I’m torn about what to call Yamamori Shota. Before watching Bioman I knew he would become the “Magne Warrior”, but it is difficult to work out whether that is an appropriate name. In the show, Farrah repeatedly refers to him as the Magne senshi (which is literally Magne warrior or Magne soldier, so Magne Warrior would fit) but it is never clearly a name; in fact, it is clear in the plot that Doctor Man wants Farrah to make an entire army of Magne warriors, so it would be like saying Mechaclone is a proper noun. I think Shota will have to go by his regular name – he’s Yamamori Shota, the Magne senshi.
I had been hyped-up for his arrival ever since I started watching, but Shota was only transformed for a couple of minutes, which seems like a waste of a great suit and great concept – but as the next episode preview clearly indicates the arrival of Bio Hunter Silva and Balzion, I think it is actually just a great set-up, and that it was intentionally a “let-down”. It tells me that if they are willing to discard this amazing concept so readily, what’s coming next must be very, very impressive.
Shota really reminded me of Ikari Gai (GoukaiSilver). Very similar characterisation, very similar performances from the actors. From there, I started thinking about Super Hero Taisen. In that film, GoukaiRed has Bio Hunter Silva – now Rider Hunter Silva, determined to destroy Kamen Riders – fighting Riders. Red One of Bioman tells GoukaiSilver to show Silva what a “real” Silver can do, and with GoukaiSilver’s help, the Goukaigers use OOO’s Rider Keys to transform into OOO’s forms and use a special attack via the GoukaiGalleon Buster.
Having now seen Shota, I think that scene could have worked far, far better with Shota in Red One’s role. It seems like the actor retired from acting a long time ago, though, so that may not have been an option.
Normally I’d love a character who can hold their own against the amazing Farrah Cat, but Shota was utterly obnoxious – a great foil for Yellow Four. While it could have been great to see him added to the upper ranks of Gear for a dozen or so episodes before being ultimately defeated (only being transformed for a few minutes was genuinely disappointing), I’m kind of glad we don’t need to hear his shrieking anymore.
Speaking of transforming, I did love the nice touch of him doing Kamen Rider Nigou’s henshin pose when Farrah put him in the tube to give him his powers…