Kamen Rider Zero-One Episode 11 Review: Don't Stop the Camera, Stop That Guy!
In an effort to play catch up, a direct follow up to Episode 10's cliffhanger involving Shinya's announcement to drop out of the drama, leaving it in production limbo. With the confirmation of Yua's ties to ZAIA enterprises, how is this new faction going to contribute towards the conflict involving HumaGears? Well, that's what we're gonna find out today.
01. Story So FarClick thumbnail to view full-size
Episode 11 opens up with Horobi using the data from the Dodo ZetsumeRise Key to restore Lil Assassin for what would be the 4th time around. Jin comes into the room and asks Horobi if he knew that Jin attacks Enji, one of their "friends." Horobi is glad to hear it, to Jin's surprise, as its a sign that Lil Assassin is growing, and even surpassing Jin. Jin sulks about it and goes into a corner, meanwhile Horobi assigns Lil Assassin's final target, his own teacher, Shinya, Owada.
Speaking of, with Shinya dropping out of the production, Aruto takes it upon himself to talk him out of it. Shinya explains that the reason he's doing this is because of his lack of faith in terms of HumaGears and Acting. Acting is supposed to be a clash of ideals, and a HumaGear who can mimic actors isn't someone with that conviction. In other words, HumaGears lack the humanity that's required for acting. Aruto understands where he's coming from, but argues that there's more to HumaGears than being simple machines, and while the company's reputation is riding on the success of the production, Aruto is also personally hoping for the success of the production to show that HumaGears have the potential to be more than just machines. In his dressing room, Enji wonders to himself why he's not living up to expectation, and this is when Horobi enters and corrupts him. Enji walks out onto the set and then transforms into the Arsino Magia. Yua, who was keeping watch on set, reacts, transforming into Lightning Hornet and taking on the corrupted Enji. Aruto gets a call and follows the chaos outside via Biting Shark form. But thats when Horobi also joins the fray, transformed, and stops Aruto from interfering, causing these two to do battle. While Aruto is pushed back by Horobi's strength, Yua in contrasts, is able to pull off her Thunder Lightning Blast Fever finisher, taking out Enji, and swipping the ZetsumeRise Key in the explosion. Seeing this, Horobi backs out, and Aruto runs out into the open, seeing the flaming remains of Enji.
Aruto walks back into the studio, devestated at what's left of it. Shinya as well, sees this. Back at Hiden, Fukuzoe berates Aruto and enforces him to take responsibility, even though his assistant points out that Fukuzoe was executive producer. Nonetheless, Shinya enters the room, and explains that after listening to Aruto's story about how his father saved his life, He as well wants to put faith in HumaGears like him. Aruto points out that Enji was destroyed in the chaos, so even if they made a new one it wouldn't be the same. Shinya disregards that detail, saying that he'll teach him everything it needs to know, and declares that the production is back on. Fukuzoe, being the pessimist that he is, tries to declare he already canceled it, but Izu says that Aruto's word overrules him, thus things are set to move forward. With everyone excited to continue production, Yua appears on set and asks Aruto if he would come with her.
Yua takes Aruto to ZAIA Enterprises where we learn more of the company. Like Hiden Intelligence, they also focused on AI technology, and Aruto even points out that they were a part of a joint project at one point (My money's on Daybreak). Yua also reveals that she works for ZAIA, but has been assigned as the Weapons Advisor for A.I.M.S. Yua leads Aruto to the office of her boss, Amatsu Gai. Going through the motions, exchanging business cards and the like, they sit, and Gai explains the reasons for the meeting. It's here that he tells Aruto that he wants to buy out Hiden Intelligence.
Back on the set, the newly reformed Enji follows the script and plays off the actors, although he's notably stiff compared to his predecessor, in terms of body language. Shinya's character comes out and defends Enji's character and the antagonist of the scene shoots Shinya and he goes down. The Director yells cuts and celebrates the completion of the scene...but notices something wrong. The actor holding the gun looks at it, but then turns around to see someone standing behind him with a handgun armed with a silencer. The man removes his hat, revealing himself to be Lil Assassin, and confirming his kill. In shock that it was a HumaGear with a real gun, the production crew rush over to check on Shinya.
Isamu hears the commotion and raced upstairs, only to run into Lil' Assassin. The two transform, Lil Assassin revealing upgrades to his body, including missle-like constructs on his shoulders, and they begin to fight. Aruto finally making his way back on set, finds what's going on, and is shocked to see Shinya was shot by a HumaGear. Horobi arrives to confirm this, and an enraged Aruto transforms and fights him.
In both of these fights, both Lil Assassin and Horobi one-sidedly beat, Isamu and Aruto respectively, Lil Assassin naturally evolving, and Horobi just being on a skill level beyond what Aruto can keep up with currently. Horobi is so strong in fact that he's able to withstand Pressing Mammoth's Pressing Impact finisher with virtually no scratches. Isamu likewise, loads his Attache Shotgun with the Punching Kong Key and that gets smacked back like nothing, and then gets blasted by the new missile attachment, taking a big L. Guess you can consider that payback from last week.
