Get that tinsel on the tree, it’s time for my review of Ressha Sentai ToQGer Station 39: ‘The Beginning of the End‘!
It’s almost Christmas and everyone on the Rainbow Line is decking the halls with all kinds of holiday cheer that would probably fall over and seriously injure someone if this train obeyed the laws of physics and not imagination.
Mio wonders aloud if the Shadow Line are gonna take time off from world domination for Christmas, as you do, and Wagon and The Conductor assure them that they definitely will because Christmas cheer to them is like sunlight to a vampire.
Everyone is excited about the prospect of celebrating the holiday, Right especially, thinking of all the food he is going to shove down his food hole.
Mio and Tokatti have the brilliant idea of inviting Akira over to celebrate Baby’s First Christmas and help with decorating.
Tokatti goes to hit Akira up on his cell and gets straight up ignored. Didn’t they have a moment? Rude.
Sorry, guys, looks like Akira has a date with his
ex-pimp destiny Schwarz.
He straps on that old bandana, ditches that adorable hard-hat, and goes off to join the Dark Side.
Everyone books it to Build Express’s batcave hidey hole to discover Akira’s not there!
He’s left his jacket (WHICH DAMNIT HE ONLY WORE ONE EPISODE WHAT THE HECK?!) and Drill Express with notes on how to use it to find junction points and shadow towns.
Hikari points out that this makes it seem like Akira left them but still wanted them to be alright.
Tokatti rushes outside to try to find him, the others following suit, Akira nowhere to be found. Tokatti finds Akira’s hard-hat sitting on a fence post.
Over at Castle Terminal, things are looking bright indeed. (ha ha wordplay!)
Nero wonders if the drought of darkness (which would make a killer metal band name) will weaken Zed and Mork hypothesizes that Zed would be fine if he would just freaking get rid of Grita already, it has seriously been a long time, didn’t I teach you to not play with your food?
Zed tells her to shut up, which is absolutely included in the ToQGer Drinking Game, if you’re playing along at home, and sends out a weak puff of darkness. Nero points this out and Mork blames Noire for not gathering enough darkness.
Speaking of Noire, she’s lurking down in the dungeons, planning to spring a trap of some sort.
Back behind Zed’s curtain, Grita finally materializes before him, and he starts to molt.
On the Rainbow Line, Wagon expresses her disbelief that Akira broke bad and the others try to figure out where it all went south.
Just as they put together the pieces, a shadow monster is detected and our team is off and running!
The gang rolls up on a commotion under way. After getting the bystanders out of the way, they are greeted by a blast from the past, Bag Shadow, hailing all the way back from Station 1?!
What’s this? On top of a building there’s another Shadow scooping up darkness and shaking down monsters like a shake n bake dinner??
No time to reminisce, everyone, Ring Shadow is now on deck for Beatdown: The Sequel.
Kagura notices that Ring Shadow was the first Shadow they defeated with Akira and everyone gets smacked around a little when they remember.
Checking in at Castle Terminal, Mork and Nero finally get the net and realize what’s going on. Someone released Tombstone Shadow and he’s out there being a fool and wasting darkness in the middle of a drought!
Zed tells them it’s nothing, but you can’t keep a good Mork down, so she decides to take Tombstone Shadow out, and leaves Nero in charge of looking after
the baby Zed.
Zed’s losing feathers faster than a turkey before Thanksgiving, and Grita is able to talk, letting him know that she’s about to take a page out of Queen’s book and Break Free.
She asks some Serious Questions but he won’t give her answers, wondering what she’ll end up doing, looking stoic as he crushes a feather in his fist.
Heeeeeere’s Bucket Shadow! Yet another rehash, but luckily for the ToQGers, they’ve all been on the weak side.
Bag and Ring Shadow are dispached using the Scope Expresses (welcome back, spotter!)
And Bucket Shadow with the Rail Slasher. Thank the script they are like ghosts and don’t grow big or we’d be in a tight spot.
