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  • Adorkable: Despite generally being in-control, Shinnosuke tries to play himself up as cooler than he really is: His naming sense with all of his weapons is awful, he pouts when he's relegated to the passenger seat and is an absolute geek when it comes to cars and eventually anime.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The opening, "Surprise Drive" is incredibly catchy and awesome. There's a reason why this is used as Drive's theme when he's kicking ass!
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    • "Don't Lose Your Mind" is generally used for Dead Heat and is suitably intense.
    • The bad guys get borrow some classic awesome music with Mozart's Requiem being used in 32 as 001 achieves ultimate evolution and kills Drive.
    • As usual with Rider super mode themes, Drive's ultimate form has "Unlimited Drive" from the Kamen Rider Girls.
    • #36 debuts "Spinning Wheel." While the previous show had the memorable "Ranbu Escalation" sung by Gaim and Baron's actors, this song ups the ante by having Shinnosuke, Go, and Chase's actors in a trio. It doubles as a Crowning Music of Heart-Warming if you read into the lyrics.
    • "Police Spirit" is usually played during powerful dramatic moments in the show, such as Go's Calling the Old Man Out speech prior to using Chase's Signal Bike to become Mach Chaser.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Professor Banno. Some consider him a terrifying Knight of Cerebus and feel his abuse makes the Roidmudes more unique and sympathetic antagonists by explaining why they have a Humans Are Bastards outlook, others consider him a Flat Character who only exists to make the Roidmudes sympathetic at best and a Diabolus ex Nihilo who wound up reducing the antagonistic impact of the Roidmudes at worst, especially if they subscribe to the retool idea below.
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    • On the topic of Banno, while it is fitting he is finished off by Go, some think Sigma plus was a generic villain for Shinnosuke and Heart to face.
  • Broken Base: As per usual for the Kamen Rider fandom.
    • The car motif, especially when Drive ditched the motorcycle in favor of it. For many this seems like spitting at everything that Kamen Riders represent.
    • Drive's design also tends to get a lot of flak for being a "discount Accel". Similar designs, character backstories and the fact that two writers of Double will also write this show doesn't help.
    • People have trouble deciding if the new developments are the result of the plot thickening or the result of a retool.
  • Complete Monster: In a series where the Roidmudes act as the main threat to humanity, there are villains who were proved to be the most vile:
    • Professor Tenjuro Banno/Gold Drive is an egotistical, sociopathic scientist with a god complex. After being refused funding by a potential investor, Banno has one of his Roidmude androids, Roidmude 002/Heart, assume the man's form and tortures it to take out his anger. Inserting negative emotions into the Roidmudes out of spite against his former partner, Banno's abuse leads to them becoming violently unstable, going on to rampage and kill countless people. Even after his death, Banno turns himself into a Virtual Ghost, manipulating his own son into releasing his spirit before trying to kill him. Banno manipulates Medic into being operated on, leaving her a puppet loyal to him and forces Heart to serve him, lying that he will restore Medic if he does so. Ultimately planning to digitize the entire world, Banno intends to only give robotic bodies to those who will bow to him.
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    • 010 Paint Roidmude is a Mad Artist whose sadism disturbs even other Roidmudes. During the Global Freeze, Paint personally attacked Kiriko, turning her arm into data until she was saved by Proto-Drive, an event which traumatized her. Six months later, Paint assumed the identity of a gallery owner whom he had trapped inside a painting, and with the assistance of his apprentice, did the same thing to several women who wandered near the gallery, all while they were aware of their situation but unable to escape. Realizing that Kiriko is investigating the serial kidnappings, Paint triggered her post-traumatic stress by attacking her once again. Using Mashin Chaser as a distraction, Paint planned on fleeing to another area so he could find a new hunting ground, but not before he tried to trap Kiriko in a painting, seeking to immortalize her expression of pure and sheer terror.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Many fans started affectionately referring to Tridoron's Type Technic form as a "Gimme a Hug Mode".
    • The Funky Spike Shift Car is also referred to as the "Oren Car", noting how the green spikes look like the French-speaking Armored Rider's Durian Arms.
    • The victims of Roidmude 096, who after being attacked turn blue, are referred to as being "grape'd".
    • Harley Hendrickson is now "Santa Drive".
    • Many people comment on the similarity with the Flash when Banno turned into Gold Drive. Thus Banno recieved the nickname "Reverse Drive".
