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Kamen Rider

Kamen Rider Series

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This article is about a/an set of all the shows and films in the Kamen Rider Series.
(RAW) Kamen Rider Fourze - 01 (DivX6.8.4 TQ4 704x396 24fps) -5CF3B079--(000098)21-24-42-

A message shown at the beginning of Kamen Rider Fourze commemorating Kamen Rider's 40th Anniversary in 2011.

The Kamen Rider Series (仮面ライダーシリーズ Kamen Raidā Shirīzu?, translated as Masked Rider Series) is a franchise of manga and tokusatsu television programs and films created by manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori. The various Kamen Rider media generally feature a motorcycle-riding superhero with an insect motif who fights supervillains often referred to as kaijin (怪人?). The franchise began in 1971 with the Kamen Rider television series which followed college student Takeshi Hongo and his quest to defeat the world-conquering Shocker organization. Over the years, the popularity of the franchise has grown and the original series has spawned many television and theatrical sequels. The cultural impact of the series in Japan resulted in Akimasa Nakamura naming two minor planets in honor of the series: 12408 Fujioka, after actor Hiroshi Fujioka, known for his portrayal of Kamen Rider, and 12796 Kamenrider, after the series, itself.

Series overview

Although each entry in the series is different, each one shares similar traits with one and another. All generally involve at least one young adult male transforming into a Kamen Rider to fight various monsters and organizations linked to that specific Kamen Rider's origin. As the series progresses, the Rider often learns more about the monsters in the series, other Kamen Riders or the origin of his powers. Early Kamen Riders were generally based on Grasshoppers and other insects, but this practice has declined in the newer set of shows in favor of other motifs. Usually referred to as Rider Machines, motorcycles are an integral part of the series. Since 1971, Suzuki originally provided motorcycles for the series until Kamen Rider Agito when Honda became involved and the single Ducati featured in Kamen Rider W. Early Kamen Riders wore scarfs along with their costumes, but this practice was dropped after Kamen Rider Black until the appearance of Double.

A trait shared among recent Kamen Riders is their ability to change forms and become stronger versions of themselves. The first power up appeared in Kamen Rider Stronger which was used by the title character. Kamen Rider BLACK RX had multiple forms, Roborider and Biorider. Since then, every title Kamen Rider in the Heisei era has had at least one power up with OOO having the most with 129 form combinations.

All Shōwa era Riders gained their powers through some form of surgical alteration to their bodies, a practice seen only a few times. Heisei Riders on the other hand, starting with Ryuki, are armored suits powered by magic, advanced technology or sometimes both. The Heisei era of Kamen Rider varies greatly in its use of Kamen Riders. Whereas all early Kamen Riders fought on the side of justice and peace, there have been numerous Kamen Riders in the Heisei era that have fought for personal reasons such as greed, revenge and the personal enjoyment of battle. Because of this, recent Kamen Riders have become less eager to immediately join the battle of justice.

Rider finishers

Combat techniques generally remain somewhat consistent between series. The "Rider Kick" has become known as the signature attack for Kamen Riders. Although no Heisei era Kamen Rider before Kamen Rider named their Rider Kick, it has still been a staple for every Kamen Rider series. Other variations include the Rider Chop and Rider Punch.

Adaptations outside Japan

Thailand

In 1974, Chaiyo Productions in Thailand produced the Hanuman and the Five Riders.

Taiwan

In 1975 to 1976, the Tungstar Company Limited in Taiwan produced the Super Riders series based on the Japan version.

United States

RX/Ryuki All Rider Kick

Kamen Rider Black RX and Kamen Rider Ryuki were adapted in America as Saban's Masked Rider and Kamen Rider Dragon Knight respectively.

In 1995, Saban produced the first American Masked Rider series after his success adapting Super Sentai into Power Rangers and the Metal Hero Series (VR Troopers & Beetleborgs). In 2009, a new series was broadcast, produced by brothers Michael and Steve Wang. In 2011, Saban presented the brand Power Rider, but lost interest in the property and abandoned the license for it in 2014.

