Daiji points his gun at Ikki and says he is the biggest threat to humanity and must be dealt with. “What is wrong with you Daiji?!” Vice asks desperately. Sakura stomps toward Daiji and slaps him, warning him not to touch her older brother.
Daiji continues to be frustrated that no one else sees that he is right. Vail arrives to whisk Daiji away to “cool off.” Akaishi watches the scene with concern.
Vice is sure Daiji is just being manipulated by Akaishi. But Ikki and Sakura are just unsure.
At the operations tent, Papa Ushijima has declared Daiji an enemy of the State of Weekend. Sakura stomps out of the tent and girlfriend Hana follows. Ikki says he understands where Papa Ushijima is coming from, but he asks for some time to think things through first.
Papa Ushijima says to get over it because they need to end Daiji. Hikaru screams at his father to stop forcing himself on other people. But Papa Ushijima tells his fake son to remember what Weekend’s purpose is. Hikaru says that is no reason to take away Ikki and Sakura’s right to choose whether they want to kill their brother.
Hana finds her girlfriend Sakura under an overpass and hugs her.
Over at Ararat, Director Akaishi gives Daiji a backhug saying he understands his loneliness. He experienced the same feeling all the years waiting for Gifu’s time to shine all by himself. He is surprised he can actually feel empathy.
Ikki and Vice arrive home to find Mama and Papa Igarashi fighting over something. Papa Igarashi storms away. Mama Igarashi says it’s nothing major major and asks about Ikki and Daiji’s fighting. Ikki asks if he and Daiji have always been like this.
Mama Igarashi says that Daiji and Ikki always fought growing up, but she’d always find them looking happy and refreshed after. That gives Ikki an idea and he drags Vice out of the house.
Turns out Mama and Papa Igarashi were only acting like they were fighting in order to get Ikki and Daiji to potentially make up. Mama Igarashi compliments Papa Igarashi’s acting and he thinks he can be in a morning drama.
At Weekend, Ikki announces that he will go to Ararat HQ to try and reach out to Daiji. They all say it is a futile proposition. But Ikki says he and Daiji will brawl like brothers do.
Ikki texts Daiji and he shows Akaishi. Daiji is resolved to rid humanity of the threat that is Ikki. But Ikki believes this is an opportunity for brothers to vent their thoughts to each other. Sakura tells Ikki to include her venting too. Everyone else will stay here to defend the Weekend homeland.
At the Ararat gates, Vice points out that Ikki’s hand is shaking and asks if he’s okay. Ikki admits he’s scared shitless and is afraid of the possibility that he still won’t reach Daiji even after play fighting with him.
Vice says they can just leave then. But Ikki says he and Vice were like this before too.
Ikki and Vice walk further into Ararat and meet Daiji in front of solar panels. Ikki reminds Daiji that they always used to fight and say things to each other and then smile together in the end. Daiji thinks comparing the fate of the world with their sibling squabbles is a joke.
Ikki says humanity is important, but their family is the priority. Daiji is again reminded of how this part of Ikki has always annoyed the hell out of him. Vail arrives and says he’ll take care of Vice. They all henshin and the battle begins.
Daiji insists that they are powerless against Gifu. But Ikki insists that the combined powers of their family and friends is enough to save the world. Daiji just has to believe. Daiji does not believe in Ikki’s platitudes.
Outside the Weekend barracks, Sakura, Hana and Hikaru defend the gates while the Weekend adherents are evacuated. The trio take care of the grunts, but Akaishi arrives and henshins into his Gifu skinsuit. He has an easy time countering anything Sakura, Hikaru and Hana throw at him.
Papa Ushijima comes running out and tells the trio to retreat, prioritizing the evacuation of the peoples inside. Hana quickly runs in, but Hikaru says he will stay here to hold off Akaishi. Sakura tells him he better be sure to come in right behind them.
Papa Ushijima screams at Hikaru to get inside this instant. But Hikaru unleashes his anger at Akaishi for his mother’s death. Akaishi forces Hikaru to dehenshin.
As Akaishi grabs Hikaru by the hair, Papa Ushijima turns and walks back inside. But as Akaishi is about to impale Hikaru with his drill hand, Papa Ushijima runs and pushes his son out of the way, taking the piercing attack himself.
Papa Ushijima tells Hikaru that Over Demons is a key part of Weekend’s fighting force so he must survive. He yells to Hikaru to get inside.
Akaishi dehenshins and picks up a photo that Papa Ushijima dropped as he was being killed. It is a photo of Papa Ushijima’s real family, a wife and daughter. Akaishi assumes they’re dead. And Papa Ushijima says they were killed by those dirty Deadmans.
