well that backfired on you, didn’t it, tachibana

or, okay, the longwinded version:

tachibana created the monster that betrayed him. it’s never revealed why jirou gains his switch—probably because fourze never actually managed to make friends with “pacing” as a concept—but i think the easy solution (easy but awful, of course) is that jirou had to get the switch from someone, and it seems awfully convenient to me that the person who created a system designed pretty obviously for ryusei’s fighting style might have been responsible for the situation arising in the first place. the fact of the matter is that it seems most likely to me that tachibana orchestrated everything, from beginning to end, creating the very situation that allows him to take control of ryusei in order to use him in his place. but what tachibana forgot is that if you treat someone like a pawn long enough, they make it across the board, and became queen.

ryusei has actually grown used to the concept that he is in control in some way—he thinks he and tachibana are on somewhat even footing because he’s using tachibana as much as tachibana is using him. he’s wrong, because the power imbalance inherent in an adult and a child (and make no mistake, ryusei is a child, he is 17, that’s certainly a lot more capable than people give teens credit for but the fact remains that he is not anywhere near as capable or as cold or as rational as he thinks he is) in combination with the power balance inherent in their relationship as user and provider of equipment. tachibana can and will remove ryusei’s power as soon as ryusei disappoints, and as soon as he does, ryusei breaks into begging and pleading as he realizes exactly how little power he actually holds over tachibana. he has to remain useful within tachibana’s parameters in order to achieve his own ends, or else tachibana will find someone new. then tachibana busts out his new tactic—the flat-out carrot on a stick bribery he uses to test ryusei during meteor storm. ryusei makes the correct choice, and is rewarded for it. but the act of rewarding ryusei for making the correct choice solidifies his resolve to do whatever it takes, and supports his mistaken understanding of his own craftiness and cunning. ryusei likes to think he’s a clever planner, but he’s ruled by emotion just as much as gentaro. where gentaro feels things for other people, however, ryusei’s feelings are internal. ryusei’s thought processes are colored by his emotions a lot more than he’d like to admit, and it leads him to questionable decisions over and over again.

this brings us to aries. tachibana’s ultimatum to destroy aries clearly unbalances him: tachibana knows exactly what ryusei is looking to do, knows exactly how bad off jirou is, and wants to try some questionable solution when the easy route is right there.

it doesn’t surprise me at all that ryusei gets himself involved with aries, under those circumstances. tachibana has actually managed to manipulate him into thinking the only choice he has is to use his bargaining chip—his power as meteor—in order to do whatever it takes not to lose. the game ryusei is playing is one based around reviving and healing jirou, and it’s not one he’s willing to lose. ryusei has grown used to being manipulated, first by own adult and then by another student. jirou chides him for “losing himself”, and yes absolutely that’s because ryusei killed someone, went against every iota of his training and used the full extent of his skills and powers in a battle with an amateur (and if you can’t tell the difference between ‘highly trained lifetime martial artist’ and ‘high school delinquent’, there’s a clear, stark difference. gentaro never stood a chance.), then decisively and firmly murdered him. but part of it is that ryusei sublimated his own sense of right and wrong in order to do what he had decided.

also, tachibana had a fucking sailsafe. it would have been as easy as flicking a switch. and then he calls ryusei a traitor? tachibana failed ryusei. tachibana betrayed ryusei. fuck you, tachibana.

basically pretty much all the adults in kamen rider fourze betrayed the children who should have had their support and guidance, but none worse than tachibana for me.

(Reblogged from gaburincho-archive)





Mayu disappointed me. I hope she redeems herself in the last episode, but I’m not counting on it. Another example of Rider Girls who can’t handle it. (Which annoys me to no end. I think Nadeshiko only got a pass because she’s some weird alien goo.)

idk, i think it’s completely understandable that she feels that way. she feels like she’s been used—and she has. it’s less “can’t handle it”, and more a teenage girl being uncertain because what she thought was a weapon to bring hope and bring peace to her family turned out to be something twisted in order to kill her and the entirety of tokyo. i would be upset, too.

this is 100% false flagging though, she’ll be back next episode.

on a meta level it irritated me because while we avoided the gross ~revenge is bad (but only for girls)~ trope we replaced it with the more sanitized ~conflicted about her powers~ trope instead.

