New goal: Every school paper will somehow be about Kamen Rider.
The movie I will be discussing here is “Kamen Rider W Forever A to Z: The Gaia Memories of Fate” (try saying that three times fast).
While this wasn’t a major motion picture in America, it did do very well in it’s home country of Japan, placing second in box offices, and placing third in weekend charts. The movie itself is a spin-off of the television series “Kamen Rider W,” however, the film has its own self contained storyline. The film first hit Japanese theaters on August 7, 2010.
First up, here’s a little history about “Kamen Rider W”. This is actually the twentieth series in the now forty-two-year-old Kamen Rider television franchise. This tokusatsu (Japanese special effects. Think Godzilla or Power Rangers) series is about two detectives who defend their city from a stream of technological drugs called Gaia Memories, which turn the user into super-powered monsters. Many twists and turns occur as the two get deeper and deeper into just who’s behind the chaos, until the series comes to a close with episode fifty. Kamen Rider W made their first appearance in the film “Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker”, which was a spin-off film for the 2009 series, “Kamen Rider Decade”. They shared a movie with Decade in the film “Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider W & Decade: Movie War 2010”, which (naturally) hit theaters in 2010. While their first film appearance was a cameo, Movie War 2010 served as both a team-up with Kamen Rider Decade and as an “untold origin story” for Kamen Rider W. After the television series ended, the cast reunited for two direct-to-dvd features, “Kamen Rider W Returns: Kamen Rider Accel” and “Kamen Rider Returns: Kamen Rider Eternal.” They also appeared in a team-up movie with the follow up series Rider, Kamen Rider OOO in “Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider OOO & W Featuring Skull: Movie War Core.” Other then that, they have made cameo appearances in the films “OOO, Den-O, All-Riders: Let’s Go Kamen Riders,” “Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider Fourze & OOO: Movie War Megamax” and “ Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider Wizard & Fourze: Movie War Ultimatum.” The film I will be highlighting is W’s own movie, “Kamen Rider W Forever A to Z: The Gaia Memories of Fate”
The scene I will be discussing takes place at the 54:56 mark. The two main characters, Shotaro and Philip (who together combine a consciousness to form the superhero Kamen Rider W) have been split up for a good chunk of the film after Philip gets captured by the villain, Katsumi Domo, also known as Kamen Rider Eternal. Here, they are finally reunited, and put a stop to most of his plans. However, Eternal has one more scheme he’d like to try.
I want to talk about the sheer amount of audio effects here. This scene is my favorite in the film because of the character of Phillip “manning up” and deciding who he is as a person. However, this scene features several audio elements which I will now list. First up is the dialogue. Philip whispering “You are the devil” then shouting “I will stop you!” really pack a punch here. However, there is another layer of dialogue that I’m sure a lot of ADR went into after the characters transform into their super-powered persona. Plus, when Eternal and Double speak, you can hear definite audio effects added to their voice. Next, we have the audio of simple sound effects, such as Eternal throwing away his ejector, or throwing off his cape. And let’s not forget the “Eternal!” “Cyclone!” and “Joker!” of the Gaia Memories. Finally, we have the score, which fits beautifully in this scene. The music seamlessly changes gears after Philip delivers his speech while fighting off Eternal into the series’ classic transformation theme (not counting the little medley the belt itself makes in the background as the two turn into W).
All in all, this is a great scene that’s a great listen (non-comprehension of Japanese aside) and a great view. The movie itself (in addition to the television series its based on) is full of audio effects piled on top of audio effects piled on top of soundtrack piled on top of dialogue, into one wonderfully cohesive thing. All the camera tricks and special effects add up very nicely well. However, that’s a different discussion all together…