Recap: Kamen Rider Drive, Episode 26 – Which Path Will Chaser Choose?

Drive 26

Shinnosuke has to make his way through a gaggle of reporters waiting outside the station. And inside, he is met by Chief Nira who scoffs at him over the revelations. Shinnosuke says all he did was his job in arresting Taga, but Chief Nira warns him to watch his back.

“You’re a police star now, so don’t become like your father.”

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Shinnosuke doesn’t know what the Chief is implying as he’s always been told that his father was an upstanding cop who protected the people and was honored for his service.

“Well, it’s best you keep thinking that then.”

Shinnosuke wonders if there’s something more to his father’s death.

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Later at the SID, Chief Jun assembles everyone for their first meeting all together. Krim-chan, Shift Cars, Signal Bikes and all.

Rinna asks why Chief Jun spilled the beans. Belt-san says he trusts Chief Jun’s judgment. Especially now when they have a new threat lurking in the shadows.

How come even after a worldwide attack, the police still had no idea about the Roidmude? That must mean someone closely related to the police are in cahoots with the baddies. Shinnosuke wonders if the culprit has something to do with his father’s death as well.

Anyway, that’s it for today’s briefing. Rinna asks everyone to support the two Kamen Riders. But Kiriko says there’s THREE Kamen Riders. Belt-san admits Proto-Zero is alive and was saved by Kiriko.

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Gou is not happy. But Rinna says it was thanks to Chase that all Drivers were updated to counter the fusion evolution, so it should be okay to consider him an ally.

So everyone’s on Chase’s side? Gou thinks this is bull and leaves. Rinna tells Kyu that Gou would be even more upset if he knew what Kiriko asked her to make.

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Meanwhile, Shinnosuke and Kiriko have found Chase in the forest. Shinnosuke wants to thank him and says he’s happy that Chase is alive. Belt-san asks Proto-Zero to join them once more.

Chase starts to walk away, but Kiriko calls after him. “Where are you going?!”

“I don’t know! I wish someone would tell me!”

Kiriko puts her hand on his shoulder. He feels the sparks.

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Suddenly, Heart pops up to bring Chase back with him. He has even reactivated the Proto Drive Shift Car for him. Heart tells Chase that “he” has made his move.

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The “he” is 001 who has popped up behind Medic. He thanks Medic for fixing 007’s core. She compliments him on the fusion evolution. 001 says Brain insisted on his help in order to be of use to Heart who appears to have the makings of a great leader.

Anyway, 001 will continue to support them from behind the scenes.

Belt-san explains to Shinnosuke that there’s a 001 while Heart is 002 and Brain is 003. Heart says 001 likes to do things from the shadows and that he might even share a connection with Shinnosuke.

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Shinnosuke demands Heart elaborate, but he declines. Kiriko gets a call that 007 has begun rampaging once again, looking for Taga and that the Kamen Rider has been requested. But Shinnosuke is more concerned with Heart telling him everything he knows.

Heart is surprised they aren’t fighting over Chase first, but okay. They both transform and battle.

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Heart and Shinnosuke are going at each other hard. Chase goes Mashin Chaser and gets in between the two, but fires at Shinnosuke causing him to dehenshin. Kiriko runs over to him as he screams in pain from his hand being busted open.

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Chase and Heart also untransform. Heart says it’s time to go, but Chase pauses. Heart can see that Chase is actually struggling to choose. He places the Proto Drive Shift Car in his hand.

“I was going to bring you home, but I’ve changed my mind. There’s no point in trying to convince someone who can’t decide on his own path.”

Heart leaves.

“Who am I supposed to be fighting for?!?!”

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Back at the SID, Chief Nira laughs at Shinnosuke. But Chief Jun focuses the discussion on where Taga is since he wasn’t in jail where he’s supposed to be. Nira says he has Taga in a secret location, so it’s thanks to him that he wasn’t found by the Roidmude anyway.

Chief Nira just laughs at what he thinks is the Kamen Rider’s ineptitude.

Gou, Kiriko and Otta all go out to do what they can in finding the Roidmude first.

Shinnosuke says Nira may be right, his father must be disappointed looking down from heaven. “Police officers carry great responsibility,” that’s what his father would always say. So on the day he died, Shinnosuke swore to become a police officer like his father.

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So Shinnosuke knows that there’s still mysteries surrounding his father’s death, Belt-san asks. That’s why he and Chief Jun have been looking into the possibility of 001 being involved.

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Chief Jun tells Shinnosuke there’s no one in the force who didn’t know Tomari Eisuke. But for now, Shinnosuke should just leave this to him and Krim-chan.

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Kiriko follows Gou out, but Gou calls her out for believing in Chase too much. Now look what happened to Shinnosuke. Kiriko continues to defend him and says Chase is still just confused.

“Maybe you’re the one who’s confused. You don’t have to apologize to Shin-niisan, but I’ll never approve of a romance with a mechanical doll.”

Gou leaves just as Rinna gives Kiriko what she asked her to make.

Over in a warehouse, Chief Nira visits Taga and the four detectives watching him. Taga just laughs as 007 appears behind them.

007 attacks, frees Taga and fuses with him once again.

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Chase is still struggling by the river when his bike suddenly drives up. He goes to it and finds the case Rinna just gave Kiriko tied to the side.

007/Taga/Sword attacks Chief Nira just as Shinnosuke arrives. But the pain is too unbearable for him to even attempt to henshin.

