|This article is about a/an episode in Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger.|
Ep. 28: The Space Pirates Return (帰ってきた宇宙海賊 Kaettekita Uchū Kaizoku) is the twenty-eighth episode of Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger. The 1999th episode in total of the Super Sentai Series, it is the first part of a two-part arc featuring the return of the protagonists of the previous anniversary series, Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, in commemoration of the 2000th episode milestone as well as the 40th anniversary of Super Sentai. It features the debut of the Whale Change Gun, a cameo by the ToQgers, and a flashback of Cetus. Cube Whale, Zyuoh Whale and Azald Legacy make brief appearances in this episode, albeit in a flashback.
After sensing a Deathgalien’s presence, the Zyuohgers find a man calling himself a “space pirate” fighting Bangrey. He is none other than Captain Marvelous, Gokai Red of the Gokaigers. He says he is looking for the Link Cube, said to hide an amazing treasure. When Yamato and company take Marvelous to the Link Cube, they discover a massive Ruler’s Proof buried. When the Zyumen touch it, it reacts. The image of a whale Zyuman, Cetus, appears and tells everyone about Zyuland’s history.
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- Yamato Kazakiri (風切 大和 Kazakiri Yamato): Masaki Nakao (中尾 暢樹 Nakao Masaki)
- Sela (セラ): Miki Yanagi (柳 美稀 Yanagi Miki)
- Leo (レオ): Shouhei Nanba (南羽 翔平 Nanba Shōhei)
- Tusk (タスク): Tsurugi Watanabe (渡邉 剣 Watanabe Tsurugi)
- Amu (アム): Haruka Tateishi (立石 晴香 Tateishi Haruka)
- Misao Mondo (門藤 操 Mondō Misao): Naoki Kunishima (國島 直希 Kunishima Naoki)
- Mario Mori (森 真理夫 Mori Mario): Susumu Terajima (寺島 進 Terajima Susumu)
- Ginis (ジニス Jinisu, Voice): Kazuhiko Inoue (井上 和彦 Inoue Kazuhiko)
- Naria (ナリア Naria, Voice): Minako Kotobuki (寿 美菜子 Kotobuki Minako)
- Bangray (バングレイ Bangurei, Voice): Nobutoshi Canna (神奈 延年 Kanna Nobutoshi)
- Cetus (ケタス Ketasu, Voice): Chō (チョー)
- Captain Marvelous (キャプテン・マーベラス Kyaputen Māberasu): Ryota Ozawa (小澤 亮太 Ozawa Ryōta)
- Joe Gibken (ジョー・ギブケン Jō Gibuken): Yuki Yamada (山田 裕貴 Yamada Yūki)
- Luka Millfy (ルカ・ミルフィ Ruka Mirufi): Mao Ichimichi (市道 真央 Ichimichi Mao)
- Don Dogoier (ドン･ドッゴイヤー Don Doggoiyā): Kazuki Shimizu (清水 一希 Shimizu Kazuki)
- Ahim de Famille (アイム・ド・ファミーユ Aimu do Famīyu): Yui Koike (小池 唯 Koike Yui)
- Gai Ikari (伊狩 鎧 Ikari Gai): Junya Ikeda (池田 純矢 Ikeda Jun'ya)
- Navi (ナビィ Nabyi, Voice): Yukari Tamura (田村 ゆかり Tamura Yukari)
- Zyuoh Eagle, Cetus: Kosuke Asai (浅井 宏輔 Asai Kōsuke)
- Sela, Zyuoh Shark: Ryoko Gomi (五味 涼子 Gomi Ryōko)
- Leo, Zyuoh Lion: Yasuhiro Takeuchi (竹内 康博 Takeuchi Yasuhiro)
- Tusk, Zyuoh Elephant: Yuji Nakata (中田 裕士 Nakata Yuji)
- Amu, Zyuoh Tiger: Ayumi Shimozono (下園 愛弓 Shimozono Ayumi)
- Zyuoh The World: Masashi Takada (高田 将司 Takada Masashi)
- Ginis: Naoko Kamio (神尾 直子 Kamio Naoko)
- Naria, Gokai Yellow: Yuichi Hachisuka (蜂須賀 祐一 Hachisuka Yūichi)
- Azald Legacy: Jiro Okamoto (岡元 次郎 Okamoto Jirō)
- Tousai Zyuoh: Yohei Fujita (藤田 洋平 Fujita Yohei)
- Bangray: Shinsuke Kusano (草野 伸介 Kusano Shinsuke)
- Gokai Red: Hirofumi Fukuzawa (福沢 博文 Fukuzawa Hirofumi)
- Gokai Blue: Yuto Kikuchi (菊池 雄人 Kikuchi Yūto)
- Gokai Green, Bowguns, Dorobozu: Masaru Ōbayashi (大林 勝 Ōbayashi Masaru)
- Gokai Pink: Mizuho Nogawa (野川 瑞穂 Nogawa Mizuho)
- Gokai Silver: Shogo Teramoto (寺本 翔悟 Teramoto Shōgo)
- Zyuoh Eagle - N/A
- Zyuoh Shark - N/A
- Zyuoh Lion - N/A
- Zyuoh Elephant - N/A
- Zyuoh Tiger - N/A
- Zyuoh The World - Cube Rhinos, Cube Crocodile, Cube Wolf, Cube Komori
- Combinations used: Tousai Zyuoh, Tousai Zyuoh Koumori Boomerang
- Zyuoh Eagle - Zyuoh Gorilla, Instinct Awakened
- Zyuoh Shark - Instinct Awakened (x2)
- Zyuoh Lion - Instinct Awakened (x2)
- Zyuoh Elephant - Instinct Awakened (x2)
- Zyuoh Tiger - Instinct Awakened (x2)
- Zyuoh The World - Crocodile Form
- Gokai Changes in The Space Pirates Return:
- This marks the first time that the Gokaigers change into Sentai Rangers introduced after their own series. As such, this also marks the first appearance of the Ranger Keys for the Go-Busters, Kyoryugers, ToQgers and Ninningers.
