Team TokuNet Writer Malunis reviews the episodes of Kamen Rider Zi-O that aired in August 2019. In reviewing this month’s episodes, the review will talk about the show’s finale.
Ep46: 2019: Operation Woz
Geiz was trapped in an Another World created by Swartz. In order to figure out how to destroy that world and rescue Geiz, Sogo and the others ask White Woz to help. Thankfully, he also wants his savior returned safely. Following White Woz’s plan, Zi-O and Aqua challenge Eternal.
Woz transforms and confronts White Woz, and is sent to an Another World with Tsukuyomi – but it was all part of White Woz’s plan. The two find themselves in Geiz’s Another World, in which Geiz relives his heated argument with Sogo and the two are able to reconcile so that they can form a new future together.
Meanwhile, Zi-O makes use of the Zi-OTrinity RideWatch while Eternal uses his most powerful finisher – when summoning Geiz and Woz, the Trinity watch is capable of bringing them from the Another World, and Eternal’s power is capable of destroying that world. With only a fraction of Another Worlds destroyed, Eternal and White Woz disappear, but this plan didn’t put much of a dent in Swartz’s power.
Zi-O, Geiz, Woz and Aqua start to take on Swartz and his Dark Riders, when Ora stops time. Swartz reveals that his purpose of watching Sogo’s growth was to take away the power of the Riders. Ora tries to take on Swartz in a surprise attack, but he transforms into Another Decade and kills her. Sogo transforms into GrandZi-O, taking on Another Decade. As the others defeat the Dark Riders, Tsukuyomi arrives – Geiz tells her that he wishes to remain in this time period, and confirms that Swartz’s aim has always been Sogo.
Zi-O faces off against Another Decade, but is met with the reveal that Tsukuyomi is connected to him in such a way that the two will die simultaneously. Aqua attempts to fight Another Decade, but he unleashes a finishing move and manages to kill Aqua. Sogo is now left with three choices: Take Tsukuyomi’s life, take his own life, or take the path to Ohma Zi-O…
Hoo boy, this was a heavy one. Wrapping up the little romp with Eternal in a cool way, giving us one last encore from White Woz that’s pretty clever in a way I didn’t expect…
… aaand poor Aqua. Poor, poor Aqua. I have to admit, even if it seems like an undoable death for a time travel show, it was DARING to kill off a Rider from a previous series – admittedly has low stakes in terms of Rider notability, but that doesn’t take away from how cool it was.
Most importantly, Sogo’s dilemma. What’s gonna happen next?! Oh right, we have 3 more episodes in this review.
Ep47: 2019: Disappearing Watches
The Build RideWatch breaks, causing a Skywall to appear in the city. While Geiz and Woz are fighting the Smash who appear in the streets, Sogo takes Tsukuyomi to Tsukasa. With his help, the two go to 2058, to the home of the younger Tsukuyomi and Swartz.
The young Swartz explains that their own world is going to be destroyed, and the only way to save it is to destroy all other worlds. To do that, he will unite all of the Kamen Riders that exist in those other worlds and destroy it all. It seems that he used Sogo to bring them together. When Sogo questions what Swartz would do if his sister was stronger, to which Swartz releases a shock wave, proclaiming that he will take her memories away.
Around that time, Fuuto Tower and Yggdrasill Tower appear in 2019, causing enemies from these worlds to appear before Geiz and Woz. Suddenly, among them is Mashin Chaser, from Drive’s world. Geiz tries to remind him that he is an ally of Go Shijima, but this causes him to malfunction.
When Swartz tries attacking the adult Tsukuyomi, Tsukasa takes the attack, and ends up dying to it. Luckily, Daiki shows up with the Another Zi-O II Watch, which can turn back time and revive him. However, the side effect of the watch causes Daiki to transform into Another Zi-O II, which leads him to aggressively fight Tsukasa. When pressed to fight, Tsukasa reveals that he stored half his power in the Decade RideWatch that he gave to Sogo, so he uses this to regain his Neo DecaDriver. Using his belt, he transforms into Zi-O, taking on Another Zi-O II.