Saban's Masked Rider

Airing from 1995 to 1996, Masked Rider was originally presented as a spin-off of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Dex, prince of the planet Edenoi, is granted the ancient Masked Rider powers from his grandfather to protect them from the evil Count Dregon who wants to use them to take over the universe. Dex finds his way to Earth where he lives with the Stewart family, while protecting the planet from Dregon's attacks. The footage in this series came from Kamen Rider Black RX, as well as the movies Kamen Rider ZO and Kamen Rider J.

Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight

Airing in 2009, Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight features 12 warriors known as Kamen Riders who protect the parallel world of Ventara from the evil General Xaviax by using their Advent Decks. Xaviax begins seeking out corrupt humans on the Earth to give them the Advent Decks of Kamen Riders he has defeated in battle to act as his subordinates. Kit Taylor, who finds the Advent Deck to allow him to become Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, teams up with Len, who can transform into Kamen Rider Wing Knight, to defeat General Xaviax and save Kit's father who was captured by Xaviax and is held in Ventara. The footage in Dragon Knight comes from Kamen Rider Ryuki. While the series was cancelled before it finished its run, it later won the first Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination at the 37th Daytime Emmy Awards. The series was also exported back to Japan where it was shown on Toei's pay-per-view channel and later shown on TV Asahi.

Productions

TV series

Rider40th

The first twenty-eight Kamen Riders.

Shōwa era

  • Kamen Rider, aired from 1971 to 1973 and ran for 98 episodes, making it the longest series to date. This series set up many themes that are still used today. This series followed the battles of the first two Kamen Riders against Shocker and later Gel-Shocker.
  • Kamen Rider V3, aired from 1973 to 1974 and ran for 52 episodes. This series followed Shiro Kazami on his quest to gain revenge against Destron, the group that murdered his family. Later on, Riderman, the fourth Kamen Rider is introduced as the first long term anti-hero Kamen Rider. The original two Kamen Riders also make various appearances over the course of the series to help Kazami.
  • Kamen Rider X, aired in 1974 and ran for 35 episodes. Keisuke Jin and his father Kentaro Jin are attacked by the Government Of Darkness (GOD), Keisuke and Kentaro are both mortally wounded in the attack, but before he dies, Kentaro transforms his son into Kamen Rider X. Many of the monsters Kamen Rider X faced were based on Greek mythology and later on various animals and historic figures.
  • Kamen Rider Amazon, aired from 1974 to 1975 and ran with just 24 episodes - making it the shortest Kamen Rider series to date. Daisuke Yamamoto, an orphan lost in the Amazon has grown up with an Amazon tribe and lead a peaceful life until his tribe was attacked by Gorgos. Before dying, his tribe elder turned Daisuke into Kamen Rider Amazon. This was the first Kamen Rider not to use a belt to transform. This was also the first series not to have any previous Kamen Riders appear, although Amazon meets his seniors in the next series.
  • Kamen Rider Stronger, aired in 1975 and ran for 39 episodes. This was intended to be the final Kamen Rider series. Shigeru Jou joins Black Satan after the murder of his best friend and mentor. Knowing the organization to be the culprits, he allows himself to undergo an operation that changes him into Kamen Rider Stronger. Later on, Black Satan is defeated and a new group known as Delza becomes the series enemy. Stronger is later joined by Electro Wave Human Tackle, a female warrior who later sacrifices herself to save Stronger from a powerful opponent. This was also the first series to have a temporary power up for the main character.
  • Kamen Rider (Skyrider), aired from 1979 to 1980 and ran for 54 episodes. Hiroshi Tsukaba is kidnapped and transformed into Kamen Rider as a means to help Doctor Shiro escape Neoshocker. During the course of the series, former Kamen Riders appear and Kamen Rider is dubbed Skyrider by Kamen Rider Stronger to differentiate him from the original Kamen Riders. This was a revival of the franchise after four years off of broadcast. Intended to be a remake of the original series, the idea was slowly phased out as references to the past were made and senior Kamen Riders made guest appearances.
  • Kamen Rider Super-1, aired from 1980 to 1981 and ran for 48 episodes. Wanting to become an astronaut, Kazuya Oki undergoes an operation that allows him to survive in space. The area were he is operated in is attacked by the Dogma Empire and Kamen Rider Super-1's peers are all killed. Super-1 has special gloves that allow for different attack types.
  • Birth of the 10th! Kamen Riders All Together!!, aired as a 1984 television special introduced the character of Ryo Murasame, Kamen Rider ZX (仮面ライダーZX(ゼクロス) Kamen Raidā Zekurosu?), who fights the Badan Empire after they brainwashed and cyberized him and killed his sister. The special shows his meeting with three of his nine predecessors, after much of his story was told in the Kamen Rider Spirits manga and a radio show.
  • Kamen Rider Black, aired from 1987 to 1988 and ran for 51 episodes. After being kidnapped by the cult Gorgom on the night of their 19th birthday, stepbrothers Kotaro Minami and Nobuhiko Akizuki are submitted to a mutant surgery with the purpose of becoming the candidates to be the next Creation King. Kotaro escapes before the brainwashing, with help from his foster father, and turned against Gorgom. He soon finds out the horrific truth from his stepfather: Gorgom originally killed his true parents. Later on, Kamen Rider Black must battle with his brother, who has become the trump card of Gorgom, Shadow Moon. Kamen Rider Black is the first Rider to not wear a scarf (which was synonymous with past Riders and Ishinomori's other works).
  • Kamen Rider Black RX, aired from 1988 to 1989 and ran for 47 episodes. Years after the defeat of Gorgom, Minami Kotaro is kidnapped by the Crisis Empire. After refusing to join them, he is thrust out into space where he undergoes the change to become Kamen Rider Black RX. This is the final show in the Shōwa era of shows.

