The title is actually based on this, it doesn’t mean that the show is starting to suck, in fact it was quite the opposite! Anyways Armored Riders Gaim & Baron went their separate ways in the Helheim Forest, which the former gets attacked by Zangetsu. Realizing that Mai doesn’t want to depend on Kota for Team Gaim and his feelings for her, Mitch decides to become an Armored Rider himself!
While this episode is a continuation from the previous episode, only the first half acted as the continuation, while the second half concentrates on a new plot. Urobuchi says that he wants to break the mold of 2-parters, which I originally thought that he was going to make single episodic plot on every episode a la DekaRanger, but after watching this episode, I realized that Urobchi was rather creating a single plot that expands throughout the episodes. So basically, if you’re late into Gaim, you have to watch from the first episode or you will get confused, at least that’s my opinion.
Kota told Kaito that this forest generates the Lockseeds from the strange fruits. Since Kaito is obsessed with power, he wants to try and pick up Lockseeds because the more Lockseeds you have, the stronger you are in the Inves Games. Also, since they are in the Helheim Forest, every time they transform, the zip portal doesn’t appear, instead an aura forms the Fruit Arms, as those things comes from the Forest anyways. I’m glad that they touched this, because if they went ahead and use the usual method, they will be loads of complaint.
Since this episode is focused on Mitch, we get to see more of his wealthy lifestyle. Turns out, Mitch to Takatora (his brother, Kamen Rider Zangetsu) is what Luigi is like to Mario. Not only he lived under his brother’s shadow, but Mitch seemed like he was forced to do everything what his brother wants to be, which is why he’s so secretive about his Beat Rider activities. And judging by their interaction, I think that Mitch will someday rebel against his brother, although in the first scene for the first episode, he is sided with him. I guess it’s too early to talk about that.
Takatora receives a call that Kotais ‘trespassing’ the Helheim Forest, and went on to fight him. Now, this scene shows what Urobuchi meant by Zangetsu being the Ouja of the series. Not that he is a psychopath or anything, but rather he is the complete opposite of the main Rider, similar to how Ouja was to Ryuki. However, his actions in this episode suggest that he is willing to kill, another similarities to Ouja.
I forgot to ramble about Zangetsu in episode 2, mostly because I was saving it for this moment. As you can see for the suit design, he is basically the white Gaim. Their suit share the same mold, judging by the accents on the suit. So expect SH FiguArts Zangetsu to be a remold of Gaim’s figure (and since they share the same mold, I worry if Zangetsu would end up being released as Tamashii Web Exclusive, there is a 50-50 chance, since Zangetsu was promoted as one of the main Riders).
For the first Rider VS Rider of the show, you can tell that Zangetsu is one hell of a bloodthirsty fella. First is that he purposely evolved an Inves to attack Kota. Speaking of the Inves, they reused Shika Inves. I guess it’s understandable since this episode or perhaps the show in general is a Rider VS Rider show. Also, judging by the fact that Shika Inves only attacked Kota makes me think that these creatures knew Zangetsu, by that I mean this could mean that the Inves are artificial creatures created by the Yggdrasil Corporation. Actually maybe not since the Inves attacked the workers in episode 2, and Shika Inves probably doesn’t realize that Zangetsu’s there.
Second is that when Gaim Pine Arms destroyed Shika Inves, Zagetsu wastes no time to beat the shit out of Gaim. He would mercilessly attack Gaim, only stopping so that he could mock Gaim. Otherwise, all he did was slash, slash and slash Gaim. Come to think of it, it’s like a serial killer from slasher movies trying to kill children! It’s kinda fitting, due to the fact that Kota is naive and he was taking the Armored Rider stuff for fun.
What makes me disappointed in Zangetsu VS Gaim is that the former doesn’t use a finisher, but that also means that Zangetsu is a really strong Rider that he doesn’t rely on finishers to beat a newbie like Gaim. Plus, this shows that Gaim is still weak and he has a very long road ahead to be stronger.
Meanwhile, Kaito returns to the real world and calls team Invitto and Raid Wild to propose an alliance, by giving them Class A Lockseeds. Hase from Raid Wild is reluctant due to their history with Baron, but Jonouchi from Invitto (I’m just gonna call him Jo) agrees, since having Lockseeds equals power. Kaito thinks that this is another move to become stronger, by forming an alliance.I personally think that his method is antagonistic, since it’s usually villains who form an alliance, especially if they wanted to take out the main hero. Also, I can already see where this alliance is going: betrayal. It always happens, just wait and see.
