Kamen Rider Drive overall thoughts?

Discussion in 'Henshin Justice Unlimited' started by Kamen Rider IXA, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. Kamen Rider IXA

    Kamen Rider IXA Lurker

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    While being an enormous hit in Japan, reception to Drive during its run in the western fanbase was... mixed. Very mixed. Especially after a classic (we can call it a classic now, I guess, given how popular this series is and probably will be in the future) Kamen Rider Gaim, which in turn didn't have that much of tv ratings in Japan.
    So what people think about KR Drive now, after it finally ended?
    Was it a worthy Kamen Rider Series, after all?
     
  2. lazycoconut

    lazycoconut I liked him when he wasn't a god

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    My thoughts in short are that I liked its premise and characters but am very disappointed by its ultimate moral message.

    How much of an "enormous hit" is it really when, as I understand it, its ratings and DVD sales are high but toy sales are lower than expected? Even with those high DVD sales it seems Mach is getting this novel instead of a movie (since the novel will cover his origins *and* post-series, which you'd expect to be in a movie if he were getting one) That seems strange given that he's a popular character
     
  3. DaikaijuSokogeki!

    DaikaijuSokogeki! New Member

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    Drive wasn't an enormous hit at all. Its toy sales were the worst for the franchise since Kiva, TV ratings were only slightly better than Gaim's as of episode 33 (Ratings average for Drive as of episode 33: 5.60%. Ratings average for Gaim as of episode 33: 5.37%) and all 3 movies to date (that's counting Super Hero War GP) were box office disappointments. Blu-Ray sales have been strong, which is probably why we're getting a Kamen Rider Chaser V-cinema (that, plus how enormously successful the Gaim Gaiden V-cinemas are), but that's about it.

    Drive was absurdly awful in its first half. The story felt aimless, characters were useless and/or often over-the-top and unlikable, the toy gimmick was forced and poorly implemented thus leading to hands-down some of the worst KR suit designs ever, there was no real threat, and the tonal whiplash was painful. Honestly, it was Kamen Rider at its absolute worst and made me seriously believe this would be my least favorite KR series to date.

    Then, sometime after Type Formula was introduced, something just clicked. The story became focused, character quirks were justified or toned down to reasonable levels, the villains became much more interesting and threatening, and the acting improved tenfold. The finale still shit the bed in some regards like every Riku Sanjo show does (Kiriko, pointless Ghost appearances), but the fact that the staff managed to take a show that was almost unwatchable and turn it into a pretty fun series gives me hope that any show can improve to become something you can actually look forward to watching every week if you just give it enough time.
     
  4. Herman the Tosser

    Herman the Tosser New Member

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    I guess if you end stronger than you began, people will forgive a lot.
     
  5. Herman the German

    Herman the German Treasure Cards of the Underworld

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    I had little in the way of problems with Drive aside from a few nitpicks regarding certain character quirks in the early episodes and how sometimes, budget-restraints showed themselves rather obviously (looking at you, Type Tridoron's tires). Story-wise, I didn't have any problem at all. Presently, 'tis my favorite Rider-series.
     
  6. SquidKing

    SquidKing Member

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    I don't feel that it ever clicked. Drive had the worst villain motivation ever, a few awful characters (though more good ones), and an aimlessness that never left. Suit designs may be the best ever though, and the fights were always great.
     
  7. ferosaki

    ferosaki Extreme Perfect Complete Ultimate !

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    drive is good, but not awesome like gaim
     
  8. Artisan

    Artisan Blade Adept

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    It didn't exactly have the most promising of beginnings.

    I just groaned at the realisation - though I should have known - that we'd be dealing for a whole year with an idiot police force with every one of Gen's attempts to mug the camera with his exaggerated facial expressions as if someone heavily drugged his coffee, making me wish that Oren could also be in this show. The method of implementation of the toy cars in the show was downright abysmal, often making the earlier fights utterly unbearable, vapid and uninteresting. Mashin Chaser devolved into a simple punching bag who showed up way too often (his status as a reaper becoming irrelevant as quickly as it was introduced), and with an arc that stretched on for too long before they were able to find some manner of resolution for it. Gou's introductory episodes made me want to punch a badger. Medic's introduction was as significant as a wet firework...heck, her character throughout the whole series was a damp squib.

