Recap: Kamen Rider Saber, Episode 42 – The Beginning, of a Beautiful End.
Touma runs like a track star back to the Northern Base, expecting Luna to be there waiting for him. But she’s not. She’s still wandering about in the forest.
While waiting, Mei serves the boys some freshly made onigiri. But Tetsuo gets a large ball of salt made by an embarrassed Sophia. Mei says Tetsuo should be honest about how bad it is. But the other guys get him to lie about it and make him eat the entire thing.
When the guys mention how the Megido had been chewing away at the Wonderworld border, Yuuri can’t believe they didn’t tell him sooner and he rushes out.
Meanwhile, Storious and Victor are meeting for the first time in 2000 years. Victor knows Storious is after his Book.
Storious attacks Victor who refuses to fight back. Victor asks if they can just end this already and asks Storious to remember why the] five of them sought power in the first place. That is, to create a better world for the peoples. Victor says he was overjoyed when they were able to find the power to do that.
But in the end, their quest for power only led to more conflict. Victor says it was a miserable experience having to fight against friends.
Storious says the word “friend” sounds very nostalgic at this moment.
Victor adds that he was able to see what the end of the world looked like thanks to having this power. But Touma and Luna offered a brand new hope that he is looking forward to seeing.
Unfortunately for him, Storious will not allow anyone else to write this ending.
Storious thrusts his sword into Victor’s stomach. But he is shocked when Victor leans forward into the sword. Victor says he is responsible for them turning out this way and he apologizes.
Storious shoves Victor off his sword and to the ground. Grabbing the Book, Storious walks away.
As he fades away, Victor expresses his confidence that the others will be alright. At Victor’s cabin, Yuuri senses his friend is gone and says he’ll be there soon.
Elsewhere, Ren and Desast are in the middle of their duel. But Ren dehenshins just as Desast charges toward him, saying none of this matters anyway.
They go get some ramen and Ren talks about how he does not understand the others’ motivations that have enabled them to become stronger. Desast asks what any of that has to do with Ren. But Ren says Desast wouldn’t understand since he doesn’t need to worry about a reason to fight or live. He doesn’t even have any friends.
“Is it so wrong to live without a reason or friends?” Desast asks.
Back at the Northern Base, Sophia feels Wonderworld beginning to encroach upon Japan. Yuuri arrives to announce that Tassel is dead and the Book is gone. He says that Wonderworld engulfing the regular world can be stopped if someone (Touma) replaces Victor. Or if they had Victor’s Book, at least.
The guys rush out as Sophia explains that they can try and emulate what Daichi did on That Day by creating a force field to contain the encroaching Wonderworld.
Storious appears in front of Touma who asks why he would kill his friend Victor. Storious says Victor was indeed his friend, but his ending was not beautiful at all.
Touma is incensed and asks they end this madness already. Storious says sure. The impending finale is right around the corner and it involves Touma’s defeat and an ending filled with suffering and despair.
Touma says stories do have endings, but they are usually filled with hope and learnings that can be passed down to future generations who will then write even more stories.
Desast suddenly appears and says Touma is in his way. Touma is forced to henshin as Desast attacks. Storious asks Touma to eliminate Desast for him since he has no role to play in his ending.
Storious explains that he created Desast on a whim for no reason. And now Desast will fade away with no reason as well.
Desast charges toward Storious, but gets knocked back with just a wave of the hand. Storious expects Touma, who is actually important to his ending, to deal with this and calls him his “hero.”
Ren appears and watches as Desast blames Touma for Ren’s wavering. Touma says Ren will figure things out eventually and his friends will be there waiting for him.
Touma says Ren and Desast are quite similar. They both have emotions. (lolwut)
Touma delivers a Xross Slash at Desast and he realizes that he’s already withering away.
Desast is not in the mood anymore and leaves.
Storious heads back to the manse where a naked Sophia-looking person is curled up in a ball at the top of the stairs.
Meanwhile, Mei finds Luna who initially runs away from her, but decides she’s alright when Mei falls face-first into mud when she chases after her.
Mei fills Luna in on the story Touma has been writing about their lives. Luna says she is excited to read it. Mei asks Luna what she was doing with her life before she met Touma. But Luna doesn’t say anything and Mei says that’s not important.
Anyway, Luna is happy Touma has found himself some good friends. Mei gets a call and Luna gets up and walks away.
Honestly, this episode felt like it was 5 minutes long for some reason. And that’s not a compliment at all, by the way. It was another case of A lot of things happened, yet nothing happened.
I’ll start with the positive. The one positive. And that’s Robin Furuya as Storious. There’s just something in this episode and the last few where Storious has begun to show his true colors that feels so engaging. Robin Furuya does a really great job of making Storious feel so menacing and threatening, but in a reserved and quiet way. The writing might not support any of it, but Robin Furuya’s performance certainly elevates it into something watchable and quite engaging.
But again, it is frustrating to think about because it reminds me of the great potential this season once had. How different would this season have been if Storious and the other Megido3 had more focus rather than popping up every other week?
Really, how different would this season have been if they focused more on this Original 5 and their quest for a better world stuff. Rather than this nonexistent unbreakable bond between Touma and Luna that somehow determines the fate of the world. (The fact that Kento is now the irrelevant third wheel to this irrelevant “friendship” is the real wonder.)
The two main conflicts this season should’ve been a merged Master Logos/BachtBahato story and this OG5 betrayal plot.
A season of “What ifs?” That’s always the most disappointing.
If you want to talk about lack of proper development and foundation to a story, look no further than Desast and Ren. Their ramen-eating buddy comedy adventures have been amusing, relatively speaking. But now it’s all about their search for the meaning of life? Like, all of a sudden, neither of them has a reason to live. I suppose that’s why they’ve been wandering about for months. But was this turn of events even a possibility before this week? Not really.
It honestly feels like just another plot point pulled out of nowhere for one of the dozens of paper-thin characters on this season.
Is the idea of kindred spirits Ren and Desast feeling like their life is meaningless a good premise for a story? Absolutely. It’s a great idea. But did the show actually execute and develop that story to make this sudden climax of it have any meaning or impact? Absolutely not.
They tried to do something this episode with a couple of intended dramatic moments. Those glimpses into the future(?) with Desast and Ren and the Storious-TasselVictor scenes. On a season with better writing that actually builds up its stories, those would’ve been impactful and affecting scenes. On Saber?
Most of the time, my reaction is…
Where did that come from? Who are these people? What are you even talking about?
Like nakedSophia. What in the world is that? How many SophiaLunas are there?
Tassel’s dead, but do we even care? They needed to fold him into the story sooner and more often (as opposed to keeping him the narrator). He’s actually more consequential to the endgame than most of the other characters this season. But this goes along with the idea that the season should’ve focused on this OG5 plotline much more.
Mei finds Luna, but Luna runs away from her twice. Why? If it’s because she doesn’t want Touma to lose his actual friends, then Yay! Luna could actually become relevant. Anything to get Touma to shut up about a little girl who doesn’t exist and he barely know. Maybe then we get to actual story in these last few episodes.
Storious talked about having a beautiful ending to this story. I doubt Saber will have a beautiful ending. But again, I’m eager to get any kind of ending to this season over with as soon as possible.