Sakura arrives and runs to Ikki just in time to watch Daiji as Holy Live battle Olteca. Vail tries to calm down a rampaging Olteca, but they are no match for this new power. Daiji, able to quickly force Olteca to dehenshin, says his hopes are stronger than Olteca’s ambitions. Olteca leaves.
Vail addresses the Igarashi Sibs from the Demons Driver and says this is only the beginning. Every demon they defeat helps provide the energy to facilitate Gifu’s revival.
The Gifu pulsations reach Ikki/Vice and they fall into some kind of trance while mouthing indecipherable squawking. “Ironic, isn’t it?” Vail says before zooming out of the Driver.
Suddenly, Ikki/Vice henshin to Jack Revice and start to go crazy. George says this is because of Gifu’s increasing influence. A confused, worried George watches as Daiji and a now-henshined Sakura deliver a Double Rider Kick at Ikki/Vice. That forces them to dehenshin.
Vice apologizes to Ikki. Daiji and Sakura run over to their older brother who smiles at them before falling unconscious.
George runs over to pick up the Demons Driver, blaming Olteca for this current situation.
Back home, Vice insists that he doesn’t remember anything that happened. He’s worried about going berserk again and possibly losing himself once Gifu finally wakes up.
Vice tries talking to Ikki, but Ikki doesn’t respond and seems to be holing up inside his body.
“What did we do to deserve this?” Sakura asks.
Mama Igarashi arrives home and says Papa Igarashi is somewhere safe with Buu-san. She apologizes for keeping their father being a Kamen Rider a secret from them. Papa Igarashi gave up everything to help make Mama Igarashi’s wish for them to live a happy, quiet life in their bathhouse a reality. And in return, she wanted to protect the little happiness they were able to enjoy thanks to his sacrifice.
An emotional Sakura hugs her mother. Mama Igarashi calls Daiji over and he joins them.
Vice smiles as he watches them and Mama Igarashi calls Ikki over as well. A shy Vice joins the family group hug and a melancholic Ikki emerges from the depths of his body.
George gets up and gives the Igarashis time alone.
Ikki tells Daiji to not hesitate to stop him if he ever goes berserk again. Daiji nods.
Mama Igarashi asks her children what they would like to eat. But the Ushijimas come into the spa and Hikaru makes a beeline right toward Ikki, zapping him in the stomach.
Meanwhile, Director Akaishi approaches a defeated Olteca in a warehouse. Olteca posits that the director no longer has any use for him now. Director Akaishi essentially confirms it by mocking Olteca having always been a genius, after all.
The snarky remarks by the director have Olteca flashing back to his life as a young Hatsushiba Makoto. He was so gifted, he felt school was rather pointless. Someone suggested Makoto teach the teachers something if he thinks he’s so smart. And he does.
But his gift resulted in his father abusing him and his mother at home. Papa Hatsushiba accused Makoto of making him look like a fool and called Makoto nothing but a monster.
Olteca pushes Director Akaishi off him, saying not to patronize him. “I was never your underling,” Olteca says. And if the world can’t come to terms with him, he’ll create a world that can.
Over at Fenix, George hurries over when the alarms sound as the Gifu coffin sprouts energy tentacles to grab Fenix officers for lunch before it disappears.
Ikki/Vice are chained up somewhere underground. Just to make sure, Ikki asks Vice that he’s not Gifu and Vice says of course not and begs Ikki not to abandon him. Ikki tells Vice to calm down, saying he would never do that.
Vice is worried that him going berserk might result in Ikki disappearing forever. Ikki says that no matter what happens, Vice can always trust him. As long as Vice keeps believing in him, Ikki will never disappear.
Vice hopes they can enjoy a bath together again very soon. Ikki says of course.
Papa Ushijima comes to release Ikki and leads him to the Weekend’s command center where the rest of the Igarashis are waiting.
Papa Ushijima welcomes them and explains that the Weekend is comprised of anti-government individuals including soldiers and civilians who watch over Fenix. He goes on to say that Fenix’s goal was never the elimination of the Deadmans, but the revival of Gifu.
Daiji says that is bullshit, but Papa Ushijima says Daiji of all people should know this is not bullshit at all.
