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Recap / Kamen Rider Ex Aid Ep 23 To The Max Dead Or Alive

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Written by Yuya Takahashi
Directed by Kyohei Yamaguchi
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Kyotaro Hinata reports to Emu and Hiiro that if they cannot stop Kuroto within two days, they will lose their position in CR and their right to be Kamen Riders because they interfered with the Ministry of Health apprehending him and let a Gamer Driver be destroyed. Kuroto exits Genm Corp. and transforms into Genm Zombie Gamer Level X to fight the armored police force surrounding the building. Taiga and Hiiro explain to Emu about the new Gashat that didn't work when they're called to the scene; Hiiro stays to research the new Gashat further while Taiga takes the Gashat Gear Dual β. Emu and Taiga arrive at Genm Corp., Emu using the Driver that Kiriya had given to him upon his death; they transform into Ex-Aid Double Action Gamer Level XX and Snipe Simulation Gamer Level 50, fighting Genm and his zombie Bugster Viruses while Nico helps the wounded officers away.

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Even the Viruses can now revive, but after discovering a file on Kiriya's laptop, Hiiro arrives as Brave Quest Gamer Level 2 and tosses the blank Gashat to Ex-Aid; attacking a further-angered Genm, he says Emu should be able to make it work like he did with a previous Gashat, Emu realizing that Mighty Brothers XX had come from a game he'd once thought up as a kid. He attempts to use the Gashat, but it knocks him out of his transformation; Brave insists that Kiriya had discovered Emu as the first Bugster virus patient and knew his infection was the source of all Bugsters and Gashats, Parado noting from afar that that's why he'd been killed. Emu repeatedly attempts opening and closing his Driver to no effect, Brave taking Hunter Quest Gamer Level 5 Full Dragon to hold Genm back but getting knocked down and out. Hiiro reminds Emu how Kiriya had entrusted humanity's fate to him, prompting Emu's Bugster virus to evolve, his body emitting a magenta flame before it accumulated into the Gashat, completing it into Maximum Mighty X and transforming him into Ex-Aid Maximum Gamer Level 99, the maximum Level. He Stage Selects to outside a hangar, Genm merging his zombie Viruses into a massive amalgamation Bugster Union; it attacks Ex-Aid to no effect and is easily knocked back and destroyed, rebuilding itself seconds later. Ex-Aid uses a Gun Mode Maximum Mighty Critical Finish to split the Union into the zombie Viruses again, Genm discovering that his Rider Gauge has also been repaired and filled, Ex-Aid explaining he used Kiriya's data and reprogrammed away Genm's immortality. Snipe takes the opportunity to hit the now-vulnerable Genm with Bang Bang Critical Fire, Ex-Aid pummeling Genm down to one health bar but stopping and untransforming. He's a doctor before a Kamen Rider and won't kill Kuroto, but Kuroto fires the Gashacon Bugvisor to cover his escape.

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Taiga considers this a loss of opportunity, that killing Kuroto to save many more is worth it, but Hiiro and Emu disagree. Kuroto stumbles through the city, frustrated that the final two Bugsters from DoReMiFa Beat and Drago Knight Hunter Z haven't appeared yet; finding a crowd, he decides to speed up the process and sprays the two games' infections onto everyone. While searching for him, Emu is met by Parado, who attempts to convince Emu to kill Genm, as he's basically a dead shell already and has no life left to take; he has to beat the final boss for the happy ending. Taiga finds Kuroto impatiently waiting for the Bugsters to emerge, the two transforming into Snipe Level 50 and Genm Level X. Brave Level 5 Full Dragon arrives to suggest taking Genm's Gashat instead of killing him, but Genm knocks Brave away with an Arrow Mode DoReMiFa Critical Finish, tossing the Gashat aside to use an Arrow Mode Jet Critical Finish that Snipe counters with Bang Bang Critical Fire, knocking both Riders back. Emu arrives and transforms to Ex-Aid Level 99, Stage Selecting to a junkyard; Genm calls two Level X clones, but Ex-Aid knocks them aside and starts fighting the main Genm, Snipe and Brave facing the clones. Genm uses a Sickle Mode Giri Giri Critical Finish to no effect, the doctor Riders beating down their adversaries before using Drago Knight Critical Strike, Bang Bang Critical Fire, and Maximum Critical Break, destroying the clones and defeating Genm.

After the Game Area clears, Kuroto tries transforming again, but finds that the Dangerous Zombie Gashat won't trigger; Emu explains that his finisher had reprogrammed the Bugster antibodies from Kuroto's compatibility surgery to render him incompatible with Gashats. He believes that deep inside Kuroto is a good person who wants to make games, and wants to make him smile again; however, Parado arrives, knocking Kuroto down and taking his equipment. He says that game losers get bad endings before using the Bugvisor to infect Kuroto with Dangerous Zombie's infection, spraying a cloud to keep the others back. He thanks the "Game Master" and says he's taking over Kamen Rider Chronicle before leaving. In a mad fit, Kuroto begins digitizing, claiming himself a god before dissolving into data.

