Welcome to the World of Buffa!
The news broadcast reports on top star Ukiyo Ace having gone missing for one week now with no trace of him even after a police investigation. Michinaga looks over the city, saying Ace will not be found anywhere.
Meanwhile, Sara pleads with a police officer to find her missing brother Keiwa. The cop suggests Keiwa must have ran off with his girlfriend, but Sara says that’s very unlikely.
Elsewhere, Kyuun walks around the city seeing how everyone’s memories have been reset. And that includes Neon who happily walks out of a shop with her bodyguards having just purchased a gift for her mother. Kyuun eavesdrops as Neon’s bodyguard tells her she has a few blind dates in the afternoon. He decides Neon seems much happier now without the knowledge of her past.
Beroba tells Michinaga that the DGP is about to make their move. She hands him his Driver and he is about to leave. But she giggles and says that what he’s doing is basically what the Kamen Riders he hates so much also do. Micchi doesn’t care though.
Over at the green room, Tsumuri does not understand why Chirami wants to summon Riders at this time as it is too dangerous, especially with their executive producer MIA too. Chirami says this will make for exciting television; seeing how the Riders will deal with a now-powerful Michinaga but also how Michinaga will deal with the Riders. In the end, they might even retrieve the Vision Driver and restore the DGP to its former glory.
Chirami tells Tsumuri to hand out Core IDs to the invited players.
With Tsumuri reluctant, Chirami grabs her face and asks her what good is her being the Navigator then if she is so against this. He orders her to do her job.
At the Goddess of Creation, the hooded figure declares it is time for a test run.
Downtown, Neon is having lunch with her first blind date. Outside, the bodyguards feel kind of bored with Neon not running away or doing livestreams lately. But Tsumuri suddenly appears in front of them to hand them Core IDs and Drivers as invited players.
Tsumuri heads inside to hand Neon her Core ID and Driver as well. Before she can touch her Core ID, Michinaga has arrived and is already fighting the bodyguards who have not yet henshined. They tell Neon to run off as they both henshin. Michinaga easily defeats the bodyguards and they are retired.
Neon runs into Beroba who forces the Core ID on her, thus returning her memories. Beroba is excited to see her suffering again.
Kyuun arrives and Neon tells him that she remembers everything. She asks why he did not help remind her of things and he says he just wanted her to live a happy life.
Kyuun asks what she wants to do now then. She says she just wants to be herself and Kyuun says he knows just the place that will allow that: the future with him.
Later in the evening, Michinaga continues eliminating new Riders by crushing their Core IDs. Chirami is shocked when every single player has been eliminated, even former DezaShins. Tsumuri has a frustrated “I told you so” written across her face as she says they can do nothing with Michinaga as he is now.
Chirami digs through the Core IDs and looks for someone who can match up with Michinaga. He finds Ace’s, but says it is too bad he is no longer in this world. He tosses the Core ID and it lands at Tsumuri’s feet. She picks it up.
Chirami decides to go to Ziin and Kekera to beg for help. If they can retrieve the Vision Driver, he will take responsibility in quietly reviving Ace and Keiwa.
After a little bit of thinking, Ziin agrees to help. Kekera points out that Ziin has changed. Usually, when his favorite Rider died, Ziin would just choose a new one. Ziin says Ace has helped him see things in a new light.
Ziin says Keiwa must have changed Kekera too. Kekera admits that may be true, but he isn’t into power contests so he’ll handle things his own way.
Suddenly, Michinaga pops into the temple saying that he would like to start things off this time. He tosses the Vision Driver at Chirami’s feet, saying they are the only Riders left for him to eliminate.
Chirami says Michinaga is underestimating him. Tsumuri pleads that Riders are not supposed to fight each other. But Ziin says he has a reason to fight. And that is to save Ace.
Ziin and Chirami henshin as does Michinaga. Tsumuri has no choice but to just watch as they start to battle. She wonders if there is anything she can do.
Michinaga forces Ziin to dehenshin before turning his attention to Chirami. Chirami asks if there’s any desire he can grant Michinaga and he replies that he wishes for a world without the DGP.
Michinaga laments how more and more selfish people pop up in the world because the DGP repeatedly dangles “ideal world” carrots in front of them. And those people have no problem sacrificing others to attain that desire.
Chirami says that is just human nature for the people of these past eras and the DGP was the one who provided him with the power anyway. Michinaga says that’s exactly why the DGP must leave their world immediately.
Tsumuri clutches Ace’s Core ID in her hand and wonders if he might know what she can do now. Having played the DGP so long, he must have an answer. She puts the Core ID to her forehead.
Michinaga is about to deliver a finishing blow at Chirami. But a strange figure appears…
Ace suddenly manifests in front of them. Tsumuri is shocked to see the Core ID gone from her hands.
“I am a kitsune,” Ace says. “Consider me a spirit.”
Ace henshins. Michinaga is confident in his power. But Ace says he is not here for him. Ace points his blaster at Chirami.
The hooded figure at the Goddess of Creation wonders if the return of Geats will be a blessing or a curse upon the world. The hooded figure declares the beginning of the Desire Royale and says the Goddess of Creation continues her cycle of destruction and rebirth.
“I see you’ve finally awakened… Tsumuri!”
Well okay! Mama Tsumuri is a nice development. And after establishing that Ace reincarnates, well then I guess Tsumuri being reincarnated is not too much of a stretch either. That and the fact that both Mama Ukiyo and Tsumuri are both Navigators.
I mean, I’m sure all the clever and intelligent Kamen Rider fans out there (myself not included) already predicted this “twist” months ago.
But I think it’s a nice development. I’m all for Tsumuri getting more substantial material. And I definitely expected that would come sometime in the future. I’m happy to see it come earlier than I would’ve thought. And I’m also happy that she is finally getting story rather than the show focusing on all the less interesting side characters instead.
It also made Ace’s return a little less sideeye-inducing. Since if it has anything to do with his mother, then it makes much more sense than it having to do with some random deus ex machina kind of thing.
On one hand, I would’ve liked to have lived in Buffa World a little longer. Like, maybe a few episodes of Buffa World with no other distractions or someone hogging the spotlight. I go back to my original hope that we’d get many different worlds to explore during the season when I assumed we’d get different DezaShins. But I think I’ve accepted that’s not going to happen anymore and that’s not what the season is about. (Though I would’ve liked to have seen that season.)
Still, I would’ve liked seeing Michinaga be the boss for a while longer. Maybe have an episode of just him doling out justice to some selfish, greedy DGP players like the ones who killed his BFF bro. That would’ve been great.
It would’ve also given a little more opportunity to show Tsumuri’s growing frustration with the situation, the DGP and her annoying Game Master. Would’ve made the Core ID to the forehead moment feel even bigger than it did if we saw Tsumuri have to endure a lot more of the nonsense surrounding her.
It was nice to see some Kekera and Ziin and having Chirami have to grovel at their feet. I’m looking forward to seeing Kekera finally in action. Whenever that will be.
And elsewhere, they threw us some scraps for Neon and Kyuun. And I think it was enough. Any big developments in Neon’s story I think deserves its own episode rather than have to fight for time with other big-ish developments.
This episode went intro-less, but I don’t know that it really deserved it. Though I guess the Mama Tsumuri reveal is certainly, relatively speaking, a bigger deal than other possibilities.
Overall, a pretty good episode that very much moves the story along. That’s quite a change from a perhaps a few months ago.