After Hibiki and Asumu's trip on the mountains, we are introduced to Kyosuke Kiriya, a multi-talented boy who hates sports and serves as Asumu's rival in the said series. Unlike Asumu, Kiriya is sure that he wants to be an Oni and he will do everything just to become one. The question is will Asumu become an Oni at the end of series? Also, what is the agenda of the Makamou?
The first half consists of episodes 1-29 and is written by the team of Shinji Oishi and Tsuyoshi Kida. After Kamen Rider Blade ended back then in 2009 here in the Philippines with a really awesome finale, I am not sure if Kamen Rider Hibiki can carry torch that Kamen Rider Blade left. I mean, it is one of the best Kamen Rider shows this era has produced plus, they made the Card System not cheesy!
The show's writing is superb, and did what I thought at first is impossible, a single Rider fighting a giant monster every week… unless it is summer. Sure, X-Rider fought King Dark along with other the Riders back then and fought another giant monster in the Spirits manga alone (Not sure if it is King Dark though), but the Oni fight giant monsters in a weekly basis and they need to hunt them down before they reached civilization which makes them really cool.
This change is so disappointing that even Hibiki's actor; Shigeki Hosokawa was disappointed with it! The show returned some concepts from older Kamen Rider shows such as the training and has this beautiful world building going on until it was interrupted thanks to the retool! Even if that is the case, there are a lot of things that I liked about the second half.
Second was Shuki, she is Zanki's master after his first master, the original Zanki died. Her existence gave Zanki a lot of great moments in this series, making me love this series a bit more. Earlier in the series, Zanki retired because of his injury and if he continues to fight as an Oni, it might even cause his death. During the course of the Shuki Arc, Zanki was forced to return to the battlefield for him to stop her master. It didn't help that after Todoroki was injured, Zanki is forced once again, to return to the battlefield.
For the finale, I have mixed feelings about it. When I first watched it, I was surprised on how it ended. I mean, we saw a glimpse of the final battle then the next episode is about a year after the events of the finale! I mean, I want to know how Hibiki stopped the Orochi while he is purifying the battlefield while Todoroki and Ibuki are protecting him! To be honest, it took me three times just for me to better grasp and accept the finale. Here is my final thought about it.
Overall, Kamen Rider Hibiki is one of those series you will have mixed feelings about it. It's the Kamen Rider Amazon of its era due to its extreme uniqueness. As for me, Kamen Rider Hibiki is one of my all time favorite Kamen Rider shows. It is one of those shows that showed us that you can still make a good show even after the executives decided to meddle with it and turn it into a completely different material with the same characters and some minor alteration on them.
Aside from some of the changes in the second half, the other clear disappointment that I have with this series is that the agenda of the Makamou is not that clear till the end. The only thing that is clear is the battle between the Oni and the Makamou will continue, even after the series ended.
Originally posted on Orends: Range back in June 28, 2010. Review was eventually updated on February 8, 2013.