Series Review: Kamen Rider Hibiki
Well it's time for another Kamen Rider review and I'm pretty mixed on this one. I did like the concept of music as weaponry, the Oni Riders and the Makamou. But this series was controversial because from episodes 1-29 he had Tyuyoshi Kida/Shinji Ooshi tandem and producer Shigenori Takatera and later we have Toshiki Inoue/Shoji Yonemura tandem and Shinichiro Shirakura taking over. So what are my thoughts? For some the whole Hibiki show itself presents the unusual world of Kamen Riders battling giant Makamou monsters of different breed- while not large enough to bring a giant robot battle, they are still large nonetheless. The idea of Hibiki using the drum was for me, pretty much cool at the same time strange. The narration of Asumi were interesting and I wonder why they removed it by episode 31. So pretty much, there were interesting Riders that came into the show with much of Japanese stuff, in short this show is very Japanese like Kakuranger, Hurricanger and Shinkenger when it comes to Super Sentai.
I was thinking that the whole adding of riders was great with Kamen Rider Zanki (Zaomaru) and Kamen Rider Todoroki (Tomizo) which they were challenged to cooperate to beat those awesomely huge monsters. A drum, a trumpet and a guitar, rock on baby. The whole show had its interesting very Japanese-like monsters. For aesthetics and everything, the show had a lot of cool designs. Asumu's desire to be like Hibiki is one drive in the show which for me was interesting to watch. There's much nightmare fuel involved and this series may have been experimental to what would lead to the way monsters are being written in Kamen Rider Ryuki.
Now to talk about the Kida vs. Inoue arc. The Kida/Ooshi with Shigenori Takatera had brought a "sense of pride" for Japanese stuff witht he kanji, the unusual way the show goes and of course, I was mixed on it. I thought that with the Kida/Ooshi arc, some things felt bland. For me, some characters felt like cardboard and the girls had slow development until later. I do agree with Shogo B'Stard that it took quite long for them to fire Kida and replace him with Inoue. But unfortunately Inoue was going to go in tandem with the writer Yonemura who wrote that incredibly stupid Super Hero Taisen movie. In my opinion, Inoue actually did add some conflict to the show and character development for cardboard characters but at the same time, added some really bad stuff like that annoying kid Kiriya who I really wanted to be eaten by the Makamou.
For the good Inoue did I'll credit that he introduced more character development. I would say that a lot of cardboard had more personality but at the same time, the writer was pretty antagonized by the cast with the changes. Producer Shinichiro Shirakura did however make some toys sales but at the same time that guy tends to run down on writing decisions. For Toshiki Inoue, I think the best parts he did here were the was the Shuki Arc which really added some drama to the show. But other than that, well we know how Inoue as a head writer does his stories. As a replacement writer, Inoue is always a good news/bad news thing. I wonder if things would have been better if Yasuko Kobayashi were in tandem with Toshiki Inoue instead of Shoji Yonemura the writer of awful Decade. Then again the Yasuko Kobayashi/Toshiki Inoue tandem has its problems when you consider that they also wrote much of Kamen Rider Ryuki together with both endings first and second, not having a good ending.
So yeah, the whole series moves to its direction like the death of Zanki which I find to be an interesting plot. Unfortunately the really bad point for Inoue was adding Kiriya who made the second half a pain. Crud, I don't mind villains being like that but that's supposedly an ally?! Also, the whole finale arc was really boring, in fact it's a plot dangling one. Considering the fact that Toshiki Inoue does tend to suck at finales, it's no surprise Hibiki despite the interesting stuff he brought into, really had a bad finale. So the Makamou characters are still out there somewhere, so no definite conclusion and Asumu rejoins and that annoying kid Kiriya becoming a good Kamen Rider? Really I just thought that Inoue could have easily looked back at his passable finale with Agito but sadly, he got cocky after Agito and Faiz had also one messed up finale. So far the show isn't bad but it isn't garbage like Decade either. So far, a fair score.
My rating? 7/10. It's not really bad nor is it good. Hmmmm I do agree also with Shogo B'Stard's opinion about the damage that happened with this series.