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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kamen Rider Gaim Episode 11 Review: Rider Clash (Spoiler Alert!!)

Continuing on with the previous episode all the riders are now in the forest and are already breaking the rules as they start to fight each other. Meanwhile the white rider, Zangetsu is hunting each rider down and is taking them back whether they want to or not.
For the second part of the arc it clearly does what I thought what was going to happen. First thing is that there are moments for each and every rider which was in the previous episode; I will get to those points later. The episode also follows up on the action and even better than the first part mostly because they didn't have to focus on some out of suit fights. The fighting here was rider versus rider and my goodness did they deliver on that aspect. Another point that I will mention is the truth behind the Lock Seeds, the drivers, and the Inves Games. Even though most of the story aspects revolve around Kouta and Micchy there are still some character traits to mention like with Hase and his stubbornness. I will have to say this now, with this being in two parts is more clear now and I wouldn't change now considering the second half. So the second half of the arc brings up the many positives from the first part while improving them and even getting to a strong aspect of the story.
Oh yea more Watermelon Arms as well... hooray.
Alright with a sort of introduction done with the first thing I really want to talk about is Takatora. This is second time we are seeing him in action and my goodness he is one bold warrior. He goes for any opening possible and even appears out of nowhere. The best part is when he jumps both Baron and Bravo while they were fighting as that got me surprised and having me yell in excitement. This episode perfectly shows how Zangetsu fights as takes anyone down with no mercy since he knows he is fighting children, but takes them down like a common thug. He takes down Gridon, Baron, Bravo, and Kurokage. Along with his no mercy fighting as I mentioned before he had moments that surprised me and there are many more than just that. I could even say that about the action overall in this episode. Another cool thing about Takatora is that he can tell what his foe is doing like when he fought Ryugen and knew he was trying to analyze him. Takatora already showcased his strength and smarts in previous episodes, but this episode just glued it down as from his performance he is my second favorite rider of the series so far.
Another great part of the episode was the fight between Baron and Bravo as they are breaking the rules like Kurokage just was, also Baron wants revenge. Baron is quickly becoming a better warrior as he even got Bravo off guard at some points. Now while being in his original form, it didn't help out that much. Baron's finishers couldn't help him in the fight as Bravo blocked it and countered it with his own special attack. Baron starts to get his A-game on thanks to Mango Arms! Hell yea, it's time for more Mango Arms! This fight wasn't one sided anymore as I said before Baron got some good hits and even kept powering through some of Bravo's attacks. The two started to fight in the water as well which is something I can always like since it's hard to do this well. First there is the fact that the suits could get ruined while or after the scene is down and moving in the suits is hard enough already so having water around doesn't make it easier. Pretty much what Kaito had in this episode are signs of him becoming a better warrior as I think he should just use Mango as his default from now on.
For Bravo in this episode he actually had some comedy I did like. First I have to say they are playing more with some slightly homo-erotic jokes. There is the joke where he is going to peel Baron's armor off and leave him bare so he can work on him. This was said during the time when Baron was using Banana Arms and I will leave that disturbing image for never! Still I did like the joke Bravo had saying he is at his best on Christmas because of his career of being a patisserie. Then there was how he falls in love with Zangetsu after seeing him defeat Baron with ease. I did laugh how he was pouring his heart to the guy and then he knocks him out leaving Bravo disappointed. So yea I did have some laughs with Bravo in this episode and he was in a pretty awesome fight as he shows some interesting aspects of his suit. First is a form of a special move where he summons energy durians at Baron and the fact that his swords are explosives? Maybe that was just caused by Baron hitting them with his mace, but I'm still a little confused on that. Overall, I had some laughs with Bravo even though there was well... this.
With Jonouchi he was trying to play things smart as he avoided combat and tried to get some Lock Seeds. Sadly, he doesn't get far with this whatsoever. Gridon gets in trouble with two Inves and when he is fighting them he has to resort to cowardice tactics. This does show the type of person he is though and by that I mean he is clearly not a fighter as he thinks more than he fights. I will say I did laugh seeing how his special attack is not even that special and couldn't finish off an Inves. Gridon does this when he is up in a tree and going for the sneak attack with two slashes on his belt. There is no effect around his hammer or anything as I would think that special move just makes the impact of the hammer stronger. Still it doesn't do much and yet the Inves run in fear. I guess this has to do that his weapon leaves a heavy blow since it's a hammer, he's lucky to have that weapon. After that though, he is the first one to get taken down by Zangetsu. Jonouchi is pretty much another comedic character so far as he is failing to be a fighter and whenever he does have a win it's with cowardice tactics.
