Kamen Rider Spotlight: Kamen Rider Skull
It’s time for another instalment of the Kamen Rider Spotlight, and this time we’re going hardboiled as I look at my all-time favourite Kamen Rider of all time, Kamen Rider Skull!
Mentor to Shotaro Hidari, Soukichi Narumi was a true hardboiled detective, but an incident in dealing with the Spider Dopant led to him becoming a Kamen Rider, as well as isolating himself from his daughter when a miniature Spider Bomb implants in him, which would go off if he ever came in direct contact with the one he loved most. He later took on Shotaro as an apprentice and began solving Dopant related cases as Skull, until his tragic end that also began Shotaro and Philip‘s story as W.
Much of Skull’s tech is later passed down to W, or inspires the creation of similar tech. The Lost Driver that the Skull Memory is inserted into looks like a broken half of W’s Double Driver, and in fact was later passed down to Shotaro so that he could become Kamen Rider Joker in case of emergencies where Philip wasn’t available to transform with him. Like with W, it possesses a Maximum Drive slot that allows Skull to his finisher, the Skull Banisher Rider Kick. Also the Skull Magnum, his personal side arm, would later give inspiration to the creation of the Trigger Magnum, and as such operates in much the same fashion. It also grants Skull an additional finisher called the Skull Punisher.
The SkullBoilder is Skull’s modified Honda CBR1000RR motorcycle. It’s kept inside of the mobile garage, the tank-like SkullGarry, which can be called out with the press of a button on the Stag Phone. Both the SkullBoilder and the SkullGarry would later be reconfigured into W’s HardBoilder and RevolGarry.
It’s also worth noting that Skull has an incomplete form that appeared once: Skull Crystal. It’s relatively the same, except that it lacks the S-shaped crack in the helmet, which would usually be covered by Soukichi’s fedora anyway…and by the way, I would just like to note once again for the record that it’s because of W and Skull that I myself have taken to wearing fedoras myself, as a sign of my everlasting fanboyism to these two Riders.
Well, that’s all for this edition of Kamen Rider Spotlight. Next time, we start and finish at a climax. Ja né!
Kamen Rider Spotlight: Kamen Rider IXA
Well, time for another instalment of the Kamen Rider Spotlight, and for our second Rider, I’m taking a look at one of my all-time favourites, Kamen Rider IXA. Also, I noted that in the past, I hadn’t spent a lot of time covering the additional weapons and vehicles of Kamen Riders, so I will attempt to make up for that in this and future Spotlights.
IXA was the secondary Rider from Kamen Rider Kiva‘s season. Unlike most Riders, a number of people have become IXA over time, including the Wolfen Jiro, Kiva’s father Otoya, Fangire Hunter Yuri Aso, the Lion Fangire Rook, the Spider Fangire Ryo Itoya, Yuri’s daughter Megumi, and Fangire Hunter Kengo Eritate. However, the primary user of the IXA System throughout the show was Keisuke Nago, who at first battles against Kiva until learning his true identity and seeing him as an ally in protecting humanity.
The IXA System is operated with the IXA Belt and IXA Knuckle. By first pressing the Knuckle to another part of their body (Nago typically pressed it in the palm of his other hand) and then sliding it into place on the Belt, a projection of the armour appears in front of the user’s body and then overlaps it, materializing over them.
IXA only has three forms that are seen. The basic, original form is known as Save Mode. Back when IXA was still in the prototype stages, Save Mode was all it had, and it kinda blew. Steam would burst out for no reason, the thing constantly beeped, and it could actually harm the user. These problems would later be fixed as the system underwent upgrades over the years to the point that it also received it’s next form, Burst Mode. Like Kiva, it comes with a Fuestle that unlocks additional power. The Knuckle Fuestle allows IXA to use his primary finishing move with the IXA Knuckle called the Broken Fang.
Burst Mode is so named because it sends of a wave of intense heat that damages everything in the immediate area. It also gives slight upgrades to all areas that Save Mode usually gives increases to. He’s also armed with several more Fuestles, some of which actually allow him to borrow or even outright steal Kiva’s weapons. He also comes equipped with the IXA Calibur, a high powered gun that turns into a sword, because as we all know, guns that turn into swords and vice versa are frigging awesome. His finisher is a high-powered slash called the IXA Judgement.
As is the case with nearly every other Rider in existence, IXA has his own motorcycle. The IXAlion is modified from a Honda CBR1000RR and possesses a max speed of 753 km/h. But if you’re more the type that likes combat vehicles, IXA doesn’t leave you disappointed there either.
The Powerd Ixer is a massive dragon-like crane on wheels. It was originally designed to combat the massive Sabbats or Kiva’s Castle Doran, but has since proven to be a helpful ally to Castle Doran in combat. It flings enemies around, can toss massive orbs at targets, or can even lob IXA himself at opponents for a high-powered Rider Kick.
But when all else fails, IXA has one final trick hidden up his sleeve, or rather his mouth-plate: The IXA Riser, a cellphone that turns into a gun and can also transform IXA into his final form, Rising IXA. This pumps IXA up to maximum strength, able to stand up to the strongest of opponents. Before the end of the series, IXA received a final upgrade that allowed him to bypass his other forms and go straight to Rising IXA, as the enemies were growing too numerous and too powerful for his weaker forms. The IXA Riser grants him his new finisher, a massive shot of energy called the Final Rising Blast. The only downside is that the finisher has one hell of a recoil, knocking IXA on his ass and cancelling out the transformation. IXA later managed to brace himself properly, but until then learned to vault himself off a nearby wall and follow the blast up with a Rider Kick.
As mentioned before, IXA is not locked down to a single chosen user and can technically be used by anyone. Because of that, it means that the one using it has to be stronger, faster, smarter, wiser, and more humane than any other in order to prove he is the one best suited for it, the one true Kamen Rider IXA.
Well, that’s all for this edition of Kamen Rider Spotlight, and I’ll see y’all next time. Ja ne!