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Friday, March 14, 2014

Kamen Rider Gaim Episode 8 Review: To The Rift!

With Team Gaim in the lead now because of the recent fight with Bravo and Baron dropping to fourth place, how will Kaito somehow gain his control again? Meanwhile another rift opens as Mai goes on an exploration by herself to find Yuuya.
The first thing I have to mention is that, two characters in the series that I have been having some issues with actually got some redeeming factors. First there was Micchy who shown his smarts once more as Cid came back to get the Watermelon Seed. Before Cid shows up for some reason the Watermelon Seed as lost its colors and won't work again. I have to guess that this seed is easily a prototype and not the usual seed found in the forest. The bad news is that the seed isn't gaining back its color anytime soon, but the good news is that we won't have to see that form for a while. After Kouta heads off to the forest, Micchy returns to the garage to find Cid there as he tells his other teammates to leave them alone. What happens is Micchy being a complete genius. He tells Cid that he can easily tell his brother, Takatora that some dealer gave him the seed and high chance his story would seem believable. Then Micchy gets his own bike seed thanks to that little chit chat, so good work Micchy you show your scheming side once more and I like that Micchy a lot.
Another character who gets some redemption is surprisingly Mai of all people. Well the first thing she does is go right into danger alone so not the smartest move on her part. At least she knows that Yuuya is there and wants to save him so points for some heroics. During a talk with Kaito, the two share their ideas on what true power means. Again for Kaito he wants to show his power to the world and not let ants hinder down his performance. Kaito wants to become the idol for people to appreciate by showing how working for and by yourself is the true way. I will get to how he gets this ideology later, but Mai already disagrees. Mai sees that power is by helping others and being the supporter to help people get back up. So pretty much she would be a formed organization to build people back up. Mai shows this by her dancing and how much fun she is having with it, which she told Alfonzo before. I do believe the ideas that Mai talks about since the littlest of support can still bring people back up and entertainment is easily that. For once I felt Mai described herself better than her previous times and I do hope she can stay like this as well.
With Kaito in this episode he tells Mai what happened to his past and how he became the man he is today. First of all I love how his back story gives a great insight on how life used to be for the city. Back then there wasn't Yggdrasil at all as Kaito's father actually had a big business in the city. What I can tell is that Zawame City used to be a more basic city with a casual sense of living. Yggdrasil comes in though and ends up getting rid of any competition and becoming the power to support the city. This then influences Kaito to show how much power he can have and will use it to get what he wants because his father got pushed out and he couldn't do anything when he was younger. Even Mai has a hatred for Yggdrasil as well since the company changed her life and since she hates the company I have a feeling it wasn't a good change. Another nice scene is then with the cafe owner saying how much he loves Yggdrasil helped him and the city as I would guess more people have positive thoughts about the company. So Kaito and Mai share a similar view and are they trying to make a love story with these two? Wait a second, Mai got all lovey lovey when she saw Kaito in the previous episode, was that supposed to be a hint? Good job show sliding that little hint there and still getting me unexpected.
Kouta in this episode was pretty much being the hero to swoop in and save the day. Sadly, he wasn't the person to first save Mai as it was Kaito. This was another interesting change of pace for Kaito as he ended up helping someone other than himself. Now this was shown before in episode two where he helped a kid out of a tree, but previously we have been seeing Kaito using his power to take people down. What I end up really liking about this is that Kaito is not a villain in anyway, he's easily the anti-hero of the series and that is only because he acts as a rival for Kouta. Kaito isn't some crazy villain wanting to take over the world, no he's a man who wants to use his power to show the world what he can do. His methods can be seen as evil, but he will not let an innocent person be killed and since Mai had no chance of fighting he saved her even with him being injured. Kaito has shown more of his caring side, but at the same time still act like the same character as it makes it feel that he always has this softer side even though he still puts up a strong front. I keep saying this, but Kaito is still my favorite character and this is another reason to like him.
