Now I will say this episode does take an odd turn, but surprisingly there is still some plot developments in this episode which I will cover after this paragraph. I guess the episode wanted to show characters that haven't been around for a while which I am fine with. Characters should be used in a series and with Jonouchi and Oren they are more comedic characters, even if the comedy doesn't work out the best at times. I won't lie there is some okay comedy here which is something I will also get to later on in the review. I will say what I do like is that there is an actual movement for the used characters as the last time they were around was pretty much them still thinking that the Inves attacks are caused by the Beat Riders. So what this episode actually is would be described as getting other characters caught up with the plot so they are not forgotten. I personally like this as now I wonder how the characters will continue to interact with the other players or the plot itself. It may have been an interesting way of keeping them up to speed, but I like the idea it's just the comedy could have worked out better, but first there is DJ Sagara.
DJ Sagara appears before Ryouma and his crew as he tells them a brief hint of what he is and the truth behind the forest. Sagara says he is an observer who is just watching how things play out. The reason he was helping out Kouta was to balance things out. This really makes me think of Blazblue with the idea of observers and I have a feeling Sagara could be like a Hazama in this situation. Sure he isn't as crazy, but he is playing with a lot of pawns on the chessboard right now. In someway it does feel like all of this is entertaining for the man as now he comes to Ryouma to lend him some useful information. Ryouma goes on about what he thinks the forest holds which is the forbidden fruit that can give anymore great power. Ryouma even mentions Norse and Greek mythology about forbidden fruit and connecting it to Helheim. Sagara confirms that is correct and the Overlords hold that forbidden fruit. He even mentions that the power can help evolution and will have the stronger ones rule. For some reason I do feel that Sagara is messing with Ryouma, but this seems to be the truth. The idea of stronger beings appearing from the fruit has been seen with the Overlords so humans could easily move onto this path. Also I love the confirmation of the different myths the series is working with as it makes me think of how things could play out. Overall, Sagara is clearly someone who is having fun with how things are developing and he will continue to do that and Ryouma laughing is a big scary.
Another interesting thing that happens is with Kouta and Kaito as the two meet up where the Overlords were found once before. Kaito gets mad at Kouta because he sees Kouta for being weak trying to get the Overlords on the good side through talking. Kaito does want to get the Overlords on their side to prevent the death of the world, but Kaito thinks it should be done through power. Kaito wants to make sure the Overlords cannot possibly do anything wrong and showing them that the humans are indeed strong could make them into loyal partners. As seen before the Overlords aren't friendly with humans because they can easily mess with them, in a way they act like animals as they prey on the weak. Kaito is right because the Overlords cannot really talk with humans yet so negotiating with them will be hard and it has been seen that simple discussing hasn't worked before. Again this really shows on how the series can move on with both Kouta and Kaito, one wants to try to ends things safely while the other is using brute force. It's an interesting clash of opinions as both sides are not wrong.
Surprisingly there is even a little more to talk about with Kouta as he has a talk with Jonouchi. I will say this, even though the whole Jonouchi and Oren parts do feel like filler in many ways, it ends up connecting with important aspects of the series. Jonouchi thinks that Kouta has everything perfectly right now since he is the big hero and everything like that. Kouta straight up tells him that is false; Kouta is indeed going through some hard times right now. He has quit the team for good now and is keeping secret from them, things like with Yuuya. He even mentions his issues with both Micchy and Kaito. Kouta does have worries about what he is doing, but in the end he knows what his goal is which is an overall good for all. This was a good slap of realism for Jonouchi too bad that conversation got stopped by Oren.
So Jonouchi in this episode, again the things that happen to him were rather strange that's for sure. I am fine with the idea of getting a character like him getting back into the overall story since he had some interesting changes in the series. At first a simple Beat Rider himself he soon became a Yggdrasil lap dog and is now just doing work for Oren. Jonouchi has been seen before in other episodes, but many of those times he's in the background or not even doing anything that important. This time however he starts to take a step up and tries to become manlier! Now I was worried where they could went with this since I was thinking that they were going to try a macho man, but no, the message here is that taking action is what makes a boy a man. For Oren then he was just being the comic relief which is fine, if the comedy is actually good most of the time.
The comedy in this episode is heavily hit or miss as when it works, it's really funny, but when it fails it's like a bomb on this entire episode. I will say it was nice for the series to have the good stuff in the beginning of the episode as when it goes more onto Jonouchi and Oren's scenes the episode takes a bad turn. I will say there are some decisions with the style of how they are done like how the lighting changes or the camera work in general. Sadly with everything being a little too fast, it doesn't really give time to let one focus on the comedy. There were about three moments that got me laughing one actually was in the training scene. It's the moment when Gridon goes flying and for some reason this mantis thing is watching him, it's so random and was good visual humor for a quick moment. Then there was a simple moment when the girls see Jonouchi in drag as they straight up just leave right away. There was no dialogue at all as for scene like that there is sometimes at least one line, but you could tell the girls were confused and scared and wanted to get out right away. Then there was Bandou who was more in the background as he plays with a part of Jonouchi's clothes and seeing him freak out while the worker is still taking a picture of him was funny as well.
Most of the comedy that fails usually has to do with Oren and there have been times he has made me laugh before, but this was him at his worst in my opinion. First of all the training scene had some horrid camera work as some scenes are way too far away, I would actually want to see Oren in his army uniform training Jonouchi. Then the overall chaos of the training scene was way too much to handle. It goes by too fast and doesn't concentrate on what could have made this funny. Maybe a nice way to make this a bit funny would be to have a nice background shot of civilians watching the training; their puzzled reactions would easily match what the viewer could be having during that scene. Then there was the moment when Oren fights Kouta in the cafe where for some reason the female worker starts to attack him with random weapons. What doesn't make this funny is that Oren just stands there and takes it and is not even getting hurt by this whatsoever. It would have been funny to see the man who used to be Kouta's challenge getting pummeled by a random woman. Then there was the scene with Bravo and Gaim fighting as the joke got old fast, seeing them hold their butts and getting tired went on for too long. To sum it up, Oren is the biggest flaw in this episode as most of his scenes are purely not funny.
Another big flaw for the episode is that the action is low for this episode. There is really only one fight that is long in the beginning which was just some usual stuff we already seen. Then the overall build up for Jonouchi wasn't worth it since he just flew in and took a hit for Gaim and Bravo. Kachidoki just finished off the monsters as it made Jonouchi's moment seem useless. I will say at least at the end there is some bonding with Jonouchi and Oren which is an okay teacher and student thing going on, but the franchise as seen better examples of this. Also Oren even starts to believe that the Beat Riders are not causing trouble anymore and actually finds a crack and jumps right into it. So this is a chance for Oren to stop being this comic relief character who ends up getting in peoples' way and could start finding out the truth and helping out. I won't hate the idea of Oren fighting with the other riders since he is strong and can do a good amount with what he has. So I do have some hopes for Oren and Jonouchi for the series later on as they could at least be in the series more.
Episode twenty-five had some nice things in the beginning, but when it got more focused on Oren and Jonouchi the episode took a sour turn. Most of the comedy fails which is sad because some of the direction can be good if some scenes weren't as chaotic. Jonouchi in this episode was having build up and it ends up being nothing in the end. The majority of this episode was for Jonouchi and Oren and sadly that's what fails in the end. Again the saving grace for this was the beginning as there were some nice plot developments and character movement. So I would give this episode a C- since the focus part of this episode fails and the action really took a dull turn as well.
Next Time: Genesis Rider Baron!!!