Kamen Rider Ghost
Episode 3 and Episode 4.
So, is the 'Takeru hugs people and then they're all better' thing going to be a regular fixture? Because while I liked that the first time, I admit that when it happened a second time, in the very next episode, with the exact same words and what appeared to be at least a second or so of stock footage, I did raise my eyebrows a bit.
I'm not even certain what's meant to be happening there - some kind of magical ghost-purging thing? Takeru's just that good a hugger? Given what we know about Takeru, either one is equally plausible.
In the third episode, Takeru and the team - who have now set up shop as the Supernatural Phenomenon Laboratory - track down a thief with seeming telekinetic powers, who has called themselves Little John and is stealing from the wealthy to give to the poor, as Robin Hood did. In the fourth episode, the team is called in to investigate the strange behaviour of the president of Sengoku Corporation, who has been aggressively pursuing acquisitions, like some kind of Business Nobunaga - and Takeru encounters another Rider in search of Eyecons.
So, I said in the last review that I didn't really have much of a handle on what Takeru's character is like, and while I feel like I know a bit more about him, he still feels a bit lightly sketched out to me. He's absolutely adorable, and he's clearly very sunny and cheerful and a bit childish, and that's all good, but I want to know more about him. In a way, he doesn't seem to be able to hold his own as a character amidst the much louder, larger presences of Onari and Akari.
At this point, he doesn't seem to have any kind of internal conflict other than 'I'm dead and I need to not be dead' (which, to be fair, is a fairly solid thing to be concerned about), whereas we knew that Kouta had a conflict between his desire to contribute to his household with gainful employment, and his desire to do what he loves; Eiji had a disparity between his cheerfulness and his crippling PTSD; and Shotaro had a conflict between his desire to be a hard-boiled detective and his actual nature.
I do like Takeru, though. I like how happy and chirpy he is, I like how singularly good a person he is, and that's part of the reason why I want to know more about him and get a better handle on what kind of character he is.
Speaking of characters, I do not trust Yurusen and the Hermit one jot - I didn't before, but these two episodes, where the Hermit casually admits that he knew that there was another Rider and didn't tell Takeru, and more importantly, where Yurusen actively expresses disappointment over a woman not dying, and encourages Takeru to leave thousands of people to their deaths, makes me think that they're evil and playing Takeru for their own ends.
I might well be barking up entirely the wrong tree there, but nevertheless, that's the vibe I'm getting off them for the moment.
|Specter, meanwhile, seems quite lovely.|
We also got our first appearances of Specter! They're very much a prologue to him actually, properly making his entrance into the show, which will be happening next episode, but it was nice to see him, nevertheless. You go, Specter, with your stealing and your ominously lurking in the shadows.
As far as the plots of these episodes go, they were fine. Nothing tremendous or amazing, but very entertaining to watch, and it's always nice to have a Kamen Rider series that actually does solid single-episode plots instead of stretching a plot thin over two episodes. Technically, they're fine too - the cinematography is sound, the acting's all fine, the special effects are good. They re-used footage from the OOO film in the most recent episode, but hey, if you have the footage, you may as well use it. It wasn't as if it was especially jarring or anything.
It looks like the plot is going to kick into a slightly different gear from this point onwards, as Takeru now has his main team of Fancy Ghosts - not that we don't know that he's going to be adding more to that team, but it's probably safe to assume that the others won't be used all that much.
|Tiny delicate ghost.|
We have a break next week for golf (ugh, golf), so it'll be three weeks before another one of these reviews. Still, I'm looking forward to the next episode, which will apparently involve Makoto being manipulated by Alan (why, writers, why did you call your villain Alan?) and a fight between him and Takeru, along with the first usage of the Nobunaga Eyecon. So far, this is a solid, fun series, and I'm enjoying it - I just hope it can keep that quality up or improve on it.
I'm still slightly bitter that we don't have the ghosts possessing Takeru ala the Imagin, though. That would be beautiful and hilarious.