Toqger : one of the worst sentai series ever done?

Toku Prime

Well-Known Member
Kobayashi seems to be a really polarising writer. Everything she does is declared either the best or worst thing ever. I actually think Den-O gets very little credit. Whether you like it or not it's one of the most important Heisei Rider shows. Equally, there are shows she's written that I think have major problems (oh gosh, the pacing in shows like Ryuki or Zero Black Blood) and shows like OOO and Go-Busters suggest that if the powers that be nix her plans she tends to lose her momentum for the rest of the series.

Overall I've felt very lukewarm about most of what I've seen of her toku work, and ToQger is on course to be pretty much the same. To me, it's a vanilla season - watchable yet unmemorable. And I get the impression that maybe that's what she was going for - a series that sells enough product to keep the corporate overlords happy with an uneventful production process that steadies her swaying ship after her last two shows were interfered with.
I didn't know Hidden Masta constituted the entire fandom >>

By the way, he hasn't been around lately. Where did he go?
He re-appeared briefly a while back. I can't remember exactly what he said but it seemed his passion for toku had declined so he's moved on and only occasionally checks in.
 

Garren

Lurker
I don't think Toqger is the worst Sentai in fact I find it very enjoyable, I do like the core cast, Akira never fails to put a smile on my face, the Shadow Line villains are entertaining, and I actually don't mind the mecha this year outside the Hyper Resha Terminal since the actual toy looks awful, I would've been completely satisfied with Cho Cho Toq-Dai-oh been the final formation to be honest.

Now granted I haven't seen every Sentai though I have seen a good number of them, I can't personally say what I consider the worst because I think it's subjective and comes down to personal taste.

However every time I decide on what I consider my least favourite, I do a second watch of the show and find something I consider enjoyable about it. Goseiger for example I didn't really enjoy it nearly as much as others but on my second viewing it has actually jumped as my second favourite show since even though there was plenty of filler it didn't take long for the show to shake things up with the changing of the villain factions but still keeping the mystery with Bladerun and I've gained a bigger appreciation of the core five Goseigers as well.

Another one I struggled through was Maskman originally, mostly because of the filler (it was my first 80s Sentai at that point I'd only watched Dekaranger onwards) and also because of the crappy subs and sub par video quality but since I watched it with better subs and paid more attention to it I've got a lot more respect for it, I found the actual filler eps highly enjoyable, the mecha fights were pretty darn good as well.

I suppose my least favourite from what I've seen is probably Sun Vulcan even though I enjoyed I don't really have an urge to go back and watch it like most shows.
 

Veryl

Member
I have a feeling I'll be flamed for this but...

ToQger is my favourite Sentai series. The last couple episodes have been pretty boring, but I've been having a lot of fun watching it overall.

Another unpopular opinion but...I think people severely overrate the significance of writing in Sentai. There's limits to what writers can do based on the toys they are given to play with, literally and figuratively. I really don't understand why writing is so scrutinized in Sentai compared to Rider (in general), there's a lot more flexibility in Rider (adult characters, arc structure, more out-of-suit/non voice exclusive actors to work with). I think Kobayashi has done an admirable job with ToQger. Every character has entertaining arcs that pays off slowly throughout the series. Whilst maintaining an interesting overarching plot that actually progresses! The majority of it is very well and carefully crafted, with a few hiccups along the way.

Correct me if I'm wrong, "writing" in Sentai and Rider is meant to provide a path and a direction for a story. The main draw for these shows are the suits, the action. Otherwise there are plenty of dramas and television shows that explore themes much more in-depth. Therefore, writing should enhance and complement this idea that it's about "SENTAI!" and "RIDERS!" or superheroes! Or at the very least meld and complement each other (Shinken, W) I know that's a contentious point, and it is in no way absolute, nor have I conveyed that argument well. HOWEVER it needs to be kept in mind as I express my own opinion on ToQger. And in that sense ToQger has done a fantastic job, its a lot of fun!

