What an emotional gut-punch this entire episode was. In 23 short minutes, many previously-understood aspects of the story are turned on their heads and we are taken for a ride in terms of action pieces and heartfelt moments of character development. Before we begin, though, we will be discussing spoilers for this episode, so if you have not seen episode 47 of Kamen Rider Build, I suggest you watch it before reading further.
The moment we have all been expecting for a few weeks now has finally come to pass. Sawatari Kazumi, Kamen Rider Grease, falls in battle this week and joins his friends, the Hokuto Three. In his last moments, he regrets allowing himself to die and leave his friends behind. In addition, we learn that Kamen Rider Mad Rogue, Utsumi, has been secretly working against Evolt from the beginning, plotting his revenge on Evolt for the murder of Nanba Juusaburou at the beginning of the Evolt Phase 3 arc. As Utsumi puts it, “The basic Rider System is insufficient,” and so he decides to bide his time. This week, he strikes.
This whole episode comes with an emotional weight and gravitas that, to me, is very reminiscent of the same point in Kamen Rider Gaim, though in that series, we were losing 2-3 major players in every single episode until only the title character remained. The contrasting fights this week are set up extremely well, with Kazumin taking on the clones of his deceased friends while Gentoku and Utsumi face off against Evolt and a reborn BiKaiser or HellBros, created from Evolt’s DNA. They are victorious in recovering a Lost Bottle after this battle, but Evolt himself appears and makes quick work of Utsumi, who is also killed this week.
Utsumi’s end adds a new level of depth to his character though, as we see that he is able to use the Evol Driver and upgraded Rider System due to his status as a cyborg. When he dies, though, he overloads and short circuits, giving Evolt the room he needs to land a killing blow. No one mourns for him the way they do for Grease, as Utsumi spent the majority of the series as a primary antagonist. For Grease, on the other hand, there is genuine grief shown on the part of his teammates. By the end of the episode, when they know he has fallen, they look defeated, exhausted, genuinely broken up over the loss of a friend as they should.
This whole episode carries an air of finality, of the grief the characters hold for their lost friend and the desperation they feel knowing he likely will not be the last of them to fall to save their world. The preview for the next episode seems to indicate this as well, as we see a single shot of Gentoku glowing purple and seeming to fade away, in the style of Avengers: Infinity War.
This episode left me reeling, and I’m sure many of you feel the same. Leave your thoughts below and let’s discuss!