THAT SAID, on the third hand, mayu has always been about choice. that’s her arc, that’s her central focus, that’s her theme. “this is the beginning i’ve decided on”. she decides. having that stolen from her by fueki is a direct way to detract from that central theme, but as rinko says, her decision to take the thing that he did to her and use it to bring hope has power, for me, especially if we look at the way fueki violated her trust (and violated the minds of two others, including a young child, and another father). 

what the hell are we giving nadeshiko a pass for? she has the personality of a paper bag and half of her whopping two appearances are face sitting and butt smacks


I mean, because the majority of Rider Girls either die or give up their powers. It annoys the piss out of me because the women in my life are so obviously strong willed and equal in every way that counts.

Nadeshiko died, sort of, but not really. And she’s still a Rider. So that’s why she gets a pass.

And I guess Akira from Hibiki would get a pass too, if I remember correctly. But I can’t think of anyone else who didn’t die or give up being a Rider.

ok but what is specifically happening here is a double standard and blaming mayu for having a human reaction to trauma and tragedy.

mayu is a 17 year old orphan who, in the last week, has had her revenge stolen out from under her, her trust violated by the man who gave her her powers, been kidnapped, and then was nearly killed in a move to kill the entirety of the city of tokyo in order to revive a dead girl. her losses have been immense, and raw, and she has not had time to deal with them. haruto’s losses are old scars. mayu’s are still fresh.

she says now that she intends to stop using magic, and frankly, i don’t blame her one bit.

you know who i don’t see people getting mad at? yamamoto, who misdirects his anger at the victim at the center of this. who gave up being a wizard. i don’t blame him for being angry or quitting. being a wizard sucks. the only good thing to come out of magic in the last few days involved nitoh giving his magic up for good.

do i demand better for female characters? abso-fucking-lutely. but demanding that every female character be a sudden bastion of emotional strength at expense of what is believable character depth and vulnerability isn’t better. it’s ~Strong Female Character~ crap, and i have no time for it.

what i saw this week was a young girl who put her trust in someone who offered to help her bring peace to the family that was ripped from her, whose loss she is still feeling, by killing the monster wearing her twin sister’s face and going around trying to kill others, and had that trust violated in an extremely violent way, express that violation and hurt and rawness to another women who was struggled, and been hurt, and had her trust broken. rinko was literally assaulted by a man thirty episodes ago and nearly killed. she chose to pick up that trust, and use it to help people despite her lack of powers. she encourages mayu to do the same—to move past trauma and do good.

there’s an allegory for any woman in there, in case you missed it.

(it’s an allegory about rape.)

i think it is important that they deal with the culmination of mayu’s arc of ‘choice’, and that choice doesn’t always mean ‘trusting someone offering a thing that seems like a miracle in order to do this thing i want’. sometimes it’s ‘something bad happened to me, and i have a choice to move away from it, and leave it behind’ and then choosing to do it because she wants to help people. she is a foil for haruto, because like him, she overcame her own despair, and she chose to become a wizard, but unlike him she doesn’t need to fight as a wizard to go on. but i think she’ll choose to do it anyway, in order to bring hope. there’s power there, and it’s important to me that they use a female character to do it.

what isn’t better for girls is not “surviving”. surviving is a tickmark on my list. nadeshiko doesn’t get a pass. nadeshiko is fetish fuel dressed in a schoolgirl outfit being objectified over and over again when they could have actually bothered to give her more personality than repeating everything that’s said to her. it wouldn’t have been so hard.

i want characters who are as real and as deep as their male counterparts. i want characters who are allowed to be weak, and afraid, and uncertain. i want characters.

