The first major thing to talk about in this episode is how Kouta reacted to all of this. Sure Hase wasn't a friend of his, he even fought him before. Kouta does know that Hase was a victim of Yggdrasil's plans like the other Beat Riders. Hase was just another kid having fun with the Inves Games and what ended up happening is that he got hungry for power because he was starting to experience fear. All that Kouta knows that is a person he is fighting now and what's odd is that Hase as an Inves looks different compared to other Inves. I guess humans have different looks even when they turn into an Inves which we do see later. Kouta tries to fight Hase, but he cannot bring himself to do it. Kouta is again a hero who wants to save anyone he can and even if it seems impossible, he wants to try to take Hase to the hospital. Things get worse for him though as a member of Gaim gets injured because of Hase. Kouta does come to the decision that Hase isn't himself anymore, but in the end he still can't bring himself to murder another human being. Kouta was even questioning why he had to fight which made him think back to when Zangetsu attacked him and told him having questions while fighting will get him killed. I am actually impressed that the writing had these subtle hints to this twist and that was one of those hints. This easily makes me think more about some of the episodes I would say I didn't fully enjoy.
We do know now what happens to humans who eat the fruit from the forest, but it seems it goes further than that. For Micchy he sneaked into the Yggdrasil tower to find some answers. Micchy knows his brother is working there and by what he saw recently things are getting heated up. When he enters the tower he sees the rift that the company is keeping open for their research. He even overhears a discussion that Takatora and Sid were having. After they leave, he finds Takatora's computer and watches some of the files on there. He sees that even mice are affected by the fruit which would explain why some of the Lock Seeds carried small Inves compared to bigger ones. Then he stumbles upon a file that gives us a huge slap in the face. Yuuya the man Team Gaim have been looking for since episode one has been dead the whole time. Yuuya is another victim like Hase as he ate the fruit before equipping his belt. The Inves he turned into was the one Kouta had to fight as Gaim for the first time. First of all, this is going to kill Kouta as he said he doesn't want to murder another human being and he actually did, hell who knows how many people have been killed? This is a huge development for the series as all of those Inves could be human beings. I know one thing for sure, Micchy didn't take this news well.
All the hints were in front of us the whole time and even I didn't see this coming. I mean wow; this was one well done twist. I would think Yuuya became part of Yggdrasil or something since he was gone for so long, when I first heard about the Genesis Riders I thought he was going to be one of them. Since episode one we had a huge hint which was that the first Inves was unique compared to the others. This would probably mean that not every Inves was a being from Earth since there are races of Inves. There were even moments of when people almost ate the fruit or thought it looked tasty, but regarding the circumstances they didn't eat it. Then there was the scene when Zangetsu was fighting Gaim for the first time as he was telling him that his thoughts and questions would get him killed as Takatora easily knew his story. Kouta clearly told him he was looking for someone and Takatora easily knew who he was looking for. Those were big hints that seemed like nothing at first, but now they are some of the most important details regarding to this twist. I am heavily impressed that is all I have to say.
Continuing on there were some little moments with the other characters. First is Kaito who tried to fight Zangetsu. He had a bone to pick with this guy since he was defeated by him in a previous episode. Baron stood no chance though as the new and improved rider powers are too strong. This is shown through when Baron performed a finisher and it gets negated by a simple slash from Zangetsu's weapon. What's interesting is what happens next. After defeating Baron, Zangetsu tells him that he cannot stand against Yggdrasil as three Kurokage's appear and take him. I have to wonder what exactly is Takatora planning here. First of all he revealed to Kaito that he is working with Yggdrasil, but I would guess he knows that some people know about his identity. I would guess he is taking Kaito into custody so that he cannot get in the way, but I will say if Kaito start to know what exactly is going on, he is going to bring one hell of a fight for the company.
For Hase he was just a rampaging beast which actually shows more than one would think. Kouta the whole time was trying to get Hase to come to his senses. It did seem that Hase was struggling with himself, but that is probably because he had no control of his body. Even when he returned into his human form, Hase still had claws and changes to his appearance. For humans or any other beings from Earth lose all control of themselves after eating the fruit. Hase even started to look for more fruit to eat, but he only found Earth fruit like an apple and went on a rampage just like an Inves that went on a rampage for that same reason. So whenever a human eats a fruit they completely turn and there doesn't seem to be a way back as there was no hope for Hase anymore, he became a monster. I have to say his end is rather tragic and when was the last time we had a death of a rider? The only thing I can recall is Skull, but he is more of a movie rider. For series though I look back to Kiva, but even then that character wasn't a rider for the whole time. So was the last death for a permanent rider in the Kabuto series? That's something to think about, there has been death in the series after Kabuto, but for an actual rider in a series is debatable.
It's more messed up when we see who kills Hase. The new riders appear and Zangetsu gives orders to the Cherry rider to fix his mess. There was no doubt that the rider was Sid mostly because of what Zangetsu said. First of all, I do love how we are getting an older man becoming a rider and I can see Sid being one of them. He may not look strong, but those Genesis Drivers must be powerful enough to give a man like him the strength to kill an Inves with no hassle whatsoever. I find it quite messed up those is that Sid had no problem of doing the task. I have a feeling is going to be more of an evil rider compared to Zangetsu who is just following orders and even though he has fought the heroes before he doesn't feel like a villain still. Sid on the other hand always had this sinister feeling to him. Sid even finds time to make a joke right after killing Hase as he says killing a monster is rather heroic. Sid worked with the kid before and again this wasn't a full grown man, Hase was still a child. Again this has regards to how Kouta couldn't bring himself to kill Hase and then we got the complete opposite. I have high hopes for Sid as he is going to be an interesting character now since he is a rider and I can't wait to see him and Kouta fighting each other.
For the Genesis Riders their designs look strong. I mean that the designs are great, but they also look stronger in general. First is the belt that has much more to work with and even the seeds they use look more advanced. Personally I still like the original Zangetsu more, but the upgraded version comes with it's own perks to like. For instance I do like the added orange color to his suit as that contrasts well with green and white. The changes on his helmet are impressive as well as it does look like an upgrade. For Sid's Cherry rider the only problem I have with the suit is the shiny grey coloring he has. It makes the wrinkles in the suit pop out more, but overall it's still a good design. The little added black onto him does help out a bit and the whole top part looks great. I do love how they work with the cherry since I would expect to see two shoulder pads, but the two cherries combine into one on the left side. He has something interesting on his arms though. His motif is supposed to be a viking along with an archer which I don't see, but I could just need to do more research. I will talk about the other two when we start finding out who they are.
This was a strong episode and I know I said this before many times, but Gaim keeps making impressions on me. The writing is some of the best in a long time as they were giving hints in the earlier episodes. There really is a unique route the series is taking as someone easily could have kept the fun attitude that the beginning of the series had. Gaim though is taking a more serious turn with the story and I can't wait to see how this continues. There are many possibilites that might happen like with Micchy finding out the truth about Yuuya. The episode had a strong message to send which was one reason's for fighting as seen with Kouta struggling with his thoughts and then having his chance to save something get destroyed. It didn't have every character involved like previous episodes, but it focused in on the plot for this episode and made sure to deliver it well. This episode gets an A+
Next Time: Prisoners or helpers?