Japanese Name: Ressha Sentai Toqger
Reconnaissance Report by: Rizwan Merchant
Progress: Episode 16
Aaaannd ToQger is still stuck in the figurative station with no real story development. I was really hoping for things to pick up and actually happen by now, but no such luck. The only bright side is that I am still entertained nonetheless, but even that entertainment is starting to dwindle. I’m hanging on mostly for the interesting cast and the massive amount of character development as relationships between different ToQgers are explored.
Episode 14 is basically an episode of character development for Hikari. The ToQgers, minus Hikari, disembark in a train station and go explore, while Hikari stays on the train to finish a mystery novel he is reading. Right and the others end up being arrested for a crime they didn’t actually commit. The police here are real winners, folks, such competence! Hikari discovers his friends’ problem, and uses skills from his novel to prove his friends’ innocence. Turns out a Shadow Line monster is behind the whole thing. Surprised? I wasn’t! In the process of killing this Shadow Line monster-of-the-week, the ToQgers gain a new support Ressha, known as Police Ressha. It fits right in with Fire Ressha from the week prior.
In episode 15, the gang discovers, according to a test by Conductor and Ticket, that Mio has the weakest level of imagination of the team, which is a huge problem, as imagination is what fuels our heroes’ power. The group encounters Hammer Shadow, who has the power to make anyone’s biggest dream come to life, and then smash it with his hammer. He hits Mio with the spell to release her dream but ends up releasing a weird creature named Mikey instead. It turns out that Mikey is the key to Mio’s imagination and a memory from her childhood. Unfortunately, Hammer Shadow escapes destruction by the hand of the ToQgers, and lives to fight another day.
The next day, the ToQgers encounter the Shadow Line, and all but Kagura and Tokatti end up captured, along with a ton of children, on a Shadow Line train that makes dreams come to life. Sound familiar? Yep! Hammer Shadow is back! Kagura and Tokatti, with the help of Aoi, the older sister of one of the captured kids, manage to put an end to the ploy freeing everyone. This time, Hammer Shadow is destroyed.
So, as you can see, nothing has really changed for anyone. Sure, we got a new Support Ressha, and Mio has tapped into more imagination, but nothing huge is really happening yet! Next episode will feature the premier of ToQger #6, so hopefully things will spice up? Maybe? I really do enjoy ToQger, but this stagnated plot HAS to go!