Recap: Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, Episode 25 – A New Game Starts!

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While Hiiro enjoys a slice of cake, Emu wonders where Poppysuna’s been the last few days. Suddenly, the CR gets bombarded with emergency calls. Emu heads out to one where he finds a young man able to henshin using the Kamen Rider Chronicle Gashat.

Emu follows the guy, Tenma, after he gets a second wind and he is shocked to find many people henshined fighting Bugsters. Hiiro encounters the same thing.

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Emu and Hiiro henshin and try to stop the fighting, but the players don’t want them to interfere in the game. A new player, Tsuji, arrives, but he’s not sure how to start playing. Poppy pops in as a tutorial/guide.

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Taiga monitors GENM’s stock which is skyrocketing. But Nico arrives to show him the chaos that’s happening outside.

Poppy gives a quick rundown of the immediate hit game Chronicle. Players henshin into Ride Players and fight against Bugsters in the real world. There are 13 Bugsters ranked in order of difficulty. Once they are defeated and the players have all their game clear tokens from each, a door will open to the big bad, the ultimate Bugster.

The Ride Players fail to beat Salty who walks away. But Poppy says the players can fight rare characters known as Kamen Riders who will can help them in the game if they can take their Gamer Drivers, Rider Gashats and Gashacon Weapons by defeating them.

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The Rider Players try fighting Emu and Hiiro. Hiiro is able to get away, but Emu goes Maximum to scare his group of players of. Only Tenma remains, but Emu dehenshins and says Game Over. Tenma also dehenshins, but his Game Syndrome symptoms are getting worse. Emu takes him back to the CR.

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Taiga and Nico head to GENM to confront the new CEO. Amagasaki Ren compliments the cute couple and says he’s all about love. Hiiro arrives and asks why Poppy is part of Chronicle and Ren says she accepted his offer to become the game’s mascot.

Emu has Tenma at the CR and tries to explain the situation. But Emu has another emergency call and has to head out.

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Ren congratulates Poppy on helping to make Chronicle a big hit. Graphite says Dan Kuroto was so dumb to have his creation be so easily taken by them Bugsters. Parado’s heart is filled with joy that Chronicle is up and running.

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Emu finds Tsuji, the new player from earlier, as he joins a battle against Salty with other players.

Emu henshins and fights Salty himself while the Rider Players busy themselves with basic Bugsters. Salty tells Emu that the more the Bugsters are defeated, the more they evolve.

Emu tries to uphenshin, but the Ride Players turn their attention to him. Outnumbered, Emu is forced to dehenshin and the Rider Players take his Gashats and Driver.

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Emu cannot believe what he is watching as the Rider Players use his Gashats and weapons. Parado arrives and asks if M is enjoying the show.

Parado welcomes Emu to the ultimate game world and says this is the game he has always wanted.

Parado admits that he killed Kuroto just so he could have Chronicle to himself. He henshins, hoping to be entertained as well. Using a few powers, Parado unleashes a Perfect Critical Combo on the Rider Players. They are all forced to dehenshin.

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Hiiro, Taiga and Nico arrive just as the Rider Players start feeling a strange sensation. Poppy pops in to explain that once a player loses and receives a Game Over, they will be terminated.

The Players cry out as they disappear. Poppy says there are no continues in life.

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Parado asks what Emu thinks of the awesome game. Emu tries to hold in his anger, asking why the hell Parado would push such a game. Parado says it’s for Bugsters to end humanity for being so arrogant, thinking they’re the best.

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Parado tosses Emu’s Driver and Gashats back at him and says to enjoy being the villain in the game.

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Parado says the day Bugsters rule the world is near. But Poppy wants players to enjoy the game longer. Ren agrees that a one-sided game is boring. He presents her a bouquet of roses with her very own Driver and Gashat.

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Episode Thoughts

I thought this was pretty good episode. I think it illustrated Chronicle well and in a way that truly did shock Emu, Hiiro, Taiga and Nico to the core. Maybe they should’ve expected something like it though considering how maniacal Kuroto became.

I hope to see more dire consequences of the game in the next episode(s), just to fully illustrate the threat. Though seeing those players die (are we sure?) right there was pretty dire and grim.

As for Chronicle itself, it was as expected. Though I did envision players fighting each other. Maybe in future episodes. Chronicle is basically an AR game on steroids so it’s a creative way for a gaming themed season to use the hottest new thing in gaming as the possible end…game! lol

Again, Hiroki Iijima did a great job at showing Emu’s emotions, going from usual, clumsy Emu to legit angry and frustrated Emu. Being helpless, seeing people “die” like that of course would be upsetting. But especially for Emu and even Taiga and Hiiro as doctors. Apparently next episode will focus on that fact, so I hope it delivers.

Moving forward, I hope Poppy sticks with the Bugsters for a while. Should be interesting to see the dynamic between the four “human” Bugsters go through twists and turns hopefully.

Elsewhere, it was nice seeing and hearing the full opening again after all this time. I guess they don’t need that extra minute of story time for now. Hehe.

And I’m fine with the Taiga and Nico’s sexual tension as long as they don’t make Nico so annoying and/or pointless. She’s just been nagging at Taiga most of the time and her backstory with M fell flat. So hopefully they give her something to do moving forward.

Overall, a pretty good, exciting episode that upped the stakes for sure.

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