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Recap: Kamen Rider Double E 25 E 26 The Ps Game
Our story begins with the Narumi Detective Agency receiving an unusual delivery - a new Gaia Memory and blueprints for a new Memory Gadget, and addressed to Phillip for some reason. At the same time, Akiko's been spending her free time (and possibly a chunk of office time) reading the Tear Jerker novel "A Home For A Girl And Her Doll". While Shotaro and Phillip go over the new items at length, Akiko suddenly meets a little girl - inside the office - calling herself Riko and bringing a special request. For some reason Akiko's more concerned with the request (just Riko repeating "listen to the doll's voice" and nothing else) than the fact that Rika can somehow Flash Step around the office between blinks when not hopping up and down. It doesn't help at all that Shotaro steps back into the scene and never catches sight of Riko, who's seemingly disappeared without warning.

At least Rika left Akiko something to work with - an address, leading Akiko to the 'Wind Castle' building and the doorstep of Karakita Yuki, one of Fuuto's best known book critics. Turns out she's received an unusual delivery of her own - a doll about 4 feet tall and curiously dressed just like Rika - which put a slight dent in her schedule, as she's rushing to write up her review of "A Home For A Girl And Her Doll". Apparently her final verdict is glaringly different from Akiko's, dismissing the book as a vanity project rather than the dedication to the author's daughter it was intended as...

Which is when the doll disappears from its box.

Akiko immediately starts searching around, only to find Karakita's own desk suddenly vacant... whereupon a loud scream leads her to the kitchen, where the doll is attacking Karakita with a pan. Taking all this in is hardly the biggest concern here, as the doll effectively kicks Akiko's ass before sending Karakita hurtling over the balcony. Not fatally, mind you, they're only two storeys up... but the fact that only a lifeless doll and a flustered Akiko are left at the scene turns Akiko into the prime suspect. It doesn't help at all that Shotaro doesn't take her side off the bat, and the ensuing argument with Makura allows Akiko to slip off to the second address given by Riko... but only Terui Ryu is alert enough to spot the now-empty doll box.

Akiko makes her way to the second location, the home of another book critic, Tama Senta, only to catch him leaving his house in his expensive car... which immediately swerves out of control and crashes. The true cause reveals itself immediately, in the form of the doll's Nightmare Face staring back at Akiko. Fortunately this time she's able to step up her game, pulling that doll away from Tama and hurling it into a refuse dump, which only causes it to direct its violence at her instead...

Until Ryu pulls a Big Damn Heroes and rams the doll towards a junkyard with his bike. Turns out he's already looked at two other cases, only getting as far as finding the empty doll box previously, before finally tracking down the "perpetrator" and going into Accel to battle it... only for the doll to slip away. At least this time Ryu's suspicion of Dopant involvement are all but confirmed.

Meanwhile, Dr Isaka's been carrying on his Dopant examinations with Saeko, and figures out immediately that something's been on her mind. She's just worried that Wakana, with all her work in the entertainment circle, isn't fit to carry on her duties to the Museum, and hopes Isaka can somehow straighten her out... but it's clear Isaka has something else in mind. (No, not that. Something WORSE.)

Back at Narumi Detective Agency, Phillip is busy assembling the predominantly-green memory Gadget when Akiko, now very appreciative of Ryu's presence if in a rather clingy fashion, makes Phillip carry out one of his searches. Cross-referencing the two cases Ryu brought up with these two, our heroes figure out the prime suspect - Horinouchi Keio, the author of "A Home For A Girl And Her Doll", which had been reviewed by all four writers. Convinced that Keio can somehow use a Dopant Memory to turn his own daughter into a 4-foot-tall Dopant, Ryu sets out to confront him with Akiko in tow.

Without any actual proof though, Ryu goes straight to plan B. Tracking down Keio at a book signing event, he denounces Keio's work to his face by reiterating the four critics' opinions to his face - that the whole book merely capitalised on his daughter to draw readers. While awaiting his reaction, Akiko still hears the voice of Rika, who's appeared in public this time. Unfortunately she won't tell whether or not this Dopant business is for real, only repeating what she said to Akiko before. It doesn't help at all that she disappears yet again, without Ryu ever seeing her either.

At the same time, Dr Isaka gets to meet Wakana - but instead of any Dopant examination, he goes into full-on deprogramming mode and convinces her (putting it nicely) into letting him examine her own Dopant Driver.

The action moves to the Fuuto Police Station for once, where Shotaro grouses to Mikio Jinno about Akiko suddenly placing Ryu above her actual companions while encouraging his Cowboy Cop behavior, but Jinno naturally dismisses it as jealousness... just as Makura comes in, carting an unusual delivery of their own, a four-foot-long box left at their door. By the time Shotaro figures it out, the doll is already in Nightmare Face mode and attacking the cops - but to his disdain, Ryu and Akiko are already one step ahead of them, springing a trap of their own.

It's Rider time, albeit an atypical case as Ryu goes into Accel and Shotaro forces Phillip to put off work on the new device to go into Double. Unfortunately our heroes have unprecedented difficulties as the doll is not only surprisingly hard to take down, but snatches the Trigger Magnum for itself. Akiko thinks she's figured it out though, and calls out to Rika - but the doll doesn't respond quite the way she expected, attacking the Riders and forcing Accel to bust out a Finishing Move.

