Takatora watches a distraught Kota drag himself away from Yggdrasill Tower. He explains to Sid that he’s letting Kota go again because he’s now just a hollow shell. He’ll never recover. I hope so, Sid says.
Mitchi is with Ryoma in his lab. Ryoma apologizes for having said too much to Kota, but Mitchi says no, it’s alright because maybe Kota can finally stop being
a pain in the ass so persistent about interfering with Yggdrasill’s plans. Who Mitchi is really worried about now is Kaito.
You’re using Kaito for your secret plans because he’s an outsider and in essence keeping a secret from Niisan, Mitchi says.
Do you really think I could betray Takatora?
Yes, Mitchi says, since Niisan trusts him so much. That’s always been Niisan’s bad habit, trusting the one he most shouldn’t.
Kota is in the warehouse district, the location of the very first Crack he ever saw and the Crack Yuya entered to his death. He remembers every single moment up to eventually killing the Inves he never would’ve thought to be his good friend. Mai comes walking by and Kota quickly wipes away his tears.
Mai says she usually comes by when she’s in the area knowing this is where Yuya last was. Kota keeps his back to her and asks about how the dance teams are doing. She says the different teams have been working well together and more people are coming to watch them perform again.
Mai moves over to face Kota and say even though he’s not their bodyguard anymore, he can still come and hang out. Kota turns his back to her again and says he has no right to.
Kota is about spill the beans when…
Mitchi takes Kota away and they chat. He tells Kota about finding out the truth about Yuya.
Why didn’t you tell me!? Kota asks.
How the hell could I? Mitchi answers.
He says he wanted to protect his smile, which is exactly why they shouldn’t say anything to Mai. They have to protect her smile too even if it means keeping the truth to themselves.
Kota beats himself up again, but Mitchi says it’s not his fault. But if he tells Mai, she’ll only blame herself for Yuya’s death. Neither of them wants that.
In this world, there are people who are fine with hurting others, people who will sacrifice anything for their goals. Those are the kind of people the truth exists to be used against, Mitchi says.
Kota is at a loss.
Meanwhile, Kaito is still in Helheim Forest. He’s wondering if he can really bait “him” with the little packages he’s been leaving around.
Flashback to his conversation with Ryoma who hands him the photo he’s been using as his guide. There is a third option besides survival or extinction, that is, to evolve. There are intelligent Inves in Helheim who have evolved. Ryoma calls them Overlords. And the only people who know about them are the ones who are in this room right now. That is, him, Minota, Sid and now Kaito.
Elsewhere in the forest, something picks up Kaito’s presents and rips them open; a dictionary, a tablet with Vitruvian Man-like drawings and circles and angles (I have no idea).
The thing goes to face Kaito. Aha, we finally meet, Kaito says. This is an Overlord Inves.
The Overlord starts talking in foreign gibberish as he rips up the dictionary and tosses it and the tablet aside. Kaito understands what that means. He henshins.
But Kaito is completely overpowered.
Meanwhile, Kota is at Drupers. He contemplates Mitchi’s words telling him to just walk away. He’s been hurt too much. Even if Helheim’s invasion or Yggdrasill’s plotting continues, Mitchi will protect everyone no matter what.
Please trust me, Mitchi says.
Kota is at the Garage, looking at a picture of Team Gaim during happier times when suddenly, the white dressed, red-eyed woman appears.
If you turn your back on fate, you will face endless days of regret, she says. But you will not lose everything. If you can forgive yourself, you can find peace. Running away is also a path he can choose.
Not-Mai disappears. Kota wakes up. He’s still at Drupers. Though now, it’s nighttime and the place is empty. Except for Sagara who is sitting in the booth.
Why are you hesitating, Sagara asks. What happened to all that “I will protect this city!” pep?
Kota says he fought because he didn’t like the way Yggdrasill was doing things. But he thinks he’s no better than them because he also sacrifices other people’s lives.
Sagara agrees it’s a pretty crappy situation.
Sacrificing people to save others is basically just picking favorites, Kota says. How is he protecting anyone that way?
Fighting to protect is an oxymoron, Sagara says. Having power only means destruction.
But I don’t want to destroy, I don’t want that kind of power, Kota replies.
Sagara walks towards Kota.
Get it through your head already that you don’t hate Helheim or Yggdrasill, you just hate this world’s rule of needing sacrifices for hope. So smash that rule to bits and change the world.
Sagara says Yggdrasill acts the way they do because they are weak. They can only fight within the confines of that rule. That’s why in terms of will, his friend Kaito is stronger than them. He has no intention of giving in to weakness which is why he’s given up everything to obtain power. Either he will die a pitiful death or he will obtain a truly dangerous power.
While Kota sits around and mopes, Kaito is reaching out for a power that could change the world.
Sagara tells Kota about the Overlords. They have the power to control the Helheim plants at will. (Which is exactly what the Overlord is doing to Kaito, who is now in Mango Arms, at this very minute.) Sagara says these Overlord don’t care about humans, nor do they care if Helheim invades another world.
Sagara takes an orange and goes back into the booth where does some hocus pocus and changes it into a little metal orange while explaining that Yggdrasill doesn’t know about the Overlords because the first person who found out about them kept it a secret. That person is also not interested in saving humanity, but only concerned with his own ambitions. He’s the person manipulating Kaito.
Kota realizes that person is Sengoku Ryoma. Sagara is excited to see Kota getting fired up again.