Movie Trilogy

  • Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue, aired in 1992 and celebrated the 20th anniversary of Kamen Rider. Kamen Rider Shin was more similiar to the original designs for Kamen Rider.
  • Kamen Rider ZO, aired in 1993 and also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Kamen Rider.
  • Kamen Rider J, aired in 1994. Kamen Rider J was the first Rider to have the ability to grow in size.

Heisei era

  • Kamen Rider Kuuga, aired from 2000 to 2001 and ran for 49 episodes. Yuusuke Godai finds an ancient artifact that allows him to transform into Kamen Rider Kuuga to battle the Grongi forces, while deciphering the relationship between Kuuga and the Grongi. This was the first Kamen Rider series in 11 years and the start of the Heisei Kamen Rider Series of shows.
  • Kamen Rider Agito, aired from 2001 to 2002 and ran for 51 episodes. This was the first series to feature more than one Kamen Rider as the main character at the same time. Shouichi Tsugami has lost his memories, he lives with a foster family and fights against the Unknown as Kamen Rider Agito. Looking for the origin of his power and his lost memories, this series follows Kamen Rider Agito, G3, and Gills who deal with the Unknown and learn the true nature behind Agito.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki, aired from 2002 to 2003 and ran for 50 episodes. Shinji Kido, a reporter, finds his way into a parallel world that exists within reflective surfaces. In this parallel world, Shinji forms a contract with a creature known as a Mirror Monster, allowing him to transform into Kamen Rider Ryuki and join a tournament with twelve other Kamen Riders who are fighting to be granted a single wish.
  • Kamen Rider 555 , aired from 2003 to 2004 and ran for 50 episodes. A strange new form of humanity known as the Orphnoch, who are people who have mysteriously been brought back to life, begin to appear and in Kyushu. Young man Takumi Inui crosses paths with Mari Sonoda who is being chased by an Orphnoch enforcer of the Smart Brain Organization, and he uses the device she stole from them to transform into Kamen Rider Faiz. Inui is unwittingly drafted into the fight against Smart Brain, who are trying to eliminate mankind in favor of the Orphnoch race, along with a group of rogue Orphnoch and two other Kamen Riders who see Faiz as their enemy.
  • Kamen Rider Blade, aired from 2004 to 2005 and ran for 49 episodes. Kazuma Kenzaki is hired by the mysterious BOARD organization to combat the Undead, a series of 52 creatures who ten thousand years ago fought between each other in what was known as the Battle Royale to determine the dominant species on the Earth. They were all sealed away by an Undead known as the Joker until archaeologists in the present day undo the seal. As Kamen Rider Blade, Kenzaki must end the new Battle Royale by sealing away the Undead once more, cementing humanity as the dominant species, and is joined by three other Kamen Riders in the fight.
  • Kamen Rider Hibiki, aired from 2005 to 2006 and ran for 48 episodes. Throughout Japanese history, there have been people who undergo intense training to use the purity of sound to transform into beings known as Oni to battle monstrous creatures known as the Makamou. Asumu Adachi, a student ready to transfer into high school, is unsure as to how he should proceed in his life when he meets a man only known as Hibiki, one of the Oni. Hibiki takes Asumu under his wing and trains him in the way of the Oni in the fight against the Makamou, joining fellow Oni Ibuki and Zanki and their apprentices.
