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Monday, 22 December 2014

Kamen Rider Drive E11: Who Can Prevent The Dark Eve?

Kamen Rider Drive
Episode 11
Who Can Prevent The Dark Eve?

It's time for the third episode of our Christmas three-parter, and the last episode of this act of Drive. I do like that they're dividing this series up into acts, it'll make it very easy to do masterposts as I go along.

First, the bingo, as it was after watching both episode ten and Special Mission - Type Zero:

As you might recall, we left off from the last episode at the climactic moment of a rather underwhelming battle between Shinnosuke and Heart. So it had better have a good conclusion, right? Well, it kind of does, at least within the framework of what you'd expect from a fight between the seeming main villain and the main rider at this point in the show: Chase interrupts them by hitting Heart, causing an explosion that injures all of them.

It's not a terrible way to resolve this problem, in that it involves Heart not losing but still leaves Shinnosuke alive - although Chase and Heart both think he's dead, which is going to get confusing a little bit later.

In general, though, this might be one of the strongest episodes of the series so far. Most of it revolves around hunting for Volt - a hunt which conveniently ties into Type Zero, as the Copycat Pirate (that's just a Batman villain, I'm sure of it) - which worked for me, as I find Volt legitimately terrifying, and seeing him stride through a city, dressed all in white, apparently going completely unnoticed despite the police's best efforts (shown through the medium of montage). 

Of course, that all kind of falls apart when Shinnosuke and Kiriko discover him just by seeing him out of the window while driving. 

Which is weird, because they saw him from behind, and he wasn't dressed like
this when they last met.

Okay, granted it was while they were on the way to the site of his evil plan, but what a horribly undramatic way to do that. I know why they did it: They wanted to have Shinnosuke get into a fight with Chase and Brain, but they couldn't just have the two intercept them, because the Roimyude think that he's dead.

Except neither of them are surprised to see him. Neither of these characters, who wear their hearts on their sleeves, react to or comment upon how a man they thought was dead is actually alive and well. Brain actually just vanishes offscreen for most of the fight. So here's my suggestion: Just don't have them think he's dead. Instead of Heart and Chase sitting up and being like 'He died,' have them be like 'He got away.' 

Then have Chase and Brain intercept Shinnosuke and Kiriko in the Tridoron, to keep him away from Volt. Shinnosuke gets out, we get the fight scene, and Kiriko continues on towards Volt, and the plot continues identically from there on.

(Not that much would be lost without Kiriko pursuing Volt, as all we get out of that is a terrible CGI battle, and a brief, shadowy appearance by Mach, who fires one shot and then doesn't stay to help or pursue when Volt tries to clamber up a building.

I will talk about Mach in next episode's review, by the way. Needless to say, I have views on his identity.)

Speaking of, I caught a continuity error in that fight scene. Kiriko runs out of bullets, then ten minutes later, she has at least one bullet again.

Two things that do stand out in this episode as great, though, are the villain interactions, and Shinnosuke's interaction with Chase. 

Also, here's Shinnosuke putting on a shirt. You are welcome.

In the former case, there is a sense of genuine camaraderie between the villains that I continue to enjoy: Brain is obviously concerned over both Heart and Chase (if also quite exasperated), and even when Brain has turned against Chase, Heart still insists he trusts him. Also, their whole plan was to revive another Roimyude from death or something very much like it, which fits in well with how the villains are meant to be quite warm, caring people who are deeply concerned for each other.

In the latter case - well, I'm getting exhausted of Chase vs Shinnosuke fight scenes, but I liked how this one ended: Shinnosuke makes a heartfelt plea of Chase to let him go this time so that he can stop innocent people from dying, and Chase lets him. The show has set up a nice kind of frenemy-ish thing for them that I appreciate a lot.

We also get to see Chase's un-evolved form, and his number, which is 000. I had expected him not to have a number at all, but this is theoretically close enough. Sort of.

I also thought the episode ended on a great note, with Shinnosuke being disappointed by his combined-birthday-Christmas-end-of-year-work-party, which he had thought was a special birthday date just for him. The show might be trying to make me ship Shinnosuke and Kiriko, but it won't work. In general, the Special Crimes Unit is starting to annoy me a little less now, especially with the slight flash of competency from their chief in this episode.

Next time - which I think might not be next week, but we'll see - we have the debut proper of Kamen Rider Mach, so that'll be an interesting one to cover.

Anyway, here's this week's bingo: 

It vexes me that I can't fill in those last few spaces yet.

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