What’s it about ?
Sentai show with cool transforming cars.
Kakeru, our hotblooded young protagonist. Since this is The Future, all the cars come with an AI, which explains how he’s now getting his license despite being 14 at best. He’d probably have gotten it earlier if he wasn’t pissing off his teachers with his acrobatic (but perfectly mastered) driving. Anyway, the people in charge (pulling double duty as both school officials and members of the secret organisation that saves the world) have found a Rosetta-like stone prophetizing he’s the chosen one, and so give him a car that transforms into a giant robot so that he can fight off the baddies with it.
Rinne, his totally-girlfriend, is already an assistant teacher for driving classes despite not looking any older. (Her student looks 10 at most.) Also, did I mention she’s driving a Prius (c) (r) ™ ? She spends a good chunk of the episode in distress mode (mostly because she’s not at the wheel when the villains attack), but she gets her own transforming car/robot in the second episode.
In pure sentai tradition, the OP/ED show that the team is eventually going to be five-strong, with the fat-comic-relief, the stand-offish rival and the other girl presumably joining us soon.
Also in this episode : an over-enthusiastic TV reporter who spends all his screentime shouting exposition at us or telling us how awesome the action is.
Very nice : there’s way enough budget to sell the action sequences, whether the car chase scenes or the giant-robot fights. It’s obviously a toyetic tie-in to something, but at least they’re not half-assing it.
I have to admit I laughed out loud at the ED sequence taking the piss out of the current trend of CG dancing sequences.
What did I think of it ?
This is actually quite fun. It’s a nearly complete checklist of every single sentai cliché ever, but played with enough enthusiasm and energy to be watchable. (Although Jouji Nakata can’t pull off his “gung-ho old scientist” role to save his life.) Let’s be clear : despite not displaying a single original idea, this isn’t a “so bad it’s good” show ; it’s enjoyable unironically. There’s a reason those clichés were used in the first place, after all.
In less busy a season, I could have seen myself sticking with it in the long run ; as it is, I don’t think I’ll be watching beyond episode 2. Still, nice try.