Recap: Ressha Sentai ToQger, Station (Episode) 23 – United Hand in Hand

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The ToQgers wake up in their now badly damaged Diesel, Tank and Car Carrier Resshas. Akira tells them he’ll try to do some quick fixes to them as soon as he gets Diesel-Oh up and running.

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Baron Nero is mourning his Emperor’s demise. Madame Noire calls him to pay his respects to the Empress who has just arrived. But Nero bravely approaches Gritta, saying he will never serve her. Gritta zaps him and Madame Noire laughs.

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Gritta looks at herself in the mirror, questioning who she really is.

The ToQgers leave the Resshas and they hear music. It is coming from a nearby festival for Sakuma Shrine. The sights, sounds and smells trigger fresh memories for the ToQgers.

They remember preparing lanterns and showing them to their family members. This is the first time they’ve missed their families as this is the first time they’ve even remembered them.

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Akira calls the ToQgers and says he’s almost done, but to be on the lookout for Schwarz nearby.

Right tells Akira they’ll buy him some time. They then remember how they would write their hopes and dreams onto the lanterns they had made, as was custom for their town’s festival. Zett’s words about them having been swallowed by darkness before now echo in their minds.

But no matter how scary or upsetting the memory of that night may be, Right says they should remember all of it, no matter what. It’ll be okay, Right says.

“No matter what happens, we won’t be alone.”

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They turn their attention to stopping Schwarz and to keep this town’s festival safe. The quicker they can do that, the faster they can get to looking for their town.

The ToQgers run through the nearby forest, attracting the Kuros and eventually Schwarz. But something doesn’t seem right. Schwarz realizes it’s not the five ToQgers fighting his Kuros. It is actually only Right who has been transferring lines this whole time.

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That allows the other four ToQgers to find the Resshas and they jump out of the bushes to take care of the Kuros guarding them.

While Right keeps Schwarz busy, the other four head into the Resshas to save Conductor, Ticket and Wagon. But…

Turns out, they actually have things under control.

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Schwarz gets the upper hand against Right, but a white line appears to signal the approaching Resshas. Mio and Tokacchi reach out of the speeding train to grab Right.

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Schwarz quickly summons his Kuliner and gets into robo mode.

Akira arrives with the other Resshas and they go Cho ToQ-Oh and Build Dai-Oh.

Schwarz charges against his two opponents and just then, Gritta’s drops his handkerchief.

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Madame Noire picks it up and says this is definitely not find for an Emperor, so she hands it to a Kuro to toss into the trash. But Gritta stops them, not completely sure why. Then, she remembers just who gave her that handkerchief, and sensing the bad omen, rushes out of the Castle.

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But Schwarz is having an easy time knocking the ToQgers around. He turns to Akira.

“We could have ruled the world together if you had stayed with the Shadow Line.”
“I care less about that than I do my own life!”
“Then just die then!”

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Just then, Gritta arrives in her Kuliner and goes robo. She wastes no time in sending a huge Darkness Fall toward them and they again go flying, the Resshas separating and the ToQgers getting hurled out of them.

They suddenly stop and they are faced again with the memories of their town being engulfed by darkness. But now, they also remember something else.

Young Right tells his friends it’ll be okay.

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“There’s nothing to fear when we’re together.”

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Just as the ToQgers grab each other’s hands in unity, the Resshas begin to link-up.

They face the memory of their town head-on and this time, they see clearly what they’ve been trying to remember all this time, the name of their town:

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The sight of their town’s name produces a rainbow of color to surround the ToQgers. Cho ToQ-Oh has just finished re-combining.

But Akira looks up and sees the rainbow surrounding the ToQgers. The ToQgers reach out and they grab Akira’s hands just as Cho ToQ-Oh combines with Diesel Ressha.

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The resulting combination shines brightly and Gritta suddenly feels a surge of energy through her body. A vision of Zett reaching for the light. “What was that?”

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“IMAGINATION!!!!!!” Conductor happily yells. He, Ticket and Wagon celebrate.

It’s Cho Cho ToQ-Oh! Ticket proclaims.
But Akira says no. It’s Cho Cho ToQ Dai-Oh!

Schwarz does not care and he charges toward the now more powerful opponent. The ToQgers block Schwarz’s attacks. Gritta revs up another Darkness Fall, but the ToQgers stop her too.

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The ToQgers prepare an Imagination Express finisher toward Schwarz, but Gritta throws her robo and herself in front of the incoming attack.

Gritta’s pre-Zett soul returns to the surface as she absorbs the ToQger’s punishing finisher.

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Both Gritta and Schwarz are thrown from their robos. He limps toward Gritta who he finds lying near the river.

