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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kamen Rider Kiva Series Review

Well for me its been about three years since I started Kamen Rider as I started around December of 08 and its all thanks to Kiva. If you got my hints you probably saw this review coming since I have been talking about Kiva in recent posts. I just found this series when I heard about Dragon Knight and was doing research. While on Veoh (back then when it had Rider and Sentai episodes) I saw Kamen Rider Kiva and remembered about my little research. Of course I was thinking of Power Rangers when I saw the images, but when the episode started after the first death I knew this was going to be completely different. Also since its the New Year I'm going to look back on some rider nostalgia and see if the series is what I remembered. The main story revolves around a young man named Wataru a total shut in from society. He doesn't even talk and covers himself as he thinks he cannot breathe the air. One day though he meets a girl named Megumi who soon helps him to get out of his covering. In the beginning of the series you can tell that it goes back and forth between two time periods. The present and in the past of the year 1986. For the past we see a girl named Yuri who hunts down monsters called Fangires who eat humans by draining their life force. She starts a mission to find a Fangire as many women are vanishing. During this mission she had to use a random person to hide herself and that man is no other than Otoya! Whats nice is that he seems like a random character at first as he just gets in the way, but we soon learn that he is the father of our main character. Megumi also has a connection to the past as her mother is Yuri and both fight Fangires. In the present though Wataru will take action when a violin made by his father plays on its own acting like an alarm. He goes out and transforms into Kamen Rider Kiva! He keeps his identity a secret as some people think Kiva is evil and that is mostly the Wonderful Blue Sky Organization. New characters are introduced as the story continues to unravel about the mystery of Kiva.
Pros- I really love how the story continues with two different timelines its smart and can make great connections. The way it is used is amazing as some parts are only revealed in certain times and it can bring some good twists. There is also a good amount of love stories as each are done well and are reasonable. Some people say its like the Twilight of Kamen Rider, but the love stories in the series is much better than those crappy books. The main character Wataru is great now in the past I remembered more of his weak qualities, but watching the series again I remembered that he went through great development and he would easily be on my top ten rider list, probably number six. This series imo has the best supporting characters as there are a high amount of them so there are a lot to like. I liked Otoya the most since he was a comedic character that could fight like a pro and he affected the story a lot more than people would think. There are two other things about this series that its the best at, first is the design. I love every design on the riders and Fangires they are very close to being flawless as I love the glass stain look on the Fangires. The rider designs are my favorite as they were tons of great detail on the suits even little stuff I still notice now, every form is also great like Kiva's Emperor form! Second would be the music every song is just great like Supernova which is known as one of the best insert themes. There are some amazing character arcs that do show a lot about how the certain person acts as we learn more about them and how they connect to the story.
One of my personal favorite characters of the whole franchise!
Neutral- The Emperor form was great to see every time, but it got in the way of many other forms as the three weapon forms were ignored greatly, but it makes sense that someone would use a stronger power. One thing that gets people disturbed by is the close contact the characters can have like with sharing a bath. For me its fine because mostly every other country expect America have closer bonds.
Simply one of the best final forms!
Cons- Even with great supporting characters there are some that were kinda useless and don't really affect the story. The big example would be Kengo as he was around just to boost Wataru up and I thought that would be it of him, but nope he was around much longer. His constant rock references got annoying and how he changes seemed kinda of random. He even becomes IXA, but only for like two episodes so yea...useless. With some other characters some can come a little too late as their arcs can feel rushed at times or some live for too long (Ryo and Rook are the big examples here). Now this is a constant thing that is brought up about Kiva, everyone gets knocked out! I was thinking of doing a count of how many times, but I lost count so I didn't bother, but one scene had three people pass out. The way it is used is odd as well because every time it happens they don't find out about the truth when a much easier way is to not have them around during that scene (now there are some moments when it is used correctly). IXA was a great rider, but during the arc with Kengo being IXA it didn't contribute with the story at all as it felt like filler. With secondary riders their stories should connect to the main story like with the Agito series. The ending was great, but its the last thing we see in the ending was completely weird and random.
He first appeared in episode 1 and lasted till episode 26
He started at episode 15 and stayed till episode 31!
Overall- Why did I put this series at number nine on my top ten rider series list! After watching it again I think it deserves to be much higher. I would say it belongs in the seven spot because even with some useless characters and moments and the fact that everyone gets knocked out in this series. Maybe that was my issue, its been a while since I watched the series that the things that annoyed me stay in my head. The show though has a smart way of telling a story and does great with using its characters. I really liked the riders and monsters with great designs and great personalities. Love is used reasonably as it can affect most of the twists in the series. I will give it a B for having great action, music, design, story telling, and characters.
I'm so glad I started with this series


  1. Oh Kiva... I have kind of a painful history with this one. ;__;

    When I first watched Kiva, it was easily one of my favorite Rider seasons ever. But earlier this year, I rewatched it, and it didn't turn out so well. =( I found a lot of flaws in the show during my second watch through which bugged me a lot.

