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Friday, November 9, 2012

Kamen Rider Wizard Episode 9 Review: Dragon's Roar (Spolier Alert!!!)

Continuing from the amazing last episode, Rinko leaves the store to help Haruto. Meanwhile Mikoto has been taken to a hospital as she is taken into care. Now Haruto is still in the water completely unconscious, but the dragon inside of him awakens. When Rinko gets to the scene she finds Haruto swimming out of the water with a puzzled look on his face. We then see Medusa at Hiroki's house as Phoenix breaks in and the two both happy about the defeat of the Mage. Phoenix still has one more target as he is given the task from Medusa. Back at the store Haruto is completely tired out and he can easily see that the red Phantom is much stronger than the others he has faced. Haruto looks back on how he survived and he thinks that Dragon gave him some power to live on. We then hear news of Mikiko as she is still unconscious at the hospital. Now the gang think on why Mikiko was attacked in the first place, of course they would think she is a Gate. Haruto though sees that the Phantom is going to kill Hiroki's parents to lead him into despair. When he realizes this Hiroki's father is being attacked by Phoenix. Luckily Haruto appears in Hurricane Styles, but he doesn't stay for long. After shooting Phoenix he uses the Extend Ring to make his arm stretch and grabs the father and leaves the fight. He gets the father to the hospital, but he passes out when he gets there. Phoenix is mad about how Wizard got away, but Medusa sees that he is running out of power. She tells him that if he goes, Wizard should be easy to defeat. At the hospital we see Hiroki staying in the same room as his parents and soon Phoenix enters! Haruto comes quickly, but he is easily kicked out of the room. There Phoenix grabs both parents and kills them in front of Hiroki. There he starts to fall into despair and Haruto cannot save him as he completely cracks up. Everything turns bright and it all ended up being a nightmare Haruto was having. He wakes up in a complete panic and rushes to the room and sees that Hiroki and his parents are still alive. There the father wakes up and sees that Hiroki is alright, just like Haruto's father before his death. Hiroki thinks everything is over and it's his fault, but Haruto quickly tells him that there is still hope since his parents are still alive. He also tells him to not give up since he is the hope his parents have. Haruto is now more determined than ever to protect Hiroki as he leaves the room with Rinko trying to tell him that he has not fully recovered. Haruto doesn't want the three to die and this connects to his fear of death. Haruto is slowly losing his confidence as he sees himself nothing, but a novice Mage. There Koyomi arrives with the new ring made from the stone that the White Garuda gave. Even though she doesn't trust it she thinks it is the only way right now. When he holds the ring, Dragon goes off inside of him. Haruto sees that with this ring he can fully use Dragon's powers. There is no time now as Phoenix has come to the hospital for real this time. He knocks over many people in his way and he is very determined to kill the parents. Before Haruto leaves Rinko stops him. She is afraid of the dragon because that's the Phantom inside of Haruto and she fears that power could overtake him. Haruto leaves and confronts Phoenix as he transforms and fights him. The fight quickly goes outside and he tries to use the new ring, but it doesn't work. Back to the room where Hiroki is worried about if Haruto loses. Rinko comes to tell him that he will win and to not give up hope. Sadly Wizard is not having an easy time as Phoenix is beating him up with ease. He keeps trying the new ring, but it still doesn't work. Right before Phoenix attacks, he tries once more and this time Haruto is taken to his underworld. The underworld shows when his parents died and there Dragon appears before him. This was his greatest despair, but this is also where Haruto was given his parents' hope. There Dragon tells him that the ring will be able to use his powers. Also these new powers could actually bring him closer to despair. Haruto tells Dragon differently though as his powers is Haruto's hope. Dragon is amused and gives Haruto his powers to use. There the ring finally works and the new ring gives Haruto the Flame Dragon Styles! Koyomi sees the new form and the White Mage is also watching from afar. The second part of the fight continues as Haruto starts to win in close combat. Phoenix summons his sword and to counter Haruto summons his, but this time he uses the Copy Ring with it to make a second sword! With two swords Wizard can block Phoenix's attacks and quickly counter. For the finisher Wizard uses the ring he couldn't use before and activates the Special Ring. The ring summons Dragon's spirit as his head appears from Wizard's chest. Phoenix uses his fire magic, but the fire magic from Wizard's attack overpowers him and finishes him off. After a couple of days everything is back to normal, things are much better with Hiroki and his parents and Haruto is completely recovered or as Shunpei says "Powered Up." Rinko and Koyomi talking to each other about how both of them were worried for Haruto. The episode ends with Medusa talking about Phoenix's defeat and she is not talking to herself. Phoenix is somehow still around.
This first part, episode 8 was great and 9 followed up by being amazing! We got to see more of Haruto and I love how his past plays a more crucial part than I thought. We learn that Haruto is afraid of death itself and not his own, but others dying around him. This is a great trait for him since he saw his parents die and he saw tons of people dying during the Phantom ritual. It's very understandable why he has this fear and that part makes Haruto look stronger since he fought his despair even with people dying around him. This episode served to be a focus episode for him and it works perfectly as Haruto evolves with a new power.

