Join us as we take a critical eye to Kamen Rider Ghost. Will Takeru save himself and the Kamen Rider franchise in the  days he has left on this blue planet? Find out how we think he’s doing as we pass judgement on:
Kamen Rider Ghost 04 Astonishing! The Castle in the Sky!
Save As… to Download Episode Length 1:56:12
What, if anything, is being said about the world and our place in it in this episode? Ghost deals with the idea of Icons and Great Men, in a way that makes focusing narrowly on obtaining tangible objects relating to them important, but what makes a person great? What does that mean?
Let’s turn a discerning eye to what could be the Macro Message hidden in this episode of Ghost!
Ghost 04’s Macro Message According to Ammit:
Maybe the lesson from this episode is: A good leader, or a great person, isn’t only concerned with defeating the enemy or winning, but also with taking care of those in their charge? Takeru leapt off the building to save Mr. Mouri, despite how much it hurt him when he landed. Takeru put off obtaining Nobunaga to care for his friends as well as everyone else in the falling city. Takeru embodied heroism by putting others before himself and while he is still struggling to find his path, he is on the path towards greatness because of his concern for others. He is using all his power to help others, even to his own detriment and that is Great and something we all can do.
Ghost 04’s Macro Message According to Aleph:
The thing I took from it is related but not quite the same, mostly that in a show of storytelling economy I can’t help but admire they folded the lore-reveal into the episode theme and touched on something I was really wanting them to touch on: how your idols can inspire you but it’s what you do with that inspiration that says everything about who you are. Legacies aren’t concrete and no figure is heroic in and of themselves; people make heroes. But those same heroes can inspire villainy in the villainous.
Ghost 04’s Macro Message According to Cannibal Sarracenian:
Oh man, I thought the episode today was excellent. Where Episode 1&2 were introducing and experimenting, episode 3 having a more concrete format but the message unfortunately didn’t causally match with the going-ons of the script, this one felt like a full realization, being more fully committed to the story without the package of having to establish the show’s character dynamics like the previous two. There’s a lot in terms of the thematic of the episode; the definition between being a leader vs. being a “boss”, the value of unity not through domination but through kinship and comradery, and most pleasantly surprising the critical re-evaluation of the past and a person’s own actions. Its the same message as the previous episodes, of respecting and learning from the past but not blindly following its actions, but this one feels like the best execution of it so far, due to the choice of Oda Nobunaga being the Eyecon of this episode. some minor gripes aside, which I will get into later, I enjoyed this episode a lot.
Ghost 04’s Macro Message According to Sono:
I still very strongly disagree about episode 3, but that’s neither here nor there. What I took was generally in the same vein, that being a strong leader involves taking care of those you lead. I wish there had been a bit more tied into the fact that Takeru is essentially the leader in this group between he, Akari, and Onari (He felt very separated from them, while they did their thing.) but all in all it wasn’t bad.
I wish we’d had more than just one guy being like “Yeah our boss used to be really great and now he’s gone a little too far.” and maybe comment on the secretary too and how she has also changed. Having one guy noting these changes just didn’t feel like enough for me. This, more than last week, I felt could have benefited from a wider scope. this guy is being compared to a warlord uniting a country. Talk to more than one person about him.
I honestly feel like this episode was a little muddy for a handful of reasons, not the least of which being Drive walking into complicate things a full month after his show is over, but set up a nice platform for what’s to come.
The unKamenCrew’s Top 3 Woments from Ghost 04 Astonishing! The Castle in the Sky!
- I hate to bring up the “Dude, you’re a ghost, remember?” again but that one killed over here. Yurusen should be the comedy backbone of the show.
- Seeing the book pop out of the Alice In Wonderland Ganma when he was defeated. I’m just super charmed at all the weird symbolic/collective unconscious-themed magic going on here. It goes in a lot of directions but feels really coherent.
- THE HUG OF REDEMPTION IS GOING TO BE A THING. GUYS. GUYS IT’S A THING.
- The reference to Ryu Tenkuuji having visited Hashiba to see the letter from Nobunaga
- Sneaking in to Hashiba’s office to hear his conversation with Sakuma
- Takeru letting himself get crushed by the city
- Onari and Akari investigating together! Both of them using their strengths to learn stuff! Onari has a lot of spiritual training and connects better on an interpersonal level so he can get information from people, and Akari is observant and notices things Onari may not. They nailed this investigation together and I’m so proud.
- Yurusen being a small sassy baby and reminding Takeru that you’re a ghost, moron you can phase through the ground.
- IT HURT WHEN TAKERU LANDED. His save on Mouri was GREAT but I just love the fact that it wasn’t a totally clean landing. That SHOULD hurt and I’m glad that the fall MEANT something. It was a risk to Takeru, when most Riders would just land and be totally fine. Putting yourself at risk to protect others is heroic. Even if it hurt that time and Takeru now knows it, I would bet every cent I have that he’d do it again in a heartbeat if it meant saving someone.
