Akaishi is excited that Daiji’s actions are helping their cause. Daiji says he is not doing this for Akaishi, but just because he believes this is what’s right. Akaishi pats Daiji’s head and says he thinks of him as his son and wants to support him. Daiji just walks away.
Vail laughs at Akaishi who now believes he must murder the Igarashis so Daiji will be a more willing son to him. He wants Daiji all to himself.
Over at Happy Spa, Ikki, Vice and Hiromi are explaining the situation regarding Daiji to Papa Igarashi who is intent on bringing his son home. Hiromi says the loss of Kagerou must have triggered Daiji’s present insanity and Ikki wonders if Kagerou was actually a good thing for his brother.
Hiromi wants to help and assures Ikki and Vice that he will take care of his still-recovering body.
Papa Igarashi slams the table. But Ikki vows he will be able to save Daiji.
Over at Weekend, a memorial service for Papa and Mama Ushijima has just concluded. Sakura regrets not even learning their real names. Papa Karizaki says their sacrifices will not have been in vain. Sakura snaps at him, saying not to call them “sacrifices.” Papa Karizaki apologizes.
Sakura says she will go find Hikaru to comfort him. Just then, an alert shows the shelters being attacked by Juniors and the like. George comes in and tells them not to worry since he’s already had Hiromi help pass out the new mass-produced Demons Drivers.
The Demon Squad are doing what they can to protect the various Weekend shelters around the city. Hana leads a group of Demon Squaders at one shelter while Hiromi and Tamaki protect another by battling an endless number of Juniors.
Vail suddenly crash lands in front of them, adding more firepower to the attacking army of Juniors. Ikki and Vice hurry over.
Ikki and Vice battle Vail. Vail says he would’ve fulfilled his vengeance if Ikki had not signed his contract with Vice. After Vice knocks Vail into a wall, he and Ikki roll all the Juniors into a fireball to blow them up.
Ikki and Vice refocus their attacks on Vail who is confused when he seems to quickly lose power and disappear.
Meanwhile, Sakura finds Hikaru at the dojo where the memories of his fake parents drive his anger. Sakura offers to be his training partner and they spar.
Hikaru and Sakura lay on the floor after an intense session. Hikaru says he does not understand the contradiction of Papa Ushijima saving him while letting Mama Ushijima out to die.
Sakura hands Hikaru Papa Ushijima’s glasses and says it is normal for humans to contradict themselves. The fact is Papa Ushijima must have had genuine love for Hikaru and he prioritized those feelings over the mission and ideals of Weekend.
Hikaru says he wants to grow stronger and Sakura says she does too.
Back home, Ikki finds Mama and Papa Igarashi looking at the family photos which no longer include him in them. They sit down to talk and Ikki tells them that his contract with Vice and them being able to fight together is being paid for by Ikki’s memories. Most especially the precious memories of their family.
Papa Igarashi asks Ikki if he will continue to fight even knowing the threat and high price. Ikki stops Vice from saying anything and instead says that Vice is the reason he has been able to fight and save lives. He is grateful to Vice and will always stick by him.
Ikki says he will fight until the day their family will be able to smile again. Even if it comes with a high cost.
Mama Igarashi hugs her son, trusting and believing in him.
Over at Ararat HQ, Akaishi is sure that the time is almost here for when humanity will bow down to Gifu. But suddenly, Gifu forcibly emerges out of Akaishi’s hand to express his deep rage and annoyance at humanity’s pointless resistance to him.
Daiji asks what will happen. Akaishi grabs him close and says that Gifu will bring about the end of civilization. Just like what happened to his people when Gifu first arrived.
Vail pops in and calls Akaishi a liar since he was promised Gifu powers would keep him juiced. Akaishi mocks Vail for thinking he wasn’t running on borrowed time. Vail takes a few Stamps to give him more Gifu juice. But Akaishi grabs more and stamps Vail all over.
Daiji stands up and proclaims that he will stop Gifu by stopping Revice.
Over at Weekend, Ikki and Vice relay the latest updates to Papa Karizaki. Ikki asks what will happen to Papa Igarashi if Vail dies, but Papa Karizaki remains silent. Ikki is shocked.
Just then, Vail appears at the shelter entrance. Ikki, Vice and Hana run out. But before Tamaki can, Papa Karizaki falls to his knees. Tamaki runs to get him help. Papa Karizaki acknowledges that his time is coming soon as well.
Papa Igarashi walks in and hurries over to Papa Karizaki. Papa Igarashi has something he needs from Papa Karizaki.
Papa Igarashi heads to George’s makeshift lab at Weekend and says he wants to settle things with Vail. He would like George to make him a new Driver and says that he would do anything to protect his family.
“Does that include yourself?” George asks.
Papa Igarashi does not answer. George understands.
Out in the city, Akaishi agrees that humanity has become too arrogant and is deserving of Gifu’s wrath. He transforms into his Gifu armor and burns an army of Juniors alive.
Ikki and Vice arrive and henshin. They battle Akaishi who insists Gifu is a benevolent alien who just wanted peace on Earth. However, because the peoples feared, loathed and exploited him, Gifu was ready to annihilate the human race. Thanks to Akaishi, they entered a deal in which he would oversee human’s evolution. But humanity continues to repeat mistakes over and over again.
Daiji comes flying toward Ikki, but Hana chases him away.
Ikki insists that humanity is doing its best to make the most of every day of their lives. Ikki and Vice ravage Akaishi and Vail saying they will prevent them from ever ruining their quest for peace and smiles.
