Recap: Kamen Rider Zi-O, Episode 3 – Doctor Gamer 2018

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Geiz and Tsukuyomi are already having breakfast when Sougo comes downstairs. Uncle Junichiro comes in and informs Sougo that both Geiz and Tsukuyomi will be attending his school. Sougo didn’t know both of them were 18 years old.

Uncle Junichiro gives them their lunch and they head to school.

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Downtown, Uhr is surprised by fellow TimeJacker Ora who mocks him a little about backing Build to become the new king and failing. She says she has her own plan.

Ora makes her way to 2016 and enters a contract with a father whose son is sick and being transported to the hospital. She inserts a Watch into him and turns him into Another Ex-Aid.

On the way to school, Geiz and Tsukuyomi say they’re only going so they can keep an eye on him.

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Sougo goes about his school day, but Geiz and Tsukuyomi creepily follow him everywhere. When Sougo thinks he’s gotten away from them on the rooftop, they are there waiting for him. He is able to trick them and sneak off to the gym equipment room to eat his lunch in peace.

But also hiding out in the equipment room is his classmate and friend Owata who has cut class to try and finish a GENM-produced video game that is supposedly unbeatable. Sougo says Owata can be his royal head of computer security.

Coach hears the noise coming out of the equipment room and Sougo steps out to make it seem it’s only him and not Owata who’d get in trouble for cutting. Coach tells Sougo to come see him after class.

Owata thanks Sougo for covering for him. But as Owata plays, a sudden glow from the game and Another Ex-Aid appears in the room.

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Another Ex-Aid shoves Sougo to the floor and grabs Owata, making him unconscious.

Sougo henshins, but Another Ex-Aid disappears.

Geiz and Tsukuyomi find them and they bring Owata to the hospital. The doctor says it is the same symptoms as others who have mysteriously fallen unconscious recently, but they have no idea what is causing it.

Sougo knows the cause is Another Ex-Aid. He tells Geiz and Tsukuyomi that they must do everything they can to find and stop it.

Geiz says Sougo shouldn’t get any more involved in this because Sougo may possibly take another past Rider’s power like with Build who then disappeared. That just means Sougo is indeed on the path to becoming Oma Zi-O, so Sougo should stay out of this.

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Sougo says he can’t just ignore someone suffering or in danger, especially a friend. “Haven’t you ever felt like that, Geiz?”

Geiz grabs Sougo’s collar. “I have. … So much that I don’t have any emotions left.”

Geiz flashes back to when Oma Zi-O killed all of their comrades, including one seemingly very special guy.

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Sougo picks up the video game and realizes it is the key. They head back to the shop to figure out how to play it. Tsukuyomi searches the internets and finds out more information. No one has ever cleared the game before. But Sougo gives it a try.

Turns out Sougo sucks at video games. Geiz inadvertently suggests they have to find a pro gamer to play the game. Tsukuyomi finds one… Genius Gamer M.

Sougo runs around the city trying to find M, but no luck. Just then, Another Ex-Aid has attacked another gamer, but it disappears before Sougo can get to it.

Woz pops up and tells Sougo that this new victim has been taken to Seito University Hospital.

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Geiz and Tsukuyomi meet Sougo at the hospital and overhear nurses talking about Emu taking another unscheduled day off. They talk about him staying up all night playing video games.

They ask the nurses about him, but Hiiro appears and asks them what they could possibly want with Emu.

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The nurses fangirl over Hiiro. But Tsukuyomi steps up and says they need help with an unclearable game.

Hiiro speaks with them more and tells them about the mysterious unconscious people who’ve been admitted here as well. He says Emu was also trying to figure out the cause on his own. They had spoken about it the other day and Emu decided he would play the game himself to find out if there is a connection.

They head to Emu’s office and Hiiro shows them a note Emu left before disappearing without notice. Hiiro hands it to Geiz.

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Later, Geiz sees the note is written in German and translates it for them. Sougo realizes they are game controls. He tries it, following the directions in the note. The final direction is to press all controls at once.

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Something happens in the game the three of them get sucked in.

They find themselves in a warehouse in the game. Right where Another Ex-Aid is waiting.

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Sougo and Geiz henshin and they battle Another Ex-Aid. Geiz uses Drive Armor and Sougo uses Build. Together, they are able to defeat Another Ex-Aid, for now, and are surprised when a human man appears in its place.

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Suddenly, Emu appears. He says he didn’t think anyone else would be able to enter the game area. But now he has to stop them.

Emu henshins to Level 2.

Episode 3.5 Recap

Tsukuyomi recaps the end of the regular episode and wonders what Emu’s true motives are in attacking. She directly asks Emu.

Emu says he can’t say anything now because it would be a spoil next week.

Sougo wants to know why a man popped out of Another Rider. He wonders if Another Riders are actually humans who have transformed. Geiz says that’s exactly what it is, just as it was shown in Episode 1.

“Didn’t you watch the episode?!” Geiz asks. Sougo says he and Tsukuyomi didn’t have time to watch the episode since they were the lead stars of it and didn’t have much free time like Geiz did.

Geiz asks if Emu watched the episode. He wouldn’t have agreed to guest star if he didn’t. Before Emu can say anything more, the four them are suddenly frozen in time as Ora pops in.

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Ora says she has two spoilers, one good one and one really bad one. First, TimeJackers change the future for the people they enter into contracts with. Those people, in turn, become Another Riders.

But the viewers already know that.

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The other, very bad spoiler has to do with the reason the TimeJackers are doing this in the first place. They are trying to support the emergence of a new king. And there will be a time when Heisei Era Riders will fight against each other to determine who that will be.

