Recap: Haruto comes to aid of an author who is seeking a mysterious girl from his own past.
Aqua’s Thoughts: By now I am basically waiting for the part where Shunya Shiraishi becomes so uninterested in whatever is happening in the show he stars in he freezes on the spot. In any case, this sure was an episode of Kamen Rider Wizard, wasn’t it? We have our obvious Gate, whose identity and backstory become evident within the first five seconds of his appearance, and our stock Phantom, who really is just around because he has to be. Admittedly, his design looks sweet, but why can’t this show ever actually do anything with its Monster of The Week? Remember how well this show used its Gate/Phantom mechanic during its early days? None of that creativity is left. The human forms of the Phantoms start looking wackier and wackier with every consecutive arc, but in the end, all we get is just the same old nutter who wants you to give in to the fear of death. Blurgh.
Our heroes are not a lot better either. Koyomi has become so distanced from the plot that her actually playing a role in this arc prompts eye rolls rather than anticipation. Shunpei once again proves that his sole role in the series is to ask the Gate if they are alright after being attacked by the Phantom, and Rinko hilariously ends up committing another unintentional capital offense by stealing evidence from a crime scene. It’s forensics, Phoenix Wright style, but I’m starting to wonder if they are doing it on purpose. I’m not against the notion of the Rider having an entire team behind them rather than just the usual quirky girl — gotta love the Imagin — but the problem is that Koyomi, Rinko, Shunpei and Wajima could have easily been one and the same character.
Strangely enough, this results in Kousuke slowly turning into the best character on the side of good. Yeah, seriously. I am glad Yuzuru has not been cut from the plot, because it gives us more of the mature “Brosuke” and less of the loud, mayonaise-loving clown we just love to hate. His scenes were by far the best of the episode, and his teaming up with Gremlin actually manages to come over as more of a desperate “enemy mine” alliance rather than the village idiot falling for another obvious trap. At the very least, it makes for a somewhat exciting cliffhanger to this overall rather mediocre episode, though it looks as if the stakes (and the CGI) will be significantly cranked up next week. Is that All Dragon Form I see?
- The cartoony bomb flying past Rinko might just be this show’s most bizarre visual gag yet.
- Speaking of which, why was Rinko surprised when the chief tells her she’s transferring her to Section Zero? Kizaki asked her last episode!
- Glad to see Mayu being an actual part of the supporting cast now. Then again, that means she will probably be reduced to not doing anything at all. That raises the question, is there anyone in this show who does do anything?
Zigg’s Thoughts: Aqua makes a very good point re: Kousuke slowly becoming the best character. We’ve repeatedly said how he functions much better in the quiet moments than the loud ones and his ocntinuing maturity pays dividends here, as he’s pretty much the only member of the cast who does anything. He does the smart thing too, seeking out the person we know has a standing association with the White Wizard and quizzing her on the possibility of finding him. His concern for Yuzuru finally gives him a firm objective to anchor himself around and the result is a much more likable fellow.
As for the rest…eeeeeh. The quality of Wizard episodes tends to depends heavily on how interesting and/or sympathetic the Gate is, and this isn’t a particularly good one. Sure, the hook of his past meeting with the girl is relatively interesting, but a combination of writing and performance conspire to make him come off as something of an asshole, while his insistence on signing only for women is dangerously close to creepy. It also doesn’t make much sense – if you;re a famous author, why not simply put out a call in the media? It wouldn’t have worked in this instance but he’s not to know that. Credit to the Phantom though for a simple but clever scheme, forcing the Gate to out himself. In fact, this week’s Phantom is generally great, what with his flamboyant dress sense and doom-laden tones.
The big cliffhanger this week is of course the reveal of a link to Koyomi’s past, buyt I must say I’m struggling to get motivated. Koyomi has degenerated into such a peripheral part of the cast that it’s difficult to sympathise with her plight – we barely know the girl after all, and she sometimes doesn’t even get speaking lines. As it’s one of the last remaining mysteries there’s still some intrigue to be had, but less than one might hope. Overall, a solid episode but somethign of a come down.
- Great, great costume work on the Phantom this week
- Not a big fan of toy-selling montages this late into the run.
- The special effect where Sora walks on top of the gazebo is utterly awful. Would it have been that tough to do it for real?