(Reblogged from gaburincho-archive)




  • the show is not at all perfect, i have never said that, i would never say that! but my issues are not and have never been about our titular rider or nitoh, because i think haruto HAS been well handled and if you don’t agree with that, frankly you can go scratch. i think a character with self-esteem and self identity issues like his doesn’t need those things to be highlighted over and over in dialogue, i am not an eight year old without an ability to see deeper than I THINK I SUCK appearing in a couple of arcs.
  • to go in a more point by point manner because this was getting seriously tl;dr even for ME:
  • i actually think wizard is doing a more than passable job with the writing no-no of using a character’s “good” character traits and making those a flaw, which is tough to do!!! which is why it is a no-no in creating characters, generally. haruto is heroic and a good person and is attempting to do a good thing, but he is selfish. he thinks he’s the only one who deserves suffering and by that very same coin, the only one who deserves the struggle (and power) of wizardhood. he is still fractured by the sabbath. there is an emptiness he has only managed to fill with saving people, and more than that, he feels that he’s not doing good if he’s not doing a thing for people. it’s not enough to be their friend, he has to be their savior, their “last hope”. the flame dragon arc is about revealing how he held on. the infinity arc is about how he’s not really… holding on at all. “dragon, you’re my hope”, isn’t a literal “this doomsaying dragon living in my head and wants me to die so he can consume my consciousness and take over my body” you are my hope. the HOPE is the magic that dragon brings. the ability to save people. anyway my point is that because he defines himself by his identity as a wizard, haruto tends to eschew the agency and autonomy of other people when he is capable of doing so: koyomi, rinko, shunpei, mayu, chizuru. (not on this list: nitoh, because haruto does not feel that nitoh is his responsibility, and never has, and nitoh does not allow him to feel as such.) sure, “i’ll be your last hope” is nice and all, and at its core it’s not a negative desire or negative aim. but any trait—like haruto’s brand of selflessness—taken too far circles back around into trouble.
  • basically, the point of the above is that i think defining the flame dragon/dragotimer/infinity arcs as “the same powerup arc” over and over again when the point of the first two is to show haruto taking more and more power heedless of the danger it’s putting him in from dragon, and the point of the third is to more clearly define his issues and to tie koyomi and haruto to one another again, and the powerups are necessary toy gimmicks that ARE NOT THE ACTUAL NARRATIVE FOCUSES OF THE ARC is a very “lol wizard is toyspam” critique that doesn’t actually take into account the writing? haruto doesn’t need to negotiate with dragon again not because that’s a lot of extra cg they could be spending on magic circles and form changes, but because dragon is satisfied as is. the point isn’t the fact that haruto’s borrowing different powers from dragon, the point is that he’s been warned that borrowing dragon’s power is putting himself (and everyone else) in danger. haruto does not think far ahead. this has happened over and over again. “live for today” isn’t just about not living in the past, it’s about not planning for a future he doesn’t really see himself living through. infinity makes an important point about human value, and marks the first time koyomi has really tried to do something for haruto. her last attempt to give haruto less suffering, and her very last acts to attempt to defend haruto from legion (admittedly, she collapsed on the way, but she does TRY) are what caused haruto’s underworld to re-emerge. the point was to have koyomi remind haruto of things, instead of the other way around. (I DO HAVE COMPLAINTS ABOUT KOYOMI, AND ABOUT THE INFINITY ARC, IN THAT SOME OF THE ABOVE IS ME DRAWING WHAT SEEM LIKE LOGICAL CONCLUSIONS, BUT AREN’T SPELLED OUT, ET CETERA.)
  • wizard is a show about dualities. this seems fairly straight forward to me??? phantoms and gates, most obviously, but every relationship haruto has—besides, notably, wajima and koyomi (and even the reality of koyomi’s existence might reveal a duality we don’t know yet)—centers on a duality of personhood:
  1. haruto and rinko are heroes, but one of them has no magic and the other does. haruto and shunpei are both young men with aims to use magic to make others happy, but shunpei has had to hitch the wagon of that hope to haruto, because he was not able to defeat his own despair. 
  2. haruto and nitoh are both ultimately self-centered wizards with very different needs and hungers, but nitoh is more clearly an optimist, and haruto, despite his claims, really isn’t. nitoh plans ahead by very necessity, and haruto does not, but chimaera and nitoh’s relationship is markedly more equal and positive than haruto and dragon’s, even taking in the reality that chimaera will consume nitoh without a second thought if nitoh fails to fulfill his part of their deal, and dragon cannot, because there IS no deal.
  3. haruto and mayu are both wizards by virtue of defeating their phantoms, but where haruto was carried through by a resolve that is as much burden as compass, mayu was carried through by a resolve that is entirely vengeance. mayu had a choice about becoming a wizard, and haruto did not. we’ll see where that goes. (i don’t think either of those are positive phantom defeats, for what it’s worth, and i actually think mayu’s resolve is at least healthier.)
  4. haruto and sora are both humans who defeated their phantoms, but where haruto contains the monster inside because he ISN’T a monster, sora simply wears his phantom’s face, because he already was one. i don’t need the show to examine what makes us all human, because the difference is already there. where haruto has done a wrong—to kazuya—and run from it, ultimately becoming a wizard and doing good to counteract that mistake, sora is a serial killer who uses his powers to continue doing more wrongs. 
  5. haruto and fueki we don’t yet have details on, but at this point it looks like fueki is trying to keep a balance or status quo and haruto is definitely in it for saving people. white wizard clearly works on a bigger scale than haruto is, or is capable of.
  6. rinko and phoenix. rinko and shunpei. mayu and misa. white wizard and wiseman, possibly literally. I COULD GO ON.
