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:
Ghost 09- Towering! The Man of Devotion!
Ghost 10- 15 Eyecons, Assembled!
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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 09-10’s Macro Message According to Ammit:
Sometimes we need someone or something external to help us see the world as it truly is, or as it can be. The great looming sorrow is escapable, but you can’t always expect to abate it by yourself and should seek others to help you through the times when you feel you can’t go on and it helps to be vulnerable to others and be willing to put yourself out for them.
Be selfless (you bastards) and help other people even if it hurts you a little, it’s good for the soul.
Ghost 09-10’s Macro Message According to Sono:
We’re now playing with the idea of “What is the truth?”, and that the real truth isn’t always easy to determine or find. Saionji believes absolutely in what he thinks is true about Ryuu, but that doesn’t line up with Igarashi’s truth. Takeru knows one truth, Makoto knows another. Right now, we as the audience don’t know which is the real truth. Of course we want to believe the one our hero knows, but it’s not the first one we were introduced to. There’s a lot that’s still a mystery and right now we can’t decide truth and lies for ourselves. Just as we’re about to learn the details of Igarashi’s truth, he’s taken out (though seem sot still be alive by the end of the episode).
If we learnin the next few episodes, we can start comparing stories and piecing things together, but even then there may still be a lot of details to find — Especially since Sage seems to have his own truth. Obviously Sage knows things and has something of his own agenda, but the way he looked at the monolith at the end of 09 made whatever he’s concerned about seem so dire.
I’m not sure if I can call this the message for the whole episode, but 10 has a heavy theme of the value of life, and who it has value to. The interaction between Akari and Takeru, and then the interactions with them and Makoto brought me back a good 15 years to Magic Knight Rayearth, and I’m going to need you all to indulge me for a minute because this is a moment that stuck close to me as a kid that I’ve never seen repeated.
There’s more value to a human life than just how they feel about themselves. Of course your feelings about yourself are important, but it’s also important to remember how much others care for you and that you have just as much value as everyone else.
Ghost 09-10’s Macro Message According to Aleph:
For my part, 9 and 10 ran together and it was luvverly seeing these big adventures which… yeah, I think absolutely had this big thing about the need to have people to help you check yourself lest your assumptions and flawed understandings about the way things are cause you to wreck yourself. Makoto’s single-minded pursuit of grimdark vengeance even against the wishes of the person he’s defending, Takeru realizing that there are other people in need of the magic or whatever when you’ve got the 15 eyecons, culminating in everyone not realizing that one of their own had been possessed. It’s glorious because we, as an audience, can see that the protagonists are all on the same side and don’t need to be fighting, creating one more level of “what is truth”. Bonus points for Akari being the only one looking for truth even as the whole world gets more and more complex and obscure for everyone else. But even she’s only scratching the surface, and the rest of the show hints at all these other connections that have just got me so freakin’ hype, y’all don’t even know.
Ghost 09-10’s Macro Message According to Cannibal Sarracenian:
Loyalty is a huge recurring motif in this episode. The obvious is of course the Benkei Eyecon and Javert’s loyalty to whoever the Spirit World royalty are, but also of Prof. Igarashi’s loyalty to his friend and their ideals as well as Takeru’s loyalty to his friendship Makoto and Kanon, and Makoto’s own loyalty to Kanon. And on the flipside, we have Saionji, who is loyal to nobody.
The Ganma himself, very obviously based on Guan Yu, who is famous for loyalty and his sense of honour! Let’s not forget Javert’s namesake’s own fierce loyalty to law and code
Nothing more to add.
The unKamenCrew’s Top 3 (Maximum) Woments from Ghost 09-10
- Guys, are the dead coming to conquer and colonize the world of the living? That is the most amazing idea ever. Just stop and think about it. It’s amazing.
- Also, I really noticed in these episodes how much I really dig on the bit of the transformation where they slump over a little and then spring back to life.
- And of course, I still love that they’re actually directing with this show. I adore it so much.
- The show continues to be SO FREAKING DENSE. I just keep finding myself reminded that this is episode 10 we’re up to now. 10. I don’t think I’ve seen a Heisei series that goes this HARD toward whatever it is they’re doing. I’m not gonna say “better” yet as that density is not inherently good and there’s something like 40 eps for them to ruin everything, but just… dang.
- The whole Spectre/Kanon scene was amazing. A Rider attacking more-or-less defenseless people and then his ghost sister manifests to divert him? So good. Good enough that the lizard part of my brain was actually worried for Akari and Takeru even though, look, at least Takeru’s GOING to make it through.