The episode wraps up with news breaking about Shinya's condition, and Lil Assasin's presence continues to sully Hiden Intelligence's name, to the despair of the workers, disappointment of Isamu, and the delight of Gai. Aruto thinks back to the conversation they had, and Gai remarks that he wanted to buy the company in Hiden's best interest, and telling him to head back to the film set to verify whether or not to do so. And while Aruto is left feeling like he's in checkmate, BS-ZA activates, creating a new Progrise Key in response...
02. CharactersClick thumbnail to view full-size
In terms of characters that stuck out this week, Lil Assassin's progression is fascinating, as back in Episode 7 he seemed very stoic and robotic, but as we've seen his actions and expressions have become more fluid, and human. The smug look that said "Dad said I'm his favorite" he gave to Jin was gold and it got me.
And then we have Amatsu Gai. No question he's mysterious and I have theories about his involvement based on what we learned between him and Yua. All of that will be in more detail later. As it stands, he's very confident and you can tell the difference in stature between him and Aruto. Aruto is still new to all of this, in regards to his role as president. Gai however is cleary more mature and smarter about this, and obviously sees things on a wider scale than Aruto does. Aruto is fighting for the HumaGears, but its clear that Gai sees things several steps ahead. which begs the question, while that's all noble and good, is that the right course of action? He and Aruto are definitely going to clash in this regard.
A man who is fighting for the potential of HumaGears, and a man who sees this notion as a child's dream and is fighting to exploit technology for the benefit of humanity.
Or so I figure it to be. We'll just have to wait and find out.
Thematically, nothing really stood out to me in this episode outside of what I already mentioned about Aruto and Gai's dynamic. The binary motif I mentioned time and again, based on how those two compare to one another. And as I type this, this can also be applied to the relationship betwee Shinya and HumaGears. At first he figured that machines can't act because all they do is memorize lines, unlike real people. Regardless of that, after talking to Aruto he gives them a chance and opts even to teach the new Enji how to properly act and articulate as his own actor. The zero and ones motif in this situation is how you have two opposing sides, humans and HumaGear, and how when they come together, like binary code, create something worthwhile. And I guess the lesson here is that everyone, no matter what, has the potential to be something, if given the opportunity to do so.
04. Final Thoughts, What We Learned, and Questions Going ForwardClick thumbnail to view full-size
What is ZAIA Enterprises? Being the other big name in Daybreak, what part do they play in the chaos that birthed the Daybreak Incident?
We learned from Yua that ZAIA Enterprises is a tech company that operates on a world-wide scale, and that Hiden Intelligence worked with them on projects in the past. Most likely, one of these collabs involved Daybreak.
Yua raises the question that Gai knew that she would run into a ZetsumeiRise Key that day. Does Gai know about MetsubouJinrai's inner workings in ways that Yua is unaware of? Or is ZAIA secretly aiding them for a mysterious purpose?
Gai intends to buy Hiden Intelligence for the sake of saving the company, and telling Aruto to head to the set in case he had doubts about turning it over.
Is ZAIA intending to put Hiden Intelliegence under their control in order to obtain their AI tech, specifically the HumaGears, the Rider System, or even moreso, the BS-ZA satellite? As we know, Gai knows about the ARC, and we've seen Yua's objective is to bring down Hiden Intelligence. Gai, it seems though is rather trying to set up a situation where buying out Hiden is bailing them out of this major publicity scandal. What is Gai's objective in regards to his rival company?
Zero-One continues to raise questions, and the full introduction of Amatsu Gai sets up for another antagonist, but on a corporate level. MetsubouJinrai continues to push Aruto further to his limits with each passing battle and now ZAIA is making their move as well. What's to come? We shall find out. In the meantime, This week's episode gets another 4.5. The series continues to be strong in every sense, even though it does have its slow moments. Of course, the slow moments are necessary and don't detract from the story overall. But you know, until we get some more major bombshells and explosive moments that shake up the whole dynamic, things will just keep being mellow.
As always, Kamen Rider Zero-One Episode 11 has fansubs in English, being done by Ridertime Subs, Over-Time Subs and TVNihon throughout the week of its airing (Between Sunday-Thursday depending on the group). Meanwhile, Kamen Rider Zero-One airs every Sunday at 9AM JST/ Saturday 7PM EST, so look out for those as well.
And that's it for this week. I'm still trying to play catch up, and I'll eventually get on track. Episode 12's review will be up soon and then I have Episode 13 when that's subbed to do. Either way content is continuing to come out and all I can say is thanks a ton for the patience you guys show. That said, thanks for reading and I'll catch you later.