the other hand, is delighted. Sadly this sudden interest from the boys does not trigger any alarms. Mugensai is annoyed by her excitement. Kouta reads the card with the roses and gapes in shock, but Nanami is utterly shining with joy. Yousuke shakes his head in tired exasperation.

"Please! Please tell me what to do!" Isshu is begging. He is begging Yousuke and Kouta, and shakes Yousuke by the shoulders, tears in his eyes. "What should I do? What can I do to win Nanami's heart?" For she is all he can think of. He needs to know how she feels. Yousuke can't help but feel for him, though he is having a hard time wrapping his head around this. "Wait!" he says and pulls Isshu around to face him. "You should get her a present!" "Yeah!" Kouta agrees gleefully. "A present?" he asks uncertainly. "Well, yeah. She's a girl, after all." He gives it a brief thought. "Hey, you could get her a cute animal!" Eyes shining brilliantly, Isshu confirms, "Oh, a cute animal?" "Yeah!" He grabs Yousuke's hands and thanks him profusely, practically slobbering on him in gratitude. "Um, um." Then he turns away. "A cute animal...." Kouta mutters uncertainly, "You really think we should be encouraging this?" to Yousuke, and only gets a confused expression in answer. No one knows Ikkou is hidden below them. He lets loose his chameleon cloth and thinks indignantly, "Isshu, you're really serious about this," and something quite resentful, I suspect.

No one has yet connected these events with the Jakanja. He is still quite active, and now he changes the parameters of his arrows' effects. Now whoever is hit will fall in love with ANYthing. A man pursues a guy in a dog suit. A man and a woman wrap trees in passionate embraces *cough cough cough*. A woman swears her undying devotion to a garbage can. Traffic cones, barrier bars, light poles.... I think this is about going to kill me laughing. And under a tree in a lonely part of town not being visited by Chupid.... Nanami stands in blue shirt and white skirt, off-white handbag in her fingers. She worries if her clothes are good enough. Yousuke and Kouta are nearby, peering out from the bushes and excited. Yousuke says, "Hurry up, Isshu! You gotta get here before Katsuya Misaki!" I think Kouta just finds all this still astonishing. Nanami is waiting nervously when a shy voice says behind her, "Nanami?" and she turns. It is Isshu... standing there with a large black and white bull, a pink ribbon tied to its halter. When she nearly jumps out of her skin, Isshu shies slightly, drawing in on himself. She recovers partly and then asks, "What's with the cow?" "Ah, this is a present from me. I heard you liked cute animals so...." In the bushes, the gaping boys nearly cry in horror. Scrubbing at his hair Kouta protests "A COW?" (I think I feel Ikkou's influence here, somehow) Isshu is still striving, "Oh, oh do you hate cows?" Nanami is groping to answer him. "It's not really a love or hate thing..." but then a car horn honks. Katsuya has arrived in his shiny yellow car to take Nanami with him. Isshu practically spits with fury. He leaves the cow behind and stalks over. "What business have you with Nanami?" he snarls. Katsuya gets out of the car calmly, "Well, Nanami is my most precious girl," and he puts his arm around her shoulders. She's a bit surprised by the familiarity. Isshu, on the other hand, practically has a heart attack. "WHAT?!" Katsuya, by some instinct, puts the moves on. "Oh, Nanami, your clothes are so cute! So, ride with me?" And he arrogantly heads into the car. Somewhat out of her mind with the confusion, she quickly apologizes to Isshu. He is left gaping and bewildered. To add insult to injury Katsuya says in English, "Cow-boy, go home." He puts on his sunglasses and drives off with Nanami. Isshu throws a total hissy fit. Also he throws something after the car, then goes bouncing all over the place after them as a black blur. The poor bull is left behind.

A businessman cuddles his very happy dog, while his worried friend tries to get him to go back to work. This awful picture gets in the newspapers, along with the one of the pilot... um... um... humpingthelegofastatue, and his female partner trying to get him away from it. The city is in chaos. Cars everywhere and I don't even want to know. Actually, the Jakanja are being highly amused and the girls are impressed with Sargain's work.

Katsuya has taken Nanami to the beach, and they are playing with a ball in their suits. He tosses the ball too hard and apologizes, laughing as she happily chases after it. But it has hit leather-clad feet. Nanami finally realizes Isshu is standing there, eyes blazing. He suddenly races past her at the almost hapless (though women-wise) Katsuya, and gets him one with a ferocious right cross. The startled actor falls into the sand with a cry. "Nanami is mine!" snarls Isshu, and starts to pursue the issue. Nanami knows what to do, however strange goings ons are. She has him by the arms, in fact wraps hers strongly about his waist, trying to stop him from attacking Katsuya. Isshu pulls against her, but will do nothing to hurt her. The same can't be said for Chupid, who has arrived on the beach. The other beachgoers run screaming. "Jakanja!" Nanami cries and rushes forward to tell the other people to run clear. Chupid is furious and gets ready to attack. Nanami moves into battle position, only to find Isshu leaping protectively in front of her. He casts a determined look over his shoulder, "You hurry and get out of here, Nanami!" and changes into armor to fight. "Oooh, a Goraijer!" snaps Chupid. Katsuya is back on his feet, hiding behind Nanami. Isshu repeats his warning to them to get away. But Katsuya grabs his wrist and flips the startled Goraijer. Nanami gasps, and Chupid finds this all very interesting. "Hey! You think you're the only one who can be a hero?!" And he is mixing English and Japanese in a familiar way. For this boy is Shurikenger. He hauls out the Shuriken orb. Nanami and Isshu both gape. This at last seems to them to be real, and Nanami thinks all this was just an act to lure in the Jakanja. But he calls her Honey, and this gets Isshu snarling again. Rather than fight the Jakanja, the two men snarl at each other. Nanami is forced to shove them apart, but then they go after each other with their blades. She can't get them to stop fighting each other and go after the Jakanja, who is quite amused. Now he fires on them with his arrows and Nanami sees the strikes coming. She changes quickly into her armor and is hit by the explosive blasts. This wakes the two men from their foolish fighting. Oboro sees her fall and quickly summons the others. But as one, Shurikenger and Isshu leap to her side to hold her. "Are you okay?" Shurikenger asks in frantic English. "Be all right," Isshu begs hoarsely. But there is still Chupid and he fires multiple blasts. Both men selflessly leap up and brace themselves, taking each strike to keep them from hitting her. Now Chupid switches to a missile, and that blasts them so hard it sends all three flying. They still have an audience. Wendinu is in a beach chair, in sunglasses and a red bikini. She's quite impressed. Furabijo comes out with a white lace bikini and a green innertube. She sees and agrees with Wendinu. Our heroes land in a heap, Isshu's staff buried halfway in the sand away from them. Chupid laughs his head off. Wendinu comments, "I guess love is not weak," and the Jakanja girls both giggle. Nanami is getting back up, but her leg is hurt and she falls again. Shurikenger, too, tries to get up and can't. "Nanami can't run!" he frets painfully. Only Isshu is able to get back up, and he staggers to place himself between Nanami and Chupid. He has his weapon out, but all he can do is stand and brace himself when Chupid fires cruel bolts again. His gadget falls beside a panting Shurikenger, but he himself is still on his feet. Nanami gasps at his determination. And Chupid begins firing another round. Seeing him staggering under the impacts Nanami opens her visor. "You have to stop! You'll die, Isshu!" she cries. "Anything for you," he replies painfully. And Chupid fires the cruel missile one more time. Isshu braces himself for the impact, and the whole beach becomes wreathed in fire. "ISSHU!!" Nanami screams. "Oh my god!" cries Shurikenger. Wendinu and Furabijo come up beside Chupid. The older woman says smugly, "Guess that's over," and the younger applauds. But the flames die down and the smoke dissapates... and he is still there, still armored. Alive. "Isshu!" whispers Nanami in amazed relief. He staggers towards the Jakanja, an arm out, clawing menacingly. Furabijo moves anxiously to Wendinu's side and asks, "But I thought love would make them weak!" "Well you were wrong!" cries another voice. Kouta and Yousuke have arrived in their armor to help Nanami, and it is Kouta who speaks. "Love makes you very strong!" Yousuke agrees, because love makes one protect the people they love. And Nanami looks to Isshu, understanding dawning. But Ikkou also arrives in his armor. "I don't think you can understand," he tells the Jakanja women. Is Isshu aware of them moving to his support? I don't know, but he's caught Chupid, and punches him out with that powerful right cross. Even Shurikenger admires him, and takes up his gadget. He throws it towards its owner, who snatches his Ikazuchi Maru from the sand and calls down the lightning. He catches his gadget on the end of his long weapon, and it is the focal point of his power, now. "Ikazuchi Breaker!" he identifies it, and uses it to good effect on Chupid. He runs him through, raises him into the air and destroys him. Nanami gasps his name. And now he staggers and falls, Ikkou catching him. The glowing pink heart surfaces, then shatters, breaking the spell. Also for Shurikenger it happens, and he is startled for this was the first he'd known of it. Both men wake from the spell in confusion and surprise, finally realizing what had happened to them. Furabijo is deeply disappointed. "Wendy," she calls plaintatively. With a frustrated sigh, Wendinu calls down the Copy Giant.

