[夢の守り人] Yume no Mamoribito
The Protector of Dreams
Following up from Kaido’s meeting with the genius guitarist Kazuhiko, he finds Yuka outside looking for him. Apparently, Yuji sent her to keep an eye on him since he was worried that Kaido would go on a rampage at the university. Fortunately, Kaido isn’t in quite the mood anymore. When asked if he hates humans, he immediately answers yes, but Yuka sees through the BS and calls him out, saying that he still loves music, so he still loves humans as well. Which is true, since music is such a human construct, being able to appreciate it means that you are still part human in some way. This moment, of course, is interrupted by some of the music school bullies. Really? Music schools have bullies? I bet they are the worst kind, too. They are about to get into another tussle but their professor stops them, mentioning that the investigation into the death of one of their classmates is still ongoing and that Kaido is not a suspect.
Meanwhile, Takumi and Keitaro try once again to talk to Kazuhiko into going back home to his parents. But, there is no budging with this kid. Kazuhiko is in love with music, and would even die for the art. He wants to go back to his parents, but only after he’s mastered his craft. His hope is that one day, he will be able to master a song to the point where he can play for his folks and have them appreciate it. Seeing his unwavering resolve, Takumi drags Keitaro out of the school. But, Takumi is completely lost. He doesn’t understand what it means to have a dream as well as what it means to sacrifice everything for it. It seems like he is surrounded by people with dreams and ambitions, but has none of his own.
Speaking of dreams, Mari seems to be hitting a brick wall in that respect. She failed her test at the salon and took her anger out on Takumi, as well as Keitaro to some extent. Again, we see a case where Takumi doesn’t really understand what it feels like to have a dream and isn’t sure how to handle when a friend is crushed by it. He goes off to console her as best as he can and brings her back home after running off. Fueled with energy, Mari goes back to work, practicing all night. The next day, she passes with flying colors, much to the delight of even Takumi.
On her way back, Mari is followed by an the Scarab Orphenoch. Oddly enough, he was ordered to retrieve the Belt. But Takumi thwarts his plans, confronting the Orphenoch and delivering one of my favorite lines of the series.
When you have a dream, sometimes its painful and sometimes you get real fired up. Or so I hear. I don’t have a dream, but I can protect them.
It sums up what he’s realized thus far, that people value their dreams more than their own lives. He’s seen what it does to people in the form of Mari being nearly crushed by it. He may not understand it, but he knows that he doesn’t want to see his friends get hurt. So, he’s come to the resolve that he will protect the dreams of others even if he doesn’t have one of his own. This finally gives him a reason to fight, something to protect. It’s a turning point in Takumi’s character and is topped off with a cool fight and a finisher with his new weapon, the Faiz Edge.
Back at Team Orphenoch’s headquarters, a.k.a. their sweet condo, Kaido tells Yuji and Yuka why he stopped playing the guitar. Back in college, he got into an accident and his hand was run over by a van. Turns out that someone at the school tampered with the brakes which caused him to lay down his bike. After that, he was never able to play again. Back on campus, Yuka finds the professor messing with Kazuhiko’s bike. When asked if he did the same to Kaido’s bike all those years ago, he shows himself as the Owl Orphenoch that has been killing the students. In his office, he finds Yuji sitting in the middle of the room, asking why he did what he did. The professor is upset that there are people much better than him. I’m guessing this is a result of him having died and come back as an Orphenoch, not being able to fulfill his dreams. I’m not sure, but Yuji takes no mercy and is quick to finish him off. Back at the HQ, Kaido feels that he can finally move on, that he has found someone to carry on his dream for him.
This…..this is probably one of my favorite episodes of the show. A lot of plot is covered as well as quite a bit of back-story for Kaido. This also contains two of my favorite lines from the series, the first being from Takumi which I mentioned above, but the other being from Kaido which I didn’t remember until today.
A dream is the same as a curse. To remove the curse, you have to make your dream come true. But, a person who cannot reach that goal is a person who is forever cursed.
It’s a powerful statement that shows just how much pain Kaido is in over this accident. He had aspirations, a path that he was going to take in life. That all vanished the moment he got into that accident. So, its only natural that he would be angry at the people who did it. The problem is that he tends to blanket the blame on all of humanity. You can’t really blame him, but you also know that it isn’t the right way to go about it. And I think he realized that as soon as he met Kazuhiko. This is why he is one of my favorite characters.
It may have been a Kaido-focused episode like the last one, but Takumi learns quite a bit about himself as well. He doesn’t have a dream of his own, adding to the mystery of his character. But, he is learning the value of friendship. Despite how much Mari annoys him, he will do a lot to protect her. He also sees a friend in Keitaro even if he doesn’t want to admit it. So, even though he has no goals of his own, he has the ability to protect the dreams of his friends. And for someone who has been a wanderer and very put-off by the idea of being a Kamen Rider, its good to see that he has a reason to fight now. It’s a step in the right direction for him, and you’ll see how he builds on this as the show goes on.
As a side note, I mention that he didn’t want to be a “Kamen Rider”, but no where in the show is Faiz referred to as such. For most of the Heisei Kamen Rider era up until probably Kamen Rider Decade, a lot of the shows didn’t refer to the hero as a Kamen Rider. We get the occasional “Rider” mention here and there, and in Kabuto the belts are referred to as the Masked Rider System. Even in Hibiki, they are called “Oni” instead of Kamen Riders. I guess they didn’t want to be referential during those years, but they were usually called by their suffix name, like Faiz or Blade. It’s not until Kamen Rider Double where we see the notion of “Kamen Rider” used as an idea of what a hero should be and it has persisted for the most part till today.