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Monday, November 11, 2013

Kamen Rider Gaim Episode 2 Review: More Vitamin C!

Back to Gaim for the second week, the series picks up right after Kouta's first fight as he is loving his new powers. The question is how will Kouta use this new power?
For the main character of this series he easily had a lot of fun moments in this episode. First I have to say the actor is really having fun with what he is doing. He is giving off a lot of happy expressions most of the time when he trying to work with the new power. The actor really made more scenes enjoyable with his gleaming smiles. It's also funny on how childish he is acting with this power even though he wants to be an adult. It's a pretty good joke since no one can really deny their inner child. How Kouta uses his powers in the first half would be like how many other people would do. He wants to use it for a purpose and even if he used it for a fight already, that seemed like a one time deal. I don't blame him for thinking that he won't be fighting like that again since most of the Inves he has seen are tiny little guys. The best part is that Kouta doesn't even try to hide this power, he shows it to his sister and transforms in public. He tried to work with it, but a lot of times the suit was too big for him to drive and then he was just too powerful for the ordinary work environment. So this part of him was really fun, but did he find the right answer?
Kouta soon finds his answer when an Inves goes on the loose and this isn't the ordinary small fry like the ones we seen in the arena before. The monster was a huge beast and could easily win against three little Inves. Before that fight, Kouta steps up and helps Team Gaim since Yuuya hasn't come back. This gets Mai worried and Kouta tries to help her out. He does a lot to help out the dance team as he even buys a Lock Seed for a battle and hearing it's a class A makes it sound expensive. So with people being attacked by the Inves, Kouta realizes he has to use the belt to protect others. Now I will say he should have realized this before since when the girl who looked like Mai appeared, he said he would protect her. Even before that fight he was putting his life on the line so that the monster wouldn't attack the city. Again I don't blame him for thinking that was going to be a one time deal fight, but he should of have that instinct to fight with his powers. Overall, I am good hopes for Kouta, first his actor gave a nice impression in this episode and the character is cheerful and a good person. Now how about we move the spotlight to another stage.
Team Baron got a little more focus in this episode as we even get to see more of their leader, Kaito. This man easily gives off a cruel feeling as he is strict. He forces people into corners so that he can win. Now this way of thinking does make him sound like a bad egg, but it's a bit different than that. Kaito actually shown a nice trait. When Kouta was going to help a kid who was stuck in a tree, again by using the belt to help the boy out. He couldn't find his seed though since he had it latched onto his pack. Kaito shows up and tells the kid he needs to take the jump to save himself. This is where Kaito's ideology comes out, he does have a urge to help people, but he's more like the messenger. He wants people to take the step so that they can become a stronger person. Also for a forceful guy who drove Team Gaim into a corner he did give them a chance to fight back, even though it would seem hard for them to win. So is Kaito a bad person, I wouldn't say so it's just he can easily switch his ideals around to be a little more nice.
It is funny though, for a mean looking guy who can be nice, his team is full of tricksters. His two right hand men are easily the cruel people here. They easily love to mess with people and they think they are like their leader. What these two realize that they just have arrogance, so pretty much blind arrogance. The two act big and get their way by any means. Kaito is easily a guy who got to the top by his own rights and this is clear when he gets mad at his teammate for cheating. The other reason is that the guy released a giant Inves out to the public! I mean wow those two were really thinking of letting that giant beast free? Then even if Team Baron is the higher power, their dancing isn't much better.... Overall their leader seems to be the shining factor of the team as he is just surrounded by idiots and their dancing is okay.
There was a little development on the people in the background as we see the researchers looking around the forest that Kouta and Mai discovered. I would guess they are gathering more Lock Seeds as they do find some new ones that haven't been seen before. This episode then reveals Zangetsu as we learn that he is clearly working with the research group. The beginning scene was mostly around this part and that was the most we saw of the group. We can easily link that the researchers and Zangetsu are working with Ygdrasill the company that was shown in the first episode. Also with Zangetsu being with them and seeing that the scientists had belts on I can say the belts come from Ygdrasill. There was a slight more scenes of the group like how they were looking at Kouta and when Zangetsu made his comments about the name "Armored Riders." It was small, but those moments did lead to some connections already so that is good news for the development of the plot.
Another couple of things we have learned is that the Lock Seeds are categorized by ranks, which I do wonder how that works. Also how do they have control of which monster appears if it only opens the gate? I guess there is a way to tell which monster to come out or maybe in each seed there is a small dimension where the Inves creature lives? Then the second thing we learn is that the belt can only work for one person when it attaches to someone. Pretty much the deal is that when one person wears it, they have it for good. So I am happy to have confirmation that riders won't be having multiple users since past series tried working with that and the only one I really like was Birth. All of this information comes from the Lock Seed dealer, Cid as I could probably make a guess he has connections with Ygdrasill as well. I mean he has to get them from somewhere, but does he know what he is selling or is just following orders?
For the fight in this episode it was better than the first one, but don't get me wrong I really did like the first fight so this was just a bigger advancement for the rider Gaim. Kouta easily has a bigger understanding of what he needs to do now. One of the first things he does is load up his blaster and fires one at a time, unlike shooting crazily last time. Even if Kouta got better as a fighter, it doesn't help him when the monster grabs it's own Lock Seed and devours it. The monster increases in size and power as Kouta was not ready for such a surprised. I wasn't expecting that the Inves would have a form like this so again these creatures are more dangerous than the people thought they were. The monster was mostly CGI then, but it looked rather good for once. There were some nice added details that made the CGI beast look more realistic than many past attempts. I would guess it was because of the color contrast so good work for the special effects team there and the suit designers for working together. I will say though I do miss when the monsters had character themselves. I'm not saying it's a bad thing though since this monster still gave off some surprises even without having a character.
The fight continues as Kouta uses his head to get things back together. By using the chopper on the belt he made an attack that had the orange go back around his head and cause a spinning motion. Before that, Kaito stepped in and tried to attack the beast with Gaim's sword. This guy doesn't have a lot of fear, even Kouta had a moment when he froze seeing the giant beast. After protecting Kaito with the orange head, Kouta demands to get the Lock Seed from Kaito since Team Gaim won the battle. A new Lock Seed is then used as it's the Pine Arms. It's a Pineapple and this is one bad looking suit. I will say I do like the colors, helmet, and the chest, but the shoulder pads are terrible. The pads are moving around constantly and seeing that really makes it look like terrible armor. I do like the weapon since a pineapple wrecking mace is silly yet awesome. Then how it gets used was well done as when it connects with Gaim's sword it made it easier for him to use both. The strength of the weapon is great as well since it blasted off parts of the monster's body. Even the finisher was cool as Gaim kicks the wrecking mace onto the monster's head and then kicks right through the monster. Then I can't forget that we see the pineapple rings which I just love.
Episode two easily takes a bigger step than episode one did as it introduces a lot of possible connections, but just no confirmations yet. Kouta was enjoyable in this episode and the same can be said for Kaito as their rivalry is now starting and I can't wait to see how this will continue. The fight was really great as well even if the revealed form didn't look that good. With all of that said I would give this episode an A-
Next Time: Banana?!

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