Recap: Kamen Rider Zero-One, Episode 40 – Towards My Dream And Mine Alone
Back at Hiden Manufacturing, Izu tries and is unable to contact ZEA. Jin says it’s all over now. There is no way for them to defeat Ark. Aruto regains consciousness and says to not give up. He is confident he can defeat Ark.
Aruto asks Izu to look through his work from earlier and has a favor to ask of her as well. Jin feels defeated, but Aruto wants to continue believing in his dream. Only then can they even have a chance.
Over at Hiden HQ, Gai also feels resigned to the fact that Ark is unstoppable. But Yua reminds him that it was he who created it in the first place. Isamu tries to get her to calm down, but Yua is feeling the gravity of the situation.
Izu arrives and asks Gai for ZAIAHiden’s help to bring about Aruto’s dream of defeating Ark.
Meanwhile back at Hiden Manufacturing, Ark-possessed Ikazuchi comes crashing into the office declaring that he’s already calculated Aruto’s dream will never become a reality.
Ark henshins as does Jin and they battle. Ark slams Jin into Hiden Manufacturing’s motto and he turns his attention to Aruto. Jin tells Aruto to run if he can’t henshin. But Aruto stands his ground and Ark hurls an attack at him.
Jin shields Aruto from the attack and the Hiden Manufacturing building explodes.
Aruto runs over to Jin as Ark taunts them with his immense, seemingly unbeatable power. Jin again tells Aruto to run. But Aruto says he will not. He stands up to Ark.
But suddenly, Ark shoots right a laser right through Aruto’s chest. Jin screams.
Later, everyone gathers around Aruto’s lifeless body in the Hiden HQ laboratory.
Isamu shakes Aruto’s body telling him to get up.
Gai tells him to stop and says Aruto’s death is proof of Ark’s unstoppable power. Isamu grabs Gai by the collar and says this is all his fault and Aruto’s blood is on his hands. Gai says that is 1000% untrue.
Yua pleads with them to stop. This isn’t the time for them to be fighting.
Izu approaches Aruto’s lifeless body and asks him what he would like her to do. Jin repeats to her that Aruto is dead. But Izu continues asking Aruto for an answer.
Just then, loud explosions. Isamu, Yua and Gai run outside to see the city in chaos.
Without warning, Ark appears and shoots the same death laser at Gai.
Isamu attempts to henshin. Ark shoots at him, but Yua knocks him out of the way. As she gets back up, Ark shoots and kills her.
Isamu again prepares to henshin, but Ark kills him too.
Back inside, Izu remembers Aruto saying earlier that any dream is possible if you believe. She pleads with him to wake up and says she still believes they can achieve his dream together.
Jin looks up at Izu and is shocked by what he sees.
Izu is crying real tears. She does not know how or why, but she can’t stop.
Izu does not want to lose Aruto and says she wants to continue chasing dreams alongside him.
Suddenly, Izu finds herself back in Hiden Manufacturing. She is unsure what is happening as she sees Aruto alive and well, speaking with Jin.
Izu watches the scene play out exactly like it did earlier. She tries warning them, but it’s too late as Ark come crashing into the office.
Everything continues just as it happened earlier and this time, Izu watches as Ark shoots and kills Aruto with the death laser.
Jin runs over to Aruto. A tear rolls down Izu’s cheek.
But Izu again abruptly finds herself back in the office, the scene seemingly repeating once more.
This time, Izu warns them that Aruto will be killed by Ark if they don’t leave right now.
Aruto takes his binder of work and says that a human and AI together in the form of a Kamen Rider is the embodiment of his dream.
Izu looks at Aruto’s work and how his dreams for a hopeful and harmonious future for humans and Humagears can possibly work. Aruto says he can’t die before he realizes his dream.
Izu says she wants to believe in it. But the scene of Aruto’s death plays again in her head.
A tear rolls down Izu’s face and onto the word “Singularity” in Aruto’s notes.
Izu finds herself outside and the scene picks up where Aruto stands up to Ark.
Ark shoots his death laser at Aruto.
Jin looks up at Aruto. But instead of a cry of agony, he smirks.
Aruto is very much alive. And he’s got a new Key.
Aruto says your dreams will come true as long as you keep the faith. Ark cannot compute.