  • Kamen Rider Kabuto, aired from 2006 to 2007 and ran for 49 episodes. Souji Tendou has been training his entire life to be the recipient of a device known as the Kabuto Zecter that allows him to transform into Kamen Rider Kabuto. The ZECT organization initially developed the technology to combat the aliens known as the Worms who came to Earth on a meteor that struck in Shibuya in 1999, but have been hiding in plain sight ever since. He uses his powers to protect Hiyori Kusakabe from the Worms, but has to deal with ZECT officers trying to regain the Kabuto Zecter from him. He befriends ZECT agent and Hiyori's coworker Arata Kagami, who is the first person to know his identity as Kabuto, and combats ZECT's other affiliated and rogue Kamen Riders, all the while dealing with the Worm menace.
  • Kamen Rider Den-O, aired from 2007 to 2008 and ran for 49 episodes. Ryotaro Nogami is a young man with incredibly bad luck who one day is possessed by a mysterious creature known as an Imagin and discovers the Rider Pass, a device that enables him to transform into Kamen Rider Den-O. When the Rider Pass's owner Hana approaches him, they are attacked by another Imagin, one who comes from a possible future to 2007 who grant wishes to weakwilled humans in order to go back further in time to change the past to favor the Imagin's own future. Hana has Ryotaro transform, and the Imagin who possessed him takes pity on him and offers to take over his body and fight in his place. Ryotaro joins Hana, the Imagin Momotaros, and the crew of the DenLiner, which soon includes other Imagin who open contracts with Ryotaro, to protect the flow of time so the future of humanity remains as the one true future.
  • Kamen Rider Kiva, aired from 2008 to 2009 and ran for 48 episodes. Wataru Kurenai is a young man who transforms into Kamen Rider Kiva to fight the vampiric Fangire Race in the year 2008, while dealing with the Wonderful Blue Sky Organization who sees Kiva as a threat. Otoya Kurenai is a violin virtuoso and Wataru's father who encounters the Fangire in the year 1986 and assists the Wonderful Blue Sky Organization in their fight with the Fangire. The actions Otoya takes in the past in regards to the Fangire affect how Wataru must deal with the same Fangire in the present.
  • Kamen Rider Decade, aired in 2009 after the finale of Kiva and was billed as the 10th anniversary of the Heisei Rider Series, lasting for only 31 episodes. Tsukasa Kadoya is a photographer with no memory of his past and whose photos never turn out quite right. When dimensional portals open up, trapping his only friend Natsumi Hikari with the various monsters other Kamen Riders have faced, she finds the Decade Driver which Tsukasa instinctively uses to transform into Kamen Rider Decade, a being Natsumi has seen in her nightmares. While the world seems to collapse around him, everything freezes and he is approached by Wataru Kurenai who tells him that the multiverse is collapsing, and this world will be destroyed unless he travels to the worlds of the other Kamen Riders and fix them in order to prevent the destruction of every world. However, the mysterious Narutaki disseminates rumors throughout the other realities that Tsukasa will be the destroyer of all worlds, causing the Kamen Riders to turn on him.

