Kamen Rider Zero-One Episode 8 Review: The Destruction Begins Now
Things are staring to hit the fan as Horobi and Jin stage a massive assault towards Humanity this week. We also get the proper debut of Kamen Rider Horobi and we begin to tackle some revelations, and possible set up for what the next story arc is going to provide. So that said, let's not waste time.
01. Story So FarClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Episode opens up at a local hospital ran by HumaGear. Aruto is taken aback by the "angelic smile" his HumaGear nurse Mashiro sports. She scans Aruto and Izu explains that as a Medical HumaGear, she is able to scan vitals and other functions of the patient, without the use of any traditional medical equipment, including X-Rays. (Small side note, these X-Rays more or less debunk a popular theory that Aruto is a HumaGear). Aruto asks Izu if this information can be spread, to which she assures him that all Medical HumaGear are connected to a special server that houses medical records. Afterward, with Aruto's exam completed, he realizes the abnormal amount of HumaGear present in the hospital, which Izu explains that the original function of the Humagear was to aid in the medical field. That said, the HumaGear employed in the medical fields outnumber all other types of occupations.
The Assassin HumaGear from last week is back, and by sneaking inside the neighboring building, he attempts to hack a Nurse HumaGear, to no effect. he returns to base and reports his predicament, being that the hospital security was too strong. Jin is estatic to see his friend return, and Horobi explains that as long as there's a backup, HumaGears can be re-created. Also, acknowledging the situation, Horobi decides to take a more direct approach. And this involves going after Yua.
Speaking of, Yua returns to A.I.M.S. and talks to the mysterious man about the footage she retrived. He tells her that they'll take over from their end, revealing that he's not tied to A.I.M.S. directly, but moreso ZAIA Enterprise, a company, if you remember back in Episode 4, was part of DayBreak town way back when. We also get our first mention of the Gigers, which as we learn, are giant HumaGear Mecha, being built within A.I.M.S. This raises some questions, which will be addressed in a bit. In any case their main function is to undo the hacks of rampaging HumaGears on a wide scale. As Yua orders to power them up, the alarm goes off and Yua responds. She sees MetsubouJinrai.NET outside taking out the guards and transforms to deal with the Assassin.
Aruto makes a bad joke, which gets a laugh out of Isamu, who is also at the hospital to be examined. However, he wears his racism badge proudly as he criticizes the Hospital being filled with HumaGear. Izu responds, pointing out how much more efficient they are, but Isamu admits its his bias that makes him untrustworthy, especially after Kobe's situation last episode. A pregnant woman trips and Mashiro appears and saves her from falling, supporting Aruto's arguement. Some time later, Isamu gets a message from A.I.M.S. about the attack and the three of them spring into action.
As Yua and the Dodo Magia fight, Jin and Horobi help themselves inside. Jin discovers the Gigers and with a ZetsumeRiser in hand, he gets to work. Meanwhile, Horobi finds a lab with Attache Weapons and prototype ShotRisers and helps himself to a shotgun and a new purple Attache Weapon. Coming outside with them, he hands the purple one to Jin. Yua holds her weapon up and asks them why they're using HumaGear to attack humans. Horobi, with a smile, says its all for the Will of the Ark. Jin who turned the weapon into an Bow, fires at Yua and takes her out in one shot. The trio leave, Yua replaying the words in her head. Aruto and co. run up to her and Isamu, almost criticizing her, asks what they were doing there. She tells them what Horobi said and runs inside, leaving them confused. She heads back to the Gigers, and notes that they're all safe and accounted for.
Horobi notes back at base, that their arsenal is sufficient. However, if they hope to ressurect the Ark itself, they'll need a bigger army, immediately setting his sights on the Hospital...
Yua gets examined and has her arm put into a sling. Isamu baises come out, Yua calls him out and their "tension" starts to bubble up until Mashiro asks if Isamu's head is alright. Yua smirks while Isamu accuses her of making fun of him, but Mashiro continues to smile and remarks that its been a while since he had a cranium exam and she wanted to know if she should preform one for him. Izu reminds her that its not her designation to do that, but she says she's suggesting it based on personal judgment. That last comment, reminds Aruto of Kobe's personal desire to want to see his students win, and Aruto quickly makes the connection.
