Reviews: Kamen Rider Agito

An excellent, but not perfect, entry for the franchise

Written by Toshiki Inoue back before people would shake their fists and cry out his name should a character fall into a pool of water at the end of a fight, Kamen Rider Agito was an exciting watch for me, one that always left me wanting more. Although similar to Kamen Rider Kuuga in many ways, the story unfolded very differently and that's good because simply making a straight Kuuga rehash would dull the quality of the original.

That said though, Agito does fail in a few, specific areas which undermined the total enjoyment factor for me. One of the first and earliest grievances I had for the show was the mishandling of Agito's various forms, which were all functionally the same on screen with the exception of which weapon Shouichi had at his disposal. Whereas in Kuuga, Double, or OOO the various strengths and weaknesses of each form were evident, this is not the case in Agito. For instance, the Storm form is supposed to be the equivalent of the Dragon form from Kuuga, but we never see it function as an agility form.

Shouichi himself is also probably the least engaging of the three main Riders, simply a happy-go-lucky guy who laughed and smiled and wasn't bothered too much by his amnesia. Hikawa and Ryo were the ones that always pulled my attention in with their own struggles and drama. My favorite episodes and plots always had them at the forefront and I could get more in touch with them. The characters they interacted with, especially the Akatsuki passengers and the various police officers. It probably hurts Shouichi's case that there is no real progress in finding out his true identity until halfway through the story.

The Lords/Unknown were a case of hit-and-miss. On one hand, I appreciate the plot arcs featuring more than one monster of the week at a time. With three Riders, upping the number of enemies they fought on a weekly basis gave them all time to shine. But at the same time though, the Unknown lacked personality. They'd show up, kill people, and be done with it. They're obviously capable of speech, so why couldn't we ever see them interact on their own? One of my favorite parts of Kamen Rider Kuuga was just that: when the Grongi would talk in their own language. It reinforced their foreignness while at the same time gave them personality.

I do recommend Agito; it's a good show. Just don't expect perfection.

Ready to go! Count ZERO! Endlessly evolve, Kamen Rider Agito!!!

When I first started watching Agito, I had heard nothing but good things.

When I finished watching Agito, I had almost nothing to say but good things.

It's awesome.

Agito stars Tsugami Shouichi, an amnesiac whose bumming off some guy in exchange for doing all the housework. He can sense when the unknown, beings who seem to attack one human, and then kill the rest of their family, are attacking people, and turns into Kamen Rider Agito to help them. The story and the tales of the individual tales of the characters are all complex and gripping, and the execution is terrifyingly well done. Really, the first scene where Agito appears and rider kicks an Unknown is all you need to see. (Search it on youtube! DAT ATMOSPHERE) It's filled with a lot of mystery, and all of them are resolved in the end with an incredibly satisfying conclusion.

The characters, like the previous series and many afterwards, are all fantastically well developed. From the well meaning, yet occasionally oblivious Shouichi, the straight-laced, but clumsy cop Hikawa, to the tortured yet determined Ryou, I grew incredibly attached to all of the characters, and was happy with they way their arcs were handled and ended. The supporting cast are also likable, and a bit more complex than you might think from an initial glance.

The initial Agito designs are simple, yet effective, much like Kuuga. The later upgrades are also fantastically conceived, although it could be said that the penultimate form upgrade looks better than the final form upgrade. I disagree, but a lot of people do seem to think this. G3 was a rather bulky design, but that fit, considering he was a technological rider. He wasn't going to be streamlined and incredibly cool looking: he was going to have bulky armor and be built to function. Although I still think he's cool looking. Gills was just a great design, and really played off the organic aspects of the rider well.

The music is also great. The insert themes are all addictive and awesome, and the theme song is so chill.

Kamen Rider Agito, although I was skeptical of it at first, evolves past its predecessor to create what I think is an even better show.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go punch god in the face.