Neo-Heisei Era

  • Kamen Rider W, aired in late 2009 following the finale of Decade. Shotaro Hidari is a private investigator in the ecologically-minded city of Fuuto who works with his partner Philip to investigate crimes that involve users of Gaia Memories which transform them into monstrous beings known as Dopants. Shotaro and Philip have their own set of Gaia Memories that they use in conjunction with the Double Driver belt, with Philip's mind traveling into Shotaro's body to fight as Kamen Rider Double. With their landlord (and daughter of their mentor) Akiko Narumi, Shotaro and Philip protect Fuuto all while discovering more about the past that Philip cannot remember.
  • Kamen Rider OOO, aired in late 2010 following the finale of W. Eiji Hino is unwillingly drafted by a being known as Ankh to be his guard in the fight amongst the Greeed, monsters whose powers stem from mystical coins known as Core Medals. When they awoke, several of their Core Medals were missing; Ankh having lost most and thus stole some from his kin. As the Greeed hunt down their Core Medals, they use Cell Medals to create monsters called Yummy to produce more Cell Medals to sustain their incomplete bodies. However, Ankh uses Eiji Hino and gives him the OOO Driver to allow Eiji to transform into Kamen Rider OOO to get the Medals for him. However, a third party is also after the Medals for mysterious reasons in the form of the mysterious Kougami Foundation.[1]
  • Kamen Rider Fourze, aired in late 2011 following the finale of OOO. The series has a spaceflight motif and is intended to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's and mankind's first flight into space as well as the 40th anniversary of the Kamen Rider Series.[2] Gentaro Kisaragi has recently transferred to Amanogawa High School, where he seeks to make everyone there his friend. After he meets with childhood friend Yuki Jojima, and runs afoul of her friend Kengo Utahoshi, a monster known as a Zodiarts attacks. After Gentaro takes the Fourze Driver Kengo intended to use himself, he transforms into Kamen Rider Fourze and fights the Zodiarts. Yuki convinces Kengo to begrudingly allow Gentaro to assist them in their fight, even as Gentaro transforms the lunar base they can transport to into the headquarters for a Kamen Rider Club to gather friends and supporters in the fight.
  • Kamen Rider Wizard, aired in late 2012 following the finale of Fourze. The series is based on magic. When Haruto Soma is used as a sacrifice for a ritual, mysterious demons called Phantoms appear, attacking humans to increase their numbers; a mysterious girl, Koyomi, unaffected by the Phantoms, saves him. Haruto gains the powers to Kamen Rider Wizard by a mysterious robed figure called the White Wizard. Haruto then transforms into Kamen Rider Wizard to save people from despair caused by the Phantoms, supported by Koyomi, his apprentice Shunpei Nara, police officer Rinko Daimon, the Rings' creator Shigeru Wajima, and later on a mysterious agent named Masanori Kizaki. Eventually, another person named Kosuke Nitoh meets the group and later fights alongside Haruto as Kamen Rider Beast.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim, aired in late 2013 following the finale of Wizard. In the world of Kamen Rider Gaim, because of a large company known as the Yggdrasill Corporation setting up shop in the once bustling city of Zawame (沢芽市 Zawame-shi?), it now feels like everyone is living in a jōkamachi (城下町? castle town). To escape this feeling, young people throughout the city have formed dance crews to bring joy back into their lives. Also popular is a game that uses Lockseeds that contain small animals known as Inves that are said to come from another dimension. However, as this game becomes more and more popular, it seems to be causing tears in reality to an actual alternate dimension from which monsters are invading the Earth. Kouta Kazuraba, who gives up time in his dance crew to start a job to help out his sister, uses a special Lockseed in his Sengoku Driver belt to transform into Kamen Rider Gaim to battle these monsters, but he must also contend with other rival Kamen Riders, transforming a fight against monsters from another dimension into a Kamen Rider warring states period.
  • Kamen Rider Drive, aired in late 2014 following the finale of Gaim. Mysterious incidents known as "Density Shift" or "Slowdown" are caused by monsters called Roidmudes, 108 rogue AIs that steal people's identities. During these periods, time is dilated for normal people and makes them sluggish and heavy, leaving the Roidmudes free to cause havoc. Ace cop Shinnosuke Tamari severely injured his partner Hayase during by accident during one of these incidents, making him lose all motivation for his work. Demoted and transferred to a special investigations unit, he finds out six months later about Shift Cars, sentient toy cars that grant him special powers and allow him to move normally during Slowdown. With the help of the Drive Driver Mr. Belt, his new partner Kirihiko, his car Tridoron and the Shift Cars plus the aid of the Special Investigations Unit, he fights against Roidmudes and the mysterious Chase as Kamen Rider Drive.

