Recap: Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, Episode 41 – Reset Game!

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Papa Dan informs Machina Vision CEO Johnny Maxima that he will no longer be providing him with the Gamer Drivers. Johnny Maxima wants to join forces to create a brand new game, but Papa Dan only wants to expand Chronicle internationally.

Johnny Maxima says if Papa Dan collaborated with Machina Vision, he would be able to see the true ending of Kamen Rider Chronicle.

Across town, the gang is understanding the consequences of the game reset. The guys have their Drivers and Gashats back and Nico is completely cured.

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Without Hyper Muteki, Parado brings Emu and Poppy over to see Graphite as their only other alternative. But the reset has also affected Graphite, rolling back the progress of the Gamedeus virus in his body.

Before Parado can talk to Graphite about teaming up with Emu, Papa Dan appears.

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Emu tells Poppy to take Graphite to safety. Emu takes Parado into his body as he henshins and allows them both to fight as Mighty Brothers. They take on Papa Dan who says he can easily take care of them with a pause. But since they need to fill the episode he’s in a bad mood, he’ll make them suffer before he kills them. Emu and Parado go maximum and they continue to battle.

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Papa Dan prepares a finisher when he knocks Emu to the ground, but Parado intends to sacrifice himself to save Emu. Emu will not allow that. He jumps up and knocks Parado out of the way, absorbing the attack himself and is forced to dehenshin. Parado goes over to Emu who reminds him to value his own life too.

Parado understands and he distracts Papa Dan so he can whisk Emu away.

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Back at the CR, Hiiro bandages up Emu’s hand as he explains the situation with Parado. With Parado giving them his two Gashat trophies, the only one they need now is Graphite’s.

Taiga and Nico are eager to take care of Graphite, but Emu says that won’t be necessary.

Poppy and Parado are with Graphite in the pouring rain, asking if he can team up with Emu to help take down Chronus.

Taiga, Nico and Hiiro don’t care and decide to go out and finish off Graphite themselves, despite Emu trying to explain what’s going on. Kuroto says it’s alright. He’ll just his god-like talents to come up with something else again. Kuroto starts using Emu’s memory to find a new ability to counter the Reset.

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Back out in the rain, Graphite refuses to work with Emu. He says Poppy and Parado can do what they like, but he will choose his own path. Poppy says she wants Graphite to smile too. Parado reminds Graphite that they are comrades and asks to continue fighting together.

Graphite only says “Farewell” and leaves to be alone. He thinks about Parado and Poppy, but his alone time is interrupted by Hiiro, Taiga and Nico.

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They realize Parado and Poppy must have failed to convince Graphite. Graphite asks them what a battle means to them, risking their lives like they do. Taiga says he wants to crush every last Bugster (including Poppy and Kiriya and Kuroto, I assume) and settle the score from five years ago. Hiiro wants to protect the peoples and put an end to Chronicle.

Graphite notes that they are fighting together despite living in the past or future. For him, he fights for the present moment as the main villain in Drago Knight Hunter Z.

They all henshin and begin their battle.

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It is now nighttime. Kuroto is furiously working and kills himself several times from exhaustion. But the Reset actually returned many of his lives, so it’s alright.

The battle between Graphite, Taiga and Hiiro rages on. Nico is annoyed that Graphite won’t just lay down and die already. Parado and Poppy arrive. Parado notices that Graphite seems to be enjoying himself.

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Kuroto plays with Emu’s legs as the sun rises. It is morning and the battle at the cliffs continues.

Hiiro and Taiga both deliver Criticals at Graphite which seems to be the final nail in his coffin. Graphite laughs. He says he enjoyed this battle very much, the best he’s ever had. Doctors Taiga and Hiiro are relived that they’ve finally just about killed Graphite, but they call in Nico to deliver the decisive blow.

Papa Dan arrives to put a stop to the proceedings and protect Chronicle. Nico prepares her Critical Finish anyway, but Papa Dan hits Pause.

Graphite is able to escape the Pause and faces Papa Dan. He says he had a fair battle with the guys and have reached a decisive conclusion. He will not let Papa Dan adulterate their honorable battle.

Graphite turns to a paused Parado and Poppy and says that while they chose different paths in the end, he still considers them his lifelong friends. He also thanks Hiiro and Taiga for a fun battle and the fulfillment of his programmed life’s purpose.

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Graphite and Papa Dan both prepare their finishers. Papa Dan gets thrown back, but the attack of Graphite plus Nico’s shot from before the Pause are enough to finish him off for good.

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The game restarts and that allows everyone to watch Graphite explode. Before that, however, he says this is all for the best. Poppy sees Graphite was able to smile in the end. Parado says he understands Graphite’s decision and path.

