Posted on Leave a comment

Gallery: Rider Kicks Figure Series – Kamen Rider Rogue

The Rider Kicks Figure series is latest in a long line of budget gimmick figures. This year’s line of Legendary Riders takes back to the long-lost past of 2017 with Kamen Rider Rogue!

Ambitious politician turned comedy sidekick, Gentoku Himuro (氷室 幻徳), spent most of Build being a massive edgelord but then became a good guy just long enough to redeem himself in the fight against Evolto.

RKF_Kamen Rider Rogue_Toku Toy Store (2)

RKF_Kamen Rider Rogue_Toku Toy Store (3)

RKF_Kamen Rider Rogue_Toku Toy Store (4)

RKF_Kamen Rider Rogue_Toku Toy Store (1)

A full review of the RKF Armor Series: Kamen Rider Rogue by Mint in Box Reviews can be viewed here:

This figure, as well as other Rider Kicks Figures, are available from Toku Toy Store at £24.99 each. Stay tuned for further Rider Kicks Figure reviews and galleries!

Posted on Leave a comment

Kamen Rider Build Episode 42 Review

A new Build appears! For all the focus in the PV at the end of last week’s episode, this new Build actually plays a fairly minor role in the episode. To the writers’ credit, though, they quickly dispatch with the mystery as to the new Build’s identity. For the ones who haven’t seen the episode, we will be discussing the identity of the new Build here, so a spoiler warning is in effect. This episode is very heavy on two things: action and introspection. Both of these are good and lend a lot to character development, but the dynamic that Kiryuu Sento and Katsuragi Takumi are separate people sharing a body is still awkward.

This is present especially during a particular sequence in which Sento and Katsuragi are talking in a dream-like hallway, in their shared subconscious, and Katsuragi admits to manipulating their memories to keep their days as Akuma no Kagaku-sha, The Devil’s Scientist, vague and blurry to Sento. In most split personality cases such as this, the way these two act would be considered a mental illness, akin to James McAvoy’s character in the 2016 film Split. Even if it does lend an interesting dynamic to the show at times, it can be a bit off-putting to think about how these scenes must be playing out to a neutral observer. The real highlight this week, though, is Evolt and how far he is willing to go to achieve his end goals.

Screenshot_20180702-132351

In a single fell swoop, Evolt manages to make the Kamen Riders a public menace, unite the three nations of Japan under him, and put the whole of his power behind a show of force that is intended to destroy a symbol of power. The act is something of an equivalent to the real-world nuclear deterrent theory, though the Riders keep fighting until the event is over and the capital building of Touto has been destroyed in a literal black hole. It’s during this sequence we hear the familiar sounds of early Build forms like NinninComic and RabbitTank, as the new Build swoops into the fight to defeat Banjou but not seriously injure him.

Screenshot_20180702-132424

The show is a bit heavy-handed as it sets up the reveal that ends the episode, but thankfully wastes little time in establishing the new dynamic for the final eight episodes. Build now plays for both sides, as Katsuragi Shinobu has managed to replicate not only his original designs for the Build Driver, but specific bottles. When he appears and reveals himself, he does so in the base RabbitTank form seen from the beginning of the series. This reveal is meant to leave Sento torn between his duty and the father he thought he’d lost. One thing is clear though. Katsuragi Shinobu is now firmly with Team Evolt.

Screenshot_20180702-132738

With all of these different plot elements coming together, Kamen Rider Build is shaping up to finish in spectacular fashion when it concludes next month. Characters are constantly evolving and the dynamics keep shifting, but it is never dull. Keep an eye on the plot as it develops and you are in for a wild ride! What did you think of this week’s episode? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

Posted on Leave a comment

Kamen Rider Build Episode 37 Review

Sento has been taken over by Evolt, leaving the roles reversed from the previous episode. In Evolt’s own words, this is a downgrade he took for the necessity of survival after Sento’s plan from the previous episode nearly killed them both. The end result leaves Banjou free, but no longer able to transform. When he tries and fails, there is a moment where a comedic sound effect could have been inserted with great effect. There isn’t much light left in the situation in which our heroes find themselves, but that would have added some levity. After the opening credits, we see Banjou continue to struggle to transform, and learn that Evolt is now whole, making Banjou a normal man. Kazumin tags in and begins to pound on Evol, but to no effect.

