The first thing to mention is how both Kouta and Micchy think about the situation. First there is Kouta who does hate how the Beat Riders were just tools for their disposal, but he still sees that the belt can help him and the others around him. Micchy on the other hand is actually thinking about himself and the few that are around him. I will easily focus on both of these aspects as Kouta will be first. As seen before in the series, Kouta is the righteous hero and in the situation he is in, it really reminds me of one of my favorite protagonist in a video game. I'm talking about Lloyd Irving from Symphonia as he had to make decisions about saving the few close to him or the many that he could not even know about. This is exactly the situation Kouta is in and with the power he has on him right now he wants to save anyone he can. Which I can connect to Lloyd as well since he carries a special item that everyone else doesn't have and that gives him great strength. I really love Kouta's decision in the matter as it will easily work further in the series because a trait like that is going to be needed. So Kouta is easily the hero type, but what about the other characters?
Micchy has really taken an interesting turn in his development as he starts to show his more evil side even around Kouta. This was really shocking for me to see since in the previous episode Micchy has seen Kouta has a role model. The reason he got the driver and became a rider was because of how much Kouta was doing for Team Gaim. With the situation at hand though, Micchy seems like he is trying to control or force Kouta to do what he wants. Micchy even starts to use his persuading logic on Kouta as it felt like the two times he talked with Sid. This is a point that is making Micchy having another change in his character, but this time this was clearly hinted at and is good progression. I mentioned the times Micchy talked with Sid and those were clearly the hints how of Micchy can be. I'm even thinking that this could be some connection he has with his brother since again he will have a job with Yggdrasil in his future. So what exactly is Micchy thinking about?
Micchy clearly has a strong viewpoint in the situation and he comes from the same living area as one of the people behind the big plan. Micchy clearly mentioned about how his life was full of decisions he couldn't make for himself and that this belt easily gave him the power to make his own decisions now. What Micchy gained most from the belt was that in general and he has gained confidence from this. It goes so far that Micchy is the one who decides to not use the belts so that he cannot give anymore information to Yggdrasil, even if that means not saving the innocent. This is where Kouta has to cross the line since he has to save the people around him, but Micchy easily thinks more about himself and the people that are close to him. It's also surprising that the man Micchy got inspiration from is now the same person he is arguing with right now. So right now Micchy is showing opposition to how Kouta thinks as this could lead to Micchy making more decisions and I feel he could betray Kouta soon. By what this episode has shown me, Micchy is fine with some people drop while he gets what he wants and that is clearly shown at the times Micchy got mad at Kouta from transforming and saving the day.
As for other characters there was an interesting side of Kaito we got to see in this episode. While walking around, Mai sees Kaito standing around in an open lot. The two talk about the past again and giving the audience some insight what the city used to be. It's really interesting to learn that the city that is highly advanced used to be more rural and cultural. This is shown when Kaito talks about how there used to be a tree that had a shrine and how he used to play there when he was younger. What I noticed is that the tree in his flashback was clearly the same tree from the previous episode. So this is probably the reason why Yggdrasil took action when they did and built that large tower. They are clearly keeping that tree alive since it's the major rift for them, this lead to the Lock Seeds and soon onto the Inves Games. All I want to know is how long has the Helheim forest existed and how did Yggdrasil know of it. I would also say the whole reason for the huge advancement of technology was thanks to Yggdrasil as well and I bet that was to cover up what they were doing. They got their spot in society and thanks to that they have become important to the people and that means they will be staying for a long time as they already have been.
Back to Kaito, when he remembers those events they now make him angry since this was another thing that was taken from him. Again it's impressive how much Yggdrasil has done for the city, but in exchange there are people who hate the change. For Kaito he is one of those few people and that hatred soon gave him the ideology he has today. Kaito even goes to the area just to remember his hatred and continues on with what he is doing. All I can say is that I can't wait for Kaito to start learning about what is happening behind the scenes since I think he will easily start to help out more and easily be more like a hero. Actually it's interesting that Kaito is gaining for hero-like traits while Micchy is showing his evil side, so there could be a shift in that regard? Will Kaito become Kouta's ally and Micchy ends up becoming the villain? This is all very impressive and that is thanks to how Kaito acts as a person and how he performs his actions as I can tell he will be doing a whole lot more in the series.
For Mai she shows her good sides again when she was talking with Kaito. First of all the two are actually childhood friends and I will say that easily makes the love connection more clearer to see, but again I was not expecting that to happen at all. Mai is easily seeing the good sides of Kaito as he is a good person even if he does do things that could work for the antagonist. Well for Mai she talks about how memories affect her since for Kaito they only fuel his anger, but for her they are reminders of what she wants to do. In the past, Mai wanted to be a priestess for the shrine which was the tree that Kaito mentioned and even with the shrine gone she still continues that dream as she dances for the many people in the city. She wants to share the happiness she had in the past with others even if the past is gone, she is moving forward with her dreams as Kaito is doing the same, but is easily holding grudges and that can be holding him back. Something out of the blue happens though as a mysterious guest approaches Mai.
