Heeeey. Here's a quick pre-review note that I do have a Let's Play going. Go check that out, maybe. There are plans in motion to improve the sound quality.
Kamen Rider Drive
Let's jump straight in.
In this week's episode, Shinnosuke and the Special Crimes Unit wrack their brains in an attempt to think up a way to have Shinnosuke unsuspended. Meanwhile, Gou continues to assist a young woman whose brother was targeted by the Roimyudes.
I was hoping we'd get to know more about what the deal is with Gou and Professor Banno this episode, but we don't - we get some guff about how 'running out of time' is meant to mean that he has to destroy every Roimyude before Kiriko finds out, but if that's true (and there's nothing yet to suggest it isn't) then that's some extraordinarily weak writing, and pretty nonsensical.
Firstly, since when has anyone protested that they're 'running out of time' when talking about a person they know discovering something, given that there isn't really any time limit involved there?
Secondly, what is it that Kiriko isn't meant to know here? We're never actually told. Gou dramatically tells Shinnosuke not to mention it to her, but we're never told what Shinnosuke isn't meant to be mentioning. That Banno created the Roimyudes? Shinnosuke's known that for a while, it's difficult to believe that it's never come up in conversation. That Banno is Gou's (or possibly Gou and Kiriko's) father?
This is pretty sloppy writing. We also don't get any more hints as to whether Banno is actually dead - I had a few people protest at me after my last review that we'd already been told that Banno died a long time ago, but our only source of information is Krim, the least honest character in the show, and Gou clearly has at least one very bad memory of Banno, since we get that flashback whenever he's mentioned.
(I'm actually given to wonder if 001's host was Banno. His identity as secretary of defence seems to be predicated more on his ability to brainwash people, as seen last episode, than on him actually impersonating the real secretary, so it's possible. It'd also kill several birds with one stone: Roimyudes don't need to keep their hosts alive indefinitely, after all, so Banno could truly be dead, while simultaneously being 'alive' in the sense that 001 has copied his appearance, personality, and memories. But that's just a theory.)
The plan to get Shinnosuke unsuspended was hackneyed and cliche and silly, but it was a lot of fun - seeing Shinnosuke do what appeared to be an impression of Nira was kind of amazing, and Kiriko's terrible acting was very fun to watch as well. Besides, it's Kamen Rider, if I couldn't deal with silliness then I'd be watching the wrong show.
I also, perhaps weirdly, felt that the reveal that Gou had been a victim of the Roimyude-of-the-fortnight's power since early last episode was handled particularly well. There was a dreamlike quality to it, almost, that I think fairly neatly tied in with what we saw at the end of the episode - which is that Gou's pretty much suffering from auditory hallucinations now, and thus might not be in the best place in regards to mental health. The moment where he looked at his hand and saw that he had the mark on it was actually fairly chilling, I think.
|This is a weird scene that makes it seem like this woman is a hologram, but she|
The action scenes in this episode were fun, too. Like the last episode, we got noticeably fewer action scenes than is usual, and I think that works a lot better. The RideBooster scene's CGI was almost distractingly bad, especially the explosions, which look like they came straight out of a Geocities website. While the actual fight between Shinnosuke and our monster of the fortnight was over very quickly, I thought that was fine, since this arc's villain was never really meant to be a physical threat, so much as a mental and emotional one.
Overall, this is perhaps a middling episode, but it does at least confirm one thing I suspected last episode - that being that Gou is now heading down a path towards out-and-out villainy, Micchy style, with Brain approaching him at the end of this episode. The next episode shows Gou having betrayed the team, but I won't be surprised if he'll either have switched back to being a good guy by the end of the arc, or it'll have all ended up being part of an elaborate ruse on his part. I hope that doesn't turn out to be the case, but it, er, seems pretty likely.