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Review of Kamen Rider Zi-O (Episodes 42-45)


Review of Kamen Rider Zi-O (Episodes 42-45)

Team TokuNet Writer Malunis reviews the episodes of Kamen Rider Zi-O that aired in July 2019. 

Ep42: “2019: Missing World”

Sogo tries to convince Geiz not to fight him, and Tsukuyomi eventually succeeds in tearing them apart – she wants to hear Sogo’s side of the story. Sogo brings in Tsukasa to explain to Geiz and Tsukuyomi what the proper course of history was before time got rewritten. Geiz, who doesn’t even recall Woz, refuses Sogo’s offer to beat Hiryu since Sogo seems to also be destined to conquer. Tsukuyomi wants to believe him because they have no future with Hiryu in charge.

Kaito tries to take Hiryu’s Another Zi-O II Watch, but Swartz stops him – unbeknownst to the other Time Jackers, Swartz gives Kaito time powers, with a promise of something good in return for doing him a favor.

Geiz watches as Hiryu appears before Sogo and transforms into Another Zi-O II. When Zi-O tries to use the GrandZi-O watch, Kaito stops time and takes it from him. Geiz, who did not want to see Zi-O be defeated by Another Zi-O II, transforms and helps him to escape. It seems that he’s having doubts that Sogo is the overlord he expected him to be.

Hiryu uses Another Riders to go after Tsukuyomi, so that he can lure out Sogo. Decade instead interferes, and takes on Another Zi-O II. Sogo and Geiz arrive to help so that Tsukuyomi can escape, but she’s cornered by Heure, with Woz arriving to stop Zi-O. Tsukuyomi, who was brought before Swartz, is caught off guard by his surprising words: “I’ll answer any questions you have, my sister.”

The plot thickens as we realize this isn’t a two-parter. The setting is, like I mentioned last time, interesting. It’s a present day overlord takeover, and Sogo’s uncle is taking in injured people, with no memory of Sogo – it’s as if Sogo died back during that bus accident, which feels exactly like the world Hiryu would make.

One thing that I find nitpickingly out of place… GeizRevive is here? Like, after the very specific origin story it had, you’d think we’d instead see him in default form. I suspect that’s just a side-effect of the rewriting, he still has all his usual gear – or more realistically, the show was at this point where this was his strongest form, so they’re using his strongest form. Either way, it’s weird.

Also? Pretty cool development for Kaito! Giving him the Time Jacker powers seems oddly appropriate, and he makes good use of it – but better use in the next episode.

Ep43: “2019: Tsukuyomi Confidential”

Swartz tells his “sister” Tsukuyomi that the power to stop time is a special power given to them. When Ora accuses Swarts of giving Kaito that power, he steals it from her. Heure picks Ora up and escapes. Eventually, Kaito finds the two hiding in a remote area, and gives them the GrandZi-O RideWatch he stole before. While doing that, he also alerts the Another Riders of their whereabouts so that he doesn’t get on Swartz’s bad side.

Heure and Ora are surrounded by Another riders when Sogo and Geiz arrive and transform to help. Ora hands Sogo the GrandZi-O watch because she just wants to defeat Swartz after learning that he used them to further his own personal goal. As it turns out, Swartz and Tsukuyomi are from royalty, and the one who was picked to be ruler was Tsukuyomi. Swartz, who could not abide by this decision, took her memories and left her in another time period – now he intends to become king. He attempts to take her powers, when Woz shows up to rescue her. It turns out he was pretending to be by Hiryu’s side so that he could get closer to the truth. The gang regroups and is all on the same page. 

Sogo, Geiz, Woz, and Tsukasa approach Hiryu’s building to challenge him and the Another Riders. The four take part in the fight, with GrandZi-O taking on Another Zi-O II. While Geiz and Woz fight the Another Riders, Diend suddenly appears to fight Decade. Using his time powers, Diend freezes Decade in place, giving Swartz the chance to take Decade’s power and form an Another Watch with it.

