The beginning of the episode was a great way to start out. First, it keeps moving on with a great pace as Kaito and Kouta meet up under the custody of Kurokages. Kaito asked about Hase and he could already tell by Kouta's face what happened to him. Then we establish that Micchy is still in the building as he sees the two characters being taken into another room. It's a good amount of set up that really grabs your attention since who knows what could happen? Where are Kouta and Kaito being taken to and how will Micchy save them? It was a short and sweet beginning. Then the episode shows the many ideas of the characters in pretty short scenes. You can already get a sense of who they are and how they will act. The best example would be with Sid since the first thing he mentions to Takatora is he thought the two riders would have been completely gone. Then it has Takatora reacting with how he doesn't want mindless bloodshed and he knows he can fight them with ease thanks to the new powers. I will easily be mentioning about more moments like that as this is probably the best episode to have these quick appearances and already getting a great sense of knowledge from them.
So regarding Kouta and Kaito they are taken to the professor as this is actually the first time we hear his name, Ryouma. In many other reviews I had to keep calling him the scientist because I didn't know his name. This is also the reason why I didn't want to analyze too much into the guy since characters can have a lot to hide. So in a way this is a more detailed introduction for this character. We got his name and we learn that he isn't even in charge of the whole project. In previous episode it seemed like he had the right to give orders and he does, but there is an extent to that. Kouta is taking fangs to this man already and putting all the blame onto him since he did invent the belts and that was mostly it. There is an overseer in this project and I would guess that would be Takatora, but for some reason I think even he is not that high in the grand scheme. What I can tell from Ryouma he is fine with only making the belts since he does have a strong passion for his research. He even mentions that the whole introduction sounds for the rider transformations is a guilty pleasure of his. Then there is the fact that he still wants to continue in his research as the company is not giving him the green light for his new project, which is why he wanted Kouta and Kaito. Overall Ryouma seems to be a smart, fun, cruel, and realistic person at the same time. He knows the risks being played with the belts and he even says the new experiments could be dangerous and here he is trying to get people to risk their lives for his research. Then he does take the fact that these terrible tragedies do occur like with Hase, but he continues on with his research.
There was actually a new character that was shown in this episode and this fits with my first impressions discussion I had before. Her name seems to be Minato as she acts as Ryouma's bodyguard. I was told who the actress is as she is the same person who played the Hopper Dopant from Double... YES! I love that this actor came back as she did her role in Double so perfectly and her character here does remind me of Hopper Dopant. Even though she is a bodyguard she seems to have a cynical sense of fun with the job and she is serious though. There are many little details I can mention here like when Kouta stood up, Minato stared right at him. Then when Kaito got mad and started to run at Ryouma, she attacked him on the spot and when Kouta got close she took him done. The face she had on her face there was great as it shows someone having fun bringing pain to these boys. There was also the best part in this episode where she counters Kaito's plan of getting the drivers back as she acts relaxed with her pen, but she ends up using it to deflect the card that Kaito tossed. She doesn't get much dialogue and I have so much to analyze still, it's amazing! Minato is even the peach rider called Marika. I just can't wait for more of her!
There was one character that is seriously starting to take an interesting turn and that person is the deejay. He had many lines that did pop out in the series before and this is when he starts to do his own plotting. He feels that simply stopping the riders from fighting won't be protecting them since they already had a taste of power. Sagara feels that they will not stop just because someone wants them to and so goes to Kouta. At first he acts like he is broadcasting to a live audience towards Kouta calling him the big hero and thanking him for how much popularity he brought to the site. Then he starts to get more serious saying that Kouta got to be this great thanks to what happened. He then goes on about how Kouta is going to live his life and how much of an impact he will make on the world. I will get to how Kouta feels about the whole situation later, but Sagara starts to take a liking to him. He even gives Kouta the security pass, a Lemon Energy Seed, and a new item that seems it can latch onto the belt. Then by what Sagara said about how no knows who the forest will pick, it seems he has confidence that Kouta could be the chosen one. So is Sagara doing some plotting on his own and in some way is he the big cheese in all of this? At first, I thought he was going to be a comedic character, but he is rather serious and have further involvement in the plot. This is another factor I can't wait to see further in the series.
