Hey, what's got seven letters and doesn't usually make the smart words about music? ♪This guy♪ So, yeah, it's a very musical episode of Faiz! Let's see if I can manage to say anything of value about it!

First, I don't think I've ever talked about the theme song? I really like it. It's not as epic as my favorite Phase 2 Heisei tracks (I'm listening to the shit out of that Memorial Works compilation lately), but it's still pretty fun. I definitely find myself crooning Can You Feel each episode, so that's got to be some small success for the composers.

But, that fight song in this episode! Holy shit! So great! I'm already onboard with a great big Horsepower/Kaido/Faiz fight, but that fight song kicked it up a few levels. The fight itself was great, I love any fight outside Kamen Rider Stadium, but when that fight song kicked I might've leaned forward in my seat out of excitement. Really great song for a really great fight.

And then the classic guitar piece over the Faiz/Owlphnoch fight. So intense. There's a haunted feeling to it, since it needs to support both the Faiz Fight at the end of the episode, but also Kaido's tenuous connection to his past. It manages to fill both roles beautifully. The fight feels appropriately serious, while the Kaido scene feels wistful and sad. There's a dreamlike feeling to the scene, where the music is almost conjuring the fight, and the energy of the fight feeds back into the playing of the song. It's a great use of music to improve some already topnotch storytelling.


The storytelling this episode is all about dreams, a phrase that's said a few dozen times (I was not counting) and contributes to the big Why Does Takumi Have To Be This Way scene for the episode. Which, you know, I liked that scene! It's a good one! Takumi is being extra-jerky any time someone talks about their dreams, and it's clear that it's because he doesn't have one. The scene where he gets chewed out by both Mari (because he demanded she make him dinner) and Keitaro (for basically undermining everything he believes in) is really funny, and totally deserved. It's just, it's a little on the nose? I liked how Takumi's attitude was souring without him having to explain why, so having Mari just outright say that he's acting out because he envies people who have dreams... like, keep it as subtext! Give your audience some credit! Stating it like that, dragging it out into the open that way, it made me like that part of the story less.

Still, like I said, it's a fun scene and an entertaining way to build out Takumi's character. He's so irritated by people trying to reach a goal. I like that his default state is Unhappy, and that anyone who strives to be less unhappy makes him more unhappy. He's got a lot of really serious emotional problems! I'm not sure 43 more episodes, one movie, and a Hyper-Battle Video are going to be enough to fix him!


Team Orphnoch gets to deal with dreams, too, but mostly just through Kaido. (Yuuji's on bedrest after narrowly surviving the opening fight, and Yuka is almost entirely forgotten about.) Kaido's story is about how he feels like his dream was stolen from him after an injury, and now that he's an Orphnoch he's going to lash out and get some revenge.

The thing I really like about how the Orphnochs are portrayed in this series, at least our core trio, is that their rage is like Takumi's rage: it's a resentment born of desire. Yuuji's actions were against the people who robbed him of the life he longed for, one he still can't entirely let go of. Yuka's actions were because she wanted acceptance, and she could never obtain it. Kaido wants to hurt the people who are living out his dream.

I think the key scene for me in this episode is after Kaido storms his old guitar class with his new club banger Stupid Stupid Stupid (Dance To My Drums). He's about to get thrashed by a group of students, which is perfect, because then he can unleash his inner monster on them with no guilt. But then his teacher comes out, and Kaido's whole demeanor changes. He's polite, respectful. He apologizes for his actions. His anger isn't at his teacher, or the institution. His anger is at the people living the life he wishes he could reclaim.

And then you get the other half of that scene, when Kaido helps out a struggling first-year. There's a vulnerability to the scene that I found heart-warming. I thought it might go a different way, like Kaido would go nuts on him, or the kid would turn out to be the Owlphnoch. Instead, it's just this really sweet scene about a character trying to heal his own soul through the music he can't play any longer. It's... really not the direction I thought this show was going in, and I love that it tried this move. This is a tough show to predict, and I love that about it.


It's not impossible to predict, though. We're still going to get a Faiz Fight at the end of the episode, and it's against the mysterious new Owlphnoch. I really like the helmet design, how it takes the owl head and structures in a gas mask. They make some interesting choices in the body, how the pants seem puffier and there's a bit of a backpack. Visually, it makes the Owlphnoch feel more like a guy in a suit than, say, Horsepower. But I still really liked it? I don't know why, I guess! It just looked cool!


This was a weird one for me, where it seemed to backburner a lot of the recent revelations in favor of both a straight-up classic Monster Of The Week problem-solving story for Keitaro and his sidekick Takumi; and a character study on the newest member of Team Orphnoch. Live Action Hatsune Miku and Smart Brain barely get a scene, and there's nothing about Mari's dad or the origin of the belt or any of that. It's a very Basic episode of Faiz, if it's even fair to say that at Episode 7. I had a great time with it, though. This cast is great, and the story, small though it was, came out terrific. I'm completely okay just hanging out with these characters, so I've got no complaints if they don't want to push the series story forward. It's just a little weird to throttle back after just starting to explain some of this stuff.