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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Kamen Rider Ghost E25+E26

Kamen Rider Ghost
Episode 25 + Episode 26

You know, I wasn't actually expecting a 'we need to launch a rescue mission for Makoto' plotline to show up this quickly. Rather than spending barely three episodes on developing Alain and Takeru's dynamic, and seeing Alain become a proper, at least semi-heroic Rider, I kind of suspected we'd see a whole arc of it, with Makoto either absent or, more likely, returning in a villainous role as Deep Specter (that last might still happen.) I'm not complaining, by any means - on the contrary, Alain and Takeru passing through a portal to the Ganma World at the end of episode twenty-six, with the express purpose of rescuing Makoto (and also possibly Adonis) delighted me, because Makoto is far and away my favourite character on the show.

In this fortnight's episode, Igor and Deep Connect put a plan into motion, calling on the two Airplane Ganma to spread particles that turn the sky red. As Kanon falls ill, Takeru, Alain, Akari, and Onari set out to defeat the Airplane Ganma and neutralise the red skies. Akari, meanwhile, is convinced that Alain has an ulterior motive, while Alain is wracked with doubts. Worse still, the red skies are making him (and Javert, who survived the fight with Grateful Soul) extremely sick. In the Ganma World, Alia seeks out her father's location, while Adel finds out more about Eadith's plans and the mysterious tablets in his father's prayer room.

A sceptical Akari.

While the A-plot didn't interest me a massive amount, and nor, really, did the B-plot, the 'Keeping Up With The Ganma Royal Family' C-plot actually really caught my attention. Apart from the fact that I really do want to know more about Alia, the tablets are possibly the most interesting thing in the show right now, coming across as intelligent but also startlingly alien and potentially extremely malevolent. Adel's interactions with them always give the impression of them controlling the situation, and him being more or less helpless against them, while at the same time being drawn to them - which is fairly impressive, given that they're essentially CGI chunks of stone/metal/plastic/whatever.

(Them being CGI chunks of insert-whatever-material is not going to last too long, it seems, as the fire tablet, seen possessing Javert and later visiting a very unclear vision on Adel, seems to have transformed into a doppelganger of Adel, which I'm sure won't end horribly for anybody and/or everybody involved.)

As far as the A-plot goes, it's fine: The Airplane Ganma don't make for especially compelling villains of the week, and their 'turn the skies red and make people sick' plan isn't that interesting, but Ghost has never had all that great weekly villains. The plot is structured pretty formulaically (in fact, it's almost jarringly formulaic at times), but that's also not exactly new for Ghost. It's a pretty dry, filler-y plotline, and it's not tremendously interesting, but it's never painful to watch.

That combination of red and blue doesn't work.

Part of the problem is that the A-plot seems to mostly be there both to set up exposition for future plot developments (providing tidbits of information both about Adonis' plan, which apparently involves making Earth more like the Ganma World, and Deep Connect's plan, which involves smartphones and synapse clouds) and to give Alain something to do while he's having his character arc, so it falls into a routine of 'Alain has a thoughtful character moment AND THEN MONSTERS and then Alain has a thoughtful character moment AND THEN MONSTERS' over and over for two episodes.

But it's fine, even if it's not brilliant, and one place it does excel is in giving Akari a chance to show off her scientific abilities. Ghost has, on the whole, been pretty good about giving Akari important science things to do in the main plot, and I'm glad of that. 

We also got a sort of new form, in Fighting Boost Houdini. Not drastically different from when Specter used Houdini, but still fun to see, even if the colours do look horrible next to each other. We also got the return of Necrom's Grimm form, absent more or less since it's introduction, so that's always nice.

It's all very Game of Thrones. Sort of. A tiny bit.

All in all, not a stellar set of episodes, but they weren't without their good points, and they were plenty enjoyable to watch. The next episode sees Takeru and Alain back in the Ganma World, confronting two Adels (regular flavour Adel and extra spicy Adel), and possibly Adonis' actual death. Also, our first glimpse of the Deep Specter Eyecon (I would dearly like to know if there's any connection to Deep Connect here), and what is either a reawakened Makoto (yay) or a flashback of Makoto first becoming Specter (which seems more likely). 

It should be a really good episode, so I'm looking forward to that. With luck, we'll find out a bit more about Adel and Alia. 

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