Join us as we take a critical eye to Kamen Rider Ghost. Will Takeru save himself and the Kamen Rider franchise in the 99 days he has left on this blue planet? Find out how we think he’s doing as we pass judgement on:
Kamen Rider Ghost 01 Eyes Open! It’s Me!
Hey there unKamenFans, we want all of you to have an opportunity to participate in the show. I put out something on Tumblr earlier in the week that I’ll paste below to makes sure everyone has access to the guidelines for audience participation. You can do as much or a s little as you’d like, but there are about four subjects we’ll be revisiting as the show goes on, so feel free to send in your thoughts on them every week.
Bones To Pick
Was anything wrong in Ghost’s debut?
Greatest Woments (Limit 3)
Because all the preliminary information spoke of “Great Men” and made it seem as if women were not going to be looked at as being awesome contributors to society capable of great things and deserving of honor for their accomplishments, I (Ammit) did not want to let that go unaddressed in the structure of our discussions about Ghost. My solution is to ask you to share no more than three of your own Greatest Moment Woments from each episode. I now it’s only a nod, but it’s a reminder every time we discuss Ghost that it isn’t acknowledging women’s accomplishments from the start.
What do you think makes a hero?
What kinds of people do you think should have Hero Souls in Kamen Rider Ghost? I know there are spoilers for a set of Eyecons exceeding 15, but who would you like to see in the list? Whether they actually appear or not isn’t important.
What message did you get from this episode?
What do you think Ghost’s theme is?
Here’s an extra chance to get on the show!
We’ll be taking even more input from the audience form here on out. Do you have questions for us? Do you have any comments for us regarding the end of Drive or the start of Ghost? You do? Then tell us! We’d love to hear form you and we’ll even keep you anonymous if you’d like us to on the show, just let us know.
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 segment of Ghost!
Ghost 01’s Macro Message According to Ammit:
The message in Eyes Open! It’s Me! seems to be multifaceted, but is mostly about having faith in oneself and possibly having confidence. There might even be something there about working for things and actually having to earn what you want in life. Proofs: Takeru chides himself for never having taken his training seriously; IIRC, Akari tells Takeru he is no Musashi; Yurusen tells straight out “life isn’t that easy” and he can still suffer a lot of pain even though he can’t die. I read Yurusen’s advice to go for it anyway because you’re dead and the belated mention that it’ll still hurt as almost a video game scenario or a subtext for the audience who gets to have this bubbled existence through Takeru, as if the show is saying: “Kids, you’ll be fine and most of you will make it through life, but it is going to HURT sometimes, though the things that get you won’t kill you.” Whether that’s because the world is MOSTLY cushier now than say in Musashi’s time or because the show is just being hopeful, I like the message.
Ghost 01’s Macro Message According to Aleph:
I think that’s definitely a thing I saw coming through, but mostly I really like this weird subtext of Takeru being torn between the material world (represented by Akari) and the spiritual one (represented by Onari and, well, a whole lot of other people) and there being this undercurrent that since they’re both real, it’s not about one of them winning, it’s about–like you were saying, Ammit–finding your own way when there is no resolution to them. The spirit is the world of the possible, the material the world of what is, and you? You gotta do whatever you can in the time allotted you.
Ghost 01’s Macro Message According to Sono:
I’m coming at it from pretty much the same angle. Times will get tough for everyone. How tough depends on certain things, but everyone no matter what will have hard times and impossible challenges (99 days to get enough power to restore his life) and you have to dig up the strength to pull through and I think that’s a big thing at the core of this show.
But there’s also this undercurrent of what a hero is, and what makes a hero. And a lot of what I got out of this Musashi bit involved the fact that he’s a “great hero” that Takeru admires a lot. Twice in the episode (one by Akari, and once by the second Ganma) Takeru is told he is not Musashi. No matter how much he wants to be, he cannot be Musashi. But that doesn’t mean Takeru can’t be a hero. While at first he’s discouraged by this, Takeru then takes Musashi’s power, representing something he’s learned from someone he admires, and applies it to his own life and situation. Comparing yourself to others will only make you feel down on yourself, while learning from them will make you stronger. I pulled that a lot from Takeru with Musashi, and with his father. I think that’s a really great and important message and I hope it’s something Ghost keeps carrying.
The unKamenCrew’s Top 3 Woments from Ghost 01 Eyes Open! It’s Me!
- The introduction of the “Book of Heroes”. Seriously, this episode is SO lean yet so very dense, I love it.
