super sentai

Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger photo
Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger

It's Judgement Time: Dekaranger to return as a V-Cinema


Chu Chu Chu Deka Deka!
May 15
// Salvador GRodiles
Oh my. Right when it felt that Hurricanger was going to be the only Sentai show to get the 10 Years After treatment, a new beacon of hope has surfaced for toku fans. Seeing that it's been ten years since Tokusou Sentai Dekar...

Review: Chroma Squad

May 05 // Josh Tolentino
Chroma Squad (PC) Developer: Behold StudiosPublisher: Behold StudiosReleased: April 30, 2015MSRP: $14.99 Not that they really needed to, of course. Such a "feature" would interfere with play, and there's plenty of service in the game as it is for fans. The play, in this case, is of the turn-based tactical variety, as if Behold took XCOM and ran it through the parodic, pixelated filters of Knights of Pen and Paper.  Like the former, players will manage a small squad of combatants, with unique classes and abilities, running them up against groups of goons and the occasional boss, one turn at a time. Like the latter, every mechanic serves as a distillation of tokusatsu's essence through heavy referencing and a clear, almost palpable appreciation of the source material. The premise alone is ripe enough with potential that it's baffling more games haven't taken advantage: Players manage a fledgling production studio, with each mission treated as an "episode" of an upstart spandex superhero show. Names, casting, and even catchphrases are up for customization, as well as the requisite selection of bright primary colors to outfit the roster with. If players want to commit sentai sacrilege and name a non-red-colored character the "Lead," no one can stop them but their inevitable guilt (guilt, I say!). Cast members can also be selected from a pool of actor candidates, each with their own special qualities.  [embed]33795:4709:0[/embed] When the cameras start rolling and the minions exit wardrobe, the fight is on. The goal of any given mission is to amass as much "audience" as possible, by performing flashy attacks, fancy stunts, and of course, winning the fight. Additionally, optional "Director's Instructions" add extra conditions, such as finishing off boss monsters with a screen-filling finishing move, or not killing off the boss before dispatching the cannon-fodder minions. Such extra goals help introduce variety to the combat, which is more simplistic than one might find in XCOM or other dedicated tactical titles. Enemies follow simple patterns and lack much in the way of extra abilities, so most of the tactics devolve to crowd and ability cooldown management rather than more elegant stratagems. Chroma Squad's main mechanical wrinkle comes in the form of "Teamwork," which allows squad members to leapfrog over each other to boost their movement range, or carry out simultaneous attacks with adjacent teammates. This, alongside somewhat simplistic giant-mecha boss battles, give the game enough of a unique flavor to override its otherwise thin tactical substance.  Following the mission, gained audience is converted into "fans," and also into increased studio funding, the better to buy one's way out of Papier-mâché costumes and into somereal spandex duds. Behind the scenes, the studio itself can be outfitted with various upgrades that improve performance in each episode. Buying health care for the actors improves their health in combat, and improving the lighting on set reduces enemies' chance to dodge or counter blows. Materials dropped in combat can also be used to craft customized gear with semi-random statistics, a useful (and cheap) alternative to costly store-bought costumes and weapons. Fan mail can be answered for flavor and smaller benefits, and players can even choose marketing agencies to confer more benefits. Going with a niche-market enthusiast firm might increase the amount of fans gained after an episode, but will likely lack the mass-audience-gathering benefits of a more mainstream advertising push. Tradeoffs like that characterize much of Chroma Squad's meta-game. Speaking of meta-things, the game's narrative and missions regularly break the fourth wall, and form one of the game's potentially divisive aspects. While the self-aware script and obvious understanding of tokusatsu's many conventions and tropes lend it an endearing level of charm, some players might be turned off by references to dated Internet memes and other metahumor. Personally, I found the story hit quite a bit more than it missed, but I will admit that at times the dialog read more like a forum chat log than a script, and wasn't always helped by rough spots in the localization and editing. Then again, it's not like tokusatsu attracts its fans for complex plotting and characterization, so it may balance out in the end for players in the right mindset. What isn't as easy to let by are some unfortunate, if minor, technical and design blemishes on Chroma Squad's pristine pixelation. Mission scripts would occasionally freeze in "cutscene" mode, forcing me to start the mission over. A nasty little bug accidentally equipped low-level equipment on my giant robot, making some late-game boss battles much more tense than I'd have liked them to be. One bug even gave me control of an enemy unit rather than my own squad members for a few turns! Thankfully, dev posts on the forums appear to indicate that Behold is aware of most of the bugs I encountered, and a patch is in the works at the time of this writing. Beyond that, the lack of a mid-mission checkpoint or save, or a mission-select option is inconvenient for players wanting to explore the game's branching story paths (especially for those curious to see what Behold has to say about Kamen Rider). That said, the team has stated a New Game+ option may yet be in the cards for a future update, so repeated playthroughs may become more appealing in the future. Zordon may have wanted "teens with attitude," but Chroma Squad and its unabashed, utterly geeky love-in for all things tokusatsu shows something even harder to find: A game with heart and soul. That heart shines through the rough edges, and in some ways even turns them to its advantage. It might have taken quite a while in getting here, but fans of spandex-clad superheroic finally have the videogame to help them fill that little fantasy. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]  
Chroma Squad photo
Lights, Camera, Henshin!
Ever since a badly-dubbed lady popped out of a dumpster on the moon, sending a weird computer-man to seek "teenagers with attitude," geeks of a certain age have been on the lookout for a game that can capture the es...

