Recap: Kamen Rider Saber, Episode 25: Clad in Smoke, the Crimson Assassin.
Rintaro, Ogami-san, Ren and Tetsuo are lying dead on the road while a bleeding Mei calls out to berserkTouma.
He cries out from within Primitive Dragon, but can’t control his own body as he slashes at Mei.
Actually, it’s only a dream and Touma wakes up when he hears a little girl’s voice. He looks up and it is Luna!
But that’s also still a dream and he finally, actually wakes up.
Tassel, speaking with Master Logos, says that was the voice of the girl that connects worlds.
Touma has had enough of being controlled.
Down south, Rintaro and Ren are kneeling in front of Master Logos. Reika says they must be punished for their incompetence. But an emotional Rintaro shocks the entire room by asking Master Logos if there really is an enemy in their midst. He refuses to believe it.
Master Logos silences the murmurs in the crowd. Reika says this is all the fault of Touma who must be killed.
Rintaro tries to object, but Master Logos tells him to fulfill his duty. Ren remembers Ogami-san telling him to make his own choice.
Later with the throne room empty, Reika reports to Master Logos that their plans including Sophia and the so-called traitor are in place. “You are the only one I can trust… Sabela.”
Meanwhile, Ogami-san, Tetsuo and Yuuri arrive at the shop, recapping the shocking reappearance of Calibur and the mysterious smoke. Yuuri leaves to visit a friend while Ogami-san and Tetsuo proceed to the Northern Base where Touma, Mei and Sora are.
Elsewhere, Reika visits Sophia demanding she tell her where the Book she created is hidden. Sophia wants to know how the others are doing. Reika responds with a slap to the face.
Reika takes her jacket off and puts on a red coat, grabs a sword and leaves the base.
At the Northern Base, Sora shows them his drawing of a sad, dead dragon who continues to look for his friends even when they’re long gone. Touma recognizes the story from a book and Sora asks if there’s anything they can do to help since it’s so sad.
Touma suddenly notices Rintaro’s three Books that Primitive Dragon stole are missing. They believe Mei has taken them. Touma hurries out.
Tetsuo wants to follow, but Ogami-san stops him.
A sullen Rintaro is in the city. Mei is calling him on his phone, but he does not answer. Little does he know she’s already found him.
“Don’t ignore me you idiot!”
Mei hands Rintaro his three Books. He doesn’t take them, but she puts them in his hands.
Back north, Ogami-san and Tetsuo are trying to figure out how to destroy or seal the Primitive Dragon Book. But Reika suddenly emerges in a bright light announcing that she will be killing them all, especially Touma.
Ogami-san hides the Primitive Dragon Book in his backpack before sh-t’s about to go down.
Reika whips out her Konchuu Daihyakka Book and henshins to Kamen Rider Sabela. They battle, but the men are no match for Sabela’s power. Reika says Master Logos’ words are absolute and that they are nothing but traitors to their cause.
Reika asserts that she and Master Logos are of the same mind. And it is she who will help him achieve his grand ambitions.
Sora, watching from behind the door, runs to get help.
Up on a rooftop, Touma listens from around the corner as Rintaro tells Mei that Touma would be upset she took the Books without telling him. Mei says Rintaro knows Touma is not like that at all.
Mei wonders why Touma and Rintaro can’t kiss and make up. Especially when they both want to protect and save the world. Rintaro says Touma is too dangerous right now and he will be forced to cut him down if he keeps up his dangerous ways. Rintaro does not want to lose any more friends.
“Isn’t Touma also your friend?” Mei asks. Rintaro answers that he is a swordsman of Logos before anything else.
An emotional Rintaro doesn’t know what to do with himself. He asks Mei-san what he should do.
Mei says Rintaro already knows the answer.
Touma approaches. Rintaro demands Touma hand over all his toys and says he doesn’t want to kill him. Touma, of course, refuses. He tells Rintaro about seeing a sad boy while he was possessed. Rintaro asks if it has something to do with Primitive Dragon, but Touma doesn’t know.
Rintaro has had it with Touma not giving him any straight answers, saying that Touma has no idea how dangerous he is when he goes berserk.
Indeed, Touma says he is afraid of how much he could be hurting others while in Primitive. But he can’t leave the sad boy alone and that’s why he is so conflicted now.
Rintaro wants to know why Touma is so obsessed with saving the sad boy when he doesn’t even know who he is. Touma remembers both Sora and Luna asking if he could help the boy and he realizes that he definitely has to save him now.
Rintaro says Touma is crazy, but that’s exactly what he likes most about him. Touma says it’s the same for him. He was only able to fight this long because he had the Rintaro who treasures and believes his friends by his side.
Mei is confused by the sudden change of mood and calls a timeout. She sits them down and tells them they basically confessed their love for each other.
They more calmly talk about saving the sad boy. But Rintaro warns that he will have to kill Touma if he loses control again. Touma has no problem with that. Rintaro again feels kilig by Touma’s charming craziness.
Just then, Sora comes running up to tell them about Reika at the Northern Base. Touma and Rintaro hurry over. Ogami-san warns Touma not to henshin.
Reika orders Rintaro to pass judgment on the traitor, as is his duty. Reika tsk tsks Rintaro and proceeds to force Ogami-san and Tetsuo to dehenshin.
Touma steps forward and pauses to look at Rintaro before he henshins.
Yuuri speaks with Tassel who says Primitive Dragon was sealed because no one could control it. Yuuri believes in Touma. That’s why his main concern at this point is who Calibur is.
Tassel says that’s up to Yuuri to figure out and disappears to go meet with someone.
Touma henshins to Primitive Dragon. Ogami-san, Tetsuo and a just arrived Yuuri try to get him under control. But berserkTouma charges toward a hesitating Rintaro.
