gekidasa: (Zolda henshin)

I’m back to watching Kamen Rider OOO, although I’m just not going to even attempt blogging every two episodes like I used to. Don’t really have the time for it, sadly.

At any rate, episode 32 has probably been my favorite of the series thus far. There’s a point (hopefully) in a Rider series where you feel that things are really heading somewhere, that revelations are being made, and you just start to sense what endgame is starting to make itself felt. This was that for OOO, I think.

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gekidasa: (Gotou)

As far as I’m concerned, the important thing about these episodes is… Date backstory!!

I mean, yes, there was all the stuff about Date’s former colleague, and how she wanted to be pretty like her sister, and how the lesson is that about real beauty and being yourself, yada yada yada… I think it’s fair to say that I have a lot more to say when the underlying theme is about how justice is subjective or the like than this, because… well, there’s not much to say, right?

Anyway, apparently Date was in some kind of Doctors Without Borders, and he was called The Fighting Doctor (so, not exactly Doctors Without Borders, probably). So, yes, I got it wrong, did not expect this, and I found it pretty interesting actually, that he used to dedicate his life to helping others while now his motives appear to be more selfish. Of course, by now the real reason he wants that money has probably been revealed, but at this point it hasn’t, so there you go. Also interesting is how at the end Gotou asks him if it’s okay to just let go of his former colleague like that, since she appeared to be into him, and he says rather matter of factly that has his hands full right now.

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gekidasa: (Zolda henshin)

As far as I’m concerned, the important thing about these episodes is… Date backstory!!

I mean, yes, there was all the stuff about Date’s former colleague, and how she wanted to be pretty like her sister, and how the lesson is that about real beauty and being yourself, yada yada yada… I think it’s fair to say that I have a lot more to say when the underlying theme is about how justice is subjective or the like than this, because… well, there’s not much to say, right?

Anyway, apparently Date was in some kind of Doctors Without Borders, and he was called The Fighting Doctor (so, not exactly Doctors Without Borders, probably). So, yes, I got it wrong, did not expect this, and I found it pretty interesting actually, that he used to dedicate his life to helping others while now his motives appear to be more selfish. Of course, by now the real reason he wants that money has probably been revealed, but at this point it hasn’t, so there you go. Also interesting is how at the end Gotou asks him if it’s okay to just let go of his former colleague like that, since she appeared to be into him, and he says rather matter of factly that has his hands full right now.

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gekidasa: (Gotou)

Right. Been busy again, yada yada. But it doesn’t feel right to just skip through, so I’ll go off my notes for the episodes I watched (yes, I take notes while watching Kamen Rider, and yes, I realize what this says about me) but didn’t get around to blogging about.

Episodes 21-22 explore whether the desire to fight for justice can become twisted. The Yummy is born from a man who never passed the exam to become a lawyer, and was frustrated because he felt like a failure, and so he left his family. The Yummy initially targets criminals, and so the man accepts the Yummy as a way to punish those he perceives as wicked. From there, the show obviously moves to questioning whether this is really justice, and how self-righteousness twists a person’s sense of justice so they become cruel themselves.

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gekidasa: (Zolda henshin)

Right. Been busy again, yada yada. But it doesn’t feel right to just skip through, so I’ll go off my notes for the episodes I watched (yes, I take notes while watching Kamen Rider, and yes, I realize what this says about me) but didn’t get around to blogging about.

Episodes 21-22 explore whether the desire to fight for justice can become twisted. The Yummy is born from a man who never passed the exam to become a lawyer, and was frustrated because he felt like a failure, and so he left his family. The Yummy initially targets criminals, and so the man accepts the Yummy as a way to punish those he perceives as wicked. From there, the show obviously moves to questioning whether this is really justice, and how self-righteousness twists a person’s sense of justice so they become cruel themselves.

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gekidasa: (Gotou)

I enjoyed 19 and 20 as a whole a lot more than the two previous episodes. There’s quite a forward momentum to the story, and the story touches at one point or another on most of the key players (and someone who has not been a key player gets a great little moment too).

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gekidasa: (Zolda henshin)

I enjoyed 19 and 20 as a whole a lot more than the two previous episodes. There’s quite a forward momentum to the story, and the story touches at one point or another on most of the key players (and someone who has not been a key player gets a great little moment too).

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gekidasa: (Zolda henshin)

Still playing catchup. These obviously deal with a whole more than just Date, but I’m really interested in him, so that’s what this post will be about mostly.

