Chapter 1: In The Beginning, There Was a Flame Swordsman

The Plot

I enjoy watching Kamen Rider series. I watch Kamen Rider because I am interested in the Rider Forms and the gimmick the rider uses to transform. I like watching the fight scenes and the flashy special moves from the Riders. I have a very low standard when it comes to the plot for a Kamen Rider series. If I want to watch a show with deep meaningful plot, I can go watch something else.

I like the fairy tales and books theme. I don’t feel the first episode is rushed. The show presents us the main character Touma and how he acquired the Swordriver to transform into Kamen Rider Saber. We also know about the conflict between the swordsmen and the enemy trying to collect the wonder ride books. Calibur and the three generals trying to connect the worlds by summoning Golem to help them.

The first episode leaves a lot of unanswered questions but that’s expected. Who is that girl in Touma’s dream that got sucked into the portal? What is the relationship between the swordsman wielding the Seiken and Touma? How did Touma acquired the Brave Dragon Wonder Ride Book that he has in his possession? What is that big book Touma pulled out of his bag? The fold out from Touma’s book looks exactly like the environment in the Wonder World. What exactly does connect the worlds mean and what were those dangling hands writing in those books? I am sure we will find out as we continue to watch the show. I like how the episode ends with Rintaro riding on his blue lion and asking Touma to hand over the Swordriver and the Wonder Ride Book. It’s obvious that Rintaro is the second rider but we don’t get to see his Rider Form in this episode.

The Characters

I don’t’ mind the narrator Tassel. From what I read on the Internet; some people didn’t like how he looks like a clown. People find that Tassel’s re-cap at the end of the episode is redundant. I find Tassel’s costume fits the fairy tales theme. Tassel would seem out of place if he dressed with regular clothes. I hope they keep Tassel separate from the story. It would be weird if we see him in the main story of the show. Could the show get by without Tassel, absolutely! Does it bother me that Tassel is the narrator for the beginning and the end of the episode, absolutely not.

Touma’s editor Mei came across a bit annoying at first but I came to like her throughout the episode. She is clearly the comic relief for the series. She acts a bit silly throughout the show. Touma is a person that takes promises very seriously. He believes promises are just as important as protecting one’s life. Touma kept his promise to reunite Ryota with his parents. At the end of the episode Touma kept his promise to Mei that he would finish the manuscript for his book. It must be Touma’s good character quality that caused him to be chosen by the Seiken.

Calibur’s hidden identity is interesting. We are unsure if Calibur is a male or female character. I read someone’s post on the internet suggesting that the girl in Touma’s dream could be Calibur. I thought that would be interesting. I would also like to find out the power of Calibur’s three generals. Can the generals transform into riders? Rintaro with his blue lion. What more can I say? I definitely want to find out more about him and his rider form.

The Rider

I really like the Saber form. There’s something about a flaming sword and dragon that really get me excited. I don’t mind the blade that’s sticking out from the helmet. I like the flame design of the visor. The dragon head on the right shoulder is a nice touch.

The Swordriver is interesting. There are three slots for the Wonder Ride Books. The right slot is compatible with Divine Beast Wonder Ride Books. The middle slot is compatible with animal-based Wonder Ride Books. The left slot is compatible with story type Wonder Ride Books. We only get to see the Brave Dragon Wonder Ride Book in the first episode. I am excited to see the other forms when the Swordriver have all three books.

The Henshin sequence is very Sentai like but I don’t think that’ a bad thing. The wall of books in the background just fit the theme of the show. Touma swinging the flaming sword (Rekka) around and the dragon wraps around his body looks very cool. The special move “Flaming Cross Slash” sequence is very cool. I like the page flipping of the book with each page showing the rider’s moves.

The CGI

The CGI sequence is acceptable. I would play a Kamen Rider Game with that kind of graphics. Maybe it’s easier to present the Wonder World settings in CGI then actual green screen. Some Fans think that the show is trying to avoid having to film too many scenes with actors in it because of COVID.

Other Interesting Things

The diorama in Touma’s bookstore looks amazing. I actually paused the video so I can look at the details. Fans also pointed out that one of the books in the bookstore was in Kamen Rider Wizard. The book shape portal that Rintaro comes out of looks great. The end credit sequence is light hearted and relaxing. It looks like they borrow the idea from the Sentai series. I hope they will add other characters and riders into the end credit sequence. That last shot with the three riders over looking the Wonder World looks like a cutscene from an RPG game. I would love to play a Kamen Rider RPG game.

Characters:

Form/Wonder Ride Book:

Screenshots:

Sources: Kamen Rider Wiki, Kamen Rider Web, TV Asahi

Kamen Rider Saber – Episode 01 – Review
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