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Meanwhile, Hiiro, Taiga and Nico form a prayer circle to summon Gamedeus. The Gashat trophies float in the air like Eyecons toward the Chronicle title card. Papa Dan will not allow this. He prepares another Reset, but a Hyper Emu arrives with some game save tokens.

Emu delivers a Hyper Critical Sparking at Papa Dan, forcing him to dehenshin.

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Kuroto laughs that he was able to install a software update to Hyper Muteki to include the Save function, this the Reset is no longer useable.

Suddenly, the Chronicle title card goes crazy as Gamedeus emerges. Kuroto is beside himself.

Johnny Maxima watches from nearby and says Chronicle‘s ending draws near.

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Episode Thoughts

Hmm… I thought this was an okay episode.

The reset was kind of funny. Basically negating the events of the last few eps, but setting up the introduction of progress saving power. I have to give the show kudos for including basically every single aspect and feature of video games whether it’s power-ups, resets, continues, cheat codes and now progress saving. lol It’s very creative.

Anyway, I was definitely rooting for Graphite. If only because Hiiro, Taiga and Nico were really annoying. After some nice, emotional episodes for them, they came off as really irritating this episode. And this episode had spazzingKuroto filling 1/3 of it. lol

It was almost like a reckless thing to do, even though Graphite welcomed and enjoyed the night-long battle. But if we think about Hiiro, Taiga and Nico’s beef with Graphite, it’s interesting to compare that with them more than willing to work with Kuroto (who arguably has committed more sins, though maybe not as personal or close to home) and now Parado.

I think the whole thing though was more to allow that final scene of Graphite’s “smile” rather than really adding anything to any of Hiiro, Taiga or Nico’s characters.

If anything, there wasn’t enough Parado or Poppy this episode with Graphite.

Now, I had no idea Ex-Aid was going to have only 45 episodes. Only just found out now with the Build press conference. So there’s only three more episodes left, basically, if I am going to assume the last, last episode is going to be the unnecessary epilogue/crossover/intro with Build.

So I originally thought, welp, Graphite’s going to pop up again somewhere. Whether in-series or the movie, etc. But now I realize it’s probably the end for him in-series. So I would’ve liked to have seen a little more of Parado, Poppy and Graphite together especially since that final scene touched on their sort of friendship/camaraderie and his acceptance of his fate.

Graphite’s been talking about dueling Taiga since he was revived. But I don’t think they really developed his story as well as they could have. It felt very much like (and I keep going back to it) Drive‘s last minute character development for Brain then Medic and finally Heart in the finale. I think Graphite should’ve definitely had a bigger part in the story, especially as a contrast to Parado.

Still, I think the episode was effective enough. I really enjoyed the scenes of Graphite, Parado and Poppy. That’s why I wish we got more of them in this ep and maybe in the episodes leading up to this.

We’ve reached the final level of this game. Gamedeus’ arrival was a little anticlimactic, only because we’ve been told how powerful and terrifying he is, but we haven’t seen him in action yet. Chronicle‘s effects have been mostly downplayed in the last few eps too with Hiiro’s arc taking over. We got Nico writhing around in the CR, but the reset magically cured her. So it should be interesting to see Gamedeus’ effect and how the show still connects video games/technology with medicine and an apparent pandemic.

Overall, an okay episode though Graphite at least deserved a little more climactic end.

2 thoughts on “Recap: Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, Episode 41 – Reset Game!

  1. I actually liked SpazzingKuroto here. Again, I’ll go with the argument of him not being the same character as the guy we met in the first half of the series. Heck, all his ax crazy antics here are played for laughs and is without the murderous intent of the original Kuroto.

    As for Graphite’s story here, I would say that they should have made him a girl with Saki’s memories. That would have undoubtedly connected him a lot more with Hiiro’s and Taiga’s narratives. That’s kinda the element that’s lacking from the Bugster characters, except perhaps Parado. The show set them up as having the memories of their hosts but didn’t really utilize that aspect. No one suffers more from this than Asuna/Poppy, who barely has a backstory about her connection to Parado and Graphite, which kinda kills Graphite’s statement of them being friends.

    • I was fine with SpazzingKuroto because it probably made the most sense and was on the most firm ground in the episode. lol

      I agree about the connection between Poppy, Parado and Graphite. Though I still accepted it here if only because I wanted to see it even if it lacked foundation (which I normally hate lol)

      With Saki’s memories, they totally could have played with that more even with Graphite as male. That would’ve presented some interesting situations. But they really only pulled out that shared memories detail when they needed it for plot I feel like.

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