Secondaries, am I right?

It’s the toughest gig in Kamen Ridering, probably. You have power, and goals, and sometimes a touch of ambition, but the entire narrative is oriented to diminish what you accomplish. You’re a sidekick at best, a late-stage adversary at worst. The story is only about you to the extent that you complement the main character’s journey. It can never really be your story.

But, like, that’s life? We all feel like the main characters of our stories, but this is a world with billions of main characters. Sometimes our story is about helping other people, letting them attain their true potential, and giving the support necessary to excel. It’s okay to be the person in the background sometimes. Not everything has to be about us.

It’s a nice lesson, in this concluding chapter of what would otherwise be Rintaro’s heroic self-actualization. He’s a happier, healthier version of himself for acknowledging the strength of the other two characters in this story: Touma and Mei.

From Touma, he learns to never give up on himself, even when it seems like he’s pretty much there to eat shit while someone else gets the win. Setbacks don’t mean you’re weak; giving up after a setback means you’re weak. As long as you’re willing to put in the effort, there’s still a chance for victory.

From Mei, he learned that having a good attitude is a multiplier for any group. Everyone does their best work when they’re in the trenches with friends, so providing a friendly atmosphere is a strength that even a non-swordsmen member of the Sword of Logos can provide. Mei’s just as strong as the rest of the team, because she helps them all stay positive and happy. There’s strength in that kind of positivity.

It’s a very sweet little story about positive thinking, and accepting the support of people around us, which is a neat recurring topic for this series. This thing could’ve easily been a story where Rintaro gets strong and Finds His Conviction and single-handedly saves Mei while Touma cheers him on from the sidelines… but it just refused to take the easy way out. Instead, we get this fun three-hander about how the effectiveness of any team is down to how much they can lift each other up, rather than how strong each member is. Such a great twist on this sort of traditional Secondary story.



KICK JUMP TWIST



This stupid guy. Of all the villains that she could’ve been abducted by, it had to be the worst one.

Legeiel was a smug jerk, but at least he was sort of cool about it. Handsome, too. Sure, he was weirdly obsessed with Touma; and sure, he got turned into an immolating version of himself thanks to forbidden magics; but there was at least a professionalism about him in the early days. 3 out of 5 stars.

Storious… okay, the long strand of hair is not great. It’s super distracting, and it’s… it’s just sort of there? He could braid it, or put some jewelry in it. Just, something, instead of hanging there limply. Otherwise, he was fairly innocuous as apocalyptic villains went. Goal-oriented, which was easier to deal with mentally.

This guy, though. God.

Zooous was her least favorite, by a mile. Putting aside all the crap he’d pulled with Rintaro – which was a major mark against him, don’t get her wrong – he was just a complete tool. The stupid sleeveless vest, even in the dead of winter. The goofy hair. And the parkour.

God, the parkour.

He’d never take two steps forward if he could take two flips backwards and three flips forward instead. It was bad enough that she was being slowly devoured by a magic book, forced to live in eternal suffering as a link between the real world and an alternate dimension of storybook magic… but this guy was just making it torture.

He flipped through the alley again, after his most recent nonsensical threat (oh, he was also an idiot, she forgot to mention that), and she watched him cackle like a doofus at his own theatricality. It was a nightmare, hanging around this guy. He’d already destroyed her sense of optimism at being saved by Touma and Rintaro; now, he was destroying her will to live.

She hoped that she could be saved, but she was praying to be put out of her misery.

Zooous saw her pain, and did another backflip.

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