That and many other shows are pretty much determined by the character setting and the toy line. If Tokacchi's a dork he's going to stay a dork, or else he's someone he's not. Honestly the biggest payoff every year for me in Sentai, is seeing them go from crappy actors to serviceable ones. It makes such a huge difference in their characters (Alata from Goseiger ep 1 to the finale). It depends so much on things outside of the writer's control. In regards to toy line we remember the minor hiccup with Baron getting Lemon Energy, it wasn't very clear in the context of the show how that's possible. But Baron needed an upgrade, so...tada! (They should have just spread out Jimber upgrades to everyone, easy to make)

Honestly, I feel OP's complaint can be applied to any Sentai series. That's really not what I'm looking for from Sentai.

The cast of ToQger are a bunch of morons. And that's exactly why I like them, it conveys the spirit of Sentai, they're not "adults". They're a group of innocent "kids" that received these superpowers and are trying to make a difference in people's lives whilst saving their hometown. That's why it feels like they're your buddies and they're the good guys, defenders of justice!

That's not to say it's not "dark" the collateral building damage and "deaths" in most Sentai puts something as "dark" as Gaim to shame. The tone doesen't necessarily determine whether it's a serious show or not. This modern day obsession in media for stuff that "appears" to be dark at face value is getting really old, it's also pretty lazy. The themes they expressed early on with the villains were dark as hell. The stuff they do to drive people to despair ranges from as innocent as toothaches to kidnapping children, or forcing people to duel each other. There's already been a bunch of episodes with "if you don't do X by a certain time, you're alllllll going to die". The politics of the villains has also been wonderful to watch. Mamoru Miyano as Baron Nero has been great, and Zett oh my god Zett is my favourite Sentai villain. What a badass.

With a concept like trains, there is no cultural or historical treasure trove of drama you can delve in to like Samurai, Ninja's or sentient Car animals ;). Train otaku aside lol. Early on, the idea of transferring, passes and colour changes was fresh and new. It helps to offset some of the staleness that comes when you run out of power ups in the show.

My biggest issue with ToQger is that the toy line really slowed down in the second half. The Hyper powerup is a really boring and safe choice. There's no reason for it to be user exclusive besides "Oh Shinkenger had it, Kobayashi's the writer, makes sense" but it actually made sense in Shinkenger thematically. For this it just feels like a present/reward for whoever has a character episode that week. Good job! you get to take the shiny golden train for a spin! Or at the very least put more work into it than just a plastic golden chest piece.

Mecha! clusterfuck. In the span of about 10 episodes we've seen a bunch of collective mecha upgrades. It's gotten bigger and bigger and bigger, to the points where it's like oh cmon now. Again, I don't know whether it's tradition or not (Kobayashi did Shinkenger, therefore 6 member team!), but a 7th ranger or something similar would have been a decent alternative to rushing out mecha. It fits as well, the idea of the 7 colours of the Rainbow Line. Holding out for Zett to be a Purple ToQger :D.

I often feel I have such polarizing opinions to the Sentai fan community on writing and evaluating the "light hearted fun Sentai". So maybe it's just me. I mean, to everyone's horror. Goseiger IS my second favourite Sentai series...(gasp).
 
Veryl; noone is gonna flame you, don't worry :)
Btw, which sentai series have you watched so far? because of course, if you've watched only recent ones, your opinion is more understandable.
Besides, I don't think that a sentai has to be "dark" to be good; and indeed, Toqger's concepts are very creepy.
Oh, in sentai history, the heroes are mostly young adults, not kids, lol. And you're right that the action and the suits are an important draw, but I feel that in that regard, old toku were better in bringing great action, by having the main cast having an action background as well, and doing out of suit stunts.
I don't agree with you when you say that my complain about Toqger can be applied to every sentai : Toqger's main heroes are on average less interesting than most teams. While it's true that some early sentai didn't focus much on the heroes's personalities (Sun Vulcan comes to mind), they were more action oriented, had more serious plots and the actors were usually better than those we have now.
Indeed, an interesting point is Toqger is the complex rivalries within the Shadow, and Toqger is one of the recent sentai series which gives the villains the most focus and plots ; and in a paradoxical way, it harms somewhat the series, because the heroes are pretty much overshadowed by the antagonists.
You're right that Sentai and Rider aren't the kind of shows where complex drama is too much required; but, as Gaim showed, it can bring a lot.
 

