Monday, September 19, 2011

Thoughts on Kamen Rider Fourze (Part 2)

Hello once again Toku Faithful. EZ Rider is back with more toku reviews you can shake a switch at. Man, rip on one episode from one toku show and pay for it the rest of your life. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’ll just say my articles have landed me in hot water in certain circles. Am I upset? HELL NO!! I don’t care if the whole world hates my articles. At the end of the day at least SOMEONE is reading this crap I type. Before we go any further this is all SATIRICAL! If you think these jokes/insults are real they are not. So chill!

Well let’s get down to brass tacks. The last episode of Fourze…underperformed. I guess that’s a good way of putting it. The characters are a mess, the Kamen Rider suit is laughable and the high school setting just made me roll my eyes. I’m not saying this is the worst premise for a show, this is just me venting because I had a crappy high school experience and I’m willing to bet my morpher most of you reading this did as well. But enough about my issues, let’s dig into Kamen
Rider Fourze Episode 2 and hope this series has “space” to grow.

A frustrated short-order cook. This guy must have
come from outer space. –Moe Howard

When we last left our heroes, Kengo was being a dick and doing a horrible Ripley impression by grabbing Fourze in the Powerdizer. Gentarou actually fights back and has a grappling match with Kengo IN the Powerdizer. Again, Gentarou has guts for doing that and I applaud him. It could have been a good fight before Yuuki breaks it up. Seriously I wanted to see Fourze use that rocket and blow that CGI mess to smithereens. Oh well.

Kengo exposits that the monster from before was a Zodiart, a creature that is made when someone uses an Astroswitch that channels cosmic energy. Hmm, a device someone uses to become a monster. Why does that sound so familiar? Well long story short, that monster Fourze defeated wasn’t well…defeated. It was just a deleted form and it’s still alive. So Kengo pulls a Faiz and the Powerdizer goes into vehicle mode and takes off to…wherever. Gentarou tells Kengo he will help him find the switch user. I think we have a gang, Toku Faithful. But I can’t get the feeling we’re forgetting someone…

After hearing the opening song again I’m slowly growing to like it. I do find it does get your head moving so consider the comments in the last article retracted. Anyway one of the teachers scolds Gen-chan for not wearing a school uniform. Apparently he doesn’t realize protagonists have certain dress codes. And the rich/popular kids are back in their usual charming selves. Charlie Sheen-I mean Daimonji is playing a football match today so everyone is playing kiss-ass, even the teachers and Daimonji’s toadie, Miura. Gentarou questions the popular kids about the monster from before, but they just shrug him off and call him trash and move on. (and I know I said they called him a geek last time. It was a mistake). Meanwhile the iPad girl from before watches from afar.

"They don't like me. One of these days
I'll get a Glock and mow these assholes down!"

So Gentarou keeps asking around and constantly getting into fights. You meet the nicest people Gen-chan, and you want to be friends with all these assholes?? Speaking of assholes, Kengo returns and sets his burger bot (or Burgermeal if you want to be technical) to find the Zodiart, resulting in a cock war between him and Gentarou to see who can get the monster first.

Meanwhile we see the mystery monsters from before handing the Astroswitch back to the user in question. Back in class Gentarou is the one cutting class this time as he is too busy goofing off in that secret zero-gravity base again. WILL SOMEONE SUSPEND THESE KIDS ALREADY??? Anyway Yuuki finds him in there. It seems Gentarou can see….the earth…from a window….what the hell??? She tells him this secret base is actually IN SPACE!! A toku space series that actually goes into space??? What trickery is this??? So she starts stripping… this show just got ten times better. Actually they put on space suits and walk around on the moon. I have to admit this was awesome since space exploration is one of my guilty pleasures. Needless to say the kiddies back in Japan are gonna love this.

"Kilroy Was Here", I wonder what that means?

On the moon these two exposit some more and when they reach a giant crater, Yuuki reveals that Kengo’s father died there (see Episode 1) and they were trying to use Astroswitches for good and someone screwed them over. I swear to god I’ve heard a story JUST like this before. I just can’t put my finger on it. Anyway Kengo inherited all his father’s money and equipment (Fourze Driver and switches) so he decides to stop the Zodiarts. And no, I don’t feel sorry for Kengo. Don’t take your personal problems out on everyone you see you jerk off, go to a psychiatrist. That’s what they’re there for!!!

Meanwhile, Kengo is playing motocross when Gentarou chases after him on a bicycle, telling him he understands his plight and wants to help, after running him off the road and shirt grabbing, Gentarou pleads him to accept his offer to help and Kengo….actually agrees!! Wow, ACTUAL character development! Now we’re getting somewhere!!! Usually we have to wait 30 episodes before this happens. Suddenly Gentarou gets a call from the mystery iPad girl from before. She says she has some info on the Zodiart and schedules a meeting. Gentarou actually runs right at her and forcefully grabs and yells at her, thinking she’s the monster. Wow, nice detective work Shoutarou.

Hey, don't beat up Mila Kunis. What did she ever
do to you?

