Kamen Rider Gaim rewatch and movies review

Black Fang

Active Member
I rewatched Gaim this past month, and watched the three movies for the first time when they took place in the show.

Gaim the show: Great fun. I think I liked it more this time marathoning it than watching an episode a week like last time, since the former allows the story to flow much better. This show is on the level of Kuuga, Ryuki and W in that it took the major themes of Kamen Rider and put a fresh spin on them without changing what defines the franchise. The two major flaws I have are:

(1) Underuse of the secondary Riders (Kurokage, Knuckle, Gridon and Bravo). Kurokage at least plays a significant role in his death, and Knuckle has his own side story, but I hated how Gridon and Bravo's partnership was mostly just dumb slapstick. Jounouchi/Gridon was originally touted as a one of the five main Riders, but he gets shafted after the show's first arc concludes. Even in the finale he's thrown out of the fight in favor of Micchi and Kouta. Oren/Bravo himself is good when he's serious, but gets annoying easily when he devolves into a clown.

(2) Kaito is not written or acted the way his character ends up being. He's someone who never got over childhood trauma, is obsessed to the point of pettiness with power while at the same time hating the need for it, and in the end seeks utopia at the expense of the entire planet. That's a compelling character. He could've been an antihero. But most of the time he comes of less like this and more like the stereotypical "I will beat you all, I need no friends, muahaha" jerk that you see in shows where people compete. There's no reason for him to keep giving people cold shoulders. It becomes really annoying. It's worse in the movies where he becomes a caricature of himself.

Plus why does he never change out of that Team Baron costume??

Sengoku Movie War: Bad. The concept was wasted and the connection between Wizard and Gaim's stories was horribly contrived. They brought back these Heisei actors to reprise their characters (albeit alternate versions of them);why not give them a larger role instead of just bit parts? It ought to have been Bujin Gaim and his minions who stole Koyomi's ring and thus made Haruto to chase after them to recover it. There he can meet Kouta, perhaps take the place of Bujin Wizard and resolve his character arc. And I'm starting to hate these Rider versions of the current gimmick (Rider Locks, Rider Rings, etc.). Market them if you want, but don't put them in the movie. They never make any sense plotwise.

Kamen Rider War: The 'Civil War' of the Superhero War series. This could've been a classic if it had gone through another draft. I liked the nature of the rift between the Showa and Heisei Riders. Bringing back actors to be on screen was a big plus after years of suit-only appearances or Decade-style alternate characters. The plot with Takumi and Jin Keisuke was the best part of the movie. But it was still greatly underdeveloped. The last fight at the end was unnecessary.

Overall, Toei is improving but they still have a ways to go (or their priorities need to be changed).

Golden Fruits Cup: Another wasted idea. Plus it didn't make sense: Lapis wanted to create an alternate world without bloodshed over the Golden Fruit, so he just assumed making the people involved soccer players and the Fruit a World Cup trophy would make that come true? It felt like the priority here was just to plug the 2014 World Cup. Why is Mars even a person if he's just essentially a GMO Fruit? I couldn't follow what his goal was.

I think this movie could've worked a different way. Say Mars was another Overlord who wages war on Earth using a stolen belt and Lapis aids Kouta against him. Or Lapis creates a "holodeck" simulation of the Femshinmu war with the Gaim cast playing the roles to show Kouta the futility of his goal. Or make Lapis another being from another world that Helheim destroyed. This movie had potential, but once you get past the soccer opening it really lacks much substance.
 

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