The Gashats Kuroto stole have been returned to their original owners, and despite Kyotaro's congratulations, Emu is sad he couldn't save Kuroto; Hiiro says dealing with death is key for a doctor. Sometime later, Emu weeps bitterly on the roof of the hospital.

This Episode contains the following Tropes:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe. Emu interprets Kuroto as someone who just loved games too much and needs to atone for his sins. Parado doesn't see it that way, calling Kuroto a pathetic man who's become nothing more than an empty, souless husk.
  • Asshole Victim: Goodbye, and good riddance, Kuroto. You will not be missed... for now.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Ex-Aid strips off Genm's Rider and Bugster powers but has no intention in killing him... until Parado shows up to finish the job for the Doctor Riders.
  • Battle Aura: Emu's Bugster aura is colored pink.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Although Kuroto gets a (temporary) "Game Over", Kiriya is still dead, Parado is still on the loose, and the Kamen Rider Chronicle Gashat is almost completed.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kiriya's Gamer Driver comes in handy for Emu to attain Level 99 form.
  • Cruel Mercy: What Ex-Aid is planning to do with Genm in their second fight. He succeeded.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Ex-Aid's Level 99 form proves too much for Genm's Level X form to handle.
    • Earlier on, Genm and his Bugster brigade against the police.
  • Death by Irony: Emu used Kiriya's Gamer Driver to remove Kuroto's ability to transform. Parado then uses the Buggle Driver to infect Kuroto with a massive amount of the Bugster Virus to kill him, much like he did with Kiriya. To further rub salt in the wound, he used Kuroto's Dangerous Zombie Gashat to do so.
  • De-Power: Ex-Aid's Level 99 can alter the nature of the Bugster Virus within Genm, which includes rendering him powerless.
  • Dirty Coward: Kuroto is nothing more than a worthless scumbag without his so-called "immortality". This is especially evident after Parado shows up to kill him.
    Kuroto: NO! NO! I DON'T WANT TO DIE!!
  • Enigmatic Minion: His motive was already sketchy to begin with, but this episode make it clear that Parado has his own plan for Kamen Rider Chronicle.
  • Famous Last Words: From Kuroto, although his death isn't permanent yet:
    Kuroto: I am God! My dreams... ARE IMMORTAAAAAAL!!
  • Foreshadowing: Kuroto's death means that Parado now has access to his Gamer Driver, which later on would allow him to transform into Level 99.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Maximum Gamer restores all of Zombie Gamer's life points, meaning now he can actually lose.
  • Humiliation Conga: Kuroto is getting a series of these within this episode: 1) Emu strips off his Resurrective Immortality thanks to Kiriya's Gamer Driver and the Maximum Mighty X Gashat, 2) He lost his Genm powers at the end of his second fight against the Doctor Riders, and 3) Parado shows up to kill him.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Parado gleefully kills Kuroto for all the horrible acts he committed in the past several episodes and being an insane maniac.
  • The Mourning After: At the end of the episode, Emu is seen mourning Kuroto's death on top of the building.
  • Oh, Crap!: Kuroto has this reaction to seeing his Rider Gauge fill back up, meaning he's now mortal.
  • Out of Continues: Emu strips Kuroto of his immortality using Maximum Mighty X, meaning the next time he dies will be the last. Kuroto does not take it well.
  • Police Are Useless: Justified, as they're armed with riot gear and nightsticks against......An immortal zombie Kamen Rider and his horde of sentient viruses. Needless to say the assault on Genm Corp. goes horribly wrong.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Emu delivers a rather nasty one to Genm at the start of their second fight.
    Genm: Emu Hojo!
    Emu: Genm... (activates the Maximum Mighty X Gashat while grinning evilly) I will change your fate. Max Dai Henshin!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: M is acting up again within Emu since Episode 19.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Partially. It's not quite like you hurt Kuroto by throwing Recovery Energy Items at him or anything, but we get a rare instance a player saying Oh, Crap! upon noticing his health bar refilling to maximum. His undead nature made him unkillable, but restoring his health has made him truly alive once more - and things that are truly alive can be made truly dead.
  • Sanity Slippage: Even before he loses his Resurrective Immortality, Kuroto's almost gone completely insane by that point, to the point where his fighting style has basically devolved to trying to hit whatever's in his way. Once he loses his immortality, Kuroto loses anything resembling sanity on any sort of level, infecting a crowd of people for some stress relief and being unable to do anything more than scream and run at his enemies flailing his arms.
  • Screw Destiny: Emu (as M) tells Kuroto that he'll change his own fate prior to his first transformation to Level 99.
    Emu: I will change... my own fate.
  • Slasher Smile: Emu's Smug Smiler expression means bad news for Genm.
  • Tragic Villain: What Emu thinks of Kuroto as a whole. Otherwise, it's subverted.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kuroto was never sane to begin, but he finally snaps when Emu achieves Level 99 and strips off his immortality.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Parado mockingly gives his thanks to a dying Kuroto before leaving.

    Gashat Count: Ex-Aid: 9 (Continued) Brave: 3 Snipe: 3 Genm: 0 (Game Over) Para-DX: 3
    Remaining Boss Bugsters for Kamen Rider Chronicle: 2
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