Rogue is back!
Once again, Gentoku steals the scenery in the opening of Kamen Rider Build episode 24. We open the episode on Gentoku telling the story of how he became Kamen Rider Rogue, beginning with the immediate aftermath of his last appearance on the show. When we last saw Gentoku, he’d been cast aside by his family and the Touto government after inciting the current war.
Now, though, he is so determined to get revenge that he goes directly to Utsumi, prepared to kill the man if Gentoku is not made into a Rider. Utsumi is really coming into his own as a foreboding figure in these scenes, making Gentoku literally beg before they move forward, even going so far as to ask if revenge is more important to Gentoku than his pride.
The experimentation and transformation scenes are brutal, with Gentoku first being chained up in a cage, screaming to his captors the questions of what he lacks that Sento and the others all have.
When he is finally let out, it is only so Isurugi/Blood Stalk can strap a Sclash driver on him and set him loose in a room full of hostiles. Gentoku is initially defeated, and Stalk orders the group to kill Gentoku, saying, “We chose the wrong guy.”
This is the first transformation of Himuro Gentoku in Kamen Rider Rogue.
All this happens before the opening credits even begin to roll.
When the action picks up, we learn there is a bug in the office of Touto’s prime minister as he and the Touto Riders discuss moving Pandora’s box elsewhere. Sento, in the quiet that follows, even goes so far as to mourn Aoba, the first man he killed while using the Hazard Trigger, and is interrupted by Isurugi, looking for a fight. Isurugi compares Sento to Gentoku, saying the latter’s strength comes from his desperation the fact that Gentoku has nothing left to lose. Sento, on the other hand, is said to have such a burden that it is too much to bear. In this scene, we see PirateTrain Hazard form for the first time, to date the only time Sento has used a Best Match other than RabbitTank with the Hazard Trigger.
Even while being absolutely crushed by Sento’s new power, Isurugi encourages Sento to go further, noting with every hit that Sento’s Hazard level has increased. Kazumi/Grease intervenes to stop Sento from losing himself, and Isurugi leaves with the red Pandora Panel and a collection of full bottles.
This exchange gives way to a bonding moment between Sento and Kazumi that ends in Kazumi asking Sento directly for help. Ryuga still doesn’t trust them at all, but as things between Kazumi and Ryuga begin to escalate, Misora tries to step in, using her best Miitan face to calm Kazumi. True to Ryuga’s hard-headedness and Kazumi’s ability to never back down, it doesn’t last long. Sento spends some time after thinking on Isurugi’s words, clearly troubled.
After being joined by Misora in the lab, Sento reflects on how idealistic he was before the war began, and a brief exchange on the merits of love and peace as motivation to fight leads to Misora blacking out. Gentoku makes a move on the Touto government offices, accompanied by dozens of Seito forces and our heroes join the fight. Engine Bros and Remote Control Bros block the path of the Touto and Hokuto team, while Gentoku confronts his father with his weapon drawn and clearly leveled directly in the Prime Minister’s direction.
Gentoku’s body language and speech suggest that he would not hesitate to kill his own father if there was any resistance at this point. The prime minister reflects, regretfully, that he should have gone to the ceremony where Pandora’s Box was unveiled, rather than sending Gentoku in his place. This is far from the first time it has been implied the energy wave that created the Sky Wall also damaged the minds of the people present that day.
The battle moves to the base of the Sky Wall, and a battle begins again between our heroes and the Seito forces. Gentoku reveals his true motivation for becoming Rogue, and explains his belief that opening Pandora’s Box will be the end of the conflict, but the beginning of something new. Sento is defeated by Gentoku while Ryuga and Kazumi take on Engine Bros and Remote Control Bros, before Misora enters the battlefield. The camera is used in a variety of ways to convey the weight of her presence, and the episode ends on a flash of Misora’s new bright green eyes, the same colour as emeralds.
Overall, this episode felt weaker than the previous entry, but was heavier on action and served an important purpose in bringing our core group of Riders together at last. The ambiguity in the relationship between the Touto and Hokuto groups is gone, and they have now all formed a team similar to the Gamer Doctors in last year’s Kamen Rider Ex-Aid. The bits with Misora will certainly need to be explained, and the preview for Episode 25 suggests we won’t need to wait long.
What did you guys think of this episode? Leave a comment down below!