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Despite Chase’s canon crush on Kiriko, the fact that he spends most of time after his Heel–Face Turn trying to make friends with Go, and that he dies for Go, pretty much ensures that the fans preferred shipping Go and Chase with each other.
  • Fountain of Memes: Chief Honganji, whose strange faces and dramatic poses make him a bottomless well of reaction images.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show has a lot more fans in the West, whereas it placed pretty low in a 2020 poll in its home country.
  • Growing the Beard: While the first 11 episodes do their jobs of introducing the viewer to the show's cast, the Roidmudes and their motivations, along with Drive's various forms, viewers tend to agree that the show shifts into high gear once Mach is fully introduced in #12.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Kamen Rider Wizard had an episode dealing with a monster taking the guise of the Victim of the Week's boyfriend who was Dead All Along. Haruto's way of handling the situation makes sense now looking at Drive's take on that exact same plot in which Shinnosuke confronts the victim on said dead boyfriend. The way the victim breaks down might make Wizard fans wince thinking cracks will appear on her and Gaim fans shudder as they're reminded of Takatora's breaking of Kouta.
    • An inevitable example in #48; Shinnosuke had promised Heart that he will never forget the Roidmudes. But just like the other monsters in previous entries, no matter how much humanity they were originally portrayed to have, they'll end up being bad guys to get beaten up in future movies.
  • He's Just Hiding!: As soon as he dies, many fans began debating on whether or not Chase will eventually be revived, but extra-canon that stars him dodges around the subject by being an Interquel..
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • Back in 2010, when the first images of OOO were made public, the fans quickly give him a Fan Nickname of "Kamen Rider Traffic Lights". Now with the debut of Mach we actually do get a traffic light-themed Rider!
    • Apparently Red Racer took offense to Shinnosuke yanking the Carranger Catchphrase.note 
    • Many people began to compare Chaser to the Winter Soldier with their backstory. A couple of episodes after the reveal that he's Proto-Drive and we get the other plot twist: the villains have infiltrated and compromised the good guy's organization from day one.
      • Not only that, but it makes the comparisons to Kamen Rider Accel all the more hilarious.
    • Go isn't the first Rider with the word Mach associated with him.
    • Remember back in the early days where there was supposed to be a Shift Tridoron Car that summons Kamen Rider Drive's personal vehicle? Well, not only is it a legit Shift Car now, but it serves as Drive's Super Mode!
    • Harley Hendrickson getting the Fan Nickname "Santa Drive". His actor Ulf Otsuki actually played Santa, in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger!
    • Yes, Spike, you can explode twice, as the Roidmudes have shown (first their body, then their cores).
    • On DeviantArt there is a fanart of Heart as a Kamen Rider, then Heart became a Kamen Rider in his Drive Saga.
    • The frequent comparisons between Drive and Accel become hilarious when they team up in the subplot of Kamen Rider Drive Saga: Kamen Rider Chaser. Doubly so when considering that Accel's inclusion in the special was due to Drive's actor, Ryōma Takeuchi, being asked which Rider he wanted to team up with and he requested Accel, who he was a fan of.
    • Apparently Ryoma Takeuchi went on to be dubbed the "Nation's Boyfriend" in mainstream media, which is a little funny as Shinnosuke is officially off the market due to getting married in official canon.
    • One of Chase's major character arcs was him learning to drive and getting a driver's license, which ends up as part of a tragic keepsake for Go. In a 2018 interview for another car-themed drama, Chase's actor, Taiko Katono, admits he has never actually gotten any license to drive, despite the multiple times he's shown driving motorbikes, cars, and even a truck as Chase.
    • In April 2017, the final post from the official Twitter account for the series announced a new Drive Saga spinoff called Kamen Rider Brain, which was shortly revealed to be an April Fools joke. Two years later, the same announcement was made again under Toei's official Twitter, only this time, the spinoff is an actual ongoing production, with Shota Matsushima reprising his role as Brain.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Brain is very obviously in love in Heart. His actor even confirmed that Brain's feelings for Heart are at least partially romantic, making this intentional.
      • Bonus points for Brain being actually jealous of Medic for stealing Heart's affections, making this a potential love triangle.
    • In a separate case in #34, Brain almost sounds love-struck when Nira is giving his Motive Rant, and later all but glomps him. For his part, Nira finds the hug to be incredibly awkward.
    • During the Kamen Rider Mach CD Drama, Go ends up dreaming of him and Chase on a date. He blames the machine running the dream for creating the scenario, but the AI in charge points out that he can't make anything and this is something Go subconsciously wants.
