Recap: Kamen Rider Drive, Episode 48 – "This is your real starting line. Start your engine!"

It’s been a couple of days since the climax, but Shinnosuke is busy back at work.

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Kiriko is worried he might be moving too fast after such a battle, but Shinnosuke is determined to close the case of Neo Shade. This was the case he and Hayase were working on the night of the first Global Freeze.

Shinnosuke says he can’t continue to drive forward if he can’t close this case.

About a month ago, they found a link between Neo Shade and the Roidmude and were on the heels of the Neo Shade leader who was able to get away.

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Unbeknownst to Kiriko, Shinnosuke has been seeing visions of Belt-san as he remembers the words of his partner.

Anyway, he shows her a picture of an Eyecon, a piece of evidence they found with the leader of Neo Shade at the hideout last month. He, Gou and Chase had stormed the location.

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While Gou and Chase took care of the Roidmude, Shinnosuke pursued the leader only to be attacked by a mysterious, invisible thing who was also after the Eyecon.

But another mysterious, orange-colored person arrives to drive the first one away.

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Anyway, Shinnosuke took the Eyecon and submitted it as evidence. But it was just recently stolen and Chief Jun tells Shinnosuke this will be his last case for the SID.

No problem though as Rinna had put a tracker on it and Shinnosuke, Kiriko and Otta are on their way to the leader’s current hideout. Rinna and Kyu, meanwhile, have identified the suspect as Okamura Keisuke.

Kyu says it would be great if Belt-san were here to help. Shinnosuke has another Belt-san vision, remembering Krim saying they shouldn’t rely too much on technology and that he wouldn’t work anyway without Shinnosuke.

They arrive at the location. Kiriko stays outside just in case the perp tries to run.
Shinnosuke and Otta head inside. And while looking through, Otta wants to reassure Shinnosuke that he is not alone even if Belt-san is gone. They’re all here for him, so he should believe in himself like he always has. No need to hesitate or feel uneasy.

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Shinnosuke thanks him and they continue through the abandoned building. They finally find Okamura and pursue.

They corner him and Okamura says he is just following orders.

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Shinnosuke jumps on Okamura and demands he spill the beans about everything. Otta gets him to calm down and cuffs Okamura while Shinnosuke goes over to get the Eyecon.

Suddenly, the invisible thing appears once again. But this time, it shows its true, physical form and proceeds to moan while throwing Shinnosuke around.

Okamura is amazed by the power he is seeing. It is even stronger than the Roidmude.

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Before Otta can get hold of him, Okamura takes his gun and runs off.

The monster forces Shinnosuke to drop the Eyecon. But suddenly, the orange-colored person appears once again to fight the monster off.

Shinnosuke grabs the Eyecon as this new hero easily takes care of the enemy.

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Shinnosuke recognizes this guy from somewhere? The guy introduces himself as Kamen Rider Ghost.

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A little white ghost appears and tells Shinnosuke to return the Eyecon as it is the owner.

But before that, Otta calls to say Kiriko has been taken hostage by Okamura who is demanding the Eyecon or else.

Ghost, listening to the conversation, allows Shinnosuke to take the Eyecon as it could be of great use to him later.

Shinnosuke meets with Okamura who has Kiriko at gunpoint. The little ghost tries to get Shinnosuke to hurry up and henshin to take care of this dilemma and return the Eyecon.

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Shinnosuke is in top gear and has figured out that Okamura actually is the leader of the Neo Shade. In order rebuild the fractured organization, Okamura needed a power greater than the Roidmude. And that is the Eyecon.

Laughing hysterically, Okamura admits that he wants to destroy the world. He tightens his grip on Kiriko and pulls her closer to the gun.

“I am not the same as I was a year ago,” Shinnosuke says. He holds the Eyecon tight and Belt-san appears on his waist.

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“I became a Kamen Rider. I learned this by fighting the Roidmude, Belt-san. Even if the Roidmude are gone, the world will not become peaceful. Because the true evil lives in the hearts of mankind. And evil monsters like him will never disappear. But I will not give up. I’ve decided to drive. I will keep driving!”

Shinnosuke vows to continue to serve and protect the people, protect people’s happiness. “Even if I can’t henshin… even if Belt-san is gone… I am still a cop. And a Kamen Rider!”

Shinnosuke tosses the Eyecon to the little ghost and takes his gun out as the vision of Belt-san disappears.

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Shinnosuke points his gun and tells Kiriko to trust him.

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“Of course,” Kiriko says, “We’re buddies, after all.”

Okamura gets ready to shoot Kiriko as Shinnosuke aims at him. But Okamura turns his gun to Shinnosuke instead. That split second allows Shinnosuke to shoot at Okamura’s wrist.

He walks over and officially arrests Okamura.

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Ghost watches and says he has a feeling that they’ll meet again soon.

Back at his fancy new office, Chief Jun commends Shinnosuke for his excellent work. It appears he was right to have chosen him before.