They bring her back to Hiden Intelligence, where Izu runs a scan on her. Evidently, all things are clear, and Aruto asks if its possible for HumaGears to have hearts, a line back from Episode 3. Izu changes her answer from then, saying its a theoretical impossibility, unless they achieve singularity. Aruto asks what that is, and Yua and Isamu come downstairs to answer that. A Technological Singularity is when a device exceeds human design. While Isamu tries to be nosy, Yua explains if HumaGear achieve this, then A.I.M.S. has to get involved. While Mashiro simply acted out of her designation, the chance of her going further puts her at risk of breaking the law. Isamu wants to deal with her immediately, but Yua and Aruto stand in his way. Izu reminds him that they only rampage if hacked by MetsubouJinrai.NET. Yua suddenly gets a call telling her that the Gigers have suddenly gone rogue.
As they arrive on the scene, they see a Giger breaking off a side of the building and using its tendrils to hack the HumaGears inside the building. They see Horobi and his crew from a distance and confront them. It's here that Horobi drops a bombshell in that he reveals that not only is Jin not human, but he isn't either. They reveal their ears, Jin having circular molds with a cleaner-aesthetic to show that it wasn't built by Hiden Intelligence, but Horobi on the other hand, shows the sides of his face cracked, the mold around it showing where the HumaGear headpieces used to be. When asked why they're doing this, Horobi says the Ark demands it, adding that humans are due for a culling. the Giger hacks all the personell outside, and Horobi declares that its time for their awakening. Aruto denies this and says that HumaGears are the dreams for humanity, like Mashiro. Mashiro however, laughs maniacally and transforms into a Trilobyte Magia, along with the others. Feeling empowered, Isamu takes point and he, Yua, Aruto and Jin all transform to fight.
Aruto takes on the Dodo Magia and while initially on the ropes, Izu analyzes it and comes up with a battle plan, having Aruto cycle through Biting Shark and Freezing Bear before finishing with Flaming Tiger's Blazing Dispatch Dynamic finisher. Horobi grabs the ZetsumeRise Key without notice. Meanwhile, Isamu finishes off the Trilobytes, while Yua continues her fight with Jin, however with her busted arm, Jin quickly overwhelms her. Isamu comes to save her and pushes Jin back, but this is when Horobi joins them. He preumptively declares Metsubou's victory and unveils his ForceRiser. He transforms into Kamen Rider Horobi, and sends Isamu into an immediate rage, recognizing him from the footage in Episode 4. He doesn't hesitate to assault Horobi, blaming him for the events of 12 years ago. Horobi tells him that he doesn't care, making Isamu spray him with ShotRiser bullets before chaining his Power Punching Blast finisher to the barrage. Horobi walks from the flames, and arms the Attache Arrow with a new Progrise Key, blasting Isamu with no effort. As Isamu struggles to regain himself, Horobi steps to him, and unleashes his Sting Dystopia finisher, a Rider Kick that pierces Isamu through the chest. Isamu ignites in a massive explosion to the horror of both Aruto and Yua, with his body surrounded by flames, left for dead.
The episode ends with his fate unknown...
02. CharactersClick thumbnail to view full-size
This was without a doubt an Isamu-focused episode by far. And what I really appreciated about it is that this and next episode is really going to affect his biases overall. We see them come out to their full extent, from the fact he's in a hospital ran by HumaGear, to discovering both acting heads of MetsubouJinrai.NET are HumaGears themselves, to realizing Horobi is responsible for throwing his life into chaos. His racism towards HumaGear have hit their absolute peak, and its fascinating to see Horobi be his foil in this regard, as Horobi feels exactly as Isamu does towards humans, but in a more subtle, calculated way. Instead of getting emotional, he's very practical and gets to the point. (And that's how you know its Aruto :P )
Speaking of, Horobi did a lot in this episode and for a character that up until this point has been absolutely mysterious, he absolutely dominated every scene he was in. His coldness, his ruthlessness, what Isamu says in words, Horobi demonstrates in actions. And the way he curbstomps Isamu is a testament to his character. Not only is he strong, he's serious about bringing humanity to its knees.
Yua, as a follow up from the last two weeks finally unveils her agenda. We learn that her mysterious boss is a part of ZAIA Enterprises, and they're a weapons manufacturing company, who seems to supply A.I.M.S. with weaponry, this time around, the mechs we see. Yua implies that all the work she's done, gathering data and recording everything seems to culminate into the Giger. We know through conversations that she and those at ZAIA are aware of the Ark, and after this episode, it seems that as a tech advisor, she may be working as a representative for ZAIA at A.I.M.S., or be an agent of A.I.M.S. who thanks to ZAIA sees a larger picture in regards to what things are heading towards. Either way we're bound to see this come back.
