KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by TAKBonez » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:00 am

OOOKaiser wrote:
TAKBonez wrote:Overall I really liked the series, I thought it was cool, dark, and gritty the way people were turned into kaijins this season.
I don't think the phantoms ever succeeded in making a gate fall to despair. Except for that guy who cried over his bird.
*cough* read the rest of my comment
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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by OOOKaiser » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:29 pm

I forgot to mention that this whole episode felt like a Decade episode instead of a Wizard one.

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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by PHurricane » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:50 pm

Finally getting around to reflecting on Wizard as a whole. If I was literally grading it, I think it would fall in the C+/B- range. That is to say, I don’t think it’s a bad series, but there were too many elements that left me disappointed to consider it a good series either.

Positives:
1) Haruto. After a string of big or unique personalities, I really enjoyed the nonchalance that Haruto brought to the table as the titular Rider. He was the classic everyman - someone at risk of falling to despair, but who constantly battled internal and external forces to not only hold himself together but offer hope to complete strangers. It makes his role as a Kamen Rider both more personal (because if he loses hope, he dies along with any future Gates targeted by the Phantoms) but also less personal (because he’s not really on a grand quest for revenge or looking to take down an organization). I liked his sense of humor and the way he often reacted to the insanity surrounding him with calm exasperation.

2) Fight Choreography/Battle CGI. I wouldn’t say that Wizard broke any barriers with its choreography or battle CGI, but it almost always looked extremely polished and elegant. For fights, I really liked that Wizard had a tendency to fight with his legs a little more than usual - especially after they revealed that Haruto used to be a soccer player. It’s a little detail, but it makes the character feel that much more fleshed out. As for the CGI, I thought they did a really good job of incorporating “magic” into the fights without having (too much) CGI for CGI’s sake. It could have gone wrong so easily, and they avoided those pitfalls for the most part.

3) Music. I don’t think that bad music could make me dislike an otherwise good show, but I freely admit that good music can improve my opinion of a mediocre show. There were a couple very majestic BGMs (notably, the main Wizard battle BGM that played almost every episode), but the real kudos go to the Kamen Rider Girls. I never hated them, but some of the tracks they recorded for Wizard are probably going to take a place among my favorite for Kamen Rider as a franchise.


And now for the negatives:
1) Koyomi. I cannot understate how much I dislike what came of this character. I do feel that a lot of it boils down to a poor casting choice. Looking back at the first dozen or so episodes and comparing it to what followed, it sure seems that the writers purposefully gave her a smaller part with each passing episode until the ending arc because of her other professional responsibilities. If the actress had any other role in the show, I don’t think I would care. But it doesn’t work to have Koyomi barely present in the plot until the final arc because she was pivotal to the motivations of both the main hero AND villain. It's hard to accept that Haruto is so broken up over Koyomi's health when the only time he interacts with her is to give her more mana.

The only benefit of the doubt that I can give the writers is that they knew that she was going to “die” in the end because she was never human and “never had a soul” to begin with. I could see an argument being made that they had to minimize her screen time to minimize the emotional impact on the younger audience when they eliminated her by having Gremlin forcibly remove the Philosopher’s Stone. But I think I’m probably being too generous, because there were too many other plots that they seemed to be building up with Koyomi (her in-person Phantom-sensing abilities, her rivalry/relationship with Rinko, etc.) that were never picked up again.

2) Gremlin’s Sympathetic Narrative. A lot bothered me about Sora/Gremlin going into the final episodes. What this really boils down to is that Gremlin, who the show placed in the position of “final villain” by having him be the last Phantom defeated, made a lot of sense. Don’t get me wrong - he’s a psychopathic serial killer who goes about trying to achieve his goals in a very destructive manner, but he has a point when he points out that (a) he didn’t ask to be turned into a monster, (b) he wants to be a human, (c) there’s nothing wrong with him wanting to use the magical stone to turn himself back to human instead of keeping a soulless dead body from crumbling away into dust. Sora killed people as a human, but he never deliberately sought out to kill the entire population of Tokyo like Fueki did. If you want your audience to cheer when Wizard defeats Gremlin, they shouldn’t have made him quite as sympathetic as they did.

