2020-2021: Kamen Rider Saber

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
Does it even matter?
Not sure why I'm even bothering to respond to you given you've already stated you don't care about story, but yes, it DOES matter. He was hired to do a damn job and if he isn't writing at least 2/3rds of the show, then he ain't doing his fucking job. Toei should hire me to write their show. Not only will I write every episode, but I will make it a two year long show that will still have new gimmicks in both years while retaining a few of the cast members as the story would continue on. Nevertheless, it also matters because if the head writer isn't writing the majority of the show it means there isn't any consistency. Just look at Ghost for example. In episode 4, Takeru says he has 87 days remaining, but then episode 5 claims he has 57 days even though the episode kicks off with them trying to figure out who the rider was that stole the Nobunaga Eye Con. Did 30 days just magically go by in a few hours?
 
and if he isn't writing at least 2/3rds of the show, then he ain't doing his fucking job
Tbf that's not really a common thing to do. Toku writers often write from 1/3 to around half of the show, leaving rest to sub-writers (Arakawa wrote less than half of Kiramager, for example). Exceptions are usually shows where one writer does the entire show basically.
Fukuda took his Ghost team of Mouri and Hasegawa on Saber and show's vision appears to be coherent between these three (despite series having obvious production problems). It is still a pretty weird situation, but Saber's behind the scenes stuff is probably very interesting in general.
 

Captain Shark

An ocean of depression and misery
despite series having obvious production problems
Is that what's going on? I was unironically enjoying the hell out of it at first, but shortly after Kamen Rider Saikyo showed up the series went from "adventures traveling through books in fantastical settings" to "political conspiracy with back stabbing and everyone being melancholy" and I'm just thinking to myself if this was like what happened with Hibiki. I'm only at episode 34 so maybe it changes, but at this point half the series tries way too hard to act serious when it was never meant to. It's like Ex-Aid except they remembered to keep the damn opening theme. And what about the villains? We went from "monsters want to acquire a book with all knowledge" to "some corrupt guy and two lackeys (three if you count the phoenix wild card, why is the ground not corrupting around him like in the special?)" wanting the same thing. And then there's the monsters of the week, we had variety before, now it's just cat people. It made sense when the third Garo series did it because Mado Horrors were meant to be autonomous, here it's just whatever. What a let down, but predictable since having three good Kamen Rider series in a row is asking too much despite how badly Build, the worst tokusatsu ever made, really needs to be punished with quality.
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
You are the only one who said Saber got worse. The first episode was one of the worst atrocities to ever plague a Toku show. It made the Ghost premier look like a masterpiece.

Fukuda took his Ghost team of Mouri and Hasegawa on Saber and show's vision appears to be coherent between these three (despite series having obvious production problems). It is still a pretty weird situation, but Saber's behind the scenes stuff is probably very interesting in general.
Another thing that doesn't make sense about this though is that Fukuda stated Saber would have his full attention and by only doing 14 episodes, that was clearly a lie.

Eitherway, that's interesting about Arakawa considering the series never felt like it. Plus, he did at least half of Aba, Deka, and Gokai, so he still did his share of the work. Hell, Uehara usually wrote nearly every episode to every Metal Heroes series he did.
 
