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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kamen Rider Wizard Episode 41 Review: Choose Now (Major Spoiler Alert!!)

Continuing on with the bicycle arc we see Mayu save Haruto from Medusa and Yuzuru suppresses the Phantom inside of him meaning he can be a Mage. Sylph is not done though as he takes Akari as a hostage and Yuzuru can still fall into despair, so what will our heroes do at this point?
First thing to talk about is Yuzuru as he now has the chance to become a Mage like our three heroes. What I really like about this is that this time he has time to decide. Last time the White Wizard came very quickly after Mayu fought her despair and she didn't have much time to decide. He is not sure of what to do since he does want to keep Akari safe and being a Mage means he can protect her and others, but he is very unsure. So he wants to see Mages fight in battle. I really like his thinking here since even though he is in middle school he does have the desire to become a Mage. Then there is part of him that is actually afraid of fighting which is one big factor of deciding. A Mage is pretty much like a hero and there is a lot of self sacrifice to be done here and our heroes show that well. Haruto was forced into this as he lost his identity and has to fight, Kousuke is forced to fight just so he can continue to live, and now Mayu is fighting for revenege and she left her previous life for this. So what does Yuzuru say?
In the end he is too afraid to be a Mage because of fighting so seeing the fight did really help him to decide. If he has too much of a fear to do something he knows he cannot do it then. Also he has Akari to think of and even though she is gone he is planning to see her again on his own. So he will continue to ride his bike until the day he can show Akari that he is fine on his own. I really like this part of the episode since he didn't get that chance to show Akari what he wanted. So now his goal is still around and that part is huge in his decision. As Mayu said it seems Akari is very important to him so of course he would want to focus on that person more than anything. I will say his acting did get better when he got more serious lines, but him screaming "Akari nee-chan" still sounds off to me. Sadly though even with his choice there is one person who will not take no for an answer.
Onto Mayu for this episode and I am so far happy to see what she is doing in the series right now. I mean she already saved Haruto from danger and fought off Medusa mostly by herself. She even defended herself from Medusa's magic draining ability. I will get onto that aspect a little more later, but she even helped the team even more. Now she didn't get in the big fight, but she was protecting Yuzuru during this and she is still a new Mage and seeing professional Mages fight is what Yuzuru wanted to see so I can let it pass. Now she did become a Mage to get revenge on Medusa, but we find out that she will be looking for more people who want to become Mages. This goes into what the White Wizard told her when she was given her powers. He said that two more Mages will be needed to fully defeat the Phantoms. Now with Mayu in the stage there is only one more needed for his goal. So Mayu is helping the White Wizard, but even she doesn't know who he is. So Mayu is still probably going to be around with our other heroes and now there were some interesting aspects done with her.
The first thing that got my interest was how more Mages does equal into some good things. Koyomi needed some magic and this Mayu helps her with the Please Ring. So more Mages can help Koyomi so that she can continue to live which is interesting. Also she can use rings used by the White Wizard and Haruto's rings. She used Teleport, Connect, Gravity, and a new ring Barrier. I am sad to not see the broomstick weapon that Mage was supposed to have, but I have a feeling that will come later. Also her belt is the same as the White Wizard and her belt says "Now" just like his as well. So this means she is using the White Wizard's type of magic which I am going to guess forces magic out of the Phantom inside unlike Wizard's and Beast's rings. Those two basically get permission to use these different spells, but with the other two they are forcing magic out of themselves. I bet it's not hurting them and this style of magic seems to be more recent since Beast is ancient and Haruto's magic does follow some of those ancient principles still. Now onto Kamen Rider Mage in general.
Personally I don't hate the design as there are some aspects I really do like. First this suit does fit the idea of a female rider thanks to the skirt of course. Again it's sort of like my problem with Fourze's design though, the helmet is odd. I will agree the helmet does lack creativity compared to Wizard's. It's just a stone with three little claws around it. The overall body is good though as teal is an interesting color choice to use and with the additional blue coloring it makes me think of a uniform for a student learning magic. So maybe there is some Harry Potter aspects in this suit, but who knows. I really do like the big claw on her left hand though showing that she will not have any form changes. It's still a good weapon to have though since it's a big claw! That does hit a personal thing for me as I like claw weapons a lot as I think they need to be used more. So overall Mage is a good design for me and even though this is the Riotropper of this series how Mayu uses it does make me think it's her as she carries her own personality in this suit.
Now onto the mystery of Fukei as we were getting close to something it seems. Kizaki gets very interested in the picture made by Haruto as he does heavy research on this. First thing I have to say is that does Kizaki possibly know this man somehow since why would he have a shocking interest in him then? Soon Kizaki does find the man who is Fukei as his full name is Fukei Sou so he was telling the truth about his name. When Kizaki finds this though he hears a flute playing in the background and it seems like he was attacked. Afterwards Haruto and Rinko see his office has been devastated and Kizaki is not around. His laptop was completely destroyed by what seems to be fire related. Then his glasses were left behind as one of the lenses were covered in blood! Finally we know who did this since we find out who uses a flute, the White Wizard himself.
It seems that the White Wizard is taking more action now as it seems he is still having his Cerberus familiar spy on Wiseman since in the last episode we see Fukei letting him go on some task. Then we know he was the one who attacked Kizaki since his weapon is a spear that acts like a flute. He even appears to take Yuzuru with him and by force this time. He is not giving him a decision as Yuzuru is the final Mage needed for his plans. Kousuke tries to protect Yuzuru and the White Wizard fights back! He uses his flute weapon to slash and hack at Beast and he even uses it to deflect the Saber Strike. He was fighting seriously as well as he has no use for Beast since his magic is ancient. So he finishes the fight with the Explosion ring blasting Kousuke and knocking him out of his transformation as he takes Yuzuru. I was shocked to see him come out like this since he never shown this brutality before. We now know he is one serious fighter as him defeating Beast proves that. Overall I am very excited for the White Wizard as he keeps getting more interesting now.
Now there were some interesting scenes with the villains. First was Medusa and Sylph as they were discussing what to do with the Gate. Medusa actually tells him to kill him if he cannot fall into despair again since they do not want anymore pests around. Then there was Sora who started to do more sneaking around again. First he appears with Wiseman for some reason as the Cerberus familiar was around. So does this mean he was sneaking on Wiseman once again or was he returning to his master? Then Sora takes Medusa so they can look into something. Finally Sora appears when Beast was being attacked by the White Wizard as he found something out at this point. So Sora is putting the pieces together right now as I really wonder what he discovered. We all know it's about the White Wizard, Wiseman, or both of them.
Now onto the action and the first fight was Mayu as Mage fighting Medusa and I was very happy with that fight. It showcased how Mayu will fight and her style does give off her own feel in the suit. She also used some good rings and the Barrier ring is simple, but can be a powerful spell to use. Then it was nice to see Wizard and Mage have a little moment together in the fight as Wizard did have to use his fist this time cause he was drained of magic. Going on then the fight with the White Wizard was great thanks to his weapon reveal and his style is very interesting. His style is getting big swings to get big impacts, but he also knows when to do short jabs or so to get his foe in a defenseless moment. Then his big impacts then get his foes on the ground and open for more attacks so it's a very offensive style. Also his flute can protect him as playing it creates a barrier. It was a simple fight, but it really shows that the White Wizard is very experienced and can easily fight our heroes.
There was a big fight in the middle of this episode and it was really good. First was how it was set up. It was in a different environment that wasn't used in Wizard yet. It was a hill area as our two heroes shared a good duo fight. There were the Ghuls like usual, but the big action happened when Sylph got in. Wizard goes into Hurricane Dragon and Beast uses the Flaco Ring. It's a fight in the air as I love the effects for wind in this series. It surrounds the fighters as it shows it is lifting them in the air. I will say there were some odd camera cuts when the heroes were slashing the Phantom in the air, but it didn't confuse me at least. Then we had the two finish the monster with their final forms as we get a double finish as the two perform their final moves. It was a really good fight and there was some out of suit action in the beginning. Also I liked before the fight the two were being funny by copying the Phantom's speech pattern.
Overall the second part of this episode did fix a lot of the issues I had with the first part. There was a little more Kizaki and even though it's still little this episode did make him feel more important. Also the action got a lot better thanks to some reveals of the White Wizard and Mage. Mayu is great character still as she is being a good rider so far. Yuzuru was a fun character thanks to his position and how he dealt with it. Finally the White Wizard is doing some shocking things now and I was impressed by his fighting style. I would give this episode an A- since again it's not perfect, but it easily did it's part in a very good way.
Next Time: Sora knows something and is ready to talk.