Sakura asks if they have been spying on them as well. And Papa Karizaki walks in to explain that the Weekend had hoped to “borrow” the Igarashi Siblings to help them. When Fenix got to Ikki and Daiji first, they decided to scout Sakura instead.
Papa Karizaki introduces himself. Mama Igarashi recognizes that he has survived and he says he hoped they would meet again under different circumstances.
Papa Ushijima adds that “Ushijima” is actually just a fake name and the three of them are actually not related at all. Hikaru apologizes to Sakura for deceiving her. And Mama Ushijima says they did sincerely enjoy Happy Spa.
Ikki demands they say what their intentions with Sakura are. But Sakura speaks up and, recalling telling Aguilera to look at the reason to fight right in front of her, says that she chose to come to the Weekend on her own.
Ikki asks why she didn’t tell him about this and she says she just wanted to figure out for herself what she was fighting for.
Just then, Hikaru sees the alert showing Olteca has appeared in the city with the Gifu Stamp. Daiji and Sakura hurry out, but Papa Ushijima tasers Ikki, preventing him from joining his siblings.
Olteca, having already stamped a large number of people, proclaims that he will purge all the people undeserving of living under Gifu in the new world.
As the Gifu coffin continues eating the unconscious, Daiji and Sakura come running up. They henshin and battle the pair of Giftarians that Olteca has just stamped.
Olteca taunts them by saying that defeating these Giftarians will not only do nothing to save the victims, they will also just facilitate Gifu’s imminent revival. Daiji and Sakura do not care and defeat them anyway. The Gifu coffin gobbles up the two defeated Giftarians and begins to glow. Daiji tells Sakura to get the unconscious people to safety.
The pulsations of the Gifu coffin again reach Ikki/Vice. Vice apologizes to Ikki for not being able to control himself and Ikki again says to just believe in him.
Aguilera arrives and watches as the Gifu coffin’s tentacles toss Daiji around. Olteca says he and Daiji are the same.
“You erased Kagerou for your own sake, didn’t you?”
Daiji says Kagerou willingly gave him this Holy power. But Olteca laughs and says happiness cannot be attained without sacrificing others.
The Gifu coffin continues to pulsate. Daiji tells Sakura to keep Gifu busy while he tries to kill Olteca.
But Jack Revice pops in to stop them. Olteca laughs at this sibling squabble.
At Fenix, George clutches a new Vistamp, grabs the Demons Driver and says he’s on his way.
Aguilera follows the flying Gifu coffin and asks if he will become one with her or not.
Daiji and Sakura struggle against the rampaging Jack Revice.
Well I enjoyed this episode much more than last week’s, that’s for sure. I could even just ignore last week’s episode (save for Kagerou “dying” to give Daiji his new power-up toy) and go straight from George dropping the bomb on the Igarashi Sibs at the end of Episode 25 to Mama Igarashi coming home in this episode without missing anything important.
That’s not to say this episode was anywhere near perfect. Far from it. It really felt more like the prelude and set-up to whatever happens next week. (Another new toy!) But it was still much more impactful from a story point of view.
As interesting and exciting as the episode was with feeling very full with things coming from all sides one after the other, I feel like each part of the episode individually would’ve easily deserved its own spotlight. It was all a bit rushed with no time to absorb what were all actually big turning points.
Let’s take for example the quick look at Olteca’s backstory. We know from the previous peek at his past that he was some kind of child prodigy who grew up ostracized and misunderstood. Because of that treatment, he was perhaps more open to being seduced by the Gifu cult which promised an evolved humanity that would better match his advanced intellect.
(Recalling Olteca’s recounting of his past sadly reminds me of the Olteca-Chigusa power couple that never was. huhu)
This episode, we get another major chunk of Olteca’s past as Hatsushiba Makoto. And it was a horrific memory of him (and likely his mother) being abused by his father just for being different. And if we piece that together with the rest of society (school, peers, etc.) also brushing him aside (to put it mildly), then it certainly gives Olteca an understandable motivation.
A motivation that has gotten twisted by evil, of course. But a very clear catalyst for him to have gone down this path. That is very much a positive, in a story sense. No, child abuse is not positive of course!
But I want my villains to be well-rounded and have depth. A good villain origin story can be very exciting. And seeing Makoto treated like that definitely helps you connect to Olteca or at least understand him a bit. Even if Olteca continues to do some evil things.
