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 23 Heart and Soul! The Big Eyecon!
Save As… to Download Episode Length 2:34:18
Before we start Sono is going to give credit where it is due:
Writer: Fukuda Takurou
Director: Morota Satoshi
Action Director: Miyazaki Takeshi
What are your thoughts on this episode and what if any messages came into focus for you?
This episode is absolutely amazing! The messages about reaching outside of ourselves and having faith in others are so strong and were played so well. In retrospect, I think Takeru killing Knight Ganma in the duel was definitely a step in the wrong direction and was stumble on the road to him completely falling on his face. It was beautiful. Our hero did wrong and the show let us and him know it. Not only did Takeru restore his faith in others to get back up and do what was right, but he had to own his mistakes and his weakness. I suppose there is another message in their to do that. Much like the 15 Heroic Eyecons, the message is a big one with many disparate parts baked into it.
This episode had sort of a two-pronged attack going with Takeru and Makoto. From Takeru’s end, there’s the lesson of not giving in to fear, and not letting fear breed hate. Takeru was always so firm on bridging the gap between the Ganma and the living, and he was doing it! He was succeeding! And then he saw just how bad some Ganma can be, just how awful the Ganma world is, and instead of doubling down on relating to the ones he can and trying to make their world better, he starts blaming ALL Ganma for things outside of the control of most of them. He blames Akari for not doing more about a thing she barely understands, and yells at Onari for trying to diffuse the situation. He just wants to be angry and blame others and sulk, and because of that his best friend is now dead and he has to live with that and own up to the fact that his mistakes allowed this to happen and become better for it.
In the global climate we have, I think that’s very important to teach. You can’t blame individuals with no control for the problems of a system. It’s the system itself that needs to be dismantled for the sake of everyone, including the people within the system who are victims of it (Cubi, Sword Mom, Alain, Coffin Dust Folk).
And to Makoto’s credit, he’s learning from his past mistakes and trying to believe in the ideals Takeru has presented. He wants to help unify people. He wants to help. And he’s starting with someone who understands the system and how broken it is, but also someone who was kind to him and whose kindness he wants to repay. And he’s willing to go as far and make the sacrifices he’s seen Takeru make for others. He wants to be the kind of hero he’s seen Takeru be, and I think in the wake of Takeru giving in to fear, I’m glad there was still Makoto pushing the message of protecting the people you care about and helping others.
Holy eff, but this show is just all about a pro-social, anti-fascism, anti-colonialist message, isn’t it? You get to be mad at a bad thing, but if you start just flailing around, and start to just give up and forget who you are and what you’re about, you turn either useless or monstrous and how, ultimately, it’s by channeling and trying to embody the best of humanity (here symbolized by the various virtues or ideas the Eyecons represent, like curiosity, determination, rebellion, self-knowledge, etc.) toward holding off the bad things that you get through.
Y’all, this is the halfway point and, again, this show goes harder in any 10-12 episode chunk than some series do in their whole length. It’s got me so hype and so flippin’ angry that next week is a crossover because I want to know what happens.
The unKamenCrew’s Top 3 (Maximum) Woments from Ghost 23
- Alain dissing convenience store food at first and then going to town on the takoyaki
- Makoto’s full bloom into really caring friend. Before now he had just softened with Takeru and had told Kanon that Alain was bad news, but now that Alain is changing Makoto is free to as well
- Makoto calling out Takeru on his crap
- Aria’s gonna destroy it all from the inside. This girl is on to everything and has zero patience. We already know she’s against Adel, so it’s clear she’s going to rip everything apart and I am thrilled.
- The way Takeru, Makoto, and Alain were handled this episode was great and all three actors really knocked it out of the park. Expressing fear through anger is a story device I’m really drawn to (ie: Shroud), and just how desperate and angry Takeru was to the point where he was questioning everything he’d ever believed in really drove home just how deeply he was affected by Ganma World. His refusal to fight alongside Alain, and his repeated cornering of Alain last episode and now kind of cement his need to blame someone, because it’s easier to handle fear and anger that way. And the fact that the eyecons all left him really cemented just how much his faith had wavered.
