Kamen Rider Drive Episode 48

[Over-Time] Kamen Rider Drive - 48 [7C288E77].mkv_snapshot_22.10_[2015.10.02_18.39.49]Recap

Shinnosuke undertakes his final mission for the Special Unit – an investigation into the terrorist cell he was pursuing a year ago.

Zigg’s Thoughts

Toei seem to have gotten into a weird habit with the Kamen Rider series. More specifically, they’ve gotten into the habit of adding ‘bonus’ episodes that obviously take place after the story of the show has concluded. I’ve got no idea why they started doing this, but the results haven’t been good – Wizard‘s two-part multi-Rider crossover was a horribly cheap, tossed off wreck, and Gaim‘s pointless and clumsy epilogue wasn’t that much better. Good news – Drive‘s official sign off is way better than both of those. Bad news – it’s still not great.

[Over-Time] Kamen Rider Drive - 48 [7C288E77].mkv_snapshot_19.38_[2015.10.02_18.41.51]

The major issue with this episode is the same as it was in those previous examples. There’s simply no sense of progression or stakes, considering the narrative is already effectively done. That said, it works better because it’s much more willing to take into account the events of that finale than the other two were. So it’s not really super jarring to see Shinnosuke and Kiriko back in action and doing police work because, well, that’s what we assumed they would carry on doing anyway. It’s nice as well that they attempt to come full circle by linking the events of this last episode to the first episode, even if it’s largely in name only. Honestly, I could have done without any battle scenes at all, but considering we had to have one it’s a strong decision to make it a flashback. It gives us one more taste of Chase and Gou without needing to involve them in the story in any way. This way we keep the plot relatively simple, focused on our core characters and free of Rider based shenanigans, thus not cheapening the ending of the previous episode. On that same note, huge kudos to the writers for teasing the magic return of Mr Belt but then pulling back. Again, it doesn’t cheapen the story resolution and it makes it a much more cathartic ending for Shinnosuke.

[Over-Time] Kamen Rider Drive - 48 [7C288E77].mkv_snapshot_17.51_[2015.10.02_18.42.33]

The other big aspect of this episode is of course our first proper look at Ghost and while we only get to spend a limited amount of time with him, it’s a positive initial impression. The suit looks great and sassy miniature hand-puppet ghost voiced by Madoka (Aoi Yūki) is already a show-stealer. I’m still opposed in principal to the next Rider showing up in these final episodes since it makes them feel more like an advert than an actual story, but at least Ghost is integrated smoothly and largely stays out of the way once he’s done.

Overall, this episode is hardly essential, but at the very least it’s not offensively awful and does give us a few nice character moments.It’s something of an underwhelming way to end the saga of Drive, but I’ll take that over something utterly terrible. We’ll wrap up the series as a whole in our final impressions piece coming sometime in the next few days.

[Over-Time] Kamen Rider Drive - 48 [7C288E77].mkv_snapshot_18.28_[2015.10.02_18.40.01]

Random observations

  • There’s some pretty great ‘being beaten up by invisible people’ acting in this episode.
  • Disappointing that they have to go back to the ‘Kiriko gets kidnapped’ well one more time to round out the show.
  • On the same note, it’s kind of disappointing the main bullet point Kiriko gets in her summary is that she marries Shinnosuke.
  • The final montage is impeccably chosen to be as full of trollfaces as humanly possible. Long live Nira.
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11 thoughts on “Kamen Rider Drive Episode 48

  1. Shinnosuke solving the case as a police is really a refreshing change. It feels like I’m watching the final episode of a typical buddy cop series where the ‘buddy’ in question was dead in prior episode. I guess I’m wrong on the Belt Vault being opened in this episode. Or maybe they will pull a Teacher!Gentaro regarding Mr. Belt in the movie, but otherwise, I’m quite surprised that this episode actually feels like a finale.

    So! Excited for Ghost yet? Y’know, summoning souls (or ‘ghost’ in this case) of famous people to use their powers for a certain goal sounds very familiar. I wonder where I’ve heard abut that before…anyway, Ghost’s fighting style looks great as well. Can’t wait to see him not dying. Oh wait.

  2. I’m intrigued by Ghost but I’m not sure I’d say I’m excited yet – it’s just too early to tell. Ask me again after four or five episodes.

    • That is a brick joke material, and I might do just that.

      Anyway, I’m quite bothered that the whole ‘Mach Mook Squad’ subplot never goes anywhere other than making Jun a Kamen Rider for a few minutes. I was expecting Hayase to don that belt. Next movie, maybe.

  3. Actually, this isn’t just a recent Rider thing, having an epilogue for the last episode – Sanjo did it in W also. At least this time, he didn’t bring a dead hero back to life, although I would be shocked if Chase isn’t in the crossover movie with Ghost (and this time bringing back the dead will probably make more sense in the movie!). It was a far, far better episode than I expected it to be after the examples you cited lowered my expectations drastically and finished the wrapping up of the show well in my opinion.

    Plus, we get a Chaser Drive Saga!

    • I think there’s a difference though in that in W the final episode feels tangibly connected to the previous one, whereas in this case episode 47 felt very much to me like an ending – we even got the ‘where are they now’ segments for the rest of the crew. I agree the concept is similar though, it’s just the way they were framed felt different to me.

      • Agreed. The only thing really left hanging after 47 was the “will they/won’t they” with Shinnosuke and Kiriko. And I too wish that she had not had “got married” as her primary achievement.

        • I’m sort of disappointed they definitively answered that to be honest, i feel the open ended hint they gave at the end of 47 was a much better conclusion to that little subplot.

      • W on the other hand left a couple of things hanging – most notably “can the hero do his job now/will he do his job now?” which could have been answered in several ways but most certainly was a burning enough question that it felt as if it NEEDED to be answered.

  4. This episode was really good for Drive for the reasons mentioned in the post, but didn’t get me pumped for Ghost. Yurusen is obnoxious and the weird freeze frame camera whenever Ghost hit the mook was weird. Maybe it will get more interesting in the actual show.

    Vaguely related: I’m disappointed that the introduction of Neo-Shade’s leader showed him with a bit of chin hair, a fancy hat, and a predilection for playing with transformation toys, but just made him some random guy instead of Ghost Sid. I am probably the only person who would think that was a good idea but still.

    • There is no continuity in Kamen Rider, what are you talking about?

      Also don’t insult Yurusen, she (he? they?) is my waifu (husbando? non-binary partnero?).

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