Battle is to be engaged, but Nanami's leg is still weak. Isshu tells them to leave it to the Goraijer, and Shurikenger puts a reassuring hand on her shoulder. He will help. "Give it a rest," and then he calls in Tenkujin. Together the Goraijer and Shurikenger go into battle. They form Goraijin and Tenkujin's humanoid mode first. Shurikenger tosses his copter blades as Tenku Shuriken, but the mouse ducks and fires back. He cries out in fear, but is saved by the Goraijer who block the blast with their weapon. The giant Shuriken is still going, and this time hits the unsuspecting mouse. And then with playful mischief Shurikenger asks, "Shall we combine, Thunder boy?" (Kaminari Boy) Isshu snorts and says, "Sounds like fun. Brother?" Ikkou is willing, too. And so they do. Tenkujin reconfigures, and lands on their shoulders to become a mighty cannon, Tenkugoraijin. The formation delights the watching Hurricanger, and seems to miff Oboro. She doesn't like it that the technology she worked so hard on seems to be freely modified by strangers. "Go!" gries Shurikenger, and with his blades they can lift off and fly, swooping in to attack the mouse. They knock him, and then apply the lightning and turbine attacks to destroy Chupid. With weary non-surprise, Wendinu sighs and Furabijo marks Chupid off.

Shurikenger has some apologetic explaining to do. He tells them he'd known Chupid was coming, so he'd snuck up on the sleeping actor, put him out like a light and taken his place. And so he'd been careless and got hit by Chupid's bolt. He laughs at his own folly. Then he bids the other five farewell and takes off in his plane. Nanami stands and looks mournful. "I knew it was too good to be true. Katsuya Misaki falling in love with me." She sighs and looks at someone else... "And Isshu." But Isshu utters a strangled "I'm really sorry about that," for he is in thorough chagrin. She answers him, "Yes, you aren't in love with me or anything." He won't look at her (which, kids, should be a dead giveaway unless they're teasing us). He turns to the shelter of his watching brother. "Yeah, I'm sorry." But Kouta and Yousuke use this opportunity to tease him affectionately, hugging him and saying how he'd come to them for help. "Oh shut up already you guys, " he grumbles, with quite less force than he might have before. Nanami watches his embarrassment, and then says, "But you know, you were really great." Startled, he nearly strangles on the praise. And then she takes his bare hand and thanks him. He is tongue-tied, for after having backed off, how can he tell her he really does like her? She bids him goodbye, and Kouta and Yousuke come over, Kouta to be her crutches and help her walk. Ikkou calls Isshu after him, but he cannot help but stop and look back at the trio. At her. They do not look back at him, though, chatting happily. He looks down at his bare hand, her touch burned into him. Then he starts putting his gloves back on and walks on.

Any bets that Shurikenger really IS Katsuya Misaki?

File 26 on Sargain's Chupid
巻之二十七 串焼きと無重力 Kushiyaki to Mujuryoku Grilled meat and Weightlessness
Yousuke has to deal with an overweight man dressed in Ikazuchi Way's red. A man who may have rescued him when he got stuck in the ground. He and at least eleven other men in the same jackets fall into water. Yousuke voice-overs "I'm not like I was long ago! I'm a Hurricanger now!" Together they attempt ninja magic, and may drown.

Twenty-one | Twenty-two | Twenty-three | Twenty-four | Twenty-five | Twenty-six | Twenty-seven | Twenty-eight | Twenty-nine | Thirty

巻之二十七  串焼きと無重力
Kushiyaki to Mujuryoku
Grilled meat and Weightlessness

"Yakitori shop, Yakitori shop," Yousuke mutters to himself. He is walking rapidly along the morning road, a piece of paper in his hands (possibly a map) he is studying intently. Thus he nearly walks right by the place he is going. Suddenly he realizes that and backpedals. "Here it is!" he crows in delight. He wears the blue jacket of his odd-jobs job. And he heads in, sliding open the door and calling, "Good afternoon!" he is answered by a distant voice, "Welcome!" The chairs are all up on the counter, for the shop itself has not opened yet. It is very clean, tidy. Banners line the walls telling the different types of dishes served. There is a man in the kitchen, silently cleaning absorbed in his work. Not sure where the person who answered him is, Yousuke calls "I've come for the delivery staff job?" The answer is from the man, still taking things down and not having seen Yousuke yet. "Ah, you're the new part-timer." Locating him, Yousuke answers with enthusiasm, "Yes." "I'll talk to you in a minute. Have a seat a minute." Yousuke obediantly takes down one of the chairs. His eyes fall upon some of the banners as he sits. "Shuriken yaki? Makibishi Set?" he reads. The first is a drawing of four Yakitori set up on a plate to resemble a standard shuriken, only 1,480 yen. The other shows no picture, and is 980 yen. The owner answers the curiosity in Yousuke's voice, "Yup. They're this shop's speciality." He goes on to identify himself, looking back over his shoulder with a smile. "I'm the proprieter, Taisho Ichiro," and continues talking about the store's dishes. His hair has been dyed a pale yellow, it's short in a crew cut. At his name, Yousuke freezes and looks panicked away, his surprise drowning out the man's cheerful explanation. "Ichiro Taisho! Why, I knew someone by that name a year ago in the school but he... this guy couldn't be-" "HEY!" Taisho interrupts his thoughts, feeling rightfully ignored. "Are you listening to me?" Jumping slightly, Yousuke spins to look at him with bright eyed determination. But the man no sooner sees his face when... "Yousuke!?" Again with panic our boy turns away thinking, I knew it was him, but that thought gives way to deeper shock as Taisho continues speaking. "How long it's been. But you're Yousuke Shiina!" He can't help but stare numbly in honest answer, "Um, yeah."

A lady walking along in the morning is brushed by a black blur. Startled, she checks her shoulder where she was hit. There is a strange, square sticker on her and it won't come off, she protests. Another woman is hit. We get a brief view of the culprit, a Jakanja whose head is shaped like a foot and has gigantic toes hanging from his waist. Then he continues, leaving stickers all over startled people in the area before he finally stops long enough for them to get a look at him, with his single red eye between the heel and ball of his head. He puts one sticker square in the middle of a terrified man's forehead. The man falls and skidaddles frantically backwards from this being. Omo-Karu. And now the Jakanja starts firing on the fleeing people. I think the stickers are like homing targets. Far above Satorakura watches, and cheers him on in glee. "I'll leave it to you!" he calls happily and vanishes, his skeleton a brief glowing yellow image behind.

Taisho happily sets out a Shurkenyaki for Yousuke to try. It looks utterly delicious and probably smells great, too. He urges Yousuke on and our boy picks up one of the sticks, but then nervously looks up and asks, "But Taisho, do you really remember all about me?" His friend sits down happily and answers, "Well of course. We were part of the Sky Ninja school, weren't we?" He affectionately pushes Yousuke's shoulder to reassure him. Yousuke still looks fairly pole-axed. Taisho waxes poetically about how fun it was, and difficult, while his friend continues to look totally and completely bewildered. And then asks, "Why would you think I wouldn't remember? Oh! Because of that strange robot?" and when Yousuke nods dumbly, "Oh yeah, I punched that thing out!" Yousuke is if possible in greater shock. "Well, that's what you did too, right?" Yousuke nods obediantly. But Taisho leaves him to eating and continues readying the restaurant for the day's work, while Yousuke remains rather dazed by today's developments. Taisho talks thoughtfully, "So, you dropped out too, huh?" Our hero startles at that. "I mean, I was a total failure, but I thought for sure you'd make it." He looks back and sees Yousuke has a mouthful of the Yakitori. "Good, isn't it?" he asks anxiously. Yousuke is quick to nod and smile around the food. "Anyway, so that's why you're out working part time, huh." "NO! I'm a Ha - Harri -- " and Yousuke stops. "Hari?" asks Taisho encouragingly. Frozen, Yousuke realizes he shouldn't say anything and just doesn't know what to do. He eventually manages to cover it by saying he really needed the work. "Ah well, it can't be helped," Taisho says regretfully. And at that moment Yousuke's Shurikengyro goes off with the alert signal. Oboro calls him to come and he confirms. Needless to say this really attracts Taisho's curiosity. "What is that?" he asks, pointing. Yousuke half-panics, "Oh, oh it's nothing. I'll be back for shift at four, gotta go now, BYE!" and races out the door. Startled, Taisho calls after him.

Omo-Karu has a victim terrorized against some sculpture, and puts a sticker on the man's cheek. He lets the man run screaming for help with a cheerful, "Bye-bye!" and then hears someone scream "WAIT!" Yousuke has arrived on the scene. They are under a tall glass building. "What's this?" wonders the Jakanja. Yousuke challenges him, tossing away the blue work-jacket to reveal his red Sky-Ninja jacket. He is unaware that Taisho has arrived on his heels. His old friend stops and stares in shock. "What is that monster?" The monster in question mocks Yousuke's challenge, but just then Nanami and Kouta arrive, taking up position on either side of our boy. They ask in turn what kind of evil plot Omo-Karu has up his sleeve. He's not exceptionally forthcoming in answer. Taisho has ducked behind the dubious cover of a railing. "Why, that's the Water-school jacket and that's Nanami Nono. And there is the Earth-school... Kouta Bito, I think..." he is quite startled to see all three of them. And now our trio changes into their armor to fight. Taisho is thoroughly shocked as they issue their challenges. "This is crazy! THOSE three are the Hurricanger?!?" and he sits down hard. They pull out their blades to fight, flip backwards to avoid his shots and hit him with their Shuriken. Taisho is beginning to appreciate Yousuke's moves when Omo-Karu pumps of the pace. He flashes through them, knocking them badly and once they're down jumps up and down on them. "Oh heck, of course they aren't good enough!" cries Taisho in despair, turning from the fight. They are unable to get back up, and Omo-Karu approaches to finish them off when he is hit. "Where'd that come from?" he wonders, turning. There is a man dressed in green, leaning cheerfully against a pole. "Hiiii!" he greets the enemy. "Shurikenger!" calls Yousuke. This gets Taisho looking again. "Shurikenger?" The green-clad man continues happily, "Jakanja, now I'm the one you gotta face, baby." His striding playful arrogance doesn't impress Omo-Karu. The Jakanja responds with a speedy attack, and Shurikenger is hit and falls, startled by the speed. The others cry out and try to get on their feet to go to him. Omo-Karu mocks him, and this infuriates Shurikenger, who drops his habitual throwing out of almost random English words to announce that now he's angry. He moves into Fire Mode, dropping the heavy shield and spinning his visor the the Flame side. Attacking with his flame-blade first, then plasma, he gets in a few good shots and the Jakanja is hit by explosions. They aren't enough to kill it, and it takes off with a final snide comment. Shurikenger lets it go as the Hurricanger rush up to him, recovered. "You okay?" he asks them. Yousuke thanks him for his help. Then they hear "YOUSUKE!" from behind them. They all turn and look, Yousuke opening his visor. "Taisho," he identifies.

