Toqger : one of the worst sentai series ever done?

38 episodes of Toqger have aired now, which means there are only about 10 episode left, and it's possible to make a review of most of the series now.
Let's just say that Toqger is likely one of the worst sentai ever made, because it suffers of massive flaws in most elements of the show :

- Heroes : the five main heroes are some of the blandest main characters I've seen in sentai. They don't show much depth, Right being the hot blooded one, Tokatti, the clumsy one, Mio the "big sister" one, Hikari the serious one and Kagura the cure ditzy one. Other than that, most the the episodes trying to focus on them individually are pretty much using stock plots which aren't giving them much personality and background. Of course, it's explained by the fact they're just overgrown kids who are in adult bodies, but still have children's minds. But it's precisely why the concept doesn't really work for the characters, since it makes them feel pretty bland and doesn't allow much development. Besides, they pretty much share a common background ; so not much room for exploration.
Akira, the sixth ranger, is a Shadow who, because of remorse for his past actions, has ljoined the Rainbow line to atone for his "crimes" (basically, making rain, which isn't really THAT horrible as a crime), and eventually becomes the sixth Toqger because of Right. However, as Akira, he isn't very interesting, and his catchphrase " my death place" is pretty annoying. While he can show some comedy because of his ridiculously serious expression, it doesn't really make him striking. His only potentialy interesting plot is his relationship with Schwartz, especially after the latter becomes also a traitor in the Shadow Line's eyes.

Allies : It's pretty telling when the smartest character in the show is a monkey puppet. and even despite this, Ticket is usually annoying with its grating voice. And the less we talk about the Conductor, Wagon, or the president of the Rainbow line and his bunny head, the better.

Villains : they're the most interesting characters of the show and even despite that, they're pretty uneven. The most interesting element with the Shadow line is how dyfunctional the villain group is, with most of the villains having an antagonism against the others. Another good point about the Shadow Line is that the generals are skilled fighters, and that they regularly show it.
Mork and Nero are the least interesting of the Shadow Line, merely standard generals who mostly care about spreading darkness. Madame Noire is most interesting, because she tried to take over the Shadow Line by using her daughter Gritta to marry and then "eat" the Emperor of the Shadow Line, Zet. Unfortunately for her, her plan backfired, and since then, she's pretty much forced to work for Zet, her only hope to break free being the fact that her daughter might not have been completely consumed by the emperor. However, that concern about her daughter isn't consistent with the fact she used her as a tool to get power.
Gritta, Noire's daughter is interesting because she hasn't shown much evil, and she showed loving feelings for General Schwartz. However, despite not wanting to marry the emperor, she was forced to do so after failing to run away, because of Noire's insistence and Schwartz's betrayal. After eating Emperor Zet, she briefly became Empress of Shadow, but at the end, Zet ended up taking over her, and now, she's stuck into the Emperor's body. Gritta has some potential, because she's more innocent than evil but she needs more screen time.
Schwartz and Zet are the most interesting characters. Zet, despite being the Emperor of Darkness, doesn't care about his generals, monsters and spreading darkness, but only is obsessed about light, shining, and spends most of the time being bored. While he's supposed to be the Big Bad, and even if he's not especially nice, and has shown impressive amounts of power, he doesn't seem to care anough to feel really like a Big Bad. It has some potential as a story, but unfortunately, it also adds to the stalling of the plot.
Schwartz is more interesting : he's pretty much an outcast among the Shadow, because, rather than darkness, he's more interested by military conquest using war trains. He's a cunning and cruel general, but he's also shown an honorable side. While he ended up betraying Gritta, because he hoped that by helping Madame Noire in her usurping plot, he would be allowed to have his army and conquer the world using his trains and soldiers, he was still touched by Miss Gritta's feelings for her, and when the young girl sacrificed herself to save him from a Toqger attack, and ended up being taken over by Zet, Schwartz started to feel genuine remorse in what his action did to the young girl, and, after being banished by Zet, wanted to avenge himself and Gritta to find some redemption.
As such, his relationship with Akira/ Zaram might be interesting to see, given both are driven by remorse now.