3) Lack of Explanation/Character Stagnation. I had a lot of smaller complaints about the show, but I’ve decided to lump them together since most of them seem to boil down to the writers either not explaining/fleshing out a plot point or forgetting about what they were foreshadowing for certain characters.
a) Nitou & Beast. I almost felt like splitting these into two items, because there was so much to the secondary Rider’s storyline that was never explained. We learned that Nitou was an archeologist, but aside from the brief flashback showing that he stumbled across his Driver and rings while in a cave, we never really saw anything else that demonstrated Nitou’s passion for archeology. Why didn’t we see him do any research on his powers? The audience still doesn’t know how the Beast Driver, his original Rings, or the upgrade came into being. Plus, after setting up how dire things were for Nitou if he didn’t get mana, we never saw any consequences other than Nitou sitting around and complaining that he was hungry. Lots of wasted potential.
b) 3 Mages. I still can’t say I like the Mage costume, but it really baffled me why Haruto had a completely different Driver and uniform than the other 3 Gates who overcame their despair. (Other than the out-of-series explanation that Haruto is the main character.) Did White Wizard originally plan to use one mage capable of wielding all 4 elements, hence him feeding the magical stones to Haruto over such a short period of time? But if so, why in the final arc did it sound like his plan was to find 4 people capable of becoming mages to act as the pillars for the Sabbath all along? And why was White Wizard able to force Yuzuru and not!Todoroki to obey him, but not Haruto and Mayu? It doesn’t add up, but I think it could have if the writers had made the effort to clarify what was going on.
c) Dragon. This is one they kind of explain, but not completely. It’s implied during the Flame Dragon arc that Haruto and Dragon reach a truce, but it’s also implied that Dragon will get more powerful with the more magic that Haruto uses, which means that keeping Dragon in check will be harder. So, again, the consequences of using the magic are never seen by the audience. Back to the 3 Mages again - I know they’re only secondary (arguably tertiary) characters, but I’m surprised we don’t get a hint that they go through the same sort of trouble with their inner Phantoms like Haruto.
d) Dept. Zero. What a waste. I think their only purpose in the plot was to provide Haruto with information that he couldn’t otherwise obtain from another source. For a quasi-military or police agency, they did nothing to protect the public. Which leads me to...
e) Rinko. Such a strong and funny character with some dynamic relationships with other characters (Haruto, Phoenix, etc.), but that strength was all but forgotten and her duty as an officer turned into the punchline to more than one joke. I was so disappointed with how her character not only stagnated, but really devolved over the course of the series. I still like her character, but I expected much more.

Overall, I feel like the show peaked with the introduction of Fire Dragon. All of the characters were engaged in the storyline and the stakes were high. But that was only episode nine, which is pretty depressing in hindsight.

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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by OOOKaiser » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:24 pm

PHurricane wrote:Overall, I feel like the show peaked with the introduction of Fire Dragon. All of the characters were engaged in the storyline and the stakes were high. But that was only episode nine, which is pretty depressing in hindsight.
Yeah I guess they introduced the upgraded forms early. But seeing how they have to do the final form episode during mid season they had to rush it.

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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by Dengar » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:46 pm

I'm not sure what was wrong with the timing for Fire Dragon. Didn't Kuuga get a new upgrade, like, every other episode?

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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by Glutinus » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:30 am

PHurricane wrote: Overall, I feel like the show peaked with the introduction of Fire Dragon. All of the characters were engaged in the storyline and the stakes were high. But that was only episode nine, which is pretty depressing in hindsight.
Isn't the first form coming around the tenth episode, in the recent KR shows (considering the fact that Wizard has the four main elemental forms in the beginning) ? It hasn't surprised me a lot. But I agree that, in general way, I find it coming too quickly in the show.

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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by Go-On Macaroni » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:38 am

Dengar wrote:Didn't Kuuga get a new upgrade, like, every other episode?
He got the basic forms around the early-episodes..
He then got Rising forms around the 20s.
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Then, the two spoiler forms near the very end of the series.
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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by Dengar » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:20 pm

I still think it was fine though. I just compare the Dragon forms like obtaining a new weapon or gadget.

