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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kamen Rider Gaim Episode 17 Review: Defecting To The Other Side

Micchy has now become a part of Yggdrasil and he has to make a big move to look professional and to obtain a high ranking spot in the company. His first task is to take Kouta's driver at any cost, will Micchy betray friend or will he stay along with the Beat Riders?
Micchy in this episode is easily the best part of it and is also Micchy's best moments in the series. We see everything about Micchy that was hinted at before in the series. First is his devilish side, Micchy can be a scary person when he is planning out his strategy. To make sure he doesn't get his hands dirty he is going to have other people under Yggdrasil to help out. Surprisingly Micchy even has a bigger reason why he is playing in the background of the plan. It's because his brother already shows that he is the forceful one, the one who can be reliable in the battlefield. Micchy is simply showing that he is not going to compete with his brother, but show how he is different from him to get a grand spot in the company. It's quite genius I have to say as Micchy gets Oren and Jonouchi to help in this scheme of his. This is clearly showing, Micchy's darker side as shown in previous episodes. Yoko even says she sees the devilish side of him that Sid has saw before. That line easily got me thinking about that first time he shown his other side as it's a great callback to the previous episodes and it continues.
I remember in one of the previous episodes I was rather confused with Micchy at one point. When he started to become a rider he wanted to help the team, but there seems to be more than that. He easily has an established bond with both Kouta and Mai. For Micchy this was hard for him to betray his friend like this, he even holds his sister as a hostage! The thing is that, Micchy is struggling with what he actually wants and finds way to keep stalling his decisions. Micchy finds out that there was another plan behind his own and he ends up helping Ryouma in the process, which I will get to later. The shocking part is that it seemed that Micchy was going to be back on Kouta's side, but again he cannot decide. Micchy knows the truth for Yggdrasil's reasons and at the same time he doesn't want to break away from his bonds. In the end, Micchy has found a way to keep working with Yggdrasil and stay with the Beat Riders as well since he became a spy. The final scene for Micchy is him watching the Christmas dance Team Gaim had and he's happy that he can stay with Kouta and Mai for a little longer. I'm surprised that there were so many hints to character elements like this in the previous episodes as it easily makes me think differently about how Micchy acted in episode five.
Another character that is part of Yggdrasil got to have more scenes and easily more establishments of being a character which was Yoko! In her previous episode she easily established herself as a serious fighter and follower of Ryouma and this episode shows that nicely along with her own ideals and thoughts. First, I have to say I love her personality, when she was talking with Micchy she has a sense of an ego as she kept smiling most of the time when she talked. Her smile along with her tone of voice easily helped with this as well, it feels that she is constantly taunting someone in her scenes. Then when she is going to bring the beat down on someone, she has a completely serious face on. I want to say she is some of the best acting in the show because she may not get the most lines, but her facial expressions and tone in her voice give this character more depth than one would think. Also knowing that Yoko knew what the real plan was does show something else. By that I mean even she knows how to get someone like Micchy off guard and try to make him fight and getting dirty. Overall, even though as I said before her character may not be the biggest in the series, but if there is more to her, she could replace Kaito has my favorite character in Gaim.
Kouta in this episode was being the hero in a corner this time. Kouta knows that his power can help the people of the city and he already knows that there are lives at risk here. The worst starts to happen though as his sister was kidnapped by Yggdrasil, well sort of... Kouta was really having a struggle with his decision this time as Kouta giving up his powers would put the city in danger or so he thinks. So Kouta stood his ground even when his sister was in trouble. Unlike many heroes, they would usually just drop their weapons and try to have the hostage be safe. It does feel like that Kouta knew that Yggdrasil wouldn't just give his sister back though as seen when he was tricked by Oren and Yoko. Now the only thing I would have to complain about Kouta was that he never asked why Micchy was around. I know for the fight it's defensible because he was in the middle of battle and could use some help. Then comes what Micchy said to Yoko which was the hint that he knew what was going on. I can't believe there wasn't a scene where Kouta asked how he knew about Ryouma, but his sister was in danger so a little bit defensible. I will give credit to Kouta staying true to his cause though as this will easily be shown in future episodes I bet.