Ikki and Vice deliver major attacks at Akaishi and Vail. After an explosion, Akaishi is in disbelief at being on the brink of losing. He ducks out of the way when Ikki and Vice come straight at him with a finisher. Vail pops back in to battle Ikki and Vice. Vice is ready to finish Vail off for good, but Ikki is worried about the effect that would have on his father.
A weak Vail looks like he’s about to disappear again. But Papa Karizaki appears with a Driver he slaps onto his waist. He says it is time for him to pay for his many sins.
I liked it! Much to my surprise, I quite liked this episode. At least, relatively speaking. By no means did it reach the highs of this season. But it also didn’t fall to the level of recent lows either.
And the biggest reason this episode was above average for Revice was that most of the half-hour dealt with stories that actually had solid footing. Or featured moments that drew upon an established foundation. That made them much more believable and sensible in a narrative sense.
That’s of course in contrast to some of the more preposterous moments which we’ll laugh at later.
But as I’ve harped on all season long, Revice‘s strength is when it focuses on the Igarashis and the idea of family. (One reason I’m looking forward to the movie is it appears to be focused solely on the Igarashis and their predicament. Plus Mamehara Issei gets to live out every fanboy’s dream to star in a Kamen Rider movie/series.)
In this episode, it’s about time we see Papa and Mama Igarashi involved considering their children are in turmoil. Now, of course it wasn’t only about wacko Daiji. The show reminded us of whatever was happening with Ikki as well. And with these two predicaments, Papa Igarashi appears ready to finally step in and act. Plus Mama Igarashi’s hug with Ikki is a long time coming.
I’ve talked about how the show really dropped the ball in fleshing out the Igarashi’s story in-series. Most especially Papa and Mama Igarashi’s past which was so beautifully depicted in the Revice Legacy – Kamen Rider Vail miniseries. We’re seeing now how much that backstory should’ve played a big role in providing the necessary depth for most of what we’re seeing now.
Still, Mama and Papa Igarashi’s presence instantly adds some legitimacy to what’s happening. So they were very much a welcome sight. And seeing Papa Igarashi likely stepping into the action raises the stakes, while being the necessary bridge to whatever is ahead for Vail and his tepid connection to Gifu and Akaishi’s nonsense.
The other foundationally sound moment this episode that I liked was Hikaru and Sakura’s sparring in the dojo. Set aside how Hikaru came to know Sakura in the first place with the Ushijima’s surveillance of the Igarashis. But they have a relationship established between them even before that and in spite of that as well. (The total opposite of that irrelevant moment between Daiji and Miss Queen Bee.)
It’s nice to see it come full circle with Sakura and Hikaru finding common ground. And Sakura of course comforting him.
However, this brings me back to my criticism about the season’s inability to pull the pieces together even when they’re all present. With family being the main theme, the show missed such a great opportunity to put a bigger focus on the Ushijimas. Not them hogging the spotlight from the Igarashis or even the Karizakis. But being presented as a different type of family, especially in contrast to the Igarashis. It would have made Hikaru becoming Demons as well as the deaths of his fake parents all the more impactful.
About those Karizakis, are they really killing off Papa Karizaki next week with no closure to him and George’s story? WTF? Horrible what they’ve done to George as a character.
And before we get to some deeper criticism, I’d like to say how much I loved seeing Hiromi back in action as well. I did like those frenzied action scenes of the shelters being attacked. It’s the first time they were able to effectively portray the apocalyptic nature of whatever the hell Gifu’s doing.
But speaking of, Gifu-sama being angry at the world and humanity bringing their extinction upon themselves? What in the Arthur C. Clarke? It just feels too much like a bootleg combination of Gaim, Build and Zero-One. And yes, Childhood’s End or even the cult classic that scared the hell out of me when I was a kid: Without Warning. Aliens come in peace until humanity f-s it all up.
Humanity is at fault? Hmm… considering this is all being positioned as the final conflict of the season, it doesn’t really mesh with the ideas of demons and family. Both of which I am sure are the focus of the actual endgame rather than trying to defeat Gifu. So this all feels like a mid-season arc of some sort. Which really, it should have been. Instead, its positioning here in the 40s really affects how it is perceived.
I perused the internets last week and saw many people praising the episode and how Akaishi was some well-written, deep character unlike anything we’ve seen on Kamen Rider.
Are they still saying that this week? lol Because it feels like almost everything some people were giddy about last week, the show completely undid this week. Which to me, is quite funny.
Akaishi is just a peaceful and nice, lonely guy looking for a family? No. He’s just a wacko. lol
What was actually hilarious though was that moment between the father/not-son Akaishi and Daiji when Gifu was huffing and puffing at them. It was the most hilarious, over-the-top moment of the season I think. They looked absolutely crazy. And Akaishi’s instant mood swing just a few seconds after when Vail popped in made it even funnier.
Also worthy of mockery is Ikki and Vice completely missing Akaishi just because he ducked. LOL!
Finally, there was a lot of talk about the various relationships between human and demon. It’s obvious and understandable of course that every relationship is different. We already see that with Sakura’s relationship with Lovekov. Or Ikki and Vice’s retconned… I mean, evolving relationship.
So the idea that Kagerou was actually good for Daiji is not a completely out there idea. But the show failed to fully explore that concept. Especially when Kagerou was merely presented as someone who wanted to take over Daiji’s person before then turning into comic relief before the show then ended up deciding to kill him when he suddenly seemed to be enlightened somehow.
It all comes back to how the season has some pretty great ideas, but has failed many ways in execution and pacing.
Anyway, all in all, I enjoyed this episode. Relatively speaking of course. Most of the episode I genuinely liked. The rest of the episode either had nice action or hilarious moments to laugh and point at in a non-frustrating way. Certainly still many regrets to pick apart. But definitely still better than the slog of the last couple of weeks… months.