    Kiva had the whole horror motif and 80s stuff going on which I was very interested about. Though I realized it didn't focus too much on either of those concepts. But that aside, I liked the overall goth look in the designs of the show. Vampires, Werewolves, monsters, bats, violins, music, dragons, stained glass designs. I REALLY love all that stuff! =D

    Like most Riders, the concepts are cool to me. But the execution doesn't seem to be quite good enough for me to really love. Which makes me sad. =(

    I thought the two timelines concept would've been really cool. But head writer Toshiki Inoue did a terrible job at it. Both time eras would practically repeat the same story as each other. Plus, they never got to defeat a Fangire in 1986. Yet, they all miraculously come back in the same 2008.

    A lot of the writing in Kiva is typical post-Agito Inoue style, rather than expanding on the potential imagination of Kiva's concepts. The show sticks to typical drama between characters and love triangles. A lot of the characters felt rather useless and unimportant. The only ones that seemed like they mattered to the story were Otoya and Maya. And yeah, I agree that a lot of other characters came in at awkward times. Like how some even came in really late.

    Action was definitely good.

    It feels like Inoue was trying too hard to recapture several past successes from previous shows, which kinda gave it a lack of originality to me. Spider Fangire = Goma (Kuuga). Rook = Radiguet (Jetman). Nago = Hikawa (Agito). Otoya = Akira (Changerion).

    Overall, I really want to like Kiva. But I just can't bring myself to say it anymore. As frustrating as that is. =( I just can't watch past the flaws. Nor can I figure out any reason to justify them. Sigh. I'll admit I still kinda have a soft spot for this season for what it is.

    1. You and I seem to share some same feelings... like despite the flaws I still have a soft spot for it. Hee hee.

      Vampires, werewolves, bats, violins, music, dragons, stained glass designs... I wonder how they'll work in a Super Sentai season?

    2. wait Inoue wrote Kuuga like more than one episode

  2. Well I havent seen every thing from tokuastu so there are somethings I have no idea about. Like Changeman and I still havent finished Agito. I think the execution of the diff times was used properly because they were supposed to have similar plots. Its supposed to show that no matter how much time passes something will always be the same. This is my first rider series and for me the good things over power some of the little flaws. It sort of makes sense that some fangires can live because IXA wasn't around and it was still in prototype form.

  3. For Kamen Rider Kiva, I wopuld say this was where Inoue actually tried to be lighter and softer in these aspects:

    1.) Rook's amnesia was a parody of Radiguet's amnesia.

    2.) The Kiva/Saga rivalry for who would be king with the love triangle for Mio wasn't really that depressing.

    3.) Otoya is JUST a silly character. Never liked him.

    Stuff I would agree:

    1.) Kengo was useless. I'd dare say Kengo was just there to be there. Sort of like he's Tucker in Danny Phantom.

    Some real plotholes:

    1.) If there was a 1986 timeline and no Fangire are shown to be defeated, then don't tell me that the Showa era riders were killing them?

    2.) How did Yuri Aso die and who is the father of his children?

    Now for some self-promotion of something wacky I did:

    Kamen Rider Kiva vs. Danny Phantom

  4. Well this was my first one so I still have very fond memories of it. Then with Yuri I let that slide because she could have easily met someone else after the time Otoya died. How she died could have been natural or Rook since we weren't sure when he came back exactly we just knew he had amnesia. Then the Fangires are different creatures and high chance if they were caught before they tried to be more disclosed and hid themselves better than before.

  5. My personal favorite Kamen Rider series of all time, it's awesome! The suit designs are fantastic, the monsters are menacing, the saga with Saga (Yes, I just said that) and the mention of Dark Kiva at the end paints the picture that something big is at work here. Now, I know that people complain about the love stories or the abundance of Emperor Form, but I think those are easily looked past in exchange for the excellent story