It's fun to me how much more normal everybody feels in Agito, compared to Kuuga. I mean, killer monsters and henshins and mysterious amnesias, yes, of course, sure. But, like, I get why people make the decisions they do in this show. Shouichi doesn't understand his abilities, doesn't know why he's Agito, so when Mana runs off in shock, he doesn't know how to explain himself to make her feel safe and he runs away. I get that. I get how he'd feel ashamed of scaring someone who looked up to him. And Mana was shocked, but she wasn't terrified. She feels bad about making Shouichi ashamed, so when she sees him again she talks it all out. (He just... came home? To make sure she looked after his garden? It's stupid, but sort-of adorable, which: Shouichi, I guess.) It's a reasonable way to handle this obstacle. It doesn't drag it out, it doesn't wallow in melodrama, it's just, I'm Sorry I Made You Feel Bad. That's all it needs! Shouichi running away ("running away”, he's a grown-ass man!) and then coming home one scene later could feel unnecessary, but it's given just the right amount of gravity to land, but not so much where it seems overblown. A realistic amount of stakes, which is very much a part of the overall course correction from Kuuga that's working for me.

The G3 stuff is working, too! I thought the G3 system was a bit of a joke in the first three episodes, getting whooped early and often by, like, Starter Unknown. While the idea of a police solution to monsters is a good one, the G3 execution so far felt like... do you remember when the Captain in Drive got to be a Kamen Rider, for the mass-production attempt at Mach? And he immediately hurts himself? That's what the first few G3 outings felt like, except not played for laughs. But the team rallies, or whatever, and Nijou takes out an Unknown more or less all by himself. It, honestly, it worked really well for me. It felt earned. It felt like a hard-fought victory. After a few episodes of looking inadequate, G3 saved lives and blew up a monster. Shows improvement!

I'd almost be okay with G3 continuing to suck, because, Houjou. Houjou. Hilarious! Dude exists purely to tell Nijou he sucks. That's it! Hangs around outside a meeting to tell him he sucks and that he's a liar. Tells the brass to support the G3 System so he can tell him he sucks at being G3 and that he's going to let people down. Every time the Unknown kill someone, it's because Nijou sucks. Like, this dude is living his best life telling Nijou he sucks. It's not supposed to be funny, it's supposed to be the pressure on Nijou's neck to shape up or quit, the rivalry forging him into a better G3, but, seriously, eff that. EFF THAT. It's a beautiful, catty, gloriously mean-spirited version of a professional rivalry, and I almost wish it was the whole show. I wish I cared as much about Shouichi as I do about Nijou failing and Houjou rubbing his nose in it, and I care about Shouichi.