A 27-year-old nerd who loves writing, history and just learning as much as possible about the world around him.
With all three heroes obtaining their powers, this week, Aruto and Izu take a bus trip to to evaluate Anna, a bus guide HumaGear designed to serve as a guide for Daybreak Town. We get to learn the overall background of this mysterious place after speculating the last several weeks. So, what are we to learn about this major focal point in the series thus far? And how does MetsubouJinrai.NET tie into it? Well, that's what we're gonna learn today in Episode 4: I Saw The Bus Guide! Anna's Truth.
01. Story So Far
The episode opens up with Aruto and Izu joining a junior high-class trip where Anna, a HumaGear, has been designated as the group tour guide. As they pass through what's left of the infamous Daybreak Town, she explains that twelve years ago, the Japanese Government teamed up with several tech companies across the country to create an urban development ran by HumaGears. This was also around the time the control satellite launched into space. But, an accident at Hiden's R&D department set off a chain reaction that destroyed the entire city.
A boy named Go Sakurai is ridiculed by his classmates, as it's said that his father was the one that was responsible for the Daybreak incident. And before the ridicule could get any worse, the bus driver, who was also a HumaGear is hacked by Jin and is corrupted, transforming into the Onycho Magia. The Magia chases the group into a nearby forest, and as it hones in on Go, Isamu and Yua appear and address the situation, transforming into Vulcana and Valkyrie respectively and driving the Magia to retreat. They notice Aruto and Izu, the former of which couldn't transform, and Isamu accuses Aruto to have something to do with the situation. They all end up back at Aruto's office, where Aruto learns about Satoshi Sakurai, Go's father, the one presumed to be responsible. Isamu is adamant on blaming the HumaGear, and while both of the HumaGear call him out on his racism, it leaves Aruto curious. Anna explains that faulty maintenance is what caused the explosion as the general consensus, but Aruto wonders if that means that's the truth behind the matter. This prompts him to confront Fukuzoe about the matter, who denies knowing anything three times, Aruto, Izu and Anna pushing him harder with each denial. Fukuzoe walks out and a seemingly frustrated Anna explains to Aruto how she can't do her job properly if she doesn't know the full truth of what she's covering. That being the case, Aruto decides to head back to Daybreak Town to help her out.
Coincidentally, Isamu and Go both want answers as to what happened, Go hoping to disprove his father's responsibility and Isamu to understand more about the HumaGear threat, and possibly see what drove their "murderous" tendencies when he was Go's age.
One interesting side note is the dating on the information; Zero-One's timeline is defined as N.E. 2019, putting the series in its own separate universe. That being the case, rather than taking place in a near future, it takes place in an alternate timeline where AI technology grew at a faster rate than in today's present.
Isamu and Go make it back to Daybreak first, but before they can go any further, Yua stands in their way. She tells him he's not authorized to go any further, implying that Daybreak is under A.I.M.S.'s jurisdiction. Isamu explains his reasoning being that he and Go are both people who were basically screwed by the Daybreak incident and don't know why that is. Knowing she can't stop him, Yua hands him a new Progrise Key, the Punching Kong. She doesn't expect Isamu to use it, but she gives it to him anyway knowing that he'll just break it open and use it despite her warning. She tells him to remember his work ethic, to which he smirks and says he's off today.
Around the same time, Izu, like before, analyzed Onycho's fighting strategy and fabricates a new Progrise Key in Flying Falcon. Afterward, the three of them head to Daybreak town and save both Go and Isamu from security HumaGear sent by MetsubouJinrai.NET. Aruto, decides to transform into Zero-One in front of Isamu, promising that there'll be no secrets between them, despite Izu's initial call-out to not reveal his identity. As Go, Isamu and Anna take the boat and ride off towards the ruins, Izu throws the Progrise Key at Aurto, allowing him to transform into his new form: Zero-One Flying Falcon. A stellar arerial fight, ends with Aruto chasing Onycho towards the ruins, and Izu waving him off.
