Tsumuri is still unsure that sabotaging Ace is the right thing to do. But the show must go on. At the temple, Tsumuri updates the players on the mechanics of this round. Keiwa offers his Driver to Ace so he can use it to reclaim his own. But Michinaga knocks Keiwa’s arm away to remind him this is a game. Win says Keiwa better forget about Ace if he really wants to win. Neon is sure Ace has something up his sleeve.
Michinaga, Neon and Keiwa head out when Jyamato begin rampaging again. Keiwa uses his new Buckle. While fighting, Keiwa hears the Jyamato repeat words once uttered by Taira-san. He thinks he’s hearing things. Michinaga, meanwhile, faces off against the Little Red Hat Girl who transforms into her Jyamato form. He thinks he’s finished her off, but is actually tricked by illusions and instead hits Neon and Keiwa. The Jyamato forces them three to dehenshin.
Over at the greenhouse, the gardener happily names his new right hand Jyamato as “Rook.”
Meanwhile, Ace runs into Win who freely admits he’s in the game just to ensure Ace’s defeat. Win says he didn’t even bother to write a desire on his card. And even if he is eliminated, Game Master promised to restore his memories.
Ace says he’ll lose his memory if he loses anyway, so he wants to know why Neon was suddenly re-inserted into the game and why he got a new Buckle out of nowhere. Win refuses to be fooled by Ace’s trickery.
At the green room, Michinaga quickly bandages himself up before heading out as this is their best chance to knock Ace out of the game. Keiwa tries to get him to rest up first, but Michinaga is too eager.
Neon asks Keiwa if they can really protect the world without Ace fighting alongside them. Neon feels very defeated, but Keiwa says it’s not their fault since they were just randomly selected for the game. Neon says that’s not true and reveals that she had her bodyguards do some digging.
Bodyguards Ben and John call her to say they found Core IDs in her father’s office. And they know what Core IDs are because as soon as they touched them, they regained memories of their time as DGP players. The Kurama Foundation was a sponsor of the DGP.
Win speaks to Girori to remind him about getting his Core ID after this is over. Girori goes against what he promised and says that will happen only if Win wins. That is Win’s punishment for revealing their plan to Ace.
Girori tells Win that if he wants his memories, then he better fight harder to protect the world. Win cannot believe it and hurries over to Tsumuri to tell her about being betrayed by GM Girori. He asks her to send him down so he can quickly find himself a Driver.
Win takes on two Jyamato Riders himself, but is overpowered until Ace comes to help after Tsumuri told him what happened. They run to safety in a garage.
Win asks why Ace is helping him and Ace says Win possibly has answers to some of his questions. Ace talks about wanting to find his mother. That’s partly why he wanted to become the biggest star in the world so she’d come find him.
Win explains to Ace that his dream was to be a musician. But his efforts racked up a huge debt. His grandfather is a chairman of a big company who also sponsored the DGP. That’s how he was able to get Win a management position at the DGP to pay off his debts.
Win doesn’t know enough about the inner workings of the DGP. But he recognizes Ace’s mother’s name Mitsume as the former navigator before Tsumuri.
Win suggests Ace asks the Game Master for more answers. Ace asks who the Game Master is anyway, but Win knows that Ace knows exactly who it is.
Ace thanks Win for this fruitful conversation and admits that it was his plan all along to get his Driver taken by Michinaga after he heard of their plan. This was the only way he could get some information from him. Win can’t believe he was fooled twice. Ace asks Win to play along some more so he can still have a chance for his musical dreams.
Downtown, Keiwa and Neon arrive at the scene where Michinaga is already fighting the Jyamato. They tepidly regain their resolve to protect the world and henshin.
Ace and Win also arrive at the scene and Girori calls Win to asks what the hell he’s doing instead of ensuring Ace’s elimination. Win declares he is no longer Girori’s errand boy.
Keiwa and Neon are able to defeat two Jyamato Riders, releasing their Drivers. The Little Red Hat Jyamato, however, gets Neon and Michinaga to fight against each other using illusions.
Keiwa uphenshins using his new Buckle and battles the Little Red Jyamato.
Ace and Win get to the scene where the abandoned Drivers are on the ground. But Girori appears, reveals himself to Ace and henshins. Win is able to grab a Driver and henshins. But Girori hacks Win’s mind.
Win knocks the Driver out of Ace’s hand. And at just that moment, Keiwa defeats the final Jyamato, ending this round.
The others are shocked to learn Ace has been eliminated. Ace pulls out his Core ID, but he is officially retired.
Kind of interesting episode? Kind of not? I dunno. On one hand, it was another exposition episode. Just things being told to us instead of us getting a chance to experience said things. At the same time, I kind of welcome it because we need to just get things moving somehow. And if this info dump can lead to actual interesting and exciting things, then good! But I also fear that we might just get told things every other episode. And in that case, the show will get tiring very fast.
So obviously, Ace getting eliminated is a big development. And definitely a big plot device. But getting to his elimination was so anti-climactic.
The episode was kind of meh from the start considering all the exposition. So I didn’t feel like it was a strong build up to Ace finally getting eliminated for the first time.
First off, I thought it was very Meh to have Ace already knowing Game Master’s identity. It’s good to have Ace be the sly fox. But it’s also nice to have others exploit any tiny opening Ace might leave for them. Being perfectly one step ahead 100% of the time isn’t always interesting and can get annoying after a while.
Ace was more shocked by Girori being able to henshin into a Rider rather than him finding out Game Master’s identity. Heck, he was more shocked about that than learning his mother was Tsumuri’s predecessor.
I honestly would’ve rather watched Ace dig and find out about Game Master Girori rather than this moment of “ZOMG, Game Master can henshin himself?!?!” Like, it’s not that surprising considering he’s the Game MASTER, after all.
Having Girori be responsible for Ace getting eliminated helped to further the anti-climatic feeling of the end too. Why go through the failed attempts to undermine Ace when he could’ve just done it himself from the beginning?
I think it would’ve opened up a lot more fun story and better moments if Win was actually just playing along with Ace and lulling him into a false sense of security. Have the kitsune be out-kitsuned. That would make Ace’s elimination even more shocking, at least to him. And in turn, it would also help motivate him in his quest even more.
That would’ve been better instead of Win becoming a gullible clown (his word) and then Girori controlling his mind in the end. That’s too easy and honestly, the lazy route. Even if the bulk of the story is yet to come, they could’ve had a big moment already here.
The other “big” revelation this episode was the Kurama Foundation and Win’s grandfather’s financing of the DGP. That too isn’t much of a surprise. And again, it was told to us instead of uncovered somehow in a more dramatic way.
Neon’s bodyguards being DGP alums was yet another thing told to us. And the fact that it came just minutes after Neon tells Keiwa about having her people do some digging into the DGP. Like, let things marinate for a little bit.
These bursts of information are welcome in a season that’s been a bit slow to gain its footing and purpose. But at the same time, they can take away from what should be potentially exciting and fun story.
Elsewhere, I definitely rolled my eyes at Keiwa wanting to hand Ace his Driver. Yes, Keiwa is a nice guy and all. But come on bro. I was very happy to see Michinaga try to snap him out of his niceness lol
Now that we have four, non-Ace DGP players left, I hope they actually do get one of them to win. And not have Ace somehow be inserted back into the game again. And considering Girori broke a DGP rule by interfering, they easily could do that and undo everything with some random DGP management coup or whatever. But I hope not.