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Monday, November 4, 2013

Kamen Rider Gaim Episode 1 Review: A Healthy Dosage of Vitamin C

Well since I got a little more free time for this week and the upcoming week, it's about time I started to look into the new rider series, Gaim. All I can say is that I'll make sure to not do many fruit puns.
The first thing to talk about is the first scene as we get a rider war basically. We see the four main riders all lined up with their armies just waiting for the start of the battle. Now I will have to ask if this was the past or future since we clearly see Gaim on a horse. Baron is on a bike and Zangetsu and Ryugen are sitting above the action. Now I would guess the future since Baron's army is full of robots, but again they could have easily been built before in another world or dimension like the one the first episode shown. Also who knows the riders we see now could be different people, so it's not clear, but I like that. Wars are a good way to start off an episode because it makes you think back to it and it is something that the show will be building up to. It's like Decade's first episode with the Rider War dream. Finally, I love how the armies represent their fruits while being idle before the battle, just something to get a little laugh at.
Coming up next is how this world has a little system of dancers. There are many groups of break dancing groups called Beat Riders. It's pretty much a little sport as it gets a lot of focus. There is even a man broadcasting about it as he makes me think of the referees from some anime series like Medabots. The guy easily does his job well and has a great voice as it does get me a little pumped hearing his voice. Now I do hope he does go to the battles in person because the writers could easily have fun of how he gets there. The first two groups we see are Team Gaim and Baron. Gaim is pretty much the rookies as I see since they don't do anything impressive yet. I will say they have worked hard on their syncing and coordination, but so far no crazy moves yet. Team Baron is going to be the antagonist group as they take the stage away from Team Gaim. We even get to see Baron's leader, Kaito. He easily has a power complex and he strives to get to the top as his team does resort to cheap tactics to win.
Another interesting idea comes from how these teams fight each other for a stage. They use items called Lock Seeds as the announcer tells us they bring out creatures called Inves. I do have to wonder how they decided to get stage before as I would like to imagine it was a dance off. Here though it makes me think that the groups fought each other physically and that would be a problem. Either way this is a risky way of battle since these people summon monsters to a battlefield. What's worse is that when a person let goes of their Lock Seed the monster gets free. This is shown when Baron shoot at Mai's Lock Seed so that it would fall out of her hand. Now the creature is small, but I can see why people would still be afraid of it. Now I do like how this episode explains where these things come from already, but there is still a lot of mystery being these seeds. I can easily tell though in the future that riders will be battling Inves in this style soon.
I have to say for a first episode it does cover a lot of things, but that isn't really a bad thing. How the show does it was pretty casual. It works on how used the people are to what is going on. I mean Team Baron has been active since 2011 as said on their icon and the Lock Seeds are getting rather popular. The show really explains some of these things in a very casual sense and that was relaxing and get it in your head easily. Now this episode also did shove a little too much here and there like at the end with Mai appearing with a different style of fashion. Really though the exposition is more mysterious and doesn't clearly poke out any details as I am still wondering how the series will play out. So there is a mixture of how the exposition was handled, but overall it was done good in my opinion with most of it being given to us in a relaxing manor or a little playful with the announcer.
Now lets get to the main character of this series, Kouta. His first scene really made me think of Kuuga since in Kuuga's first episode, Godai is helping a young boy who lost his parents. Kouta does the same thing in this episode as he helps a young boy find his mother. Now I do know that the director of this series wants to make Gaim a tribute in some ways to the beginning era of Hesiei rider series so I am going to expect some similarities here and there. Kouta has a pretty interesting story already since I was expecting him to be apart of Team Gaim. He actually was a team member who quit a while ago since he wants to be an adult and he saw the Beat Riders to be childish. He now lives with his sister and pays for his own food and rent and works constantly. Also a little detail his parents are dead, that was another example of bad exposition right there that detail wasn't needed at all. Still he has some good motivations for how he goes on doing his daily tasks. So him being the main character is at an interesting angle since he is no longer fully involved with Team Gaim.
Kouta is easily the man who stumbles into the issue and he even picks up the belt and uses it as a source of self defense. Again this is really similar to Kuuga, but unlike how the belt was calling out to Godai, Kouta just happened to be around at the moment. Originally his friend. Yuuya was the one who had the belt and for some reason he is not around anymore. I have to say Yuuya easily looks like an interesting character, his hair alone makes him stand out. He is not liking the Inves battles which Kouta hates as well and I agree, these little battles are quite dangerous. Also I do like how those two are having a discussion about the seeds while a deal is happening for one. The dealer is called Cid, but so far he had no real discussion as of yet, but I do feel he is doing more than just dealing out seeds.
Finally it is time for the action as Kouta as to fight with something he has no idea what it is. I loved this fight for the main reason is that Kouta knew nothing and that was shown well here. All he did was use what he had in the beginning before he transformed. He even picked up the usual pipe that a civilian does. When he transformed he really had no idea what was going on. To describe this fight is like playing a game for the first time, you have to explore with it to know what needs to be done exactly. He even had to discover what his second blade could do. Like he just found it and pulled it out for a quick save and discovered that it had a gun function. He even saw that his two blades can connect with each other. For his finisher he is told by the mysterious girl who looks like Mai to put the lock in place in the sword compartment. This activates the Orange Charge which is a pretty cool finisher, it slices the foe in two and oranges fly in the background.
I could go on about the Yggdrasil company, but I will save that for later when they start to become a little more important in the series. For the first episode it does go through a good amount of information, but as I stated before some of it is done well, but also badly as well. Kouta already got a good amount of depth and I loved how he fought in his first fight. Some other characters got some obvious traits, but I can't wait to see how they will continue on. Overall I would give this episode a B.
Next Time: You thought oranges had Vitamin C?


  1. Interesting Fact:
    The actor who played Kaito, Yutaka Kobayashi, auditioned for Marvelous (Gokai Red), but turned down the role (he made it to Final) because he passed other audition. I personally think Yutaka would have been better role as Marvelous IMO.

  2. Well Marvelous was a very good character and I was very happy with his actor. I have only seen episode one of this series and I do hope there is some good acting. If Kaito was going to be Marvelous I do have high hopes for his acting skills.

  3. Glad to see you finally got around to seeing this. The Gaim drought this week is hitting me hard. I'm seriously in love with this show so far.