Plot : The Toqger, who are actually kids who managed to escape a town ovetaken by darkness thansk to their imagination ended up grown up by the president of the Rainbow Line and now fight the e Shadow Line, using the power of Imagination and are looking for their home city.
While the concept isn't that bad, unfortunately the execution is pretty badly done, notably because og Kobayashi is very poorly talented in storytelling, once again. Indeed, the heroes are only likely to find their hometown in the final episodes, which means that there still need to find some plot for the middle episodes. While there has been some nice elements, with important plots being forshadowed in previous episodes, Toqger still suffers from plot stalling.
During the first 10 episodes, , except a showdown with Schwartz, pretty much nothing happens, except some standard plots involving Shadow Monsters. While episodes 11 and 12 introduce the Emperor, and the heroes meet at last most of the main villains, it doesn't really raises the stakes for the heroes, notably because of the lack of leadership from Zet. The introduction of the sixth ranger Akira isn't done in very memorable episodes, and at the end, the next really significant arc happens during episodes 22 and 23, with the "Noire's usurping plot with Gritta marrying Zet" with a big showdown opposing the heroes in one side, and Schwartz and a newly empress Gritta on the other side. At the end, Zet overtakes Gritta, banishes Schwartz and pretty much tames Noire. However, after episode 23, the plot pretty much stalls, with nothing really significant happening during the next 15 episodes. The arrival of the new villainess, Mork, doesn't change much in the statu quo, the appearance of the Hyper Mode, and the new mechas (the Hyper Terminal notably) aren't really well done, since they're done in individual episodes, which almost feel like fillers, with silly monsters : a very striking element is how in those key episodes, the villains are more fighting each other than are fighting the heroes. In fact, in episode 35, with the appearance of the Toqrainbow, the biggest robot, the heroes are more saved by Zet's unpredictalbe character and Schwartz's dealing with Akira than by their own power . Another wasteed opportunity is the use of the Shadow Towns, overtaken by the Shadow Line and guarded by Overseers which have a chess theme. What should have been key episodes ended up being written pretty much as fillers.
A key element is also the lack of rivalry between heroes and villains : Right's rivalry with Zet doesn't feel right, because Zet cares too little about darkness and taking over the world to feel like a worthy enemy to hate. Besides, as it was said before, the real rivalries the Shadow Line generals have are more between each other than against the heroes. Sometimes, the heroes feel like they are the guest stars of their own show. Because of that, there is a lack of intensity in the conflicts, and it's hard to care for them. Moreover, because of the blandness of the heroes, it's also hard to realy care for them and their quest; heck, even the reveals they're overgrown kids feels like "yes, so what"? ; notably because the show fails to use that background in a really dramatic effect in most of the show, and the reveal doesn't really change anything for the heroes.Because of how bland they are, it's difficult to really care for the heroes. As said before, it's a similar situation that Go-Busters had : a long running plot that is pretty much bound to stall most of the series; it's interesting that Go-Busters had to deal with its main plot midway, because the show stalled too much. Here, a similar plot (children looking for their parents who are stuck in a place overtaken by evil) is still ongoing.

The train gimmick isn't badly done, but the "Norikae changes" gimmick where the heroes change colors is usually more cofusing than interesting (no wonder he's less used in late episodes). The mechas's design are okay but not remarkable, and some robots are pretty much too "clusterfuck", especially Toqrainbow.

To sum up, Toqger suffers a lot from its bland heroes and supporting characters, a very mediocre storytelling with main plots which stalls too long, uneven villains, and a lack of imagination shown by the excessive use of stock plot in individual episodes, which is ridiculous because of how much imagination is supposed to be a major theme, and as such, is likely one of the worst sentai show ever made.
 

raden238

Active Member
Shouldn't you wait till February for this thread? Well yeah, Toqger is one of the worst sentai series ever. I have to rewatch Goseiger to see if it's THEE worst of all time now. Toqger is Universally hated to the point that the subbers take almost a week to sub it. Even on this site very few people chat about the weekly episodes. Thats how bad and boring it is.
 