Sogo also transforms into GrandZi-O to join in the fight. Between them, they are able to break the Another Zi-O II Watch and turn Daiki back to normal. However, the GrandZi-O RideWatch malfunctions and disappears, with Sogo losing his strongest form. All of the monsters from the other worlds are in their world now, making it seem like the end of the world. Decade ends by saying “This world… I will destroy it.”
Things got nuts in this one. This is where you realize the show was actually one big World of Zi-O arc for Decade.
In all seriousness, this really does have some of the good parts of Decade mixed in, what with all the enemies from previous series in one setting. What I think really makes it work, though, is the fact that there have been a few shows since 2009 that have had some iconic structures, so being able to see things like Fuuto Tower and Yggdrasill in the background really brings the point home that all the worlds are merging.
It’s also pretty daring to fake us out with a Tsukasa death! I was legit curious where that was going, then Daiki shows up with his ultimate treasure. The best part is the fact that Decade finally transforms into Zi-O – bit of a shame the SO-DO figures couldn’t make that work, due to peg size differences.
Ep48: 2068: OhmaTime
In order to destroy the world, Swartz merged all of the Rider worlds that existed in different timelines. According to Tsukasa, Swartz was only able to do this once Sogo and the others gathered the RiderWatches. In this situation, the world will collapse, so they must do something to help the people, and rely on Tsukasa’s plan.
While Tsukuyomi is with Geiz and Woz, who are protecting people from the constant onslaught of monsters, Zi-O protects his uncle. He confesses to him that he’s been fighting as a Kamen Rider, then travels to 2068. While there, he ends up encountering Geiz and Tsukuyomi from before they met, and slips a blank watch into Tsukuyomi’s pocket.
When Ohma Zi-O appears, Zi-O takes him on, using the Zi-OTrinity RideWatch. All goes well until Ohma Zi-O acknowledges that what Sogo wants to do is sacrifice himself in their plans, a detail that Geiz and Woz weren’t privy to. Undoing the transformation, Geiz and Woz are sent back to 2019. Sogo learns that the power of Ohma Zi-O can destroy spacetime, and Swartz is trying to make him turn into Ohma Zi-O so that he can use that power. Sogo can’t let himself become that. Ohma Zi-O sends Sogo back to 2019, but also releases some power into the sky that influences the blank watch that Sogo gave to Tsukuyomi. Witnessing the two, Geiz and Tsukuyomi are influenced to go travel back in time to stop Ohma Zi-O from happening.
At the same time, Decade challenges Another Decade, along with Diend. When Another Decade goes on to find Tsukuyomi and attack her, Mashin Chaser steps in now that he’s regained his human emotions. He’s killed by Another Decade, dying in Geiz’s arms. When Another Decade approaches Tsukuyomi once more, Sogo runs to the scene, proclaiming “Tsukuyomi, the watch! You already have it!”
With Woz tossing Tsukuyomi a new Ziku-Driver, she finds the Tsukuyomi RideWatch, and transforms into Kamen Rider Tsukuyomi!
So it would be pretty insulting if I didn’t talk about Kamen Rider Tsukuyomi first. I love that this happened – I’ll get into it once I do a review of the shorts, but they did tease the notion of this ages ago… which would have been a baaad look if it never actually happened. And I love what they went with for a design, it’s more elaborate than expected and fits the name.
As for the idea of Sogo sacrificing himself… that’s weird, looking at it now. It seemed like it was gearing up for a sad ending. But I did like the drama it spurred, Geiz and Woz getting taken out of the fight because they were caught off guard by that realization. Ohma Zi-O even seemed surprised that Sogo was basically willing to sacrifice himself for his friends, and ultimately helps Tsukuyomi’s RideWatch come into existence. If you’re not sure that that’s connected, the summary I wrote is based on the official TV Asahi episode summary, and it does directly state what I wrote.
Ep49: 2019: Apocalypse
Tsukuyomi has transformed into a Kamen Rider, but to their surprise, she has sworn loyalty to Swartz. That betrayal completely ruins Tsukasa’s plan, as Sogo and the others now have to fight the many monsters that keep showing up.
Sogo has breakfast with his uncle, and starts to leave when his uncle stops him. It seems that, overnight, he’d repaired all of the broken RideWatches to support Sogo’s endeavor, and asks that he come back once the fighting is over.
