Recap: Kamen Rider Ghost, Episode 1 – Eyes Open! Me!

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A mysterious trenchcoated and hat-wearing man is bringing strange moaning things to life.

Elsewhere, Tsukimura Akari storms into Daitenku Temple looking for one (currently sleeping) Tenkuji Takeru, much to the consternation of the monk Onari who is most concerned with Takeru’s lack of training.

Akari heads into a basement laboratory where she finds Takeru sleeping on a book open to a page about master swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. She wakes him up and demands to know why he didn’t come to celebrate her birthday at a physics exhibit. Takeru says he wasn’t interested in such an exhibit, instead wanting to read his favorite book about famous icons of the world, given to him by his father.

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Takeru says he didn’t understand it when he was 8 years old, but can now appreciate learning about all these luminaries whose lives burned bright in their respective fields.

Akari takes it literally and says that’s not possible.

Takeru says he vowed on the crossguard (which he wears around his neck) of one of Musashi’s katanas that he would also burn bright like he did. He wants to become a master ghost hunter, but he’s never even seen a ghost.

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Akari laments him being so unscientific. Onari comes running downstairs and asks them to come watch the breaking news. There’s been a rash of mysterious occurrences around town including cars getting sliced in half and an amusement park ride full of kids and their families getting hurled at a tower, killing them all in a huge, fiery explosion.

Onari insists this is the work of ghosts. But Akari insists says there’s a perfectly reasonable scientific explanation. If ghosts are real, where’s the proof?

Onari says Takeru-dono’s father, the previous chief priest, was an expert ghost hunter who ultimately had his life taken by a ghost.

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Both Onari and Akari get in Takeru’s face to see whether he believes or not, but he’s not sure himself.

Outside the temple, a delivery man, Onodera, is attacked by one of those mysterious things. He runs in and tells Takeru, Onari and the other two monks, Shibuya and Narita. But also, Onodera has a package for Takeru.

The younger monks take Onodera outside to look at the scene while Takeru finds the package is from his father, Ryu. His father who has been dead for 10 years! Indeed, the package is postmarked with a date 10 years ago.

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Just then, something zaps at the package and slices it in half, like everything else that’s been attacked around town.

Takeru touches the contents of the package, but it initially sends a shock through his body. He picks it up, wondering what it is when suddenly, the creatures that attacked Onodera appears right in front of him!

But neither Onari and Akari can see what Takeru is seeing.

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Onari is ready to fight as he’s been training for this very moment. But one of the ghosts, invisible to him, kicks him in the butt. Akari still doesn’t believe ghosts are real and Takeru knocks her out of the way when one of them is about to attack her.

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Takeru grabs Onari’s staff and takes his fight with the “ghosts” into the forest. They demand he hand over the “Eyecon,” but Takeru refuses since it’s from his father.

Onari and Akari follow. Akari isn’t sure what to believe while Onari tells Takeru to run as he is not ready to face this yet.

“I believe! If I can see them, then I can fight them!”

Takeru tries fighting back, but one of the “ghosts” swings and slashes him right across the chest. The handgaurd he wears around his beck falls to the ground, as does Takeru himself.

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Takeru reaches for the crossguard and flashes back to the moment his father uttered his dying words to him. He told Takeru to study the souls of luminaries and open the eye to his own mind.

Takeru is determined to fulfill the promise to his father. But… Takeru dies.

Onari and Akari run over to him, distraught at what’s happened.

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But the Eyecon flashes inside Takeru’s jacket and he wakes under a waterfall. He wonders where he is, but he looks up to see the scene of Onari and Akari crying over him.

Takeru tries calling out to them, but the image disappears.

He wonders if he’s really dead. But a long-haired man appears and asks if he wants to live again.

Takeru asks the man who he is and he responds with “I am everyone, yet I am no one.” Takeru assumes he is God, but the man says no, he’s not as important.

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Takeru calls him “Gramps” then, but the man prefers to be called Sennin.

Takeru is disappointed in himself that he wasn’t able to do anything. But the Eyecon glows once again. Sennin says Takeru has been burdened with the fate of fighting the Ganma and proceeds to explain what’s going on.

The Eyecon now contains his soul. Around the world, there are many Eyecons with the souls of other luminaries stored in them. And if Takeru can collect 15 of those Eyecons, he can use the power that comes with them. That includes bringing himself back to life.

It won’t be easy as the Ganma are also after the Eyecon. But if Takeru becomes Kamen Rider Ghost, he can fight them.

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Takeru agrees to become Ghost. Sennin pops a big Driver on his waist while a little ghost-like figure, Yurusen, pops up beside him.

Sennin says Yurusen will fill him in on the rest and sends Takeru flying back into the water.

Back in the real world, the sky turns back and Takeru’s body (to Onari and Akari) disappears in a bright light. Really, Takeru is back in his physical body, but now as a ghost?

Onari and Akari run off and the two Ganma face Takeru who picks up the crossguard from the ground.

Takeru vows to protect everyone’s lives, but he first needs Yurusen to explain how to henshin.

Push the Eyecon’s switch, put it into the belt and henshin!

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Takeru tries it. A ghost-like cloak appears while a glow in the dark undersuit clothes Takeru. The little ghost flies around before attaching itself to him to complete his suit.

Yurusen says since Takeru is already dead, he can’t die again. So off he goes!

