Recap: As Bahamut continues to attack Kazuya, Haruto tries to reconnect with his old friend
Zigg’s Thoughts: There’s nothing terribly bad about this resolution to the arc, but there’s also nothing terribly good about it either. It sort of languishes in mediocrity, an apt example of the kind of episode which has made Wizard a tepid experience week in and weak out. Nevertheless it’s a step up from last week, primarily due to some more interesting character work.
I often wonder whether Tasuku Nagase has been fatally miscast as the goofy Kyousuke. As with Shunya Shirashi he often seems to excel in quieter moments, or when a lighter, less goofy comedic touch is needed. His brief scene with Kazuya is the best sequence he’s gotten in ages and a really nice moment that’s underplayed to perfection. Even the joke with Naomi entering at the end is less muggy than normal, and it’s so rare that we get a nice realistic interaction like that I cherished it. Likewise, Haruto and Kazuya’s interaction on the pitch is well written and decently acted (and I like the mandolin-y version of the theme) and it really makes me wish we’d seen much better character writing in the show – as it is moments like this a rare exceptions. Of course, the dumb football practicve afterwards kills it a little, but this is still good stuff.
Action-wise though we’re on shakier footage. I love haruto and Kyousuke’s bait and switch and the subsequent night fight, which features some really nice, fast close quarters choreography, but it’s over way too quickly. The ending meanwhile is stupid as hell. There’s a long-held tradition of Riders not using their ultimate forms until the final moments, but when done right it’s the cool flourish at the end of a pitched battle. Here Wizard gets his ass handed to him comprehensively until he powers up to Infinity, then the fight is over before it starts (it’s about thirty seconds from the Infinity powerup to the explosion). The Shining Strike finisher also takes way too long here, exposing the awfulness of the special effects rather embarrassingly. It just looks stupid and is terribly paced.
Finally of course there’s the revelation of the White Wizard’s true identity. Or rather, let’s say ‘face’ because identity is a little too comprehensive. The fact that ‘Fueki’ appears to have been in touch with Wajima for some time is an intriguing wrinkle (it seems to be hinted he made the White Wizard’s rings for him) and I’m interested to know why you’d choose to unmask him at this time, in this particular manner. His ominous words, and the fact that the preview indicates the return of Mayu, means we’re finally approaching the end of Wizard’s story, with only a few mysteries left to unravel. Since it’s picking up on what was one of the show’s very best storylines, I’m extremely interested to see how we do next time round.
- Again, we don’t get enough of it, but the continuing ‘why more Phantoms?’ thread has some possibilities.
- Why would you not watch someone who was being stalked by a magical assassin at all times?
- Not very convinced by that ‘hospital yard’
- Should somebody who was in hospital really be running about playing football? Also it looks like that arm sling was really important huh?
- That ring has a picture of a sun in front of a moon. Isn’t there a word for that?