For the longest time, Kamen Rider has been going on a tangent with its storyline, and often loses sight of the main character’s original goal. This year, that all ends with Ex-Aid. The show incorporates both medical drama and superhero action into one magnificent blend, plus a whole bunch of video gaming and references to other popular franchises.
The premise goes that a game virus has been released into the world, and several doctors gain the ability to fight the monsters that have been born from the virus. From Mighty Action X all the way to Hyper Muteki, our heroes have gone from just ambitious doctors to heroes.
Our main protagonist, Emu Hojo is portrayed to be a clumsy amateur doctor who isn’t aware of his alter ego as a gaming genius. It’s rather something hidden in his conscious that only appears when the need rises. More questions arise with the appearance of Hiiro Kagami, a doctor who clearly has much more experience in the medical field than our protagonist, and Taiga Hanaya who continues to practice medicine despite having lost his license. Distinct in their own way, these two new doctors have beef with each other for something that happened in the past, but their relationship rekindles as they are forced to fight alongside each other for the sake of humanity.
From the beginning, our initial antagonist Kuroto Dan has already been portrayed as the cliche nice person, but is actually a dark cruel man who’s been behind-the-scenes and pulling the strings that lead our heroes to the dark side of humanity. His godly complex is compelling to watch and manages to gain several upper-hands to defeat and eventually kill one of our heroes.
But what if he wasn’t the mastermind and that he himself was manipulated from someone in the shadows? After rotting in prison for the last several years, Masamune Dan has been controlling his son’s actions for a while, and a visit from Emu does not fail to conceal his true identity. Upon his release, it already had spelled doom for our heroes as they fall prey to his time manipulation abilities, which is initially unstoppable. To their dismay, they turn to an old enemy whom they once despised to create a counterattack.
Kamen Rider Chronicle serves as an excellent method to distribute the virus without the users’s consent and knowledge, thus it creates tension and motivates our heroes to defeat Masamune, and eventually Gamedeus.
VERDICT – 9/10
The show creates a magnificent balance between both medical drama, video games, and superhero action. There are several references to the most popular video game franchises out there while mixing it in with real-time medical drama as well. It’s a shame they could only play around with Bandai’s works, since it would cause copyright issues. Still, the show takes a fun and initial lighthearted approach before heading towards the tearjerking climax. This is a excellent installment for those who want to begin watching Kamen Rider.