  7. anyway my POINT is that the show is not going to redefine humanity in the face of haruto and sora’s monsters. the show’s not about that, and never was. thematically, what i’m taking from the show is “what is hope, and is all hope good, by virtue of not being despair?”. do i think the show could have gone further with phantoms having something human in them? do i think that the sora-haruto duality could be used that way? sure, but not with the protagonist they’ve written. revealing that phantoms are human within their monstrous outsides would entail eventually revealing that to haruto, and that would destroy him, and frankly i’m not here for that show, because that show ends in dragon vs nitoh and mayu, and that would be depressing. the show doesn’t need to redefine humanity, because the differences in the way haruto and sora (and sora and medusa, and haruto and medusa) live and act does a lot of that on its own. the recent stuff about sora idly sparking doubts in medusa is meant to highlight that sora does bad things for his own purposes, medusa does them for wiseman’s, and the other phantoms do them because if they didn’t medusa would turn them to stone (or sora would murder them). the weekly phantoms are acting out of fear of medusa, who acts under wiseman’s will and has none of her own. stick that next to haruto, who does what he thinks is best because he has no guidance, only his own will, and mayu, who seeks vengeance, supported by the white wizard in making her own choice.
  8. the whole concept is actually a way of building a multitude of storylines without actually having to SHOW a lot of them. frankly it’s a lazy narrative approach and not one i think is being executed perfectly in every instance, but where it IS working—haruto and nitoh, haruto and rinko when the show bothers to be good about rinko, haruto and mayu, rinko and shunpei—it’s working really well for me as a way to measure both character growth and as a way to put characters’ actions into a lens. for example, the way sora has reached a sort of flippant estimation of medusa as a threat and talks to her like she cannot understand his aims and the way mayu has just reappeared and haruto has always had a sort of bad estimation of mayu’s determination because he doesn’t think she should have to deal with what he does feel like echoes to me because of the ways that sora-haruto and medusa-mayu are pairs.
  • i actually absolutely agree that there are pacing issues that could be solved by haruto discovering things, but i also think that narratively we’re working toward a very specific conclusion here which makes them think they HAVE to hold off on things?? and also that haruto isn’t really capable of getting that information, because the only ones who have it are wiseman and possible sora. haruto is fighting a battle the rules of which he has not been given, and that he is making up as he goes. he doesn’t have enough information to make wiser choices, and i don’t think he really has the ability to make wiser, more nuanced choices anyway, because his personality has been set up as very live in the now. he’s made one bad “jump into x situation” decision after another (see: going to find wiseman, see: negotiating with dragon, see: not questioning white wizard during dragotime arc, see: kicking phoenix into the goddamn sun) and latches on to the first, easiest explanation of something (see: koyomi). haruto works to help individual people. the way white wizard appears and offers his personal expertise to mayu, who frankly has an extremely straight-forward desire, suggests to me that he’s got a very specific aim in mind, and that haruto has outlived what white wizard was hoping he would accomplish. if haruto learns about wiseman’s aims, he might stop fighting phantoms entirely, and instead refocus his efforts on removing the gate status from the arc characters.
  • i think you’re giving fourze at least way too much credit as a story because you really love the characters and relationships, because i don’t feel that wizard is any more “bad motw” than fourze is. i’m not going to get on you about that specific comparison because it starts getting into value judgement territory, though, and i would prefer to talk up wizard’s merits on its own. i do roll my eyes any time i hear infallible hero haruto souma though, and i do not apologize for thinking that’s dumb. haruto is continuing on sheer grit and self-hatred. he runs away over and over because he’s afraid to examine himself, because he always finds himself lacking. he’s clearly always been that way, and i think that’s a really interesting character depth. your mileage may vary, et cetera.
  • i have a lot of thoughts on how rinko’s been wasted, and i think shunpei could be being better handled, too, and if i had my way rinko would be kamen rider alchemist in section zero and she and mayu would have become riders during the infinity arc, so my desires are entirely impossible.
  • AH THAT REMINDS ME you didn’t say this but there are plenty of people who think that koyomi dying would have given the infinity arc more punch, and i just want to say that if your idea of adding punch to a plot arc is to murder a girl in order to make her more angst fodder for the already depressed protagonist you might need to take another look at that super-cute misogyny you’ve got going and also get it outta my face. the strength of the infinity arc is that haruto saved them both, inspired by her efforts and sentiment. killing her does nothing, it’s just batman syndrome all over again. character growth does not come from traumatic loss, when a character’s genesis is in traumatic loss. character growth comes from connection and mutual emotion.
  • at this point i’m just addressing every issue i can think of tbh. i think the difference here for me is that i connected to haruto fairly immediately, and i am still connected to him, and arcs aren’t falling flat for me because i have different narrative expectations??? not on a “oh it’s a kid’s show stop expecting so much” level but on a “there are undercurrents here that i enjoy and appreciate and those undercurrents have yet to fade into nothing, so i’d like to see those things come to some kind of conclusion”.
  • look, if wizard kills mayu/writes mayu off or completely fails to address any of the questions i still have, i’m gonna be pissed. no one will be howling louder than me. but there are eight episodes left, and i usually prefer to have faith in the writing if i’m with the show so far.
  • also i really like kida and would like to see how he handles a show ending as he intends
(Reblogged from gaburincho-archive)


