Again,, I promised didn’t I? Well this one is not too late, considering that it’s only months after it ended. Kamen Rider Wizard is the 14th Heisei Kamen Rider series, and it is the first Rider that uses magic as basis. Magic is a popular theme, but does Wizard as well? Well read my review.
Unfortunately, no. Kamen Rider Wizard feels more like a series exists solely to sell toys and doesn’t really care about the story. The main problem is that this show had an interesting start, but it got too carried away with the fillers to the point that the fillers are the major plot and the major plot is the side plot of an episode! It has a slow pace, and the writers did that in purpose because they wanted to go M.Night Shyamalan to us but the problem is, the twist is too predictable. I’m talking about Wiseman/White Wizard. While I’m in the minority that believes White Wizard and Wiseman is not the same, I know that deep down they are.
I don’t really care about the twist, but the reason why it’s so underwhelming is that the fillers aren’t interesting enough to keep us going, let alone let me review each of the episode. Can’t blame them though, fillers are supposed to be boring. Also, the fact that they progressed the story pretty late makes me think that they had no idea what to do with the story and then just throw it in at the last minute.
Since Kamen Rider Fourze had Koichi Sakamoto as the main director, I expected that Wizard‘s action scenes would be the same as the usual action scenes we got in the past. In early of the episodes, Wizard displayed some move that I called ‘flip n’ kick’, and it is very, very AWESOME. However as the series progress Wizard would slowly forgot the move. This also applies to the CGI. Wizard was promised that it would have more CGI than usual, and it is. But later on, it seems like Wizard completely forgot that he can spam spells and relies more on his form abilities and his weapon.
Speaking of the forms, Wizard uses them as well. However what’s interesting about the forms, called ‘Styles’, is that it breaks the Neo-Heisei mold. Since Kamen Rider W, the Rider would have the set of basic forms, and then 20 episodes after he will gain an upgrade that’s stronger, and by episode 32 he will gain his final form. Wizard instead showcased his forms early, and in episode 9 he gained his first upgrade form, and by episode 23 he gains an power up to the upgraded form. What’s interesting is that Wizard’s upgraded form, called ‘Dragon Styles’ is that they upgrade all of Wizard’s basic form, hence why they introduced the power up to the Dragon Styles, that is actually split to two, the first one is what I would call BoyBand Style, which is the form that he uses often, and the second is All Dragon Style, which what I would call a ‘CGI form’. Being half CGI,this form suffered underuse, and it was really, really disappointing because I complained about it a lot of times in my review.
Since this is a Heisei Rider series, Wizard needs to have more than 1 Rider. Our main secondary Rider is Kamen Rider Beast, whom is easily the best character of the show due to his personality, particularly his obsession with mayonnaise. But to me, I liked Nitou the most because he is Kamen Rider’s Bad Luck Brian. However, Beast is also underused, because he technically served no purpose in the story, just acting as Wizard’s backup and to sell more toys. Sure, he stopped the Sabbath, but I guess the idea was thrown in at the last minute to make Nitou contribute to the story.
Like he did with the form changes, Wizard also breaks the mould of having more than 2 Riders in the show. The major one is Kamen Rider White Wizard, who was recently officially named Kamen Rider Wiseman, although I called him Kamen Rider Gandalf. Being someone whose color scheme is white, I didn’t really expect that White Wizard is a major antagonist, I was expecting him to be the mysterious helper throughout the show. But no, the show revolves around him. He is the cause of everything that happened in the show. You know, I would actually love to see if they make a backstory on how Fueki manages to create his own driver and such.
Last is Kamen Rider Mage trio. These guys are treated like the RioTroopers, and they are actually movie Riders. The first Mage to debut was Mayu, and when she first transform, I was angry because they used a lameass suit and not create a new suit. Come on, she is the first female Rider who is not in a movie, why can’t they make a Kamen Rider Witch?
Let’s talk about the characters. First is the main Rider himself, Haruto Souma. The main thing about Haruto is that he is two-faced, he hides his true persona behind an emotionless persona, but he is far from stoic. To be honest I would like to see Haruto having difficulties in hiding his true personality, such as trying to reveal it to his friends. But no, he is mostly a straight laced man. However whenever Haruto is in a funny situation, I laughed so hard because of how gullible he looks.
Second is Kousuke Nitou. Like I said, he is a fan favorite, simply because he is the comic relief of the show, even though this show has plenty of comic reliefs. And I do mean plenty. The third one is Mayu Inamori, our third major Rider. She is my favorite character, simply because she is portrayed by the same actress who portrayed Medusa. I just love seeing how different the two are. As for the White Wizard, Fueki, I view him as a tragic anti-villain. He is lonely, and he chose a dark path just to get what he wants and in the end, he died without achieving anything.
As for the supporting characters, Koyomi is the key character, but she is the most ignored key character in the show. She only got focused early on the show and later in the show they remembered that she’s a big part. The most valuable supporting character is Rinko, who is a detective. The best thing about her is that she actively helps Haruto using her connections in the law and when she does it, it helps a lot. Next is Shunpei who is another comic relief. To be honest, if this character doesn’t exist, the show would still be the same. I think the only reason they have him is because they wanted to have different characters with different personalities. And then came Uncle Wajima, who is the father figure of the show. He is mostly a background character, and it is necessary to have him. As for the doughnut guys, again they are comic reliefs.
Next is the villains, Phantoms. To be honest, they were very, very similar to the Greeeds from Kamen Rider OOO, mostly on their method on bringing despair to the people, which is similar to the Dinosaur Greeed’s method. There are 3 major Phantoms in the series, all are your cliche villain characteristics. For example, Phoenix is wild and hotheaded, while Medusa is a cruel bitch. But the best of them all is Gremlin, who is simply the ‘troll’ of the series. Also, Gremlin is presented as the final antagonist of the series, which is really, really weird considering that major villains like ended up killed before the finale. It’s mostly because like Enter from Go-Busters, he posed more threats to the Riders.
However, aside from the 3 aforementioned Phantoms, the Monsters of the Weeks is really one-dimensional in terms of personality. It’s really boring and sometimes I don’t understand why they hire an extra to be the Phantom’s human form at all.
Overall, Kamen Rider Wizard is not that bad, but it is far from good due to its slow pace. But at the very least it is better than Fourze. Besides, Wizard is also the longest Heisei Kamen Rider series, due to the abundance of fillers, and the last two episodes are crossovers with other Kamen Riders. It’s like I said, this show is a prime example of a show that was created to promote toys.