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Friday, April 25, 2014

Ressha Sentai Toqger Episode 1 Review: Imagination!

Well it's about time that I started the new Sentai series now. For the past two years I wasn't happy with the franchise as Go-busters and Kyoryuger didn't do well, in my opinion of course. Do I have some hope for Toqger, I will say yes, but I got some doubts about this show. Well either way it's time to hop on the imagination train as the Toqger reviews start now!
Sadly one of the first problems with this episode it that it does a sin that other Sentai series does which is that the first episode focuses mostly on the leader. It does get bothersome to have this for every beginning to a Sentai series and reminding me of red problems there was Hiromu with him being bland and then forced to become the main focus all of a sudden. Then there was Daigo oh wait I mean God, so where does Right (wait is that really his name) stand? I will say he doesn't remind me of Hiromu so I won't have to deal with blandness, but he does have quite a lot of energy. I will say it does fit with his character since I can tell he keeps his inner child stronger than other people. There was something that made me think of God though which is where he is pretty much doing most of the work and I know this his is focus episode, but even in the fights he was doing mostly everything. So right now he is siding onto the God side, but not at the point that it's annoying. I do have a bad feeling though because his name is Right because if he does turn out to be like a God like character I can make a running joke by saying Right is always right.
He does have some problems and they happen because of his own fault which was jumping into things without thinking. Well it started out like a problem, but because of imagination he can do anything it seems. You see why I am getting worried here. Literally we see Right get kicked around, but then he just starts to use his imagination and hit the villain with more power. High chance the other heroes will be able to use their imagination like he does or at least I hope so. I can like his energy since he uses it to its full use, but I do wish there were some explanations why he thought he could whatever he could. Maybe some scenes of quick visions or something like that so he can have the idea and try it out. In the fight scenes he just acts like a kid who wants to play with a new toy over his own. I get the inner child thing, but when you're in battle, it's a battle. There can be some goofing off here and there that's fine because look at Don from Gokaiger, he wasn't a fighter so he had to improvise here and there. With Right it just seems he gets lucky, oh wait I can use the joke now, Right is always right. I would at least like his attitude more if he was trying to be more of a hero because kids did kidnap in this episode!
What about the other teammates then, well there is Blue who is the smart one, but clumsy at the same time. I will say I did like his first moment when he stumbles down while getting off the train because we see the heroes for the first time and then one of them just falls down. Also Blue is too smart for everyone to handle as some of them can't even take how he has to put some insight on everything. I will get to their names in other reviews, probably around the time they get a focus episode. Going on there is Yellow who just screams the tomboy character of the show. I will say I do like how she fights since she likes for things to stay as a fight. She hates back stabbing tactics as there was a little funny moment with that as she yells at a grunt like a mother would do to her child. Green is well pretty much silent and fights seriously, oh no I'm getting Souji flashbacks! Then there was Pink who is reminding me one of those little girl characters from animated Disney shows from the 90's. She acts all innocent and everything as many people help in many instances and she gets scared easily. Then all of a sudden she goes all “super girl” out of nowhere. Pretty much I can say I like Yellow based on the first episode since she does show personality while being a serious fighter. My least favorite would have to be Pink since she just seems too sweet and innocent.
Anyways what is the story of this series? Well there isn't much right now other than the little narrative about imagination we got. It seems that mostly kids have a strong sense of this, no duh there. While at the same time imagination is its own existence since the villains cannot be seen by people without imagination. Wait does this mean all that happens; mostly everyone can't even see it? I will say that will help with the idea of how does everyone not panic in this situation since most people cannot see what is going on. I do have to ask though; it does imply they have a physical touch in the real world so will things like destroyed buildings and other collateral damage still occur in the real world? I do have a lot of questions for how things are happening in the show, but again it's the first episode hopefully things will be explained other than just saying imagination!
Alright onto the villains as I have to say I love their designs a whole lot. My goodness this is a major improvement compared to the Debos designs. First of all I love the theme they are going with, the whole steam punk look is awesome. Things are well balanced and I can tell who is who based on their designs. They also have some nice detailing on them like the leader for example. First of all I heard chains while he was walking and I can see there are some rods, springs, screws, and nuts on him. My favorite design has to go to Baron Nero as I love the hat. Along with that the grunts even look great as they remind me of the Dairanger grunts with fancy hats and creepy teeth. The grunt designs surprisingly have tons of details even though it looks simplistic. For how they are on the threatening chart, I don't feel afraid of them, but it's nice to see a group of villains go back to the old method of kidnapping children.
Reminding me of motifs and themes I will say the series is using that well, but also a little too much at the same time. I like the train motif for the heroes as they even have some quick jokes with it like when Right tires to jump on the Rainbow Line, but he forgot to use his pass. At times though it got annoying with the transformation armlet, it just went on and on! The style for this show is a little too good and because of that it can get in your face annoying at times. Then there was the conductor, what the hell is up with that guy. He easily reminds me of Mr. Owner from Den-o, but with none of the charm. It's actually his little puppet that's more amusing than the actual person. Ticket is the puppet's name and it's more realistic than the Conductor as he seems rather rude and I can find it funny at times. He even hates the idea of Right being a Toqger. As for the conductor, stop yelling imagination!
The action for the show is alright, again it can get a little too in your face which is a problem. I will give credit to how the show does poke fun at itself like when all the members switched colors; Blue who was red during the time got confused on who was who. Then there was also the time when they used a finisher move that summoned a bunch of crying statues that crushed the monster right after him and Pink didn't get the joke. So at least the show knows it is getting in your face and does set up some nice jokes to go with that. Even the Conductor and Ticket got annoyed with how the team kept switching around their colors. I will say that is a cool thing that this team has which is switching their own colors. Each member can be a different color and use different weapons, but what's wrong with just switching the weapons by yourself? Maybe there more changes that this episode didn't show because if not, the gimmick seems a little pointless. Other than that the action on land was just the usual, nothing really that special until it got into your face, but there were some bad effects like when Green was juggling a grunt in the air with his ax. Also some of the explosion and fire animations didn't even look that impressive.
The mech in this series is quite interesting since I do like seeing an old fashion combination which has been way too long! Also the Toq-oh seems to be moving on tracks only like a train does. Again I will laugh at that, but that seems like it could be more of a problem for the mech. Other than that we got some sword slashes, a kick, a punch, and then straight to the finisher. The finisher is alright as it's just a rainbow slash with background animations. I was hoping for something like Carranger's mech finisher because the spinning slash is way too awesome and we need something like that again. So it was a quick mech fight as I'm not that impressed by it, but at least the series did something unique with it.
I will say I do have some worries for the series as the first episode does show some examples from previous Sentai shows I didn't like. A red hero who is going to be right all the time and be the most powerful being ever is seen in this, but again that has been happening for first episodes, oh wait Gokaiger didn't do that! Also the in your face comedy got a little too much and the random animations don't help with that either. Then so far the gimmick of switch colors around doesn't seem to be that much special. Overall it's a C episode because there is some to hate and some things to like for example the use of the themes are strong at least.
Next Time: Well this isn't good.