Painted_Outlaw

The new Tendou Souji
If Tokacchi's a dork he's going to stay a dork, or else he's someone he's not. Honestly the biggest payoff every year for me in Sentai, is seeing them go from crappy actors to serviceable ones.

That's kinda disrespectful to actors from the earlier shows where yes, characters did develop and yes, the actors did (as far as I know) have prior acting experience before being cast in a Sentai show.

In regards to toy line we remember the minor hiccup with Baron getting Lemon Energy, it wasn't very clear in the context of the show how that's possible. But Baron needed an upgrade, so...tada! (They should have just spread out Jimber upgrades to everyone, easy to make)
It was done because Yutaka Kobayashi (Kaito's actor) was popular.

The cast of ToQger are a bunch of morons. And that's exactly why I like them,
So, every Sentai hero needs to be a "moron" for you to like them? That's swell.

My biggest issue with ToQger is that the toy line really slowed down in the second half.
You'd think that'd be a good thing 'cause then they can focus on story? Oh right, $$$.
 
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Shougo B'Stard

Would like to change his avatar
It's just not a good show. And although I really don't like the show, I'll point out a few things I DO like -- or liked.

-Zet could be a really cool villain, and I think the actor is doing a good job, but he's stuck as a Kobayashi creation, meaning he's a villain who's only going to sit and mope until the final stretch. I still sort of like him, though, and would probably buy a Figuarts of his monster form.

-Akira. Sure, the writers have gotten lazy and one-note with him, but he does have an interesting background, and I love that he's a kind of spoof of the usual death-obsessed, loner extra heroes.

-The whole idea of the show COULD and SHOULD be good, but there's just a laziness all around. Sure, it could be episodic, but the idea of a Sentai riding around and ridding villages of bad guys? That's cool sounding, it sounds like a Western. But you never get the sense these bad guys are doing any damage, and the heroes never seem all that present and compelled to fight them. It's always just "OMG! This town's been taken over by the Shadow Line!" And then, ha-ha, poor Right can't finish eating. That's about it, every single episode. Heroes using imagination, that should be showcasing some crazy new stuff that you can't see in any other toku. It's all such a waste.

Also, the cast of heroes is just weak. (Especially Tokkachi. He's the worst actor Sentai's seen in a while. Like, Saizou bad.) Good actors can take underwritten roles like these and make them something, but these characters are even less than underwritten. I'm against kid heroes, but at this point in the show, I've wondered if it would have been better had the kid versions of the characters just been the regular cast. The kids, sadly, are better actors than their grown-up counterparts.

I tried, really hard, to go easy on this show, because I liked Utsunomiya's other Sentai shows, and it really gave a stink of Goseiger, which DID end up being slightly watchable halfway through, even if not all that great in the end. But ToQger's far past that point, and as you look over it, doesn't it seem like it's not gone anywhere? Could you imagine wanting to buy the Blu-rays and rewatch this show? More than even Goseiger, which had producer burn-out and behind-the-scenes problems, I feel like ToQger is basically on the air just for the sake of it. Toei, the writers, the staff, they've taken the year off as this show just sails by on auto-pilot, hoping the train gimmick will be enough to get by.
 

Veryl

Member
Veryl; noone is gonna flame you, don't worry :)
Btw, which sentai series have you watched so far? because of course, if you've watched only recent ones, your opinion is more understandable.

I don't agree with you when you say that my complain about Toqger can be applied to every sentai : Toqger's main heroes are on average less interesting than most teams. While it's true that some early sentai didn't focus much on the heroes's personalities (Sun Vulcan comes to mind), they were more action oriented, had more serious plots and the actors were usually better than those we have now.

I've seen Bioman, Flashman (Prism Flash! <3) and a good chunk, or have finished everything from Go-onger to ToQger. The rest I saw as a kid through Power Rangers (MMPR to uh what was it called "Operation Overdrive" (Boukenger)) but I don't know if that counts.

