Recap: Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, Episode 1 – I'm a Kamen Rider!

We meet Hoju Emu who was in a terrible accident when he was 8 years old, but saved thanks to the heroic doctors who operated on him. 16 years later in the present day, Emu is now a pediatrics intern at Seito University Hospital and also loves playing video games.

Humanity is about to be attacked by an unknown virus.

And the Ministry of Health has a plan to stop it. Deputy Director-General Hinata Kyotaro tasks Ministry personnel Karino Asuna to get something called the “CR” up and running as soon as possible while they wait for a genius surgeon to arrive in Japan to use the Gamer Driver. Though Asuna has already suggested a genius gamer “M.”

Back at the hospital, Emu is doing his rounds and has to chase after a young patient, Souta, who tries to run away. Emu ends up bumping into, literally, Asuna. The Gamer Driver falls out of the case and Souta sees the cartridge is of Mighty Action X, a game that is about to be launched today and he is very excited by.

Asuna tells him not to touch it.

Souta suddenly collapses and some strange, gross things pop out and appear on his neck. Asuna uses a little toy device, or something, to diagnose Souta and she confirms it.

They rush Souta to the hospital, but Emu is surprised when Asuna presses some buttons in the elevator to take them to the CR.

They are greeted by the hospital’s Director, Kagami Haima. Emu says he saw the things out of Souta’s neck and Director Kagami calls them Bugsters. Asuna gets the Director to keep quiet and orders Emu to let them handle this.

The Director and Asuna take Souta into a different room past a code-locked door, despite Emu resolved to help as he’s Souta’s attending physician.

Emu flashes back to the day he was able to get his life back, thanks to the doctor who operated on him and gave him a nice handheld gaming device. That’s the reason Emu wants to become a doctor himself.

Emu sees “CR” refers to the Computer Rescue Center. He manages to get himself in to Souta’s room.

Souta is awake and shows Emu his Mighty keychain. He was really looking forward to going to the game’s release event today.

Souta feels a big pain in his stomach and asks if he’s really very sick. Emu says he’s alright since he’s “mighty” and tries to encourage Souta.

At the Mighty Action X launch event, Genm Corp. CEO Dan Kuroto introduces the new game years in the making.

Asuna arrives with the Gamer Driver case, hoping to find the legendary gamer “M” instead of waiting for the genius surgeon Kagami from America. But she actually finds Souta and Emu instead.

Emu explains to Asuna that he wanted to cheer Souta up while also finding a way to cure his illness. Asuna says Souta needs an immediate operation, however. She goes to grab Souta, but he wants to stay and play.

Souta suddenly feels another pain. But just as suddenly, a large monster pops out of his body. Asuna explains the Bugster virus is a new type of computer virus from games that will directly infect human bodies and evolves into a monster while taking over the body.

Emu is very distraught, but Asuna shows her the Gamer Driver and Rider Gashatto which she says can perform an operation to remove the Bugster from Souta. To do that, one must transform into a Kamen Rider.

Emu says he will perform the operation. He grabs the Driver and Gashatto and opens a “game area.” Asuna doesn’t understand how Emu is able to do this so easily.

Emu henshins and uses his new power.

Armed with a Gashacon Breaker, Emu hops around to take on the Bugster. Initially defeating the Bugster separates it from Souta. But the Bugster takes on another form, this time of Salty, the villain from the video game.

Asuna says Emu can’t fight the Bugster without knowing how anything works. But Emu says he enjoys playing games without reading the instructions. He’s the gaming genius “M,” after all. Asuna is surprised.

Emu henshins up to level 2 and a sleeker, more agile form and fights off the Bugster foot soldiers dressed as chefs.

Salty Bugster jumps down and fights Emu. But Emu delivers a Mighty Critical Strike Finisher to finish Salty off for good.

Asuna confirms Souta is cured. She takes Emu back to the CR and shows him around.

Emu notices an arcade game in a little corner of the control room. Asuna suddenly spins around and pops into the game. She explains that Asuna is only a form she takes when in the human world. Her real identity is actually Poppy Pipopapo and she’s been looking for “M” all this time.

She shows him a set of 10 games and if he can clear all the games, he’ll become a super doctor.

Episode Thoughts & First Impressions

And so we hopefully start a show that will make us forget about Ghost! lol But first, watching this premiere made me feel like it was just yesterday Takeru was resurrecting for the first time with Boost. It would seem to me that Ghost just flew past. Does that go hand-in-hand with a nonexistent clusterfrak of a story? I’m not sure. lol

But what I am sure about is Ex-Aid is interesting so far. The video game and pop up graphics will take a little getting used to. But I did feel the same way about the Zyuohger suits and I came to accept them pretty fast.

Though some of the graphics here are also kind of half-hearted too, like when Asuna first checks Souta if he has a virus. I dunno if they’re going for an 8-bit type video game thing with that little medical device thingy. But it was very cheap looking with that star and all. And the video game/comic book graphics (Which is one reason I absolutely hated the reversioned Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in 2010. Making an already corny show even worse!) just feel like it’s all too much.

The idea of a “game board” popping up is also a little odd. I don’t know if that’s a weekly thing or only to help illustrate the season’s “game” and world building in this first episode.

Funny enough, Ex-Aid’s bulky base level is the least quirky thing about the first episode. lol It’s actually pretty refreshing seeing such a non-Kamen Rider-looking Rider.

Elsewhere, there’s lots of random goofiness. But that definitely doesn’t mean much in terms of what the rest of the season’s vibe will feel like. Most of the recent seasons started out with plenty of goofy antics, but later shifted to serious, darker stuff. (Whether successful or not is another story. lol)

But overall, I like the basic premise of the story. Emu has a solid backstory so far as well.

One thought on “Recap: Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, Episode 1 – I'm a Kamen Rider!

  1. Okay, that was downright silly. But I like it. The challenge here is balancing that silliness with the serious parts of the story that the series is hinting on, something that both Drive and Ghost failed to do with their misplaced humor. I like that there is an actual sense of danger in this first episode., which does tie into the plot of Emu being a doctor.

    Speaking of that, Ex-Aid faces the same predicament as Drive in that the heroes actually have professional careers outside of their “jobs” as Kamen Riders. For all its issues, Drive actually did manage to blend that professional job into the story of Shinnosuke’s other job well. Hopefully, Ex-Aid will also be able to tie Emu’s role as a Rider to that of him being an aspiring doctor (on a side note, you have to wonder how Ghost’s characters managed to sustain themselves when none of them even had actual paying jobs. If you recall, Gaim actually turned this interesting question into a plot point).

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