- The henshin sequence when Takeru was falling off the building was really cool. Only slightly offset by the chroma-key of it, but its still nice.
- I really liked the small moment of Kuroda screaming. Throughout the episode he was soft-spoken and clearly very stressed out and nervous, so seeing him finally just snap and scream out in anger and desperation is both very funny and quite sympathetic. He has been through a lot.
- I have to say, when people on the internets were pointing out the recycled OOO Wonderful stock footage, I thought the footage was from like, a trailer for the new Movie Wars, rather than part of this episode, which I think would have been more egregious if it were. As it is, its not really too bad given the Toei’s TV budget, besides it did give a neat visual gesture: this nasty desire of wanting the world beneath you yet being utterly detached from it.
In keeping with Ms. Akari’s love of the empirical, the following contains observable information from the events of the day Akari received a set of injuries and Takeru and Onari set up the Daitenkuu temple as a headquarters for staging paranormal investigations.
Spook Report 04
Writer: Fukuda Takuro
Director: Yamaguchi Kyouhei
Ganma: A Lewis Carrol Alice Book + Black Eyecon
Heroic Eyecon Summoned: Oda Nobunaga
Miscellaneous: Yurusen loaned the Isaac Newton Eyecon to Takeru. Spectre shows up and takes Nobunaga for himself.
Bellow is a fairly thorough rundown of the episode
-Sweater the Kid and Evil Osughi have words about the failures of the Ganma so far and the hatted one suggests that his young compatriot may handle the matter personally if he likes despite the fact that arrangements have already been made to improve their situation.
-Down in the Lab, Onari speaks with Akari and Takeru about some rumors Narita and Shibuya have heard regarding someone who promises to make wishes come true.
-While the Priest and the Scientist argue about how to proceed, Takeru wonders about the people helping the Ganma. He tells his friends he is confident taking his time to help others while looking for the other 12 Eyecons.
-Sage shows up and drops some clues about Oda Nobunaga while calling Takeru a fool for thinking things will always go so easily for him.
–Kuroda Hideo calls Onari on his special new phone with the Supernatural Phenomenon Laboratory business card artfully displayed on the back of it, in order to set up a meeting and hire them for a case. KURODA HIDEO works for the Sengoku Corporation, a large company whose success HIDEO attributes to their president HASHIBA NOBUYOSHI’S charismatic leadership.
-The problem is that KURODA has seen a change in MR. HASHIBA that has him concerned along with strange events at the office. Objects have been floating and MR. HASHIBA threatened to fire KURODA for calling him out on acting out of character when he spoke about dominating Japan’s Economy and acquiring every company in Japan.
-Takeru asks Onari and Akari to investigate the strange incidents going on at the main Sengoku office and the other facilities while he goes to meet with MR. HASHIBA. KURODA escorts Takeru to the Sengoku Corporation office and identifies HASHIBA and MR. MOURI, the president of one of Sengoku’s oldest affiliates. The presidents are having a disagreement and MR. MOURI leaves upset that MR. HASABI wanted a controlling interest in his company.
-Objects start floating and MR. MOURI get grabbed by a Ganma who takes him to the roof and throws him off. Takeru jumps off after him and transforms grabbing MR. MOURI and landing safely on the ground. He lets MR. MOURI go and bears the smart of landing squarely on his feet from such a distance.
-Takeru begs the Ganma to give him a minute to recover, but it won’t listen and they fight a mostly invisible battle until the Ganma causes some explosions that cause people to flee. Ghost almost gets the upper hand on the Ganma, but it splits in two and tag teams him. Yurusen comes along and chides him and then explains that if he splits the Gan Gan Sabre, he can connect the ends.
-Takeru makes a Naginata out of his sword and destroys the decoy Ganma. He’s miffed, but realizes that the Ganma to destroy has a bird on his hat and that an Eyecon should be within reach if the Ganma is this active in the situation.
-Outside the Sengoku Corporation building, Takeru sees MR. MOURI tell a lady who works for HASHIBA that he agrees to give give controlling interest to Sengoku as long as they leave him alone and run away.
-Onari and Akari are at Azai Construction a subsidiary of Sengoku Corporation speaking with an employee there who experienced an incident of floating objects. Onari is pleased to have the information and is ready to leave, but Akari notices a map with orange markings in the shape of an eye.
-Back at the main Sengoku Corporation office, Takeru follows the acquisitions lady for a while and enters the Hashiba’s office where he notices an old framed parchment. Takeru studies the item until HASHIBA enters the room. Takeru introduces himself as an acquaintance of KURODA HIDEO and HASHIBA asks him if he is connected to the Daitenkuu Temple.
-Years ago, a priest from Daitenkuu Temple visited HASHIBA and asked to see the framed letter which is a letter of recognition addressed to his family and personally signed by ODA NOBUNAGA.
