I guess i can't keep my promise for having a monthly review. But anyways, Here is my thought for the 2nd half of the Super Hero Time 2010.
Kamen Rider W - Aftermath
Holy crap, What a ride. I just love the show from start till end. Now here I'm discussing about this show
First of all, Kamen Rider W really is a breathe of fresh air from previous Kamen Rider show (Mainly Kiva and Decade that suffers from lousy writings). The hero wears a scarf, Go around fighting bad guys that threatens others and that is what a Hero supposed to be. I like they try to hide their identity as a Rider, but sadly they drop that idea mid-way and Henshin in front of others.
The characters. Again, I love them. As i mentioned before in previous review, i like Shoutaro and Phillip acts like many 80's vigilante's TV show. But not only that, I also like them as characters.
Shoutaro is a man with great confidence despite he's far from better compared to his old boss. And later he shows some growth when he learns more about his late boss, About who Phillip is and whatever happened to him. The final episode when Phillip disappear, He still going out protecting the smiles of others while he keep his pathetic-ness of not having Phillip as his partner. That actually shows him something other than stranded being sad all the time like a pussy (Even after a year passed)
Phillip (Sonozaki Raito)
This character is interesting for me for a few reasons. First, He's the brain of the group and can use his unlimited source of knowledge in the Planet of Books. You would wish you have a friend who is a walking Wikipedia/Google search engine.
Second, Despite he only believe in logic and not emotions, He turned out not as annoying as other character with similar traits in other shows. Usually when there's a character like that, They favor logic over emotion and despise any emotional answers for the sake of being illogical. But Phillip turned out to be very considerate about emotional matters. An example is on one episode where a Dopant attacks a Yakuza gang leader as an act of revenge. Phillip questions Shoutaro that is it better for that Dopant to carry his vengeance because that Yakuza leader is only a problem in the city. But Shoutaro answers that he will save that Yakuza guy because Revenge won't solve anything and he's still going to save him despite he's a trash of the community. Both that question and answer are questioned by logic and answered by moral emotion. And Phillip just take his word despite how Unlogic that sounds.
And lastly, His growth. All the thing he went through from being dead to being revived as a data entity, to his discovery that he's part of Sonozaki's family really makes his character grow. He started to have emotional dilemma and with the help of his buddy, Shoutaro, He manage to break away from that problem and fight as W.
Another character with a good character growth. He started as a detective that hold a grudge against 'a man with the W memory' for that man killed his family. But as the story progressed and even when he met the man who killed his family, Isaka Shinkuro (Weather Dopant), He show some growth where he discover that fighting for the sake of vengeance won't bring him anywhere. He has to overcome Weather Dopant with his own strength and good will.
His growth was proved when he discovered that Shroud, the person who gave him the Accel Driver put him into such fate where she was the person behind Isaka's lunacy that leads him to kill his family and also how she's been using Ryu all this time. But in the end, Ryu accept her apology and reminded that Revenge won't do any good, for hatred will bring another hatred. As a character. He's the silent and serious character. But it's always a delight when sometimes he had to be trapped in some silly moments.
Her character is not as good as the other 3, But she does have her moment. Usually character like her always being the background decoration of the show, But she does show some good characteristics. She may start off as a very annoying little girl, But she somehow shines just like Shoutaro's late boss. And being the goofball and the sense maker of the team does paid. It seems that she might have a crush towards Ryu. But it wasn't exploited that much
The Villains and Others
The villains are quite good, but had ups and downs when it comes to impact. The main family, Sonozaki Ryuube, Saeko and Wakana are OK as villains, Ryuube is a man with ideals of being the family chosen by the earth and are confident with it, Wakana is kind of strange being the spoiled child of the family, then having doubts, then the Priestess of the Earth thing. She's the character with weird twists for me. And Saeko is one screwed up woman. First she's using Kirihiko, Then madly in love with Isaka, then was used by Kazu, the Foundation X guy. In the end, she only did one good thing which is reviving Phillip.
Then also the 3 characters Saeko's hooked up to. Many people were saddened by the death of Kirihiko Sudo (Nazca Dopant), Being that he also loved the city. But i kind of finding his characteristics as a rushed one. Started as a proud villain role then to a home loving guy. It was too sudden to me. Given that i was also feel kinda sad when he died, but lack of growth really minus the sadness to me. Then there's Isaka Shinkuro (Weather Dopant). My God, he is one creepy dude. He experience so many torment using many Gaia Memories. He killed Ryu's parent just as an experiment for his power and He is heartless but stay cool at the same time. Also the time when he played his piano. You pissed him off, he just smash the piano notes and stare/talk at you in a creepy way. But sadly his death have less impact compared to Kirihiko. He just dead and has no final moment. Kinda disappointing cause he might be my favorite villain in Kamen Rider for some times. And lastly there's Kazu Jun (Utopia Dopant). He is boring as hell. He talks while sipping tea. Dissapoint him and he drop his cup. That's all to say about him. For now, He's boring.
And lastly, Shroud (Sonozaki Fumine). Now this character, at the beginning i thought it's going to be the Deus-ex machina of the show. Giving them powers for no reason. But she does have her share of backstory. She was the wife of Sonozaki Ryuube and the mother of Raito, Saeko and Wakana. But because Ryuube's obsession with power, She left him and plotted a revenge against his husband by stealing the W-Driver and give it to Phillip and Give the Accel-Driver to Ryu. They used them for the sake of her vengeance. But later, she learned that- Okay, it was mentioned in Ryu's backstory that Revenge is bad etc. She's an OK character and was mysterious enough to reveal who she was at the end of the story.
Since Den-O, many of the episodes goes like this. One episodes is the introduction to the current problem and on halfway solving it. and the next episodes is the conclusion. So technically out of 49 episodes, it's all 2 parters from beginning to end. But the story does go along well. Maybe the 30's episode are stable and progressing in slow rate, But it helps build the characters. But like many shows, they do have flaws. Like the CG was bad compared to the previous series, And many awkward thing about consistency. But the insert song of this show explains it better than i am. NOBODY'S PERFECT.
And I'm very satisfied with the endings. The endings might continued to the new "Kamen Rider W movie - A to Z, Gaia Memory of Fate". But it wraps up the TV series by ending it in a proper way. There's no 'Go watch the movie for the conclusion' bullcrap like KR Decade.
Anyways, I haven't felt much delight watching Kamen Rider for some time. Den-O was the last series i enjoyed (before they just never ended). And Kiva/Decade is a huge disappointment to me. Let's hoping Kamen Rider OOO followed the same thing
Speaking of which, Up next is a First look on Kamen Rider OOO and also So far on Tensou Sentai Goseiger.