Yuuki calms the boy down and our mystery girl explains that she actually did some research and found out about that threat to destroy the school from before. She traced the message back to the culprit. That’s actually pretty damn brilliant. Even the mighty Kengo didn’t think of that. Already I like this girl, please tell me she becomes a regular. Cut back to the football team ready to play, that is until Miura starts threatening Daimonji and telling him he’s tired of being his lackey. What does THIS have to do with Kamen Rider??? Well actually it’s revealed Miura has the Zodiart switch. That’s actually a neat little plot twist and I did not suspect him. Bravo. Our heroes show up and try to convince him not use the switch. Remember kids, friends don’t let friends use Astroswitch. Daimonji ends up pushing Miura over the edge and the switch somehow levels up, which he then pushes to become the Orion Zodiart

Sadly, before he can kill that smug jock bastard, Gentarou just rushes in like a bad-ass and attacks the monster un-henshined. Again, any rider who can do that without transforming is pretty damn cool in my book. Kengo gives him the Fourze Driver and he henshins yet again. Is he going to say “Space is awesome” every time he transforms? Because I assure you it will become very annoying very fast. Gentarou and Kengo actually work together as he asks Kengo what to do since he knows the powers better, which actually makes sense! Fourze, you’re starting to redeem yourself.

Caution: Astroswitches are not a substitute for steroids.
Side effects may include psychosis and destruction.

Fourze takes the fight outside and “borrows” the new bike Kengo was using, it even comes with jet propulsion, which is AWESOME!! An actual rocket cycle. Fourze even uses the jet boost exhaust to burn the Zodiart. I gotta admit that was pretty clever. Kengo instructs him to turn off the switch but he can’t do it on Earth because the explosion would wipe out the stadium they are fighting near. So there is only one way to stop this Zodiart. To Space!! Kengo programs the Powerdizer to be a launch pad for Fourze and his jet cycle. The Powerdizer fires missiles which propel the monster into the sky (cause physics and tokusatsu don’t mix) and LAUNCHES FOURZE INTO SPACE! That is pretty damn cool.

Fourze uses his new bike to basically spear the Zodiart through the atmosphere and finish him off with a Limit Break (and no, I’m not making a Final Fantasy joke here) Rocket Drill Space Kick. I can forgive the drill kick since, well, SPACE!!! I hope we get a Rocket Rider Punch someday though. So he collects the switch but begins to fall to earth. I have no idea where his bike went, I guess it just disappeared. Luckily he uses the parachute switch (yea I know it’s silly, just go with it) and glides to safety.

To Infinity..............AND BEYOND!!!!!
(sorry, couldn't resist)

Back on terra firma the Zodiart switch disappears. Hmm, apparently it breaks after the monster is defeated, again, awfully familiar. Miura is back to normal and he seems to be okay. Then our girl with the iPad says something right out of the blue. “Kamen Rider!” She talks about urban legends on the net and uses said iPad (you know, product placement and what not) to show them past riders and it’s pretty much set in stone Fourze is…well…a Kamen Rider! And that means this is in continuity with past series!!! Suck it Decade!!!

So Kengo entrusts the Fourze Driver to Gentarou. Now it seems Kengo has lightened up and realized he needs friends to help him stop these menacing creatures, and that they will be his allies through thick and thin- oh, scratch that. Kengo shrugs off Gen-chans offer to be friends for the hundredth time. I really hate you Kengo. Gentarou also put up a banner in the base that reads Kamen Rider Club, a club that protects the school from monsters. Great, now all we need is a hippie van and a talking pet and we’re golden. And we end with Kengo chasing Gentarou around the base asking for the belt back. Admittedly that is kind of funny.

Want to watch four good Rider shows AND
scroll up Fuuto news? There's an app for that.

So that was episode 2 of Fourze and HOLY CRAP this was a huge improvement over episode 1. We establish what the switches do, get some much needed character development, introduced interesting new characters and of course, SPACE TRAVEL. I was worried we’d go the whole show without ever going into space. Thank god I was wrong. Hell there is even a battle in space. Fourze just got ten times better in my eyes. So no, I don’t hate this show anymore. I still roll my eyes at some of the tropes but let’s just say things are getting interesting. Well I hope some of you enjoyed my thoughts on the first two episodes of Fourze (even though I’m sure I’ll be getting a boatload of hate mail before the day is out). Check back soon for my review of the End of Kamen Rider OOO. Later.


  1. Seems this is a humongous improvement. And... i couldn't resist to say it: Hope his moonbase is not next to the one owned by Dracula!

  2. For me, the first ep was more action-packed, with each character getting brief appearances. The second ep loosens up and gives us a bit more insight to some of the characters.

    The choreography so far has been excellent. Well hey, it's done by the same guy that did W. =D

    Drill Kick.... I know the guy who wrote Gurren Lagann is the head writer to Fourze, but... coincidence??? xD

    Don't worry EZ, the world doesn't hate your articles. ;) Wow, you don't get upset? I personally would feel terrible if I got hate mail. =(

    As of the first 3 eps to Fourze, so far, it seems pretty neat. It's very well set up and the characters all have the potential to be very likable. Still a very weird concept in general though. lol xP

  3. Well, after watching episode 4 this week I officially love Fourze. Gentaro is decent person with actual fighting skills outside of the suit, something that bothered me with OOO's.
    Bit of a back track there EZ with the opening comment too, you cant review something then say its satyrical, thats just BS. Stand up for you opinions man, if you thought the first episode sucked, thats entirely up to you. I'm sure your not alone.