Black Fang

Active Member
ToQger started off as nothing special, but starting from the 20s it really started to pick up. It's pretty much become a watered down Flashman, which is probably as good as it's going to get with current Sentai. (And even then it's much better than the last show that attempted it in some form, Goseiger.) Most of what I hate about ToQger is relegated to Conductor, Ticket and Wagon's stupid hijinks, and (thankfully now a rare occurrence), Kagura's "Super Girl!" schtick. The over-the-top wacky hijinks don't take over the show, unlike some other entries. One thing it did most definitely bungle though was the "Imaginaaaaaatiiooon!!" theme. Just horrible. They treat it like it's the Force that you must train to use. Fortunately, that too has gotten less focus.

As characters go, I do like the concept of kids stuck in adult bodies, and with the turn of events in recent episodes it's become all the more important and, in a way, saddening. I've noticed that both ToQger is like Gaim in that it's a 'coming of age' story about growing up, just under different circumstances. The villains too are original in that now we have a disinterested leader with his court fussing over management and their own agendas. It reminds me of the Fall of Eagles miniseries in a way.

So ToQger is not among Sentai's greatest, but I've come to like it better than I would've thought back when it first left the station. Calling it the worst, especially with all the other contenders out there, is a bit much. If it's the worst in anything, it would be the mechas. The Resshas gives the Engines and Zyudenryus a run for their money as ugliest mechas/robots ever. (Then again, I will admit that each new robot is less bad than the last. Build DaiOh is certainly better-looking than ToQOh.)
 
One thing I really appreciated about the show is the villains completed the "We need to collect enough X to bring our boss here" goal after 10 episodes, instead of it being dragged out all series long.

It's going to happen eventually, so getting it done quick was probably for the best.

It's pretty much become a watered down Flashman

I really wish someone would sub that. I've wanted to see it for the longest time, but my interest in it has greatly increased thanks in no small part to their inclusion in Power Rangers Super Megaforce, as the Prism team. Their inclusion really makes no sense, neither does the fact they actually shot a little bit of original footage with one of the suits, but they just looked so pretty.

Still need to finish Changeman, which is sadly on a laptop that no longer works, and I cannot remember where I got the soft subs for. :disappoin
 

cobabooy

Lurker
Cannot change what others think of this show cause it's their own opinion. I myself enjoy ToqGer. The show seemed silly at first, then we have Zed, Akira, Schwarz betraying and the truth about the heroes memories, which really made the show become awesome. People can call this the worst Sentai show ever (like they did with Gobusters which I also enjoyed), but for me, it's been a great ride and I'm looking forward to see how will it end
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
ToQ is the first Sentai show to make me give up after 5 episodes, which does indeed make it the worst series ever. Even Goseiger got me to stick around for 9 episodes and then watch an episode here or there aftewards.

BTW, ToQBoner is the thing that completely ruined the show for me. I could have forgiven the childish dumbass nature of the Retargers and the awful characters on the trains, but the boner scene told me this show was utter horseshit and it was only going to get worse. It also doesn't help that Kobayashi was doing everything on childish safe mode.
 
I never said there was nothing interesting in Toqger ; my review points out some interesting elements, notably on the villain side; however, it's still a very mediocre show. The truth about the heroes's memories would have been great too ... if it had had a REAL impact on the way the story is told.

For the one who told me "shouldn't I wait until February"? It's true that a nice final plot can help a series, and Toqger might look better at the end, but it doesn't change the fact that if you need to wait until the last 10 episodes to feel great, it means the show still has BIG issues.
 

