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Old November 24th, 2013, 03:38 PM #241
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Faiz series review:

Open your eyes to the shirtless guys. What did the nakedness represent? While there was definitely a lot of romantic tension between characters, the purpose wasn't to create fifty shades of Orphenoch gray. It comes down to what Orphenochs are - aside from being superpowered zombies acting on primal urges, they're treated rather similarly as those afflicted with AIDS in the previous century. There's a definite stigma from even associating with them, and they're terminally ill down to the cellular level. It was a great misdirect making it seem like the former would be the major source of friction when in fact it's the latter that was the driving force of the season and what nailed the wedge between humans and Orphenochs; the incompatibility really was as inevitable as forewarned. (Obviously the AIDS analogy breaks down long before there.)

Faiz had a wide range of likeable characters, and even someone as Kusaka-ish as Kusaka has his sympathetic moments. Between the humorously awkward situations, and the clash of the ideals, there was plenty of chemistry among the ensemble cast. Takumi's posse had always been there to support him, especially Mari, and as a character that uncertain with himself, he needed all that he could get. Yuji's group always stuck with him as they engaged in their common struggle to survive and remain true to themselves. Takumi's and Yuji's recurring duality developed these relationships as they slowly became intertwined in each other's webs, and the duality reflected the butterfly effect as their destinies diverged owing to their somewhat different circumstances. They were fated to be together, and yet at the same time they were not. Despite their agreement on most issues, they've always acted as each other's foil, exposing each other's flaws while hardly realizing it.

Incompatibility and duality were the main themes in the endings, about which species would survive the sudden evolutionary struggle. The final arc of episodes and the Paradise Lost movie presented symmetrical fates for the two species: one where humans manage to survive while Orphenochs are sent to a metaphorical purgatory, the other where Orphenochs dominate and humans are on the brink of extinction, yet still manage to redeem themselves and overcome prejudice against them. And it raises the continual moral question: do the ends justify the means? Which, overall, is a better future? As humans, we're naturally inclined to associate with the former, restoring everything to its natural state. On the other hand, humans as a whole never really got over the anti-Orphenoch sentiment, while in the Paradise Lost timeline, Orphenochs were beginning to overcome their anti-human prejudice, and as a bonus the dominant species was evolved. And considering Paradise Lost gave Psi and Omega Riders as part of its final lineup, perhaps it was intended to be more final. It's not without its downsides: Smart Brain is still in control, and Kaidou faced an immediate death; even with a more concrete sense of finality, it does feel a lot more uneasy than the series ending with a few things up in the air.

Inoue wrote every episode and the movie, so it's no surprise that the series flowed together the way it did. The story was well-paced; every episode felt like it had something unresolved as there was more to be told, keeping the tension running. But it also wasn't at an overly rushed pace either. Because of the multiple threads to the subplots, characters could reflect on one story and take a breather while other characters were in a state of flux; this allowed the impact of the conflict to set in while not settling in. The structure of individual episodes aided that - following Kuuga's lead, action tended to take place at the beginning and the end of the episodes, and sometimes in the middle, giving plenty of time for civilian scenes with character growth. Only a few plot arcs were really put on hold for most of the season, like the relationship between Keitarou and Yuka, but those were secondary to the more important sagas.

One motif that set Faiz apart was the use of technology. Unlike most Riders beforehand who were cyborgs or whose powers were biologically bonded with them, Smart Brain's Rider Gear was all external technology, and as a result they were much more interchangeable. Each of the three main belts were used by at least six distinct characters, leading to confusion akin to anonymity on the internet, as everyone was quick to judge and act without finding out what lay beneath the mask, or as others committed identity theft either to troll or to plagiarize and take credit. Additionally, despite all the advances in technology, the ability to communicate remained about the same. Takumi had a phone, and that didn't help him come out of his shell any more than person-to-person talking. Keitarou and Yuka had their text-message relationships, but their actual relationship never went anywhere until they got to know the real person behind the phone. All in all, advances in technology might be revolutionary, but for the most part people's lives remained in status quo - the new benefits and drawbacks from technology didn't replace the old ones, but rather supplemented them. In that regard, Faiz was excellent commentary on the dawn of the internet age.
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Old November 24th, 2013, 03:54 PM #242
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Since Decade, have we seen previous actors who were Kamen Riders make brief guest appearances in newer seasons as non-Rider characters only, like MOTWs or civilians? The way the Den-O Imajin voice actors played different civilian characters in Climax Deka.
Alternative Zero appeared as that strict teacher in Fourze.

