Morio tells Michinaga that he can use his skills to ensure that he’ll draw him when he uses his ticket. Michinaga asks what his pre-DGP job was, but Morio doesn’t say. Later in the greenroom with the others (minus Morio), Ace reads up on Morio and learns that he was a card game dealer who plundered the casino’s earnings and fled overseas.
Girori gets a call and the players head over to meet Tsumuri who announces that Morio has purchased a ticket and will now be paired with Michinaga. That means Keiwa will be paired with Punkjack.
Morio brags about being able to feel the print on a card and the others believe he probably cheated in drawing Michinaga as his partner. The others scoff as Morio shamelessly brushes off his crimes.
Ace and Neon accompany Keiwa to the beach where he hopes to train with Punkjack. Keiwa tries to keep a positive attitude. Ace decides to give him back the Boost Buckle so he won’t have any excuses when he loses. Punkjack, however, isn’t much in the teamwork mood.
Back in the greenroom, Michinaga reminds Keiwa that he can buy a ticket too. But Keiwa says he doesn’t want to inconvenience anyone. He doesn’t want to win if it brings others misfortune and seeing others happy makes him happy.
Morio calls Michinaga outside to show him he has stolen Keiwa’s Boost Buckle. Michinaga asks if Morio is that threatened by Keiwa for him to do this. But Morio laughs and says it’s just an insurance policy. Morio’s devious laughter reminds Michinaga of the laughter from the Riders that killed(?) Toru.
Ace approaches them and asks what they’re up to. Morio just laughs and walks away. Ace asks Michinaga if getting a new partner was his plan all along. Michinaga replies that it doesn’t matter who his partner is, he’ll still win.
Ace says this all reminds him of that night. He admits that he’s known all along why Michinaga hates him.
They flashback. Ace had saved Michinaga from the Jyamato and told him that it’d be best if he forgot everything he just saw. But Michinaga was determined not to and he eventually got chosen by the DGP.
Ace says he won’t lose, especially not to someone using dirty tricks. He leaves Michinaga with words from Plato: “The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself.”
Michinaga is resolved to crush Ace and all other Riders that ever existed.
Back in the greenroom, Keiwa cries that he’s lost his Boost Buckle. But Morio is shocked when Michinaga walks in with it and says it’s Keiwa’s fault that it was so easy to steal. They all assume it was Morio’s doing.
Keiwa demands he give it back, but Michinaga proposes a game. They all head to the beach and Michinaga plants the Buckle in the sand. Whoever ends up with the Buckle wins it.
Ace and Neon offer some motivational words to Keiwa.
Michinaga flags Keiwa and Morio off and they both lunge for the Buckle. Keiwa gets his hand on it first, but Morio grabs him and flips him onto the sand, grabbing the Buckle. Michinaga declares him and Morio the rightful owner.
Tsumuri calls the players to tell them the next window is beginning. Ace and Neon battle Jyamatos at an amusement park while the other two pairs are by the water.
Morio does not understand why Michinaga is just standing there while the rest of them are fighting Jyamatos. Michinaga whips out the Boost Buckle and uses it himself. He Revolves and he and Keiwa deliver finishing blows to the correct pair of Jyamatos.
Morio does not understand what’s happening. Tsumuri appears and explains that Michinaga used a ticket just moments ago resulting in the return of the original pairs.
“Are you helping me?” Keiwa asks Michinaga. Michinaga tells him not to get the wrong idea. It’s just the luck of the draw. And he merely thought it would be annoying to fight alongside Morio. So this way, he was able to get rid of him.
Ace and Neon finish off the rest of the Jyamato.
Tsumuri announces the final scores for this round. And Mary and Punkjack are last and of course eliminated.
Morio vows that he will get his revenge the next time they all meet. Ace tells the others not to mind him since there will be no next time.
Morio is “retired” and Tsumuri announces he has lost his Rider qualifications. Keiwa asks what that actually means and Tsumuri explains that Morio will just return back to his normal life.
Tsumuri chats with the hooded figure about the approaching final round. The hooded figure says the end of this world is near and hopes the remaining Riders have the resolve to stand up against the final boss.
I’ll admit. The part of the episode I enjoyed the most was this 30 second jazz break:
— DryedMangoez (@dryedmangoez) October 9, 2022
Last week, I was amused by this short moment:
— DryedMangoez (@dryedmangoez) October 2, 2022
And this week, they went a full 30 seconds of just circling around a frozen scene playing upbeat jazz music. It’s so random and strange, yet so awesome at the same time. It certainly helps to fill the episode time, that’s for sure. Very nice.
But I dunno. The season’s been fine so far. But I think I’m still missing a connection to the characters. Or some kind of hook to hang on to.
This episode was predictable. I think Michinaga’s whole story from last week and leading into this week made it obvious that he was never going to go along with Morio’s shenanigans. Especially after we learned what happened to his friend Toru.
That and of course knowing neither Keiwa nor Michinaga would be eliminated this week. Michinaga whipping out a ticket at the last minute was the only option. And if it wasn’t obvious before that, Michinaga just standing there should’ve been the green! flag that Morio was done.
Now I do like a vengeful Morio potentially coming back later on to wreak havoc somehow.
But it’s a bit anticlimactic to just reveal that players don’t actually die. And instead simply return to the real world good as new with no memories of their time in the DGP. Lol. I mean, I think we all knew that the players don’t actually die. But I would’ve expected we learned that as a big “surprise,” perhaps when Keiwa or someone else is eliminated, for example.
What does that mean for Michinaga’s friend Toru then? Is he dead or not? What’s the loophole there? Because if he’s not dead, then Michinaga wouldn’t have all this hatred in his heart.
And am I mixing it up with Kibi Points or something, but didn’t they mention something about being able to bring “dead” players back later on if you win and get the new world power? I think Keiwa was the one who asked. Strange.
Anyway, it was an alright episode. But I’m feeling a bit disconnected with the story and characters at this point. I think that should change when this first tournament ends and we see the transition to the new world. That should probably answer some questions and make things more interesting.