Director Akaishi uses his palm eye to project a video call with Gifu in order to make Doctor Akemi decide to comply or die. He wants her to help him deliver salvation to humanity.
Daiji is perfectly fine, physically, after Director Akaishi savaged his body last episode. But he is absolutely livid at the fact that Director Akaishi may be using Gifu’s power. When George mentions Doctor Akemi, Daiji goes running home.
At the Spa, Vice suggests they keep an eye on Mama Igarashi while she goes grocery shopping since they should be taking Vail’s threat against their family seriously.
An exasperated Daiji, who ran all the way home, tells Ikki about Director Akaishi and the need to set Fenix along the right path.
Because apparently none of this is very urgent, we are treated to Sakura and Aguilera Hana on another date. Hikaru and Tamaki are following them. And though Hikaru has an excuse because he must be Sakura’s bodyguard, Hana thinks Tamaki is disgusting when he sincerely says he just wants to see her happy.
Director Akaishi makes an announcement on the televisions about Fenix investigating a grave threat that is so dangerous, he will wait until tomorrow at noon to tell the public more about it.
Daiji and Ikki are at Weekend where they all watch the announcement of the announcement together. Papa Ushijima says it is clearly an attempt to stir panic in the peoples. Papa Karizaki is sure Akaishi and Gifu are ready to set their final plans in motion.
Daiji says that they came for help because they are not sure how much of Fenix is left untouched by Gifu. Not to mention Akaishi’s immense power coming from Gifu as well. Papa Karizaki says Weekend’s main goal is to defeat Gifu, so of course they will help.
Daiji proposes to use the hostage Akemi as their opening to get to Akaishi and he vows to save her in the process. He leaves. Papa Ushijima comments that Daiji is clearly panicked and rushing the situation.
At his lab, George shows Daiji the Driver and Vistamp he is working on and testing tonight in anticipation of tomorrow. George knows that nothing will stop Daiji in bringing down the Gifu-infected faction within his beloved Fenix.
Daiji says he’s beginning to feel a lot like Hiromi.
Meanwhile Mama Igarashi is a bit annoyed by Vice following her around on a bike to ensure her safety. But it’s a good thing he is because Vail, disgusted by the way Vice is acting towards a human, appears in front of them. Mama Igarashi quickly calls Ikki over.
Vice and Vail battle. When they punch each other, Vail realizes Vice is the demon that stopped him all those years ago. Vail implies he is Vice’s father, but Vice says just because their humans are father and son doesn’t mean they are the same as well.
Vail calls Vice a weak demon and says a demon should live selfishly and take advantage of their human in order to grow stronger. He points out Vice and Ikki will be separated in the future anyway.
That gives Vice pause as Ikki comes running. They henshin and take on Vail. But Vice can’t stop thinking about Vail’s words about what a demon should be. Vail continues mocking Vice whose hesitation causes him and Ikki to dehenshin.
Vail repeatedly tells Vice to “live like a demon.”
Vice apologizes to Ikki for not being focused.
Back home, Sakura is able to pull herself from her hot date long enough to care about her mother who was almost attacked by Vail. Mama Igarashi asks Vice if he is okay and he says he is fine, physically.
But Vice turns to Ikki to ask him if they’re still cool. Ikki is a bit confused at the way Vice seems to be acting. Before Ikki can answer, a hot-blooded Daiji comes running in. Though relieved his mother is safe, Daiji is nonetheless frustrated and upset. Ikki tries to calm him down, but Daiji is annoyed at how calm Ikki is considering the situation.
Ikki and Sakura says they must stick together as siblings and show the director what they can do.
At Weekend, Papa Ushijima says it will be a four Rider assault on Akaishi with the siblings and George. Hikaru wants to join and protect Sakura, but Papa Ushijima says he’d be nothing more than a thin meatshield. Hikaru asks Papa Karizaki for his own Driver then. Sakura tells him to believe in Sakura a bit more.
They turn on the TV to watch the rest of the episode play out. George is with Director Akaishi, showing him the tweaked Demons Driver that will draw power from the user’s own inner demon instead of their life energy.
The siblings and Vice are watching from around the corner as the plan is for George to slowly henshin and provide them an opening to attack. But before George can do so, Director Akaishi calls Doctor Akemi in to watch.
George pretends to be shocked to see the previously missing doctor in front of them. But Director Akaishi says she was just hanging out with him on her own volition. She confirms.
Director Akaishi turns the lights on in the lab and calls the Igarashis out. This was very obviously a trap.
Daiji says they will stop the director and return Fenix to its former, clean glory. But Director Akaishi says Fenix was founded specifically to fulfill his own ambitions.
Daiji turns to the doctor to say he will save her. But she says it is too late. They’re all doomed.