Undrave

CRETINS! ALL OF THEM!
I disagree. I think ToQger turned out to be great and I'm glad I stuck with it passed the ToQBoner.

I don't talk about the show here mostly because I keep getting script error if I stay on HJU too long.
 

Wing Saber

Active Member
While ToQgers may not be one of the best, it's far from being the worst. Since right now it picked up in a big way. Though it was no surprise that they are kids in the bodies of adults, the fact that they decided to see it to the end despite risking not being able to return to their true ages shows their resolve. While Gaim's theme was about growing up, the ToQgers are forced to mature.
 
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lazycoconut

I liked him when he wasn't a god
ToQger is the first series in like seven years that I haven't been able to watch as it's airing. My main reasons for this are that I find it too villain-heavy; I generally dislike stories centering on the villains and I could not care less about Gritta and her constant fawning over Schwarz (nor the way the ToQgers, especially Mio, act like she's so precious and they have to protect her). Schwarz himself annoys me intensely and I HATE what he's doing to Akira. Tokacchi started out as my favourite character but now in every single episode he has to pine after Mio with the implication that he needs to "get the girl" to feel validated, and she needs to fall in love with him in order to mature. All of this has turned me off the series so much that I find it nearly unwatchable.

However, most of my complaints with ToQger are personal taste. I would not say that the concept or themes of the show are bad and up to the point where I was watching regularly (up to around ep24) I agree the pacing was improving. It isn't the slowest or laziest show Sentai's ever done.
 
yes, at episode 24, I thought as well that the pacing was improving... and then followed 15 episodes of almost complete stalling.

Ironically, the good points of Toqger are almost detrimental to the series, because I end up caring more about the villains than the heroes.

About the Toqger forced to mature : it's true for everyone who's involved in a war like situation, which means all the sentai teams : the heroes's resolve is standard stuff.

For those who disagree with me, which are the series you feel are worse than Toqger? after all, for some, all sentai are awesome, and even if Toqger isn't the best, it might be enjoyable
 

lazycoconut

I liked him when he wasn't a god
About the Toqger forced to mature : it's true for everyone who's involved in a war like situation, which means all the sentai teams : the heroes's resolve is standard stuff.

Yes, all the ToQgers are forced to mature. The point I was making is that the show implies that Mio's awkwardness about romance is a sign of childishness, and falling in love with a guy is her path to growing up. I hate this message, and I think it's bad for girls. They should not be told they need a man in order to become real adults.
 

Black Fang

Active Member
ToQ is the first Sentai show to make me give up after 5 episodes, which does indeed make it the worst series ever. Even Goseiger got me to stick around for 9 episodes and then watch an episode here or there aftewards.

BTW, ToQBoner is the thing that completely ruined the show for me. I could have forgiven the childish dumbass nature of the Retargers and the awful characters on the trains, but the boner scene told me this show was utter horseshit and it was only going to get worse. It also doesn't help that Kobayashi was doing everything on childish safe mode.

All of this from the same guy who thinks Wizard is a return to Showa-style Rider awesomeness? Sometimes your views on things are just baffling :sly:

For those who disagree with me, which are the series you feel are worse than Toqger? after all, for some, all sentai are awesome, and even if Toqger isn't the best, it might be enjoyable

Go-Onger, Goseiger and Kyoryuger come to mind. I might put Magiranger in there too, from what I saw of it years ago. (Who's the more annoying, Mandora Boy or Ticket and Wagon?)

The point I was making is that the show implies that Mio's awkwardness about romance is a sign of childishness, and falling in love with a guy is her path to growing up. I hate this message, and I think it's bad for girls. They should not be told they need a man in order to become real adults.

I have no idea how you read that as the message.

The fact that she would think she should go after an older man is precisely a sign of her awkwardness. It's not an endorsement of anything, it's admitting her confusion. And she changed her mind in the end, anyway. Seriously.
 