And as both in Decade, lol
He didn't play Au Garulu, actually, even though that was voice only. Although he did play his old role in the Chou Den-O movie.
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Old November 24th, 2013, 04:41 PM #243
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timegold wrote: View Post

Faiz series review:
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Honestly I had a hard time appreciating it. While other series had many people die needlessly, Faiz had a severely disproportionate amount of them that I actually thought deserved to die. Out of all the people that came and went in Faiz, I think there were maybe a dozen that were likable or at least understandable. The rest were unrepentant assholes, some regulars included.
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Old November 24th, 2013, 05:10 PM #244
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To this day, Faiz is my favorite Kamen Rider series. It's not perfect, by any means, but the story kept me engaged through almost the entire show, with so many questions and ideas to ponder, and various plotlines to follow.

And I liked the characters so immensely. Not "liked" in the sense that I would want to be friends with every one of them (I certainly wouldn't want to be friends with Kusaka or even Kaido, up until the finale, maybe). But "liked" in the sense that they all had an interesting part to play. They were multi-dimensional people, with conflicting desires, quirks, insecurities, and foibles. The writer didn't pull any punches by trying to make too many of them more PC or easy-to-digest.

I thought it was a stroke of genius to give us three characters who would essentially be seen as "bad guys" but not in the way that you might normally expect from a show in this subgenre. You watch them struggle with day-to-day life just as the more overt heroes do. The two separate trios, each taking different sides in this great war they don't completely understand they're all fighting in, while just hoping to survive and find something better than what they've currently got. And I've scarcely ever been made to laugh as much as when Keitaro and/or Kaido got up to something ridiculous, but totally in keeping with their characters, and even relevant, if only in some small way, to their continuing stories.

And then there's the tech-based suits and weapons, which I absolutely loved. (I'm still annoyed they stole Accel's name from Faiz, but at least Terui ended up becoming a favorite as well.)
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Old November 24th, 2013, 06:54 PM #245
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Chiron723 wrote: View Post

Out of all the people that came and went in Faiz, I think there were maybe a dozen that were likable or at least understandable. The rest were unrepentant assholes, some regulars included.
That's what made them great characters. There was always room for conflict, and an air of uncertainty - if all the protagonists got along, their fates and the resolutions of their stories tend to be much more predictable.

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I thought it was a stroke of genius to give us three characters who would essentially be seen as "bad guys" but not in the way that you might normally expect from a show in this subgenre. You watch them struggle with day-to-day life just as the more overt heroes do. The two separate trios, each taking different sides in this great war they don't completely understand they're all fighting in, while just hoping to survive and find something better than what they've currently got. And I've scarcely ever been made to laugh as much as when Keitaro and/or Kaido got up to something ridiculous, but totally in keeping with their characters, and even relevant, if only in some small way, to their continuing stories.
Some actor once said that a great villain would think he/she was doing the right thing; that's more or less how Inoue turned the Orphenoch trio into villain protagonists. Between the constant victimization and all the temptations, no one realized what was unfolding, and their plight was well-written.
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Old November 24th, 2013, 07:34 PM #246
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timegold wrote: View Post

That's what made them great characters. There was always room for conflict, and an air of uncertainty - if all the protagonists got along, their fates and the resolutions of their stories tend to be much more predictable.
My problems were with, for example, Masato. Even though he was technically the secondary Rider, he was an unrepentant selfish bastard. The times that he did the right thing, he only did them for his own reasons usually to impress Mari. And for another example when Yuka killed people after becoming an Orphanoch, what I should have felt was that she shouldn't have done that but you understand why. What I felt was that every person she killed was justified because they were such horrible people I was glad they were dead. They were going for morally grey and tried to make you understand why these good people did horrible things, unfortunately they did too good a job. The people in Faiz were love them or hate them, they left no room for the middle.
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Old November 24th, 2013, 08:21 PM #247
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Chiron723 wrote: View Post

My problems were with, for example, Masato. Even though he was technically the secondary Rider, he was an unrepentant selfish bastard. The times that he did the right thing, he only did them for his own reasons usually to impress Mari. And for another example when Yuka killed people after becoming an Orphanoch, what I should have felt was that she shouldn't have done that but you understand why. What I felt was that every person she killed was justified because they were such horrible people I was glad they were dead. They were going for morally grey and tried to make you understand why these good people did horrible things, unfortunately they did too good a job. The people in Faiz were love them or hate them, they left no room for the middle.
That all ties into what's arguably the most important opening lyric, about the ends justifying the means. Yes, these characters are less than honorable, and their actions deserve scorn or praise from both their intents and the results. There's a proverb saying the road to hell is paved with good intentions; this series brings up whether the road to heaven can be paved with bad intentions.

