Recap: Kamen Rider Zero-One, Episode 19 – She is a Home-Selling HumaGear
Gai proposes the next round of the face-off will be real estate and who can sell the most homes in two weeks. Representing ZAIA will be hotshot realtor Arayashiki Tatsumi who proudly uses ZAIASpec. Hiden’s representative will be realtor Humagear Sumida Smile.
Meanwhile, Isamu continues to try and get answers from Horobi who merely tells him to follow the Raiders for clues.
On the other side of town, Aruto and Izu accompany Humagear Smile who analyzes prospective buyers’ data and preferences to find the perfect homes for them. Tatsumi, meanwhile, uses his sweet-talking salesmanship to entice potential buyers of the investment potential for his properties.
Both Smile and Tatsumi are doing well so far. But Gai warns Tatsumi that humans must never fall behind to Humagears. He describes how he was able to build ZAIA from the ground up and how that is an example of human potential. So if they were to lose to Humagears, that would instantly signal the decline of humanity and the unlikely possibility that someone like Tatsumi could survive.
Tatsumi absorbs the harsh words as he walks home. But the hooded figure again pops in and slaps a Raidriser on Tatsumi.
Smile is just about to close another sale with a family, but Tatsumi arrives, activates the Splashing Whale Key and henshins. He proceeds to attack the home which terrifies the family. And this comes after Smile had just described this as a peaceful, quiet neighborhood.
Aruto quickly henshins to fight him off.
Isamu arrives to help, but Tatsumi is able to escape.
Isamu tells Aruto he learned about the Raidriser from Horobi. Horobi’s existence surprises Aruto and Izu, but Isamu says they have him under control and that the important thing is to focus on the stragglers still connected to MetsubouJinrai.net.
Isamu says A.I.M.S. will deal with Horobi’s comrades while Aruto should focus on the Magear.
That night, Tatsumi’s boss congratulates him on doing well so far and is curious about what made him get into real estate in the first place. Tatsumi recounts that he and his family lived in a small, uncomfortable apartment when he was a child. He had always dreamed that he would be able to move his family into a larger home one day.
On the other team, Smile does not understand why a person would destroy a home when homes are where people live. If that’s not the case, what is the meaning of homes to people in the first place?
Carpenter Humagear foreman Saikyo Takumi appears and says homes are where people smile as well. When a home is left empty, it is very sad.
The selling face-off continues and Smile is able to catch back up to Tatsumi. Gai and Yua bring up how Smile’s properties are getting bombed. Gai wants to make sure Tatsumi is not cheating. Gai denies it.
Tatsumi asks Gai what will happen if human realtors are obsolete and the real estate market will be run by less costly and more efficient Humagears. Gai says humans will still win with the help of ZAIASpec. But if not, everyone will be dead, especially Tatsumi.
Tatsumi leaves and Yua asks what Gai meant by that. Gai says the Ark is reviving. When a Humagear encounters a feeling of malice from a human, they reach a negative Singularity and they will wireless connect to the Ark and rampage.
Malice is a contagious thing. Human to human. Human to Humagear. Yua asks if Gai did this to push Tatsumi to do such a thing. Gai just smiles.
In a nice residential neighborhood, Smile is just about to close a sale with a nice couple for a home. But Tatsumi suddenly drives up and begins mocking and trying to undermine Smile. Aruto unsuccessfully tries to defend Smile as Tatsumi humiliates Smile and then kicks her into a park fountain.
Aruto hurriedly helps Smile up from the water and then confronts Tatsumi. Izu holds on to Smile, but it’s too late. She has already connected to the Ark.
Izu assures Aruto that they have checked all Humagears and she does not detect any irregularities in Smile.
Smile shoves Izu aside and transforms into a Magear.
Gai arrives with an umbrella and reminds Aruto about the need to destroy all Humagears before they develop sentience for which they have no reason to restrain.
Gai henshins as does Aruto. Aruto tries to stop Gai from destroying Smile. But Gai sucks up Aruto’s power again which he uses to deliver a Jacking Break finisher at Smile.
Gai says Aruto can keep his idealistic dreams about Humagears. But a president who cannot raise profits is worth nothing more than 1%.
This was a good episode. Definitely a little more on the goofier side than we’ve seen the last couple of weeks. But still effective in continuing to illustrate the possibilities of the Raidriser and how it can be used to, sort of, fuel the worst parts of humanity in order to provoke Humagears.
For what reason and endgame, we will find out in the future. But this episode was another striking example of what is possible. Especially when it again involved a ZAIASpec-wearing male human mocking, humiliating and physically assaulting a female(!) Humagear! Yikes! Definitely sad to watch.
It almost feels like a sort of commentary on the issues of today. Both Toei tokus have been criticized for its less than fair portrayal of female characters sometimes. But maybe it’s a little different here. Of course, it can just be something as simple as they’re just targeting the Humagears, regardless of their gender. But it can also be as general as humans disregarding someone (or something) who they see as “lesser” than them. And in this case, the “lesser” beings are machines known as Humagears.
I think we’re seeing clear examples of what could justify a Humagear revolt, as described by Horobi. But again, there’s still plenty we don’t know.
Anyway, I think it also speaks to the idea that humans really can be that cruel to other humans, ZAIASpecs or not. The ZAIASpecs certainly don’t turn humans into assholes. (Or do they?!) But humans can have negative feelings that can get exploited and twisted into something more sinister. That’s definitely a theme we’ve seen on toku many times in the past. So I think Zero-One is doing it in a more refreshing way here.
Both Smile and Sakuya have been very likeable Humagears who help us understand where they might be coming from and in turn helps us easily despise the ZAIASpec-wearing humans mistreating them.
At the same time, one can understand where Tatsumi is coming from as well. We can empathize with his hardships growing up. But how that sort of resentment gets twisted is the question when it comes to the Raidriser or even the ZAIASpec. Or just him in general.
Elsewhere, I enjoy the Horobi-Isamu face-offs. Just them sitting in that dark room, staring at each other. It’s actually pretty tense. And I hope there’s a big pay off for Horobi’s time tied up. Perhaps related to that hooded figure.
Also, I enjoy the more relaxed relationship between Aruto and Izu. Seeing Izu less “robotic” and a little more loose is nice and maybe speaks to her “learning” from Aruto after all these months.
Gai continues to be a deliciously mysterious figure. The way he relishes his role as some kind of mastermind is pretty fun. And me assuming he isn’t the Big Bad helps allow me to enjoy his scheming and bossy nature.
Overall, while not the most exciting, this was still a good, enjoyable episode.