Having acquired the Sengoku Driver that allows him to transform, Kota decides to fool around with his newfound powers for a while. Meanwhile, Kaito from Team Baron decides to eliminate Team Gaim due to the latter being ‘weak’.
I gotta say, this could very well be the best second episode ever. First off we get to see another Rider fighting in Hellheim forest, Kamen Rider Zangetsu. He is described to be the Kamen Rider Ouja of the series, so I’m excited to see what’s this guy has to offer. But in the fight scene, he seemed to be more like a mix of Kamen Rider Knight & TheBee for some reason. Oh, they don’t call them Kamen Riders anymore, instead the Riders of this show are named “Armored Riders”. I guess it’s fitting, due to the warrior theme. Plus, the fruits are the armors, so there’s that.
Kota in this episode is just hilarious. I just love every bit of him in this episode. When he returned home to show his sister the Driver, I knew that I’m gonna like this guy. And Kota’s HOT sister’s reaction to him transformed is just priceless! I gotta say, they somewhat ripped off my idea of having Kota fooling around with his powers, in this case he was trying to figure a cool pose for transforming. Let’s go a little off topic about that ripoff. See, I had an idea about a Power Rangers reboot in Marvel Cinematic Universe and that Jason is an otaku, and when after he fights as Red Ranger for the first time, he spent his night in his room trying to figure out a cool henshin pose, eventually adopting Kamen Rider Ichigo’s henshin pose, albeit altered. Anyways it’s just cool to see that someone, probably Urobutcher, had the same idea that I had!
Umm, if you guys are interested about that whole Power Rangers reboot thing, just let me know.
Okay, back to the main thing. Like I said, Kota fooling around with the Driver is really hilarious, and it continues even in his jobs. From this point I realized that Kota himself is pretty much a kid, due to how he thinks that power solves everything. First off is that he transforms during his delivery job. I have no idea what the actual purpose of that transformation really, since it doesn’t do anything with speed, which I assume Kota thinks that transforming would allow him to complete his deliveries faster, or rather ride with style. Anyways this is one of the rare occasions where a Rider transforms in front of civilians, which makes me assume that this series’ Riders doesn’t care about secret identities, except Zangetsu maybe.
On his second job, Kota transformed so that he can use Gaim’s strength to help his co-workers, but only cause trouble. After the job he encountered Kaito saving a spoiled brat, and this scene shows that Kaito is also pretty much like Kota, a good guy, but in his own way. I mean whenever Kota calms a kid down, he would cheer them up but Kaito, he would tell the kid to man up instead.
After that Mai called Kota and tells him that Yuuya went missing after he left the Sengoku Driver earlier. Since the Driver was meant for Team Gaim, Mai demanded Kota to hand over the belt, which Kota agrees. I was kinda surprised at Kota because he was like “Oh, okay, take the belt, it’s yours” when the belt was supposed to be his ‘transformation’. It’s probably because of the shenanigans earlier that cause Kota to give up the belt.
However Mai can’t wear the belt but Kota can, which prompt them to ask questions on Sid, since he’s the guy who’s been selling the Driver to Yuuya. Sid reveals that the Driver can only be used by the first person who puts it, which mean something happened to Yuuya before he even got the chance to put on the belt, and Kota is pretty much in the ‘chosen one’ situation. Speaking of Yuuya, I can’t help but to think that he’s the first victim of Urobutcher.
Meanwhile on Katio, he and Team Baron are performing their gig and I gotta say, if I didn’t like Team Gaim’s dance, that’s because I like Baron’s better. You know, at first I thought that the dancing gimmick of the show is kinda silly, but Baron’s dancing makes it fun to watch. And what it seems like karma, Team Baron are challenged on a turf fight by another Team called ‘Raid Wild’, whose judging from their attire I assume that they have this greaser-style dance.
Then another Inves Games occur. This is where we get to see that Kaito is a really strong man, that he was able to use three Lockseeds to control three Inveses at a time. With this advantage, it’s obvious that he wins the fight. However, some of the audience comments that Team Gaim is better than Baron actually. Well, the main team has to be ‘the best’ huh?