Garage Hero photo
Garage Hero

Watch Garage Hero tear Super Hero Wars GP to shreds


In which Bueno tells a kid to shut the hell up
Apr 10
// Salvador GRodiles
Aw snap, Bueno of Garage Hero and his friends are about to get real, as they share their thoughts on Super Hero Wars GP: Kamen Rider 3, which might as well be called Super Mario Kart: Let's Go Kamen Rider Edition. ...
Power/Rangers photo
Power/Rangers

Check out a Hollywood pro's ultraviolent take on Power Rangers


We goin' grim, we goin' dark!
Feb 25
// Josh Tolentino
Don't you love it when, for some trick of fate or circumstance, the idle fantasies you used to dream up when you were a dumb kid somehow come true? That's what happened for a lot of folks a couple days ago when Director Jose...

Happy Tenth Anniversary, Mahou Sentai Magiranger!

Feb 13 // Salvador GRodiles
特撮落書き詰め by take 我ら、魔神の王となれ by Lynx 戦隊つめあわせ by SILVIA マジ夫婦 by ビーノ 魔法 by ときえだ 勇気と希望の魔法使い by hiro 【特撮詰め】魔法+特命[バディロイド擬人]+wizard by クサ★審神者♀ 「魔法+特命」黄と金と銀 by クサ★審神者♀ ナイとメア by IWA 緑のあにき by hiro 一目惚れ by hiro 父(修正) by bump 集結 スーパー戦隊ロボ by 佐藤@コミティアQ18a スーパーアニキタイム by 風間 マージマジ!by 津島直人 インフェル雛 by ヨリヲ 戦隊色々詰め by 春眞ナクト ニチアサ過去絵まとめ by 死神 マジ! by 猛禽パンチ マージ☆マジーロ by Izumi Rion うちゅうのほうそくがみだれる!by 秋秀川小早 ぼくらの列車王 by 秋秀川小早 メア by らいすた マジレン ワイバーン擬人化 by ドライマンゴー ファイヤーカイザー by ロボ部のクロ マジキング by BUTA ナイとメア by らいすた 太陽につつまれる by 蒼馬
Magiranger photo
Magi Magi Magiro times Ten!
Today may be Friday the 13th, but that doesn’t mean that we’re in for a heap of bad luck. In fact, Mahou Sentai Magiranger tenth anniversary has landed on Feb. 13, 2015, which means that magic triumphs over random...

Ninninger photo
Ninninger

Go Ninja: Get psyched up for Ninninger's first promos


The Year of the Ninja is off to a good start
Dec 28
// Salvador GRodiles
I may be late to the festivities once again, but it's time to look at Shuriken Sentai Ninninger's heroes in motion. Silly enough, these videos caught me by surprise, as I wasn't expecting to see a promotional video...
Ninninger photo
Ninninger

Rejoice no Jutsu: Ninninger reveals its premise, cast, and staff


More ninja-related goodies are heading your way
Dec 26
// Salvador GRodiles
The new year is around the corner, and TV Asahi's Ninninger page is ready for its next mission. This time around, the show's cast, production team, and premise leap out from the shadows to surprise its upcoming viewers. Howev...
Ninninger photo
Ninninger

Aw snap, Ninninger's toys reveal Shurikenjin's gimmicks


Robo Throne Activate!
Dec 10
// Salvador GRodiles
It's time to look at Ninninger's first set of toys, and things are starting to look even more promising for the upcoming ninja-themed Sentai series. Of course, the best thing out of this toyline is the Shurikenjin, since it's...
Ninninger photo
Ninninger

