Wow. All I can really say about this episode is wow. This is what the final arc of a Kamen Rider series should be like, boiled down into one episode. In the last several weeks, Build has been all over the place in terms of tone and scope, almost as if it was lost or using filler to drag out the plot to its full run time of 50 episodes. But episode 45 brings that all full circle, returning to the dramatic, high-stakes action and drama we have come to expect from a late-stage series like this. There is an air of finality to all of it, even knowing the series will go on for five more episodes after this point.
Many of the major pieces are falling into place now, including long-term plans coming to fruition in a big way. With a body count in a single episode higher than the rest of a 43-year long franchise, we see the source of Evolt’s power made real, and we see his flexibility as not only a fighter, but a tactician. Using people against each other, consuming entire worlds, and putting down former partners with all the hesitation one would use when swatting a fly, Evolt quickly re-established itself as the cosmic-level threat that it is in this episode.
In a few short actions, Evolt manages to go from a gel in a container back to a near-unstoppable force of cosmic change, and simultaneously completes the Black Pandora Panel. This is done as he, without any hesitation or regret, makes an honest man of Katsuragi Shinobu and puts him down for good. This leaves a third Build Driver without an owner, at least for now, as it seems this Driver and the Blizzard Knuckle will both fall to Kazumin in the next episode. This will be Grease’s only form change up to this point in the series, and may be the only one he ever gets, depending on what the summer movie has in store.
Before dying, Katsuragi Shinobu gives Sento some cards, with schematics for Build and Cross-Z base on them, but we do not learn what they are for until Sento begins to study them closely. These cards, it seems, may contain the final secret to defeating Evolt, though they do resemble Ganbarazing cards as used previously by Decade. Sento is nearly killed as well, though in this scene we learn that the Rider System can function as a space suit as well. During a finishing attack, Evolt carries Sento through a wormhole to a distant planet, which greatly resembles the Helheim forest seen in Kamen Rider Gaim, and proceeds to devour it in a black hole.
This hearkens back to Marvel villain Galactus, though it is not the only element of this episode seemingly inspired by Western superheroes. Even during the fight, the combat is explosive and levels a large chunk of the city, likely leaving hundreds dead in its wake on top of the planet Evolt has already devoured at this point in the episode. Overall, though, this episode is definitely a very welcome return to form for the series, and I am sure this will restore the lost faith a lot of people have in Build to not go completely off the rails at the end.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!