Kamen Rider Ghost
Episode 5 + Episode 6
Gosh, it feels like ages since I've done one of these. Mostly because golf was on instead of Ghost one week, so it's been three weeks instead of a fortnight.
In episode five, Takeru is chasing down a gunman Ganma when he encounters Fukami Makoto, Kamen Rider Specter, the Rider who stole the Nobunaga Eyecon. Ending up fighting Specter, he finds himself soundly beaten, and loses his Edison Eyecon. In episode six, both Takeru and Makoto are on the trail of the Beethoven Eyecon, and find themselves clashing against both each other and a musical Ganma who has the ability to mute the area around him.
So, there's obviously one big thing to talk about in these episodes, and that's the introduction of Kamen Rider Specter. To be honest, while I like Makoto, I am growing a shade weary of broody grim rival Riders in leather who show up at inopportune times and end up fighting the main character. That was Chase's schtick for about a third of Drive, and it really taxed on my patience there - and it was Ryu's schtick in Double for a decent chunk of time. Hell, take out the mention of leather, and I could very easily also be describing Kaito from Gaim.
|More Ryu than Chase, on balance.|
Makoto's saving grace here is that we know that he's not going to be like this for very long, since we've already gotten previews for the Ghost and Drive crossover film that shows him seemingly quite happily working alongside Takeru - and even if that's just a 'I'll help you this once but then we're rivals again' deal, it never takes a secondary Rider all that long to go from 'I'll help you this once' to 'I'll help you all the time.' It's a slippery slope.
A really slippery slope, since we've already gotten the 'I'll let you go this time' and 'watching the hero achieve something from afar and not doing anything to stop him' tropes in the space of two episodes, which are usually fairly solid indicators that an antagonistic Rider is going to stop being even remotely antagonistic quite soon.
He also injects a much needed change of pace into what was becoming a slightly formulaic show. Time will tell if it just settles into a new formula, but I'm hoping it won't - there's a reason why Kamen Rider shows often improve drastically after the introduction of their secondary Riders. Even Drive improved after Gou was introduced! Sort of. For about five episodes before it became terrible again.
In terms of the Rider himself, I'm not overly keen on his design. Different colours aside, he looks close enough to Ghost that if they were both wearing similar colours (I dunno, maybe Takeru's got his Newton form equipped) and it was a sufficiently fast-paced fight scene, there would probably be potential there for things to get confusing. I'm also not sure what the reasoning was behind his weapon being a giant hand. Is it because hands, like eyes, are the scariest body parts? Is it just because 'ghostly disembodied hands' are kind of a thing? I'm not sure. Probably.
The other big thing we got introduced was the Beethoven Eyecon, which I see being used maybe two or three times more in the rest of the series, tops. It didn't even get its own finisher, that's how little the writers seem to care about it - if ever there was a form that screamed 'unimportant auxiliary form' it's the 'waving your arms and throwing musical notes at people' form. It does look nice, though, I like the little piano collar thing they've got going on.
Apart from those two big things, I've not got a lot to say. These episodes were fine - I think episode five might be the best episode we've gotten this series, and episode six was fun enough to watch. They were both paced well, the action scenes were fun and enjoyable, and I'm really liking the dynamic between Takeru, Akari, and Onari. We're about an eighth of our way into the series now, and while I wouldn't call it an amazing show, it's certainly solid and enjoyable to watch, and I don't really have a massive amount of complaints about it.
Apparently coming up next we have Takeru getting his hands on the Billy the Kid Eyecon - we're kind of stretching the definition of 'heroic' here, but then I suppose that was true of Edison as well, if to a rather lesser extent - which will presumably be his new gunslinger form until he gets the Edison Eyecon back (which, of course, he will). It also looks like we'll be learning more about Makoto and what's up with him and his seemingly dead and/or Eyecon'd sister. Presumably, at some point reasonably soon, we'll be seeing our third Rider, Kamen Rider Necron, as well - we got toy scans for him or her (please let it be her) ages ago, so it can't be all that long until they appear.
So there's a lot to look forward to.
Also, really, guys? You're going to give Tutankhamun a sickle? That's just tacky, guys.