Gai says the reason he could not accept Aruto and Humagears was because he loved Hiden Intelligence. And now it is time for them to defeat the Ark by working together.
“Protecting Hiden Intelligence is its president’s job, after all.”
Aruto gets up and henshins, much to Thouser’s excitement.
Aruto and Gai work together to take on Ark who says he never would have predicted they team up. The duo shortly gain the upper hand on Ark. When Gai tries to take Ark’s data, Ark takes Gai’s as well.
Aruto and Gai deliver finishers at Ark which ejects him from Jin’s body. Ark flies away. Aruto hurries over to an unconscious Jin and takes him back to Hiden Manufacturing.
Into the evening, Gai explains how Thouser was able to show him that AI are not just tools, but that they could be friends as well. Humans and AI could help bring happiness to each other. And that’s exactly what happened to him as a child, in line with Hiden’s stated dream.
Izu says it’s time for Gai to express remorse to Aruto for all that he has done.
Gai apologizes for how he has acted and bows his head. Izu points out that a 90-degree bow would be most appropriate for all that he has done.
Aruto says there are many things that a simple apology can’t fix. If Gai really cared about artificial intelligence, why would he teach the Ark the evils of humanity and cause suffering for countless people?
Gai bows 90-degrees. But Aruto says Isamu and Yua deserve much more from Gai for what he has done to them.
Gai says he is 1000% dedicated to penitence. He bows again.
Aruto suggests Gai stop the 1000% stuff while he’s at it.
Over in Daybreak, Ark tells Naki and Ikazuchi that he never calculated Aruto and Gai working together. But now he is sure that ZEA is the catalyst to all this. Though there is no need to worry as he has a plan for taking control of her.
Ark seems to activate something in Ikazuchi and he has flashes of his brother. Ark asks if he misses him and Naki believes Ikazuchi is reaching Singularity. Naki pleads with Ikazuchi to forget his brother as they must focus on their goal. But Ikazuchi stumbles in pain.
Next day, Jin wakes up and says Ark is going after ZEA next as it is the only thing Ark cannot predict. Izu suggests ZEA might be capable of finding a way to defeat Ark, such as with an upgrade to Zero-One.
Aruto and Izu decide to meet with Ark themselves.
Aruto asks if ZEA can help them. But Izu says ZEA is not sure she can. As Zero-One was created by Grandpa Hiden to deal with MestubourJinrao.net, Ark gaining access to the power was never considered.
Returning from ZEA, they conclude that Zero-One cannot be upgraded any further in order to defeat Ark.
Jin feels helpless upon hearing the news. But Aruto says to leave this to him. He has been able to fight until now thanks to the company that his grandfather left him. Now it’s up to him to find his own way to succeed Grandpa Hiden with his own Kamen Rider.
Over at ZAIAHiden HQ, Gai has invited Yua and Isamu to his office in order to apologize for ruining their lives. Yua and Isamu are not buying it. But Gai says he is sincere.
Thouser begins growling at Gai. Gai says he understands, but Thouser begins to whimper. Gai hurries over and pleads with Thouser not to cry.
Isamu and Yua have no idea what is going on.
Gai turns back to Yua and Isamu, kneels on the floor and bows. Thouser joins him.
Yua says bowing isn’t going to change anything. Gai stealing Isamu’s life is unforgivable.
Yua gets up to leave. But Isamu adds that if Gai is serious about asking for forgiveness, he must show that he is sincere. Isamu asks Gai to separate A.I.M.S. from ZAIA after all the suffering he caused Yua and all the people who work for him.
Isamu says if these people are risking their lives, they should at least have a say in what they’re fighting for.
Aruto is hard at work on designing and developing a new Rider.
Jin says no one can out-calculate Ark though. Izu, however, says she has never seen Aruto like this before.
Just then, Ikazuchi comes barging into the office. Aruto and Jin get defensive, but Ikazuchi tells them to calm down.
Ikazuchi grabs Aruto by the hood like he once did before. But Jin says it’s impossible for Ikazuchi to remember as Ark restored him to his factory settings.
Ikazuchi tells them about all the memories of Subaru flooding back to him and Izu asks if that means he has reached Singularity.
Jin is still skeptical as Ark wouldn’t just easily let Ikazuchi escape.
Naki asks Ark why he let Ikazuchi leave. Ark says his calculations have not changed.
Ikazuchi tells Aruto about Ark having a plan to gain control of ZEA and suggests Aruto make the first move. Aruto going on the offensive should take Ark by surprise. Ikazuchi says he and Subaru’s job is to take care of ZEA, after all.
