Vice sadly recounts how Ikki fighting for his family has slowly erased his memories of them. But Vice is resigned to the fact that this was the only way he could help Ikki now.
To explain, Vice flashes back to a few days ago. Hiromi and George are having a soak in the baths. George thanks Hiromi for saving him. Hiromi says they can visit Papa Karizaki’s grave together. They splash each other.
Meanwhile, Ikki is doing his best to adjust to his life with the Igarashis whom he does not remember at all. Even the Spa’s regular customers are noticing something is odd at Happy Spa since they’ve removed all the family photos.
Before George and Hiromi leave after their soak, they tell Ikki that they are always here for him if he needs help.
The Igarashis sit for a sukiyaki dinner. They remind Ikki that it’s thanks to him that sukiyaki had become an Igarashi family staple. The family does their best to make Ikki feel comfortable. He asks them how he used to fit in with the family. They all agree that he was a busybody who took care of them all.
Ikki decides to give it a try now, but he’s a bit clumsy.
Later that evening, Ikki speaks with Vice outside and says this is not working out. He cannot remember any of these people nor even the reason he fought alongside them.
Next morning, the Igarashis are shocked and saddened to find Ikki has left.
Hiromi and George help get Ikki his own place at one of Fenix’s old dorms. As Hiromi helps Ikki get settled inside, George speaks with Vice. George apologizes for putting Vice through this, but he has been thinking about what Vice told him regarding the contract and Ikki’s memories. George wonders why the contract did not end when Ikki forget everything about his family since there’s nothing left to forget. Vice does not know either. But George says the answer might help them help Ikki.
Ikki and Vice go shopping for groceries and furnishings for their new apartment. Vice also cooks Ikki dinner, but it’s too spicy.
While they are tucked in for bed, Vice vows to ensure Ikki lives a happy life. Vice asks Ikki if they’ll always be partners. Ikki says no, Vice is his family.
Next day, Ikki leaves for a job interview and immediately gets hired since the shop owner had never had anyone show up in a suit to apply to make ramen.
On the other side of town, Vice meets with Hiromi and George who are on a parfait date. Vice tells them that it’s time he go back to being the demon he was always supposed to be.
That evening, Ikki comes home to find Vice has made him dinner again, but no Vice waiting for him. Ikki sets out the cake he bought for the two of them, waiting for Vice to come home. But morning comes and Vice is still nowhere to be seen.
Suddenly, Buu-san calls Ikki and tells him to hurry over to the Spa. Ikki runs over to find it in shambles. Buu-san is with an injured Tamaki who says this is all Vice’s doing.
Hiromi and George arrive and show Ikki a livestream of Vice rampaging downtown. Ikki hurries to the scene where Vice and Papa Igarashi are fighting. Papa Igarashi henshins to Destream, but Vice Stamps his rubber ducky, eats Papa Igarashi and farts him out his ass. That forces Papa Igarashi to dehenshin.
Vice tells Ikki he better henshin too. He admits that he has just been biding his time until Ikki forgot everything. But now Vice has eaten his family. Ikki cannot believe it. Vice says with this, their contract is over and he can free.
Ikki is upset, unable to comprehend Vice’s betrayal. They both henshin and battle. Vice says he is doing this because this is all his fault. But since he is Ikki’s demon, this is also Ikki’s fault. Ikki declares that he must end this now.
Ikki, however, does not know this is all just an elaborate plan and everyone is in on it. George says the reason the contract is not over yet is because one family member, Vice, still remains. Hiromi points out Ikki sincerely considers Vice part of his family. George adds that once Ikki defeats Vice, it will essentially void their original contract.
Vice says this battle should put an end to their make-believe family. Ikki cannot believe this considering how much he trusted Vice all this time.
What in the world is happening? Lol
I guess I’ll just save most of my ramblings for next week’s finale and season wrap-up. But simply put, this whole plot point about Ikki’s memories and now it having to do with treating Vice like family just feels so haphazardly thrown together. It’s not something that has the kind of depth that would be needed for such an emotional climax worthy of a finale.
I roll my eyes too at them pulling out the family card for this story with Ikki and Vice after abandoning everything that was actually working with the Igarashi Family. Which, if they had not dumped that aspect into the Toei rock quarry to be forgotten, they absolutely could’ve tied it in with this “Vice is family” thing.
Also, just like these quick two-episode mini-arcs these last few months, this amnesiacIkki plot just feels like “one of those” instead of being one of the major plot threads of the season. It had always been throwaway lines in random episodes. Even if it is the basis of the original fire contract. But mentioning it with exposition in one episode and then not building upon that revelation since is not going to result in something truly impactful.
There’s a lack of sincerity in this story when, if actually done with care and effort, there absolutely could’ve been some great, meaningful moments.
I think part of the problem is the lack of clarity on what Ikki’s problem is. And the kind of loose rules, so to speak. Like, if Ikki loses his memories, what does that have to do with him disappearing from pictures? Especially when everyone else around him still knows and remembers who he is. Like, if the idea was that his whole existence were to disappear and he just fades into oblivion, then that would make a little more sense with the way they were presenting it. And also be much more impactful.
Or! Ikki retains his memories, but everyone around him, or at least his family loses their memories of him. Thus, disappearing from family photos. Quite heavy, but better at least.
Then in the finale, the strength of family and friendship and love and happiness and all that brings about the happy ending.
So, on one hand the “contract” still being valid because Ikki considers Vice as “family” is okay. I guess. But the details and the execution leading up to these final episodes are simply lacking. I don’t know how else to describe it. So much is missing. So many opportunities squandered. So many things left on the table.
Again, so many of these endpoints that they’ve presented these last couple of weeks are good ideas on their own. But they all lack the effort needed to truly make them work.
Anyway, just more on all of that next week.
Elsewhere in the episode, they were laying on those BL vibes thick with Hiromi and George in that bath and then their parfait/parufait date. At least I was amused by something in this episode.
Overall though, I’m just exhausted by this season. This penultimate episode just doesn’t do much for me because it just brings about all the negatives I consider from the season as a whole. It’s lacking. And considering the potential for this season, it makes it especially disappointing.