Now that the floodgates have been opened, I’m going to further desecrate Mecha Guignol’s anime corpse. There’s a new tokusatsu (Power Rangers style) show in town, the 2012-2013 installment of Kamen Rider. Obviously, it’s called Kamen Rider Wizard. And the theme of the show is like, about wizards. VEGASian wizards. None of that Harry Potter or D&D crap. This Kamen Rider is all about retiring his music career ala Tom Jones or Celine Dion. Anyway, here are my impressions of the first episode of the new Kamen Rider series.
To be frank, this pilot episode is underwhelming and sort of sucky. There’s plenty of action throughout the episode, but they feel very toy commercial-esque. Granted, these shows ARE toy commercials, but they tend to be able to blend it into the action better. This entire ep felt like a product demo. Hell, at one point, he summons some tiny minions, and the minions come in model kit trees. The writing and as a consequence, the acting is pretty weak as well. At one point, he and the villains just launch into a full on exposition mode. So overall, a lack luster episode.
But there are a couple of points I wanna make. The first point is that things wrap up in one episode. The last few Kamen Rider series have been going with a 2 episodes per story thing. And while this pilot could have done with an extra episode to flesh things out on account that the product demo already ate up a huge chunk of the screen time, the fact that everything resolved in just one episode here says to me that they’re maybe going back to a more episodic format. I’m down with that.
Second and most important by far, the belt. Specifically, the voice clips from the belt are awwwwsome. It’s like having a Japanese James Brown in your belt, near your crotch. Like when he hatcha! dabadoo! summons his ow! little minions, the thing goes Uniiicoooooorn, Please! and then Kraaa-Ke-E-e-E-e-N, Please! And his main transformation voice clip is Shabadoobie! Touch to Henshin!
It goes… Shabadoobie. I mean, if that’s the only thing it says that’s “novel”, I’d be fine with it. But it’s such an extravagant and fabulous belt. The main actor dude’s supposed to be confident, but he ends up kind of stiff, despite having a somewhat flamboyant suit design. But the belt, the BELT is the star with it’s little magical James Brown living in it.
In short, yeah, if you’re not someone who follows Kamen Rider to begin with, skip this ep for now. There are better pilots to hook you in.