Ziin is sure Ace is about to be killed. But Keiwa and Neon swoop in just in time to shield Ace and get him to safety. Beroba says that was pretty pointless considering the world is about to be united under Jyamato rule.
Ace wakes up in the green room and Tsumuri fills him in on what happened. Ace finds Ziin laying in his bed and apologizes for him getting hurt. Ziin says it’s alright as long as Ace is okay.
But Ace brings up how people of the future are practically supernatural since their lives are designed at birth. He proposes the reason Ziin came to this time period is in order to experience and feel the emotions that are nonexistent in the future because of that predetermined life.
Ziin says he had no idea what he was getting himself into since he never knew what the feeling of mortality was like.
Ace recounts the words of Oda Nobunaga regarding the 50 years that humans were once granted by the heavens. Today, that’s only half of a person’s lifetime. But even then, nothing lasts forever. And that is the world they are born into. Ziin jokes that the past is pretty absurd.
Ace has him and Ziin go for a walk. Ace shows Ziin a coin from the time period his mother first left him. He remembers how when he realized that he would never see his mother again, his first life ended. But whenever he was born again, across 2000 years, he inherited the memories of his past lives. Plus, his parents in each life would name him in some variation of “Ace.” And somehow, Ace would always find the coin in each life as well.
Keiwa and Neon watch this scene from their supporter rooms, speechless at learning of Ace’s past. Ziin is also shocked to learn the truth of Ace’s life. But Ace wonders why he is stuck in this loop of life. He wants to know what the purpose of this is and believes his mother has the answers.
Ace adds that he’s experienced death and misery many times. Ziin begins to cry, though he’s only ever read about the concept. People of the future don’t have tear ducts. But now that he’s come close to death and after seeing how strong Ace remains even after what he’s gone through, Ziin can’t help but cry.
Ace says he’s happy to see Ziin finally find the emotion he’s been yearning for. But Ziin never imagined this emotion would be so painful. If he had known, he would’ve kept Ace’s secrets buried and just continue to support him as just a fan.
Ace says they’re both obsessed over the past. But what’s important is how you live right now.
Meanwhile, the JGP starts once again. Niramu decides to join Ace, Keiwa and Neon in the field. The trio first fight off base Jyamato, but Niramu is able to jump right in to battle as well.
Keiwa and Neon henshin to deal with the base Jyamato while Ace and Niramu progress forward. Ace clears a path for them. But Beroba decides to pop into the game as well. She henshins and she and Ace battle.
Beroba thinks she’s outsmarted Ace, but he is always one step ahead. Ziin watches from around the corner.
While Ace is initially able to hold off Beroba, he grows tired once again and is forced to dehenshin. Beroba sees this as her opening to kill him for good.
Ziin doesn’t know what “live for today” means, but this is as good a time as any to learn. He runs toward Ace, shooting at Beroba.
Ziin locks in the Laser Raise Riser Buckle into Ace’s Driver and Ace immediately perks up. He henshins directly to a LaserBoost form, much to Beroba’s surprise. Ziin explains the Laser Raise Riser allows them to shape their ideals as they please, so he has spruced up Ace’s form with some color. And with that, Ace’s lethargy should be gone.
Ace thanks Ziin for the thoughtful present. The two of them prepare for the episode highlight. Beroba scoffs at the idea of them attacking a defenseless maiden. But Ziin says her own Rider outfit is a product of the Laser Raise Riser as well and she is actually 350 years old.
Beroba takes offense to her age being mentioned.
Ace takes on a rock quarry full of Jyamato before Beroba powers up two Jyamato which Ace easily takes care of as well.
Ace turns his attention back to Beroba and delivers a Laser Boost Victory finisher at her. She explodes and is forced to dehenshin. She stumbles through the old town and runs into Ace who is about to grab the Vision Driver. But Michinaga pops in to protect her… or actually just the Driver.
Michinaga grabs the Driver and whisks him and Beroba away.
