Ace asks Tsumuri if she really hates being his sister that much and she says absolutely. Papa Girori tells them to come in for breakfast and both he and Tsumuri ask why Ace is using this fake family to go digging around the DGP. Girori points out that his wishes so far have had no rhyme or reason. And his latest wish, to become a DGP staff member, is the most suspicious of all.
Ace admits he would like to find out what the DGP is truly about.
Later, Girori and Tsumuri meet with Win in the greenroom. Tsumuri asks if Master Girori is sure about working to eliminate Geats since they are supposed to be neutral. But Win points out that Game Master is in charge. Girori says Geats has already won too much.
Back in the city, Sara finds Keiwa with another lottery scratcher and asks why he isn’t at his job interview yet. Keiwa says he just hasn’t been feeling it lately and has even been questioning what the purpose of work is. Sara reminds him that he always said it was to bring about world peace. She thinks Keiwa is acting very different lately.
Keiwa boards the bus to go to his interview. A brother and sister are the other passengers on the bus. And when the little brother says he has bad luck, the older sister cheers him up and says he’ll get what he wants eventually. Keiwa can relate.
Suddenly, a huge sinkhole opens up in the road and the bus falls in.
At the Kurama manse, Mama Kurama has Neon’s DGP invitation box and asks her husband what the hell it is. Papa Kurama says it is very complicated and he will explain it all to her eventually.
The bodyguards come running in to report that Neon has run away again. But Papa Kurama says to just let her be. She is a grown adult and can handle herself.
Neon meets with Ace at a restaurant to ask him about his mother search. She says she will play along with Ace’s wish to find her, even if he’s lying about it. Neon asks why he doesn’t just write it down as a wish. But Ace says when he tried that, it was rejected by the desire card.
Neon asks what he thinks of his mother. Ace says he has to find her first before he can answer that. But he believes it is worth risking his life to do so.
The players get called to the DGP for the next round and they (including Tsumuri) end up falling into the same sinkhole as the bus. Tsumuri explains that this is a Jyamato-created pocket dimension.
The bus passengers approach them to explain how they fell in and also how they now have weird collars around their necks.
Tsumuri goes on to explain that the objective of this round is to safely escape the labyrinth with their civilian partner. Failure to protect them means elimination. Each player will pair up with the civilian closest to them at this moment. Ace with the little brother, Neon with the big sister, Michinaga with the bus driver and Grandpa Tanba with Keiwa. Win is excited to be paired with Tsumuri.
The door nearby appears to be the exit, but it requires some sort of voice activated password along with a cipher.
Just then, Jyamatos appear and the players henshin. But two Jyamatos also suddenly henshin, further showing that they continue to evolve. Suddenly, the collars around the four civilians tighten whenever a Jyamato comes close to them. Ace borrows Neon’s Beat Buckle to quickly finish off the Jyamato. But the henshined Jyamato quickly regenerate. Ace says they must retreat and they head inside the castle, doing their best to avoid the Jyamato that swarm it.
Grandpa Tanba’s back is hurting him. But they find a safe spot for now. Michinaga and the bus driver as well as Win and Tsumuri are in other sections of the castle. Game Master calls the players to say that the situation is quite dire at the moment due to the evolving Jyamato. So he will be sending them some emergency trinkets for them to use.
When Game Master drops the lootboxes, the Jyamatos pick them up themselves.
At the greenroom, Girori wonders what is happening since he had never ordered these developments. He makes a phone call (left unanswered) to a gardener who is busy feeding Core IDs to baby Jyamatos growing on vines. The gardener says this is their time to shine.
Back at the castle, Ace seems to have found a clue to the password involving sunflowers. Neon takes a photo of the clue and asks Ace who Game Master is. Ace says Game Master is the one who decides everything in the DGP and knows all its secrets. Ace asks if Neon knows why she was unexpectedly inserted into this season of the DGP. She thinks her father must have something to do with it. Ace knows Papa Kurama is the head of the Kurama Foundation and thinks they must look into that more.
The Jyamato barge into the dining room and the big group has to go on the run once more.
Meanwhile, Win has found one of the lootboxes with a Feverslot Buckle inside it. He and Tsumuri head back inside the castle and begin switching around the cipher blocks under the paintings. Michinaga finds them and confirms they have been working to sabotage Ace.
Keiwa feels very down about himself, thinking he is so unlucky. Grandpa Tanba tells him to snap out of it and points out that the little boy is holding up better than him.
Neon notices Keiwa is not acting like the Keiwa she knew. Ace explains that when a player is eliminated, they will also lose the motivation and drive to their original wish. Neon realizes she had forgotten all about Neon TV and her escape attempts.
The Jyamato find them and Ace and Neon try to hold them off. Grandpa Tanba tries to lead Keiwa and the siblings to safety. But they also run into Jyamato. Grandpa Tanba decides to sacrifice himself to keep the three of them safe. But he is badly injured by one of the henshined Jyamato. Ace and Neon arrive just in time and Neon drags Grandpa Tanba to safety. Ace is able to knock a lootbox out of one of the Jyamato’s pockets and opens it to also find a Feverslot Buckle.
Grandpa Tanba dehenshins and Neon leaves him in Keiwa’s care. Keiwa asks why he was so reckless. Grandpa Tanba says he’s an old man who’s had it coming and he can’t let the young ones die before him.