That’s when Gou, already henshined, appears. He and 007/Taga/Sword battle.

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Kiriko checks on Shinnosuke as they watch Gou being thrown around and eventually tossed over the rafters down to the ground and de-henshin.

Kiriko runs over and prepares a Kiriko Kick, but the Roidmude just laughs at her, rips the Shift Cars off her belt and also knocks her over the railing. In the middle of a Gravity Shift, the Roidmude is able to jump down, ready to skewer the slowly falling Kiriko.

But Chase comes speeding in, knocks the Roidmude away and catches Kiriko in his big, strong arms to save her.

They share a rain-soaked moment, much like the first time he saved her life from a Roidmude.

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“Saving humans might be my true nature, Kiriko.”

He sets her down and goes over to the case on his bike.

“I will start over… with this package you’ve sent to me.”

He opens the case and it is a Mach Driver. Kiriko explains that Rinna created a Signal Bike using the flesh he gave her so that he can become a Kamen Rider once again.

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Chase henshins and Kiriko happily, proudly calls him Kamen Rider Chaser.

Shinnosuke cheers him on as 007/Taga/Sword reappears.

But Chase has no problem fighting back and taking any and all attacks. Kiriko tells him to use the new weapon inside his bike. He summons it and it is a Signal Axe. He manages to yank Taga out of the Roidmude body.

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Chase then prepares a Finisher, but the Axe asks to please wait. Oh Rinna and her strange sense.

The Signal Axe turns green and Chase is able to finally deliver a Full Throttle Finisher. Nice Drive.

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Chief Nira doesn’t seem too pleased. Neither does Gou.

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Chase leaves as Shinnosuke and Kiriko cuff Taga. The detectives cheer.

Kiriko wants to go after Chase, but Shinnosuke says it’s okay, he’s just shy. He says she’s got the biggest smile he’s ever seen on her face. She denies it.

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Heart is watching from a nearby rooftop. He reluctantly accepts that Chase has made his decision. “Goodbye, my friend.”

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Chase crosses the Shibuya Scramble wondering how they’ve easily accepted him back as a Kamen Rider.

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Meanwhile, Chief Nira is reporting to his boss in a dark room about the SID and Shinnosuke. When he leaves, Brain emerges from the shadows to complement the boss about the fusion evolution.

This boss is the Minister of Defense, Makage Souichi. Who also happens to be 001.

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Episode Thoughts

Okay. Alright. We’ve reached a big climax in Kamen Rider Chase. Oh, wait, this is Kamen Rider Drive. Oops. lol

But really, Chase has been the biggest focus and has received the most story this first half of the season. Especially in the last couple of episodes. I wish I were a little more excited about “WOOHOO! He’s a good guy now!” since they’ve spent all this time on him and the back and forth, but I’m not.

Sure the suit looks fine and all and we can at least finally move past Chase wanting to fight them every chance he gets. (I think.) But I still feel a sort of emptiness. I mean, it is definitely a big accomplishment that they’ve been able to stretch his story out this long before giving him his hero driver. And we still don’t really know, or at least are not too clear about what Chase actually is. At least, I’m not. Belt-san asked him to fight alongside them again. Like Belt-san actually worked with him, Chase himself (human or robot or whatever) as Proto Drive. Yet that’s never really been made clear.

I guess that goes hand in hand with the explanation of where Belt-san’s work went wrong and what triggered them going all Cylon on him and the human race. Which is a revelation that’ll be saved for the late 30s, early 40s I suppose.

They’ve been totally jerking Gou around, but they at least had him make perfect sense when he confronted Kiriko. I mean, just look at that tingly feeling Kiriko sends through Chase or that Korean drama rain-soaked moment. Kamen Rider Chase, the epic love story of the robot and the female cop.

Speaking of cops, they finally give Shinnosuke some story to chew on, but it completely comes out of nowhere. Of course. Same with the conspiracy angle. I guess it’s because the focus has been on police cases of the week and Chase that there hasn’t been opportunity to ease into such twists. Or anything else really. But it’s okay.

I’m still enjoying the season and all. But I can’t help but think they’ve dropped the ball on lots of great potential.

2 thoughts on “Recap: Kamen Rider Drive, Episode 26 – Which Path Will Chaser Choose?

  1. Outside of the narrative issues that you’ve mentioned. Chase’s debut as Kamen Rider Chaser was actually awesome. And I am definitely going yaoi here, but man, that voice is just criminally sexy. Now I know why Koriko goes gaga over him 😀

    I also really like that little acknowledgement they put in that Rinna’s designs are just downright silly (seriously, what’s even the point of that “Wait” command for the Signal Axe?) It reminds me of how Gaim recognized how aesthetically silly Ryoma’s designs were.

    But, going back to the narrative, yeah there is really a lot that they need to fill in here. From the looks of it, they seem to be trying to build Gou into a “lighter” version of Mitsuzane. “Lighter” because Micchy was a lot more complex, with that nice, thorough exploration of his descent to villainy, which Gou’s character kinda lacks.

    Another thing that nags me here is why did Shinosuke ended up becoming drive. There’s the gaiden episodes which showed Kiriko trying to use the belt, but can’t, and Gou was shown having a hard time controlling the Mach suit the first time. So, what makes Shinosuke special that he was easily able to use the Drive Belt the first time? It obviously isn’t training since Kiriko has the same training as a cop as him.

  2. I love this ship I made a video about them. My OTP and this episode made my wish come true. I’m a huge ChasexKiriko shipper.

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