Kamen Rider Saber — Impressions and Early Review

Kamen Rider Saber follows Kamiyama Touma, a young novelist and bookshop owner as he is drawn into a fantastical 
battle between warring knights. Featuring fairy tale settings, dangerous monsters, and all while and meeting a myriad 
of characters along the way. Kamen rider Saber is the second 
Reiwa Era Kamen Rider series and as such you can feel the 
show trying to find its identity. If you are familiar with Kamen Rider 
the first episode feels a bit like W or OOO tonally, but it shifts into a tone that reminds me of 
Kamen Rider Wizard and Super Sentai a little bit. But please don't be scared off by that comparison! Right now we're a little 
early into the show's run.  I'm writing this review just a couple 
hours after watching episode four. So, right now it's difficult to gauge 
the overall quality of the show. Currently though, I'd say the 
show has a lot of potential, but is being held back by odd pacing and 
an upsetting overuse of stock footage.

The main strength of the show as it stands 
over the writer's previous contribution to   the franchise, Kamen Rider Ghost, 
is the characters and the acting. While the characters are still 
a bit flat, it is early on. Everyone has a defined personality, and 
no one feels too similar to anyone else. There's a few characters that 
need a little bit more going on,   but we're still early in 
so it's not a real problem.

The actors seem like they're having a lot of fun, and in particular I actually really like the 
actor for Touma, his name is Syuichiro Naito, and I just like him, I think 
he's doing a great job. Personally, I'm a fan of the 
suits and fight scenes so far, but obviously this is completely 
down to personal taste, so your mileage is gonna vary. This show has a large focus on 
CGI compared to previous series, And, I was initially put off by this, and while I would have preferred 
more practical effects obviously, the CGI has not been bothering 
me as much as expected for some reason it just isn't annoying me 
like it does in some other Kamen rider series. I've also seen other people mirror this sentiment, but, like my last point, your mileage 
is definitely going to vary on this.

The biggest issue in the show, 
right now, is probably its pacing. The show dedicates around 3 full 
minutes of its 22 minute run time to its "last time on" sequence, opening theme, ending theme, and "next time on" sequence. The show also uses VERY long stock 
footage for the transformations . Think of Super Sentai or the 
roll calls in Power Rangers. These happen multiple times an episode   and can easily eat up around 
a minute of the episode's run. These can be irritating but no 
more so than in Super Sentai, if you already know Sentai roll calls bother 
you, I really doubt these will be any different. It is worth noting however this is probably 
going to get toned down as the show goes on, In episode four we've even seen them skip 
two transformation sequences already, to just cut to them already 
transformed to save on time. I think that's probably 
going to become more common. Right now, the plot pacing in 
this show can be pretty rough, things just sort of happen, and sometimes things just don't happen… Episode 2 is a good example of this, it feels as though the whole 
episode is spent on fight scenes yet somehow there is also an 
overbearing amount of exposition, this makes the pace feel all over the place, feeling overwhelming yet somehow uneventful.

At this point is may sound like I am 
being really negative about the show, so it's time for the plot twist… I love this show Beyond all reason I have found myself 
completely enamoured with Kamen Rider Saber, and almost none of its issues 
really bother me very much. It's hard to pinpoint what it is about 
the show that has me enjoying it so much, but something about its 
presentation, writing, and tone are just amazingly enjoyable to me.

I can't say for sure if this is 
simply a matter of personal preference or if there is some 
inexplicable quality to the show that makes it better than the sum of its parts.

 This show, especially episodes 3 and 4, gives me the same feeling I got watching 
Rider for the first time way back in 2013, I find myself completely mesmerized by the show. It feels like something unfamiliar and new, and it has me completely captivated. So even though Saber might 
be a bit messy right now, I feel like I'm completely down 
for whatever it has to throw at us. As it stands I would suggest anyone hesitant 
to watch this show to give it a chance, and not to give up on it too early.

The last couple episodes have felt 
like they are speeding the show towards some form of early plot progressions and I am expecting the show 
to be a very fun ride.

 As it stand if I was pushed 
to give this show a rating, right now I think the best I 
could give it critically is a 7/10, something like that but to be fair, this might 
be pushing it a little bit, and since we’re so early into the show’s run 
this rating doesn’t really mean too much, the show could improve drastically, or my enjoyment of it could completely fade away. Though, I find the later kind of unlikely. To summarize, give Saber a chance, and see what you think for yourself. I feel like the opinions on this show 
are going to end up being fairly poor, but please don't let that, or 
even my complaints, scare you off, this show has problems, but it's really fun, and maybe fun is all it is, but there's nothing wrong with indulging 
in something fun from time to time.

Thanks for watching..

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