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 16 Perfection! The White Rider!
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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!
Ammit’s View Ghost 16
DON’T BE A FASCIST!
Sono’s View Ghost 16
Overall, this is setting up for the overall conflict of our second act, but also sets up a hefty theme of “There’s two sides to every conflict.” that Robin Hood punctuates nicely with the fact that those two sides can’t always meet in the middle. Makoto has already given up on compromise, because he knows the other side enough to think that they won’t bend, but Takeru wants to at least hear what Aran has to say and understand it without even the thought that it can’t be resolved by talking it out. God this kid… He warms my heart.
Sarranecinan’s View Ghost 16
Aleph’s View Ghost 16
Right, so this whole episode is introducing “ideology” fairly explicitly (at least in the OT subs, I don’t know what the word sounds like in Japanese) and I friggin’ love it, especially since it feels like a really pleasant commentary on Fourze, where all these anti-social people were persuaded over to a more pro-social perspective without having to change who they were. Here, we see what happens when people are just massive d-bags who don’t value other people and how, well, you can’t make ‘em, can you? They want to deny people their humanity and devour them. That’s not how they get what they want, that’s what they want and that’s a lot harder to deal with than people just being selfish.
I mean, seriously, I’m kind of hoping this whole arc is a call-and-response to Fourze in this way, actually. It’d take a lot for Fourze to not be my fave but if someone wants to offer nuance to its PoV, I’m down.
The unKamenCrew’s Top 3 (Maximum) Woments from Ghost 16
- The subtle hint at a new Ganma higher up, the one in the silver jacket and hood
- Necrom’s MUSIC!
- Akari getting a Ganma artifact to examine
- Aran giving Ghost’s finisher the slip by turning his body into ECTOPLASM!!!!
- “Yes Sir”
- Necrom’s henshin everything: the voice, the words, the catchphrase (Crush the Invader)
- Aran’s costume change. Look, Aran’s got some solid as heck character design going. He’s got this looser, kind of bohemian sweater guy look going for when he’s just kind of messing around having fun with his world domination and messing with his friend-pet. It gave him a mark of individuality against Javert and his brother, who are in very slick, stiff military garb. When Aran finally disregards the idea of individuality (possibly because the one thing that didn’t conform to the Ganma Hivemind betrays him) he throws his own individuality out as well. The costume dept. on Ghost is on point.
- Kanon getting to be part of character and story development this episode was nice. I mean it’s mostly stuff for Makoto, but none the less. We also kind of started to explore “Hey you were an eyecon once. What was up with that?” We have Kanon mentioning in the very beginning of the episode that she couldn’t feel anything while she was an Eyecon, and Akari asks her what being like that was like. I hope we keep exploring this. (We’re also leaning into the friendship between Akari and Kanon in ways that I wish were a little more pronounced, but that I still really like.)
- Takeru wanting to TALK TO THE BIG BADS about what they want. Aran was his best friend’s best friend so he can’t be all bad right? We can work it out right? I love this kid. I really do. Give the Roimudes to this guy because he’s what we needed last season.
- Aran calling humans out on their BS. Look, I’m in Takeru’s boat here that every life has value. But man humans sure as hell don’t act like it sometimes. A lot of the time. Humans go out of their way to hurt each other. I’m glad Aran has something backing his ideals instead of just “HUMANS BAD GANMA GOOD”. I’m not taking his side by any means because hooooly heck, but it’s a way more interesting conflict if he has a reason to believe he’s right instead of stubbornly screaming into the void.
- I’m not usually big on suit-heavy episodes, but dang if they didn’t keep the narrative moving while they fought. Good on ‘em.
- I really like Yurusen kind of slowing down a bit. I know Sage kind of uses high-energy to mask how much he knows about what’s going on in front of others, but Yurusen just does as Yurusen does and I think after Sage snaps at them, even they become very aware of how serious it’s becoming and kind of try to relay that to Takeru.
- Akari willing to take risks for SCIENCE. She wants answers. Even though staying for even a second longer could mean she gets hurt by a ganma, she turns back to grab the piece of the Ganma Eyecon because finding answers could help her friends. I also like that Onari noticed and went back for her. They two of them also just have more great banter over the course of parts of the episode. I really love these two.
