Every so often in the world of comic books a new series starts to gain momentum before being roped into some unnecessary crossover storyline that completely sidelines everything you liked about the book to begin with. This phenomenon made me a little worried about this weeks ToQger as it teamed up with the other show in its programing block, Kamen Rider Gaim. If you're wondering about the difference between the two series. Gaim is a bit more serious in tone and has a lot more characters to juggle. Now I've been watching Gaim for a while now, though I had no plans of covering it on this site. Also I didn't worry as much about it's progress getting screwed up since it has a greater amount of story under its belt, but even with that I had to sweat it a little as this team-up is also serving as a prologue to a movie. Yeah folks, this is continuity the way only the Japanese can handle it. Lucky for us it was also a nice spot of fun. There's a lot to cover so let's get going.
We start our tale with the ToQgers arriving in Zawame city, only to be surprised at there being no Shadow Line activity like their usual stops. In fact; the normal villains don't even make a cameo in this one. Instead We have the Badan Underground Empire. This is apparently a reference to an older Kamen Rider series. Can't say as I've seen very much Rider material so a lot of that stuff just kinda washed over me. Anywho, these Badan guys try to dig up some of their buddies which accidentally unleashes creatures called Invess. Those are the normal critter of the week types for Gaim. Naturally our heroes chase the bad guys away.
From her on we get some different character groupings like our two ToQ girls and Gaim's Mei forming an absolute buffet of women. For as many people as they have to work with this is really the Right and Kouta show. Both Lead heroes take the vast majority of screen time for both halves of the special. Think of it like the first Expendables flick only Jason Staham is a fruit samurai and Stallone runs around in red train tights.....maybe you shouldn't think about that.
Kouta thinks that his towns problems are something for him to deal with and Right & his buddies should continue on their own adventure. Of course Right won't have it that way, so the rest of the first half is our heroes working over the various villains and introducing Zawame city to its first giant robot battle.
Of course this couldn't be a true team-up special if it ended there so the added twist is that Kouta asks Right if they could take Mei with them so she can be safe from all the nuttiness around Zawame city. Poor Kouta doesn't realize that if the ToQgers are involved, kidnapping can't be far behind.
After sneaking off the train, Mei is immediately snatched up by Badan ushering in our smaller second half where a handful of the different riders along with Right try to save the girl. I should mention that the three riders involved all have something for her, which I won't judge them on since she is a total cutie. However; there is a nice selection of girls floating around their show so you'd think one of these guys might fawn over them instead. Ah well.
The last bit of the story comes around when during the final fight the kids get smacked down by someone known as Kamen Rider Fifteen. He doesn't get to dish out too much damage since the original three showa riders show up to fight him.
Before long all of these extra riders hightail it, providing just enough hints about the upcoming crossover movie. In the end. Monsters are slain, chicks are rescued, and small friendships are formed. Each of our heroes admires what the other one has before they get back to their normal antics.
Overall, can't hold much against this spring break special. Characterization was fairly consistent, though Kagura seemed more earily childlike than usual. Can't really say how well the Gaim side of things blended in since I'm about nine episodes behind. Fans of that show might be upset that this whole thing seems more like a big ToQger episode than a proper mixture. I guess it's pretty fair since the oncoming movie is going to be almost exclusively focused on the Kamen Rider side of things. Sadly I won't be able to judge how it all works in context with the movie because there probably wont be a fansub of that floating around until at least some time in the summer.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go congratulate myself for finishing this during what has been a really strange week. If things return to normal soon enough I'll come back with something about candy. If not.....well Kagura's gonna dress up like a ninja next week.