Wagon rolls her cart into the main car and asks the ToQgers if they’re interested in some bento or candy. But they are intensely focused on looking through books and maps for Subarugahama.
Hanging out with Akira as he inspects the Resshas, Conductor and Ticket know the ToQgers are in for a shock when they realize the reason they can’t find their town anywhere is because of its fate after being swallowed by darkness.
Conductor and Ticket confirm to the ToQgers that their town is as good as gone and the fact that they can’t find it on any map is proof of that. Mio says this never happened with the other towns they’ve passed through after being infiltrated by the Shadow Line.
Ticket says that’s only because the Shadow Kaijin were still creating darkness. Once the humans stop producing darkness, the town is completely swallowed by the darkness and becomes part of the Shadow Line with no means to reach it.
But they do, Akira says. He has a way to get them on the Shadow Line. Conductor and Ticket think it is too dangerous for them to go in just yet, but the ToQgers insist.
Akira says they must find a junction point, a switch the Shadow use to get to the surface or to trespass onto the Rainbow Line. They appear irregularly, so they need a Shadow Line train to find one.
Luckily, they have a Shadow Line train; Drill Ressha.
Meanwhile, Zett has returned to the Castle. Baron Nero happily welcomes him and wishes him good tidings of darkness and light. Zett is amused by Nero’s change of opinion. Nero says he realized how gobbling up all the sparkling shining brightness will actually help them flood the land with darkness.
Madame Noire agrees. She glides in.
Zett approaches her and says he compliments her having the cajones to even show her face to him. She admits she lost, but she at least wants to thank him.
Madame Noire bows, but quickly pulls out a knife and tries to stab Zett right in the gut. He blocks it and grabs her wrist.
“What a fancy way of showing thanks.”
“Indeed. It’s filled with the loss of my dreams and daughter.”
“You’re the one who gave me Gritta,” Zett says, stroking the white feathers on his shoulder pad. He transforms into his Shadow form and grabs the knife from Noire, shoving her to the ground.
“Her sparkle existed for my sake,” Zett adds. “Actually, it still does.”
Madame Noire is taken aback.
“Why don’t I make you my next queen? Maybe you might be able to eat me up?”
Baron Nero gloats. Looks like you’ll have to choose between bowing down or dying.
Madame Noire kneels and apologizes, “I will never defy you again.”
“I hope so,” Zett says as he tosses the knife to the floor and he and Nero walk away.
Akira’s found a junction. He pulls a lever and a Shadow Line track appears which should lead them to a Shadow town.
He warns them to look out for an overseer and the ToQgers go full speed ahead into the Shadow Line.
The arrival of a Rainbow Line train entering the Shadow Line is announced at the Castle. Baron Nero cannot believe this and he storms out to take care of them. Zett calmly lounges on his throne.
“He’s always so loud.”
He turns to the mirror, “I wonder how your general is doing?” Gritta appears over his reflection.
The ToQgers arrive in the Shadow Town, which seems normal at first until they find the people frozen in time.
That’s when they spot the overseer for this town, Keeper Rook.
The ToQgers henshin and do their roll call, but they suddenly de-henshin as they’re doing their final pose. Keeper Rook explains that with the town fully engulfed in the Shadow Line, Rainbow Line energy does not last long here.
Keeper Rook fires at them, but while Right, Tokacchi, Mio and Hikari jump out of the way, Kagura absorbs the brunt of the blast and gets thrown against a wall. Mio, Tokacchi and Hikari go whisk Kagura away while Right distracts Keeper Rook.
Keeper Rook orders the Kuros to find them.
Baron Nero finds Akira waiting at the junction. You’re too late, Akira says, the ToQgers are already in the Shadow Town. Nero says that’s okay since they can’t fight there anyway. What he really wants to take care of is Akira and his betrayal.
Akira henshins, promising to protect this spot until the ToQgers return.
The ToQgers hide under an overpass as Mio wraps up Kagura’s wound. Kagura apologizes for them having to fuss over her when they too are hurt, but they say it’s fine.
They are just sad that they didn’t know their limitations in coming to the Shadow Town. Hikari estimates they can only henshin for 30 seconds.
“Why did we waste our time posing!?”
Right says they must fight the overseer and defeat him for this town to return to normal. He tells Kagura to stay here, but she protests.
Kagura insists on coming with. Their own town is probably like this. Their family must be suffering as well, so she can’t just sit around and do nothing here. Okay, Right says. They’ll fight together and stay positive.
Hikari has a plan. The ToQgers rush the Kuros and fight their way through. Hikari proposes one of them uses all five of their Resshas to transfer so they can have five 30-second time allotments.
They run to find Keeper Rook. Hikari and Kagura stop and fight a group of Kuros after they toss Tokacchi and Mio their Resshas.
Right, Tokacchi and Mio continue on and Tokacchi and Mio stay with the next group of Kuros to be the badasses while Right parkours his way through a building.
Keeper Rook sees Right running towards him and sends a blast his way, but Right dodges it and henshins.
He henshins to Green then transfers to Pink, Yellow, Blue and finally Red after being able to get the upper hand on Keeper Rook. Right summons the Renketsu Bazooka and delivers a Shogi Rainbow Rush.
Keeper Rook’s first life is gone and the town is freed from the Shadow Line. Akira and Baron Nero see the city emerge from behind the shadows.
As Keeper Rook embiggens, the ToQgers reunite and pick Akira up.
Conductor is happy and relieved the ToQgers are back safe and they jump into Cho ToQ-Oh and Build Dai-Oh.
But Keeper Rook sticks his spear into the ground and Kuros come flying out of it, allowing him to embiggen even more.
The ToQgers decide to go Cho Cho ToQ-Dai-Oh and destroy the spear, forcing Keeper Rook to shrink back to regular embiggened size. The ToQgers deliver an Imagination Express and finish Keeper Rook off for good.
The townspeople are unfrozen and the town returns to normal. This gives the ToQgers hope that they can save their own town as well.
They resolve to continue traveling through more Shadow Towns to free them and hopefully find the junction that will lead to Subarugahama.
It was a solid episode with a lot of details and groundwork being laid for the future.
First, it suggests that no matter how deep in the darkness a town may be in, especially Subarugahama, they will be able to fight and free it.
Also, having Shadow Towns be wiped off maps and basically the face of the Earth is a creative way to keep the ToQgers’ search for their town going, even if they know their town’s name. It was creative, but it still made sense in the story. Akira showing them the junctions and all that also helped with world building.
Over at Castle Terminal, even after the huge events of the last few episodes, it looks like not much has actually changed when it comes to the power struggle within the top ranks of the Shadow Line. Only now, it will be a little more quietly done and even more behind the curtain scheming. We know Schwarz will pop up sooner or later. But it was nice to see that there is still a chance for Gritta to return. That maybe she actually is inside of Zett or even literally just in the feathers on his shirt. I see Madame Noire’s next objective would be to find a way to revive her daughter while simultaneously trying to get rid of Zett again.
Wagon was awesome, as always. But I liked Conductor and Ticket being overly cautious with the ToQgers and their going onto the Shadow Line. It gives me hope that there’s still secrets left to be found out, especially with Conductor and Ticket. (I hope!)
It was great to see Kagura’s imagination get fired up again. And also great to see Right realize that not everything is going to go his way, no matter how much he sees it in his mind.
Again for me, the fact that the ToQgers were actually childhood friends and how we get to see bits and pieces of memories that reaffirm their friendship almost every episode instantly makes me connect with them. I think they’ve done a good job too of also reaffirming their roles in the group.
So, overall, a good solid episode and I think definitely a needed breather from the events of the last few.