In this episode of Gaim the final battle is about to begin, but first Zack has his own goal to achieve and thinks of a plan on his own. Meanwhile Kouta starts to think about his future and what he could possibly do for everyone, including Kaito.
To start the review I want to talk about Zack since he takes the first half of the episode. It’s interesting how he was a minor character who was simply part of Team Baron and then became its leader with the thanks of being Knuckle. Now Zack still fought alongside with Kaito and even helped out the other Beat Riders and now he is working on his own in many ways. Zack has his own dreams like everyone else and he wants to achieve them and just like Kouta and Kaito he has to make some sacrifices. Zack didn’t end up following Kaito, but he just got close to him so that he can get a surprise attack on him. With the help of Oren he gets a bomb that he hopes will kill Kaito. Again this was just a good route for even a minor character like Zack since the series did do some nice foreshadowing with his character as we start to see the affect Kaito left onto people.
By this I clearly mean that Kaito gives people the power to fight for what they want. I will easily get into more of Kaito’s character in this, but first let’s just look at Zack. In the beginning he acted liked a lackey and nothing else and when he got to be a rider if when he started to branch out. Remember in Knuckle’s debut appearance when he fought with Kaito? Kaito said that Zack will grow strong one day even without his support as this was during the time when Kaito left the team. Zack became the leader of Team Baron and he made his own decisions rather quickly and helped out Mai to reunite the Beat Riders and the city’s thoughts on them. Zack is simply doing what he wants for what he thinks is right and since Kaito is out to destroy the world, Zack knows he has to be killed. Zack clearly knows Kaito and simply talking with him will never work out. Zack had to take action since he wants to protect something and that is worth fighting for. Kaito doesn’t have anything to protect which is why he wants destruction and even though his follower became someone to oppose him he still sees Zack’s strength. Kaito tells Zack that he has gotten stronger and he defeats him like a rival and not a foe. If Kaito saw Zack as a foe or something of that sort we know Kaito would have killed him, but he doesn’t and lets him be, too bad someone else didn’t get it easy.
Kamen Rider Gaim has done a lot of foreshadowing and most of it was done correctly, but there was one thing that is well undercooked. This has to deal with Yoko, Kamen Rider Marika. Ryouma even said that she is stronger than one would imagine even though she gets taken down by Kouta a good amount of times… Was that little foreshadowing moment really building up to Yoko simply becoming Kaito’s follower? Now she did save Kaito from the explosion which could mean something as well, but it’s just odd. It even hits a sour note is that Yoko dies from falling off the building because of the explosion. I do get what this may be pointing at since everyone in Yggdrasil did try too much. Ryouma and Sid aimed for power and nothing else which became their downfall. Takatora lived in regret and tried to fight against a power he has no control over and tried to take people down to save just the few survivors. Yoko did follow Ryouma and then she came with Kaito as maybe this could be her crossing point. In the past she stayed with a scientist trying to harbor great power for humanity and now she follows a man with god-like powers in general. Yoko could just have been too close to the sun which leads to her end. Only a god can change the world and one cannot follow a god so that is Yoko’s fate. So I am indifferent with how she is used overall in the series since she could have been done differently.
Kaito continues to be my favorite character of the series as his character keeps expanding further. Again this is done well with the fact that Kaito is acquiring more power, but he is not changing because of that. Kaito never changed and even when people ask him questions if things played out differently, he still stayed true to himself. The best example was with Yoko’s final words. She asks Kaito if she had the Golden Fruit, would he be following her. Kaito simply says that she and the Golden Fruit are two different things. This means that Kaito would fight Yoko to gain the Golden Fruit. Kaito is a man who knows sacrifices and death will lead to a better cause and this show has many examples of that. Kaito just wants what he wants and that is something no one else can give him or so he thinks.
