It’s nice that the show could end its run by treating Vice seriously.

I mean, sure, the climax of this episode involves Vice pretending he ate Ikki’s forgotten family, and he’s even covered in ketchup as fake blood. And sure, the middle section of this episode is a Wacky Roommates montage that lovingly evokes the first few stories these two shared, where a rambunctious devil was irritating a young man but they both came off like they loved it. But that’s all just sweetness to cover up what’s really going on here. It’s Vice truly becoming Ikki: sacrificing himself – and maybe even the memories he shared with his closest friend – as a way of saving his family.

It’s hilarious to think that Ikki as we knew him for a season is largely absent from this episode, since Vice so ably fills that role in the narrative now. He’s protecting his family, and getting overinvolved, and eventually forcing the issue that Ikki might attempt to dodge. This is, as a concluding installment for the Revice TV series, the most basic Day 1 Ikki story imaginable. I love that.

It’s not the tightest episode because of that, though. There’s as little a risk that Ikki has forgotten his family for good as there is a risk that Vice actually devoured Daiji and Sakura. (Yukimi… like, non-zero chance of that. He’s got a history of trying to eat her!) There might be consequences, but Ikki is definitely getting his memories back before the series concludes; we’re outright told that Ikki defeating Vice should resolve the contract and render it null and void. (I don’t… think this show understands how contracts work? If I sign a contract saying I’ll pay you $500 to build me a chair, and then you build me a chair, I don’t also get the $500 back at the end of the contract. That’s more me lending you something, not paying you something. Demon contracts are very peculiar!) So much of this generally enjoyable and occasionally somber episode is spent waiting for the shape of the resolution to reveal itself, and that’s gonna knock a few points off.

But I do like the resolution, that Vice needs to give himself up to save Ikki’s happiness. This was never a show where Vice turned bad, or feuded with Ikki in a serious way. There’s a wholesomeness to their dynamic that even Saber’s friendliness and empathy can’t touch. That this weirdly plotted show decided to put all their chips on Ikki Versus His Own Id But Out Of Kindness as the final story that got told… wild. That shit is WILD. Such a fun treat for those of us who hung around and put our faith in the creators to land this thing effectively.

Your mileage may vary, as it always does, as to whether this feels like an emotionally-fulfilling conclusion to Kamen Rider Revice. For me, it’s probably the only ending I can see myself enjoying. For a show about family and embracing every aspect of ourselves to then make the final conflict between family and embracing every aspect of ourselves… yeah. Yeah, that works for me.

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