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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kamen Rider Double Episode 4 Review: Bet It All On Black

Sorry if it has been a month since a post, I've been working on Smash Bros Post lately for Herotaku and Smash Bros really came at a good time, since things got complicated so quickly! Well, I am back from my little writer’s block and it's time to count up more sins! For a little update I have been watching Drive as well and I really hope it's stays strong as it feels like a spiritual successor of Double. Anyways today's case continues with Phillip and Shotaro facing the Money Dopant, Kaga in a duel, but not in the usual fashion, but with roulette and cards!
The first thing I want to mention is the appearance of Million Colosseo in this episode. In the previous one everyone was talking about how the casino is heaven. The place even looked bright and majestic whenever someone was talking about the place. The place ends up being dimly light with the staff wearing these creepy face masks on. To top it off there is literally a monster running the casino so this place seems more like hell than heaven. Again it's just a nice touch of the set designs and how things like that can tell the audience about what is happening and what should be expressed.
Reminding me of the casino we got to see more of the man behind the crimes, Kaga and he is as slimy as we thought. This guy loves to gamble and he even loves to see people crumble when they loose everything. The girl the heroes had to follow became a victim of Kaga and before he takes her life he goes through her whole story of why she came here. Last time when Kaga took a victim's life he had this dark humorous side to it. This time he was clearly rubbing salt into the wounds when he was taking the girl's life. Kaga even challenged both Phillip and Shotaro as he shows his true abilities. He is a gambling genius as he can read people easily and make then do what he wants. The guy even gives off that same performance as he even gives off a laugh in the episode and again I laughed, but it made me feel so wrong at the same time. It's even nice to have a villain like Kaga, he's not a fighter, but still a major threat to the heroes.
Going on with the comedy aspects in this episode there were simple pieces of how Shotaro acted when he bashed into the casino. He was ready to fight, but Phillip just passes by and he is completely ignored. There was even the fact that Akiko smacks the villain in the back of the hand and he was even transformed, this girl doesn't have much fear! There was even Kaga's performance as well like in the last episode. We even had the appearance of Santa-san! This guy dresses up like a casual Santa as he gives presents no matter what month it is. He is such a minor character, but I just love this guy as he's so excited to be delivering presents as he sends out strange sounds and hand motions. This guy just does this too much that it ends up making you laugh. Again I mentioned this in the previous review as physical performances can do more than wit and smarts.
Along with the comedy we got a bit more insight with the Sonozaki family and it's time for the big wedding! This isn't your usual wedding though and again I just love that set design! This time the lights are gleaming through while everyone is silent with the priest, it feels like a usual wedding. The odd thing is that we know what these people are, Dopants. Even when the kiss does happen both Saeko and Kirihiko transform into their Dopant forms. Also this was the first reveal of Nasca, not in a fight, but in a wedding. The show even teases this two times before the initial reveal and in this episode Kirihiko gets a punch from Clay Doll. First of all can we talk about the great moves Kirihiko pulls off while dodging Wakana's attacks. It's so silly to look at and Kirihiko just keeps his grin the whole time, he only broke that grin when he thought he had to take a hit from Terror! So we had a unusual way of revealing one of the villains of the series and we even find out that the cat in the family is a Dopant, how awesome is that?!
So with the heroes they had to face Kaga in a duel of gambling as Phillip thought he could win. Phillip saw that he can tell where the ball would land in the roulette wheel and it lead him to think he could face Kaga. Again I loved this sense of challenge as Kaga really shows off why he was a threat. It wasn't in a fight, but simple playing some games and betting on it. One is used to the tense of building up a fight and yet this episode builds it up with roulette and a card game, the hype is real! Phillip puts the Gaia Memories on the line while Kaga puts people's lives on the table. It starts out one sided, but Kaga read Phillip perfectly and makes a comeback to destroy Phillip completely. He even makes Shotaro break major sweat in their game of old maid. Kaga's card technique was excellent as he made people do what he wanted pretty much like what he did to Phillip. Kaga was simply a genius with gambling as this was threat in a much different fashion and even though there was little action, the real intensity was with the gambling.
Phillip in this episode was acting like his usual self as he was confident in himself, but he was ending up hiding his true emotions. Phillip shut downed whenever he had to think about his family since it's the one thing he doesn't know about and it's the most important thing to know about. Shotaro easily notices this thanks to him seeing his vision from before. Phillip doesn't know anything about his past and not knowing that can be stressful. In the end though, he found how to deal with that stress by having a replacement family at the very least with Shotaro and Akiko. Also a thing to notice seeing how cracked Phillip was that even Akiko had to whack him on the head to clear his thoughts.
Shotaro had to find a way to help his partner and he tries to calm the poor boy down. He ends up using the lines that his mentor taught him from before from how nobody is perfect which will easily come back in the series. Phillip just sees him as being annoying as Shotaro trying to be a brother to Phillip just made him madder. Shotaro found a way to have his partner help him out with his duel as the two easily bonded back together just like in episode two. The two even share a moment of glory when they hear that they have become an urban legend of Fuuto, Kamen Rider Double!
The only action piece was at the end of the episode and it was little and one sided as one would expect. This was set when Shotaro and Phillip won the duel against Kaga. Kaga doesn't have his life coins anymore to back him up so he just runs for it! I love that the big villain just books it! He doesn't even want to fight, he knows he would lose so he said "Screw it!" Double does catch up by using his bike to ram him and then caught him by using Luna, Metal, and Heat memories. We got to see Heat Branding again, this time on the ground though. I love the big flames coming from the Metal Shaft and then Double just dashing towards the foe and striking them down! It's pretty exciting to watch even if it was short...
Kamen Rider Double still hasn't failed me and I will admit it right now, it never has. Again I love each episode and this one is still so great. The set pieces were just perfect for this episode, the comedy was being delivered well again, Nasca's first reveal was awesome since it was done in a different style, and we got to see the most exciting gambling ever! Sure the action was low, but the build up for Nasca was great and again seeing a villain being a threat by not even fighting is fun in its own way. The episode gets another solid A.
Next Time: Trigger and Shrimp?


  1. You may find this a bit annoying, but are you going to continue reviewing Gaim or at least give it a series review?

    1. No need to worry, I am not skipping Gaim at all. I will however be skipping Toqger for episode reviews. A Gaim review should be up by Tuesday or Wednesday. Also when I get done with Gaim I will continue with Drive because this is going to be the year of Double as I feel that Drive is a spiritual successor.