I got an awesome new Wizard character for Christmas, and a thing to blog a ton about!
The thing is, at no point in Kamen Rider Wizard has anyone actually used the word “wizard” (or, for that matter, “Kamen Rider,” but that’s another tale). Instead, they use the Japanese word maho-tsukai, or “user of magic,” as the title for what Haruto Soma is and does. Over-Time chose to use the word “wizard”; TV-Nihon turned to “mage,” believing (I assume) that the ambiguity between the name “Wizard” and the word “wizard” would cause problems.
We saw no problems with either alternative, and then Beast arrived. Here’s where I say something potentially contentious: I still see no problem with either alternative.
The proper noun “wizard” still has not appeared in the script, only maho-tsukai. Haruto is that thing, and Kousuke is also that thing. There’s no ambiguity because there’s just one word – it used to be both Haruto’s title and his unique epithet, but now Kousuke claims it too. There’s no Engrish “Wizard” that Haruto is as well as a “wizard” (maho-tsukai), such as would cause confusion. I’d even say that the blurred line between title and job for Haruto was deliberate, seeing all the characters go “What?! Another wizard?” when Kousuke drops the bomb.
None of this changes if you substitute “mage” for “wizard,” either. Try it: Haruto was The Mage, until a new guy comes and calls himself the Beast mage. The only difference is that it’s not the title of the show. All things will be equal until the moment someone in the show, not in an ad bumper or promotional material or anything, draws the line between “the Wizard wizard” and “the Beast wizard.” Frankly, I don’t see that happening.
Incidentally, the “White Wizard” is actually the shiroi maho-tsukai, and I dare anyone to argue that “White Wizard” is not the most correct and appropriate name for him. But that, too, is a small thing. The bottom line is, whether you call it a wizard, a mage, a magician, a spellcaster, a sorcerer, or a warlock, the effect is still the same.
Anyway, I don’t know if this is actually an argument, but I heard whispers that it might become one and I wanted to get my thoughts out.