  1. Nice to see you review sentai again.
    I'm sorry that you haven't enjoy sentai for past 2 years.
    Do you think Toei needs to take break from sentai or sentai doesn't match your taste anymore?
    I personally think Toei should take 1~2 break at one point though, but that's another topic.

    Overall, this was a descent start.
    The overall atmosphere was very soft and light hearted, but not too over-the-top wacky and ridiculous IMO.
    This is what I call "playing safe"....which what Kyoryuger failed miserably, but I digress.
    I'm also happy that there's no over-the-top annoying Shigeru Chiba's voice like Kyoryuger.
    OP and ED song was nice too. Better than Kyoryuger IMO.

    Interesting fact: This series is written Yasuko Kobayashi, a writer of sentai series such as Gingaman, Timeranger, Shinkenger, and Go-Busters. I'm aware you are not a fan of Go-Busters; however, the production team behind this are the one who were involved in Shinkenger, so hopefully you would enjoy it.
    The actor who plays conductor is Tsutomu Sekine, who is a veteran actor, who starred in many TV shows, movies, and variety shows (I'm a HUGE fan of his work BTW), and he also starred in Goranger as guest back in 1976, and now he's appearing as regular in sentai!

    But any way, nice review.
    BTW, it's "Ressha" sentai, not Ressah.

    Take care.

  2. The opening song actually makes me worry for the series as well. It's not a bad song, but it doesn't feel like a Sentai song to me. Kyoryuger's opening was a Sentai theme no doubt about that. Toqger's theme sounded like a school anime theme. Toei doesn't need a break from Sentai, they just need a good show and I bet they were working on the next series even before this one started to air.

    1. Kyoryuger theme was "meh" IMO.

      Like the series itself, it sounds so.... lame IMO.
      I mean do we really need word like "Vamola" and "Let's get 'em!" in theme song?
      It just doesn't sounds so "awesome" IMO.
      It sounded desperate.
      Probably my least favorie sentai theme.
      Heck, even Goseiger had a better theme song IMO.
      It just doesn't have that epic and awesomeness that first Go-Busters OP theme song had.
      What's tragic is that that was the first sentai since Gekiranger, for OP/ED song not sang by Project.R (the music production behind, Go-onger~Go-Busters + ToQger).

      As for ToQger (yes, I'm using that title, since it's official), it's alright though.
      I wouldn't call it "great", but it's descent, but I like that you compared with school anime theme. That was a good one. LOL.

      Looking forward to next episode review. I have few more to say about it.

      BTW, why are you replying it TWICE?
      Is there something wrong with your server or account?

    2. I think it was just the site freaking out for that one moment. With Kyoryuger's theme I like the dynamics the song uses. When it starts with the "Whoa" it just keeps going up. Also I cannot stand the many repetitions in Toq's theme like the whole beginning part.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Also Toei just won't stop with Sentai for any moment, money is money and that is how they play ball.

  4. I'm also worried about the way Kagura (ToQ 5) uses her imagination in which it may get annoying as the series progresses.

    I even love the fact that Baron Nero was voiced by Jun Fukuyama, who also voiced one of my fave anime characters, Lelouch vi Britannia from Code Geass.

    And as for ToQ-Oh, I was really appalled by his design when scans of the DX one first appeared. And when scans of the ToQ-Oh suit started appearing, I realized that what got me appalled is that the DX ToQ-Oh's arms are just wrongly positioned which makes him look like he has ridiculously long arms. But still, I'd rank ToQ-Oh as the worst Sentai mech design to date, next to Engine-Oh.