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Some time after Shinkalion, a new generation of Shinkalions, known as Shinkalion Z, are being built. Shinkalion Zs are built alongside Zailiners, zairaisen (conventional trains) that transform into armours that compliment each of the new Shinkalions. However, the SUEI is still looking for suitable drivers. Not helping is that Abuto Usui, the Child Prodigy who helped design the Shinkalion Zs and Zailiners and is one of the few drivers the SUEI has actually trained by this point, doesn't have a high enough compatibility rating.
Enter Shin Arata, a mythology and cryptid buff who stumbles upon the SUEI and proves to have a sufficient compatibility rating, allowing him to become driver for the Shinkalion Z E5 Hayabusa.
But just as Shin's compatibility is proven, a new group of Giant Monstrous Beings arises, and Shin and Abuto's destinies proceed on winding (and crossing) tracks
Tropes! Now Departing!:
- Agent Mulder: Shin, who has an ambition to solve all the mysteries of the world.
- Agent Scully: Yamakasa, to an extent. Naturally this caused a bit of friction between him and Shin at first.
- An Axe to Grind: The Shinkalion Z E7 has two of 'em, in keeping with its Mighty Lumberjack theme.
- Call-Back: While visiting Osaka, Hanabi calls Acting Commander (formerly Operator) Akagi Honjou "Honjou-nii-chan" the same way Tsuranuki did. Honjou Lampshades this by noting how nostalgic it felt.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
- Compared to the Kitoralsus, the Teoti become less mysterious and make their presence known much sooner.
- Unlike Seiryuu, Abuto is more cold and clinical after he becomes the Dark Shinkalion's driver.
- Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: Most of the Shinkalion Z drivers have personalities that contrast their predecessors.
- Shin is somewhat more of an Idiot Hero than Hayato, and compared to him, his knowledge of trains is lacking.
- Unlike Akita, Hanabi is loud and Hot-Blooded, and less of a sniper.
- Inversely, while Tsuranuki was brash and Hot-Blooded, Taiju is more of a shy Gentle Giant.
- While both Rei and Yamakasa are both Child Prodigies, Rei considered himself a kouhai to the other drivers while Yamakasa is a bit more willing to step on his comrades' toes (especially Shin) to the point of coming off as a bit of an Insufferable Genius.
- While the Anjou brothers bear similarity to the Kiyosu brothers from the last show, here it's the younger brother, Nagara, that gets the more screentime compared to his brother Shimakaze, whereas the elder Kiyosu brother, Ryuji, got more attention from the plot over his little brother Tatsumi.
- In contrast to Hokuto Hayasugi, who was the only adult driver, Ginga is about the same age as the other drivers, and is decidedly more hammy.
- While both Miku and Maetel are Ink Suit Actors of characters from famous franchises, Maetel's Shinkalion Z H5 is more based around long-range combat than Miku's H5, which used Kendo.
- On the non-driver side, Commander Sogo is considerably more bumbling and ineffectual than Commander Izumi.
- Cooldown Hug: Shin does this to Abuto at the end of their climactic duel, finally freeing Abuto from the Dark Shinkalion and bringing him back to his side.
- Continuing from last season's unexpected crossovers, Episode 16 features a Shinkansen and a Shinkalion based on Hello Kitty.
- The previous season had a limited merchandise crossover between the ALFA-X movie and Galaxy Express 999, but remained at that. Maetel makes an appearance in Episode 20's Stinger, but Episode 21 is about...
- Neon Genesis Evangelion's cast and 500 Type EVA make a return. Like last time, it's All Just a Dream.
- De-power / Growing Up Sucks: In his first appearance since the first show, Ryuji Kiyosu explains that as he grew older, his compatibility rating declined to the point where he could no longer drive a Shinkalion. Whether or not this has also happened to the other drivers from the last show has yet to be seen.note
- Averted with Seiryuu, who retains his ability to drive the Black Shinkalion. Whether this is because of his Kitoralsus heritage or because he's younger than Ryuji remains to be seen.
- Disappeared Dad: Abuto's father went missing before the events of the show, which has considerable ramifications for Abuto's motivation.
- Evolving Credits: From Episode 16 on, the opening is changed to include Yamakasa and Nagara (and their respective Shinkalions), acknowledge Abuto's FaceHeel Turn, and reveal more of the Teoti's numbers.
- FaceHeel Turn: Abuto joining the Teoti to become the Dark Shinkalion's driver.
- Fighting Fingerprint: How Shin realizes Abuto is the Dark Shinkalion's driver.
- Gentle Giant: Taiju pilots the strongest Shinkalion Z, but is meek and soft-spoken outside of battle.
- Gratuitous English: Hanabi is prone to this sometimes.
- I Have Your Wife: Abuto's plan to steal the Dark Shinkalion for the SUEI is thwarted when Astraea finds out and takes his father hostage to make sure he keeps fighting for the Teoti.
- Kiai: Taiju is prone to yelling "Haiii-YO!" when exerting himself.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: During the Teaser of Episode 14, one of the singers of BOYS AND MEN (who performed the opening themes for both Shinkalion Z and its predecessor) is shown on a radio program introducing a new song from the band. The show then cuts to the opening theme.
- Mecha Expansion Pack: The Zailiners function as this, taking the place of a Shinkalion Z's legs or arms, and upgrading its weaponry. For example, the Shinkalion Z E5 jettisons its arms and Z-Combines with the Zailiner E235 Yamanote to form the Shinkalion Z E5 Yamanote, turning its two small handheld swords into one large Blade Below the Shoulder, and giving it a shield.
- The Zailiner HC85 Hida is unusual in that it turns into both arms and legs for a Shinkalion Z.
- Mighty Lumberjack: Taiju and the Shinkalion Z E7 have this vibe.
- Pet the Dog: Sogyoku saving Setsura in Episode 29.
- Rail Enthusiast: Abuto. However, he's decidedly more soft-spoken about it than Hayato making it more humorous when he insists he's just appraising them from an engineering standpoint. Abuto is also more of a fan of the zairaisen (conventional trains) whereas Hayato was more of a shinkansen (bullet train) buff.
- Rank Up: Ryuji Kiyosu and Akagi Honjou have both been promoted to more executive positions since the last show, and it's later revealed that Shunpei Izumi has become Commander-in-Chief of the SUEI.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: When introducing himself to the new bunch of drivers in Episode 18, Akagi Honjou tries to emulate Commander Izumi's coolness, but undermines himself by falling head-first into this trope, leaving the drivers less than impressed.
- Transforming Mecha: As always.