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Friday, August 31, 2012

Kamen Rider Fourze Series Review

Kamen Rider Fourze is the 22nd rider series as this one continues the partner motif and mixes it with a school life. Does this series pass with flying colors or does it fail like Gen did on a test where he got four points! Fourze takes place at Amanogawa High School where students learn and the usual things. A new student appears and his name his Kisargi Gentaro as he wants to befriend everyone in the school. He already meets a familiar face, a girl named Yuuki who was her childhood friend. With her is Kengo who is a friend of hers and Gen tries to befriend, but Kengo rejects his offer. Gen continues to look around the school as he starts to meet more characters. He gets the attention of the football club and the head cheerleader Miu. Things get ugly as Shun the captain of the team orders his teammates to fight Gen. He actually holds off well against the players, but Yuuki is held captive. Soon Gen is getting beaten up by Shun outside, but it stops as a big red monster appears! Everyone runs for it and luckily Gen is saved by Kengo who pilots a mech called the Power Dizer. Later on Yuuki meets with Kengo at a secret base called the Rabbit Hutch and we soon find out it's in space! Gen finds the place as he followed the two and overhears their discussion. It seems that Kengo has a device that can battle the creatures called Zodiarts, but he doesn't have the strength to do it. Gen takes on the challenge and takes the belt. Soon he finds himself in battle facing the red Zodiart as he uses the belt to become Fourze. Originally Gen didn't call himself a rider, but when he finds out about the urban legend about the Kamen Rider he soon labels himself a rider and makes a new club called the Kamen Rider Club. He continues to fight the Zodiarts and befriends new people as the story progress, but there is more behind the Zodiarts as students are given switches to become these monsters. Somehow students are being given these switches, but who and why?
There is a whole lot of characters to talk about so first is Kengo, who acts very anti-social in the beginning, but he starts to open up more and accepts Gen as a friend. Yuuki can get annoying as she is the same as Gen. She has more energy though and in the series her so called comedic moments can be good and bad, at least she does have good emotional parts. Miu is the head cheerleader and acts like a complete bitch. We soon learn that she hates people looking up to her though since they only try to catch what reflects off of her. She thinks people should shine on their own and everyone has one shinning quality. She has the best change as she becomes the head of the club and acts very courageous. Jake is a party boy who has never really had a true friend since he uses friendship to get what he wants. He constantly tricks people so he can get his way and hides his inner self. Gen gets him to open up and even though he still acts like a party boy he is way more friendly than he was before. Shun is the head of the football team and he constantly has to work hard to impress his father and he wants everything to go the way he wants since his father blinds with the idea of him being king. Shun changes into a hero as he fights and even though no one will know of his deeds he is happy to know he is doing something good for once. Tomoko is a goth girl who keeps herself away from everyone and wants to change herself because no one likes her. Gen likes how she is and she keeps to her dark magic and yet still act carefree and opens up to everyone. The secondary rider is Meteor who is Ryusei a transfer student and he hides his indentity because of a man named Tachibana who tells him to. Ryusei wants to find a certain Zodiart so he can save his friend from a coma because of a switch going haywire. He's mostly an anti-hero since he aims for his goals and defeats Zodiarts as he assists the club. Tachibana is a man who keeps his identity secret as well as he knows a lot about switches and Fourze. What both of these riders don't know what the overall goal is though and soon after teaming up they learn that a lot is at risk.
Pros- The first thing I want to say is how great Gentaro is. It's been a while since a I liked a main rider more since Decade's character sucked while Diend was awesome, Double and Accel were head on, but Accel had some better designs here and there, then finally Date and Gotou were really great together. So what makes Gentaro so great is how he acts. Full of energy and very kind. He reminds me of Godai if he had a sugar rush. He battle style is carefree, but he does get serious in fights. He also learns and uses combinations of his weapons the Astro Switches. These switches are for Fourze only and he can use forty-one switches as five of them give him new forms. The switches were very creative weapons as we get basic ones like a Rocket or Drill to some odd ones like Pen. The other characters are really fun as well and even though they get focus episodes here and there they contribute a lot to the series. The main villains are called Horoscopes and they are evolved Zodiarts mostly representing different horoscopes signs like Scorpio. With them and the Zodiarts the designs are very good as they give their themes well and share some great creativity. Along with