“We Madoka now.”
I remember using that line to describe Kamen Rider Gaim a few years back, and with good reason. For those unaware, Gaim -- a tokusatsu series carrying the Kamen Rider torch -- was spearheaded by Gen “The Butcher” Urobuchi, who by then had long since stolen the spotlight with his now-infamous magical girl anime, Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Confession time: I haven’t seen the latter series, but I have seen the former. And cultural osmosis has made me suspect that there are more than a few parallels between Gaim and Madoka…which I’ll spare you of here, because spoilers are involved.
Parallels or not, Gaim went on to become a fan favorite with plenty of spinoffs to its name. I’m mostly okay with that; I like Gaim, and I can see why people would absolutely love it, but to me it’s not the be-all and end-all. Good, but not outstanding; strong, but not without flaw. It did give us Micchy, one of KR’s best characters (IMO), but it also gave us Kaito, one of KR’s worst characters (IMO). My thoughts aside, it’s not hard to imagine the showrunners wanting to reproduce the success and fame that Gaim brought in -- especially as a follow-up to the less-than-stellar KR Ghost.
Enter Kamen Rider Ex-Aid -- which at a base level is “We Madoka Now: Revengeance.” But if you cut even an inch deeper, it’s Gaim 2.0. But if you cut two inches deeper, then you might have the same opinion I do: Ex-Aid is the bizarro-Gaim. It’s good for the reasons that Gaim was bad…and bad for the reasons that Gaim was good.
…In my humble opinion, of course.
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