Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ressha Sentai ToQger Episode 3 Review: Kagura is Disembarking???

Hello everyone! Thomas Ledbetter aka The Toku Buster here! At the time of this post, I would like to apologize for the lack of reviews and content from me the past two weeks seeing how my computer went through some major technical difficulties. But nevertheless, to make up for it, I will be posting reviews of episodes 3, 4, and 5 of Tokkyuger the weekend of the time of this post. But anyways, with episode three, this episode didn't have as many "fun" or "silly" moments compared to episodes 1 and 2, but that is because this episode focused mainly on development for Kagura, and I enjoyed the episode overall.

For this review however, instead of talking about what I did and didn't like, I'm going to try to go in chronological order and talk about the events in the episodes one after another and see how that works out.

In the cold open for the episode, the Conductor and Ticket give a little more development as to Hikari's theory of not only why the Tokkyugers are the Tokkyugers, but also of that they were originally part of a town that was consumed by darkness. It is then explained by the Conductor that because of their imagination, they were almost in a sense "rejected" by the darkened town and transported onto the Rainbow Line, which I actually think is a really interesting idea to think and ponder about.

We then learn that getting on the Rainbow Line is probably the reason the Tokkyugers lost their memories of their town and so forth, and that if they "disembark", they may get their memories back. All of them are set on not disembarking except for Kagura, as she is curious to see to know what her hometown was like and of her family, which I hope will definitely be a big theme that Tokkyuger will explore, because it's a very deep and interesting one at that. And with this thought that Kagura has, she accidentally leaves the train because while at one of the stations, she sees a sign that says "Return to your town" and tries to look closer at it.

And who is to show up at the station Kagura was left at? The Shadow Line, of course! Specifically we have the Chain Shadow, who is actually a pretty cool yet creepy monster-of-the-week. His design is actually pretty inventive with one of his arms being a broken chain, and the voice actor gives him a very intimating and creepy tone, especially with the little song he sings whenever he is dragging his coffin.

Then we of course get to see Kagura kick some footsoldier butts being badass as always. Once again, I love how much the Imagination Power is tied into the right scenes, especially with Kagura and her style of fighting. Despite her awesome fighting skills though, she is inevitably captured by the Chain Shadow.

We then get to see the hideout of the Shadow Line with the main 4 villains as always. There is a bit of foreshadowing of some conflict between Madame Noir and Baron Nero, but the main focus it seems is on Miss Greeta's affection for General Schwarz, which is another interesting idea when it comes to the villains.

When the Tokkyugers then realize that they not only left Kagura back at the last station, but that said station was corrupted by the Shadow Line, they make a special trip back in order to save her. However, through being in the coffin with some other children that are captured, Kagura realizes how much she truly wants to be a Tokkyuger and save those kids. This leads up to her going full-on 'ULTIMATE GIRL' and punching herself out of the coffin dimension, which is probably one of the most awesome scenes in the series thus far.

Kagura all charged up then tries to take out the monster completely single-handedly, and even if she is somewhat unsuccessful, her fight scenes are really well done and put together, and the choreography and the fight moves are spot-on.

Now I want to talk about my favorite part of all the episode: the childhood flashbacks. The reason I love these pieces so much is because of how much insight it gives into the characters and that each time one of these flashbacks happens. For example, Raito talks about the time that Kagura pretended to be a mermaid and that she almost drowned with him. That shows full well Kagura's personality and that because of her Imagination, she can take the situation too far and potentially get herself and her friends hurt, which is a very interesting development for Kagura and really gives insight into her character as a whole. I also like these scenes because they show bit by bit parts of their childhoods and their memories, which helps develop the plot and story along really nicely.

Once that is over, they kill the Chain Shadow with (fittingly) a giant pair of pink pliers, and then the monster grows and they bring out TokkyuOh and defeat the monster....which then leads to the VERY infamous TokkyuOh joke that everyone and their mother who has watched this episode has made. I actually thought this was too clever on Toei's part seeing how people made jokes on that the toy version of TokkyuOh could do that EXACT THING before the show let alone this episode came out...Now, do I even need to say any more??? THE PICTURE EXPLAINS ITSELF!

So, what did I think of this episode? I thought it was, once again, just as good as 1 and 2. It didn't have as much humor and fun laughs in it (unless you count the unintentional/cleverly intentional TokkyuOh joke), but I thought it was a really good episode that not only developed Kagura as a main character, but that it also developed the main plot and made the story even more interesting. Hey, isn't that the whole point of any show after all? Thus, I will give this episode a solid A!

Next Episode: Development for the last 2 Tokkyugers, Tokatchi and Mio!