Kouta in the beginning of this episode was a mess. I'm not saying this as a bad thing for his character at all because he just learned he broke his number one rule in the very beginning. I don't blame him at all for this and now Takatora is confident that Kouta has been taken care of for good. Kouta first goes to where it all started where he spotted his first rift and Mai is there as well. Both of them are around to remember Yuuya and Kouta keeps hearing the great news from Mai. The dance group is doing better and getting more of an audience now. Mai even wants Kouta to dance for the team once more, but with what he found out he cannot do that. He even almost tells Mai the truth about Yuuya, but Micchy stops him. After a scene with him and Micchy, he is still battling himself on what he should do. In this beginning Kouta is given a lot of information there is Micchy who is telling him that the truth is not all that good, the other Mai who tells him that he can retreat and find happiness, and then Sagara who tells him what he needed to hear, but was that for the best? I love this part of the episode, Kouta has his own opinions in all of these regards of what the three characters tell him and then he finally forms his answer with all he has been told, which I will get to later.
First there was Micchy who was telling Kouta about how telling the truth to Mai would only ruin things. He mentions on how she would blame herself for Yuuya's death even though the truth is that he ate the fruit and became an Inves. Actually Kouta doesn't focus on that as for him the truth is that he killed Yuuya. Either way though could result in the same conclusion of Mai blaming herself which is Micchy's main point. The truth doesn't matter at some points since the most important thing is how the person reacts to the truth. Micchy even says the truth can be used as a weapon, but the same could be said the same about lying, which is actually something Micchy has been doing for a while. This again brings up the strange contrast for his character, he has goodness in him, but at the same time he can have these evil moments. Micchy wants both Kouta and Mai to be happy and does want the best for humanity. The way he is doing it though is like controlling people and he even says why couldn't Kouta listen to him and stand down. The whole time he is helping he can actually be making things worse since he is covering many facts away from the others. While he thinks hiding the truth can be a good thing which has been mentioned many times in the series with the truth of Helhiem and how the public would react to that. Again I can see everything just go badly for Micchy as he is trying to be good, but just having the wrong ways of doing so.
The other Mai appears telling Kouta that he can finally step out of his fate and find happiness. Now I am very confused with her. She does want to stop people from being riders, but why? We see many people trying to continue with the fight and finding out more about the forest. She is really one of the few characters who say no to this progress. Is it possible that she is from the forest? Is she actually a character who is working with the villains, but is trying to find a peaceful way to end things? I mostly bring this up because of her conversation with Sagara as she wonders why he put Kouta back into the battlefield. Sagara tells her off saying he knows who she is. Sagara even mentions that being chosen by her is something special, so is she connected to the forest in a different way the than these new beings living inside of the forest? Again this character has been a mystery since episode one! It actually has been a while since we saw her as well, so what is her deal anyways?
Then there was Sagara and man did he really jump out in this episode. First of all we already knew he was working on his own and was just with Yggdrasil for some unknown reason. Then there is the fact that he even knows a secret of the forest that even Takatora doesn't know about. The man could even take a fruit and change it into a Lock Seed! Who is this man?! Sagara even gets bigger attention because he talks to the other Mai saying that he is simply an observer right now and wants to see who gets the Forbidden Fruit. I am completely baffled here because this guy at first was just a goofy deejay and now he is a mastermind hiding in the background. The thing is what I can't pin down is if that Sagara is a villain or hero. Actually there are so many people who have good intentions so is there really a villain per say? Yggdrasil at first was seen to be the evil corporation, but even they want to save humanity at any cost. Anyways, onto to what Sagara said to Kouta.
