Mitchi rolls his eyes as Kota rails against Yggdrasill and their secrets. Maybe Sid was just messing with you, Mitchi suggests. But no, Kota says, Sid would have nothing to gain by lying.
You’re right. Damn it Sid, Mitchi thinks to himself, just what are you up to?
Mai calls Kota to tell him about a small Crack starting to open up on a bridge in the middle of the town. Yggdrasill knows about it too.
Takatora, Sid, Ryoma and Minato are meeting to discuss how to hide this Crack from the public. Takatora says to close off the bridge for now, hang a “Keep Out” sign and set up a defensive line on the Helheim side of the Crack. Sid says that’s not going to be enough, but Takatora refuses to use the Scalar System.
Of course, Ryoma says. Takatora is in charge, so naturally he should decide whether or not to fry Zawame City. If the time ever comes, Takatora should push the button himself.
Ryoma tells Takatora to leave Helheim to him and that they will not let him down.
Kota and Mitchi head to the bridge Crack which has now been closed off. Mitchi tries to downplay the threat of this open Crack, but Kota says they have to do something. He has the idea of defending the Crack from Helheim, at least to buy enough time to let the Crack close on its own.
Kota and Mitchi head into Helheim where they spot Kaito strolling along. He’s been placing wrapped squares in the forest.
They ask him where he’s been and what he’s doing, but it’s none of their business, he says.
They tell Kaito that the city’s in trouble. And Kaito immediately spills the beans on Ryoma telling him about the Scalar System to the surprise of Kota and the annoyance and anger of Mitchi.
But Kaito says he has more important things to do than to protect Zawame or Yggdrasill who cower in fear of Helheim. Kaito wants to find the way to harness the immense power of the forest that would allow him to surpass humanity and bring the world to its knees! So, bye.
Kaito walks away and Kota and Mitchi have to continue on until they finally come across the other side of the bridge Crack. Yggdrasill’s already set up their defenses and they watch as a swarm of Inves come toward them wanting to fly up into the Crack.
Minota, henshined, and an army of Kurokages fight them off.
Kota decides to make himself known and asks what they are doing there. Pretty much the same thing you are, Ryoma replies. He says if an Inves makes it through the Crack, they’ll just have to give up on Zawame City and murder every single person in it. But they’d still like to keep their secrets, so they’ll exhaust all their options here first.
Another swarm of Inves come running up and Minato and the Kurokages go to work.
Ryoma suggests they call a momentary truce to help each other out here. How about it Mitchi? Kota asks.
Mitchi says Kota helping them out here should be enough to defend the Crack, so he will return to Zawame and make sure everyone, especially Mai and the team, is safe there. Ryoma is very amused by Mitchi’s runaround.
Minota asks Kota if they can trust him. Just for today, he replies.
Kota asks Ryoma what he’s doing sitting there anyway. Ryoma says he’s trying to put together a device that might be enable them to close the Crack faster.
Hell no! But Ryoma’s boss won’t hear otherwise, so he’s here pretending to look busy.
This isn’t a time to be messing around, Kota says, doesn’t the fate of the world rest on Ryoma’s research? For your information, Ryoma replies, my research is up to standards. Like the mass produced Sengoku Driver which is the centerpiece of Project Ark, the plan that will save humanity.
Another swarm of Inves come running towards them. Kota henshins and joins Minato-tachi. But he decides to try out the Cherry Lock Seed too to level up to Jinba Cherry.
Ryoma is impressed by Kota being able to quickly adapt to new powers.
Back at the Garage, Mitchi is telling Mai-tachi about a new underground open space that they should go check out NOW.
In the middle of fighting off the Inves, Kota asks how mass producing Drivers would help. Ryoma explains that the Driver converts Helheim fruit into Lock Seeds and enables the wearer to safely absorb their energy without need of any other nutrition. That way, humans can survive in a Helheim environment without becoming Inves.
But they can only produce a billion of them at most. So basically only one in seven people in the world will survive.
That is ridiculous, Kota says. So you’re going to just let the other six billion people turn into Inves?
Oh, goodness no, Ryoma adds. The six billion Inves would surely be a danger to the survivors. So in the next ten years, they will use Yggdrasill’s power in several industries to cut the population down to just 1/7 of what it is now.
Kota is livid at how Ryoma can speak so nonchalantly about such things. He grabs his collar, but Minota knocks Kota away and reminds him he has to fight off these Inves.
Takatora is in the surveillance room watching the Crack being guarded as well as some Zawame citizens being evacuated into different fallout shelters. In the third one are Mitchi, Mai, Rat, Rika and Chucky.
Is this really an open stage? they ask Mitchi. Oops, Mitchi says, smiling to himself, I must’ve been mistaken.
They should probably go then.
NO! The elevator’s not working, let’s wait a little bit, Mitchi says.
Mai-tachi start feeling the eyes of some of the evacuees on them, some leering at them, others in fear and confusion. They start to feel something is not right.