After getting pwned by Zangetsu, Kota was traumatized and refuses to hold the Sengoku Driver anymore. I understand why, he was just having fun with being Gaim and nearly got killed because of it. It sucks right? Doing things you enjoyed and you’re nearly got killed because of it. Because of this, Mai takes the Driver to keep it since that belongs to team Gaim anyways.
Her main reason is that she doesn’t want to rely on Kota. The team relied on him, and look at him now, scared. However Mitch disagrees because of two things: he is the type of guy who’d rather get hurt so that others won’t, aaaand because he has a crush on Mai. To be really honest, he starts to think actions just to make Mai fall in love with him. Well played Mitch, well played.
Also, with the fact that he was forced to become someone he doesn’t want too, it aspires Mitch to do something that is totally AWESOME, although his main reason is obviously to woo Mai. Admit it already. Oh, I noticed in this episode that Mitch resembled Phillip from Kamen Rider W a bit. Wow, Kaito resembles Captain Marvelous and Takatora resembles Goto. Wow, they really love hiring actors that resembled other actors huh? WHERE IS DISCOUNT MAO ICHIMICHI THEN?!
Then comes the best part in the episode, Mitch trying to take care of things himself by meeting Cid to buy a Sengoku Driver! Honestly, if he knows that in order to obtain the Driver through Cid, why didn’t other Beat Riders do it as well? Well thank goodness Cid explained it, as Cid reveals that Armored Riders are chosen by him, further supporting my theory that he is the one responsible for creating the Rider War of this show. At first I thought that he doesn’t want to choose Mitch because Mitch looked weak, but instead it’s because he knows who Mitch is, a son of the Yggdrasil Corporation’s director, and if Cid’s caught selling the Driver to Mitch, Cid will be exiled from the city. Is it just me, or that Zawame City is secretly a dystopia?
Well even if that’s the case, Mitch is bent on getting the Driver, so he suddenly turns into a badass by mouth, as he somewhat threatens Cid into giving him the Driver. Because things will get more interesting when Mitch joins the fray, Cid agrees. What’s interesting is that he gave the Driver for free! It doesn’t explicitly stated that he gave it for free, but Cid mentioned sarcastically that he ‘lost the driver by accident and Mitch found it’.
After that Team Gaim performs their gig, but was challenged by Jo. What’s interesting is that unlike Team Baron and Raid Wild, Jo just waited the crew to finish their performance, then challenge them. Also, we get to learn that Jo is known for tricks, although he addresses it as ‘tactics’. This makes me think that Jo is Loki for Gaim. As for the trick, he tries to strike Gaim when Kota is not around.
Because of that, Team Gaim starts to panic, until Mitch decides to play hero, and reveals his own Sengoku Driver. Everybody is shocked by this, and obviously DJ Sagara starts to broadcast about this revelation. Now an Armored Rider, Mitch is nicknamed Ryugen because his armor resembles the Chinese armor. It’s also noteworthy that Ryugen means ‘Mysterious Dragon’, which is fitting due to how mysterious Team Gaim suddenly has a second Rider.
As for the suit design, I like it especially the headsculpt. His eyes resembles most Kamen Rider, which is great because Gaim reminded us of a Tomica Hero rather than a Kamen Rider. As for the Grape Arms, again they did a good job at making the armor didn’t look too much of a fruit, although I have to say I hated his gun, Budou Ryuhou aka ‘Grape Dragon Gun’, which Imma nickname it into Grape DraGun. I hated it because it looks cartoonish, although if you look closely, the barrel resembles a gattling gun. That is cool nonetheless.
Much to my disappojntment, they only showed seconds of Ryugen fighting a new evolved Inves. Also, as much as I hated the Grape DraGun, Ryugen firing purple orbs actually looked very neat, and it even has a water motif. Honestly, Kamen Rider Ryugen is the equivalent of Kamen Rider Kiva Bashaa Form.
The episode ends with Kota, in his normal attire (YAY!!!) walking around then noticed about Kamen Rider Ryugen’s appearance, shocked. This could also imply that he will be relieved that Team Gaim has a spare Rider, or possibly jealous. Either way, it will be revealed in the next episode. Damn this series starts to get more and more interesting! I hope it doesn’t suck!