The trio, after making their way inside, discover what remained of the control system where Satoshi worked. They're immediately ambushed by Trilobite HumaGear. Go at this point has just about given up, but Isamu talks him out of it, while also breaking the lock on Punching Kong and using it to transform into Vulcan Punching Kong. With renewed motivation, Go starts searching and immediately overturns a rock he overlooked initially seeing a microSD card in the dirt. Anna looks at it and says its the memory module of a Legacy HumaGear. As soon as she installs it, Onycho hacks her, turning her into a Trilobite. She initially attacks Go but unexpectedly she resists. Her desire to perform her duty overrides the corruption and she reveals the contents of the memory card, revealing the truth: the HumaGears revolted and as Satoshi calls for help, a mysterious figure in purple with yellow eyes appears on the screens, declaring war on Humanity, as ordered by MetsubouJinrai.NET. In response, Satoshi locks the HumaGear within the facility and he dies along with them, this setting off the explosion that wiped the city. Aruto tells Go that this proves his father prevented the HumaGear infestation, and should be a hero. Isamu, however, finds justification of his hatred and uses his finisher, Punching Blast to destroy Onycho. Isamu says A.I.M.S. will take custody of Anna so they could analyze traces of MetsubouJinrai.NET, but a sudden blast destroys her body completely. As it turns out, that mysterious purple figure is responsible and it de-transforms to reveal Horobi underneath the mask. Jin of all people call the act brutal, but Horobi simply states that keeping them in the dark about the Ark is the better course of action.
In the aftermath, word about the true events of Daybreak surface, Go's classmates apologize, Aruto kept his word about not keeping secrets, and Aruto is glad that Isamu was able to see it for himself instead of taking out Anna. He tells Isamu a corny joke and Isamu walks off while stifling his laughter, ending the episode on a positive note.
There's a certain charm to the HumaGear that makes me really enjoy them, as compared to other android-esque characters like the Roimudes from Kamen Rider Drive a few years back. They're simplistic but so full of character that they're unique when they're on screen. Izu is a given because she's one of the lead characters, so she shows emotion in her face. But minor HumaGear, who show limited facial expression, like Anna, take advantage of their voice, enforcing their emotions, showing that they are in this middle ground of robot and human. You can tell that Anna's duty took precedence over her very existence in this episode. She was a Bus Guide. She was literally built for this. And when she realizes that her information concerning Daybreak town was possibly false information, she was clearly frustrated. The illogical turn of events got to her to the point where she wanted the truth. And even after she was corrupted, her duty was so strong that she overcame her partial corruption and updated her information based on the true facts.
On the flipside, Fukuzoe's attempts to feign ignorance places him in a position of being the necessary evil. His desire to put the company first over everything else is once again shown as he lies, and then admits he's lying. He knows what he's doing is wrong but regardless its for the sake of the company. He doesn't want to do it, but what choice does he have?
Yua and Isamu's dynamics once again get me just because its fun watching their chemistry. The first scene, when they transform together, is sick in its own right, but their fight choreography is a bit sloppy in moments, showing that they aren't used to working as a team yet. Isamu seemingly grabs Yua to move her out the way of an incoming attack, and that would be the case if it was about a second later. The timing makes it seem more like she was in his way so he threw her back behind him. Yua doesn't bring it up knowing Isamu by this point, and Isamu is too dense to notice himself.
And then we have Aruto and Isamu's newfound camaraderie. Aruto unveling himself as Zero-One, vowing to not keep secrets from Isamu, and Isamu having a better understanding of the events, how Hiden Intelligence wasn't directly responsible, puts them on better terms. Now, the pair have a common enemy in MetsubouJinrai.NET. As for where this goes, going forward, is anyone's guess.
Isamu's words highlight the lesson of not letting the past or anything else for that matter keep you from moving forward in life. Speaking from his own point of view, his traumatic event could've kept him stagnant and mortified of the HumaGear. But instead of living in despair in a world populated by his greatest nightmare, he took his fear and turned it into a motivation to grow and become the thing to stop them.
Life will have its challenges, and things may seem unfair. But you can't let things hold you back from being what you need to be when it calls for it.
