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Review of Kamen Rider Zi-O (Episodes 25-29)


Review of Kamen Rider Zi-O (Episodes 25-29)

Team TokuNet Writer Malunis reviews the episodes of Kamen Rider Zi-O that aired in March 2019. In reviewing this month’s episodes, the review will also talk about spoilers for Blade.

Ep25: “Another Zi-O 2019”

The Day of Ohma draws near, leading Swartz to take some new measures. Sogo and Geiz both learn of an Another Rider that is visiting all of the previous Another Rider hosts, taking their power for his own. His name is Hiryu Kakogawa, and despite implying that they have crossed paths before, Sogo has no recollection of him. Tsukuyomi researches this and discovers that Sogo’s parents died in a bus accident, with him and Hiryu being the sole survivors. Hiryu surprises them all as he transforms into a new Another Rider: Another Zi-O.

Also, hey guys. Been away from the show for a bit. Despite that, I somehow managed to stay spoiler-free on what exactly goes down in these episodes!

Just as the show comes closer to the buildup of GeizRevive, it also adds a new layer of intrigue as they establish a mysterious event in Sogo’s life – one that gets even more intriguing as the show moves forward. Parents in this franchise tend to get a raw deal, and Sogo is no exception – but I prefer knowing what happened over, say, the Riders who don’t seem to have jobs but still have a place to live (lookin at you, my otherwise flawless Kabuto, and mostly flawed Kiva).

Bringing in a monster like Another Zi-O makes for an interesting premise! While we don’t get a look at every single one, a few of the Another Rider hosts from before are brought back, and the Another Wizard guy even gets some decent screentime. But that’s just the start of this Another Rider festival.

Ep26: “GeizRevive! 2019”

Another Zi-O proves to be a dangerous foe, as he can foresee Zi-O’s attacks, just as Zi-O II can foresee Another Zi-O’s. Geiz needs the power of GeizRevive if he wants to take on this Another Rider, however it doesn’t seem to activate since he does not yet have the will to take down Zi-O. Among the Time Jackers, Heure is freaking out since he suspects Swarts of ulterior motive, if he’s now resorted to Another Zi-O to take the place of Ohma Zi-O, a seemingly pointless move.

Meanwhile, it seems that Hiryu is holding a grudge because he believes that the bus accident was caused by Sogo – a woman in white called out Sogo’s name as she fired off a suspiciously familiar gun. Upon going back in time to witness the event for himself, Geiz seems to obtain some newfound purpose and transforms into GeizRevive when he arrives to fight Another Zi-O. He effortlessly takes on the monster, only for Swartz to rescue him. GeizRevive then takes on Zi-O II, picking now to decide the future.

As Black Woz looks into the bus accident, he also makes a startling discovery: Tsukasa Kadoya, Kamen Rider Decade, was apparently on the same bus…

For the first time, it seems like the Another Rider lives on beyond two episodes, which I think is a nice change of pace. Looking at these episodes in retrospect, it’s also cool to see them introduce GeizRevive in the arc with Another Zi-O – of course he’d be the one to fight him.

Speaking of GeizRevive, it’s a cool design. I like the way it makes use of time, being an hourglass motif and having powers that seemingly involve manipulating time. I have been watching some of Dragon Ball Super recently and they also did some fun time-based combat. The transformation sounds, as well as the standby music, are also very nice. And props to them for a unique weapon.

It’s a promising start to my return to the show.

Ep27: “The Beginning of Everything 2009”

Geiz is pretty sure he’s got the power to defeat Zi-O, but Black Woz informs him that GeizRevive puts a strain on his body, causing him to nosebleed… and later earbleed. His newfound resolve seems to stem from what he saw of the bus crash that Tsukuyomi was seemingly a part of – he believes that she was killed in the explosion, and was likely going through the effort of killing Sogo because of Geiz’s own lack of resolve. Because of this, he wishes to avenge her and carry out his mission.

In reality, things are more complicated. The bus went out of control due to Swartz, dressed in black with a hat like the man in Sogo’s so-called dream. He held hostage an aggressive Sogo, causing Tsukuyomi to aim at Swartz, rather than Sogo. Swartz believes all the kids on the bus have the potential to become overlords, and transports them to a destroyed city before the bus crashes. In an odd turn of events, the bus driver was Tsukasa Kadoya, and he uses his powers to transport himself and Tsukuyomi to the same location as the kids…

Meanwhile, Black Woz takes matters into his own hands to protect his overlord. Teaming up with the Time Jackers, he orders Heure to convince Hiryu to take White Woz’s MirideWatch, so that he has a chance to defeating both Zi-O and Geiz. Upon doing so, White Woz uses his book to rewrite events so that the power of Kamen Rider Woz is returned to Woz. And it is – Black Woz swoops in, claiming the BeyonDriver and MirideWatches for himself. He then meets up with Geiz, transforming into Kamen Rider Woz so that he can protect his overlord.

So, wow! Lots of stuff went down. For starters, they’ve managed to tie together the bus accident with Sogo’s dream, and managed to give Black Woz a Rider belt in a clever way.

The Woz thing is important to me since I was always very curious how the Kamen Rider Woz stuff was even going to work – when we first had a look at what we now know is White Woz, I had the theory that the Ohma Zi-O timeline had been overwritten, and Black Woz changed into this new character. Either that or, he somehow manages to obtain this Rider belt to act as a more aggressive protector of Sogo. And the change of costume was just for fun.

