Best Kamen Rider Show?
I think we've all focused on the negative enough, so now which Kamen Rider shows do you consider the best?
This isn't a definitive list of mine or anything, but this is just from what I can think of at the moment.
Kamen Rider (original): Seven episodes in, and it's already one of the most dynamic, fun, and overall awesome shows in the franchise. I mention it at much greater length in the thread about the show, but man do I love it. It's amazing how much they have done Hongo mis-justice over the years by making him some cardboard cutout character, especially considering how faceless he has become as a Double Rider.
Kamen Rider V3: My first Kamen Rider show, and still one of the best by far. The first two episodes are a bit rough, but the moment we get into Kazami Shiro's character and pick up the pace, there's virtually no bad episode. Shiro is easily one of the best Riders of all time, and always will be. His character is the perfect mix of angst and justice (take note, constantly emo comic heroes), and the whole time he refuses to give up. I love heroes that have incredible willpower, and V3 is the perfect example. He never gives up, and he always finds a way to win, regardless of opponent.
And speaking of opponent, Destron is one of the best KR villain groups ever, and always will be. The generals are amazing, and the mutants have that sense of personality and individualism (just like the first Kamen Rider show at this point) that the Heisei creatures are generally lacking. They feel threatening, and the designs are just awesome. They are certainly some of the most original designs KR has ever had (TV Fly = BADASS).
The action is a hell of a lot of fun, too. Is it Jackie Chan choreography? Not at all. Instead, it's light, violent, and just filled with colorful and cartoony visuals and cool background music (not to mention lots of entertaining flips).
Kamen Rider Kuuga: It really does feel like a new take on the classics. It pretty much has all of the positives of the originals, though the ending was bad.
Kamen Rider Ryuki: I recently finished the show, and I adored it. It has a pace different from the other shows, in that the monsters are not the threat, but the Rider dynamic is great. Sure, there are flaws (such as confusing plot points and the bullshit Survive Mode), but the fights are great, the characters are fantastic (Ouja and Odin possibly being the best evil Kamen Riders yet), and the plot, while a mess at times, is definitely interesting.
The new breed.
ALL The showa stuff, Shin, ZO, J and Kuuga.
Kicking ass and Taking names.
i think the best Kamen Rider shows are
Kamen Rider Black/Black RX-great story and even better when they did the second series that was Black RX with even cooler transformations
Kamen Rider Ryuki-confusing plot lines aside (even the american verison of dragon knight couldn't fix it) it was an overall good show
Kamen Rider Den-O- it's pacing and theatrics were awesome and the fights well they were bad ass to me, even the humor was great
Kamen Rider OOO-while still in production, the pacing of the story is great and is doing allot with what's given regardless of the hate it's charecters are awesome and there development has been solid none the less
Kamen Rider Decade-i know i know why i am saying this bullcrap and negativity aside it was moving story that plowed ahead even with it's short season of 30 episodes this show needed more to move more ahead
It is really hard to say what the "best" KR show is, because it is really up to your individual opinion.
I loved Hibiki, and I think that if you truly want to enjoy this show, you have to understand some things about Japanese culture, because in many ways, the first half of the show seemed like a social commentary to me.
It focused on SO many things that would be considered taboo in the Japanese society.
Hibiki himself was basically a "looser". A guy who had never completed his education or got a job. He didn't know much about the world around him, and he always had that "Why is that so important?" attitude.
He was basically a role-model for all the Japanese children, who were stressed out because of their school life, or didn't do well in it.
I always got the feeling that the show wanted to give message that "You can become something big. You don't have to let your grades determine whether you are good at something or not"
Then you had Asumu, who was basically the type of kid that the show's message was aimed towards at.
He lived alone with his mother, who was a taxi-driver. Again, this is something I don't see often in Japanese shows, ESPECIALLY not for kids. They actually showed a poor, single-parent family.
At first I thought they would say that Asumu's father had died, but to my surprise, they actually brought up the subject of divorce, which is still considered a major taboo by many Japanese.
That is when the show got my full respect.
Hibiki is so much more than a KR show, and I will always love it for what it tried to do.
It was a breathe of fresh air to see something beyond the average teen-angst/kawaii theme, which all shows focus on today.
I wish that the first writers had been allowed to continue. During the second half, the show lost everything that made it unique, and the end basically went against the whole message that the first writers had tried to create.
Hell if I know.
Black/Kuuga/V3? All three got children murdered.
Den o and Kiva were the best im on episode 21 on Den o
2 months till Kamen Rider Wizard
The Meteor has landed
Kamen Rider W - Love the plot of the show, the action was awesome, and Shoutaro and Phillp are the best team of one Kamen Rider I have ever seen
Kamen Rider Kiva - Was okay, could work more on the plot , other than that, it was great
Kamen Rider Den-O - I love the Taros Gang
Kamen Rider Kabuto - " The one who will walk on the path of heaven, The one who will rule over everything" < that's all you need to know
Kamen Rider Blade - I love the plot of the show and how the characters progress thru out the show
A big thanks to Mach_Full_Force to making my awesome Signature and Avatar
Because I haven't made a decent list in a while...