On the other hand, Fukuzoe's words hit me on a personal level, in that I've experienced putting business interest over truth before. And in a world where its becoming increasingly difficult to be honest in anything, its the norm to lie and cheat your way to success. Hiden Intelligence covered up the Daybreak event to hide their ties with it, which would've spelled trouble for the company as a whole. It's something we see far too much in the real world, and its something that's not going to go away anytime soon. Reality is this: people love honesty. But they love success more. And Zero-One does a great job of highlighting this to its young audience.
04. Final Thoughts, What We Learned, and Questions Going Forward
|Episode 1-3 Questions||Potential Answers/What We Learned||New Questions|
Korenosuke was highly specific in his will, almost the point of it being a prophecy. Would there be a chance that there is someone with Hiden Intelligence with connections to MetsubouJinrai.NET? Or did Korenosuke discover something that lead to his eventual death? Does this secret relate to the explosion Aruto experienced as a child? Or Isamu's comment about "History repeating itself?"
While we don't learn about Korenosuke's involvment in the explosion, we do learn about what triggered it. Its implied that MetsubouJinrai.NET was responsible for the HumaGears going berserk showing the definite connection between them. That said, MetsubouJinrai.NET are the ones responsible for everything happening, including the explosion that took Aruto's father, and Isamu's nightmare, linking to his comment about History repeating itself, which it is; MetsubouJinrai.NET are corrupting HumaGear ijust like they did twelve years ago.
The purple figure is revealed to be Horobi underneath the mask. Being as young looking as he is, is Horobi Human at all, or is he a form of AI himself? Not necessarily a HumaGear, but something else entirely? This is assuming that it is the same character and "Horobi" isn't just a title that's passed down between members of the organization
Anna was able to overcome her corruption slightly, somewhat punching small holes in my theory, as based on that, she would've been close to achieving what I perceive to be the singularity
Being that Trilobite Magia are small footsoldiers and not complete Magia armed with a ZetsumeiRiser, is it possible for them to be completely reverted if their programming is strong enough? Anna was able to briefly overcome her corruption, but what if she was armed with a ZetsumeiRiser? Would thing have played out differently? Did Onycho hack her to keep her from accessing the memory in the first place, as it would reveal MetsubouJinrai.NET's involvment in the attack in the first place?
Yua tells Isamu he wasn't authorized to investigate Daybreak town. It would make sense that he'd be forbidden as its the birthplace of a major event and was closed off by the government.
If Daybreak is under A.I.M.S. control, then would this mean that they know that MetsubouJinrai.NET set up a nest inside the area? And if so, why haven't they done anything yet? Unless if course MetsubouJinrai has ties with A.I.M.S.?
We get to see twelve different comanies occupy Daybreak, with Hiden Intelligence and ZAIA Enterprises taking up the corners of the map, being the biggest ones out of all of them.
What is ZAIA Enterprises? Could this be related to that meeting with Yua and the mysterious man? If this is the case, then the conversation would imply that Yua is a spy from a rival company rather than a government agent. Being the other big name in Daybreak, what part do they play in the chaos that birthed the Daybreak Incident? And does MetsubouJinrai.NET relate to them, or one of the other ten companies, such as JEE.Net?
And that's it for this week's episode. 5/5. Its hard to hate this show because it doesn't waste time answering questions and its quick pace leaves little room for filler moments. This is really turning into a gripping drama and one that I'm really looking forward to week after week. This episode even got me to like Isamu more (just because of that one like where Yua tells him to be careful and he smirks and tells her that she's not his boss at the moment). Still Edgy for punching bullets but I can forgive it for the smooth reply and the big bro persona he put on for Go. I can appreciate that.
As always, Kamen Rider Zero-One Episode 4 has fansubs in English, being done by Ridertime Subs, Over-Time Subs and TVNihon throughout the week of its airing (Between Sunday-Thursday depending on the group). Meanwhile, Kamen Rider Zero-One airs every Sunday at 9AM JST/ Saturday 8PM EST, so look out for those as well.
And that's it for this week. I'm looking forward to Aruto's next venture as well as any new developments we get as this awesome series continues to pick up steam. That said, thanks for reading and I'll see you guys next time!