- Yurusen helping things along. “You don’t have time to be surprised, GET GOIN’”
- That shot with the monk on one side of Takeru and the physicist on the other really just driving home one of the key thematic elements using some visual storytelling.
- Ms. Akari pulling a torch and oxygen bottle from her bag was a really great gag.
- The “Kami-sama!?” and “No, nothing so grandiose” exchange was funny.
- Sage showing up at the end and crushing Takeru by telling him he has 99, nah, more like 98 days to earn his soul back.
- I’m really digging the “blood” effect they have going on in the fights? Feels very Ruroni Kenshin, but doesn’t feel overly graphic. Impact, without being overbearing.
- Akari declaring herself “Akari-san”. She’s got no time to play. I like it.
- I’ve heard the bike is sentient, and it’s a horse, and that drags me to Durarara!! and Celty and Shooter, which is a big dumb weakness of mine. I love things like ancient familiars inhabiting modern tech.
In keeping with Ms. Akari’s love of the empirical, the following contains observable information from the events of the day the Ganma attack Tokyo in search of Eyecons, Tenjuuri Takeru dies and gains the power of Kamen Rider Ghost, defeating two Ganma: Sai and Katana.
Spook Report 01
-Under a full moon a dark clad bespectacled man summons two black suited beings who come from black Eyecons that emanate from a parchment with a stylized eye painted on it after he drops a blue liquid from a vial on the parchment.
-The man throws items at each being which transforms them into an alternate form based on the items, one a sword, the other a sai.
-A man lying on the ground appears to be dying. He tears a necklace with an eye shaped pendant of o himself and hands it to his apparently frightened son, Takeru.
-Tenkuuji Takeru, now about 20 years old, is wearing the pendant as he mutters “father” as he sleeps on an open book in a workspace that contains a large stone piece standing a few meters tall which has engraved near its top the same stylized eye that was on the parchment the bespectacled man used to summon the black Eyecons.
-Tsukimura Akari runs up the stairs of the Daitenkuu temple looking or Takeru, but finds three monks: the bespectacled Shibuya, the non-bespectacled and possibly churlish Narita and the shaven and intense Onari.
-Ms. Akari runs through the secular spaces of the temple on the information from Narita, who likely lingers a few moments in his tease of her before joining Shibuya who is probably already once again focused on prayer or meditation.
-Onari chases after Ms. Akari while yelling about how the young master Takeru is still in the midst of his training and doesn’t need to be distracted by her. Onari is distracted by a news report on several strange phenomena occurring [somewhere local]
-Ms. Akari heads through a metal door and down stairs into the mostly empty room with the monolith and the workspace. She turns and nods when she sees Takeru asleep. Up the stairs, she yanks the book he was using as a pillow from under him awakening him.
-Takeru sleepily acknowledges her and after she chides him about calling her Ms. Akari, as the boy should respect his elders, even though they’ve known each other since they were much younger, she asks why he didn’t join her for her birthday party.
-Takeru holds up his book in defense and says that the heroes of old interest him not the dawn of nuclear power or any other modern scientific accomplishments. He talks about how he can now appreciate the book his father gave him when he was eight years old and how he swore on the hand guard from one of Mayamoto Musashi’s katanas which hangs from his neck that he would become strong and have his life burn as brightly as the heroes he admires.
-Ms. Akari puts down her torch and bottle of oxygen, she pulled from her purse to illustrate her difference of opinion on life being a state of being and therefore not compatible with burning brightly or at all and listens to Takeru excitedly tell her about Musashi’s accomplishments by age 18.
-Ms. Akari tries to comfort him, but slips in an assertion of the unscientific nature of his disappointment that he hasn’t seen a ghost in his life despite the fact that he aspire to be a ghost hunter. Onari interrupts bursting into the room shouting for the young master to hurry upstairs.
-Takeru answers an argument between Onari and Ms. Akari who both ardently believe they are right and the other is wrong about the cause of the cut in half car and other incidents in Tokyo by saying “I-I believe in what I can see for myself…” and leaving, apparently uncomfortable from the conflict.
-An elated Onari offers to join half-hearted Takeru in his raining, but before they can work it out the delivery man, Mr. Onodera comes into the scene. He’s panicked but is able to recognize Takeru and give him a package that was mailed to him on October 17 2004 [Is that right, crew?] from Tenjuuri Ryu. Onari says that Tenjuuri Ryu, former master of the shrine and expert ghost hunter was killed by a ghost.
