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Monday, February 25, 2013

Kamen Rider Wizard Episode 23 Review: Long Lasting Burn (Major Spolier Alert!!!!!!!)

With Phoenix being more powerful than ever, Wizard is having a hard time fighting him. Along with that he feels at blame for Rinko. Meanwhile Phoenix continues his stampede and will soon destroy the city. Will Beast stand up and try to take him out or will Haruto step up and be the final hope?
We get to see Haruto struggling once again and this time is with his belief in himself. He blames himself for Rinko being hurt and it's because of his talk. He says he is the only one who can fight the Phantoms and protect others. This mindset lets him open as our good friend Kizaki tells him this. He tells Haruto that he has to protect the ones he has gotten close to and then with him saying what Haruto said before it comes back and hits him when Koyomi talks to him. He learns that he is a savior and he cannot stop doing this. The last time there was a huge resolve for him was when he confronted his fear of death and sees that his moment of despair was when he got hope. So now he has achieved a much higher goal for being a savior since he has to keep moving on for the future. Haruto is still a very good rider and his actor is still doing well. His character still keeps that high "A" I gave him before.
Kousuke got more involved for this episode as he came to the rescue in the first minutes. A very interesting thought came up as Beast could actually fully defeat Phoenix. Since he eats Mana, Phoenix could have been eaten. Also with him being immortal that could be an infinite source for him. Of course he wants to eat him and now I can hear people going, "Wow how selfish!" First of all, he needs to live and if you had this situation you would so try to get that Mana. How he acts though is great as he stays true to himself and I can tell he was looking out for the others. He lighten the mood and in the end he lets Haruto fight Phoenix. So he did a very kind act and how he was with the others was to lighten the mood. In another episode he learned about putting others before himself and he was doing that. A big reason he wanted to fight Phoenix was to help Haruto since he was broken down about the situation. Then we saw how his finishers can work against him. He got a one and summoned a little Chameleon and it did nothing. He has ancient magic so having this luck system makes sense and can make things risky for him in battle.
Phoenix got some more depth before his eternal hell which I will get to later. Phoenix actually waited for Wizard for a fight. Now he did rampage in the beginning, but after seeing Beast coming first he decides to send Haruto a challenge. Another great thing I liked was the confrontation between Phoenix and Haruto. First Phoenix was in his human form which Haruto only saw in the previous episode. I loved seeing the two face each other and have a scene together before the big fight. What I loved the most about Phoenix was how he stayed the same person. He is just a crazy monster who wants to fight and how they developed him was impressive. Overall I am very happy how Phoenix was played out and seeing him gone now leaves a huge spot for a someone new to come and it happens.
Going on with the other Phantoms we see that even Wiseman leaves things to Wizard. When he heard that Medusa couldn't seal Phoenix he lets things go. Now this can bring to two things, is even Wiseman unable to do anything about Phoenix? The second question thing is that does he want Wizard to win? I guess in this situation it's good to have him win. I guess he doesn't want to reveal himself to the heroes yet also. Finally we had Sora appear again and he wants to help Medusa? In the last episode he said he didn't like what Wiseman is doing, so why he is joining forces with Medusa? Did he only work with Phoenix just to get rid of him and could that connect to him getting close to Wiseman so that he can get rid of him? We even find out that Sora is the Gremlin, but I will keep calling him Sora since he likes it that way. I can tell Sora will be a nice replacement for Phoenix as now we get a smart and tricky villain.
Rinko also learns something in this episode as her interest for Phantoms has died out. She really wanted to believe in a Phantom that is a good person. Phoenix though completely ruined that for her since almost being burned alive can be a page turner. I really did like this part for Rinko since she always had an interest for Phantoms and seeing Phoenix in a ruined state gave her that boost in her thinking. She does blame herself for helping Phoenix, but she didn't know it was him. I can see that she doesn't blame herself later on and the scene with Haruto are touching. Both of them were blaming each other for what happened and then in the end they are both smiling and laughing.
Now for the action and boy there was a big one. This is the final fight between these two and it couldn't have ended in a better way. Again the confrontation between the two was very high build up and Wizard uses his full might. First he starts with the Flame Dragon form as the two clash with their blades. Then came the other Dragon forms with the Drago Timer and Phoenix held up quite well. Again the stunt actors really do well portraying the different forms like last time it was used. This time though the All Dragon form is used and it goes into a flying fight! These two fought on the ground and now their furies go sky high. Now the CGI did have some issues, but that was only with the beginning when it's showing the trees. It's understandable so I won't let it down the whole fight. The rest of the fight was in the sky and this is when things look right then. Finally Haruto goes back to the land and gets ready for the finisher. I love when he gets to the ground and the scene shows some live action shots. Wizard's big finisher was a Rider Kick with the four magic circles and the best thing about this is that Phoenix gets kicked into the sun! Holy crap this got into some Final Fantasy right here as the solar effects looked AMAZING! Then we see Phoenix burning forever in the sun as he will never have a finale. This is pretty smart since the power of the sun is too great for Phoenix and there is also gravity to deal with. So yea Phoenix is stuck there and I think the fire doesn't completely kill him, but keeps him at a constant burning state.
This episode gives Phoenix a great send off. He was a very strong villain who fought for passion. He was a constant struggle for Haruto and I love how the series goes to the high road for this. Along with some great character moments and some nice looking effects. Another A+ episode.
Next Time: Calm down Kousuke!


