We open on Gentoku in a familiar warehouse. He is shaking and groaning, presumably feeling the power of his Rider form as Rogue for the first time. The shot pans out and we see him fighting the Washio brothers. The ease with which he defeats them sets the scene, and we flash back in time three years.
This is the beginning of the Prologue chapter: Night Rogue Rises.
We are introduced to a new character, Hotei Koji, an aide to the Touto Prime Minister. Gentoku pleads with Hotei, who advises diplomacy and peaceful negotiation. Gentoku, even three years in the past, is not hesitant to rush into a fight. After making a threat, he is removed from Hotei’s office and ends up at a karaoke club.
By way of an overzealous attendant, we learn Gentoku is a regular at this club and pays his way with government funds.
Shortly after sitting down, he is interrupted by news that Katsuragi Takumi has begun an experiment on his own. As Gentoku arrives, Katsuragi is being pulled off of a Smash experiment subject, as guards try to shut the project down. On the phone with Hotei, Gentoku is told that he has changed since bathing in the light of Pandora’s Box, and remarks that the country is what has changed. He goes, not long after, to meet with Katsuragi in the light of day.
Katsuragi has been fired by the Touto government, but seemingly only so he could he recruited by Gentoku to found Faust. Using the old Nanba research lab shown in the main series, Gentoku shows Katsuragi the familiar Faust base of operations. He commands Katsuragi to create the future arm of Touto, with the help of two assistants. Eager to begin, Katsuragi pays them no kind and we see a flash forward of a few months.
With more personnel and more research, a Smash is created, and subsequently put down by Isurugi, using a Transteam gun. He calmly takes over Katsuragi’s terminal, and inputs the correct parameters for Nebula Gas usage on humans. Isurugi sees right through Gentoku now, as he does in the main series, and offers his allegiance.
Another flashback sets up the weight Gentoku carries in a fitting way, as he watches his old life around him.
Back at the karaoke bar, we see Gentoku and Hotei share a song, as they had when they were young men before the country split. After they finish singing, Hotei tells Gentoku he wants to resolve the conflict without fighting, knowing what a war would lead to. He also confides that he has been named successor to the current Prime Minister. Hotei departs, and leaves Gentoku with much to think about.
As he walks along, Hotei’s corpse falls from a beam above Gentoku straight into his field of view. Isurugi enters the scene, telling Gentoku, “I fulfilled your wish.”
A brief discussion leads to Gentoku strengthening his resolve to make a deal with the devil. A purposefully placed shot makes sure to show Gentoku literally stepping on Hotei’s body as he returns to the Faust base. He makes a speech to the scientists inside, and Faust is born. As a show of power to commemorate the occasion, Gentoku breaks the glass case holding the Transteam gun and Bat Full Bottle. He transforms into Night Rogue for the first time, and the credits roll.
All in all, this is an excellent view into the early days of one of Build’s deepest characters, and begins weaving the web of complex storytelling and plot threads to come later. As this is part one in a trilogy, the ending of this special comes sometime before episode 1 of Build. For those wishing to watch the series in order after it is done airing, this will likely be the chronological beginning.
What did you guys think of Rogue: Part 1? Are you excited for more? Leave a comment below!