Back at the restaurant, Taisho is towering over the seated trio, his expression rife with disappointment and worry. "Yeah you didn't drop out, but you're not doing so well, are you? So you quit the Hurricanger. Come join me and help out!" The still-staggered Yousuke protests, standing in an effort to confront, but Taisho pushes him back down and sits beside him, ignoring the others who fall off their chairs at the total shift of position. "I mean, you guys needed him to help you!" Kouta and Nanami turn their heads to look at Shurikenger, who is content at the counter enjoying a Shurikenyaki. Speaking in English he says dreamily, "Mmm, very nice. Chicken barbecue!" With a sigh of exasperation, Taisho recalls the days when they were all training together.

They fly through the air, on long ropes you see, the daring men and women evading shuriken that hit trees. Except Yousuke and Taisho (whose hair is black), whose ropes are slashed through by the shuriken, and who fall flat on their butts, much to their instructor's exasperation. The whole crop of red-clad young folk (including a blond non-Japanese girl) racing through dusty gravel, explosions going off behind them. At least Taisho and Yousuke are among the ones in front. A big explosion and the group races through it. The instructor passes the runners and calls to two stragglers, who ducked and covered their eyes in the smoke. But they are too slow and caught by the next explosion behind them. They race with the others, leaping off a low cliff into water below with wild cries. Some flip, some just drop straight down. Their teacher stands above looking down at them bobbing in the water and tells them to use the Sky-Ninpo to get out. They are all quick to obey him, moving their hands into command position. "Sora nimpo!" Yousuke says, "Hironjakun!" says Taisho. Red-clad bodies flash into the air... except for two. Yousuke and Taisho, who remain trying to leap out of the water, and then end up practically drowning each other. Their extremely frustrated instructor finally tosses them the end of a rope, complaining all the while.

And that, Taisho finishes the reminder, is why he finally quit the Hayate Way. He tells Yousuke he should also quit and join him in the shop. They can't really explain everything to him, but Nanami tries to defend Yousuke. Kouta adds that Yousuke never gave up. "You liars. You're just the same, sit down, sit down!" he snaps at them angrily. He has a certain strength they lack, for he has found his way in life and knows his strengths, while they are still uncertain and so find themselves obeying him. But then a voice interrupts his tirade sternly, "You! What are you doing with these guys?" The woman who stands in an apron has one hand on her rounded stomach. She is very pregnant. Taisho anxiously tries to reassure her nothing's going on. "These are my old school chums," he explains. The trio gape at her, and she gives them a welcoming bow and a warm smile, "I'm Megu." They manage to shut their mouths, standing and bowing respectfully back to her. She rubs her stomach automatically as Taisho explains that she is his wife, and their baby is going to be born soon. When he explains about them, she scholds and whaps him, he goes with the whap and ends up bumping hard into Shurikenger, knocking him out of his chair. But he apologizes to his indignant wife and reassures her, urging her to go back and rest. For she is why he needed a part-time employee. He's trying to keep his wife from hurting herself working too hard.

Mugensai is rather interested in these developments when our trio returns home. Oboro, snacking, has quite the scolding to issue to the robot who was supposed to have erased Taisho's memories. It bows apologies. Kouta laughing says how funny it was watching Taisho apologize so profusely to his wife. But Oboro's eyes stray beyond them, and they follow her gaze to Yousuke. He has been uncharacteristically silent, deep in thought. Oboro quickly grabs the other two and pulls them with her hopefully out of hearing range. "Whatever's the matter with him?" she asks in a whisper. Nanami explains what Taisho had said and they agree that must have hurt. The robot has edged in, hoping to understand the goings-ons. "Well, that's not like Yousuke," comments Mugensai. They all nod agreement. Yousuke gives a sudden squeak and leaps to his feet. He has to go help, but that girl's going to have her baby soon! They all groan in exasperation.

Night is well in. Megu sends off the last customers, hands on her lower back to help balance the weight of her belly. She shuts off the outside lights. Inside, Taisho, provoked by meeting his three old school chums, tries a simple Ninpu move. Using his chopsticks he tosses them at one of the banners, but they only clatter agains the wall and fall on the floor. "No surpise that's bad," he says mournfully, and goes to collect them. He sits down, thinking and talking to himself about Yousuke.

On the Centipede, Tao Zanto is asking for more explanation on Satorakura's activities. Wendinu asks hadn't Shurikenger stopped that soldier so easily? Sargain growls that it was over too quickly. And Furabijo has her score-card out and possibly clenched. But he says they should take it easy, for there are things going on with those who've been stuck. Manmaruba apparantly has an idea of what's up. For when morning comes, half the people stuck float straight up into the skies, and the other half crash to the ground hard enough to crack cement. Panicked friends try to dig them out, while Omo-Karu enjoys himself bounding through the frightened people. Taisho is riding his bicycle along, groceries in the back, when the first panicked people reach where he is and the man in the lead accidently bumps into him hard enough to make him lose his balance and the bike topple over. The Hurricanger meet their enemy and issue challenge, a worried Taisho is close enough to see and mutters frantic warning for his old friend. The trio change into their armor to fight. But he is able to hit them aside too easily, to Taisho's dismay. But it is then that the Goraijer arrive, leaping into battle to kick back Omo-Karu. They assume protective positions over the prone Hurricanger, change into their armor and announcing themselves. Taisho murmurs, "I've hard of them. The Ikazuchi Way's Densetsu no Ninja." And they attack Omo-Karu. He fights back, but they are strong and good. Taisho watches the battle and is massively impressed. "Thank god they're not like Yousuke and the others!" he says, vegetables clutched in his arms. Shurikenger arrives to help in the battle, to Omo-Karu annoyance. "Didn't forget me, did you?" Taisho is very, very relieved. The world will be safe, and Yousuke will have to come work at the shop. But while he's not looking, Omo-Karu smugly tells the six that he's gotten them but good. "Take a look!" For he's stamped each of them. Isshu finds one on his left wrist, Nanami has one on the underside of her right bicep, Kouta's on his left shoulder, Ikkou's on his right ribcage, Yousuke's on the ball of his left foot and I'm not sure where Shurikenger's is! And Omo-Karu laughs as they struggle to get the stickers off. Then he applies his power and sends Yousuke and Ikkou flying through the air, Shurikenger and Kouta, Isshu and Nanami, all crying out in fright. They are totally unable to control themselves, and Omo-Karu is highly amused. He can strike them, one at a time. And he chooses Yousuke first, pulling him straight down into the ground viciously. Yousuke is up to his chest in the broken gravel, unable to move. The others call out to him. Omo-Karu tells him he's in quite a pinch, and amuses himself whapping the helpless man on the head several times. Taisho steps in finally, a desperate move. He pulls out a pair of chopsticks and calls on the old ninpu power he'd once learned to use. And this time when he tosses the chopstick, it sticks. Straight in Omo-Karu's butt. The startled Jakanja gives a cry and leaps up. "Wow, it worked!" Omo-Karu skitters around until he bumps hard into a surface and knocks himself out. Taisho rushes to try and pull Yousuke out of the ground, but that's a pretty hopeless task, he's in deep. "Run!" calls Taisho as he tugs. "Get out of here, it's dangerous!" But Taisho tries to tell him something to which Yousuke responds firmly, "I can't run away," and Taisho knows it's not because he's thoroughly pinned. For Yousuke had leanred to fly into the air. He had made it past that hurdle. He's not a first-year anymore. The furious Jakanja has recovered, and is out for vengeance. Yousuke tells Taisho to run, but the young man instead charges Omo-Karu, only to get batted aside like a fly. Yousuke cries his name, and then focuses his fury, and calls upon the flying, popping out of the ground, he gets Omo-Karu, bashes him about and fires on him. The damage is severe enough to destroy the stamps and release the others, who all praise Yousuke. And Taisho watches him with delighted pride. They haul out the Victory Gadget and fire. Omo-Karu is destroyed. (What about all the other victims flying high?). At any rate, Taisho is really proud of them, but then terrified when he sees Omo-Karu go giant. But our heroes call in their mecha. Sempujin, Goraijin together face Omo-Karu. "The Shinobi Machines!" Taisho identifies with delight. They are hit badly at first, call out their Shinobi Medals bringing out Furaijin so they can assemble together. Goraijsempujin is intimidatingly large, and Taisho is amazed. But Omo-Karu hits them with his sticker and lifts them into the skies, thinking he has control. But they are not so easily controlled. They call out the Rolling Thunder Hurricane attack, and destroy him. And Taisho weeps with admiration.

