The story started with Ray had a terrible nightmare regarding his family. Something I have forgotten about this series because the backstory of this series is not exposed much (maybe saved for later plot development). Ray still in confusion whether to accept the task as Earth protector or not. Now the series introduced monster of the week called Lizarion monster and also we heard some informal speech (Apa lo? Rese’ lo!) to my surprise. The monster attacked one basketball athlete and then invade the sport hall to make Ray appeared on the scene “less than a minute”.
After some untransformed fighting scene, Rey transformed and we got a pretty dang good and impressive fighting scene between Bima versus the combatant and Lizarion monster in busway stop. I realized that the pace is still fast (retaining from previous episodes) but this series improved it a little bit. The Lizarion escaped and we got a scene where Ray scolded Rena for not helping her (a scene that will make Ray has more enemies called “JKT48 wota”). Luckily he apologized in the later scene. Still questioning himself about being Bima, he finally made up his mind, he will fight Vudo no matter what it costs. That’s cliche but I think the kids who watched this series will be happy.
Ray then learned from mere random internet page (more like Google search result page) that lizard weakness is the sun. Lizarion only attacked when the sun is covered by the cloud. Some may seen this ridiculous, but considering this series aimed for children, that scene makes the kids think about how to solve difficult problems. Well, that’s the formula of showa Kamen Rider exactly. And for me that means good.
As usual the fighting scenes (for the third time, that’s rare for a 20 minutes duration tokusatsu series) looks very good. Except, there’s one scene where a car suddenly passed both Bima and Lizarion and then gone without explanation. Ah, the last 1/4 portion of the series is edited badly. Also, I don’t see any differences between Bima Blue Storm and Bima Red Fire as finishers. Well, I hope they will explain it later.
Overall, the episode is good on its own. Still we have troubles such as lazy audio editing, stiff acting (but it’s getting better), unresolved scenes, or fast pace of plot. But I see the sign of improvement here and there and I expect more for the next episode.
Continuing what was left from previous episode, the enemy, now called Topeng Besi (or Iron Mask) as Vudo’s chief commander, attacked Bima with his own blue power stone. Bima escaped and this commander returned to his flying ship. Now we have serious problem with this series. Whoever responsible for this matter, I have to say audio editing of this series sucks. At least they should have quality control before. I can’t catch up with several conversations, notably between Rasputin and Topeng Besi.
This episode slowly showed character developments such as Ray’s denial of the responsibility becoming Bima. Very typical archetypal pattern of superheroes narration. I really feel this series follows the pattern of Showa Kamen Rider. This is predictable because Indonesian audience is mostly familiar with Kamen Rider Black. Even I start to predict that there will be tensions and conflict between Ray and Randy just like mirroring Minami Kotaro and Akuzuki Nobuhiko. As a series heavily emphasized on fighting scenes, that kind of plot is acceptable.
As this episode itself, it’s full of actions scenes. We only have one melodramatic scene where Rena questioned Ray about Randy’s whereabouts. I don’t need to discuss the detail as the acting is very very stiff.
This episode fixes some problems we previously had in previous one. The pace is still fast but now plausible (unlike in episode 1 where everything seemed in rush mode). The actions scenes are very well choreographed without unnecessary jumps (common trick in most Indonesian silat series). But I am disappointed with Helios. As a dual-wielded sword, it came too fast (without explanation) and just appeared less than one minute. It was cool but felt underwhelmed.
Why I didn’t discuss much of the plot? It’s very simple and predictable, nothing much to complain yet nothing also to praise.
The story started when certain scientists recorded a message about parallel world when suddenly a VUDO monster with his foot soldiers attacked and blew the house. Fast forward 21 years later, we see our hero named Ray Bramasakti worked in a workshop or garage to repair some motorcycles. Gee, this series is sponsored by Suzuki Satria (hence the name, Satria Garuda), what a way to promote a product here.
Then we are introduced to other characters as well, Iskandar siblings (Randy and Rena). Rena is starred by Stella from JKT48 and we got eyes candy (hurray) for this series. Move on, we then see Ray and Rena went on a date in National Monument (Ind: Monas) when Ray saw a light struck on a building. Being irresponsible by leaving a cute girl behind, he went there to find that a warrior fought several monsters (or foot soldiers or whatever) with cool design. Ray and this warrior named Mikhail fought as best as they could which unfortunately brought us to the typical scene of Mikhail fell from building. Ray catch his hand but the foot soldiers strike Ray brutally with their weapons until Mikhail decided to choose Ray as a warrior based on bravery he saw in front of his eyes.
Then Mikhail gave Ray red power stone that has the ability to transform Ray into BIMA the Garuda Warrior. Just then other foot soldiers attacked people at Monas. They really know who to catch, the cutest girl there without apparent reason. And finally we saw a good fighting scene where BIMA kicked that foot soldiers’ butt until a new monster appeared and attacked BIMA. Yes, this episode ended with cliffhanger.
Okay, that’s the synopsis I can tell because honestly I am confused with the pace of the plot. It runs way too fast as most of the scenes jumped without enough explanation. I think duration is the problem here. I realize that 20+ minutes for a series in Indonesia is not enough. We are accustomed to 1 hour format like other series. I feel strange though, I have to see it as superhero series which usually runs only for half-hour format (with commercial included), but the way most of the stories being told here is mostly in 1 hour (even 2 hours if they want to).
The acting? I have to say it’s passable but could be better. Yes, acting is the weakest feature we have from this series. It’s okay but I wish they act more natural, not as stiff as we saw. Luckily this is just the first episode and the chance of improvements are there to come. I feel like I am watching a usual sinetron (sinema elektronik or common drama series) when watching and listening their conversations. As of the tone, this series is surprisingly serious and dark as I couldn’t remember any humorous scene or dialogues here.
The actions here is pretty dang cool. By far, the fighting scenes here is one of the best if not the best in Indonesian series. Yes, it’s not as good as usual Kamen Rider or Super Sentai level, but at least it’s better than I have expected. As a series targeted for kids, the action scenes are the main selling point, and they made a good job delivering it.
Overall, the first episode has a good start. Having a cliffhanger ending is a good decision to attract people to watch this series. I hope there will be improvements as the story progress further.
By the way, I really want Bandai to make SHFiguarts of this BIMA!