And I felt there was plenty of middle ground for the characters. Some I alternated between liking and hating. Yuka's killings, for instance, were sometimes completely justified by self-defense and at other times were cold-blooded murders just because the victims were jerks. Kaidou, despite his overall good nature, was constantly causing trouble. And Yuji topped all of that by trying to eliminate all humans.
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Old November 25th, 2013, 06:29 AM #248
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OOO 33-36: "Out of all the things that could happen, this is THE! WORST! POSSIBLE! THING!" (yes, I went there)

Now that we know that Eiji really has no desires whatsoever and mostly continues to reach his hand out to help others to make sure they achieve their own desires even if he can't achieve his own, you would think things would become easier for him to bare with. Of course with the impression he has left on people, both in the present and in the past, he is still one who is able to awaken desires in others even if he is merely a medium to do so. The first two-parter shows this with his influence on a hikkomori boy back in high school, who has since become rich and taken over an outdoor park that he wants to make big. Unfortunately because Eiji was the reason that he was able to go forwards with this, his key is that he'll help him to achieve his dream today like he has in the past...forgetting that there are others Eiji is looking out for now, both as OOO and in general. But with the Greeed always looking for ways to corrupt dreams, they see this naive dream of "being useful to Eiji and having him to himself" as one worthy of a Yummy, particularly one here which abducts his allies one by one and forces Eiji to work with his friend to find them. The friend had to realize that while Eiji has to be there for people, he also has to be where he is needed and not merely just there for one person or another. Further by using the abduction plan, Kazari and Maki hope to use it to try and reunite Ankh and his hand together, but unfortunately something happened before that could take hold...so it's not going to be as easy for either side to retake the complete control (let alone if the body overwhelms the mind, will it still necessarily have the same loyalty to Kazari as it does now or will our Ankh take full control) Regarding "control", Eiji is forced to use PuToTyra again and in the first two-parter was able to at least summon him, but it still took over and went berserk before being calmed down, showing at least a bit of progress.

35-36 was actually a story that was about Hina, though a side we never really saw until this point due to her being both overly brother-obsessed and merely being a gag of being "the cute one with super strength". While her desire remains getting her brother back from Ankh, her dream was actually to become a fashion designer...sure her fashions are a tad strange but what do I know about management of clothing. Unfortunately her dream ends up getting in the way of someone else's dream: a classmate who wanted to win more than Hina and who was forced to quit her dream the moment she only took second-place in the same contest. Her lost desire was motivated through Maki into becoming a Yummy that destroys dreams...that happens to be a unicorn...in a two-parter about...Hina's fashion dream. (yeah, that should explain the quote at the top). The sad thing is that Hina ends up falling victim to the fashion-hating unicorn...but at the same time things get complicated when her brother seems to finally regain consciousness after all this time of Ankh parasiting off him. I was sort of hoping we would get some more of a resolution regarding Ankh and Shingo's positions regarding where we stand...but instead, Ankh just retakes his body (yet again) and nothing is resolved. Strangely nothing is resolved about Hina's fashion dream either, as if they just gloss it over saying that she's sorry about what she did to her friend and we don't get a resolution after the Yummy is destroyed, sort of making that side of the story really incomplete.

Aside from the two-parter stuff, we get some main story movement as well. We finally find out why Date wants the 100 million, in order to receive surgery to get a bullet lodged in his head! It really does seem to show the parallel difference between Eiji and Date in desire vs. no-desire: Eiji's complete lack of desire makes him a perfect vessel to be OOO (and likewise the PuToTyra container), while Date's full-on desire of getting the bullet out of his head gives him drive to get the hundred-million and thus be Birth. (though once that's over with, it is more and more likely that he will give the belt up to Gotou) On the other side, we get a sad little story for Uva, working extremely hard behind the scenes to regain Mezool and Gamel so he could even things up and have allies...only for those two to be as fickle as ever and kill Uva while joining Kazari's little party. Obviously Uva's not out of it yet but this is a set-back...but for the moment all the evil Greeed are in one place again.

I wish I could move forwards...but with Thanksgiving, next week I think I may need to encorperate some Orange into Eiji's arsenal...and maybe visit in with some old friends in Fuuto.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 01:36 PM #249
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Can someone explain Kamen Riders?

I saw some of the figuarts figures for Kamen Rider, and thought they were pretty cool looking, some of them at least. I did some youtube video searches and some people said its basically a mature Power Rangers. Can someone fill me in and let me know exactly what the premise is and what their powers are and such, like what they are capable of? Thank you!
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Old November 26th, 2013, 01:47 PM #250
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Both Super Sentai and Kamen Rider are aimed at children. Kamen Rider just likes to play its stories as seemingly more mature because they also aim to capture the audience that is composed of young mothers watching. Super Sentai and Kamen Rider were both created by the same two people (producer Toru Hirayama and comic artist Shotaro Ishinomori) back in the 70s and they've both been staples of Japanese TV ever since.