1. Kamen Rider Hibiki - It's been my favorite tokusatsu and TV series since its airing. Pretty much echo what's been said about it earlier, though I do love the second half just as much.
2. Kamen Rider X - I love Jin as a character and I love the supporting cast of the show, even if some of them don't stick around as long as I would like. Would have been great if the aquatic theme was played up more, but that doesn't bug me too much. Also, Kabuto Lupin is still the best monster ever.
3. Kamen Rider - As flawed as the show can be, it's entertaining the entire way through. The first few episodes really play up the horror aspect in a very unique, low budget manner. It introduces a lot of staples in their most basic forms and is just damn fun.
4. Kamen Rider Kuuga - Godai is a great character and despite some...oddities, (Grongi killed 400 police officers and people are all walking around like nothing is wrong? O...kay) the show is a great watch. It's one of the more unique Kamen Rider shows in regards to the visual approach it takes. I've also always loved the Grongi as an idea, they're probably my second favorite villain faction behind the Undead.
5. Kamen Rider BLACK - Kay, here's a show that could really flounder around a lot and still make things interesting! The early episodes sort of remind me of X in a sense, mostly the father aspects and whatnot, so that's always a plus. It had creepy set of baddies in the three priests and Bilgenia before Shadowmoon pops in and ends him in a really cheap way.
6. Kamen Rider W - While it doesn't have a story as strong as Agito, I find that it doesn't bore me as much as Agito did. I love most of the characters, even Shotaro, who I don't dislike as a person, just...I don't like his role in the series. I really enjoy the story and the set up for the Museum and everything going on in the background. My favorite moment with the series was towards the end when I had this moment of clarity and could see how everything Shroud did was coming together for the ultimate goal of her plan.
7. Kamen Rider Agito - I placed it this low because, yeah, really great story, but it just dragged so much at times. I felt this is when having to run a year long really hurts the show. If it was 26 episodes or, hell, even 39 episodes, it would have run much smoother! There are so many great story beats that just feel like they take forever to go into motion and that always bugged me. The high point of this series is the fact that it's so far the only Kamen Rider series with episodes that actually give me a sense of unease. Those episodes where Shoichi meets...Shoichi, the eerie music, the strange green tint to the screen, the camera angles being all weird, it all combines for this awesome package of disturbing content.
8. Kamen Rider Super-1 - I just really like Kazuya and the look of the suit. Makes watching fights really fun and there's an interesting cast of characters here. I really like Dogma as far as their goals go and I just love the thematic connection they have to Kazuya. The show also plays host to my second favorite Kamen Rider movie behind Hibiki's.
9. Kamen Rider Blade - I love the Undead, they are my favorite set of baddies because they don't always feel like bad guys. You do get the sense that they are trying to simply survive and get their race going again and this was great after a year of a lot of "bush jumping" villains in Faiz. The story does drag at times, especially in regards to Mutsuki, but is an otherwise engaging show to watch.
10. Kamen Rider Kiva - This is a show I see get a lot of hate, but I really love it. I mostly love the portion that takes place in the past and would have loved that as a full 50 episode show. I felt this was the one Rider show that was really allowed to dive head first into romantic themes that Kamen Rider really only seemed to dip their fit into in the past. I love the aesthetic of the show, both the Rider suits and the goth look going on. I do wish the Watar/Taiga/Mio love triangle was pulled off a bit better and there were a couple of eye roll moments for me (Shima and Maya somehow both surviving), but I liked it fine otherwise. The portion set in the present really drags down the potential, I imagine a full 50 episode 80s series would make this sky rocket to the top of my favorites. Still, it is a great series I really enjoy.
Almost wanted to place V3 at 10, but I realized, man, I do not like that show. I must be one of the only people in the world who can't handle it and when I do enjoy it, all thanks must go to Akira Yamaguchi, he's my second favorite tokusatsu actor behind Shigeki Hosokawa.
Friendship and the Cosmos.
Originally Posted by Scissors
Man, so many great shows. Each unique in their own way.
1. Kuuga - One of the many Kuuga fans here, but man. Kuuga is one of the greatest tokusatsu shows ever created in my opinion. Like Aoi said, the visual approach that it takes is truly fantastic, from its action scenes, to it's Grongi scenes, it's all very different, and something you don't really see in any Toku shows now a days. I particularly loved how the Grongi scenes were shot. With all the creepy lighting effects it really accentuated how evil the Grongi were. Then there was Godai. I am definitely a Godai fan. He was truly a hero. His kindness and willingness to take on the Grongi all by himself truly made him standout even today as one of the greatest lead riders ever. No matter what Odagiri does or says about Kamen Rider or toku in general, no one can say he wasn't anything but perfect for Godai.