Update no Jutsu: Ninninger gets a premiere date and more


It's time for the Year of the Ninja!
Dec 05
// Salvador GRodiles
Hey guys! Do you know what time is it? It's time for us to look at Ninninger's latest updates. This time around, the team has been featured in a higher quality poster along side their giant robot, the Shurikenjin. Overall, I'...
Ninninger photo
Ninninger

YES: Ninninger's suits and logo jump out of the shadows


2015's Sentai series is off to a good start
Dec 02
// Salvador GRodiles
Good news, everyone. The Shuriken Sentai Ninninger have revealed themselves, and their suits look like a glorious fusion between Hurricanger and Shinkenger's designs. Due to this great combination, I've already fallen in...
Zyuranger photo
Zyuranger

Huzzah: Zyuranger is up on Amazon for pre-order


The Guardian Beasts have made their move
Nov 05
// Salvador GRodiles
At long last, the first dinosaur-themed Sentai series is up on Amazon for pre-order. Best of all, the show's price is only $38.49, which is 30% off the set's $54.99 price tag. In other words, this is a really good deal, since...
Zyuranger photo
Zyuranger

Zyuranger's English DVD cover art features too much blue


In which Tricera Ranger steals the show
Oct 23
// Salvador GRodiles
It's been a good while since Shout! Factory announced their plan to release Zyuranger on DVD, and the company has revealed an image of the show's cover art. Based on the design, the cover doesn't look too bad-- even...
Super Sentai photo
Super Sentai

Trademark no Jutsu: 2015's Sentai series gets a title


Ninjas are back in style!
Oct 22
// Salvador GRodiles
We have a few weeks until October returns to the shadows, and it's time to learn about the 39th Sentai show's title. Going by the name of Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, the next installment in the franchise'll likely fe...
Super Sentai photo
Super Sentai

Change Leopardon! It's Henshin Time! covers Marvel's connection to Super Sentai


Yeah Yeah Yeah, Wow!
Sep 12
// Salvador GRodiles
I may be late to the party again, but I felt that ToyBountyHunters' latest video in their It's Henshin Time series was worth sharing on here, since it's about Marvel's history with Toei. Aside from the Spiderman toku sh...

Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episodes 23-26

Sep 11 // Salvador GRodiles
After leaving us with a surprising cliffhanger during episode 22, ToQger managed to hit us with another intense segment. Yes, I've used the word "intense" a lot recently, but that's basically the feeling that the whole marriage arc gives off. While it was obvious that Zed was going to return somehow, the way how the plot transitioned towards this event was a fine example on how to surprise an entire audience. Aside from that, the part where the main ToQger started to awaken their new memories of their hometown served as a nice way to bridge the episode’s segments together. At first, it felt like the scene was going to ruin the spine-tingling momentum that episode 22 created, but the character development benefited the arc’s overall quality in the long run. Perhaps the most interesting part in these episodes was the fact that the ToQger’s Line Transfer mechanism played a big role in their next journey. Originally, I dismissed this feature as a poorly-implemented gimmick, but the way how the team’s new mission came into play helped give me a more positive outlook on the special transformation. Hell, the system's true purpose served as a way for the show to thread into new grounds, since it required for the team to change their usual routine. Considering that these segments have the potential to be the most intense part of the series, Yasuko Kobayashi managed to take the show’s aspects to a whole new level. While the show’s intensity levels started to drop after during episodes 25 and 26, both segments helped flesh out the characters in a silly manner. Since the show’s quality has been going up lately, the scene about Tokatti’s hero and Akira’s passion for bathhouses were both enjoyable for what they were. Despite the differences between the two episodes, one common aspect that they shared was the concept of holding on to something dear. Even though this is another trope has been used in the Sentai franchise, Tokatti’s development and Akira’s bathhouse 101 moments both managed to expand on their interests and personality. Seeing that there were a few silly aspects from these scenes, the two episodes have proven to us that ToQger’s side episodes are getting better. On the design side of things, the ToQger’s new mecha combination looks alright. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Super Duper ToQ Dai-Oh might have one the longest giant robot names in the Super Sentai franchise. Either way, the machine’s design wasn’t too bad, since the Build Dai-Oh’s parts were able to combine with the ToQ-Oh’s Total Recall-like train boobs to create a better chest for the colossal machine. All in all, the combination worked well as a means to resolve the team’s issues with Grita and Schwarz, as it symbolized the team's desire to overcome all odds while they search for their hometown. At the same time, the scene itself lived up to the emotional moments that the franchise is known for. Also, Akira's reasoning for strengthening the group's bond was priceless.  Seeing that Zed’s been a great villain so far, it’s great to see that ToQger has given him a monster form that suits his personality. From the fabulous coat to the amazing Demon Overlord physique, the Emperor of Darkness sports a look that shows off his threatening power. Hell, Zed's white coat helped represent his desire to absorb anything that exhibits high levels of “Shining,” as it's the most vibrant part of his design. While I was expecting for his true form to be saved for the show’s final arc, the team’s decision to reveal it before the halfway point served as neat way to hint that things are going to get fierce during the later Shadow Line-themed episodes. On top of that, Zed’s monster form helped solidify the ending of the marriage arc, due to unexpected outcome that came from the scene. Of course, the Rook, Spotlight, and Coin Shadows deserve a mention for helping the series keep up its track record in having cool or creepy monsters go up against the ToQger. Obviously, this isn't much of a surprise as most toku shows that Kobayashi's involved with tend to feature villains that can strike fearful elements to its viewers. I mean, it takes a good amount of creativity to turn a spotlight and a normal coin into a scary-looking creature, which is a good sign that the show's designers are at the top of their game. Even though ToQger’s been on a good roll recently, there were a few minor issues that bothered me recently. This has to do with the fact that Akira lifted a bathhouse without destroying the entire foundation. When you take how a building’s structure works, it’s hard to believe that the Build Express was able to life the place without it falling apart. If the guy would’ve found a way to hook up the equipment to the ground, then the segment might’ve worked better for the scene. But wait. What about the pipeline that runs through the establishment? I guess we can just add this element to the list of cheesy aspects that can be found in tokusatsu. In other words, Akira’s crazy plan didn’t ruin the bathhouse episode’s quality. Based on the way how ToQger’s episodes haven been handled lately, the show has proven to us that it’s in the clear, as it delivered a fine resolution to Noire’s grand scheme. Combined with the concept of liberating the towns that were consumed by darkness, there’s plenty of new potential for the series’ plot to grow and exceed our expectations even further. As long the side episodes remain enjoyable, ToQger’s next half should remain on track until its successor is ready to battle evil. Since the chapters that happened after episodes 23 and 24 were enjoyable, I believe that the staff’s imagination has improved.
AT: ToQger photo
Imagination Express!
Honestly, I never expected to use the word “Super Duper” around here, since the term feels rather childish. Then again, ToQger is a children's show after all, so I shouldn't be surprised when a term like this pops...

Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 22

Aug 10 // Salvador GRodiles
If someone told me that ToQger’s story had the potential to be dark back when the show first premiered, I might’ve laughed at their face for spouting out random nonsense. To be honest, I’m not that bad of a person, so I wouldn’t resort to such a devious action. Anyway, it’s surprising to see that the show has experienced a tonal shift when we learn the truth behind Noire’s master plan. While we were already aware that Grita’s mother had an ulterior motive for getting her daughter to marry Zed, the way how ToQger transitioned into the moment was rather surprising. Because of Zed’s current situation, it’s impressive that the show brought up a scenario that’d be better suited for a final arc. Thanks to this sequence, the series has exceeded my expectations when the Shadow Line started to gain the upper hand on the Rainbow Line’s heroes. Well played, Toei and Yasuko Kobayashi. Overall, this episode has proven to us that ToQger has what it takes to become an enjoyable Sentai series when the show reaches its last moments. Both Schwarz and Grita gave off a menacing feel when they started their backhanded plan to destroy the ToQger once and for all. Since it’s not too often that we see a major General use the team’s own power against them, this episode had the right ingredients to put us at the edge of our seats. Sure, the ToQger should’ve won with their superior machines, but Schwarz’s experience with controlling trains was too much for the team to handle. So how does this contribute to the episode’s quality? Basically, the Shadow Line’s recent victory represents the story’s turning point where it seems that all hope is lost for our heroes; thus paving the way for another two-part segment with a fierce vibe. Seeing that ToQger’s villains are the life of the party, it feels really nice to see these evil doers pull off a job where they trick the heroes into losing one of their prized weapons. Also, it was a big surprise to find out that the one General who we thought was going to be the major one to betray Zed ended up being the most loyal of the bunch. In a way, this outcome has changed the way how ToQger’s viewers perceive certain villains. Of course, we also have to thank Noriko Hidaka for her performance as Grita during episode 22. Compare to her usual lines, Hidaka actually managed to make the Empress of Darkness’ sinister voice look convincing, since this isn’t the Schwarz-obsessed lady that we all know and love anymore. Seeing that we need a convincing villain to make turn this arc into a solid moment for ToQger, Hidaka nailed her role with flying colors. Originally, I came in expecting a wedding that’ll improve the villains’ morale. Instead, I received a fantastic chapter that’ll affect how the show’s later episodes will go. Hopefully, this is a sign that ToQger’s heading into some darker territories soon. However, before I count my chickens too early, let’s assume that new robot combination will resolve this whole mess. Either way, this episode has given us some great progress, so it’ll be nice to see how the ToQger will turn things around next time.
AT: ToQger photo
Being married is suffering
Wait a minute! I thought that marriage was supposed to be a wonderful time when two people who love each other want to start a family. Normally, everyone gets to partake in some food and an extravagant cake during the ceremon...

Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 21

Jul 29 // Salvador GRodiles
It turns out that Noire has a secret reason for getting Grita to marry Zed. Of course, when the young lady learns about her mother’s plan, she decides to escape her fate with the help of the Bubble Shadow, a monster that’s capable of switching people’s consciousness. Little did Grita know, but there’s a terrible aftermath that results from using her subordinate’s power. Once again, ToQger managed to take a filler-like theme and make it relevant to the show’s main story. To add to Toei’s great decision, the Freaky Friday elements were applied to the entire ToQger team, so we were treated to a slightly intense moment where our heroes had to return to their bodies as soon as possible. In reality, the body-switching theme wasn’t the the episode's main attraction, since the real winner in this chapter was the Shadow Line’s current state. For a good while, we knew that Nero, Noire, and Schwarz had their own plans to gain power within the Shadow Line. While the General was acting behind the scene, the other two elite members were always quarreling when they weren’t commencing their unknown agendas. Perhaps the best part out of this situation is that Zed allows each party to do what they wish, since he finds the whole thing to be rather amusing. All in all, these situations prove that the Shadow Line’s one of the most dysfunctional evil groups in a Sentai series, which adds to one of the key elements that's improving ToQger’s plot. While the Mio segment wasn’t that great, the scenes between her and Kagura acted as a decent way to teach kids to be more honest to their close friends. Personally, I felt that this moral has been conveyed better in other Sentai shows; however, this episode’s main focus was to expand on Grita’s story, so we could let this situation slide for now. Speaking of which, Riria deserves some praise for adding some new life to Grita's character when she was lip syncing Noriko Hidaka's voice. As Noire’s plan becomes ToQger’s main point right now, I think we’re about to see the first major battle against one of the Shadow Line’s elite. Since we’re nearing the show’s halfway point, Grita’s wedding’ll probably be the first big thing to occur soon-- unless if Schwarz’s plan kicks in first. If things are going the way I’m thinking, then we’ll start to see Yasuko Kobayashi’s creepier elements kick in soon. Since the royal matrimony's going to be a major event, I’m certain that the ToQger are getting a new Robot combination. If we end up with another terrible-looking machine, then we can just settle with seeing ToQger’s new story developments become even better than before.
AT: ToQger photo
Freaky Fridays back, baby
I love Fridays. Whenever this day arrives, I can’t help but to rejoice over the fact that the weekend has started. Even if I have to work during that time frame, there’s something refreshing about reaching the fif...

Zyuranger photo
Zyuranger

SDCC '14: Shout! Factory to release Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger on DVD


Earth's Legendary Warriors finally go west
Jul 26
// Salvador GRodiles
Ladies and gentlemen. I would like to announce that hell has frozen over. Why you say? Well, it turns out that Shout! Factory has plans to bring Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger to North America. As a person who's been ...

Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 20

Jul 22 // Salvador GRodiles
As a means to support Schwarz in his grand scheme, Grita sends in a new Shadow that’s able to hurt people with their own laughter. Since it’s obvious that comedy isn’t connected to despair, one can’t help but to wonder why someone would go out of their way to make their victims crack up? Then again, the Jack-in-the-Box Shadow could use its ability to destroy the ToQger once and for all; thus allowing the Schwarz to continue with his secret plan. For a second, I almost thought that this episode was going to be a side episode, since the premise felt like a segment that was character-focused. Lo and behold, Schwarz’s plan and Akira’s inability to smile show us that ToQger isn’t ready to take a break from its story yet. One of the best parts of this outcome is learning that Zed is aware of the General’s plan, due to the Emperor’s desire to see Grita shine even more. On top of that, the Jack-in-the-Box Shadow did a skit that involved dancing Sumo Wrestlers was really amusing for some strange reason. Also, the monster's crazy design deserves some praise for looking like a fat creepy clown. Surprisingly, the other ToQger weren’t annoying when they were going through their comedic training regimen with the Conductor and Ticket. If anything, this is a perfect sign that the show’s team knows what they want to do with the series finally. Aside from that, it was nice to see that Akira’s a fully determined fighter in battle, regardless of the silliness that was present. Hell, the guy's entrance was priceless when he caught everyone off guard with his new temporary instrument. Speaking of Akira, I was a bit bummed out over the fact that we were deprived of the opportunity of having a kitten join the ToQger. Due to this outcome, Toei blew their opportunity to turn Akira into the one of the most happy-go-lucky characters in the show. Either way, the skit was great while it lasted, as it made the episode’s giant battle fun to watch. Even though we won’t get to see ToQ Neko/ToQ Meow (I can’t decide on which nickname to give the kitten) anymore, ToQger managed to continue with its entertaining streak at the moment. As we’re beginning to understand the Shadow Line Generals’ ulterior motives, the series continues to throw some intriguing elements our way. While the next episode has to do with the typical Freaky Friday trope that’s in many Sentai shows, ToQger’s viewers might be rewarded with Grita developing as a character. Best of all, it’ll be neat to see if Zed can distinguish his fiance from the person that accidentally takes her body.
AT: ToQger photo
Orange you glad to see a rose?
Normally I don’t repeat a pun during my segments, but I couldn’t resist using another “orange” pun, since it’s relevant to ToQger’s 20th episode. That, and I guess this pun is sort of a las...

Power Morphicon '14 photo
Power Morphicon '14

Huzzah! Three Zyuranger actors are attending Power Morphicon '14


Super Sentai's invading Power Morphicon!
Jul 21
// Salvador GRodiles
Alright, people; it's time to pull out your Morph... er, I mean Dino Bucklers, because Yuuta Mochizuki's (Geki/Tyranno Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger) attending Power Morphicon 2014! Aside from the original T-Rex-th...

Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 19

Jul 14 // Salvador GRodiles
Step aside, ToQ-Oh; there’s a new Express Train in town, and he means business. Unlike the simplistic trains that the five main ToQger use, the Build Express is an amazing monstrosity that towers over every train in the series. Did I mention that the engine has a crane? In other words, this new train is serious business, which means that ToQger has a train that actually looks great (not counting Diesel Express). On top of that, the Build Dai-Oh actually looks nice, since it feels like a robot that came straight out of Boukenger. Personally, the best part about Akira’s new mech is how he modified the machine’s controls to look like an old-fashioned system. Seeing that many sixth Rangers have piloted their robots without any issues, it was a nice change of pace to see ToQ 6 tinker with the Build Express’ switches and levers, since Akira basically MacGyvered his own train. While the Build Dai-Oh’s debut was the star attraction in episode 19, the real treat was seeing Tokatti learn how to make friends, which served as a great way to teach children the importance of being themselves in front of new people. Sure, the friendship moral has been done to death in many shows that are targeted towards younger viewers, but there’s something neat about the idea of seeing a show's major character involved in this theme when it's done right. Because of Tokatti’s memories of how he became friends with Right, the guy managed to learn that one should be honest when befriending people. Since Akira’s a peculiar fellow, it’s best for one to be straight-forward with the guy. That way, you don't give the person a terrible first impression on accident. Now that we’re fully acquainted with ToQ 6, ToQger’s ready to hop on its next course. Depending on the route that the show takes, things might get bumpy when we return to the side episodes. However, Akira might continue to make things interesting for the team, so there’s a chance that the staff knows where they want to take the series next. With Grita now secretly supporting Schwarz in his plan to create his dream railway system, let’s hope that ToQger gives the Shadow Line’s top members their own arcs, as their clashing ideals make it perfect for them to go down one by one. For now, let’s hope that Yasuko Kobayashi’s experience with Kamen Rider Den-O will help make the upcoming episode about Akira's sense of humor a hilarious ride. If not, then we can blame this mishap on the episode’s director.
AT: ToQger photo
Welcome to MacGyvering Train Control Systems 101
The ToQ 6 Saga's about to wrap up, and ToQger’s ready to unveil Akira’s signature machine. Since our rainbow-loving hero repairs railroads for a living, the man’s blessed with a train that suits his position...

Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 18

Jul 06 // Salvador GRodiles
It was only a matter of time until Zed realizes that Zaram’s now a ToQger, and now he intends to discover the secret behind the former Shadow’s “shining.” Sadly, the Emperor of Darkness won’t be swayed to leave his position yet, due to his desire to achieve his goal while being a ruler. Of course, the Shadow Line’s King has the power to subdue any of his subordinates-- even the ones who’ve turned over a new leaf. Also, this whole scenario’s an excuse for ToQger to take advantage of “the team learning to accept the new member” trope that’s in almost every Sentai series. Since every Sentai show that I’ve seen has done something different with their sixth Rangers, it’s hard to accuse the franchise of following the same formula over and over again. I mean, it’s not too often that you have a Ranger that’s a monster, which means ToQger took right turn in Albuquerque when it introduced Zaram to the series. Surprisingly, Right's help managed to make this episode fun-- and this is coming from someone who can’t stand him. Despite my slight annoyance with Right’s impulsive actions, I like that his decisions help keep the rest of the team in line, since his random actions help everyone develop as characters. Even the Ring Shadow was in for a surprise when Right tricked him after figuring out how to counter the monster’s special ability. I guess you could say that I like Right more for his actions than his personality, which works well for ToQger in the long run. If there one thing that surprised me this time, it was the way how the team used the Coupling Bazooka to give Zaram a new name. While having a name that means ”Vivid Rainbow” sounds kind of lame, I felt that Akira Nijino suits ToQ 6 well, since it represents his love for rainbows. All in all, Zaram’s new identity works with his personality, due to his imagination being different from the other ToQger. Hell, I love that he’s a wanderer, as it gives him an excuse to fix the tracks while he ventures off to protect the Rainbow Line. In the end, ToQ 6 proved to us that light can be found within one's inner darkness. Aside from our Orange Railroad Worker's transformation into a new person, his Drill Dark Liner became an Express Train when Akira switched sides. In a way, it was a nice surprise, since we all thought that the Drill Express was a default Support Express that came with ToQ 6’s arsenal. To an extent, Akira’s kind of similar to Shinken Gold from Shinkenger in terms of having an Assist Unit before getting their signature machine. Speaking of which, Akira’s robot’s looking to be one of ToQger’s best mechas, so I’m definitely looking forward to our next stop on the itinerary.
AT: ToQger photo
Rainbow Power!
Attention, all passengers. The ToQger Express has taken a scenic route during its most recent episode. Now let's give a round of applause to our special railroad worker, as he’s been a great help in improving our experi...

Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 17

Jun 29 // Salvador GRodiles
If you thought that the Rainbow Line was a magical railway that’s capable of self-repair, then you'll be sad to know that the tracks are in need of maintenance from time to time. Of course, this new story element is used to introduce ToQger's viewers to Zaram, who happens to be a railroad worker and a former Shadow Line member. Instead of throwing a random monster-of-the-week at the ToQger, General Schwarz acts as the first target to experience ToQ 6’s power. Thanks to the new Ranger’s backstory, we get to learn more about the General’s true motives, and the connection that Schwarz shares with Zaram. While Zaram didn’t kill many innocent bystanders back when he was creating darkness for the Shadow Line, it was interesting to see a monster that felt guilty about his evil deeds. Personally, one of my favorite aspects of the Super Sentai franchise is when they introduce Rangers that have ulterior motives or dark backstories (such as Zyuranger’s Dragon Ranger, Hurricanger’s Gouraiger team, and Abaranger’s Abare Killer), as they add a new spark to the series’ established formula. Since Zaram had to come to terms with his past before becoming ToQ 6, I was fond of his development, since his motives were rather silly. Also, ToQ 6 is officially the second Orange Ranger in the Sentai series (or third if you consider Dekaranger's Deka Swan as an Orange Ranger), which means that Battle Fever J’s Battle Cossack won’t be alone anymore. Other than Zaram’s introduction, I found it hilarious that Ticket ended up becoming ToQ 6 for a brief second. Unfortunately, we didn’t a fight scene where the puppet tried to use his Ranger skills on the Shadow Line. Either way, Ticket’s scene was great while it lasted, and I hope that both he and the Conductor become extra Rangers later on. While we’re at it, Wagon would make a great ToQger as well. If the three characters become Rangers, then the Rainbow Line’s main team will be complete! Once again, ToQger continues to develop into a better show, with Zaram becoming a member of the team. Once the proper pieces are in place, it’s going to be interesting when Zed realizes that a Shadow Monster’s fighting alongside the ToQger. Who knows, ToQ 6 might inspire the Emperor of Darkness to focus more on his plan to obtain more “Shining.” While I’m expecting Zed to join the Rainbow Line, a part of me thinks that he’ll form a new group where his generals are all named after “white” in different languages (such as Weiss and Blanc). But first, ToQger will need to get us acquainted with ToQ 6’s abilities and giant robot before Zed develops again. Since Zaram's part of the show's main story, ToQger's next stop should be an entertaining experience.
AT: ToQger photo
Orange you glad that the sixth Ranger's here?
For a good while, I had a feeling that ToQ 6’s debut would help ToQger get right on track again. Lo and behold, I was right, since the new Orange Ranger’s debut managed to boost ToQger’s quality once again. ...

Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episode 16

Jun 16 // Salvador GRodiles
Following up from ToQger's last episode, General Schwarz decides to use the Hammer Shadow to create a dream world inside of his Dark Liner. Unlike the Shadow Line’s previous schemes, Schwarz’s plan involves gathering the darkness into one spot, which signifies that the general’s gathering power to eliminate the Rainbow Line. That or Schwarz's plan is connected to how he truly feels about Grita. Based on the way Schwarz handled his elaborate scheme, I think that ToQger’s main theme is finally taking form. Underneath the tacky train robots and childish heroes, the show’s goal is to remind its viewers of the imaginative creativity that they used to have when they were young. While the series was trying to convey this theme in the past, I felt that ToQger’s staff’s did a better job at expressing the show's message recently. Surprisingly, Tokatti and Kagura’s teamwork in rescuing the children from Schwarz’s train was enjoyable. As a person that couldn’t stand Kagura’s imagination scenes, I loved that she used a fan to snap Right, Hikari, and Mio out of their food-induced dream. Hopefully, this is a sign that the ToQger are growing on me, as it could improve the upcoming side episodes later on. For now, this might’ve been one of the few moments where I wanted the team to win, since I’ve been rooting for the Shadow Line this entire time. Aoi might’ve been another factor that made ToQger’s recent episode more enjoyable, since her weak imagination symbolizes the fact that many folks lose touch with their fantasies as they get older. Seeing as I’m an adult who continues to imagine as we speak, I liked that ToQger did a better job in expressing this theme during episode 16. Also, the idea that Aoi’s motive was to save her brother showed us that she’d do anything to protect her family-- even if she couldn't hang out with people that were close to her age. I guess you could say that I'm a sucker for family-related moments when they're done right. Since ToQger’s most recent episode wasn't terrible, I think that the series has finally found its direction. With ToQ 6 getting ready to make his debut soon, the next arc should be better than the last. Considering that the new Ranger used to be part of the Shadow Line, I’m hoping that ToQger’s going to change for the better. That being said, this gives me a glimmer of hope that Zed will switch sides later on. If the Emperor of Darkness joins the ToQger, then one of Zed's generals will become the show's true main villain. At the moment, my money's on Barone Nero, since he doesn't agree with Zed's ideals. Also, it'd be a good excuse to see Nero use his top hat in battle again.
AT: ToQger photo
Is ToQger getting better?
There comes a time when a person decides to keep up with a series that’s been letting them down. Many viewers stick with a terrible program for the sake of entertaining people, while others hope that the show will get b...

Super Sentai photo
Super Sentai

Dino Buckler: Zyuranger's opening morphs into an 8-bit remix


The ancient warriors have gone retro
Jun 14
// Salvador GRodiles
Studio Me-gaane picked a perfect time to give Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger's opening, since the show's main heroes fought along side the other two dinosaur-themed Sentai teams in Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters a few mont...
Kanpai Senshi After V photo
Kanpai Senshi After V

More parody Sentai coming this April


I bet a beer tastes great after saving the world
Mar 15
// Chris Walden
After the success of the hilarious Akibaranger, it's not too surprising that there would be another Sentai parody show looming on the horizon. Kanpai Senshi After V is that show, which follows the main cast's fight against e...
Joshizu photo
Joshizu

New trailer for sentai comedy Joshizu


Where's the pink one?
Feb 07
// Josh Totman
Yuichi Fukuda's sentai comedy Joshizu has a new 40 second trailer out now. The comedy revolves around Naoko Akagi (played by Mirei Kiritani), a busy career-oriented woman who's been chosen as Red in a new all-female super he...
Braving Inwards. photo
Braving Inwards.

Come meet the Kyoryugers of 100 years in the future


What is this sophisticated child-generating technology?
Jan 27
// Chris Walden
We do still have a few weeks of dinosaur-related sentai action, but if the conclusion to the story and a few movies don't seem like enough content for you, why not get excited for the upcoming special? Set 100 years after th...
Tokusatsu photo
Tokusatsu

Dinosaurs run wild in Kyoryuger vs Go-Busters' trailer


Three times the dinosaurs to be exact
Dec 21
// Salvador GRodiles
I may be stating the obvious here, but it's not everyday that we get to see three dinosaur-themed Sentai teams in one film. In fact, you could say that Kyoryuger vs Go-Busters completes the Tri-force of Dinosaurs, since we h...






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