Tombstone Shadow decides to take a little bath break while our intrepid team tries to figure out why Akira didn’t show up.
Things get introspective, why didn’t Akira come? Sometimes, he can’t because work, and maybe he’s keeping his distance?
They agree that he’s been acting real weird, but just went with it because that’s so Akira? But maybe that wasn’t so Akira after all and they should just talk to him about it the next time they see him.
Now that he’s all clean and refreshed, Tombstone Shadow’s all ready to shake
your love some trouble.
…Except that reallly pissed off Marquise Mork appears! Marquise Mork uses Skull Bash! It’s super effective!
As Tombstone Shadow is nursing a dented melon, he spills the beans about Noire setting him loose and Mork deduces that she had this planned all along.
When Mork’s back is turned, Tombstone Shadow starts to shake it up again. She goes to smack him again, he tumbles and grabs her staff and they both take a tumble off the building right in the laps of the ToQgers.
The fall causes one last ghost monster to shake loose, Bomb Shadow, a close, personal friend of Tokatti’s.
So, now they know where these ghosts of beatdowns past came from.
Time to transform and do what they do best.
Bomb Shadow is easily disposed of and Mork’s sluggish because of the drought.
ToQ-1gou goes Hyper and they use a Hyper 5-Connection Crash to finish them off.
Mork electric slides out the way just in time.
Unfortunately, Tombstone Shadow does grow, so they bring in ToQ-Oh and Diesel-Oh to finish the job.
Shaking like he has never shook before, Tombstone Shadow brings back three dead dunces for the final fight, most notably, Jack-in-the-Box Shadow. He’s the one they fought that time they first heard Akira laugh.
The gang realizes that even though Akira is weird, he is their comrade and stands with them.
As they fight the three Shadows, they remember fighting alongside Akira and their feelings toward him.
Because they were thinking Akira, they let themselves get suckerpunched by a triple attack. Get your head in the game!
Right sends the Tank and Car Carrier Expresses over to ToQ-Oh for them to use Car Carrier Tank Shoot to take out two of the Shadows and Diesel-Oh uses Diesel Missiles to take out Jack-in-the-Box Shadow, leaving Tombstone Shadow all by his lonesome.
Just as he starts to absorb more darkness, Hikari calls forth Police Express and nips that mess in the bud.
Time to bring them all together as Super ToQ-Oh Police and end this foolishness with Super ToQ-Oh Police Cannon.
Even though they won, the victory feels empty without Akira and they decide to bring him back to his ohana especially because it is Christmas.
Wagon places Akira’s hard-hat on top of the tree, when suddenly Schwarz’s Darkliner is detected!
Nero starts to get antsy and storms off while Noire decides that it’s the perfect time to strike since Zed should be at his weakest so she can rescue Grita and together they will take over the Shadow Line and be the baddest bitches of them all.
Schwarz is gonna ram the Castle!
Hold on wait a sec, Right just needs to ask you about Akira…
Move bitch, get out the way!
The Red Express has more power than Schwarz’s Darkliner and forces it to stop. The gang rush over to where it’s at to get some answers, just as it’s departing…
Oh, hey, it’s Akira! We’ve been looking for you, buddy!
Akira informs them that he’s playing on the other team again and no you’re not getting back your stuff.
Call me strange, but I actually like recap episodes. Especially cleverly done ones such as this one. I didn’t really realize that this was one until the second half!
Even though we were getting recapped, we were still presented with new information and the plot did proceed forward.
The central theme of this episode is betrayal. Akira’s betrayal to the ToQGers, Noire’s and Schwarz’s betrayals to Zed. They are all key points to the episode and have all been coming to a head for awhile now.
It’s also important to note that Akira prepared for his departure, trying hard to make sure the ToQGers would be able to carry on finding Shadow Towns without him.
I give this episode 3.6 sudden but inevitable betrayals out of 5.
This is Amber/pan2dapan leaving the station!
You can find me @pan2dapan on Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/Facebook
See you next time!