Suddenly, Calibur emerges from the portal to stop Touma in his tracks.
Calibur sends an attack at Touma who suddenly finds himself in a mysterious, rainy forest.
The sad boy approaches him and reaches out his hand.
In the library, both Touma and Calibur dehenshin from the attack. The entire room is shocked when they see that nuCalibur is…
This episode was more dramatic and emotional than it really deserved to be. It had no business being this serious and deep. It honestly felt like a completely different show than what we’ve gotten for 24 other episodes. Where was this Saber all this time? lol
But really, I very much enjoyed this episode. My hot take? Maybe my favorite episode of this crazy season so far!
I think the biggest reason why I might love this episode (aside from the overall different vibe) is that it focused on our actual main three. And the three characters (maybe two) who have been the season’s strongest and most developed.
Forget Touma-Kento-Luna. The real Saber OT3 for me is Touma-Rinataro-Mei. And they brought it all back to them this episode.
We can debate Touma’s character development. But I think we can all agree the strongest and most well-developed relationships for Touma have been with Mei and Rintaro. And that’s in addition to Rintaro and Mei’s own relationship on the side.
So seeing them be the main focus of this episode helped ground everything else that was happening. Namely, Reika’s debut as Sabela. Tassel and Master Logos being book club buddies. Kento’s return. Everything circled back to them three and it made me care about what was actually happening. And that’s something the season has had trouble doing most of the time.
First of all, I legit gasped when Reika slapped Sophia, even though I absolutely expected it. (I had just watched the latest episodes of Penthouse only hours before, so the soapy slaps were fresh in my mind lol)
You know when else I gasped, but in a different way? When Mei popped up to give Rintaro his Books. I think I yelped with kilig, so excited to see my Saber ship back together. And them looking at each other. With a sense of longing in their eyes!
Loved it! lol
But really, it just makes sense for Mei being the one to first approach Rintaro. An awesome character moment for Mei and very much in her personality to try and fix things between her closest friends. But it helped to also bring it back to them three.
The episode certainly did do a good job of promoting probably the 2nd best ship of the season. (Sorry Ren and Kento-kun.) The way they played up the Touma-Rintaro bromance in that scene, especially after the serious moments with Rintaro and Mei, was actually very amusing.
At the same time, I’m a little disappointed because I was really looking forward to the climactic battle between Touma and Rintaro. I certainly didn’t expect them to confess their feelings for each other. Lol
But they managed to balance that scene and the immediate aftermath well. Touma and Rintaro’s differences are certainly not resolved even if they refuse to admit they miss each other and want to reconcile. And that helped to make the final scenes back at the Northern Base work so well.
It was really great to see Rintaro emotionally struggling so much on that rooftop while talking to Mei. That moment particularly when Rintaro had no idea what to do with himself was great. (Takaya Yamaguchi was so good in that scene!)
That helped to provide a solid basis for Rintaro hesitating at the Northern Base when Rintaro had henshined. He is still struggling and is still very much conflicted. His friends or the SoL?
For a moment, because of that emotional struggle, I thought maybe the sad boy was actually Rintaro.
But anyway, as much as they put a band-aid on the bond between Touma and Rintaro, it’s still very much in need of repair and healing. So that still leaves the door open for the climactic resolution for them. (*crossesfingers*)
Next biggest part of the episode? I would say it’s a tie between Reika’s Sabela debut and Kento’s return. Because both were actually quite predictable.
Granted, I had no idea Sabela existed until I was spoiled by the official Saber Twitter account a few hours ago. Hmph. Lol
But we know Reika is a crazy b-. Now she’s a crazy b- with a Driver and Books. It’s definitely great to see a female Rider. And a villainous Rider at that. There’s also lots of potential with her moving forward. So I hope they don’t waste her. Especially with Master Logos looking to become a bigger part of the season.
Then the return of Kento-kun. I think we all saw this one coming as soon as he “died.” But I must say this episode did a good job of setting up the big reveal. Even though it was also obvious that the sad boy was Kento and pretty much confirmed when Sora described his drawing, the final scene had a great impact. It landed very well. And again for Saber, that’s a huge accomplishment.
I think I might like sadKento very much. When he first died and expected that he would return as Calibur, I hoped Kento would return as evil or something. I don’t think he’s that far gone towards the dark side. But I would love to see it. Sad, moody, angsty, evil. Whichever version of Kento they go with next week, I hope they keep him that way for a while. Once again, there’s great potential for good story there. I hope they run with it.
I also love that Ren was nowhere near when Kento was revealed. I hope they are saving that reunion for a big scene and that they not have them just nonchalantly tell Ren that his dearly beloved Kento has returned. Ren needs to find out Kento is back by actually seeing him in front of his face for the first time. We need to see Ren’s face at that moment!
The lesser developments of this episode were definitely everything Luna related. That is, Luna appearing to Touma and Tassel and Master Logos gossiping about her. Least interesting things in an episode that was packed with actual, legit interesting stories.
But this episode really felt different to me. The opening scene of the dead bodies and Mei as the last one standing really set the tone. And then the use of dramatic smash cuts in the beginning. Quite random, but strangely effective as well.
Obviously they aren’t going to have a whole season of episodes as dark or dramatic as this one. But a couple more like it wouldn’t have hurt over 24 episodes.
Ultimately, this episode worked so well for me because it focused mainly on the three characters we met at the very beginning. Not only that, they’ve gotten the most reasonable and substantive character development of any of the 21 different supporting characters that have popped up since those first two episodes. That OT3 held everything together. And for one of the few times this season, I actually cared and was invested in what was happening on screen.
An excellent episode. Relatively speaking, of course. But great nonetheless.