I will be discussing: The Weak, the Strong and the Secrets of Black Sun 01
#KamenRider #KamenRiderBlackSun #tokusatsu #RiderTears #HenshinInspection
Kamen Rider Black Sun Episode 1 – October 27, 2022
Writer: Izumi Takahashi
Director: Kazuya Shiraishi
Sacred stones are implanted in the bodies of two boys. Decades later, the world is divided. There are those who want to eliminate the “kaijin” and those who want to coexist with them. In the midst of this, there is a man, Kotaro Minami who’s somewhat a recluse. A young activist, Aoi Izumi wants to change the divided world. When Aoi and Kotaro meet, the time which had stopped begins to move again…
-I think Aoi said “Moms” when she meant to say “Parents” in her UN speech. I think people will mistake that and claim she has gay or polyamorous parents, but I think it was a translation error. I think the lady at home is taking care of her while her parents are on the run. I think it will cause debate among fans in the US, some of whom are very pro-LGBT and some of whom aren’t and are jerks about it.
-Some of the nuance was lost with the Kaiju protesters. I think we should feel more sympathetic to them, but they were framed as almost losing control and not being able to keep themselves in check. That gives too much credit to the Kaijin Genocide party. I don’t think it was meant to, it feels like an error in presentation.
-If the Ketamine is just to be edgy, I reject it. You can do whatever drugs you want, but we know nothing of this world and I can accept it if the drugs suppress his powers to hide him and work against Gorgom, or at least not for them.
-Aoi is a great focus character. She is a solid blend of idealistic and caring with toughness and edge. She is more of a typical hero; she wants to see good and right done and is willing to fight for it.
-The anti-Kaijin party is repugnant
-The Prime Minister is not to be trusted. He seems good at first, but his scheming and coldness to the Kaijin shows real malice
-The Kaijin designs are great. I love seeing them in the crowd scenes. The simplistic approach is cool and I am glad they can exist along the Spider and Hopper Kaijins.
-The transformation effects are grotesque and cool
-I loved the Spider and Hopper fight. The speed and brutality were cool, though I was shocked by the decapitation.
-Kotaro and Nobuhiko are getting a fresh take. I am happy they have gone a different direction and I like that there is potential for them to BE brothers in the course of this story, that should make the drama and tragedy intense!
-Kotaro is happy to beat up homeless Kaijin and assassinate 14 year-olds. That’s new. I don’t like it, but it is who he is. I wonder what that means for the rest of his story.
-What is with the Ketamine?
-Is Kotaro a villain?
-Do Kaijin really smell?
-Do Kaijin think people smell?
-What makes a Kaijin, where do they really come from? If you can become a kaijin against your will is that really a different race?
-What divides us?
Episode 1 – 9/10
Kaijin and humans have coexisted in Japan for the last 50 years do to some agreement. A young human girl who champions equal rights for Kaijin against a party calling for Kaijin genocide is targeted for assassination. Minami Kotaro takes the job but transforms into a Grasshopper Kaijin and protects her after a pendant she wears glows red and seems to awaken something in him. His brother Nobuhiko and 3 robed officials of Gorgom who hold him prison awaken as well. Nobuhiko breaks out of his cell, and visits Kotaro proposing they work together to kill the Creation King.
This world is ugly and dirty and messy. It sadly rings true to our world. I can see instances where both kaijin and humans are in the wrong. The conflict is not black and white, there are many shades of grey to consider. I don’t really like anyone but Aoi, her Kaijin friend Shunuske and the common folk around them. They are good people, looking to make the world a better place. They are sympathetic figures in this world where there is more going on than we know. I am drawn in by the mystery of what is really going on and I think puzzling all that out is going to make the show very enjoyable.
While the narrative is nuanced and difficult to fully grasp, the presentation is beautiful. The horrific cold opening makes me feel sympathetic towards the boys being victimized by a system beyond their control. They represent the divide between human and kaiju as they reach for each other, unable to close the distance. The dramatic score sings the sorrow that haunts Kotaro and the broken world. The visuals are powerful, from the Kaiju protests to the tent city to the cozy kaiju house in the slums. These different places show how divided the world is. Aoi’s school and home life are accompanied by warm homey music that give a real sense of peace before the hatred and pain of how little people value life abruptly shatters that tranquility.
I think this story is going to go to some very dark places and I think it will become clear to us that those who seek to wield power over others are the real monsters. Kotaro was going to murder Aoi, he is no perfect hero, like he was in Kamen Rider Black. While Shadow Moon was an outright villain in Kamen Rider Black, I feel a lot of sympathy for him. Gorgom held him in prison for 50 years! Will he truly be a villain here? Will Kotaro truly be a hero? What does that mean in a nuanced world like this? I am excited to find out.
Sympathy for a character can let them get away with a lot. I feel so badly for what was done to Nobuhiko and Kotaro and they both feel like victims that I am willing to overlook some of what they are doing. It helps that I know I don’t know all the facts, but they could turn out to be really bad people, but I am still willing to assume the best of them.
LL000: Wound your protagonist at go to garner sympathy and support from the audience. They will want to see him win, even if he has an ugly side.
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