Kamen Rider Ghost
I actually forgot this episode existed. I watched the raw, and then at some point afterwards, all traces of its existence vanished from my mind like smoke, and I didn't recall it at all until last night came and I was struggling to find anything to review for today. We could have very easily gone weeks without me recalling this episode at all, and that's because it's kind of a non-entity as far as episodes go.
That's not necessarily entirely unusual. The Wizard crossover episode was fairly dire and forgettable as well, after all, and epilogue episodes tend to be a little bit bland even at the best of times, so I wasn't expecting a tremendous amount out of this one.
Picking up at Takeru's next birthday, the final episode of Ghost sees a mysterious child emerging from a Ganmaizer portal, and immediately being targeted by Kamen Rider Genmu, who wants to regain an object that the boy has stolen. Meanwhile, Alain, Makoto, and Kanon go to the Ganma World, deciding that they will make it a better place with a blue sky.
So, this episode kind of turned everyone into caricatures of themselves. Takeru's entire personality gets boiled down to two traits: Likes talking about connecting hearts, and happy. As far as this episode is concerned, that's really all there is to him, and it inserts that first trait of his into the oddest places -- barely five minutes can pass without Takeru talking about connecting hearts, and while the main series wasn't necessarily brilliant about that either, it didn't feel half as jarring as it does her.
|I do like how the Ganmaizer portals look.|
Alain, Makoto, Kanon, Akari, and Eadith become very nearly non-entities, while Onari becomes 'screaming guy,' whose only role is to be loud comic relief at things, even when it's really not appropriate: Like, I'm not sure that Onari realising he is essentially going to be alone in his future endeavours is necessarily a comedic moment, but the episode's writers apparently felt it was, so that's -- that's a thing, I suppose.
Look, I don't ask for much, I just ask for a little bit of awareness of -- I don't know, an entire series in which we've been shown that most of these characters aren't just two-dimensional cutouts? A sense of tone? Anything?
The plot of the episode revolves around a mysterious child who keeps insisting that the future can't be changed, and denying everything Takeru says about connecting hearts, and man, he is annoying. We never get to find out exactly who he is, but given that he flits in and out of being hyper-analytical and such, and that he uses a Ganmaizer portal, he's probably -- I don't know, reborn Adel? The Ganmaizers all reborn in one form? Something like that.
|So nice they designed him twice.|
We're also told that Takeru's sure they'll meet again, so I guess he'll be back in the next Movie Wars or something. I haven't even watched this year's Movie Wars, so I doubt I'll ever see that one.
The fact that the episode ends with the mystery of who the boy is unresolved would be a little less jarring if they hadn't left the entire plot unresolved -- at the end, Genmu gets his little bike-summoning cartridge back, and we're never told exactly how the power to summon a bicycle is meant to change the world, or why Ex-Aid wants it. It's meant to get us interested in Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, but you know what? It doesn't work.
But the real focus of the episode is on Ex-Aid and Genmu's appearances, and their fight scenes, and those are fine, I suppose. Neither of said fight scenes are that amazing, but nor are they boring to watch or anything like that, so they at least get a passing grade.
(Well, maybe a little less than a passing grade -- those 'HIT' signs every time they hit something are distracting as all get out.)
|I'm still torn on Ex-Aid's whole thing.|
So, that was Ghost's finale. Kind of bland, kind of irritating, mostly just disappointing, but that's not much of a surprise -- and at least it wasn't stretched over two episodes like Wizard's whole crossover affair. The series itself had its ups and downs, but for the most part, I'm not sure whether I liked it or not: Too often, it substituted 'warm fuzzy feelings' for good writing (and I say that as someone who likes warm, fuzzy feelings in my fiction), and while it had a lot of good ideas (the Ganmaizers remain one of my favourite monster groups), it never really managed to execute them especially well. Takeru wasn't the most interesting lead character, either, and while I will take him over Drive's Shinnosuke any day, he measures up poorly against Gaim's Kouta, Double's Shotaro, or even Gentaro from Fourze or Haruto from Wizard.
I probably won't be doing weekly or fortnightly reviews of Ex-Aid -- I've found it tends to dim my opinion of a show to the point where it's not enjoyable for me anymore -- but I might do reviews for each act, who knows.