While Kota is fighting off Inves downtown, Mai has gathered the leaders of the other dance crews at the Garage to propose a ceasefire amongst all the teams by having an all-team dance event. This will show the city that the Inves game doesn’t matter to them anymore.
It might not restore their reputation, but it will allow them to start over and get back to why they all started this in the first place… dance!
Kota finishes off the Inves, but the townsfolk are still scared of him despite having just saved them. He heads back to the Garage, which is now empty except for Team Gaim.
Mitchi recounts what happened. The other teams ask if Team Baron will be at the dance event and Mai says of course since it would be meaningless if not all of them are there.
That ends up being the wrong answer. The other teams don’t want to dance with Baron since it was them that stirred up all this competition in the first place while gobbling up all their best dancers. They needed the Inves game to protect their own teams.
Mai pops up from her sulking and decides to go to Team Baron. Kota goes with.
Meanwhile, Jonouchi is trying to figure out which of his Lockseeds is the real one. Oren arrives and seeing him slack off, does a dropkick right to his face. On the ground, Jonouchi sees a flyer for the dance event and thinking that his apprentice is even considering re-joining the dance hoodlums, Oren decides to buttface him.
Incensed that the dance punks are about to cause a ruckus in the city, Oren storms off to take care of it.
At Baron HQ, Mai begs, but Kaito doesn’t care. It really doesn’t matter to him if he ever dances again or not since all this dancing was merely a way of displaying power.
Fine, Mai says before storming out. That’s pretty low, even for you, Kota says.
Kaito is surprised since he didn’t think dancing meant that much to Kota in the first place. Kota says he just wants to clear their names.
Kota catches up to Mai who says to just forget the frustrating Baron bullies and to try and talk to the other teams again. Mitchi comes running up to show them the latest news: Oren is rallying support to close down the open stages and to drive the Beat Riders out of the city.
Kaito, Zack and Peco are also watching the latest DJ Sagara update.
What now, Zack asks. Kaito says the only thing they’ll lose without the stages is their ability to dance.
Peco speaks up. But he wants to dance. He joined the top team because he wants to dance. He pleads with Kaito for them to join the dance event.
But Kaito stands and says to do it if they want. It is no longer any of his business. He’s leaving Team Baron. He entrusts a mass produced Driver to Zack and leaves him in charge.
Kota, Mai and Mitchi are again unsuccessful in trying to convince the other teams. But suddenly, Zack and Peco walk into the Garage to tell them that Team Baron would like to join the dance event. And without Kaito, who’s quit the team.
Kota hurries out and finds Kaito in Helheim Forest picking Lockseeds. Kota follows him back to Zawame where Kaito explains he will start his own battle and will fight on his own since he works best by himself. People who only care about dancing are of no use to him. You know who the real enemy is, he says.
But Kota wants the dance event to be successful, this will be his last job as a Beat Rider.
You’re so happy-go-lucky, Kaito says as he walks away.
At Yggdrasill, Ryoma is commending Minato on the great data she collected from fighting Kota. He’s intrigued by how well Kota’s been using the power-up and looks forward to Minato fighting him “for real.” That would mean no more data to be collected Minato says, to which Ryoma agrees. So first, he wants to test out a new Driver.
DJ Sagara begins his dance event live coverage. But in the colorfully staged warehouse, it is only Teams Gaim and Baron with not even half a dozen audience members.
Oren enters the warehouse, laughs at them and tells them to just give up. The other teams are watching the broadcast and DJ Sagara tries to rally the (dance) troupes. Takatora is also watching and doesn’t understand why Sagara is broadcasting now.
Mai says that even if there is only one person in the audience, they should still perform and show them what Beat Riders are made of. Teams Gaim and Baron decide to go ahead with the performance, but Oren gives Jonouchi the signal to summon a few Inves.
Kota henshins and fights off the Inves trying to dance on stage. Oren also henshins. Mitchi wants to henshin, but Kota says not to.
That’s when Zack pulls his driver out, slaps it onto his waist and attaches a Kurumi (walnut) Lockseed to henshin into Armored Rider Knuckle. (“Mister Knuckleman!”)
Zack manages to take care of the Inves and doesn’t miss a beat even when Jonouchi summons more. He tells Kota to leave the Inves to him so he can take care of Oren.
