Commander Wakabayashi and George are briefing Ikki about a Deadman aiding three thieving teens. Before they can discuss a strategy to counter the Deadman’s cheetah speed, Vice calls Ikki so he can personally greet “Kari-chan.”
George says the Gundephone wasn’t made for Vice to use like this. Plus, George kind of hates him too.
Anyway, George has a Jackal Vistamp for them to use. But Vice thinks he looks ugly with his Jackal uphenshin. George is offended and not only is he not going to tell Ikki about the significance of the ten Vistamps, he will not give them Jackal either.
Ikki asks Commander Wakabayashi if they know who the dark Rider is. But Wakabayashi says they’re still looking into it. Ikki leaves and George says it’ll be fun when Ikki finds out the dark Rider’s identity.
Ikki tells Vice that he was a bit rude to George, but Vice doubles down on how ugly his form looked.
They run into Daiji who is sitting in the lobby of Fenix and tell him about the Cheetah Deadman. Daiji wishes him good luck, but to keep the good-guy-ing to a minimum. Ikki says Daiji has the same problem too.
Daiji Kagerou remembers meeting with Aguilera and Olteca and getting it straight that he’s not joining their team. He just wants Ikki’s head.
Hiromi watches Daiji from around the corner, suspicious of him.
On the other side of town, teen Hitoshi is bored playing video games and calls his friends to ask if they’re up for more thievery.
Buu-san shows Ikki and Sakura what he has found out about the thieves. He shows them a photo from a CCTV camera showing the thieves wearing the same jersey as a gymnastics team from a nearby high school for elite rich kids. Four male gymnasts from the team were suspended last month. Ikki thinks one of them must be the Deadman.
Before Ikki leaves to investigate, he tries to ask Buu-san what his day job is but he does not say.
Just then, Hiromi comes in to ask if Daiji is home. He tells them about finding him passed out in the Fenix bathrooms this morning. Daiji seemed completely out of it, not even knowing why he was wearing an all-black outfit. Hiromi originally thought Daiji just had a wild night out, but he’s beginning to think it’s something else.
Ikki says he was probably just sleepy. But Sakura says that doesn’t sound like Daiji at all. Hiromi says he hopes it’s nothing.
Just as he leaves, Hiromi gets a call about the Cheetah Deadman and he and Ikki hurry out.
The police have cornered the three teen thieves, but the Deadman comes to their rescue. Ikki and Vice jump in to battle the Deadman. But its cheetah speed is much too fast for them, even when uphenshining to Mammoth and Eagle. Cheetah Deadman is able to escape as well.
Over at the dojo, Hikaru asks Sakura how her mom is doing. She says she’s about to be discharged and her father is already planning for a family trip to an onsen.
Julio butts in to their conversation, saying he loves onsens too. This gives him an idea.
Olteca tells Aguilera that Julio is doing very well. But she laments Cheetah Deadman being pretty useless so far. She is just eager for everyone to join Gifu-sama’s family. Olteca says they still have one more trump card to play.
That trump card is stumbling around downtown. An aloof Daiji tries to figure out what is happening to him. He bumps into a man who shoves him into a pile of trash.
While on the ground, Kagerou shows himself to Daiji via a mirror. Daiji demands to know who he is. Kagerou says he’s kind of hurt, but gleefully tells Daiji that he is the demon birthed from him and whom he wished for.
Daiji says he has no idea what he’s talking about. But Kagerou reminds Daiji of his wish of “a world without my brother.” Kagerou promises to fulfill that wish.
Daiji smashes the mirror, but Kagerou gains control of his body once again.
Over at Fenix, Vice is trying to apologize to Kari-san for insulting his designs. But George refuses to budge. Commander Wakabayashi tells George that’s enough of his whining and tosses him the Vistamp. George asks them to give him some time then.
Next morning, Ikki visits the high school to talk to the principal who tells him about the four students who were suspended. Student Maezono Hitoshi was suspected of stealing classmates’ wallets and his three friends got into fights to apparently try to cover for him. Ikki wonders if there’s still a chance Hitoshi was innocent, but the principal says no.
The principal tells Ikki it’s okay for him to speak with the four students. But Ikki is surprised to learn one of the students has already moved abroad for his father’s work.
Ikki heads to the Maezono home where Mama Maezono speaks with a police officer to report her husband has been missing for a week. Gossipy neighbors talk about how Papa Maezono is a bit of a helicopter parent who was intent on having his son Hitoshi take over the hospital.
Ikki has a shocking realization.
