New Departure Progress! is the first episode of Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion Z. It first aired in Japan on April 09, 2021 on TV Tokyo, however an online event on March 26, 2021 in Japan premiered the episode early.
Shin Arata is a fifth grader who likes occult and claims himself to be “the man who solves the mystery of the world”.
That day, he heard of witness information of an alien and came to investigate the surrounding area around JR Yokokawa Station as a result. On the way, he passed by the Usui Pass Railway Heritage Park, where he heard another rumor about a mysterious Shinkansen being transported there, and suspected that it may have something to do with "Tetsudouder," a Shinkansen-shaped phantom robot that once became a hot topic several years ago.
Would Shin be fascinated by this new mystery...?
One day prior to the battle, Shin Arata and his older sister Ayu, an aspiring journalist, arrive in Yokokawa. Shin is a huge fan of all things supernatural, so is much more enthusiastic than his sister to explore the very rural area they've arrived in and find proof of the unknown.
Yokokawa is also home to the Usui Pass Railway Heritage Park, a railway museum Ayu is interested in, due to it being linked to mysterious transportation of a Shinkansen. Upon mentioning this to Shin, it reminds him of news stories he saw about the Shinkansen turning into robots. They were given names such as "Tetsudouder", although most people don't actually know much about them, or if they're even real. Ayu attempts to get Shin interested in investigating, but he decides he'd much rather follow through with his original plans of looking into an alien sighting.
After visiting the landmark Shin was looking for, where Ayu is too spooked to go in, the siblings head to a place called Oginoya to eat. Ayu notices that Shin isn't eating, and believes it's because he feels down about not finding anything. She encourages him to just accept the reality. Shin remembers back to when he was a child, looking up at the stars with his father. When Shin asks if perhaps he can be friends with aliens one day, his father encourages him that it could definitely happen. The possibility of alien life being out there isn't zero. Encouraged by this memory, Shin scarfs down his meal and decides to search again for the aliens. Still hoping they investigate the Shinkansen instead, Ayu immediately starts arguing with him.
Akeno Myōjō, a photographer who was in the same restaurant, overhears the two fighting. She decides to strike up a conversation with them, which a gang of street racers in the restaurant also end up overhearing. Finding the idea of befriending aliens being ridiculous, they start joking over it. Shin angrily yells at them that the possibility isn't zero, which doesn't stop them from laughing at him. Ayu, concerned, attempts to stand up for Shin, but is beaten to it by Abuto Usui, a mysterious white-haired boy, who scolds the three racers for laughing at people's dreams. A fight almost breaks out between them, until Akeno takes a photo of one of the racers grabbing Abuto by the collar. After she threatens them with blackmail, and another man who was with the Abuto, Goichi Shima, calls them out for being adults picking on a kid, the three get spooked at leave (although one of them found Goichi quite cool).
After this is resolved, Akeno asks Shin to definitely befriend an alien one day before leaving. While Shin is left flustered by how close she was to him, Ayu just finds Akeno to be incredibly cool.
Soon after, Abuto and his group receive an emergency call. Misaki Ōishi, an operator working at the museum, orders for everyone there to evacuate. Some of the other staff become alert after hearing this announcement, knowing the true meaning behind it. Of course, Shin and Ayu also learn that something is up, being in the restaurant. Ayu is distracted when she receives a text from her mom, who hopes the two will return for dinner, but Shin notices a plushie talking to Abuto. Upon realizing that it wasn't the plush talking, but a small robot, he becomes even more intrigued. Shin decides to chase after Abuto to uncover the truth.
When the staff gathers in the command room, they see that a Giant Monstrous Being has appeared, which seems to have been summoned by a dark-skinned humanoid. This shocks them, as they believed that the past incidents where similar monsters appeared had been resolved long ago. Saijō Sogō, the commander, then is asked to give this new Giant Monstrous Being a codename. When the aura surrounding the monster scattered to reveal its true outlook, Sogō accidentally shouted out “Daruma!” out of surprise, which Ōishi adopted as the codename before Sogō took back his words and change it to Scallion Daruma. They soon have a bigger issue than naming, when the staff realizes that they can't launch a Capture Field due to the satellite’s malfunction. Their only option is to launch the E5. Unfortunately, they lack a driver.
Abuto, meanwhile, intends to drive the E5. But before he can do so, he realizes that Shin was following him. Shin questions if this has to do with Tetsudouder, which just confuses Abuto. Still, his main concern is entering the E5. His talking robot, called Smat, converts itself into a smart phone-like device. This device is actually a Mobile Shinca, which he places on a reader inside the cockpit. Unfortunately, his compatibility rate is too low for him to be a driver.
When it's discovered that a civilian is close to the battlefield taking photos, the situation only worsens. Shin recognizes her as Akeno, whom he met before. Realizing that the purpose of the Shinkansen is to defeat the monster, Shin decides he wants to save Akeno. The staff is against the idea of letting an outsider get involved in the fight, but when Shin grabs Smat to scold him, his compatibility rate is read by chance. It's 92.5%. Because the rate is so high, Abuto decides to let him try and drive the Shinkalion, giving him Smat to set inside.
Shin enters the cockpit, changing into a driver's suit, and follows Abuto's instructions. He's shocked to see that he's in fact piloting a machine. He's told that it won't transform until he can reach the Ultra Evolution Speed.
Just as the Z E5 Hayabusa becomes a Shinkalion, Shin lands at the battlefield. He's able to quickly convince Akeno to flee, but the harder task of facing Scallion Daruma still remains. Shin is also excited by Scallion Daruma, equating it to his supernatural interests and begins to talk about that a Daruma isn’t supposed to have limbs. Abuto yells at him to focus on the battle, and attempts to instruct him remotely. As well, Shin hears the voice of Smat, who has a deeper voice and different way of speaking once inside the machine. He tells Shin how to interlock with the Shinkalion, so that it can move as he imagines. This works quite effectively for Shin, who is able to defeat the Giant Monstrous Being with his Ex-Station Calibur attack.
In the episode
- The cars which are seen parked outside the restaurant are all models used in the popular racing anime and manga series, Initial D.
- This is the first episode of the entire Shinkalion franchise to air in the decade of 2020.
Note: All characters are listed in order of their first appearances in the episode.
|Kibō Arata||5:00||Appears in flashback|
|The Street Racers||6:18|
- Shin Arata- Minami Tsuda
- Abuto Usui- Akari Kitō
- Ayu Arata- Kanon Takao
- Smat- Jun Fukuyama
- Saijō Sogō- Kōsuke Gotō
- Goichi Shima- Takahiro Fujiwara
- Kibō Arata- Eiji Hanawa
- Atsuta Hosokawa- Fumihiro Okabayashi
- Kasumi Abiko- Sayaka Senbongi
- Misaki Ōishi- Satomi Moriya
- Akeno Myōjō- Marina Inoue
- Street Racer A- Shogo Sakata
- Street Racer B- Keitaro Tanaka
- Street Racer C- Yūsuke Shirooka
- Announcements- Bonji Jinbo
- Script- Masanao Akahoshi
- Storyboard- Kentaro Yamaguchi, Takahiro Ikezoi, Koichi Ohata
- Episode Director- Shunji Maki
- CG Episode Director- Koichi Ohata
- Animation Director- Eri Kojima, Beom Seok Hong, Shin'ichi Suzuki
Note: The timing of some images on this page is taken from this wiki's encodes of the Japanese dub of Shinkalion Z.