The first surprising aspect of this episode was with Micchy as he finds out that Kouta knows the truth of the forest. He tries to act like he is in shock about the news as he already knew before Kouta. Then while talking with Kouta he is telling him to back down since Yggdrasil is in the right with the situation. The world could possibly end and a large and powerful organization could be the saviors. Kouta is still bothered by everything though as I bet it has to do with how of some of Yggdrasil men act, like Sid for example. Going on, Micchy also learns that his brother told Kouta the truth and he storms right into his office later on. Micchy wants Kouta out of this situation because first of all, he wants Kouta to probably stay alive since he's a close friend. I would be worried as well since there is a chance that Micchy knows how Sid feels about Kouta. There is also the chance that Kouta can be a more powerful foe than some could think. So Micchy is working for Yggdrasil there are no doubts about that, but he also doesn't want to ruin his life in the process. Micchy wonders though why his brother did tell Kouta the truth.
Takatora's aim with Kouta is rather interesting. Takatora is actually impressed with Kouta since he is a man with fiery anger towards what he sees is evil and is doing something about it. In some ways it's similar to how Takatora is reacting to the Helheim forest. He sees the forest as something evil and is trying to stop it. Then Takatora says he wants him to fail since if a man like him will give up, Takatora could stop have second thoughts about what he has been doing thus far. I am really interested in this character point since this paints the character in a different way. At first he was the strongest threat for the heroes since he is in charge of the operation and Yggdrasil. The heroes can easily see him as the villain, but he is just simply a foe with an opposing point. Then to make him look less evil he is having second thoughts about everything as this could mean he does want to find another way to save the world. It's an amazing trait for his character and again it gives him more of an image other than just being the antagonist, meanwhile there are easily more evil foes in the series.
Sid jumps out this time as he is tired of having Kouta being a nuisance in the project. Takatora is even thinking more about his second decisions more than ever now and Sid clearly wants the project to go well with no disturbances. So with Kouta still around and causing trouble, he is going to take action in his own hands. Sid is serious as he goes to Ryouma about the situation and wonders if he can finally kill the boy. Ryouma just worries about the data and thinks that having Kouta being put in dangerus situations can give him good information, so he actually lets Sid do what he wants. Sid was quite genius in finding Kouta as he lures him in by giving gangsters Lock Seeds to use. The gangsters use the Inves as thieves and the heroes had to react and fight back to stop the Inves. This even helps Sid out since having the Inves roam around the city will keep things hidden from the public like how the Beat Riders had been using them before. With such an evil man in the show, how can the hero react to everything?
Kouta is in a tough situation as of now. He learns that the Earth could possibly end in ten years and he wants to tell people, but he can't bring himself to do it. Takatora and Micchy are right about something that telling the public can actually be the worst thing possible. Everyone acts differently and peace itself can shatter when hearing this type of news. Kouta does try asking his sister that if the world was going to end, would it be better to know or not. His sister tells him that she would like to know since she would like to face her own hardships. This can easily be thought as Kouta needs to go through with this hardship since he now knows as he can be the savior if he tries hard enough. Kouta even asks Bandou about the problem, without telling him the truth of course. He tells Kouta a secret is a powerful thing since the ones who know can control the people who don't know easily. This is easily true because it's happening right now and Yggdrasil is hiding more secrets from the public so they have major control over the city. Things really get heated when Sid and Kouta meet up again though.
When Sid tells Kouta that having the Inves be a distraction at any cost being useful to hide the secret, this makes Kouta snap since this is the opposite of protecting the people. Sid tells him off since it's not the people that are being protected, but the secret is. At any cost the secret must be hidden and Yggdrasil has many ways of keeping that safe. Sid even tells Kouta about a weapon in the tower that can destroy the whole city! Now this is easily taking things way too far, but this is all for the protecting of mankind and not the people of the city. Sid is fine with sacrifices and they don't need to be made if the people don't know. Pretty much he wants to keep the people with no knowledge so that hundreds don't get killed. In some ways, Sid is evil, but he is still trying to keep somethings intact, it's just his actions are wrong and Kouta sees that clearly. He wants to fight for the overall good by being the hero for all and not having anyone be killed in the process. This is also the beginning of Kouta being an enemy for Yggdrasil as Sid calls him that from now on. I absolutely love watching these two talk with each other, Sid is a foil for Kouta in the sense he is the complete opposite of him. Sid will do evil deeds to get to the overall noble deed while Kouta wants to be noble the whole time. It's a simple hero versus villain, but it's amazing how much depth these two have compared to each other and it can only expand from here on.
