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Thursday, 7 July 2016

Kamen Rider Ghost E36+E37+E38

Kamen Rider Ghost
Episode 36 + Episode 37 + Episode 38

Oh, man, triple feature. Episode thirty-eight was kind of a standalone episode (which always makes these fortnightly reviews awkward), but in a way, it tied into themes set up in thirty-six and thirty-seven, as a major focus of it is both Makoto struggling with the Makoto doppelgangers, and another major focus is Javert's intermittent character development and how that ties into his relationship with Alain and Onari.

In episodes thirty-six and thirty-seven, the gang face off against Ganmaizer Wind. As the Demia Project continues, utilising a plan to synchronise people's emotions during an idol performance with wristbands, Akari is forced to step in when the lead singer must leave the group due to -- due to a telepathy problem, okay, just bear with me on that one. Meanwhile, Alain struggles with his role as the jobber of the group, and is drawn into the Sanzo Eyecon to do battle with Sanzo's three sidekicks. Makoto, meanwhile, finds himself facing a never-ending succession of doppelgangers, which question whether he is truly the real Makoto Fukami. 

In episode thirty-eight, Adel makes his move against Takeru, attacking him personally with all eleven remaining Ganmaizers, and revealing his new power - and after Takeru is rejected by the Heroic Eyecons, who claim their work is done, Gyro attacks. Meanwhile, Makoto faces more doppelgangers, and Onari attempts to rehabilitate Javert.

So many Adels.

Okay, so, I'm not a tremendous fan of the 'female character must become an idol for reasons' stock tokusatsu plotline, and this iteration of it doesn't really play out at all differently from any other iteration of it: Character who is not inclined towards idolhood must become an idol, usually replacing someone else who can't or doesn't want to do it; through the magic of singing and dancing they learn a lesson about themselves; then they step aside to let the original character take their place. The only real difference here is that Akari doesn't really learn any kind of lesson - she's instead the vehicle by which Honami learns about the importance of camaraderie and friendship. 

It's definitely not the worst version of this storyline I've seen, but then, I've seen this storyline an eerily large number of times anyway. 

Alain's storyline is also pretty much a stock tokusatsu storyline, and it's a - little bit confusing, since apparently the great training epiphany that gets him back on track and gives him a new weapon is just - jumping over a rock? I mean, that's super-cool that he knows how to jump over rocks now, but that seems like a bit of a let down. The show kind of manages to sell it through use of music and comparison shots with Akari learning how to dance and eventually perform for a crowd, but it's one of those things that's just bewildering in hindsight.

Makoto's storyline meanwhile, is more or less just set-up, because we don't really get any kind of pay-off for it yet: Adel has some evil plan to throw doppelgangers at Makoto (how is he getting them? Presumably that'll be answered soon enough) until he dies, it seems, which is actually not a terrible plan, but throughout all three episodes, we're mostly just seeing Makoto fight a succession of clones, and suffering more and more each time.

As far as the main plot goes, I think Ganmaizer Wind is my favourite one yet, both in terms of design and powerset, so I'm kind of sad at how little screentime it had. It had two short fights, and while it made a big impression on me in those, it kind of jobs to Infinite Ghost on a pretty dramatic scale.

I like its little 'idk' pose here.

Episode thirty-eight, meanwhile, is great for action scenes. Most of the episode is devoted to two big blowout fight scenes: Ganmaizers and Adel versus Takeru and the Heroic Eyecons, and later Gyro versus Takeru using every form he's acquired so far (except Fighting Boost and Infinite). Both fight scenes are engaging, well-choreographed, and have a good sense of tension about them, and I do always enjoy fights where the main rider switches between all of their different forms.

We also got to see Adel's new form, too, which looks completely ridiculous. I'm pretty sure he's quite quickly going to cast off that form to become Kamen Rider Extremer (who's apparently going to be a thing at least in the film, and probably the television show too? He has a Ganmaizer-themed design, so it seems likely), so we won't have to look at his ridiculous flower head for too long, at least.

So many coats.

Javert's storyline is also fine, I guess. I keep expecting every appearance of Javert to be his last one, and I keep being proven wrong, so now I'm expecting that he'll show up again, finish off his redemption arc, and then - I dunno, possibly become the new Necrom when Alain dies, because Alain is clearly going to die, they did that whole Chekhov's Gun thing with his self-destruct attack a few episodes ago.

All in all, some solid episodes, with episode thirty-eight being one of my favourites so far. I do wish we'd seen more of Ganmaizer Wind, though, instead of just a few battles and one short scene of him in his Breathy Adel form. Next week, it looks like both Aria and Eadith are going to be making their moves, and transforming into Necrom P and Ultima Ebony, and Takeru will be facing off against the Perfect Ganmaizer. So that's nice.

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