Tuesday, September 7, 2010

End of Kamen Rider W Review (Part 2)

Hey everyone. It’s that time again, the end of another Kamen Rider series. In the 8+ years I’ve been watching Tokusatsu it has never gotten easier to see a show you love end. On the other hand at least THESE shows get a proper send-off unlike, well, every good show NBC has cancelled and I’ll leave it at that.

Anyway, time to take that grain of salt and say a sound goodbye to Kamen Rider W. And before I go any further, please STOP trying to convince me it’s Double!! I agree with what Shades said in his Decade video. If you pronounce it Double, that’s fine. You’re entitled to your opinion. Just don’t be a total douche and try to shove what you think is right down our throats. It can be both W and Double as there is no wrong answer among the two. I call it W and I’ll continue to call it W for the rest of my days. Get used to it!!

Okay, I’m done griping. Let’s do this.

(SPOILERS for Episode 49)

One year has passed since Phillip faded away like leaves in the wind and it’s back to business as usual for our favorite detective Shoutarou. He actually runs into Santa-chan at a cat shop. I guess Mikku (Ryubee’s cat, who they adopted last episode) only eats Fancy Feast and the high quality stuff. I hope my girlfriend isn’t that picky when she comes to cat food (she loves her cat more than me!)

Shoutarou also pays a visit to Wakana at the hospital who has awoken after all this time. She is unaware Phillip/Raito is no longer around. Of course she still acts like bit of a bitch but hey, that’s character development for you. A young boy follows Shoutarou back to his office. The child, Akira, asks our hero for help finding his sister. Shoutarou of course takes the case and begins hitting up his informants for clues.

I'm gonna miss you llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllladies....

We learn from the lead singer of Counting Crows- I mean Watcherman, and the lovely Queen and Elizabeth that she was last seen talking to a street gang know as EXE. (Is that anything like Rockman EXE?) Anyway this rabble of punks is selling Gaia Memories on the street and of their own accord. Since Museum is no more, they decided to gather all the remaining memories and start a business. That’s so evil!....and yet…a very smart business ploy.

Sadly Shoutarou goes to call Phillip but he forgot Phillip is no longer with us. Even Queen and Elizabeth don’t know he’s gone as they think he’s studying abroad because…yea…Phillip really needed to go to school when he has the entire knowledge of the world in his HEAD!!! But I’m getting off track. Akira takes Shoutarou to EXE’s hideout, an abandoned warehouse (how original). The punks have his sister Yui hostage and she exposits that she tried to sell them a memory but hasn’t revealed where it is. One of them uses the Anomalocaris memory…even though that one was destroyed in episode 6..…YOU figure out how THAT works out. (I call it lazy writing.)

The student has become the teacher.

Luckily Shoutarou is ready for these hooligans with his Lost Driver and becomes Kamen Rider Joker and deals with this Dopant while the gang escapes with Yui. Joker wastes no time with this rehashed Dopant and sends him flying with a Maximum Drive Rider PUNCH! You read my right, a Rider Punch. That is awesome.

Once that cool exhibition of kickass-ary is done we see Wakana has escaped from the hospital and still has her Clay Doll power even though she is no longer a Dopant. Jinno and Makura cower in fear while Ryu finally shows up to ask what is going on. They try to bring her out of it. Ryu even admits the city isn’t filthy anymore (wow, he’s pulled a 180) and becomes Accel to stop her. Shoutarou stands in the way, saying Phillip’s death would be in vain if they killed his sister. Wakana overhears and of course, she is devastated.

Then the show tries to play a cruel prank on us the viewers with the Frog Pod toy, which still has Phillip’s voice recorded on it. Shoutarou, as well as us the fans, are not happy. That’s like on WWE RAW where they play someone’s music and you think the wrestler is gonna come out but it was just a trick. Seriously, not cool guys. Akira thinks Shoutarou overreacted but Akiko tells him that Phillip is really dead and Shoutarou is just putting up a brave front. Again, when did the show validate this little pricks opinion?? Get lost, Short Round.

