Anyway, not that I don't like him normally, but I am especially happy with Shunpei in this episode. He is more heroic than both Riders combined. (And if nothing else, what he does should invalidate Shunpei = Nitou once and for all. Can anyone picture Nitou giving that sort of lecture? Me neither.)
Poor Nitou, though, seemed to accidentally get caught in Shunpei's wrath. (That's like the third of his bad luck in a row. First the kid, second Medusa, and now Shunpei.) I mean, Nitou, being easy-going as he is, was just going along with everyone else. Shunpei should probably read the air more and only snapped at Haruto since he was really the only one at fault there. Oh well. That's part of Shunpei's charm, I suppose, being earnestly serious and helpful in most everything he does.
Surprisingly (or not, since I'm seeing through rose-colored glass when it comes to Haruto), I am not really mad at Haruto. I mean, he is prioritizing Koyomi, who is clearly in danger, over his teacher, who may or may not go into despair if the toy plane is destroyed. (Oh well, if Koyomi means nothing to you, this argument is probably mute.) He reasons that there is a way to save his teacher later (going into Underworld), but with Koyomi, there does not seem to be a way to save her without locating the white mage. I admit that choosing only one person to save is not a heroic thought by any means, but even a hero can make mistakes. Especially since he seems close to despair himself over his inability to help Koyomi earlier.
But I think I'm just mostly happy that Junko Komura wrote this arc (hoping for her to write the last remaining six episodes is probably asking too much). I agree with others that Haruto's teacher has to be the best gate in the entire series (which is actually not difficult considering most other unlikable gates). But even though I said that, I actually don't have a problem with most gates. I probably am easy to please or something, since I can sympathize with most of them -- whinny, annoying, self-centered as some of them are. And I believe that they are not portrayed as very likeable so not to take the spotlight away from the main cast (oh, okay, from Haruto). And seriously, if they were likeable, I'm sure there would be complaints about how they overshadowed the main cast. There is no pleasing everyone.
And this is like a second series this week for me that adults are no good. (Even the gate was wrapped up with his own problem for a while.) Why is it that kids (and teenagers) seem to be more mature and sensible than the adults who should know better?
(And this is just my own personal connection, but every teacher I see in tokusatsu now gets compared to Ultraman 80. This gate comes close, in terms of being a good teacher and all, but well, he isn't a henshin hero (shallow of me, I know), so...)
Speaking of Haruto's teacher in particular, I am glad that we get him since it has been a while (well, since Rinko and Shunpei (and Nitou, perhaps?) have been added to the cast, or perhaps I have forgotten some unselfish gates?) that someone comes along wanting to do something nice for Haruto, instead of take and take (or at least take for granted) from him. I feel like the previous episode is better at displaying this beautiful relationship Haruto has with his teacher, perhaps because there are not so many characters on the screen like in this episode.
I'm surprised that people are bothered by (or having reactions at all toward) the twist (about the Philosopher's Stone) being totally expected. (Granted, I've come to that conclusion since some episodes in the thirties, so I didn't even think of that one as a twist, but as an information the show freely gave the viewers way back.) I'm accustomed to Wizard being mostly predictable (and having no tension whatsoever) since, oh, the episodes still in a single digit.
In any case, I do love this show (and its protagonist -- I might love him even more than the show itself). I think it's the toku series I've been with the longest in recent years (pretty much follow it week by week -- until recently, it was the only weekly series that I made the time for). I just mostly feel like I have nothing interesting to say when it comes to this show, since most people are apparently better than I am at expressing opinions.