Mini reviews of Television seasons old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional bunnies.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Kamen Rider Kiva (2008-09)

Most of you are going to walk away when I tell you that Kiva is a vampire fangire. 1.) You didn’t see that coming with a name like Ki(ng of) Va(mpires)? 2.) Good riddance~

While many Rider and Sentai series carefully balance humor and drama, Kiva aims for extremes and hits both marks. In general, my gripes stem from trivial things like ephemeral CGI equipment. Even so, there's enough Kuuga homages in play to make me quickly hand-wave the annoyance away. There's also massive final form spam, but I just don't care. Kiva’s default suit is said to have been too heavy or awkward for the actor and Kiva Emperor is so gorgeous and functional that they could have gone full Showa and had it be his only form.

Conversely, Wataru himself is the weakest link character-wise. While true, it’s a disservice to state it as such because he’s impossibly adorable and there’s nothing particularly wrong with him. It’s simply a game of comparisons and he’s up against the entire family of Riders inhabiting the series’ other mainstay system, IXA. I adore virtually all of them, and, because I am who I am, I have to mention that one of their number is without question my favorite female Rider. In fact, if it wasn’t for Tiger from Blade, she’d be my favorite female character in Rider, outright.

Contrary to when I'm choosing to bring this up, it's tantamount to note that the series takes place in both 1986 and 2008 and jumps between them rapidly. Thankfully, there are unmistakeable transitions in place. There's also time-travel of the infinitely convenient variety. However, it's done to bring the casts together for crucial character moments and so I simply roll with it, unquestioningly. If you can’t, then you can’t.

More than anything, Kiva is about the power of love. What sets it apart from the Twilight series is that it takes the time to explore the concept in all of its facets, in all of its myriad forms. It’s always genuine and Inoue Toshiki is entirely unafraid to present it in realistic, often imperfect, ways. Love changes and it changes the people who share it with one another. It can save and it can damn.

It's all about learning to navigate the twists and turns, when to hold on and when to let go, much like life itself.

48 episodes, approx. 24 minutes each.
Its supplemental materials are listed below the cut.

4 Strangely Unexpected Neck Fetishes out of 5