  1. I missed a good chunk of this episode due to my streaming website freezing up (to many people wanted to watch at the same time I guess), so I'm glad to see the recap.
    I really liked the fight with the White Wizard, as well as his character in general. It's becoming more and more clear that he has his own goals which are very likely counter to Haruto et al's.
    Are you familiar with Dragonball? I'm curious as to whether anyone else thinks Wiseman looks like Frieza, because that's been on my mind every time he's turned up lately.

    1. Toonami was my childhood of course I know Dragonball. I do see the similarity, but Wiseman more looks like a leader of a cult. Mostly because he has the overall white design with a tip for his head.

    2. I figured you would, but I don't like to assume things :) I only read Dragonball recently, so I'm still not used to just how ubiquitous it is.
      Good point about Wiseman; that does fit well with the motif of the series.

  2. I'm actually kind of sad to see Kizaki get so violently taken out. I never really liked his character, but he's a nice change of pace from the usual overly comedic cast. I'm also now miffed that not only does Witch not get her own costume but she doesn't even get her own rings! Everything about her is a derivative! So frustrating...why do female riders always get the shaft?

    Still, we finally seem to be coming up on the conclusion. It's happening quite late for a Rider series though. Past rider series usually start ramping up at episode 35 like clockwork. But here we are at episode 42 still pussyfooting around the main plot. I fear we're going to have a big exposition dump in the near future.

    Pacing has always been this show's greatest weakness.

    1. I can agree on the pacing, but there is something that can neutralize it for me. I mentioned before that there is more background development going on and it hasn't been apparent for a while. Also the Gates are well done as some have very unique moments and can carry an episode. I still say the series does balance the Gate arcs with the main story and more of the main story is about the characters like what Phoenix had. Also I bet Kizaki is alive just barely though and if he isn't then dang. With Mage I think she did get her own ring as she did show the first use of Barrier as it matches her gem. I think it's great that she can have varied amount of spells as she can use Wizard's and White Wizard's rings.