Recap: Kamen Rider Gaim, Episode 20 – The Invasion Begins The End of the World

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Takatora leads Kota through the forest. Just where are you taking me, Kota asks. Takatora tells him he can go back if he wants, but Kota says he’s looking for his friend Yuya. Does Takatora know anything?


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And before Takatora can say, a swarm of Inves appear. They both henshin

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Meanwhile at The Crack Room, Ryoma welcomes Kaito-kun. He understands Kaito is here, not to seek justice, but to see if Yggdrasill is weak. If that’s the case, then they are not enemies.

Kota and Takatora take care of the Inves swarm.

Just what is this forest, Kota asks.

And Takatora and Ryoma simultaneously explain what they know to Kota and Kaito. They don’t know if Helheim is Earth, another planet or even another dimension. Yggdrasill exists to find that out. They aren’t some multinational development conglomerate, they are simply a large research group.

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They’ve been studying Helheim Forest for years before they found the biggest hotbed of Cracks in the world… Zawame, Japan. For example, Yggdrasill found this big Crack Room Crack ten years ago.

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Suddenly, Kaito recognizes the Crack tree. It’s the one from the shrine.

Ryoma explains the tree is not of this world. A Helheim seed came through a Crack and instead of spreading, it grew into a single large tree which became a point of worship for the locals.

You destroyed the shrine just to take the tree, Kaito says, anger rising.

Ryoma says with the tree, they were able to create an artificial Crack which was a major breakthrough in the Helheim research.

Kaito grabs Ryoma by the collar, What about the people you trampled on in the process? Did you ever think about them?!

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Ryoma calmly suggests they go somewhere more comfortable to continue their chat.

Kaito follows Ryoma out.

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Minato appears and asks Sid, who’s been quietly listening this whole time, what he thinks Ryoma’s intention is. Who knows, Sid replies, you can never know what Professor is thinking.

Kaito remembers his father’s factory getting torn down and their part of town disappearing thanks to Yggdrasill.

So you hate us? Ryoma asks. But Kaito says hate is pointless if you can’t do anything about it.

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So Kaito wants to enact revenge on the entire Yggdrasill operation, which he can’t attain by just taking care of one person in the company. Ryoma is impressed.

What do you know about me!? Kaito asks, slapping the wall.
I could ask you the same thing, Ryoma replies. Before you hate us, you should know what Yggdrasill is all about.

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Takatora leads Kota to the shocking cliff. Why did you take over Zawame City? Kota asks.

“Because humanity’s fate is at stake.”

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Takatora points Kota to the valley below. Kota is shocked.

The valley contains the terrifying ruins of a city, devoid of any life but the overgrown Helheim fauna.

There were once people in this world, Takatora says, they had cities and a thriving civilization. You’ve seen what happens when an animal eats a Helheim fruit. The Inves are the remnants of the creatures of this world, some of them, the people who created this civilization.

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Ryoma takes over the explanation. The ecology of this world has not evolved. The original plant life has been replaced by that of the foreign fruits which appeared one day and quickly took over.

What’s happening in Zawame probably happened in this world too. Seeds from another world suddenly came through the Cracks. Not only do they proliferate, they have poisons that kill all other plants; an invasive species that destroys all local species and replaces them with itself.

For example, the common dandelion’s prolific characteristics have driven the native Japanese dandelion to extinction. And that’s what these fruits are to their world. It is an invasive species that spreads with the help of the creatures that eat them. That is how the civilization was wiped out. And now that is what will happen to Earth.

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Kaito takes it all in.

In Helheim, Takatora continues Kota’s tour of the ruins. They arrive at what appears to be a family living or dining room, complete with table of plates and cups.

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Why did this happen? Kota asks.
It’s only natural for plants to spread their seeds, Takatora replies. Like he said before, this is the senseless evil in the world.

Takatora says experts are predicting Earth has only 10 years left before it too suffers the same fate as this world.

Back in Zawame, Zack is fighting off some Inves with the help of Peco who uses their old tricks to defeat the enemy.

Zack de-henshins and he and Peco run to an injured citizen who they find has a cut in their back with Helheim vines starting to sprout out of it. They offer to take the man to the hospital, but the other bystanders tell them to stay away. They’ll call the police instead.

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Oren arrives, Jonouchi in toe, laughing about these good for nothing Beat Riders continuing to cause trouble in the city. He accuses Zack and Peco of summoning the Inves, which they of course deny. But Oren’s flowery talk gets the crowd on his side and agreeing that the Beat Riders are still no good.

A couple more Inves suddenly arrive and Oren henshins to fight them.

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Elsewhere in Zawame, Yggdrasill keeps bystanders away as Mitchi fights off some Inves that have jumped out of a new Crack in an alleyway.

He takes care of the Inves and then orders his Kurokages and underlings to clean up.

Mitchi hurries over to the Garage where the girls of Gaim are practicing.

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Mitchi smiles as he watches Mai’s happily leading the others. This is for the best, Mitchi thinks, he can protect everyone’s smiles by keeping this secret.

They see Mitchi has arrived. He apologizes for being late and Mai notices he looks worn out. Mitchi says he’s fine, but Mai says it’s okay if he sits out a practice since it’s not like they have to prepare for an Inves game or anything.

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Why must we keep it a secret, Kota asks. Takatora says it would cause too much panic and people’s violent selfishness would destroy the world before Helheim could.

Ryoma says that even with the threat of extinction, humans can’t stop from being selfish. War, race, religion, people can’t put aside their differences to fight Helheim, don’t you think?

Perhaps, Kaito answers. That’s pretty much everyone he’s ever met.

That’s why Yggdrasill is taking this responsibility on their own shoulders, Takatora says. But Kota thinks this is the time for humanity to band together. If everyone knew it was the end of the world, they’d see this is no time to be fighting and instead come together.

