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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kamen Rider Wizard Episode 39 Review: He Scores! (Spoiler Alert!!)

Last time with Wizard we are getting a much much better arc than the arsonist arc as we get to see a different side of Haruto as his past catches up to him. Along with a powerful Phantom on the loose, how will Haruto protect his old friend from danger?
Again I will talk about Haruto first since this was a nice arc for him. From the last episode I loved seeing him with guilt. He messed up and he knows that the most and he cannot take anything back. He has always moved forward and for once his past really comes back and holds him back. This theme is well used throughout the whole arc as this time Haruto makes his resolutions. Even with Naomi barking at him he has to protect Kazuya since he is a Mage and that is the only thing he can do now, protect others. In ways him fighting as a Mage is a resolution on it's own right cause he is saving people's hope. He felt that he got rid of Kazuya's hope and it was near when he became into a Mage so I wouldn't doubt that event came into his mind when he fell into despair.
Going on with Haruto there was also the rivalry that he shared with his friend as it is still apparent. Now Haruto is not trying to show off to brag this time, but after seeing Kazuya try to defend Haruto he now has to do his best to do the same for him. It's very similar to how Kousuke first dealt with Haruto when he came into the show and he still in ways can act like that. He considers himself a rival to Haruto and he does the same when Haruto does great, he wants to do great just like him. It's a motivational rivalry that these characters have and it works very well since it contrasts well with the two riders and the side character. Going on with things that haven't died out is Haruto's dream which is giving people hope. I guess him playing soccer must have helped someone's hope before which is probably Kazuya since the two wanted to both become pros. So overall the themes have a great contrast with what the characters do.
Now onto Kazuya who I was thinking would be out of this episode since he was in the hospital. Really I was thinking the whole episode would be Haruto trying to redeem everything he did wrong and get Naomi to not be mad at him anymore. We got more from Kazuya while I was happy with his character I will say his acting got odd. At random points in the two episodes mostly at a fight they cut to his face and it was a pretty close zoom. There were also other moments where they focused on his emotions and while he did distant pretty well, everything else was off. When he watched kids playing soccer it made him happy, but he was giving off a really fake laugh. It bothered me a whole lot and the parts when his face just didn't show enough emotion when there was suspense. The problem is that he did well when he was kicking soccer balls at the Phantom in the last episode so what went wrong here?
Still as I said before I was happy with how his character played out. He wasn't being cruel like Naomi was since real friends cannot hate each other for a long time. I know this is very true as I had many issues with friends in the past, but guess what? The next day everything was fine and we even laughed about those past conflicts. Friendship can go through some hard times and Fourze really shown this off well and Wizard now takes a shot at it. Then I would say it did it good, but not as great as Fourze did. They have a nice stable friendship and I did like how the two acted when the other did something else which I brought up before. Also when the two were playing a match against each other it was a nice scene to see the two try as hard as possible to get a goal. Then on a personal scale I played soccer for a long time so seeing these two play was simple, but realistic as well. Was it as cool as the soccer match in Kabuto, no, but this was a more realistic one and that match shows the passion that both friends have for the game.
Now one thing I said before was with how I thought the episode as going to play out. Now I am not putting this as a negative mark cause episodes always play out differently than one may think. What I would have to criticize though was that Naomi was not that important to this episode. She was in the first half and that was mostly her barking at Haruto until she saw that he was doing his best to protect Kazuya. Even she shared some smiles then and she did those emotions better than Kazuya did. Still I was expecting her to be a part of Kazuya's hope since she could have been the person to bring it back to him. She stuck around him when Haruto left and we clearly see she helps him a lot with soccer. The two share a bond and I was thought there was a hint towards this in the last episode when she covers Kazuya with her body when the Phantom first appeared to them. The impact of rekindling friendship could have worked better if the third friend had more importance to this episode.
Now onto a big thing that happened in this episode was with Wajima. In the last episode the same person who made him make the rings for Haruto has come back. He even comes back with a new stone. Wajima didn't want to make any more rings for him since he only wants to help Haruto in the battle. The man presaudes him though by saying many lives depend on this new ring and in the end it could help Haruto. So Wajima decides to make the ring because of what he said. It's been a while since Wajima had any big moment in the series so this was something close to that for him. We see him standing true to his choices and him making that ring shows he wants to help others. Now I will say I do think he was tricked by the man, but he did use some clever trickery.
So now with this new character who is he? Well his name is Fukei and we know that was the man who had Wajima make the rings that Haruto had in the beginning. We also find out that this man is more important than a man who holds magic stones. In the end of the episode, the Golem Familiar gives Haruto the new ring, but it doesn't work with his belt. This is where the Cerberus Familiar comes and snatches it from him and gives it to Fukei. There he shows that he is a Mage as well, but he is the White Wizard! I will say even though we don't know the man that much it is a nice reveal for him. First we learn that he was the one who had Wajima make the rings and now that we know he has connections with the magic stones he could have been locating some for his purpose. He even tells Haruto that he is his final hope, so what exactly does the White Wizard want Haruto to do? So we now know who the White Wizard is, but is he planning something for good or evil?
Also nothing can beat a man wearing a coat that cool.
There is a bit of more bad news which is for the villains. There wasn't much for them in this part of the arc which is very disappointing since we seen Sora and Medusa talk about how they feel about Wiseman's plans. Medusa still sticks to herself and wanting to do things just for Wiseman, but she does consider what Sora said from before. Then Bahamut wasn't as awesome in this episode since the two riders actually got the upper hand on him this time. Now there was still a balance this time and not just the two Mages completely bashing him down with ease. No, Bahamut still put up a good fight which is good. I will say that I do see there is more of a fighting balance in rider at more times than Sentai. Does it happen all the time, no, but usually when the rider gets the upper hand they do something or get some new power.
Now with that in mind the action was pretty good. I did like the fight at night where Haruto and Kousuke trick Bahamut and get the upper hand for once. The two really worked well together and got a good long hit on him for once. It actually caused him a little bit of lasting pain too. Before that though there was a good moment for the effects where the two riders had to retreat. Wizard uses the Copy Ring to make three other copies as the four Wizards used the Defend Ring in Flame Dragon Styles. This makes a wall of magma which really looked good. There was the flames coming off of them and you can see the magma flowing downwards. Going on though the final fight was with Wizard and Bahamut. Haruto uses Bind to get him trapped like last time and then using Blizzard in Water Dragon. He tries to finish him with the Fire Breath in Flame Dragon, but that doesn't work. So it's time for Infinity as it takes cake like the other times. I was hoping that this Phantom could hold up to this form for at least a little bit, but oh well. The finisher for Infinity had a little twist with the camera zooming out and showing Wizard use the giant axe to hit his foe multiple times. It's cool to see Wizard use the giant axe like he did, but the giant axe effect does look odd when you see how he handles it, it looked a little too floaty.
Overall this episode is a lot of fun with some nice little improvements compared to the last episode. Now there could have been a little more time for Naomi since she could have been a bigger part in the arc. There was a lot of nice things though like Fueki aka the White Wizard, Haruto and Kazuya's friendship, and how the riders used their past experience with Bahamut to get the advantage this time. So I would give this episode a B+
Next Time: Mayu returns!!!