I feel you have an excellent point though, I'm not familiar with earlier sentai such as Sun Vulcan or Jetman. I really respect the fans of those "Showa" shows because they paved the way for tokusatsu shows today, so I don't have a right to say it's better or worse than what it used to be. In that context, I think it's fair to judge ToQger by those high standards set by Sentai overall, but in the era we live in, I personally feel Sentai is a very different show in some aspects. And we need to adapt our evaluations based on what defines the shows today. Especially because we understand how these shows are created. My thoughts were from the perspective of someone who has really only seen Go-onger and onward (Flash and Bio were as a kid) so its in more of a modern context and smaller scope. So it is a very fair way of analyzing it if you have a broader understanding of Sentai and I absolutely respect that!

That's kinda disrespectful to actors from the earlier shows where yes, characters did develop and yes, the actors did (as far as I know) have prior acting experience before being cast in a Sentai show.

It was done because Yutaka Kobayashi (Kaito's actor) was popular.

So, every Sentai hero needs to be a "moron" for you to like them? That's swell.

You'd think that'd be a good thing 'cause then they can focus on story? Oh right, $$$.

I planned on responding earlier, but I got timed out on my phone at work T_T.

I feel that you're completely misunderstanding my points by misreading or skimming them and if I've offended you as a result of that I really do apologize. But allow me to clarify.

1. I never stated that Sentai does not have character development or that it doesen't matter. I used the example of Tokacchi who is my favourite ToQger character. He will always be the clumsy guy in the team. That won't change that is his ROLE. Therefore I feel you can see a more rewarding change through the performances they give over the course of the show. It adds another dimension to appreciate. A large part of "character development" is in the actor becoming more comfortable in their roles. A tonal shift on the level of say, Kouta's transformation in Gaim. Isn't something you can really expect from modern Sentai. Therefore I feel you can appreciate chara dev in a different way.

It isn't a sweeping statement that all Sentai actors are of poor quality. I should have worded it better, but I never said all actors or specific actors are poor, just that those that are, are fun to watch develop. I didn't mention any actor besides Alata (Yudai Chiba) from Goseiger, who was brand newto acting. A lot of people who dislike Alata and Goseiger put a lot of that dislike into Yudai Chiba's performance, but I feel he becomes a competent red by the end of the show. His character does not change, his actor grows tremendously and it makes a huge difference.

I don't see what is so disrespectful about appreciating how much better someone becomes by the end of the show. Especially when the vast majority didn't even bother to pay attention to it (they didn't finish Goseiger, which is fine). The popular opinion is that it is unarguable that young actors can develop their skills over the course of a sentai or rider series. Even those that were already competent have been launched into stardom as a result (Tori, Takeru Sato).

2. And? I was well aware of that, that is something that Urobuchi Gen cannot control, nor decide. It fits my point that writers have less power in dictating a show than we believe. It may not seem like a big deal, but it's an example that comes to mind. Especially because right after, we encounter the "other" Zangetsu Shin using the original driver. That's something Urobuchi planned in the context of the world he created. Giving Kaito an upgrade was not. Therefore the ideas clashed, although it isn't that big a deal.

3. Please don't put words in my mouth. Along with assuming broad sweeping statements, if the word "moron" is offensive then I apologize, but it's to contrast the various posters who critique ToQger's quality. It is me trying to explain, yes they may not seem like characters of quality, but because they are to use a more appropriate term "silly" and it allows you to appreciate the show more in my opinion. If you had read what I wrote, I also stated they felt like my best friends, and defenders of justice. They are silly and fun and characters you can just love and support. That is their charm. People call it "characters without depth" I call them "morons" in a playful manner (they're so silly!). I love these characters. Their shenanigans in the show are delightful (the crossdressing cosplaying, the eating, the shopping sprees, being clueless about the world). When I was only talking about ToQger and as a hardcore fan, I don't see what you need to be worked up about.

4. Like it or not, I don't think I need to go through the beaten to death argument of oh well they need toy sales, therefore what can we do? that doesen't mean a skilled writer can't utilize the tools at their disposal, which includes characters and their arsenals. I'm with the rest of you, it can get a bit much (40 switch Fourze T_T), but they can either be throwaways or actually parts of the story that make sense! Like in Shinkenger, the coat power up fit thematically and it was very cool. It emphasized power and leadership. ToQger's is...a golden train chestplate? Whaa?

