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 21 Astonishing! The Ganma World! Save As… to Download Episode Length 01:20:25
Before we start Sono is going to give credit where it is due:
Writer: Hasegawa Keiichi
Director: Yamaguchi Kyouhei
Action Director: Miyazaki Takeshi
Miscellaneous: Kouda Naoko, the voice of Shroud as well as Rageku from Gekiranger, was the Chivalrous knight/armor/sword Ganma!
Let’s turn a discerning eye to what could be the Macro Message hidden in this episode of Ghost!
Ammit’s View Ghost 21
I struggle to isolate a message from this episode, unless it is trust but verify or has something more to do with appearances being deceptive. Adel is spying on PapAdonis and Alain, the Ganma is Chivalrous, but then isn’t; Cubi is the key to entering Ganma world, but isn’t. Eadith or Sage is playing some sort of long game apparently and Alain is getting advice from his father which contradicts how he was raised. Overall there may be a message about relying on oneself and not others to determine your path in life. It’s a bit dense, and I like that, but it will take some time to really sort out.
Sono’s View Ghost 21
A lot of this arc is setting up for the climax of this section of the story, I think, so I’m not sure if there’s an overall message beyond the notes of Alain still not really understanding emotions, and the greater implications of his family situation.
But I think the ganma they brought this week was particularly interesting in that she has a notion of chivalry and the idea of being a knight, but also they chose to make her female. (Especially with this airing alongside an episode of Zyuohger where Sela is trying to reject Leo’s chivalry.) Coming from a conquering fascist state, where the heck would she have picked up this idea? Why was it not already beaten out of her? Did she cultivate this notion of chivalry without any reason to display it and therefore no one noticed?
I think it’s just really fascinating that we’re now exploring the ideas of individuality as innate and unpreventable, and that even the Ganma, who have cast it aside, can’t escape it. We’re seeing itn Aria and in their father, and we’re seeing it leak through in Alain. The only one who seems to truly and completely stamp it down is Adele.
Aleph’s View Ghost 21
I just really like that no matter what’s going on, we’re pointing out the inherent hypocrisy and nonsense at the heart of pretty much everything to do with the ruling classes. They say the world works one way and then we see pretty quickly that that’s a convenient nonsense. As the question went: why would Adonis tell Alain to follow his heart if none of them have hearts
Sarracenian’s View Ghost 22
KNIGHTS KNIGHTS KNIGHTS
(… which actually connects to something I’ve been thinking about regarding various cultures’ own folkhero traditions (this will come back to Rider I swear). I like knights lots and lots, I mean who doesn’t, but knights also do represent a sketchy idea of heroism that a lot of western hero ideals still have today to an extend, which is, the idea of “Might makes Right”, that “Might” being an inherent quality of birth and social status. Heroes of noble blood, that are “above” the common rabble, the “villeins”. They are better than most “by their nature”, thus deserve more than anyone else (we still see this today in certain American superheroes, or any story with the “Chosen One”-narrative). Knights in real life after all, were the armed extension of the aristocratic rule during the feudal eras, glorified in songs about fighting dragons and whatnot (dragons and other mythical beasts that were always in older paintings depicted to always be wimpier and more pathetic than the knights fighting them, to emphasize how power = GOOD and those without power = BAD). Some hero ideals forgo this power play. The “youxia/游侠” of China notably being chivalrous wandering heroes that anyone can be regardless of who they are. Notably too is how these heroes, are more popularly depicted in fighting real social ills of cruel bandits and warlords or most often corrupt government officials. Now, the power dynamic is more complex. Kamen Rider, and many superheroes following the Ishinomori mold, also subvert the idea of “Might makes Right”, in that, Power is explicitly a BAD thing. Power is a curse, at best a hefty responsibility, and it was not bestowed upon Rider for being born in a certain position of privilege, but a curse. An accident that shouldn’t have happened, because in a better world that kind of Power wouldn’t exist. And those that have power and actively seek to perpetuate the idea of Power being an inherent virtue, are evil or at best misguided (Kuuga does an excellent job conveying this idea).
So here in this episode we have a Ganma who based herself on knighthood, and we also see how it plays out in both directions, as both the romanticized, the chivalric ideal that knights are painted with, vs. the reality of what knights are, the subtext that their profession(?) has. A warrior with morals and code to operate on, but also the weapon of a totalitarian regime. I think in this show, that def places itself on the ideals and the positive qualities we can take from everything, its pretty obvious that at the end the chivalrous ideal will win over.
The unKamenCrew’s Top 3 (Maximum) Woments from Ghost 21
- That Chivalrous Knight Ganma is a women and an awesome fighter, she lived and she wants to fight Takeru honorably!!!!
