Search This Blog

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Kamen Rider Wizard Episode 34 Review: Sora's Secret (Spoiler Alert!!)

Two reviews in one day this barely will ever happen, but I want to catch up on Wizard so let's get started shall we. In this episode of Wizard, Haruto and Rinko are sent out to investigate on the man who gave section zero the magic stone, Sora. What secrets does he hide and what exactly is he planning for this time? Also there is a model in danger as Kousuke and Shunpei guard their icon.
So we get another investigation scene like Rinko did with Phoenix, this time though Haruto is with her so I don't think she won't be getting roasted this time. It's acts very similarly to how Rinko was looking up about Phoenix, but this time the information they got was making them think about something. Usually in these cases they would hear about the Gate being a completely different person than the Phantom that took over them. With Sora though he has the same attitude and quirks as Gremlin as one of his bosses told the two about how he says "hello" and how much he loves to play pranks. The two think that Sora is just using the memories of the Gate since this has happened before with Lizardman. So what exactly is Sora hiding this whole time?
The truth comes out from Sora himself as he jumps onto Rinko's car to tell them his secret. It ends up Sora kept his human heart so in ways he is still the same person just with Phantom powers. First thing that comes to mind is Faiz with their monsters since they were humans who got a new form from death. Sora says that he is the only one who has this which means he is hiding Wiseman from this information. Sora then compares himself to Haruto as this was forced on him and he has to deal with it. It's a great comparison since it's dead on, Sora kept himself, but lost his humanity. Haruto lost part of his identity as well since his only purpose is to fight and protect. The question now is will Haruto trust him on this story?
During all of this, there is a new rising superstar model named Chiaki as the three guys are falling over for. Wajime is the first one to show his obsession as he has a framed poster! Kousuke and Shunpei come in the store and fight about a magazine with her as this is starting to seem similar give me a moment I will think of it. Well going on the two boys fight about what her best feature in the park and there they see a Phantom attacking a Gate. Beast saves the day and of course the girl is the model. I will say I did like the comedic sense in the beginning of this episode as the argument over a model is done well. Don't lie now about this since people will fight about topics like modeling. Also it's Japan as there are soooooo many models so it's a still growing market for Japan. I mean really I always see the new reveals for model DVDs on many news websites regarding Japanese media. Onto the character though and she is different from what the guys thought... oh wait I got it, Manami!
There is a huge similarity with this episode and episode six. There was Manami who was swindling men so that she could get money to buy a certain house that belonged to her parents. So here we get another woman who won over men with her looks, but it seems she is not doing anything for money. Chiaki is a busybody character as she wants to constantly work. She is very strict with this too as she wants constant work as her manager kept trying to give her breaks. I like her with that she wants to work constantly, but still breaks are needed still. Also she doesn't display much emotion outside of work which is very interesting. She showcases her anger very well though and the actress had to play some scenes with a smile so good for her. Basically Chiaki is like the bitter side of Manami, but fuse that with a workaholic. I have a feeling though more will happen with her later on.
Another part I really liked with her part of the show is that the guys immediately see the different part of her. Chiaki doesn't hide much, but the two guys still wanted to be around her. I also feel bad for the manager cause he deals with that busybody girl a lot since she wants to work so much. Another part I loved so much was how Kousuke told her that she needed to stop being all pushy cause she wanted everything to go her way with work. He was even getting annoyed by it so applause for Kousuke for displaying some masculinity and saying what he wanted. Now this does cause her to get even more angry and storm out which leads to her being caught by the Phantom who hides in his human form.
The Phantom for this arc is Argos which is the name of a Greek city that holds an interesting myth about the land and seventeen kings. So his design makes a lot of sense as he looks like he is made of stone and the many eyes around his body could reference the kings. He is a pretty basic Phantom, but he did do some great sneaking around and gathered information well. He used an eye to follow the Gate as he learned more about her because of it. He even found a way to take her away by posing as a camera man for a photo shoot. In fights he has a bright light that blinds his foes, but that was about it. Oh wait he had electricity on his sword if I am correct and some sort of typhoon attack. Overall he is a pretty good Phantom with a really nice design, but he cannot compare to the past ones we had recently.
Going on about Phantoms, Sora does something that was unexpected, unless you saw the previews for this episode. It seems like Sora is telling the truth as he protected the Gate as he knows her from somewhere. Again this could easily be a trick because Phantoms can access into the Gate's memories, but still I don't think a Phantom would defend a Gate like he did. Another strong support is that he didn't transform into his Phantom form in front of her meaning he is trying to hide it. He is then slashed twice and is thrown off the bridge as he falls into the water. At this point Haruto believes him and goes to save him. This is where the episode ends as Argos retreats because of all the confusion and Beast is left with an unconscious Chiaki. A very good ending for the first part as it leaves with us knowing that Haruto trusts Sora as he even called out his human name.
For the action there was very strong fight in the beginning. Kousuke transform into Beast to protect the Gate from Argos and used a good amount of skills. First is that he has the same principles with his magic circle like Haruto did. The ring acts like the barrier summon from when Blade riders transform. It's a thing I always like since it's helpful in close situations. He did some good physical fight in and out of his suit and he did tons of jumping around. The way he did was with the Chamelo Ring as he used the tongue to get him higher up a tree, but before that he was dodging very well thanks to that ring. He didn't even go invisible with it which was surprising because I thought that was it's only useable skill, but Beast just shown more potential for it. We even get to hear Beastbite again from Rider Chips. Another nice edition for this fight was how dirty the two got from the environment. For me I like seeing the suits get dirt on them cause it makes it feel more realistic for fights. It's like when the suits or actors get in water and we see the little changes in appearance because of it. The second fight then was pretty simple with Beast having the fight first again as he used Falco. He got in trouble because of the bright light he used before. Wizard then comes in with his base states and then they struggled with Ghuls. So I can see why the first fight had more meat because Sora defending the Gate was supposed to be the highlight of that fight.
Overall it's another really good episode. I don't see many flaws as Sora is playing some sort of game again or is he being truthful? Either way I know the payoff in the second part will result in a great scene as Haruto now fully trusts him. Beast had really good fights for this episode as I am liking the Chamelo Ring even more thanks to the first fight. Then seeing somethings like an investigation scene and Kizaki were nice touches to make me think about the previous episodes. Heck this episode made me think of episode six, but I'm not sure if that was the point. Either way I would give this episode an A-
Next Time: Trustworthy or devious?