Pissed off, Kaito decides to activate Jerk Mode and challenge Team Gaim for another Inves Game in which if they lose, they lose their pass and their team will be forced to disband but if they win, they will get their turf back and a Pineapple Lockseed, which happened to be the very same Lockseed Kota and Mai tried to purchase but unable because of the price. Just as Baron’s about to win because Gaim has no Lockseed wielder, Kota appears to challenge Kaito. Much to my disappointment, Kota didn’t really express any reaction upon confronting Kaito, while the latter was surprised to see Kota.
And so another Inves Game occurs. This battle makes me dislike the Games even further. Having Class A Lockseed summon a stronger, MoTW Inves is understandable, but I hated that they make the Inves Warriors smaller than the Shika Inves. Maybe they wanted to clearly show that the Shika Inves is stronger, but the actions is weak if you ask me.
Since Kota wields the Class A Lockseed, he won the fight, but Zack and Peco from Team Baron used the same strategy they did with their last fight against Team Gaim, which is using a slingshot to cause Kota to let go of his Lockseed, causing the Shika Inves to get wild and starts to attack other people. However, Kaito realized what his teammates had done and was clearly angry with them, which I realized even though he was a jerk who obsessed with getting stronger, he possessed a sense of honor and honesty and does not like to cheat.
Kota meanwhile, in the most cliche way ever, realize that he can properly wield the power of Gaim if it was meant to protect everyone. With this he transforms into Gaim (and developed a cool henshin pose as well) in front of everyone, and I just loved this moment. I really like it when the hero transforms in front of everyone that knew him, it was just epic.
Being the second episode of the series, it would be natural for the kaijin to assume ‘CGI form’, but in a plot twist, this is the very first time that a Rider had to fight a CGI-jin without using a bike! Usually they will showcase the bike action in the second episode but this episode broke the formula! It was a really clever move! Not that I’m tired of having the same formula, but it’s just surprising that they decided to show something different.
Since he didn’t have a bike yet, Gaim is clearly at a disadvantage, only able to gain an upper hand when Kaito picks the Musou Saber and tries to fight the Berserk Shika Inves on his own! Even though it’s obvious that he is another Kamen Rider, this episode foreshadows his eventual role in the series, and I’m starting to love this guy more.
The fight scene also showcased Gaim utilizing his Orange Armor to form into a large head as a weapon! It was yet another clever use of the suit, cheesy but I really like it. I hope that they used it often, since it’s fun to watch. Also, Gaim on that mode reminds me of this guy. But even with that he’s still at a disadvantage, so Gaim asked Kaito to hand over the Lockseed that he promised to give if Team Gaim won: the Pine Lockseed.
Even though this show will feature many Riders, they didn’t shy away from form changing, which could very well make this series the first Kamen Rider that feature multiple Riders and multiple form changes (and no, Hibiki doesn’t count). Anyways, on Gaim Pine Arms, if I said that they did a great job at hiding the fruit motif on Orange Arms armor, they did not in this form. Seriously, this form makes Gaim look like a superhero who had to wear a pineapple mascot suit instead of a pineapple-based armor!
This form arms Gaim with Pine Iron, a meteor hammer. I would’ve prefer it to be a mace but hey, chained weapons are the best. Also, if Kota barely knew how to fight in the last episode and the first part of the fight scene, he magically knew how right after assuming Pine Arms. This is because he was able to execute his Rider Kick, Iron Breaker. The Rider Kick is rather unique, since it uses the pineapple section of the Pine Iron to trap the enemy’s face, rendering them immobile thus allowing Gaim to execute his finisher without miss, adding the realism.
After the fight, since Inves Games are recorded, footage of Gaim’s fight became a viral video, and Gaim himself starts to become popular. It was DJ Sagara who came up with the “Armored Rider” name even though Gaim didn’t ride any bike yet but because the dancers are called Beat Riders, that’s that.
Gaim’s footage was also being watched by a Yggdrasil’s official named Takatora Kureshima, who is Kamen Rider Zangetsu, the white Rider earlier. When I first looked at him, he looks like a matured Shintaro Goto from Kamen Rider OOO, and I’m interested to see at how will he be the ‘Kamen Rider Ouja’ of the series. And boy, his voice is really, really menacing. The voice alone makes me understand why he gets that title. He mentions that Gaim’s appearance was part of a mysterious plan, in which I think that Kota and whoever possessed a Sengoku Driver is actually a pawn for a scheme………