This is another episode where the character-focused plot was something where I respected the attempt more than I enjoyed the execution. It’s weirdly muddled in the way it simultaneously values camaraderie and individual achievement, when those feel like opposing forces. It’s tough to do an episode that’s both all about teamwork, but that teamwork is exhibited through the lens of Touma’s authorial direction and personal crisis. To put it another way:

It sort of works? I don’t hate that the solution to a Kamen Rider Saber problem is that Touma wrote his way out of it. That’s the kind of character-based specificity I love to see, and it gave the final act of this episode enough heart to paper over the very very In Stores Now aspect of a monster turning giant-sized (for the first time ever!!! It’s not even a Medusa thing!!!) just so Touma’s new giant-sized power-up can make an appearance to save the day.

I try not to ever roll my eyes at the toy commercial elements of Kamen Rider – something’s gotta pay the bills – but I don’t think this story 100% landed due to King of Arthur’s inclusion. First, all of this cooperation adds up to a weapon that only Touma can utilize, which definitely reframes this story of teamwork into something far less egalitarian. (I mean, Arthur was a monarch, so I guess that checks out!) It’s a story that needed a Trinity Form-esque power to tie up its narrative threads, but we got Breaking Mammoth instead. Second, why did they not save the Jack and the Beanstalk book until this episode?! It’s got a goddamn giant in it! That’s why you’d need to introduce a giant swordsman!!!

Beyond that weird bit of incongruent toy promotion, I thought this was a fine episode of Saber. It’s nice to get every member of Sword of Logos together for a big fight. I like how earnest and supportive everyone is, to an almost eerie degree. (The way everyone just says “Touma” to Touma at the end, I was sincerely expecting all of this to be a dream, and Touma to be woken up by Kento back on Avalon. Why are they each saying his name like that? It’s creepy!) I like that Ogami claims all credit, to his son’s delight. I like that Mei’s a core part of the cast, instead of some weird hanger-on that she’s been treated as, mostly. It’s a solid The Heroes Win By Being Heroic episode, a heartwarming conclusion to a baffling, largely frustrating series of bizarrely-plotted episodes.

So, yeah, not sure this one worked great for me, despite admiring the attempt to ground the win in Touma’s specific skillset. The main problem is that… I don’t know if We Are All On The Same Page (pun absolutely intended) is such a natural fit for a workplace dramedy this early in the run? It’s cute, but like everything else in Saber, it feels way too rushed. (A lot of the last couple episodes would be great if this were, like, Episode 38 instead of Episode 8.) I can go along with it as a viewer because I don’t dislike this cast enough to fight against the tide, but I don’t feel like the show did nearly the amount of work as you’d need to earn the overwhelming delight at a resounding team victory.

But they’ve set themselves up for a more cohesive and coherent next arc, which I hope will be more to my tastes. My optimism has yet to be fully extinguished!


The patissier and the apprentice were screaming incoherently. It was not how today was supposed to go. Their trip into the city was for cooking supplies, and to sample the regional specialities. A day off from the rigors of baking. Training, you might even call it.

The apprentice could always use the training. He was a callow boy; convinced of his own superiority, but incapable of demonstrating it. A follower by nature, he chafed under the same restrictions and instruction that he craved. A mass of contradictions under a mop of hair. He was the patissier’s pride, despite his many shortcomings.

Because the patissier saw the greatness that was possible in him, even if the apprentice always fell short of expectations. He was a test of both the patissier’s patience and skill, which was exactly how the patissier liked it. He hadn’t always been a baker, and the rigors of that past life still informed everything about his current one. He created beauty, but worked like a soldier. He had as many contradictions as the apprentice, if none of the hair.

At this moment, they were also alike in one other key way: abject terror.

Abducted to another world. Menaced by a mythological creature. Forced to watch as other patrons of the outdoor cafe were turned to stone. They gripped at one another for safety, hoping that their partner could devise a method of defense, or at least calm their shattered nerves. They were each a disappointment, on every level.

As their screams reached a crescendo, the Medusa turned its gaze to them. They froze immediately, a stone statue of two men entwined in horror.

The next thing they knew, they were free.

It was barely a second, and they were standing back in the plaza. The screaming had stopped, and the relief cleared their minds. They need to run, immediately, in any direction that qualified as Away.

They raced towards a building, looking for refuge. As they barrelled through one door, another pair exited from the other.

Stopping briefly at the building’s entrance, the pair looked back quizzically at the other group’s alarming arrival. “What,” Oren asked Junoichi, “do you think all that was about?”