And later that day, he tells them all how proud he is of them. Well, the trio anyway as they are all that are in the store. He and Megu are making them a well-deserved delicious lunch. Just then the robot arrives and cringes in terror from Taisho, who hastens to reassure it he isn't going to punch it this time. He explains to the suddenly saddened trio that he is perfectly ready to return to his life as a proprieter of a Yakitori Restaurant. He sets a reassuring hand firmly on the wistful Yousuke's shoulder, while his wife watches him proudly. He believes in them, their ability to protect the world. And Yousuke counters that he's quite something special, too. It takes a wonderful person to make a good home for a wife and coming baby. They exchange sheepish smiles and blushes. And then for the audience's amusement they all sing and dance together proudly, a Ninjpukan song.

File 27 on Satorakura's Omo-Karu
巻之二十八 ハリアーと逆襲 Hariaa to Gyakushuu Hurrier and Counterattack The Jakanja are not slow, for Sargain has made a machine that can also Hurry-up, and it makes short work of Senpujin. Isshu is in distress, Ikkou in agony somewhere where there is a river, stones and plants. Manmaruba is out and there is a man in black fighting.

Twenty-one | Twenty-two | Twenty-three | Twenty-four | Twenty-five | Twenty-six | Twenty-seven | Twenty-eight | Twenty-nine | Thirty

巻之二十八 ハリアーと逆襲
Hariaa to Gyakushuu
Hurrier and Counterattack

The mighty creature walks through the city. Heavy armor, red, shades of purple. It is a machine, a robot with Sargain at the controls. Megakagame Mark II. Oboro is worried, there's something alarming about this new edition. They remember the trouble the green first one had given them. This one is much more powerful, and his electric attack staggers them. But they remember how they defeated him before, and say happily that when the Goraijer arrive, together they'll rip this robot to pieces. And Shurikenger arrives to join the rather cheerful battle. Yousuke tells him not to worry, to just sit this one out and watch them go. Silly boy. The battle is titanic, and terrified people are fleeing the nearby areas. Isshu runs the opposite way, and he is alone. He stops and calls into his bracelet, but all he hears is static. "Where did you go?" he fusses frantically. "I can't assemble Goraijin without you!" And he feels helpless, lips tight with confused worry. "Why aren't you coming?"

A waterfall tumbles in violent beauty. Inside a building, Ikkou's shirt and jacket have been set aside. He sits with his back to us in lotus position. A powerful hand thrusts into the scene and stiffens just a bit away from his bare back. A red glow shimmers under his skin. Ikkou's face is already drenched in sweat. Now his expression twists in agony and he falls on the floor, clenched around that pain. White-clad feet move into our field of view and a hand reaches for the agonized young man. He opens his eyes wide, looks terrified. His left hand is clenched painfully in the skin over his heart, but he closes his eyes and endures as the hand stiffens over his chest and again agony rips through him, skin glowing with an inner red heat. His scream seems to echo in Isshu's ears, though in truth he does not hear. For Sempujin is hit hard by Megakagame II. They are being staggered back, and move into Hurrier mode to fight. They leap to attack, he lets them bounce off his claws. Sargain mocks from inside. "Not good enough!" and opens his visor to reveal the wasp inside. For he has something to show them. Megakagame can also Hurry Up. In Hurrier mode, it is also a slender, elegantly beautiful thing, and our heroes are all shocked, including Mugensai and Oboro. For a time Sempujin is able to hold its own. They are almost matched, but eventually Sargain manages to kick them down. Isshu is beginning to panic where he watches the battle. But Shurikenger takes his copter into humanoid mode, heading in to help. Senkujin is too small, and too slow. Sargain grounds him, then bashes Senpujin about until finally they run out of time, and return to normal mode. But Sargain is greatly pleased, for his Megakagame Mark II is the better machine. It doesn't have to hurry down, and can even do the mode change for a tiny amount of time. To prove it, he changes mode a few times to mock them. They are astounded and horrified. And he hits them something bad. They fall from inside, and Isshu watches this in helpless horror, then starts calling again frantically into his bracelet.

Ikkou is putting his shirt and jacket back on. He settles his changer onto his wrist and abruptly Ikkou's voice comes through in frantic calling. Ikkou's eyes go wide.

Sempujin is down. And Sargain laughs. He will take them out, now. But he's forgotten Tenkujin, used by Shurikenger to body-slam the bigger robot, thank goodness. He vanishes, they all vanish, in puffs of smoke. Sargain is dreadfully pleased to have driven them off, and the girls sing his praises. Satorakura raises the question of just where the Goraijer were in all this, and Manmaruba agrees that's something of an important issue. He goes for permission to Tao Zanto, who sends him out.

The sun is setting, skies tinged red. A very worried Isshu sits down, and then hears, "I'm sorry." For Ikkou has finally arrived. The apology is accepted and dismissed, but Isshu gets anxiously to his feet to ask where Ikkou's been, and why. But Ikkou doesn't want to explain, only says that he'll be more careful about keeping his changer on. They are both on their feet, and the older won't face the younger, who demands explanation and forces him to face-to-face. "I don't have to explain anything!" snaps Ikkou, and he shoves Isshu away, sending him tumbling onto the cement. And Isshu looks back up at him with an expression of such wounded anguish that Ikkou cannot bear it and looks away. Then he turns and walks away from his brother, ignoring the call.

Oboro dresses her trio's wounds, and they worry about why the Goraijer hadn't come. Kouta suggests it has to do with Ikkou's illness, and they start to worry frantically. Yousuke thinks to go find them, but he isn't recovered and stumbles. Oboro wants to keep them near until they are better. They must sleep, rest, recover.

And the next day Ikkou is walking in the deep woods. He suddenly stops, huddled over a deep pain in his chest. After a moment he is able to head on, jerkily making his way up stone steps on the hill. It is a beautiful area he walks in. He does not know Isshu is behind him, carefully staying out of sight and suppressing panic whenever Ikkou stumbles. So the older brother reaches the top of the path, where stands a house of elegant wood. Where there is an older man dressed in black and white, doing his morning katas. He stops when he sees Ikkou, who bows a deep polite greeting. But the pain he's in is evident, and the man calls him inside. Isshu recognizes the man. "Nano-sensei? Bro's been coming here every day. But why? What are they doing?" They are in a side house, small and bare except for two mats. Ikkou is on one, chest bare sitting seiza. "Please," he asks, voice taught with pain and expectations thereof. And so Nano-sensei comes close. He gathers his energy, focuses it into his hands in concentration, and then in a powerful move, thrusts it into Ikkou. The rich red fire flares under his skin and his body clenches in agony. He endures until it stops, then falls like a puppet with its strings cut on his back. He is in too much pain to see the shadow outside. Isshu has stood quickly, not wanting Ikkou to know he's here. He hears Nano-sensei explaining that all the work they've done doesn't seem to have effected the space-egg inside his body. Ikkou manages to uncurl and get back on his mat. Painfully in answer to a question Nano-sensei asks, Ikkou says there's very little time. Isshu's eyes widen in horror when he hears that. He freezes against the outer wall, mind blank with confusion. Nano-sensei says he understands Ikkou's feelings. And now so does his younger brother. Startled, Ikkou turns as Nano-sensei opens the reed doorway and says sternly, "Isshu." Thus summoned, the younger Kasumi sheepishly comes in. He kneels and bows his head, hoarsely giving the old teacher respectful salutations. But that is lost between fury as he glowers at Ikkou, who can't meet his eyes, and steps inside. "Brother, WHY didn't you say anything?!" When Ikkou can't respond, he grabs his shoulders and scolds furiously, generating a soft, "I'm really sorry." But that touching moment is interrupted. "Found you," says a strern voice. Nano-sensei drops the reed door in surprise. For on the other side of the building stands Manmaruba and a few Magerappa. Isshu snarls his name while Ikkou stares in wordless shock. So it is Isshu that Manmaruba answers, pleased to find the pair together and happy to make them just the same. He will put an egg in Isshu, too. But when the pair leap up to fight, Ikkou falls, clenched around agony. Nano-sensei tells Isshu to get his brother out of there. He hesitates, but the man makes it a priority order. Isshu drags Ikkou off, and so Nano-sensei faces the powerful enemy troup on his own. He makes short work of the Magerappa, but Manmaruba is too powerful for him, and knocks the man out, then heads off in pursuit of the fleeing Goraijer. "You can't get away!"

Sargain is back in battle mode, trashing the countryside for fun. He is ready to show off his power and destroy all three great mecha. He issues his challenge. They hear him in the secret base, and Mugensai asks if Sempujin is ready. Oboro answers it is, but she's worried about their trio's physical condition. Just then, the Hurricanger come in through the door. After a good night's sleep they're much better, and they intend to fight. To face Sargain. Oboro is worried, and they still don't know what's happening with the Goraijer. But the trio will fight as Hurricanger either way. Off they go, and Oboro watches after them, exchanging worried glances with Mugensai. And so our heroes change into their armor and summon Sempujin to face the great crab.

The Goraijer are on the run (or more accurately the stagger). Ikkou is getting worse, his legs buckle and it is hard for Isshu to keep him moving. They stumble on the stones of the riverbed, and then Ikkou goes down, doubled over in agony. Isshu can't get him to uncurl and suggests worriedly, "We should rest," but Ikkou frantically shakes his head.

A pair of green-clad legs finds Nano-sensei on the ground just now recovering consciousness. Shurikenger gently helps the man sit up and asks with clear concern and respect, "The Kasumi family, Isshu and Ikkou, do you know them?" Startled, Nano-sensei looks at the masked man.

