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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kamen Rider Wizard Episode 14 Review: The Big Role (Spoiler Alert!!!)

The episode begins with Wiseman changing into his Phantom form and pulling out a blue magic stone from his chest as he is plotting something. There is a familiar watching over him though and when it sees the stone it runs off. With our heroes Haruto and Koyomi are on a date?! Well it's basically just getting Koyomi out since she doesn't very much while the other three play some games. We go to the date to see Koyomi try on many different outfits, but gets tired of this and wants to head back. Koyomi then reaches up to Haruto who bought her a beret to wear. There the Cerberus familiar is tugging at Haruto's shoe as it starts to run off again. The two follow the creature, but that doesn't last long. Somewhere else a fight between two punks is beginning, but one of them are attacked by Medusa. The other man runs away and Haruto sees the man fleeing and hears him screaming that there is a monster. Haruto decides to see if it's a Phantom while Koyomi follows the Cerberus. Medusa soon catches her target with her snakes, but Haruto comes and fires at her back. The man seems to recognize Haruto while Haruto doesn't know him at all. There a fight begins as Haruto changes into Hurricane Styles and like last time things aren't looking good for him. Even when Medusa has her back turned and Wizard uses the Big Ring, she stops the attack and destroys the giant arm. Wizard won't give up though as he must protect the Gate as he changes into Hurricane Dragon. He summons another weapon, but uses one gun and one sword. The fight becomes more fair as Wizard uses the Thunder attack as Medusa takes this opportunity to retreat as she vanishes when the attack is over. After the fight Haruto checks if the man is okay and thinks about who he possibly is. The man says he just made a mistake and tries to leave, but Haruto stops him since he is a Gate. Now we get to Koyomi who gets to the forest as the Cerberus is still leading her to somewhere. Then at the store there seems to be a scary presence around as someone is watching the three in the store! The person enters and it's just a woman who wanted to look at an old projector. She talks about how nostaligic it is to look at the item since she was in a film shoot before. She mentions on how the film wasn't finished since the director vanished, but destiny seems to be pulling some strings. Haruto returns with the man and the woman seems to know him. The man is Satoshi and this is the director who vanished as she yells at him. The girl is named Chizuru and she asks on why he has been gone and he replies with that he's been escaping from Phantoms. Later on Koyomi is lead to the save where Wiseman was. Later on Haruto and the gang explained the situation to Chizuru as they prove it with some magic. Now that she knows she isn't mad since Satoshi is focusing on protecting himself. After being reminded that the movie still needs to be edited he insists that he has to finish it. Koyomi is then in the cave while the others followed Haruto and Satoshi to the college's movie club. The gang look around and see a bunch of old pictures as they are kicked out so Satoshi can begin his editing. While outside, Chizuru talks about the past when she was the lead role in a movie. She had fun back then and Haruto asks what's happening now since it was fun back then. Chizuru's acting career is not going well as she is rejected for roles and is scolded in classes even though Satoshi called her the great actress. She is thinking of quitting because of this and when the others try to convince her not to, she gets off the subject and goes to check on Satoshi. He's gone though as the gang go out to look for him. Koyomi finally gets to where Wiseman was as the only thing around is the magic stone. Cerberus also left and went back to his master which is the White Mage. We see Satoshi with no one meaning he left on his own. He is caught by Medusa and Phoenix, but we learn that they are after him for a different reason. Satoshi is actually a Phantom called Lizardman and the same Phantom that attacked Haruto when he fought off his despair. The reason why he was attacked was because he attacked a human and that's against the Phantom's way since it could have been a Gate. No worries though they are giving Lizardman another chance since Haruto thinks he is a Gate. They want Lizardman to kill him since he has the opportunity to. Koyomi gets to the store and gives Wajima the stone and going  back to Haruto, he finds Satoshi. The two walk around as Lizardman tries to kill Haruto with a truck! Luckily Haruto sees an old lady who needed help so he moved slightly faster. Then at a junkyard he tries to kill Haruto with a car, but he avoids it. Then when he is walking he sees Satoshi change into Lizardman in a reflection of a car window he dodges an attack from him. After some talking Haruto recognizes him from six months ago and the two fight. Flame Styles is used and the fight is pretty much even. Chizuru walks into the scene and sees the fight as Lizardman holds her hostage. Medusa doesn't take a liking to this as she gets Lizardman away. Wizard realizes that Chizuru must be a gate as Medusa begins to attack her!