A big surprise in this episode is that Alfonzo is still working with Yggdrasil and now he even has Jonouchi help him in these schemes. For this, the two were giving upgraded belts and Alfonzo is promised that he will get to meet the melon warrior if he works with the company. So the mercenary is being used as a mercenary, it's so simple and yet I was surprised that Alfonzo is being used like this. He was more serious this time compared to his previous moments as he was apart of kidnapping Kouta's sister. He gets the sister in his shop by giving her a grand prize of desserts from a raffle. There Jonouchi can strike when he is commanded to. I'm sure Micchy was the one who thought of this as this helps to disguise the whole plan, excellent thinking there Micchy. It doesn't matter though as Alfonzo tricks Micchy since he doesn't want to attack someone who is enjoying his desserts. Pretty much Alfonzo wants to do his job, but he knows not to attack the innocent and since Kouta came to them all he has to do is fight him. Alfonzo got defeated by Kouta thanks to the Lemon Jinba Arms. I can easily tell that Alfonzo easily now sees that Kouta is a stronger warrior since he changed his tone when Kouta started to win. I can't believe a character I thought who was going to be just used for comedy is still being used for big parts in the series and it's done perfectly at the same time. Finally, I loved how Alfonzo screwed the plan up!
The action for this episode then was amazing as well with the first fight being with Gaim and Bravo. Bravo knows that Gaim cannot face him alone as he as the advantage in the beginning. I loved the beginning where Bravo is acting cocky like usual and he had the guards to prove it. All he had to do was lift his leg to make a successful block and then just put his sword near Gaim's head. To counter Bravo, Gaim knew he had to use his new powers. This is when it's revealed that Yoko knows that Bravo will lose since he doesn't have the same powers of the Energy Seeds. This was true since the fight quickly when to Gaim's side and even Bravo's finisher couldn't stand against Lemon Jinba Arms. For the many times that Gaim couldn't stand up facing Bravo and the only time he could get a win was with Watermelon and with Baron on his side. So it's great to see how far Kouta has gotten now as the most experience rider got defeated. For the final blow, there were some great effects for Bravo's giant energy Durian and then having that get destroyed by Gaim's energy arrow.
The second fight in this episode is with Marika! Yoko steps in after Bravo is defeated and this got Micchy thinking about what was really going on. Anyways, the fight was awesome! Both Gaim and Marika were jumping around, hurdling over cars, and dodging each other's attacks in similar fashions. Again this easily establishes that Kouta's new power can stand up against the Genesis Riders. I really love the choreography in this fight as well since the suit actors really had to work in sync with each other. When one did something, they had to follow up right away as the best moment was with when the two both fired an arrow at each other and dodge at the same time. There were even moments when, Marika was giving Micchy signals to strike and Gaim knew she looked away and fired an arrow at her. There was also a fast pace to the fight and thanks to how the camera went to different shots it doesn't feel like a mess. The camera follows the actions perfectly and knows when to focus on whom during the exact moments. It's easily one of the best rider versus rider fights I have seen in a while.
When Micchy transformed he had to make his decision as he shot Marika and told her that he would stay with Kouta. The truth is that Micchy found out what was going on since Yoko didn't join the fight when Bravo was having trouble. If Yggdrasil really wanted Kouta's belt, they would easily have her fight alongside with Bravo. Takatora knew nothing of this as Ryouma did something on his own account. Thanks to Kouta having new powers he is still giving data to the professor and he doesn't want this to stop. Ryouma also knows that the Beat Riders are the scapegoat for the Inves attacks so why not continue with that as well? This gives Micchy the chance he can have which is being a spy for Yggdrasil. Ryouma even gives some compliments to Micchy as he sees that he is smarter than his own older brother. This was a great twist at the end of the episode because I was thinking that Micchy was siding on the right side again, but nope he got his own motifs in play.
Episode seventeen is another strong episode for the series it has it shows everything that Micchy had in previous episodes. This also shows the struggle he has with himself as he cannot decide which side he is going to be on. Micchy doesn't want to lose anything and I have a feeling that things could get bad for him if he keeps thinking like that. Along with that there were some surprises from characters like Kouta and Alfonzo and with Yoko being absolutely awesome! Slap in some well done fights and you got an amazing episode, an A.
Next Time: Another Armored Rider?!


  1. Not only was Yoko's actress, Minami Tsukui, so friggin' hot, what makes her even hotter is that she performs her own stunts! Somehow, I'd like to rank her now as the sexiest female Kamen Rider. :)

    Although, I'm still bothered at how can the Energy Lock Seeds can make a big difference in battle. I mean, Oren is still a better fighter than Kota overall; so I would really believe it that if Oren, no matter how many times or how hard he hits Kota, does little to no damage at all while Kota is in Jinba Arms mode.

    1. I'm quite fine with that since this is Kouta, he's a person who is using power for good. It would feel wrong if it was someone like Sid for example. Sometimes though power can best skill and who knows the series could still give riders like Bravo great moments in the action even though they are less powerful than other riders.