Megakagame is really taking a toll of Sempujin. They are caught in its lightning and pushed back against a large stone hill. Oboro frantically calls the Goraijer. "Where are they, somewhere around there. Goraijer! GORAIJER!" Ikkou hears her calling through his bracelet. He exchanges a look with Isshu and forces himself to his feet, brother trying hard to help him. "Let's go," Ikkou bites out and stumbles forward. "Damnit, bro, be reasonable!" Isshu snaps back at him. But then they both freeze in terror. Manmaruba has arrived with a reduced number of Magerappa. "There's no more running for you," he says smugly. Black and purple flames gathered in his hands, he throws it at them. Ikkou shoves his way in front of Isshu in a burst of frail strength. The purple fires arrow into him and he falls in total agony into three freezing shallows of the river. Isshu sees nothing but his brother, and grabs his writhing body, trying to stop the pain. Manmaruba points out that this agony is getting worse because the egg inside Ikkou's body is maturing. Ikkou manages to listen despite the blinding agony, his brother's arms anchoring him. And Manmaruba has every intention of putting the same thing inside Isshu. Brothers should be together, after all, he reasons. And he stalks towards them, Ikkou frantically trying to shield the younger brother who is equally frantic about shielding him. And then there is a black blur that tears through the Magerappa and startled Manmaruba, a staff takes the big alien down.

It is Nano-sensei, who introduces himself gravely over the fallen Magerappa. Yuusaku Nano. And Manmaruba laughs and tells him he can't stop what's happening to Ikkou, then teleports away. And Nano-sensei turns to the now standing Goraijer. Ikkou is still clutching at his pain, but Isshu speaks apologetically. Nano-sensei comes over to them. He says there names, and speaks to them of the egg inside Ikkou, trying to give them courage, and what he says shakes them. Ikkou though will fight to the last, and Isshu will be with him, however painful it gets. And they give him their farewells and head off. And when they are gone, he shimmes with golden light, for this is Shurikenger back in his armored form. He looks back at the real Nano-sensei, who'd told him what to say and gives him an approving nod.

Ikkou and Isshu race into battle. Sempujin is down hard, but Hurricanger will not give up, though Sargain gleefully prepares to finish them off. But Goraijin has arrived just in time to stagger Megakagame back. They are side-by-side, and call to each other happily. Sargain attacks them in his Hurrier mode. He manages to hold them for a while, but Yousuke calls for combination and the Goraijer are happy to do it. But when Senpujin releases its Karakuri Ball, Megakagame dives for it and catches the thing, which is about the size to him of a big soccer ball. This is bad and he is smug. Oboro thinks disaster is in the wings, but Mugensai says it's not yet, just watch. For Shurikenger is there and calls out a new Karakuri Ball, number 12. The Trance-Spider. Gone on a thread, he tosses it to catch Megakagame's leg, then while he's shocked, gets the golden Karakuri ball from him. Using it like a ball and chain, he bashes Megakagame about a bit. Then the Goraijer call out their own, and now at last the two giants are able to form together as Furaisempujin. With a cry of joy, Yousuke heads them into battle. They are just too powerful for Sargain's Megakagame and beat him down strongly. Trump card of Rolling Thunder Hurricane destroys the machine. The six heroes and their support team are very happy. Sargain, on the other hand, is royally pissed and collects himself snarling at the skies.

Nano-sensei's home again. He is gathering his ki and pushes it into Ikkou's body while Isshu watches wide-eyed. But this time there is no glow beneath the skin. The pain is intense, but... Nano-sensei lowers his hands wearily. For Manmaruba has protected the egg. Now there is nothing Nano-sensei can do. He can't get at it anymore. He walks heavily to the door and sits down. Grimly he prays. And Isshu goes into hysterics as he realizes what this means. But Ikkou is on his feet and gravely asks Isshu not to tell the Hurricanger. For it is his fate, and there is nothing they can do. Isshu watches his brother in agony. Someone else watches, too. Shurikenger who now knows everything.

Under the light of the full moon, Ikkou in his armor suddeny glows brilliant red and holds his hand over his heart, agony radiating through him. His armor ripples away, and he is clenching his body, fighting the pain as his left hand begins to disintegrate and he realizes it in helpless horror. But that is all the time he has to utter gasps of agony, for his whole body falls to black bits.

This is only an image the delighted Jakanja are watching. Manmaruba explains happily that Ikkou will die at the next full moon. They all cheer. No one notices Manmaruba's sudden alarm. "What in -- ?" he whispers. For there is another form in the fading image. His own, writhing in agony. "It can't be," he whispers so softly, and turns away. None of the others notice, except that it seems Tao Zanto knows.

The next full moon. Even Ikkou does not know how little time there is. For he stands under a 3/4 moon in the deep night. Of maybe he does know exactly how long he has.

File 28 on Sargain's Megakagame Mark II
巻之二十九 残暑とスタンプ Zansho to Sutanpu Lingering Heat of Summer and Stamp

A strange new battle, for Yousuke and Kouta are struggling to determine who is the actual leader of the Hurricanger. Yousuke leaves the base looking defeated, head hanging and jacket in his arms, while Kouta is gleeful in victory. Yousuke protests angrily that isn't RED supposed to be the leader? And an angry Isshu shoves the battling pair apart.

Twenty-one | Twenty-two | Twenty-three | Twenty-four | Twenty-five | Twenty-six | Twenty-seven | Twenty-eight | Twenty-nine | Thirty

巻之二十九 残暑とスタンプ
Zansho to Sutanpu
Lingering Heat of Summer and Stamp

Kouta walks along a city walkway, coat slung over his should and pulling at his shirt to let hopeful breezes inside. "It's so hot," he complains. The air ripples slightly. A cicada shifts itself on the trunk of a tree. The sun beats down on his head and he stops, panting slightly. "Why is it so darned hot? When will it end?" he grumps. The cicada flies off and he continues on his way.

Speaking of hot, there is a heaping big pot on the stovetop, filled with this, red-brown liquid. Oboro stirs it happily. Yousuke and Nanami are there helping her set up for lunch, dressed in aprons and setting out plates. They dash off happily to collect some more of the ingrediants, Oboro looking slightly bewildered. Mugensai watches them go, but he is more concentrated on memories of previous battles. The perfume one, the mosquito one, the foot one... and of course Megakagame Mark II trashing Senpujin. How are they going to manage the increasing power of the Jakanja. And it occurs to him that it's time to finally decide who is in command of the Hurricanger. That will help solve the problems. That's when Nanami and Yousuke return, Yousuke's plate loaded with vegetables such as hot peppers and horseradish. They are arguing about what should be added to the curry. Nanami has candy like chocolate, marshmallows, caramel and even a thing of honey. Whose is better to add, they argue indignantly. "It'll be too sweet!" protests Yousuke. "Will not!" "Will too!" and on, until his foot hits a barrier, the couch or a chair, they stumble into each other and cry out as the contents of both their plates go flying to mostly plop into the curry pot. Oboro is dismayed. Together they stare worriedly into the pot, where the chocolate is melting, marshmallows are boiling, and the hot peppers are bright red (except for a green one). Just then Kouta arrives with a grumbled, "It's hot out there," then with delight, "Oh boy, curry!" Before his companions can tell him what's happened, he grabs a little plate and pulls out a scoop to sample. "Ewwwww!" he protests, and they all wince in sympathy. "What kind of flavor IS this?!" But he takes it all in stride. "Yousuke, get those spice. Nanami, get some of those sweets. Oboro, don't drink that, add some of the black coffee." "This?" she asks, obeying despite confusion. "That," he confirms. She tips her cup into the curry. Mugensai watches all this an is impressed. A short time later, Kouta takes another sample of the curry. "Okay!" he announces. The other three all eagerly take spoonfulls to sample as he watches them hopefully and declare it delicious with happy delight. Suddenly Mugensai says, "Right, I've decided then." They all turn to him in surprise. He says firmly, "Kouta, from today on you are the leader of the Hurricanger." "HUH?!" exclaim the boys. Oboro is quite startled. But he's made his decision. Yousuke is in shock. Kouta is stunned, but then rallies and steps forward to tell Mugensai he will do his best. And Yousuke's spoon falls from his numb fingers. He slowly pulls off the towel he'd wrapped around his head, takes off his apron and hangs it on the coatrack, takes his jacket and wanders hang-dog out the exit. Kouta is too wrapped up in his delight to notice. He intends to study hard to be a great leader.

Yousuke walks along the same path Yousuke had used earlier, the opposite direction. His thoughts are on their battles. "So I'm not the leader. And I've tried, tried and tried so hard. He pauses, looking up at a traffic signal. The signal switches from green to yellow, and he imagines Kouta in that light laughing at him. "I'm NOT the leader?!" he shouts in protest.

High school girls heading home, chattering happily, their skirts hiked up to show a bit of thigh, long socks covering their ankles. A particular pair complain about the heat to each other as they walk, when someone calls their attention. It is a large, red Jakanja with stamps etched on his collar, a huge pierce tongue sticking out of his mouth and a smaller tongue in place of his left eye, his right shinging blue inside a mouth under his hat. In short, wierd looking as ever. He is Bero Tan (the pun being that Bero means sticking out a tongue and ton is short for English tongue). The girls scream in surprise, and his tongue shoots out and swipes their faces. As they spin from him, cringing, their bodies glow brightly then vanish. They've been turned into stamps with his symbol on them.