Next is Phoenix and I am not that surprised that he is alive. His name is Phoenix and if you know what a phoenix is then you know how he comes back. A phoenix is a being that can revive itself from it's own ashes so Phoenix simply came back to life. We got to see more of him again as he is allowed to play around like in the last episode. He's really straight forward with the plan, but that could because of Medusa and Wiseman. Still seeing him doing what he wanted felt so good to see since he was held back. Now he is going to be back to his old position of watching in the background, but we know that a rivalry has been made with Wizard and Phoenix.
One part I really want to talk about was Haruto's dream where the worst outcome happens. I was actually tricked by this. First is how it comes. The scene happens after Phoenix is told to attack again so it didn't feel off. Before someone goes, "Wouldn't someone have seen him coming in?" remember he has a human form so he could have sneaked in with ease. Then in my thought process I was thinking that Hiroki would become a Phantom, but since he was still young it would have gone on a rampage. It is a darker route and even though it didn't happen what actually happens is still very good. That one scene though was put in perfectly and shows Haruto's fear of someone dying in front of him.
Now onto Hiroki, he was very silent in this episode and that makes tons of sense. His parents are in terrible condition and he is blaming himself. He is the first stage of despair, depression and usually a kid won't talk when he's in a sad mood. The plot of this episode also reflects Haruto's past with Hiroki's parents almost dying. This setting shows more of Haruto's determination and since his parents couldn't talk to him he had to give him some hope. Then the whole time Hiroki is sticking with his parents during the whole episode. It's a great character interaction and Shunpei wasn't as involved like the first part, but Rinko and Koyomi were more involved. Both show doubt about the new ring and don't want to lose Haruto. I really like how Koyomi is now since she and Rinko were thinking the same way.
Another scene is when Haruto goes to his own underworld. Again I love how this episode focuses on Haruto's despair. This scene alone shows that and even though the moment he lost his parents was his greatest despair it was also when he got his final hope. I am actually shocked to see Dragon be a character because since he just looked like a monster. It does make sense though since he didn't fuse with a human body and I think all Phantoms have that stage until they get human bodies. This does remind me of Naruto with how he confronts the Nine Tailed Fox inside of him. It was a one time thing and it wasn't stretched out. Dragon gives Haruto his powers at that point. What makes it better is that this still doesn't make Dragon look like a complete good guy still. He told Haruto that using his powers could lead him into despair so letting Haruto use his powers could be his plan. So now we got a look at Dragon the Phantom inside of Haruto and even though he is trapped in Haruto he could be thinking of something.
Now it's time for action! First is the Extend Ring and it's basically the Luna memory from Double, but it's a very useful power. Also with the new Dragon form can use rings with the sword and gun imagine a blade being able to extend. Going to that Flame Dragon Styles is amazing! The look gets a complete makeover with Red being the biggest part of the suit compared to Wizard's overall black design. His fighting styles does change a little and I can't wait to see the other Dragon forms and how they will fight. Then there is the Special Ring and I guess it will work with the other Dragon forms. The special with this one is summoning the head of Dragon and using it's flames for the final attack. The effects with this were great as a fire dragon was seen and the head popping out of the chest looked great. Then with the magic ring behind Wizard and seeing him levitate was another nice touch. Finally the flame animations are really good even in other episodes and this attack is no exception. The song that comes with it is "Just Beginning" and yes it's the Kamen Rider Girls again, but this time it feels like a rider song this time. I will go further in detail when the full versions come out. Flame Dragon Styles is a very impressive form and it's only episode 9 so expect the other Dragon forms to come soon as well.
Overall episode 8 and 9 are near perfect episodes. This is easily the best batch of episodes from Wizard so far and are great examples for any episodes in the franchise. The villains were great with how they acted differently and Phoenix was a very strong opponent and with his blood lust it just made things better. We got to know more of the main hero and see his greatest despair and when he got his final hope. This then leads to him confronting the Phantom inside of him. The character interaction was done perfectly with the right characters playing their roles. Finally even with all of this there is still so much that is covered. Like the White Mage, who is he and what is he planning? Since he is getting Haruto to power up this could mean something is about to happen. Nine episodes in and I am this excited I so hope the pay off will be great. This episode gets an A+
Next Time: The police get a little more involved