-Takeru leaves HASHIBA’s office when the lady from whom MR. MOURI fled from earlier comes in. KURODA tells Takeru that she is SAKUMA RISA, HASHIBA’s secretary and before he can continue, Takeru sneaks into the office to eaves drop.
-Takeru hears SAKUMA tell HASHIBA that MOURI decided to accept his offer. HASHIBA is elated and says all has gone just as she said it would. HASHIBA declares he will crush all other companies. SAKUMA encourages him to be as ambitious as ODA Nobunaga. She encourages him to use his talents to unite all of Japan, an idea he relishes, though his revere is somewhat interrupted when mentions that all of the preparations have been made.
-Akari shows Onari that the map of incidents, which happen to have all occurred at Sengoku Company acquired businesses are in the shape of an eye. Things begin to levitate in the Azai Construction office where they are but after Akari hits the Ganma with the Shiranui Blaster, we see that the phenomenon is happening in several places simultaneously and all the Ganma’s duplicates are now visible.
-A view of the city shows the glowing Eye form above sites where the Ganma is operating all over the city. It rises up from the rest of the city. SAKUMA shows HASHIBA his floating city from on top of a roof and tells him, the city is his and it will serve as his own Azuchi Castle from which he will rule over Japan.
-Takeru and KURODA go onto the roof and SAKUMA presents the letter from Nobunaga as HASHIBA declares that he will become ODA NOBUNAGA and the purple glow appears on him. Takeru tells him he is being tricked and will die if he doesn’t stop. HASHIBA tells Takeru he is willing to give up his life if he can become NOBUNAGA.
-Takeru goes in for the hug and saves HASHIBA after dropping a tear on him and feeling his will to live. HASHIBA second guesses himself and SAKUMA is miffed that the plan failed.
-Takeru tells HASHIBA that his letter is proof of a little known fact about NOBUNAGA, that he actually cared for and took care of the people under him, he was more than just a warlord. SAKUMA yells at Takeru that he will pay for interfering and the magician Ganma, who appears to be separate from SAKUMA appears and attacks Takeru.
-While Takeru fights the Ganma and overcomes its duplicates with duplicates of his own thanks to the Robin Hood powers, HASHIBA with KURODA at his side realizes that NOBUNAGA, who he idolized had a human side too and the framed letter glows with a golden light.
-Clarification, the Ganma appears to have been fused with Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventure In Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Saw There
-With the Ganma defeated, the city starts to fall and Takeru doesn’t know what to do. He wants to stop it, but doesn’t know how to. Yurusen suggests he go get the Nobunaga Eyecon, but Takeru begs Yurusen who gives him the Newton Eyecon which he uses to save the city.
-Sweater the Kid stands on a roof top looking at the falling city and makes an eye symbol in the air out of which come many black Eyecons which he sends flying out from him.
-Yurusen struggle to get Takeru to grasp that Newton’s powers allow him to manipulate ATTRACTION and that his LEFT HAND will ATTRACT while his right hand will REPEL. Takeru let’s himself get crushed by the city which he brings back into place with a gentle touch.
-Yurusen chides Takeru to stop celebrating and go get the NOBUNAGA GHOST. He hurries to the roof where KURODA is on the floor and SAKUMA is strangling HASHIBA. Takeru draws the Eye and summons the NOBUNAGA Eyecon. SAKUMA reveals that they were a base level Ganma the whole time… or that SAKUMA had been possessed by the Ganma. It’s hard to tell but SAKUMA had been possessed.
-Takeru goes to take NOBUNAGA and a blue ghosty rider comes along and kicks him then asks NOBUNAGA to join him and it does. Sweater the Kid identifies the Eyecon snatcher as Spectre and Takeru is left to wonder what happened.
-Onari, Akari and takeru part ways with HASHIBA, KURODA and the no longer possessed SAKUMA. Akari and Onari wonder at the fact that Ganma can possess people and the fact that SAKUMA remembers nothing during her possession and why the Ganma would use her and not go directly after HASHIBA, but Takeru is not interested in the conversation.
-Sweater the kid watches from afar and says that it was “worth the small sacrifice.”
-Takeru confronts Sage about the other Rider and the fact that there are already other Eyecons. Sage says he forgot to mention the other Rider and the fact that they have the Newton Eyecon. When Takeru asks for more, Sage says one has to find them to use them. Takeru is very frustrated and settles on asking about why the Ganma didn’t go directly after HASHIBA and Sage answers that the Ganma have to manipulate people with sincere feelings about a ghost in order to get an Eyecon. Possessing HASHIBA wouldn’t have worked.
NEXT| Kamen Rider Ghost 05 Impact! The Mystery Kamen Rider!
Our awesome intro/outro song is She-Wolf from the album, Where’s Satan? by Valery and the Greedies.