Toku Tuesday: Ressha Sentai Toqger First Impressions

I know I suck at posting. I always have. However, I am still writing – poetry. But that will be for a future post. Today, however, I want to share my first impressions of this year’s Super Sentai series, Ressha Sentai Toqger (Tokkyuger).

I’ve only seen the first episode so far as I’m still working my way through Kyoryuger, and I wanted to let the show get ahead of me so I could watch the opening arcs with as few release interruptions as possible before deciding to stick with it or not. I maintain that the suits are ridiculous. Maybe it’s the simplicity that’s annoying me. Several of the more recent shows have had more visually interesting costumes. Transitioning to a very bare-bones, solid primary suite with black and white accents (train tracks) is just too jarring for me apparently. In action, the suites are fine overall, so perhaps they’ll grow on me.

Without getting into too many details, the show focuses and a group of childhood friends with big imaginations selected by the conductor of the Rainbow Line to pilot the Ressha (the cars that make up the Rainbow Line) against the Shadow Line. Now, the Shadow Line is a rival imaginary rail liner system to the Rainbow Line. It’s goal, as you would expect, is to spread across the world with fear and sadness, plunging the world into darkness. Pretty standard Super Sentai setup. The villains seem like they will be more of a family than the previous group from Kyoryuger, even though they are basically the same set of core baddies in concept from what I could tell. The evil faction only gets a short introduction, though the creature designs are interesting – Gothic.

The rangers are pretty standard sentai archetypes as well: Right (Red) is the most imaginative of the group, one of those super-happy-go-getter types, Tokatti (Blue) is the overly cautious, bumbling brains of the bunch, Mio (Yellow) fills the role of big sister to the group, Hikari (Green) is Right’s equal, combat wise, but often takes the opposing view of Right when it comes to ideas, and Kagura (Pink) is nearly Rights equal in terms of imagination, but her personal insecurities make her the weakest natural fighter of the group – like the little sister, if you will. Like most sentai series, the differences in personality between the senshi translate into their fighting styles, but unlike most other series, this will be very important later if the first episode is any indication of the kind of shenanigans that may come in some later episodes. These rangers can literally swap power sets with each other on the fly.  Likened to making a train transfer at a station, the senshi can trade morphers in combat to don their teammate’s color and use their weapons. While other series have done color swaps and power switching before (Gokaiger most recently), it could be pretty cool to see these guys do this on a regular just among themselves as a part of their standard combat strategy, no Ranger Keys required. Also, it’s refreshing to see a Pink senshi of this type, who is often depicted as being timid or unseasoned in combat this early in the show, break past that awkward half fighting crap and be a bad ass on par with the effortless ease of the Red senshi, and do it with shear imaginative willpower.

So, the show is Green Lantern on trains. Cool. Sadly, it feels too much like another relatively recent tokusatsu series that featured trains and explored the power of imagination. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rainbow Liner set is the DenLiner set from Kamen Rider Den-O. If Owner shows up, though, I’ll just have to be fine with that…

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I'm an otaku, avid gamer, and electronic "musician." I'm forever indulging in the amazingness that is Japanese tokusatsu.

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