George Karizaki is working at the Fenix Genome Laboratory when the complex suddenly comes under attack by the Deadmans. Olteca leads an army of Juniors as they rampage.
A junior scientist urges George to evacuate. But he calmly opens a storage unit, saying that it is finally time. “We’ll fight fire with fire,” George says, referring to the new Revice Driver.
In the present day, Olteca and Juniors are rampaging at a theme park. Olteca decries the lies behind the idea of “love and peace.” He is about to stamp a man in order to “liberate” him from that fallacy. But a little boy comes and kicks Olteca in the leg before he can do so.
The boy’s parents come running over, apologizing. Olteca is about to take the parents instead as a sacrifice for Gifu. He laughs at the idea of family, another fallacy. But Ikki and Vice arrive to stop him.
Ikki and Vice, already henshined, take on a barrage of Juniors that Olteca summons. Ikki tries to get Vice to settle down and not go overboard with his fighting. Vice says he will if Ikki allows him to take a dip in the bathhouse. Ikki says never. Vice resumes battling Juniors with no regard for any collateral damage to the water park.
After they finish up with the Juniors, Ikki and Vice head back home. Ikki still refuses to let Vice have a soak.
Vice asks why humans need to bathe anyway. Ikki quotes his mother who said that once a person takes a nice hot bath, it refreshes them. A bath is also an opportunity for self-reflection.
Meanwhile, a couple trying to get the Igarashis to stamp the deed of the land over to them come into the bathhouse. Ikki and Vice agree to prank them, but Vice takes it to the extreme by possessing a supersized rubber ducky to scare them off.
Ikki, in just his towel, chases after the Vice-possessed duck outside, again trying to get him to tone things down.
Just then, Daiji arrives saying the Deadmans are attacking once more. He hands Ikki the Ptera Vistamp and asks him to fight in his place. Ikki understands and he is about to run off. But Daiji reminds him he is wearing only a tower.
Fully clothed, Ikki and Vice hurry to where the Deadmans are rampaging and are shocked to find the man they saved earlier has signed a contract. The man activates the Stamp, releasing the Spider Deadman. He had agreed with Olteca’s pitch about wanting to be liberated from the world’s lies.
Ikki and Vice henshin. They quickly take care of the Juniors before focusing on Spider Deadman. Ikki reminds Vice not to get carried away and ties him up until he uses the Ptera Stamp to turn him into a hoverbike.
Ikki then uses the Megalodon Stamp to finish off the remaining Juniors and Spider Deadman for good.
They had back to the bathhouse and Ikki allows Vice to soak in the water for a bit. But they have to remain henshined in order for Vice to be able to do so.
Vice’s excitement is very loud and Sakura, soaking next door, calls Ikki out. Ikki says he was just talking to himself.
Vice asks Ikki why people drink coffee after a soak. Ikki says it’s too soon for all these questions. Vice says to tell him then when the show starts in September.
Later, in one of the sibling photos at home, Ikki disappears for some reason.
So, Toei uses “movie” very liberally when it comes to some theatrical releases. Lol This certainly didn’t feel like a movie. It really felt more like something that is to be released on TTFC instead. And I don’t know that we really learned anything new here.
Of course, as this “movie” was released before the season premiered, I guess it’s an effective 20-minute promo for the series at least. I’m of course watching this after 16 episodes have already aired. So it’s definitely a different circumstance compared to lucky Japanese fans who might have watched the movie back in July. It’s really more a teaser of some sort to introduce the basics of what the season would be about.
And paired with the Saber–Zenkaiger movie, this probably looked incredible by comparison. (Lol I actually haven’t watched that one yet. But if Saber is involved, I don’t have high hopes. lol)
But again, since I’m watching it after already watching the season (and loving it), I can only look at it through that lens. And in that sense, I guess there’s a few things that standout.
For example, after Episodes 15 and 16, it’s interesting to see Olteca be the very first Deadman to be introduced. Of course, in the continuity sense, this movie apparently slots in after Episode 4. But from a viewer’s standpoint, Olteca would be the very first of the villains that you’d meet. So after what’s happened the last two weeks in-series, it might be a bit of teasing as to Olteca’s true position within the villain faction.
There’s also the post-credits first tease of disappearingIkki which is interesting to highlight in a pre-season movie. But also couple that with showing Daiji and Sakura as well. Sort of teasing the fact that they would eventually become Riders too. And of course the importance of family to the season’s plot and theme.
The dynamic between Ikki and Vice is also very early season-ish. They’ve come a long way since then. But for a pre-season movie, it establishes their initial relationship very well.
Overall, it was an okay “movie.” It didn’t really add much for someone like me who has already fallen in love with the season. And even slotted as a regular episode, for example, it would probably be one of the weaker episodes of the season. But as a pre-season promo vehicle, it would’ve done its job. And honestly, I would prefer something like this over shoehorned cameos in the previous season’s movie or series.