Kamen Rider Ghost
Episode 29 + Episode 30
Okay, I think I've decided that Alain doesn't interest me that much. I mean, he's fine, I'm not praying for him to leave like I was with Cubi or anything like that, he's perfectly entertaining, he's just not the most interesting character on the show, that's all. With that in mind, two episodes focusing on him finishing his transition into out-and-out good guy wasn't necessarily my cup of tea, and when combined with a slightly filler-y (although really only slightly) plot about a girl whose father has been raised from the dead to do some programming, we end up with a pair of episodes that I could have happily skipped.
(Oh, but we did get a bit of movement on the Ganmaizer plot. Sort of. We'll see how much movement it actually counts as next episode, probably.)
Now safely back in the human world, Takeru quickly gets a case when a girl, Yuki, comes to the temple to ask for his assistance, having seen her deceased father walking into the Deep Connect building. As Takeru attempts to reunite Yuki with her father for one last talk, he faces opposition not just from Igor, but also from Houdini, who believes he's giving Yuki false hope. Meanwhile, Alain struggles with finding his place in the human world, and a purpose, turning to Fumi for help.
The two standout performances in this episode are probably from guest star Arisa Komiya - best known for her role in Go-Busters, here playing Yuki - and Hisako Ohkata, playing Fumi.
|This picture does not capture how weird Alain's outfit is.|
Komiya is mostly forgettable as Yuki, but she plays Houdini-possessed Yuki with rare aplomb, playing up the showmanship angle and generally being a joy to watch. She also gets one of the best emotional moments of the two episodes while playing Houdini, as she relates Houdini's attempts to find a spiritualist who can contact his mother. She only plays Houdini in a few scenes, but those scenes are some of the best of the episode.
Ohkata, meanwhile, gets to play Fumi as she relates to Alain her backstory, with the overall message of 'your life might not always go where you want it to go, but that's fine as well', and her scenes are all pretty touching, to be honest. She's only really in episode twenty-nine, but she has a major role in it, setting the audience up for a particularly emotional moment when she dies of old age at the end of the episode.
(Ghost is really thinning out its supporting cast now. Cubi left a few episodes ago, and now Fumi is dead. Who's next? Well, Kanon, probably, whose role has been reduced more and more and whose scenes were often pretty closely tied with Fumi's.)
|Alia's understandably concerned by finding her brother staring wordlessly at a|
copy of himself.
The plot progresses in pretty straightforward, predictable fashion, but it's fun to watch in spite of that, and it has a few great moments here and there, such as Alain watching Fumi's funeral. It also has a few ridiculous moments, like Alain beating up a gang of ganma while eating takoyaki, and on my second watch I had to actually skip through that scene because, if I'm being honest, I didn't need to repeat the experience of seeing Alain kicking people in the face while determinedly gnawing on some takoyaki.
We got Ganmaizer Fire back for another fight scene as well - I admit, having had her show up and die twice in three episodes, I'm hoping she stays dead this time - this time against Grateful Ghost, Deep Specter, and Necrom. It's actually not as epic as it could be, but it does, at least, let the protagonists know that killing the Ganmaizers isn't as easy as it seems, and we get our first triple Rider Kick out of it.
|So many glowy eyes.|
(We don't see Ganmaizer Fire rematerialise in the throne room afterwards, so it's up in the air if she yet lives. I'm going to say she probably does, if only because I think the show would have drawn more attention to it if she had died for real.)
Also, Alain is finally out of that tattered military uniform and into - into something that's actually kind of awful, but I'll cope. Actually, that was one of the reasons I couldn't watch the takoyaki fight again - he kept getting tangled up in his poncho-scarf-shirt-thing and it was very difficult not to burst out laughing.
So, I did enjoy these episodes, but maybe not as much as others. Next week, we look to have a de-ageing plot, with various characters becoming children. Also, flashbacks to Takeru's father and, if the title ('Power of the Ganmaizers') is anything to go by, a lot of Ganmaizer related stuff. Should be good, I'm looking forward to that. Well, I'm looking forward to some of it, at least. Never been all that keen on de-ageing plots.
I still really love Deep Specter's design, by the way. He's like a happy elk.