- There are some small references in each of the post-Gokaiger changes.
- Gokai Blue as AoNinger- Both are the calm and cool blue rangers of their teams.
- Gokai Yellow as Yellow Buster- Both are tomboys and headstrong. They frequently butt head with their respective Red leaders.
- Gokai Green as ToQ 4gou- Both are somewhat similar in their personalities and share a slow and methodical approach to problems.
- Gokai Pink as Kyoryu Pink- Both share parents that want them to act like a princess. While Ahim adopts those behaviors, Amy tries to act tomboyish and bend the rules.
- There are some small references in each of the post-Gokaiger changes.
- The Gokai Changes used by Gokai Red in this episode are somewhat connected to the Zyuohgers.
- Gaoranger: Being the 25th anniversary series and the previous animal-themed one. Also GaoRed having a lion theme, just like Zyuoh Lion.
- Gekiranger: Being tiger-themed, just like Zyuoh Tiger, as engaged in battle with her
- Jetman: Being bird-themed, just like Zyuoh Eagle, and with flight skill.
- Go-Busters: Tapping into secondary skills, just like the Zyuohger in general, in this case Cheetah speed versus Zyuoh Eagle tapping into gorilla strength, as well as alternately having been the previous Doubutsu Sentai.
- The first 3 Gokai Changes are from the teams with Gorilla mechas, GaoGorilla, GekiGorilla and GT-02 Gorilla, just like Cube Gorilla.
- With the exception of the Red Hawk Gokai Change, Marvelous' Gokai Changes animal motifs in this episode are the same of Kamen Rider OOO's Latorartar Combo, and in the exact same order too (Lion, Tiger and Cheetah).
- This may be a reference to the fact that Kamen Rider OOO celebrated the 40th anniversary of Kamen Rider just as Zyuohger celebrates the 40th of Super Sentai. Like Zyuohger, OOO also featured a two-part arc celebrating an episode milestone, the Kamen Rider Series 1000th episode in its case.
- It should also be noted that Marvelous' Gokai Change into Red Hawk has the same animal motif as Kamen Rider OOO's Taka Core Medal.
Elements/Homages to Gokaiger
- The title of this episode, The Space Pirates Return, is a reference to the title of the first episode of Gokaiger The Space Pirates Appear.
- The "Return" (帰ってきた Kaettekita) part of the title is probably a reference to the fact that Gokaiger is the only series that does not feature the Return V-Cinema, the trend that started since Shinkenger.
- Marvelous preventing Bangray eating curry and rice is reminiscent to how the first battle was started in the first episode of Gokaiger, when the team was denied the chance to eat curry and rice at Snack Safari due to the Zangyack destroying the building.
- In the last part of the episode, during the fight against Zyuohger, Luka, Joe, Don and Ahim are fighting respectively against Amu, Tusk, Leo and Sela but then in the following frames they're fighting against their counterparts.
- When Gokai Red transforms into Red Buster, he doesn't say "Let's Morphin!", while Gokai Yellow does say the phrase when transforming into Yellow Buster by using a Morphin Brace to activate the transformation.
- While Dorobozu does fade away when defeated, Bowguns explodes rather than fading.
- Cube Whale has blue eyes, but in the flashback, its eyes are yellow.
- As part of Super Hero Time, this episode aired alongside Kamen Rider Ghost episode 47, Conciliation! All Resolutions!.
- Hide-and-Seek in closing credits
- Animal: N/A
- Cube: Red, Blue, Yellow and Green
- This is the first time Zyuoh Eagle changes from Zyuoh Gorilla to his Instinct Awakened form.
- Marvelous and Gai are the only Gokaigers to appear un-transformed in this episode (with Gai remaining un-transformed throughout).
- This is the first time the Gokaigers change into Sentai Rangers introduced after their own series. As such, this also marks the first appearance of the Ranger Keys for the Go-Busters, Kyoryugers and ToQgers - which had previously only appeared as toys - and a Ninninger ranger key, hinting at a possible future release.
- The five core ToQgers make a brief appearance in this episode; however, they only appear as children. They give Gai their Ranger powers so the Gokaigers could use them.
- Rather than the standard ending, part of an updated version of the Gokaiger ending theme is played with both teams in a group shot to emphasize the crossover and the upcoming 2,000th episode.
- This and next episode marks the reunion of Yui Koike (Ahim de Famille) and Shouhei Nanba (Leo), who appeared together in the finale of Kamen Rider W six years prior.
Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Volume 8 features episodes 28-31: Ep. 28: The Space Pirates Return, Ep. 29: The Monarch of the Monarchs, Ep. 30: The Legendary Megabeast and Ep. 31: When the Megabeast Stands.
Blu-ray Collection 3 comes with 12 episodes.