Recap: Kamen Rider Zero-One, Episode 7 – I am a Hot-Blooded HumaGear Teacher!
Izu explains to Aruto that resetting a Humagear erases all its learnings and returns it to its basic factory settings. They are on their way to a middle school where a teacher wants to do just that to a Humagear coach and PE teacher. And only the contract holder for the Humagear may request a reset.
They meet the teacher, Satou, who explains that the basketball team only has five players and is on the verge of being dissolved. Plus, they can’t win games so the teacher says it’s time to put them out of their misery. Just then, mothers of the basketball players arrive to complain to the teacher about the Humagear coach keeping their kids at practice later than the scheduled time. They prefer their kids focus on studies instead.
Isamu pops up and says the Board of Education reported a “hot-headed coach” to A.I.M.S., so he’s here to deal with that.
Over in Daybreak, Horobi explains to Jin that he is upgrading this Humagear into a specialized assassin. Horobi hands the Dodo Zetsumerise Key for the Humagear to use to target Zero-One.
Back at the school, Satou brings Aruto, Izu and Isamu to the gym to observe the supposedly horrible coach and teacher. But actually, the coach, Sakamoto Kobe, is giving each of the boys specific comments on things for them to work on and help them improve. Coach Kobe emphasizes hard work will always pay off and the young boys enthusiastically grab that encouragement.
Aruto thinks this is all great. Everyone’s having fun. Isamu says the point is the coach keeps everyone late when a Humagear shouldn’t have the capacity to intentionally go over the schedule time.
Satou says they only leased Humagears to watch the kids during extracurriculars so the real teachers didn’t have to deal with ’em after school. No one tasked Kobe with becoming the kids’ coach.
Izu asks why Satou doesn’t reset Kobe himself. The teacher relates one time he tried to secretly reset Kobe, Kobe explained that the team’s practice time was calculated based on what the kids actually wanted. Kobe asked if Satou wants to take over the coaching in addition to all the other responsibilities of a “human” teacher. But Satou agreed that extracurriculars should be left to Humagears.
Satou points out that Kobe calls the students by their numbers, implying that he is dehumanizing them.
Meanwhile, Jin accompanies Assassin-chan to the school. But Yua arrives and both she and Jin henshin. They battle, but Yua soon turns her attention to Assassin-chan. She inserts the Freezing Bear Key into his driver to test something out and she appears to get what she needs.
Aruto, Isamu and Izu hear the commotion from outside and they hurry over while Jin and Yua continue fighting. Yua’s comrades in the black van scoop Assassin-chan up and speed away.
Jin realizes Assassin-chan is gone. Yua leaves as Aruto and Isamu arrive to take over battling Jin. But Jin is worried Horobi will be upset with him losing Assassin-chan, so he leaves to find him.
Isamu tells the basketball team that the school and gym are off limits after the terrorist attack. So that means no practice tomorrow. But later, Aruto and Izu find Coach Kobe and the team in the gym anyway.
To keep them out of trouble with the A.I.M.S. cops, Aruto offers Hiden HQ’s private rooftop basketball court for the boys to use. Coach Kobe thanks Aruto for his help.
Aruto wonders how a Humagear could enter an off-limits area though.
After practice, Aruto and Izu accompany one of the players, Yuta, as they head home. Yuta thanks Aruto for practicing with them and believes they will win their next game.
Yuta explains that he loves basketball even though their team hasn’t won a single game in two years. If they lose their next game, some of the other guys will quit the team to focus on exams. And that means the end of the basketball team. Yuta hopes they can at least win their last game. Aruto says he will be cheering them on at that last game.
The next day, Aruto meets with Satou to say they cannot reset Kobe despite their contract. Aruto believes Kobe as he is now is a result of proper learning by the Humagear. Izu adds that Kobe’s actions are grounded in data and logical thinking.
Aruto believes the kids can reach their dreams this way.
Satou doesn’t care and proposes they make a bet on the game. If the team loses, Aruto must reset Kobe and the team will be dissolved. It won’t matter if there’s a coach or not when there’s no team to begin with. Aruto doesn’t respond, but Coach Kobe comes in and accepts the deal.
Coach Kobe is sure his team will win.
Next day at the game, the team is doing well and they have tied their opponents with 14 seconds left in the game. Yuta is fouled and he has two shots to take the lead.
Yuta takes his free throws, but he misses both. The other team drives the ball to the other side and makes the basket, securing their win.
Satou, sitting with the players’ families, actually stands up to celebrate the team losing. But he catches himself before the families notice. He proceeds to dance happily outside as he and the team walk back to school.
Yuta stops Coach Kobe to say he will be quitting the team. He feels it is his fault they lost.
Coach Kobe grabs a basketball and hurls it at Yuta. He catches the fast ball, but the force pushes him on his back. Isamu is ready to pounce.
But Coach Kobe applauds Yuta since he was able to catch the ball despite it being thrown at a speed faster than even the top NBA players.
Coach Kobe asks his team to come with and continue practicing to prepare themselves for the spring tournament. Yuta, however, says it’s impossible. They can’t.