“Was it difficult?” Akaishi asks. Papa Ushijima says it doesn’t matter as it’s all in the past. He only focuses on the future now.
“What good is a freedomless peace?”
Papa Ushijima looks up at the sky with his dying breaths, hoping that his new son Hikaru will prove him right.
Akaishi asks Papa Ushijima if he loves Hikaru, his son. But Papa Ushijima is already dead. Akaishi takes a seat on the ground next to the lifeless body.
Back to the Brother Brawl, Daiji asks Ikki why he is choosing freedom when it is costing lives. Ikki says he is not choosing either. Freedomless peace or peaceless freedom is worth nothing if people cannot be happy in either. Ikki wants to protect people’s smiles the most.
“Shut your damn mouth,” Daiji says.
Ikki asks Daiji to come home to them. But Daiji says he is carrying a burden heavier than any of them. He tries to deliver an attack, but Ikki instead shoots him and forces him to dehenshin.
Ikki runs over to his brother, but Akaishi pops in to whisk Daiji, his new family, away.
Vice arrives and Ikki falls to his knees.
So that was very overdramatic. It could’ve been appropriately dramatic. But because everything that happened here, whether it was Daiji and Ikki’s battle or Papa Ushijima turning out to not be an evil maniac, was all very hollow, all the moments that should’ve been hugely impactful instead fell flat. And unnecessarily (and undeservedly) hammy.
It’s disappointing and regretful. Because again, these endpoints on their own are great ideas. The road getting here though was just horribly underdeveloped and haphazardly put together.
And it’s even more frustrating as we see everything again circling back to what was the season’s central theme: family.
Now, Director Akaishi suddenly being lonely and wanting a family is probably the most pulled-out-of-their-ass story turn this season so far. There’s really no reason for it, based on what we’ve seen of him so far. Just keep him an evil creep. No need to humanize him in some way. It doesn’t fit with his character this late in the game. Wanting his own family and Daiji being the closest he’s gotten in centuries? No. That’s nonsense. Complete nonsense.
ETA (6/20/22): OMG. I just realized they probably transferred this “I wish I had a family” story from George to Akaishi. That would explain the quick resolution with the father and son. And the way they had a very specific scene of George looking longingly at the happy Igarashi family as he left the Spa and then just not doing anything with that obvious foreshadowing/seed planting into a full story. That actually makes me even more annoyed, tbh. They’ve completely diminished George almost to a point of irrelevancy. WTF?
As for Papa Ushijima. I was hoping he’d turn out to be the sub-final boss or something. Anything to explain away why the Weekend plot thread has been so horribly executed. It would’ve been better to wave the poor writing off with a Gotcha moment of Papa Ushijima actually being an evil asshole. But no. They actually give him a damn backstory that is 30 episodes too late.
The show really wasted so much time on horrible stories when it turns out they could’ve done other, better stories instead. Why not give the Ushjimas a bigger footprint in the 30s? Flesh out their fake family. Show us their weird dynamics. Give us their backstories. That would’ve helped make Hikaru’s character be more than just chasing Sakura around. And in turn make his debut as Demons much more meaningful and impactful.
I mean, Papa Ushijima’s wife and daughter were killed by Deadmans? And yet he welcomed them with open arms, no prob. Come on now. Let’s see the tension and drama there. Unless, they came up with this backstory the week before they filmed the episode. Give us the reason they are fighting. Not just have them pop up as convenient support staff for our main heroes.
And speaking of. This big battle between Daiji and Ikki just feels so deflated. If they had maintained the momentum from the first third of the season, then this could’ve been an iconic moment. The season started solely focusing on Daiji’s insecurities regarding Ikki and his do-good, busybody-self. They resolved that conflict quite early and easily and they moved on. They dropped that dynamic between them so fast only to randomly pick it up now. It feels like they did it because they ran out of things to do.
Saving the world or saving their family? That’s a false dilemma with nothing to support it from what they’ve shown the last 15-20 episodes.
I wouldn’t mind if they pulled a Gotcha! here and this is all some elaborate plot by Daiji or someone. And things aren’t what they seem to be. But I won’t hold my breath.
Either way, it’s disappointing. Because there could be excellent story whether it’s Daiji having a mental breakdown or Daiji just being a good actor.
Again circling back to the idea of “family,” they absolutely could’ve crafted a better and more fulfilling story about the idea of family through this potential escalation of conflict between the brothers (and sister).
Anyway, I wish I loved this episode. But everything just feels hollow and lacking. Especially compared to early in the season. Two months left to go. We’ll see if a miracle can happen with Revice.