Seven books piled on Oboro's computer desk, an eight in Kouta's hands. These are books on leadership and as promised, he is studying them. Nanami looks over his shoulder at what he's reading, which talks about teams and he keeps muttering things like "Of course." "Kouta, aren't you going to eat any curry?" she asks. "Oh, not right now." She moves away from him towards where Oboro is eating, worrying. And Oboro comments that she's worried too, for Yousuke laughter is gone from them. But then someone else's laughter cuts the air. Through Oboro's monitors they see the attacking Jakanja. Kouta is determined to take the group into battle. Bero Tan is swiping more and more people, and he gathers the stamps they've become in his little book. Yousuke arrives and calls challenge. "Oh, you're the Hurricanger's red guy. Guess you're the leader." Stricken, Yousuke has a brief struggle with himself. Then he snaps, "Yeah, I'm the Hurricanger's leader, Hurricane Red!" But he thinks if he can stop this thing himself, it'll show that he should be the leader. And he changes into armor. But just then Kouta and Nanami arrive, and Kouta issues challenge. This intrigues Bero Tan, who watches as they change into armor, but he sneers. Yousuke is about to start their speach, they have their scarves out, but Kouta's hand firmly on his chest stops him. And Kouta starts, "Hito mo shirasu!" Nanami follows "Yo mo shirasu!" but the third line, formerly Kouta's, is not spoken and Bero Tan comments on this. The others turn to Yousuke who, thus prompted, finishes the line and tosses his scarf away as they always do. Kouta finishes the traditional announcement with overly dramatic flourish and introduces himself as the Hurricanger leader. Bero Tan scratches his head. "Yellow's the leader? Why, then the little Red guy lied to me." Dismayed, Yousuke covers his face with his hand. A startled Kouta turns around to look at him. "Yousuke, you told him YOU were the leader?!" He starts aggressively towards Yousuke, and Nanami leaps quickly between them to head off the fight. She knows her boys well. "This is not the time!" she reminds them, and Kouta gets her meaning. They turn to face Bero Tan again. He calls for the triple gadget, assembling it with Red at the back, then Blue, then Yellow. And they prepare to fire. The 100T attack lifts and starts down towards target. Target, however, isn't going to wait for it. Out slashes his tongue, knocking them back, and the ball falls on them. The triple gadget is smashed beneath it. Bero Tan starts forward to attack them when he is hit. The Goraijer have arrived to help. But before they can enter more directly into the battle, a mocking voice reaches them. Manmaruba. They turn and look frantically for him. And then Ikkou is hit by piercing agony. Manmaruba warps into the area in his cloak, eyes shining from the hood. "Are you well, Kabutoraijer?" he asks mockingly. He drops his cloak and launches an attack, Ikkou tries to stop him but he basically runs over the boy, after Ikkou to him he does a bit of bashing, twisting his arm and throwing him against rails. The stabbing pain makes it hard for Ikkou to fight back, and when he falls Isshu frantically gathers him up. This leaves him vulnerable to mockery, about younger and older brothers. About the eldest who he'll have to see with his own eyes... with a cry of fury, Isshu leaps at him.

Below, the Hurricanger are back in battle, automatically they hold Yousuke at their center and Kouta quick suggest a scissors attack. But instead of listening, Yousuke goes running ahead of them at Bero Tan. He simply gets bashed down and his friends are quick to rally around him, but Bero Tan is still on the attack. Explosions wrack the trio, and Bero Tan mocks them for being so incompetent, tells them to come back when they get better, and he disappears.

Manmaruba has knocked the brothers to the cement walk, he chuckles and tells them, "Kabutoraijer, your life ends at the next full moon." "WHAT?!" gasps Ikkou. But the chuckling Manmaruba leaves them with a last, cutting remark. He is gone. And the Hurricanger are out of their armor, trying to recover. Kouta is furious with Yousuke for not listening and that Bero Tan got away. Yousuke snarls back, "Oh, and that's MY fault, is it?! Now you're the leader you don't support what anyone else does?!" and shoves at him. Nanami tries to get between the snarling boys. It is Kouta who shoves her hard out of the way. Suddenly Isshu is between them, holding them apart and wanting to know what's going on. An indignant Kouta says, "I'm the leader and he won't listen to me!" Then his eyes narrow and gleam furiously. "That's it, right? You're jealous that I'm the leader!" Isshu looks rathers confused and dismayed as two hiss and snarl at each other and he is hard-pressed to keep them apart. Finally he thinks, "My brother got hurt for THESE?" and he's had enough. With a furious shove he knocks them both down on their behinds and straightens up. "Let's go, brother," he says and starts away. Nanami leaps to her feet and runs after him, saying his name, but he is too frustrated to heed her. He goes to where his injured brother is waiting, down on one knee unable to even straighten up on his own. Isshu helps him up, with only a brief quite resentful glower at the Hurricanger. "Those stupid idiots," he starts growling, but Ikkou silences him. Straightening as much as he can he tells them sternly to settle their differences and straighten out their thinking. And then he allows Isshu to help him away.

Nanami watches them go sadly, then stiffens and turns to the two men sitting behind him, snarling their names in fury. They glare resentfully at each other, color high in their cheeks, panting. Finally they get up and start to leap at each other and Nanami finds herself again stuck between them, trying to keep them from fighting. Around a corner, there is another witness to this pointless fighting. Shurikenger seems quite at a loss. Nanami gets the boys back to base, raging at them and I don't think they hear a thing she's saying. They sit as far from each other as they can get. "Geez, what can I do?" she grumbles in frustration. Mugensai cuts in. "Yousuke, Kouta, look at me." He's trying for parables and Oboro helps with the graphic aid of an arrow. One is easily broken, but when three are together... well, Oboro shatters the three arrows, to her embarrassment (though it was a lot harder than shattering one). Thus ruining the point of the parable *hahahah*. Yousuke practically sneers at the attempted lesson. The two end up snapping at each other again, and they briefly put their foreheads together in an attempt to push each other around. Then both head out of the base, to the valley where they intend each to prove who is better. This is very exasperating.

Yousuke traings, flipping towards a straw dummy. He goes clear over it, hits it with shuriken and goes back to slice it with his sword, when another blade blocks his strike, and a shift of yellow and black clad arms knocks him hard in the stomach. Kouta is there, mocks him, then tosses him an old scroll wrapped in fraying string. Uncertain, he unwraps it and finds it is only half a scroll, the picture cut. It is a Hayate Way artifact, and Yousuke wonders what Kouta is doing with it. He is basically told, "You have to find that out on your own," and Kouta takes off. Still furious, Yousuke goes back to training. He cuts the dummy to pieces.

Kouta is attacking something by going through the ground, navigating a course of poles. He lands atop a boulder, feeling darned please with himself, when one of the poles loses its top half. A smooth blade had sheared through it. "What, when, did I--?" stutters Kouta, for he had hit it when he thought he hadn't. Something hits his shoulder. "Ouch!" and he lifts his head to see Yousuke standing atop a rise a bit away from him. An exchange of insults, then Yousuke points at what he'd thrown. A scroll, and Kouta picks it up. It is the other half of the Hayate Way thing. And Kouta is quite confused. "You gotta get this if you're gonna be the leader." And Yousuke dashes off leaving a hissing Kouta who goes back to determined practice.

Furabijo is addressing a post card, her last, under the encouragement of Satorakura. Wendinu is also finishing hers and he tickles her affectionately. Sargain is finishing his, but not at all pleased to have been drafted for this task. Tao Zanto demands to know what is going on and we see that Bero Tan is at the first table. He is licking the stamps made from humans and putting them on each postcard. Satorakura gleefully starts to explain. They've finished the last, and now Bero Tan heads back to earth and starts putting all those post cards in his mouth.

Oboro sees him and calls on Nanami, who can only think of those idiot boys and worry about what's going to happen. Oboro will call them, and she does. They head in obediantly. Bero Tan is explaining what will happen, more to himself than anyone else. When he imbibes all the postcards, they will burn in the pit of his stomach, and the resulting fireball generated by the energy of all those human lives will wipe the Earth of life. He laughs, eating until he's eaten them all. But Nanami arrives, and the boys get there on her tail. Bero Tan fires on them, but Yousuke gets past the blast. Bero Tan mocks him, but Yousuke is no slouch and driven. He attacks from the air, Kouta from the ground, they are very effective and Mugensai is impressed. Oboro is delighted, saying he'd pitted them against each other to force them to improve their skills. Well, he hadn't but he doesn't try to dissuade her of the notion. The boys actually compliment each other. But it only takes them a moment to start fighting each other about who's going to fight the enemy, much to Nanami's frustration. This leaves HER vulnerable, and Bero Tan snatches her with his tongue and uses her as a shield while he blasts the two idiots. And then the Shurikenger puts in an appearance and tells the two off. He's not going to try and help them with they're fighting each other, and leaving Hurricane Blue in danger. Bero Tan has fun hitting them, and though being hit, the two finally realize how stupid they've been acting. Yousuke tries to give Kouta his blaster, Kouta pushes it back to him. They can't do these things halfway, and exchange respectful "I'm asking you"s. And then Kouta drops, tells Yousuke to ride, and together they slide into battle. Bero Tan is unable to hit them, and then Yousuke takes to the air, and they attack from bottom and top, taking out the enemy. "Nice combination!" praises Shurikenger. Nanami is very relieved they've come to their senses, and so is he, continuing to praise and coming over. He tells them he has a secret. They are still carrying the scrolls. he takes them and puts them together. They fuse into one. And the boys are astounded and delighted, wondering how he knew about the scrolls when they suddenly realize that it was he, posing as each of them, who had given them the scrolls in the first place. He is rather delighted that they finally figured it out. But while these discussions were going on, Bero Tan has been recreated in large by the mask. And they call in Sempujin. Bero Tan wraps the giant in his tongue and electrocutes them, but Shurikenger fires on him and when he falls, the tongue vanishes, freeing them. Oboro calls and says she's sending Kouta a new medal, but Kouta tells her Yousuke is the medal leader, to send it to him. "I'm the leader?!" gasps Yousuke. "But Kouta, I...." And Nanami counters that a leader knows who should do what. And so Oboro sends in the medal, and out comes Karakuri ball 13, the Stamp. Confused, Bero Tan is not prepared for the stamp to go down his body, and leave explosive bright letters. He coughs up all the stamps he'd imbibed, and they land on the cement and become confused people. Shurikenger calls asking to join them, and so they for Tenkusempujin. The whirling blades of the helicopter, the spinning lion's ring... for the Dynamite Tornado attack. Bero Tan is destroyed.

