In this episode of Gaim, Kaito learns about Mai's fate and how to retrieve the Golden Fruit. To obtain the world he wants he has to make sure no one stands in his way and the only one who can face him is Kouta.
Kaito is not holding anything back right now thanks to his new powers and he is making sure that he becomes the chosen one. He even summons the three allied riders to see if they are going to be on his side or not. Oren and Jonouchi clearly fight Kaito, but there was one person who was struggling with his choice. Still seeing Kaito being a bit more on the crazy side was different. This isn't a bad thing, but I did have an odd time dealing with the matter at first since I did see the episodes without subtitles first and was just thinking that Kaito became evil. It was thanks to seeing the subtitled versions and soon finding on a major theme of Gaim which I revealed in other episode reviews is that there is no good or evil.
Now Kouta is clearly a good person and we know this since he is fighting for the world, but there have been moments when Kouta has said that he is fighting for what he wants. This can sound selfish, but we know what Kouta’s dream is and that is to change the world. Kaito himself says he wants to save the world so does that really make Kaito a villain just because he is attacking others. Kouta had to fight the other riders at some points and he may not have liked it, he knew he had to. Kaito is making sure his resolution comes out on top which is the same thing Kouta is doing. Kaito just has a different way of doing that and that is by destroying the world. Now where has the idea of destruction been brought up before? It was in the episode where Kouta gains Kachidoki when Sagara told him he has to destroy the rule about the power of destruction. So in the end Kouta is going to have to destroy something to change the world and Kaito is simply going to destroy the world to change it and again this could be a good thing. Remember how Ryouma wanted to see if human evolution can progress with the use of the Golden Fruit, Kaito could end up being that step in human evolution. So again this isn’t about good or evil, this is about people trying to make their dreams a reality.
With Yoko, I really hate to say this, but I like and don’t like how her character progressed in the series. I remember Ryouma saying that she was powerful and could even be more powerful than some other big players in the series. I do think that Ryouma could have meant something else and this is why Yoko is acting like how she is now. Maybe Ryouma meant that she has the power to change things or keep things in balance. Since she is looking for a king to follow this could be connecting to that point. If this is true that is good and yet I have a personal disinterest with that. I guess I was expecting her to go on her path when Ryouma left her to die and she was going to take Kaito’s words to fit her own dreams. What I am trying to say is that I thought she was going to be a stronger character than how she is right now. She just followed someone and she stayed like that which does bother me and it just feels like she went in a circle. I’m just mixed with how Yoko was treated mostly because of my personal interest in her at the beginning of the series, but my critical side can clearly say this is still done well because this was hinted at before and I still like the scenes she has with Kaito.
There was Zack who had a complete change of pace or so we think. When Zack asks Kaito if he was serious about destroying the world, Kaito tells him that he needs to gain his own future and then asks him about the future he wants. This makes Zack join Kaito’s side as he attacks Jonouchi and even helps Yoko to destroy his belt. So Zack is staying on Kaito’s side, but I can tell he is planning for something different. When he sees Kouta fighting Kaito he realizes that he is injured. Zack goes on the attack and quickly tells Kouta to retreat. First of all, a man like Zack would know not to interfere with a duel and he even tells Kouta to run for it. Zack is clearly doing something on his own which could be to obtain his own future and as of right now we don’t know what that is. Still for a character that wasn’t doing much lately this was a great comeback. I always liked Zack when he became Knuckle and I have a feeling I’m going to like him much more when he decides to take action.
Now I knew Kouta wasn't going to die, but luckily he was revived or anything like that, he simply got healed thanks to his Overlord powers. You can still say that is a revival since Kouta passed out completely and Micchy thought Kouta was dead. There is an explanation here though, it’s simple, but it’s better than a last second revival from Mai or something like that. Anyways, Kouta’s nightmare has come true and that is Kaito becoming his final foe. Kouta even thought that Kaito could have the Golden Fruit since he thought he wanted to save the world, but Kaito never said anything about that. This again just brings up that point I mentioned about how there is no good or evil in this series. Kaito is a guy who just wants to make his own world and if he has to destroy it, so be it. Kouta has learned this as well though and he knew he had to fight Kaito at some point since characters like Yoko have told him this before. Kouta has to stop Kaito though because he and Kaito have different views on the world itself. All I have to say is that the final fight is coming!
There was some good action as we had more rider versus rider action which is something the series has always been doing right. Lately when a rider has to fight another rider there have been many dumb reasons why like the Taisen films. With Gaim though it makes good reasons why riders are fighting each other because there is no good versus good, good versus evil, or evil versus evil there is just fights to change the world. This is probably why most of the action felt right in many places compared to the Taisen films since I personally hate when heroes fight each other with no real purpose. It’s just bothersome to see this since these are good people and you would think they could find a truce of some kind. Looking back at the Taisen films I can never imagine seeing Hongo fighting Kouta, personally I can see those two getting along well. This is usually why evil riders were created so that the heroes can fight riders without that awful aftertaste of fighting another hero. With the Gaim series though, it breaks that trope of good and evil by just having resolves facing each other. Overall though the cool moments of the action were when Kaito and Kouta had their short duel as this was only a taste of what is yet to come.
Overall, there really isn’t much wrong with this episode. Again I do have my personal disinterest with one or two things, but I’m not letting that get in the way of my critical thoughts. Again in a writing point of view this is well done as characters are facing off with real purposes and not fake ones. This is just how a good superhero show should be done more often and I’m not saying always having good versus evil is a bad thing, but there are many problems with that though. The usual tropes get in the way at times like the one with the villain having no real purpose since he is just evil and he doesn’t need a reason. This is the year 2014 and writing should be done better especially if it’s a major focus. I have seen things done right with tropes before mostly because they are done in a more over the top sense and pay attention to pure fun and hell even those things give heroes and villains a good reason to fight. Episode forty-four of Gaim gets an A- because there were some odd directing moments just saying that Kaito and Micchy got a bit too close to each other faces.
Next Time: The final duel begins!