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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kamen Rider Wizard Episode 16 Review: The Magic of Christmas

It's that time of the year for Kamen Rider to do a Christmas episode and to start it off is Haruto and Koyomi going to the woods to see if they can find the cave where the blue stone was. They seem to be going in circles as Haruto suspects someone is doing this, as we see it's Wiseman preventing them. Meanwhile Phoenix and Medusa are walking around the city as Phoenix wants to burn down the area since someone should fall into despair. Medusa soon finds a Gate though and surprisingly she lets Phoenix handle it, but she tells him to not go on a rampage. We then move on to Rinko who is giving out flyers for winter crime prevention and for some reason she has to be dressed in a Santa outfit. The Chief appears and tells her this is her punishment for going off with the Phantom cases even though he has been told that Rinko can do that from now on. The Chief gets carried away soon after making a rather bold statement and when Rinko turns around, Koyomi and Haruto are right in front of her. The two wonder what exactly she is doing as Haruto finds this rather funny. The laughs end though when Kracken appears to tell Haruto about Phantoms being present. The three head off to the scene as the man from before is attacked by Ghuls. Haruto transforms into Wizard and uses the Copy ring to fight the Ghuls. It was a quick fight and after they tell the Gate what is happening at the store he doesn't believe a single word they say. The man is rather rude as well and storms off since this is his day of hope. Haruto soon starts to head off as well since he is worried about how only Ghuls showed up. We go back to Phoenix who seems to be rather happy as Medusa appears before him to ask what he is doing. She is concerned since Wizard is involved like before, but that is exactly what Phoenix wants. Later on the Gate named Tatsurou is working hard as he goes to one job after another. The Chief returns again in a Reindeer outfit this time and gets Rinko to get her back to work. During a delivery job, Tatsurou sees kids playing at an orphanage as the two guys try to talk to him again. Before things get violent a man comes out and recognizes Tatsurou. He storms off once again as the man from before tell Haruto about Tatsurou. Back then he caused many issues and ran away three years ago and before the scene goes away the man tells Haruto about the big present. Tatusurou finishes his last job for the day and uses all that money to buy gifts. Haruto finds him once more and this time they actually talk. Haruto heard about the big present as a mysterious person has been giving gifts on Christmas Eve. Since Tatsurou didn't help much at all in his past he wants to help others and give hope to the kids. Haruto decides to help him with this task, but Phoenix appears! Haruto dodges Phoenix's blade for a little while and transforms into Wizard. The fight doesn't go well though as Wizard needs to use Dragon's powers. He uses Flame Dragon's Special finisher, but it doesn't work as Phoenix walks through the flames. With Wizard on the ground, Phoenix then burns the presents as this sends Tatsurou to despair. Phoenix then goes for the finish, but Wizard saves himself by using the Connect ring to get his sword back. Wizard then goes to Water Dragon and after a little sword play he uses Blizzard, but even that doesn't stop Phoenix. Wizard quickly uses the Slash Strike and when it hits Phoenix's flames ice appears and freezes Phoenix. Then Wizard summons his tail with the Special ring and destroys Phoenix. Now Haruto heads to Tatsurous and uses the Enage Ring to go into his Underworld. The giant monster appears and Wizard summons Dragon like usual. Kick Strike is used for the finisher as the monster actually tries to kick back, but of course it's destroyed. Before leaving the Underworld, Santa Claus appears and gives Wizard a gift. When Haruto returns to the real world, Phoenix revives like last time and leaves. Even with Tatsurou saved, the presents are still ruined and it's nighttime. Luckily Haruto opens his present and in it is a new ring. It's the Merry Christmas ring as it fixes up the gifts. The ring then vanishes as Haruto sees that was the real Santa he met, wait Santa is a Mage?! Tatsurou puts the presents at the front door of the building as the man spots him and talks to him. The man invited Tatsurou to come back since this is his home and tells him to forget the past and be the children's hope. The episode ends with the gang heading off to the store.

