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Thursday, July 14, 2016

My Current Thoughts On Kamen Rider Series Part One

I have watched a large amount of Kamen Rider shows, but there have been times when my opinions have changed. Now I will only be covering rider shows I have fully finished which means a good amount of Showa will be left out, but I have been watching the original Kamen Rider (halfway through), V3 I need to get back to, and Stronger is on top of my watchlist. Still I will go in order for how I see fit. There are some that have not changed as much so I will probably bring those series up first.
Kamen Rider Double
Throughout the years I still love Kamen Rider Double, I will say my overall favorite Toku has changed to Metalder, but I can still find new aspects of Double to respect. Still Double is my favorite Kamen Rider series as I wish some current rider really follow in its direction. The show had a unique style and yet still gave tribute to the series before it, mostly the Showa era. The mystery angle the series had yet a bit predictable at times, were still fun stories to watch. Double personally did the best with the two arc style that Kamen Rider picked up thanks to the little mysteries. Sometimes they were not mysteries, it was even straight forward, get the criminial cases like with Arms Dopant. The Dopants in general are still to me some of the greatest monsters in rider not only because of design aspects, but just in terms of characters. Some were a bit complex or completely insane and the degree there was to them was unpredictable. There were basic ideas like Magma and T-Rex, but then we get to Money, Liar, Terror, and even Utopia. Then even when the concept was simple the show found ways to make them surprising like the Weather Dopant. This was thanks to giving unique properties in both design and abilities. What made Isaka stand out was how far he went to gain his powers and even upgrade his own, again in concept he does have a mixture of elements and hence his powers should be weaker than one that fully focuses on let's say the element of fire, but Isaka made sure to make each one stronger and kept that balance too. Then there were just many other surprises all around, the Sonzaki family with how they treated the Nasca and Claydoll Memories, how Accel ended up connecting to the big puzzle, and the dynamics of Shotaro and Phillip. There is even a grand amount of backstory that just helps open the world of Double which has not been achieved in current rider after it, maybe the closest was Gaim. Still in the end Double has just many of my favorites and most are personal and I can see where some might find disinterest. In the end, I do not mind because still to this day I keep watching it and finding new things to think about.
 Also Skull's story is still by far the greatest in modern rider to me, it captured everything that not only made Double strong, but just Kamen Rider in general.

Kamen Rider Kuuga
As I said before, Double is my personal favorite rider show, but I cannot lie and say that Kuuga is the rider show of the Heisei era. Not only did it start the revival of Kamen Rider, it is still by far the most ambitious the franchise has ever got. The whole show itself was changing Toku in general as it does break many traditions. As my good friends and I talked about before, Kuuga can just be a surprisingly good cop show. The police are a major focus in this show and it is great to see them be as brave as the main hero. There are many scenes of them trying to figure out how to stop the Grongi and even solve their little puzzles and without them Kuuga wouldn't stand a chance. Then along with good world building there is so much flavor text all around the show. So much detail is put into about everything! I simply cannot ignore the amount of work the show had. Then there were the amazing use of filming, it is a great use of angles and watching things flow. It is one of the few Toku shows that remembers about how things stay in motion even if it is off camera. Still one of the best moments of the franchise was when Kuuga fights the Hopper Grongi, a great use of slow motion with an intense build up. This just all blends into a perfect show as I barely find faults in the show. Again Double is my favorite, but I cannot ignore the presence that is Kuuga.
Kuuga Ultimate is still by far the best rider design.

Kamen Rider Black
Onto another cherished classic in the franchise, Kamen Rider Black is up there with Kuuga in terms of how much it meant for the franchise. The creator of Kamen Rider, Shotaro Ishinomori really made sure to make this show stand out and the same for the concept of Kuuga. Black took the first step into mutants being used along with cyborg technology to create a Kamen Rider and then in the 90's we get the first pure mutant rider, Shin. One big thing about these first three shows I mentioned they all have a cast of actors that just worked the best for their characters. Shotaro played by Renn, Godai played by Joe, and Kotaro protrayed by Tetsuo. These three actors define their characters and I bet other actors could try, but I bet if I could compare those three would just beat all others who try. With Shotaro he gave such a lively performance, Joe really brought the fun and mature side, and Tetsuo brought the hero into Kamen Rider Black. While Renn is my obvious personal favorite for a rider actor, Tetsuo is still the best. He had everything needed for this hero. He had the appearance and the voice to protray the character. Along with good acting from a main lead, the action of Kamen Rider Black is still some of the best in the franchise. A great use of strings and camera work really makes Black stand out. Now I will admit like some other Showa riders, the focus on the kids can get a bit annoying to me, but hey this is a kids show so it makes sense. Black also broke some ground with the use of Shadowmoon as there have been evil riders before, but Shadowmoon polished the concept greatly with him being a strong fighter, a parallel to Black, and the whole brother story works with their struggle. Then in terms of an ending, Black has pure beauty and sadness with its ending. The concept of loss is strong with Black and it never lost that vision.
So I pretty much started this little series with my top three favorite Kamen Rider shows. To be honest I do not know what will be for next time because I legitly just did this at random. I just typed all of this up in less than an hour. I just got bored and couldn't get anymore sleep, a bit funny if you ask me.


  1. Replies
    1. Things change, a big reason why I am doing this. I still like Blade, but not as much.

    2. k I am planning on watching Blade So far I am excited for Ex-Aid despite the suit for the main rider looking TERRIBLE but hey it means Ghost is ending

  2. Why do so many people like Kuuga I haven't seen it but from the Clips I've seen it looks so by the numbers and basic it looks like there is nothing other than Yuske Vs Grongi

    1. There is a lot to Kuuga. Again on paper or by seeing clips it does seem basic. The show has strong execution though and knows how to add details in the good ways. There is tons of hard work put into this show. Also another stand out factor for Kuuga and Agito were the use of police. They usually get a bad rep, but the cops in those two shows kick ass! Then Kuuga does build off of what the original riders had. It was the cyborg riders fighting off other cyborg monsters. Kuuga is the first ancient rider and works with a natural power too, sort of like J. The action sequences are well done with great camera direction, the acting is strong all around, and the Grongi are still the villains that are forever threatening.