Been thinking more about the ‘Kai-kun taking the seed and sealing himself in Aichi’s place as atonement’ imeeji. The entire season has been beating him down over Link Joker being unleashed in the first place and his place as the primary cause of the global spread. Aichi was offered up as the price to fix everything, and after Kai-kun himself had come to the conclusion that he was the one that should have vanished for the sake of keeping everyone else safe and well.
He’s been dealing with the guilt of that toll and not only has he evidently still not forgiven himself, but he’s heard it from the mouths of others that still blame him for what happened. The very blame that reinforces those thoughts he’d been plagued with under Reverse’s influence and backed his belief that he’s responsible for Aichi’s suffering.
The thought process is pretty corrosive and if Kai-kun has been working to redeem himself, then it wouldn’t be out of the question for, given his distorted thinking patterns of the past, him to believe that the best way he can make up everything is to take Aichi’s place, allowing him to go back to the life he should have and Kai-kun to make up in the biggest way possible for what he called his sin.
He’s already gone along the path of believing he should deal with the problem alone, just like last season and Aichi in this, and even though that was quashed by Kamui’s fight, as Tumblr user KatsuragiKamui pointed out, that’s been essentially unraveled by the ejection of Misaki, Kamui and Miwa from the plot; as things stand, Naoki is his only ally and there might not be much he can do to help if Kai-kun’s truly adamant to retrace his steps and jump back onto the lone road.
And in spite of Aichi’s decision to keep it all secret, in order to protect his friends who would put themselves in danger for his sake, Kai-kun might have taken his words to heart from their previous fight — fighting is the only way he can truly redeem himself. And to fight Aichi is to either inherit the seed or lose to his demons once again. But the entire road has been about trying to make up his mistake and having come so far and gotten so close to Aichi, it was always going to be inevitable to each of them that they were to clash. It’s not just about atonement and it’s not just about getting Aichi back; it’s a mixture of those and other motivations that undid everything that was set up in the way; a Cardfighter thrives on fighting, it means much more than a game - it’s where they wager themselves; their confidence, their beliefs, cards or in this case, even their worth. For Kai-kun, it’s obvious he can’t forgive himself until Aichi is back safely, if ever, and that’s why, despite everything, he’s going to put everything on the line to fight him.
And why, in the face of Aichi’s fears, would he resort to an extreme resolution such as offering himself up as a sacrifice and taking on the seed, which has no confirmed way of disappearing from someone other than losing to another fighter?