Really glad to have you here. If you’re looking for some more articles about Gaim to read, may I suggest:
If any of you have thoughts, questions, or ideas you’d like to see explored here, I’d really love to hear from you.
OK, we knew this would happen, inevitably. Someone would come along and say that Kamen Rider Gaim and Puella Magi Madoka Magica are literally the same show, and provide some really weak evidence to make that case.
So, thank you, scuttlemouse, for getting it out of the way.
I am just saying that its just funny how still people are denying the obvious, the fact. Facts are facts. Hase was Mami-san, spoken from the director’s mouth.
We’re off to a great start. Apparently you can get into college without even knowing what constitutes a fact.
Firstly, no one should be surprised that Urobuchi (who is a screenwriter, not a director) would compare his writing on Gaim to his writing on Madoka – his most popular work. It should, again, be no surprise that Urobuchi would revisit similar themes across his works.
But hey, that’s pretty damning, right? Hase is literally Mami, according to Urobuchi. Facts are facts.
Except when they’re, uh, not. The actor of Ryoji Hase, Atsushi Shiramata, quoted Urobuchi as saying:
Hase-chan is in the same position as Mami-san from MadoMagi, because they both create the turning point of the story.
Hase and Mami have absolutely nothing in common as characters, other than their deaths dictating a turning point in the story, and a tonal shift.
Certainly, this sudden tonal shift was popularized by Madoka, but in Gaim it isn’t the same at all. While it’s the most dramatic part of the story at that point, it’s not a bait-and-switch in the way Madoka was. By the time Hase dies, we already know about Yggdrasil’s cover-up, Takatora has engaged several of the kids in battle, and we’ve discovered that eating the fruit of Helheim will turn you into a monster. We even find out, simultaneously, that Gaim killed Yuuya as an Inves.
Hase’s death represents a turning point in Gaim’s narrative, and the tone becomes somewhat more severe; in that sense, there are similarities between Hase and Mami. But to say that they’re the “same” is off-base.
God, we’re only at the first sentence.
If people would just admit that Gaim is Madoka in live action form and accept it then that would be great because just brushing it off and evading the truth is ignorant.
Yeah, that’s ignorant.
If people say “who cares?” well I do and so does half of the damn fandom because Kamen Rider Gaim should not be anything close to an Anime that ends in tragedy.
Madoka doesn’t have a tragic ending; I’d say the ending is bittersweet, at best. Madoka herself manages to go through time and retroactively prevent every Magical Girl from turning into a Witch, preventing the complete despair of thousands – if not millions – of young girls. She facilitates the creation of a universe where Kyubey can continue to harvest energy to prevent the heat death of the universe (important to remember that Kyubey’s goal is ultimately good) without transforming Magical Girls into Witches. Of course, there are still sad elements; Magical Girls who exhaust their power ultimately vanish from this world, presumably joining Madoka in floating around in the cosmos. And Homura doesn’t get what she wants, which is Madoka herself.
(All of this ignores the existence of Rebellion, as all good Madoka fans should.)
By the way, lots of Kamen Rider series have tragic or bittersweet endings. OOO, Faiz and Blade come to mind. And we don’t even know how Gaim will end yet. I get that you’re not drawing parallels between the endings of each show, but saying that one show that has a sad ending should have nothing in common with Kamen Rider, ever.
Which, I mean, yeah, you’re totally entitled to think that. That’s weird, though.
Kamen Rider’s theme is about masked heroes overcoming the odds and doing the right thing. Madoka is about doing the wrong thing, and it being set in stone no matter what.
Did you … watch Madoka? I don’t think anyone would accuse Homura of doing the wrong thing. The fates of Madoka’s cast aren’t necessarily written in stone; it’s simply that they are part of a system that makes the same endings incredibly likely. We actually do see that fate changes quite a bit throughout the timelines that Homura visits. If your definition of fate is death though, then yeah, all of our fates are written in stone.
Kamen Rider is about masked heroes overcoming the odds, that’s true. But Riders make the wrong decisions all the time; anti-hero Riders are a staple of the franchise going back to Shadow Moon in Black (update: kipshades says this dates back to even the original series). Even the main characters frequently make bad decisions. It’s worth remembering that one of the primary conceits of Kamen Rider is that the protagonists are using the powers of evil to fight evil; this concept requires moral ambiguity from time-to-time.
You’ve actually missed the opportunity to identify one of the key thematic similarities of both Gaim and Madoka: that well-intentioned decisions often bring unintended consequences.
Like, they only get as much character development as is decided by what their fates will be. Isn’t that sad? …
… Its been done and live action and anime don’t mix well because the pacing is off. The character development is not a steady, or balanced, so we see characters fade into the darkness. Then die. Take into consideration what is happening.
I’m mixing sentences from multiple paragraphs, here, but it’s at least worth mentioning that yes, Urobuchi does have problems with character pacing and development and that, yes, his characters exist entirely in-service to the story. This is something that’s well documented, and I think people are justified in being annoyed by it. Gaim has problems with a few characters in particular.