Meanwhile, Kaito hasn't come back to the gang since the last episode as he is investigating something that caught his interest. Kaito is even thinking of being a part of Yggdrasil, well to be honest being on Ryouma's side since he has different intentions. I do like Kaito in this position right now, before this we got to see how he reacted to the truth and now he is doing something about it. There is also the fact that he has been told some new information that Kouta and Micchy probably don't know of. Yoko even comes to Kaito seeing how his research is going since this does have to do with Ryoum's intentions. It seems that if the truth is revealed about a certain monster that could be connected to the forest, he can have the powers he always wanted. So what exactly is this monster, we don't know yet, but it could be a higher breed of Inves. This red monster even controls the weaker Inves. So there are even more secrets that Yggdrasil don't know about and Kaito could be the one who can help them.
As I said before there are now gangsters using the Lock Seeds as this can be a whole new type of problem. First of all the Inves are still seen to be connected to the Beat Riders by the public's eye. Also these are dangerous criminals now, they can do far worse damage than kids who don't know what they are messing with. It's cool to see Sid moving on with a new plan just so they can keep the scapegoat alive. Luckily, we have riders that won't back down from danger as Zach is clearly being a hero. It wasn't much for the guy, but I do like he is being a new protector for the city since Gaim, Baron, and Ryugen have their own issues to deal with. He isn't the best fighter yet, but he is picking up his own skills and again there are other riders helping him out. Still it's interesting to see that now criminals are using Inves as this could go worse than simple robberies and easily gives off some expansion for the society.
The action in this episode was amazing, but it was mostly with Gaim and Sigurd. There was another fight with Knuckle and Ryugen fighting off two weak Inves and again Ryugen is showing to be a more skillful fighter. Time for the big match though, as Sigurd gets Gaim on the floor at first. Sigurd can even take some shots from Gaim's gun! During this part of the fight Sid is telling Kouta he is nothing, but false hope and will just make things worse for others. Kouta is even knocked out of his transformation thanks to Sigurd's attacks and is even beating up some more. Kouta comes back though by using the Jinba Lemon Arms and now it's a more even fight. The two have a shoot out with each other and I love how Kouta fought during that time. He took cover and even used the scenery around him like how he knocked over an oil drum so that he can have cover on the ground. Gaim overpowers Sigurd and easily has more skill than him as it seems Sigurd is the weakest of the Genesis Riders since Gaim fought all three by himself before. Gaim even dodges Sigurd's shots and gets his finisher on him with a rider kick! Gaim even takes the Cherry Energy Lock Seed from Sid! Sadly, Ryugen distracts Kouta and lets Sid get away. Still though what an awesome fight and the dialogue before the fight easily made it much better seeing how Kouta keeps his heroics strong even with new thoughts in his head.
Also the effects were great, strong color contrasting while not losing focus of the fight.
Episode twenty-one is just great like many other episodes. I can't lie the series is having a strong streak as there are many things to like here. Kouta is becoming a fully developed hero and a great one at that since he is facing some hard decisions and is finding ways that stay true to him. Sid is delightfully evil and a perfect foe for Kouta and seeing him lose was great. Micchy and Takatora have interesting points in this episode and Kaito is investigating something that can break the mold of the series even more! Gaim feels as revolutionary as Double was and I love that, it's using familiar elements from the franchise, but uses them in new fashions that keeps things fresh and interesting. This episode gets an A
Next Time: Jinba Cherry Arms!