- The MUSIC in the first Necrom fight is AMAZING. I cannot get over it. I mean I love synths in general, but that really deep fuzzy processed synth really feeds into how mechanical and processed and full of hate Necrom is and god I love it.
- I just love that the Necrom suit, in-world, is basically how an evil system functions: it throws people out to be sacrificed for The Great Power and when it starts to run low on it, it starts effing eating them. When the person behind the big power is killed, someone else rises up to be that same massive toolbox and it’s ultimately powered by, well, fairy tales because the surest way to perpetuate and evil system is to give it a mythology. Even its henshin call, “Ultimate Clarity”, evokes the purity of purpose and simplistic rhetoric such systems HAVE to have because it’s only through that grip on the consciousness that such things can persist. I love it so much.
- Also loving how much of this is clearly Aran being mad that he’s lost what he thought was his BFF.
- Much as I praised the fact that the show is VERY clear that there are people with whom there is no negotiation, I am super-happy not only that we have a Rider whose first instinct IS to try, but that we also get, in the Robin Hood denoument, the perspective that ultimately if people have conflicting goals, there’s no middle ground to be found. I mean, what middle-ground can be found between “don’t kill and/or enslave us” and “we’re going to kill and/or enslave you”?
- Despite the teasing, the episode does a pretty good job of again, dropping a good amount of plot hints and new character revelations very smoothly and effectively. The talk between Makoto and Aran that establishes the autocratic nature of Aran as well as the logistics of the Ganma World and a reveal on Makoto’s condition is done so casually it’s great. Even Alan’s personality clues in how horrible of an enviroment Gnma World must be.
- Necrom is a cool villain Rider. Love how everything he does all evokes this sense of authoritarian evil, his powers being controlling Ganma but also consuming them to fuel himself, or using them as decoys. All of his jingles for his special moves are something along the lines of “DESTROY”, “CRUSH THE ENEMY”. Even the suit shows obedience to its wearer.
- Also wow unusually cool and interesting shots in this episode? Like there’s some actual attempts at cinematography here. Like the shot of Takeru’s bike henshin, the controntational scenes between Makoto and Aran, Aran’s one quiet moment staring at the sky, most of every shots involving Necrom (interesting how every shot of him tends to be low-angles, the traditional way to showcase a character’s dominance), and that final shot with Aran.
- The scene with Robin Hood Eyecon made me go “wow did this become Concrete Revolutio?”
Rundown of the events of Kamen Rider Ghost 16 Perfection! The White Rider!
Information from TV-N’s Wiki on Ghost 16
Writer: Fukuda Takurou
Director: Yamaguchi Kyouhei
Action Director: Miyazaki Takeshi
New Heroic Eyecon Summoned: Grimm
Miscellaneous: Prince Aran took Necrom without permission and his brother knows about it by way of an unknown-to-us informant, but he isn’t angry. He is interested to see how his brother will do now that he is getting serious.
-80 days left
-A Ganma clad in a silver coat and hood reports to Brother Emperor that Prince Aran has donned military dress. The monarch observes that the prince has decided to take things more seriously.
-Kanon and Makoto talk about how he has to settle things now that she is feeling well.
-Takeru, Akari and Onari determine that they must ask Makoto about the Ganma World and what is going on with the Ganma because he lived there for 10 years and apparently the Ganma don’t really die, given that Katana and Javert came back.
-Makoto and Kanon visit Daitenkuu temple. Kanon stays with Akari while Makoto and Takeru go to Ryu’s grave. Makoto tells Ryu that he will follow in his footsteps like Takeru is after he settles some matters.
-Makoto tells Takeru he is returning to the Ganma World and he’d like Kanon to stay with Takeru. Takeru says he wants to go to the Ganma World to, but also that if anything happened to Makoto, Kanon would be devastated.
-Takeru asks Makoto to tell him about the Ganma World but they are interrupted by Onari’s shouting about a Ganma incident. Someone uploaded a video of Ganma Eyecons floating around at a factory. Shibuya and Narita contacted the uploader and they stay at Daitenkuu with Kanon while the other 4 go to the factory to investigate.
-Akari uses Spider-Lantern to reveal a few dozen GanMooks who Takeru and Makoto assault with gusto. They feel overwhelmed with the mass of GanMooks, but a hooded figure drops from a Ganma Eye in the sky knocking down a group of GanMooks and their attention turns to the new combatant. Sage feels the presence descending into the world and looks concerned.
