Ryoji, hungry for power, stuffs his face with a Lockseed fruit and transforms into an Inves. Takatora shoots to kill, but Kota knocks him off target saying they can’t kill Ryoji since he’s still human. Takatora says he’s now just a monster who’ll attack people.
Kaito tells Kota to leave this white Rider to him. They battle as Kota runs after Ryoji.
InvesHase pounces on Kota as soon as he walks outside the warehouse. Kota tries to reach Ryoji, but InvesHase merely attacks. Kota decides to de-henshin.
Do you recognize me now? Kota asks as he tries to reason with the Inves. InvesHase collapses to the ground and transforms back into mostly human Ryoji, but now with large claws for a hand. He knocks Kota aside and runs off.
Back inside, Takatora easily overpowers Kaito and forces him to de-henshin. Kaito has no time to be surprised by Takatora revealing Yggdrasill is involved in all this as the mass produced Kurokages arrive to take him away.
Kota searches into the night for Ryoji, but has no luck.
Next morning, Mitch is about to leave for school, but sees Takatora arriving home and asks if Yggdrasill is doing anything about the… Niisan says not to worry about nonsense things and to concentrate on school.
Mai-tachi are at the Garage, trying to understand why they are being blamed for the Inves attacks and people falling sick. Kota comes in and asks for Mitch, but they say he hasn’t even called. He says he’s looking for Ryoji, but doesn’t say why. They offer to help, but he says it’s too dangerous and to stay away if they run into him.
Kota heads back out to look for Ryoji himself as the others wonder why Kota and Mitch have been acting so weird lately and if they’re doing something in secret.
Takatora drives back to Yggdrasill headquarters, not knowing Mitch has stowed away in the backseat. Mitch carefully sneaks into the building, intent on finding out what’s going on.
Rat and Rika are at Drupers when Ryoji stumbles in. He heads straight for the fruits and takes a bite out of an apple. Rat and Rika approach him, but Bando screams at them to stay away.
Ryoji spits out the apple and transforms back into an Inves. InvesHase threateningly approaches Rika, but Rat covers her and takes the slashing from Ryoji’s claws instead.
Kota watches an ambulance approaching Drupers and hurries over. He sees Rat getting wheeled into the ambulance and a frantic Rika accompanies him.
Bando tells Kota about Ryoji turning into a monster and attacking before running off.
At Yggdrasill, Mitch continues to carefully make his way through until he enters the Crack room. He takes a video of it before moving on and finding a large conference room where he sees his brother and Sid discussing the Genesis Drivers.
Now that the Genesis Drivers are working well, they’re complete with stage one and are now concentrating on keeping costs down for the mass produced models. Sid asks if Ryoma knows about this, but Takatora says his opinion doesn’t matter.
Takatora gets a call about “Category H” which they must eliminate. He invites Sid to come and test the Genesis Driver himself. They leave the room and Mitch goes over to the computer where he finds study records.
First is a video of Ryoma explaining the effects on animals once they take a bite of the forest fruits. He feeds a mouse a piece of the fruit and it becomes a Inves in the size of the ones that take part in the game.
So the Inves are just ordinary animals who have transformed.
Across town, InvesHase continues rampaging and is about to attack a little boy when Kota arrives. He again faces him without henshining. If Ryoji is still in there, then he will stop this right now. InvesHase shakes his head.
If not, then you’re no longer Hase! Kota henshins and they fight, though Kota continues to try and hold back, thinking Ryoji is still in there. He thinks about what the white Rider told him in the forest. He can’t think about why they need to fight, otherwise he’ll die before he gets an answer.
InvesHase doesn’t pull any punches and Kota must defend himself. He’s finally got InvesHase cornered.
Back at Yggdrasill, Mitch figures out the case files relate to dates and picks the one that dated the same day as Yuya’s disappearance. Sure enough, Ryoma narrates Yuya wandering into Helheim forest.
Yuya peels a Lockseed fruit and eats. He immediately turns into an Inves. Mitch is shocked.
Kota still can’t help but see Ryoji in the Inves. He drops his sabre and says he can’t possible kill a person. This monster is still Hase Ryoji.
But Mitch continues watching the case file in horror. Ryoma narrates what Mitch is seeing… Kota (aka “Test Subject 01”) killing InvesYuya (the first victim of a Helheim infection), proving the abilities of the Sengoku Driver.
Mitch is beside himself.
Kota drops to his knees and begs Ryoji to wake up. But suddenly, four shadowy figures appear above them. Melon, Cherry, Lemon and Peach Lockseeds get unlocked and the four figures, including Takatora and Sid, henshin into four next generation soda Riders.
Takatora sends a melon arrow at Kota, getting him off of InvesHase and forcing him to de-henshin.
Takatora tells Sid to take care of this mess he started. He hops down to the plaza and attacks InvesHase who is weakened and no match. Sid sends a cherry arrow at InvesHase as Kota struggles to get up and screams for the Rider to stop.
But he is too late.
Sid clips on his cherry Lockseed onto his bow and sends his cherry finisher at InvesHase, eliminating it.
Kota collapses to the ground.
Why did you kill him!? Kota asks.
Sid de-henshins. I eliminated a monster that was attacking people, he says. That’s “justice.” Kota is enraged. He gets up and stumbles toward Sid, but the Kurokages arrive, knock him unconscious and take him away.
FUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK! Seriously. This show.
I am amazed more and more every week. I can’t believe how much I am loving Gaim.
So I was afraid Ryoji was going to get killed and Yuya’s fate seemed pretty grim from the beginning, but oh shit. Kota unknowingly killed him!? WTF!? That is some heavy stuff! I certainly hope that drives a lot of emotional story coming up.
I honestly did not expect we’d see any casualties like this, especially for what appeared to be long term supporting characters. But dude… Dude!
Damn, I wish we could get such ballsy storytelling on children’s programs here in the US. Only Power Rangers RPM has come close with brothers dying inside exploding fighter jets and butlers dying in the arms of their heiress charges. Man, seriously.
I really love seeing Kota’s emotional and moral and philosophical struggles. That is definitely something I personally haven’t seen in a toku (Japanese or American) ever. Gaim has such a large ensemble cast and they continue to use all the characters incredibly well. You actually cared about Ryoji’s eventual tragic descent. You felt a big tug when Rat gets wheeled into the ambulance.
They’ve done a great job to establishing what is a very intricate and mysterious world (with still no possible endgame in sight) while also developing characters that make you care about what’s going on. And this in 14 episodes.
I am also continuing to get more and more excited by Mitch and his (I believe) own eventual descent into, who knows what. I just know it’s going to be dark, dark, dark! And I am eagerly anticipating it. Him sneaking into Yggdrasill and then that final reveal intercutting with Kota’s inner struggle was excellently done and definitely upped the impact of that entire final sequence. Just amazing.
This whole season has been amazing.