So how does Kouta feel about all of this and will he give into being used for Ryouma's experiment? Sagara tells him that he should take the chance so he can get more power. Kouta will refuse though since he doesn't want to be used just so that Ryouma can gain more powers. Kouta sees that Yggdrasil is paying too much attention on the experiments and not defending the city. To prevent from the innocent from getting hurt he will take that role of being the real guardian and will use the power he has to do it. He doesn't want power just for the fact of having power, but he wants to use it to save others. This is easily another example I can make with Lloyd Irving as even that boy gets incredible powers and his aim is to use it for good and not for the reason of just owning power. This makes both of the character likable for many reasons as they are good people and can do follow up on their promises. Kouta can now have a new power so that he can continue to becoming a stronger hero, but again does Sagara see that or is he just using him?
For Sid he is clearly becoming a villain now. He is out for blood as I mentioned before and his views do show that as well. There is a scene where Kouta starts to escape, but he is caught by Sid. The two talk about what is right and wrong. Kouta is mad at the people of Yggdrasil for not taking protection in their plans. For Sid he sees no problem with that since being an adult for him means being able to know when to do the dirty deed. I just love seeing these two having a rivalry because Sid is the exact opposite of Kouta. Now maybe there is an overall good to the experiments as Ryouma said this could take humans to the next evolution. So is Sid more of a Foil for Kouta? The two are opposites for sure, but could Sid actually want to help humanity? Again for him he knows when he has to work with dirty hands for the experiments so is he aiming for good? Sid is yet another character I didn't expect to take such a big step in development as he has now become the antagonist for Kouta. A great thing about him is his presentation as how he transforms and fights show off his character greatly. His transformation pose is rather serious as he holds his serious look and then while fighting he gives off taunts. He did this many times before in the series where it seemed like he was taunting the characters and he is doing that again while fighting. There are so many characters I want to see more from and Sid is easily one of them now.
There was a quick scene that occurred with the Beat Riders. It's quite funny how all their leaders are being tied up in other matters or should I say were in other matters. There was Yuuya and Hase who share the same fate of being killed when they were Inves. Kaito was kidnapped and being held by Yggdrasil and Jonouchi is working with Oren now. Well the teams still gathered up as Mai tries to tell them that they should stop the Inves Games. This is so the people can stop blaming them for the Inves attacks. Sadly, Team Gaim is at the number one spot and with no leaders around no one else wants to listen. They think that Gaim wants to stay at the top so they quickly walk away. What I love about this scene are these little impressions we get from these minor characters. Team Baron is full of arrogance and doesn’t like to be taken away from their oppurtunities which can be said for Kaito as well. Team Wild's members seem rather lackadaisical as one is eating and the other one is lying down on the ground. Team Invitto's members are really weird as they dress to similarly and even do the same actions and follow up on their sentences. It even gives us a little insight of who the characters are as I can see how Jonouchi has this rather flamboyant feel about him. I do have to wonder about how Hase even worked with such lazy guys since he was stubborn and hard working, but they didn't help him all that much, so that could make sense. Still for a little scene like that, it was rather interesting to see some of the teammates who don't get the spotlight that often.
For Micchy he has an interesting reaction to Yuuya's death as he it seems he doesn't blame Kouta for what happened. This is shown since Micchy still saves Kouta and tries to hide that information from Kouta. Micchy knows this will destroy Kouta as a person and his own ideals. I know Micchy didn't know about his speech about how he couldn't murder another person, but I think Micchy knows how Kouta acts. If Kouta did find this out this easily could screw him up and bring him down into despair. I still have to wonder if Micchy actually forgives him though since he wants to help him still. I can easily see this working for a character moment for Micchy and now with his brother knowing who he is things are going to get more interesting.
The action for this episode was pretty good with the three heroes having to fight Kurokages out of suit, until Kaito transforms since he never runs away from a fight. I have to say these are grown men in the Kurokage suits and yet they get beaten up by young children that haven't even transformed; I think those soldiers need a better Lock Seed. Now they did prove to be a threat when they are on a hover bike! Sadly, they use them on the gun rider so I can see how that will go. For the most part there wasn't a lot of action as this was another episode focused on the plot, but there are still cool moments. There was Sid and how he acted while fight which was fun to watch. Then there was Baron and Gaim using their bikes to take Sigurd down and escape. Nothing too big though with the action as it a little too short, but that is the purpose of an escape.
This episode of Gaim really gave me a lot to think about. There was a great deal of presentation done right in this episode. How the characters are acting right now gets me very interested to see what they will do next, mostly with Sagara and Sid. There were also cool moments for Minato as she shows off a badass female character done right so far. I will say the action could have been better and personally I find the hover bikes to look a little too silly and for some reason I am thinking of Star Wars... Wait a second the Kurokages are the Storm Troopers! Either way though this episode gets an A, as is grabbed my interest in many great ways.
Next Time: Gaim's new power!