- Kanon telling Makoto she thinks he has changed and doesn’t want to see him continue down this path which makes her uncomfortable
- Learning that Aran is apparently a prince, an honest to goodness prince!
- Akari nerding out in the AZUMA lab
- ONARI’s actor does his best to go from utterly crushed that Takeru is giving up his life to composed and pedagogic when trying to dissuade him and I really dug his performance
- AKARI telling Takeru NO and pushing him to not just give up his life, for how it showed her feelings for her friend and how the back and forth between them leads them to seek out Makoto and find another way, also it makes it clear that Takeru isn’t giving up on getting his life back, but he’ll just help Kanon first.
- Possessed-Shibuya in general, but for sure stealing the Heroic Eyecons
- Those Christmas cards are adorable and I want 800 of both of them. Slight bone to pick is how the heck do Onari and the kids know what Yurusen looks like? Also secret identities are a laughable concept in Kamen Rider wow. But I mean this is probably something kids can get in magazines or at a department store or something? That’s kind of what it seems like, but it didn’t feel intrusive and it was SUPER CUTE.
- Onari helping Akari calm down and breathe as she talks to the physicist about Igarashi. I can’t get over the chemistry these two have together.
- The belts-eye-view as Spectre charged his finisher. Holy crap that’s such a FRESH shot and it absolutely floored me. A+ use of motif and camerawork.
- Shibuya and Narita getting to matter! They played a big role in this episode! They were used to bring that whole eyecon possession thing back into the game! Nice! We got some real character put into these two.
- Akari bringing around that idea of your life meaning something to the people who care about you. I’m still hung up on that because man it’s important to me. She wasn’t hesitant about it either. She didn’t try to softly persuade Takeru. She laid it out and made her position very clear. She doesn’t want to lose her best friend.
- And on that note, Akari calling Takeru OUT on it when he says the same thing to her. I mean it was awesome enough when she stepped into the fight, but when Takeru yells at her for it she shuts him down IMMEDIATELY. No feeling bad about it. No hesitating. Akari knows how little time Takeru has and she’s SCARED and she’s not having any of his nonsense today.
- I like Javert. He’s just badass. A no-nonsense, uniformed bad guy that we haven’t really seen in a long while. He’s monster form is really nice too with the Rider’s mouthplate/crusher instead of the bug-eyes. I also get giddy by the notion of Rider’s enemy being the most classical jackbooted thug.
- Guan Yu Ganma makes me happy. My Chineseness approves.
- More answers that also serves as questions and questions that serves as answers. Oooh so much to know yet still keeping my attention.
- Yo yo Akari getting involved in the Makoto&Takeru conflict while Kanon does as well. Its nice, I hope we see more of this.
- ‘eyyy holy damn that ending in episode 10 oh man. When was the last time something this big happened this early in the show?
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 Ghost 09 Towering! The Man of Devotion!
Spook Report Ghost 10 15 Eyecons, Assembled!
Writer: Mouri Nobuhiro
Diector: Yamaguchi Kyouhei
Ganma: Seiryuto + Black Eyecon
New Heroic Eyecon Summoned: Benkei
Miscellaneous: Shibuya gets possessed, but he gets better. Onari more or less completely fill Shibuya and Narita in on the fact that Takeru is dead and they are trying to help him gather Eyecons so he can get his life back. Aran is a prince and his brother and or father sends him Javel/Javert to assist Aran as well as spy on him at the order of Aran’s Imperial brother. Akari gets knocked out in the lab before Saionji seals it off and makes his way to the Monolith with 2, not 1, but 2 briefcases.
Bellow is a fairly thorough rundown of the episode
-26 Days Left!
– Kanon tells Makoto she thinks he has changed and doesn’t want to see him continue down this path which makes her uncomfortable. He assures her that he hasn’t changed and she hesitantly accepts it.
-Takeru sees his father Ryu Tenkuuji standing mute in front of the Monolith and questions him about the sorrow that befell Makoto and Kanon. Ryu disappears and Takeru awakens from another dream about his father where he can’t quite reach him.
-A man with a very Earl-Meiji Restoration look about him appears from an Eyecon that passed through an Eye Portal. This GanMan, exposits that he is finally able to reach the place they have been seeking. Aran is there on the roof with him and asks JAVEL what he is doing there.
-JAVEL tells Aran that HIS GRAND MPERIAL MAJESTY is dissatisfied with the pace of the operation and that JAVEL is there to expedite things. Aran is shocked that HIS FATHER would say that. Aran tells JAVEL to tell FATHER that he has things handled, but JAVEL says he has been assigned to assist Aran, who scoffs at having a babysitter.