Once we got Black Woz and White Woz, it also raised the question of whether the “Third Rider starts off as enemy and becomes an ally” trope would even be applied here – I honestly could not see any way for that to work unless White Woz got killed off by some stronger enemy, and Black Woz just took his gear. They managed a pretty creative way for that to play out.

Something I also didn’t make room for in the summary is Sogo and his uncle – with Geiz and Tsukuyomi leaving their home, from his uncle’s perspective, Sogo’s situation is that he lost his only friends he’s had in years. I really enjoy that he has taken some initiative to be more of a parent and insist that Sogo be honest if he’s feeling lonely, even tying it back to how it relates to Sogo’s goal of being a king. It was a nice character moment and I hope to see more of it.

Ep28: “Our Goal 2019”

The dark future that Swartz took the children to is one where their potential will be tested. Sogo shows some kind of time powers when it comes to rescuing a civillian, prompting Swartz to single him out. Tsukuyomi also realizes Tsukasa is here, wondering what his motives are.

Previously, Geiz requested that Sogo meet him at a parking lot to carry out their final battle. After an encounter with Black Woz caused the GeizRevive RideWatch to further damage him, Geiz arrives pretty beaten up – as does Sogo, having fought Hiryu’s army of Another Riders. Convinced now that Sogo isn’t the kind of person to become Ohma Zi-O, he teams up and the two take on the Another Riders. Sogo apologizes to Hiryu for the past, insisting he move on, to which he breaks down and cries. Curiously, the Another Zi-O Watch starts to break, then reforms…

Though Geiz still wishes to carry out a final battle, for Tsukuyomi’s sake, the fight is stopped before it can start when Tsukuyomi suddenly appears from Tsukasa’s portal. She suggests that the situation isn’t what she thought it was, to which the two seem thankful they don’t have to fight. Geiz and Sogo move back into his uncle’s place, with the revelation that Black Woz has also moved in properly. Meanwhile, White Woz has agreed to follow Swartz now that his own future seems unlikely. We end on a teaser of a certain enemy of Tsukasa, who believes that Tsukasa is hogging all the treasure.

Another solid episode. Geiz gets a lot of flak for flip-flopping like this, but I think it’s justified within the context of the situation, and man do I love how powerful this moment of certainty was – the fight scene where they work together is probably one of my favorites so far. It’s the kind of toku stuff I’m into.

And then there’s Swartz… what IS he doing, exactly? It’s actually really interesting because I have no idea what the show has done with this plot point beyond these episodes, and I can’t even predict where this will go.

And of course, we got some Diend at the end! But we’ll talk more about that in a sec.

Ep29: “Blade Joker!? 2019”

White Woz has no choice but to act as a lackey to Swartz, and he approaches a lady named Amane to transform her into Another Blade, causing her to fixate on a man named Hajime. Meanwhile, the crew discover a stranger has entered their home – Daiki Kaito, Kamen Rider Diend. He attempts to run off with all of their RideWatches, but Black Woz transforms and recovers most of them. Unfortunately, Geiz’s transformation watches, and the Zi-O RideWatch II, are still missing.

This proves to be an issue once they learn that there’s an Another Rider, so they can only defeat it with its original power, which they don’t have. What’s more, it doesn’t seem to work like the others, as it bares the year 2019 instead of 2004. While fighting Another Blade, the so-called Hajime appears, transforming into Kamen Rider Chalice to defend Another Blade.

Taking on Diend, Woz manages to get back the Geiz RideWatch, but it seems that White Woz is in possession of the Zi-O and Geiz power-ups. Oddly, something inside of him resonates with the two, seeming to create a new watch. Finally, the battle with Chalice comes to a sudden standstill as Kenzaki appears, questioning why Chalice transformed, and wondering if fate is just impossible to avoid now that they’ve reunited.

Kamen Rider Blade is a show where the ending is really hard for me to talk about because it’s an interesting one I think is worth seeing – but I can only avoid that until the next episode. So for now I’ll say that it’s fascinating for the show to actually create a type of addendum to it with this arc. Not only that, but it’s cool to see the kid from that show all grown up, and become Another Blade no less! Fitting choice, given the circumstances.

Diend is also fun, and gives us the other half of that updated Decade experience. After seeing Decade transform into Build, you KNOW I wanna see Diend summon Accel and Birth in a battle! Very cool for them to set this all up – you get 4 returning actors in one episode.

On the Zi-O side of things, we also get some additional backstory for Black Woz which I’m glad to finally see, and it makes sense – he was leading the Ohma Zi-O resistance and was basically leading them into a trap. This quickly sets up valid reasons for Geiz to hate him… aaand makes this another character that the franchise will redeem only for a bunch of people to go “But he’s still a killer” and for me to nervously shrug at while still liking the character. Ryu know how it is.

There’s still some gaps in Woz’s story, but I’m sure those will be filled in due time. For now, I’m digging the show more than I was earlier on.

Copy editor for TokuNet. Creator of a few casual Kamen Rider blogs on Tumblr (FruitRiderNews/GameRiderNews/BuildRiderNews). Collector of Riders, Transformers and generally robotic/cute stuff. I also do a lot of art, so if you're interested in a commission you can check out this link. Thanks for stopping by!

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