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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kamen Rider Wizard Series Review

Well it's finally time for me to review Kamen Rider Wizard. Now I am only basing this on the fifty-one episodes, I'm not counting the special two finale episodes, but again that will be a special review for the two episodes. Now if you know me I was a very strong supporter of Wizard, this is the first series that I have really liked and see mixed opinions. Wizard's split fanbase really made me think of how Hibiki was treated by the fans. Some love it and others say it's not even a rider series. Wizard got some of that as well from the fans. For me I am always fine for a franchise to branch out to a different motif or theme. Then with magic themes it's usually not a good thing for me. Now I can say magic movies or series are good, but I just don't like them personally. The best examples are Harry Potter and Magiranger as I don't like their form of magic and a form I do like is mostly alchemy so Full Metal Alchemist fits right there. Well I have held this long enough it's time to review this magical series.
The story of Kamen Rider Wizard is about a man named Haruto who becomes a Mage because of a ritual that had people turn into monsters called Phantoms. Haruto is still human because he fought his despair and gained magical powers. The reason why he even had this moment because he was a Gate, a Gate is a person who has magic in them. Now people who are Gates cannot use magic though, so it's merely stored there and when a person faces despair they have a fight with that. If they give in they become a monster called Phantoms that completely replace them as people. A Phantom is the darkest side of a person as they hunt down other Gates to gain more allies. When a Gate stands up against their despair, they keep their humanity and their magic is no longer stored, with the right equipment they can use their magic abilities. Haruto gains his powers from a White Mage who gave him his belt and rings. Haruto even finds a man called Wajime who made the jewels that Haruto now uses. So Haruto lives a new life as a Mage since his sole task is to defeat the Phantoms. Along with him though is a girl named Koyomi as she was also given to Haruto by the same person. She is not normal though, it is even questionable if she is human at all. She is a living doll that uses magic to function and Haruto has to give her magic so she can continue to live. Everyday Haruto has to find Phantoms, defeat them, and defend the Gates. Haruto can even save Gates from despair by going into their underworld and destroying the magical monster in that area. This will then leave a Gate unable to have magic anymore. Throughout the series Haruto starts to realize that there is far much more than a simple battle of good and evil and the main villain Wiseman is easily using his strings to put things into play.
So the other characters in the series are Rinko and Shunpei. Both of these people were saved by Haruto when they faced their despair. Now these two help out Haruto with protecting Gates. Rinko is a police officer who uses her position to protect people even though she doesn't have magic. Shunpei is a young man who had a love for magic when he was young and kept his belief of magic. When Shunpei was saved he decided to become Haruto's assistant since he cannot use magic, but he can help the man who does use it. There are even other side characters like Kizaki who is an officer in Section Zero who looks into Phantom cases. He is rather strict and sees Haruto as a threat, but he soon opens up to the man and accepts him as a hero. Then with the Phantoms there are some generals who get the other Phantoms to attack Gates. Wiseman's right hand Phantom is Medusa, she follows every word of her leader. At first she stands back, but when she strikes she strikes hard and gives the heroes a hard challenge. Phoenix is a Phantom who loves violence and nothing other than that. All he wants to do is fight and Wizard is his ultimate rival. He is pure sadism and when he is set loose, he makes sure to make his impression on the characters, physically! Later in the series a new Phantoms appears called Gremlin, but he rather call himself Sora, his human name. Sora has an attachment to his human life and even calls other Phantoms their human names. Sora is like Phoenix with that they are both sadists, Sora is more of a smarter one though and loves to mess with people. The secondary rider of the series is Beast who is Nitou Kousuke. This man found his belt on a archaeology trip and the Chimera of the belt gives Kousuke his powers, but he needs to consume Mana. If not Kousuke will not only lose his magic, but also his life. Then the main villain Wiseman is a very mysterious figure who gives all the Phantoms their orders while he stays in the shadows, but again he is the puppet master of the story.
There is also the White Mage, but shush.
Pros- Haruto was a really fun main rider character for me. I loved the things he goes through and how he overcomes them. He has a fear of death and still fights on and he really gets into tough situations. Also I love his actor, he brings some quirks to the character makes his scenes more enjoyable at many times. Along with that the many other characters were good to me as well. Koyomi could have been used more, but when she was used the series did use her very well. She has a good back story and how she reacts to situations made her a charming person. Rinko and Shunpei were basic characters, but at many times these two can do some great things. Rinko had her shining moments when she put her life on the line even though she cannot even manage fighting a simple Ghul. Shunpei can't fight at all, but he is morally strong and stays true to himself and he can give some nice comedic moments. Kousuke really gave me good impressions from his beginning since he acted like a hero, but still had anti-hero qualities. He even said Haruto was his rival in the beginning, but clearly as the series moved on he learns more about himself and doesn't see Haruto as a rival, but more of an ally. The Phantoms had pretty cool concepts to them as all of the monsters have connections with many mythologies. Phoenix and Sora are my personal favorites of the series and I can easily say Sora is my overall favorite. Both are heavy sadists and while Phoenix was a pure powerhouse and Sora was a clever villain. The designs were very good with both the heroes and villains, now Beast does look like OOO Ratorata, but he does have some nice designs still and Hyper looks cool. I was very happy with Wizard's designs, simple colors with black and when forms progress the colors take more of the suit and Infinity was amazing to look at and I am amazed how much it shined. This concept of magic I really liked, the idea of spells being equips in the form of rings was very fun to see. There were some really varied rings and yes some are ignored like Fourze's switches, but there are many variations so I was happy to see some of those. Now the biggest reason why I like Wizard is the hope versus despair concept. I have gone through many hard roads in my life and I always got back up. The series did really good with some of the moments of when people hit despair and got back up. Along with I had a lot of fun with the minor parts of the series, the minor characters were pretty unique compared to each other and many still are in my head. Then the overall feeling is very balanced it's not too dark and it's not too quirky. I went along with the drama and easily laughed along with the comedy.
Cons- Now there is a lot of filler here. A lot of the filler could have been cut, but again I had a lot of fun with those episodes, except for two.... Also the series did do a good job with balancing the minor with the major parts of the plot. Again there would be moments I would have switched around certain episodes. The series does go through many forms as well and different riders. Now some forms did get ignored and this lead to some attack spells being ignored, but there was a better balance compared to OOO and Fourze. Even some of the action got into a lower grade at many points and that really did weaken the experience, but most of the times there is more plot to have then and whenever they want some great action they do a great job. Still the biggest flaw is the amount of filler this series had and for some this can be hard to get through, but for me it wasn't nearly as bad compared to other series.
The Mage concept could have been done better.
Overall- Kamen Rider Wizard is a series that I do love, but it doesn't get into my top five because of filler overwhelming the series. This lead to some moments being rushed, but I still loved the ideas that were there and they may have been short, but I still love most of the direction. None of the characters except for one minor character... There were some nice effects used along with great designs and an very overall fun experience. Kamen Rider Wizard is my sixth favorite rider as I give the series an A-
Now I am going to enjoy some donuts!


