Recap: Kamen Rider Drive, Episode 33 – Who Claimed the Life of Shinnosuke Tomari?

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Kiriko and Otta kneel by a lifeless Shinnosuke. Chase fires at Freeze, but Freeze sends a huge explosion his way, forcing him to dehenshin. Freeze and Brain laugh before they disappear with Gou.

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The news of the death of 24 year old Tomari Shinnosuke spreads across the city. Chief Jun, Rinna and Kyu are at the morgue, seeing their dead friend for the first time. Otta asks where Kiriko is. Kyu says she’s shut herself in her home, unable to see Shinnosuke like this. Otta is angry and frustrated. He vows to avenge his death.

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The coroner shows them an interesting thing. He has been unable to remove the belt or bracelet from Shinnosuke’s body.

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Kiriko sits in her dark apartment telling Shinnosuke he is a liar since he promised to return to their smiles. “That’s what you told your buddy… me…”

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Over at the Pit, Rinna gives Chase the antidote to use on Gou. He tells her how he lied about seeing the scar on Gou’s neck so as not to worry Kiriko. Now that Shinnosuke will not return, he at least has to bring Gou back for her.

Before Chase leaves, Rinna has a question for him.

Next day, Nira walks into the SID to tell Chief Jun that he’s been summoned to headquarters. But he finds an empty room with Chief Jun packing his things. With Rinna and Kyu having originally only been brought in as consultants, Kiriko being a shut in and Otta returning to First Division, Chief Jun says there’s nothing else he can do here.

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Stop joking! Nira says. Makage is still out there and Chief Jun must join the emergency committee to find a new Kamen Rider.

That sets Chief Jun off. Kamen Rider isn’t just someone with superior strength or intelligence. The only one he and Krim Steinbelt found worthy was Tomari Shinnosuke. There is no replacement!

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While Kiriko continues to cry at the table having not moved an inch since yesterday, Freeze shows himself to Heart and Medic. His new Ultimate Evolution form. “So this is our goal?” Heart asks.

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Makage says their goal is to gather the Promised Number. He promises to show Heart the way, but Heart laughs since Makage himself killed the man who would’ve allowed him to reach the Ultimate Evolution. Indeed, Makage laughs. They’ll just have to find another way.

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Gou stands to leave, but Chase suddenly appears and grabs him. He is about to spray him with the antidote, but Makage shoots it out of his hand.

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How reckless, Heart says. The idols and their manager get ready, but Makage steps forward and says to leave Chase to him. Both he and Chase transform.

Freeze sends Chase flying out of the building and they continue the fight outside. Freeze manages to avoid some of Chase’s attacks until he is able to shoot his cold ice at him. Chase says it’s no use since he’s a Roidmude and unlike Drive, Freeze can’t freeze his heart.

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That’s true, Freeze says. Brain offers Gou’s help and Gou henshins.

Gou attacks Chase who again tries to get him to snap out of his needle-induced stupor. Gou and Freeze attack Chase and force him to dehenshin. Brain cackles at the damn traitor. He takes his tablet out and offers to remodel Chase’s body once more.

Suddenly, Gou grabs Brain’s tablet and takes him by the neck. “I’ve been waiting for this moment,” Gou says.

But, Makage filled his memory with feelings of resentment to other Riders? Gou says it appears he and his Shin-niisan share the same quirk.

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“I’ve got what I’ve come for,” Gou says and he whisks Chase away.

Gou relates to Chase what happened when Brain first approached him.

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Brain said the tablet has something Gou wants. So, Brain offered to make a deal to allow Gou to get it. Gou accepted the offer, but proceeded to put on an act just so he could get the tablet himself. In it is the ultimate brain, everything about the Roidmude.

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Chase understands now. But for the chance to wipe out the Roidmude in one swoop, a distraught Gou says he abandoned his Shin-niisan when he needed him most. If only he acted sooner, he wouldn’t be seeing his neechan the saddest she’s ever been. He was supposed to be fighting for his sister’s smile and now he’s thrown it away for this damn tablet.

Chase stops Gou from tossing the tablet into the river. He punches Gou to get him to snap out of his anger.

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“You are also a Kamen Rider who risks his life to save people. Follow what you believe in, Gou!”

Chase gets off Gou and says if the tablet does hold ultimate knowledge, then he should use it to help Kiriko now. Chase also tells him about the belt not being able to be removed from Shinnosuke’s body. He believes Krim wouldn’t die so easily.