Ace hands Ziin the Laser Raise Riser Buckle back. But Ziin instead hands it and the Driver to Ace. Ziin says he wants to try and live his life properly from now on instead of traipsing through the past. Ziin wants to find his own purpose in life.
Ace says that sounds good and tells Ziin to come visit sometimes. Ziin is happy to hear that invitation.
Meanwhile, Archimedel demands Michinaga hand Beroba the Driver back. But Micchi says it is his now. Beroba realizes this has been Michinaga’s plan this whole time. Michinaga reminds her that she said he could use her.
Beroba thinks he is an amusing man.
Michinaga decides to pay the Goddess of Creation a visit and tells her she will grant his ideal world once he obtains the other Driver.
Well then! That was honestly quite a surprising turn of events for me. I really did think Ziin would become someone more antagonistic later on. But no. Everything was actually tied up with a pretty little expository bow this episode.
Now, I actually liked what this episode laid out as Ziin’s story. And the way it was able to also draw out what appears to be Ace’s story was also great. But I wish the last couple of episodes more properly led up to this point.
This episode is a great emotional climax-type of episode. Maybe even a midseason climax episode. Yet all the highway signs leading up to this offramp were telling us one thing. And we have found ourselves in a much different exit than what was being anticipated based on what the series was offering.
I think my main gripe is how this episode was the most human and raw we have seen Ace all season so far. That’s wonderful! I’ve been waiting for such moments. But there wasn’t really much lead up to this almost 180 turn for the previously sneaky kitsune of a title character. You could even say the only shift depicted in the episodes was every time he fell asleep lately. Otherwise, I feel like Ace has been his usual self with the bare minimum in terms of fleshing out his mommy issues. The idea of reincarnation and past lives explained a lot of how Ace was able to earn his “ace” title. But now it’s basically become his entire purpose of existing.
Ace has, for some reason, been condemned to eternity searching for his first mother. Umm… okay. That’s a fine story. But the expository way it was revealed this week kind of contradicts the character the show has been pushing forward since Episode 1.
Having Keiwa and Neon find out just by watching TV is also a cop out. They deserve to either get the explanation from Ace himself, in person. Or they somehow stumble upon the truth themselves. Not just because they are subscribed to the DGP Live Feeds.
It almost feels like yet another reset rather than a natural turning point in the story. Or maybe Geats is all about exposition and not really on the nuance and well-paced story development that I certainly look for in my toku. But maybe is not something anyone else cares about.
Hey, these are my thoughts, after all. lol
But anyway, now that we have what is seemingly Ace’s foundational origin story (which again, is an epic sort of tale), I really do hope he and his two sidekicks finally make some progress with that aspect of the story.
With Ziin, I really like the idea of him coming from an emotionless future and wanting to explore the past in order to get the fulfillment he cannot obtain in the future. Him starting to feel emotions and crying and having fear and all that actually deserves a few episodes. Not just all crammed into one.
And it really does feel like they’ve crammed Ziin’s entire story into this one episode. Yes, he’s gone on and on about wanting to feel things. But I think the way the rules of Geats‘ world keep shifting or are just plain nonexistent, it lessens the impact of such a character revelation as Ziin’s here.
The lack of real, impactful build up also takes away from what should be a wonderfully emotional climax. One that easily could’ve been used to make an enlightening turning point for Ace as a character. But it all came about too neatly and easily that it lacks the heavy punch that you should expect with these kinds of story checkpoints during a season.
I dunno! Maybe part of why I’m disappointed is my general apathy towards the season. Because I have mentioned how I do really like or even love certain moments and specific points here and there. But there is something lacking in the way the show connects those moments into a cohesive and free-flowing story. One that has a good pace that effectively lands the emotional punches, whether they be sad, dramatic revelations or energetic, rousing action sequences.
Like I say every episode now, it seems like, we’ll just have to wait and see what’s next!