Kamen Rider Zero-One Episode 12 Review: The Famous Detective is Coming
Still trying to play catch up, and yet procrastination and distractions abound. Well, anyway I digress. Episode 12 plays off the aftermath of Episode 11's ending and with Hiden Intelligence's reputation tanking even further, Aruto now has to deal with the police as the company is public enemy #1 at the moment.
Or does he? Well, let's jump into Episode 12, where we'll see the overall aftermath of last episode.
01. Story So FarClick thumbnail to view full-size
The episode opens with the review of events by the local police department, who go over what happened during the attempted assassination. As they learn, and as we the audience are well aware of, Lil' Assassin disguised himself as an actor on set and shot Shinya, who of which survived his injuries. Being it a HumaGear with blue eyes and not red, as is typical of a hacked HumaGear, signs point to the investigation starting with Hiden Intelligence for information. Unfortunately, during their initial investigation at the last few minutes of the previous episode, they couldn't find anything worth noting. Cue Yua, who with Isamu, is attending this review. One of the detectives still thinks Hiden has to be tied with it, because this was a crime commited by a HumaGear and as far as anyone is concerned, they're the only ones whose main focus is HumaGear manufacturing. And that's when Yua decides to speak up and bring up the secret lab. Even Isamu looks at her with a look of shock.
Aruto learns of this, but Izu reassures him that a new Progrise Key is currently being developed, and in order to clear Hiden's name, they need to locate and eliminate Lil' Assassin. As they talk about this, Fukuzoe shows up, bringing in the police with him. And they brought a warrant, in order to examine the secret lab. Aruto tries to avoid showing them, but then suddenly, a HumaGear dressed as a classic Sherlock Holmes attire walks in. Aruto notices the headgear, and realizes it's an older model HumaGear, like his father was. He introduces himself as Wazu Nazutoku and declares, in a very flamboyant fashion, that he will take over the investigation.
On MestubouJinrai's end, Horobi has Lil' Assassin bound up to Jin's surprise. Horobi says he forced him to shut down by removing his Progrise Key, and when asked why, Lil' Assassin answers, saying that Horobi is afraid of him. He reverts to his human form, and as Jin cowers behind Horobi like a frightened child, Lil' Assassin claims that he's learned all that he needs, hacking nearby Trilobyte Magia into Dodo Magia Chicks, and getting his key back. He transforms, becoming an even further evolved version of himself, forcing the latter two's hands, they transforming as well.
The police realize that Waz is a famous HumaGear detective that's solved quite a few cases that left many stumped. And as Waz continues to talk to them, he links up with Aruto's phone and Izu, and gets them to play along. Waz explains that he knows about the new Progrise Key and is here to aid them in the case as well. Aruto decides to trust him and he tells Fukuzoe and the police that he's locked out of the lab because he forgot the password. He runs off, telling them that he'll call when he remembers. Izu is immediately suspicious of Waz, and meanwhile, Aruto makes it outside only to run into Isamu. He wants to know whether or not Aruto's turned his back on his words, but Aruto assures him its quite the contrary. He then afterwards turns into Freezing Bear and sticks Isamu to the roof, with a quick quip before jumping away.
Back in the office, Shesta finds a list of Aruto's corny jokes and Fukuzoe attempts his catchphrase, only for it to only make a fool out of himself. Aruto pops up out of an emergency elevator inside of the lab, of which Izu knew but has yet to understand why Waz knew about it. She demands him to explain himself and he happily obliges. He then reveals, in a bomshell fashion, that he is in fact Izu's older brother, sending both her and Aruto into shock (Hence the thumbnail.)
What at first was assumed to be a system freeze, was actually Izu processing the data and immediately denouncing it. Waz explains that he was created by Korenosuke and that he is in fact Izu's prototype. Waz was created as a Detective HumaGear to aid Korenosuke in investigating the threat that presented itself in regard to the HumaGear uprising, as well as stepping in if things ever escalated to a certain point, namely this current situation. Izu confirms this and Aruto's faith allows him to trust Waz as well, and with that they continue their investigation.
Aruto then proceeds to run from the police, hopping from building to building and once he think's he's in the clear, Yua steps up at gunpoint. Aruto immediately calls her out, saying that she was probably the one who snitched. And while that doesn't make her hesitate, its the following comment about how ZAIA does business that gets to her, allowing for a window of opportunity to escape from her.