-Aran turns to leave and shakes off JAVEL by explaining that he needs to convince someone to take things more seriously.
-Takeru finds Sage in the lab and asks if Sage knew about Makoto being Spectre and if it has to do with his father’s work. Sage gives him a hint about the next Eyecon being MUSASHIBO BENKEI. Takeru calls out Sage for changing the subject, which the Wise One denies. Sage then pints at something and when Takeru looks away he vanishes.
-Takeru gets yelled out by the supposed souvenir Sage gave him as he is headed upstairs but can’t find out more about it as Shibuya and Narita excitedly share the promotional Christmas Cards they had made of Kamen Rider Ghost and Akari.
-Everyone chatters over the cards and the deliveryman startles Onari after letting himself in and following the noise. He has an envelope with no return address sent to him. In the lab Onari, Takeru and Akari investigate its contents. Akari recognizes a photograph of physics expert DR. IGARASHI who disappeared TEN YEARS AGO. Onari says that the lab where DR. IGARASHI formerly worked has been experiencing paranormal activity.
-Takeru recognizes DR. IGARASHI and looks through his dad’s desk and finds a picture of the missing physicist with Ryu Tenkuuji and Saionji.
-Akari and Onari get a look at the picture and identify the third man in the picture, Saionji, as the man who one who created the Billy the Kid Eyecon and said he’d take Takeru’s Eyecons. Takeru turns over the picture and reads Saionji’s name from the back of it.
-The Picture was taken September 2, 2005 and has the three men’s names written on it
-Akari wonders if the unmarked envelope leading them to these discoveries might be part of a trap, but Takeru says he will proceed anyway to figure out what happened.
-Saionji stands on a roof top expositing that though Ryu Tenkuuji was a great leader, he still hated him and recalls Ryu asking him and DR. IGARASHI to help him with his research so they could leave a brighter future to kids like Makoto and Takeru, embodiments of Humanity’s potential.
-Saionji directs the NAGINATA? Ganma to ensure that Takeu follows a certain trail…
-Onari, Akari and Takeru visit the AZUMA Physics Laboratory and are show to DR. IGARASHI former lab space where a young researcher has reported objects floating.
-Their guide tells them that DR. IGARASHI was a bit antisocial and eccentric and that shortly before his disappearance, he was obsessed with some research. Additionally, though he didn’t socialize much he would take personal calls from Ryu Tenkuuji.
-Takeru pauses as they are leaving the AZUMA lab, unsure about what truths he may discover. Akari assures him that once the find DR. IGARASHI they can ask about his and Makoto’s disappearance TEN YEARS AGO. They go to another research site DR. IGARASHI used and discover a notebook full of formulas which Takeru asks Akari to look through.
-Takeru notices a fan which was given to Benkei from his master with a poem written by Yoshitsune. Takeru tells Onari and Akari a bit about the relationship between the two and she remarks that they must be close to getting the Benkei Eyecon given the fan he once owned is in their possession.
-Takeru notices that they were being watched by DR. IGARASHI who flees when he is seen. Takeru uses his name to stop DR. IGARASHI in the woods and ask him some about the accident with Makoto and Kanon. DR. IGARASHI mutters that the future is lost and that he will never trust anyone again and that “nothing can stop it.”
-The Ganma attacks and DR. IGARASHI flees. The fight is a draw after Yurusen tells Takeru to THINK and the Ganma uses an unexpected technique to escape.
-Aran goes to Makoto and asks him to help him out by speeding things along. Makoto isn’t interested and Javel attacks him for showing such disrespect to Prince Aran! Aran says that Makoto has changed and leaves, irritated.
-Back at Daitenkuu, Akari shows Onari and Takeru the final message in DR. IGARASHI’s notebook.
“Forgive me. I was unable to die in your place, and I was unable to bring the traitor to justice. nor was I capable of following in your footsteps. With your death, it is all over.”
Takeru is desperate to speak with him after reading the final message and heads off despite Onari and Akari’s concern that DR. IGARASHI isn’t in the proper state to share
-Back at DR. IGARASHI’s abandoned factory laboratory Takeru sets down Benkei’s fan and calmly asks DR. IGARASHI who is crouched in fearful resignation to explain what happened so that he can help his friend Makoto.
