Kamen Rider Ghost
Episode 21 + Episode 22
You know, I almost didn't realise that we are very nearly at the halfway point of the series, and potentially even closer to the end of the second act, since it looks like that might be capped off with the debut of Grateful Soul in episode twenty-three, but it makes sense: So far, both acts have been structured less around Takeru tangling with monsters, and more around him struggling against another Rider (Specter first, then Necrom), along with a 'collect the Eyecons' gimmick - but as of episode twenty-two, Alain seems to be well and truly on the path to redemption, and also as of episode twenty-two, it seems like Takeru and Makoto have all fifteen Eyecons between them.
If it wants to not go flying off the rails, the series is going to have to drastically change its set-up in the third act, and it seems all set to do that, with Adel and Igor now firmly in place as the new main villains, several upgraded forms set to make appearances, and an evil plot involving Deep Connect, which has prior to this only been in the background, presumably ready to take centre stage.
In this fortnight's episodes, Makoto reveals that he's been an Eyecon all along, and travels to the Ganma World to find his body, with Takeru close behind. Meanwhile, Alain is reunited with his brother Adel, sister Alia, and father Adonis, but things rapidly go wrong when Adel assassinates Adonis to take his place as emperor, informing an incredulous Alia and a somewhat more credulous Ganma army that it was Alain who killed Adonis. Magistrate Eadith, meanwhile, the spitting image of the old hermit, continues with his experiments to create the Grateful Soul belt. Back in the real world, Onari and Akari attempt to protect Cubi, the Art Supplies Ganma, from the Armour Ganma.
|Those half capes really annoy me with how short they are.|
It's fair to say that this is the most plot heavy set of episodes we've had in a while, both as far as learning things (Makoto is an Eyecon, the Ganma World is filled with people in coffin-like pods who interact with the world as Eyecons, Alia really is as nice as she appears) go, and as far as 'massive sea changes to the state of play' (Adel assassinating Adonis and framing Alain, Takeru taking the Grateful Soul belt) go, which I certainly approve of - I love plot heavy episodes, after all, and the A Family is interesting enough that I've wanted to know more about them for a while.
While it feels like these two episodes raised more questions than they answered (especially in regards to the people trapped in pods and their mysterious turning to dust, which I'm guessing has to do with Adel killing Adonis and thus stopping him from praying, since we're told that's important), which was a little frustrating, that's somewhat to be expected when we're halfway through the series. It's almost sad that Adonis died as early as he did, since he would have almost certainly been an excellent source of exposition.
It was nice, as well, to see a little more of both Adel and Alia's personalities. Adel is obviously going to be a major player from now on, but my hope is that Alia will be as well.
|Adel is pure and innocent.|
Where the episode mostly falls down is the Ganma-of-the-Week B Plot. The Ganma in question, the Armour Ganma, is actually pretty unique for Kamen Rider, since we rarely get female monsters anyway, let alone female monsters who aren't sexualised and who are framed as chivalrous sword-y types, but she's wasted on the plot she gets, which mostly involves her having a few fight scenes, being scolded by Igor, and occasionally terrorising Cubi.
I'm not keen on Cubi, incidentally. I wasn't keen on him in his own arc, and I'm even less keen on him in this one. He grates on my nerves. I strongly suspect he'll fade into the background after this episode, or possibly vanish altogether with nobody mentioning him again. At the very least, I hope that happens.
|Very unsubtley based off Joan of Arc.|
The episode ends with Adel waking Javert up out of his pod and giving him his Ultima Eyecon, which confuses me since Javert has already died twice fighting Takeru and Makoto - and both times his attacking them prompted them to get new upgrades, which is an extra level of failure on top of the failure of actually failing at the task assigned to him. As it is, it seems pretty likely that episode twenty-three is going to see Javert trying to kill them with the Ultima Eyecon and then being killed by Takeru in Grateful Soul form, thus making him three for three on 'trying to kill one of the protagonists but instead getting killed by a new form.'
To be honest, as much as that confuses me, it does also delight me, and I hope that every single upgrade in the series involves Javert being revived and then being killed again.