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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ressha Sentai Toqger Episode 3 Review: Simple Heroics

For this episode of Toqger, Kagura is thinking about her town too much that it is causing her to have second thoughts of being a Toqger. Because of her home sickness she accidentally walks off the train as the station changes into a Dark Station.
We actually do get some sort of answer about why the heroes are on the Rainbow Line which is mostly because they had powerful imaginations. Pretty much when their "station" got devoured by the darkness they shot right out of the area because they didn't get consumed by the darkness. It seems though that Right's was so strong that it send him flying longer than the others. So it does seem true that their hometown has been taken by the Shadow Line, but the question is why they don't have their memories. It seems to be caused by trauma and I do hope this actually becomes some plot point. First I have to ask do the villains want these guys to not remember anything, did they even know the heroes before they became Toqgers? I'm going to say their town is probably the beginning of everything and that is pretty much going to be it. So I fear that this plot point is probably going to take too long and the rest will just be a mess because it took too much time with them regaining their memories. Then with how the episode ended I feel that many episodes will just have these little clues that won't really mean much, it means much for the heroes, but in a developing plot viewpoint, it barely does anything. Maybe there can be some memories of what happened with the city as we could get some nice imagery with that idea. I know it's early, but shows can easily give off hints on what could happen or tease the audience with those. Right now it just feels like padding.
Now what about the character development, there isn't too much as Kagura is just having home sickness like the other four have. It's just one of them right now is moving forward to reach that goal while Kagura is just puzzled on what she should do. There is even news that they could search for their town in a quicker fashion if they leave the Rainbow Line for good, heck they could even get their memories back. For Right this doesn't feel right to him since the Shadow Line would still be around and with no Toqgers, the villains pretty much win. I can sort of like Right's simplistic heroics here as he is correct about being the only people who can stop the Shadow Line. Now I have to wonder what the Rainbow Line has been doing before the heroes came, were they just letting the Shadow Line win? Is the Rainbow Line just another train, but if the Shadow Line can change things why can't the Rainbow Line? Did they have any type of soldiers before the Toqgers? This is where my mind goes people and high chance none of this will be explained, so why even bother? I guess I should just laugh at the bad comedy and just deal with it?
Oh man do we get bad humor in this episode. First of all I hate Wagon! Literally all she was doing in this episode was taking pictures of herself. She even used the word "selfies" when I saw that I just had to stop the episode and give myself a moment. Toqger, a show about expressing imagination and social media! I'm sorry, but I really hated this part of the episode. It's pointless and had nothing to do with anything, and also because of this Wagon didn't see Kagura calling out to get some help to arrive back on the train. Lucky for her though because with her disappearance, that is the only reason the Conductor finds out there was a Shadow Station... Wow I really think the Rainbow Line doesn't care. Why aren't there any sensors around the world to find Shadow Stations?! Going on then we had more of Kagura's strong girl humor which already got old in the last two episodes and here it's still annoying and old.
A kid's show everyone!
Onto Kagura she had a similar change in character that is relatable to Right. She picks up a simple reason of wanting to be a hero and again I don't hate this, but it's not a thing that I can like either. All she wants to do is defend the children because she sees some chained up and crying. So what about the other people in the world? Alright, I kid, I kid. I can tell she just wants to protect people so that they don't have to deal with these dark times like she had in this episode. Kagura's home sickness is reasonable at least, but I have to wonder why would that make her go outside and touch a sign? Really it just felt like plot convenience for just being plot convenience. I will at least her strong girl act actually saves the day for a moment as she busts out of the enemy's trap by herself, but then we get into more problems afterwards.
Kagura seems to go into a crazy state where her imagination goes beyond self control. First of all, if her imagination can be that strong why wasn't she on the Shadow Train along with Right? Also it is literally a weakness as she was going to perform an attack that would kill herself... I do hope we got a focus episode where she tries to control that and actually uses that strength for a better use because right now it's a major flaw for teamwork. I can say this at the least she stole the spotlight from the leader which is something Kyoryuger barely ever did! The worst part for me was when Right was talking about how he had to save her from drowning because she thought she was a mermaid, we get a scene showing that. It wasn't even like five minutes after hearing that we get a flashback to that moment. What would have worked better is that Right just says she goes too crazy with her imagination and we see that her attacks are leading to pain on herself. Then when the others save her and when Right and Kagura fall into the sea we see that moment of the two almost drowning together. It would have been a good visual directing moment as we would probably get what happened, but no we had to make it easy so it doesn't leave too much for the imagination, wait a second.
Alright I will get to at least something mostly positive in this episode. Again the MOTW was pretty cool. First of all he has a good scary image to him. He's a chain monster with rust all over him and bright yellow eyes. Even his teeth are corroded; it's actually a pretty awesome design and with him dragging a coffin around makes him scarier. There is even this sinister playful side he has with how he does things as he loves trapping people into his coffin that he even has a song about doing that. Too bad this aspect doesn't get too much of a focus since I would love seeing people react to pretty much a reaper like monster taking people away. This would have lead other people to believe death is approaching them as it would be fear and the people trapped in the coffin are crying because they were separated. I would have liked to see Kagura see the people first before getting trapped. She would easily get the reason why she wants to be a hero the same way she saw the kids crying. Overall it's a cool monster with a nice design that gets wasted because of the bad panning this episode had.
The action was not that bad, I actually had some fun with it. Mostly when Kagura was going crazy, it reminded me of Luna when she first fought. It wasn't as funny since Kagura was being more successful than Luna and for a moment we cut away from Kagura going crazy to learn about her crazy imagination. Again it's not that hard to see that she gets too attached in her roles, so why shove such useless dialouge down our throat and wait a second these guys are friends why is Right the only one who knows? I guess this was a secret that Right kept hidden, but he sure was giving the other three a hint for a while. The rest of the on land fight is with Kagura back to normal and along with the team. Then by team I mean just her and Right. I did love seeing them switch colors as Kagura takes the red spotlight by being the red warrior. Then seeing the leader in pink helping out was a nice combination and does break some the color rule that the franchise doesn't do that often recently. The cannon finisher got used again as Kagura imagines a big wire cutter to destroy the chain monster, a bit funny which is mostly because the effect wasn't all that good. Then there was the mech fight. I will give it this, the fight lasted longer than the previous episode and there was a conflict as well. Then came how the team busted out of the giant coffin, Right makes the red train extend outwards and I'm just going to show the image.
Again, a kid's shows!
This episode easily made me angrier than episode two, but at some points I was having some more fun with some moments than episode two had. Kagura didn't get a big boost, but she isn't straight up cringe worthy anymore as I can see how she can be a decent character. There wasn't too much red focus, but there were still moments of Right being right. Right in this episode didn't move that much since he said the same thing in episode two about moving forward to find the hometown. Still some decent fights that didn't have to rely on CGI compared to episode two. There were easily less laughs though so I would give this episode a D+ It shares some flaws from episode two, improves on some parts, and still have some new parts that straight up anger me.
Next Time: An interesting game of yellow, blue, red, green, and pink light

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