Recap: Kamen Rider Zero-One, Episode 2 – Is AI The Enemy? The Ally?
Izu accompanies Aruto to Hiden HQ for his first full day as President. Aruto still can’t believe it, but Izu says his grandfather must have believed he was a positive fit if he was chosen as the successor.
Aruto tries to get through the security gate, but is denied. A security guard HumaGear comes to use facial recognition to confirm Aruto’s identity.
After Izu gets Aruto acquainted with his new, huge office, Isamu and Yua arrive for a meeting. They introduce themselves before saying they are here to investigate Hiden Intelligence possibly covering up HumaGear crimes.
Meanwhile, Horobi tells Jin to go collect data for the Singularity that is about to occur. Jin finds a delivery HumaGear and attaches a ZetsumeRiser to him to rewrite its programming
Back in Aruto’s office, Yua reminds Aruto that A.I.M.S. has jurisdiction over HumaGear crimes. And according to Article One, HumaGears cannot harm humans.
Isamu says Hiden can’t hide that HumaGears are killing machines. Yua warns him to be careful with his words.
Aruto decides to tell a joke so they can lighten the mood.
Just then, the alarms sound as the delivery HumaGear begins rampaging in the lobby. The security guard from earlier arrives and tries to subdue the HumaGear, but he just gets tossed aside.
The HumaGear then activates the ZetsumeRiseKey and transforms into a Magia. It hurls its blades at VP Jun, but the security guard HumaGear shields him and his assistants.
Isamu and Yua both shoot at the Magia, but their bullets do nothing to it. Isamu tries to activate a Progrise Key, but it doesn’t open. Yua says she has not given him authorization to use it.
Izu pulls Aruto aside and tells him to henshin while being careful to keep his identity a secret from the A.I.M.S. duo.
Aruto henshins and takes on the Magia, but Isamu and Yua run out and start shooting at Aruto, allowing the Magia to run off. Aruto runs around a corner to dehenshin and point Isamu and Yua the other way.
Isamu asks Yua to authorize the Progrise Key for him, but she says she will never do that for such a reckless guy like him. They stare at each other for a few moments before they split up to look for the Magia.
Aruto finds the security guard and thanks him for protecting everyone. He sees the injuries to the guard’s arm and remembers the day of the explosion and seeing his father’s injuries.
Aruto asks him his name so he can remember it. The guard says the president gave him the name Mamoru. Aruto says Mamoru is like family then. He takes a handkerchief and ties it around Mamoru’s injured arm, telling him to make sure it gets fixed soon.
Mamoru appreciates the gesture. But Jin watches from outside with an evil grin on his face.
Up in Aruto’s office, VP Jun asks how the new president will handle the press hounding the company about the rampaging HumaGears. VP Jun says if Aruto can’t handle the situation, then he will have to take over as president.
Isamu storms into the office and asks to speak with Aruto privately. They head up to the roof.
Isamu says Hiden is as it has always been, a rotten company built on top of countless victims by hiding how HumaGears are killing machines. Aruto says that’s not true as HumaGears have made people’s lives easier.
Isamu brings up the destruction of Daybreak and says that explosion was no accident. He recounts how the HumaGears orchestrated the massacre of humans. He was there as a student in high school that day and saw the HumaGears declare their mission to annihilate humans. And Hiden has covered up that entire incident.
That’s why, Isamu says, he will expose all of Hiden’s secrets.
The Magia appears again outside of Hiden HQ. But Jun arrives and attaches a ZetsumeRiser to Mamoru. Mamoru tries fighting back against the reprogramming. But it’s no use.
Aruto finds Izu inside as she helps evacuate the employees. But just then, Jin walks in, accompanied by Mamoru who uses the ZetsumeRise Key to transform into a Magia.
Aruto tries to get Mamoru to snap out of it, but it doesn’t work. Izu says once a HumaGear’s data has been corrupted, it cannot be restored. The only thing to do now is to destroy it.
Aruto cannot believe there is no other way. He says he is alive today because of HumaGears, remembering how his father had shielded him during the Daybreak explosion.
Outside, Isamu arrives and much to Yua’s surprise, he attaches the belt to himself. With the thoughts of the day of the Daybreak explosion running through his mind, Isamu uses all his strength to try and pry open the ProgriseKey.
While Aruto says HumaGears are not killing machines and are the dream of humanity, Isamu says HumaGears are the enemy of humanity and vows to destroy them all.
Isamu is able to open the ProgriseKey and he henshins to Kamen Rider Vulcan.
Aruto also henshins. He battles Mamoru while Isamu deals with the other Magia. Yua records Isamu’s battle and says it has finally begun.
Mamoru steals a motorcycle and drives off. Izu tells Aruto to use his RisePhone to summon the Rise Hopper bike. Aruto hops on and chases after Mamoru.
Aruto defeats Mamoru with a Rising Case Strash.
Meanwhile, Isamu finishes off the other Magia with a Shooting Blast.
Later, VP Jun is leading a news conference basically telling the media Hiden has nothing to say about HumaGears going crazy.
That’s when Aruto, now in a nice, clean suit, walks in and takes the podium. He directly explains that the real cause of HumaGears rampaging is the terrorist group MetsubouJinrai.net who hack into them.
Aruto pauses and looks over to Mamoru who, still with his armed wrapped, stands guard off to the side.
Aruto insists HumaGears are not the enemy, but the machines of their dreams that can help make people’s lives easier. Aruto vows to prove that to everyone.
Aruto introduces himself as Hiden’s President and CEO.
A HumaGear reporter marvels at the idea that a comedian could become president. Aruto decides to show them by telling a joke… that of course falls flat.
Isamu struggles to keep his laugh in.
Another good episode. A lot more information to help lay the groundwork for the season.
It was obviously Kamen Rider Vulcan’s intro episode and they did a good job introducing us to Captain Fuwa. It was nice to see a lot about Isamu’s character. Both about his first-hand experience with the Daybreak explosion and his penchant, apparently, to be amused by lame jokes (as seen by him trying to hold in laughter the two times Aruto told bad jokes lol).
Using Isamu’s backstory to show more about the Daybreak explosion and using that to present the contrast between Isamu and Aruto’s views on HumaGears was done very well.
Now that we have that set-up, we can move on to see which of them has the correct view on HumaGears or certainly how both views can be true as well. We learned a little bit more on how HumaGears work too.
It was a nice surprise to see Mamoru looking alright, it seems, at the end during the press conference. That simple shot of Aruto looking over to him says many things. First, that Aruto really cares about HumaGears and in their potential, not just as machines that can do work. But as their own “person,” so to speak.
That in turn sort of humanizes the HumaGears in a way that I’m sure will be touched upon later in the season.
Mamoru also exhibited a clear emotion after Aruto wrapped up his arm. Certainly much different expression than Izu and the other assistant HumaGears. That helps set-up the idea of different HumaGears across different jobs, each with their own set of programming, perhaps. That is, lack of programmed emotion vs. included emotion. Of course, we saw Aruto try to get his father to “sincerely” smile instead of just let out the programmed smile. But what we saw with Mamoru seemed to be something different.
Jin is also making a really great impression in his fleeting scenes. In the first episode, he basically seemed like Parado but with a gun. (Speaking of, A LOT of bullets were fired this episode!) But Jin definitely gives off a very strong vibe about him and it is very fascinating to watch and see where he goes from here. Hope Horobi can get a good chance as well.
Seeing Aruto with a better balance in character was also good and helps to settle things down after the explosive premiere.
Overall, another good and exciting episode. A strong start for the season so far.