I’d never really watched any of the W bonus material back in the day, beyond the movies. I sort of… I didn’t really understand what it all was? Phase 2 Heisei is where Kamen Rider starts to have a dizzying array of nebulously-canonical content – HBVs, Net-Movies, DVD bonus features, stage shows, etc. – which can be incredibly daunting to a new fan that’s unused to Toei’s scattergun approach to yearly superhero stories. The first time through with W, I just watched what I thought was Actual Content: the TV episodes and the two movies.

But that’s because I was young and foolish, and I had no idea how precious all of this ancillary content can be. While it’s not technically in continuity with the series, this sort of stuff has a playfulness that adds dimensionality to the characters, and a warmth that carries over into the show itself. I like seeing these actors get goofy, and I like seeing the shows churn out a cheap piece of fun bonus content.

Which is exactly what this very short piece of DVD bonus content is! Absolutely inessential, but very fun to watch. It’s a bigger, more intricate version of the thing I liked from the opening credits, where Shotaro’s fiction-influenced dream of a real detective office butts up against the reality of the Narumi Detective Agency being a low-rent group of weirdos.

The short itself is, uh, short (less than three minutes?), but it’s got some fun concepts that speak to Shotaro’s fiction-warped view of How Things Should Be: Akiko is a sophisticated secretary who sings his praises, while Philip is… well, basically Diend. (Maybe Shotaro watched a bunch of Decade recently?) It’s Shotaro in charge of the woman who berates him and the man who can’t stay on task, and it’s as uncomfortable for Shotaro as it is for the viewer. It’s a boring premise, missing all of the hilarious tension and friction of the main show. Still, it’s a fun concept for a couple minutes, even if it needs an appearance by the terrific T-Rex Dopant costume to come up with an ending.

This was a cute little bonus feature! I don’t think it ruined my initial W viewing experience to have skipped it, but it’s a nice compliment to the series now. Any additional time spent with these characters annoying each other is a plus!

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