The second proxy battle continues this week as we pick up at the beginning of round two. Ryuga is matched against Washio Fu, now using his brother’s power in addition to his own to become a new Hard Smash called Hellbros. Sento has a vision of something called Bikaiser, and Ryuga vows to win the fight after shaking off his initial intimidation.
He transforms and we begin the fight. Kazumi, drained from his fight, wanders into the hall and remarks that, “I wish Miitan were here.”
He gets a call from Sawa, cut in with menacing music to imply that she is playing him, and we turn our attention back to Ryuga. He is completely outmatched, but he refuses to stay down.
A flashback begins of Ryuga and Kazumi traning, remarking that they are training to raise their hazard levels at full power. Ryuga compares Kazumi to Sento, leading to the other man questioning Ryuga’s own motives for fighting. Ryuga, in his typical fashion, remarks that he can’t fight for people he doesn’t know, and they both acknowledge that Sento is doing what they cannot. Kazumi, knowing Sento’s history, remarks that the whole situation is Sento’s fault to begin with.
Ryuga vows that Sento won’t carry the weight of his past alone anymore, and we cut back to the present where the fight continues. Washio Fu realizes, at last, that Ryuga is constantly evolving, and admits that he has been holding back. He decides to go all out, and runs right into Ryuga’s finishing move. Washio Fu gets up, and says that his brother will die if he does not win. Now on the defensive, Ryuga can only listen as Washio Fu tells his story.
“If I lose, my brother will be disposed of.”
It’s a powerful line that gives the Washio brothers a more sympathetic role in the conflict. The weight of that burden is felt in every hit of Washio Fu’s finishing attack, and Ryuga finally goes down.
As the battle ends, Sawa returns to Nanba with a flash drive containing the data on RabbitRabbit. Washio Fu comes to Ryuga, still on his back on the ground, and tells Ryuga that he knows he lost on purpose. Washio Rai emerges, revealing that Ryuga has been played. Ryuga takes the blame, and moves on. He knows Sento will finish things.
After delivering the data, Nanba delivers a cold warning to Sawa. “Don’t try anything funny. You cannot escape from me.” He says to her, ominously.
In the Seito locker room, Gentoku’s Sclash Driver has been upgraded to counteract RabbitRabbit, and he admits he does not care about getting revenge on Touto anymore. His true motivations, as always, remain a mystery.
Sento, in trying to encourage Ryuga, says that he and Kazumi did a good job setting the scene. Then he goes with RabbitRabbit in hand and takes his place. We next see Kazumi wandering around town, trying to find Miitan, presumably after the phone call from Sawa.
In the arena, the battle between Sento and Gentoku begins, with Gentoku saying that Seito will unify Japan once more. He also says to Sento that this is what Katsuragi Takumi always wanted.
The battle opens with Sento using RabbitTank Sparkling, and Gentoku using his base Rogue form. It’s a visual spectacle, but some of the opening shots can be a little jarring, with quick camera work and blurry motions.
As the fight continues, we see a past vision of Sento and Gentoku, before his transformation from Katsuragi Takumi into Kiryu Sento. Going over their motivations, the past Katsuragi says he would gladly sell his soul to the devil for science, while present Sento declares nearly the exact opposite.
Sento and Gentoku debate the Rider System as weapons, particularly the Hazard Trigger, and Gentoku takes the opening during this philosophical debate to take a point blank shot at Sento’s chest.
He falls, and we see a brief glimpse of the civilian impact of the war. Sento takes responsibility for his role in the war, and declares that it is his job to stop the war he started. Sento attacks with multiple weapons before being taken down and dropping three bottles. They exchange a few more words about the value of Katsuragi’s inventions, and Sento installs the Hazard Trigger in his driver before switching on RabbitRabbit for the first time.
The mechanism shown indicates that TankTank will likely end up coming from the same large Full Bottle. RabbitRabbit is fast, and the show gives a mostly-effective use of motion blur on Sento’s moves to illustrate this. As the fight wears on and Gentoku is slowly overpowered by Sento’s increased speed, one thing is clear: The Hazard Trigger is under control now.
The weapon seen in background shots in the last few episodes, now officially called Full Buster, materializes via the power of the RabbitRabbit bottle form, and Sento begins using multiple full bottles in its chamber to create Miracle Match attacks.
Then comes the Hazard Finish, a new kind of finishing attack. This attack knocks Gentoku out of the arena, but he is not out of the fight. The rules, restated, indicate that three conditions for victory exist and ring out is not one of them. The battle continues next week, when TankTank form debuts!
What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Leave a comment down below and let’s discuss!