The Morphin Grid

Ep. 2: Strange! The Dark Underground Castle

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This article is about a/an episode in Hikari Sentai Maskman.

Strange! The Dark Underground Castle (怪奇! 闇の地底城 Kaiki! Yami no Chiteijō?) is the second episode of Hikari Sentai Maskman; it features the debut of the Great Five and continues the set-up regarding the Tube spy/Underground Empire's deposed princess, Ial.


Takeru abandons Commander Sugata's Aura Power training when he receives a message from Mio about her survival and current whereabouts as Tube prepares to punish her.


Commander Sugata is still in his meditative stance, his aura filling the pyramid surrounding him, to the shock of his pupils. Slowly, he begins to levitate. This, Sugata says, is Aura Power. Alarmed, Momoko and Akira protest that it’s impossible, but Sugata says that if they believe in themselves and train hard, they can learn it (throwing in a little telekinesis to make his point).

The five start training: Takeru, Akira and Momoko spar multiple opponents hand-to-hand, Haruka fights several pursuers with shuriken, and Kenta fights sword-wielders.

Belowground, Zeba punishes his generals with ever-popular hand-generated laser torture. Intervening, Anagmas suggests that he vent his anger on the spy they captured instead of his own troops—Mio—and the human she fell in love with.

In the middle of sparring, Takeru hears Mio’s voice coming from the pendant around his neck. Overjoyed, he realizes that she’s alive, and abandons the session. From her underground cell, Mio confesses that she loved him from the start, and thanks him for the memories, tearfully saying they’ll never see each other again. Turning, she transforms her clothes, revealing herself as Princess Ial. Anagmas interrupts, dragging her before Zeba.

Prince Igam abuses her for disgracing the family name (he’s her twin brother), and she protests that the people of Earth are good, and that they and the Underground Mutants could live together in peace. Igam is about ready to kill her himself, but Baraba intervenes—only to suggest a more severe punishment. Saying she’ll “sleep in hell,” Zeba drops her down an icy tunnel, where she is frozen in a solid block of ice. The generals bicker over who is to go to the surface next, and Zeba decides on Baraba.

Takeru is still hopeful of saving Mio, and tells her to stay alive. Meanwhile, the other four Masks go to meet Baraba and his forces by motorcycle. They are blasted down a rocky hill. Noticing that Igua Doggler’s corpse is nearby, Zeba sends Energy Beast Okelampa to the surface. He blasts the monster with energy, and Igua Doggler rises again, giant-sized, to the consternation of the Masks.

Chief Sugota contacts Takeru, warning him that the  others are in danger. As Takeru runs to help, he is confronted by Prince Igam. Recognizing the pendant, Igam declares that Takeru will pay for deceiving his sister, and opens fire. Takeru transforms to fight him, to Igam’s alarm, but the Prince quickly declares he will defeat Takeru. Fumin joins him as Chief Sugotu urges Takeru to help his teammates, which he soon does, taking the Turbo Ranger out of its waterfall hangar to the scene of the fight.

Cutting through the fleet of Tube Empire ships, Takeru reaches the others, and they enter their Mecha and form the Great Five. Although they take a beating from Igua Doggler, Takeru refuses to give up for Mio’s sake, and they destroy the monsters again.

Belowground, an enraged Zeba begins a dark ritual, sending energy from his body up through the palace. It materializes on the surface, making the sky go dark. The Masks engage it, but an energy blast flings them back. Laughing, Zeba declares that the Dark Aura has built an Underground Castle on Earth.

To be continued . . .



  • First onscreen Maskman henshin, by Takeru into Red Mask.
    • Since he hasn't mastered Aura Power at this point, the transformation is different with him purely changing into the costume.

DVD releases

Maskman DVD Vol 1

Maskman Volume 1, DVD cover

Hikari Sentai Maskman Volume 1 features episodes 1-10. [1]


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