Gaim and Duke faces off against Redyue, who proceeds to tell Gaim that he is no longer a human, but merely one of the Overlords. What does this mean?
Before they fight, Ryoma seems to be interested in talking to Redyue, even saying that they need to talk after Kota has calmed down. What’s weird is that he still helps Gaim fighting Redyue instead of betraying him or not do anything. Well I guess they need to show more of that Duke suit.
However after taking the fight outside, or rather topside, Duke turns invisible mostly to have Gaim having a personal talk with Redyue. And looks like the whole food thing was actually a plot device, as Redyue states that Kota have been turning into an Overlord. He then proceeds to hypnotize Kota to show that he is now an Overlord.
Duke takes this opportunity to go to his workstation and reboots the Master Intelligent System, which reveals that he recorded everything (using Tommy Wiseau’s dialogue here) to gain data.
Meanwhile, Roshuo talks to Mai about the Fruit of Knowledge, that it is basically the all-purpose tool used to rule the world after it has been evolved by Helheim, which is why Roshuo is insanely strong, because he is the holder of the fruit.
Back to Kota, most of his scenes in the episode is presented as a What If style, in which he traded roles with Yuuya. As such, Kota is now the Byakko Inves while Yuuya is Gaim. This is what would happen if Yuuya never eat the Helheim Fruit and Kota does not use the belt.
At first I thought Kota will have his own monster form much like Eiji, but in order to avoid the similarities, they made Kota into the Byakko Inves. Also Yuuya is much more active and shonen-generic in this episode, which is funny considering that he’s always been that calm and matured guy.
Mai gains knowledge that Kota is suffering due to him holding a part of the fruit’s power, which DJ Sagara appears to her to explain it. Sagara in this episode acts very much like a villain, despite being a neutral character. He tells Mai that it wasn’t his fault, because Kota wanted the power so bad and Sagara even warned him of the danger within, but Kota’s naivete wins over rational thinking, which is why he now has that power. Plus, all Sagara wanted was to see what will Kota do with the power: will he destroy the humanity to save himself, or will he destroy himself to save humanity?
Back to Kota, I really enjoyed Gaku’s acting in this episode. You can tell that Kota is really freaked out about him being a monster. Also the episode touched on the original term of Kamen Rider being a ‘monster’ who fights alone. The original Kamen Rider did this, and I think the closest one to a dramatic take was Shin, as he is literally a monster. And the most recent example would be Decade, if you watch it carefully especially the Movie War 2010. As well as OOO and Wizard, in a way.
Turns out that the reason why Redyue shows Kota this What If scenario is because he wanted to brainwash Kota into joining the dark side, as the scenario shows that Kota is an Inves, and his ally is not the Riders anymore, but the Femshinmus.
Meanwhile, Minato and Zack tend to the prisoners while Kaito went ahead to search for Kota. However he was confronted by Mitch, who of course was looking for a fight. What makes this fight interesting is that both Zangetsu and Baron are willing to kill each other, since Kota isn’t there to stop them.
And also Mitch remarks that Baron wanted to kill him because he’s a coward, but now Mitch himself is a serious threat to Baron. I really enjoyed that transformation scene, it involved no CGI and used camera tricks to show the transformation.
Meanwhile Kota was about to submit into being a monster and become Redyue’s lackey, but instead he gains hope and transforms into Gaim and defeats the illusion. What’s interesting is that there’s no finisher initiated in this scene, as Gaim was just slashing around and then he broke free. And with that Kota resolves not to regret his actions, even if it will hurt him in the future.
Overall, this is a very nice episode as it touched on two aspects, one being the scenario of what happened if Kota didn’t found the belt and second, the isolation of being a Kamen Rider. Considering that this is a dark series I would expect it to be included here.