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Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Final Review

Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Final is something of an odd film, an ambitious crossover akin to The Avengers, but also in the very familiar style of past Super Hero Taisen or Kamen Rider Generations films. We open on a battle between Ex-Aid’s Mighty Brothers XX form and several of the chicken-headed minions from Ex-Aid, then cut to Build, in his base forms of Rabbit/Tank and Gorilla/Diamond, defeating Kamen Rider Paradox to take the essence of the Ex-Aid legend bottle, which has now been on the market for several months.

A brief line to end the scene reveals it was a dream, but we learn that Sento did, in fact, take the Ex-Aid legend bottle, which was then purified by Misora into the Doctor/Gamer Best Match pair.

Based on the dialogue between Sento and Banjou in the next scene around the whereabouts of Isurugi Souichi, and Banjou becoming a Rider, it is safe to put this film in the timeline of Build somewhere around episode 22 or 23, shortly after Isurugi’s disappearance and the debut of Kamen Rider Cross-Z. Sento tells Sawa that he has been pulling all nighters to finish a power up item for Build, shown here to be Rabbit Tank Sparkling, and after getting an alert, the pair rush into a battle against familiar looking minions that are clearly not Smashes. If anything, they most closely resemble the basic grunt enemies from Ex-Aid, though with white chicken heads instead of brown.

The setting of the battle is reminiscent of Build’s first appearance, near the end of Ex-Aid in Ex-Aid’s own world, and when Sento uses the new Doctor/GamerBest Match, we are treated to Gashat activation sounds, before Sento turns into Ex-Aid’s level 2 form, Mighty Action X.Screenshot_2018-05-25-10-49-25

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The antagonist for the film is introduced as he takes the Ex-Aid bottles to try to open a portal. He succeeds and launches Banjou through said portal into another dimension. His design is very much like that of HellBros, but with a brighter colour. The scene when Banjou awakens on the other side of the portal, in Ex-Aid’s world, uses a few cutaway shots to establish that Ex-Aid, Ghost, Gaim, Fourze, and OOO may all exist within the same dimension. Decade’s usual universe hopping may not even be necessary this time.

It is wholly refreshing to see the entire, wonderful core cast of Ex-Aid’s main riders be given the spotlight here, even briefly, and their efforts to save people near their hospital are a welcome return to the world of doctors and gamers.

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The three men who can transform hold nothing back, while nurse Asuna (Poppy Pipopapo) evacuates civilians. They are met by another of the Hard Smash characters, Right Kaiser, whose design is identical to his counterpart, but red instead of blue. The two earths of Build and Ex-Aid are crashing together, quite literally, because of a mysterious entity called Enigma.

Before the battle can progress too far, the Ex-Aid gang is de-powered and needs to be rescued by Ghost.

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They meet Banjou next, and the confusion over Ex-Aid vs Build continues. As Banjou learns about Ex-Aid’s world, Parado learns about Build’s. He confronts Sento outside of Cafe Narascia, saying he has been wandering Build’s world in search of Build for two years. This single plot point opens up so many interesting possibilities in the Kamen Rider multiverse that I can’t even begin to speculate. It would seem the appearance of Sento as Build in the final episodes of Ex-Aid had more impact than just a simple cameo, by far.

After hearing a story from Isurugi about a physicist named Mogami Kaisei, Sento is given the PhoenixRobo Best Match, a set we know he keeps until episode 36 of Build. Back in the other world, Kami-sama himself, Shin Dan Kuroto, enters the fray, using two Gashats: his trademark Dangerous Zombie and the Build legend Gashat that was included with the first wave of Build Drivers.

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Dan Kuroto is as over-the-top as he ever has been, shrieking and dancing, unable to be consoled into calmness except by Onari, who tries to appease Kuroto by acknowledging his godhood.

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Even if you are openly part of the community that despised everything about Ghost, it is easy to acknowledge the levity and comedy in this moment.

Mogami Kaisei, while working as a researched for Nanba Heavy Industries, came up with a way to fuse the Bugster Virus into samples of Nebula Gas, giving us the Kaiser system we see the Kaisers using in their attempts to activate Enigma, and it seems he had help from Katsuragi Takumi. Together, the two built Enigma and the research began into Ex-Aid. Sento theorizes that Build, as Katsuragi Takumi, is the one who stole Ex-Aid’s power two years earlier.

Three things strike me as very unique about this film, as it goes on, and the writers do a good enough job of tying it all back together. When OOO is introduced to save Banjou, he reveals that Foundation X, the Shocker allegory from Kamen Rider OOO, may be involved in Mogami Kaisei’s work, and a side character in a throwaway line sets up the implicit connection between OOO and Fourze in that they are both chasing Foundation X. The group on Ex-Aid’s world begins to come together, while Sento and Parado chase Kaisei himself.

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Both groups find Kaisei, in both worlds, split into two distinct versions of himself. The one in Build’s world is a cyborg, metallic face and robotic personality, and the other is a lively figure, much like the Joker, who has managed to replicate the Core Medals used by OOO to make Greeeds with the help of Foundation X. It’s through these artificial Core Medals that Ankh is revived. The transformation of Eiji into OOO leads to Fourze’s entry, and after saving Banjou and Emu, the group heads to AGHS to battle four Zodiarts and stop Enigma at its power source, AGHS’s energy field.

Finally, late into the third act, Kamen Rider Gaim makes his entry into Build’s world in time to pull off a daring rescue for Sento and Parado. To make the movie even remotely fair, Gaim has been considerably nerfed, back to his basic Orange Arms form and without the godhood he attained at the end of his own series. When all the Riders from both realities finally gather, the two halves of Mogami Kaisei have combined to form Bi-Kaiser, using the Kaiser System later employed by the Washio brothers during the Nanba War arc of Build.

There is a dramatic, all rider henshin, followed by simultaneous use of all the catchphrases, to comedic effect, and the final battle begins in fittingly cinematic fashion.

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The final battle plays out similarly to Marvel’s Avengers movies, and when all is said and done, the six Riders go their separate ways. The film ends on a high note, each man returning to his own life and a sense of normalcy, and we get a glimpse of Great Teacher Gentarou in action at AGHS. Personally, I would watch an entire series of Great Teacher Gentarou, being himself and being Fourze and going through the generation of AGHS students after his own. There’s a lot of potential there.

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Overall, Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Final – Build, Ex-Aid and Legend Riders is a fitting send off for this series of crossover films, and does its best to tie missing elements of the Build mythos together on the way. Seeing previous riders return and combining elements of those series with Build and Ex-Aid makes for a fun ride, and I highly recommend that any longtime Kamen Rider fans check out this film, if for no other reason than to see how the different main series Riders interact.

What did you guys think of this movie? Do you have a favourite rider in the group? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!