Gou turns the tablet on and a face asks if he has a question.

“I want to ask something. Professor Banno.”

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While Otta and Kyu sit in the SID reminiscing, Kiriko is still sitting at her dining table. She gets up to shut the door to the terrace when an emergency vehicle passes by, but when she turns, she sees her little brother standing in front of her.

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“Neechan…” Gou drops to his knees. “I’m so sorry for everything! But I wasn’t being manipulated by anyone. I know it was selfish. You don’t have to forgive me. But for one more time, please believe in me.”

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“I will always believe in you.”
“Thank you,” Gou says.

But Gou has more unbelievable news. He takes out his notebook to show her something that will make her smile again.

Otta and Kyu head to The Pit and are surprised to find everyone here. Including Shinnosuke.

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Shinnosuke’s dead body is sitting inside Tridoron.

Otta asks what the hell is going on here and why the hell is Nira here too. Nira says he heard Chief Jun had dragged Shinnosuke’s dead corpse away.

But on the contrary, Chief Jun says, Shinnosuke is not a corpse just yet. His body has not deteriorated at all. Rinna sees that Krim has fused with Shinnosuke’s heart and is working as a life support system.

Chase adds that if they can reboot Krim, Shinnosuke may revive.

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Rinna has completed Shift Tridoron. Drive has reached its limit of power ups. But as a last resort, Rinna developed Shift Tridoron to pump all of Tridoron and the Shift Cars’ energy into Trailer Cannon which could help revive them.

But that won’t be enough, Kiriko says as she runs in. She hands Rinna Gou’s notebook full of calculations and formulas and explains to everyone that Gou has been their ally all this time. Kyu realizes Gou is Mr. X!

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Kiriko goes to Shinnosuke and says while she had been crying, she is fine now.

Rinna says the calculations are perfect, but it won’t work unless they put Shinnosuke in ignition while Tridoron reaches 200kph.

Chase offers to drive, but Kiriko says she will. She is Tomari Shinnosuke’s buddy, after all.

They head out to a race track while Chief Jun and Kyu monitor things at The Pit. Kiriko floors it and all the Shift Cars assemble inside Shift Tridoron.

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But just as Kiriko is about to reach the speed, Freeze appears and sends a blast toward them. Kiriko continues driving as Chase henshins to get Freeze out of the way.

Rinna tells Kiriko she needs to stop. But Kiriko tells Shinnosuke that they will go full throttle to the end.

As Tridoron reaches 200kph, the Shift Cars’ powers start to surge through.

Freeze tells Chase if he can’t freeze his heart, he will just rip Chase apart then. He forces Chase to dehenshin and then attacks Tridoron once more. Tridoron bursts into flames.

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But the car is unharmed as the flames suddenly disappear. The door opens and out steps a perfectly living Shinnosuke.

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“Nice smile. I’m glad I came back to it.”

A flash of Shinnosuke’s eyes and suddenly Belt-san’s voice comes out his mouth. He tells Kiriko to leaves this to them.

But how?! Freeze asks. Shinnosuke says he was able to henshin just before the explosion which allowed him to save Kiriko as well.

Shinnosuke uses Shift Tridoron to henshin directly to Type Tridoron.

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Shinnosuke proceeds to fight Freeze. Freeze floats into the air to unleash the same attack he used to kill Shinnosuke once. Chase yells over for Shinnosuke to get out of the way.

“Yeah, I don’t really want to take that hit.”
“Okay,” Belt-san says and they change drivers!

It is now Belt-san in control and he easily deflects Freeze’s attack. He explains to Freeze that he fused his data into Shinnosuke’s heart to keep him from dying. Reviving in that form has given birth to this unexpected Drive!

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“I can’t believe it,” Freeze says.
“Neither can I. But it’s quite an amazing experience.”

Shinnosuke tells Belt-san he thinks he’s gotten the hang of these new powers. They switch drivers. Shinnosuke fights Freeze and says he and Belt-san are one heart and mind now. His body is Tridoron. He can take on all Shift Car powers at once.

He mixes Max Flare, Funky Spike and Midnight Shadow to create an Attack 1-2-3 tire.

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Shinnosuke uses the new Attack 1-2-3 to knock Freeze down and allow them to use Shift Tridoron for a Full Full Speed Big Cannon Finisher.

001’s core falls into the water.

Shinnosuke dehenshins and everyone runs over to give him a hug. He thanks them all for helping him to come back and to avenge his father.

