Reviews: Kamen Rider Blade

Now your power is at its peak, Kamen Rider Blade! Protect those that you love!!!

I'm going to hesitantly go ahead and say Blade is my all time favorite Kamen Rider series. I'm biased, no doubt, but the series is good enough for me to be biased.

Blade has a really cool premise: BOARD is an organization dedicated to sealing the unknown, creatures representing species other than humanity that have an unknown purpose. The Kamen Riders harness the power of the "catagory ace" undead, and fight using special abilities gained from the Undead they've sealed. The story is awesome and, like Ryuki, most of the stuff that happens is driven by the characters, not random circumstance. I don't really want to spoil anything but... Just watch it. The first few episodes seem slow, but are still enjoyable, and it speeds up incredibly from there and is just overall fantastic.

The characters are all amazing. The series doesn't really revolve around the titular rider, but instead the four riders: Blade, Garren, Chalice, and Leangle, and how they interact and grow and their eventual fates. ('Kamen Rider Blade and also Garren, Chalice, and Leangle' would have been a long title, methinks.) By the end, they all have a huge, believable bromance which is the driving force behind the events in the last few episodes.

And speaking of the last few episodes, the ending. By god, the ending. I have only teared up for three Kamen Rider series, and this is one of them. I don't want to spoil anything but... Cripes. Dat ending. (It's the best ending to any Heisei series in my opinion, and certainly outclasses Faiz's ending by a bajillion points)

The designs take some getting used to, but I like them. I used to think Blade's face looked silly. Now I juxtapose it with sheer badassery. Garren was an overall fantastic design, Chalice is awesome looking, and Leangle... ok, Leangle is kind of an odd design, but I think it works! The music was all pretty cool too.

It sort of feels like Faiz, but with a whole lot more resolution and not nearly as rushed. It was as if Faiz was a test run for the concepts and Blade was the finished product. If that were true, I wouldn't be surprised.

Blade is my favorite Heisei series as of so far, and definitely worth checking out. Then again, so are almost all the Heisei Riders. But Blade especially.

I'll leave you - Tachibana? IS THAT YOU?