Kamen Rider W: The One Who Continues After Z written by Riku Sanjo was released back December, and I’ve finally managed to get a copy of the novel. So here’s a first of many Kamen Rider novel reviews.
For those who aren’t aware, Riku Sanjo was the head writer for Kamen Rider W the TV series. He came back to write this novel, since it’s the same writer it really does capture the same spirit of Kamen Rider W from the TV series. Before you get to the content of the novel, Riku Sanjo leaves you with a very pleasant message saying “To all fans of Kamen Rider W, I bring you this novel as a gift to you and your bookshelf. The novel set between the story arcs ‘B‘ and ‘Y‘, please take your time and read it. That would make me happy.”
As Riku himself says, the book is set between B and Y, which is 32 and 33. Episode 32 ends with Kamen Rider W defeating Beast Dopant and Zone Dopant in a river, which may or may not have caused Shotaro getting sick. The basic premise is that Shotaro has fallen sick from a cold, and Philip decides that he will accept the cases until Shotaro feels better. Shotaro says that he feels like a zombie, which is further hinting at the Z in the title.
Philip takes it so far that even uses Shotaro’s name and tries to act like him. Philip even starts wearing a hat, but instead of a fedora he wears a flat cap. Terui ends up playing along with Philip, at one one point when Terui is calling for Philip, Terui says “Hey, Phi… Phidari…”
The novel is pretty much entirely about Philip featuring the heroine for this case. Akiko does appear briefly talking with Terui, but Phllip walks in and doesn’t realize that he’s ruining the mood. Very early on in the book, Kamen Rider W defeats the Zebra Dopant.
Anyways, the client this time is an 18 year old young lady by the name of Kasumi Zenkuji. The Zenkuji family is one of Futo’s wealthiest families, the Zenkuji family owns the ZENON Resort, described as Futo’s most profitable company. Kasumi is your stereotypical rich brat, who always gets what she wants. Usually accompanied with her maid, Azusa Yumioka. Her problem is that her family is fighting over inheritance. Her family consists of the oldest son, Toshihide and his wife Asami, her older sister Reiko and her fiance Atsushi Shindo. Philip agrees to help her out. Just like in the TV series, the more they investigate Dopants always seem to be behind everything.
First, we have the Zoo Dopant and Zero Dopant. The Zero Dopant is actually a hired assassin from the Museum to assassinate Kasumi, Zero Dopant is able nullify peoples energy upon physical touch. The Zoo Dopant is the main villain of the novel, it has the powers various animals. It’s described as one of the stronger Memories, just like the Fang Memory Zoo Memoery has it’s own will. Philip has to transform into Kamen Rider W FangJoker, and it’s explained that Shotaro’s compatibility with the Joker Memory is what keeps the Fang Memory from going berserk. Thus, Joker is the only Memory that can be used with Fang. Terui fights as Kamen Rider Accel, but none of their attacks are working. Philip and Terui lose, not only that the Fang Memory is broken after the fight.
Shroud shows up at the agency and says that Shotaro is only hindering Philip. Without Fang, Philip is unable to fight. However, Shroud leaves the Lost Driver behind her before disappearing.
Philip ends up having to use the Lost Driver along with his Cyclone Memory and fights the Dopants. Fighting with the wind, Kamen Rider Cyclone manages to defeat Zero with the help from Accel. Cyclone lets Philip absorb wind and use it as strength, it also increases his mobility. His special attack is some sort of wind chop, but it remains unnamed. The Zoo Dopant is revealed to be Toshihide, but his Memory is stolen the maid, Azusa Yumioka. Azusa is then revealed to be Kasumi’s real mother. She stole the Memory in order to protect her daughter. But that doesn’t last long as Asami steals it back and pretty much everyone in the Zenkuji family wants Kasumi dead. After fighting as Kamen Rider Cyclone by himself, Philip realizes how much Shotaro means to him. That he couldn’t possibly fight alone like this, that he needs his partner Shotaro.
Fortunately, Shotaro is feeling better for the final battle. They transform together into their new form, Cyclone Joker Xtreme. Accel is present to help with the fight.
Because of Zenkuji’s vast resources, they get a bunch of unimportant people to use Gaia Memories and fight for them. The final battle consists 13 Dopants in total, Toshihide as Zoo, Asami as Queen Bee, Reiko as Flower, then there’s Elephant, Dolphin, Salamander, Fish, Ape, Bird, Cockroach and 3 Bee Dopants, a mass produced cheap version of Queen Bee. Hopper Dopant appears too, but she only there observing.
As the fight is over, Philip who has hidden the Lost Driver, swears that he’ll never use it again. He sees how important Shotaro is and wishes to fight together and that he has to do less work as W. At the end Kasumi says she’s developed feelings towards Philip throughout their time together, but Philip doesn’t pick up on this at all.
The novel is written very well, and it feels like it’s an episode straight out from the TV series. Not only because it’s the same writer, but it’s how well it flows and connects with the TV series. The Lost Driver Philip keeps for himself is the very same Lost Driver that he leaves behind at the end of W. The characters feel pretty much exactly the same as in the TV series, Terui even says that he’ll never rest until he defeats Weather. Kamen Rider W always felt like it was mainly about Shotaro. Even if there were episodes focusing on Philip, it was as if Shotaro would solve everything in the end. For once, Philip really gets to shine. It really makes it stand out because of the amount of focus on Philip. If you read Japanese and is Kamen Rider W fan, I highly recommend that you buy this. It’s a wonderful novel. I really wish they’d make this into a third Kamen Rider W Returns, it’s full of action and is too good to just be a novel.
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