kiva’s storytelling failure, centered around otoya: or, why the fuck am i writing this many words about a show i hate

at its core, the kiva storytelling mechanism: that is, telling one story in two time-frames, is a fascinating departure from the usual rider formula that i was really optimistic about when the show started up. wataru and otoya as dual heroes, telling dual stories, but really telling one story? that’s cool. otoya and wataru in the beginning were really amazing contrasts. wataru—a self-centered, anxious, occasionally terrifying (as kiva) but ultimately heroic craftsman—learning the reality of his father—a selfish, opportunistic, ridiculous, sleazy but occasionally deeply idealistic artist—as he learns to navigate the reality of, well, real life was cool. otoya was built up for wataru by maya’s description of him: but maya doesn’t value the same things humans do, and maya’s understanding of otoya is on a totally different wavelength from that of how you or i would read him, and maya’s description of him as an amazing man is a different kind of amazing than what wataru built up in his head.

and then the show screwed it up completely.

here’s the thing about otoya: as a character, he’s a contrast from a typical main rider. he’s not really ‘heroic’, or ‘good’. his “there is music in every person” ideal comes across as a pickup line more than it does as philosophu… probably because he uses it that way as often as he does when he’s gearing up to defeat a monster.

in the beginning of the show, that’s played straight: yuri, jirou, and shima react to him realistically. eye-rolling, jaw-punching, and straight up ignoring. this was really excellent for me! it’s not often you get a character who indulges in shitty behavior getting treated like the asshole he is when he waltzes in and tries to be the hero and also get the girl who has more important things on her mind. so for a bit there, it was jirou, and yuri, and otoya, a triangle of heroes. otoya showed that under the asshole playboy veneer, he was kind of a hero, and jirou showed that under the don’t give a fuck business-like badboy show, there was a survivalist filled with resentment, and yuri showed that under the businesslike hero, there was… a businesslike hero. for a time, things were awesome as far as that characterization went. (besides the ‘yuri not being able to be a rider because she is a ~girl’ misogyny, i know, i know, i know.)