Sagara talks to Kouta about many things. First of all he mentions how ridiculously it is to use power to protect since it's only used for destroying. Kouta takes that as a bad thing, but in reality it can be good. Sagara tells Kouta that he needs to destroy that rule that sacrifice is needed since that is Kouta's true enemy. Sagara makes an example by saying Yggdrasil is weak since those people just follow that cold rule and don't try to change it. He then goes on about who the real strong person is, Kaito. He is the character who has given up a lot of things except his quest for power. Even though there be a bad fate for him in the end, Kaito is trying to find a way to change the world which is true. Kaito the whole time wanted to use power to guide and change people and he hasn't given up that part of his personality. Then Sagara mentions to Kouta what Kaito is after, the Overlords which I will get to later as well. Kouta does see this as a chance since the Overlords can be a major game changer and knowing that Ryouma is after them makes him mad and wants to stop him. My goodness this scene was amazing as it ends with Sagara giving him a new Lock Seed. We get a new look on how the show can progress again! These shows is a major surprise as there are new angles being revealed and completely change the idea of the series while it is transitioning greatly as well. Everything is just flowing perfectly and with that element of surprise it just gets you off guard.
About the Overlords now they are the rulers of Helhiem, even though they can be seen as really bad rulers. These higher beings are from the destroyed civilization that was seen before. They actually evolved with Helhiem which is why Ryouma wants to know more about them. He wants to see if he can use what the Overlords had to maintain a new path in human evolution. Kaito is looking for this being and lures it out with human text? What's also odd is that the Overlord can speak in its own language. For being the ruler of the forest it can control the plants and beasts that the forest consists of, but they are not the ones spreading the forest out. The forest is simply growing to other worlds as the Overlords are simply accepting that and maintain their power. The first one we see is a big red one as it carries a huge sword. Kaito does fight this being, but he barely stands a chance against it. He doesn't give up as we cut away when he uses Mango Arms to fight the Overlord. Again the idea of the Overlords just took the show in a new way as these guys could contain more information about the forest and who knows, Sagara could be one of them.
So with all that has happened and with all the new knowledge Kouta has been given he is able to stand up and fight again. This time he is not fighting to simply protect people anymore; he is fighting to make sure that others don't make the same mistakes he has made. Also he uses the concept of destruction to actually destroy that idea and change the world. He will get rid of hopelessness and despair and finally become a true hero the world needs. Kouta's evolution as a character is simply the best I have seen in a long time. Again he started out as a kid playing a game with his friends and now with the stakes at large his hero qualities start expanding. Even when he has committed a sin, he is going to accept those mistakes and continue on with his task. He doesn't want any more bloodshed or sacrifice as the only thing that needs to be destroyed is that rule. This is a big step for any hero as he is going to try to change the world! What also makes this revelation great is that he gets a new form that shows that he is going to make his dent in the world. Overall Kouta has become one of the best main riders in the franchise.
So with the new Kachidoki Arms being revealed in this episode, I am amazed this isn't the final form in the series. I mean it comes right after Kouta takes the biggest step in his character development so far. The form itself can even take down a horde of Kurokages down. First I will say I love the Shogun motif and look. The helmet gets a big change as everything changes and gets additions. It easily makes a Shogun helmet while working on Gaim's helmet. Like how his crest gets an extension on the other side and there are two silver plates below his eyes that work along with the mouthpiece. Then the whole big armor is lovely as it can take damage and look impressive with its mix of orange and red. I also love how the Gaim crest gets more attention now which makes me think of Blade's King form. A new weapon it has is the DJ Gun which seems a bit odd for a Shogun form, but I love the thing. It has strong sounds and can change its fire rate in many ways. My favorite part though are the flags as they can make great coverage weapons thanks to their size, but can also send out rings of fire! The best part is how the fight is shot; this is easily the best mixture of special effects I have seen so far. The background can even have some CGI in, but along with good camera angles it makes the battlefield seem more complex. Also it knows when to slow down or speed right through it. Overall an outstanding debut for this new form as it takes everyone by surprise, especially Ryouma since he didn't make that Lock Seed.
Episode twenty-three is beyong amazing and outstanding. It takes its main character and evolves him to great potential even more. Kouta will deal with his sins and prevent from anyone committing the same mistakes as he becomes a grand hero. This episode also as more game changers as the Overlords, Sagara, and the other Mai are given new focus angles. I just want to keep watching this show as there are many new reveals, but at the same time new surprises and mysteries as well. Kamen Rider Gaim is becoming a revolutionary show as this episode gets an A+
Next Time: Peach Jinba!