The first five shows were all directly related, the next four a little less so and everything since 2000's Kamen Rider Kuuga has been a stand alone series*, though recent movies like to treat them as if they're in universe. (there is a single scene in Kamen Rider Fourze that outright says other Kamen Riders exist, but we never actually see any of them in the series itself) Kamen Rider changes year after year, so it's difficult to narrow it down, but one of the longest lasting traits is that the hero's powers are almost always derived from the same source as the enemy's.

* 2009's Kamen Rider Decade was a show created to celebrate the fact that Kamen Rider had run for ten years straight in the new Heisei era of Japan. The show sees the main character visiting other dimensions where past Kamen Riders live, but those are actually alternate versions based on Kamen Riders from the past.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 02:01 PM #251
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Ryoutarou wrote: View Post

Both Super Sentai and Kamen Rider are aimed at children. Kamen Rider just likes to play its stories as seemingly more mature because they also aim to capture the audience that is composed of young mothers watching. Super Sentai and Kamen Rider were both created by the same two people (producer Toru Hirayama and comic artist Shotaro Ishinomori) back in the 70s and they've both been staples of Japanese TV ever since.

The first five shows were all directly related, the next four a little less so and everything since 2000's Kamen Rider Kuuga has been a stand alone series*, though recent movies like to treat them as if they're in universe. (there is a single scene in Kamen Rider Fourze that outright says other Kamen Riders exist, but we never actually see any of them in the series itself) Kamen Rider changes year after year, so it's difficult to narrow it down, but one of the longest lasting traits is that the hero's powers are almost always derived from the same source as the enemy's.

* 2009's Kamen Rider Decade was a show created to celebrate the fact that Kamen Rider had run for ten years straight in the new Heisei era of Japan. The show sees the main character visiting other dimensions where past Kamen Riders live, but those are actually alternate versions based on Kamen Riders from the past.
Don't forget Wizard outright stating that the previous 13 (and the next one as well) exist in the same universe.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 02:02 PM #252
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...no, they never did?

Fourze did suggest though that everything up to Kuuga might have happened in W-onwards world, which makes sense.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 02:23 PM #253
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AtoMan wrote: View Post

...no, they never did?

Fourze did suggest though that everything up to Kuuga might have happened in W-onwards world, which makes sense.
The final episodes of Wizard. With every Heisei rider in it. How much more outright does it get?
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Old November 26th, 2013, 02:27 PM #254
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Rey_Alejandro wrote: View Post

The final episodes of Wizard. With every Heisei rider in it. How much more outright does it get?
They were all pulled from parallel worlds.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 02:38 PM #255
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And it was set in a Wizard AU to boot, AND Tsukasa in that one is still slummin' it through other worlds and AUs.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 02:43 PM #256
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Strawberry Jam wrote: View Post

They were all pulled from parallel worlds.
Well, we're at least dealing with the real Decade, Den-O, Fourze, W(since Fourze and W acknowledged having met in Megamax), and Gaim. Fourze has all previous riders and Wizard exist in its universe. Decade has all previous riders and W in its universe as well, and not just the AU ones. In addition, hWizard acknowledges himself and the others as Kamen Riders, which he only does in the Fourze movie. He wouldn't know the term otherwise. Besides, the previous Movie Wars really go out of their way to say that the Neo-Heisei riders exist in one continuity. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the Heisei riders all exist in one universe.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 03:02 PM #257
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It is, because they simply can't. And no official media ever stated otherwise.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 03:13 PM #258
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tasti man LH wrote: View Post

And it was set in a Wizard AU to boot, AND Tsukasa in that one is still slummin' it through other worlds and AUs.
so Wizard's AU world is pretty much Heisei hell? i think it's pretty clear those rings called on the real Riders cause they don't act like the AU ones they act like the riders we know and love.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 03:14 PM #259
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Or they're simply different AU Riders, not necessarily the AU Riders that appeared in Decade.

It was stated, after all, that there are multiple AUs that aren't limited to just the ones that appeared in Decade.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 03:20 PM #260
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both fourze and Wizards Movie wars pretty much take place in their seasons and get referenced, and the fact that the next Rider and his season gets cameos in both the summer movie and the season's final episode make them all look like they are connected. I'm just one of those people who believes that Decade did somehow combined The main worlds (Showa Riders, Kuuga, Agito, Ryuki, ext ext) making the Double-Gaim world.
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