I don't really know what draws me to some rider shows more than others. I seem to have a really fragile balance of things I need to like before I can permanently commit. (belt sounds, special effects, fight choreo, characters, story premise)
Wizard managed to get there despite having some real problems.
- Haruto was at first dull and played as a typical ace rider. However to me he has grown quite bit. We learned his ace side was more of a facade and we saw him coming to terms with having magic.
- Dragon Whatever happened to Dragon begin angry and preying on Haruto's heart? He had this Naruto Kyubi thing going that sort off went up in smoke.
- Koyomi we don't know anything about her, but I really want to know what is her deal. I also think the charactisation she has had was excellent. The brother sister dynamic with Haruto and her actress seeming to always be lost in the background really works for her.
- Shunpei...is Shunpei. Like many I expected him to become the second rider. It would've really allowed his character to grow. As it stands he's just weird (what is his day job anyway?) and in the way. He adds nothing that Rinko wasn't already adding.
- Rinko I like her. She's like a competent Shunpei. She has an actual job that the writers managed to take advantage of in a believable way. (Phoenix conversation being the primary example) Having an active policeforce also makes the world feel more alive somehow. I also like her interactions with Haruto. It's either potential girlfriend or brother sister. It's nice not to have it so blatant.
- Wajima Who?
- Nitou I had such high hopes for him. A secondary rider who doesn't know anything about the main plot! Awesome! But he managed to become the worst rider I have ever seen. His powers aren't very good (dice saber!), though the primary problem is his usage of them. Maybe they meant to do this since he's had no formal training, but still he keeps making horrible decisions in his mantels and his super form can't even access them. He seems to be there just for the Ghouls and the Ghouls are there so he doesn't die. It would have been awesome if he had died and Shunpei got his belt. I do like the happy face his actor can make.
- Khimaira: I also had high hopes for Khimaira, but I don't think we'll be seeing him again....
Donut shop is the worst hang out place ever....
Phantoms: I don't have a ready opinion yet since the story is not over yet. I agree with what's been said above me about how Medusa is just following orders and how they haven't managed to get a single goal. However to me it currently seems like Wiseman doesn't care about it anyway. So my final opinion depends on the CLIMAX!
Still, Phoenix was one of the best KR villain ever and Gremlin is also great.
Originally they were carefull with the ring usage and I even praised them in the earlier episodes for using rings that were introduced earlier in the show so that they weren't just plot convience single use spells. Unfortunately they stopped with that somewhere half way and now Haruto seems to have a single use spell for many situations. -_-
I hate how so many Phantoms just casually stroll away with noone giving chase. <_<
I really like how many calls backs they've had to earlier parts of the show. From Haruto never answering Rinko's question about his dream to using the sleep ring 3 or 4 eps after it's introduction.
The fight choreo is marvelous.
I like some of the humor, but most of it comes from Nitou working with either Rinko or Haruto. He needs either a straight man (his slightly aroused look when Rinko undressed Shunpei for the MIND CONTROLLING DEVICE) or to be in the background (hand goggles!) to be funny.
Mayu should've returned sooner. They should've made her a magical girl. I mean come on how could they not!!
I also like how they occasionally address perfectly valid questions like wether Haruto can't free Nitou from Khimaira. (And another call back to this 10 episodes later)
It's no Double, but its not bad either. Most of this can change if the pay off is crap.