Since 2009, every autumn there will be a new Kamen Rider series airing, and with Fourze just ended last August, its time to welcome the new Rider, Wizard!! Being the first magical-themed Rider, this show looks like the one that we could expect a lot from it, after the fact that Fourze is kinda disappointing, and the fact that this series is the Kamen Rider version of Mahou Sentai MagiRanger (Power Rangers Mystic Force for overseas)! So, does this show is a carbon copy of MagiRanger? Or is it the same, cheesy style of Fourze? Let’s find out, Please!
A long time ago, magic and science co-exist but as time progresses, the former was slowly forgotten to the point that it only became a fantasy. However, there is one man who still uses magic, and that guy is Haruto Souma! Who is he? Oh, he’s just a guy who eats a doughnut but got interrupted by a….. Taka Candroid? No. Apparently that little fella is Garuda PlaMonster, this show’s little droids. The little fella tells Haruto that a monster is nearby and suddenly, Haruto summons a portal and pull his bike by just using a ring on his belt! Unlike previous Rider series, this guy can use his abilities even when not transforming! I like it!
First impressions of Haruto, he seems to be a relaxed, kind man who doesn’t mind if others interrupt whatever he’s doing. In this case, Garuda interrupts him while he’s enjoying his doughnut! If I were him, I would’ve whine a lil’ bit and finish my doughnut first!
Anyways, at the crime scene, the police are preparing an assault of the monsters who attacked the area. After a long time, this series is the first season since Agito where the police are involved in the fight! Sure, we had Decade in Kuuga’s arc, as well as W and OOO, but W’s police force are mostly used for comedic purposes and one of them are actually a Rider. While in OOO, the cops are only featured for the first two episodes. Looking at this series, I think we can get a lot of scene where the police tries to deal with the monsters.
Back to the story, we see Rinko, a rookie detective who tells her superior that every cops must protect the people. Even though I knew a little of Kuuga, but I can see that she’s this series Ichimonji (the cop who aids Kuuga, aka the Jim Gordon of Kamen Rider). As Rinko and her team attacks the creatures to no avail, she is about to be ‘raped’ by a stronger looking monster that resembles a bull. And all of a sudden, Haruto came with his bike, pulls a gun and fires a SILVER bullet, effectively damaging the monster! The fact that he use a silver bullet to inflict damage on his enemy is very cool, and adds the fantasy theme to the series. For those of you who don’t know, silver bullets are used to kill werewolfs. Also with these revelations, maybe the police will develop a silver bullet to counter this villains? Anyways, the monster addresses Haruto as the “mage”, confusing Rinko. But as he throws some fireball to Haruto, he transforms into Kamen Rider Wizard!!!
Which brings us to the first fight of Wizard while the opening theme plays in the background. Really, this style reminds me of ShinkenRed’s first battle. As for the stunts, I love it. Sure it has some wire-fu that’s not Koichi Sakamoto’s level, but it is entertaining. The fact that this show’s action director is the one who directs Gokaiger adds up the fun! The opening theme is really good, and somewhat reminds me of the earlier Heisei Rider’s OPs (particularly Faiz-Kabuto). Also, Wizard’s suit really looks like a combination of Agito, Hibiki and Decade’s suit. The simplicity of the suit is really beautiful that I’m considering to buy a Wizard Flame Style Figuarts, despite my preference of only buying the Rider’s final forms. Anyways, to finish the monsters, he ‘shake hands’ with the gun a fires some fireballs to the grunts. What a cool way to do a finisher.
After the fight, Haruto calls Koyomi, a girl who helps him deals with these creatures, that are known as Phantoms. She tells them that he must use other PlaMonsters to search for the bull Phantom who fled, but Haruto tells her that using too much magic can be tiring. Well, I guess Haruto can’t really screw around with his powers after all. Rinko approaches him, demanding answers. Haruto tells her that a human with a high level of magic is called a ‘Gate’ and when the Gate is killed, the remains of the magic became a Phantom.
As Haruto tells Rinko about the Phantoms, the bull Phantom, MinoTauros, went to his superiors, Phoenix and Medusa. Apparently these two are stronger Phantoms that can create Ghouls, the foot soldiers that Wizard just fought. These two upper-class Phantoms really resembles the Greeed in some way. Phoenix reminds me of Uva, except wilder, and Medusa reminds me of Mezool. Their purpose is also somewhat similar to the Greeeds, that they don’t just destroy or conquer the world, but rather play with human beings to do so. In Phantom’s case, the must bring despair to a Gate, so that a new Phantom will be born, and if the more Phantoms are born, their Wiseman can open a Sabbath, similar to Fourze’s Zodiarts/Horoscopes mission. I wonder how these two Phantoms are born and when will they encounter Wizard? Guess time will tell.
Back to Haruto and Rinko, the latter arrested the former because he was deemed ‘too dangerous’. Well, it makes sense since who wouldn’t arrest a guy who is not a cop but easily defeats the Phantoms while the cops can’t? She asks him if there is a way for the police to defeat the Phantom, but Haruto tells her that only mages, to an extent, Haruto, can defeat the Phantoms.
This drives Rinko angry since she just can’t stand doing nothing while people are suffering, and states that she is jealous because Haruto can use magic and he didn’t need to feel despair. However, Haruto remembers his past, where he and several people are turning into monsters but Haruto manages to snap it by not giving up. As such, due to the Phantom still resides in his body, Haruto can now use magic! Basically, the people who can use magic is the people who didn’t gave in to despair.
