Kamen Rider Gaim 8: Mango Punisher

Team Baron falls into the 4th place in the rankings, pissing Kaito off. He sets out to become stronger, and at the same time Mai encounters another tear that’s connected to the Helheim Forest.

Gaim 8 (1)

It’s refreshing to review something else after spending a week on catching up to Kyoryuger, and I watched this episode back-to-back with Brave 39. You may know that I have a rather mixed review on Brave 39, and watching this, it feels like I’m watching The Empire Strikes Back after watching Into Darkness.

The episode itself is really good, the main factor is that it managed to be a single episode that’s not a 2-parter arc or opening a new arc. Sure, a bit of the plot continues in the next episode, but this episode is mainly about our beloved 2nd Rider, Baron. We all know that he’s obsessed on getting stronger by using cruel means, but why did he did those things in the first place?

Before I get to Baron, I wanna talk about a small but important detail. Mitch realized that the Watermelon Lockseed loses its color, meaning that Gaim cannot use Watermelon Arms for the time being. Remember what I said about CGI things will be abandoned later in the show, well here’s Gaim‘s answer to that! I told you that things like that will get a limited usage! Well at the very least they had an explanation of why they can’t use it, so that’s a plus.

Gaim 8 (2)

When Mai enters the Helheim Forest, she was attacked by Inveses but was saved by Kaito, who’s there to pick up stronger Lockseeds. I find this to be weird. I mean if he wanted to be stronger, why don’t just train, instead of finding another add-on? Even Hibiki had to train to be stronger!

While that happens Kota and Mitch tries to save her, the former going to Helheim Forest while the latter gets a surprise visit from Cid who informs him of the stolen Watermelon Lockseed. I just love Mitch during this scene. He has these twoface-ish persona that he appears to be timid on the outside but when provoked he can be cruel. The way he talks to Cid makes me think that Mitch could potentially be a really menacing antagonist, whether that will happen or not is unknown at the time.

As for Gaim, he crash landed on the Forest hilariously. I just love on how they handle the comedy in this series. I hope that it stays like Kamen Rider W did, because the jokes on W is hilarious and matched well with the tone and characters of the show.

Gaim 8 (3)

Back to Kaito, we learn why he wants to be stronger, as well as the origins of Zawame City. When Kaito was little, the city was pretty much a countryside, and his father worked on a normal industrial area. Back then Zawame was just a quiet and peaceful town, until Yggdrasil came to build a branch here, eventually reshaping the whole city. As a result Kaito’s dad lose his job and those peaceful days are over. This is why Kaito wants to be stronger, because he wants to get revenge on Yggdrasil for ruining Zawame. Granted, they make it look like an utopia, but it’s actually a dystopia.

Kaito also learns that aside from conquest, there are other ways to be stronger thanks to Mai. But because he’s so arrogant or he’s bent on revenge, he ignores that aspect. Asshole Kaito is still asshole. Nevertheless, he offered to take Mai home with him, and before you think of something else, it’s not that!

Ryugen joins Gaim in Helheim Forest thanks to him purchasing another Rose Attacker. I just love the chemistry between Gaim & Ryugen in battle, they really, really work well as a team. Also Ryugen picks a Kiwi Lockseed in the forest, which will be relevant later in the series.

Gaim 8 (4)

Kaito and Mai found another dimensional tear, but a Berserk Inves is right beside the portal, so Baron takes on him. Seiryu Inves reminds me of the Neko Yummy from OOO in terms of abilities, that bladed weapons have no effect on it, but brute force has. I like that, and is a perfect way to introduce a new form.

Since Gaim already has Pine Arms, Baron remembers that he used to pick another high-classed Lockseed and uses the Mango Lockseed, transforming into Mango Arms.

Gaim 8 (5)

The form itself reminds me of a scorpion thanks to the downward side horns. I don’t get why Deneb’s voice stated that the form uses a hammer, where it’s clearly a mace. Besides we already have a hammer Rider. As for the functionality, I love that they demonstrate how heavy the Mango Punisher is. What’s cool is that unlike heavy weapon forms, Baron himself has no trouble of adjusting to the form, showing that he is indeed strong.

The finisher, called Punish Mash, is just a mace swinging energy, and the energy itself finishes the foe. What I like is that thanks to the hedgehog patterned mango, the energy doesn’t look like a mango but rather a small cubes of yellow energies.

Gaim 8 (6)

After the fight, Mai thanks Kaito for helping her, and Kaito gives her the typical antihero nod, which is walking away without saying anything. Then Mitch theorizes about the various tears, since multiple are showing up, there could be a case where an Inves was trapped in the human world. Since it’s a wild one, it could be attacking pedestrians………

Overall, a very good standalone episode. I enjoyed it, it’s face-paced without feeling rushed,and all in all it was a smartly written and executed. Please don’t fuck this series up.


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