Aruto seems to trust Ikazuchi. Jin does not, but Aruto nods at him.
Aruto says he is happy Ikazuchi is alright.
On the other side of town, Gai meets with A.I.M.S. officers to apologize for his abuse of power. But more importantly, they must increase security for the SDC in preparation for another Ark attack.
Gai, however, wonders why Ark would take his data earlier. He comes to a realization that Ark may be targeting something else.
Meanwhile, Ikazuchi has led Aruto and Jin to Daybreak. Out of nowhere, Naki grabs Jin and Ark-in-Horobi appears saying he was expecting Aruto.
Jin says he knew Ikazuchi would trick them. But Ikazuchi says he would never.
Ark says he knows exactly how to manipulate Aruto. Restoring Ikazuchi’s memories for him to reach Singularity and lure them here was easy.
Ark leaves Horobi and inserts himself into Ikazuchi. Ark says Ikazuchi is merely a spy on ZEA. And once Ark takes control of her, he has no use for Ikazuchi any longer.
Aruto says Ark is wrong. Ikazuchi’s job is to protect ZEA.
Both Aruto and Ark henshin and battle. Naki holds Jin back.
Gai calls Izu to tell her that under no circumstances must Aruto let Ark gain control of the Zero-One Driver. Ask was originally restored using ZEA’s data. By acquiring more data earlier, Ark intends to directly access the satellite.
Ark bombards Aruto with attacks. He delivers an All Extinction attack and then hurls Aruto in the air, forcing him to dehenshin.
A badly injured Aruto falls to the ground. Ark walks over and grabs the Driver from Aruto’s waist, declaring that he will never become Zero-One ever again.
Ark uses the Driver to forge a connection between the two satellites. Now inside ZEA, Ark proclaims that she belongs to him now and he infects her.
Izu arrives and runs to Aruto.
Ark declares that no one can stop him.
Aruto says he will.
I must say, this was actually a pretty tame episode compared to last week. Still huge developments of course, but lacking a little bit of explosiveness. I do think the most impactful moments of the episode were the quieter scenes like the one with Aruto and Gai.
Let’s start there. It would appear the show is going all in on Thouser being the one thing that opens Gai’s eyes to the world. To help me fully embrace this “redemption arc” of Gai, I will reach to the idea that Thouser was Gai’s only friend as a child. Perhaps his father’s pressure and emotional abuse started long before Gai actually got a Thouser to be friends with. So when Thouser came along, Gai had an opportunity to be happy for even just fleeting moments.
When Gai lost Thouser, the pain translated to Thouser and artificial intelligence from Hiden Intelligence as somehow the cause of his misery. (Or something.) But he does specifically say that he couldn’t accept Aruto and Humagears because he loved Hiden Intelligence. Nani what?
Anyway, now that he has reunited with Thouser, he has essentially had an enlightenment. And it would seem to have culminated in his 90-degree bow to Aruto and then especially the kneel and bow to Yua and Isamu.
There were some comic bits thrown in with Thouser basically nudging Gai. Essentially like Ai-chan doling out advice to Yua and Isamu. But it worked.
I think Isamu and Yua not being emotional or perhaps them being much colder than Aruto would be is very much in line with their characters. Yua’s story climax still underwhelms me, but the scenes of Isamu sneaking a peek at his family living happily was a relatively good development to help rectify what they did to his character. So Isamu and Yua telling Gai to show them and not tell them he is sorry was good.
Still, Aruto not necessarily ready to embrace Gai in a warm hug is also good. No one excuses Gai’s atrocities. But at the same, they’re not really taking him to task either.
There was an odd moment after Aruto tells Gai to quit with the 1000%. I don’t really know what to make of that. If it leads to something, then I welcome it!
But I’ll take the scenes at face value for now and say that they were handled reasonably well. The direction for the scenes at Hiden Manufacturing, from lighting to their performances to the writing, all worked to make that scene very impactful for what it was.
Anyway, Sony’s getting their ad money’s worth with all of AIBO’s screentime. Lol And I have no problem with that as well.
My Jin fanboy-self was very happy to see him safe at the beginning only to end the episode with Naki getting a hold of him. Hmph.
Speaking of, we only have six episodes left. I have a feeling Ikazuchi’s climax is coming next week perhaps. So I assume Naki’s is soon to follow. It’s very interesting to try and guess what’s to fill the final episodes because I really have no idea.
Right now the goal is to stop Ark. And yet I still don’t feel like that’s the real endgame. I dunno.
Anyway, this was still a good episode. A few really great scenes. But overall solid.