Coach Kobe says when you give up, the game is already over.
Satou accuses Kobe of assaulting his student, even more reason to reset him. Aruto tries to stop Satou from pushing the reset button. Isamu is ready to shoot Kobe in the face.
But something suddenly clicks in Coach Kobe. He asks why is he here. He says he is here because he wants to see these students win their first game of basketball.
Aruto remembers Yuta saying he wishes for them to win their last game before the team is dissolved.
“These boys… are the ones who taught me!” Coach Kobe says.
Jin cheerily comes hopping up the steps saying this is an example of a Humagear gaining sentience. And those Humagears are the ones they want to make their friends.
Aruto remembers all the Humagears that MetsubouJinrai turned into Magia and how they must have all gained sentience. Isamu says Humagears gaining sentience is dangerous. But Aruto says no. Coach Kobe’s sentience is something that was built upon the dreams of the students.
Isamu doesn’t care. And while Isamu and Aruto argue, Jin slaps a ZetsumeRiser onto Coach Kobe to turn him into the Mammoth Magia.
In a nearby alley, Yua is recording and observing Assassin-chan as it morphs into the Dodo Magia.
Aruto and Isamu henshin and take on the Mammoth Magia with Izu reminding Aruto that this is no longer Coach Kobe.
Assassin-chan, now as Dodo Magia, attacks his target Aruto.
Isamu grabs the Attaché from Izu for him to use himself as he turns his attention to the Doo Magia. Aruto faces off against the Mammoth Magia who sends him flying back.
Yua shoots at the Magia using the Freezing Bear Key and she hands it to Aruto to use. Aruto locks the key in and he uphenshins to Freezing Bear. Izu claps. Isamu finishes off the Dodo Magia with a Shooting Cast Strash while Aruto finishes off the Mammoth Magia with a Freezing Impact.
Jin picks up the Dodo Key, but the Mammoth Key is nowhere to be found. That’s because it is in Yua’s possession.
Back at the school, the basketball team is in the gym. And this time, they are teaching the new Coach Kobe some basketball tips.
Satou-sensei appears, being annoying again. Izu reports that none of the boys have quit the team and they will continue working toward achieving their first win in the spring.
Just then, four new kids come to join the team. Izu says they are first-years who became interested in the team after watching the last game.
Izu declares Yuta and the other kids will grow together with Coach Kobe.
Aruto believes in them and believes that Humagears really are the machines of dreams that can support humans.
In a random alley, Yua is creeping about in the A.I.M.S. van and remembers how she hacked into Assassin-chan earlier. She believes the Dodo Key will be good use to her.
I really liked this episode because it was the clearest example of how Humagears can be a positive part of everyday lives. Certainly supported Aruto’s view of Humagears and made Isamu look cold and heartless, which is a very interesting dynamic to make at this early stage.
Almost immediately at the start of the episode, my reaction was “The kids are having fun and enjoying playing basketball, so what’s the problem?” The teacher and parents all looked like horrible people wanting to take away something that is actually positive for the children. And of course the typical Asian parent pressure on children to get good grades.
Plus the teacher basically said they only leased the Humagears so the actual teachers didn’t have to deal with the kids after school. WTF?! Must be an indictment on the real-life education system. Eeek.
It kind of presented the familiar idea (from toku) about machines and “monsters” having the capacity to be more “human” than actual humans. And the fact that Kobe was able to learn and adapt to his surroundings was the strongest illustration so far of the Humagears capability to gain sentience. Of course, we’ve heard Horobi and Jin talk about it. But I hope it does become an interesting dilemma where there’s certainly positives and negatives to allowing Humagears to become sentient.
Hopefully though it’ll have Isamu, on the opposite side of Aruto, be a little more reasonable and have a better foundation to support his views. Isamu’s trauma after Daybreak was understandable a couple of episode ago. But I hope they give his character a bit more meat instead of maintaining a sort of one note approach to his negative feelings toward Humagears.
After last week, I wondered how the final scenes would affect Jin moving forward. And apparently it looks like he’s just been reset to being a cheery, happy-go-lucky guy who enjoys doing K-pop aegyo while having no problems doing the dirty work for his daddy Horobi. Hmm… not what I had hoped to see for his character after last week. But we’ll just have to see where they go from here. Especially if they do indeed make a move as the preview teased.
Like I said, it was a great episode for Aruto. Again, his sincerity comes through when he says Humagears are what dreams are made of. And you can’t help but agree when you see something like a Humagear coach spending time with his students who actually enjoy and have fun doing their activities. It’s a very positive thing. And when you have the stereotypical caricature of the callous, insensitive teacher as your “villain” of the episode as well as Isamu being a shoot first, no questions later-kind of guy, it’s easy to be on Aruto’s side and sympathize with the Humagear.
Nothing much about Yua’s sneaking around yet. I just hope all this build up with her pays off big time.
I also see young Yuto (Kanata Fujimoto) as a future Rider/Sentai member. He’s got that look and vibe about him.
Anyway. This was a very good episode. It did a lot to solidify a couple of the details in terms of world building as well as good development for Aruto’s character.