The other Mai actually shows up after Kaito leaves. She tells the first Mai about how she can choose another fate, so wait, Mai is even going to involved with the whole fate thing being mentioned. So far she has only appeared to the riders of the series and now this easily proves that there will be characters other than the riders who will play big roles in the story. This also disproves the fact that the mysterious women is Mai since she appears before her, but who is she then? So the other Mai tells Mai that she does have other choices for her fate and that she can leave and forget about her bonds with Kouta and Kaito. I find that piece of dialogue interesting since she mentions Kouta and Kaito. This could mean that those two could be opposing forces or allies as the other Mai worries about where Mai could be in the manner. Maybe that is the worrying part is what side she does pick or the fact that she couldn't. She even tells Mai about when she realizes what her fate is it will be too late to change things and then she vanishes. This scene really left with a lot of questions and now has given bigger focus for Mai in regards to the story as she could become a major player in how things play out.
On a sadder note, Hase is not having good fortune on him today. Since his belt has been destroyed he doesn't have a lot of potential in the Inves Games. Baron comes to challenge his team and without his belt working, he had to resort to summoning an Inves with his Lock Seed. What ends up happening is that Hase loses the game, loses his Lock Seed, his stage, his own team, and his partner Jonouchi. I mean wow the bad things just kept pilling onto Hase in that one moment. Without the power he once had he cannot defend himself or help his team and that's exactly why people left him. I have a feeling that Hase won't give up though and who knows maybe he could steal a new belt since Yggdrasil is now able to make more drivers now and give them to their soldiers, maybe Hase will work for that company just so he can have that power again?
For Jonouchi he sees that it's time to find a new partner as he quickly leaves Hase because of him losing his belt. To make things worse, Jonouchi was planning on betraying Hase and take his stage, but Baron just moved in faster. This is how Jonouchi thinks as he is clearly not a fighter, but a tactician even though he can fail with that as well. He does show his smarts though as he does make an idea that would work well on paper, but with the person he is dealing with it's going to much harder. Jonouchi actually decides to work with Oren of all people because he is clearly one of the stronger riders in the game. I guess the only thing he will get out him is that Bravo is not a Beat Rider so Jonouchi could technically have him be a member of Team Invitto just like how Kouta is with Team Gaim. The bad news is that he is working with Oren as he is already forced to do work for the man. It was actually a pretty funny scene seeing how fast Jonouchi's plan backfired on him right after leaving his old partner behind, karma works in many ways. Also to add onto to the humor, Alfonzo is heavily concentrated on making dessert that looks like Zangetsu because he was that impressed by him.
The action for the episode doesn't happen until the end, there was a little moment when Gaim fought a weak Inves, but that wasn't much. What was more impressive is the fight Gaim had with not only against three weak Inves, but three evolved Inves as well! Micchy was thinking of helping Gaim, but he just stands back and watches him fight. Even though I have seen Gaim fight many times already in his base form the fight was really impressive. This is thanks to the great camera work and how fast the action was going even with three monsters. There was the flying one that got attacks on Gaim whenever the other two were starting to wail on him and the two kept hitting him at different moments and surrounding him on both sides. Gaim wins the day though thanks to his weapons and how fast he had to move. The flying Inves actually stayed in some of the background shots at times waiting to strike so Gaim had to quickly stun the two on the ground so he can get a hit on the flying one. When all three were on the ground that is when Gaim starts pulling out his finishers as he uses the usual sword finisher and before the Inves could fly again he uses a rider kick finisher! The fight was really impressive thanks to the speed of it and how great the timing was along with some nice camera angles and knowing when to cut around. Also a rider kick finisher is always appreciated.
The final thing to talk about then is the new driver being shown in this episode. It's called the Genesis Driver and it uses a new type of Lock Seed. By what Zangetsu have they are called Energy Lock Seeds as he uses Melon Energy of course. A little silly aspect I love from the belt that is makes soda out of the seed and makes a more powerful version of Zangetsu. Zangetsu also carries a new weapon which is a bow with blades on the sides of it. So it's both a close range and far range weapon and Zangetsu shows that perfectly against a bunch of Kurokages. At first I thought this was just going to be a preview thing for the toy sales, but since the next episode is going to use it, it is a nice way to introduce the new rider belt. What makes it better is that the scientist and Takatora talk about how the guinea pigs have served their purpose and Takatora clearly says that it's time to end the Inves Games. So I have a feeling that Zangetsu is now going to purposefully destroy the rider belts now as Yggdrasil is going to take action against their own creations. I will say though I am a little sad to see the original Zangetsu leave already, but who knows it could come back again.
I love how every time I'm doing a Gaim review I think there isn't much to talk about, but when actually doing it I end up writing more than I thought. Episode twelve is another impressive part of the series as it is showing traits that were hinted at with characters. There was Kouta's righteousness, Micchy's evil side, Kaito's good side, Hase's despair, Jonouchi's cunning side, and Takatora's seriousness. The writing for this series was good already and recently it keeps improving and adding new aspects I wasn't expecting. I will say even though I had a lot of fun with Wizard, most of it was filler. Gaim is showing a more complex story and is telling it very well so far thanks to how it's giving the audience hints of what is going to happen and also giving us exposition and yet still not know what could happen next. For this episode it's an A+ and if the series can keep this strong writing, character development, and action it could easily top Wizard and easily get into my top five or even top three rider series.
Next Time: Gaim goes bananas!