Apparently, you don’t see the evil side of people, Takatora says. Some countries would do anything to obtain Yggdrasill’s research and use that info to their own advantage and control the world.

So no one can be trusted? Kota asks.

It only takes one evil person to negate the good of a hundred. History’s blood stained pages are full of examples.

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Sid and Minota are riding down Yggdrasill’s endless escalators. If the world’s future rests on Yggdrasill’s shoulders, then on whose shoulder does Yggdrasill’s future rest on? Sid asks.

Obviously Chief Kureshima, Minota says. Sid thinks that’s interesting since he knows Minota predicts Ryoma will be sitting in Takatora’s seat in the future. Minota thinks that’s interesting since Sid is Takatora’s right hand.

It all comes down to who grabs the forbidden fruit, Sid says, and the Genesis Driver will help them reach it. Are you saying you’re qualified to do that? Minota asks.

I’m not the only one, Sid replies, doesn’t the same apply to you?
What could you mean by that? Minota says.

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So we’re just going to keep it all a secret? Kota asks.

Takatora says even if people knew the truth, they’d just be powerless and cower in fear until the end of times. Does Kota think it’s justice to rob people of what short happiness they have left?

Kota is at a loss.

Only those with the power to face the invasion need to bear the burden of knowing to allow peace to be intact for everyone else.

Suddenly, Inves jump out. Takatora quickly henshins.

Kota takes his Driver out, but he hesitates remembering these Inves could be the people of this world. Takatora tells Kota that turning into an Inves means that person is as good as dead anyway.

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But Kota still hesitates. He henshins when an Inves starts attacking, but he holds back, not wanting to possibly hurt these former people.

Takatora takes over and eliminates the swarm.

Kota just can’t believe any of this is happening.

Sid and Minato join Ryoma and Kaito.

Ryoma asks Kaito if he’s now willing to cooperate and help save the world with them. Save the world by keeping secrets? Bull! Kaito replies. A world built on secrets and lies deserves to be destroyed.

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Those that have forgotten how to fight have no right to live. Kaito thinks this impending invasion is a good thing. It will allow the strong and the weak to distinguish themselves and separate.

Only those who fight Helheim and survive deserve to grasp the future, Kaito says as he takes the Lockseed fruit and squeezes it until it oozes chunky fruit meat.

Sid, Minota and Ryoma laugh. How amusing. So that’s how Kaito feels.
Then they really do have the same goals in mind. Ryoma again invites Kaito to join them in their plans.

Just what are you plotting, Kaito asks.

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Episode Thoughts
Oh ho! There you go. The horrifying sight of an entire civilization wiped out.

Well, it was an alright reveal. The way Mitchi’s eyes bugged out though I expected some dead rotting bodies or something.

Still, this was an amazing and very interesting episode. It was pretty much all story. Of course, there were a few toy selling fights thrown in, including throwing in the deleted scene-worthy Zack/Peco/Oren/Jonouchi scene. But 95% of the episode was just pure story and exposition. And I did enjoy the way they pieced those two separate conversations together to complete the story. Yggdrasill’s version of it, at least.

It’s funny though that we did get all the exposition and yet I still feel just as lost as I am with ToQger. We still don’t really know what’s going on, anywhere. Whether it’s the fearsome foursome that’s just formed at Yggdrasill or Takatora serving up some Real Truth Flavor to Kota, we just got dumped with a helluva lot more questions than before. And that’s awesome to experience.

I really loved those scenes of Kota and Takatora walking through those old “homes.” I wish we saw more of that frozen-in-time stuff though. Maybe with a slightly bigger budget.

The idea of a simple plant wiping out a civilization is fascinating and definitely something different from any of the usual aliens and monsters I’ve seen on a toku or Power Rangers. What makes it truly scary is that it seems very possible in the real world. Definitely more realistic than prophesied flesh eating plagues in the Philippines signaling the end of the world.

We still don’t know the big bad of the season of course, but killer plants could really be enough. The power struggle at Yggdrasill, the secret ambitions, the deep emotional and moral journeys of our heroes trying to stop fruits from ending the world; it’s pretty insane. We’re only at Episode 20. There’s plenty more shockedMitchi to come.

7 thoughts on “Recap: Kamen Rider Gaim, Episode 20 – The Invasion Begins The End of the World

  1. okay, so it isn’t zawame in the future, but nonetheless still a terrifying thing to think about. and they actually gave a figure, ten years. this has just turned into a big cosmic horror story.

    and know, what’s even more frightening? Takatora is actually right. even if the world is about to end, many will still take advantage of the situation for their own personal gains. that “flesh eating bacteria” hoax in fact displays it, with that network feeding on the mass hysteria for ratings gain, instead of providing needed information to calm the public.

    too bad you won’t see this kind of storytelling back here. the networks are to busy feeding on fan shallowness (got to believe in stupidity, ne 😉 )

    1. Yeah, you know I was hoping GMA’s “Genesis” would be that kind of show and it some (fleeting) ways it was. It had an excellent premise and would have probably worked with better, more experienced (in the genre) writers and with more resources than any Filipino network could provide. There were glimpses of the kind of moral and philosophical and deep storytelling you’d want from a sci-fi show like it should have been, but of course, the typical Pinoy teleserye kicks in no matter what. =(

      1. agreed. the typical teleserye mired that series’ potential. ABS’ 2007 “Rounin” also had that level of imagination and also did raise some interesting social questions (that one, on the other hand, was mired by it being too innovative for its time, that the audience weren’t able to catch up), to bad the network is now too preoccupied simply feeding the audience with naive fantasies of being lovey-dovey with their “prized” teen actor -_-‘

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