Recap: Kamen Rider Drive, Episode 2 – What is a Kamen Rider?

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There’s a home on fire. A trio of Roidmudes, including Heart have just barged into it. A well dressed man is lying on the floor, vowing not to die yet and let the Roidmudes wreak havoc.

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But it is just a dream. By Belt-san! Even after becoming a belt, he can still have such dreams, he says. Kiriko walks into the Drive Pit and Belt asks about Shinnosuke. Kiriko says he’s playing hooky again.

Shinnosuke is at the station cafeteria, lounging about. Two ladies who also work there ask why Shin-chan isn’t working and wonder about what the Special Investigations Division (SID) even does in the first place.

Shinnosuke remembers having henshined and defeated the monster, but he still isn’t sure about what’s next.

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Kiriko pops up behind Shinnosuke. She chases after him with the help of Hunter, a police car Shift Car. She handcuffs him again and he says she’s going a little too far with all this. Kiriko says Shinnosuke went too far by saying she was cold. He again points out how she never smiles. Kiriko says no one else can be Drive.

Across town, Heart “borrows” a very pretty red muscle car from a group of punks and drives off to meet a friend.

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Now in the Drive Pit, Mr. Belt explains to Shinnosuke that all Shift Cars exist to protect humanity and other types are on standby to help as well. The opposite of the Shift Cars are the Roidmude who want to destroy humanity.

Belt-san says they are counting on Shinnosuke to fight the Roidmude as the secret warrior, Drive. But Shinnosuke says he can’t get on board with this right now. He’s been thinking, Belt-san must be closely linked with the enemy or from the same place if he’s got the kind of power like the Shift Cars to allow Shinnosuke to combat the Gravity Shifts.

Belt-san and Kiriko are speechless.

Shinnosuke turns to leave, but Kiriko says he should take the Shift Brace with him at least. He asks why Kiriko doesn’t just fight as Drive herself, but she says if she would if she could. Instead, she can only hope he can do his best. She reminds him the case isn’t closed yet. But Shinnosuke says he’s got something else he has to do first.

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Back across town, Heart has arrived at a restaurant where he meets another Roidmude commander, Brain. Heart says he’s given 029 a new body. Brain taps his glasses and hijacks a nearby couple’s tablet to use to track 029.

Speaking of, 029 has revived into the same body from earlier.

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Shinnosuke is at the hospital with a patient. It is Hayase! He is not dead, but still recovering six months after the first Heaviness. He’s been trying to rehab his injured leg. Shinnosuke apologizes. It was all his fault, not because of the Heaviness, but because he shot at an unsafe range and was overconfident.

A Shift Car watches from around the corner.

Shinnosuke remembers his father, who was a cop, tell him that a great responsibility rests on a policeman’s shoulders.

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Hayase tells him to use that guilt for something good. “If you think you’re responsible for my condition, then you protect the people in my place.”

Hayase takes some pain killers from his pocket, but he drops the packet. Shinnosuke goes to pick it up and he’s got an epiphany. It all makes sense now.

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Shinnosuke fixes his loose tie.

Back at the SID, Kiriko is reporting to the others that another person has turned red. Shinnosuke walks in and Kiriko sees his tie, signaling that he’s in gear.

Shinnosuke posits that the red victims weren’t attempted murders, but all misses. The suspect is searching for a perfect healthy human body. Masuda was a successful hit. The others were rejected and Shinnosuke points to the two pieces of evidence he found at each scene. Both scraps were from medicine packets, thus the victims were not in top health.

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Now they need to find out where the guy is hiding. They all work together to find the location. Chief Jun is very happy seeing his team working well.

Shinnosuke hops into Tridoron. Belt-san says he saw Shinnosuke’s conversation with Hayase earlier. Does this mean Shinnosuke has agreed to work with them?

Kiriko arrives and She also hops in as Tridoron gets hydraulic’d up to the surface. Belt-san says they can trust in the combination of the Shift Cars and the SID to find the information they need.

Everyone is busy working until they get the location, the amusement park. Shinnosuke and Kiriko hurry over and they find a group of unconscious people.

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029 appears and admits taking individual parts of all these kidnapped people to use to create his own perfect body. He suddenly evolves and initiates a gravity surge throughout the nearby area.

Heart and Brain leave to go see 029.

029 leaves to go find more bodies to take apart. Shinnosuke starts to go after him but 093 and 071 appear to stop him. Tridoron speeds over to help as the two Roidmudes fly into the air.

Shinnosuke hops into the car and grabs Belt-san. He says he is the only one who can go and catch the guy. In that case, he’s got to do it.

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He is going to stop thinking about it from now on. He’s a policeman who will drive in his friend’s place. He straps on Belt-san and speeds off after the Roidmudes.

Shinnosuke henshins as he follows the Roidmudes through various obstacles until they reach a parking garage.

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029 buries Tridoron under one of the garage ramps. Belt-san suggests they use extra tire power for Tridoron. Max Flare, Funky Spike and Midnight Shadow tires help get Tridoron out of the rubble.

They manage to destroy the two Roidmudes before going after 029 who is now downtown.

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Shinnosuke arrives and he and 029 fight.

Shinnosuke goes Midnight Shadow before using Justice Hunter to help. Hunter allows Shinnosuke to trap an enemy in a cage to allow him to finish 029 off.

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Before 029 is destroyed for good, he says “It can’t be… You’re a Kamen Rider?!”

Belt-san tells Shinnosuke that there are 108 Roidmudes in total. Or now, just 103.

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Heart and Brain are walking along until they realize 029 is no more. Who could have such a power? Suddenly, a purple dressed man arrives. Roidmude Chase.

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“Who do I have to defeat this time?”

Back at SID, Shinnosuke asks Kiriko if she knows about a Kamen Rider. She smiles thinking that someone’s called Shinnosuke a Kamen Rider.

He sees her smile, but she denies it.

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Episode Thoughts

This was a good episode. A typical “acceptance” episode for the originally reluctant hero, but lots of fun with some amazing action.

Takeuchi Ryoma is great as Shinnosuke. He’s got that right mix of goofiness and seriousness that balances out to a likeable and relatable hero.

Revealing Belt-san is actually a human whose somehow transferred himself into a belt is very intriguing. The Roidmudes themselves are also interesting, especially since we’re going to be seeing them in human bodies most of the time.

Kiriko is a very interesting character. I thought she’d be another Koyomi, ambiguously emotionless (meaning, was it the character or the actress?), but seeing her smile and it being a big deal seems to infer that is part of her character. Love seeing her random flips and acrobatics though.

Speaking of the action, that whole car chase sequence to Shinnosuke defeating 029 was amazing. So kickass and spiffy and fresh. I enjoy seeing fresh locations I’ve never seen on a Toei production before. It’s always a great treat.

The tire gimmick is really fun to watch and again, the Heaviness is just so awesomely disconcerting. Plus, I love how the Belt works too.

Drive is starting off quite nicely. Definitely enjoying it.

2 thoughts on “Recap: Kamen Rider Drive, Episode 2 – What is a Kamen Rider?

  1. Am guessing that Mr. Belt-san is actually Shinosuke’s dad. And seeing how Chase transforms, I am calling it, he will be the second rider in this series (this is pretty much spoiled by the toy photos).

    One thing I don’t like is Kiriko’s costume as a police officer. It just feels too cutesy, which makes it a bit difficult for me to take her seriously as a police officer. And since this one is written by the writer who did W (which I loved), it looks like they are returning a bit to that one’s format.

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