Ikki is at the reunion of his high school soccer club. Vice is excited when the popular Kimura Subaru walks into the restaurant and Ikki explains that he was a senpai who coached them back in the day. As Vice fanboys, Subaru approaches Ikki and they catch up. Subaru mentions how Ikki is a big shot Kamen Rider now.
But Ikki’s former teammate “Jiiko” scoffs at the idea. Jiiko bristles at Subaru calling him by his nickname and says to use his real name “Koji” instead. Subaru tells Ikki that Koji is pursuing a new dream in voice acting. But Ikki is shocked and asked why he stopped playing soccer.
The entire room goes silent as Koji grows upset thinking Ikki is playing dumb about breaking their promise to each other.
Koji grabs a picture of him and Ikki from a pinboard, crumples it in his fist and throws it on the ground before leaving.
Over at the secret Fenix lair, Director Akaishi is still talking to Gifu and asks for his continued patience as they enact their plans. As he makes a call to Fenix HQ, a demon appears before him.
Later, Subaru brings Ikki (and Vice) to a recording session before Ikki and Vice guest on the radio talk show of Kenichi Suzumura and Hiroshi Kamiya. After the show, Ikki runs into Koji who was supposed to give Subaru his script. But Koji realizes it was merely a setup to get him face to face with Ikki so they can talk.
Ikki asks if he’s done something wrong to Koji. Koji says absolutely and adds that it is something unforgivable even. Ikki says he wants to apologize for whatever it is. But Koji is merely creeped out at Ikki’s seeming ignorance of his own actions.
Just then, a Rafflesia Deadman crashes through the window before Ikki can speak with Koji more. Ikki and Vice henshin and battle the Deadman. They have trouble with the Deadman’s disgusting smell and they use their power-ups to try and counter it.
They are able to drive it away. Everyone commends Ikki on being a hero. But Koji again scoffs at this and leaves.
Meanwhile, Sakura is at Weekend HQ putting on her new Weekend outfit. An excited Hikaru compliments her and she thanks him. Papa Karizaki comes in and Sakura asks how her father is doing since she heard that The Weekend was helping to hide him.
Papa Karizaki says nothing is physically wrong with him. But when he’s mentally ready, they will send him back to the family so she need not worry.
Papa Karizaki gives Sakura and Hikaru a dossier on Director Akaishi. Papa Karizaki knows all about how difficult Director Akaishi is as he was above him in a senior position at Noah back in the day. They see a photo of Director Akaishi from decades ago and he looks like he hasn’t aged a day. Papa Karizaki suggests that Director Akaishi may also have Gifu DNA.
Papa Karizaki says if Olteca’s demise really spelt the end of the Deadmans, Akaishi might be making his move soon. So they must be ready.
Hikaru says it will be an honor to fight alongside Sakura. But that makes her think of Aguilera who is somewhere burning her red dress and instead wearing all emo black as she bids farewell to the Deadmans.
Over at Happy Spa, Ikki welcomes Subaru who asks if he was able to speak with Jiiko. Ikki asks if Subaru thinks the Deadman was born out of Jiiko based on his anger toward him. Subaru says he is sure it wasn’t Jiiko. Ikki believes that as well since he and Jiiko were such best friends back in the day.
He remembers one practice where Jiiko calls him their team’s star striker. Jiiko said he wanted to try taking a shot and asked Ikki to pass the ball to him next game.
Ikki still doesn’t remember what he did though. Subaru says he does not know either, but thinks Ikki should give talking another shot. Both Ikki and Jiiko where both egoists, after all, so getting them to talk won’t be easy.
Subaru goes in for a soak in the baths.
Ikki tells Vice he’s been called an egoist again, but after no response, Ikki gets a weird feeling.
George wonders why Gifu hasn’t made a move yet even though it is clear he has already been revived. Daiji tells George he wants to tail Director Akaishi in order to figure out how to weed out the man’s rotting self from the organization. George advises him not to rush this and Doctor Akemi agrees. She gives him some coffee, but not George. Daiji takes a sip and it is gross. Doctor Akemi says not to be Hiromi and instead follow his own instincts.