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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by FirenOh » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:10 am

I'm pretty sure PHurricane was just mentioning the Fire Dragon arc because was the peak in the writing/acting department of the show, not because the upgrade came too early.
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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by locuas » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:24 pm

ok, since i knew i would probably be pissed off by the explanation of fueki's plans, i waited for all episodes to be out before giving my toughts. ready? here is go
Fueki:
SpoilerShow
one thing i want to make clear is that my problems with fueki have ntohing to do with the wioseman reveal. i will repeat myself. my problems with fueki are not "fueki is wiseman, what a lame plot twist". my problem is that, once i heard fueki's plan, his backstory and everything. i have a lot of problems with it.
let's start with the first major flaw with his plan. Having Haruto taking care of koyomi. his reasoning is that he should save magical energy for the sabbath. so he has Haruto doing it instead. the problem is that this seems to put Koyomi in serious danger. i mean, in the...black cat phantom episode...medusa almost killed koyomi, and i don't mean koyomi was in danger and then saved. no, she was lucky that medusa tought draining her magic would be enough. i mean, Koyomi is not a gate, or at the very least she is not human in medusa's eye, so she was not protected by the "do not kill people" rules, so if medusa wanted, she could have killed koyomi right there (and even if she counted as "human" medusa showed in her final episode that she was not above killing humans if that means driving gates to despair). i mean, what if she decided that ripping koyomi's head of and then showing it to haruto would have been a better plan?
second, Fueki's plan of trying to make people into mages seems to rely a little too much on Haruto failing to save very specific individuals or in haruto succeding. what if he had not saved, say, shunpei and shunpei had became a mage? what if beast had not appeared and Haruto had died poisoned with the tarot cards phantom? what if mayu did not become a mage? why did he need Haruto to fight against the phantoms? to make him stronger? he did not seem to do the same with the other three riders.
and then we have the entire "i used science to obtain magic"...how exactly? i mean, we are supposed to believe that he somehow discovered a way to create a phantom...when he is just a medical doctor, not a science doctor. how did he discover all this? and how did he know about beast magic? if he read it from a book, how is it that the archeologist who Nitou met did not discover it too?
his plan feel just too over-complicated. and very easy for things to go wrong for him, and yet we are supposed to believe he had been manipulating everyone? sorry, no.
overall, i tought he was a pretty bad villain.


Haruto:
SpoilerShow
I liked Haruto. he is an interesting rider, and he has plenty of flaws, even tought the "i am willing to sacrifice for koyomi, even tough that means i am also sacrificing you guys" was dumb for plenty of reasons, at least it talks about haruto being sort of a...for the lack of a better word...messianic kind of character, willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of others.
Haruto had three different story arcs dedicated to his backstory. one about his parents death(which i tought was decent) one with Bitchy McBitch being a bitch to Haruto(which was just bad for me. i mean, it was supposed to be an important episode about haruto, and the thing that comes to mind is my nickname for her), and one with haruto's teacher(which may be my favorite episode of the series, mostly because he was the best gate. period.) and from those episodes, i take that haruto feels like he makes people around him suffer. his parents died while he survived, he made his teacher worry over nothing, and made a random character unable to play football. so he tries to use his powers to try to make other peoples life better, and in the end he comes to accept that he can't stop bad things from happening.
he may have been a little self-abosrbed at times, but overall, i tought he was a decent main character


Second rider
SpoilerShow
For me, Mayu was a great second rider. she did everything that she should. act as an opposite to haruto. have her own reasons to fight, but still being one of the good guys. having her own character arc. and, even if by the end she was kind of underused and just in haruto's way, i think she was pretty good all things considered.


Third rider
SpoilerShow
i hate Nitou. i hate nitou so much. he feels like he was in the show because the writers needed to have a second rider. so they gave him the belt and...that's it. he did NOTIHNG beside stoping the sabbath in 30 episodes. i admit, using khaimera to stop the sabbath was clever. but the whole" consume phantoms or die" feel more of an excuse for the writers to have him around rather than being something used for character development. his entire point in this series was to help take care the phantoms. we never discover anything about his powers. he never feels like he had gone trough any kind of arc. and his stupidity has made me facepalm in mor ehtan one ocassion.
let's look back at when he accepted to follow Sora to find yuzuru. people have told me that it was fine because rinko and mayu did not met the requirements to activate sora's murder rage. but people seem to miss my point. sora had already been shown to be untrustworthy AND he accepted without asking if the other two were ok with it. that is not just him acting without thinking, that is just being dickish.
one last thing, during the entire series, i have found at the very least four characters that could have made for a more interesting beast. whether because they were more interesting than nitou, or because they had something to do with the goddamn plot as oppose to be there because the writers needed a second rider.


