Papa Igarashi is trying to film a vlog to introduce the family and their spa to the internets. Mama Igarashi smiles as she watches her happy family, saying it is like a dream. Especially after what Papa Igarashi had gone through.
She flashes back 25 years.
At Research Institute Noah (aka Nest of Anti-Human), a severely injured young man named Shiranami Junpei is brought in after a “convenient” motorcycle accident. Noah head of operations Agariyama says he has already been listed as missing and will make for a perfect test subject. Agariyama hopes Doctor Karizaki Masumi’s work on Vistamps will be successful as they will be integral to the mission of Noah.
Doctor Karizaki looks over as Junpei is already hooked up to the Gifu slab.
Later, a chained-up Junpei wakes up from a nightmare in which people are being attacked by a demon. Doctor Karizaki comes into the cell and, calling Junpei “Subject #071,” tells him he is only alive now thanks to Noah. Junpei looks at the big scar on his chest.
Junpei has no idea what Noah is, but he also has no memory of his past.
The alarm sounds and Doctor Karizaki presents Junpei with a Driver and Stamp in order to become the ultimate “demon hunter.”
Noah forces drive Junpei into the city to face off against the demon. The Noah captain says this will be the first of the many demons Junpei will be fighting. Junpei again has flashbacks to some kind of demon attack as they throw him in front of the monster.
Junpei gets tossed around by the demon until Doctor Karizaki directs him to use the Stamp and Driver. A heart forms inside Junpei as he uses the Driver and Stamp to henshin into a Kamen Rider.
With this new power, Junpei is able to better deal with the demon. Doctor Karizaki marvels at the apparent power of Gifu. Watching from Noah HQ, he wonders if he has just opened Pandora’s Box. Agariyama calls this new warrior “Kamen Rider Vail” and laughs.
Junpei dehenshins after defeating the demon and suddenly fully remembers his parents being violently murdered by a demon as well. The Noah captain and his men taser Junpei to bring him back to his cell at Noah HQ.
Junpei vows to avenge his family, but a strange voice suddenly comes out of nowhere telling him to remain steady. The voice introduces himself as Vail and says he is within Junpei after coming into existence to give him a new life. Vail tells Junpei to think of him as a buddy in his quest for revenge.
An officer comes to bring Junpei his dinner, but Junpei screams at the door, eager to get back out and kill more demons.
From then on, Junpei would mercilessly destroy demons as he searched for the red demon that murdered his parents. He would be unsuccessful, however. And the more demons he would tear down, the more his soul would continue to rot away.
An exhausted and defeated Junpei would continue to be dragged out by Noah forces in order to take care of rampaging demons. One day, he henshins to take on a particularly powerful one.
But the public, cowering in fear, call Junpei a demon as well. Junpei struggles with who he has become. He prepares a Kabuto finisher and causes a massive explosion that buries him under a collapsed overpass.
Agariyama orders his men to waste no effort in saving their lone successful test subject.
But a woman, who is shocked to learn this “demon” was human, is who ends up saving Junpei from the rubble. This woman is Igarashi Yukumi.
And Mama Igarashi recalls how, in that moment, she would never imagine where fate would lead them.
Wowowow! I love it. I was a bit sad that the series didn’t really focus on Papa and Mama Igarashi’s past more. I didn’t know they were planning another miniseries like this. But honestly, I wish they had just included all of this in-series.
I mean, I get making it its own thing. Separating it from the main series and whatever. But I know not everyone consumes every extra bit of content for the TV series. Us international fans are lucky there are generous and hard-working people bringing us these extra things. But if they didn’t exist, many of us would have no access to these stories.
And Papa and Mama Igarashi’s past is actually a pretty huge part of the series’ story. Having this play out in the show itself instead of on the side would really add a lot to the series. And it certainly would be much more engaging than some of what we’ve gotten the last few weeks.
I think there’s been a bit of fuzzy focus the last few weeks of the series. Especially after the Episode 25 revelations. Continuing with telling the story of how Junpei would become Kamen Rider Vail in-series and not online would feel much more natural and actually more exciting that what we did get. I wouldn’t even mind Ikki and Vice time traveling or something to watch it all happen. Bring in Sougo to help them travel back or something lol
Especially when it has to do with the fact that the siblings being Rider-ready is because of what happened to their father 25 years ago, I think it would be important to include that in-series instead.
Oh well. Since I’ve been kind of mixed on the recent episodes of Revice, I’m happy that I can enjoy this miniseries. And I know I will enjoy it because, other than having looked for it in-series, this first episode was really great. Very much like the episodes of the series that I’ve loved.
Again, the focus is on family. And the meshing together of familiar Kamen Rider themes like genetically enhanced humans as fighting machines and the quest for vengeance and the refreshing touches of romance really make for an engaging and exciting story. It’s really like an epic love story almost. And the ending credits montage certainly felt like that.
Of course, being a Kyuranger fan, I was shocked and excited to see Sakurako Okubo pop up and playing young Yukumi, no less. Wonderful! I was of course already invested in Papa and Mama Igarashi’s love story. But it definitely helps to have a familiar face helping to bring it to life.
I love that Mama Igarashi is the narrator. I also hoped to see her be the one telling her children about their past. I guess we won’t get that emotional moment anymore. But at least she takes the duties here.
Masanari Wada, who plays Junpei, has also done a great job in endearing the character to the audience already. We only know Papa Igarashi. And so we’re meeting Junpei for the first time now. They’re obviously very different characters. But how Junpei’s story plays out will really affect how we see Papa Igarashi moving forward. But I think Masanari Wada will do great in helping to make that happen.
It might even be a bigger challenge for Kensuke Takahashi as the young Doctor Karizaki. We’ve only just met Papa Karizaki of course. But even then, he’s wearing a mask of some sort. So we have no clue who he is yet other than what he’s told us. And we can’t really believe all of that yet. Add to that George’s cold reaction to him as well.
So meeting the young doctor now will too affect how the story plays out in-series. But again, everything is off to a great start.
The Mystery miniseries was fun and all. But I have higher hopes for this one. Just like the Mystery webseries would’ve probably made for a good movie, I think this trip back in time would also have done great as a feature length thing too. (Though my preference is still in-series. =)) But nonetheless, I think it’s going to be a great five episodes and I’m very excited for them.