Marchioness Mork and Baron Nero, still very much alive, are at Castle Terminal. They see that the Emperor’s deepening darkness has made it all beautifully dense all around them. Nero is concerned the Emperor will just attack them again if they go to see him now, but Mork says it’s just because the Emperor was unable to contain his new power. If he really wanted to kill tem, he would’ve done it already.
They head to the throne room and find Zett sitting on the floor, darkness continuing to emanate from him. Mork asks if he is still obsessed with the shining shimmering splendid. Zett admits he will never be able to grab it, but he still wants it.
Nero asks why the Emperor wants it so much. Mork has a theory, but she wants to confirm it first.
Meanwhile, Ticket announces the Resshas have arrived at Subarugahama! Kagura excitedly exits and is in the Subarugahama Shopping District.
She happily runs through the streets and toward what she says is her home. It is above a restaurant which her family seemingly owns. She runs upstairs and finds her father, mother and little brother Daiki on her back. She quickly hugs them.
But they have no idea who she is even when she tells them she is their daughter. They end up kicking her out since the restaurant is not open yet. She bangs on the door trying to get them to open up, but head back up to the 2nd floor.
That’s when Kagura wakes up. It was just a bad dream. Next to her at the table are sleeping Akira, Conductor and Ticket. Wagon comes in and tells her she’ll catch a cold if she sleeps here.
Hikari looks over, but the Resshas are suddenly under attack. They come to a screeching halt as a Shadow Creep calls them out.
Hikari calls Right, Tokatti and Mio who are out for a run.
Hikari, Kagura and Akira hurry out and henshin to face Dollhouse Shadow and some Kuros. Akira says to be careful as he’s never seen this Shadow before.
Dollhouse Shadow taps Kagura on the shoulder and she turns around to find he’s holding an actual dollhouse. The door on its balcony opens and Kagura begins to get sucked in. Hikari runs over and tries to grab Kagura, but they both get sucked into the dollhouse.
Right, Tokatti and Mio arrive and they quickly try to get to Hikari and Kagura. Akira runs over to help, but Dollhouse Shadow kicks him in the balls.
Dollhouse Shadow manages to escape.
Inside the dollhouse, Hikari and Kagura wake up. They run around the house to try and find a way out. But all the doors are sealed shut. They henshin to try and blast through the doors, but it doesn’t last more than a few seconds.
They head back to the door they came through and it opens, but Dollhouse Shadow is right there. He blows at them and then shakes the entire dollhouse, tossing Hikari and Kagura around the room.
Hikari’s kendama falls out of his pocket while Kagura loses a shoe through the door which returns to normal size as soon as it’s out of the dollhouse.
Dollhouse Shadow shuts the door again and tells the Kuros to hurry preparing a fire pit.
At the Castle, Nero asks Mork what the goal of this plan is. She turns to Zett and asks if he remembers swallowing up a town when the Castle was used. He doesn’t remember and Nero says that’s natural since Zett was still in the deep darkness at that time.
Mork says it was clearly Zett’s darkness that was used to swallow up the town. The town that coincidentally the ToQgers are from.
That makes Zett think. He remembers when he had Right prisoner and told him about seeing a shining sparkle similar to Right’s while he was trapped in the darkness.
Back on the Resshas, they wonder if Zett was behind this. But Right says it doesn’t seem like his style. Akira suggests Mork or Nero who he says wouldn’t die so easily, referring to Zett attacking them earlier.
Anyway, Right says they just have to save Hikari and Kagura no matter what.
“If anything happens to Hikari and Kagura… I’ll make them pay.”
Akira observes Right and is unsure what he’s seeing. But suddenly, Dollhouse Shadow broadcasts an announcement that he’ll be burning the dollhouse with Hikari and Kagura in it in 5 minutes. So they need to hurry over to the location.
Dollhouse Shadow turns an hourglass and a very determined Right storms out of the Resshas. The others follow. They henshin as they run through the forest fighting off Kuros.
The hourglass is still half full and Dollhouse Shadow takes the dollhouse over to the fire.
Hikari and Kagura wake up. Kagura picks up Hikari’s kendama and hands it to him. He walks over to open the doors and sees they’re already above the fire. Dollhouse Shadow shakes them again and this time, seals the doors with a piece of tape.
There’s still sand left in the hourglass, but Dollhouse Shadow puts it on the fire anyway.
Kagura feels the floor and it’s hotter now. Hikari tries pushing the doors open a little and he sees they’ve already been placed on the fire. There’s no way they can just jump out.