  1. I thought Wizard was alright i have seen better but that doesn't matter. What does matter is that Wizard had some problems that did put me off watching it and those were as you said the filler and some characters particulary Wajima which was hands down one of the most undeveloped characters of the the show. Just look at the Kamen Rider Wiki for example it has barely anything in it and most of it just raises more questions but that's maybe just me.
    So to proceed i also felt that Koyomi was a very minor character early in the show which made me wonder if Rinko was the main female lead. It made more sense to me because she was more involved with Haruto during the run of show. To make this short what i'm saying is they had to many side characters that they didn't bother developing which is a shock as Wizard had loads of filler as stated before.
    Now to the story it was kind of messy in some places. It had great potential but was dissapointing because of characters above and etc. I also felt that Wiseman should've had more important contributions to the story besides being the source of magic for Fueki and the boss of the phantoms. Because almost no phantom besides Sora and some other phantoms actually defied Wiseman and questioned his motives they just listened to him no questions asked and did his bidding which made the phantoms look like lackeys in my head. In the end the phantoms were just blindly following a leader that they were given with no other thought than creating more phantoms for the leader because he said so. Just a shame.
    To add to the problems with the story is also the phantoms which was sadly enough mostly used as lackeys it made sense with the story of Fueki but not so much with the story of beast because if beast existed in ancient times so did the phantoms. So what were they doing in ancient times?

