After suffering from a painful defeat to the Shinkalions in the previous battle, Sougyoku of Kitoralsus is looking for a new collaborator. Taking this opportunity, he decides to return to his hometown in Sakurajima, and starts a conventional line journey from Morioka Station to Kagoshima-Chuo Station.
Several months ago, a desperate Sougyoku made an attempt to contact comrades by sending messages to the space. Having no success, he stops by a favorite restaurant to drown his sorrows, a talk with the worker making it clear this was far from the first time he tried contacting someone. Seeming to sympathize with him, the worker suggests Sougyoku return to his "hometown" of Sakurajima. He decides that's worth doing.
In present day, Shin is surprised to learn that he and the other drivers will be taking a trip to hot springs. He was told they were attending a training camp instead, and doesn't want to waste any time when they could be looking for Abuto. Taiju and Hanabi are both excited for it, but Smat takes Shin's side. However, Shima points out the E5 is still under maintenance. On Hanabi's orders, Taiju picks Shin up and carries him onto the train. After the drivers and Abiko leave, it's clear from Shima's conversation with Sogō that both are concerned about Abuto as well. Shima wonders if Abuto is even driving the Dark Shinkalion of his own free will.
At a briefing, Daiya and Minori explain what they know about Sougyoku to Sogō and Shima. Mainly, the fact that Sougyoku is an opportunist who will work from the shadows under any lord. Currently, that lord appears to be the Teoti.
Wadatsumi and Valtom discuss their doubts about Sougyoku. Both think that he'll only keep bringing them failure, and want to take down the Shinkalion on their own. Sougyoku is listening in on their conversation. Hearing them call him a loser reminds him of the time when he tried returning to Sakurajima.
Back then, Sougyoku had purchased a ticket to Kagoshima-Chuo station. He waits on the platform, but is horrified when the train that rolls in is an E5 series Hayabusa. All he can think of is the E5 Shinkalion. Sougyoku eventually makes it to Koriyama station on another train and asks if he can exit with his ticket despite the station being different. He's able to do a stopover, although his Shinkansen limited express ticket won't remain valid after the day.
Soon after leaving the station, Sougyoku overhears a conversation on "Hayabusa" at a bar. Wondering whether they're talking about the Shinkalion, he walks in. While they were actually referring to the Hayabusa 2 satellite, Sougyoku believes they mean the Shinkalion E5 Hayabusa MkII. Upon hearing from a woman that there's a Hayabusa movie about the satellite, Sougyoku also misinterprets it as a movie about the Shinkalion drivers and is furious by the idea. The bartender, who was tired of the woman's fervor over Hayabusa, gives Sougyoku a free meal. Before he can even eat any, another guest who happens to be Akeno starts up a conversation with him, hoping to interview him for a magazine.
In the present, when Shin and the other drivers arrive at Shin Osaka Station, they spot a Limited Express Haruka themed after Hello Kitty. After leaving the station, Abiko attempts to take the drivers to Mt. Inunaki Hot Springs by car. It's already late at night though, because the hot springs are 30 minutes from the airport, and the Haruka doesn't stop directly at the airport. When they find themselves at the Inunaki Tunnel, Hanabi tries to get Shin excited, mentioning spooky stories about phone signals disconnected there. This is obviously false though, as Smat can still get a signal. Taiju adds that the tunnel is supposed to be connected to a village that isn't on any map. Although a bicyclist drives right through, disproving that, Shin is reminded of the Inunaki Tunnel in Fukuoka, which is a famous occult spot. That's not the same tunnel as the one they're in front of. Shin notices a paper his friends dropped, and Smat explains that they were trying to study occult for him like how Shin studied railway knowledge for Abuto. Although Hanabi and Taiju are embarrassed, Shin is happy about this and suggests they go training. There's still something of importance at this Mt. Inunaki, after all.
Shin's destination is the Shipporyuji Temple. He was referring to literal training, and the group is put through intense trials. Shin's intent, of course, is to be able to face Abuto.
Abuto, meanwhile, is looking at Dark Shinkalion. Sougyoku approaches him, asking how fighting against Shinkalion makes him feel. He replies that he doesn't really feel anything, which Sougyoku finds interesting. Abuto then asks Sougyoku what Shinkalion means to him.
