In this episode, we learn more about Haruto, precisely on how he became Wizard. Other than that, he was introduced to Shunpei Nara, who desired to be a magician. Upon seeing Haruto as Wizard, he asks Haruto to teach him magic! Question is, does Haruto want an apprentice?
The episode starts with Haruto sleeping at his home, an antique shop owned by Wajima, the guy who makes the Rings for Wizard. To be honest, the antique shop itself, both interior and exterior reminds me of Kamen Rider Decade‘s Hikari Studio. Anyways the reason why Haruto overslept is because he used too much magic, it tires him out. Basically all he does is go out, whoop some Phantom ass, then go back and collapsed because of his excessive use of magic.
When he woke up, Wajima asked him to test the newest Wizard Ring. Much to my surprise, Wajima himself doesn’t even know what the Ring will do! All he does is forge the ring and then give it to Haruto without knowing what it does! I already like this guy because of his willingness to forge a ring that you don’t even know what its power is! Although maybe the Ring’s ability are connected to what type of gem he use?
Haruto speculates that the newest ring will have a sleep effect, which might help him in battles. He is correct, but instead of putting his ‘enemies’ (In this case Koyomi and Wajima, as they are the test subjects) to sleep, Haruto himself is put into sleep!
This episode also shows the REAL opening sequence, as the last episode was just the opening theme playing around while Wizard fights the Ghouls. The opening itself is really good, and a good nod to hte previous Heisei Riders openings.
After the events of the last episode, Rinko is called by her superiors and she met Superintendent Kizaki of the Department Zero of the National Bureau Defense. Kizaki himself was portrayed by the guy who portrayed Long from GekiRanger, so expect to see him to be the bad guy here huh? Well, when he asked Rinko about Wizard’s identity, and after Rinko lied by telling that she didn’t know, he tells her that the police aren’t supposed to be involved with these Phantom case. This could be mean one thing, either he is trying to work on his own to defeat Phantoms, or HE is a Phantom himself. Judging at his face, the latter suggestion seems possible.
Meanwhile, the two Chief Phantoms are meeting up with the new Phantom, HellHound. It seems that they have already found the newest Gate, and HellHound are set to bring it to despair. The question is, who is the Gate?
Somewhere at a park, a young man named Shunpei Nara helps a kid, only to be laughed at since he’s an adult who still believe in magic. However HellHound attacks those kids, and Shunpei struggles to protect the kid, until Haruto came all of a sudden. HellHound knows that Haruto is Wizard, which catches Shunpei’s attention. Regardless, Haruto transforms and fight.
Changing into Hurricane Style, I’m impressed with the action scenes so far. Being biased towards Koichi Sakamoto’s action directing, this one is good in its own right. The actions relies on wire work but not as crazy as Sakamoto use it, but it still looks cool and really looks realistic. Also, I’m happy to see that they fix the magic circle on Wizard while he transforms into another Style. Also, the Big Ring is cool but somewhat weird. I wonder if one day Wizard will use the Ring to enlarge himself and maybe fights alongside Kamen Rider J? Maybe in a movie
After overwhelming HellHound, Wizard believes that the kid earlier might be the Gate, and went off to search for him……. until Shunpei Nara intervenes. This leads to a comic-ish chase between Shunpei and Haruto, and Haruto quickly decides that Shunpei is an annoying guy.
More about Shunpei, he REALLY resembles Gai Ikari AKA GokaiSilver, both in terms of looks and attitude. As Gai is an annoying Sentai fanboy, he is also an annoying apprentice wannabe. But usually for a debut, they didn’t really look that annoying, but rest assured that in the future episodes they will.
Haruto hides in a mobile doughnuts shop: Hungry (Weird name huh?). The owner, simply named Manager, offers Haruto a new doughnut, but Haruto instead asks for a usual Plain Sugar. Guess that those are Haruto’s favorites huh? Anyways, Haruto is caught up with Shunpei again, and was forced to listen to him so that Shunpei won’t be a nuisance again. Shunpei tells him that it was his dream to learn magic.
Rinko then visits the antique shop, which greatly dismayed Koyomi. She tells Rinko the real truth of why Haruto can use magic and that magic is not a fun and games thing. 6 months ago, Haruto and Koyomi were kidnapped and was force to cling into despair to give birth to a new Phantom, but Haruto survived. Also during the transformation into Phantoms, we get to see glimpses of Phoenix and Medusa. Question is, if those two are Chief Phantoms, where are the others?
After the rituals, one Phantom are trying to kill Haruto, only to be saved by a wizard that looks like Wizard…… only whiter. He appears while holding Koyomi, and tells Haruto that he must defeat the Phantoms. First looks at the White Wizard, I can tell you that he is somewhat similar to Kamen Rider Skull, maybe he is also a Rider. Nevertheless, this is what we got from him so far: nothing. He’s a complete mystery. As for Koyomi, the way that the White Wizard holds her makes my theory about Koyomi being the show’s Ankh is true. Or at least nearly true. What a neat idea, merging the key character and heroine into one character.
After the flashback, we see Shunpei buying a children book that was the motivation of him becoming a mage, until he encounters the Ghouls. It appears that Shunpei IS the Gate, not the kid earlier. As Haruto arrived on the scene, he transforms into Wizard much in Kamen Rider Blade’s manner. Also, during the fight with Ghouls, I’ve noticed that there’s an homage to Kamen Rider Ichigo’s fighting style, that Wizard stole the enemies’ weapon and use it against them.
Also, when Shunpei defends himself, he is shocked to see that he can produce flames from his finger! Just what does this mean? As for Wizard, after some assistance and a pep talk with Rinko, he gave chase to the HellHound Phantom, and the bike battles begins….
Unlike the previous bike battles, this one is so far the most realistic fight in a Kamen Rider series. One of the reasons is that Wizard is fighting hard while keeping his hands on the bike. Really cool. Nevertheless, he needs to finish the enemy quick, and use the Flame Shooting Strike attack on HellHound. Heck, that finisher IS badass. Even though Wizard just shoots fireballs, the pic below shows that he’s showering a flamestorm!!! Also, I’ve noticed that when Wizard prepares to the finisher, he quotes “Finale”. Nothing special, just wanted to point it out.
After accidentally burning up a warehouse (even thugh it was just the entrance that’s been burned), Wizard is relieved that he defeated the monster. But I’m not convinced, I think that HellHound managed to escape somewhat. Meanwhile, Shunpei is still shocked that he can produce magic. To be continued……….
Overall, a really good episode. The ending makes me think that episode 2 is the start of a new arc, in which every Kamen Rider series has a two parter each episode. However, episode 1 is a standalone episode, while episode 2 is the start of a new 2-parter, like Decade did.
The action, like I said, is really good. No. WAY better than good. WAY better than great. If this is what we can expect from Wizard in the future episodes, then I’m giving 100 percent to this series. But as of now I’m not because we’re only 2 episodes away and usually one can judge a show after watching like 10 episodes of it. Anyways, give this episode a watch, its that good.