  • Idiot Plot: Some people see the plotline of Drive's secret identity as this, with them pointing to the fact that he is wearing the belt and brace, along with Shift Cars roaming about.
  • Inferred Holocaust: In #6, when we first see Crash approaching the Font-R president for more explosives, it was the middle of the day and the building was intact. Later on, we see the president running for his life, smoking ruins all around him. It's never told what happened to all the workers, including the truck driver that saved Shinnosuke.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Go wanted to atone for the mistake of the Roidmudes' rebellion by killing them, even if it meant having Fantastic Racism on all Roidmudes he encounter, even on those that have changed like Chase, especially after The Reveal that his father is the Roidmudes' creator, Professor Banno. Upon Banno betraying him and Shinnosuke and also finding out from Heart of what his father was really like, having realized that he was used by Banno all this time, Go went into denial-induced rage at first before breaking down into a sobbing wreck.
    • Brain may be a bastard, especially when he helped Nira in attempting to ruin Shinnosuke's career, but a handful of his actions stem from how his affections for Heart are constantly overshadowed by Medic, who frequently upstages his plans with her own and bullies him.
  • Love to Hate:
    • To those that like him, Professor Banno.
    • Medic, a coldhearted, sociopathic bitch with intentions of eugenic purging, manipulative plotting, a habit of constantly showing up Brain to the point of making him a Jerkass Woobie, and she has enough cruelty to supplant Heart as Drive's archenemy almost entirely by virtue of the fact that she really is just that evil.
  • Magnificent Bastard: 001 Freeze Roidmude is the shadow leader of the Roidmude uprising and the driving force behind much of their success. Infiltrating the Japanese government as Secretary of Defense "Soichi Makage", Freeze alters the minds of the entire Japanese police to forget the word "Roidmude" and uses his position to obstruct any investigations that might uncover his kind's existence. When the Special Investigation Unit begins to unravel his conspiracy, Freeze appoints Mitsuhide Nira to oversee them and hinder their efforts. His identity exposed by Chase, Freeze lures Drive into defeating him and uses the humiliation from it to undergo a Super Evolution, easily nearly slaying Drive with his newfound powers. When Shinnosuke turns out to be barely alive, Freeze attempts to finish him off before he can recover. Only defeated when Drive unlocks Type Tridoron, Freeze nevertheless accomplished much for his kind before his demise and was invaluable to the Roidmude efforts to attain the "Promised Number".
  • Memetic Loser: Brain, ever since he got one-upped by Medic.
  • Memetic Mutation: See this page for examples.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Most people can agree that Medic's crossed this line upon killing a Roidmude who proves that they can coexist with humans and then stating that she'll proceed to cull the rest of the Roidmudes save for herself, Heart, and a select few. But then she just keeps going.
      • If not then, Medic certainly crossed it once she began experimenting on her own kind. Notably, this act ended up making Heart openly furious with her, even more furious than he's been with Drive up until now.
    • The killer of Shinnosuke's father had crossed this a long time ago, as Nira did it out of envy. Just because Eisuke Tomari tried to help him. If they discount past events, then the lengths he went to cover it up, including putting the girl that Eisuke died to save in mortal peril (in his own words, 'it would mean that your father had died for nothing') would.
      • Same goes for Brain for going along with it, ensuring said mortal peril in the first place.
    • Banno crossed it way before the series even began by using his own subject as a punching bag. If they discount past events, then him attempting to kill Go and labeling him a failure will.
    • You don't have too be affiliated with the Roidmudes to cross this, as So Utsuki, AKA the Judge, crossed it by murdering Toma Okajima and framing him for his own crimes. Why? Because Toma helped him, and So can't stand someone saving him.
    • Roidmude 005, while originally a one-off villain, comes out on his own as a villain by crossing this in Mach's side story, in which he manipulates girls into killing their fathers with their own hair, effectively tearing families apart, all while emotionally abusing his template's daughter, who just wanted to live in peace, by forcing her to play a game of cat and mouse and breaking her so hard that she considered killing herself.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Taiyaaaa Koukan!
    • NICE DRIVE!
    • FULL THROTTLE!
    • TIRE KOUKAN!
    • HISSATSU!
    • START YOUR ENGINE!
    • SIGNAL BIKE!
    • SIGNAL KOUKAN!
    • OTSUKARE!
    • FIRE ALL ENGINE!
    • TIRE... KAKIMAZERU!
    • The moment Drive's theme song starts playing, you just know Shinnosuke is going to kick some Roidmude ass.