Sougyoku's flashback continues to another night in the bar. He overhears two men discussing troubles with women, one of which cries out the name "Nozomi". Reminded of Shinkalion N700A Nozomi, Sougyoku joins their conversation, even though their grievances are completely different. The bartender believing Sougyoku is pursuing a girl, gives Sougyoku more free food and encourages him. Sougyoku, thinking he's talking about Shinkalion, is against the idea that he takes a liking to the Shinkalions.
Soon after, Sougyoku encounters the 500 Series Hello Kitty Shinkansen, a Shinkansen he'd never seen before. He believes that it's a new Shinkalion, and imagines himself in battle against the E5 Hayabusa MkII and N700A Nozomi when this "new Shinkalion" suddenly shows up on the battlefield. As a peacemaker, Hello Kitty stops the fight, telling the other Shinkalions that Sougyoku only wanted to see how cool the Shinkalions looked, and no one who likes the Shinkalions can be a bad person. She also tells Sougyoku not to lie to himself. Just as he starts to accept Shinkalion Hello Kitty, he wakes up, the entire encounter having been a dream. Still, afterwards Sougyoku realizes that he shouldn't have been waiting for a reply from space all this time, and he actually wants to face the Shinkalions once again. His musings are overheard by Kannagi, who is happy with Sougyoku's decision, and had been wanting to meet him.
Later, in present time, Shin and the others finally make it to the hot springs. Despite the difficulty in their training, Taiju and Hanabi still had fun. Shin thanks them, although they know he still hasn't really gotten over what happened with Abuto. Shin looks up to a star in the sky, wishing to meet Abuto again.
In the episode
- The opening sequence is updated with the following changes:
- Abuto Usui is excluded from various parts of the sequence.
- Yamakasa Nakasu and Nagara Anjō are added.
- Various scenes that feature Yokokawa Branch as the background are modified to feature Ōmiya Branch instead.
- The footages during the pre-chorus with Abuto, his father and the Dark Shinkansen are replaced by Abuto in his Dark Shinkalion driver suit, the Dark Shinkalion and its Centaur Mode.
- The silhouettes of the Teoti members are now clear views, and Sougyoku and Kannagi are added.
- The scene of Shinkalion Z E7 Azusa and E6 N’EX attacking with Azusa High Voltage Axe and N'EX VVVF Blaster respectively and Shinkalion Z E5 Yamanote defending with Platform Door Shield is replaced by footages of Shinkalion Z 800 Sonic and N700S Hida taken from episodes 9 and 13 respectively.
- The scene with Shin, Abuto and the Yokokawa Branch staff in front of E5 in the hanger is replaced by Shin, Hanabi, Taiju, Genbu and the Ōmiya Branch staff together on the observation platform of the Railway Museum.
- Shinkalion Hello Kitty makes its first actual debut in the anime series after its debut in a special PV. This makes it the first none-Z Shinkalion unit to appear in Season 2. However, it is still not an official appearance, as the events regarding it are only a dream.
- Footage from the previous season is used.
- The synopsis for this episode on the official site is misleading, as it states that Sougyoku's journey and Shin's hot spring trip happen in the same time, despite that the former actually takes place in the past.
- The credits on this episode list Hello Kitty as playing herself.
Note: All characters are listed in order of their first appearances in the episode.
- Shin Arata- Minami Tsuda
- Sougyoku- Kenji Yamauchi
- Smat- Jun Fukuyama
- Hanabi Ōmagari- Yuka Terasaki
- Taiju Togakushi- Michiko Kaiden
- Kasumi Abiko- Sayaka Senbongi
- Saijō Sogō- Kōsuke Gotō
- Hello Kitty- Hello Kitty (Megumi Hayashibara)
- Abuto Usui- Akari Kitō
- Wadatsumi- Tooru Sakurai
- Valtom- Masaya Matsukaze
- Kannagi- Yōhei Azakami
- Akeno Myōjō- Marina Inoue
- Goichi Shima- Takahiro Fujiwara
- Hibiki Mishima- Nodoka Hasegawa
- Minori Sanjo- Wakana Minami
- Daiya Oyama- Noriaki Kanze
- Male Customer- Shogo Sakata
- Z Gear Announcements- Bonji Jinbo
- Script- Toshiaki Sato
- Storyboard- Takahiro Ikezoe
- Episode Director- Wataru Nakagawa
- CG Episode Director- Koichi Ohata
- Animation Director- Beom Seok Hong, Kumiko Shishido