    Really, the only good things I could say about the show in its first half are...well, it wasn't plagued with galling and unlikable victims of the fortnight like Wizard was. The Volt arc was where I felt the show had potential and a turning point for it to finally go somewhere. It didn't, but I maintain that they were solidly enjoyable episodes that allowed for a slightly longer serial nature than the usual two weeks of consequence-free subplots. I thought Kiriko showed a lot of promise. Yes, I'm just as annoyed as everyone else is that they never addressed the elephant in the room as to why she couldn't be Drive (oh I know Krim makes some offhanded comment later about specifically choosing Shinnosuke, but why should it exclude Kiriko from earning such a right as well?), but I thought when they started arming her, the show was being serious about letting her be a full-fledged partner and....ahahahahaha.

    I fully agree with the assessment in a post above that talks about how Drive's second half is suddenly such an improvement over the first. It was almost like there was a change in behind-the-scenes personnel, because Drive just pulled a Goseiger and suddenly applied the Midas Touch to itself. Makage and Nira (the latter's...grating demeanour notwithstanding) were the shots in the arm the show desperately needed after I witnessed the idiot plot of Kiriko attempting to revive Chase despite having no possible way to reasonably deduce that the guy would be any less dangerous than he was before. Unfortunately, the new villains seemed to only put Medic out of business, after the show spent a couple of episodes building her up as a tangible threat. That circles round to this nagging feeling I have; Drive feels really incoherent. I know production is a messy affair and last minute changes can be seen as an inevitability, but besides something like Decade (I'd say Hibiki based on what I read, but I haven't seen the show), Drive is one such Rider show that makes the incoherence bloody obvious. Things are seemingly dropped. Things are suddenly altered (the ambiguity regarding how Roidmudes were exactly created and what Chase's significance for the Promised Number being two things I can think of). Other things seem conspicuously last minute, from Gold Drive to Sigma Circular.

    Other than all that, thumbs up for the Gou/Chase story idea, even if it's not the most well-executed story ever. Props to that subversion of goofball Gou. The show really went to town in slowly breaking the jovial chap into a battered and bitter man, soon to be fuelled only by a desire to destroy, and later haunted by the legacy of his father. Its resolution did leave a bit to be desired. How interesting would it have been if Chase, as he slowly rediscovered his attachment with humanity, to have temporarily supplanted Gou's place as the true secondary rider with the full missionary zeal to protect, while Gou was this rogue vigilante rider who wanted only to wreck his enemies. This kind of ironic setup could have been more pronounced and it would been less goofy than Gou deliberately putting up a prolonged act just to snatch the iPad away from Brain, but I give them points for trying.

    Oh, and Banno is just so fun. Delightfully hammy and so lovably evil. And did I also mention that Medic is a damp squib and how disappointed I would be if I was her actress and this was what I had to work with?
     
  9. DaikaijuSokogeki!

    DaikaijuSokogeki! New Member

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    Oh, don't get me wrong. It's still in my bottom five Kamen Rider series thanks to that first half. I just have to give it props for at least trying to improve.
     
  10. SamuraiEchidna

    SamuraiEchidna Member

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    I liked Drive. :)

    Admittedly, the motif seemed so narrow minded and the villains seemed so generic that there was no way this could have been a hit. And yet, they pulled it off. Everything came together well, the mysteries were pretty good from time to time, there were some gripping moments I never would have expected, and a great ending that tied everything together nicely. Is it as great as Gaim was? No. But it was definitely worthy of being a Kamen Rider story. It's nice to know that when Gaim ended, we didn't get a complete flop of a follow up.

    Will Ghost be any good? Year after year, Kamen Rider ALWAYS reminds me never to judge on appearance alone. The entire costume for Ghost seems a little silly if not a little lazy, if you ask me (and I'm the guy that loved Faiz). But after watching two great Kamen Rider shows in a row, I am feeling very optimistic.

    I think it's nice we're in an era where the heroes are calling themselves Kamen Riders in-show a lot more often. There was a time in the earlier half of the Heisei era where people thought it would never happen. A time when, even if they somehow said "Kamen Rider" or "Masked Rider" in-show, it somehow felt forced or artificial. But now, they are definitely saying it with conviction. The name actually MEANS something again! I blame Double for that, and we've been feeling the effects of that ever sense. I love how there are main characters who defend the title of Kamen Rider as a title meant for heroes only. It does my heart proud. :D
     
  11. SquidKing

    SquidKing Member

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    I don't expect anyone to read something this long and rambling.
     
