This time on Kamen Rider Blade: It's the Hyper Battle Video, but played straight! A scheme by Tennouji forces Rider to fight Rider! And, uh, "forces", I guess, because we're talking about the cast of this show!

hi i'm writing this very late at night slash early in the morning so let's see how much sense this makes

I thought this worked pretty well as an epilogue for Mutsuki's redemption, but it still has its flaws. Very enjoyable, overall, though.

Crafting a story where Mutsuki wonders if he's strong enough to fight as a Kamen Rider after all of his weakness, and making the dilemma that (by all appearances) Kenzaki and Tachibana have been poisoned by Titan and are being ruled by the urges of an Undead... I like that idea! It's a little on the nose, but at least it's clear what the stakes are, and why the story's being told. This thing locked in for me fairly quickly.

Kenzaki and Tachibana's actors do an excellent job of selling the menace of their evil selves. Kenzaki, in particular, is terrifyingly effective. (I now get why he was brought back as the "villain" for that Ex-Aid Net Movie thing!) It's more than just the usual Happy-Go-Lucky Character Stops Smiling, though. There's a predatory look in his eyes, a creepiness to his stare. The shot where he pushes the fork through the eyes of the drawing of Hajime! So perfect! Unlike Mutsuki's freakout from his poisoning, this is less Feral Beast and more The Killer Is Inside The House.

And, while I really like that the type of menace is different than Mutsuki's story from last episode, the differences made it clear about halfway through that this isn't a poisoning, it's a switcheroo. Titan (presumably) is pretending to be Kenzaki or Blade or Tachibana or Garren, creating the kind of heroic misunderstanding that has Chalice and Leangle trying to almost murder their friends for their own good. (The big giveaway is the sound effect when Tachibana turns into Garren and attacks Hajime. It's the goopy Undead noise, not the Henshin noise.) And I'm okay with it not being the same gimmick as the last story! That's great!

Except, the Hyper Battle Video sort-of just did a switcheroo story, and they did it as a joke. It's... this one definitely comes off a little less effective by comparison.

It's not bad, though! Honestly! I like how much emphasis is being put on Mutsuki maybe not feeling super proud of himself after twenty or thirty episodes of hurting everyone around him because he was too weak to feel weak. It adds weight to Mutsuki's redemption that, while Tachibana and Kenzaki hilariously don't hold multiple murder attempts against Mutsuki, Mutsuki himself feels guilty about it. Or, it's guilt, but it's also this fear of relapse? A lot of Mutsuki's storyline was about addiction, about needing power because power blocked out his sadness, his weakness, his negative thoughts. There's a reasonable fear he has that, by continuing to fight as Leangle, maybe he'll fall back into those destructive thoughts and habits. It's a very thoughtful thing for the show to bring up, to give Mutsuki some conflicted feelings about being a Rider. God knows Tachibana doesn't seem to get hung up on continuous failures!

i don't know that's all i got it's 1:16am i'll try and get more into the next episode maybe good night

Next time on Kamen Rider Blade: It's all about the thing from this episode I totally forgot to talk about! The Joker inside Hajime isn't sealed, and that's bad news for Hajime and everyone who cares about him! I'll try and remember to talk about it next time!