Chief Jun relates the conversation he had with Krim on the rooftop in which they agree Shinnosuke was the one and only choice. Krim wanted Chief Jun to give Shinnosuke a message once he is promoted, the battle was over and in the event something happened to Belt-san.

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But before that, Chief Jun hands Shinnosuke the letter saying he has been reassigned to First Division. Shinnosuke proudly accepts the promotion.

Rinna, Otta, Kyu and Kiriko burst through the door as they had been eavesdropping.

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Shinnosuke shows Kiriko the letter and she congratulates him.

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We learn that Kiriko transferred to First Division as well to become an investigator. But more importantly, she married Shinnosuke and they had a son named Eiji.

The others tease them and also congratulate Shinnosuke.

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Chief Jun just smiles and remembers Krim’s words: “If he is reassigned, please tell him this: ‘Even if you are stalled for a little while, you can always get yourself back on the road and driving again.'”

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“This is your real starting line. Now go on and drive, Shinnosuke!”

“Start your engine!”

Shinnosuke is in top gear.

We learn Shinnosuke was eventually promoted to lead investigator and had a long, fulfilling career as the department’s ace like his father Papa Tomari.

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Episode Thoughts

So I was a little premature last week in adding Shinnosuke and Kirko’s epilogue since they actually saved theirs for this final, final episode.

And I was absolutely shocked that I found myself welling up with tears the moment Kiriko’s epilogue popped up on the screen. They got married and had a son named Eiji. Damn.

The closest thing to a MaGMCM for me this season was Kyu and 072. But I just realized that this season didn’t really have any MaGMCMs for me. Until this final final episode. I really don’t know why, but just seeing that epilogue for Kiriko pop up on the screen was actually really nice. They lived happily ever after. Sweet. And I haven’t even seen anything about the movie other than those minisodes to promote it with Eiji as the character. And yet, I really felt that little “confirmation” as the show teased before its commercial break.

This episode probably did more to establish Shinnosuke and Kiriko’s relationship and bond than most of the season. They trust each other before they fell in love with each other. They’re buddies, after all. So I liked that little call back.

It was a happy ending for everyone. One thing this episode showed was how the team (even if just a few days removed from the events of episode 47) would always remain one even as they moved on to other things. You get the sense that they were all one phone call away from each other. That’s something I wish they emphasized much more during the season. But I must say it worked a lot here. It really did feel though like this episode took place much longer than just a few days from the final “battle.”

I really liked how Shinnosuke actually did not henshin this episode. The flashback with Gou and Chase took care of that. But even while Belt-san popped up as a vision and not literally pop up from the ground just to get Shinnosuke to henshin was awesome. This really was an epilogue to the series.

The episode, in addition to being a Ghost promo/primer episode of course, was really more about Shinnosuke moving on without Belt-san and reminding him of his police spirit. It reinforced Shinnosuke’s drive as someone who wants to serve and protect people. Someone who definitely wants to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Just ignoring everything that’s come before and looking mainly on the idea that Shinnosuke is feeling some sort of separation anxiety but gets over it, this was actually a pretty good episode.

Dare I say there was more story here than in the entire series? =O lol I liked the “the first day of the rest of your life” theme.

It was also interesting how another idea was reinforced in this episode as well. The Roidmude were not evil by nature, they were just made that way thanks to Banno, a human, programming them or whatever with human emotions. That’s a pretty big theme that many a TV show or movie have touched on in the past.

“Are monsters born or raised?” That’s a question tackled in one of my most favorite Korean dramas, White Christmas.

That would have been an epic story if tackled here in depth coupled with the Roidmude being used as a way to explore what it means to be human.

But nah. I don’t want to add to the list of regrets. This episode, for some reason, made me feel good and less negative about the series as I was last week. Maybe I’m just a sucker for the happy, uplifting ending.

Anyway, can I say kudos to Ryoma Takeuchi for that fight scene with the invisible thing? Just hurling himself around and stuff. He was great.

And Takeru, Kamen Rider Ghost, seems like a fun guy. As is the flying little ghost thing. So hopefully the series will be good as well.

Overall, Drive really has come to an end as a series. And again, it was a crazy and many times enjoyable ride. But it still could’ve been so much bigger than it was. Congrats to the team though. And while there are many regrets about the story itself, I definitely don’t regret completing another season of Kamen Rider =)

3 thoughts on “Recap: Kamen Rider Drive, Episode 48 – "This is your real starting line. Start your engine!"

  1. I’m happy for Shinnosuke and Kiriko as well but I’m not a fan of them I like Chase and Kiriko. But great review of the final episode.

  2. To be honest, I haven’t picked this one yet. Considering all the disappointments I had with the main show, I can’t seem to bring myself to pick it up one last time. Again, I’ll have to contrast it with Gaim, whose main story engaged me so much that I was willing to pick up the epilogue ep, despite knowing that it would be mostly filler (and of course, it turned out to more than just that and added more to that series)’ It also helped that Gaim’s epilogue was not the “let’s introduce the next Rider series” type of ep. But here, I just can’t feel the urge to watch despite what seems to be an interesting close.

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