Jacky392000

Active Member
with two disappointing years that were Gobusters and Kyoryuger, I'd say Tokkyuger has proven my views of Kobayashi's horrible writing wrong and has surprised me throughout. people are just judging it by the first few episodes.
 

lazycoconut

I liked him when he wasn't a god
I have no idea how you read that as the message.

The fact that she would think she should go after an older man is precisely a sign of her awkwardness. It's not an endorsement of anything, it's admitting her confusion. And she changed her mind in the end, anyway. Seriously.

I'm referring to the show's implication that she will eventually fall for Tokacchi, for no reason given so far other than that he wants her.

In terms of execution I would say I found Magiranger to be worse than ToQger. The "family is everything!" message was nothing short of blatant propaganda at some points, some characters existed solely for fanservice (Nai and Mea) or to be someone's girlfriend (Yamazaki, Eriko) and I find MagiShine to be the most loathsome Sixth Ranger in the entire franchise. While I like Go-onger and Goseiger as shows far more than I like ToQger, I would say ToQger is stronger than both of them plot-wise.
 
For those who chose Go-onger and Goseiger as worse series than Toqger : honestly, they are strong contenders, and I can understand why Toqger can be seen as better than those : in fact, both series have the same shortcomings about the heroes as Toqger, and at least, Toqger has more interesting villains and it has more consistency in using its train gimmick.

About Magiranger :because of the more interesting world building, I feel that Magi is better than Toqger : but I agree that Magi's heroes, "courage" randomness and annoying characters are its weak points.
Last, about Kyoryuger : while Kyoryuger had plenty of flaws, I think that Sanjo's passion in writing it helped redeem that show somewhat, as well as its diverse cast.
 

kakeru1986

Member
I remember that the show had really bad episodes after the first combination of Chô ToQOh, and the arrival of Akira.
The cop episode was one of the worst, but apart from that, it's one of the best Sentai I know.

I totally disagree. Whatever Kobayashi touches is close to perfection (except for Den-o).
THe story telling is good in ToQger.
[HIDE] The very fact that the characters turn out to be kids is foreseen. [/HIDE]
I agree that the revelation was kind of anticlimactic, but the word of the President being worried about them probably means something really bad is going to happend to them.
Also, I would totally see Akira dying at the end of the show.
 

lazycoconut

I liked him when he wasn't a god
I totally disagree. Whatever Kobayashi touches is close to perfection (except for Den-o).

Unfortunately, Kobayashi has quite a legion of fans who believe exactly this and think she can do absolutely no wrong as a writer. I often wonder if her presence kept the show from getting the same kind of savaging Go-onger and Goseiger got in the English-speaking fandom and/or kept people watching it for longer than they otherwise would have

For those who chose Go-onger and Goseiger as worse series than Toqger : honestly, they are strong contenders, and I can understand why Toqger can be seen as better than those : in fact, both series have the same shortcomings about the heroes as Toqger, and at least, Toqger has more interesting villains and it has more consistency in using its train gimmick.

I don't believe that ToQger's villains are particularly interesting (I understand why others feel they are, but they have no appeal to me in that way at all) nor that a series needs a strong villain presence in order to be good. I would also say that I found Brajira a more engaging villain than either Gritta, Schwarz or Z (oh yeah, that's another of my issues with the show: presenting Gritta as inherently good and redeemable purely because she's female and/or a child, continuing on from Kyoryuger which gave the exact same message via Candelira and Luckyuro.) I just feel that ToQger is stronger in terms of its plot.

One advantage I would give it in terms of the heroes is that they at least have a consistent character outline and each one gets their own arc. Goseiger felt to me at different points like some of the heroes were being written around their actors, and the actor of Go-on Black reportedly stated that the writing was changed to accommodate him because he could not play the character as originally written. I think that writing around an actor can be done well if it's a conscious choice from the beginning of the show and used to play to their natural strengths. Doing it retrospectively because the actor can't really act as the character you have written is poor workmanship all around.
 
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