Whereupon there is a noticeable lack of a Dopant Memory. Turns out Phillip figured this one out ahead of time - the doll really was just a plain old doll, nothing more, and the actual Dopant had been manipulating it like a remote weapon... a Puppeteer Dopant. Who's really Horinouchi Keio, which comes as a surprise to nobody. The real surprise is the voice of Riko, which can still be heard...

Unfortunately Keio isn't buying any of that. Before he can explain why though, a sudden thick fog (accompanied by the sound of the Weather Dopant Memory) blankets the scene and allows Keio to make his escape. Except that "escape" normally means you're fleeing to a safer place, while Keio as Puppeteer Dopant finds himself in the lab of a certain Dr Isaka. It's not that bad though - Isaka even prepared a replacement for Riko's doll, someone to essentially act as his new remote weapon - Wakana as Claydoll.

Akiko takes the doll back to the agency with her, and Shotaro scoffs the idea of the doll having its own voice... until it talks to him. Except it's just the new Memory Gadget, the Frog Pod, able to record and replay voices after modulating them to sound like someone else. It's only when the Frog Pod hops onto the doll when Akiko remembers a small girl with a frog-style bag and an identical doll - the real Riko, whom Akiko met on the outskirts of Fuuto, teaching her to take better care of her doll by listening for the doll's voice, before the events of the first episode. Thinking she'd just found a lead, Akiko takes the doll and heads back to that same spot...

...and sure enough, Riko appears, still telling Akiko "listen to the doll's voice". Only Akiko is more concerned about getting Riko away from her father's influence, and fails to notice the way the doll only disappeared in Riko's presence. Facing yet another dead end, Akiko answers a call from Ryu, and leaves the doll there while heading with Shotaro to Horinouchi Keio's old home...

...whereupon the truth is finally revealed. Riko was the pet name given by the real Rikako to her favourite doll, which became all she left behind after a fatal car crash took her home. So there was no possible way Akiko had been hearing the real Rikako's voice... unless it really was the doll the whole time. But it's too late, as Akiko rushes back to that spot on the outskirts, only to see the garbagemen take the doll with them and drive off.

Shotaro explains to Ryu that Akiko inherited one thing of value from Narumi Soukichi - the Determinator gene, going to every length to protect your client, even if it's just a four-foot doll. And sure enough, Akiko pursues the garbage truck while Keio makes his move - remotely controlling Wakana as Claydoll and striking Narumi Detective Agency itself. And Phillip has a hard time as the Fang Memory isn't enough to fend her off - until the Gunner-A unit rolls in of its own volition, and shatters Claydoll with a single shot. Phillip uses the opportunity to contact Shotaro and warn him of the Puppeteer's current target - Akiko herself.

Akiko finally reaches the garbage truck and finds the doll - and for once she can finally hear the doll's voice clearly. "Tell Daddy not to cry." Not a message from beyond the grave, but from the doll Riko herself. At the same time, Wakana as Claydoll returns to Dr Isaka's place in an utter fit as she's out for revenge after being literally strung up for his latest experiment - but Saeko as Taboo intervenes. Which don't end as expected, as Claydoll has somehow grown strong enough to fight off the big sister for once - the result of Isaka's research, or something else entirely?

Sure enough, the Puppeteer Dopant tracks down Akiko, and Keio's motives are out in the open - all the attacks were against those critics who essentially took the memorial of his daughter Rikako and treaded on it, particularly Akiko when she agreed that he didn't love his daughter at all. And he's not about to believe that the voice of his daughter has somehow contacted Akiko, much less the voice of her doll. And he'd rather use his powers to hurl Akiko to her death rather than stop and listen...

...until Double and Accel appear just in time. Except their Big Damn Heroes moment is averted as Puppeteer busts out a new ability - a flute he uses to hit our heroes with a Brown Note, before roping Akiko to the wall (and gagging her) and manipulating Accel himself into attacking Double. Turns out the effect on Claydoll replicates itself here as Accel somehow becomes harder to fight off, forcing Double to switch to CycloneMetal and fight defensively... until Ryu hears Akiko's voice. Well, Akiko's voice pre-recorded in the Frog Pod since Akiko is still Bound and Gagged, but it works well enough, with Accel stopping in his tracks and Puppeteer being distracted enough for Double to free him. Ryu as Accel is (again) justifiably furious, but Double picks up the check this time, taking down Puppeteer with the first ever Metal Twister.

And Saeko confronts Isaka about what just happened with Claydoll. Turns out his experiments with Dopant biology involve removing the safeguards and taking a big leap for the sake of more power... something that is not going to happen with the use of those Museum-issue Dopant Drivers.

Our story ends with an even bigger mystery than we started with - was it the constant contact with the Puppeteer Dopant that gave the doll life? Or was it its time with the real Rikako that gave Riko a voice? Whatever it was, Akiko's back to her usual self and quite happy to play around with the Frog Pod, making it sound like Terui Ryu just to have him cooing the same words to her, over and over...

Tropes include:

Kamen Rider Double E 23 E 24 The L On The LipsRecap/Kamen Rider DoubleKamen Rider Double E 27 E 28 The D Was Seen

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