Meanwhile, George asks Hiromi to deliver the Jackal Vistamp to Ikki. Hiromi says that’s Daiji’s job, but Commander Wakabayashi tells him their suspicions of Daiji being the culprit and his odd behavior lately.
George says it must have started at the ceremony when he was not able to henshin and Hiromi’s demon scared him. Hiromi accepts his possible role in Daiji’s change and vows to stop him.
Downtown, Hitoshi and his friends turn themselves into a police box. The cops don’t understand. But Hitoshi says they need to do this quickly before his father arrives. Turns out Hitoshi’s father is the Deadman.
Cheetah Deadman drags Hitoshi out of the police box and they run into Ikki. Papa Maezono says his son is not a criminal and that he will become a doctor like him. Ikki asks Papa Maezono to believe in his son a little more and not force his will on him.
Ikki and Vice henshin and battle Cheetah Deadman. The dark Rider arrives and so does Hiromi who tosses the new Vistamp to Ikki.
Hiromi, meanwhile, whips out his new driver and henshins to Kamen Rider Demons. He vows to stop Daiji even if he has to risk his life to do so. He and Daigerou battle. Hiromi asks if this person is Daiji, but he of course does not respond. Daigerou delivers a finisher at Hiromi and is able to get away.
Ikki activates the Jackal Vistamp and it turns Vice into a skateboard. George tells Commander Wakabayashi that he was able to modify the Vistamp into something that suits Vice’s tastes a bit more.
With the Jackal power, Ikki and Vice are able to counter Cheetah Deadman’s speed. And with a Stamping Finish, they are able to separate and destroy the Deadman from Papa Maezono.
Fenix forces take Hitoshi into custody, as well as Papa Maezono. The doctor refuses to be taken in, but Hitoshi tells him that it’s over. Ikki suggests Papa Maezono take the time he has left with Hitoshi to right his wrongs.
Hitoshi says he felt lost about what he wanted from himself and apologizes for letting it get this far.
Ikki says everyone has insecurities. Hitoshi says Ikki really is nosy, but passionate at least.
A very solid episode. My immediate thought though is wondering if they’re going a bit too fast resolving this Daigerou situation. I want them to drag it out a bit. Is the family actually going to find out about him next week? I hope not. I want some nice drama. But I guess a family getaway to an onsen would be a good place to drop that bomb. Lol We’ll see.
Anyway, it was very fun to see Daiji vs. Kagerou. Like, those are some of the scenes I want to see more of. Especially as Wataru Hyuga has already shown he can definitely deliver with his performance; it would be awesome to see some of those inner struggle scenes or Kagerou in mirrors and stuff. Especially as they dig deeper into Daiji’s feelings, particularly toward his older brother.
Can’t go wrong with Oniichan problems on Kamen Rider, you know. Hehe.
I like Demons’ design. Very cool. And a very interesting turn of events for Hiromi. Again, something different from a certain recent season of Kamen Rider. We have many different characters being given significant story here on Revice already. But all have been clear, distinct characters that you can easily distinguish from each other. There’s no “Where the f- did you come from?!” Or “What the hell is this?!”
I find myself actually caring about Hiromi’s quest to stop Daiji. Not to mention his wanting to rise up the ranks. Him becoming a Rider does not feel like it has come out of nowhere. And coupled with George’s unpredictability, it all comes together in a natural way. Commander Wakabayashi can seem sketchy at times too. So the Fenix dynamic is very much a part of the overall story.
I very much enjoy the slowburn of Julio infiltrating Sakura’s dojo. And the fact that the Deadmans are working on targeting both Sakura and Daiji simultaneously over several episodes is very refreshing to watch.
I also love the continuing use of recurring characters popping in. I’m definitely intrigued by Buu-san’s secret job. And I like Hikaru, who is the son of the family with Papa Tsumuji Igasaki and are Happy Spa regulars, being a member of the dojo with Sakura.
Building that community around Happy Spa is wonderful. And aside from the family theme for the season, a sense of community would also be a huge asset to the story and our main characters as well.
For the MOTW, what was the resolution of Hitoshi’s story though? Did he really steal wallets? And was it to get his father to stop hovering over him? I was actually kind of confused about that. Like, the father wanted to force a career on him. Hitoshi rebelled. But the father became a Deadman so he could protect his son’s foray into criminality? Or just to keep his record clean so he can still succeed him at the hospital. I kinda get where they were going, but I still think it was a bit sloppy. Lol Anyway, it worked out in the end. I guess.
I do appreciate also the rehab idea for Deadman birthers. Seeing consequences for willingly engaging in a demonic contract is certainly a unique idea not normally seen.
Overall, another good episode.