I am surprised by this episode. First it's another one arc episode which is a nice call back to episode one. Just like episode one this episode was paced very well. It tells us about the new character and his story. Tatsurou is a nice character and acts like another Haruto just like Tetsuya was. This is one thing I am loving a whole lot from this series. It shows how other people can be helpers without having super powers. Giving hope to another is much bigger than one might think and can change someone completely. This episode also brings up a point I mentioned in my last review. Even if a Gate is saved from despair they can still not be happy. Tatsurou was saved, but the present were still destroyed until the Christmas ring. So preventing despair from happening is more important than just using the Engage ring to save them. Overall Tatsurou is a good character as he is a nice man who wants to atone for his mistakes and do what he originally wanted to do.
Another great thing this episode had was Phoenix. He is given another chance to fight and he really takes this opportunity. He goes on his own just so he could fight Wizard and how he does it shows he is very capable to do things on his own. He was very controlled this time and didn't have to go crazy like Wiseman had him do from before. He uses Ghuls just to get Haruto's attention and waited for the right time to strike. I was really expecting him to be like last time and just appear without any plan. He didn't though as he really worked to get the perfect moment and we see that every time he dies he becomes more powerful. So we know how strong he is already, but that power will increase and surprisingly Phoenix can be smart. He even told Medusa to stay out because he knew exactly what he is doing. Phoenix is a very fun rival character and I can't wait to see how more powerful he becomes.
This episode also brought up a lot of reminders which is something I like and can be hints that more things can be coming up. First was with Rinko and how is now allowed to go onto Phantom cases. Since she is allowed could this mean more officers could be allowed to get involved. Also I know Haruto has more trust with Kizaki, but I bet he is still inspecting on what's going on. Another good reminder was with Haruto on how he doesn't have parents since Tatsurou doesn't have his either. Which is another good point for Tatsurou he is Haruto without the magic powers and holding onto his past. A really good view point for this episode. There was even a reminder with Wiseman since last time Koyomi found a stone in the cave, but now he is not allowing anyone else to get close to it. The series is giving us a lot of good things to think about and with the Koyomi's Phantom still out there is a lot that can happen soon.
The episode had more of a comedic sense compared to other episodes and it fits for the Christmas feel. The best part of the humor was Haruto's actor as seeing him chuckle up was funny enough. Even somethings in the background got me to laugh. In one scene we see the other cops messing around with the Chief and carry him away. Also there was Shunpei playing with the kids which gave me a smile. Rinko was a delight for this episode as she didn't want the outfit, but when she got a compliment she changes completely. So the humor for this episode was higher and I like that.
Finally there was the action in the series and this is where my only complaint is. Two of the fights weren't that special. The Ghul fight was quick and even though my favorite ring Copy was used we did see it used like this before. Then the Dragon fight ended like usual with a Kick Strike even though I did like how the monster tried to clash with that attack. The major highlight was a fight with Phoenix and goodness it was amazing. This is where we find out how more powerful Phoenix can become since he takes on Dragon's fire without any problems. He even fended off the Blizzard attack. What got him was freezing him by hitting him directly and when frozen even he can't get out. Also that fight gives us our first Slash Strike with a Dragon form and we saw the water slash before so there are big differences already. The slash with Water Dragon freezes the enemy like the Blizzard ring does. So even with two fights not being that different the fight with Phoenix was special showing us how great their fights can become.
Overall this Christmas episode is a nice touch for the series. The hope theme really works great here since this holiday can make a lot of people happy. Tatsurou was a good character and in ways is very similar to Haruto. There were nice reminders from this episode and having this episode be finished in one episode reminds us of episode one. The pacing was well done as nothing felt rushed even though we are used to the two part style. Phoenix was at his best once more showing that he can do a whole lot on his own. The only complaint I got were two of the fights so this episode gets an A- I know I will get some negative feedback, but just wait for my upcoming post for my view on the series so far.
Next Time: L.I.O.N. LION!


  1. Good grief the fight with Phoenix was another amazing one. You got one thing wrong though, he used the water slash THROUGH the still active Blizzard sigil so that it would freeze him. Which I thought was very clever.

    In fact, there was a lot of clever ring usage in this episode. Using Connect to retrieve his weapon, combining Blizzard and Slashing Strike, and my personal favorite comedic relief moment, when Kraken knocked Rinko-chan upside the head. Still don't like her.

    This is the best episode since the last Phoenix one. That guy is just such a fun character to watch. And the comedy elements and christmas message were both executed beautifully. Rinko-chan's amusing predicament (along w/ her boss's) and Haruto's reaction to it were priceless. I'm a little disappointed we didn't see the donut vendors though...

    I'm sure some people are going to question the Santa BS but I think it's rather believable. It was HIS underworld after all, if the gate believed it then it was true in that place. Besides, he's a WIZARD. If magic can't reconstitute some presents then what is it good for?

  2. This episode is just doing what the others have been doing for me. Now the action was better with me now realizing how things went down with the slash strike. Also I still loved seeing the monster trying to kick back at the giant dragon!

  3. Wiseman looks a lot like Frieza from DBZ.