If Kota finds the Overlord before Ryoma, he can use them to stop the Helheim invasion? It’s not that simple, Sagara says, but it’ll depend on what he and Kaito will do.
Sagara takes the metal orange and changes it into a brand new Lockseed which he places on the table. Kota walks over and picks it up.
It takes a lot of effort to motivate you after all, Sagara says as he lays another Lockseed onto the table.
Sagara smiles and as Kota looks up, he is gone and it’s daytime again.
Bando asks Kota what’s up with him. He jokingly asks, Was he tricked by a shape-shifting tanuki or something?
Kota pays Bando Y1,000 for his fruity treat and hurries out. Keep the change. Bando is shocked. It’s the first time Kota ever paid. Creepy Drupers worker says Kota still owes Y12,000
Kota runs downtown. He stops when Yggdrasill Tower is in full view. Even if this is a destructive power not meant for protecting, he can at least do something to destroy Yggdrasill’s twisted way of thinking.
Kota henshins and hops onto the Lockseed hover vehicle to fly right towards the Scalar System rings. The alarm system sounds and Yggdrasill initiates defensive measure, firing it’s armament towards Kota.
Kota calls out to Yuya, wherever he may be, “I will keep moving forward, so please watch over me.”
Kota tries to evade the barrage of artillery until the vehicle gets hit and he has to eject. He pulls out the brand new Lockseed and locks it into his driver to activate Kachidoki Arms.
Kota lands safely on the Yggdrasill helipad as an army of hovering Kurokages pop up from below. They bombard Kota with bullets and lasers, but he merely stands his ground, unaffected.
Kota holds his brand new weapon, the Hinawadaidai-DJ-ju. He activates it using the turntable and unleashes his own barrage of shots and machine-gun fire toward the Kurokages who go blowing up everywhere.
Ryoma and Mitchi are absolutely shocked. Ryoma can’t believe there’s a Lockseed he doesn’t know about.
Mitchi: Why won’t you just do what I tell you to do!?
Kota unleashes another setting on the turntable to send huge fireballs at groups of Kurokages.
Sagara watches the spectacle and is joined by white dressed, red-eyed notMai. Why did you push him to fight? she asks.
Because you have an interest in him… First Woman/Creator/Woman Who Started it All. (Thanks different subbing groups, I’ll just call her Eve/notMai.)
I can’t see the future, but I do know your identity, Sagara says. I also know what it would mean when you choose someone.
It is not your place to choose, notMai says. But Sagara replies that he’s merely watching and waiting to see who steps up and grabs the forbidden fruit.
A fresh group of Kurokages come onto the roof and Kota now uses the two banners attached to his back, the Kachidokibata, to take care of them.
Takatora arrives and it’s their turn to face off.
Didn’t you lose your will to fight, Takatora asks. Nope, Kota answers, thanks to them, he now knows whom he must truly fight. While he did make a mistake in killing his friend, he is now resolved to never let that same mistake happen again.
Takatora shoots directly at Kota’s chest and sends him flying off the side of the rooftop.
But Kota comes flying back up on a fresh hovercraft. He says he will never give up. If they continue to say sacrifices are needed, then he will fight the world that demands such sacrifices.
Kota flies back over the side of the roof and takes out each one of the four Scalar System beams.
Now you can no longer cover up your secret, Kota announces. If they really want to protect their secrets, they’ll have to truly protect the town from the Inves from now on.
Kota flies off.
Ryoma is floored. He tells Mitchi he has a new important mission for him; deal with Kuzaraba Kota and to find who’s backing him.
OMG. Damn. That was amazing. That Kamen Rider Gaim can find ways to top itself week after week, and only at Episode 23 is unbelievable. Impossible. Like, how is it possible? Are we in ToQger‘s imagination land or something.
That whole Kachidoki sequence was insane. That had to be one of the most amazing action sequences I’ve ever seen on any television series ever. It was intense, dramatic, loud, emotional, violent, kick-ass, everything. The build-up to that moment definitely helped I think. Kota’s been down for episodes now and was dealt with the biggest kick to the balls with the truth about Yuya’s death. So to see him use all that pain and despair to get fired up and regain his resolve certainly helped to make that entire final act that much more amazing.
DJ Sagara definitely pitched in to with those two Lockseeds of course, but I will assume that we’ll be seeing no more of Kota beating himself up from now on. That is, until he finds out about all the faces Mitchi’s been making behind his back. But until then, I want to see more badass Kota.
As for Mitchi, I kinda still want to see him care about Kota. Yeah, he’s made all those pissy faces, but until an episode or two ago, you could see that even through all his indignation and lurking about that he still genuinely cared about his friends. Unless he really is turning into a crazy power-hungry psychopath, which is fine too.
DJ Sagara has been interesting. I did not expect he had some kind of magical Helheim powers though. But at the same time, I’m excited for the moment we find out what he and Bando’s real deals are. Could they be connected in some way. Are they the same person!?
When it comes to notMai, even without the 100 different translations for what Sagara called her, she did give off some Eve-vibes from the beginning. Maybe not Supernatural Eve, but definitely some goddess-like aura. Still plenty to learn about her too.
Kaito finding the Inves Overlord and the whole explanation of them, including possibly finding a way to use them to stop the Helheim invasion really took a backseat to the Kachidoki Arms. For another season, the Overlord reveal would’ve been the main highlight of an episode. Not for Gaim though.
And again, this is only episode 23! What!?
Thank goodness for the ToQger-Gaim special. Could definitely use a breather after another heavy episode, yeah?