the designs is Fourze and he's okay with the belt being the only bad part he follows a great space theme and represents a past Henshin hero. Meteor's design is really good with the space filled with stars on his body and his belt works better with the suit. There are also great forms for these riders as the best for Fourze is Cosmic as it's the only Blue final form so far as it combines all switches. Meteor gets the Meteor Storm form which is good looking and he has a nice weapon, but it's way too toy like. The finale for the series was really strong as it didn't feel rushed and it held a great message along with the best action in the series. Now the series plays with friendship a lot, but it's not like Yugioh friendship it's actual friendship. They just don't blurt the word out they show it very well and the series plays with it greatly making some really emotional scenes. The action in the series is overall good as there can be very good direction thanks to wire working and the many switches in Fourze's arsenal. The main Horoscopes are great with Sagittarius who is Gamou who made the school for his own personal reasons and aims for his goal no matter what. Tatsugami is his body guard and even though he's not the heavy emotional character he is simply a badass. Hayami is Libra and is the one who gives out most of the switches to students, but he does become more useful later on. Virgo is a loyal follower of Gamou, but "she" hides some secrets of "her" own and becomes the big page turner. There are also Scorpio and Cancer who only had a short time, but at least they weren't arc villains.
The series also pulls off a lot of great finishers
Cons- The Horoscopes are overall good, but sadly the series needed to show them all so soon Horoscope members were treated as arc villains. Where there are great ones like Aries and Aquarius we get bad ones like Capricorn who add nothing to the series. Even though Meteor's part of the story was good the series did focus on it a little too much and that affected the pacing of the show. Then after Ryusei's story he is just an okay character which disappoints me because he was really good as an anti-hero. The main story mostly remains a mystery the whole time until the near end with only hints around to try to progress the series. The series has way too many characters, but that is only because they push minor characters in. This gives screen time an issue and the only times big players can shine are two arced episodes for them. Even when things are remained a secret there are only a handful of shocking moments as you can guess what will happen later in the series. I did like how the series shown switches early on, but there is one big problem. There wasn't much variety of switches! Fourze will mostly use forms and the same switches more and it makes the action boring at times. There are also time the series just goes into a quick finisher, but it's not flashy like Double at times as they show the same thing again and again. I mentioned this in constant episode reviews so I am saying it one more time. Episodes end at really bad points and they always end at a cliffhanger at times llike Kabuto since it's follows an arc system. Past series have done better with this, but the worst part about Fourze is that it just cuts to it like seconds after a fight. It leaves you with disappointment and when it gets back to the second part the fights just ends soon anyways. There are also some bad parts with how space is used here and there and this isn't nit-picking since there was one scene where the club members only had about one minute to escape from dying in space! (something I forgot to mention in an episode review)
 This form really only had one different finisher and it was used way too much.
Overall- It's the lesser of the partner era Kamen Rider series has it sadly has a weaker story and it follows some plot points more than OOO did. The characters really make the show the most enjoyable part and it has great comedic and emotional moments. Don't pass this series because of how friendship is mentioned it is actually used well in the series so it will pass with a B. Kamen Rider Fourze is a good series as action can be very well done with more out suit combat than usual rider series. There are great characters to follow and them alone make this a journey worth while.

1 comment:

  1. Ok I need to watch this. This is the Live Action version of Yugioh Zexal, Protagonist whose on crack basically check. Space Motif Check. Friendship Check. BTW I strongly and by that I mean how strong Kamen Rider Stronger is recommend you check out Yugioh Zexal don't listen to what the kids who grew up with the original Yugioh show that refuse to grow up hating on that one think also don't watch the show fair warnings though don't watch the dub as usual the character Kotori(Tori in the English version) is basically a bitch plain and simple in both versions and there is a ton of filler also the main rival Kiato(Kite in the english version) kinda got forgotten about in season 2. It's like what Blade is too you for me in Season 1 things were at a decent pace but when we got to the Barian arc aka Season 2 is when things got awesome thanks to one of my favorite villains ever said villain alone made any character annoyance and filler worth it. So yeah check it out but the Jappanese version not the English version