Everything to mention about Hibiki has been mentioned, but one thing I loved about Hibiki was how being an Oni was a way of life. A duty and a lifelong mission to protect Japan from Makamou. Hosokawa, Shibue, Matsuda and Todoroki's actor had excellent dynamic, and the aesthetic of the Oni suits were such a pleasure to look at.
Agito was an awesome series. While a bit lighter than Kuuga, it was still a very dramatic story, and its cast also made this show a pleasure to watch. Hard to believe Inoue wrote this.
Double? Awesome show. There will be many other posters after me who will talk about it though haha.
Mr. Kamen Rider
If I have to go with just one, as the best, it'd be the original. Admittedly that's also my favorite series, but because I generally like all the Riders, what sets the original apart as the best one is also of the many reasons it is my favorite.
What the original series really has is a total clarity of concept. Every Rider series since then seems to go through a phase where the show has thrown a bunch of things against the wall, and then it decides which ones it's going to keep and which ones it'll ditch. Sometimes it's right near the beginning, sometimes it's later on, and sometimes it's a continuous series-spanning thing. V3 spends about 12 episodes trying to figure out how to top Doktor G, in the process creating two of Rider's best gimmick villains ever, a bunch of remakes of original series episodes, a not-Taki guy, some kickass team-ups with the Double Riders and finally Riderman. At some point Ryuki goes from being about Riders fighting and dying to what the guy who has them all fighting is really after. Decade has our hero travel through the 9 Rider worlds, dick around for a bit in the Inoueverse, then team-up with Amazon, Kurata Tetsuo and a Sentai team before finally going to his non-ending. I love all that of course, but it does feel like there's always a time when the writers turn to each other and go "Hey, I just had an idea."
The original does this, but probably because it does it for the first time, it somehow feels more organic. The shows's own evolution is part of the storyline. It does things no other series has done since out of necessity, and it also does things every series have done since as convention, though the first time around it was all fresh and untested. It could have screwed up on so many things, yet it gets them all right. It hit the ground running and leaped over every obstacle in its way, finally coming to a stop as the masterpiece that is the ending (ironically, my favorite episode of Kamen Rider is the last one!)
The story is simple, but effective. While not the Machiavellian labyrinth some other Rider story lines are, it's got enough shake-ups to keep it interesting. There are some good ongoing stories, though basically every episode can be enjoyed on its own. There's a pacing to it that always gets in enough action and plot, however streamlined. There's a horror aspect to the show that I think is evident throughout the series (not just the early episodes) but its always kept in check. Things are never too grim nor too light. It's just the right balance of fun and serious storytelling.
The characters are wonderful. Despite the heavily rotating cast, the show makes good with what it has. Hongo is awesome, though I think he actually gets better later on once Ichimonji has been around to expand upon the Rider concept a bit. Fujioka's able to put a bit more of himself into the role, coming across as more assertive (the clothes help too. Later-series Hongo has some of the best clothes of any Rider, ever.) Ichimonji is so badass it should be illegal, and I think really defined a lot of what makes Kamen Riders today. The episodes where they're onscreen together feel like a real meeting of titans.
Taki is in my opinion the show's actual main character, along with Tachibana and the Shocker Leader to a degree, because he's around through all the changes. We're with him 'til the end. He rocks, and I love that he never becomes a Rider. That would have cheapened the character and what he represents (the Spirits thing is okay because he's still not really becoming a Rider, just a facsimile.) While the show goes through umpteen million sidekicks, there are some great ones. Ruriko, despite her brevity, is excellent; as is Yuri, who turns up in 14 and lasts until the end. She practically ties with Taki as a main character! And I got a soft spot for Choko, who by her name alone produces one of the show's best running jokes.
And then there's the villains. The monster of the week are all memorable, with quite a few being the DNA templates for every similar monster since. The main bad guys are iconic as hell, brought to life by little more than some great acting. Shocker feels like a true worldwide menace, more far-reaching and powerful than any Rider villain group since, even if that isn't supposed to be the case! Gelshocker too, which I consider to be sort of a limited-time only Holiday Edition with new packaging, but the same great taste.
The designs and costumes are phenomenal. While costume-making has improved and the designs have gotten more intricate, there's something about the roughness of the old stuff that makes it the most impressive. And as everybody knows by now, I think the best Rider costumes ever came out of this show after episode 52. :laugh
As for effects, I would have to care about effect quality for those to even matter. But I kinda don't, so there you go. Speaking from a purely technical standpoint though, while they are the most primitive, I think the effects in the original series really are rather good for the purpose they serve. I like the trippy death scenes and the quick-cut models. Honestly it looks no better or worse to me than the CGI we get now, which looks exactly like CGI, but who cares? It's about what the effect is doing for the story, not the other way around.
The music is incredible, both the songs and background stuff. The original series songs are so good that I think you could set footage of any other Riders to them and they'd still fit. Particularly "Lonely Kamen Rider"... well aside from that one mention of the Cyclone!
I can go on about this show forever. It may be the first, but I think it's also still the best. Every Rider series brings something new to the table, and thanks to the original, it's a very big table.
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