-Something flashes through the package and tears it open. Takeru spies the white Eyecon inside and then sees the Katana and Sai specters who had been attacking the city.
-Ms. Akari and Onari are flummoxed by his sudden fear and thin-air focused gaze. Onari assumes Takeru must be seeing a ghost and is perplexed that he cannot see them with his years of spiritual training when Takeru says he is seeing ghosts.
-Onari wants to fight the ghost and Ms. Akari refuses to believe they are there. Takeru sees tehm both attacked for their prejudices and protects Akari from a serious blow which destroys a stone lamp thingy…. [OH NO, I don’t know Japanese architectural/Shrine terminology!]
-Takeru picks up Onari’s monk staff and tries to fight the ghosts, but they are too much for him. They knock him down and asks him to hand over the Eyecon. He guesses that whatever his dad sent him, must be the Eyecon and stands up declaring that he believes in himself and that if he can see these ghosts he can fight them.
-The Sword baddie kills Takeru while the panicked Onari and confused Mr. Akari watch him fight against unseen assailants and finally fall to the ground wounded.
-Takeru recalls watching his father die 10 years ago as his own life is ending. Ryu tells his son he must “obtain a hero’s heart” someday and “open his mind’s eye.” Takeru clutches the Musashi handguard his father gave him and bitterly laments that he can’t die because he promised his father he would become a hero and open his mind’s eye. Takeru’s eyes close and the hand guard drops from his grasp.
-Takeru wakes up at the bottom of a waterfall and moves out of the water onto the shore where he sees a vision of Ms. Akari and Onari over his dead body with the two menacing phantoms behind them. The vision fades and a voice calls out to Takeru asking him if he wants to live.
-An old man with long white hair and very flashy traditional Japanese robes who is definitely not Kami-sama. The old man tells Takeru he is everyone and no one, but Takeru just calls him gramps and and asks if he can bring him back to life or not. Sage gives Takeru his moniker and knocks the whelp over with his cane, calling him a fool.
-Takeru admits he was a fool for fighting the ghosts without ever having trained hard enough. He laments that he could see the ghost and that his friends needed him to save them but he still lost. The Eyecon his dad gave him shines and opens up, catching Sage’s attention. Sage tells Takeru he has been burdened with the fate of battling the Ganma.
-Sage exposits that Takeru is holding an Eyecon, which now stores his soul and that other Eyecons exist which hold the souls of heroes and if Takeru collects 15 Eyecons with heroic souls, he can do anything with that power. Takeru jumps up, excited at the chance he has to reclaim his life, but sage warns him that it isn’t that easy because of the many Ganma seeking the Eyecons as well.
-Takeru whines that he can’t fight the Ganma, because he already lost to them and they killed him. Sage tells him that if he becomes Kamen Rider Ghost, he will be able to fight them. Takeru double checks that if he becomes Ghost, he’ll be able to defeat the Ganma and when Sage assures him he consents to become Ghost. Sage shoots fire at his waist and the Ghost Driver becomes manifest.
-Takeru is surprised by the belt on him and asks what it is. Yurusen appears out of nowhere and says Takeru asks a lot of dumb questions. Sage identifies the little ghost figure as Yurusen and says that it will fill Takeru in on the details of using the belt. Sage whaps Takeru with his cane again and Takeru falls into the water again and manifests in spectral form above his body by way of a bright light that hurts Onari’s and Ms. Akari’s eyes.
-When spectral Takeru is fully formed his body vanishes, shocking his friends who flee.
-The Ganma see Takeru and call out to him. He turns to face them and declares, “I won’t let myself have any more regrets! I’m going to save their lives!” and then doesn’t know how to use the belt. Yurusen appears and tells him how to henshin. An orange and black spectral hood with glowing eyes flies out of the eye on the belt and Takeru tries to avoid it until the undersuit appears on him, shocking him to stand still long enough for the hood to come upon him and complete the transformation.
-Yurusen tells him he’s already dead, so he shouldn’t worry about getting killed, so go get him! Yurusen chuckles as Takeru goes along with it and squares off against the Ganma. He answers their dismissal of him as a threat by saying this time he will really believe in himself. Takeru summons his sword from the belt’s eye and stumbles through the fight, even letting himself get so distracted by his levitation ability that the Katana Ganma lands a hit on him while Yurusen is warning him to stay focused.
