The first character I want to talk about is Micchy, what the hell happened to this guy? I remember in episode four it seemed like he was going to take Kouta's spot because I thought he was inspired by Kouta being the hero. This episode though supports that idea, but doesn't at the same time. I was confused with how Micchy was thinking in this episode because he made no sense. In the beginning of the episode he has a dream where he is watching Mai dance (a bit creepy) and there the other Mai appears and tells him he has a life of fighting waiting. Micchy clearly says that if he continues to fight as Ryugen he can get Mai's attention. So hearing that means he just wants Mai as a girlfriend, what happened with arguing with her in the previous episode? Then when he is talking with Kouta he says that he can fight for what he believes in. Hearing what Micchy said made me think that he was not replacing Kouta, but being the hero himself. When Kouta is ready to fight again though and Micchy tells him not to... I would have thought Micchy would want Kouta to fight alongside him since he was so happy to see him back on the team before. This was so confusing because he had three different emotions here. First there is his lust for Mai that is controlling him, his sense of righteousness, and then pure selfishness. Micchy pick the one thing you want to do.
Then there is Mai, oh my goodness was she at her worst in this episode. So let's get this straight, Mai hated having Kouta being Gaim because he wasn't doing things for himself and was putting himself in danger. When Micchy does the exact same thing she's fine with it... WHAT?! I mean wow just slap on her forehead the word hypocrite because she deserves that title now. It gets better though; her explanation for this is that Micchy is a part of the team. Kouta was part of the team and came back! Also she is so confident in Micchy after just one fight! Mai are you an idiot, he just fought a monster and had a challenge with it, he's lucky he had that gun. What ends up happening, Kaito shows up and alongside him he uses two monsters to help him in a fight. Micchy gets one intense beat down and could barely defend himself. I will say this series loves to quickly disprove on anything Mai thinks.
Also it just keeps getting better and better. Kouta starts to realize what the meaning of having the powers mean and the way he convinces Mai is that he is going to fight for himself. By fighting for himself he means being the hero like he was doing before. The best part is that Mai was still disagreeing with him at first. Mai one of your teammates is getting destroyed in battle and I would bet Kaito would do more than defeat Micchy. I'm not saying murder, but I can see him breaking some bones. This is the absolute worst for Mai in the series so far and I'm afraid if it's going to get worse from here on. Literally she takes back what she says when it's about Micchy even though he's doing the exact same thing Kouta was doing. Then it's fine for Kouta now since he's fighting for himself even though he's still being the hero. So the message here is that truly being heroic means being selfish? If so the message doesn't fit since Kouta is still acting like the hero, my head hurts right now.
Now I did say Kouta makes his comeback and that is something that I can like here. Also I'm hoping that Kouta was just persuading Mai that he was going to fight for himself. If he wasn't I can slap hypocrisy on him as well since he has a speech about what to do with power with Kaito. Kaito uses powers like a mad king and will keep control of his people and then showing his own people what happens to people who don't agree with him. Kouta on the other hand wants to use his power to support others and be an influence on the broken-hearted. So it's exactly how I thought Micchy was influenced by Kouta to fight. So pretty much Kouta is back to being Kouta or this whole time he was just saving people because he wasn't thinking for himself. Again I am confused on what's supposed to be the message for this episode, I want to be on the side with being the power to influence others, but there is still this whole selfishness heroics message as well. So even though Kouta took his stand back up there is a lot of confusion to what exactly he is doing now, other than the same things he was already doing before.
There is a glimmer of hope as Kaito is still awesome! I know this guy is a complete jerk, but he is so far the character that hasn't been jumping around anywhere in development. The guy loves using his power to make examples out of people and then having people join him to share that power. It's quite funny on how he's a knight who is usually a guard of a king and yet Kaito is the king. Again I don't even agree with his ideas, but he just has a different viewpoint and in ways he's not wrong. First he is doing exactly what he has been saying and for the most part it's working out well. Team Baron is grouping up more people since Kaito has been dealing out Lock Seeds and his goal was to have some loyal dogs in his control. Then there is how he wanted to take down Gaim because he was not going to take any risk as he says Team Gaim does have some strong points. This makes him send out two Inves to fight alongside him against Ryugen. That was an insanely great moment seeing how fast he is using his seeds in different manners. He started to use them to gather people and now he is controlling the monsters, which is just amazing. Again, I may not agree with him, but his character is still the strongest one of the series since he is staying the same and showing on how strong he can be.
Another interesting development is how two of Kaito's new so called dogs are already thinking of revolting against him. Jonouchi meets up with Hase to tell him what Kaito's true intention of having more members is really all about. This gets Hase mad just like how Jonouchi is and they need to find a way to be on Kaito's level and luckily Sid is around. At the end of the episode we see that the two guys get their own drivers and become the next Armored Riders. Now for the last minute reveal I would say it works better here than the previous episode with Ryugen since it's somewhat of a twist. Now this is ruined since we know exactly what the two are going to do with these new powers. There is no doubt they are going to fight Kaito in that moment and end up leaving Team Baron and I bet they will get that upper hand. Mostly because the two still act like they are fighting for Kaito and that will get him off guard. So I do like the little revolt these two are having as with them being riders I can't wait to see how their characters are going to develop.
The action in this episode is much better than episode four as it does show us Ryugen's first fight, how Baron starts to dominate, and Kouta's comeback. Ryugen's first fight was pretty good since there was a sense of struggle since Micchy clearly didn't have a full understanding of his powers. Luckily his gun gave him the advantage over the flying Inves. Then Ryugen quickly gets dropped to the ground by Baron and his Inves since Ryugen had to be in closer combat. He clearly doesn't have any close range fighting down as Baron takes this advantage. I did love seeing Baron purposely getting him in corners mostly thanks to the two Inves. Kaito was still using his spear as a sword, but I did like how he did use the whole weapon like even using the bottom half to knock Ryugen and then punch him. Kouta returns as Gaim and with his view of how power should be used this has Ryugen give Gaim the new Lock Seed. So wait, Micchy wants to impress Mai, so why didn't he use it? Oh well the appearance of Ichigo Arms good as Gaim did use it like actual throwing knives and the finisher was sweet to look at. So the action easily improved compared to episode four as it's close to what the first three episodes had.
Episode five is another pretty messy episode like episode four was, but at least it did improve the combat. I'm still confused three of the characters motives on how they feel about the current situation of Armored Riders. Then there is still Kaito being the best character in the series so far. So I would say this episode is around the same area as episode four, but thanks to the better action I would give this episode a C.
Next Time: Finally I can bust out some Rocky Horror jokes in a Toku show.