Revice Forward: Live & Evil & Demons Review

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Revice Forward: Live & Evil & Demons Review

Post by TokuGeek1999 »

One of the great advantages of the Kamen Rider V-Cinext (formerly V-Cinema) epilogue movies is the opportunity to focus on the extended cast of a series - characters that might not have had quite the development they deserved in the show itself but still have plenty to offer. When it comes to Kamen Rider Revice, there's quite an extensive roster of Riders and that could be said for plenty of them. But for the first of Revice's V-Cinext releases the spotlight is cast on what are perhaps the two most obvious candidates. As its name suggests, Revice Forward: Kamen Rider Live & Evil & Demons focuses on Hiromi Kadota and Daiji Igarashi, along with the latter's demon Kagero. Timeline-wise the film takes place after the events of Kamen Rider Geats x Revice: Movie Battle Royale, was written by Nobuhiro Mouri (who served as a secondary writer on Revice, among many other shows) and directed by Koichi Sakamoto.

Since the dissolution of Fenix, Daiji continues to work toward peace as part of Bluebird. Joining him is Hiromi, who has begun to recover from his accelerated internal aging thanks to the work of Bluebird scientist Dr. Kagetaka Ichimura. Together the pair work as a unit fighting against Alicon - a dangerous new organisation claiming to be the guardians of this new world. In an operation Bluebird are seemingly able to capture Alicorn's leader Shunichiro Somei, with Rumi - a teenage girl held prisoner, taking a particular liking to Hiromi.

But as Hiromi is suddenly framed for abducting Rumi, it emerges that there are two Hiromis running around. Has Hiromi somehow been able to spawn another demon? While both his friends and colleague struggle to determine which is the real one, Hiromi is on a mission to save Rumi and clear his name. Meanwhile Daiji follows his own leads in the investigation, clashing with Alicorn as well as his own inner demon.

Whether Hiromi and Daiji were truly the most in need of additional development from a Revice epilogue is debatable given the ample amount they had in the series itself, but given their relationship as well as their position in the series it certainly makes the most sense. As two key figures helping to rebuild this post-Giff world it allows the viewer to get some more insight into Bluebird, as well as check off some unfinished business with Hiromi by repairing his body and allowing him to become a Rider again. But while the setting allows for pretty much any story to be told, the one Kamen Rider Live & Evil & Demons opts to do feels like something that could be slotted into any post-series epilogue. Though there are whiffs of Revice's demon mechanics, those are more to do with the characters themselves than the actual story. Moving away from demons and towards genetically enhanced soldiers makes sense in that it's seeing the Revice cast face new threats that they're not necessarily equipped to deal with, but there's no denying that it makes the end result feel that little bit more generic.

And finally there's the new forms each Rider receives for the climax, which is something plenty of fans will have an opinion on even if they haven't watched the film. From a story perspective the build-up to the pair/trio's transformation into this new movie-exclusive forms is very well-done. Up until this point it had been recommended that Hiromi didn't transform again due to his condition (with Demons being one of the few Revice Riders that didn't appear in Movie Battle Royale), while Daiji and Kagero using the Revice Driver is a big moment for the both of them - finally overcoming his failure to do so right at the very beginning of the series. But the suits themselves just don't work at all. While it's easy to see what they were going for with Live and Evil's Marvelous forms (a parallel to the Ultimate Revice forms), all semblance of colour theory is thrown out the window to create these gaudy monstrosities of teal, magenta and purple. The designs themselves are solid enough, but the colours are just so in your face that it's hard to take either form seriously. Comparatively Imperial Demons' is much better design and colour-wise, but the overall look of it has a bit of a mixed impact. As elaborate as Demons' original design may have been with its asymmetrical shoulders, there was always something tactical about it - it used the Vistamp motif well but at the same time looked like something a prototype soldier may wear. Imperial Demons attempt to enhance that look with a more symmetrical web pattern and flowing cape, but in doing so it loses that charm entirely. On the one hand you could look at it as Hiromi becoming less of a soldier and more of a superhero (which is admittedly a really good evolution of his character), but on the other the bulkiness and overall gaudiness of it makes it almost look like a final-boss villain Rider as well. There are certainly worse movie-exclusive forms out there (and it isn't the worst one here by a wide margin), but overall given the build-up the movie has to the Riders actually transforming the end result is definitely underwhelming.
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