-Takeru assures DR. IGARASHI that he will not give up and his life will burn brightly to the very end, which reminds IGARASHI of a moment between him and Ryu, his trusted friend who died. IGARASHI was downcast because he feared that some inevitable overwhelming force was coming, but Ryu Tenkuuji encouraged him to believe in Mankind’s potential.
-Moved by the echo of the past, IGARASHI tells Takeru he will believe in him and tell him everything he knows. Takeru asks about the experiment but is interrupted by the Ganma’s attack. Takeru pulls out his SELF SOUL Eyecon to henshin, but the Ganma knocks it from his hand.
-The Ganma strikes at Takeru again, but IGARASHI takes the blow and tells Takeru to follow Ryu’s footsteps by following the path he believes in. IGARASHI glows with a golden light as he lays on the ground. Benkei’s fan glows too and the Ganma rejoices.
-Angered by the Ganma’s disregard for human life, Takeru henshins and uses the BENKEI Eyecon to fight the Ganma at Yurusen’s insistence. The fight leads them onto the Gojo Bridge and the Ganma backs off to let Spectre fight its battle as Makoto interjected himself saying he would have all of Takeru’s eyecons.
-Takeru confronts Makoto and tells him that he doesn’t know what happened to him, but that he is resolved to help Makoto who was once so kind. Makoto tells Takeru that he can’t stand to hear him say things Kanon has said and he uses TUTANKHAMEN’s OMEGA FANG which is defeated by BENKEI’s OMEGA BOMBER!
-Spectre’s transformation is broken and Kanon calls out to him. Akari asks where the voice came from and Yurusen creeps on the possibility of Kanon being a cute girl, ya know when she is corporeal or at least semi-corporeal. Takeru staggers towards Kanon’s Eyecon, but Makoto dives for it and says not to touch it.
-Makoto holds Kanon’s Eyecon and tells Takeru he is gathering the 15 Eyecons so he can bring Kanon back to life. Makoto leaves them on the bridge.
-Aran and Javel are on a rooftop where Javel admires a giant Eye Symbol hovering over a place, like the Eye Symbol that was created over the school from a while back. Prince Aran turn and briskly walks saying they must go to the next site and that the door to the other side will soon be open.
-Sainoji hang out at the top of a flight of stair and tells the Ganma that the Final Eyecon has been created and all is going according to his plan.
-Sage stands before the Monolith in the lab and stares at the eye etched into it.
-End of 09
-26 Days Left! MAYBE 25 by now
-Akari and Onari take the news that Takeru has made up his mind to give his Eyecons to Makoto so he can bring back Kanon less easily than he may have liked
-Akari and Onari try to talk him out of it. It doesn’t work so Akari drags Takeru away to go find Makoto and Onari calls Shibuya and Narita into a meditation session which ends with them resolving to help Takeru find 15 Eyecons so he can come back to life.
-Saionji exposits that now that the 15 Eyecons have emerged all he has to do is gather them. Saionji orders the Seiryuto Ganma to go deal with Fukami Makoto by exploiting his weakness and he decides to deal with Takeru himself.
-Takeru tries to slowdown Akari and is shocked when he realizes she doesn’t have a plan. Yurusen points out to Takeru that Makoto is walking towards him in a huff so he and Akari should cease bickering.
-Takeru is flummoxed by Makoto’s intent to fight him but Akari steps in front of the single-minded Makoto and defuses the situation. Akari asks Makoto if he recognizes her and explains that Takeru doesn’t have much time left. Makoto asks what about Kanon then and questions if Akari cares about her. Akari struggles to answer and Kanon even interjects herself, but Makoto says, enough talk and henshins.
-Makoto declares that he fights for Kanon’s sake and asks Takeru what he fights for. Takeru stammers for one second and Spectre attacks. Takeru transforms and we see: TUTANKHAMEN v MUSASHI and NOBUNAGA v BILLY THE KID which ends in a draw and puts the two just outside of arm’s length of each other.
-Takeru lowers his weapon, dehenshins and tells Makoto that he wants to help him find the other Eyecons so that they can bring Kanon back to life. Makoto questions Takeru’s commitment to his cause and tries to shoot him in the untransformed face.
-Takeru says he cannot make the decision as to whose life is more valuable: his or Kanon’s and that is why he refuses to fight Makoto for all the Eyecons to save only himself. Takeru tells Makoto that when he sees someone’s life being torn away from them that he just can’t ignore it and that he wants to bring back Kanon’s life.
-Makoto remembers Ryu Tenkuuji telling him as a child that he must open his mind’s eye and become a hero. Makoto asks him if he wants to be a hero and Ryu says that he wants to ensure the future will be safe for others.