Episodes 17 and 18 are basically a bit of an introduction to Date Akira, the man behind Kamen Rider Birth. Of note: he’s not quite as non-chalant a dude as his first moments on the show would lead us to believe. He’s just a very pragmatic, practical man, who gets shit done with minimal fuss. He’s technically a mercenary, because he’s just there to earn one hundred million yen in exchange for collecting a whole lot of Cell Medals. Obviously, it would seem that there is a reason why he needs said money, I very much doubt that he just wants money for the sake of having money. In this, he actually reminds me a bit of my favorite Kamen Rider ever, Kitaoka Shuichi, whose desire to win the Rider Battle in Ryuki so he can live forever is presented originally as something fundamentally self-serving… and it is, of course, but there’s a lot more to it than that, and there is a very good reason behind it which, while not actually making him a better man, makes him quite sympathetic. And I’ll just stop now, because Super Lawyer is not the point of the post. I just brought it up because even though Kitaoka and Date could not be more different in a lot of way, the shared quality of having a hidden motivation for behavior which can be categorized as amoral is something I find intriguing about both.

Before his current gig as Birth, he was “abroad” but is just in Japan to earn money. In episode 20, he tells Chiyoko that he wasn’t abroad travelling, he was working all over the world. And in episode 17, there is a close up shot of his pants where you can see a badge which appears to be from a “detention center” in the US. So he was either a detainee, or maybe a guard? There’s a certain military air about him, so it could be either, I think. And I have no idea if this has been revisited or not, so there you go. ← Post-subbed 24, apparently way off!

I’ll admit that I wasn’t too into 17-18′s story about the girl that was in love with her kendo instructor, which is probably why I fell so behind in the series in the first place. The three things I took away from it are that Eiji is clueless about romance, and also the revelation Date made about his own motivations, when he told the girl that if she wanted to ruin her instructor’s wedding she should do it with her own hands. He went on to describe himself as a “slave to desire” (referencing his desire to get a hundred million yen), but that his two rules were to never get other people involved in his own agenda, and to never do something to “make yourself cry”. So what I get from that is basically to be honest about yourself and your own desires, to own who you are, and to take responsibility for your own destiny. Like I said, he’s a pragmatist above all else, who lives by and answers to his own moral code and no one else’s.

The third thing I took from these two episodes was that he declined agreeing to cooperate with Eiji because he thinks Eiji strikes him as someone who’d make himself cry.

(And yes, the image is actually from episode 20, because this post was going to be about all those episodes, then I changed my mind).

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gekidasa: (Zolda henshin)

Still playing catchup. These obviously deal with a whole more than just Date, but I’m really interested in him, so that’s what this post will be about mostly.

Episodes 17 and 18 are basically a bit of an introduction to Date Akira, the man behind Kamen Rider Birth. Of note: he’s not quite as non-chalant a dude as his first moments on the show would lead us to believe. He’s just a very pragmatic, practical man, who gets shit done with minimal fuss. He’s technically a mercenary, because he’s just there to earn one hundred million yen in exchange for collecting a whole lot of Cell Medals. Obviously, it would seem that there is a reason why he needs said money, I very much doubt that he just wants money for the sake of having money. In this, he actually reminds me a bit of my favorite Kamen Rider ever, Kitaoka Shuichi, whose desire to win the Rider Battle in Ryuki so he can live forever is presented originally as something fundamentally self-serving… and it is, of course, but there’s a lot more to it than that, and there is a very good reason behind it which, while not actually making him a better man, makes him quite sympathetic. And I’ll just stop now, because Super Lawyer is not the point of the post. I just brought it up because even though Kitaoka and Date could not be more different in a lot of way, the shared quality of having a hidden motivation for behavior which can be categorized as amoral is something I find intriguing about both.

Before his current gig as Birth, he was “abroad” but is just in Japan to earn money. In episode 20, he tells Chiyoko that he wasn’t abroad travelling, he was working all over the world. And in episode 17, there is a close up shot of his pants where you can see a badge which appears to be from a “detention center” in the US. So he was either a detainee, or maybe a guard? There’s a certain military air about him, so it could be either, I think. And I have no idea if this has been revisited or not, so there you go. ← Post-subbed 24, apparently way off!

