The Rider Tournament begins in Helheim Forest, and the participating Riders are unaware that they are hunted by Armored Rider Zangetsu. Meanwhile, Kota discovers the through about why the Beat Riders are given the Sengoku Drivers….
As expected from rivals, the participating Riders battle each other instead of collecting Lockseeds. While it’s understandable because they’re rivals, what they were doing is a great way to let other teams won the tournament, as only Ryugen & Gridon were collecting Lockseeds. Speaking of Ryugen, there’s an error with his entrance in the episode. He walks in the forest in Kiwi Arms, but he entered the forest using Grape Arms! Moreover he uses Grape Arms the entire episode! Maybe he was fending Inveses off-screen, but to me the way they did it makes Kiwi Arms the most useless form change ever.
Meanwhile, Zangetsu prepares to ‘slaughter’ the invading Riders. To be honest this episode feels a lot like Battle Royale & Hunger Games to me, as the Riders fight anyone they see. In case of Zangetsu, he’s like Kazuo Kiriyama, as he finds any Riders he can and beat the shit out of them, and move on to find the other.
His first victim was Gridon, who’s pretty much the Bad Luck Brian of the show. Man, it was a pity seeing Gridon gets beaten senseless, since he’s the weakest of the Riders in terms of fighting, and Zangetsu finishes him off with no mercy!
Meanwhile, Kota sneaks into the Yggdrasil’s base in Helheim, where he learns the forest’s name, as well as many other revelations. Kota, along with the other Armored Riders including Bravo, was meant to be guinea pigs for Yggdrasil. Not only that, the Inves Games were also part of Yggdrasil’s propaganda that’s aimed towards the citizens, especially the Beat Rider youths. Because of this Kota is seriously pissed off. I mean why not? You can transform into a Rider and you find out that the whole thing was supposed to be test subjects?
Also, it kinda mirrors the original Kamen Rider concept, as Kamen Riders were meant to serve under Shocker, and right now it’s presumed that the Armored Riders were meant to serve Yggdrasil, also fitting the sengoku theme that Riders serve the lords.
Zangetsu’s next target is the two strongest Riders, Baron & Bravo. First we’ll look at Baron VS Bravo. Since Baron accessed Mango Arms, he’s gotten a lot stronger, although he still can’t match Bravo. When Zangetsu shows up, again it feels like Battle Royale where two people are fighting and then another one came and kill both of them. Of course Zangetsu didn’t kill them straight away.
At first I was expecting a grand showdown between Bravo & Zangetsu, since both are very strong men. However, they decided to have that match for another day as Bravo fell in love with Zangetsu and allows the latter to defeat him. It’s really funny to see Bravo in love with Zangetsu, moreover Zangetsu’s pretty pissed with his attitude.
After finishing Baron & Bravo, Zangetsu found Ryugen, who unknown to the latter, the former is actually his brother. Their fight here is interesting. Instead of going all-out, Ryugen instead observes his brother’s moves and look for an opportunity to take him down. Zangetsu nearly finished him off, and I was expecting Zangetsu to be shocked upon finding that his brother is also one of the guinea pigs, but no, they saved that for another day too.
Instead, Kurokage runs to them and quickly fights Zangetsu. Ryugen used this opportunity to hide and observe Zangetsu, to see if the man is truly his brother or not.
Zangetsu’s fight with Kurokage is also short, because Kurokage is one of the weakest Armored Riders. What’s more is that Zangetsu accidentally breaks Kurokage’s Sengoku Driver, which causes Hase to no longer transform into Kurokage in the future. Also at this point Zangetsu received news that the base has been attacked, and this is where Mitch realized that the white Rider is truly his brother!
Since Gaim’s at the base, he fought the Inveses, although initially hesitated due to saving bunch of people who called them guinea pigs. But because he’s the hero, he had to protect people, regardless of them being bad or not.
However a bunch of Inveses have invaded the Yggdrasil tower through the forced-opened Crack and as a result, a swarm of them are now in the city. But Professor Ryoma initiates a defensive plan, an interesting one I say.
This is because the Yggdrasil Tower itself has a sky camouflage system that surrounds whole Zawame, and to me, it seems to prove more and more that Zawame City is a dystopia. My guess is that the dome functions as a barrier to keep people from getting out of the city. Of course, not much is revealed so that was just only speculations.
Gaim uses Watermelon Arms and defeats the Inveses, with the aid of the tower’s defence turrets. All of the employees thought that it was Zangetsu who was using the Watermelon Lockseed, which pisses him off because their guinea pigs is the one who saved the day.
After that, Team Gaim is declared a winner of the tournament because Ryugen happened to found the Lockseeds at the base. I wonder what are the other Rider’s reactions towards this? Instead of keeping the Lockseeds to themselves Team Gaim hands it over to Sid, maybe because it’s their payment for the two Lock Vehicles earlier. Since they now know that they are test subjects, Kota and Mitch behave coldly towards Sid.
Later during Gaim’s Christmas gig, Kota monologues and scenes from the previous episodes are being recapped. I just love the way they did this, it’s a very nice way to close the year and it kinda looks like if they split Gaim into seasons, the ending looks like the appropriate ending for season 1!