Wizard keeps doing it, another great episode to watch. First is Satoshi or Satocchi..... (subs kept mixing it around). I am really liking this character. We were meant to think that he was acting like a human, but he was only using the memories. I really liked this since his scenes were very good. A great comedy moment with him and Chizuru and then having suspenseful moments when he was confronted by Medusa and Phoenix. The actual person is Lizardman and I like his attitude he loves to kill it seems. He has no hesitation to use people for his goals or just wanting to kill someone. He even keeps a director like touch since he tells people they will play the part of the corpse. We didn't see him fight much, but his design is really good with the green coloring and the rough skin. One question though, he uses a sledgehammer at his final attempt.... why not just use the sword he has? I guess he just wanted to pick something up quick to knock him out since hammers can't really kill. Also I loved how his little plots to kill Haruto. Overall a very impressive start and I know in the next episode he will be really good.
Next is the beginning of the episode. It's a far much different beginning compared to others since we got to see a little bit of romance which is something the series is actually doing. With other Kamen Rider series a love interest can come out at random at times. The bond between Haruto and Koyomi is building up and I love when they have scenes together. They are simple scenes that can make me smile as Haruto shows his really good sides. Then the scene when Koyomi was trying clothes on was a good scene again it's simple and is made to make you smile. So I am liking how the series is really working with romance like Kiva did, just somewhat better.
Now I will talk about Wiseman. We saw him in the very beginning and that was it. I bet some people won't be too happy with this, but it works. Again the series makes us think. That scene shows us that Wiseman had a magic stone. Does this mean he has been sending them out? Do the other two stones have any connection to him. Then there is the White Mage who was in for a quick moment. He had his Cerberus get Koyomi to the stone. Does this mean that the White Mage is Wiseman? Or did he have his Cerberus just watch Wiseman to see if another stone will come out? There are so many possibilities with just two little moments and the series is easily poking our brains with what is happening and what could happen.
I feel like talking about what some people could not like. This is mostly when Haruto is almost killed by cars and the first time he didn't notice. Things happen all the time and people can easily miss events that happen right near them. I mean with Satoshi just leaving and Haruto not noticing makes sense. I had moments like this when I think I was talking with someone and the whole time they weren't around. So this can actually happen and I know tons of people who love to watch cars getting crushed at a junkyard. Those scenes were mostly comedy and I got little laughs from them.
This was another good comedy scene as well
Finally onto Chizuru who is the Gate for this arc. I give credit I wasn't really expecting for her to be a Gate since she wasn't that much involved. Now what might get her into despair is very easy. She didn't find out that Satoshi is actually dead and we can tell she had a good bond with him. The real Satoshi seems to be a really nice guy and the type of person who can walk up to anyone and say hello. He has a love for movies with him being a director which is something I love as well. So Lizardman will probably be given the task to put her into despair and that could be pretty easy for him since he knows her.
One last thing and that is the action which there wasn't a whole lot of. Mostly just two with Wizard fighting Medusa and Lizardman. The fight with Medusa was really good since we got another look at her powers. She stopped the Big spell and then destroyed it easily showing petrification like magic which makes sense since she's Medusa. We also got to see that Wizard can fight her with the Dragon forms, but since Medusa only ran away so that Lizardman can get the kill I wouldn't put my money on Wizard just yet. Then the fight with Lizardman was short because of the hostage situation. What was nice that Wizard did stay in his base style for that fight. I do love the Dragon form, but other forms shouldn't be ignored. Hurricane has easily gotten more screen time from the previous episodes though.
Overall it's not an action packed episode, but the comedy and drama deserved the spotlight. There were short funny moments and some that just made me smile. I love the Phantom as he has blood lust and is not the usual Phantom. There are also scenes that just make you think a whole lot because the origin of the magic stones could be explained, but why is Wiseman giving Wizard more powers? That matters though if Wiseman is doing that, who knows the stone could have been made for another reason. See that's another thing I just thought of. So this episodes gets an A for giving good attention to the plot by having people think what's happening and for the little comedic scenes.
Next Time: Wizard is flowing with another form


