Now, this review is actually by request, and I will try my best to do a review on this series while listening to some country music to lift up my creativity… that and also the kids downstairs is getting pretty noisy. Let’s begin our hard-boiled adventure, shall we?
The setting of Kamen Rider W is in a fictional city called fuuto. The opening scene shows us that our main characters are united after Shotaro (a.k.a. the detective) saved Philippe (a.k.a. the google) after Shotaro’s boss was shot by the enemies that was holding Philippe in a something that looks like a stasis tube. Fast forward a few… I forgot. Things are going the way it was supposed to be with Shotaro continuing his boss’ footsteps by continuing the detective agency.
So what’s the catch? Our Kamen Rider can’t be just there to catch some petty thief or fight a normal human murderer, right? Well you’re correct, while fuuto city is supposed to be a very peaceful city, there’s a family (Sonozaki family, btw) that sells Gaia Memory to people with grudges so that they can transform into this monstrous thing called Dopant.
Now, I can’t tell you much about the story at this point, because… well… it’s still ongoing and last time I checked my supernatural abilities is limited to predicting where’s the aloe vera in my apple juice. However, from the 9 episodes that have aired, I think that Kamen Rider Double has a solid storyline compared to few of their predecessors. It’s not really a joke Kamen Rider like Ryoutaro of Den-O, it’s not really that serious like Akiyama Ren of Knight, so in the balance point of it. Besides, they’re two detectives in one after all. (Boku-tachi wa futari de hitori no tantei-sa…) Hehehe.
Here’s where things get a bit awkward. The main character is too pretty for a kamen rider. However, the thing is, he’s not the rider. Well, what I mean is, after the henshin part, he’s not really the dude behind the mask. Lemme make this clearer for you guys. For the good guys cast, we have:
Shotaro Hidari: The real detective in the Narumi Detective Agency. He’s an old fashioned detective in a way that he still uses a typewriter to write his findings report, and he does things the old fashioned way like asking questions, checking crime scenes, etc. This give a new breather after the barrage of CSI that we actually have one detective who doesn’t scan crime scene looking for spits or hair for DNA. As an actor, Renn Kiriyama portrays this character well that it gives a sense that Shotaro is a good detective but still, even the good ones needs an extra hand (or extra body, in this case) sometimes.
Philippe: He’s the google in the agency. He’s smart and he got access to universal library which contains all sorts of information regarding everything from murder to when did you last pick your nose. He is played by Masaki Suda. My first impression on him is, between Heisei Riders and Showa Riders, this guy is just way to pretty. Okay, probably Kiva can spar with him on a beauty contest, but really, Philippe is just too much a pretty boy. However, after watching him acting as a brainiac who doesn’t really have that much of an interest to real world, he shows promising acting, so we’ll see. (I still vote for the moment in Decade when the two Kotaro Minami show, tho~)
Narumi Akiko: Noisy. Annoying. Only needed to keep the balance between the duo. But you know, without akiko, probably this Rider series won’t have much of an eye candy. If she has accomplished something for Double, well… I didn’t hear that. (Atashi kiitenai...)
The Sonozaki family: Lemme make this short. Dad, evil. Older sister, possessive and a good business woman. Wakana/younger sister, pretty and princess-ish. Kirihiko, should be one of the anti-hero rider, more action, less nekkid. Cat, cool.
The soundtrack of Kamen Rider Double is trying to sound between those old detectives themes and the new rhythmic modern music. And I gotta tell you, the W-B-X song is kinda cool, especially during the duo part, where they sing and answer each other. The only problem I have with the soundtrack is… IT’S DOUBLE U NOT DOUBLE!!!
Umm… not much I can say about this, coz the effect doesn’t really have that much difference since Decade or even Den-O. The CGIs have practically the same level of sophistication, and the Rider ambience is still there as well.
Okay, here’s another point that I need to point out. Remember those days when a Kamen Rider shout’s his final attack (hissatsu) so gallantly that you think the effect of the punch can split the earth, where actually it’s just a puny punch to the nose? Double don’t have that. In fact, my first impressions of them are like they’re telling us what they are going to do… instead of a full hearted JOOOOKERRRRR SMAAAAASHHH!!!! KABLOOOEEEEIII KABLAM WHAM SCHLAM PTOOEYY, we got Joker Smash~~~~~~ instead. That plus Philippe’s image might scare off some people in the first place. Oh, and also the mechanism of the henshin.
The belt works after both Shotaro and Philippe each wear their respective belts. However, the one transforming to Double is only Shotaro. Wondering what happened to Philippe? Well, the poor chap passes out. I know. That’s a pretty sucky position to be when a Dopant is in front of you and then you pass out just so that your soul can transform to be half of the Kamen Rider Double.
With all the fuss about this rider, I recommend you guys that like tokusatsu to check this one out. It’s a good series, and up till now, it still interests me to watch the series without having that much of a question like Decade. (and we know that the questions left unanswered… until the movie.) What you can do if the first episode ticks you off, try to gather your guts and watch all the way to the third or fourth episode. You’ll like it after a while. I suppose that’ll be all. Ciao.