Kamen Rider Gaim 44: Banana Guy is a Bad Guy


Kota is dead, Kaito turns into the villain, Mitch has lost his mind to the point that he can’t do anything but cry, and Mai is lost in time. How will this turn out to our heroes?!

Gaim 44 (1)

This episode finally the answers the question everybody was asking but not me: what’s with the very first battle in the first episode of Gaim. To me I didn’t really care to question it because it seemed to serve as introduction to the theme of the series which is Riders VS Riders. Then during an interview with the Urobutcher himself he stated that the scene was actually a foreshadow to the finale, which is happening right now.

In that battle, we see Gaim with his army of Inves and Baron with his’, while Zangetsu and Ryugen watches by. Sagara explains to Mai that the battle serves as a battle royale, in which Gaim and Baron are the participants, with Zangetsu and Ryugen representing their allies who could do nothing but watch. Why did they battle? Because Mai not using the Den-Liner to time travel has caused her to lost in time, and can only return when the  one who will obtain the Golden Fruit is chosen. For the time being, she is stuck in a parallel world where she could only watch Gaim takes on Baron, two of which actively seeking the Golden Fruit.

What’s interesting is that this arc is about Gaim VS Baron, and early in the series we would expect the two to clash often, only for them to end up as each other’s greatest allies. Furthermore, the Sengoku Movie War acts as a foreshadow to these events.

Gaim 44 (2)

However because Gaim himself is the protagonist therefore the good guy, it wouldn’t make sense if he and Baron are fighting but in good terms. The battle this time is serious, only one of them will emerge victorious while the loser? DIES. Because of that, they decided to make the only other participant, Kaito, turns into the final villain.

I gotta be honest. I did not expect Kaito to be the show’s final villain at all. Throughout the series they did foreshadow his villainy through his obsession with power, but he spends most of the time being the unsung hero of the series. I thought it would be Ryoma or Redyue or even Mitch would be the final villain, since those three have committed more questionable act than Kaito. I guess Urobuchi wanted to make Kaito significant to the story, since his role throughout the series is basically Gaim’s biggest ally. Three of the main protagonists had significant event in their series, Gaim is the main one, Ryugen with his insanity and Zangetsu being the red herring. So it actually does make sense for Baron to have a significant role. 

Since he’s the bad guy now, I love how drastically different Kaito looked. The messed hair is one thing, but the eyes really look menacing. Props to the makeup team for making it look normal but sinister.

Gaim 44 (3)

Kaito announces to the Kamen Riders that he is now an Overlord and will be the King of the world, not Leonardo DiCaprio. Ignoring the bad joke, this forces Oren and Jonouchi to fight him while Zack is confused at the revelations. Oh yeah Malika decides to be Kaito’s right-hand woman, simply because they boned each other.

This episode is notable for featuring Kamen Riders Bravo and Gridon’s final suit appearance, and with that said it’s obvious that Lord Baron will defeat them. What disappoints me is that Bravo and Gridon didn’t really fight Lord Baron, because they are busy fighting Malika and the two Inves summoned by Lord Baron, and to add insult to the injury Knuckle betrays them and defeats Gridon with Malika’s help.

Bravo then gets defeated by Lord Baron after one counterattack, and that’s what disappoints me. I wanted to see the two having a hard time fighting Baron and getting their asses kicked, but they wanted to make Lord Baron so powerful that nobody can touch him resulted in a lackluster fight, especially since this is Bravo and Gridon’s final fight.

Gaim 44 (4)

After that Kaito proceeds to summon an army of Inves, this time intending to strike the whole world in preperation of his new world order, with Minato and Zack now at his side. Because of this, Kota, who was revealed to be alive because him being an Overlord grants him regenerative ability decides to stop Kaito before he could cross the line just like Mitch did.

Kaito transforms into Kamen Rider Baron, because unlike Kamen Rider Kiva, he is still aware that he has a base form and besides, the whole point of him transforming is to deliver the promised fight of Gaim and Baron, more technically the suits. It’s actually great to see Baron using his Rider form, as it gives the idea that his Overlord power buffs his Rider stats. Yes buff. You know, my copy of Smash Bros. got delayed. I’m so pissed T_T

Gaim 44 (5)

Eventually Kaito transforms into his Overlord form after Gaim defeats the Rider form with Kachidoki Arms. Gaim goes Kiwami but sadly due to his wounds still healing, it leaves Gaim at a disadvantage and the promised fight between the two can’t be delivered. Knowing that Gaim will die if he doesn’t give up, Zack are forced to intervene the fight, secretly revealing that he’s actually an ally to Gaim. Luckily, Kaito didn’t kill Zack for intervening the fight, because I swear I thought he was going to do that. As he takes his leave, Kota wonders what is Zack planning……………..

Overall, a really nice build up to the finale. Yeah, I can’t really accept Kaito as the final villain since he doesn’t fit the description, but nevertheless it gives a hard challenge to our hero Gaim. Poor guy. His closest ally tend to be the ones who betray him in the end.

 

 

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