“A Pre-Programmed Tragedy”
“Evol, the Ultimate Weapon”
As Banjou wrestles with the revelation that he may not be human, Seito makes its newest push for Pandora’s Box while Stark searches for a way to unlock his true powers.
What a mess we’ve found ourselves in; I haven’t seen a show be this much of an unmitigated train wreck in quite a while. At least it’s an entertaining train wreck, eh?
The major plot revelations in the past few episodes have been related to the sudden appearance of alien entities, which is some serious left field shit. Yeah, Pandora’s Box the Mysterious Alien McGuffin has been around since Day One, but plot and theme wise it never seemed to matter much other than as a mysterious, potentially dangerous power source. And so, Kamen Rider Build began as a show about the potential dangers (see what I did there) of scientific progress and using it for good, and then suddenly became a whole “War Is Hell” thing once everyone started fighting over Pandora’s Box, then there was some “Nature vs Nurture” going on between Banjou and Sento, except that doesn’t pan out either because Banjou’s actually from Mars, and also by the way Stark wants to use alien magic to blow up the world, I guess??? and fucking I don’t know anymore.
With the sudden shift, Kamen Rider Grease is now even more of a hanger-on than before, with hardly any importance to proceedings (and his actor is conspicuously absent from Episode 33, likely because of scheduling conflicts). He gets a quick subplot in 32, which includes some decent hand-wringing about loyalty to his people versus the demonstrably greater good of keeping Pandora’s Box safe. The problem is, it gets solved within ten minutes as Rogue starts making his genuine switch to the “good” side, which strains belief after he’s put so much emphasis on not caring about anything. That entire plot itself starts and ends within two episodes, robbing it of any long-term impact.
Frankly, everything in the past few episodes has been happening too fast. We learn in a single paragraph that while Gentoku became more aggressive after being exposed to Pandora’s Box, sucking up some Nebula Gas (yeah, remember that?) countered the effects and actually he was good all along, just wanting his daddy’s approval. Banjou gets over his doubts over being an alien or whatever within a single episode. We start episode 33 with Stark explaining that the Evol Driver exists and is very powerful and dangerous and blahblahblah, and Sento finds and puts it together within five minutes (including an absurdly comical shot of him putting the two pieces together like they’re a difficult jigsaw puzzle or something).
Hell, it’s been a problem with the entire show. Build is trying to do so many different things that none of them stick around long enough to matter, and that includes the power-ups, already so numerous they strain any credibility. Cross-Z Magma barely premiered in Episode 30, and the preview for 34 indicates Banjou’s getting another new form. A few weeks ago, Sento gained two new super forms within two episodes, and he’s probably due for a final one in another couple weeks. Blood Stark pulled a “Rider System” bottle seemingly out of the ether. And what about putting every bottle into Pandora’s Box, again? I guess that’s not important anymore, huh?
It’s just… if Kamen Rider Build can’t seem to bring itself to think of its own plot beats as important, then why should I?
- In a completely baffling move, the Evol Driver – an ancient Martian artifact of unknowable power – plays Ode to Joy when activated.
- I am neither a physicist nor a programmer, but I feel like there probably isn’t too much overlap there. Doesn’t stop Sento from hacking the death chip inside Gentoku.
- The Prime Minister of Touto finally dies, about 25 episodes later than our earliest predictions!
- Banjou’s hair is still stupid.
- The document on the Evol Driver is in (decent!) English and contains a few interesting tidbits:
- It requires a Hazard Level of 5, and states this is impossible for a human to achieve.
- It consumes the power of Pandora’s Box.
- “…you could even control the universe with this Driver”.