Shinnosuke attempts to work around his suspension, while Gou continues his furious rampage against the Roidmudes.
It’s another really well put together episode this week, and what’s especially interesting is that the show finally appears to have nailed the mix of goofy comedy and over-the-top drama needed to really make the story fly. There’s lots of abrupt shifting between moods but none of it seems forced. We’re finally beginning to see the cast click together in meaningful and natural ways, and that’s very gratifying.
Naturally, as a follow up to last week, the onus of this episode is mostly on Gou, and that’s both interesting and involving. Yu Inanba gets the kind of wildly frantic mugging that’s necessary to convey anguish in the toku universe and really chews the scenery down like mad. The result is a very entertaining ‘anguished’ performance that stays just on the right side of totally ridiculous. It’s helped by the impressive levels of violence he’s allowed to mete out. Combined with the laughing mad lady Roidmude gleefully egging him on, the entire thing gets surprisingly disturbing, and it’s a good stab at creating an unhinged atmosphere to match Gou’s actions.
While Gou carries the dramatic burden here, Shinnosuke and Chase get more traditionally Kamen Rider duties – i.e. goofing it up and playing with cool toys. Their bizarre plan to get Shinnosuke unsuspended is a simply delightful bit of goofy comedy, aided by some great camera work and the cast hamming it up even harder than usual. Chase’s completely out-of-character appearance just ramps up the funny even more. The subsequent CGI extravaganza is, by any usual standards, absolutely awful, but this is one of those make-or-break moments that test your suspension of disbelief. Or rather, your tolerance for fantastic rubbish, since no-one could actually believe this. Nevertheless, it’s totally possible to get hyped up for it anyway.
The really unexpected part of this is that the entire thing has apparently been a setup by 001 to lure Gou over to the dark side. While there’s a long-established history of bad riders turning good, good riders turning bad are much thinner on the ground. It’s a testament to how well Gou has gradually shifted from energetic goof to actually believable tortured soul. I’m a little worried that the preview suggests that they’re going to hot-shot this angle straight away, but even the tease of an evil Gou is a deliciously tantalizing prospect.
- Not entirely sure the Roidmude needed to be linked to the villain of the Type 0 special. That just seems like continuity for the sake of continuity.
- It’s nice to see Brain gradually edge his way back into significance, and his maniacal reveal shot at the ed of the episode is a great bit of camerawork.