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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ressha Sentai Toqger VS Kamen Rider Gaim Review

Well it's about time I take a look at the second television crossover for the two franchises. The last time we saw this was with Decade and Shinkenger, but that one failed mostly because of Decade. Then there was Super Hero Taisen and the sequel which were both disappointing. It seems that these two series just cannot have a crossover that is any good, so could this new one be the hope of any more Kamen Rider and Super Sentai crossovers?
Alright the first thing to mention in this crossover is that the two series have no sense of conflict with themselves. In the previous crossovers the different series had some conflict. The Shinkengers did have some trouble with Decade and Diend and then there was Super Hero Taisen which in the end was a lie anyways... Still the thing here is that this crossover is not promoting any violence between the heroes, which makes me happy. I would rather see team ups go more like this since it does get boring to have senseless conflicts over and over again. With how the Toqgers act, I really cannot see them fighting other heroes since they are heavily friendly and the only way they could fight riders were if they met villain riders. I will say this should have acted more like an original idea though since the whole Badan issue was just a way to promote the upcoming movie. Why couldn't there just be Shadow Line in the city as Gaim and the others help the Toqgers. It's simple, but there is a lot that can be done with that which is character interaction.
I will say one thing that made me happy as well, the characters acted like themselves. The Toqgers acted like their usual selves and overall they weren't bad or annoying like they can be in their own series. It reminds me of the Goseiger and Gokaiger movie where the Goseigers were more likable compared to how they were in the series. Kouta was clearly being himself even though he had one insanely dumb moment which will be covered later. There were other characters as well like Mai, Micchy, Kaito, and Narutaki. I'm not kidding; Narutaki appears for one moment in the series. He called himself the ally of riders and gives Kouta a train pass, okay... Also Narutaki had his own puppet, alright Narutaki wasn't himself and I don't really get what was supposed to be funny there. Should I laugh because Narutaki is not acting like the same person as usual, why him of all people though? Sure he does travel worlds, but why not just have the annoying Wagon do something stupid since she did that in this episode, so why not two times? This was just an odd cameo appearance as it could have been Diend and would have had the same effect.
So the plot of this special is that Badan is back and one ally is trying to summon his comrades from the underground. What ends up happening is that he accidentally summons Cracks and releases Inves into the city. Then it is up to Gaim and the Toqgers to stop Badan that is pretty much it. There are little minor things as well mostly doing with Kouta and Mai, but again why Badan? I get the advertising angle and that's the only point. It would have been interesting to see a member of Shadow Line learning about the Inves and using them to engulf the station into darkness. I guess that would have taken more time since most of Badan's scenes were pretty short, even Kamen Rider Fifteen as a quick appearance in the special. For an hour long special though you would think it be easier to cram some of that in. Sadly even with the simple villain plot there are many of the heroes' scenes that are quickly paced and just keep going. So even for an hour special it had its moments of being rushed. Then closer to the end it felt slower as the tone even had a change of pace to be more serious.
Then for the special there you can easily tell that this was probably planned to be a two part special because of that shift in tone. I mean it being an hour long well to be exact it was forty-seven minutes because of commercials. Still there is a more upbeat beginning as this clearly fits with Toqger more than Gaim. There was even a mech fight at the end of that part so pretty much the first half is Toqger and the other half is Gaim. I mean it even took Kaito to come out around the second half. Again I would have liked it better if the special felt like its own thing while not feeling so easily separated by two halves. It just made the first climax useless since things tone down right away as the climax of any film or special just start boosting up the excitement for the overall story. Even though things probably wouldn't haven't got that more exciting anyways since again there wasn't much interesting in this special. Even Takatora was out of this episode, to give credit him thinking everyone was going crazy and not noticing what was happening was funny, but imagine him actually being involved in this episode. That easily could have been a moment where the Toqgers fight a rider. Overall even though there are tones and themes that fit both series, they don't blend at all as it's more like more of a heterogeneous mixture.
Reminding me of comedy the beginning actually had some nice moments of comedy mostly because of how the interactions were working. The Toqgers were transforming along with Gaim and during it they notice each other. The quick looks on their faces before transforming was nice to see and then seeing Mai react to the color switching as good also. This is what I was hoping for in this special, a clash of the differences of both series making some comedy with the character interactions. Then there was even the mole monster that kept messing up and summoning the Inves as it just attacks anything close to it. That was another interesting thing then, having an Inves be defeated by the Toqgers. An Inves is just completely different from the Shadow Line and seeing them take it down like they would with other monsters did get me thinking. Then for some reason the Inves just grows giant because it ate more fruit, so there is a third evolution then? Again if there was Shadow Line involved it would have been more interesting or at least have the monster eat the fruit and become a hybrid, at least the Shinkenger and Decade crossover had an interesting monster.
I will at least say the first half is fun as having the Toqgers in Gaim's world was nice. There easily could have been done more as it just felt like generic fan fiction, but it wasn't bad fan fiction. Things that happen in this special do make sense at many times, again Gaim and Right being friends is what I was expecting. Actually I liked Right more in this than any of the episodes of Toqger I have seen so far. The two play off each other well as they are heroes. Kouta is easily the more complex hero while Right is more simplistic, but even he learns something from Kouta and about himself. Then this is why the special can work, it still feels like some sense of a continuation of both stories. Sure for Gaim's plot it doesn't do much, but again there is still some interaction that felt like Gaim at points. With the Toqgers there was the comedy and upbeat attitude, and then most of the good blends were with Right and Kouta. Right learned that he cannot let things just pass by as he has to do something about any situation. Kouta then learns that people can help in situations even if it doesn't have to do much with them personally. Then Kouta had the dumb moment of having Mai go on the train so she can have fun before things get serious in the city. Mai finds out because of the idiot, Wagon and this causes Kouta to learn that she grown up in this city as well and will take on the challenges as well. Again this was a flaw for Kouta since a man like him should already known of this and this just felt like shipping to me, so there is one bad part of fan fiction in here.
Then there were even some useless moments in the overall scheme and just felt more like panning than anything. Having Takatora didn't really add much as he just talked about cracks appearing and was pondering about Badan. Really the only purpose of his scenes was to show us how Micchy finds where the enemy is hiding. Kaito was around and pretty much did nothing, but fight and get slammed with a banana joke. There was even a pointless moment where Baron and Ryugen were fighting each other with flags on their backs, what was the point of the flags? I'm with Kaito on this; there was no point in them. Literally they could have the same conversation without the flags and it would have been the same, not funny. Even the other Toqgers didn't feel that important since it was mostly Right with Kouta. There was Bando though who got crushed by hearing that Charmant was better than his place, another funny moment. I will say this again though the plot was simple and not in a good way since they tried to spice it up which ended up ignoring other characters, so it doesn't work out in the end.
The action was pretty good with the usual Sentai action with the Inves and even a mech fight that did something new. This even shows how the Scope Ressha works with the sword attachment as it sends an energy wave at a certain location. This is most of the saving grace for this special as there were no useless gimmicks that only got a quick appearance like in the many other crossovers. Sure those gimmicks sound cool like the Rider Keys for the Gokaigers, but when it only as one scene being like a minute only, it's pointless. With this special there was none of that, except for the cameo fight of the Showa Riders and Fifteen. I was hoping for more of a rider team with a Sentai team, but they were separated most of the time. This was actually heavily disappointing since it would have been awesome to see Kachidoki arms team up with Toqger's cannon finisher. Still the action was still good since even though separated they all had their own moments.
I'm surprised this didn't happen and I'm happy about that.
Overall this special was fun, it wasn't the best thing ever and yet it's better than what we have been getting for these crossovers. I'm glad there weren’t any pointless conflicts between the faction of heroes and the interactions can be nice here and there. The action was good, but for a team up it's kind of disappointing. Then there were many scenes that didn't add much and easily could have been replaced or scrapped. Even with all of those flaws I would give it a C+ as this is a better path to take for crossovers and is better than Shinkenger and Decade, the Taisen films, and even some of the Sentai Versus films.