For Hase, we see that pure fighting spirit of his once more since he hates to lose even though the purpose of this game is to collect seeds... Going on though, Hase had a funny moment in the beginning of the episode where he tries to sneak up to Baron like a ninja, but fails since he is whispering loud enough for Baron to hear him. After getting sent away by Baron he tries to look for Ryugen. When he does find him it's when Zangetsu had to leave. Kurokage attacks Zangetsu and just realized that this is a rider he hasn't seen before. Now Zangetsu at first wasn't trying to fight him, but I still give credit to Kurokage in this fight. First he almost got Zangetsu off guard with an actual sneak attack and kept wailing on him, trying to get his guard down. He even went for his sparking finisher which was pretty awesome as seeing the black effects with the spiral was a nice visual. The best part of the fight though is where he loses the fight as Zangetsu had enough with him. He takes out his sword and accidentally destroys his belt which was something he wasn't supposed to do, whoops. I do have to wonder though, how will the hot blooded Hase deal with the fact that his belt is going to be unusable?
With Micchy he soon gets into a fight with his own brother and yes he does realize it's him later on. At first Ryugen was not trying to hurt Zangetsu since this could be his brother. Ryugen was also trying to analyze the rider while trying to be smart in combat as well. He tried his defensive stances again, but Zangetsu was breaking through them with ease and when he tried to run away at points, he got hit anyways. Ryugen also got defeated in gun combat as Zangetsu uses the gun part of his sword, but first blocks Ryugen's shots with his shield and then shooting Ryugen. Ryugen tried to run, but Zangetsu's shield has a boomerang function as he throws it to attack Micchy and it comes back to him. Micchy finds out it's his brother is when he gets into hiding when Kurokage fights him. After knocking out Hase, he tries contacting HQ about the boy, but there was no response. In anger he screams out his name as Micchy hears this and finds out the identity of the white rider.
Onto Kouta who found out the whole process in the background. Now I did expect this to be happening, but it did go farther than I was thinking. The whole Inves Games was a ploy by the scientists so they can get data on the Lock Seeds I would guess. They were also giving them to children since they knew adults wouldn't bother to do something this dangerous. It all started with the kids using the seeds to summon creatures and going onto to the belts. I expected that the belts were being looked at, but I wasn't expecting the very beginning was part of Yggdrasil's plot as well. This went pretty far as the Inves Games became part of the Beat Rider society and the Beat Rider society as a big focus in the city as well. The whole time the many kids are just being used to be experimental guinea pigs and this didn't please Kouta at all.
Kouta was extremely ticked off when he heard this news and only thought of hatred, but his hero side of himself came back to him. This happens when the Inves attack the researchers and he was saving many of them. He even helps out the man that told him the news about the plan, Kouta was starting to make remarks to the man who was asking help from the so called guinea pig. Kouta knew he had to save the people though as he begins to fight off the Inves by himself. At first he uses Orange Arms and then quickly uses Strawberry Arms to get rid of the numbers. I have to say the show has really spammed most of Gaim's finishers. I have seen the orange slices and the million knives a little too much. Then there was Watermelon Arms making another appearance as it uses the Gyro Mode. It ends up having ammunition which makes me think of seeds... I see what that fan told me now. I will say this fight for Watermelon is the better out of the three since it was faster paced and thanks to that things were moving fast so it made the effects looks a bit more believable.
It still looks too silly in my opinion.
An interesting part of the fight was the preparations one of the scientists had in mind. With the Inves breaking through their defenses there had to be someone to save the day. The one scientist wants to monsters to break free though for some reason. Now he does do something very clever which is having a simulation around the surrounding area so that no one could see the flying Inves and Gaim. A part I did find funny was that everyone thought the rider saving the day was Takatora and then he comes in being ticked off that some street trash saved the day. The ending for the episode was interesting as well as it has a narrative with Kouta looking back on what has happened so far. It even sounds like it's Kouta from further in the story as says lines that make it seem that he knows what exactly is happening now. So that easily got my interest.
Man oh man there was a lot to talk about in this episode. There was a great amount of action and most of it was done with stunt actors in the suits which was awesome. Even with Watermelon Arms being shown it wasn't terrible and at least below average at best. Then there was the whole reveal at the midway point of the episode of how everything has been planned since the beginning. Pile in some great character moments and you got a strong follow up episode and a strong ending to the arc as I give the episode an A.
Next Time: A new Zangetsu?

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