Kamen Rider Evol’s power is unleashed in full this week, as we open the episode on a one-sided encounter between Evol and our main heroes. He manages to de-power all three protagonists in a single move, as well as injecting Sento with a poison only found on Mars. During the battle, Evol remarks that he is doing all of this using only about 2% of his maximum power.
Sento, in the show’s timeline, is said to have only three days to live.
We skip two of those days in a flash forward, and begin a tense sequence as the fallout of the previous battle begins to take shape. Isurugi sets an obvious trap, hoping to lure Banjou and Misora to the lab. He offers to save Sento in exchange for Pandora’s Box and all of Touto’s Full Bottles. As these scenes play out, it’s easy to see that tensions are higher than ever. Evol is in complete control, the master moving every piece on the board. The layers of mystery are pulled off, one by one, and we find out the truth of Sento’s connection to Faust, as well as Banjou’s connection to Evolt.
After the truth is revealed, we are treated to a flashback of Katsuragi Takumi, before his memory is erased, acting as the Sento we know now. The earlier plot thread with Sento’s roommate, Satou Taro, is revived and wrapped up, and the pieces begin to fall into place.
This is where, for me, it seems as though Build has truly entered its final arc. In this scene, we also learn that Evol was lying when he promised to save Sento, and he tells the two remaining members of Team Build that the only way to purge Sento’s poison is to kill Evol himself. They are fighting, not only for the Bottles and the Box, but now for Sento’s life.
A piece of Evol’s true nature is revealed during the battle, as it once again comes down to him and Banjou alone. Evol, in the translation done by Over-time at least, quotes Christopher Nolan’s version of DC Comics villain The Joker almost directly, asking Banjou, “Why so serious?” as he begins to explain his view.
Down, de-powered, and struggling, Banjou begins to give a monologue and the music intensifies, growing more and more emotionally charged. As it plays on, Banjou gets to his feet, transforms once again, and re-enters the fight. The whole scene is largely reminiscent of the previous series’ Christmas special, in which a main hero Rider was killed. As the battle goes on, all signs point to a major loss coming for Team Build, from dialogue to music to shot composition. After reaching Hazard Level 5.0, Banjou is able to briefly overpower Evol, and the two clash with a finishing attack. The result is an explosion of radiation and light that looks almost nuclear.
Only Banjou is left standing, and he wipes away Sento’s poison before revealing that Evolt transferred itself into Banjou’s body, allowing Isurugi to be killed. This marks the debut of Kamen Rider Evol Phase 2, Dragon Form, though we only see it briefly.
All in tall, this episode is an intense, emotional roller coaster that ultimately ends on a bittersweet, anxiety-inducing cliffhanger. It seems this show just continues to improve every single week, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Who else out there is looking forward to what comes next for Kamen Rider Build? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!