  1. It's nice to see a crossover special that doesn't suck for once; let's face it, crossover special in recent years has been nothing but depressing.
    While I'm not a huge fan of crossover or any franchise in general, this was pretty decent.
    Who would ever imagine a crossover between fruit and trains? Very odd combination, but made a one decent special.
    It could have better and had lot of space for improvement, but I had fun watching it.
    This special gave me a glimpse of hope that good/decent crossover can be possible.
    Good job Toei! Well done.

    P.S. When are you going to review long-delayed Wizard's "Special" episode (52+53)?

    1. For the Wizard special that is something I have been dreading for a while. I will do it when I hit the 400,000 mark.

  2. Hey, has anyone seen the Gaim/Wizard movie?

    Spoilers: It's one of the worst Kamen Rider movies I have ever seen.

    1. I wouldn't say its bad (I still consider Movie War Core as the worst of the rider team up movies) it has flaws but I consider it about the same level as Ultimatum.

    2. I'm not saying this is bad, it just couldn't be a whole lot better. There are many flaws here, but it still ends up being fun and a better team up than what we have been getting recently, mostly leaning towards the Superhero Taisen films and the upcoming Showa VS Hesiei film.

    3. (11:28 anon) I'm not talking about the toqger/gaim crossover. I'm talking about the wizard/gaim crossover movie in response to 7:46 anon.

    4. Now the Showa vs Heisei movie looked to be as bad as the Super Hero Taisen movies. Yeah, you guys can complain about the fact that the voting between Showa and Heisei might be rigged. But at the end of the day, you guys still voted for a terrible movie.

    5. Well I never voted because I knew there would be some BS at the end. I was expecting all the voting would be pointless as the Showa and Heisei just team up at the end just like SHT. I still can't believe they changed the voting though, that's a huge slap to the face for the fans.

  3. These toku crossovers are always and without fail terrible. This was an unwanted diversion and an unappreciated intrusion. Then they do it again to pump their new Kikaida movie. STOP. Gaim is the best-written Kamen Rider in a Decade (ha) and we keep INTERRUPTING it.

    That said, this one was more fun than SHT. But you know my opinion on KR movies. That is to say, that they are all equally terrible. Some are just more equal than others.

    At least we're back on track...though the timeslot gets co-opted by GOLF next week. Hooray.

    1. I wouldn't really say that, I mean most people in the fandom can agree Movie War Megamax was the best of the crossover movies