  1. I found this arc pretty boring. Especially compared to Fourze (Ep. 39, soon I will be 100% caught up with Heisei riders!). Fourze did SO WELL with the friendship concept that this arc (like so many others) feels filler despite all the history that it reveals...

    Still, White Magician revealed, that's something. And he got the Eclipse Ring, which surely puts him in contact with Wiseman...if they aren't one and the same.

    1. Yea Fourze did very good in the friendship motif, but I this arc did have a somewhat close thing to it. First there was them being distant because of the past so that part was well done. Then the second part is them slowly getting back together. As for the White Wizard we will have to wait and find out.

  2. Really strong episode. I think this arc helps put into perspective Haruto insecurities problems in being a wizard. It all draws from his failure to as a soccer player and leaving his friend behind. Kousuke even had a hand in mending the friendship. It sets up a future for Haurto beyond his duties as wizard.

    To me this just added to Haruto being one of my favorite riders just because of how human he comes off.

    1. I can agree with putting Haruto as one of my fave main riders because he deals with a great theme established in the series which is humanity. The show plays on that a lot by showing what he lost which here was a great friendship.

  3. Haruto can't hold a candle to Godai (though really, who can?) or Shoutaro/Phillip in my book. He's somewhere above whoever the hell Blade's Rider's name was and below Tendou Souji. What I cannot argue against is that he probably is the most human of any main Rider (though Date felt a bit more human if we count secondaries). His insecurities about being Wizard and feeling like he needs to be the one pillar of hope are really very understandably human emotions that I feel most main riders simply don't have. Most of the Riders are traditional hero-type protagonists that embody the usual boring set of core virtues. But Haruto is different...he approaches his duty extremely selfishly and I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I will be in the writers if his relationship with Witch (that is her name, regardless of what it may or may not turn out to be) is anything but "strained".

    He's incredibly possessive of his powers and I think the only reason he puts up with Kousuke is because he's so incredibly pointless. Witch might be a REAL rival.

    Really though, watching Fourze now (Probably going to finish tonight), it's just really apparent how much of a failure the comedy is in Wizard. I've laughed far more consistently at pretty much every arc in Fourze than even the funniest arc in Wizard (I.E. Shunpei's crossdressing).

    1. Well I see Fourze is more of a comedic series, Wizard I see is a mixture. Personally I like that a lot when a series can be uplifting and knows how to be serious. Heck the whole idea of being uplifted from despair fits that perfectly. For Haruto as I said he is one of my faves, but he would be number five or below. I will heavily agree that Haruto is more human which I talked about many times cause this follows a great theme about humanity since he lost it. Still people like Godai and Shotaro/Phillip are too amazing.