Screenshot_2018-05-27-13-48-43

It’s then we see Evol truly angry, fighting seriously for the first time. He is able to easily defeat the whole of Team Build, even after taking a downgrade, and this moment is meant to tell us exactly the level of power we are dealing with. This is Evol at Hazard Level 5, and by his own words, he needs to reach Hazard Level 6 to use the Revolution Trigger and the full power of Pandora’s Box. In a secret meeting, we learn that Nanba knows the truth, and is still willing to aid Evolt to some extent.

Screenshot_2018-05-27-13-50-53

Out of desperation, Banjou and Kazumin go to Gentoku for help, and when Gentoku admits his involvement in the Faust lab came from a place of nepotism, Banjou literally begs Gentoku to back Kazumin up in the fighting. Like Banjou, Gentoku claims he can no longer fight, but for a different reason relating to the emotional drive needed to power the Rider System. When we do see the now white-haired Sento, he has adopted the voice, mannerisms, and body language of Evolt, which is in part thanks to a great performance by actor Inukai Atsushi. He even manages to pull off the classic crazy eyed head twitching of Japanese super villains flawlessly.

Screenshot_2018-05-27-13-52-20

When the heroes do bring Pandora’s Box to Evolt, it’s revealed that the whole thing was a trap, because of course it was. The fact that Banjou expected anything else lends a bit to his character trait of not always being the sharpest tool in the shed, but does give him consistency of character. It’s here we also see a panel missing from Pandora’s Box, likely the recently-revealed Faust Panel, which is due to release for consumers in October of 2018. The battle, originally 3-on-1, becomes 3-on-2 when Gentoku intervenes to protect Kazumin from the fight against HellBros.

After they are defeated, Evol enters the fight in Sento’s body, but does so using the Evol Cobra form. Gentoku, after being confronted with the truth of his inability to lead, acknowledges it, and says that his drive to fight is to lay the foundation for whoever comes next in the name of love and peace. Evol upgrades back to Evol Rabbit, and begins to handily take on both riders at once, while Banjou stands helplessly watching. In a fit of desperation, he takes the Dragon Evol Bottle, and is knocked away from the fight with it still in his hand.

Thinking the Dragon Evol bottle will work the same way as the regular Dragon Full Bottle, he continues fighting with the bottle in his fist. Hoping to use its power to amplify his own, the way he is absolutely crushed by Evol in response, set to dramatic, tragic music, gives the whole exchange a feeling of true desperation, of a fight for survival on Banjou’s part.

Screenshot_2018-05-27-13-55-55

At his worst, his lowest moment, the Bottle activates, and explosions of blue fire accompany every punch before the bottle changes to work for him. The Cross Dragon changes as well, and Banjou’s latest form debuts.

 

Kamen Rider Cross-Z Great is born, and stands on equal ground with Evol Rabbit.

Screenshot_2018-05-27-13-58-51

The music, pacing, and shot composition all change to something much more upbeat, signaling the turn in the fight, and Banjou reverts to Cross-Z Magma to end the fight. Evol, clever as he is, absorbs the energy of their shared finishing attack to fully activate the Revolution Trigger, and a tornado of energy forms as Sento is freed. Evol’s final form appears from this whirlwind, and Evol is now able to exist as an independent being, without a human host.

Screenshot_2018-05-27-13-59-41Screenshot_2018-05-27-14-00-17Screenshot_2018-05-27-14-00-32

We leave the episode on the cliffhanger of Sento’s memories of Katsuragi Takumi returning.

In the preview for next week, we see the first in-show glimpse of Mad Rogue, who will debut next week, followed by a clip from 5, which is set to release in June.

Once again, Kamen Rider Build has done an excellent job of raising the stakes, creating a more complex and desperate situation for our heroes as we head into the next episode. With between ten and thirteen episodes remaining, who’s to say what other plot twists will come up along the way. Do you have any theories or things you want to see? Leave a comment below!