The reason why Kaito fights is so that he can become strong by gaining more power, but he also wants people to follow that same path. This was apparent since his first appearance in the series, it’s just now he is trying to make the whole world take a risk compared to helping a kid take a risk. The problem is that Kaito doesn’t see that this world can carry the power he wants the world to have which is why he is changing it and I don’t blame him for thinking this. In his past he has seen a different side of power than someone like Kouta has seen. His father and that man’s business was replaced by someone clearly more powerful and that gave Kaito his ideology. Someone will come into place and change things to acquire greatness and in many ways the people were happy that Yggdrasil helped the city. Kaito is doing the same thing and he trusts himself more since he stayed on his path. Yggdrasil had many problems as Takatora, Ryouma, Sid, and Yoko all had their own ideals which caused a split in their operations. The same happened for the Overlords as Roshou thought his people were ready, but they just became monsters in the end. So Kaito wants to do things by himself since he knows he will never betray himself. The best part about Kaito is that he is fine with people overcoming him. Kaito is all about people becoming strong a fighting for what they want so overcoming him would be a great sign that people have become stronger. Kaito in the end just wants a world where people can fight for what they want. This is actually Steven Armstrong from Metal Gear Rising just taken with a more serious tone.
Kouta in all of this is dealing with many problems. Kouta now has to deal with a man he thought could change the world into something he wanted. Kouta started to notice that he is his foil. Kouta and Kaito fight for people who want to fight for what is right it’s just the two have different ways of doing it. Agin Kaito wants to completely change the world so that people can become stronger. Kouta on the other hand thinks that the people of this world are strong and can do what even Kaito wants. This connects back to what Mai said about Micchy. Mai said that she can still trust Micchy because he can change and become a better person. Kouta is using that same ideology for the people of this world since there were bad times, but he thinks that they can come out stronger if they survive. Kouta still has trust in those people and that is what he fighting for and that is what Kouta wants to protect which could be want Zack wanted as well. There are just good character routes here and it’s nice to see them connect in many specific areas. Kouta and Kaito just end up being foils to each other as they want the world to be saved and have different ways of doing that. Kaito wants to change the world completely so that the truly strong may survive. While Kouta wants people to become stronger and protect the world, but who will win in the end?
After a great exchange between Kouta and Kaito as they talk about the world being changed and that Kouta will show Kaito what real power is, the two begin to fight. This was a big fight and I can see that the series has been building up to this for a long time. There are many callbacks with how they start out fighting in their base forms and even have a bike fight that reminds me of episode three. The two also go through their form changes showing what they have been through. Kouta using the Jinba Arms going to Kachidoki showing his struggle becoming his true power while Kaito does use Mango and his Overlord form which shows the risks he has taken. These two are strong and they are so strong that even fate itself keeps these two fighting each other no matter what. I have seen rivalries before, but this has to be one of the best in a long time. These two are similar in so many ways yet end up fighting on two different sides, it’s a cliché, but with how the series has been playing out this cliché becomes bigger and grander. The Inves was a nice touch to the big fight as well seeing them group up with Kaito and Kouta and then seeing them go all out was cool. There were still some bad CGI moments which did spoil the middle section of the fight. Then the episode ends as Lord Baron clashes with Kachidoki Arms meaning this fight will continue in the next episode. This was a strong way to end the episode since in the next episode the world will change as their fight will end. Also the song Ranbu Escalation fits perfectly well and is a good song overall.
Overall episode forty-five continues the greatness that Gaim has been having for a long time. The use or minor characters were much better in this episode as Zack got to jump out again. The clashes of ideals and the connections for what characters want really makes the story telling strong and really emphasis on the whole there is no good and evil concept. Then the big fight was a nice little spectacle to watch as I do hope the ending will end stronger. This episode gets an A as I still do have some small problems here and there with how Yoko was treated in the end and some bad use of CGI.
Next Time: The destined conclusion
PS: Listen to this song, it's Armstrong's theme from Metal Gear Rising the overall idea really fits well with Kouta's and Kaito's fight.