Again, I don't wish for anyone to misinterpret what I said. So if I did say something that seemed unpleasant I really do apologize. I was just trying to provide my thoughts on a show that the majority of fans overlook, so please try to look at it from the view of a fan that loves the silly characters in ToQger and is having a blast watching it every week!
 

Ivanhobe

The Extraordinary Fan(boy)
Oh, and which sentai series do you see in high regard?

Well, there are the obvious ones like Shinkenger and Dekaranger, but as i said i really enjoy Go-Onger; it is campy as all hell, but i love campiness so i find it to be a really fun show.

Going into more classic shows i also really like Dairanger, mostly because of the incredible action and the amazing character arcs, though not all of them are great, like the development of Ryo´s during the first half of the show (it gets really good during the second half) or the entirety of the Kibaranger/Kou Storyline.

I also have a weird relationship with SunVulcan, like, the show is certainly showing signs of age and i have to admit that there were moments where it got unninteresting for me, but in retrospective there were a lot of things in it that i really enjoyed, like the way Black Magma "evolved" throughout the series or anything that involved captain Arashiyama.

Also, it must be said that very few shows get me as pumped up as SunVulcan whenever the main theme starts playing during the battles. Seriously, if anything the fights on that show were amazing.

There is also the controversial GoBusters which i must say i thoroughly enjoyed during its first half, it even came this close to become my favorite sentai ever, but with all the retoolings and what not i can hardly say that it feels like a complete product.

And that brings me to my favorite Super Sentai season ever: Gekiranger.

I might be a bit biased about it since it was the very first Sentai i ever watched, but being a big fan of martial arts this show was pretty much tailor-made for me. It´s been a while since i last watched so i wouldn´t dare to go into much detail about it, but while i can say that the show certainly has a few issues (Ran and Retsu not being all that interesting for example), the way the show handled the growth of the character´s power levels allowed for some truly epic moments, and that is something i feel very few shows, Sentai or not, have achieved.

I could go into more detail about other seasons, but i don´t want this post to be 5000 words long :laugh:
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
Oh I get it. It just doesn't hold any water for me outside of superficial aspects. Wizard never at once felt like a Showa show; dressing it up as one doesn't make it so in substance.

I agree, but that does not change the fact that Haruto was still developed as much as Kotaro (and Kotaro is my favorite Rider, so that is saying something).

Now these two paragraphs together make absolutely no sense. How does your put-down of ToQger (of which you have barely even seen) not apply as much, if not more to the Kyoryuger characters?? Kyoryuger is as though everyone is Conductor, Ticket and Wagon x10.

Because the Kyoryugers did not act like they all had ADHD and forgot to take their adderall.
 

Shougo B'Stard

Would like to change his avatar
Because the Kyoryugers did not act like they all had ADHD and forgot to take their adderall.

Kingoo certainly did, and since he's the star, the show suffered for it -- he took everything down with him. Daigo was the first stupid, pulled-from-an-anime Red since Sousuke/Go-on Red. I thought we were finally rid of those...
 

chronoxiong

Digital Artist
It is boring to me. I don't feel excited to watch it. Even when I do watch it, it feels like a chore. Disappointing show and I wonder how Saban will adapt assuming it doesn't get skipped.
 

Painted_Outlaw

The new Tendou Souji
I don't see what is so disrespectful about appreciating how much better someone becomes by the end of the show.

There's nothing wrong with that but.. what I read was "Honestly the biggest payoff every year for me in Sentai, is seeing them go from crappy actors to serviceable ones." implying that if the actor's already good (and stays good) then it's well, not as good a result to you -- which is why I thought it was kinda lame to say since it'd blow off a lot of toku actors.

2. And? I was well aware of that, that is something that Urobuchi Gen cannot control, nor decide.
They way you worded it, it sounded like you didn't know why it happened. Simple mistake there.