  1. Increasingly these episodes are feeling just...well, boring. Nothing of particular interest really happened this episode and the formula of protecting gates is already getting stale.

    Even though they tried to mix it up and have the gate BE the bad guy, it all ended up being the same thing, hanging out with the gate and learning his(her) story, fighting the phantom, the whole nine. The "gate" being fake didn't change a single thing about how the episode progressed.

    The TINIEST of tidbits about Wiseman and the White Wizard were nice...but the overarching plot of this series is moving at a snails pace and it feels like they blew their load on the Phoenix mini-arc because every one since has felt like more of the same.

    Where's the serious character development? Or, lacking that, some major plot points? It's too episodic. And while that's not a bad thing when the episode is good, the fact that we're stuck with the boring ones 2 weeks in a row without any other payoff story-wise is...well kind of annoying.

  2. I'm fine with it since we are seeing Haruto getting new powers, but why? The White Mage easily wants him to progress his powers and Wiseman is probably aiming to get Haruto to give into despair since using Dragon's power could do that. Also many other series do this, Den-o with the Imajin and that's a story that moved at a snail's pace. Kiva did do this at times, but not as much. It was mostly Decade and the series after that, that did the two arc style. For me nothing is wrong with keeping what is working as the series is moving at a fine pace for me. The characters are nice and I love the attention to the little things. Also learning that the Gate was a fake did progress the plot because of the fight that concurred and learning that Chizuru is the actual Gate. These arcs are being done well IMO with giving good screen time to the needed characters, for me no one is really ignored they play their parts well. Unlike some past series that kept some characters stuck in the ground and only did one or two scenes and never shown up again.

  3. It's not the 2-episode structure I'm concerned with, I like that actually and always have. It's the lackluster reveals and minimal overarching plot content that's bogging it down. The Dragon forms are coming far too soon after one another. There's no build-up, no excitement. Not even for Flame Dragon it's like...Haruto's a smart guy, one little loss to a stronger-than-average Phantom and he's crying for a powerup? You've got a dozen rings! Use them in new and interesting ways! A color change is only worth so much.

    OOO had the 2-ep arc and yet every one had a lot more going on. The Greeed had their power struggle, Maki and Gotou/Date were having their little battle of wills until Maki split off, Ankh was constantly developing....there was just so much going on that it was easy to be bored by the Yummy of the Fortnight and still feel like things were happening.

    And Kiva had an incredibly linear narrative to the point where the Fangire of the Fortnight was almost a side-plot, at least early on (I'm on Ep. 12).

    Den-O may have had a slow builup (On Ep. 16 atm) but like OOO each arc has a lot of elements. Not to mention Den-O was a comedy so a lot can be excused in the name of humor. The Imagin scenes break-up a lot of the monotony in the formula and the constant introduction of new supporting characters that add to the DenLiner passenger car chaos makes it feel like progress is happening.

    Wizard is stagnant. 14 episodes now and we've had a handful of pretty good mini-arcs, a couple really excellent ones, a few meh, and that's IT. Next to no character development, no overarching plot development, and nothing to keep our attention from arc to arc.

    It's a show that's riding on its action. And while the choreography is still excellent the Dragon forms are KILLING the tension in fights...I remember the Light Ring and the Liquid Ring and the Smell Ring's introductions and...well they felt like they had more purpose and weight than any of the Dragons.

  4. I see what you mean about the Dragon forms, it's like if Kuuga just had his form come right after another..... oh wait that did happen for Kuuga. Also Kuuga's plot did take a while too if you really think about it. There was the constant mystery of who the Grongi were and what exactly was going on. It took that series a while to do that. What the series did do is make you wonder and Wizard is doing the same and not as good, but still very enjoyable for me. Well for OOO there are very ignored characters, Maki hogged some of that spotlight which is fine since I really like him. Kougami didn't do that much until the end, Uva was barely seen when he went on his own, the Births were then poorly treated. Ankh is like Maki and by that he did hog the spotlight as well, but when other Ankh did get in the show afterwards the show hit a slump. Still Wizard is keeping my interest with the new forms and using more rings than OOO did since he just went to combos all the time.

  5. I specifically refrained from using Pre-Kabuto examples because everything before that point is a different kettle of fish. Wizard is definitely following the "modern rider series" set of elements. Kuuga is hardly even comparable considering the dramatic tonal difference, smaller cast of characters, and very different handling of the forms from their uses to their reveals to their frequency.

    Glamador's not against new abilities. Having a huge pool of abilities to draw from is one thing that makes the action in W or OOO stay fresh, though OOO didn't always utilize to the fullest potential. It's a matter of how much importance is being granted the Dragon forms in particular. Their range of abilities isn't much varied from the base elements and the way they've been used has led to more of a "nuke them to hell" approach to finishers as opposed to the clever ring usage like Liquid or Drill.

    The fight with Cat Sidhe with the Liquid Ring wrestling is my personal favorite thus far.

  6. While his forms are being given to him this is showing an increase of his powers it's similar to Kuuga during when he started getting the rising forms just done in a different way. When I see the Dragon forms they are the finisher forms and each have something of use since the special ring gives them different powers. Which is something I like a whole lot since other rider series would have used different items just for those powers. So far my favorite fight would be when Wizard faced Mole for the last time as Land Styles really shows that it's strong. Overall, Wizard's method is similar to Kuuga for me since this is an aspect of Wizard's powers it's just being done so that the other characters can be important to that development. I should have mention this before too, but I like build up for series. Now there are good ones like Wizard right now since the series is poking at my head while there are completely long and useless build ups because it's very obvious (tons of anime series). Ever since Decade the build up method is being used while Wizard takes a different lead with this by giving moments of heavy thoughts and not being obvious like Fourze was at times.