  1. I still don't trust Sora. He *says* he's kept his human identity...but that might just be a way to get closer to Wiseman...

    Or perhaps, and stick with me on this, he was a Phantom *before* his prior boss knew him! He's a natural-born Phantom with his Gate's personality sealed inside him like a Phantom's personality is normally sealed inside of that would be a twist.

    The Chiaki intro I feel was handled very ham-fistedly. It's the problem with a Chekov's Gun scenario in a serial story of any kind. I've seen it happen so many times. They introduce a new character, seemingly unrelated to the plot, or a bit player, or something...but you know that she's going to be important BECAUSE they took the time to introduce her! It spoils the surprise and makes the whole thing feel like it's just going by the numbers to catch up to what the audience already knows or suspects.

    An example I like to bring up is the Batman TAS movie 'Mystery of the Batwoman'. The mystery of the movie is "who is the Batwoman?" but the only characters in the film that we don't already know from the series are the three who the heck WOULD she be? Hmm?

    It's just not elegant storytelling.

  2. Well look at Kamen Rider Double, I will agree it didn't hide many of the mysteries perfectly as well, but I believe the pay off is the best part. Like having Sora protect her at the end was the big pay off. Also there would be issues of putting too many minor characters in a two parter cause of money.

  3. It isn't really about hiding mysteries. The "reveal" of her identity was done mere moments after her characters introduction-by-admiration. It's about recognizing that viewers are thinking individuals and drawing attention to the mechanics of storytelling like that is INELEGANT and brings the viewer (assuming he or she notices) out of the experience.

    And unlike complaints of triteness or cliche, this issue is independent of prior experience with the technique. All it takes is a suitably astute viewer to recognize the pattern and the scenario plays out as I described above.

    It's the same situation as excessively telegraphing or foreshadowing an event. The audience members figure it out too quickly and, as I said above, it feels like the show itself is only catching up to what one already knows.

  4. The thing though there are shows that do that and it's most of a shock for the characters. This is by what I mean by pay off is what characters do with certain events. For this episode to end with Haruto going with the conclusion that he believes in Sora keeping his human heart is very good. Going on as I said before Kamen Rider Double can be obvious at points, but Shotaro does many things that some people wouldn't expect, the same for many of the things that happen in the series.