Kamen Rider Build Episode 13

“Who Removes The Veil?”

The true identity of the mystery man responsible for framing Ryuga is finally revealed.

Zigg’s Thoughts

For a few episodes now I’ve been a little worried about the state of Build. I’ve noted several times in my writeups on previous episodes that it’s erratic pacing and failure to maintain a coherent mood has hurt my interest in the show. I also noted that they’ve built a really strong world and a plot with lots of potential, and if they could just pull it together the show had a great chance of getting back on track. Fortunately, this episode is that moment they pull it together, building around a genuinely pretty decent twist with fun character work, great pacing and effective action to form probably the best single episode of the show yet.

The anchor which all this revolves around is of course the revelation that Blood Stark is none other than lovable coffee-maker Soichi. It’s not something I saw coming myself but, cannily, the script doesn’t use it to deliver a single moment of absolute shock. Instead it gradually seeds the realisation throughout the show, until by the final sequence it’s more a case of the audience grudgingly accepting the fact rather than being stunned or surprised by it. This gradual unveiling is helped a lot by Yasuyuki Maekawa’s excellent, performance, as he’s given a chance to stretch his acting legs and move beyond the goofy supporting character we’ve seen up to now. We see some of that for sure, but we also see a more mature, caring side to the character, and in the final scene a glimpse of the playful menace which has been the foremost characteristic of Stark thus far. It’s a really good dramatic reversal, reminding us of the debt that Sentou owes Soichi, and the impromptu family that they’ve formed in the time they’ve been together, then ruthlessly sweeping that away. My only real critique is it might have been even better if they’d established Soichi as a character we’re invested in before now, instead of cramming a lot of it into this one episode. It’s hard to argue with the end result though, and I’m very excited to see how the story will move forward from here.

The excellence of this episode is not just limited to the one plot thread though. Stark and Gentoku’s showdown in the forest is a great scene, tightly choreographed and with some nifty camerawork to boot. Elsewhere, Nanba’s revelation that he’s going into business with someone else (namely Stark) adds some intrigue to a plotline that I’ve criticised as feeling a little flat, and also sprinkles a bit of desperation into Gentoku’s character makeup. It’s always a great moment when we get our first dual Rider transformation too, even if the stakes are a little lower than I would have liked for such a moment. With a showdown with Soichi and a the obligatory super mode both coming up next week, I’m hopeful that Build can continue to impress and surprise me.

Random Observations

  • Who eats fancy sushi with pizza and chips?
  • Nice little detail I appreciated – when Gentoku fires the opening shot in his fight with Stark, the production crew made sure to add the impact damage to the tree behind him.
  • As good as this episode was, I still just cannot get into Build’s powerups. Octpuslight looks especially hideous and is a good excuse for my least favourite Kamen Rider trope, bad CGI.
  • There is absolutely zero effort to hide the fact that the ‘room’ Stark, Build and Cross-Z battle in is in fact a sound stage. We even get long shots of the lighting rig and the top of the walls!
  • Hiding the Pandora’s box in plain sight by wrapping it in bubble wrap and packaging stickers is kind of genius in a weird way.
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