I’ll admit that I wasn’t too into 17-18′s story about the girl that was in love with her kendo instructor, which is probably why I fell so behind in the series in the first place. The three things I took away from it are that Eiji is clueless about romance, and also the revelation Date made about his own motivations, when he told the girl that if she wanted to ruin her instructor’s wedding she should do it with her own hands. He went on to describe himself as a “slave to desire” (referencing his desire to get a hundred million yen), but that his two rules were to never get other people involved in his own agenda, and to never do something to “make yourself cry”. So what I get from that is basically to be honest about yourself and your own desires, to own who you are, and to take responsibility for your own destiny. Like I said, he’s a pragmatist above all else, who lives by and answers to his own moral code and no one else’s.

The third thing I took from these two episodes was that he declined agreeing to cooperate with Eiji because he thinks Eiji strikes him as someone who’d make himself cry.

(And yes, the image is actually from episode 20, because this post was going to be about all those episodes, then I changed my mind).

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gekidasa: (Shinji peeks)

If Kamen Rider OOO‘s episode 15 was about advancing the plot, episode 16 is about both that and also about advancing the mythology and the ideas behind the story.

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gekidasa: (Gotou)

The Yummy from these episodes was spawned by a gifted surgeon who wasn’t being allowed to do surgeries. Her pride led to Cazali using her to create a Yummy, and really, the point of these two episodes is about pride… or excess pride, rather.

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gekidasa: (Gotou)

“I’m just trying to do what needs to be done.”

—Hino Eiji

Firstly, yes, that is what Eiji does, and that’s why he’s effective, he just does what he needs to get shit done. And that’s why he’s a hero, even though he doesn’t think of himself as one. He doesn’t do it for any other reason, other than someone has to.

Gotou finally understood. Up until he’s looked down on Eiji because he doesn’t behave or measure up to the idea that Gotou has of what a hero should be. He doesn’t think on a grand scale, of saving the world, just of helping in the here and now.

Gotou has finally realized that he’s spent all this time wanting to save the world without actually getting much accomplished, and he’s opened himself up to being used by Dr Maki because of a desire that he’s not actually doing anything about. He also realized that in the meantime Eiji has actually done more with his simple approach of helping whoever needs it, however he can.

So this leads two things. The first being that he’s only going to make a difference by doing whatever he can, whatever “needs to be done”, whether it is shooting Greeds with bazookas or just bringing new candroids to Eiji. I think that he’s come to accept that, and that he’s okay with it (which, by the way, I imagine is what opens the door to him actually becoming the man he needs to be in order to be a hero in his own right). The other is that he has let of his resentment of Eiji, and is willing to stand with him, and have his back. The moment Gotou holds out his hand to help Eiji get up after the fight was awesome, because you know that’s the moment that another great rider partnership is born.

“Brofists forever” and all that.

ETA: Just watched 13-14 and it was a bit premature to think Gotou had goten over all his issues :D;

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gekidasa: (Gotou)

1. Ankh is being pwned by both Hina and Chiyoko, in very different ways. And by Satonaka, actually. So basically by any woman he meets.

2. Like I already posted, Eiji and Hina are adorable together. Him being instinctively protective of her is cute, obviously, but there’s also the way she’s coming to understand him, in particular how she realizes that Eiji is the man he is because of what happened in the village. And because of it, there’s understanding and support growing there… it reminds me a little of Natsumi and Tsukasa before Hibiki world, before Yonemura made her more damsel in distress than supportive friend and partner.

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gekidasa: (Kitaoka happy to see Reiko)

Aww, that’s cute. And really really blatant ship-bait. :D;

Have I mentioned how happy it makes me that Eiji is an attractive young dude as opposed to a waify prettyboy?

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gekidasa: (Gotou)

So I’m thinking I’ve reached the point in OOO in which it hits its stride and characters and dynamics start to get interesting.

I still don’t really OOO‘s various suit designs, I’m not really into the whole props during battle aspect of the action (particularly the mantis appendages/weapons), but the underlying Buddhist theme makes it very interesting, Hino Eiji is quite likable, Ankh is fascinating, and at this point characters I knew I’d like are starting to get more screentime… and characters I didn’t expect to care much about one way or the other have snuck up on me.

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gekidasa: (Gotou)

Wanting things isn’t bad in and of itself. What’s important is what you do with those feelings.

1. I like Eiji more and more. I like how he doesn’t judge anyone for their desires/excesses, but instead is able to put himself in their position and understand where they’re coming from. He observes and understands, doesn’t judge, but does sort of… guide through example, I guess.

2. I had absolutely no interest in Hina at the start, but she became interesting to me the moment she said that she has come to realize that she used to cling to her brother, but that she has realized that she has to stand on her own two feet and can’t use something (her brother) as a crutch.