GrandZi-O defeats Another Zi-O II, winning the battle. With Hiryu’s powers lost, the world is turned back to normal, and everyone’s memories are restored. Hiryu tries to reach for the Another Zi-O II Watch, but Kaito decides to take it and walks off. The other Riders find Tsukasa lying on the ground, realizing something is wrong. After that, we see Swartz standing on a rooftop, marveling at his new Another Decade Watch.

Hoo boy… well, now that we finally have most of the pieces to the puzzle, Swartz is a bit more interesting of a villain now, and his previous practices (ie: getting the powers of Riders from an alternate future timeline) make more sense. He and Tsukuyomi aren’t like the others… and her amnesia is the result of a spiteful brother. Harsh. The one downside of course is that it took us until now to really understand it all – it was a twist with unevenly distributed breadcrumbs.

This was also a lot of fun to watch for the Another Riders. While we’re a couple short of the full Heisei spectrum, they managed to toss in everyone else, including big CGI Another Kuuga! That was fun to see.

It’s weird how this arc played out though, giving us this alternate timeline where Zi-O and Geiz relearn how to get along, only for it to be turned back to normal – I guess it has its merits of being a temporary thing, and one that happens well into the show when the bond is so deep. It wouldn’t have the same impact if Geiz hadn’t been accepting of Sogo all this time.

But obviously, the big thing about this episode is the reveal at the end… so let’s get into that next episode!

Ep44: “2019: The Call of Aqua”

In the midst of a mysterious incident where humans suddenly disappeared, Kamen Rider Aqua comes from the future and meets Sogo’s group. Aqua introduces himself as Michal, and says he’s come to meet Geiz and Tsukuyomi.

Michal asserts that it was wrong for Geiz and others to try to change the past. He says that it’s no different from what Swartz is doing, which angers Geiz. During this, Tsukuyomi questions Tsukasa about what he knows about Swartz. He eventually remarks “The fact that you’re here is itself spacetime distortion – you shouldn’t be in this world.”

Heure and Ora come to Sogo’s place because Heure’s been attacked by Another Drive. Geiz tries to kick them out, but Sogo wants to help since he figures these two are like Geiz and Tsukuyomi – they’re just trying to change the future. Alone with Heure, he learns that unlike Geiz, Heure and Ora have no home. He wants them to consider his home theirs – Geiz watches from afar and doesn’t like what he hears.

Ora has left Sogo’s place now, so Heure goes looking for her, but instead finds Another Drive. Michal and Tsukuyomi arrive to help, and Michal transforms into Aqua, confronting Another Drive. Sogo and Geiz join soon after, transforming. With them here, Aqua decides to take Tsukuyomi elsewhere. He explains to her that her real name is Alpina, and he needs to take her and Geiz from this time. By staying in the present, they are merely keeping the path to Ohma Zi-O intact. 

Zi-O and Geiz struggled with the Heavy Acceleration of Another Drive, but Heure tries to help with his time powers. The Riders manage to unleash a finisher on Another Drive, revealing that it’s Ora. Swartz arrives, transforming into Another Decade, then uses an aurora curtain to take the Riders elsewhere. He uses his powers to summon various Dark Riders, who begin fighting Zi-O and Geiz.

This… this was a very good episode. The main focus, for me, was seeing Kamen Rider Aqua again, from one of my favorite crossover movies, Movie Taisen Megamax. At least among my corner of the fandom, it was one of the most hotly talked about “Wouldn’t it be cool if” cameos. The use of the TimeMazine he arrives in, being a 2050s model, was a nice touch to solidify the Ohma Zi-O timeline. Michal seems cool at first, but when he has to transform, oooh he’s a dork and I love him. I think it’s fun that he has this comedic vibe to him despite the cool design – it fits what I remember from the movie. Also, one of my favorite lines is him seeing Zi-O then going “THAT’S what Zi-O looks like? Man time sure has changed a lot…”

This is also the big episode for the Time Jackers, because we receive the twist that I probably should’ve seen coming sooner: Heure and Ora join the heroes. I wish we got more info on them, but I do like the detail of establishing that they were plucked from different time periods to do Swartz’ bidding. I’d like to know more about why.

