The Pats are worried about Noel. But he’s been bandaged up and sleeping in Kairi’s bed above the Bistro. He wakes up and sees a photo of Kairi and his brother on the table.
Kairi comes in with some food for the patient, but warns Noel not to touch his things and regrets not throwing Noel out with the trash when he had the chance. Noel assures Kairi that they will retrieve all the Collection Pieces. Kairi admits they don’t trust each other, but it’s okay since they’re both using each other anyway.
Next day, Raimon meets with Zamigo with an offer to work together. Zamigo sees through Raimon’s offer and knows it’s because Raimon’s Piece power doesn’t work on him.
Raimon does not appreciate Zamigo’s mockery and quickly fires at him. Zamigo warns Raimon that he better keep his short temper in check. He morphs into his Gangler form and they battle.
Jim Carter gets the alert and the Pats deploy. Kogure tells the Lups about Raimon’s location as well.
The Pats morph and shoot at Raimon who sends a big explosion right back at them. The commotion allows Zamigo to slip away. The Pats try a finisher at Raimon, but his Collection Piece power allows him to revive and put his body back together again.
Raimon’s power is too much for the Pats. A still injured-Noel arrives and morphs. The Pats warn him about the Piece power.
Noel charges right at Raimon and attempts to unlock the gold safe, but it doesn’t work. Raimon bombards Noel and sends him flying down the stairs, forcing him to demorph. Raimon turns his attention back to beating down the Pats.
The mask-less Lups come running toward Noel who analyzes his data and realizes the Status Gold safes have a six-number combination. It should unlock using two VS vehicles instead of the usual one.
Kairi asks why Noel would risk his life just to find that out when he could’ve asked any of the Lups to do it instead. Noel says he too has a loved one he wants to resurrect from the dead. That’s why he became a kaitou as well.
“Kairi-kun, do you trust me now?”
Kairi says knowing Noel would put his life on the line makes him trust Noel as a fellow kaitou.
The Lups tell Noel to stay back as he’s even more injured now. Kairi says he will act as bait while Tooma and Umika unlock the safe together.
The Pats are forced to demorph. Before Raimon can kill them, the Lups appear, now with masks, and morph. They battle Raimon, but he is too much even for the almighty Lups.
Kairi foolishly thinks he can take Raimon on by himself. But he obviously cannot. Tsukasa watches the display and decides they as Pats must help the red kaitou. They can’t quibble over cops helping a thief. Their priority should be killing the Gangler.
Sakuya agrees. Tsukasa says they must “Use any means necessary.” Keiichiro has no choice but to agree as well.
The Pats morph and hurry over to help Kairi. The four of them take on Raimon who still has a reasonably easy time handling them. But Tooma and Umika join in. They wrap Raimon’s arms in wire. Raimon is strong enough to yank Tooma and Umika toward him. Sakuya and Tsukasa help them hold on to the wire.
Kairi charges toward Raimon with the VS vehicles, but Raimon grows two more arms out of his back. He punches Kairi and the Cyclone Dial Fighter goes flying. But Noel pops up, grabs it and he and Kairi use both VS vehicles to unlock the Status Gold safe.
Kairi grabs Raimon’s Collection Piece. They kick Raimon away. Kairi “Arigachu”s Noel.
Raimon embiggens himself. Good Striker flies in. Keiichiro and Kairi fight over who gets to use him. But Good Striker decides he can combine everyone’s mecha to form Kaiser VSX.
Keiichiro and Kairi argue over pointless things so Good Striker kicks Keiichiro out of the main cockpit and swaps in Tsukasa.
After some high-flying action, the LuPats deliver a Good Feeling Kaiser Vehicle Rush Strike to finish off Raimon for good.
Raimon’s demise has given Dogranio something to think about.
The Lups want to kick Noel out onto the street.
So certainly a big episode. The Lups and Pats finally work together for the first time. I think them coming together to fight Raimon on the ground was good and the small events leading up to that moment worked well. But for the big mecha gattai, it felt like Good Striker pulling that out of nowhere.
No extra mecha piece to put it all together. Just him feeling like it. (So why didn’t he do it before?)
But I guess it’s because he did have a good feeling about the two teams working together. Though Keiichiro and Kairi arguing both before and after the combining certainly doesn’t instill any confidence in the two’s cooperation. Which is why Good Striker kicking only Keiichiro out of the main cockpit instead of both him and Kairi was annoying. But just more of that Lup-bias.
Still, I liked the different pieces coming together for the on-ground battle. I think the little sidestory with Noel and the trust stuff took away from time focusing on both the Lups and Pats struggling more. Getting thrown around and fighting through injuries and pain make new toys that much sweeter. I think this episode lacked that.
Especially when the episode wasted a few minutes on everyone doing a roll call as well. Could’ve gone to more action scenes that would help give even more meaning to the team up.
As for the Noel stuff, I hope Noel doesn’t have a lost loved one as well. That would be very boring. I would much prefer him having an ulterior motive completely different (and separate) from both the Lups and Pats (and Kogure).
I mean, we’re 25 episodes in. Officially halfway through the season. And it feels like the show wants to drag the VS concept into the 40s. This episode certainly moves that aspect of the story forward, finally. But we should definitely be getting more movement in the coming weeks. Because there really is no legitimate reason for the VS plot point to continue past a couple more episodes.
Especially when the Lups are now walking around in broad daylight with no masks on and in their full kaitou get-ups. Not to mention Kairi and his “Arigachu”s all over the place. I really hope Tsukasa is the first one to figure it out. And I hope she doesn’t get shut down by the boys.
But really, the Lups’ identities could easily have been exposed by now in the real world.
Anyway, speaking of real world. The mecha battle was pretty much all CGI. Like I’ve mentioned before, especially during Dino Force Brave, I don’t mind the CGI mecha battles. The Dino Force Brave battles were done very well and I noted how CGI allows for more fluid and stealthy movements impossible with bulky rubber costumes. And with how bulky and unruly Kaiser VSX looks, it would be impossible for any rubber costume to move in a way that looks cool. But the CGI allowed that.
And Zamigo! Please come and inject some excitement into the season! I feel like the season will exponentially improve once Zamigo’s story finally gets revved up. All these teases are certainly hyping up his full arrival. But I hope it’ soon.
Overall, a solid episode. I was expecting much more, but it worked for what it was.