Remakes

  • Kamen Rider The First, premired in 2005. It is a reimagining of the original Kamen Rider show, and adds a touch of romance to the story.
  • Kamen Rider The Next, premired in 2007. It is a reimagining of Kamen Rider V3, and replaces the romance of the previous movie with horror.

TV Specials

Shōwa era
Heisei era

Theatrical releases

Shōwa era
Heisei era

V-Cinema releases

V-Cinema releases began appearing during the Heisei era of the franchise. Previously depicting independent Riders and storylines, current releases have been shorts that serve as a series recap relating to Rider abilities and the rider showing off a exclusive power within the special. Since 2002's Ryuki release, they have come to be commonly known by fans as "Hyper Battle Videos".

Heisei era

Hyper Battle Videos

Kamen Rider Hyper Battle (仮面ライダー超(ハイパー)バトル Kamen Raidā Haipā Batoru?) Video/DVDs have been yearly direct to video/DVD shorts since the birth of the heisei Kamen Rider series. These omake range from humorous out of character actions and situations to musicals; it is also known for breaking fourth wall regularly. The videos often show off the powers and forms of each of the Heisei Kamen Riders.

Motifs

Main article: Kamen Rider Motifs

The most commonly seen theme in the Shōwa era was the grasshopper, a symbol that early Kamen Riders have become synonymous with. The Heisei era, however, explored other insects and sometimes even more extreme motifs such as other animals, the Greek alphabet, Card suits, and musical instruments.

Homages and parodies

Main article: List of references to Kamen Rider in popular culture

The Kamen Rider franchise has been parodied in various productions, both in and outside of Japan. One of the main trademarks being parodied is the Kamen Rider henshin pose. In video games, Skullomania (from Street Fighter) and May Lee (from King of Fighters) are some examples of Kamen Rider parodies, as well as Viewtiful Joe. In anime, various aspects of Kamen Rider are noticeable. Examples range from Tokyo Pig to My-HiME and its sequel My Otome to Crayon Shin-chan to Dragonball Z to Bleach to Franken Fran; either being used as a comical parody or homage. In live action, known parodies of the Kamen Rider series include "Kamen Renaider" (by SMAP's Takuya Kimura and Shingo Katori), which is a parody skit of Ryuki, "Kamen Zaiber" a parody of the original; "Kamen Norida" by the Tunnels, a parody of Kamen Rider 1 and the first series; "Kamen Rider HG" Hard Gay's parody of the original for a Japanese TV show; and "Ridermen" a short skit of a man called Ridermen (an obvious parody of the Riderman) on the set of Kamen Rider Kuuga.

Akimasa Nakamura named two minor planets in honor of the series: 12408 Fujioka, after actor Hiroshi Fujioka, known for his portrayal of Takeshi Hongo/Kamen Rider 1, and 12796 Kamenrider, after the series, itself.

Notes

  • Some series of the franchise have something in common, the monster. In Kamen Rider 1, Amazon, Black, Kuuga, Ryuki and Hibiki, the every first episode's monsters are based on spiders, or have the ability to drop webs.
  • Something in common between the Heisei Riders is that in every movie (since Ryuki to Kabuto) were pre-submitted the Final Forms of Riders. Starting the Neo Heisei period, these "pre-shows" started on December's crossovers, and the forms are shown to be the Super Forms (except Fourze and Gaim).

References

  1. Uchusen, Vol. 129
  2. "仮面ライダー:最新作「フォーゼ」は初の学園モノ リーゼント頭の主人公に福士蒼汰 - MANTANWEB(まんたんウェブ)". 2011-06-30. Archived from the original on 2012-06-04. http://archive.is/bwJQ. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 

External links

TV Asahi

Toei

Bandai

Others


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