Director Akaishi decides it’s time they meet Gifu too so he shows them his palm eye. They are all shocked as the director explains that he came into existence several thousands of years ago. He used to be a king who encountered Gifu and made a contract with him just as humanity was evolving. He felt entrusted with the responsibility of determining humanity’s future. Should humanity bow down at the feet of Gifu. Or not.
He decided on the former and believes humanity should regress and bow down at the greatness of Gifu to serve him forever. That’s the only way humanity can ever hope to survive.
Daiji has had enough of this nonsense. He charges forward, ready to henshin. But the director waves his palm eye around and a huge whirlwind of Gifuness throws everyone onto their backs. George falls unconscious and Daiji’s neck gets slashed. Blood is oozing everywhere.
Ikki, Vice and Sakura henshin. But Giftarians pop out of the Gifu portal. Vail also joins the fun.
Hikaru and Hana are worried for their girl Sakura who struggles against the bombardment of Giftarians.
Vail targets Vice and mocks him over his doubts of his relationship with Ikki.
Ikki goes Thunder Gale and calls Vice back into his body to take on Vail together.
Director Akaishi stands over a bleeding out Daiji who remains defiant. The director asks Doctor Akemi for her decision. She apologizes to Daiji and says she no longer sees a future for humanity. Director Akaishi gives his Gifu-sama the go-ahead.
Gifu inserts himself into Doctor Akemi’s body. Director Akaishi cackles as demon Akemi attacks Daiji.
This is all very sudden. Which is a little comforting if it means we will be rid of Gifu and Director Akaishi sooner rather than later. I do think this means Gifu is absolutely not the final boss of the season. I’ll suppose it’ll be a Gifu-powered Vail. Or even the off-chance that it is George (though they have completely rewritten his character to be less-sketchy lately). Or perhaps Papa Karizaki will be it after all.
Whatever it is, I still think this is all quite sudden. And again, the show is focusing on a plot point that’s gotten very little foundation instead of maintaining the momentum on stories that actually do have strong foundation, but have since completely dropped or relegated behind a paywall.
Director Akaishi has attempted to murder Daiji twice in two weeks. Complete with bloody wounds that would usually be saved for V-cinemas. And yet I don’t feel the gravity of the situation at all. It all feels very hollow and even unearned.
You can think back to seasons like Ex-Aid or Zero-One where bloody attacks like that would actually carry some weight with them. Especially if it leads to an actual character’s death. But Revice has so completely botched the “deaths” of several of its characters, even undoing a death in the most nonchalant way possible, that they’ve diluted any such threat. They’ve taken away the potential impact by the way they’ve mangled what had been a very well-developed story.
Anyway, there’s really nothing deep to discuss about this climactic battle with the director and Gifu. So I’ll instead direct my ranting to one of the things that has annoyed and confused my dense self for a while.
The season had well-established the relationship between human and demon. Of course, none more direct that Ikki and Vice’s relationship. Originally at odds, the obvious story would be how they’d come together and work with each other. Even with their differences in opinion and philosophy (he’s a demon, after all), they’d still be a best match [/Build]. And that’s also still with the potential that they’d eventually have to face off with each other in the future. Maybe even the endgame.
But the show completely undoes their own rules with the haphazard way they’ve dismantled the Deadmans. What’s the difference between the Deadmans and the Igarashi’s for example.
Julio was not a separate being from Tamaki. Aguilera was not a separate being from Hana. So WTF is that about? Did the demon take over their bodies like Kagerou to Daiji? Did Tamaki and Hana absorb the demons named Julio and Aguilera and become one thing? Because it’s not a Kagerou-Daiji situation. Tamaki and Hana essentially just had a change of heart at the snap of a finger.
Take Aguilana for example. She was already sulking and wandering around back when her club ship was destroyed. And she’d already been interested in Sakura while still eager to get married to that coffin. When she was separated from her demon and the contract ripped up, it was basically a light switch. I don’t even know how to explain it. But there was no change, per se, to her being. She just decided it was okay to fall in love/have a sister now that the contract is over.
I guess I’m just saying that “separating” them from their demons merely meant they didn’t have to wear their Mexican-inspired outfits anymore. Which is different from what the Igarashis’ relationship with their demons are. (Which can be explained with them being Gifu people.) But also different from the Deadmans born out of humans earlier in the season. (Which makes me realize that having MOTWs might actually play a bigger part as the glue keeping a season’s narrative together than I ever thought.)
I don’t know. Whatever. It’s just me rambling as much as this season has rambled on since the late-10s/early-20s. Let’s just get this Akaishi/Gifu arc over with, then quickly speed through the Weekend arc and just finish the season off back where we started with the characters that actually matter.
At this point, I’d rather have Vice running around on adventures with Ikki trying to chase after him than most of what we’ve gotten so far.