then all of a sudden, yuri is falling in love with otoya. this in and of itself might have interesting—i mean, wataru’s gotta come from somewhere, right—but then yuri stopped… being yuri, so much. and then there was that gross jirou repopulating the species storyline, and it was all in all a shitfest adventure in rape culture and how much inoue hates women. and so i spent the entire rest of the show asking: 

why are you giving the douchebag misogynist playboy two monogamy storylines within the same show at the expense of the characterization of his first romantic interest? why is this happening? why is otoya being set up as some kind of romantic charismatic hero who can not only soften yuri into a domestic housewife and seduce maya, but also chain jirou, ramon and riki to castle dran for at least the next twenty years, if not more, by the value of a sacrifice that doesn’t actually change anything for them, and by a friendship i never really bought them having????? that’s not the otoya you were writing for the rest of the show!

to otoya’s credit, his characterization is actually one of the more solid ones in kiva. the problem is that the show hinges its entire plot on him being captivating to characters who spent the first twenty episodes thinking he was a moron, so it rings false. if yuri and jirou and shima had been somehow charmed by his… everything… earlier on—even if they still didn’t like him, because it is possible to be captivated by someone and still think that they are a huge asshole, it would have been more believable. i mean, for all that i feel maya/otoya was rushed in places, it definitely has an air of real to it. (for a given value of real, as this is a show about vampires and dudes in spandex). maya sees otoya through a different lens, because she isn’t human, because she values different things. otoya sees maya as a regular woman for a long period, but as one that is noticeably different than other women, because she values different things.

so basically, the narrative tried to hammer otoya into a role it hadn’t set him up to have, and it didn’t work. circles, square holes, etc.

(Reblogged from gaburincho-archive)


i’m smellin some prime bullshit about amy yuuzuki’s treatment in kyoryuger and i’m like frothing w rage rn but not enough to go find posts and tear them down so instead you get this

as of right now, amy is getting the kind of emphasis, focus, agency and skill that only kyoryugers named daigo or ucchi are getting. let me repeat that: amy is getting the same amount of story focus and agency as the red and the sixth. if every sentai girl got her kind of story, i would just expire from the amount of ladies being excellent. (i mean, imagine yoko if they actually gave her a storyline. imagine luka and ahim, if they gave them storylines!) amy is a feminine woman who does not excel in feminine pursuits, and despite dictation that she should be otherwise, she doesn’t give a shit outside of her training for it. this is a nice thing to see, because often characters like her can be pigeonholed into being super-masculine tomboys instead of being allowed to be cute girls who care about their looks but don’t care about being pampered proper princesses because there are dinosaurs to partner up with and bad guys to kick in the face. 

(take your sexist facepalming back to the warring states period btw, ucchi, no one has the time for that.)

yes, only having one lady is annoying as shit, and yes, seeing this writing is making me want two kyoryu ladies more than anything because if this is what riku sanjo does with one imagine what he could do with two, and yes that bullshit from that producer guy is absolutely gross and sexist. but let’s not make amy out to be something she is not in the story. let’s focus on the actual issues in the current toku shows that are sexist (I’LL BE BACK WITH A POST ABOUT RINKO EVENTUALLY) (IF MAYU IS A GENERIC RIDER I WILL BE ANNOYED, AND VOCALLY, AND I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE) and not on the one female character in the running shows who is getting solid writing and not being reduced in any way. amy would kick your ass for saying she’s being reduced to anything.

tofu called it the mako effect and tofu is absolutely correct. can we let the badass ladies who are balanced and three-dimensional and excellent be all of those things without removing what makes them so great and being shitty about the fact that they are some of the most feminist characters in toku, thanks????

(Reblogged from gaburincho-archive)


Let’s talk Nitoh.

Nitoh spent last episode in that trademark Nitoh combination of genuine desire to defeat Phantoms and ego, resolving to make Legion tell him he has a beautiful mind. (“I am super beautiful!” “Uh-huh.”) Unlike Nitoh himself, I don’t blame him for his loss against Legion/Dragon’s destruction (and I think it’s very interesting that Dragon threw himself between Nitoh/Chimaera and Legion’s attack—we’ll see where that goes, since he was clearly back to his douchebag wait-and-see gonna-eat-you-Haruto self at the end of the episode. I’m guessing self-preservation, but they might surprise me, especially with the ‘I’d do the same thing you did. See, I’m not Gremlin, I’m Sora’ obvious implications about the Philosopher’s Stone in the beginning of the episode) because base Beast (even with Chimaera’s assistance) is clearly less powerful than Legion. Nitoh couldn’t save Haruto, but it’s not his fault that Haruto lost his magic, if that qualification makes sense.

