Keiwa continues his video diary which he records for his sister in the event that he does not make it out of the game alive. When he leaves the locker room, he eavesdrops on Neon speaking to her mother who is berating her again for going MIA.
Keiwa runs to Neon when she collapses. Morio walks up to them and warns Keiwa against touching Neon or he might get infected. He drags Neon to the boiler room where Michinaga is already tying Kanato up just in case he turns soon.
Ace pops in and says Michinaga is acting a bit too rash. Michinaga henshins. Thinking he is about to kill Neon, Keiwa henshins as well to stop him. Kanato laughs that zombies are meant to be hunted anyway.
Ace points out that he let Kanato live because he hadn’t fully turned into a zombie yet. Michinaga dehenshins and says he was just joking.
Keiwa dehenshins and runs over to Neon who says this is goodbye. She says she does not want to hurt Keiwa when she becomes a zombie, but she also does not want to be tied up.
Neon adds that it feels weird because all she’s ever wanted was to leave home. But now that she faces death, she just wants to go home. Keiwa asks her to not talk like this and that she doesn’t have to give up. She appreciates the kind words, but asks him to just let her be.
Everyone has returned to the green room. Keiwa asks what could possibly be worth throwing your life away for and why people must suffer in this way. Morio says of course there is, like money.
Ace says you can only win this game and have your wish granted if you work for it. In addition, they are able to keep the world safe. And no matter what happens, the world will get another chance at the end of this. So they must still fight, even for the sake of the dead.
Keiwa still cannot understand.
Girori comes in to inform the players that they can go home for now before the final wave begins.
While downtown, the Kurama bodyguards find Neon and she discovers her mother had a tracking device hidden in her belongings. When she arrives home, Mama Kurama welcomes her with a slap.
Mama Kurama yells at Neon and says they are just worried about her, not wanting her to be gone from them again. Neon remembers when she was kidnapped and held for ransom as a child.
Neon’s mother says she will always be in danger because she is a daughter of the Kurama family. She forbids her from leaving, but Neon refuses to obey. “I am not your doll!” Mama Kurama grabs and hugs Neon from behind, promising to get her anything she wants as long as she stays put.
Later that evening, Neon gets thrown out. Keiwa and Ace are outside to meet her and they head to a park to talk. Neon asks what they are doing here when she asked them to leave her alone. Keiwa says of course he can’t do that. Ace says he just wants to get all the points she’s worth in case she turns soon.
Neon says she feels very much alive right now. She is thankful to the DGP for giving her the opportunity to have her wish granted, especially as it is something money cannot buy. As she starts to cry, Neon realizes that there is no hope left for her. She has been forsaken by God, but she thinks she deserves it for being a burden to everyone.
Neon wishes both Keiwa and Ace good luck. Keiwa tries to stay positive, but Neon asks him to stop that as his kind words won’t save her.
Next day, the final zombie wave has arrived and Tsumuri gives them the go-signal to begin. The players all henshin and begin taking on zombies, knowing Neon might be among them.
Ace is amused that Michinaga has gotten his hands on a Magnum Buckle and asks where it came from. Michinaga does not say.
Morio intentionally leads zombies toward some civilians in order to get both rescue and zombie kill points. But after he finishes them off, Kanato appears and bites him.
The others are surprised he has broken free. Kanato explains that he made a deal with Michinaga. Kanato gave Michinaga a Magnum Buckle in exchange for loosening the rope around his wrists.
Ace says that’s a perfectly legal move within the game.
Neon suddenly leaps off a rooftop and henshins. Ace had told her last night that she might survive if all the zombies are defeated and the round ends before she fully becomes a zombie. He isn’t 100% sure, but it’s something worth betting on.
Keiwa also gave Neon his Boost Buckle. She asks why and Keiwa says it’s because his sister would be sad if she was gone.
“So you’re saying you won’t?”
“Of course, I will be sad too.”
Neon remembers seeing her wish on her DGP card for the first time: “I want true love.” She takes that resolve and uphenshins using Boost. She rages at the zombies and gets some help from Keiwa. When Kanato tries to attack her, Keiwa jumps on him and says everyone deserves a chance to be happy.
Both Neon and Kanato seem to begin turning. But Neon refuses to give up. Ace uses a Zombie Strike to momentarily paralyze the zombies in front of Neon. She revolves and delivers finishing Boost Time blows.
The expired Boost Buckle flies away and everyone dehenshins. Neon and Kanato’s zombie infections disappear and Tsumuri pops in to officially end the round.
Neon thanks Keiwa and Ace for helping her muster the courage to keep fighting. Keiwa says he’s glad they’re all safe now. But Michinaga reminds them that someone will still be eliminated today.
Tsumuri checks the leaderboard and Kanato ends up with the lowest score, just below Neon. Ace says Tsumuri could’ve avoided that if he were willing to fight instead of just giving up. That’s how the DGP works.
Tsumuri officially eliminates Kanato who laughs that he looks forward to seeing who will join him as the next loser. Kanato disappears and his Driver is retired. Tsumuri picks it up and says that Kanato has also lost his Kamen Rider qualifications. Keiwa asks what she means, but she just wishes them well until the next round and leaves.
Neon returns home and this time when her mother tries to slap her, she blocks it and says she won’t give up trying to leave this hellhole of a house.
The hooded figure looks over footage from the round and pauses on Ace and Michinaga, saying that their decisive battle is near.
An interesting episode this week. Definitely the most serious one as they effectively use Neon’s backstory to show again what is possible with the DGP and its potential ideal worlds.
So, I honestly thought Neon’s wish wasn’t merely about finding a boyfriend. But I understand now that her wish of “true love” doesn’t necessarily refer to a boyfriend. And really, she has just grown up in a home where her parents treated her like their property. Or “doll,” as she said. It’s fake love.
Being trapped in a horrible homelife is certainly a familiar story. But the show has presented it here in an interesting way. Especially when connecting it to the game. Keiwa still doesn’t understand what wishes or things people could possibly risk their lives for. And Neon wanting to escape that emotional and physical abuse is certainly something that qualifies.
In that sense, I look forward to Keiwa’s character growth too. We’ve seen him try to make it in the real world, applying for jobs and such. But with his idealism, he’s still a bit naïve and immature for the world at this point. It will be interesting to see his reactions to more dramatic and heavier turns. Especially if they repeatedly face dismantling and rebuilding worlds.
And again, it’s also interesting how that kind of story is his and not Ace’s. It’s a typical main Rider-type of story. So instead, it leaves Ace free to get an atypical story. And I also look forward to that as well.
Good to see more of Michinaga’s antagonism and how far he would go to win. Another interesting thing to look forward to is learning about where that comes from of course.
It’s pretty obvious Kanato was next to be eliminated. (Morio is probably next after him.) But I really do wonder how things will go when/if all the “dead” players come back to life at the start of the new world. That will be interesting.
Everything’s interesting!!!!!!!! lol We’re at that point in the season still. And I feel like until we reach the end of this particular DGP tournament, we will continue to be in a sort of world building phase. I think at that point, when the winner is declared, we will have a most complete picture of what is possible. And we’ll go from there, especially if we have a few more competitions throughout the season.