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Saturday, 19 December 2015

Kamen Rider Ghost E9+E10

Kamen Rider Ghost
Episode 9 & Episode 10

Well, with the final 'let's find a heroic spirit' episode, the plot has really kicked into high gear in these two episodes, with several plotlines coming to a head, which is all very exciting. I do think these are two of the best episodes of Ghost so far, which is great, but doesn't leave me with a tremendous amount to say about them. Say what you will about Drive, there were always a dozen flaws I could pick apart in each episode, getting a whole review out of even just one episode was easy.

In episode nine, Takeru and the gang go searching for a Doctor Igarashi, an old associate of Takeru's father who helped him research the monolith, but has since gone missing. Meanwhile, Makoto becomes even more desperate to save Kanon, and Jaberu (Javel? Javert? We'll - talk about that one in a second), the Superior Ganma, comes from the Ganma World to support Aran in his mysterious plan. In episode ten, with all fifteen Heroic Eyecons manifested and split between Takeru, Makoto, and Saionji, Saionji sets in motion a plan to seize all of them for himself. Meanwhile, Takeru wavers on whether wishing himself back to life is truly the right thing to do, and Jaberu (Jabber? Jabelle?) decides that Makoto is guilty of treason.

So, first things first, how do you spell Jaberu's name? Wikipedia says 'Jaberu', so that's what I'm going with for now, but I've also seen 'Javel', 'Javerl', 'Javelle', and 'Javert' - the last of which would make a lot of sense, because the Ganma seem to always be themed after either historical figures or characters from novels set in the real world (such as in the case of the Insect Ganma, who seems to be themed after Mary Russell, Laurie R. King's 1920s female detective/bee-keeper), and Javert would fit the bill for the latter (and it would tie into his dogmatic approach to everything).

Nice design, though. Very sleek.

We'll probably get an official romanisation eventually, if we haven't already (which we might have done, answers on a postcard if we have), but for the moment, I'm going to refer to him as Jaberu.

Second things second: Benkei. The Benkei form, I - hate it. I just really hate it. Visually, it's the blandest looking form we've had so far, but most of the reason I don't like it is that hammer. It doesn't look like a hammer, it looks like what it is: A spider stuck to the end of a sword, and the fight choreographers seem to know that, because Takeru has not once used it as a hammer except in his finishing move (where it became a CG energy hammer anyway). It makes every fight scene with Benkei in look incredibly clumsy, and the weapon itself just looks naff. Naff by Kamen Rider standards, of all things, and their weapons don't generally look brilliant.

I doubt we'll be seeing it much, though: Musashi, Robin, Edison and Newton seem firmly set as Takeru's main Heroic Eyecon forms, and the addition of Toucon Boost form and its associated Eyecons means that Benkei will, gratifyingly, have vanished into obscurity before long. What a relief. What a blessed, blessed relief.

Oh, no, we'll never go out on the lake once you're gone. She'll find it too upsetting.

The big thing about these episodes, though, is that the plot has kicked into high gear, and golly gosh, am I glad that Takeru's response to finding out about Kanon is 'I have to help her instead of myself.' Actually, everyone's reactions to this news make perfect sense and work with their characters: Not just Takeru's self-sacrifice, but also Akari insisting that he shouldn't sacrifice himself - it would have been very easy for a writer to mess that one up and have it seem like Akari is saying that Kanon should stay dead, but the writing managed to pitch it right, in that it was very obvious that what Akari was saying is that Takeru, who's on a time limit, should sort himself out first, so that they can all focus their attention on bringing Kanon (who doesn't seem to be on any kind of time limit) back to life.

Even Makoto, who is absolutely set on Takeru dying, doesn't come across as a bad person: After all, as far as he (or anyone) knows, it's either Takeru dying or Kanon being an Eyecon forever. I'm glad, also, that we actually got Kanon's opinion, and that Makoto is portrayed as being in the wrong for ignoring it: There's an interesting parallel between Akari and Makoto here, where Akari acknowledges Takeru's opinion but disagrees with it, while Makoto goes 'No, we have to do this, you can't mean that.' Both of them have the best of intentions, but Akari's being a lot more reasonable about it than Makoto.

(Also, see, Drive? See how easy it is to have your female characters actually have opinions and agendas? Remember how you stopped giving Kiriko those after about fifteen episodes?)

Let's all keep in mind that this is not the face you make when you plan on
letting Saionji live for more than two more episodes.

It also looks like Saionji is reaching the end of his shelf life as a villain, as he puts his diabolical plan into motion, apparently drawing the ire of everybody. Takeru, Makoto, Aran and Jaberu (Jaberl? Javellu?) are all out to get Saionji now, and he's obviously not going to succeed in whatever his goal is, because we're only ten episodes into the show. Instead, he'll probably just get killed to death by Jaberu.

We're coming up onto the end of the first act now, and I'm excited to see how it all pans out.

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