- Igor mind controlling Knight Ganma was so terribly effective at showing the fascist machine’s erasure of individuality
- Onari was right all along about the answer laying in Takeru’s heart
- I love how Adonis is praying a bunch
- Takeru meditating was also a great counterpoint to Adonis’ prayers. I can’t wait for the Clash of Spiritual Giants!!!
- Akari named Cubi and he got to hang out with them right off the bat!
- Armor Ganma was voiced by Naoko Kouda, and god like… Man you can just… You can hear it, especially when they use the voice distortion on her. And when she was brainwashed and more evil, she definitely slipped into Rageku. Just let me have this guys. Let me have Shroud Ganma.
- Akari named Cubi. We’re keeping him. You can’t get rid of someone once you name them. And Akari and Kanon have taken such a liking to him! Kanon complimenting his painting was so cute. I hope we redeem Armor Ganma and keep her too. Let’s amass a small army in the basement.
- We got SO MUCH GANMA FAMILY. I know we were just talking about this over 19/20, but we spent at least half the episode with Alain’s family, learning what was up with them. King Ganma had a wife. These kids had a mom. She’s dead. And this seems to be something King Dad is clinging to. In rebuilding the world, does he want to bring her back? I know it’s been done but I’m WEAK for this sort of thing. Aria still misses Makoto and Kanon. Adele’s gonna screw it all up. And just… Alain’s face when he said the sky on Earth was blue. This actor’s got some chops because holy shit was he RADIATING hope.
- Makoto was all smiles this episode and I can’t take it he’s cute as heck when he smiles.
- The idea that the Ganma are eternal was turned on its head and that’s been a thing I’ve been thinking was so from episode one. The revelations about their relative mortality and how apparently the ruling classes are colonizing the land of the dead AND attempting to colonize the land of the living is just… yum.
- I also kinda like the impression that Adonis is a Gendo Ikari. I’m a sucker for that.
- Akari doing science to it with Edison’s methodology coming to the fore. “I know, I’ll keep doing the same thing with incremental changes and hope for a better result”. It worked because sometimes you have to brute force that muddah, but eesh.
- Knight Ganma. Kinda love her, hope she sticks around.
- Eyyy this episode’s got the sort of technomysticism(/technomancy?) that fuels my very being and keeps me going. Say yes to science-fantasy. So much intrigue and fascinating lore this show builds and its fun to watch.
- Knight Ganma KNIGHT GANMA KNIGHT GANMA. (she looks like something out of Dark Souls too. Which is good. Anything that reminds me of Dark Souls is an automatic Good.
- ‘Eyyyy Cubi. A new Mole Beastman is a good.
Rundown for Ghost 21
21 Astonishing! The Ganma World!
Information from TV-N’s Wiki on Ghost 21
Writer: Hasegawa Keiichi
Director: Yamaguchi Kyouhei
Action Director: Miyazaki Takeshi
Ganma: Knight Ganma. Ganma Eyecon + Western Long sword
New Heroic Eyecon Summoned:
Miscellaneous: That Ganma voiced by Shroud’s actress was Chivalrous!
-69 days left
-Akari has names the Paint Ganma Cubi
-Emperor Adonis and Magistrate Eadith are old friends. Eadith asks Adonis to reaffirm his belief, which is basically that humans are bad and he must push his world devoid of death and war on them.
-Adonis and Eadith spoke of his late wife
-Adel comes to PapAdonis and informs him that the Demia Project is moving along smoothly. PapAdonis yells at him for interrupting his prayers and says that Adel shouldn’t be in that sacred space.
-Takeru desperately want to help Makoto get his body back from Ganma World where he is completely vulnerable, but Takeru doesn’t know how to get there and Makoto says it’s impossible.
-Takeru fights a female Knight Ganma who’s Chivalry forces her to postpone crushing Ghost and Specter to take their Heroic Eyecons when she notices Kanon.
-Igor strips Knight Ganma of her individuality and she goes on a rampage, indiscriminately taking soul after soul.
-PapAdonis interrupts his prayer to speak with Alain who he summoned. Alain tells his father of the human world and Adonis tells his son to follow his heart when he is in doubt.
-Adel had been spying on their conversation and wears a jealous and surprised expression.
-Alain asks Alia why their father would have given him such advice. She is content that he must have had his reasons and inquires after the Fukami siblings, saying she longs to reunite with them.
-Akari made a breakthrough after studying Cubi’s brainwaves and called Takeru to try out the portal. It fails but Takeru keeps trying. Edison communes with him saying that the 1% INSPIRATION is as vital to success as the 99% perspiration he spoke of.
-Takeru fights Knight Ganma again while she holds.
NEXT| 22 Treachery! Adel’s Trap!
Our awesome intro/outro music is by our very own Sono! Her rocking just won’t stop.