And Nanami returns home with the boys. At last they can really enjoy the curry and all sit down. Yousuke leads the thanks for the food, and it is so utterly delicious they practically hum with delight. Oboro ends up coughing when a bit goes down the wrong tube. Mugensai watching is a little bit put out that Yousuke is being hailed as the leader when he'd picked out Kouta.

File 29 on Satorakura' Bero Tan.
巻之三十 アイドル友情 Aidoru to Yuujou Idols and Friendship
Furabijo is quite frustrated. "Hurricanger, I've quit the Jakanja!" Nanami in her singing kimono finds herself face to face with Furabijo. News filters to Oboro and the boys, all stunned. Nanami's talent agent discovers Furabijo and finds the two girls make a superb duo. There are posters of their bright, smiling faces. And they make a sort of peace....

Twenty-one | Twenty-two | Twenty-three | Twenty-four | Twenty-five | Twenty-six | Twenty-seven | Twenty-eight | Twenty-nine | Thirty

巻之三十 アイドル友情
Aidoru to Yuujou
Idols and Friendship

The Centipede. A rather annoyed-looking Furabijo holds up a score card with a great red zero underlined twice on it, and the "dead" stamp. "Megakagame Mark II, Sargain has zero points." She sticks it to his chest. He's indignant, and Satorakura snickers until she goes at him. "Berotan also failed, Satorakura has zero points." His she sticks on his face. Next to... "Wendinu also. And Manmaruba." They are all quite indignant about being stuck, though Manmaruba seems not to really react. "Everyone's failed at their jobs, everyone has zero points." Furious, Wendinu stomps after her. "Now hold on! What do you mean by this?!" "Well, you couldn't do it either. So... today it's my operation." And she grins innocently. Tao Zanto is curious as to what she's got up her nonexistant sleeves, so she smiles like an angel and turns. "Come on in," waving her scorepad in summons. "Coming!" sings back a voice as childish as hers. The red armored being who comes out bears quite a resemblance to Furabijo, at least in silhouette. She minces out to cheerfully introduce herself, as dainty as a child. "I'm Furabijenu!" Wendinu takes a closer look and asks doubtfully, "What in the... it looks like you!" "Yeah, dunnit?" and she and her psuedo-double perform the same characteristic gesture, greeting each other. Wendinu finds herself automatically tilting her body to match theirs. Satorakura with more deliberate delight mimics the stance. Sargain is less than pleased. "Furabijo," and continues with a remark that this'll end them all up at three hundred percent. Satorakura bounds around to get a closer look at Furabijenu and Furabijo has to reign him in from pestering her personnel. But Furabijo happily tells them that this little one will go to Earth now and basically all sorts of things will go on. And once again they fall into identical poses.

Furabijenu is happily prancing up stairs at what looks like an old gasworks, delighting in the chance to cause havoc and be the best, but appallingly innocent about it. But just as she is singing her own praises, she comes under attack by two black blurs that hit her repeatedly. "Ouch ouch ouch!" she protests. The Kasumi brothers. She is knocked down and furiously asks who they are. They identify themselves. Furabijo, watching, is annoyed with their interference and sets Furabijenu at them. Gladly, she obeys and challenges them. Isshu catches her waist in the jaws of his Breaker, which tickles her severely so she reaches down, forces the jaws apart, head-buts him and sends him flying. Ikko comes to his defense, fires on her with the Horn Breaker. She deflects the blasts back at him, then pushes a car at them. They avoid getting badly hit by leaping atop the hood, but are nocked about when the car hits another car. Furious, they are about to scramble to attack when she blasts the two vehicles. The resulting explosion throws the Goraijer from their armor and they fall, a fireball at their backs. On the Centipede, the others are all quite impressed. Wendinu gasps and covers her mouth with her hands. Manmaruba's jaws are hanging open, Sargain is astounded and Satorakura jovially pats Furabijo in congratulations. They all back up respectfully.

"This is terrible!" Oboro gasps. For she has a clear view of the injured Kasumi brothers lying on the cement some yards from the burning hulks of two cars. "The Goraijer are in one bad pinch!" The Hurricanger dash to see. Furabijenu is closing on them, giggling and spinning a staff-like weapon. They've been hit too badly and cannot get their feet under them. She spins the staff, preparing to finish them off, when it is shot from her hands. "Who did that?!" she snaps anrgily. "HiiiIII!" calls a voice in response. On a catwalk above stands Shurikenger, who introduces himself. She answers his challenge and blasts him with stinger blasts. He falls and lands hard as the Hurricanger arrive. "Wow! Unbelievable!" he gasps. But she sees the four of them now, and is happy to start her attack. Back on the Centipede, Furabijo is trying to keep up with events, marking on her score card. But she says "Furabijenu, come back for a bit." "Whaaat?" protests Furabijenu, who is having fun. "Oh, well this is good enough. You're at hyaku ten yon points!"The rest of the Jakanja all sag behind her, they were enjoying seeing the Goraijer getting trashed. Delighted, Furabijenu obeys the summons. Off she goes, leaving the Hurricanger to race to the Kasumi brothers, who are staggering their way holding each other up until they both fall. Yousuke takes to Isshu, Kouta and Nanami to Ikkou, who raises his gaze to Nanami's, sweat pouring down his face, "That one was really powerful." Isshu raises his pained gaze to Yousuke's, nods firm agreement with his brother, and then his face twists in agony. Yousuke places a bracing hand at his head.

Furabijo is the cat's meow! She sits in a lush chair in front of Tao Zanto and the others spoil her, Satorakura rubs her ankles while Sargain waves a fan to cool her. Manmaruba gets out of it by pointing out that he's got Ikkou's life in his hands, ending the next full moon. Wendinu brings her tea or coffee and after taking a sip, Furabijo complains that it's tepid. She tosses the cup to the floor and it breaks. The others are dismayed by her fit of temper. At that moment Furabijenu returns and her mistress greets her with delight. Furabijenu asks fretfully, "But why did you call me back?" And Furabijo explains that Furabijenu was running low on energy. There are four round cell-like baubles in her chest, and only one is lit. If she'd run out, she wouldn't have been able to move. Furabijo has her turn around and puts a charger on her back. Something about two weeks for her to reach full power. Sargain nearly throws a fit, I think because Furabijenu is a robot and should be his. Furabijenu anxiously goes to stop him from making a pain of himself. She anxiously apologizes and bows to her mistress. Then she apologizes to all of them and says something about doing things. Satorakura is impressed. "Why, she's a really good kid!" "Yeah, she is!" responds Wendinu in delight. And then they get all excited and say something that makes Furabijo ask in confusion, "What do you mean?" Eyes gleaming maliciously Wendinu says, "Well, if we have Furabijenu, then we don't need Furabijo, do we?" Sargain agrees, pointing out something about three hundred percent. Satorakura is also happy to join the cruel teasing. Furabijo stares in painful indignation. And then Wendinu says, "Let's take a vote. Who thinks Furabijo should be kicked out?" They all raise their hands in unanimous agreement. Furabijo bursts into tears and runs from the room while they all go "Bye-bye!"

Mugensai runs on his green wheel. There is a daily planner, with several days marked off. It's been a week since the last Jakanja attack. Since Furabijenu. Oboro is starting to wonder. They're all wondering what Furabijenu is up to, where she went. The planner is Nanami's. And she has to go to her work, so the others wish her good of it.

And on the Centipede, Furabijenu is busy spoiling the others. Sargain is out of his robot and sits in the tiny hot tub she's set up for him, that held in the robot's hands. He is very happy, and tells her so. Her gemstones are half-lit. Next she checks on a prone Wendinu, "How's my massage?" Wendinu is quite content. It's wonderful. Satorakura comes up to try for praise. He tells a joke and asks her how it was. She obligingly laughs, covering her mouth with her hand (although I suspect she didn't get the joke at all). As he wanders off pleased, Wendinu points out that she know the joke wasn't funny. Furabijenu assumes a blushing posture and gets back to massaging. But while she massages she thinks in a tone not light at all, of how good she'll do when next she faces the heroes. For she has to wait until she's recharged.

Well! Nanami's manager's work is paying off. There is a small line of people waiting to get her autograph and pick up a copy of her cd. She greets each person affectionately, a variety of ages in line. There's a banner with a poor illustration of her, that even includes her Shinobi-Changer. Her song is playing in the background. But then the power goes out, silence falls. There is a bright red falling star, hurtling dizzily around the frightened people who dive for cover. Nanami just watches it in surprise when her manager grabs her to pull her with him, but he tears off not realizing she isn't following. And, when the area is cleared, the red glow settles down to form a familiar figure. "Furabijo!" Nanami cries, moving into fighting stance. "Wait," says the other girl and holds out her hand. She looks miserable. As she does so, her clothing stands and now she appears to be a normal human girl. She is slender, young, and her eyes are troubled and slightly sad. "That's not why I'm here. I've quit the Jakanja." Nanami stares at her, stunned.