    The show continues in post 2

  2. To add to the problems with the story is also the phantoms which was sadly enough mostly used as lackeys it made sense with the story of Fueki but not so much with the story of beast because if beast existed in ancient times so did the phantoms. So what were they doing in ancient times?
    The most annoying thing with the story is what did the first scene in episode one mean with " long ago magic and science worked together in harmony" why was it abandoned as civilization grew? and why had magic fallen into the shadows if there were phantoms that could be born from despair that could only be stopped by magic? Just what does it all mean? Will it all be answered with Wizard in Magic Land or not? Such a weird thing to show if you were not going to answer that in that in the show. With this it just raises the question of how did humanity survive if phantoms could be created from despair and with humans unable to defend themselves from this threat. I hope people are not saying that there was no despair and that everyone was happy before the sabbath. My reason for not believing that is because Haruto lost his parents and most likely felt despair untill his parents told him not to give up hope. The only thing this relates to this Fueki which created the carbuncle phantom using magic and science. Now for the showdown who was Beast former user and how did he form a pact with the beast chimera phantom? It's important because it ties together with " long ago magic and science worked together in harmony". Beast must have been a magician who fought phantoms in ancient times using science and magic which should explain the mirage magnum. Though i'm confused why it was sealed in what is now some ancient ruins.

    The show continues in post 3

  3. To close this off for me Kamen Rider Wizard gets an C+ and that is because it had a story with many unexplained things and maybe some plotholes. Because of that it really didn't give much reason for me to continue to watch it. Some characters also felt underdeveloped and just poorly done like Wajima. While some better like Kousuke Nito. The action scenes was good for the most part and gets no huge complaint. Lastly the acting was good for the most part but had some really cringeworthy dialogue from time to time like many tv shows have. The most bad actor for me is Harutos actor because i feel like he should put more emotions in his acting. Overall i enjoyed Kamen Rider Wizard it was good for what it was. So thank you for reading about my opinions and have a nice day. :)
    Farewell Wizard it was a nice SHOWTIME!

  4. Well for the acting, I personally liked Haruto's performances since I can tell he is having fun with his role. Now he doesn't top people like Shotaro, but he was easily good, but can easily improve as well. With Wiseman, I liked that he stayed in the shadows since it works with how he was Fukei and controlling everything in the background. Then for the other Phantoms I feel that many follow their orders because we have seen before with how Medusa can be forceful and there is a reason why those Phantoms were in charge. They had a tight grip on their lackeys. Also Haruto was another main rider I did like more than the secondary. For Decade through OOO I had liked the secondary riders more so having this pattern break is nice since the main rider should be enjoyable. I didn't hate OOO and Double, but Accel and Birth did overshadow them at some points. Also for Kousuke he fits in nicely since he had a simple story and not an over complex one that some past secondaries had really made it feel like they could have had their own show. Also my favorite series is Double and not every character is fully developed. Wajima fits in with Santa-chan and the other information sources Shotaro had. They were simple characters and what they added was nice. Again there is a lot of filler, but I had fun with those episodes still and many of them did cover something for a character or two. Thanks for putting your opinions on though, it's nice to see people be nice about their opinions. Let's just say I haven't got many great comments before.... many of those you cannot see for reasons.

  5. As much as I liked Haruto, Kousuke ended up being one of my favorite secondary riders. His growth from selfish goof to big brother responsible, cool guy was great. All leading up to his stand against Fueki. While Haruto was going through a lot towards the end Kousuke ended up being a pretty good main hero.

    Yeah the Phantoms disappointed me. No origins and they're role was pretty lackluster. Even though I like most of them individually.

    I give Wizard a B-. I really like it but like you said the filler gets in the way. It seems like sometimes they were willing to break the two episode format and it would of ended up a stronger story had they stuck to that. Like how they're handling Gaim so far.

    1. Yea the filler is an odd part for the series it can work with some people and it won't work with others. For me it did work most of the times, except for one arc of the series.....

  6. I got to say the more and more I follow up with Kamen Rider Gaim, the more I find myself dissapointed with Kamen Rider Wizard. For a series wrapped in pretty dark origins a great deal of the plot always tend to play it safe, and never they're we're ever strong key critical moments of failure where Haruto had to clearly reevaluate himself and grow responsibly stronger as a character. Most of the situations that happen to be beyond his control often end rewarding him with an upgrade rather than notable character development.