Ace says he should think about winning this thing and not about dying. He locks in the Feverslot Buckle and uphenshins, saying that luck will find you if you just believe.
Ace is able to more easily take care of the Jyamato, including using his bike to zoom around the room and even use as a weapon to finish them off for good.
Keiwa feels a bit more positive and seems to recognize this feeling of believing in oneself.
They all quickly hurry back to the exit door. But another Jyamato picks up the Driver of its defeated comrade for itself.
This episode was one big info dump. And strangely enough, that might be the reason why I actually enjoyed it.
They really just unloaded a whole bunch of new information like they were making up for lost time. And honestly, they kinda did waste some time in the first ten episodes. A lot of the stuff they told us about in this episode could’ve been sprinkled around more in the previous weeks. Rather than just dumping it all in this episode.
It’s a very welcome expository dump actually. As the weeks have gone by, the lack of clarity or focus has affected my interest and excitement in the season. Or at least, the movement toward clarity. We’re still in the first quarter of the season of course. But by now, I would expect a bit more focus in the overall story.
And that’s not even touching upon the very slow movement with our main characters. I think each character, including our title hero, have barely had one focus episode each. And though it’s not Saber-level early season character overload, I think the feeling is only heightened by the fact that Ace is not your typical title hero/main character. And the guy who actually did feel more like a title hero (Keiwa) was pseudo-killed off.
(Speaking of Saber, those familiar locations were giving me horrible flashbacks lol)
Anyway, about the actual information we did learn, a lot of it was random and even convenient. But all seemingly necessary to set-up future developments.
I think the biggest “reveal” was the “rule” that losing players would lose their motivation relating to their (original, if multi-season players) wish. I guess last episode did foreshadow this rule a bit with Neon’s being more compliant with her mother. But it brings up a question about something like Michinaga’s wish. Does that mean he loses his memories of his dear, dead friend? Weird!
That said, it is very refreshing to see Keiwa more again. This rule reveal definitely seems to be setting up his return to action. So that’s good.
Another rule reveal was that the DGP can reject certain wishes. That’s definitely a convenient rule. Especially when it comes to Ace. Without it, the season would probably have no reason to exist. Lol So it’s a necessary rule. But it would’ve been better if maybe we saw one of the characters at the start of a DGP season actually write down a rejected wish. And then have Tsumuri explain the rule to all the players. Rather than the exposition with Ace telling Neon about it.
Ace’s previous wishes (unlimited DGP invites, becoming a top star, getting lots of money without work, Tsumuri/Girori family) were indeed a random mix. But knowing what we know of Ace so far, each wish is probably just a piece in his puzzle in finding his mother.
Regarding Mama Ukiyo, I hope she’s someone big. I mean, like, someone maybe important to the DGP or to the Jyamato. Maybe she created the DGP. Or she’s the mother of the Jyamato. Or the Jyamato gardener is her father, thus Ace’s grandpa. I dunno. Something like that. Lol Obviously, there will be a big reason why Ace can’t wish to see her or why she abandoned him of course.
Ace wanting to find the real purpose of the DGP is the kind of big picture endgame-type of plot point that might have been better revealed either earlier or in a more dramatic moment. Instead of just in passing like it was done here in this episode.
With the Kurama Fam, Papa Kurama is obviously suspicious. And perhaps he is connected somehow to the DGP as well. Maybe a former player? Even winner perhaps? Or someone in management? A rich sponsor funding the tournament?
Elsewhere, the Jyamato garden was legit creepy. And thus, actually interesting since there hasn’t been much of that mysterious danger element to the Jyamato. Especially when they’re placed in the context of a game, it sometimes blurs the idea that the Jyamato are actually dangerous. So having that scene and then seeing that he’s feeding them Core IDs was just creepy and bin chilling!
I really can’t help but think of Squid Game whenever I see Grandpa Tanba playing the game. Him ready to sacrifice himself to save the youngins was actually very emotional. But at the same time *spoileralert if you haven’t watched Squid Game*, I almost want him to end up being the DGP creator or something! Lol Actually, a great twist would’ve been if Grandpa Tanba was actually the gardener. lol
I was surprised Tsumuri knew Girori was the Game Master. I just assumed she didn’t and it was supposed to be a big secret within the DGP. The fact that she knows makes the DGP feel more shady as an organization. Which goes along with Ace wanting to dig deeper into it.
The pocket dimension thing is probably the most random reveal of the episode. Though it’s something that they could probably use a lot more within the confines of the DGP as a game.
So, I really loved this moment here:
— DryedMangoez (@dryedmangoez) November 20, 2022
But the CGI bike indoors afterwards was kind of absurd. I think partly because the fact that it was CGI was made more obvious by the setting. Like, it would’ve been less “fake” had it been in the Toei rock quarry or something. Instead, it looked too cartoonish. Even more cartoonish than the CGI mecha battles in recent Sentai seasons. Or for a Kamen Rider comparison, the video game-looking CGI battles of Saber felt less awkward. Which says a lot. But I doubt they’ll be having Ace ride around indoors again like that.
Overall though, I quite liked this episode. Looking above, I certainly had a lot of thoughts about it. And when that happens and it’s not overly negative or pessimistic, then I would say that’s a positive in my book. The fact that I have a lot to say about an episode that isn’t just ranting shows myself that I actually cared what was happening. So it’s a nice change of pace from recent weeks of Geats lol
Now bring on Keiwa’s triumphant return please! 😊