Daiji says he wants to right Fenix’s wrongs and turn it into a force for good. Doctor Akemi says to be careful with how he uses the word “right.” Anyway, she says boys are cuter when they’re honest. She tosses him a chocolate crispy puff to counter the bitter coffee.
Daiji gets a call.
Ikki and Vice are at a soccer field waiting for Jiiko. But he does not show. Suddenly, the Sabertiger Deadman (lawyer Kudou) appears in front of them. He repeats exactly what he used to always say about wanting to be a winning lawyer. Ikki and Vice quickly henshin, but Kudou repeats his comments about Ikki being Japan’s biggest egoist.
Ikki says he’s already gotten over that perceived insult. But he senses something is off with this Deadman.
Daiji arrives home where they are trying to control a rampaging Ikki. Ikki punches Tamaki in the face and he can’t believe it. Not even his father has ever hit him.
Once Daiji and the Fenix officer have tied this Ikki up, Subaru emerges from the baths with a more sinister aura about him.
Ikki delivers a Revi-Vice Slash at Kudou. But after dehenshining, they find themselves back on the soccer field instead of the warehouse.
What a perfect episode to encapsulate where the season is at right now. Everyone wandering around aimlessly, feeling lost and unsure. Which feels odd considering the show had been moving along quite nicely.
I really think this is a case of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Of course not knowing what’s ahead and judging only on what we’ve seen so far, they upended the story for no reason. Not even in a *WoW! Shocking twist!* kind of way. But something like a forced, contrived 180. Like I mentioned last week, it almost feels like they had to stop and overhaul the entire season as if something was wrong.
But everything had been fine. Excellent even. At least, I thought so.
Just take Sakura casually mentioning The Weekend is now taking care of Papa Igarashi. Or to be more precise, “helping him hide.” It was a throwaway line for a plot thread that should have been front and center.
Then we had the incredibly important and symbolic [/s] burning of Aguilera’s red costume. Essentially burning the last remnants of the Deadmans, thus completing the Deadman3’s descent into complete irrelevance.
I gave the first abrupt “climax” with the Gifu ship and Olteca reveal a pass because I trusted the show based on the great 15 episodes so far at that point. Especially as Olteca emerging as the true boss was actually a great twist. (The same can’t be said for Director Akaishi and whatever the hell is trapped inside the tree coffin emerging as the new Big Bad.)
But things got muddled somewhere along the line. They were speeding a bit too quickly toward a different direction. I thought Episode 25 would be the critical inflection point where everything would finally come back around and pull everything together. Instead, after a fleeting moment of clarity, the show quickly barreled toward yet another unpaved road with no apparent plans at turning back any longer. I fear if things don’t become clearer soon, they could eventually just careen over the cliff.
Instead of taking advantage of the (seemingly) pretty strong foundation they had built so far, the show decided to blow everything up. And for me, it’s resulted in a story that feels far too familiar instead of something fresh, different and exciting. They’re throwing away, or at the very least ignoring, all the great character beats and instead going zenryoku zenkai toward a heavily plot-driven narrative. Which for me is far less exciting and impactful. Especially when the character-driven story had been doing so well.
I guess it’s also my fault for having high expectations. But it’s hard not to when the show had been so strong to start. Perhaps coming after Saber also played a part in elevating Revice as well.
Another reason I’m kind of annoyed with Revice lately is that the stories they’re telling with the TTFC and Blu-ray extras, such as Papa and Mama Igarashi’s past and wherever the hell Hiromi has been, are stories that should be told in-series. Those are the impactful stories that spring up from that aforementioned strong foundation. But instead, they’re shuffled off to platforms where only the most dedicated fans will ever care about watching them.
Now, I know both Kamen Rider and Super Sentai exist mainly to sell toys and merchandise. And for many fans, merely getting a watchable show is enough as they’re just as, if not more, excited for all the cool stuff that you can get your hands on.
But for someone like me whose main enjoyment in following either of the toku franchises is the show itself, I can’t help but hope for as good a story as possible when watching.
Anyway, the next arc of the season looks to be them diving into whatever is going on with Ikki and his disappearing existence, I guess. But like last week’s episode, not even all the fun moments like the cameos and the *wink*winks* from Vice to Subaru Kimura can keep the episode from still feeling odd and underwhelming and kind of baffling to me.