- Makoto’s treatment of Alain and Takeru this episode was also fantastic and I feel like we’re finally FINALLY getting Makoto totally out of his shell and seeing other sides of him that he’s been burying in order to keep focused on his goals. And you can see how much Takeru brought that out of him with how FURIOUS he is with Takeru’s hesitations and attacks on Alain and refusal to fight. Makoto just decking Takeru straight in the damn face for going against everything he believes in, and everything he’s caused Makoto to believe in, had so much impact, literal and narrative. And if Takeru wasn’t going to carry on that will, then Makoto was going to carry it enough for both of them. The way he fought for Alain and protected him, and went down protecting Alain and trying to give him the will to keep fighting was so touching and heartwarming. We saw so much of Makoto this episode and I’m so proud of this damn kid and how far he’s come.
- I get the impression that the creative team for Kamen Rider Ghost might have met “messing around” once? Like, surely, given how popular and ubiquitous messing around can be, it’s hard to imagine they NEVER met it. But they CLEARLY did not get along with even the idea of messing around. I love them so much.
- Makoto’s big, doofy smile. Seeing this guy becoming Takeru with Alain his weakened, reluctant Makoto was so flipping charming and really shows how far Makoto’s come.
- Takeru’s flirtation with the dark side. It was pretty short, but it so perfectly encapsulated being just full-on DONE with all this nonsense. He saw the horror of humanity (Ganmanity?) and shut down because eff any society that’d do that. And then he turns it around because, look, Makoto clearly knows what he’s talking about as he and Alain are so close (just kiss already!) so there must be something good in there, so he just needs to go out and find it so he can understand.
- Surprised how much the followed on Takeru being shaken by the whole ordeal in the Ganma World. Even had a justification for why he killed the Knight Ganma which was whoa pretty cool attention to detail.
- Yo I hope Alain’s actor gets to be in more future stuff ‘cause he is just knocking it out of the park. Def the breakout star of the show
A Simple Summary of Kamen Rider Ghost 23 Heart and Soul! The Big Eyecon!
Information from TV-N’s Wiki on Ghost 23
Writer: Fukuda Takurou
Director: Morota Satoshi
Action Director: Miyazaki Takeshi
Ganma: Javert using an Ultima Eyecon, which turned into an Eldritch Horror…
New Heroic Eyecon Summoned: None
Miscellaneous: Takeru’s humility and comeback from a huge failing unlocked the GIANT Eyecon and Kamen Rider Ghost’s Grateful form
-65 days left
-Makoto finds Alain and feeds him. Alain is less than thrilled and marvels that Kanon and Makoto ever missed food while in Ganma World
-Magistrate Eadith explains to Adel that he will need assistance to work through the transition from the late great Adonis to Emperor Adel
-Adel dismisses Eadith and Alia suggests to Adel that he can not be trusted because he was an old friend of their father. Adel questions her intentions and leaves.
-Alain meets up with Ms. Fumi and Kanon and enjoys the heck out of some takoyaki
-Takeru goes all Shotaro Hidari and a little Minami Kotaro when he hesitates to fight Javert to protect Alain
-Makoto goes all Haruto and dies to keep Alain’s hopes alive. Makoto’s body is still in Ganma World, his Eyecon was destroyed by Ultima Javert.
-Takeru wakes up and becomes his own Rider, protecting Alain from Javert
-Adel observes that his late father’s sacred place is more than a Sanctuary for making supplication
-Javert is taken over by something that descends from one of the Sanctuary’s monoliths
-Takeru uses Grateful’s power to defeat Javert who flees.
-Takeru promises Kanon that he will bring back Makoto.
-Alain leaves, wondering why two of his Heroic Eyecons returned to him.
NEXT| 24 Appearance! The Mysterious Warrior!
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