Kamen Rider

Posted 10 years ago by myetvmedia

Kamen Rider

In North America, there have been several live action superhero TV shows: Lois and Clark, The Incredible Hulk, The Crow, and more. Some have been good, many not so good. Canada and the USA are not the only countries with superheroes, we’re not even the first country to have a traditional superhero. That honor goes to Ogon Bat (Golden Bat) from Japan. He hit the stands in 1930, Superman made his debut in 1933. And there is also Kamen Rider.

Kamen Rider the superhero, was created in the 70s by Japanese writer/artist Ishinomori Shotaro. His fame has spread, mainly through the internet, to western audiences where the series about Kamen Rider enjoys a relatively large fan base. Since 1971, there have been 25 different shows under the title, with more than 100 different people playing Riders. There have been two attempts to bring the show Kamen Rider to Western audiences. Masked Rider, a very loose adaptation of Kamen Rider Black RX released for TV in 1996, and Kamen Rider Dragon Knight a TV series cancelled after one season in 2006 based on Kamen Rider Ryuki. Dragon Knight did, however, win a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination. Ishinomori himself was awarded the Guinness world record for most comics published by one author.

In the West, you have Kirby, Lee, and Moore, big name creators who hit on something gold, over and over again. In Japan, there was Ishinomori, a student of Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy) whose many hits are still popular today. Some even made it outside of Japan. The best example is his Super Sentai series which was later adapted into Power Rangers. Another example is Cyborg 009, which was recently remade in the west with art supplied by Toronto’s own Marcus To (Red Robin, Batwing).

Ishinomori’s first major success was a one-off manga titled Skull Man, which was retooled into the Kamen Rider tv series. College student Hongo Takeshi is kidnapped by the villainous Shocker for his motorcycle skills and high IQ. After undergoing some nasty modifications and surgeries, he was reborn as Kamen Rider, casting aside Shocker’s brainwashing and vowing to save the world.

The show began in 1971. The most recent series, Kamen Rider Gaim, has only recently started. Once a series ends, a new one begins, almost always retooling everything. Kamen Rider has been everything from a hardboiled detective to a vampire king. Altogether, there have been 25 different shows under the title, with more than 100 different people playing Riders. There was a long break in the nineties, after falling ratings and some direct-to-video movies that were poorly received. However, Kamen Rider would be successfully revived with Kamen Rider Kuuga, followed by Agito. While before, Riders would team up, the new Riders rarely interacted with previous seasons, until 2009’s Kamen Rider Decade, that featured a war between Riders as its central premise.

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Kamen Rider

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