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 36 Bodacious! Idol Declaration!
Kamen Rider Ghost 37 Growth! Everyone’s Paths!
|Save As… to Download|Episode Length 1:50:41
Before we start Sono is going to give credit where it is due:
Writer: Hasegawa Keiichi
Director: Koichi Sakamoto
Action Director: Miyazaki Takeshi
Nothing to add.
What are your thoughts on this episode and what if any messages came into focus for you?
Let me start with the fact that the irony of this arc starring Okunaka Makoto being about idols is not lost on me. But since I trust ya’ll to cover the deeper meaning of this arc, I want to focus on this purely narrative visual thing I latched onto because Ghost is brilliant in telling it’s stories.
36 had a lot of weirdly cartoony stuff between Alain fighting Sanzo’s buddies and Akari and Onari at the audition, and honestly… It worked for me? Particularly on the level of Akari. I expect this sort of thing from Onari so I didn’t even blink twice at him (using his slightly warped knowledge of the music biz to help Akari out?), but Akari… Akari wasn’t taking the audition seriously. Why would she? She’s just doing it to investigate Deep Connect and find Igor. All she has to do is sing and dance. It doesn’t matter. Being an idol is so easy~.
And then she comes back, cheering that she made it and her investigation can progress, because it was just as easy as the thought. No problem at all.
And Honami shuts. Her. Down.
Being an idol isn’t easy. It’s time consuming and physically exhausting and no reward is promised, and if she half-asses it she could ruin the careers of four girls pursuing their childhood dream just like Akari is with physics.
So Akari puts her blood, sweat, and tears into it. If being an idol is serious, she’ll be serious. She puts everything she has into learning the dance, learning the song, and learning what it means to Honami. (She even comments to Honami about how hard learning the dance is.) Once she’s pursuing that WITH Honami, with the full understanding of what it means to her and the effort it takes, Akari learns where the fun and joy and love in being an idol is.
Akari is a caricature in 36 for the specific reason of showing us how she views idols and what she’s doing. The presentation of Akari at the audition, and the lack of seriousness we’re shown in her actions is a direct visual representation of how seriously she’s taking the audition, and it puts more emphasis on how hard she works when she realizes it’s serious.
I can see why maybe people wouldn’t like it, and I know we rail on that sort of thing on this show a lot, but this time it really worked for me and I think it was kind of a brilliant move and I needed to acknowledge that.
I think that while it has elements in common with things I’ve not liked, it actually comes together in a really pleasant way. But the big thing that makes it sing is that they’re driving SO HARD on the theme of desire alone being completely insufficient to achieve any goal you’d want to achieve and in a big way, they show that with Honami, because it’s not just that you have to work, you might also find that the people you were counting on? Well, they might turn into a jerk on you or be in it in a different way or for a different reason.
So not only do we drive home this fine work-ethic sort of moral, but we also do that by humanizing idols, which… man, from what little I know about the contracts you gotta get under if you’re an idol? Humanizing idols sounds like a thing people might need done.
And then, by contrasting it against Alain’s series of “let’s learn martial arts” montages, they’re also essentially saying that advancing one’s martial prowess is equal in narrative (and, thus, in real-world) weight and importance as is advancing one’s skill as an idol or anything else. It’s really lovely. I mean, heck, that’s how Akari frustrates Igor before smacking him in the face again: she works hard and delivers a Rider Kick of singing, dancing, dedication, and also friendship. All about it.
“Faith is heading towards your goal, without hesitation, without straying.”
-Sanzou through Honami
Like love, faith is an action word. If you really believe in something it should change the way you act. Alain had to push through his self-doubt to reach a level of competency he had yet to achieve. Through teaching Akari, Honami remembered who she is and why she is working so hard to be a successful Idol. Akari’s trick gave Honami the opportunity to step up and push doubts aside to be her true self. The faith these characters had, the faith they acted with led them to succeed. It’s almost our oft mentioned admonition to “fake it till you make it,” but there is a bit more here. I hope people watching this will take heart and really believe in what they’re doing so that they’ll meet with the success they have coming to them.
The unKamenCrew’s Top 3 moments that made them say “Woah” from this bit of Ghost
- KANON’S GOT A JOB. GET THAT MONEY, GIRL. SOMEONE HAS TO SUPPORT THIS STUPID FAMILY.
- Igor’s reaction to Akair not wanting to audition for the idol group when Bills first asks her was great. “FINE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO GET CAUGHT UP IN MY EVIL PLAN I DIDN’T WANT YOU HERE ANYWAY NYAH”.
- When Sanzo says Alain’s lost his faith and he goes face down on the table, Onari starts petting his hair and it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
- Onari is so supportive of Akari doing this whole idol thing. He genuinely wants to help and support her (with his knowledge of doing shows from his middle school punk band?), and he gives her a little hug when Honami yells at her and even watches and dances along when Akari and Honami are practicing. The two of them have gotten really close and I really adore their dynamic and how much they care about each other.
- The parallel of Akari and Alain’s different types of training and when they started to accept help and learn with people instead of trying to get by alone was really nice. It kept adding weight to both of their goals and really got me rooting for them both.
- Onari starting the crowd cheering for Honami to join and sing with the group I pretty much lost it. Onari is a precious gift and we don’t deserve someone so pure.
- I’m actually glad Mr. Bill (oh nooooooo) is sticking around I know I complained earlier about orphaned plot threads and he feels kinda like the orphaned-est one around, but on the other hand… I dunno, having a guy that we know is on the bad guys’ team but the good guys don’t? I dig on that.
- Akari doing some True Friendship Power and Onari helping her sell it? Glorious.
- I take Onari’s ability to lean into this ‘70s promoter act as further proof that dude is totally a former bad dude.
- Sanzou SLAYED Alian by saying he had lost this faith.
- Onari comforting Alain was really sweet, especially after their negative interactions of late.
- Sanzou putting Alain through a trial is amazing. I’m so glad this is happening to him.
- Akari faking her bum leg was so great, especially with how Onari got the crowd excited for Honami in response to it.
- Sanzou’s aloof response to Takeru about Harp+y 4 was cute. That showed a lot of character to me.
- Alain’s theme… anthem… music is SO GOOD!
1. What are your thought on the Airplane Perfect Ganma? Would you like to see more upgraded Ganma?
2. How did you like Sanzou’s manifestations: through Honami? In the Eyecon? The pig, monkey and… kappa? that helped out Alain?
3. Do you think it is unfair that Igor keeps getting slapped by Akari with no recourse?
4. Was Akari’s growth real in this episode? Alain obviously learned something, but needed to prove himself to Sanzou. What was Akari’s purpose in becoming an Idol?
Here’s some critical information about the Ghost episode we talked about this time.
Writer: Hasegawa Keiichi
Director: Koichi Sakamoto
Action Director: Miyazaki Takeshi
Ganma: Airplane Perfect is their for a bit and then there is the Wind/Air Ganmeiser
New Heroic Eyecon Summoned: None.
Miscellaneous: Sanzou gets an upgrade after Alain is tested.
NEXT EPISODE| 38 Return! The Souls of Heroes! Likely we’ll cover it with 39 Conflict! Father and Daughter!
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