Rinko
SpoilerShow
the only competent police in the entire city. i am serious. she is the only police, in the entire city that does not come as pointless, useless, or just incompetent. let's start with department 0. this is supposed to be a department whose job is to deal with phantoms. but during the entire series we have met with plenty of situations that could have been avoided by the department 0. and, as i have mentioned in the arsonist episode, they made one incredibly serious mistake when they tought the gate was the culprit. the kind of mistakes that would be PR nightmare in the real world. and this feel like it comes to make Rinko feel more useful than she actually is.


Shunpei
SpoilerShow
anyone else tought he was originally intended for beast? i mena, he had that " i want to be a mage" thing at the beginning, and he even had an episode talking about how he felt he was useless. and then nitou comes. and in the end, he feels just pointless, we already have rinko as a point of view for the audience, and she is mroe useful than shunpei.


Koyomi
SpoilerShow
i liked her. but again, i think my big problem with her is that her role in the series make fueki feel all the more incompetent as the big bad. i liked that she was not ressurected in the final episode, but during the series proper, she was just kind of there.


Sora
SpoilerShow
I tought he was a great final enemy. he had the interesting motivation, he had his own way of doing things, he felt like a menace. and he was fun to watch. i think him becoming the final enemy made the ending better than the series just ending with Fueki's defeat. altough i felt fueki dying at sora's hand made Haruto go a little too clean from the fight.


overall, i tough the series was flawed. very flawed. it's like the kamen rider formula is a burden. they need two episodes arc, so they can't have haruto defeat the phantom in the first part, so the phantom goes away.
we need a second rider, so we bring this character so he can appear for the fights.
we need victims of the week. so let's have the heroes trying to solve other peoples problems.
it feels more like the writers add this things elements this is a kamen rider seires rather than because they have naything to do with the plot. but in the scratch of all this, i think there is something similar to an entertaining series. the action is great. and some of the tought(outside of the plot...) given to the series is interesting. i nejoyed some things, like the donuts bits. or haruto constantly using his bike. while others(haruto sending phoenix to the sun) feel like could have been given a little more tought.

so, now let's see how Gaim hold on...

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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by OOOKaiser » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:52 pm

locuas wrote:ok, since i knew i would probably be pissed off by the explanation of fueki's plans, i waited for all episodes to be out before giving my toughts. ready? here is go
Fueki:
SpoilerShow
one thing i want to make clear is that my problems with fueki have ntohing to do with the wioseman reveal. i will repeat myself. my problems with fueki are not "fueki is wiseman, what a lame plot twist".
The thing with Fueki is Wiseman is that we seen the same thing happened to the last year's Kamen Rider show. Where Virgo was actually Tachibana. So I guess it wouldn't work for the second time.

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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by locuas » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:05 pm

i was trying to say, since i was one of the most vocal one to say that Wiseman was not white wizard, that my problem was not the fact that they were the same, but that it made fueki look incompetent to me.

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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by Go-On Macaroni » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:07 pm

OOOKaiser wrote:The thing with Fueki is Wiseman is that we seen the same thing happened to the last year's Kamen Rider show. Where Virgo was actually Tachibana. So I guess it wouldn't work for the second time.
Difference being that while the whole "Emoto is Virgo" thing could've been seen a mile away ("Emoto" backwards is "otome" ), just about no one saw that he was Tachibana and even then, the writing of the story gave a reason to care.

We had very lil reason to care when Fueki revealed himself.
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Re: KR Wizard Complete Series Discussion

Post by OOOKaiser » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:48 am

Go-On Macaroni wrote:
OOOKaiser wrote:The thing with Fueki is Wiseman is that we seen the same thing happened to the last year's Kamen Rider show. Where Virgo was actually Tachibana. So I guess it wouldn't work for the second time.
Difference being that while the whole "Emoto is Virgo" thing could've been seen a mile away ("Emoto" backwards is "otome" ), just about no one saw that he was Tachibana and even then, the writing of the story gave a reason to care.

We had very lil reason to care when Fueki revealed himself.
Yeah I felt pity for Emoto when he revealed what happened. I just didn't care about Fueki because he was a crazy bastard who wanted to tons of people to save his daughter.

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