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Monday, May 26, 2014

Ressha Sentai Toqger Episode 4 Review: A Train Credit Card?!

For this episode of Toqger the crew finds out that their passes can be used in stores and many think they have infinite spending rights since they are part of a different way of life. Really how does that make sense? Can someone then track that pass for money, where does that money come from? Either way, Blue finds out he bought too much and hearing he has to pay for it later he heads out to return his items, but then he loses his pass!
For a series where the previous episodes have been having me scratch my head, this actually was the best episode so far. I am actually surprised on how nice this episode was, it wasn't amazing, but good is better than below average. First of all this really reminds me of a Dekaranger episode where Umeko losses her badge at one point, but this time it's a focus point. I will have to say the characters that get focused on this episode are easily now my favorite in the team. Before getting to that though I will say the pacing of this episode was better than the past two episodes. There was a nice little beginning with the team using their passes to their hearts content, Tokatii then noticing he lost his pass, a monster appears, team head out, and then in between the action we have some character focus along with a longer mecha fight and a good send off. The episode easily had more to work with than the previous episodes and yet things felt more paced out as the show finally found out what to focus on.
Alright Tokaii in this episode actually straights up mentions the biggest flaw with himself, he's likes to research, yet Hikari is the smarter one. I straight up said this in my episode two review and this is actually a point for his character. It's actually a little funny on how Tokaii has the quirks of the smart character and yet the silent type character is the smart one. Along with that, Tokaii sees that he is useless because of the trouble he has been causing. He doesn't act like a manly hero and ends up messing up in many moments. This sort of reminds me of a Goseiger episode when Aigiri was wondering if he was useful or not. It's a bit different though as Tokaii actually has reasons for thinking this, Aigiri really didn't. Going on, Tokaii gets mad at himself for being useless, but someone else shares that same idea with him.
This is actually a dual focus episode and episode three did try at that, this one actually does it right with having the two characters share their flaws together. Mio is a girl who likes to keep working out so that she doesn't slack off. She may seem stubborn, but she mostly as that with herself so she can make more goals for herself. I can tell she will be an exercise nut and actually reminds me of Chie from Persona 4, if she goes on the path Chie did in character development, this Yellow is going to be great. Well Mio tells Tokaii that she herself thinks that she is useless in the team, since even though she works out and keeps her physical strength up, in the end a person like Kagura is stronger. So Mio should be more of the strong type and yet Kagura takes that from her even though she is more of an airhead character. This is a nice way of working with the stereotypes in the franchise as the two are confused on how they can contribute to the team.
These two sharing their problems with each other so far is my favorite scene. The two are bonding and helping each other out as this ends up being their strength in the team. By how the episode shows, I am hoping these two will have more teamwork with each other. With Hikari being smarter and Kagura being stronger, Tokaii and Mio could become the more skillful fighters and to improve that they work off each other. This is what character development should be! In the previous episodes it was so little that it felt like nothing, but here this is development. The two learned something from this and both get a memory from their childhood. I will say the direction for when Mio falls in both the present and past was not that well done since you can so tell that Mio is not in danger. Literally Tokaii could have let her go and she would have been fine (basing this on the camera angles by the way). Also even though Mio hinted that there was a scene about when she thought Tokaii was manly, she clearly didn't say, "You helped me when I fell out of a tree." Unlike the previous episode where Right just mentioned the moment he had with Kagura. Overall these two are working well together and I hope there will be more of that later in the series.
We also get some shipping! (Yea that ending was odd)
There was also some comedy along with the problem of this situation as Mio ends up sticking with Tokaii to help him get around. The two take a taxi and literally transform right away after they exit and take a bus with an old couple on it. It was nice and simple and wasn't in your face and most of the comedy in this episode was like that. There was Tokaii tripping up, literally which wasn't like having his items being thrown at the screen, no he just tripped when he heard he had to pay what he spent later. Even in the fight there are some little surprises like Right catching burning magma rocks to prevent them from damaging the area, Kagura falling down even though she should have had a follow up attack, and Tokaii again doing some interesting moves while he was Yellow. Again this is another favorite thing for me in this episode as the comedy wasn't crazy and even though it was more controlled it had some little surprises still.
There were also some small moments that I liked in the series and one moment where Right had an awesome moment. He kept getting hit by the MOTW's attack and he stood up for the whole time and even taunted the foe afterwards. The villains in this episode had a cool moment where the commander, Schwarz wanted to make something similar to the Rainbow Line. He had some help from that little creepy thing, god I just hate that little girl monster! I'm sorry having her hiding around and staring at someone with those soulless eyes just makes me feel uncomfortable. At least she helped as she gives the commander an idea to make his trains into mechs! The design for them is pretty nice as this was an interesting surprise as I thought it was just going to be a quick mech fight like in the previous episodes. I forgot though it's reveal time so of course the fight needs to be longer this time. Then by the end of the mech fight Schwarz appears before the team and tells him that they will fight at some point (also points for the presentation with the rose petals).
Sadly there was one big flaw in this episode and that was the MOTW. In the previous two episodes there were some awesome monsters that really used the ideas of getting negative emotions in interesting ways. This time the monster is a fireplace and throws his fire at people... Even his design is total garbage as it's just a mess. To make things worse he had this constant annoying pun! What makes things worse is that I don't get the pun. It sounded like he was saying "no duh" over and over again in his lines. He wasn't even saying anything that special overall as every single line ending with that! Even if I did get the pun it would still be annoying since the voice actor had this high pitched voice, and ugh! So far this is the worst monster of the series as I do hope the series doesn't go that low again with the monsters.
I mentioned before that the action was quite nice and it was mostly at the end since the monster ran away at the first fight. Again I liked seeing both Blue and Yellow working together as this is their unique part in the action. Blue and Yellow swapped their powers around and both used them to a full effect. Even when something seemed to be amiss, the two fixed it up with a follow up attack. The mech fight was pretty nice since there was a conflict with the addition of the new evil train mechs. Luckily, Ticket just gives Right a new Ressha to use. This was the Shield Ressha and I give credit, I laughed when it straight up hit the team, again a bit unexpected. The Shield Ressha then was just a shield and there was some nice swordplay even though Toq-oh moves differently compared to other mechs. Sadly there wasn't a new finisher with the shield since it had a beam attack so I was suspecting a combination attack, but oh well. This is still the best mech fight so far thanks to changing things up and having it longer than usual.
Again this is the best episode so far and I do hope the series can have another episode or episodes like this. The dual focus really worked out nicely as the two characters played off each other as they shared the same problem. Their problem even plays with the roles of Sentai characters which was nice. Mix that in with some little unexpected moments and some good comedy, it's a B- episode.
Next Time: More Resshas!


  1. Just curious, how are you able to see the Japanese captions when watching TOQ?

    1. They are just from a source, I don't really watch the series with those captions

  2. Ahhh Hikari and Kagura and the other couple is Tokatti and Mio

    1. I really don't care about who is with who, unless it's actually a part of the story. Jetman is a great example of using love stories.