Meanwhile, Rinko’s superior calls her and tells her that the investigations of the Phantom has been canceled, because it is a problem that the police could not handle. Basically this is just a way to not let the police interfere, and maybe there is someone who is a Phantom that works in a police force……..
Meanwhile, Koyomi goes to the police station to release Haruto, but after seeing an upset Rinko and her superior, she starts to notice something strange with the superior. Haruto tries to resume eating his doughnut, but again he got interrupted. Instead of using Connect Ring to open a portal and teleports himself, Haruto use a Small Ring to shrinks himself and ride the Unicorn PlaMonster! Neat idea, very neat. Even the CGI looks promising.
As for Rinko, she told her superior that she became a police because of her dad was also a police. She has this necklace that acts as a lucky charm of her. However the superior takes the lucky charm and breaks it, putting Rinko into despair. It is then revealed that Rinko IS the Gate and her superior is actually MinoTauros, and died a while ago, during the same time Haruto nearly turned into a Phantom. From what I noticed, a Phantom is not an evil version of you or whatsoever, but rather a monster that was born and takes the appearance of his/her gate. This concept is somewhat similar to the Worms in Kamen Rider Kabuto.
However, before the MinoTauros can kill Rinko and giving birth to a new Phantom, Haruto came and transforms into Kamen Rider Wizard again. The henshin itself really resembles MagiRanger’s henshin sequence, particularly the circle that passes through Haruto. After overwhelming MinoTauros with the WizardSwordGun (Seriously, I prefer if it was call the Magician’s GunBlade or something. But you know, Engrish and the ‘Gunblade’ trademarks), MinoTauros starts to get real by rampaging like a real bull. This causes Wizard to change into Land Style, which I love to call Lego Form because his face is square-shaped. To be honest, I would rather having this yellow form as Lightning State, but given the fact that Wizard uses classical elements (Fire, Water, Earth and Wind) it is forgivable. I love how he use Land Style’s ability to use the Defend Ring and block MinoTauros’s attack, my guess is that the Style will enchance the Ability Ring’s power. So in this case, Land Style is good fo defend purposes.
Then, Wizard use Hurricane Style, and slashes MinTauros in the air at full speed. To be honest, Hurricane Style is good, and I love some wind-attribute forms, but his triangular face is weird. One more thing, when changing forms, it seems that the circle thingy is still in red, but with some features on it (transforming into Hurricane Style will cause the red circle to have green wind on it, while Land Style will cause the red circle to have yellow rocks on it). I hope that it will change in the next episode because it’s just too weird. I know that Flame Style is the default but still. Anyways, to finish the Phantom, Haruto changes back into Flame Style and initiates his Rider Kick: Wizard Strike. The kick itself resembles Agito and Garren’s Rider Kick, and it is really cool. And with that, MinoTauros are history.
However, the fight is not over yet. Rinko are still turning into a Phantom, then, in order to save her, Haruto pulls a ring and he asks Rinko to marry him…….. I mean he puts the ring to Rinko’s finger and it opens up a portal to a persons mind: the Underworld. I love the fact that in order to stop a person from giving birth to a new Phantom (because turning into Phantom is inaccurate) Wizard has to ‘propose’ to the person. I wonder how he would do that to a guy. LOL. Anyways, that scene could be mean that Rinko will turn into Haruto’s love interest. Who knows? It’s been a while and I would love some romance in Kamen Rider series. Nevertheless, Haruto went into the Underworld to undo the Phantom-ing process.
From then on the scene turns into a Den-O based style, in Den-O’s case, he travels into a past to stop the Imagin rampage and destroy a precious memory of someone. While in Wizard’s case, he travels into a person’s memory to stop the birth of the new Phantom. Also, like Den-O there is a Kaiju that fights Wizard but instead of having a train, Wizard summons his inner Phantom: WizarDragon!!! This dragon looks like the MagiRanger’s MagiDragon and its cry is a lower-pitched version Ryuki’s Dragredder. Unlike Dragredder, WizarDragon is hostile and wild, and to tame it, Wizard must use his bike to control it, as well as giving more power to WizarDragon! I really like this concept. It makes it look like the bike is important and could be featured prominently unlike previous shows. However, because WizarDragon is a CGI, this could mean that it will last a few episodes, like PowerDizer did in Fourze.
Anyways, the WizarDragon are proven to be a force that Rinko’s inner Phantom couldn’t handle, and Wizard manages to destroy it by using a Slash Strike. Returning to the surface, Wizard tells Koyomi that Rinko is safe because she is no longer a gate. When Rinko wakes up, she finds that Haruto is gone but she will meet him again because they are engaged…… just kidding.
Overall, the first episode is more like a second or third episode, especially the Underworld fight. Seriously, I did not expect that he will use the dragon on the very first episode! As always, being the first episode, we should’ve known by now that the first episode didn’t really explain some important things but it will in the future episodes.
To the characters, like I said, Haruto is a likable protagonist, Rinko looks like this show’s Ichimonji and possible love interest, and Koyomi, while she is also a heroine, she might be this show’s Phillip/Ankh/Kengo. Wonder if that’s true or not, we will find out. As for the old man who makes the rings, he really reminds me of Ejiro Hikari, Natsumi Hikari’s grandpa who turns out to be Doctor Shinigami. I hope this old man doesn’t. Anyways, very, very, very good first episode and you have to watch it. It is WAY better than Fourze’s first episode, even without Koichi Sakamoto directing. For those of you who had given up on Kamen Rider because of Fourze, you should get back to it by watching this. Seriously, watch it.