I certainly fear Olteca’s days are numbered. But I’m hoping for a miracle. And really for two reasons. One, I would like to see more of Olteca’s past. I think there’s at the very least a full episode worth of story for him. The way they kind of sped through Juliamaki’s story should be an example of how not to handle Olteca’s (and Aguilera’s) backstory. These are villains who have a strong, basic foundation. Use it! Maximize the potential from the seeds you’ve planted. Don’t set something up and then just ram through it with the result being the character becoming completely irrelevant the week after (like Juliamaki).
Or worse, kill the character off like *spoileralert for anyone who hasn’t watched Saber* how 2/3 of the Megido3 were erased from the season last year too early when keeping them on would’ve helped justify and provide the necessary foundation to the endgame for both heroes and villains.
Olteca has been the most interesting of the villains so far. Don’t kill him off so you can move on to the next big bad without at least telling all the story you can with him.
Also, I’m still kind of confused about the whole human-Deadman situation. Like with Juliamaki. So Julio’s gone and we’re left with Tamaki. So if Olteca is defeated, will Makoto be left also? (And vice versa.) I guess just like Kagerou’s gone, leaving Daiji in control of his own body. But then Olteca in comparing himself to Daiji implies Makoto is gone? I dunno lol
My second reason is related to that. I’ve mentioned how I get annoyed when the final boss is just some rando that pops up in the 40s rather than someone we’ve known since the beginning. Or at least, for most of the season. Being the culmination of 50 episodes will always be more satisfying than being the culmination of 10 or less.
Keeping Olteca (and, I wish, Aguilera and Julio) as a villain (corrupted or not) helps with that. There’s the danger of dragging things out. But again, I feel like there’s so much material there that can easily fill episodes.
Plus, I certainly would rather see Olteca cackling up a storm until the 40s rather than having the Director being a skeevy creeper for that same amount of time. lol
The next part of the episode that I feel deserved its own half hour was the fallout of the Papa Igarashi bombshell. I absolutely loved the moment Mama Igarashi arrived home. My gripe with that though was how short it was and how they even tried to play it off for laughs at some points. I absolutely would’ve done that whole thing differently.
Not knowing how the rest of the season goes of course, I would’ve liked to have seen Mama Igarashi telling her children the story herself. Flashing back to Mama and Papa Igarashi’s first meeting, falling in love and then running away together really could be an entire episode on its own. I hope we will get something like that in the future, preferably with Papa Igarashi also in the room. I doubt we will.
But the season has done such a great job endearing the family to us that such an episode would feel more than welcome and quite fulfilling.
And it would still connect to revealing the Weekend to Ikki, Daiji and Mama Igarashi as well as perhaps add to George’s character as well.
When the Igarashis had their group hug, they made a point to show George, alone, silently excusing himself from the spa. How great to have used a big Igarashi family episode to maybe highlight how George grew up with the complete opposite scenario of a family. Maybe George was very lonely growing up (or worse, considering Papa Karizaki isn’t winning Father of the Year anytime soon). That’s why he found fun and enjoyment in being a Kamen Rider fanboy and using that to develop all these neat toys (that can be used in war lol).
This is all overanalyzing something simple. But in even just starting to jot down my thoughts on the episode, I get all these What if? thoughts. I think that really speaks to how well Revice has been written so far in terms of having a strong foundation to jump off from. There’s a lot of potential and a lot of material. And as great as the season has been, there’s still so much they can do.
Anyway, cramming so much into the episode I think shortchanged each of the very distinct parts. I haven’t even talked about Aguilera chasing after the flying coffin. Or the Igarashis learning about the Weekend. Or getting more than just a passing line between Mama Igarashi and Papa Karizaki. Or a worried Vice afraid of going uncontrollably berserk and the ominous thought of him being Gifu.
Each of these plot points would’ve easily filled their own episodes. The moment at the beginning where the Gifu heartbeats reached Ikki/Vince and they started mouthing distant-sounding screeches like a Revice version of Parseltounge was chilling. But we couldn’t even absorb the moment since the episode was ready to quickly move on to the next thing.
But oh well. We still have an entire half of a season left before we can talk about regrets. So let’s focus on the present. Episode 27 was still pretty good. (And even great, compared to last week.) Rushed, definitely. But very much setting up whatever will happen next.