“It was just dumb luck,” Belt-san says, “Not bad, every once in a while.”

Suddenly, 001’s core comes flying out of the water. He laughs.

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“Your joy in believing you have avenged your father is truly amusing. I hope you writhe in agony when you find out the truth hidden in the shadows!”

001’s core finally blows up.

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Episode Thoughts

Okay, okay. I liked this a lot. The road getting here was rough. Very rough. But most of the things that needed to fall into place did and together they made for a pretty satisfying episode.

I’ve been disappointed in Gou’s strange trajectory and there’s definitely still plenty of holes in his story. But while him pretending to be under Freeze control to get the tablet is fine, they in turn basically just said in mere passing that Gou and Shinnosuke are both possibly of that “superhuman” class of being. It came off as some deus ex machina-type of development instead of a shocking twist and turning point in the story and especially for Gou’s character. And that’s definitely in line with how they’ve been using Gou so far.

It’s the same with the Roidmude idols. Heart basically asking Makage, “Oh! So that’s our purpose?” in relation to the Ultimate Evolution but Makage replying that it’s about the “Promised Number,” another detail mentioned maybe no more than 3 times in passing over 30 episodes too.

I think Drive started revving up a little too late. There will always be a period of introduction on these toku shows where we need to relate to and care about the characters before they start getting into the heavy stuff. But I think Drive had been dragging its feet a little too much, especially with the repetitive nature of Chase’s story. Even more obvious when thinking about how Chase is now being used as a normal secondary Rider instead of having his story continue to be tied into the mystery of whatever the hell Roidmude really are or what really happened between Krim or Banno or whoever else will pop up.

So again, I think the biggest problem is poor set-up and development.

Anyway, what I did enjoy was seeing the SID sticking together and that great moment between Gou and Kiriko. Banno in the tablet is a good twist, but would’ve been even better if we had even heard of the name earlier on so we could be shocked and care that Kiriko and Gou’s father is inside a tablet.

Attack 1-2-3 is pretty cool and from a toy standpoint, Type Tridoron and the tire mixing is a great extra gimmick.

Type Tridoron is fine too. And how Shinnosuke was resurrected also turned out fine, even if a little more convenient than it needed to be.

Makage’s arc wrapped up well and is probably one of the few stories that developed well in the series.

So the secrets surrounding Papa Tomari continue. Again, another thing that they could’ve planted seeds of earlier.

But overall, a pretty good episode that I thoroughly enjoyed. I wish I could absolutely love it, but we’ll see what they have in store next.

4 thoughts on “Recap: Kamen Rider Drive, Episode 33 – Who Claimed the Life of Shinnosuke Tomari?

  1. Welcome back!!

    This probably me having a bit of a bias, coming from Gaim (which I am a big fan of), but I would agree that Drive is kinda underwhelming overall. The story is there, but the series never quite gets there.

    The big problem, for me, is that they opened a lot of interesting arcs, only to drop them off immediately in favor of the whole Makage mini-boss arc. The roimude 072 arc and that little tease of Medic gaining hatred for Shinosuke really comes to mind. These could have really told more about the roimudes had they only been expanded upon more. As of current, we don’t even have a clear idea of the purpose of the roimudes outside gaining that ultimate form thing to really care about them. Also, that “gathering this or that emotion” thing for the roimude idols really feels tacked on, cause there just isn’t any real story as to why, say, the emotion of admiration is attached to Medic or joy to Heart.

    Another big issue here is that the humor just feels misplaced at times. Gaim din retain its humor (courtesy mostly of Oren and Junouchi) well into its latter part, but that was toned to better fit the darker turn of the second half. Here, the frequent slapstick just cuts in why too much on the more serious parts. Though I like the fact that Captain Jun kinda graduates from the comedy.

    • And while I like Type Tridoron, I am still weirded out by the helmet design and those white feet. They make him look like he’s wearing sneakers.

    • Yeah, especially like this episode where Chief Jun blew up at Nira. He’s become much better without the random slapstick.

      And with the Roidmude, one of the reasons I actually liked the Makage arc was as soon as he was introduced, they gave him a clear objective. (At least, much clearer than the idols in 25+ episodes.)
      But yeah, unlike Gaim, there’s not really a big sense of progression in the story overall. Yeah Drive gets his power ups, but we haven’t really moved forward in the grand scheme of things.

      • The Makage arc was interesting on its own, but it came in when the characters of the roimude idol trio has yet to be set up, which ends up leaving a big hole in the narrative when the arc ended.

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