But I think calling Gaim a Madoka rip-off because the writing in it retains the writing tendencies – and arguably, deficiencies – of its screenwriter is shaky logic. That’s like saying every Michael Bay movie is the same movie because they all have explosions. You stumbled into a sound argument, and then immediately left it for dead.
Much like Takatora huehuehuehuehue
Doesn’t anyone have a problem with the fact that we didn’t sign up for another season of Madoka Magica and Kamen Rider is not supposed to be equivalent to a Dark Magical Girl anime? No one has a problem yet they wonder why its so different and “original”. It “revolutionizes” the Kamen rider series and that is a joke.
I don’t think anyone has ever made the argument that that Gaim is an incredibly original show – competently plotted and paced, yes, but largely composed of various tropes like most mainstream media and the genres of anime and tokusatsu in particular.
That said, Urobuchi does have a tendency to turn tropes on their head or corrupt them into something new, and he continues that tradition in Gaim (again, a writer maintaining his core tendencies from project to project is not ripping his own projects off). Gaim doesn’t revolutionize Kamen Rider, but inarguably, it has revitalized the franchise for many of us. In the wake of Fourze and Wizard, it feels revolutionary. It takes risks and treads a path that’s new for the franchise, which is one of the reasons it’s both so beloved and reviled.
Take into consideration what is happening. Do you want kids, little kids ((who is the majority fanbase to kamen rider, not us)) watching that?
Japanese kids watch Attack on Titan. They’ll fucking manage.
Madoka was gonna air in America on WBZ kids next to Pokemon like last year and they fucking changed their mind because it was “too dark” for the general audience. They couldn’t do it.
This isn’t true. And if it were (it’s not), it would be entirely the fault of whoever came up with that idea (no one did), because Madoka isn’t a children’s show (which is why nobody ever wanted to air it on WBZ Kids).
Madoka is a much darker show than Gaim. Like, considerably darker. That said, I wouldn’t consider either show totally out-of-bounds for kids, except that Madoka would probably be really confusing for a younger audience. Gaim isn’t confusing, and characters dying doesn’t necessarily make it inappropriate for children. Lest we forget that one of the best childrens’ series of all time, Avatar: The Last Airbender, featured genocide as a major plot point. A father burned his son’s face over pretty much nothing. There was a huge political conspiracy to convince one of the largest cities in the world that there was no war. People died with some regularity, much like they do in life.
I hate using the word dark to discuss children’s television; it’s both a reductionist way of criticizing a show, and a lame attempt by adult viewers to justify their juvenile viewing habits. What do we mean when we say dark?
Is it violent? Yes, like all Kamen Rider is. The franchise necessitates solving problems through violence.
Is it tragic? Yes, like much of Kamen Rider is.
Is it ambiguous? Often. This is nothing new for Kamen Rider, either. In Kiva, Wataru is forced to kill monsters who are trying their hardest to not be bad.
So the main problem I have is that it is not a show meant for the general audience of Kamen Rider to watch.
Sorry, but you’re not the morality police and plenty of children in Japan are watching and enjoying Gaim. You don’t seriously think that the record toy sales are coming only from adult collectors, do you?
Our age group is not the main ones who watch this. So our opinions/views/ how the show influences us will be significantly different from the kids that watch and wonder why all their “heroes” are suffering and dying. BUT STILL NO ONE CARES?
Man, everyone suffers in Kamen Rider. You can’t have much conflict without some kind of suffering. That said, how many heroes have died in Gaim? Even if I give you Hase – not really a hero, but whatever – the only other person I can think of is Takatora, who died fighting a monster that he created. Other than that, we have Ryouma and Sid – definitely not heroes, but humans – and Roshuo, who was kinda ambiguous, and a host of monsters like Redue and Demushu. Mai has like, transcended to another form of existence (LOL WHOA SHE’S TOTALLY MADOKA). Maybe we’ll see more deaths by the end of the series, but Gaim having slightly more death than a typical Kamen Rider series doesn’t strike me as worth denigrating it for.
Do you think these kids are stupid? Do you think that they cannot fathom that sometimes, good people die in the service of doing good? (See: Jet from ATLA). The Japanese have different standards for children’s television, and death is much less taboo. Seriously, try watching Naruto sometime. Like half the cast is dead.
Well they should because the whole point of Kamen Rider is null in void It may not matter to you but it does to the real main audience watching this show..but no Urobuchi can have his second rise to fame with his second adaption of Madoka and everyone can keep denying that Gaim is Madoka is premise, plot, characterization, theme, and the overall concept down to the music.
Urobuchi does not need Gaim's help with his career. I understand that Madoka and Gaim are the only works of his that most Gaim-haters acknowledge the existence of, but he’s written a host of popular shows and doesn’t seem to be having trouble finding new work. Gaim is his eighth television series in seven years.
