Sort of the opposite feeling to the last couple episodes, where the story doesn’t really get going until MetsubouJinrai attack.

I mean, look at that screencap! This is the one where Horobi makes his modern-day appearance out of the shadows; where an/the answer behind the mystery of Daybreak is presented to our heroes; where subterfuge takes a backseat to declarations of war; where Fuwa might as well be using a This Time It’s Personal Progrise Key. It’s MetsubouJinrai versus humanity, and it’s about the only thing worth discussing in this episode.

Which is sort of a shame? The hospital stuff beforehand is cute (mostly for Aruto and Fuwa getting on each other’s nerves in the most childish ways imaginable), but there’s no real specificity to Mashiro or the hospital full of Humagears. It’s just Aruto’s pride in Humagears helping humanity, up against Fuwa’s PTSD-related arguments that Humagears are all just waiting to destroy you. It’s not… there isn’t a lot of nuance to it, is I guess what I’m getting at.

It’s the main problem with most of the Aruto/Fuwa arguments about Humagears, really. Aruto’s point is that Humagears are great because he had a great childhood with them, and Fuwa’s point is that Humagears are terrible because he had a terrible childhood with them. They’re never really confronting the same issue, since they’re mostly just talking past each other. Their arguments are framed almost entirely in their childhoods, so it just gets to be yelling. I don’t mind it, necessarily, because it’s true to their characters, but it makes the first half of this episode a little wheel-spinny.

But the concluding half is strong, mostly for how forcefully it pushes back on Fuwa’s uncontrollable rage at the world’s unfairness. Horobi shows up, does his Henshin, and then proceeds to make Jin’s opening thrashing of Zero-One look like an evenly-matched draw. He just brutalizes Fuwa, up to and including giving him the M Bison brush-off. Fuwa’s anti-Humagear obsession finds its most infuriating target in Horobi, the personification of the hatred that boils over in Fuwa 24/7, and Horobi’s like Cool Story Bro. Horobi’s icy, sinister demeanor can’t even muster up an ounce of glee in Fuwa’s torment, because he doesn’t give a single shit about Fuwa’s emotions. Horobi doesn’t tease him, or threaten him; he just destroys him.

It’s a transitional episode, this one, and not just for how it transitions Fuwa to Possibly Deceased. (I’m sure he’ll be fine; he’s got so many more upgrades to get!) The early stories of world-building seem to have been set aside for open conflict between heroes and villains, and while I might miss the charm of those inquisitive character dramas, I’m also pretty good with superheroes trying to defeat genocidal supervillains. I’m actually easy to please?


Man, I hate stickering SO-DO weaponry, and I haaaaaaate stickering SO-DO bows. Doing the Gaim Energy Riders set – and their eleven hundred longbow stickers – was definitely a contributing factor to me quitting SO-DO. Just the most mind-numbing, least-fun, repetitive task.

So, yeah, I did not include Horobi’s Attache Bow (or whatever it’s called) because I just did one of those for Jin, and that’s plenty. This whole figure is basically Jin’s SO-DO, with a couple tweaks. There’s one less kneepad sticker, because Bandai just went ahead and painted one black. (They were already painting the black straps, so why not?) We get Horobi’s stinger instead of Jin’s wings. I think that’s about it? It’s the exact same suit design, besides the helmet, so it follows that the figures would be more or less identical to produce.

I like Jin’s SO-DO figure better, though. The stickers pop way more off of that suit’s brighter colors, while Horobi’s purple just washes out all of the black and most of the gray. Some of the silver manages to rise above the darkness, but a lot of it just bleeds together. Not my favorite tiny man.

The suit itself, however, is very choice. I could quibble at Zero-One barrelling right into Ex-Aid’s Purple Suit = Evil Rider thing, but I like Genm, and I like Horobi, so why mess with success? It’s an intensely menacing suit, swapping out Jin’s bright playfulness for a stealthy malevolence. When Horobi’s Progrise Key went POISON, I was not surprised to see this type of suit appear. Incredibly good villain suit, and I get why it commands such a premium in toy shops.