Episode 11-12: Mission - Taking Kiva's life.
Nago is pretty single-minded. Not that I don't know that from, oh, since he appeared way back in episode 3.
Anyway, Wataru, losing his supposed teacher (Omura-sensei) in episode 10 (better attempt at continuity than I've seen so far, at least for the 2008 timeline, which loves to just throw away Fangire-of-the-two-weeks out the window as soon as the two episodes are up; I suspect this is my backhand way of saying that the 1986 story is more connected and coherent, even if, as a whole, I think I like the 2008 characters better), went out to bath in the sun, presumably to decide what to do about the violin, as well as what he's supposed to do with his life. (Anyway, what exactly is Wataru doing for a living? He says he makes violins. For sale? I don't recall seeing a customer.)
He's picked up by a guy wanting to form a band (wait, D-BOYS do singing now?) I suppose, from knowing who his actor is, that Kengo will at least have semi-regular appearances. Long story short, Wataru sort of gets railroaded into playing bass for Kengo's little band. And since Kengo's band mates have all abandoned him (but really, I can't believe he doesn't have any friend (even those not connected to a band) left--seems too much like a not-so-subtle attempt to get the regulars involved), Shizuka gets to play drums.
The 1986 storyline deals with IXA's first appearance in that era. And I just know Yuri won't get to use it. I don't know. Yuri slowly starts to irritate me. Who does she think she is to expect to use IXA, to the exclusion of everyone else? Yes, her mother designed the suit, but I think Yuri should be more practical and make way for a person more qualified. Not that I agree about Jiro using it; seems almost like that is done just to make Yuri mad. (I somehow get the impression that she won't be as angry if/when Otoya uses it.) Glad that the Fangire of the week is insignificant for once (after all, this show is called Kamen Rider Kiva, not "insert name of" Fangire-of-the-week (I don't mind someone like Omura-sensei, but in general, Fangire shouldn't be too much a focus). He probably didn't even have a human form.
(In contrast, I know Megumi wants to use IXA, but in the end, she doesn't exactly quibble with Nago over it (well, I'm not completely cutting out the possibility of her doing so in the future, but I think it's unlikely). One could argue that Megumi doesn't seem to have as strong a motivation, but I think even if she does, she still won't be as unreasonable as her mother.)
Oh, the grave. I hope I'm not the only one who thinks Yuri's own grave would follow after the grave of Yuri's mother is shown. It comes so much as a no surprise that the only thing that I find remarkable is the deliberate obscuring of the date of Yuri's death. I suspect that year must have been significant enough to potentially give part of the main plot away.
And Drunk!Megumi is so very cute. I just enjoy watching this lady. She really livens the screen whenever she appears. That's rather a surprise (but a complimentary one) because I tend to like watching guys more.
I'm developing a dislike of frequent coincidences or illogical happenings. And one of those usually happens when Spider Fangire is on the scene, like back in episode 6 and this time. One could argue that Spider Fangire is a sick, twisted creature, but it still doesn't explain why he would pass up a prime opportunity to kill Kiva. Not that I want Kiva dead, of course, but I think he escapes too easily. (If near broken arm is all Wataru got out of his ordeal, it's a wonder he has learned anything at all.)
I can't resist saying something about this. As people have probably noticed and mentioned, Nago fixing Wataru's arm is the height of irony. I'm thinking about that piece of cloth (his scarf? It looks to me like some sort of a necktie) Nago used to fashion a sort of cast for Wataru. Those few frames of it flying away in the wind just won't go away from my mind. To not mention how it could have become attached to the bike's handle in the first place, since Wataru carelessly tosses it away, I wonder if by taking off the cast Nago made for him, Wataru is exerting his independence and no longer be blinded by his worshipness of Nago (well, he has had a not-so-small rebellion in episode 10, and also back in episode 7, when he defended Kiva to Nago, but it didn't seem like he had resolved to do anything about the situation--by facing Nago head on (as Kiva) and not running away--until now). Seriously, even if Wataru doesn't consider Nago to be an outright enemy, after what happened toward the end of the episode, I don't think Wataru can go back to meekly follow Nago's orders.
In a related scene to the fixing Wataru's arm one, I think Kengo should just stop playing, as Nago requests (I have more on this line of thought later). True, Nago shouldn't have hit him, but Kengo (and Wataru) couldn't complain he had no warning. In fact, Nago refers to it (don't make me repeat myself, or something similar). Again, I am in no way condone someone's abusive behavior just because they warn for it first. It is simply in the best interest of the recipient of the warning to comply, is all. It's something like, "don't argue with a bully, because rational reasoning won't work with them. In the end, they would just use their own reasoning, which might be totally illogical."
