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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Kamen Rider Gaim Episode 47 Review: Final Stage (Major Spoiler Alert!!!)

Kamen Rider Gaim ends on an interesting note. While episode forty-six easily could have been the ending for the series and left on a bitter sweet note. That was not Gaim’s purpose though as this final episode is here to resolve anything left undone. So with that said, a new rider appears and he or she is not a friendly one and without any riders left it seems this new villain cannot be outdone. Could someone soon stand up and be the next hero for the city?

I am getting this right out of the way, I haven’t seen the movie. I don’t have much interest in it since rider movies were having a bad streak lately. The last good rider movie I saw was probably the Fourze and OOO movie and that only passes because of the Fourze segments being enjoyable. So I don’t really know who Kougane is. I can just tell he is a man who was after the Golden Fruit as well and I bet he thought he had that since his previous Lock Seed was literally the Golden Fruit. High chance though his Lock Seed only made him look gold on the surface. He is back from the grave though and knowing that the movie was a different dimension than the actual series does make having Kougane being here confusing. Maybe the movie dimension got destroyed or something and now Kougane just came back to the dimension the series takes place. All of that doesn’t really matter though since the big focus here is that there is a new villain and Kamen Rider Jam easily takes the look of a villain.

First of all this rider’s name is Jam that is silly and awesome at the same time. It’s still because it’s jam you know like jelly and who would take that seriously? Well with how this rider looks would make you think differently. Sure this design just takes from other riders, more importantly the gold rider from the film, but along with that would be some of Gaim’s designs. At least the helmet is different and I do personally like that helmet. The black easily forms a flame around his visor which makes me think of hell fire and that is helped with how the pinkish coloring makes flames. Pink was an odd color to choose when thinking about it, but it fits with the tone of black that was used. I think red would have just been an easy choice while pink is a shade of red. Overall though this design makes good use of the color pink which is something I don’t say often about Kamen Riders. The pink is also used for a villain rider none the less which again sounds very uncommon for a villain design.

Now I have been using the term villain and evil more mostly because this character is. Now, one would think I am being a hypocrite because I spent many episode reviews talking about how there was no good or evil. The thing with Kougane is that he was not a part of this world originally and just came from a different one. Also the events of the series are done as Kouta got the Golden Fruit which was the major focus of the show. The use of Kougane was to give spark to those who needed to step up which here was Micchy. Micchy for about seven months still hasn’t forgiven himself and now he decides to step up and fight. Kouta was the previous hero and now others need to stand up and take that spot when things become hazy. Again the series has shown before that heroes are not always good and that a villain is not always evil, there are many sides and different points of view to take into question. Here though it is the usual good versus evil, but it doesn’t break the mold that the series had before.

In the end though this episode may use good versus evil, but that was not the focus at all like I mentioned already. Even before Kougane shows up, Takatora talks about how he needs to atone for his sins. To do this he decides to help the city he could have destroyed without the help of Yggdrasil. Takatora makes that clear by making sure that most of the company was destroyed which goes for Drivers and Lock Seeds. Jonouchi even decides he has to atone for his sins since he blames himself for Hase’s death which I will get to later. Micchy was then the biggest character who had to atone since he caused a lot of mischief in a short amount of time. This was the large focus for this episode, some characters have stopped moving and now they start moving forward once more. Micchy needed this the most and now he can finally fight for what he believes which is something many characters wanted people to do in general.

So back to the character Jonouchi, I talked about a character named Zack who got bigger near the finale. I even talked about how much I loved that since the series gave big moments for a minor character. It’s an easy way to make minor characters more likable and important to the series. For Jonouchi, we did see his progression in this series. It’s funny to see the cowardly one now standing up for everyone. Then I do love how he started to become flamboyant as Oren as the whole “Never Give Up” gag was used very well when Jonouchi shows himself to become a competent cook. The boy even decides to take on Jam by himself with only a Kurokage Driver. Even while transforming he had thoughts of Hase and Jonouchi did learn of his fate from Takatora. Now I know that the Kurokages were weak, but at least give something to Jonouchi at the least. Jonouchi doesn’t even get to kill the Inves which I thought was going to happen. Oh well at the very least Jonouchi improved his courage and was able to take the stage for himself.

Even poor Micchy didn’t stand up to these two foes which again gave this bitter aftertaste. I know Micchy wasn’t the best fighter of the series, but there was a point he did stand his own against Baron using a Genesis Driver. Now Micchy did have some cool moments in his solo fight like how he quickly gets his gun and gets both Jam and the Inves off guard. Micchy almost had Jam, but he pulls his trump card by telling Micchy that he was using a human body to be a host. Micchy couldn’t bring himself to hurt another human being which easily shows that the boy has changed. Later on though, Kouta does return to the stage because he has to take down Kougane. So this does confirm that this Kouta knows who Kougane is, but I bet that is due to the Golden Fruit giving him the powers of an observer or maybe there is something in the movie that directly connects to the series. We then get a fight with the two friends being allies again and taking down Kougane. It was a satisfying fight as I did love seeing Ryugen using Gaim’s sword and their teamwork was strong. Things felt better with the use of the theme song playing in the background. The finisher was also a good old fashioned rider kick which is always something to be happy about!

