Thursday, May 15, 2014

Toku Injustices: The Death of Bilgenia in Kamen Rider Black

Hello everyone and welcome to the beginning of a series of opinion pieces called “Toku Injustices.” The main topic of these opinion pieces is that I look at something that happened in a Toku show (whether good or bad it doesn’t matter) and basically talk about why I found it either unfair, confusing, or just something that shouldn't of happened at all. 

(What's the deal...)
In this post I will talk about something that happened in one of my favorite kamen rider series of all time, Kamen Rider Black.  Now this post will contain some spoilers so for those who haven’t seen and Kamen Rider Black yet and don’t want to know some things I suggest that you stop now, unless you are interested.  In that case read at your own risk.

Now let me start by saying I really love Kamen Rider Black I find it to be one of the best examples of what Kamen Rider should be about.  It has a very appealing protagonist in Kotaro Minami who we instantly feel sorry for and root for as he not only battles the Gorgom but also has to fight his brainwashed stepbrother Nobuhiko Akizuki aka Shadow Moon.  I enjoyed the Gorgom a lot as not only do they have a lot of history but also it’s the cult like structure of them, the mixture of magic and technology, that not only makes them frightening to look at but interesting as well.  
(All of this I love so much)

As the series progressed the Three Priests weren’t getting the job done, so the Century King being impatient and running out of options decided to release a threat to not only Kotaro but to the Gorgom themselves.  That threat being Bilgenia the warrior of 30,000 years ago who like Nobuhiko and Kotaro was born on a solar eclipse but unlike them was not given a Kingstone.  That rejection made him angry and want to revolt against the Century King and the Gorgom, this action was the reason for him being sealed.
(Holy crap who are you?)
Bilgenia was always an interesting and dangerous villain because he had his own motives and agenda.  He wasn’t really a team player with the Gorgom High Priests and would even interfere with their plans just for his own benefit.  His own benefit being wanting to kill Kotaro and take his Kingstone for himself.  Bilgenia would also attack Kotaro where it hurt the most, the people close to him.  That made Bilgenia a terrifying presence in Kamen Rider Black and character the show needed in my opinion to provided a surge of energy and potential.  However it is with this character that an injustice occurred.

The injustice is that he died in Episode 35 at the hands of the resurrected Shadow Moon anti-climatically.  
(Just Like that he is gone...wait what?)

What?  Why do this?  Bilgenia was doing awesome as a villain.  Bilgenia did so much in the show in the 18 episodes he was in that to simply kill him off so easily was disappointing.  Some of the things Bilgenia did were as I said before  personal attacks against Kotaro, kidnapping the creator of Kotaro’s Road Sector to make his own version of the bike, the Hellshooter (yes he gets his own rider bike!), to stealing the Satan Saber.  
(Bilgenia with Hellshooter)
I understood the purpose of Bilgenia’s death was to show how strong Shadow Moon was and how the threat level has increased.  Which  is fine, however to simply kill off the only main villain who was active enough to actually confront Kotaro head on and how easily he was killed is unsatisfying  and took away some interesting story lines that could of been pursued.  The way I would of done showing how powerful Shadow Moon’s presence is and also keeping Bilgenia around they could have had Shadow Moon beat the crap out of Bilgenia having the prideful warrior on his knees.  Sort of like what Tranza did in Jetman to Radiguet.  

(Something like this is what should of happened)
Why couldn’t they have kept Bilgenia on the show and have him interact with Shadow Moon another person with a Kingstone.  Wouldn’t of that been interesting to watch, every moment Bilgenia would be on screen would be tense because at any moment something could happen.  Bilgenia always wanted a Kingstone, it doesn’t necessarily have to be Kotaro’s Kingstone, it could have been Nobuhiko’s Kingstone as well.  With Bilgenia still on the show with Shadow Moon, you would have a lot of story possibilities, like Bilgenia sabotaging plans Shadow Moon would have, working in the background plotting a Coup d'état, maybe even have an episode where after confronting Shadow Moon Kotaro is beaten badly and in his moment of weakness is being hunted down by Bilgenia after his Kingstone, have Bilgenia’s Coup d’état fail and in his last moment of desperation fight Kotaro for his Kingstone, or even when Black does beat Shadow Moon and in Shadow Moon’s moment of weakness Bilgenia kills him and steals his Kingstone.  Those are just some ideas that Kamen Rider Black could have done with Bilgenia. 
(Imagine a final confrontation that was satisfying!)
For me personally I loved Bilgenia, loved what he brought to the table, loved what he did, loved how well his actor, Jun Yoshida portrayed him (for more info on how awesome Jun Yoshida is check out this blog post by Shougo B’Stard), and I wish he had stayed around to be the final villain or even just one of the final big bads Kotaro had to face before fighting Shadow Moon.  Something along those lines I think would have brought Kamen Rider Black to its full potential.  Now despite what I wanted Bilgenia dying isn't the worst thing to happen in Tokusatsu.  Despite me sounding harsh and bitter towards the death I was okay with Bilgenia dying, it didn't ruin the series it was just not the approach that I would of taken. I still love Kamen Rider Black from beginning to end but the death of Bilgenia is one of the missteps the show took and turned the show from amazing to great.  Had Bilgenia still been alive I feel the show and the conflicts would of been a lot more interesting to watch because now we have the two Century Kings and the wild card the rejected Century King all having their battles.  On the injustice scale, Bilgenia's death is just a meh, it wasn't what I think Kamen Rider Black should of done but I am overall okay with it.

What does everyone else think of Bilgenia, do you agree with my “injustice” towards the character, okay with what happened, or disagree overall with my thoughts?  Leave a comment below with your thoughts.  Also comment if you would like this to be a reoccurring series of opinion pieces that you would be interested in seeing. 

1 comment:

  1. My opinion is that Jun Yoshida already left the set, that's why Bilgenia was written off.