And how could I forget Yuri x Otoya totally fun date, and their subsequent groveling at Jiro's feet? So Otoya doesn't like an easy girl. He likes to chase and gets turned off if the girl does the chasing. It's not something that surprises me. Only that I've never seen him displaying this dislike before, possibly because Yuri has always pushed him away.
I think I get confused about when Yuri's past first came up, but it definitely does again when Jiro asks for Yuri's reason for wanting IXA so badly. That Fangire in her memory probably is the first one other than Spider Fangire that will escape the two week lifetime curse.
And Wataru? Perhaps you should make it a little more believable that you've just gained some confidence. I think it's cool and all that you sing like a rock star, but you were, like, so shy a few minutes before. (I'm probably applying my own standards here, since I can't go from shy to non-shy that fast, so YMMV.)
Yuri and Otoya:
I'll say I don't really care for Yuri at this point. Not that it comes too much as a surprise. After all, I used to say she did nothing for me. So, ironically, her character actually improves, because she gets me to not like her, whereas I used to have no reaction to her character.
I think the main problem is they write her to be too many things at once. Tough girl, weak girl (in face of Jiro), needy girl, etc. Or actually it's more like, to me, her actions are not very consistant with her character (which I think I've nailed, but then find myself surprised when shown her other aspects). It's possible that she wasn't really planned at the beginning and different writers just take her in different directions because the plots demand them and it's more convenient to write her character around a particular plot than to first set her personality, then fashion a story around her.
As for Otoya, I think I rather like him at this point, so I suppose if Yuri makes him happy, he should get Yuri. It's rather strange that my personal feeling on Yuri doesn't matter; I certainly won't feel sorry for Otoya nor would I believe he deserves "better" (leaving it that way because Yuri could have been someone coming out of nowhere (well, I still think I don't know her any better now than when I was first introduced to her character), and I would support the pairing simply because Otoya wants it).
And no, Otoya doesn't have a character development (that I've seen). He's caring and sensitive (ha ha) from the beginning. He just chooses--for whatever reason--to hide them under the veneer of irrelevancy.
I think Nago's character is the most consistent for me (second most consistent character is probably a toss-up between the father-son pair, though I think Otoya pull ahead slightly). There hasn't been a single thing (that I remember) he has done that surprised me, yet. I don't hate him, never think I would, unless the writers decide to deal with his character the way they deal with Yuri's; namely, all over the place.
And, since I think I've seen this in several places, does Nago really remind people of Kusaka from KR Faiz? I would never make that connection myself. Besides, I hated Kusaka (still do, actually).
To me, Nago seems pretty much straight forward. Heck, he announces his intention every time he's going to do something. (Have no fear of getting a back stab from him. He would warn you of that first. :P) Yes, he may have used people and not above using Fangires either if doing so suits his purpose, but he also tells them that upfront. If anyone thinks they're being tricked by Nago, they're either lying or just don't understand him (I guess I'm looking at you, Megumi. Although I mean the first reason since I still think Megumi actually understands Nago better than anyone does in this series).)
If I have to compare Nago with someone (I don't really), I would look at Yaguruma from KR Kabuto instead. (Mentor-type, polite to a fault, sounding like an old man (it's the watashi usage, I think, even though Nago seems to have abandoned it for now), like to take on a disciple or two or three, has inflexible life rules he follows, or just plain inflexible, period, doesn't really admit fault, etc.) So, I don't really see where the Kusaka comparison comes from, except that Nago does seem to have a tendency to go berserk (for all I know, he probably does on a regular basis), because of the rigid guidelines he lives by. Then again, Yagu also has episodes where he's not quite stable.
I suppose the question here is: do I like Nago? Yes and no. I like that even though I think he's mostly predictable, I still shiver when he seems to go off on tangent on one of his mad escapades. And, no, I don't support his (dubious) moral codes.
This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I don't think characters from 1986 are as wonderful as they're said to be (except for Otoya, probably). They could be as one-dimensional and as uninteresting as the 2008 characters (except that I don't think any 2008 character (who doesn't also exist in 1986) has bored me, yet). In fact, I've gotten increasingly impatient with the 1986 storyline (though 11-12 are exceptionally good). Yes, the 2008 story are mostly fillers (Fangires-of-the-two-weeks destroyed and never return), but I generally enjoy the character interaction more. I suppose Otoya-taunting-Jiro would get really old one day and Jiro would just snap and attack Otoya for real. In fact, why Jiro hasn't done that already is rather beyond me. After all, Otoya had gotten hold of his secret and could have used it against him (although I suppose Jiro doesn't yet realize that Otoya could become a serious threat, were he to put his mind to it).
(And yes, all these things are probably already answered and are just waiting for me in later episodes. I try to stay spoiler-free, is all.)