Shinnosuke desperately attempts to get involved with a case centered around his father’s alleged murderer.
It’s another action-packed, thrill-a-minute episode for Drive and that’s actually beginning to worry me a little bit. There’s no doubt at all the the show has become vastly better across the past ten or so episodes, but they’re burning through plot at such an accelerated rate I’ve got to hope that they’ve got a big shakeup to the status quo coming to help keep things interesting through the back end of the show. That aside, this was another exciting episode, and one which took big strides in setting up our main hero/villain conflict.
I’ve made it clear before that I felt the whole ‘Shinnosuke’s father’ plot has been pushed upon us pretty hard without any real explanation, but we finally get some of that here. I like how rather than just laying Roidmude involvement on the line straight away they’re building a mystery around it, even if the mystery is not exactly what you’d call deep or challenging. Indeed, with the hints that have been dropped about the mysterious Professor Banno, the continuing shadow over the creation of the Roidmudes, and now this new puzzle, there’s the air on a genuine conspiracy surrounding the distant past of the Drive timeline. That’s great, because it gives the team more of a ‘big picture’ objective to strive for, as well as providing a stronger sense of serialisation through each episode. Now the Chase situation is essentially resolved a new ongoing plot was badly needed.
Speaking on ongoing plots, I’m a little disappointed that they pulled the trigger on ‘Evil Gou’ already and furthermore that they used the crutch of mind control to do it. Still, there’s no denying that it’s fantastic to see the two main riders go at each other so ferociously. Shinnosuke gets a bit more bite to his character through his crazed rampage, and the script does a very good bit of role reversal by making Chase the chastising voice of reason and humanity. It’s little tidbits of character development like this that make the characters more three dimensional and are an excellent sign of how the gang are becoming more relatable and likeable as time goes by. For a show which began feeling awfully generic in its first quarter, that’s perhaps the most encouraging sign of all.
- The script also does a really good job of faking us out when it looks like Nira is about to have a redemptive moment, but instead reinforces his assholery even more. As we’ve said many times now, his introduction has really kickstarted the show.
- The hints of the Roidmudes dividing into two separate factions are very intriguing, especially since it seems it’s Heart who will be forced to decide where his loyalties lie.
- I’m impressed by how versatile they make the Roidmude’s seemingly one note ‘open locks’ ability.