Even though Kouta didn't get the spotlight for this episode in the battlefield he ended up showing more of his smarts. First I have to mention the reason why he couldn't save Mai was funny. It was a nice simple gag seeing him on the ground passed out and then seeing how it happened. When he drove into the forest he was near a hill and drove off of it making him crash to the ground. Then Kouta was going through the forest looking for Mai and ended up getting in trouble with some Inves. He had some quick thinking moments like throwing his sword at an Inves to help Ryugen and knowing that Pine Arms can break through armor. He didn't have the biggest development in this episode, but I still like that we got to see him quickly getting to the scene and knowing what to do.
The action in this episode was pretty nice as there are three notable moments here. First there is Baron's fight as he is still using that lance as a sword and he ends up having a handicap because of his injury. Baron then only uses his one arm to kill off the Inves which is pretty impressive and also the fact how that lance can work as a sword. A better moment was easily when Ryugen comes in to help Gaim in a fight as I love the simple effect of having the rose petals appear around Ryugen on the bike. It implies of what we know about the bikes and using a more practical way of doing it and it's a smart way to save some of the budget up. Ryugen drives around shooting at the Inves while Gaim is just hacking and slashing. This is where Gaim throws his sword since an Inves is riding shotgun with Ryugen and the sword knocks the Inves off. This then leads to Ryugen driving towards Gaim, picking up the sword, hacking and slashing the Inves, equipping the sword into Gaim's orange sword, and performing his finisher alongside with Gaim. This was a pretty awesome moment as it was fast paced and the camera work was good for the most part and I love how these two are already working so well together.
The final fight to mention then is having the three riders having to fight a more evolved Inves and his has some armor to help his defenses. This is clearly a dragon Inves and dragon scales are known to be quite tough, also we have Baron facing him off. So we got the knight fighting the dragon which is a nice little scene to see and sadly his lance can't do anything. The same goes for Gaim's sword and Ryugen's gun as no one can even injure the beast. Then there is the problem with a new rift starting to close up as Ryugen quickly takes Mai out of the fight to protect her. Sadly the two other riders are thrown into their world as the Inves follows them. Gaim goes into Pine Arms and now he can do some damage to the beast. This got Baron to think about another form as he uses the Mango Lock Seed to reveal the Mango Arms and so far my favorite Lock Seed in the series.
First of all I love heavy weapons as Mango arms easily remind me of Kiva's Emperor Form with Dogga Hammer. Baron even shares the same pose when he starts walking with the weapon. I will have to say that his weapon is a Flanged Mace and not a hammer, but those two did get mixed around in clarifications so I will let that slide. I know hammer rhymes with spear in the fashion of the song, but lance and mace easily rhyme as well so why aren't those two used? Alright back to the actual form now, first I love seeing the Mango Arms being on Baron as those colors match his design greatly. Baron's body is red as Mango gives more red, but along with the other colors it blends very well. Another great factor are his shoulder pads, they are the perfect size and don't get in the way of the suit actor. The helmet is another nice touch as I love the three horns around it and with a yellow and red cape it's just too perfect! I even love his weapon and Baron uses it correctly as well which is another great thing. It's a powerful weapon and the reveal fight shows that perfectly as Baron sends the Inves soaring. This is even the first duo fight for both Gaim and Baron as both of them have heavy weapons giving them the major advantage. The mace can even reflect flames as Baron then runs through the flames with ease. The finisher for this fight was simply the best so far as Baron swings the mace around to charge it up as Gaim even uses his finisher as the two fuses together! This is easily my favorite fight from the series as it was a quick and very sweet fight showing off a great form and giving it a duo performance.
The episode ends with Kaito leaving like he usually does, but before he does Mai thanks him for what he did. Micchy then thinks about the rift and how Inves can just pop out as he thinks that there could be an Inves that got out from the previous one, so now they got to hunt down that Inves before it attack someone and spoiler alert it's a little too late. Episode eight is probably my favorite episode of the series so far as it easily gives Kaito some of his greatest moments. I love his back story and how he and Mai share a common hatred for Yggdrasil and having different opinions on power. Along with that Micchy shown off more of his smarts and Kouta got to show that he is a smart guy as well. Top that off with an amazing fight at the end of the episode and you got something perfect. I easily give this episode an A+
Next Time: The white rider appears once more

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