The most recent episode of Kamen Rider Gaim showed Micchy witnessing something so horrific that his allegiances have seemingly changed as he now believes in his brother’s and Yggdrasil’s mission. But what did he see? I’ve got an idea.
Yggdrasil tower. Or something very close to it. I found myself going back to the opening scene of the episode, showing the viewer an advert for the Yggdrasil corporation from an earlier episode. I kept wondering to myself why they would show that again after all this time. The scene fits with the context of the opening narration, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was there for something more. Upon closer inspection, I noticed this:
It’s rather quick, not exactly blink and you miss it, but you need to know what you’re looking at. Take a look at the pink plants behind Micchy. Don’t see it? Let’s have a closer look…
Those are almost undoubtedly mouths on the plant, human mouths. I zoned in on this when I was watching the episode, thinking anything else would be too obvious. Maybe that close up on Micchy’s eye was just a red herring – but it wasn’t, you have to pay close attention to realize what’s going on. This brings us back to the opening shot of Yggdrasil tower in a piece I like to call What Micchy Saw.
What did Micchy see? An almost exact replica of Zawame city. Now, here’s the catch – he didn’t see Zawame itself, not as he knows it. He saw something similar and I think he realized it almost right away. Taking a close look, a lot of the building outlines match up, though not all of them do. Some end much sooner than they should, they don’t reach into the sky. Adding to that, Yggdrasil tower itself has been replaced by a tree – Yggdrasil itself. In mythology, Yggdrasil is an eternal tree serving as a connection between nine different worlds.
So, here’s what I think Micchy saw: a ruined version of the city that was once Zawame. We know that before Yggdrasil came in, Zawame was a small town, but once the big bad corporation stepped in, it completely reinvents the city, stripping it of its uniqueness. I’m not sure why, but I think Yggdrasil is trying to recreate the city that Micchy saw in Helheim. Ultimately, I think what we’re witnessing is that Kamen Rider Gaim, the series itself, is not the first occurrence of these events.
We’re going to the opening now, something fans have thought to be very cryptic since we first saw it. Kamen Rider opening sequences tend to be pretty to look at, but they also often have hints regarding major plot developments within the show. Kamen Rider Wizard gave viewers an early look at someone who turned out to be Mayuu, Kamen Rider OOO showcased Ankh’s red Core Medal being plucked off the ground much like in the final episode when it was shattered into pieces. So, Kamen Rider Gaim! What secrets does your opening sequence hold?
Kouta yelling at an unseen figure, who is then revealed to be…Kouta? The first Kouta turns to stone and then dust as the second Kouta walks away, Orange Lock Seed in hand. The scene shows the first Kouta yelling at the second, perhaps trying to warn him not to use the freaking Lock Seed. Why? Because Lock Seeds are people. Here’s my theory – in the past, there was a city much like Zawame, with people like the ones we know of now, going through events much like the ones we’re witnessing in the series. But here’s the catch: it wasn’t in the past or the future, it was a completely different world, one that eventually became Helheim. The ruined Zawame-like city Micchy saw, I believe, is from a different world, one that saw its Rider battle taken to an ultimate conclusion that ended horribly for everyone involved. Yggdrasil, as a corporation, has existed for a long time and through many different worlds. This corporation eventually brought the Lock Seeds and Inves to Helheim before that world was overrun.
We know that eating fruit from the forest turns rats into what are called Elementary Inves or some derivation thereof while eating a Lock Seed turns Elementary Inves into Evolved Inves. When the people of this proto-Zawame found their world completely changed, they were surrounded by lush plant life. They were probably running out of food, they would eventually be drawn in not only by hunger but by the naturally addictive scent of the fruits found in Helheim. So, whether it’s meant to be literal or artistic, the Kouta in the opening, the one warning the other Kouta, our Kouta, I believe is a Kouta from a world that has already experienced everything we’re seeing play out for the first time and Yggdrasil, the corporation, knows about this because they’re trying to save whatever world they came from. Which brings up a greater question, are Takatora and Micchy even from this world?