She opens her eyes and expresses her relief that he is okay.

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But why, Schwarz says. He only used her.
Gritta says she only cares about helping him. She was her mother’s puppet, but she was able to make her own decisions whenever it was about Schwarz-sama. Just being close to him and talking with him made her happy.

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The ToQgers arrive and watch the scene.

“Even in the future…,” Gritta starts to say as she struggles to hand Schwarz his handkerchief.

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Suddenly, a hand breaks out of Gritta’s body and attacks Schwarz. She pleads with Schwarz to get away as something starts breaking free of her body.

The ToQgers watch in horror as an intense, huge energy bursts out of Gritta’s body. She screams in agony as her body explodes and out of it pops…

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“I finally got Gritta’s sparkle.”

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Schwarz realizes this was Zett’s plan all along. Yes, Zett admits. He wants a shining darkness.

He pulls out a sword and slashes at Schwarz. “Hey General. Your eyes sparkled a little just now.” Zett sends Schwarz into the river.

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Zett transforms back into his human form and tells the ToQgers that the first sparkling he ever saw was likely them. And it will be their shining shimmering splendid sparkle he will be taking next.

He summons his Kuliner and hops on, the train causing Gritta’ wedding dress and Schwarz’s handkerchief to go flying into the air.

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Later that evening, the ToQgers return to the festival.

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They’ve finally remembered, the star festival of Subarugahama.

They feel more contemplative than excited. Kagura is especially solemn,but Right pops up with some cotton candy and corn to lighten the mood.

“It’ll be okay as long as we’re together!”

Episode Thoughts
AMAZING. Absolutely loved this episode. The rush of different emotions through this episode was insane.

The emotional scenes of the ToQgers’ memories becoming more clear to that absolutely shocking and heartbreaking scene of Zett blowing up Gritta’s damn body. OMG. Like, seriously. What was that!? Poor Gritta.

That whole sequence, from the formation of Cho Cho ToQ Dai-Oh to Gritta throwing herself in the path of the new Imagination Express to Zett blowing her up was unbelievable. And again, all enhanced by the excellent soundtrack. The music is flawless this season. So perfect.

But sh*t, seriously. Zett bursting out of a screaming Gritta right as she is telling Schwarz how much he means to her with her dying breaths was one of the most disturbing and heartbreaking scenes I’ve ever seen. Damn.

This whole time, Gritta has been a very sympathetic character with the combination of her being her mother’s puppet, getting forced into a marriage with a strange guy addicted to light, having a childlike personality and experiencing unrequited love. I think we all knew she was going to sacrifice herself for her Schwarz-sama. But I don’t think anyone saw Zett breaking free of her body coming at all. That was probably one of the most disturbing and heartbreaking scenes I’ve ever seen. I hope she’s still alive somewhere, just as Schwarz is of course alive. Maybe she can break out of Zett’s body in the future.

And then of course the fun scenes with Wagon, Conductor and Ticket. And those rainbow scenes before Cho-Cho-ToQ-Dai-Oh’s first combination. So magical, right? Gritta’s Darkness Fall is truly terrifying though.

We’re definitely in the next arc of the season as the ToQgers have their biggest clue yet as to where their hometown is. But we still don’t know what actually happened to it and why the ToQgers found themselves on the Ressha.

I’ve loved the un-henshined fights lately. We haven’t really gotten a lot of big ones until these last two episodes. And they were definitely kick-ass awesome.
It’s also going to be interesting to see Madame Noire come face to face with Zett too. The Shadow Line dynamics has definitely been one of the season’s strong points.

But the ToQgers long journey home is still the main draw and this episode again reaffirmed just how affecting their story has been. Many people say Kobayashi is burned out, but she knows exactly what she’s doing. And she’s still telling great stories.

5 thoughts on “Recap: Ressha Sentai ToQger, Station (Episode) 23 – United Hand in Hand

  1. Wouldn’t be surprised if Gritta is indeed still alive somewhere. And here is an interesting thing to ponder on: Zett has a Human form, and then Akira is a former Shadow Line monster turned human. Then, is it possible that she would come back as a human? And to stretch it further, is it possible that she would become that speculated ToQ-7?

    1. Yeah, I’ve really been wondering about a ToQ-7. To complete the rainbow of course. If Kagura/pink substitutes for indigo, then a purple ToQger definitely needs to show up. What a waste of an opportunity if they didn’t (and of course, Bandai and Toei LOVE To milk as much money out of their shows. lol)

  2. Wow! So it much of been Hikari’s granddad who gave him the kendama. Also Hikari was with Kagura eeee! Damn Zett but his monster form is pretty sweet. So the mystery of episode 7 is solved

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