So, Kamen Rider Gaim’s main story is over now, and while we have the epilogue special next week, I thought I’d say a few words about the show overall and what it means to me as a fan of Kamen Rider, Tokusatsu, and Gen Urobuchi’s continuing path as a writer:
Gaim will have a special place in my heart occupied by only a few things, be they anime, manga, or games, in terms of the effect it’s had on my life. I’ve been able to meet some cool people because of it and I was able to see a Kamen Rider show in real time that was more to my own personal tastes then anything post Decade. The casting was great, the foreshadowing was smart, and while I don’t feel like they made good choices the entire way through (I feel like what they said Jounouchi was going to be like doesn’t add up to how he was executed in the show and evetually kinda phased out of the story, for example), but I feel like the story all comes together at the end, and we get an ending that feels fitting and consistant with the themes the show has always had. The characters resonated with me in a way that few toku shows have managed to, the suits are among my top 5 Kamen Rider suit desgins now, and overall, the show made me completely reevaluate how I watch and rate tokusatsu shows. It’s not a perfect show, and while I’m a big fan of Gen Urobuchi’s writing and his shows/games (most of them anyway), he has written a few duds that will go unnamed here, and I know he has habits that need to be broken so that he can be a more effective storyteller. But given that this was his first live action effort and the only show he’s spent this long writing for, I think it’s gonna be a good place to go back and look on as he continues writing for anime and whatnot. It was a good way to strech his legs and try some different things as well as learn how to articulate some of his favorite ideas/tropes better. But the thing that sticks out the most to me with Gaim was the cast and how it was really a conflict of different ideologies/desires for a better future, and how no one had the single right answer, and how some people had good intentions but choose the wrong path (Kaito) or had good intentions but closed themselves off from the people around them, carried the burden alone, and didn’t think about doing anything beyond what needed to be done (Takatora, who as of this writing is still my favorite character in the series). So thank you, Kamen Rider Gaim, Thank You Toei, Thank You Gen Urobuchi, for bringing this work into existence . It was a great ride and while it got a bit bumpy, I’m happy with the end result, and it will be a show I look back on fondly in the coming years, and hopefully, someday, we can get some of the cast back together for something that isn’t a Movie Wars crossover. Cause I will want to see them all again one last time, and I know that with Kamen Rider, goodbyes aren’t always permenant. and if that makes me a sap or a sentimentalist, then I’m willing to take that. It was the sort of show I needed at this point in my life, and I will never forget it.