Back in Helheim, the Crack finally zips up. Kota and Minota de-henshin.
Kota glances at Minota’s Driver. As Ryoma thanks Mr. Kuzaraba for helping, Kota lunges at Minota’s crotch and grabs her Lock Seed. Minota tries to defend herself, but Kota manages to swipe it and run off.
Kota henshins and hops on his Lock Vehicle, speeding towards the Big Crack.
The Kurokages are no match for Kota as he speeds through, resolute in not letting Yggdrasill get away with what they plan to do. The alarm at Yggdrasill sounds. Kota fights his way to the control room, hoping to destroy it to prevent them from even using the Scalar System.
Fighting through more Kurokages, Kota is stopped by Takatora. What do you think you’re doing, Takatora asks, you know that Yggdrasill is humanity’s last hope.
Kota tells him he’s going to wreck the Scalar System and he’s heard all about Project Ark from Ryoma. “There’s no way what you’re doing is right!”
I don’t expect you to think so, Takatora replies. But Yggdrasill will gladly carry this sin just to secure humanity’s future.
Takatora henshins and Kota does Jinba Lemon.
They battle. So you’re really going to murder everyone in Zawame City? Kota asks.
Of course, they’ll have to kill 30,000x the 200,000 people of Zawame in the next ten years. If anything, this first cleanse should be bigger.
What good is a future bought with the lives of billions of innocent people? Kota asks.
Any path forward requires sacrifice, Takatora counters, are you too immature to understand that? Experiments on the Beat Riders, Hase Ryoji’s death; all of those are the sacrifices necessary to bring hope to humanity.
That kind of sacrifice won’t bring hope, Kota says, it will bring despair instead.
Kota and Takatora make their way into the control room. Takatora laughs.
You’ve already made your way here on lives sacrificed. Takatora de-henshins and walks over to the computer and plays the case file on Yuya.
Kota de-henshins and watches the video. Yuya, gobbling up Lock Seed fruit and turning into the very first Inves he destroyed.
Kota is devastated.
I don’t blame you for defending yourself, Takatora says. You sacrificed your friend’s life. You can deny that and go into despair. But in that moment, you protected and saved lives allowing yourself to continue living.
Well sh-t. Haruto! Kota needs you!
I think it was safe to infer that Project Ark referred to some kind of Noah’s Ark scenario. Only a chosen few will be saved from Helheim and Yggdrasill will be the one that chooses. That’s pretty insane, yeah? It’s not like they’re going to just let the non-chosen become Inves. They’re actually going to slowly cleanse the world of 6 billion people. We’re not sure how they’ll choose, but considering they were pretty open to frying Zawame at the push of a button, there might not even be a criteria just yet.
So I was surprised there already were fallout shelters and Yggdrasill was already ushering people in. Mitchi getting his friends to safety (what of the rest of Team Gaim!?) after spending the first half of the episode rolling his eyes at noble Kota is just another one of those “Oh Mitsuzane, you.” or “That’s Mitsuzane for ya.” contrasts. Mitchi: that kind-hearted, scary and devious little man.
Kaito, meanwhile, seems like he’s back to going down his own path and wanting to obtain power to rule the world. At least, that’s what he was projecting this episode. I remember when the first couple of episodes came out and some people were debating over how certain subs characterized Kaito as being some kind of megalomaniac. Well, he certainly came across as one in this episode. Though I will assume there’s more to his crazy solo plans.
You can definitely see Ryoma has his own agenda. He probably even told Minota to let Kota take her Lock Seed. That’s the kind of thing he does, especially after being wowed by Kota’s easy handling of every single power he’s come across.
And of course, Kota falling to despair. With all the talk of Cracks and despair, I was getting excited at seeing Haruto pop in with some doughnuts or something. But these last few episodes definitely have been leading up to Kota finally finding out about killing Yuya.
It’s interesting though that Takatora showed him that video to try and get him to see their point of view, yet if it were me, I’d probably be a helluva lot more pissed at Yggdrasill. I’m sure it’ll merely be fuel to Kota’s fire versus Yggdrasill.
Now when Kota finds out what good ol’ Mitchi’s been up to, that’ll be a huge moment. I hope.
Can we also take a moment to appreciate how awesome Tsukui Minami is for not only kicking ass as Minato Yoko un-henshined, but also being the suit actor for Kamen Rider Marika too. That is so awesome.
Gaim really has been such an incredible achievement in storytelling. They haven’t let up since episode 1. We’re only at episode 22 and we’ve probably seen more story and character development than most toku shows would dare cram into a season. Yet, Gaim has felt complete and fast moving, never rushed or even convoluted. We definitely have plenty of questions, but with each episode come new developments that push the story forward. The stakes are raised every episode. The threat and danger has not let up at all and has only gotten more dangerous with each passing week.
It has really been an amazing 22 episodes so far. Twenty-two! Not even halfway!