We're really in Take With One Hand, Give With The Other territory with this one.

So, it's a comedy episode. It's so, so a comedy episode. And, man, it don't get off to a great start. All of the stuff with Shinji dreaming of flames just to wake up and coat the ORE Journal offices (is the ORE logo supposed to remind me of the Ryuki logo? Is that on purpose?) with foam, it's not that funny. It's wacky and broad, and I just find that approach real dull. I'm with Reiko on this, who can't seem to muster any enthusiasm for either Shinji's Wacky Antics or some dumb crawfish story. The ORE stuff, it's something I can usually find something to enjoy in the scene somewhere, but all of that stuff this time out bombed for me.

Worse, the only Yui and Ren stuff we get this time out is centered around the returning Auntie, who... you guys. She is the worst. She takes up a ton of time, she's a laugh-track away from being the Special Guest Star on a shitty 70s sitcom, and she makes me want to see less of Ren and Yui, which, unforgivable sin.

Also, she brings up a ton of weird continuity things. First, Yui says she's just reopening the tea house, despite strangers like Scissors being able to walk right in like it's a functioning business. Second, Ren takes Yui to pick up Auntie from the airport? On his two-seater motorcycle? With no spare helmet? What was the plan to get the three of them back to the tea house? Finally, Yui says that Auntie is returning to open the tea house unexpectedly, as in sooner than anticipated. As of last episode, there were more-or-less no customers, and a big question mark as to whether or not the tea house was even open for business. Here, Auntie is back, and within an hour it's a bustling business, filled to capacity. I... what is their advertising secret and can I please have it? The goddamn building looks abandoned, and twenty people including one fugitive from mobsters drop in like it's the only business in town. That's... that's not how businesses work!

All of that, all of the ORE Journal and Auntie stuff, awful. Nothing of merit in those stories.

But, I mean, Kitaoka. This goddamn guy.

It takes a long time, a lot of boring-ass time, but as soon as Kitaoka shows off his press clippings (he keeps his own press clippings on himself at all times!) to Shinji, this thing explodes. Everything from that point on is stellar, from the shredding fight music, to Goro kicking ass, to Kitaoka's Shoot Vent... all of it. It's such a great last few minutes that I can basically forgive how dire the rest of this episode is.

It helps that, like, I dig Kitaoka's whole thing. The idea of him being an ace attorney who represents scumbags but only does it to get rich off of their ill-gotten gains, leaving them broke? There's... there's a lot going on there, and I love every word of it. I can't stop laughing at how, in the midst of a car chase, he's going to insist that Shinji acknowledge how handsome he looks in his press coverage. I love that he runs away so much and so fast. I love that he's another Kamen Rider who's an authority figure, another Kamen Rider who's an agent of institutional justice, who think his profession is a joke and could not care less about high-minded morality. He's the comedic anti-hero compliment to Scissors, a guy coded as Hero who uses that to get away with whatever he can. Like, yes. Kamen Rider Scumbag, hell yes. More of that, less of everything else in this episode (a whole thing about how Yui needs to smile more? Yikes!), we're back on track.