This is also where the show deserves some applause because they did all the Another Riders! Another Drive shows up and is cool and freaky! Another Decade is, surprise, our final boss! The Dark Riders were cool to see because it’s got some post-Decade inclusions! I was very pleased with this episode all around. The eye candy doesn’t stop there, either.

Ep45: “2019: Eternal Party”

Another Drive is Ora. Geiz accuses Heure of hiding that fact from them, causing him to run away in a panic, which starts an argument between him and Sogo. Geiz doesn’t believe that Sogo understands his situation at all after all this “You’re no different” talk, and the two go separate ways.

Meanwhile, while Heure is alone, Ora confronts him – he’s afraid she will attack him, but then realizes maybe it was a person trying to look like her to cause trouble. He encounters Ora again soon after, who transforms into Another Drive – that’s when the real Ora shows up, unable to help Heure due to her lack of time control powers. It turns out that Another Drive is actually the Paradox Roidmude, who aims to kill the real Ora and become her.

Realizing that he shouldn’t be here, Geiz tells Tsukuyomi that they’ll go back to the future. However, according to Michal, Tsukuyomi is from a different time axis and must return to a different time than Geiz. Michal suggests that Tsukuyomi regain her power from Swartz, before going back. 

Meanwhile, Sogo’s high school friend Owada is captured by Swartz. Sogo tries to help, but Swartz summons Katsumi Daido (Kamen Rider Eternal) from the aurora curtain. He transforms into Kamen Rider Eternal and attacks. He struggles to fight Eternal, until Tsukasa appears, he and Sogo enter the world that Swartz created for Owada, where Owada relives a gaming tournament victory over and over.

According to Tsukasa, there is an Another World created by Swartz for the sole purpose of Owada. These worlds are based around what could’ve been, which is where Another Decade gets his Dark Riders – they are from worlds where they were never defeated.

Woz fights Another Drive to save Ora. GeizRevive arrives, helping him fight. For reasons unknown, Ora suddenly stabs Heure in the gut, killing him. Sogo arrives just in time to see him die, and comes to his rescue, but he’s too late. A furious GrandZi-O helps the others fight Another Drive, putting a stop to them once and for all.

Elsewhere, Tsukuyomi succeeded in regaining the power to stop time from Swartz with the help of Aqua. However, Swartz transforms into Another Decade and attacks Tsukuyomi. Geiz rushes in to save her, which was exactly what Swartz planned. He sends Geiz into an Another World of his own, putting him aside. He then opens another aurora curtain, summoning a previously defeated Dark Rider: White Woz.

We’ve really stepped into a grand problem, haven’t we? Finally, I get to use that Dragon Ball GT dub reference. Anyway, things have escalated greatly as the scope of Another Decade’s power becomes clear – very fitting that a world-hopping Rider’s abilities would be translated this way.

Getting to see Eternal again was also pretty cool. It really adds a lot to these Decade-y summons when the actor is right there to make it authentic. And of course, good to see my boy Aqua in more than one episode. At this rate, he’s had more fight scenes here than in the movie he first appeared in.

And then there’s Heure… I liked the lil rascal when the show started, thought these Time Jackers were cool in general, really glad they didn’t actually resort to “And now the Time Jackers have their own non-crossover monster forms” like I joked they would, AND one of them is dead. Sad. I’m curious if they’ll become honorary Riders in the Final Stage show, as is typically the case of wacky stage show antics.

We are nearing the end, and it’s a good thing I finally got my act together on reviews… what with the next one being the last, and sure to be a very timely one. Look forward to that.

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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