Hikari tries to think. He peeks outside again and sees Kagura’s shoe that flew out earlier. He’s got an idea.
Hikara asks Kagura to help him tie his replacement kendama strings together into one long string. They’ve got to try something, at least, so they can have a chance to go home, right?
Kagura stays silent. Hikari notices and asks what’s wrong. She’s been acting weird all day.
Kagura tells him about her dream and how scared she is her family won’t recognize her. She knew it was a possibility, but it wasn’t until she saw it with her own eyes in her dream that it really hit her.
Hikari says it’ll be okay, but he’s not really sure what to say.
Smoke starts entering the dollhouse as it begins to be engulfed in flames. Right and the others have finally arrived.
Hikari has finished tying the longer string onto his kendama. He turns to Kagura.
“Kagura, you once said that this kendama is probably from someone close to me. You’re right.”
Hikari says the kendama is from his grandmother. His mother would usually come home late. And before he joined their class, he didn’t have many friends.
He remembers the night his grandmother gave him the kendama and his mother coming home.
Since then, Hikari has wanted to protect his grandmother and mother. In fact, he wished to become stronger on the night of the festival. That’s why he doesn’t consider becoming an adult all that bad, even if it means they won’t recognize him. Because now, he’ll be able to protect them.
The room starts burning. Hikari tells Kagura to hold on to him tight. This is their only chance.
Hikari turns to Kagura. She says she too will protect her family.
Kagura runs over and puts her arms around Hikari’s waist.
Right and the others are finishing off the Kuros when the dollhouse and platform flares up one last time before everything is reduced to a pile of ashes.
The ToQgers can’t believe it. Dollhouse Shadow says he started early because he got bored.
Zett and Mork are watching from a nearby cliff.
Right’s is filled with anger. Suddenly, a small bit of darkness emanates from Right. Akira sees. As does Mork and Zett.
But the ToQgers are shocked when Hikari and Kagura pop in, perfectly fine. Kagura says it was Hikari’s kendama that saved them. Hikari had thrown his kendama’s ball out the door and the weight of the then-enlarged ball pulled them right out.
Dollhouse Shadow charges, but the ToQgers shoot. Kagura and Hikari are able to knock him around and tee him up for Right to deliver a Hyper Red Ressha Last Stop Crash.
As Dollhouse Shadow embiggens, the ToQgers hop into Cho Cho ToQ Dai-Oh. Dollhouse Shadow has another dollhouse and he uses it to suck Cho Cho ToQ Dai-Oh right into it.
But Hikari makes sure to drag Dollhouse Shadow right along with them.
They fight Dollhouse Shadow, but the knight armor comes to life to help. The ToQgers easily take care of the armor and turn their attention back to Dollhouse Shadow.
The ToQgers deliver an Imagination Express to finish off Dollhouse Shadow for good. They burst out of the dollhouse and are back to normal size.
Back on the ground, Mork says there’s no doubt about it anymore. The reason Zett is drawn to the shining shimmering splendid sparkles is because of… ToQ 1gou!
While the ToQgers celebrate, Akira thinks over what he saw from Right earlier.
Great episode! Finally, we get to see Hikari and Kagura’s family/backstory. Kind of sad the 4th and 5th ranked members of the team had to share an episode. But it definitely worked in how it played out and of course, from a shipping perspective. (Hehe.)
The flashbacks will be one of my favorite parts of the season. They really helped fill out each character as well as reaffirm what they’re fighting for. Also clearly touching on the fact that they may not return to being kids at the end (though they probably will) is a great story point.
Having Kagura be the most afraid of not being recognized by her family was the perfect choice as she’s the youngest (acting) of the group. And Hikari’s backstory with his mother and grandmother and wanting to protect them fits perfectly with Hikari’s personality as well. Just great character stuff from both of them this week.
As for darkRight, it should be very interesting to finally see what his connection to Zett is and what Zett’s ultimate possible connection to the ToQgers and/or Subarugahama is.
Now I wasn’t sure about Nero and Mork as I thought they too died, but it wasn’t ever clear. I’m glad Kobayashi addressed that (deliberate) uncertainty this episode.
Dollhouse Shadow is another amazingly designed monster from this season. And ZOMG! That mecha battle INSIDE the dollhouse?! Can anyone tell me if this is the first time a mecha battle has taken place anywhere other than the mountains/forest or the city? That was very fun. Especially seeing the mecha suits in a normal-sized context. (And in Dr. Maki’s freaky house, no less. lol)
Gah. 4 episodes left! *sniff*