Sentou and Ryuga attempt to infiltrate Faust’s secret underground base, only to be confronted by Blood Stark.
It’s a pretty heavily character focused episode of Build this time around, and one that’s largely handled well, with the developing relationship between Sentou and Ryuga placed front and centre. That combined with some decent plot machinations make for what’s arguably the strongest installment yet, and that’s nice to see as the show begins to settle in and find its feet.
With that said, the central plot premise of this episode is surprisingly flimsy if you’ve got any experience of stories like this at all. Given the extensive flashbacks and half-remembered memories, it would have been more shocking if Sentou and Ryuga weren’t guinea-pigs in Faust’s experiments. The fact that ‘evil science project turned against their masters’ is basically the de facto Kamen Rider origin story is another big, flashing signpost. Yeah yeah, it’s a show for kids and all, but a slightly more dramatic revelation wouldn’t have gone amiss. Then again, we’re only at episode 6 and blowing your big plot points right now would almost certainly be premature, so maybe this is a deliberately obvious reveal.
Regardless, the revelation itself doesn’t really matter because the real meat here is our heroes’s reaction to it, and how it cleverly inverts their normal group partner dynamic. Whereas usually Sentou is the cool calm and collected one, here he’s the one going out of control with rage and laying a (pretty fun) beatdown onto Blood Stark. In contrast, it’s normally Ryuga who takes a swing at anything that moves, yet he’s the one here who plays peacemaker and calms down the raging Sentou. The callback to Sentou’s declaration in Episode 3 that helping people was more important than finding out his past, is great and a really good way to pull the character back to his senses. Overall, it’s just good solid development for the two leads, and given how absent that can be in children’s entertainment I’m grateful.
Elsewhere, plot points continue to swirl somewhat nebulously. The show is definitely trying to make us think that Gentoku is Night Rogue now (especially since the preview shows him toting one of the Steam Guns) but I’m still thinking that that’s a deliberate attempt to swerve us. Gentoku is clearly genuinely deeply involved in Faust’s plan though, given he essentially plants the seed which allows our main duo to ‘discover’ the hidden base. The episode ending revelation that Sentou is possibly the true killer of Takumi Katsuragi is also a pretty startling turn of events, even if it’s almost certainly a red herring. In fact, given the extent Katsuragi keeps popping up I think it’s fair to say that his death may be a red herring itself. Could he be Night Rogue or Blood Stark? I’m excited to find out.
- Contrary to what the title says, there are no moonsaults in this episode. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion the writers do not actually know what a moonsault is.
- For someone who was supposedly a trained fighter, Ryuga goes down really easily.
- His attempted hijack of the belt is also a neat way of displaying that it’s tied directly to Sentou and won’t work for anyone else.
- I love the idea that miniature floating toy dragon can’t do anything without blaring dubstep.
- Ridiculous camp is part of the game in any toku show, but Sentou screaming in anguish while shaking two tiny toy bottles is a whole new level of bathos.