Last but not least, Mashiro, our HumaGear of the week. She definitely killed Isamu with kindness, and if anything I'll address this more in the themes portion because this needs to be dissected more. But overall, her duty as a HumaGear was interesting as she helps Aruto question what HumaGear truly are and helps them all to understand what Singularity means. This episode like I pointed out, are pulling a lot of threads back to itself and is slowly coming full circle. From HumaGears having Hearts, to Isamu's trauma, to ZAIA Enterprises, and so on.
03. ThemeClick thumbnail to view full-size
This week, we're dealing with Biases. Isamu's Bias against HumaGear, Horobi's Bias against humanity, and Mashiro, like I said, killing Isamu with kindness, not allowing his issues get in the way of her job. Isamu literally butted heads with everyone as it seemed like he was the only one who was against HumaGears (which he is). Which is why when everyone was corrupted and turned into Trilobyte Magia, he got his "I told you so" for the day and took point during the transformation sequence. Horobi "subtly" knocked him off his pedestal a few minutes later, but I digress.
From a real world POV, we see this all the time, especially in the medical field. If not a racial bias, a wealth bias, an educational bias, we all have biases. And the fact is, like Mashiro, we can't let people with these perceived notions get in the way of doing what we have to do. Granted she is a HumaGear with an angel's smile, but I mean, that smile made Isamu look more like a jerk than usual.
Likewise, Isamu's whole plotline in this episode is a reminder that enforcing your biases on others is just gonna lead you messing with the wrong people and getting yourself hurt real bad. If not physically, emotionally. So at the end of the day, just put up with one another and don't let your personal feelings impair you from making positive strides in life.
04. Final Thoughts, What We Learned, and Questions Going ForwardClick thumbnail to view full-size
Episode 1-7 Question
Potential Answers/What We Learned
Who is this man and how was he able to prepare the Progrise Key? This would mean that A.I.M.S. are either re-creating the Progrise Keys from the Daybreak Incident, or creating their own.
While we don't know his identity yet, we do know that he's affiliated with ZAIA Enterprises, a company which seems to design military weapons. Being they were also present in Daybreak 12 years ago, this explains how they have the tecnology to create Progrise Keys at the very least, as well as their knowledge of the Ark
Now that ZAIA enterprises is in the picture, how will the narrative shift in regards to the origins of the Daybreak Incident and the subsequent factors that play into the events up until now?
The purple figure is revealed to be Horobi underneath the mask. Being as young looking as he is, is Horobi Human at all, or is he a form of AI himself? Not necessarily a HumaGear, but something else entirely? This is assuming that it is the same character and "Horobi" isn't just a title that's passed down between members of the organization
We get full confirmation that Horobi is indeed a HumaGear. On top of that, the revealing that his Headset was clearly ripped from his head shows that he was definitely built by Hiden Intelligence
What caused Horobi to trigger and set the events of Daybreak in motion?
Horobi's motives are defined as "the Will of the Ark", implying that he's some sort of worshipper of this mysterious Artifiact. We leaned in the previous episode that the endpoint of the Ark's revival is the mass corruption of HumaGears and the extermination of Humanity
Just what is the Ark and why does it deem it necessary to destroy Humanity? Could it be the first AI created and after seeing Humanity at work deems it unfit to continue living? Sort of like an Ultron-esque AI?
Despite his irate racism throughout the episode, Isamu's bias were more of a driving force of his characterization than in previous episodes. In turn, the HumaGears both reacted in different ways. Mashiro stood firm and endured his behavior as her job required her to make sure he's healthy. Horobi nearly kills him.
Now that Isamu's life is in the hands of HumaGear, will he be grateful to him if he survives? Or is he still going to remain untrustworthy towards them due to his deep-seated hatred?
Episode 8 was an explosive ride from start to finish and Im eagerly excited to see what'll come out of it come next week. Another perfect score, 5/5 this week. Isamu got a lot of needed attention to "hopefully" wrap up this character arc, Horobi's introduction was just ridiculously epic, and new players are entering the fray and are beginning to unravel the bigger drama that is Zero-One. Overall, this was a great episode and I can't wait to see what else is in store.
Kamen Rider Zero-One Episode 8 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 8PM EST, so look out for those as well.
That's it for this week. Hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you guys again!
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