Pigeons peck at crumbs on the walk. The two young women walk near the temple, and Furbijo explains how she'd felt so stupid, after all her work how they'd mocked her. Nanami watches, suspicion in every line of her stance. And now Furabijo just doesn't know what to do. How to live in this world. And Nanami is uncertain. But then her manager comes racing up to them. "Nana-chan!" he pants, out of breath. "Here you are? You okay? You haven't been hurt?" He looks her up and down anxiously. She reassures him. Then his eyes fall upon the slim girl beyond. "Oh, oh. Are you a friend of Nana-chan's?" he asks. Somewhat uncertain, she nods and says yes. Delighted, he snatches her hands up and says "You must be an idol with Nana-chan!" Nanami has a predictable reaction, hurrying over to disabuse him of this notion. But he's off in a world of his own. He can make this work. An Idol Unit! When he whirls to ask Furabijo to do it, she innocently replies, "Yes, I will." Nanami is pole-axed. Her squawk of surprise sends the pigeons flying.

Not unlike the squawks of surprise uttered by the boys and Oboro back at base when she tells them. But she just isn't sure if this is real or some clever trick by the Jakanja. She sits and frets. Mugensai, however, climbs on her shoulder and says she should go ahead and do it. While the others nod confused agreement, Nanami imagines working with Furabijo, dancing together, singing as a duet, in Bijucco 7. She can picture them as a perfect Idol Unit, jogging together, helping each other with smiles and encouragement when tired. When this switches from imagining to reality, I 'm not sure.

And so when they do start working together, the boys keep a close eye on the proceedings. Nanami dashes out of the room wherein their singing is being recorded, while Furabijo is doing her part. "How's it going?" Well, it's going fine. Though she still has doubts, she's beginning to believe it. And so, later that day the two of them are riding a bus together, and Nanami decides to talk to her. Furabijo is gazing out the window. "Can I ask you a question?" "What is it?" "Well, why did you join the Jakanja?" Furabijo seems to find the question surprising. Then she answers it. "I dropped out of the Space-Ninja school." She remembers...

Furabijo, dressed in a sailor uniform, getting scolded fiercely by an angry male voice. Holding a paper and tears streaming down her face. A paper, a test she had not been able to answer a single question on. She scrunches it up in her fist. "So I became a Space-Kogal." And the voice of Tao Zanto had called her, telling her she was good. She'd make a great creature of darkness. And she'd liked that. Suddenly she had a reason to live. But now the Jakanja had rejected her. And what was she to do? They are long off the bus, they stand under a stone building's shelter. And Nanami understands how she feels, tells her she would have dropped out, too. When Furabijo turns to her with a quite startled expression, she amends anxiously that all this has changed now. She pulls out the flier of the two of them, talks about how much good and joy the two of them could bring to people. They can do this Bijyokko 7, Shaking Hands. Nanami takes Furabijo's shoulders in firm encouragement, grinning. "Our songs could make everyone happy, even the Jakanja!" Furabijo looks a little confused. These are concepts she is not used to, and she tries hard to understand. And then she does, and they grin and clasp hands. But then Furabijo says anxiously that she has something to ask of Nanami.

Uh-huh. Well, this is not going to sit well. And it doesn't. Nanami has brought Furabijo home, to their hidden base. Mugensai, held in Oboro's hands, is most put out and demands an explanation. She tells them about the battery charging up Furabijenu's power, and maybe she can make something to control her. Oboro holds her father anxiously but listens. And Nanami puts her plea in, "I'm also asking." Mugensai clicks his tongue in fretful frustration, then sighs and Oboro says they'll try it. The two girls dance happily when the others agree. The boys watch them with trepidation.

They are a remarkable pair, achieving a balance of tone and motion. They've even started rooming together, sharing a bed. And the night comes when Nanami tries to encourage Furabijo to be excited about the upcoming recital tomorrow. But Furabijo seems a little faded and tired. She nods agreement to Nanami's encouragement, sleepy. But there's a lot to worry about. Nanami tries to reassure her. Oboro will finish the remote control, and they will fight together. Furabijo is intending to go alone to stop Furabijenu, she doesn't want to endanger the others. And Nanami puts a shushing finger on the other girl's lips. "One is not as good as two. And two are not as good as four," for she includes the boys in her together.

The remote lies in Oboro's laboratory, connected by several wires to the computers. It is night, and someone approaches the room. It is Furabijo, who takes the small machine and nods firmly, then leaves the room with it, unaware that the boys are following her. Nanami wakes to find the other half of the bed empty. She sits up anxiously, sure she knows what's happening.

And Furabijenu arrives in the night, red lightning bringing her into the city. She is ready to start her attack. "No, you don't." And she looks up, startled. For in front of her stands Furabijo in human guise, telling her if she starts this attack, she'll never be forgiven. The boys listen from around the corner as Furabijenu starts to mock her creator. She has a lot of points, and her power cells glow bright. So the two Hurricanger realize they can believe Furabijo, who faces her creation alone, transferring into fighting outfit. Two stinger spears in her hand, she charges at Furabijenu, who fires and is surprised when her shots do not hit. But she leaps out of the way of Furabijo's attack and the two face off, spear to spear. Then Furabijo catches Furabijenu in ribbons of red-lightning coming from her mouth. She lifts her creation and tosses it about. She has the remote and dashes forward, putting it on Furabijenu's back. Power drains out instantly, the robot goes limp. The boys crow their delight. But... Furabijo knows they are there. She whirls about, and orders Furabijenu to go after the two. They dive away from her blasts and return to fight in their armor. In response to their indignation, she tells them it's all over, she and Furabijenu assuming identical poses again. Kouta gasps out in indignation, "You mean everything you did with Nanami was a lie?!" Nanami races into the underground office just in time to hear Yousuke protesting angrily, "Nanami believe in you! She really enjoyed being with you, singing together and everything!" Furabijo's smile falters ever so slightly, but that could be my imagination. "Hurricane Blue was sure stupid to fall for that. I got you guys to build me the remote control." And she'd had a lot of fun. But now she pulls out a flier of her and Nanami, and tears it apart, laughing she grinds the pieces under her foot. And Nanami watches, then huddles over a stabbing pain in her heart. At last she clenches her fist, stares hard at Furabijo's face on the screen. "Oh, you're unforgivable." Furabijenu blasts the boys down.

And then a strange sensation in the darkness, the slow falling of cherry blossom petals, a rising music. Puzzled, Furabijo and Furabijenu turn. There is someone walking across the bridge behind them, backlit by bright light and mist, carrying a paper umbrella and dressed in a kimono. Of course it is Nanami, crossing the bridge with her dolphin umbrella. And Furabijo welcomes the girl, calling her stupid, and summons Magerappa. But Nanami is dark and collected. The Magerappa are non-plussed in the face of her focus, and with blade and icy calm she keeps them at bay. For she believes in people. She has a lot to say in that calm, periodically slicing apart attacking Magerappa, and whatever she says, or perhaps only her attitude, shakes Furabijo. She'd believed. Believed one person could change. She's finished all the Magerappa, and stands, fierce stare at the suddenly nervous other girl. Stalking forward, she changes into armor. When Furabijo sends Furabijenu to attack, Nanami barely moves and destroys her. Furabijo is amazed and astounded and ducks back, hand to her mouth. The boys crow their delight, saying Nanami's at 500%. Dismayed, Furabijo signals the Centipede. "Wendy!" she whines. But Wendinu is still not happy from the treatment of two weeks ago. She turns away, pretending like she won't answer. "Please, Lady Wendinu?" Furabijo grovels, rubbing her hands together. And Wendinu sends out the Copy Giant. So our kids call Oboro, who gets up in her pajamas and sends them, then sends to Nanami the fourteenth Karakuri ball. The starfish. "Starlight Beat up!" and the attack, starfish worn on Sempujin's left knee, does in Furabijenu.

Back at the Centipede, a very irritated Tao Zanto tells Furabijo she's at MINUS three hundred points. This sends Satorakura and Sargain into utter laughs, while Wendinu stands tall, glaring at her. But Furabijo says she knows the location of the Hurricanger secret base. And Wendinu holds out her control device, suggesting Furabijo send out a missile to destroy it. She quickly sets the coordinates, uncertain at first where, then finding it and sure she's right, she pushes the send button. Out goes the missile, swings wildly hither and yon, then to their dismay comes straight back at the top of the Centipede. They all shout furiously at her, and she apologizes.

Daylight, grass and plants everywhere. Nanami stands, holding the two pieces of the flying showing her and Furabijo. She puts the pieces together and looks for a long time. Then a strong wind comes up and blows them from her hands. She looks up at the sky, a tear running down her cheek.

File 30 on Furabijo's Furabijenu.
巻之三十一 流星と三匹の狼 Ryuusei to Sanbiki no Ookami A Meteor and Three Wolves
Yousuke and Ikkou battle. Ikkou's voice in overlay, "I'll show you how I die!!" Ikkou in armor battles Manmaruba, possibly on the Centipede. He lands in agony, the egg may be ripping out of him. There are three wolf-beings, savage, monstrous, terrifying. Isshu weeps helplessly. Yousuke screams, "DON'T DIE, IKKOU!" For he lies limp in their arms under a bright, clear blue sky, in a valley where great boulders sit.