Kamen Rider Wizard Episode 4

Summary: Phoenix and Medusa call upon a new lazy racial stereotype Phantom to menace this week’s gate – an award winning pianist who’s hit a rough patch. Meanwhile, Shunpei has attached himself to Team Wizard full time, and there’s friction between Rinko and Koyomi over their respective relationships with Haruto.

Aquagaze’s Thoughts: This week on Kamen Rider Wizard: Harem antics ensue as Koyomi turns into a family-friendly yandere and starts getting suspicious of Rinko’s “interest” in her playmate Haruto! Oh no! The villains unleash a funny, jive-talkin’ Afro-Japanese with dreadlocks who is also clumsy, homeless and lazy upon their latest victim! Xenophobia! The fabulously gay donut vendor once again fails to make Haruto order anything else than a plain sugar donut! Capitalism! Shunpei falls over a bunch of times and wears hideous, knee-high socks! Hilarious!

Don’t get me wrong, no matter how idiotic, cheesy or vaguely offensive Kamen Rider Wizard gets, it is still extremely fun. While the villain mostly resorted to chasing his victim around and threatening to cut his hands off, the focus of this episode was mostly on Koyomi. It is revealed that she and Haruto need to engage in some sort of mana transfer ritual, though those familiar with the incomprehensible brain farts of Kinoko Nasu can rest easily: this mana transfer is a lot more sensible (and quicker) than the Type-Moon variety.

After twenty minutes of mostly silly antics, though, the episode ends on a huge cliffhanger. While Japanese Chris Tucker distracts Haruto, obligatory fetishy femme fatale villain of this season Medusa sneaks up on Koyomi and drains her magical power, rendering her comatose. Haruto manages to bring her back to the world of the living, yet the audience is left with a big question: What is Koyomi actually? I am fond of Wizard‘s tendency to drop bombshells on an episodic basis and it’s gleeful combination of asskicking and jokes that wake up your inner child makes my Mondays all the cheerier.

Dragonzigg’s Thoughts: This week Wizard pulls a trick that we’re sure to see many a time before the show is over, namely making an episode that has pretty much nothing to do with battling the monster of the week. Oh sure, he’s still there, and there’s still a battle or two to keep the kids happy, but the real meat of this episode is the focus on the relationship between Koyomi and Haruto. Plot-wise, we learn Koyomi is much more than was previously indicated – while the earlier episodes described her as a fellow Gate who survived the same mass conversion that Haruto did, this one clearly shows she’s more than that. The obvious conclusion to jump to is she’s some sort of Homunculus, a magically created artificial being who requires constant energy to stay alive. It’s an interesting idea and not one without precedence, but I get the feeling there must be something more to it than that.

Alongside this plot related development though comes a much more important emotional one. With the revelation that her connection with Haruto is literally a matter of life and death, Koyomi’s jealousy and resentment of Rinko’s interference with her relationship with him becomes much more understandable. There’s a decent hint of good old fashioned romantic tension as well of course, and while I highly doubt it’ll go anywhere, it adds a nice extra dimension to the relationship between the two characters. It’s also good to see that these four haven’t instantly become the world’s finest team, and that they’ll clearly have to work to become the best buddies we all know they’ll end up as.

While the fights in this episode are basically padding, there’s still some cool stuff to be seen. Haruto’s use of LIQUID and subsequent wrestling-based beatdown is pretty hilarious and the BIND spell he uses at the end is very cool. Perhaps most importantly however, we’re shown our hero is not the unstoppable force he appeared to be in the first few episodes – he has a weakness, and a pretty major one at that, and I’m sure running out of mana at critical points will make a reappearance or two as we go along. While this wasn’t the most gripping of episodes, it was definitely an important one, and it’s an encouraging sign that Wizard is putting character development front and centre.

Random Observations

  • Look, I’m sure it’s not deliberate, but making what we can be pretty sure is the only gentleman of colour who will ever appear on the show a lazy, feckless layabout who lives in a junkyard isn’t exactly very comfortable.
  • If Koyomi can be revived with just mana, can she be physically injured at all? I guess this will be the acid test of whether she’s actually human or not.
  • Another pianist in Kamen Rider. Players of the instrument were also important figures in Den-O and W.
  • There’s not a single explosion this episode. What the hell?

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