  1. The ending ruined the whole episode. I don't know what show YOU were watching, but I was watching one with some of THE MOST atrocious CGI in the entire Rider franchise (that I've seen up to this point).

    The buildup was great, the emotion was great, but the ending was rushed and unsatisfying and having two stick-figures fighting before the final blow just destroyed any investment I had in Haruto just felt cheap, both literally and figuratively.

    Why the ever-living-fuck DIDN'T they let Kousuke eat him!? 1) They power up an ally and remove the major reason for him to act selfishly against their goals and 2) They permanently remove an enemy from the equation in the process.

    It was the perfect opportunity for a real team-up, to show off some of Beast's powers, AND to give Phoenix a satisfying conclusion. This chucked into the sun nonsense was...well, fucking nonsense. Rider has rarely been concerned with physics, but do you know what a kick that could send someone into space is capable of? We're talking Ultimate Kuuga power or beyond here. It would have blown him to pieces before it actually sent him flying anywhere.

    And what's more, he didn't have the good sense to just kick him to Venus or something! Or even dead space! Because by kicking him into the Sun he hasn't put him in a permanent state of semi-death...he's put him into a constant state of revival and rebirth! We saw how powerful he became after just a few deaths! And we saw him die twice that many in just the ending scene alone! He didn't beat Phoenix, he made him a GOD.

    Bloody stupid ending. Bloody awful CGI. Was expecting so much more.

    1. As I said the beginning of the CGI was not the best, but later on it looked better and really the worst of the franchise? This is 2013 I think effects got better. Also I said there is a low chance Phoenix will come back, I said the sun will not kill him, but put him in a near death experience forever. Also with gravity, Phoenix can't even move! Finally with Kousuke, remember how he was taught on putting others before himself. Haruto is one of those other people and we weren't 100% sure if he could fully kill Phoenix. Heck who knows Phoenix could have overcame Beast's powers. Then one more thing Glamador I am fine with you showing your opinions, but please don't use language like that. I am fine with "damn" or simple swear words so please try to keep things a little more clean. I will give you this warning, but next time I will delete your comment.

  2. Good episode. The ending was a little rushed but it provided good development for Haruto and Rinko. Haruto's angst about Rinko makes sense considering his issue with death. So the fact that it affected someone close to him took him out of his game. I just felt he got over too quickly.

    Kousuke also got to step up. His attempts to fight Phoenix were funny and his Sabre strike fail was unexpected. But he got a chance to let Haruto do what he felt he had too. I like seeing that kind of relationship between riders.

    Considering how fast Phoenix revives, Kousuke being there probably wouldn't have meant anything.

    1. Thank you for being more clean with your opinions. With Haruto I thinking getting over it is good because of what he tells everyone else. Going on forward and leaving the past behind. Also as a savior he cannot let things like that overcome him since he has to fight for others. Then I agree with Kousuke he is putting an image of selfishness to lighten the mood for the others, but in the end he was completely being selfless.

  3. I think this was a really great move from Toei's part as a lot of the fans are into the same idea that only Kamen Rider Beast can defeat Phoenix by eating him. I haven't seen anyone in any post that suggested he be sent to the sun instead!

    well played Toei, well played!

    Another epic episode!

    1. Yea the whole sun part really got me shocked and I have to say you got one awesome name.