Back with Horobi and Jin, they continue to fight off Lil' Assassin and his Chicks and with them he manages to escape them.
Izu calls Aruto to complain about Waz's incompetence with the investigation, jumping from a drum studio, to a old-style neighborhood with festival activities, promoting Aruto to ask if she's annoyed with him, to which she claims she doesn't understand what he means. Aruto manages to talk her into holding out a bit longer to which she agrees because he told her to. They end up in a warehouse district where Waz explains that staying upset will waste her youth, just like Isamu who's been stalking them for a while. Isamu claims he's been following them to see whether or not Aruto is right about trusting Waz, but he feels disappointed at the results, and this gives Izu the opportunity to admit that she really is mad. Waz however points out that the mystery is solved, making siren noises to force a white van to suddenly bursts out from out of nowhere. Isamu gets to punch it and they drag out a group of thieves smuggling HumaGears.
As Waz and Co head off to a festival, Waz explains that they're responsible for the disappearance of a five-man group of Taiko Drummer HumaGears who all are identical. Izu argues that while they are identical that doesn't prove they're the same HumaGears, Waz adds that these thieves can hack facial ID as well, making them all resemble Lil' Assassin. Its then they find one of the Drummers now resembling Lil' Assassin, and Isamu realizes the correlation, of the four missing drummers and the four encounters thus far with Lil' Assassin, which explains why the latter kept "coming back to life." Waz tries to haul him down but it runs off. Isamu says just before that he's as good as a human detective, which Izu considers as Waz already achieving Singularity.
The drummer HumaGear runs off through the woods, only to be intercepted by Lil' Assassin. Lil' Assassin calls the drummer No.5, and claims that he's No.4, which makes the latter relax. The others catch up, Isamu uses Punching Kong to transform, and he attacks Lil' Assassin, who easily brushes him off, knowing how Isamu fights. But then, thanks to Waz, Aruto arrives in the nick of time, the two tag teaming against him. A combination of Aruto's Dispatch Slash and Isamu's punch wasn't enough to so much as scratch Lil' Assassin and he retalliates, knocking Isamu out of his transformation. Izu is alerted that the Progrise Key is complete and she runs off. Meanwhile, Aruto grabs Breaking Mammoth, but that gets knocked aside as well, with Waz recovering it. Izu returns to base, grabs the key, and races back in literally no time, handing Aruto the Shining Hopper key. He gets ready to use it, but Waz, who had a bad feeling before tries to get Aruto to use the former choice. Izu however insists in the new key and that's when we get the debut of Kamen Rider Zero-One: Shining Hopper.
02. CharactersClick thumbnail to view full-size
Waz is fun. So much fun. Okay, but seriously, this week Yua and MetsubouJinrai take a bit of a back seat as we turn our focus onto Aruto, Izu, Waz and Lil' Assassin. Isamu is supporting but he doesn't really do much outside of that. If anything, Yua's hesitation when Aruto asked if ZAIA's tactics involve being underhanded got to her more than her guilt of snitching out the location of the lab, implying that whatever ZAIA is now, isn't what she signed up for in the beginning, but she's only in it because of an undying loyalty. And arguably, he's in the right to bring that up, as it was Gai who told Aruto to go back to the set, as the chaos unfolded.
Aruto's been so much fun, making me think that I was watching Peter Parker running from the police. The witty one-liners and his charisma really emulate Spider-Man in that regard and he just made it very fun to watch.
Izu's expressions throughout the episode continue to slowly become more animated and its fascinating to watch her become obviously irritated and yet not understand the concept. And this isn't the first time we've seen this and it's making me understand the concept of Singularity a bit more, but I'll get to that later.
Waz, once again, is a gem. He's a whimsical Sherlock Holmes and has Izu running around as his Watson and Isamu as Scotland Yard. I can't get enough of that. Other and that he fuffils the classic detective character who fills the "crouching idiot hidden mastermind" trope.
And speaking of masterminds, Lil' Assassin is screaming Final Boss and feels SO MUCH so. We're definitely winding down for Zero-One's official first arc, and Lil' Assassin is definitely pushing out all the stops. And I love, how back in Episode 7 he was introduced as a typical run-of-the-mill HumaGear and has evolved into this character that has learned his way up to this status. I'm going to focus on his development more in the themes section, as well as Waz for a bit too, because of the comparisons between them that I find myself noticing.
03. ThemesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Thoughts of "don't judge a book by its cover" come back with the cliche "crouching idiot, hidden genius" trope that is Waz, which, while predictable, isn't unusual, since this is a kid's show, so what's cliche to me, is new to them. I do love how he and Izu balance one another though, with Waz prancing along as Sherlock Holmes and Izu being his Watson for the day feat. Isamu as Scotland Yard. I know I mentioned this part already but thats how much I love this dynamic.
Waz's Singularity too as well as Lil Assassins' comes to mind in this episode, because both of them act very animated and less robotic. There's sentience to them that comes off in their dialogue, mannerisms and the like. And Izu from Episode 1 to now is clearly inching forward to this, learning a new emotion seemingly every other episode thanks to Aruto. If I could compare it, its like having the early version of Siri and going into Cortana (who sidenote was the sole reason why I wanted a Windows Phone years back).
Izu starts off as a literal robotic assistant in Episode 1, to now showing actual shock at Waz's explanation, to actual annoyance. She claims the former was her processing his statement, but its one thing to say something, and another to actually express it. And Aruto is human enough to point it out to her, even if she can't fully comprehend how its even possible for her to do so, using logic as her arguement. She's not human, therefore any human-like tendencies she could express are simply logic-based reactions, and not subconscious reactions.
For now at least.
04. Final Thoughts, What We Learned, and Questions Going ForwardClick thumbnail to view full-size
Episode 1-12 Questions
What We Learned
Is Lil' Assassin slowly developing its own sense of singularity? Not only that, but being a HumaGear with learning capabilities, what is the purpose of Lil' Assassin's repeated revivals?
Thanks to Waz's investigation, we discover that Lil Assassins' repeated revivals were the result of the abduction of several identical HumaGears and hacking their facial features, resulting in the repeated revivals. And clearly, now that Lil Assassin has denounced his ties with MetsubouJinrai.NET, its obviously clear that he's definitely achieved Singularity
How is MetsubouJinrai.NET going to respond to Lil' Assassin's betrayal? How are the Riders going to handle him, now that his learning capabilities far exceed what they were previously?
Aruto calls out Yua about her motives involving her ties to ZAIA and bringing down Hiden Intelligence. And he realizes that its not bringing down Hiden Intelligence that bothers her, its that ZAIA's underhandedness which makes her hesitate, showing that despite what she's doing, her moral compass peeked out a bit. And Aruto being the good kid that he is picks up on it and subsequently guilt trips her a bit
How will this brief interaction affect Yua's judgement in regards to both sides? Her character development is showing her to be someone who is facing a conflict of interest, between her duty, doing the right thing, and doing what she also feels is necessary to receive justice. What is motivating her feelings towards Hiden Intelligence, and could her affiliation to ZAIA be related to the events of Daybreak?
Waz attempts to get Aruto to use the Breaking Mammoth key instead of Shining Hopper. We know that Waz has ties with Hiden Intelligence, so he notices something that Izu doesn't, making him react the way he does. Izu on the other hand, insists for Aruto to use the key, like a subtle rebellious jab at her older brother.
What's the potential drawback to using Shining Hopper now? And does Izu's initial insistence to undermine Waz's concern going to also have a drawback?
Still playing catch up and doing terrible at it. But that's life for you I suppose. While I'm up to date on the series, these reviews aren't so trying to be spoiler-free is kind of hard but I can manage. At the time of writing, we're about a day away from Episode 16, but I can somewhat guess that the series will be off both for Christmas and Golden Week (Aka New Years), so I can use that to my advantage to pump out remaining reviews and (hopefully) write up a retrospective I've been wanting to do since Episode 9.
But enough about that. As usual, this episode was so much fun, and I found myself laughing a bit, and Lil' Assassin feels SO MUCH like an endgame boss that it just feels like things are about to get real. And if Episode 13 is any indication, it is. That being said, Episode 12 gets a 5/5 and on that note I'm gonna get started with that review.
As always, Kamen Rider Zero-One Episode 12 has fansubs in English, being done by Ridertime Subs, Gemcorp 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.
So, once again, thank you guys for your patience in terms of me getting these out and I hope to see you all in the next review. Until then!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Nolan Johnson