    • The music that plays when the Mach Driver Honoh is about to use to transform. It's about as fun to listen to as the Meteor Driver!
    • Mach's theme, Full Throttle, is noticeably catchy.
    • Type Formula's transformation jingle. It's so upbeat and catchy, and it helps that the first time it's heard is in a particularly dark episode.
  • Narm Charm: Banno's death is a Belt being executed with an ax while screaming for mercy. That should be ridiculous, but given the context and who he is, it's immensely satisfying. Likewise, Mach's newly attained form looks lazy, but nobody seemed to care when he starts kicking his ass.
  • Older Than They Think:
  • Special Effect Failure: In #13, especially towards the end, the Slowdown effects are non-existent, leaving the actors just wobbling around.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Go's hatred bordering on racism towards Roidmudes, while blind and ends up driving a wedge between him and his friends and family, has some sort of basis in that, outside of two exceptions that he's more than willing to overlook, every other Roidmude he's faced so far were Always Chaotic Evil, killed several people, including his father and a close friend, or even plotted to kill people. Until we found out that they were corrupted by Banno to be that way, he sort of had a point.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Type Tridoron's tire combinations. While he had a potential seven configurations, only three were ever used, with the Construction Crew being the most common. Of the three combos used, none of them included the four Shift Cars (Burning Solar, Deco Traveler, Colorful Commercial, and Amazing Circus) whose tires were never shown onscreen.
    • The mass-produced Mach drivers as well. While the initial assumption was that they would serve as a heroic version of the Kurokage troopers in Gaim, the concept was relegated to a one-off gag where Honganji got to transform and immediately sprained his neck.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Most, if not all the Roidmudes can fall under this for people, as near the end of the show, Banno comes by and his story ends up apparently absolving the Roidmudes of their crimes, which include murder, hiding evidence of a murder, culling certain Roidmudes in favor of other, better Roidmudes, and, most important of all, an attempted Robot War. Needless to say, some people didn't buy it. Though, they aren't exactly absolved of their crimes so much as pitiable for what they could've been compared to what they became.
  • The Un-Twist:
    • Chase being Proto-Drive. Pretty much everyone called it from the start.
    • The Reveal that Captain Jun knew about Shinnousuke's secret identity and he made the Drive Pit.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Yeah Gen-san, fire a gun at a steel-looking Roidmude with hammers for forearms while in Slowdown. Nothing could possibly go wrong....
    • Despite there being a massive worldwide attack with a hefty body count and a massive Slowdown caused these robots, to the point where everyone knows about them and that there's an app available to report any case of Slowdown, police still don't believe in what is causing the Slowdowns. Gen manages to wiggle out of it thanks to Character Development, but not his higher ups. Though it doesn't take until halfway into the show that the Special Unit actually thought of this themselves and begin to think that one of the Roidmudes has infiltrated a higher up, making this a justified case.
    • Go's need to finish his Catchphrase (after getting interrupted) in #14 lets Roidmude 096 get away.
    • Kiriko gets handed the Idiot Ball in #17 and releases Rinna from her chains and disappears, who had been bound to a chair to prevent her from running away in the first place thanks to her falling under the Voice Roidmude's spell. Seemingly, at least.
    • Yeah, go ahead, Shinnosuke. Confront the head honcho of the Roidmudes who can clearly preform a Mind Rape on you and induce Laser-Guided Amnesia without your belt to protect you.
    • Nira would have known that Shinnosuke was playing possum if he had bothered to check if Shinnosuke's shirt was turning red with his blood.
    • If Banno had kept quiet when Sigma Circular activated instead of gloating, he would have a chance to sneak away under the pretense that he was finished off for good.
  • The Woobie:
    • Heart of all people. Heart's memories in #40 show that Banno made him with the face of a person he hated as to have an object he could take his rage out on. He was electrocuting and beating him up with what looks like a cattle prod.
    • Chase, with his crisis of identity, brainwashing, loyalty conflicts, being a Heartbroken Badass, Pinocchio Syndrome, and unrequited love for Kiriko, is very pitiable, especially in Kamen Rider Drive Saga: Kamen Rider Chaser.
    • Woobie Species: The final arc paints the Roidmudes this way. They're little more than pale imitations of humanity, their numbers are dwindling with no way to reproduce, and they could have lived in peace if they hadn't been corrupted at their creation - even the few that managed to overcome that corruption and be good, decent people on some level ended up dead from events that had been set in motion.

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