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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kamen Rider Wizard Episode 8 Review: Wrath of the Phoenix (Spolier Alert!!)

First thing I have to say is that I am surprised that I have to give this alert for Wizard so early. Now eight doesn't have the biggest spoilers, but it leads up to nine which will be for another time. The episode begins with Shunpei being impressed by all the rings that Wajime as made. Soon Shunpei finds a ring he hasn't seen. Haruto says it doesn't work with the belt for some reason and this leads Shunpei to see it as a dud ring. Wajime is offended by the man who was just appreciating him. Soon a White Garuda flys into the store. The gang see it and realize that Haruto didn't summon it. Shunpei gets the idea to catch it as he jumps first. During the hi-jinks, Shunpei accidentally catches the Red Garuda by mistake as the white one escapes. Afterwards they notice that the bird left a box behind. In it is a new magic stone and it reacts to the so called "dud" ring. Wajime quickly gets to work with the new stone as the others wonder who it's from. Meanwhile Medusa finds another Gate. Haruto is outside walking with Rinko and Shunpei as the two guys keep wondering about the white bird. Haruto thinks it could be from the White Mage as he thinks back to when he fought his despair. Shunpei sees that Haruto knows something, but he doesn't say and he doesn't have to. The Garuda appears giving the signal that there is trouble. A little boy is being attacked by a group of Ghuls. Haruto then appears and fights them off in Flame Styles. Wizard finishes off the Ghuls and now to help the new Gate they will need guardian approval since hanging around a little kid can get people worried. When Haruto tries to ask him to take him back home the kid stays silent. He quickly kicks Shunpei in the privates and runs off, Haruto catches him, but the boy screams out that he is being kidnapped. Haruto let's go and the kid gives Haruto a the same kick he gave Shunpei. Finally Rinko gets him and tries to talk with him. Sadly an officer was around the scene and sees that it was a kidnapping and arrests Rinko on the spot. After that little scene, things get resolved at the police center and soon the kid's mother comes. She is really mad at her son Hiroki for causing trouble for the others. Haruto then calls out the mother's name, Mikiko. The two seem to remember each other from the past. Medusa walks around and soon Phoenix comes up to talk to her about how he wants to get in the action. He thinks he can stop Wizard by himself, but Medusa doesn't want him to go berserk and accidentally kill the Gate as it seems he did this before. Now Phoenix sees he is getting nowhere with her, but he is now going to get permission from someone with higher power. Back to the heroes as Shunpei is speculating about how Haruto knows Mikiko. After another hi-jinks moment Haruto already explained the situation to Mikiko and shows her that he is indeed a Mage by summoning the Kracken. Mikiko sees that Haurto has grown up well even after the incident from before. This incident was when Haruto's parents died after a car crash. They were only alive for a little longer in the hospital as they tell Haruto is their hope. Later on that day Mikiko tells Hiroki that Haruto will be coming with them, but he doesn't want to go home. He rather go to Haruto's place as he says he hates his parents. To avoid issues, Shunpei quickly decides to take good care of Hiroki. Later on we see Phoenix talking to someone about how Wizard is slowing their progress. This person is no other than Wiseman. He sees that Phoenix is actually just bored of his surveillance job, but he still allows Phoenix to go. He even tells him a way to get the Gate into despair. Back at the antique store we see that Hiroki is much more happier while he is playing with Shunpei. Haruto can see that something is still up and at night we see that Hiroki cannot sleep. Haruto talks to him during the night seeing that he actually wants to be home. The kid talks about his problem with how his father is working too much. This also leads to how he doesn't listen to him and his mother always take the father's side of the argument. Hiroki sees that his parents don't care for him and since his mother let him go he see that's more. Haruto quickly proves him wrong by showing him all the message his mother as left. All of them are all about Hiroki's safety. Now Hiroki has higher insight and with Haruto's help he is ready to go back home. It's a new day and Haruto and Shunpei are ready to take Hiroki back home, but when they see Mikiko she is greatly injured! Phoenix appears as he holds her by the throat and throws her away. Haruto transforms into Wizard and begins the fight. Things look even, but later on we see that Phoenix is much stronger than Wizard. Wizard tries to use the Slash Strike, but his fire magic has no effect on Phoenix. He then begins to show his fire magic by setting the woods on fire! Wizard tries switching to Water Styles and uses Shooting Strike, but not even that works. Phoenix then goes straight for Wizard as he changes into Land Styles. He tries defending himself with the Defend Ring, but Phoenix destroys each stone slate when they appear. Wizard then tries to take him head on again with his sword, but Phoenix gets him down on the ground. There he grabs Wizard and throws him over the bridge and slashes him across the chest as he falls into the water.
