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Monday, 16 February 2015

Kamen Rider Drive E18: Why is Lieutenant Otta Following That Guy?

Kamen Rider Drive
Episode 18: 
Why is Lieutenant Otta Following That Guy?

Okay, I'm exhausted and I've just found out my uncle is coming to stay for an indefinite period of time, so let's roll on with the review by starting with last week's bingo.

In this week's episode, a Roimyude called Judge has been running a revenge-by-proxy site, mirroring a case from five years ago. As he targets various shady groups at the whims of the general public, Gou and Gen end up in a rivalry, as both try to take the Roimyude down first - Gou because he's needlessly competitive and Gen because he sees a chance to clear the name of the man wrongly accused of being Judge five years back, and complete the work of his now retired mentor.

This is an extremely W plot. You could probably replace 'Gen' with 'Ryu' and 'Gou' with 'Phillip', and you would essentially have a two episode W arc, but that's no bad thing. I actually really like this entire plotline, actually: It's showing us a new side to Gen (which I think we were all expecting would happen sooner or later), and it's a decent mystery plot, even if I think the identity of the Roimyude was fairly obvious from the moment he spoke.

I do have one issue with it, though, and it's a similar issue to my problem with the Lira-and-her-stalker arc: That it involves every character forgetting that the Roimyudes copy people. We have Gen announcing that he's going to finally find out who really runs this website, and that it can't be the poor lad who committed suicide five years ago, and nobody points out to him that a) People don't turn into Roimyudes, so there's actually no possible way that this could be the same culprit from five years ago, and b) Roimyudes are absolutely capable of mimicking dead people. 

See these two Roimyudes? They're not impersonating dead people as far as
we know, but they absolutely could.

This episode is guilty of this issue twice, as you just know the plot twist towards the end will result in an angry interrogation of Gen's mentor, despite the fact that Roimyudes copy people, and it doesn't mean he's actually connected to this particular evil plot. Inevitably, he will be, but a Roimyude looking like him doesn't prove that at all, and you just know all the characters are going to act like it does.

(Actually, I have two issues, and the other one is that Gou hamming it up for the camera is intensely difficult for me to cope with, it's so embarrassing. But it's also in character for him, so painful as it was, I can't really criticise the writers for that.)

Please stop, Gou.

I was surprised by how little the villains showed up in this episode, but the one short scene they had was very atmospheric. I'm a little surprised that Brain hasn't snapped and murdered everyone yet, but it increasingly feels like only a matter of time.

The action in this episode was also very strong. A lot of that was because Judge has one of the most interesting and plain cool designs of any of the Roimyudes we've seen so far, and a fair bit of that was because he has a fun and unique gimmick, between the electrical wires and his kendo moves. Where the action scenes fell down is, as is often the case, that they had Chase arrive. Can we just have a few episodes where Chase doesn't show up to fight the heroes? Maybe four episodes in a row, and then he can come back?

The attempt to make Chase interesting again by having him use the combined-bike-thing was a failure, because the combined-bike-thing was never that interesting anyway, and the CGI was not all that great. Please, let the Chase subplot just end. I am begging you, writers. He is not interesting at all, I swear.

(He also apparently can't aim, since for some reason he can't hit a brightly coloured, screaming target running towards him in a straight line.)

Like I said, Judge has a very cool design.

But I did like this episode. I'm looking forward to seeing the conclusion of this arc, and I'm interested to see which member of the team gets a focus episode next. The Chief, maybe? Glasses-face-Tech-Guy whose name I don't know? Who knows. Should be interesting either way, I should think.

Anyway, let's take a look at the bingo, now updated after this episode.

Damn, this one will probably be complete before we even reach the end of the second act, at this rate. Not bad, not bad.

Next week, we'll apparently be seeing a Bad CGI fight between Tridoron Type Technic and the Ride Crosser; the Shift Cars gathering for some reason; and a lot of people screaming about the difference between actual justice and fake, low-fat justice. Also, the Chief returning after three episodes of being replaced by an effigy with a photo of his face strapped to it - which was a touch I quite liked, I admit.

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