In this episode, Nitoh doesn’t call himself beautiful even once. He spends most of the episode running around looking for Legion in order to defeat him and apologizing to Haruto for failing him. Notably, of course, he’s the one who gets Haruto to cool it with the search for Legion by dropping the truth bomb of ‘you cannot do this right now’, because unlike Shunpei and Rinko—who are powerless against Phantoms—Nitoh is fighting for the same purposes Haruto is. (As we saw two weeks ago, saving himself is a secondary concern these days. He’s in this to save people.)

Of course, it’s the moments when he abandons wanting to be called beautiful that he becomes beautiful, and it’s the abandonment of his ego that draws Legion’s attention. He doesn’t even job unnecessarily against Legion, he just gets trapped! His determination to help Haruto helped him kick ass, and I would guess Nitoh’s sincerity plays a part in the ‘Haruto realizing kindness is more important than magic when trying to save people’ moment. Nice job, Wizard, You’ve done good.

(Reblogged from gaburincho-archive)



and some people think philip’s identity issues are more tragic than shoutarou’s

whoops i a word or… 600…

I think the thing for me is that Philip’s questions and struggles with his identity all take the form of actual, physical questions he finds or fashions answers to. Who was he before he was Philip?: certainly traumatic and a surprise (to him, anyway, I knew the first time he interacted with Wakana because come ON Toei never does that much het UST unless it’s gonna turn out to be incest) but it’s an answer, and he even gets to know them a little. Who is his family, as he doesn’t know who the people he has vague memory of are?: he finds out, eventually, who his birth family is, but he has a family in Shotaro and Akiko and Terui. Shotaro’s struggles with who he is are far less clear cut. Is he a man worthy of the hat the Chief left him? Is he the best partner Philip could have, as both a Rider and as a person? Is he a detective able to help and defend his clients? Is he a good enough man? There’s no rubric for that. There’s no order to follow, no directive to keep in mind.

With every emotional blow of the series (and there are a lot: his status as Philip’s partner is questioned over and over again, by Shroud, by Philip, by Shotaro himself) Shotaro loses more and more sense of his own worth and esteem. This ultimately culminates in “I don’t think I can do this alone” in the penultimate episode, standing on the proverbial edge of a cliff named Philip is going to die, and it’s built up and built up with every one of Shotaro’s triumphs. Shotaro doesn’t credit himself for Xtreme, for overcoming the challenge of the Old Dopant, for overcoming his own fear and facing Terror. He credits his partnership, and he credits his desire to live up to Philip’s abilities. Again and again Shotaro judges himself by expectations he builds not for himself but out of what he perceives as the expectations of the people closest to him: the Chief, and Philip. Part of why I enjoy Shotaro and Akiko’s relationship is much is because he doesn’t feel he has to impress her. She’s already unimpressed with everything he’s ever done (‘seriously Shotaro-kun you’re half-boiled!’). 

He feels he is better as a detective, as a warrior of justice, and even as a person because Philip helps him fill in the gaps in himself. He’ll never be good enough in his own estimation, not really. Shotaro is endlessly kind, and funny, and determined to protect his friends, clients, and the city he loves. He also finds fault in himself for everything that goes wrong around him, has issues looking at things logically, deludes himself into thinking things are going to suddenly change for the better instead of dealing with loss, and is easily discouraged from fighting for his own sake. He’s afraid to reach for something he wants, he certainly thinks he deserves the losses he’s taken, and puts himself at the root of his problems. He lost the Chief because he didn’t listen. He killed the Chief, because he was selfish. He lost Philip because he couldn’t think of a way to defeat Utopia without using Philip’s powers.

Basically, he’s textbook abandonment issues, and it’s no surprise to me that he’s so miserable and afraid and hoping desperately for Philip’s miraculous return in the finale. At least Philip got his answers. Shotaro’s still working on finding his. He might never, as long as he’s judging himself by internalized standards.

(Source: getintherobot)

(Reblogged from gaburincho-archive)