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Takeru says he will really believe in himself this time as he charges forward and takes on the two Ganma with much more confidence. And with fresh powers of course.

The Ganma send Takeru flying into a tree and Yurusen explains that while Takeru is indeed dead, he can still feel pain.

Yurusen tells Takeru to pull the trigger to initiate an Omega Drive attack which finishes off one of the Ganma. The other one tells Takeru to follow.

Takeru hops onto his bike and follows the Ganma into the city. They speed through a waterfront cafe before suddenly ending up on the beach.

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The Ganma summons a dozen foot soldiers, but Takeru won’t give up. Suddenly, Musashi’s crossguard glows. Yurusen excitedly tells him to seal it by drawing an eye with his fingers.

Another little ghost thing flies out and Yurusen tells Takeru to hurry and use Musashi’s power!

The Ganma tries to attack the little ghost, but Sennin appears in the sky to block it. He tells Takeru to synchronize with Musashi’s soul to borrow his power as Kamen Rider Ghost can use the power in luminary Eyecons to fight.

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Musashi’s spirit flies into Takeru’s belt and out pops a new Eyecon. Takeru uses it to uphenshin to Musashi which includes a new cloak and helmet and is now able to easily take care of the foot soldiers.

Takeru turns his attention back to the Ganma and they fight.

Yurusen tells Takeru to hold the sword in front of the belt for an Eye Contact which will power it up for an Omega Slash. The 2nd Ganma is destroyed along with its Eyecon.

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The trenchcoat hat man watches from the bushes while another guy, Aran, questions the man’s assurance that there would be “no interference.”

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Back at the temple, Takeru tries to reach out to Onari and Akari. Yurusen says seeing and touching depends on his emotions, so he should quit moping around and go for it, “you coward!”

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Takeru’s annoyance at Yurusen gives him the emotion he needs to become visible to Onari and Akari. They are relieved to see him, but he has to explain that he is actually a ghost. Akari refuses to believe it, but Onari says this is proof and she must start training as well.

Takeru takes his shoes off and heads into the temple and down to the lab.

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Sennin is there and has just finished moving in. He tells Takeru that he forgot one little detail about the Eyecons. Takeru must collect the 15 within 99 days or he won’t be able to come back to life.

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Episode Thoughts

And another brand new Kamen Rider season begins! It’s always fun to get a fresh new season started.

I think this premiere was alright. It was a little busy, maybe even too much so. But first episodes usually are as they try to squeeze in as much foundation and lay as much groundwork as possible.

Takeru is charming without being too goofy. He’s even less goofy than Kota was at the start of Gaim before all the sh-t went down. lol But Takeru seems like a good guy to start and I like the backstory with his father.

I’m not really a fan of the loudness though. Not just one, but TWO characters who seem to have bathed in energy drinks or something. Seeing Onari and Akari clashing over the supernatural and science can be fun and an interesting ongoing thread. But they need to do that without screaming at each other and at Takeru or acting like they’ve swallowed a barrel of coke (either the powder or the soda).

Tone. It. Down. It didn’t help that the episode, the SEASON! opened with all that insanity. It was a big contrast to Takeru’s character, but they can make that contrast with more inside voices.

Yurusen is cheeky and also talks a lot, but seems much more enjoyable and less annoying than Onari and Akari.

I like the idea of Takeru needing to collect the 15 Eyecons since that, at the very least, gives a purpose to him and the season. (Something Drive struggled to maintain for most if its season.) Even if the villains don’t have a clear endgame, at least our hero does.

Him being dead and needing to collect stuff within a set time is very Korean drama like, but I hope it can provide some interesting and unique story possibilities.

Ghost’s design is alright, but is the horn-thingy supposed to be some ghost-related thing in Japan? I think the dark suit and a horn-less, simple helmet would be excellent especially since he has a cloak anyway.

So overall, an alright premiere.

2 thoughts on “Recap: Kamen Rider Ghost, Episode 1 – Eyes Open! Me!

  1. Okay, so his soul is stored in the Ore eyecon. Wait, what? I have a baaaad feeling about this. Are we sure Gen Urobuchi isn’t the one secretly writing this? That feels like it came straight out of his Madoka Magica series (okay, that’s a bit of a spoiler). Amusingly enough, that isn’t the only connection Ghost has to Madoka Magica. Yurusen’s voice actress Aoi Yuuki also portrayed Madoka’s lead character Madoka Kaname.

    Anyways, I am definitely sold with the series. There is a certain air of mystery about the Sage not unlike that of DJ Sagara. I really like that first exchange between him and Takeru in the afterlife(?). My only worry here is that if this is going to be the two parter format again, we’re in for the same problem as Drive. But I am crossing my fingers that they make this work, since I really like the concept (it’s kinda like an action/superhero version of Coney Reyes’ 1000 Days to Heaven).

    BTW, since the eyecons obviously come from famous figures, historical and fictional, I was hoping his final eyecon would be Jesus, but that’s probably risking it a bit too much. And even this early, I am guessing this would have a downer ending with Takeru staying dead for real.

    • Ah! Yes, I totally forgot about 100 Days to Heaven. The Korean drama (later Alex Gonzaga Filipino remake) was the first thing that popped into my mind. But I shouldn’t forget 100 Days to Heaven because it was one of the last ABS-CBN teleseryes I actually loved. lol

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