As GrandZi-O, he enters the battle and summons several Riders to help him. However, he’s quicklyy overwhelmed by the power and number of enemies. At last, Another Decade overpowers him and attempts to send the finishing blow, until Geiz steps in to defend him, taking the fatal attack.
In his dying words, Geiz asks Sogo to become Ohma Zi-O, because he knows he will be the best of the best overlord. With overwhelming sadness and anger, the Ohma Zi-O Driver appears, giving Sogo the ability to transform into Kamen Rider Ohma Zi-O.
“Rejoice! Beyond spacetime, the ultimate king of the past and future! His name is Ohma Zi-O, and this is the moment when we reach the final chapter of history!”
Another Decade attempts to absorb the power of Ohma Zi-O, proclaiming that he’d been waiting for this moment, but is overpowered. One by one, Ohma Zi-O defeats every major enemy thrown at him with one attack, leaving Another Decade defenseless. As he attempts to escape, Tsukuyomi attacks from behind, revealing she was waiting for the right moment to attack. He knocks her away with a strong counterattack, causing Ohma Zi-O to become enraged and unleash a Rider Kick. Once Another Decade is defeated, he disappears along with Tsukuyomi.
In that moment, Ohma Zi-O cannot let himself become king. He speaks with his future self in his mind, asking… if the power of Ohma Zi-O can destroy, can it also create? After destruction comes creation, so Sogo aims to recreate spacetime. Tsukasa and Daiki watch as Sogo uses his power to change his world.
It is now September 2018, and Sogo Tokiwa begins a new semester of high school. Along the way, he’s greeted by his fellow students, Geiz and Tsukuyomi. From afar, the younger students, Heure and Ora, watch their upperclassmen goof around, and Heure remarks that he has some confidence in Sogo, the upperclassman king. We find that Woz closes the Ohma Advent History book he’s always had with him, as the history written within it has become meaningless in this new world.
Okay. Okay-Okay-Okay. Before we talk the ending, let’s talk… Sogo’s uncle. Also known as best supporting character. I’ve been saying since the beginning, he’s the most patient man, and while he’s been pretty unaware of what’s going on, I love what they’ve done with him in these final episodes. He took things so well, and was incredibly supportive. Good man.
Geiz’s death was somewhat out of left field, but for a while I’ve been thinking “Oh right, time travel show” – even so, what a good moment. He finally demands Sogo become Ohma Zi-O, which is how you know things have gotten grim.
Then we have the Ohma Zi-O fight, which I honestly didn’t think would be happening. It was extremely over-the-top and satisfying… cathartic, even! After all the stuff Sogo went through, he’s a Level 100 beast and he’s showing Swartz what happens when you mess with Riders.
Okay, so that ending.
From the moment we got word of this being a time travel show, I kinda had a feeling this was exactly the kind of ending we’d get. There’s an understandable stigma around endings where the whole journey has basically been erased in favor of a peaceful life, and I GET that – I really do. But I find that I don’t get bothered by it so much, and here I feel it… kinda works?
Like, here’s the thing. It’s not technically undoing the events, so much as it’s creating a new timeline of sorts where some characters are brought together in an interesting new way. Geiz and Tsukuyomi, who are normally from the apocalyptic 2068, just exist here now. Same goes for the Time Jackers, whose exact origins are still up in the air, but they obviously got taken away from their lives to serve Swartz.
I like the implication of this timeline because it means everyone that Sogo went on to befriend, who ended up dying to Swartz, have been given a chance at a new life where they can be free. That has even more power behind it when you remember that this whole cast is young – they have their whole lives ahead of them, and it’d be a shame if the only life they lived was one where they suffered so much loss and trauma. You could argue it’s too perfect, but I see it as a very kind gesture that raises a lot of questions on the logistics – and really, isn’t that just perfectly in character for Sogo?
I may have said before that I would be giving my overall thoughts on the show here, but that’s been moved to a separate article – you’ll see why when it happens. In the meantime, I will say that I do also wanna tackle all the extra stuff from this show. I’ve held off on watching all the movies and spin-offs due to my focus being on other things, but those will happen when they happen, and they’ll be extra special as I experiment with new formats. Til then!