    Also given the tons of background elements regarding the origins of magic, rarely none of that was ever explored and it's funny that key characters like Wajima are rarely every explored where infact he could revealed a great deal of key interesting facts. Heck Nitou Kyousuke an ARCHEOLOGIST who were studying the mysteries of the lost civilization that used ancient magic could'vd greatly explored a ton of amazing things about the Phantom mythos and why were phantoms forcibly bound to other humans to use magic? The series constantly introduced key interesting questions and a ton of that potentially gets seemingly WASTED with the EXCESSIVE and often repetitive and seemingly pointless amount of filler. I personally felt that Wizard as a series could've been a lot more, soo much more on the massive hot bed of vivid potential it had within its dark fantasy setting and the whole lot of it went Fairy Tail on us; "Oh No! It's a gate... Hey gate.. That random Phantom may have ruined your life and killed your family; but as long as you don't give up hope a nice man in white will use you for his personal deeds".

    Speaking of Plotholes a lot of Fueki's plans goes back to how fortunate his lackey's are for the most part just as obedient as they are designed to be incompetent filler fodder. Just thinking about it now, why was it that Haruto never till the last moment questioned the role of the White Wizard, and to what end these goals a mount too; hell more so for Nitou's case where Medusa brought up a brilliant question "what happens if there is no longer and phantoms for you to feed on?" . I feel that for the most part because of the fact that these characters or the story never really openly addressed these potential problems until the figurative shit hits the fan often leaves me with the impression that Haruto and Nitou are really just there to kick ass and look pretty, because they surely lack the necessary critical thinking skills for anything else.

    Finally aside from Beast's crapy pasta design, (it's a discount OOO no matter how you sliced it). The base styles which were followed up with Dragon styles and then Infinity do not correlate well together. By all logic Dragon styles should've made all the base styles irrelevant by time Wizard gained Infinity. Also for Infinity Style a somewhat combination of Wizards other elemental attributes, it strongly failed to live up to its hype, I can't tell if it's holy magic, 5th element magic, or transcendent magic altogether in a dark time that form seemingly justified itself from almost nowhere and the series kinda just left it at that and never really explored on that. Hell for most rider series now these days multiple forms are a given; but they also need to remain their relevance without being largely overshadowed by upgrades. If anything Kamen Rider OOO still have done it best in that regard with its form changes, essentially by having different attribute enemies and preventing combos from being ripe for abuse; each form relatively still bag have a use and a reason to be. Once Haruto gained Dragotime it felt relatively pointless to even have any other base style other than just Flame Style.

    In conclusion I give this series a 6.5//10

    1. Again I will agree the filler can be bad for some, it's a huge double edged sword for any series. For me I was fine with that except for one episode because I found their concept of hope and despair to be used well. With the White Wizard, Haruto was curious about him ever since the beginning, but the thing is there are people in danger. He has been given a task and there are some who cannot ignore that. Then for Haruto I found he did go through some hard decisions, there was with the issue with Lizardman, how he would face his own savior, and how he still needed to move on with his own life. Haruto did deal with his own despair, his parents, but he gained their hope and did that cause him to be a Mage. Still there were things that he was dreading like his best friend in the soccer club or his view on death. I will agree there could have been more insertions of the lore for the series as Beast could have been more bigger, but I overall enjoy what he goes through as a character. With Kousuke then with Medusa's questions, he did think of that and hell he even tried to kill a Gate just so he could get a Phantom because he got tricked. Kousuke's character path was selfish to selfless. Personally I found that OOO could have worked with more of the random combos because it would be interesting to see how those powers could have been used together. The main combos all have their differences which was good and they have lovely designs. The Wizard forms did go through power levels which did hurt the forms and for how awesome Dragotime was it didn't need to be in. Still the series did a nice job of giving each form a nice debut or memorable moments. Wizard is more of a personal choice for me and I know there are people who disliked it, but that is just how criticism is.

  7. Wizard for gets a A+ and my number 5 kamen rider and heisei rider!

  8. For me wizard is an okay series,its not that bad and it did finish it own story nicely with koyomi's death though