Ora says this is a secret even the production staff doesn’t know about.

Emu says all spoilers are bad. Ora tells them to just forget she was ever here. She winks and leaves, unfreezing everyone.

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Tsukuyomi says they have to stop the fight to find a new king. She suggests they try to persuade the writer. But Geiz says they should go higher and try to eliminate the two producers. Sougo suggests they should just go all out and blow up all of Toei’s Tokyo’s studios instead.

The three of them leave to go do that.

Emu screams about spoilers.

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Episode Thoughts

Well, I certainly feel a little better after this episode. They took things a little more slowly this time, which should be expected after the premiere and second episode. But even while there is still a lot of confusion and questions, the slower pace and allowing time to breathe helped make things a little more accessible.

While it’s been established in previous seasons, Build reminded us that there are parallel universes/dimensions/timelines. Each of which has their own respective Riders protecting the love and peace.

So taking that into consideration, plus Woz’s opening narration, I’m now going with the idea that every time Sougo and Co. travel back in time to gain a new Rider power, they create a brand new timeline.

That is, the original timeline still exists, but as soon as Sougo goes back and messes with it, a new timeline diverges from it. So after the first two episodes for example, the original Build timeline where Sento and Ryuga live happily ever after still exists. But there’s also a new timeline/dimension where Build no longer exists and it is Takumi (with the face of Satou Tarou) that is living happily ever after with Ryuga.

Does that make sense? lol

I don’t remember which series I’ve watched before with time traveling and how each time that person changed something in the past, he basically created a new timeline. And by the end of the series, there was an understanding that there’s basically several parallel timelines/universes that co-exist.

Actually, I think that might have been the Korean drama Nine: Nine Time Travels or even the lighter Operation: Proposal.

Either way, that kind of helps me understand Zi-O a little better. Or at least grasp some ideas a little better to allow me to focus on other things and try and enjoy what’s going on.

Now, Episode 3.5 throws more meta shade at Toei by way of self-deprecating humor. But Ora basically says the TimeJackers’ mission is to find one of the Legend Riders and have that person become the king instead of Zi-O. So them using Another Riders makes sense I guess. In the current timeline, Sougo has defeated all Another Riders (or the actual Riders themselves) to become Oma Zi-O. Though the monuments to the fallen Riders that we see from the future is definitely an interesting consideration.

One question though is how does Geiz have the Ghost and Drive Watches then? Did he get them from Another Ghost and Another Drive along the way sometime in the future? Did he take them? Did they willingly give them to him?

Who knows?!

But again, there was more helpful exposition in the .5 episode that should be in-series.

Anyway, back to the real episode itself.

Geiz and Tsukuyomi following Sougo around school was actually pretty cute. It’s like a fun high school-y type of thing to do. The breakfast scene too. And I appreciate how it establishes the relationship between the three at the start. It diffuses some of the heavier tension from the first two episodes and instead gives the situation a much lighter feel. I think until we can sort out the mechanics of the time hopping and power transferring and all that, a lighter dynamic between the three is a good thing.

I do like the characterizations of our main three so far. Sougo is the typical positive high schooler who takes this new responsibility in stride. A little goofy, a little naïve, but no doubt someone who wants to do the right thing and help people. Also with a strange obsession for becoming a king. lol Geiz is the tsundere guy who has experienced pain and trauma, which is why he is the way he is as a cold, broody guy. But deep down, he’s a good and honorable guy who’ll turn into a softie that can still kick your ass in the end. And Tsukuyomi is hopeful and positive with some random kawaii moments thrown in for the fans. But she too is very capable of protecting herself as well. (Hope she gets her own Driver in the future. Her being part of the Superhero Time bumper seems to suggest maybe that’s possible.)

Overall, I enjoyed this episode. I enjoyed last week’s episode mainly because of Sentumi and Ryuga. But this episode was much more accessible with its slower pace and calming down after the frantically paced opening episodes.

3 thoughts on “Recap: Kamen Rider Zi-O, Episode 3 – Doctor Gamer 2018

  1. “So taking that into consideration, plus Woz’s opening narration, I’m now going with the idea that every time Sougo and Co. travel back in time to gain a new Rider power, they create a brand new timeline.”

    Im going one step further and going with the idea that every past rider timeline that Sougo and co.l visit is a separate timeline from that of the original Rider series that it is referencing (ala-Decade). This is because some of the things in the timelines that Sougo visit don’t fit well with the original Rider seriues’ events. And they don’t even indicate when in that original Rider timeline Sougo’s visit occurs.

    Take this Ex-Aid eps for example. If we assume that Sougo’s visit happens after the events of the original series, then isn’t Hiiro supposed to be a lot less called towards Emu by this point? or if it’s in the middle of the series proper, shouldn’t this conincide with the Game Syndrome epidemic? Really confusing.

    And man, Im hilariously confused with Geiz\ tsundere antics towards Sougo. Can’t help but wonder if it hints that he is somehow connected to Sougo more than what he lets on. Like, you, know, maybe he’s Sougo’s future son. That would kinda explain why he has a Ziku Driver of his own and have access to the Ride Watch powers.

    1. Ooo that’s true. There’s just really an unlimited number of timelines. And remember that definitely helps keeps things in check. lol

      And good idea about Geiz being Sougo’s son. Perfect time to reveal that could be the Drive episodes of course! I doubt they’d be able to get Mackenyu back to play Shinnosuke’s son, but they could certainly use that. Though wanting to kill his own father is kinda heavy lol

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