4. Like it or not, I don't think I need to go through the beaten to death argument of oh well they need toy sales, therefore what can we do?
I was just being a jerk about that... I don't like the toy onslaught either but I know if I posted something negative about them, someone would chime in with some giant guilt trip like "They need toy money though, do you want toku to die!?" or whatever.
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
Kingoo certainly did, and since he's the star, the show suffered for it -- he took everything down with him. Daigo was the first stupid, pulled-from-an-anime Red since Sousuke/Go-on Red. I thought we were finally rid of those...

Yes, but that is only one ranger out of all 10. All of the ToQGers act like that. I had already said Daigo was my only issue with Kyoryuger. The thing is though, Kyoryuger was 90% story driven as it really only had filler like every 6-7 episodes, and that filler would only be 1-2 episodes.
 

Black Fang

Active Member
Yes, but that is only one ranger out of all
10.

They all did it to varying degrees. The whole show is one big sugar rush.

All of the ToQGers act like that.

No they don't. What show are you watching?

The thing is though, Kyoryuger was 90% story driven.

A very "we're not even hiding it" derivative story that sometimes felt like clip shows of other Sentais with different actors. (Someone might argue that they could be homages, but that's not how they felt when I watched it. It just left me going, for example, "why are they copying Loki's story from Gaoranger right down to having a Pteradeinoh Evil?") But even saying that, the show is less story-driven than it is a reverse Dairanger, where we take breaks from the zaniness to focus on story, and then back to regularly scheduled wacky hijinks.
 

kuroihikari

Member
Or maybe we just don't care what those other Sentai did because they were more than 10 years ago?

Do you realistically think any Sentai writer/producer will come to the drawing table, write out a scene based on some formula, and think that "Oh, but those adults will surely complain about how it's been done better before, let's think of something else"? They're not going to do that. It's a colossal waste of time.
 

Black Fang

Active Member
Your condescending attitude doesn't contribute anything to the thread.

I've explained over and over what I mean by Kyoryuger's choice of method of repetition, and you continually refuse to get it.
 

kuroihikari

Member
Your condescending attitude doesn't contribute anything to the thread.

I've explained over and over what I mean by Kyoryuger's choice of method of repetition, and you continually refuse to get it.

I get it just fine, and I still know it's a such an irrelevant nitpick to make. Sometimes you make a valid criticism, but most of the time it's the same of these nitpicks that absolutely make no sense. Or sometimes you totally not get it at all.

Keeping on comparing 2010+ Sentai to late 1990s and early 2000s Sentai is such a pointless exercise. When that's the crux of your criticism, I'll keep on pointing it out.

And it's not like you're even comparing technical merits or whatnot. It's just such subjective incoherent trash like "It's an exact copy but it's different in many ways but the old one just did it better. I'm just gonna call it a ripoff nonetheless", or "These characters are all annoying".
 

Black Fang

Active Member
Well I can call your constant wave-offs of certain criticisms as "the kids like it, you people act like 17-year olds, get over yourselves" trash too. But that won't get us anywhere, would it?
 

Toku Prime

Well-Known Member
Another unpopular opinion but...I think people severely overrate the significance of writing in Sentai. There's limits to what writers can do based on the toys they are given to play with, literally and figuratively.
I think we (and I'm absolutely including myself in this) often forget that the roles of staff members on Sentai are not quite the same as with western TV shows. It's the series' producer that makes most of the main creative decisions, and the writer takes those ideas (plus the basic Sentai episode formula) and turns them into individual episodes. Sure there's a bit of back and forth, but ultimately the writer is largely bound by what the producer wants to do. And the producer's job is to make 3-5 year old kids want to buy Bandai products. That's the yardstick they are measured by. It's also the fire a lot of senior staffers were forged in during the 90s, when Sentai's financial success saved it from going the way of Metal Hero and the Fushigi Comedies (and later driven home again by the Hibiki screwjob).

As fans we always want Sentai to appeal to our (older) demographic and push the envelope. But that's not what the show exists to do and it doesn't really surprise me when a show (like ToQger) doesn't do that. Plus I have a certain fondness for a half hour sugar rush :sweat:
 

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