Ace asks his “dad” Girori why Game Master would want him eliminated, especially as he’s saved the world several times already. Girori says he has no idea. Tsumuri, watching from afar, flashes back to the green room when Game Master Girori said that the more Ace wins, the closer he gets to uncovering the truth about the DGP. Win realizes Ace must lose so they can erase his memory. Tsumuri is unsure if this is fair, but Girori says it is necessary for the DGP to survive.
Later, Girori calls the gardener to ask why Jyamatos are using Drivers now. The gardener says the Jyamato are just becoming smarter. And while Girori orders him to stop his experiments, the gardener says stronger enemies for Riders to fight is a good thing. Girori says only he gets to decide that and slams the phone down. The gardener says to himself that the Jyamato can’t help it when they are getting used to losing.
Meanwhile, Ace is taking a break during a photoshoot when he is approached by a mysterious woman who requests his assistance. He thinks they’ve met before and smiles.
On the other side of town, Keiwa is enjoying his first day on the job at the soba restaurant. Sara reminds him to be grateful as the help of others help shape who they become. Keiwa thanks the soba shop owner who says he is welcome to help until he finds another job.
Just then, a mysterious little girl in a red hat walks past outside. Keiwa runs out to see her, but his Core ID suddenly falls to the ground.
Over at the Kurama manse, Neon asks her father if he knows about the DGP. He tells her it is not her concern. But she asks why she was allowed to rejoin the competition. Papa Kurama thought that’s what she wanted, but he continues to refuse to say anything more. Neon vows to learn the truth on her own and decides to run away again. But outside, the Little Red Hat Girl walks past and her Core ID also falls out.
Michinaga is out for a jog. And the same happens to him when the Little Red Hat Girl pops up in front of him.
When it’s Ace’s turn to be Little Red Hat Girl’d, he also realizes she has taken his Driver. He goes after her to ask what the hell she’s doing. She remains silent as Jyamato arrive. Ace takes the Driver back and henshins. Win arrives and also henshins.
But Little Red Hat Girl smiles and somehow gains possession of Ace’s Driver. A Jyamato grabs it from her and henshins. The girl also grabs Win’s Driver and he and Ace must run to safety after they have been forced to dehenshin.
The DGP players are summoned to the temple. Tsumuri announces the third round has begun and will be a game of musical chairs. Their position as a Rider will be the figurative chair since Little Red Hat Girl took all their Drivers and one of their Drivers is already being used by a Jyamato. Whichever players have a Driver by the time the Bishop Jyamato is defeated will advance to the next round. But they must also be aware of Jyamato looking to acquire the other four Drivers as well.
Later, Win talks to Ace as he cleans his cuts from the battle earlier. Win says Ace was only able to win all this time because of their help. But now that he has pissed them off, it ends here. Win asks Ace what he wants so bad that he is risking his life. Ace asks what could the DGP be hiding that they want him to lose so bad. Win has no idea. Ace says he doesn’t need their help.
At the soba shop, Sara is watching Neon’s livestream where she asks her viewers if they’ve seen Little Red Hat Girl. Sara tells Keiwa that she saw her at a shrine earlier. Keiwa hurries over and Neon is already there as well thanks to comments from her fans.
Keiwa and Neon see a bunch of Jyamato nearby and follow them into the forest where they surround Little Red Hat Girl. The Jyamato take the Drivers from her, but Keiwa runs over to grab them. Neon tells Little Red Hat Girl to get to safety as Keiwa tosses her a Driver. They both run.
The updated scoreboard reflects Keiwa and Neon in possession of a Driver. Game Master watches as Ace and Michinaga battle Jyamato without one. He remarks that a Driver-less Ace is but a mere mortal.
The two run into Win as more Jyamato appear. They do what they can until Keiwa and Neon arrive to help. Michinaga grabs Keiwa’s collar and says he doesn’t need anyone’s help. Keiwa says it is only natural to help others. Michinaga calls him naïve and tries to make him realize that they are rivals in the game. Neon says it is still worth helping each other. Especially since being eliminated and getting another chance later is better than being dead.
Michinaga pushes Keiwa off. Keiwa says you just have to rely on others sometimes as humans can’t just live by themselves.
Ace thinks Keiwa has a good point. No matter how confident you are, you will just need help sometimes. If anything, being too confident is a bad thing. One cannot live without support from others.
The Jyamato Rider appears and Keiwa and Neon henshin to battle it and the other Jyamatos that have appeared. The others also fight as much as they can.
A mysterious man is watching the fighting and is accompanied by the mysterious woman who approached Ace earlier. He waves his hand and she uses her tablet to send a Command Twin Buckle out to Ace. Game Master Girori is shocked. He’s never seen such a thing before.
Ace asks a favor of Keiwa. He would like to borrow his Driver for a few minutes in order to retrieve the Jyamato’s Driver. And in return, Ace will give Keiwa all his Buckles.
Ace henshins using the new Buckle and gets a new visor. But the power-up packs a big punch. Michinaga is about to leave, but Win has some advice for him if he wants a Driver.
Ace gets Jet and Cannon armor and finishes off the Jyamato Rider with a Command Twin Victory finisher. Ace returns the Driver to Keiwa along with his Buckles. But Michinaga grabs the Driver before Ace does.
Girori calls the mysterious man with a bowtie who believes it is not right for the Game Master to be interfering in the game. Girori remains defiant and warns him not to mess around.
Over in the forest, Little Red Hat Girl gives two Jyamato the remaining two Drivers. The players at the temple learn of this through the scoreboard and Tsumuri says that based on live standings, Ace and Win would be eliminated.
Fun little World Cup-ish action with Tsumuri updating everyone with live standings and elimination scenarios. Lol
Anyway, it was an interesting way to tell the story of being able to reach out for help. Yes, it’s great to be able to support others and receive support from others. But there’s nothing wrong with being independent as well. They were kinda pushing hard on the idea that being a loner like Michinaga is the worst thing ever. Lol. Though of course, we want to reach out to Michinaga to not have to deal with whatever he’s going through on his own. But I don’t know that the show was going for that type of lesson this episode. I dunno. Everyone can interpret the lesson of the week how it might be most applicable to them I guess!
I guess the main thing about this episode was introducing the new characters. Which is kind of meh for now. The last few weeks giving us some clarity was very welcome and quite refreshing, though of course nothing absolute yet. So getting tossed a few new questions is a little annoying. But it’s all to move the plot forward I suppose.
They are certainly adding to the idea that the DGP is a much bigger operation than just Girori and Tsumuri. A little more Squid Game touches I guess with potentially having all these rich people involved, whether in positions of power within the DGP. Or as just patrons who enjoy watching players fight for their lives as entertainment.
lol though at Ace and Neon telling Little Red Hat Girl to get to safety as if she hasn’t been the one swiping their Drivers. Like hello? lol
With creepy gardener man, it seems like the DGP tasked him with creating or at least producing Jyamato in order to give players something to battle. But the main question for that is why the DGP would want this world-threatening danger to exist just for fun and games. That’s part of the big secret I guess.
I guess lots of guessing at this point! Lol Geats is not the quickest when it comes to getting plot points churned out. So for me right now, I’m just putting my faith in all the pieces coming together later for something satisfying. Oh boy am I setting myself up. Lol
Overall, an okay episode. My favorite part was Keiwa’s badassery against the Jyamato when he took the Drivers back. This round’s musical chairs format is actually good as it ups the drama between the players. But, we’ll see how it goes next week. I guess!