Reviews: Kamen Rider Drive

Police Rider with Cars

Drive could probably best described as police detective story with cars. It is mostly two-parter episodic story, similar to Double.

Cons :

Personally, I don't like it. I don't like the car gimmick (the shift cars) and I don't like the costume design.

Early on, I don't like the main protagonist. Shinnosuke was a cynical cop who made sarcasm during the fight. I felt it detracts the seriousness during the battle and more annoying rather than entertaining. He grew on me, especially in top gear form, but it took time.

Kiriko grew on me. Other supporting characters felt useless at first. They got better, but it's not the best team of supporting characters I've watched, compared to Fourze.

I think my problem is that I keep comparing this with other Kamen Rider series.

I came to this after watching Ex-Aid, and thoroughly disappointed since this had a lot more filler and using two parter monster of the week formula. Arguably, W, OOO and Fourze also did this, but they had either interesting protagonist, side characters or humor to make up for this.

OOO might started out slow for me, but it caught up after the second rider is introduced. Drive on the other hand took even longer to get interesting (somewhere after Chase arc and Drive being made public).

I wanted to enjoy the 'police kamen rider' story, but the Special Crimes unit is too hard to be taken seriously. I keep comparing it with Kuuga, which had the best 'realistic cops J-Drama kamen rider' in my opinion.

Pros :

The opening is very catchy.

The main villains trio are interesting (Heart, Brain and Medic). Chase is one of the most interesting character despite (or perhaps because of) his personality. Characters like Banno and Nira are designed to be Love to Hate for the audience.

Some of the criminal cases are really interesting. Some notable moments are the Judge case, 001's case, and Shinosuke's father murder case.

Some of the comedic moments are really funny. Examples are Shinnosuke and Kiriko's Love Epiphany, triple spit take scene in Chaser's spin off, Chase's driving test, and that one time they staged a scene so Shinnosuke would be allowed to transform into Kamen Rider.

Overall, I would recommend it if you like cars and police detective story. It could be a bit boring and unrealistic at times (too much plot convenience) but it had some moments where it really shines through, especially in drama and humor. It makes it worth to watch.