My Problem with Kamen Rider Drive (brief review)

Discussion in 'Henshin Justice Unlimited' started by Black Fang, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Black Fang

    Black Fang Member

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    Having completed Drive at long last, I'll say the one thing that bugs me about this show. It's not just the cartoony hijinks (mostly by the intolerable Special Cases Unit) that often kill the mood of scene; that's a plague upon all Rider shows now. It's that this show has a habit of bringing up plot points and quickly resolving them so that things return to status quo. I thought the show was taking a new direction with Makage and the police/government conspiracy to cover up the Roidmudes' existence and eliminate opponents. But he's introduced and killed off in just a few episodes. The issue with Shinnosuke's father is resolved and plays no more role in the story. Gou infiltrates Roidmude HQ to steal Banno's pad, and comes back again in a quick resolution. After Chase fully joins the heroes, he mostly becomes just a hanger on along for the ride with some uninspired "I'm a robot and I don't get emotions" gags. (That implied romance between him and Kiriko was especially stupid.)

    So in the end, what we have is a disjointed story that leaves you unsatisfied when it's all over. This is made worse by character acting like idiots, and, sadly, defanged villains. The Roidmude can hardly maintain sinisterness when Brain is reduced to a whimpering mess kicked around by everyone. Nira as Makagi's lackey is probably the worst character of the whole bunch, acting like a lunatic rather than an intimidating barrier to our heroes. It's not funny, it's a pathetic joke.

    I wish Drive could have been made during the early Heisei years. It has the material to be another Agito (not the character), with mysterious foes committing crimes and infiltrated the highest levels of government, and three different heroes with three different perspectives having to face them. Even the Shin-Kiriko romance I believe would've been developed better.

    Brief reviews of the movies:

    Movie War Full Throttle: Better than Sengoku Movie War, but still sloppy. Ryouma's return was underwhelming.

    Superhero War Grand Prix: I liked it for the most part. It was still rushed klunky in places, but it took what was good in Kamen Rider War and did it a bit better. Kamen Rider 4 I enjoyed even more as an epilogue for Faiz. Having old actors reprise their roles in smaller casts is making these movies work a lot better than just throwing an army of suits on screen to fight things out.

    Surprise Drive: Disappointing. It's not bad so much as it doesn't feel like much was accomplished. Was there a reluctance to make Krim a villain, or at least more shady, because that would upset kids, or something? Ghost's cameo was unsurprisingly pointless. (Side note: the featuring of Eyecons in the final episode wasn't a bad idea, sort of like the Core Medals being mentioned in W, but Ghost's appearance wasn't necessary.)

    KR Chaser: Ok. I wish it could've had more of a classic Ishinomori feel to it, though. I have this feeling that if I ever watch Kikaider, I'll be comparing it to Chaser's arc and be disappointed. Seeing Accel again was cool but he didn't really do anything. Either this special should've been split in two (one about Chase and the other about a Drive/Accel teamup, or the two plots should've been better integrated.)

    KR Heart/Mach: Have not watched yet, but will soon.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
    Hangyakuno likes this.

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