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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Kamen Rider Drive E37: Who is Aiming for the Ultimate Taste?

Kamen Rider Drive
Episode 37
Who is Aiming for the Ultimate Taste?

Well, who indeed.

The preview for this episode promised that we were heading into the 'final stretch' - which makes sense, since with between eight and twelve episodes left, I think anyone would expect the plot to kick into high gear around this time, and these last sets of episodes are often where shows which were otherwise lacking (like, for example, Go-Busters, although I despise Go-Busters and could never watch thirty-seven episodes of it, not even if you paid me) hit their stride and start to produce some good content.

In this episode, the gang investigate a secretive French restaurant after several Roimyude commit arson attacks. Discovering that there is some awry with the restaurant's secret sauce, Honfleur Sunset, they come into conflict with Medic, who has hatched a new scheme. Meanwhile, two new executive Roimyude return from overseas, and are tasked with retrieving the tablet with Professor Banno on it from Gou.

This is actually a pretty solid episode, especially as far as Drive episodes go. Most of the episode's plot developments are slid into the B-plot and take second fiddle to the restaurant-related A-plot, but I'm fine with that: A slow build to seeing what these new executives are like and what they can do sounds good to me - and while we got a short glimpse of what Besuited Mobster Looking Fellow can do without transforming (seriously, where is he from? From his outfit, he looks like he could be from the US, Europe, or Australia), Angry Cowboy Man (who is definitely from the US) remains a mystery. 

The addition of a cowboy hat makes anybody look American.

Incidentally, Banno is very, very sinister in the B-plot, and is starting to slide up in my 'final villains' candidates' estimations. Once again, we have a character bringing up how he should be talking with Krim and working with him, only for Banno to shut them down and tell them that Krim absolutely must not know about him - and once again, we have him only giving vague justifications about how Krim probably despises him, only this time he adds to it with 'Oh, and Kiriko might find out I'm her father if you do that', which certainly seems very manipulative, at least to me.

(It also didn't escape my notice that the people he's convincing are Chase, who is very easy to persuade into doing the wrong thing - remember that time when he decided to lie to Kiriko for weeks because someone made an offhand remark about worrying about family? - and Gou, who is a few milk bottles short of a Haribo Star Mix.)

In terms of the A-plot, it's - fine, really. It's the kind of plot you'd find in a Double episode, and those were generally fine, if not always to my taste. It's entertaining, and it's nice to see Medic actually doing stuff after her plotline was so unceremoniously forgotten about in Act 3. The Roimyude-of-the-Fortnight, who I'm going to go out on a limb and say is called 'Chef', is pretty uninspiring as far as designs and powers go, but he's also clearly not the main attraction of these episodes: Heart and, to a lesser extent, Medic are.

God, that's a cheap looking suit.

Heart's managing to rack up some of the villain points he missed out on getting early on in the series, too, by actually setting himself up as a relatively intimidating villain who has grown stronger over time, as well as a leader who has always been somewhat aware of Medic's shenanigans. He comes off as an actual worthwhile villain in this episode, which makes me wonder how long he has to live - then again, Brain started accruing villain points for himself several episodes ago, and he's still alive.

(Speaking of villains, what was all that guff about 'I guess you don't want me to know your evolution type' from Heart? Is it that much of a big secret? I don't even think it necessarily would give anyone a strategic advantage, as such, or at least not much of one.)

In general, this was a pretty well-paced episode too. The action scenes weren't too long and didn't drag, the comedic scenes were actually pretty well-pitched, with Krim's ongoing irritation at not being able to taste the delicious evil restaurant food pretty fun to watch, and there was even some nice drama with Medic and Heart. There's not much I can pin down about this episode that I didn't like (apart from finding Kyu very annoying in it. I thought, some episodes ago, that he was growing on me. He wasn't), which is always nice to be able to say, and something I hope to be able to say more in future.

Shinnosuke really can't catch a break when it comes to fighting Heart.

Next week, we will seemingly be getting a super-evolved Heart, Medic battling somebody (I could not tell who from the preview) and some kind of conclusion to the golden sauce plot. I am wondering if anybody is actually going to be able to reach their ultimate evolution with that stuff: Heart doesn't seem liable to try, but Medic might.

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