-Takeru breaks Makoto from his reverie by taking a step towards him, but Makoto doesn’t allow it, he goes for an Omega Drive on untransformed Takeru, but Akari steps in front of Takeru and then Takeru steps in front of Akari, but Spectre keeps going, until Kanon appears in a spectral form and yells at him to stop being an ass.
-Javel has been watching and he observes the aftermath. Spectre is gone and Takeru and Akari share their concern for each other. She tells him she cares about saving him like he cares about saving Kanon.
-Makoto sternly asks Kanon why she got in his way and she answers that she doesn’t want to be brought back to life. She wants Makoto to be happy and doesn’t want them to fight. She tells Makoto he has changed, but before they can continue their conversation, the Seiryuto Ganma snatches Kanon and threatens to destroy her Eyecon unless Makoto hands over the other Eyecons.
-They make the exchange and Kanon is safe but the Ganma got away. Makoto says that it must have been Aran who sent the Ganma and declares that he will never trust anyone again. Kanon seems flustered.
-Javel reports to Prince Aran that Makoto is gathering the Eyecons for an “intensely personal reason” which is blatant treason for which he must be reported immediately. Aran tells Javel that he will deal with the issue and that Makoto is only acting this way because of Takeru. Javel says he will eliminate Takeru Tenkuuji and bows.
-Prince Aran leaves and Javel quietly asks forgiveness of Aran for not sharing the Eyecon’s secret with him, but says that he is following Aran’s brother’s orders.
-Onari Shibuya and Narita meet up and head off towards someone who has a lead on Saionji. Before Shibuya joins his companions Saionji possesses him with a black Eyecon and wishes the GanMook good luck as it goes off to capture Takeru’s Eyecons.
-Back at Daitenkuu Temple, the group shares that not much was gained in the day’s efforts, but Akari says she is going to work on the Monolith with the aid of Igarashi’s notes. Onari remarks on Akari’s slightly off behavior, but possessed-Shibuya changes the subject and gets Takeru to show them the Eyecons he has.
-Possessed-Shibuya zaps Narita and Onari unconscious and instructs Takeru to call an ambulance. Takeru goes to call and finds Shibuya and the Heroic Eyecons missing. Spider-Lantern jumps onto his shoulder and shows him the way to Shibuya.
-Onari and Narita go along with Takeru and Spider-Lantern shows them the Ganma as well as joining in with Bat-Clock and Condor-Phone to attack the Ganma so the group can close the distance. Narita and Onari restrain Shibuya while Takeru transforms and fights the Ganma.
-Onari leaves a struggling Narita for a hot second so he can toss the struggling Takeru the closest Heroic Eyecon. Takeru barely catches the off balance toss and uses BENKEI to and completely thrashes the Ganma who doubts how much the monk-ly powers will help him out.
-The Ganma’s Eyecon shatters and drops all the other Eyecons. The uncanny Yurusen reminds Takeru to go save his friend so Takeru leaves all the Eyecons behind and exorcises the black Eyecon from Shibuya.
-Onari returns Takeru’s Eyecons to him and Yurusen uncannily carries some in their cape. Takeru notices that they are Makoto’s as Makoto comes along and transforms to fight him. Javel interrupts by blasting at them and transforms himself with a Special Eyecon that looks neither quite like the black Eyecons or the Heroic Eyecons. The uncanny Yurusen warns Takeru that this guy is no ordinary Ganma.
-Makoto seems to know Javel and takes the first attack from him. They ask his name and why he wants the Eyecons, but Javel doesn’t wish to share because he plans on killing them shortly. He knocks them down with a critical hit that drops their Eyecons.
-Saionji comes along saying that while this isn’t what he had planned it will still work. He opens his case and the Eyecons fly into it completing the set of 15. Saionji pulls out some weird tech and hits a switch on it creating a giant reddish-globe around a mountain and possibly Daitenkuu.
-Javel, Makoto and Takeru are all untransformed and the Eye on the Monolith glows red for a moment. Akari notices something is wrong and calls out to Sage who isn’t there. Something comes from the Monolith and she hits knocked against the wall and falls unconscious.
-Saionji walks into the lab and stands in front of the Monolith and sets down two briefcases saying the time has finally come to begin the ritual.
NEXT| 11 Magnificent! The Divine Eye!
For more information on Billy the Kid, check out this episode of Stuff You Missed In History Class!
Our awesome intro/outro song is She-Wolf from the album, Where’s Satan? by Valery and the Greedies.