-Takeru is surprised by how badly the blow hurt and complains to Yurusen that he isn’t supposed to be able to die anymore. Yurusen gleefully answers, “Well that doesn’t mean it won’t be extremely painful.” Takeru is miffed, but Yurusen continues “Things aren’t that easy in life, kid!”
-Takeru gets knocked around more by the Sai Ganma and Yurusen tells him to pull the trigger (handle) to do an Omega Drive, which turns out to be Ghost’s Rider Kick. The black entity and the a white spectral figure similar to the orange trimmed black hoodie Ghost is wearing separate and the black body spews ink until it explodes. The white hoodie explodes too, dropping the sai and the Eyecon, which ultimately disintegrates as well.
-Takeru is elated that he beat the Ganma and dehenshins. Katana Ganma calls Takeru out to face him and runs away to change the venue of the fight to a seaside eatery. Takeru henshins while on his motorcycle, which transforms as well into a black horse themed bike with a silvery horn to match his.
-Takeru hits Katana Ganma with the bike and sends it flying onto the sand where it summons a dozen or so black hooded Eyecon mooks. Katana Ganma tells Takeru that no matter how strong he is, his strength can be overwhelmed by numbers. Takeru responds that Musashi fought and defeated one hundred opponents at once. Katana Ganma tells him that he is no Musashi and slashes him.
-Takeru clutches the Musashi hand he picked up earlier and reasserts his promise to keep fighting to save his friends lives. The handguard glows red and Yurusen tells Takeru to makes a seal by drawing an eye with his fingers. After he does, the handguard transforms into a red hoodie with two swords on it.
-Katana Ganma tries to destroy it, but Sage blocks it by appearing in the sky between Musashi’s soul and the Ganma’s strike. Sage tells Takeru that Musashi will lend him his strength now that Takeru has synchronized with the sword’s man’s soul. Sage clarifies that Kamen Rider Ghost can fight with the unique abilities of many different hero souls. Takeru calls Musahsi and the hero soul enters his belt and out comes a red Eyecon.
-Takeru removes the Ghost Eyecon, returning to his undersuit form and inserts the Musashi Eyecon. The Musashi Hero Soul attacks a few foes and then comes on to Takeru. Takeru’s Ghost sword splits into two as he emulates Musashi’s own two sword fighting style to face off against 20 enemies.
-As he slashes the mooks, a black inky substance comes from them and they disappear into black whisps when defeated, until only Ghost and Katana Ganma are left on the shore. They face off and after a few exchanges Yurusen instructs Takeru to have the sword make eye contact with the belt which powers him up for a finisher, the Omega Slash which uses both swords to slash the Ganma.
-Seeing the Ganma separate into its two elements: the Eyecon, which projects the black body and the sword which merged with the black body to make the Ganma’s samurai coat and the fact that only the sword remains, Takeru collapses and lays back on the ground.
-The black clad man in spectacles and hat sneers at the sight and runs to a young man with an earring and scarf who seems irritated about the intrusion of Ghost in the goings on. Black Hat and Glasses leaves after giving a sinister smile.
-Back at Daitenkuu temple Onari is pacing asking where Takeru might be. Takeru tries to talk to Ms. Akari, but passes right through her. Yurusen appears and tells him they can only see him when he is in the right emotional states, so he should quit moping. Takeru yells at Yurusen and comes back into their perception.
-Onari and Ms. Akari pepper him with questions, relieved to see him and as he alludes to his death, he vanishes again, even becoming intangible to them. Yurusen chides him and pushes him over, causing him to return to the mortal plane. Takeru tries to explain again to his confused friends, but vanishes again.
-Takeru heads down to the lab as Onari and Ms. Akari continue to argue about the meaning of what they have both witnessed. There he looks at the book his father gave him and is welcomed to the lab by Sage who tells him he is finished moving in. Sage is wearing blue coveralls and a cap and living under the raised platform.
-Sage tells Takeru that he forgot to mention that Takeru has 99 days to gather 15 Hero Souls in order to reclaim his life, because he can’t stay a ghost forever. Takeru laments that he only has 99 days left to find 14 more Hero Souls, but Sage reminds him that since the day is almost over, he only really has 98 days left. Takeru looks up at him; he seems less than thrilled.
NEXT| Kamen Rider Ghost 02 Electric Attack! The Father of Invention!
Our awesome intro/outro song is She-Wolf from the album, Where’s Satan? by Valery and the Greedies.