Hiiro can’t fathom the idea of killing Emu. He’s a doctor, he does not kill people. Papa Dan expected that reaction, which is why he proposes Hiiro instead target Parado. If Parado is eliminated, Emu will be cured of Game Disease thus lose compatibility and the ability to henshin.
Papa Dan sucks Saki back into the Driver and implies Hiiro must choose between the lives of Emu or Saki.
Emu is admitting a new patient to the CR and confirms he is infected with Kaiden virus. Director Kagami runs into the room, concerned about Momose-san. Turns out, Momose-san is Saki’s father.
Momose played Chronicle with the hopes of reviving his daughter.
We flashback to Saki first being admitted to the CR with Dr. Taiga tending to her. Then fast forward to Dr. Taiga losing to Graphite.
Taiga is eager to face Graphite and settle the score. Nico slaps Taiga in the head then kicks his ass before they head out.
Kaiden has appeared in the city waiting for Chronicle challengers, but people are only taking selfies of the game area. Emu arrives and shoos the people away before confronting Kaiden.
Parado arrives, wanting to play with Emu. Emu says he must treat the patient first, but Parado insists. Instead, Hiiro shows up declaring he will cut down Parado on Papa Dan’s orders. Parado is confident Hiiro can’t beat him. But Hiiro flashes his Taddle Legacy Level 100 Gashat.
Hiiro and Parado face off. That allows Emu to go Muteki and focus on Kaiden. He finishes Kaiden with a Hyper Critical Sparking.
Taiga and Nico arrive, but they just watch the show first.
Hiiro delivers a Taddle Critical Finish at Parado and his gauge is at critical. Hiiro prepares to finish him for good, but Nico runs out saying she wants to deal the finishing blow.
Taiga shoves Nico to the ground. The distraction allows Parado to escape.
Nico demands to know why Taiga stopped her and he says this is Hiiro’s fight. Hiiro says to leave him alone while he retrieves his past. Emu says he is sure Hiiro will return to the CR one day. Hiiro walks away.
Back at the CR, Momose-san thanks Emu and Director Kagami for curing him. He has one last request for Kagami though. Momose wants Hiiro to stop visiting them on Saki’s death anniversary. It’s been five years and Momose thinks Hiiro has carried enough of the burden. Time to move on.
Emu says Hiiro would never forget Saki since it is because of her memory in his heart that he’s been able to fight all this time.
Momose says Saki is lucky to have had a boyfriend like him. Kagami walks him out.
Upstairs, Director Kagami commends Emu on the successful operation especially in the absence of Hiiro. Just as Emu and Hiiro are about to sit down for some coffee, Poppy and Kiriya suddenly pop out of the game world, causing Emu to spill hot coffee all over Director Kagami.
Poppy and Kiriya had been investigating whether they could restore the dead people data themselves, but it was locked. Kuroto says Papa Dan is probably using the Rider Chronicle Master Gashat to control the lives of the dead.
Emu wants to go to Papa Dan’s office to steal the Gashat. Kiriya and Poppy decide to come with.
Parado and Graphite discuss Hiiro’s Level 100 Gashat. Graphite says they need to deal with Hiiro before it’s too late for them.
Papa Dan warns Hiiro not to fail the next time he faces Parado.
Taiga tells Nico that what Hiiro is trying to retrieve isn’t the past. The only one bound to the past is him.
Hiiro remembers being a complete ass to Saki when she brought him cake. Parado and Graphite arrive. Graphite comments about how pathetic Hiiro is for being shackled to a ghost. Hiiro henshins.
Meanwhile, Emu, Kiriya and Poppy confront Papa Dan in the GENM parking garage. They demand the Gashat. He refuses, of course and they all henshin and fight.
Taiga arrives to take on Graphite, wanting to settle the score from five years ago once and for all. That leaves Hiiro and Parado to face off.
Emu, Kiriya and Poppy are able to kick Papa Dan to the ground. But he just laughs knowing it’s almost time Emu loses his compatibility, sure that Hiiro will finish off Parado for good.
Hiiro tells Taiga he can cut out both Parado and Graphite, But Taiga says to just focus on Parado.
Nico watches as Taiga struggles against Graphite. Graphite uses a new technique and that forces Taiga to dehenshin. He collapses to the ground.
Hiiro is able to knock Parado into plastic barrels. Graphite walks over to help, but Taiga holds on to him, only to get tossed aside. Nico calls Hiiro to help, but Parado shoots him from behind.
A cut up Taiga forces himself up, refusing to be beat so easily. Graphite grabs him, but Taiga points his blaster at him. Taiga tells Hiiro that what he’s doing now isn’t holding on to the past, it is moving towards the future. Taiga says Hiiro should think of a future with his girlfriend and keeping moving forward.
Taiga shoots at Graphite, but it doesn’t even leave a scratch. Graphite then hits Taiga in the stomach with a huge blow that reverberates and sends him flying clear across the pier, his clothes now ripped to shreds.
Nico runs over to Taiga who is now not only bleeding all over, but vomiting blood as well.
Hiiro delivers a Taddle Critical Finish at Parado and Graphite, forcing them both to dehenshin. Hiiro also dehenshins and starts to run over to Taiga, but Emu, Kiriya and Asuna arrive.
Parado and Graphite leave.
Emu and Kiriya examine Taiga while Poppysuna calls for an ambulance.
Taiga refuses Emu’s efforts and says he knows his own body. He is still a former doctor, after all. Nico is beside herself as Taiga appears to accept his fate.
“I didn’t even give you a checkup,” Taiga says to Nico.
It appears Taiga is dead. Hiiro cannot believe it. He stumbles away.
This was a good episode. Though the impact of that great final sequence was sort of deflated by the preview for next episode. It’s highly unlikely Taiga will actually die anytime soon.
Though! It would be great to see him in danger of actually dying with real world injuries instead of something game-related and “dying” into data like Saki and the others that they are all hoping can be resurrected. Seeing all that blood, almost movie and V-Cinema-level gore, was very effective.
Speaking of deflate, this episode did kind of deflated any depth the introduction of Hyper Muteki had since Papa Dan is apparently unharmed. So all of that for a win for one match up. Leaves Hyper Muteki feeling underwhelming even if it’s supposed to the final form? Though of course, not the final power needed to finish it all in the finale. But still, its power should have taken someone out at least.
Back to Taiga though. It was nice to see a happy Dr. Taiga in that flashback with Saki. But I feel like the development of his story as it relates to Saki and how he lost his license kind of got tossed aside as the season went on. And then his inner demons about the event also took a backseat, especially to his doctor-patient romance with Nico that seemed to get more focus.
So while I did like this episode very much, I think there were some missed opportunities for maybe a few episodes just specifically focused on Taiga dealing with what happened. We got some early on I think, if I’m remembering correctly. But like I said, focusing his character on other stuff and then randomly bringing back Graphite to want to duel him all of a sudden sort of ignores the foundation already set in place for him.
Anyway… elsewhere, I like how troubledHiiro is conveyed using disheveled hair. Or really, bangs over one eye. lol It’s effective I guess. Nice to have Director Kagami in a non-slapstick, comic relief scene for once in those involving Saki’s father. And no opening narration? That’s even stranger than it randomly popping up suddenly two episodes ago. lol
Overall, a pretty good episode.