-The Hooded Figure pulls back its hood and raises a hand. The GanMooks react to it and seem to be under its control; they attack more fiercely. Takeru uses Robin hood to destroy a group of GanMooks sent to attack Akari and Onari and she is able to retrieve a piece of a Ganma Eyecon before they run from the fray.
-The Ganma Rider engages Makoto and reveals himself to be Aran. Aran wants to Makoto to remember his place and stop listening to Takeru and return to his alignment with the Ganma. Makoto says he has chosen to live as a human and wants his body back. Takeru has no idea what is going on, but tells Aran that every human life is precious. Aran retorts that if humans value life so much how can they constantly prey upon each other. Aran says that humanity will be much better served with the Ganma, him specifically ruling over them and shaping the world in their image.
-The Emperor and his silver-clad subject watch Aran. The Emperor decides to see what his brother can do with the purloined Necrom Eyecon.
-The Riders regroup after Aran gives them some trouble with Necrom, but they can’t connect any attacks as he uses GanMooks as shields and even turns his body into green goop to avoid a Boost HOBIN HOOD Omega Drive.
-Aran forces the BROTHERS GRIMM Heroic Eyecon to serve him. His crazy eye drop, overhead projector wrist changer even says “Yes Sir” as he forces the GRIMM HOODY Ghost to lend him power.
-Makoto uses HOUDINI so he and Takeru can escape after Necrom trounces them and asks them if they will give him their Heroic Eyecons.
-Takeru aks a few questions to Makoto who remains silent in thought as he wonders about Aran. Makoto is especially worried about how it is that Aran can uses the Heroic Eyecons. He gets up and leaves while Takeru is still asking him about Aran.
-Kanon comes in to the room and asks Takeru if he met Prince Aran. She tells him that Aran and Makoto were best friends and that the Prince took care of them on the other side.
-Akari, Shibuya and Narita come to tell Takeru that they are examining the Ganma Eyecon fragment she recovered in an attempt to better understand the Ganma. Akari asks Kanon what it was like, but she says she can’t really remember, she just remembers suddenly being in the Eyecon.
-Onari follows Makoto who meets with Prince Aran by the water where they have a very flawed philosophical argument that quikly devolves into Aran saying he knows the Ganma way is correct and he will just have to force Makoto to see that or at least to return to the Ganma World.
-Back at Daitenkuu, Akari and her assistants try to science up the Ganma Eyecon fragment, but she can’t figure out what it is.
-Back at Daitenkuu, Robin Hood’s Eyecon reacts to Takeru figuring that if Makoto and Aran are really friends they should be able to talk out their issues.
-In the midst of their fight, Necrom’s green highlights turn black and he summons GanMooks to absorb them and refuel himself. He aims to deal a severe blow to Makoto, but Takeru intervenes on his bike and pleads with the two to work out a diplomatic solution to the problem.
-Aran says no and tries to take Takeru out, but Makoto jumps in the way and gets hit hard. Takeru uses Boost and tells Aran he won’t let anyone else get hurt. Boost Ghost uses an Omega Drive, but Necrom avoids it by jumping to the body of a GanMook like an Agent in The Matrix.
-Aran tells Takeru that a physical body is unimportant and sets to “Destroy” Specter and send him to the other side, but Takeru uses Boost Ryoma to break the attack. Necrom’s energy is spent and his transformation reverts. Aran leaves Takeru And Makoto laying on the ground injured.
-Back at Daitenkuu, Kanon watches over her injured brother. Akari, Onari, Narita and Shibuya continue to work on the Ganma Eyecon and Takeru calls for Sage. The uncanny Yurusen tells Takeru that they don’t know anything about the Ganma World because there are things that are better left unknown.
-ROBIN HOOD takes Takeru into the Heroic Eyecon and communes with him, telling Takeru that his desire for meditation pleases the legendary archer. ROBIN HOOD warns Takeru that there are different standards of Justice and that he should not push his ideals on others.
-Takeru and Aran each look out over the world from their respective vantages in the twilight. Takeru looks out over the country side where Daitenkuu temple is situated and Aran looks upon the structures of the city.
NEXT| Kamen Rider Ghost 17 Dazzling! The Ethereal Queen!
Our awesome intro/outro music is by our very own Sono! Her rocking just won’t stop.