Kamen Rider Agito: An Entire Season of Woven Mysteries, Conflicts and Complex Plots!
Three times the charm.. before Inoue practically undid himself in Kamen Rider Faiz!
After the success of Kamen Rider Kuuga, Kamen Rider Agito became the second Heisei Kamen Rider era. Kuuga provided the framework, now it was time for yet another show that would try to return a lot of stuff. Yet part of it was very atypical and part of it was typical with how the show ran from start to end. The style of Agito is a show that has a lot of woven mysteries, conflicts and complex plots.
So how does that all count in? When you think of it, you definitely know nothing of the main protagonist who just becomes Agito. We don't know anything about the man who is called Shouichi in the show. He's just an amnesiac young man who suddenly feels the need to protect humanity one way or another, while living in a family that's not his own namely Professor Misugi who was taking care of his late stepbrother's children. Along the way, there is the mysterious Ryo Ashihara who can become Kamen Rider Gills. Along the way, we have the strange phenomenon of unexplained murders one way or another.
What made the show somewhat interesting was a series of conflicts, Inoue style. This was before Inoue either burned out beyond belief or lost the stomach to try his best because of Toei's current management. I mean, he wrote a lot of good stuff into Sentai but lately, he looks more like he's unenthusiastic. But Agito was that time he actually wrote something hard to replicate.
Somehow, this reminds me of a bit of Timeranger's Naoto... Hojo is the show's Naoto!
Kamen Rider Agito had the police station conflict taking in the place of Hojo Toru vs. the G3 team. Hojo himself was almost like another Naoto Takizawa/Time Fire in Timeranger. If you watched Timeranger, Naoto was always jealous of others while having ascended above his poverty. Apparently, Hojo seems to be somebody like that. In Hojo's case, he's a depowered Time Fire and the time he created his own suit, it never came into action. I always thought that maybe, Inoue should have made Hojo the user of the G3 suit instead of Hikawa... that is if he wanted to make Hojo a little more relevant and the conflict much higher.
The police station conflict is usually centered around Hojo vs. G3. Okay Hikawa is far more tolerable but... I thought that Hojo could have been a better Kamen Rider G3 to become a more effective anti-hero with a purpose. I mean, Naoto in Timeranger having the Time Fire powers didn't make Naoto a jerk for jerk's sake... Hojo at times felt like he was just a jerk for jerk's sake. Although, Hojo is an adept officer that the police department couldn't do without but at the same time, he always heckles the G3 team most of the time out of jealousy. It just reminds me of Naoto's jealousy towards the Timerangers except poor Hojo doesn't get any kind of power to fight the Lords. I know he's a jerkass but... if they wanted the conflict to be higher, why not give him the G3 set set and make him Agito's rival? Then later, we can have him try to seize power for himself like Naoto did. Still, I thought he was that annoying for most of his run.
Yes Mana is also part of the conflict...
Agito in itself starts with the rise of ESP which is a mystery to them to why they had that power in the first place. Several characters come and go as part of a conflict. The police station wasn't the only conflict but also among people who had the gift of Agito in them. They were targeted by the Lords for no clear reason that is to the audience. The whole series involved different people with the Seed of Agito pulled into different degrees of conflict.
The complex plots involved in people with the power of Agito is mostly a mystery to them. The plot itself is complex like how did the people who survived the Akatsuki Gou storm incident get that power? When did the rise of humanity have that power? The show slowly starts to answer the questions one by one as the show progresses.
Two sides of Yin and Yang... the Overlord of Darkness and the Overlord of Light...
The idea of Agito is theistic evolution and the role the Lords play. I always thought of how in the non-canon show called Kamen Rider Decade a connection between the Lords and Grongi was established. Apparently, Agito was supposedly a sequel to Kuuga.. I'm starting to think of writing about that another day but I'd talk about the conflicts happened between the Lords too. If Agito can be viewed as Kuuga's sequel (sorry Godai I view it that way but don't worry, other heroes will protect the smiles when you're not around), then the Lords were once involved in fighting the Grongi but fell apart due to a conflict of interest.
What we are left at first is the mysterious murders that happened. The unknown creatures known as the Lords are trying to destroy a certain type of people. At first, we don't know why the murders happened. But slowly but surely, we discover that these people have the Agito seeds. So it's a simple battle of two sides to how human evolution should go. Should humans be allowed to progress to the level of Agito or should they stay as is in their current progressed state? That's what's going on in Kamen Rider Agito.
So the Overlord of Darkness was part of giving rise to human evolution. It reminds me of the Greek myths when Zeus himself was angry with Prometheus for giving fire to man. The Overlord of Darkness is a "villain" in the sense that he's being such a douchebag. He is judgmental towards humans who have been bestowed by the power of Agito. Anybody who had the power of Agito, he always made sure they were slain. But normal hurmans who didn't possess that power, were left alone. Still, come on, that was very uncalled for. What makes him an interesting villain to the show is that he's not completely evil either... so he's more of an anti-villain which makes him pretty unique to the show's plot.
Yup he masterminds everything while having noble causes, I still admit he was a real douchebag!
I started to view the Overlord of Darkness as the manipulator of events behind everything. So what's his objective? To make sure that humans doesn't collapse within itself with the power to become Agito. He hasn't fully understood humanity. I personally view him to be the Ryuya Asami of the show - a villain with some noble intents but does it pretty wrongly to the point of becoming despicable. Both the Overlord of Light and the Overlord of Darkness are played by just one actor... like Tatsuya Asami and his descendant Ryuya Asami who represents two sides of the coin each with a flaw on each side.
I always thought that the conflict within the Lords is another thing that got interesting. The Overlord of Light believed that mankind can handle the gift of Agito within themselves. However the Overlord of Darkness thought otherwise and while he did give rise to mankind, he hasn't fully understood them. All he cares about is to eliminate the Agito seed even willing to cross extremes of restarting humanity leading towards the finale itself.