The core creators of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger will reunite to work on the upcoming 2014 Super Sentai season, Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger. This includes head producer Takaaki Utsunomiya, head writer Yasuko Kobayashi, and main director Shojiro Nakazawa. All three will return in those exact same roles for Tokkyuger.
They will be accompanied on Tokkyuger by “new” Super Sentai series action choreographer Hirofumi Fukuzawa, who suit acted as Shinken Red in Shinkenger. Fukuzawa was promoted to action choreographer with Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters and has continued in that role through Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger. Toei effects veteran Hiroshi Butsuda will be directing Tokkyuger’s special effects.
It’s not hard to imagine why Toei might want to bring the Shinkenger team back to Super Sentai. While shows like Kyoryuger and Gokaiger sold plenty of toys, Shinkenger was the last Super Sentai season to enjoy broad mainstream success (and the high home video sales that follow). Shinkenger spawned the first Returns special, a recent novel, and launched star Tori Matsuzaka (who portrayed Takeru Shiba) into a successful acting career.
Despite its high toy sales, Kyoryuger has proven unable to bring Sentai back out of the deep ratings slump that began during Go-Busters. Shinkenger, however, was the last Super Sentai season to reverse the general trend of declining ratings in this decade. Toei probably wants to see if Team Shinkenger can catch lightning in a bottle a second time with Tokkyuger. Certainly, to the Japanese mainstream, trains should be no less an appealing theme than Shinkenger’s samurai motif.