Wakana goes to Shroud’s woodland clearing (where I assume she lives *shrug*) and asks her if she can make one more Gaia Impact. Shroud explains how to her daughter before dying…for some reason. Apparently she had a terminal illness that they never told us about. How about a little explanation next time, writers of the show?

Yes. The death of Carmen Sandiego was a sad occasion...

Later on, the kid gets a text to come alone to EXE’s warehouse hangout- I mean secret headquarters. It’s here Yui reveals she hid the memory inside his backpack and the gang take it for themselves. Once they get what they wanted, another member of EXE becomes the Cockroach Dopant. (Seriously, another broken memory being used!! WTF??) Luckily Shoutarou put a tracer on Akira so they could track him down.He becomes Joker once more and owns Cockroach with a Maximum Drive Rider Kick!! (Again, awesome!) Ryu shows up and takes out the other thugs before they can use their memories. After the fight Ryu cuffs them and Shoutarou breaks the Energy memory (or so he thought).

"I WILL turn that into a catchphrase!!!"

After a little pre-mature celebrating, it’s revealed that the pet shop owner from before is the leader of the gang. (Seriously, Scooby Doo had better suspense than this!) So he becomes the Energy Dopant by sticking the real Gaia Memory in his teeth! (Ouch!) It seems our hero is done for when Shoutarou is hit with a lightning blast from Energy but low and behold. The Xtreme Memory is back and guess who appears!! Phillip!!! He’s alive!!! *Record Scratch* Now wait a minute you say. How is that possible? Well it seems our dear Healing Princess Wakana lives up to her moniker and sacrifices herself to give Phillip new life with the Gaia Impact and so she redeems herself with this final act.

Farewell sweet Wakana-hime. And a flight of winged
toaster Gif's sing thee to thy rest.

Shoutarou is of course overjoyed to see his best friend again. It was awfully nice for the Dopant to wait around while everyone hugged and celebrated Phillip’s resurrection. Seriously though, now that our heroes are reunited it’s back to business as usual as they once again become Kamen Rider W and put the Energy Dopant out of his misery with Joker Extreme. Perfect end to a perfect show.

Final Thoughts: I LOVE this show. It’s right up there with Den-O for me. As finales go, I’m glad this one didn’t have a real nail-biter end to it like Kiva did. Granted those are fun but I think it works better when you’re hopes aren’t too high for a finale. Personally I wished I could have gone for more Kamen Rider Joker. He was just the simplicity of a rider. Rider Punch and Rider Kick with no fancy weapons just to drive up toy sales and become ridiculously overpowered *cough* Decade *cough*.

At first I thought they were pulling a Deus Ex Machina with the way they brought back Phillip but then I realized what Wakana sacrificed and I guess that makes sense. One thing bothers me though. I’m not trying to be morbid here or anything but I’m amazed Ryu survived this whole ordeal. I mean he was banged up pretty good last time (he was on FIRE! Literally!) But I guess happy endings are all anyone wants today. Whatever happened to the hero that goes down fighting? Oh well.

I’m sure my friend Shades will agree with me that this show is a good start for anyone who wants to get in to Kamen Rider. I will have fun reviewing this show one day on Toku Time and I look forward to it. Until then at least we have the W movie and W and OOO’s Movie Wars 2011 to look forward to so we have not seen the last of Kamen Rider W by any means.

It's been a hell of a ride guys. See you again sometime.

Id like to thank Toei for making this great show, the whole cast for amazing acting (Tomomi sisters, call me!), the artists for the great music through this series, #TV-Nihon for subbing this series (support them, not stream sites), and the fans for reading/watching my reviews. You guys and gals all make it worthwhile. Farewell to W. It’s OOO’s time to shine now.

Watch this space for my First Impressions of OOO’s review which I’ll write eventually. Thanks for reading.



  1. Your comments on them reusing old Gaia Memories kind of confused me. Weren't the Sonozaki Family mass producing them? I know they don't say it in the show, but doesn't mass producing them mean that they might have made more than one Gaia Memory for each type?

  2. Lol I'm so glad I'm not the only one that thought of Carmen Sandiego ( x the Invisible Man).
    But srsly this show is going to be one of my favorites (out of ALL categories, not just tokusatsu).