  1. Ya know how Glamador said episode 8 was about as perfect a piece of Masked Rider viewing as he could hope for? Well he hadn't seen this episode yet.

    These two episodes together were just...just wow. No question about it now, Glam's a fan.

    I was actually fooled by the death scene as well, and more than a little surprised given how sterile KR has been as of late. Technically it still we haven't seen any pronounced death outside of flashbacks yet. But boy was it a powerful scene real or not.

    Haruto's battle of wills with Duragon was classic. His jabs at his demon's trying to drive him to despair were spot on, tonally and made a lot of sense. Though Glam suspects Haruto's resolve is not quite so ironclad as the front he puts on for his phantom.

  2. It's just the time and placement that scene had that made it very believable and I was really thinking that because I didn't think Phoenix wouldn't come back. Then I remembered he's a phoenix. Yea death in Kamen Rider has been lacking if you don't count the many villains who die. I see what you mean though by how heroes or side characters not being killed. This is a different time for Toku shows so I don't expect a lot of death scenes coming up. Then with Dragon I don't think Haruto could really put a front to him since Dragon is apart of him. His reasoning is very strong since he has experienced with dead hands on and he almost died as well. Wizard has that good blend of dark and light elements sort of like Double. Which is great for superhero shows since it gives it some sense of realism.

  3. It's not even heroes or side-characters, it's just death in general. In Kuuga, Agito, Faiz, Ryuki, Hibiki, Kabuto, Kiva...every single rider up to Decade which I have no knowledge of past that...had regular, frequent, innocent deaths. I believe there was a numbered death count of something like 285 in ONE episode of Kuuga. The Grongi must have killed half of Tokyo by the end of the series.

    But even in Kiva, you've got plenty of death right in the first few episodes. And not just death, but serial rapists and thought-to-be-good characters going around killing people...for their taste in coffee.

    That not a single character has died on-screen, in the present in Wizard yet is pretty strange. Though maybe one of those bystanders bit it when Glam wasn't paying attention. He recalls that there was multiple deaths in the first episode of OOO as well (an entire ridevendor squad, two guards, and at least 1 cop + a half if you count Ankh's host).

  4. Ankh's host, Hina;s sister didn't die he was just in critical condition. Also for Kuuga and older rider series it was a different time. Now even Japan shows some holding back for kid shows. It's just new kids aren't the same as others. Still these series still gives good realism about death just not in the most darkest way possible like Kuuga. Even Double had some deaths here and there with civilians if you think about it a lot since people were used for Gaia Memory tests.

  5. That's why I said "+ a half". He was only 'mostly dead'.

    Wizard is a lot less sterile than the episodes of Fourze Glamador has seen. The fact that so many deaths happened during the eclipse flashback is enough for that. Though...even in the first episode of Fourze at least 1 person died...

    Ya just can't have a Masked Rider series without some death it seems. Some just had more prominent and gruesome ones than most.'s lookin' at you. Worms are just plain scary.

  6. Worms were alright, they could have been done a little better with how the Natives were used. Again death is a very realistic thing and I think that works for any type of show. Being realistic even with fantasy elements.