Kamen Rider Zi-O: Over Quartzer stays true to the series itself. Don’t sweat the details and just hop along for the ride.
The film wrapped up Kamen Rider‘s anniversary season and tribute to the Heisei Era with a fun and enjoyable extravaganza complete with special cameos from unexpected Riders.
I didn’t actually know this was supposed to be an alternate ending for the series until reading more about the movie after watching it. But knowing that, I can see how it works.
The film begins with Gou and Krim Steinbelt enlisting the help of Sougo and friends to go back in time and protect Krim’s ancestor from being killed. If that happened, Krim wouldn’t exist and neither would everything related to Drive.
They’re able to successfully save Krim’s ancestor. But returning to 2019, Woz’s backstory is finally revealed. And it is that he is a “Quartzer” who serves the “real” SOUGO Tokiwa who wants to erase all of Heisei Era to remake it into something beautiful.
This leads to the ultimate battle to fight against King SOUGO and his men. The Sougo we have come to know, along with Geiz, is helped by the Riders from all of the Heisei Era. And they are able to successfully defeat the Quartzers to restore the world as they know it.
It certainly does its job to serve as an alternate ending to the series. Finally getting an explanation for Woz’s origins actually made sense as its own story. Definitely different from the actual endgame we got in-series. But the plot worked for this movie. And the movie worked as an alternate ending. Certainly doesn’t tie up every loose end, but you can see how it fits with the series.
Over Quartzer, however, is again perfectly in-line with Zi-O the series itself. At the beginning of Zi-O, I decided to not worry about the details and intricacies of the time travel and rewritten histories and all that. And that thinking will definitely help with your perception of Over Quartzer.
The film is sort of meta as SOUGO mentions how the Heisei Riders have essentially created an ugly, convoluted mess of a timeline and ruined continuity. So, SOUGO wants to fix all that into one beautiful timeline instead.
Paired with an earlier mention of the fans’ similar concerns, the film is essentially commentary on the idea to take each Kamen Rider season on its own. Each one lives “in the present,” as Sougo says about Nobunaga. So in the real world context, let each season do what they want in their present.
And for me, after all my years of watching both Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, I’ve learned to live by that philosophy too. Take each season as its own little world. And whenever a crossover happens, take that as its own little world as well. Basically, just enjoy everything and not overthink things like continuity and multiple universes.
Sure, a clean continuity and clarity on whether these heroes exist in all one universe can add to one’s enjoyment of each series and the franchise as a whole. But I’ve learned that’s not always necessary to enjoy a season or even the greater Rider “universe,” as it were.
Often times, crossover movies are not considered canon. And that opens the door to possibilities in doing whatever the hell they want without concerning themselves with actual events in the series. That can be terribly annoying for some fans. But you can definitely take it either way. Accept everything as one universe or pick and choose what you want to connect. It can be fun figuring out how things connect to one another as well.
Ultimately, I feel sometimes it is not necessary to sweat all the details. But at the same time, that doesn’t mean you are excusing missteps or mistakes. Quite the contrary.
So Over Quartzer does its job. It serves as the final send off to the Heisei Era. And does so in a fun and exciting way. While the plot is good, the action is even better. Especially the final battles that are truly thrilling and quite enjoyable when seeing all the surprises that come.
It presents a different, but plausible ending to Zi-O. But taking it for what it is, Over Quartzer asks nothing more than to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.