Tamaki says the currently rampaging Deadman is Rafflesia. Daiji realizes the suit motif is based on the rafflesia flower that releases a strong, unpleasant odor which is why Ikki seems to be in an illusion of some sort. Subaru says he probably absorbed heavy attacks as well.
Sakura is eager to defeat the Deadman to save her brother. Tamaki mentions Ikki referring to a “Jiiko” as a potential culprit, but Subaru quickly shoots that idea down.
Daiji leaves to investigate some more while Sakura heads out to stop the rampaging Deadman.
Downtown, Aguilera watches Sakura as she henshins and battles the Deadman. She aims her gun at Sakura, but Hikaru arrives and points his gun at Aguilera, telling her to stop clinging onto Sakura-san. Aguilera thinks it’s funny that Sakura has two stalkers. But Hikaru says he’s merely protecting her. Aguilera says she just wants to ask Sakura to help fulfill her wish.
Over at Fenix, Director Akaishi orders some of his men to quickly collect Vistamps. Vail pays the director a visit, telling him to stop dilly dallying especially with Gifu now back. Doctor Akemi sees the director seemingly talking to himself.
Meanwhile, Ikki and Vice are in the illusion and watch what turns out to be a memory from the past of Ikki and Jiiko at soccer practice. Ikki suddenly remembers what is about to happen, but he cannot stop it.
Ikki accidentally severely injured Jiiko’s leg.
At the hospital Ikki bows and apologizes to Jiiko for ruining his chance to go pro. Ikki says he has no right to play soccer any longer. Jiiko tells him to stop apologizing and says he absolutely cannot stop playing. Jiiko asks Ikki to promise him that he will do his best for the both of them.
Ikki makes that promise and leaves. But as he stands outside, he hears Jiiko crying by himself. Ikki begins to cry as well, covering his mouth so as not to have Jiiko hear.
Meanwhile in the present day, Sakura and Lovekov are unfortunately attacked by the rafflesia smell. Daiji heads to Jiiko’s apartment and finds him unconscious on the floor, confirming he is a victim as well.
After George calls to tell Daiji to go help karate girl, he is easily distracted and drawn to the Demons Driver. But he is able to quickly snap out of it.
Daiji arrives to help Sakura and he does his best to try and avoid the smells.
Back in the past, Ikki recalls how he had pushed himself to train hard because of the guilt he felt in injuring Jiiko. But the heavy burden took a toll on him and he ended up quitting soccer completely. Vice says it was pretty hard to watch him back then.
Ikki can’t believe he forgot such an important memory and asks Vice if their contract is the cause of his memory loss. Vice apologizes and says he was just trying to help him before.
Just then, Jiiko appears in the illusion. Ikki apologizes to Jiiko for running away from their promise and his guilt. Jiiko says he must apologize as well for his words becoming a cross Ikki had to bear. He has only just realized that.
Jiiko points out that a striker should have an ego and the determination to always take the shot. Ikki should do that as a Kamen Rider. Jiiko says they should both do their best to reach the top and achieve their goals.
The two friends fist bump and Ikki wakes up in the present.
Subaru asks if Ikki is feeling better now. Ikki knows Subaru was the culprit and Subaru admits he used the Vistamp because he felt guilty that his coaching robbed two promising and talented young men of their futures. Subaru hoped this could help bring closure for everyone even if doing so was a crime.
Subaru calls Jiiko to ask him to fill in for him at the recording today. Jiiko thanks Subaru for everything. Subaru hopes Jiiko can pursue his dreams now without any heavy burdens.
Before the Fenix officer takes Subaru away, he tells Ikki that he hopes they can all play soccer together in the future.
Jiiko joins Lovekov’s voice actress and a Toei producer in recording the voices for an upcoming anime. Jiiko’s lines mirror Ikki’s renewed resolve and refusal to ever give up and give in.
Ikki and Vice henshin to Revice and together with Daiji, deliver the finishing blows at the Rafflesia Deadman.
Jiiko gets good feedback and is positioned to be the next big star. He credits his friend for cheering him on.
Jiiko and Ikki reunite on the soccer field and kick the ball around like old times.
Later that evening back home, Ikki looks at the family photos that no longer include him. He asks Vice to explain.
Vice says due to the contract their agreed upon 18 years ago, lending Ikki his power causes his memory to fade away as a sort of payment. If Ikki continues fighting, Vice says even his beloved family might fade away from his memories.
Okay, so WTF was that sinister shot of Subaru at the end of last week’s episode then if his whole deal was for some sentimental reason?
Whatever. Anyway… lol
The purpose of these two episodes seems to have been to remind us that Ikki was disappearing somehow. But actually no, it’s him losing his memories. Which actually makes less sense with regards to the photoshopping of pics since if Ikki was losing his memories, why would he disappear from picture? If anything, it would be his family losing memories of him since he would no longer be in the photos.
I would think the more sensical explanation for the magic disappearing Ikki in photos would be his existence is being eaten away by the demonic contract until he exists no longer. Like his whole being is being erased as if he never existed. Thus the photos.
Oh! Kind of like how Hiromi’s life was being eaten away by Vail. But nope! He’s actually perfectly fine after getting his own Blu-ray exclusive miniseries.
Anyway, let’s set aside that this “explanation” doesn’t really fit with the way they used the disappearingIkki in the photo as a tease.
The idea of Ikki losing his memories, especially of his family, is a very heavy story to pursue. Of course, it brings up the thought of Alzheimer’s which is such a heartbreaking and painful condition for everyone involved. It’s horrible. So Revice attempting even a fraction of such a storyline will be interesting to watch play out.
As for the actual plot of these two episodes and the little look at Ikki’s past, it was fine. Could’ve been stronger and used better, I think. We got to know what was basically a fun fact about pre-Revice Ikki. He used to love soccer. Cool! But again, the main purpose for these episodes was the aforementioned set-up for Ikki’s new challenge. As well as the typical resolve renewal too.
Much kudos to Kentaro Maeda in those hospital scenes though (as pastIkki). His performance there really elevated those moments, especially when he broke down in tears. It was that scene that reminded me much more of what I loved about the season so far; character-driven affecting moments and development. Wish we saw more of that in recent weeks.
When it became clear that the Deadman was able to send them into the past via memories, I was thinking it would be the perfect opportunity for the siblings to get thrown into basically the Kamen Rider Vail miniseries so they could know exactly the hell their parents went through back in the day. Perfect opportunity to refocus them. And would’ve been the perfect time to insert the events of Vail into the series. Oh well.
Elsewhere, I’m all for this Aguilera-Sakura-Hikaru love triangle. Hikaru looked badass on that rooftop against Aguilera. And I’d love for him (and his fake parents as well) getting in on the action instead of just being holed up in Weekend HQ. The more action, the better. Let’s just have a free for all, you know? lol
With George, bring on his Demons arc! It could be a welcome shot in the arm for the show. And it will be interesting to see whether or not Doctor Akemi gets some increased relevance after that scene of her stumbling across Director Akaishi talking to himself/Vail.
Overall, a solid episode. Relatively speaking. I’m still feeling a bit disappointed with the show’s trajectory lately. But it was still a solid episode, nonetheless. And it’s opened up some interesting possibilities moving forward. Though I must remind myself to temper my expectations!
Also, one of the things I look forward to every week for either Kamen Rider or Sentai is trying to interpret and translate the Japanese episode titles. Obviously there’s no official English version of the title. But sometimes the Google Translate version of the title that often gets used on wikis sounds awkward and so far off. And some sub groups take massive liberties with coming up with their own interpretation of titles. So I tend to figure it out myself and see what feels and sounds better for me. lol