  12. Amon

    Amon Member

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    Drive is the first series that I dropped since Kiva. The story is boring and the characters suck expect for Chase.
     
  13. SquidKing

    SquidKing Member

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    When did you drop it?
     
  14. Byg4299

    Byg4299 Member

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    Perhaps this is just me but am i the only one noticing this alot in Riku Sanjo's work. It wasn't very obvious in W but with Kyoryuger and Drive there are a number of plot points that are either drop or not developed as well they could. I really get the feeling that he's just writing the plot as the show is going on rather that having it planned from the start.
     
  15. ferosaki

    ferosaki Extreme Perfect Complete Ultimate !

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    gaim and wizard also banned some of their plot points, so whats wrong with it?
    what matters is the main plot stands sstill even without a minor elements..
     
  16. SquidKing

    SquidKing Member

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    Presuming you mean dropped some plot points: what plot was dropped in Gaim? I hear people saying this a lot, but I don't remember anything being lost.
     
  17. Solari

    Solari New Member

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    Seems like there's quite a mixed reaction to Drive.

    I had actually dropped Drive after the first few episodes, but one day a few months later, I decided to marathon it. And then I started to really like it. This was when the series was just in its' 20s. I came back to this forum because I wanted to discuss the episodes with other people.

    I agree that the first half was weak. A few things were dropped and some things didn't make sense.
    The end of the first half and the second half really improved a lot over the initial episodes.
    However, so much more could have been done with the Roidmude and with the Riders...



    Drive has become my favourite Rider series despite its' flaws though.

    What I liked:
    The cast. I enjoyed their acting...can really see the growth of all of the characters and the actors& actresses over the course of the series.
    Also their off-screen interactions in interviews/twitter. The cast photos, the interactions & teasing, the occasional in-character tweet...
    (okay, it helps that I find them good-looking in each of their own ways too)
    I liked most of the villains. I even enjoyed Brain's time as a joke character. Nira was rather irritating though. Medic had potential but fell short.

    Some people find Go irritating, but he's probably my favourite character. I think the actor did a really good job.
    When I rewatched, I felt that a lot of his cheerfulness, bluster and such in his intro arc was a mask hiding his darkness underneath. Go was a character who wore masks, which hid the serious & burdened young man who would do many things in order to achieve his goals.

    I enjoyed some of the comedy, especially with Brain.(those expressions just makes me crack up)
    Some episodes in the last half were great, and actually evoked an emotional response. I cried, two episodes in a row.


    What I disliked:
    Some shift cars were underutilised.
    How all the Roidmudes died/were destroyed. It would have been interesting to see how the humans and roidmudes would co-exist.(like what lazycoconut wrote in some of her posts)
    I wished Kiriko was given more of a chance to fight alongside the three riders though. I wanted Kiriko to have more action like the boys.(why can't she henshin?? even at least once? or even used that mass-produced Mach suit?) She had had the potential to be more kickass.



    I think most Rider and Sentai series are written like that...putting some plot into early episodes that the writers could later expand upon. However, not all of these get picked up again.
    There's probably some planning of characters and arcs but not everything was written or set in stone at the start.

    Also,
    Sometimes, script changes are added by the director or writer just before filming a particular episode(eg.White Medic), or are adlibs by the actors(eg.a lot of the Imagin antics in Den-o were adlibs by the suit actors & the voice actors).
    Sometimes, script changes are unavoidable due to behind-the-scenes stuff that happened(eg. Den-O - actress left, Kabuto -actress got really sick)

    I think Gaim was probably the exception in that most of the story&script was planned out or written before filming of the series started.
     
  18. DaikaijuSokogeki!

    DaikaijuSokogeki! New Member

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    I apologize for your short attention span. I read it and found it to be very insightful, thank you very much.

    As for inquiries on dropped plot points: the only one that really jumps out was that it was pretty obvious early on that Machine Chaser was somehow instrumental to what Heart, Brain and Medic were planning, but after his defeat at the hands of Type Formula this is never brought up again.
     
  19. Hobo ODST

    Hobo ODST Rebellious

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    It was brought up again, towards the end of the show. Brain beats Chase but says he isn't going to kill him because he still has a part to play.
     
  20. DaikaijuSokogeki!

    DaikaijuSokogeki! New Member

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    Right, and what was that part to play?
     

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