Recap: Kamen Rider Saber, Episode 45 – Ten Swordsmen, Betting the World.
Storious has amassed a huge army. Touma and the others arrive on the scene and he vows to save the world as well as Luna. Sophia pops in to join them as a swordsman, using the Calibur Book and Dark Sword.
They all henshin and take on the Megidos before storming Storious’ tower.
Daichi and Papa Fukamiya appear to Sophia to give her some extra strength.
Storious hopes they all die a wonderful death. Just then, his old friends Legeiel and Zooous appear and try to remind him what they originally wanted. That is, to create a world free of hunger and poverty.
Legeiel and Zooous ask how they ended up turning into monster. Storious says those hopes were twisted into a lust for power. But he himself is the same as he was 2000 years ago.
Turns out, these images of Legeiel and Zooous were only brought about by Luna who approaches Storious to ask him to stop the apocalypse.
Back at the shop, Mei is alone and starting to fade. But she can only wait for the others to take care of the situation. However, she notices Touma’s manuscript on the desk.
Storious reminds Luna that she knows exactly how the world will end. After all, she is not only Wonderworld personified. But a part of the All-Knowing Book itself. So she should know nothing in this world was created by humans. But all just a manifestation of the Book’s writings. And that includes the beginning and the end. Thus the conclusion is inevitable.
Luna says there are still people who want to save the world. Storious says ever since she chose Touma, he has become a main character in the story. And since then has been connected to the Wonderworld through her.
But it doesn’t matter. Storious revels in the futility of Touma and Co.’s effort to try and change the destined conclusion he has entitled Death of the Messiah.
Luna says Storious is pitiful. Touma saved her and her heart and is capable of creating stories she’s never heard of. Storious swipes at her and she disappears.
Luna wakes up under the tree and stumbles away.
Outside, Sophia and Yuuri have taken care of the Megido army. But Sophia is far too weak to follow after Touma and the others. She asks Yuuri to take care of them for her as she also starts to fade away. The others have been forced to dehenshin after their fierce battles. But they muster up the power to keep going.
After finishing off their foe, Ren holds Desast’s Book as it disintegrates. Tetsuo is feeling a little spent and tells Ren to go on ahead.
Tetsuo can hear his sword and collapses to the ground.
While Mei reads Touma’s manuscript speaking of pain and despair, Rintaro and Ogami-san get their second wind. Ogami-san tells Rintaro to hurry on ahead as he takes care of this situation.
The Shindai Sibs promise to protect each other as they also get up and fight some more.
Ren arrives and he and Kento urge Touma to continue on. The two friends reunite to fight off the enemy, giving Touma an opportunity to do so.
Mei cries as she finishes reading the manuscript. She knows what she has to do now. She hurries out and stumbles upon Luna laying on the ground.
Storious maintains that the ending will be written by him.
And the conundrum of Saber is on full display in this episode. So much going on and yet nothing going on. Supposedly epic battles with absolutely zero foundation or depth to justify their importance or impact. The struggles the Riders faced feel unearned.
Touma is the Messiah? Come on now. This isn’t Gaim.
Sophia as Calibur is random. I mean, I very much like the idea of Sophia becoming a Rider. But using Calibur and out of nowhere? Typical Saber.
The most interesting part of the episode was Storious with Legeiel and Zooous. I think there was more insight into their characters in that moment than in half of the season. I mentioned a few weeks ago that if Saber trotted out the Original 5 stuff much earlier and focused on that instead of all the (in hindsight) irrelevant sidetrips, including Luna’s existence, the season could’ve been much better.
Again, it helps that the actors playing the Megido3 did very well with what little material they were given. Maybe even elevating the material at times.
But sometimes you do need a really great villain in order to make a really great hero. Saber didn’t do that and it’s a bit of too little, too late when it comes to positioning Storious as the Big Bad. Instead of a hero or “savior” as Touma apparently is, he was merely some guy obsessed with a little girl he barely remembers. Nothing to do with Luna or saving the world.
Speaking of, Luna is now not only Wonderworld. She’s also part of the actual Book? What? She might as well be one piece of God since apparently everything exists because it’s written in the All-Knowing Book. The vague religious undertones have been something I’ve noticed on and off during the season. But that only just adds to my feeling that this season has been so unfocused and all over the place.
We still have a couple more episodes left. Though the location they’re using for Storious’ command center is beautiful, I can’t imagine how they will stretch out this endgame. I’m sure everything centers around this location. Big battles. Big speeches.
Once again, I don’t feel like such big moments have been earned by Saber. Everything feels so hollow. Watching fun, well-choreographed fight sequences and battles has a limit. It can all look pretty, but when there’s nothing else to support all that, it only leaves me disappointed and underwhelmed rather than excited or in awe.