Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ressha Sentai ToQger Episode 2 Review: We Are All Here!

Hello everyone! Thomas Ledbetter aka The Toku Buster here! I am continuing my Tokkyuger episode reviews as planned, and this time we are covering the 2nd episode! I actually thought that this episode wasn't as "fun" or "over-the-top" as the first episode, but overall, I still really enjoyed it.

The biggest difference between episodes 1 and 2 is of the tone and what the episode focuses on. While the first episode definitely focused more on the fun aspect of the show, the second focused on some of the deeper themes and development to come throughout the show. I think that doing it like that actually works in favor of the show because it captures both tones that the show is trying to set out to show. It's like the over-the-top and fun nature of the first episode is what pulled me in to the show's world, and then the 2nd episode dives more into the development now that I'm in "hook, line, and sinker".

Anyways, onto the actual episode, this episode is definitely a big development episode for Hikari, who ironically out of the main four was the only one who DIDN'T get some sort of focus in the first episode. What's interesting about Hikari is that it seems to me that HE is actually the more analytical and logical person of the team instead of 
Tokatti, who seems to me as the "smart one" of the group but seems to be used for more comic relief than for actually being a thinker type of character. This is shown with his questioning of the Tokkyugers being "as good as dead", and that they may not actually be dead but that their memories have just become a lot more hazy because they may have been in a city that was ravaged by the Shadow Line when they were little, which is a pretty interesting idea.

I also like the idea that when the people in the cities that are taken over by the Shadow Line are in despair, dark energy comes out of their bodies. It seems to me that the dark energy will be used in some way for the plans and the arrival of the "Emperor of Darkness" as they are calling him on the Shadow Line.

In this episode, I love the Saber Shadow and the idea of having random civilians engage in duels like the one shown. It's not necessarily a "new" idea since I have seen it in Sentai shows before, but nevertheless I have always liked the idea of people having to turn against others against their will to fight by control of the monster.

We also got to meet Wagon for the first time in this episode, who seems to be pretty fun and cheery so far. She reminds me of both Naomi from Den-O and Colon from Liveman (though why she reminds me of Colon I have no idea. Maybe it's just the android thing, I don't know.). And also, I forgot to touch on this in my episode 1 review, but the Conductor and Ticket are hilarious.

The action in this episode was just as fun and top-notch at the first episode. I really like the TokkyuBlaster attack with the Scope Ressha. The attack looks like a splitting bullet that whenever it hits an enemy, it multiplies into multiple ones and hit the rest of the enemies, which I think is really cool. I also loved the train battle between Raito and Saber Shadow. Even if it was pretty damn CGI heavy, it was pretty edgy and cool for a fight scene. It's like taking a classic train battle from an old western or Indiana Jones movie and then having the trains FLY! It was just pure awesome in my book!

This episode also had some pretty funny moments. My favorite moment in the entire episode is when Saber Shadow raised up his swords not realizing he was going through a tunnel and they broke. Some may say that that was an incompetent thing, but I thought it was hilarious mainly because of how the show isn't meant to be taken TOO seriously (at least not yet), so I can definitely say that this kind of comedy fits well with the show (even if it does have a bit of plot convenience mixed in with it).

I also really liked the battle between Tokkyu-Oh and Saber Shadow too. It was pretty quick, but it reminded me a lot of something out of an old spaghetti western movie and it definitely was cool, especially with the classic move of the "bad guy shoots before they get to five" trick that a lot of old westerns do. But anyway, that's just me reminiscing in a bit of nostalgia. 

Overall, I definitely really liked this episode just like the first. It goes deeper into plot development and characters, but doesn't loose really any of the fun and energy and excitement of the first episode. Thus to match with the first episode, I give this episode a solid A!

Next Episode: More development for Kagura!

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