Is that what's going on? I was unironically enjoying the hell out of it at first, but shortly after Kamen Rider Saikyo showed up the series went from "adventures traveling through books in fantastical settings" to "political conspiracy with back stabbing and everyone being melancholy" and I'm just thinking to myself if this was like what happened with Hibiki. I'm only at episode 34 so maybe it changes, but at this point half the series tries way too hard to act serious when it was never meant to. It's like Ex-Aid except they remembered to keep the damn opening theme. And what about the villains? We went from "monsters want to acquire a book with all knowledge" to "some corrupt guy and two lackeys (three if you count the phoenix wild card, why is the ground not corrupting around him like in the special?)" wanting the same thing. And then there's the monsters of the week, we had variety before, now it's just cat people. It made sense when the third Garo series did it because Mado Horrors were meant to be autonomous, here it's just whatever. What a let down, but predictable since having three good Kamen Rider series in a row is asking too much despite how badly Build, the worst tokusatsu ever made, really needs to be punished with quality.
There are rumors what Fukuda had to rewrite stuff early on because show had to deal with covid issues being at its peak there (Zero-One was supposed to end at episode 41 at one point, so they had to rush the production of the first two episodes early on and only after that changed so they had 4 more weeks, while Zero-One was busy character-assassinating its cast for the finale). In the very first trailer you can see Wonderland looking a bit more different. Show’s initial advertisement made a big deal about using Unreal Engine to create CGI landscapes, but it’s barely used in the show outside special attacks. Show does seem to have a stronger grasp at its story than Ghost did right from the start, since most of lore and backstories show explain later were posted on some sites initially around, so “drama” was intended to be there in the first place likely.

Same was with Ex-Aid as producer Ohmori explained Drive made him understand how he should handle story progression and he stuck with it in Ex-Aid, Build and Zero-One, all of which have similar structures (starting with light-hearted arcs followed by a shake up which makes things more dramatic, etc). Saber’s not too different as well from it on paper, though it’s does a horrendous job at introducing its main cast (and not properly explaining what the conflict even is until like 15th episode) and its lack of proper foundation during Q1 hurts a lot of what show tries to do later on (it’s hard to care about Espada stuff during 12-13 episodes if he was barely in the show and doesn’t mean to the viewers as much as he’s supposed to mean to the characters).

Though I do think show got better during second arc, but a lot of it still suffers from bloated underdeveloped cast and trouble of not having well-defined status-quo with things happening too fast and sometimes feeling contrived (I also agree with you on it needing to have more motw, especially since Human Megid was such a good idea). It’s still a huge step up from Zero-One tedium for me and it’s nice to see a show with its own flavor and actual aspirations instead of rehashing a previous season like most recent shows did, but it likely will end up an idea over execution type of Rider series for me.

Another thing that doesn't make sense about this though is that Fukuda stated Saber would have his full attention and by only doing 14 episodes, that was clearly a lie.
Eitherway, that's interesting about Arakawa considering the series never felt like it. Plus, he did at least half of Aba, Deka, and Gokai, so he still did his share of the work. Hell, Uehara usually wrote nearly every episode to every Metal Heroes series he did.
He may have intended to do it, but we don’t know the extent of problems Saber team had to face. Saber wants to be this big fantasy epic with about five sides competing with complex lore and interconnected conspiracies all while having to minimalize its cast and having to do with as few sets as possible (most of them being CGI). Plus, at this point we can just say that Takahashi isn’t a good manager period. Add to that most people wanting to hate Saber off the gate because it’s Ghost team making the show and Saber having such a mess of Q1, proving them right with a lot of people not even making past it (there was that article around show’s eighth episode https://lovetokusatsu.com/2020/11/03/japanese-netizens-are-expressing-unhappiness-with-kamen-rider-saber-after-only-8-episodes/). Show had everything working against it. I’m willing to go easy on it here, because, while part of it was mishandled decisions, another part was having to deal with a lot of unfortunate situation with stuff they couldn’t control. If anything I can appreciate that they at least attempted to make an effort and improve and even succeeded somewhat. That’s more than Go-Busters achieved.

As for Arakawa, he always worked with a lot of sub-writers. It’s nothing new. Kiramager is the least he ever wrote for a his full-year show, but it’s keeping in line with his approach. A lot of writers leave stuff to sub-writers. Just look at Showa Riders, for example, where it was common for Masaru Igami to write about a third of the show.
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
Okay, so the last four episodes to the series just revealed that the douche isn't even writing the finale to his own series. Toei needs to fire that ***** and never hire him again. WOW! What a lazy piece of ****.

As for Arakawa on Kiramager, I'll give him some leeway considering the series stayed consistent throughout its entirety, so he was clearly communicating with his staff and it did happen during a pandemic.
 
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