This week’s episode of Kamen Rider Build was good. I’d say very good. However, it wasn’t great. The episode is a very expository episode, emphasising the building of the world and giving it a bit more depth in this episode, while somewhat continuing on the story of Banjou Ryuuga and him being framed.
The episode itself starts off almost immediately after 2, with the members of the Café going over the framing of Banjou in quite comedic fashion. They went over all of the convoluted links that all lead to him, ultimately, being framed for murder, complete with chibi drawings, goofy writing and exaggerated speech when presenting it. Not only was it fun to watch but it actually did help to state clearly Banjou’s situation and how they intended to approach it. When they came to begin the investigation, we see one of the Café group, Misora, use a different one of her talents. While in the previous episodes we learned of her mysterious power to purify the Full Bottles, she also has a talent for being an internet idol! To aid Sento and Ryuuga in gaining information on the guard, Nabeshima, she takes to the internet, where she reveals that she is quite the popular net star, going by the name of Mii-tan. There, she asks her fans to get the information for her, all while acting like a very typical Japanese idol would. This little vignette was very well done, and not only added to Misora’s character but provided some great comedy by showing the duality of her sluggish, easily irritable offline personality, and her hyperactive, bubbly online persona. However, I could see the act getting stale as the show goes on, so we’ll have to see how it goes.
As the group is waiting for the information to come in, Sento learns of a Smash attacking a young man, and goes with the reporter, Sawa, to stop it. Build begins the fight in his GorillaSoujiki form, which was quite entertaining, and good to see more of the Soujiki (Vacuum) power. It’s a power that I personally quite like. After a brief and unexciting battle, with Build fighting and Sawa very much acting like an annoying sports commentator, Build finishes off the Smash by going into his classic GorillaMond form and ending it with the finisher. The Smash was actually the little boy’s mother and the two are reunited happily. Build rides off with his new essence as on-lookers comment on whether or not Build had actually kidnapped the boy and his mother, building him up further as an outlaw and not a true hero in this divided world.
When he returns to his lab at the Café, a few things of note happen. First, we learn a bit more about the Full Bottles and how not every bottle is a best match. We also see this patch on the wall, where Souichi says that when you put two bottles into it, it’ll glow and let the person know if it’s a best match. What was noticeable, was that the slots on the wall appeared to be made of the same material as the Sky Wall and the Pandora’s Box itself. Perhaps this Café, and Sento himself are more connected to the Pandora’s Box than they seem. We also learn from Banjou, comedically, that to create a best match, it must be one part animal, the other part machine/inorganic material, as we’ve so far seen with Build’s other forms. In showing this, the new form of the episode is hinted at when Banjou inserted the Hawk Full Bottle and the Gatling Full Bottle. Then, with this new Best Match, the group heads to what appear to be some docks to continue the investigation on Nabeshima.
The group plan to save Nabeshima’s family in Sento, as his family is being threatened by the mysterious Night Rogue. When Banjou (disguised as an elderly person) and Sawa get to the docks, they are attacked by the Touto androids and a fight breaks out. It’s interesting to note that during the fight, Banjou was gripping the Dragon Full Bottle in his hand and when he punched, the punch was stronger, and we saw a burst of energy, identical in colour to the Full Bottle itself. Perhaps this will play further into the story.
Then, Sento arrives, defeating the androids and telling the two to get to the boat, as he goes to fight a Smash that shows up. Banjou and Sawa run, and Build fights the Smash in the highlight of the episode, where he premiers the HawkGatling combination. While the fight itself wasn’t particularly exciting, it was very enjoyable to see this new form. I like the theme, a hawk and a gatling gun reminded me of a fighter jet, which may have been the intention. But, of course the Smash was beaten and, as Sento absorbs the Smash’s essence, it reveals that the Smash was actually Nabeshima. Very suddenly, a strange, purple Cobra-esque monster attacks Sento, stabbing him. It slithers away as the episode ends, leaving us to question what will come of the Kamen Rider.
Overall, the episode was okay. It did a good job of building the world, but that’s about all it did well. We met the three Prime Ministers of the three sections of the country, but even then I wasn’t too thrilled. It seemed very cookie cutter, in that one wanted peace while the other two were selfish, with one seemingly being obviously evil. We also learned the name of the mysterious company that was experimenting on Banjou and Sento: Faust. For those who don’t know, the company appears to obviously be named after the German legend of a young man who sold his soul for all of the world’s knowledge and pleasures. This didn’t really blow my mind, but did fit the demonic appearance of Night Rogue and his apparent role as an evil scientist. Perhaps he sold his soul to some higher force? To Pandora’s Box maybe? The real intrigue for me was in the panel on the wall of the lab that resembled Pandora’s box, and the implications therein. While I enjoyed the episode, and Build is still early in its life as a series, I’d only really rate the episode a 6 out of 10. It had its enjoyable moments, with two fight scenes that weren’t particularly stand out, yet it certainly wasn’t bad. Here’s to hoping that as the series goes on, and we get more answers and excitement, episodes won’t be as stale.