Izu says of course he can’t because this was one of ZEA’s calculations. Ark says that’s not possible as ZEA is no more.
Aruto explains that ZEA and Izu are linked and that ZEA has been reacting to Izu’s emotions this whole time. Aruto had Izu run through tens of thousands of simulations in order to find a way to bring ZEA online within her so they could work to thwart Ark’s calculations.
After Aruto expressed his dreams to Izu, she felt an emotion she had never felt before when she cried. And thus, ZEA was compelled to come back online.
At that moment, ZEA popped a Key out of Izu’s ear.
Ark still can’t believe it. But Aruto reminds everyone that anything is possible when you leap toward you dream.
Aruto thinks of his grandfather and father and tells him he is taking the leap now.
Aruto clutches the new Key. He takes Izu’s hand and together, they are able fashion a brand new Driver.
With the new Driver and Key forged from the bond between humans and AI, Aruto locks in the Key to henshin to Kamen Rider Zero-Two.
Aruto and Ark proceed to battle. Ark tries recalculating and delivers an All Extinction finisher. But Aruto is untouched as he had predicted such an attack himself.
Aruto outmaneuvers Ark, defying all his calculations. Aruto says it is because he and Izu, a human and a Humagear, share one dream.
Aruto delivers a Zero-Two Big Bang at Ark and that appears to destroy him once and for all.
Jin approaches an unconscious Ikazuchi and marvels at Aruto having been able to defeat Ark.
Izu tells Aruto that she is happy he is alright. Aruto apologizes for having Izu go through the painful simulations. Izu jokes that she does not forgive him.
Isamu and Yua, having watched the stunning events, smile at the thought of humans and Humagears sharing a dream.
Suddenly, Horobi pushes Jin aside and picks Ikazuchi up. He declares that as long as the satellite is still functioning, Ark is still alive.
Ark composes himself inside the satellite and says humanity’s extinction is still on track.
Alright! I see what they were getting at here. Some might say it was a little bit of a runaround, but it certainly worked. “What if” episodes are a familiar set-up to highlight certain themes and bring about a big change. And with all of the Ark’s talk of calculations and predictions, it worked. The idea of Izu going through all the scenarios to try and figure something out certainly parallels that and fits.
But by Izu going through those simulations, she took another step forward in Singularity and felt a brand new emotion. We know Izu and ZEA are closely connected. And we know ZEA responds with almost deus ex machina-like precision when necessary. So ZEA responding or reacting to Izu’s “emotions” is also a reasonable and believable explanation.
It all works out even though I must admit the episode wasn’t as shocking and impactful as I would’ve liked it to be.
There was definitely a shock factor after the first round of deaths though. The scene in the lab with a dead Aruto on the table and everyone battling their emotions and each other was well done. I felt it. I imagine a real post-Aruto death would play out exactly like that. And for that moment, I certainly believed it all.
At that point also, I assumed Zero-Two would somehow resurrect Aruto and then all the uncomfortable memories of Ghost came screaming at me. Lol
But when everyone else was getting Ark’s Dart of Death one after the other, I immediately knew something was amiss.
It was a practical concept. Basically, two heads are better than one. The shared dreams of a human and Humagear so touched ZEA’s heart that she (apparently ZEA is a ‘she’ and Ark is a ‘he’) now has more computing power than Ark. And, as ZEA does, she 3D-prints new toys to help.
Before that bit of exposition, I assumed Izu had access to Ark’s calculations and predictions once she was able to connect to ZEA. Ark and ZEA were supposed to be one now, after all. So Izu would’ve had access to Ark’s “mind” via ZEA and so that would’ve put them one step ahead somehow. But obviously, that wasn’t it at all. So that’s alright. Lol
I’m comfortable with what we got and as a whole, the episode worked well. I believed it, I felt it. I wish it were more explosive and a bigger gut punch. Especially for Zero-Two’s introduction.
It’s a good, solid concept. And considering Ark’s back to his cushy satellite, seemingly unharmed, this episode not being huge actually makes sense.
It was Zero-Two’s debut. And the underlying emotions for Aruto and Izu’s shared dream to bring about the new toy hit the mark. Again, it all just worked. And I definitely enjoyed it.