So again, kind of filler episodes which mostly serve to reinforce what we learned about whichever Imagin was just introduced; in this case Kintaros.
I wasn’t really all that interested in the story itself this episode, because the plights of a pre-teen girl idol/model really just don’t interest me very much (it’s a matter of demographics, really). Things pick up in episode 12 when it becomes less about the modeling and more about an estranged father/daughter relationship. The second episode also revisits the problem of creating paradoxes by changing the past, which I find very interesting.
One of my favorite things about the Kamen Rider franchise, beyond the great characters and often campy fun, is the way it tackles in a very tangible way issues that, when you think about it, are very philosophical and/or existential in nature.
It’s really cool that what is first and foremost a Sunday morning kids’ show, whose purpose is largely to sell toys, is so good at tackling questions such as what is the true measure of being human; or to what extent our circumstances or fate determine who we are and what we do. I was going to say it’s a little amazing, but it’s really not, when you consider that at heart, this is exactly what the very first Kamen Rider was about, decades ago (full disclosure: I haven’t really seen any Showa yet, although Black in particular is definitely on my list of stuff to watch). Kamen Rider can be about the suits and the fights and about heroes of justice kicking ass; but if you let it, it will also make you think. It tends to sneak up on you, too, and that’s what happened with these two episodes.