Right. Been busy again, yada yada. But it doesn’t feel right to just skip through, so I’ll go off my notes for the episodes I watched (yes, I take notes while watching Kamen Rider, and yes, I realize what this says about me) but didn’t get around to blogging about.
Episodes 21-22 explore whether the desire to fight for justice can become twisted. The Yummy is born from a man who never passed the exam to become a lawyer, and was frustrated because he felt like a failure, and so he left his family. The Yummy initially targets criminals, and so the man accepts the Yummy as a way to punish those he perceives as wicked. From there, the show obviously moves to questioning whether this is really justice, and how self-righteousness twists a person’s sense of justice so they become cruel themselves.
At one point Gotou questions whether they really need to destroy a Yummy that’s attacking criminals. Ankh replies, yes, because they need to get medals. Eiji explains that he’s seen many times that when people think they’re fighting for others’ sake or for what they think is right, they can get out of control.
The conversation leads Gotou to ask Date later what he’s fighting for. Date says for money, Gotou asks what he’s going to use it for, Date replies it’s a secret, then asks what Gotou himself is fighting for, then gives little pep talk:
Have a little faith in yourself. If you lose your way, someone will help you find it. So believe in yourself and do what you think needs to be done.
In the final fight against this Yummy, this will lead Gotou to realize and accept that he may not have enough power to save the world, but that it’s enough to believe in his own desire to do so.
Another interesting point of the episode is the idea that justice can be subjective. At one point Eiji asks Ankh what’s more important getting medals, or a a child’s life. Ankh replies that to him Core medals are life. And again, OOO touches on ideas that Ryuki touched on, specifically when Shinji finds out what Kitaoka is fighting for and realizes that he has no right to make him stop. But Eiji isn’t Shinji, and his journey isn’t about questioning everything he believes before finding his faith again (or at least it’s not at this point), in part because Eiji already understands the dangers of thinking your beliefs justify your actions. What he finally tells the man the Yummy was born from is that he should focus on what’s in front of him, so he protect a little bit of happiness. The man ends up going back to his family.
- TADA NO NINGEN DA! moment: Uva tells Eiji that without OOO’s power, he’s “only human”, and promptly gets shot by Date, who chose exactly this moment to arrive with Gotou. Awesome.
- Totally unrelated to everything else in this post: Hina gives Eiji Valentine’s chocolate, he gets all giddy and goes to show Ankh, asking if he’s jealous. Ankh turns around holding a chocolate popsicle that Hina gave him. Eiji is adorably devastated.