What commonalities do Gaim and Madoka have other than being nebulously “dark”? You’ve failed to point out any of them, whereas I’ve at least managed to highlight a few. Here’s a few more:
The comparison of Sagara to Kyubey is probably the most obvious one, but they actually play totally different roles. Sagara has nothing to gain by the Riders using their powers; in that sense, Yggdrasil has more in common with Kyubey than Sagara.
Kyubey was an otherworldy force looking to harness life energy in order to prevent the universe from dying. He harnessed these energies by granting superpowers to the girls.
Sagara, meanwhile, is actually an invasive alien species that seeks to rewrite entire worlds for the sake of enabling evolution – and not social evolution, in the sense that Kyubey did, but actual for-real evolution. There is no real purpose to this process. He grants power, but only to one, and only at the tail-end of the process.
Both Kyubey and Sagara tell half-truths to further their goals.
Nobody claims that Gaim and Madoka have nothing in common. But why shouldn’t they have commonalities? Why shouldn’t a writer revisit the same ideas in different ways, in different works, in completely different mediums aimed at completely different audiences? This doesn’t make one a rehash or repeat of the other. It’s a writer doing what a writer does.
This isn’t my opinion. This is fact. There is proof and by shrugging it off, is just a matter of not caring that Urobuchi is a one-trick pony that made the saddest Kamen Rider series based off one of his most popular successes. If you don’t care fine, but why can’t you accept it?
There are no facts here. Just the lashing-out of someone who’s upset that Gaim isn’t the Kamen Rider that they love. That’s fine. I had to deal with Fourze and Wizard back-to-back, both of which I disliked.
I’ve even seen complaints that Gaim fans are elitists. Of course, these complaints are generally lodged by tokusatsu elitists themselves, who can’t accept that some filthy weebs have infiltrated the secret ore sanjou-tachi clan.
Gaim has opened up the genre to people who never would have discovered it otherwise, including some of my closest friends. Some of these people will never watch another show, or they will watch more but not really get into it. Others still will go on to watch other Kamen Rider series and love them for their own merits. I got into Kamen Rider because of Gackt, of all fucking things. Does that make me a less legitimate fan? To which council should I submit my application for true fanhood?
At any rate, there’s less than a month left of Gaimadoka, and then we get Drive, which will presumably contain all of the goofiness that your heart can contain. And being a detective-themed Kamen Rider series written by Riku Sanjo, it’s sure to be totally fresh and original!
There were definitely people who believed Mai and Alternate Mai were two separate entities, with separate theories going aroung, such as Alternate Mai being the ghost of the overlord queen, or the will of the forest, or even just Mai’s parallel from helheim (like other characters had parallel overlords).
The reason Mai addressed Alt-Mai with a “Me?” is because they look exactly alike, so she was startled to see someone who looked just like her.
Given the reveal of their relationship, it’s a no-brainer why they look the same, but saying that no one didn’t see it coming is false
If there are honestly people who thought that Alternate Mai looking like Mai was going to amount to being a complete coincidence, I don’t know what to say to them.
I’m confused with the logic behind Genesis Driver’s usability.
Unlike the Sengoku Driver, it is mever explicitly said that the Genesis Driver is made for a single user. But since they gave Kaito a new one based on his Sengoku Driver’s data, we can assume that a Genesis Driver can only be used by one person they’re made for.
But then Mitsuzane took Takatora’s Genesis Driver and became Zangetsu Shin. (Spoiler) He became Zangetsu Shin and not Ryugen because the Driver is based of Takatora’s data. How can he use it then?
This one might slide, because they’re brothers. Their DNAs are similiar enough, I think.
But Minato’s coming back as Malika next episode, even though her Genesis Driver is busted. We can only assume that she’s using Ryoma’s Driver. (Spoiler) But how? They’re not related as far as we know. And since it’s Ryoma’s Driver, it must have more security measures than the others.
See? It’s confusing
You’re confused largely based on assumptions you yourself have made on the Genesis Driver’s functionality. It’s never stated in the show that the Genesis Driver has any security features. The only belts that were locked to their users were the prototype Sengoku Drivers.
… I’m not sure you can call something ‘obvious’ when the show went out of its way to draw your attention to them being the same person in the first episode.
True, it does still bother me though.
I’m not - really sure why, to be honest.
Wiseman and the White Wizard was meant to be a plot twist that surprises you, so it was a problem when it was obvious from pretty much the WW’s first appearance.
Mai and Other Mai being the same person isn’t a plot twist, and audiences were meant to puzzle over what chain of events would lead to one becoming the other. So why would people be bothered about it being obvious that they’re the same person? That would be like people getting angry over it being obvious that Takatora’s a member of Yggdrassil.
It’s just that, during the lead up to the reveal I saw a lot of people saying who they thought other Mai actually was, which had me under the impression it was meant as a plot twist since I hadn’t seen the first couple episodes in a while.
Did you actually see people wondering who Alternate Mai was, or simply people wondering how this would come to be? I’ve never seen anyone wonder if Alternate Mai wasn’t Mai. Mai even acknowledges that its obviously herself when they meet.