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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ressha Sentai Toqger Episode 6 Review: Train Quest

The team head out to look for the Support Ressha that Right found in the previous episode. With Schwarz listening in on their plans, he heads out to find the train for his army. The Toqgers will have to fight one of the commanders; can they possibly stand up against him?
I will have to say one thing for Toqger; at least they actually made a villain seem threatening to the team in the sixth episode. I remember how in Kyoryuger where it took forever for the villains actually seem threatening and they constantly lost that many times. Schwarz had a good first appearance and there was some suspense at the very least. This is a good sign for the series has the team got put into a corner and found a way out and it was a pretty hard one, easily harder than most of Kyoryugers'. Two of the teammates were held hostage and one of them got beaten up and were even given a death threat. The other three then knew that time was short and had to find the train before that time ran out. So again suspense is good when having one of the big bad villains involved and then the heroes getting their glory moment makes things balanced. At least Toqger had that for this episode.
I will go on with Schwarz has he isn't all that special yet for the franchise, but he did jump out a bit for this series. Schwarz was not playing any games as he straight up started to take the team down, by himself as well. He has fast swordplay and when it's not fast; his slashes then come with power! I have to wonder if that is a skill of his, switching around his types of swordplay. This is because quick and powerful are two different things, maybe at some point he can mix those styles together. Also I have to give credit for that scene where he is quick slashing the team and dodging their attacks. The effects were rather nice with the black wave showing us that he moved, the different colored slashes from the team and that perfect sound effect for when Schwarz pulled out his sword, and there is no black wave for that so it left something for the imagination. Even the music choice for his dominance was a pretty good score, easily gives the image of a general stomping through the battlefield. Sadly that is pretty much it for him, but for that first impression it's much better than any villain's first appearance from Kyoryuger, well maybe not Endolf.
Onto the heroes as there was a bit of humor I did like in this episode. This was in the beginning of the series where Right tries to find the train. He ends up not remembering where he found it and goes in a circle along with the rest of the team. This ends up to him noticing that Shadow Line was following them as Schwarz congratulates Right for tricking him as he thought Right not remembering was a trick. Right actually forgot, but he plays along with it which ends up to being a flaw in his plans as well. I liked this part, Right easily had to think right off the bat this time and it easily caused some bad things to happen. Right wasn't right again and I do hope this could end up being a learning experience for him. With him not knowing the train's location he has Schwarz sword at his neck and doesn't know where the train is. Things get worse as Tokkai tries to save him and is caught as a hostage. Now he has to pretend to know where the train is to keep Tokkai alive. There is even a point where he remembered where it was as he tried to turn back making it seem he made a mistake. Schwarz caught onto his lie though and then luck ended up helping the two heroes in the end. Right acted much differently this time as he did act more serious this time and was thinking of consequences even when he knew Schwarz was going to swing his sword at him. Right needs to be like this more and the thing is you can keep his comedic elements along with this too, it's not that hard.
Tokkai had some character interaction as well and it's a bit like growth and yet a decline as well. First of all in episode four he finally was getting more positive about himself. This episode, he had one mess up as being the "leader" and starts blaming himself like usual. This really bothered me as I do know the role of "leader" does put more stress onto someone. It's just Tokkai literally went through a developmental point where he lived with his weaknesses. Soon he finds out that he is a man who can be a great supporter which was pretty much what he learned from episode four. This is what I meant about a growth and yet a decline at the same time. He acts like his usual self and learns the same lesson as before. Now was it something important, easily and I guess he needed to remember it. Right and Tokkai then find out that no one should be a sole leader as everyone is their own leader which was an interesting little thing to play with.
Right easily took a step away from Dinosaur Jesus (Kyoryu Red) as he clearly said that being leader doesn't matter for him. He is fine with someone taking lead when it's necessary as this happened many times before in previous episodes. He knows his teammates all have their own quirks and skills so they easily help the team in their own ways. Also the idea of leader in the franchise does have some issues, mostly with red focused series. This at least felt like a way of telling the audience that things won't be so red focused as some other series. This episode even goes on about who should be the leader and right away they call Hikari the shadow leader since he does help in the background at many times. It's a little funny since his name literally means light which is the opposite of a shadow or darkness. Tokkai is the support leader as he will help people get out of situations. Mio is titled the nagging leader as Tokkai and Right have some fun joking around with that title. This actually does show that Mio is rather serious with her heroics and she does force it for the others at times or she gets mad easily, especially being called the nagging leader. Kagura is then named the pretending leader as her imagination easily goes out there and can help get out of quick issues. Right then calls himself the lunch leader, get it! It's because he's a glutton, well at least he didn't call himself the leaders of leader which is something I can see Dinosaur Jesus doing.
The action was not that bad as again Schwarz first fight against the team in person was a nice first impression for the character. Then it just goes to Red and Blue helping each other out when they fought a bunch of grunts which was nothing that special. I was actually a fan of the train fight as it was just three prop trains hitting each other as there were barely any CGI used for this moment. It's really simple, but I loved that they went for this as this is clearly a sign that the series is going for older methods which is something Kyoryuger should have done more! The Tank Ressha then had a nice ability of being able to fuel up other trains and giving them a power boost. This gets the team the power to knock Schwarz's trains off the tracks, literally. Schwarz reveals his Darkliner Robo which is similar to the past evil train mechs we saw before with some changes in the design. Then the Tank Ressha is used along with Toq-oh as the mech becomes more of a boxer. I will have to give credit of having that mech moving faster during this fight as that must have been hard to do considering how the thing usually moves. The team even defeats Schwarz in the mech fight which is a nice balance since he clearly won in the first fight. So the action had some surprises as there were simple CGI effects being used as the actual suit use was higher, which is something I'm happy to see.
Episode six was a pretty nice episode. Now I will say the overall comedy didn't work for me. Like for example the naming of the other leaders and how some people reacted to it could have been done better. Also there wasn't much comedy since it was actually a more serious episode, but the pacing did have an odd pace at points. At times it felt slow and then it had to rush through as I do feel the grunt fight with Red and Blue wasn't needed. At least things in the action were pretty good, but still the overall feeling still had me a little bored. Again there were surprises which got me up, but after the surprise I just went back to being bored. The suspense was little since I knew Schwarz was going to have his downfall soon, but what made it worse was more the fact that the heroes had more luck than actual skill. I would give the episode a B- though as I wasn't mad at all and had some fun with the use of piratical effects.
Next Time: Did the Toqgers give up on their own series?

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