Kota pins Oren to the wall to allow Mai-tachi to start the performance. But suddenly, the other stages are filled with the other crews and they all excitedly begin dancing.
Jonouchi slips the music card out of the machine to stop the music and the dancing. Oren and an evolved Inves start to get the upper hand, but Mitchi begins snapping his fingers to a beat. Everyone else joins in and they decide to dance without music.
Jonouchi can’t believe it. The dancing gives Kota and Zack new energy.
The girls from Team Invitto spot their fearless leader and drag him to their stage. One of the members sees the music card on the floor, picks it up and puts it back in the machine to restart the music.
Everyone starts dancing again, now with the music and now including Jonouchi while Kaito arrives to help his now-former teammate.
“This is everyone’s stage now!”
Kota henshins into Jinba Lemon Arms and follows Oren outside. Kota easily overpowers him.
Back inside, the teams continue to passionately dance while Kaito and Zack finish off the evolved Inves together. Messages of support flood the internets.
Kaito and Zack de-henshin. Grow stronger, Kaito says before walking out. That means a lot to Zack.
In the middle of the happy mosh pit of Beat Riders, Mitchi tells himself that he will do anything and betray anyone to protect the joy they are all experiencing now.
Hearing the cheers inside, Kota says they no longer need to fight and walks away. Oren calls after him and stabs himself in the foot.
Before Kota can head back inside the warehouse, he’s stopped in his tracks by the appearance of a new Rider.
So this episode was considerably lighter than how the previous weeks have been. None of the big revelations or shockers.
But it was still a very interesting experience. Of course, dancing is a big part of this season. And I really did enjoy a lot of that K-drama/teen idol-ness of the early episodes. I guess maybe there’s a little tonal whiplash by calming down so much after the last couple of weeks. And I guess having such a normal episode of Gaim can be a little jarring.
No question, a show needs a breather every now and then after big episodes. I definitely know that being a Supernatural fan.
So getting over that, this was a fun and at times very syrupy sweet episode.
First to the sugar. Mai REALLY loves dancing, if you haven’t noticed. Her repeated attempts at trying to rally the others could’ve easily gotten old and annoying fast. But the good thing about having such a big ensemble cast and having developed a big “world” is that even when Mai’s love of dancing starts to feel like a little too much, we have others who also have a legitimate love or like for dancing to show that a big ol’ dance performance will truly be meaningful.
Just like little Peco of Team Baron. We’ve seen Kaito lead Team Baron into dances to merely exert their power over others. Even more simply, just to be the coolest guys on the Zawame Open Stages, dancing or not. But Peco, even though he willingly helped Kaito cheat during Inves games, really loved to dance. They could’ve maybe built him and Zack a little more to contrast them with Kaito or express more just how much they were sheep following their leader.
It would’ve made Peco speaking up and begging Kaito even more effective as a scene, but it did its job and still worked. Zack getting the mass produced Driver was an interesting development and Kaito wishing him well, in a way only he could do, as the new leader of Team Baron was a nice signal to the next chapter for Kaito’s character.
Now for the fun stuff. So Oren and Jonouchi have basically become Donut Shop Owner and Worker with Drivers. The comic relief who pop up when needed? A little strange considering how both were introduced (Oren a ruthless mercenary, Hideyasu a schemer and opportunist). I have no idea where they’re going with them.
The dancing extravaganza was insanity. Really. I mean, first they all started dancing their own team routines at the same time. Then it looked like they were all in some dance class together. All while the others were battling monsters in front of them. It was hilarious and odd and cool at the same time.
Now Mitchi and the finger snapping beat though. That was hilarious. I don’t even think that was really necessary, especially by the end when they stopped and started dancing to show their strength and resolve so much that by the time Mitchi vows betrayal while turning on his happy smile, it felt like they’d just been through a forced dance marathon at a boot camp and it was time to get rid of his competition to get the lead in the high school musical.
I mean, that whole dance event was pure insanity but oddly amusing to watch.
Anyway, I’ve talked more about this filler ep than the big reveal episodes. (Insanity!) It was a fine, enjoyable breather of an episode. And when you get a breather episode, you know they’re going to get right back into the thick of things next week.