Following his first fight as the warrior Drive, Shin-chan has doubts on becoming a hero. Wait, what?!
This review will be shorter than usual, mostly because it’s long overdue and I’m really, really, really, really busy. Anyways what I wanted to talk about this episode is that unlike the previous series Gaim, Drive returns to the 2-parter formula that’s been introduced since Den-O. While I really enjoyed Gaim‘s storytelling structure and felt a bit shame that Drive didn’t use it, I’m actually fine with it.
That’s because Drive itself is a cop drama, and every cop drama tends to be episodic. Plus, Riku Sanjou wrote Kamen Rider Double and all of the episodes are episodic but with ongoing plots in certain episodes, and they are all enjoyable. The thing is, it’s okay to make standalone episodes, but don’t treat them like filler to the point of having the plot goes nowhere. That’s one of the main reasons why people don’t like Kamen Rider Wizard much.
The case from the previous episode continues as Shin-chan discovers that the Roimude is still alive, somehow. But before that we see Shin-chan somewhat hesitating to become Drive. At first I was confused. I mean why would he turned down the opportunity to become a superhero? But in this episode it was revealed that Shin-chan is suffering from a survivors guilt, in a way. Six months ago during the Global Freeze Shin-chan accidentally aims his gun towards a fuel tank and when it explodes, it severely injured his partner. Luckily his partner is still alive but hospitalized, and it makes Shin-chan feels more guilty to see that he was the one who put his friend into a hospital.
That guilt had caused Shin-chan to either feel unworthy of taking the mantle of Drive, or that he fears he might screw up and got someone hurt. But thankfully, Shin-chan’s desire of justice, along with his friend’s advice, he agrees to be Mr.Belt’s partner. Oh, speaking of Mr.Belt, we got a flashback involving a guy who sounds a lot like him, and he was about to be killed by a number of monsters.
Since this is the second episode, they usually showcase the Rider using their bikes because this is Kamen RIDER. But no, Drive is the very first Rider who doesn’t have a bike because it was substituted with a car, Tridoron! The action scenes involving Tridoron is pretty much your typical car chase but with CGIs because they need to promote their toys. Sadly though since the car is bigger than bikes, we’re probably stuck with car chases instead of crazy stunts. But thankfully Drive will at least use it to drive (ha!) around so it won’t be underused.
We also learn more about the Roidmudes in this episode. Apparently they seek to evolve themselves by obtaining enough data and best physical attributes of a human being. Basically, they are trying to achieve perfection. The Roidmude from the previous episode are given a new body and he proceeds to scan various parts of random civilians so that he could achieve the perfect body. Uggghh, this guy is basically the monster version of Kim Kardashian, as if she’s not monstrous enough.
As for the fight scenes, this episode showcases one new Shift Car, the Justice Hunter. Hunter equips Drive with a…….. jail-themed tray. Yeah I gotta admit I hated it. I mean the tray serves as ‘shield’ and is able to trap enemies because it is a jail, but man, whenever Drive holds it it looks like he’s using a tray to fight and it looked ridiculous.
Before the Roimude is destroyed, he called Drive a “Kamen Rider”, which I’m really happy about because I love when Kamen Riders are called Kamen Rider. I know it’s a trend in Heisei series where the word “Kamen Rider” are rarely spoken, so it’s great that it returns here. Mr.Belt tells Shin-chan now that he agrees to join the crusade, he must help Mr.Belt destroy 108 Roidmudes, and since he already destroyed three, there’s 105 left. Judging by the huge number of monsters and we usually got about 48 episodes, I’m guessing the majority of them will be destroyed in a movie or something.
With that, we get to meet two of the Roidmudes’ chief, the red Heart and green Brain. Not much to say about them since we don’t get to see them much in this episode, but they are living among humans and knowing that there’s a Kamen Rider, they call upon another of their comrade, Chase. Who is this Chase?
Overall, a good episode and a nice return of the two-parter format. So far Drive is on to a good start, which I’d say is on par with Double, OOO and Gaim. In terms of premiere it still can’t beat Fourze‘s two-parter, but knowing how Fourze turned out, I’d rather they start decently instead of going full force.
Starting this episode I’m implementing the movie ratings system to episode reviews, so from now on I will rate each episode based on 6 available ratings. The bold ones are the ratings that I gave this episode. The list goes from worst to best:
1) This is an Art…….. of SHIT!!!!
2) I wasted 30 minutes for this?!
3) Meh, Could’ve Been Better
4) Good ol’ TV Time!
5) It’s so Great that You to Watch it Again and Again and Again!!!!
6) THIS, Deserves an Award!