The ToQgers visit a town where the inhabitants are afflicted by an inability to care about anything, much like viewers of this show.
We’ve tolerated ToQger for more than long enough now, but I’m afraid it’s about time to call it quits. There simply remains too little to say about this show. We can’t make any observations about the characters, simply because they are too transparent and one-dimensional to care about. What could be possibly glean from Kagura and Hikari’s petty feud apart from the fact that the former behaves like a pathetic, blubbering mess with the mental capacity of a five-year-old? We can’t speculate about the plot, simply because whatever mysteries might lie behind the Rainbow Line get entirely outplayed by the fact that no one cares about anyone riding it. We can’t gush over the fight scenes, because they lack any sort of charm when we know the franchise can do so much better than that. The idea that the Rangers’ imagination can augment their fighting skills, for example, is a lazily executed excuse for blatant deus ex machina, and even Kagura’s ninja-inspired finisher is really just the regular finishing move with some added CGI. It’s hardly amusing, let alone exciting.
Yet the biggest problem with ToQger is that the cast simply doesn’t work, no pun intended. Their interactions feel forced and their character traits are so simplistic it’s infuriating. It’s ironic that the show tries to sell itself as a wacky comedy, given that it’s not even half as funny as the show that preceded it. The cheesy fuddy-duddiness of the cast chokes out all amusement one could get from jokes like Wagon going on strike, to the point where by far the most enjoyable aspect of this episode was the almost meta acknowledgement that no one seems to care anymore. Everything ToQger is trying to do has been done better in the very recent past, whether it’s the comedic approach to tokusatsu fight scenes or the villains gaining their power from negative feelings, so after seven episode and one crossover special we’d all like to forget as soon as possible, I think it’s safe to say that ToQger has little left to offer us. I’d say it’s been a fun ride for as long as it lasted, but really, lying is not in my nature. Better lay this train wreck to rest.
- Madame Noire’s hat is the head of a dragon. Seriously, these wonderful villain costumes are wasted on a show like this.
- Cringeworthy moment of the episode: The first thing the ToQgers are worried about is children not going to school. Aren’t they supposed to go to school either?
- Props to Mio for rocking that hideous multi-coloured sweater.
- I really don’t understand why Japan is so obsessed with trains, given that most of the trains in the end credits look uncomfortable and hideous as sin.
OK guys, I think the time has come to draw the line. We’ve given ToQger an ample amount of time to prove its worth, and while there have been flashes of inspiration, it just hasn’t been able to gel together correctly. This episode is a pretty good example of that – while there are funny and interesting individual moments, overall the entire thing is just a buzzkill.
The biggest issue here continues to be Kagura. She’s just unbearable, written as a useless womanchild who seems unable to function without some sort of emotional crisis. The crux of this episode revolves around a ‘dispute’ with Hikari that’s so mind-bendingly petty I wanted to reach out and slap them both repeatedly until they could just actually talk to each other like grown adults. I’m all for interpersonal tension within the team – it’s a fine way of building characters – but making it over something so petty just makes it look like their barely functioning human beings. Neither of them have the acting chops to pull it off either, and as a result this is mostly just Kagura pouting into the camera in the most punchable way possible. It’s wretched.
That’s a shame too because there’s some decent attempts at dumb humour here that could have gone places in better hands. The apathy of the main cast is pretty amusing (especially on a meta level) but would have been better if there had been more actual personality to contrast. The same goes for the ridiculous plan to beat the monster, which is pretty chucklesome but suffers from awfully flat presentation. The one joke I will say totally works is Wagon going on strike, which nicely plays off the absurdity of the entire conceit with some excellent vocal performances from Yui Horie.
There’s still not enough here to make this ride particularly entertaining or noteworthy. As disappointing as it is, it looks like this is going to be an off year for Super Sentai and consequently we’ll be officially discontinuing coverage of the show from here onwards. Maybe we’ll come back if the quality picks up or if something particularly noteworthy happens, but for now this train journey is over.