The series then ends with many nice touches to make things feel grander. First there was Kouta telling Micchy that he can always start over and now Micchy agrees with Kouta. Micchy is also back to being the nice guy he was before, but no matter he and Kouta were friends already and they always will be. We then get to see everyone coming to Micchy with smiles as even Takatora was smiling. This was just a great way to give resolution and redemption to Micchy. I know many fans wanted him dead just because they said he was evil, but again that is not true. The series itself even mentions that Micchy is a victim multiple times and he doesn’t deserve harsh treatments that other characters got. The series even decides to show a flashback were Kouta talks to Micchy about how he fights because he just has to. This just again proves the fact that the series was not about good fighting evil, Kouta fought because he had to. It was the only way Kouta could move forward and in the same fight for many people so that they could move forward as well.

The credit scene then got me all broken up then because we see that Kouta truly kept his promises and did the impossible. We see three kids looking at the great shrine which was around before Yggdrasil came and used it for their purposes. There we see Kaito’s spirit watching over the place as Mai comes to him and talks about how the people have regained their strength. Mai tells Kaito that the power of humanity is the power to restart and correct ones mistakes. It is true that things could go bitter again, but humans have the power to make things better after the conflict. Kouta easily shows Kaito that since Kouta saved the Earth from being changed. This even gets Kaito to smile to Mai and telling her that she is strong as he passes away. Kaito who had nothing other than despair in his life just found happiness once more and can fully rest now. This was simply one of the strongest endings I have seen for a character and again it’s a strong bitter and sweet note. Kaito is no longer with this world, but he is happy once more as Kouta did get to show him what true power is. We then see Kaito and Mai return to their world as it becomes something new, yes Kouta literally made a new world become fruitful. So not only did Kouta save one world, he started life in another.

Kamen Rider Gaim ending on a strong note as on paper this ending could have sounded like a mess with the use of a movie character. Shockingly enough it was a great episode and one of the better endings for the franchise in recent years. Things are still set into stone, but there are still people who can change their lives and keep moving on. This was what the series was about, the ability of moving forward and never giving up. The future may look bleak, but there are people who will bring the light to it. This is easily a great way to start the New Year as the finale of Gaim gets an A.
Next Time: It's time to Drive the Kamen Rider!


  1. Happy New Year, Sean!
    Great way to start the year by finishing the series.

    The final episode felt more like an epilogue IMO, where they wrap up the loose end and shows the aftermath.
    Regarding Kougane/Jam, I really like the design and it was nice that Apple (forbidden fruit) Lock Seed was FINALLY used in the series, but I wished it wasn't retconned to the movie, where I would have preferred as new villain (but then again, that would have caused cliffhanging ending for crossover movies, which I don't want to see that again (*cough* Decade).

    Jonouchi using Kurogane Lock Seed was nice, but I wished he had more character development during the series. He was more of side character that was shoved aside too much. Bit wasted IMO, but at least he was courageous to stood up against new evil.
    BTW, is it me or is there little brownish color on Kurogane armor (which pays homage to Guridon)?

    It was nice to see Micchy redeemed himself in this episode; especially since he's my all time favorite character of the series (Takatora comes close second).
    It showed how he can be the future protector of the Earth without Kouta.
    Double Rider Kick was AWESOME! What a great way to defeat the final villain!!

    Overall, the series ended on high note. Not perfect IMO, but it was very good.
    It did felt little rush, but it could have been worse; considering the fact there were 5 breaks during the series, due to the crossover, sports, special, etc.
    I still don't like Kouta's new look though (kind of silly IMO).
    Better Rider ending I've seen in past 5 years.

    Newsflash: There will be V-Cinema of Gaim featuring Kaito (Baron) and Takatora (Zangetsu) coming out in April! It will take place somewhere around episode 20 of the series, so it's basically a side story. I'm really looking forward to that though.

    Overall, Gaim was pretty solid series. It wasn't perfect, where it did have its problems and plotholes, but it was very well written. Hard to believe anime writer (who wrote Magica and Fate/Zero series) who had no experience with tokusatsu, did such an amazing job.

    Looking forward to your Drive review.
    I'm bit optimistic and skeptical how it would turn out, since I didn't like his previous work in sentai. It might be good as Double but who knows.

    Hopefully, 2015 would be excellent year!
    Take care.

  2. This last episode was written by Gen Urobuchi's assistant and was mostly an epilogue to me because it tried to tie in all the loose ends. So yeah it was a good episode for what it is worth but I would argue that the previous episode was more like an ending since it left us more a bitter sweet conclusion and also since it was the last episode written by the series head writer.