3. I loved the exchange between Gotou and Eiji: Gotou questioning how Eiji can save the world if he can’t even control one Greed, and Eiji thinking to himself that Gotou thinks big while he prefers to focus on what’s in front of him. Says a lot about both of them.

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gekidasa: (Zolda henshin)

And so, Kamen Rider OOO catch-up begins!

I’d actually already watched episode 4, but never posted about it/kind of forgot, so I rewatched. Very quick thoughts to follow, mostly it basically goes back to what episode 3 had already touched on:

1. Humans beings are consumed by their desires… or are they? Ankh tells Eiji that this is the reason that it’s not worth it to save them. Eiji believes that humans can overcome those desires, but even if they can’t, it’s not his place to judge:

Eiji: I don’t get to decide someone else’s worth.
Ankh: Well, I do.

2. Better the devil you know. Ankh would rather by annoyed than humans (Eiji) than betrayed by Greed (Kazari)… even though Eiji tells him, again, that the first chance he gets he’ll defeat him and save Hina’s brother. I suppose the difference is that Eiji is being upfront about it. Just like he’s told Eiji upfront that the minute he thinks Eiji has become useless, he’ll “get rid” of him.

3. And again, why Eiji does what he does

I’m not a nice guy at all. (…) I reach out to help because I don’t want to feel (regret). That’s all.

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gekidasa: (Henshin~!)

No computer, can’t watch stuff as often as I’d like, much less blog, yada yada yada. But I did catch up on last week’s Os!

The episode starts off where ep 2 left off, with Ankh encountering Hina, who is the younger sister of the cop whose body he’s taken over. The little encounter serves to drive home, again, just how inhuman Ankh is. He basically coldly considers the situation, accessing the cop’s memories of his sister to figure out why she’s run to hug him, and once he understands their relationship, determines that because she cares for his brother, she will be in the way and the easiest thing will be to kill her and be rid of her. Eiji tries to stop him, and the point is made that without the belt, Eiji doesn’t stand a chance, and would be unable to stop Ankh from doing anything he pleases. So he uses his only leverage, which is to threaten to throw the belt in the river, which effectively stops Ankh from killing Hina.

So once again, the pull and push between Eiji and Ankh is brought to the spotlight, and this conflict is clearly going to be the central focus of the series… at least until Ankh starts developing more of a conscience. Which I am assuming will happen at some point. And again, I really like this dynamic.

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gekidasa: (Zolda henshin)

Watched Os 1 with subs. Still don’t like the OP. :D

In general terms, there’s not that much I actually missed when I watched the raw. One thing was that Eiji slept through the chaos at the start because was drugged, not because he’s a flaky slacker. Also, that there will be consequences to using the belt.

As for things that are clearer on a subbed watch: Biggest thing is that through his own words, Ankh made it exceedingly clear that his intention is to use and manipulate Eiji for his own ends… I mean, I assumed, but I didn’t know 100%. I like how he totally lies to Eiji’s face about how he’s impressed with him and that that’s why he’s going to help him.

Things that I forgot to mention on the previous post: The beginning of the episode itself, although much goofier, definitely reminded me of Kuuga and Agito. In fact, now that I’ve rewatched and thought about it, I’ve gotta wonder if, the obvious trappings linking it to Kabuto aside, it might not actually owe a lot more to Agito and especially to Kuuga, at least as far as the hero goes. The more I think about it, the more that Eiji reminds me of Godai. Food for thought, I guess.

One last thing. In light of the fact that our protagonist has no attachments and thus no desires, I find the Greeed’s line about how the Yumy is the embodiment of a human’s desires (and thus their true self) very intriguing.

And finally, if when analyzing a certain type of hero, we talk about “Christ figures”, would it be appropriate to speak about Buddha figures when talking about a certain other type of hero? Ultimately I have to admit Eiji himself, from this angle, was one of the things I found most intriguing from the press release before the series started. :D

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gekidasa: (Karisu)

And so it begins. Watched episode 1 raw, so obviously I will have missed things. :D

The first episode kind of already confirms the impression I got from the press releases and character descriptions: that many elements of Os are very obvious nods in the direction of past Riders. To be fair, Kamen Rider is a franchise that relies on a specific, limited set of tropes; but what I’m talking about isn’t that exactly. A trope is an archtype basically, something honed down to its basic elements; what I’m talking about is the specific ways in which those archtypes are explored. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, particularly if one liked what is referenced, and it’s all revisited in a way that revamps the ideas.

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