Episode eight delivers more greatness that Wizard just keeps giving us. I have complained about Phoenix not doing much, but it all makes sense now. Phoenix has messed up in the past and is given another job and even though he hates it he still follows the higher ones. I really like how mad he is, but he still got common sense. When he saw that Medusa still didn't trust him he didn't try to get into a fight. This easily shows that Medusa is powerful. This leads Phoenix to try to get permission from much higher power. I am surprised on how smart Phoenix actually is at times in this episode. Then we see him in action and sure he was following Wiseman's words, but I have a feeling that he is still going too far, but this could mean Wiseman is much more evil than I thought. This is like Medusa attacking Koyomi it shows that the villains want progression. They want to follow their ways, but with Wizard bringing problems they know they have to act differently. This is so far the best view on the villains as they keep to being very straight forward to achieve their goals.
Also in this episode we see Haruto's past and the death of his family was brought up in the last episode. Now some people can complain on how cliche that scene was and it's very similar to Fourze. Gen also lost his parents and their ideals helped him to become the person he is now. What's different is that Haruto's loss feels more plot driven. In Fourze it was basically brought up and it was never talked about again. In Wizard we at least got some background information before we find out what happened. Also I bet this will connect to the next episode. So it's not the best way to bring up a plot device like this, but at least it feels more important than how Fourze did it.
The episode continues on a comedic tone for the first part of the arc which reminds me of episode six. Like episode six, this episode knows when things get serious and transits well into the more seriousness plot points. The comedy was good and since it's a show for both kids and adults I can appreciate what it's doing. The first comedic burst was the chase scene with the White Garuda and that was nothing special as Shunpei messes up. The second one was really good because of how fast it comes up. The kid quickly reacts and tries to run away. It was a surprise to see that since I thought the kid would just stay quiet mostly which is a usual Toku trend. The best part though was Rinko being arrested as it's just like episode one when Haruto got arrested. They even have Wajime over-react when he heard the news. It was nice to see Rinko be the one in cuffs this time, payback is a bitch!
The character interaction was good with the villains having the best scenes no doubt which I have talked about a lot already. Shunpei had a little more involvement as he stayed around the child and did anyone notice on how those two dressed similarly. Hiroki is a good character even though he acts like the shun in child, but he did have those bursts which were surprising at times. He even had a little better back story with how he just wanted his parents to listen to him. A lot of times the kids' reasons for having issues with their parents was usually just not being around (heck Go-busters did that in a recent episode). Rinko did somethings as well like giving Haruto some advice about how to get guardian permission which is something I don't see that much in Toku shows. I mean really so many shows have kids involved and the heroes don't bother with the parents at times. The mother added in some good scenes with how she remembers Haruto leading to the flashback and seeing her constant messages. Another good point is that Haruto's phone battery was dying because of that so good little details there. Overall the story arc with Hiroki is cliche, but it is being done better compared to other Toku shows.
Finally we got the action and the first fight was simply just Wizard fighting Ghuls, so no point in talking much about that. It was a quick fight that had good camera views and a good flow. Now onto the real fight. Wizard against Phoenix is the major point of the episode and it gives us what we wanted. I loved seeing how Phoenix actually got Wizard by his weak points in his fighting style. He got Wizard by his feet and made him fall to the ground when he tried moving around a lot. The camera even shown this as he got good close ups on where Wizard was hit. Then we see Wizard struggle and trying anything possible with a Fire finisher, to the Water finisher, defending in Land Styles, and then trying close combat once more. Then we get the end of the episode with Phoenix giving a big slash across Wizard's chest. This fight is one of the best and I bet it will stay like that for a while since there was ton of good details as Wizard's style has been beaten.
When will Wizard stop being amazing? If you know anyone who isn't watching this show tell them to watch it now! This episode had one of the best fights in the series so far, great insight for the villains, and even though this episode used cliches the way they put them in are better than usual. So this episode gets an A.

Next Time: Flame Dragon Please!


  1. This episode was just about as close to perfect KR as I could wish for. And with Dragon Form coming up next episode...I think we're in for a treat.

    Apparently they're gonna go through a LOT of forms in this show. 4 elements x2 for each Dragon upgrade plus variable finishers in the form of rings AND Dragorise (please) AND various slashes and shots from his weapon.

    Has there ever been a toku with this much variety this early on? Fourze's switches and OOO's medals had a lot of combos, but they didn't USE them this much this early.

  2. This is sort of like Kuuga. Kuuga had four form and each form had the rising form. In a way the new forms could show the progression in Haruto's magic so this series could have some elements from Kuuga. Wizard is really pulling things off early though and I can't wait for more!