…Y’know what I haven’t talked about in a while? Kamen Rider. And really, why shouldn’t I? Kamen Rider is one of, if not the, greatest series of the Tokusatsu genre. It’s lasted for four decades (ignoring a television hiatus that lasted from 1989 to 2000), has had crossovers with a number of different series in Japan, including Super Sentai, Ultraman, and Metal Heroes, and has spawned dubs in other countries, including two in English. But, as many people know, one thing that’s needed for an action show is for it to have a kickass opening theme that gets the audience ready for the half-hour that’s about to ensue. Now, other than the opening themes, Kamen Rider HAS had a number of insert themes that are really good too, and I’ll go over some of my favourites later on down the road as well. For now, though, let’s look at my 5 Favourite Kamen Rider Opening Themes, and I think I’m gonna do these in the order in which each season aired, starting with probably the most obvious…
Yeah, you knew this was gonna be up here. While I admittedly prefer the 2000 version of Let’s Go Rider Kick, this is the version used for the official intro, so it’s the one I’m posting. And I’m sure everyone’s wondering what I think of the 2011 cover by Kamen Rider Girls, and…I don’t really have an opinion. I didn’t really care when it was first released one way or the other beyond “Oh, that’s neat, they did a cover for the movie”. I neither really like it, nor am I in the group of people that practically called death down on these women. It’s just a cover, you guys. Get over it. Despite being one of my favourites, though, if I WAS going to rank these, this would probably be near the bottom. No disrespect, it’s just I like the others on this list a lot more. Still, it continues to maintain its position as the definitive Kamen Rider theme. Just, uh, don’t pull a Neo Saban era Power Rangers with us and have a remix of this theme for every season anytime soon, ‘kay?
BLACK! 😀 Okay, while I haven’t watched most of this season, there’s just something about the general aesthetic of Black’s suit that I really love. And dammit all, I LOVE the opening theme to his season. It really gets you in the mood to see this guy lay down some hurtin’ on some Gorgom scumbags. I actually really love the closing theme, too, if we’re being totally honest. That’s why I can’t help but giggle and hum that theme when I watch the net movie for Kamen Rider Decade where all the suit actors are dressed as Showa Era Riders for a race, and Black is just walking like in the end credits. Funny stuff.
YES, for the 150th time, I actually like Kamen Rider Kiva! Honest to God, I don’t get the hate for this series, and I DEFINITELY don’t get the Twilight jabs at it, especially since, while the books had been out for a few years, the first movie didn’t come out until November of the same year Kiva started airing, by which time we’d already had 40 episodes of the series. Really, it just comes off as people being vampired out by that point, and not wanting to give this show a chance. But anyway, getting back to the theme song, I think it’s a really catchy theme, and fits the tone of the series pretty well. Also, good God, the weird-ass imagery. If that didn’t make you wanna watch just to find out what the frak was going on, I don’t know what would do it for ya. Still, as catchy as this theme is, it pales in comparison to the next two on my list, in particular…
FUCK YEAH! I have said before that Kamen Rider W is my favourite season, it has my favourite Rider of all time in Kamen Rider Skull, and Goddamn it, it has probably my favourite opening theme of any Kamen Rider season. It’s energetic, it fits the tone of the series, and the imagery produced gets you ready for this combo of a superhero show and a detective story that balances comedy with tragedy in all the right ways. The only theme I would stack up against it is the last one on this list…
While I don’t think it’s the BEST theme that was produced for OOO, and we’ll talk about THAT later on, the intro theme does exactly as is required: Get your pulse pounding. Granted, with some of the later episodes and some of the more tragic elements of the plot, hearing this energetic and happy theme can kinda result in mood whiplash. And while it’s true that other themes have done this, none quite to the level of OOO. Still, it’s a solid hit, and the opening credits sequence that accompanies the music definitely does a good job of highlighting these three individuals that are caught up in this hectic chase for the Medals.
So, those are my 5 Favourite Kamen Rider Opening Themes. Have a favourite that wasn’t on here? Lemme know in the comments below, and I shall see you guys the next time I talk about Kamen Rider, when I list my 5 Favourite Insert Themes. Ja né!
Y’know what I haven’t talked too much about? Digimon. I loved Digimon as a kid, and apparently the dub for the newest series, Digimon Fusion, is supposed to be pretty good. And that got me thinking about some of my favourites. So, I thought I’d count off 5 of my favourite Mega-level Digimon, the highest-evolved of all Digimon, to start with, and then do some of the other levels as I go along. You’re going to have to forgive me if I go back and forth between English and Japanese terminology, but I will try to keep the names to their English translated versions. Also, to keep things fair, I’m gonna try to limit this to one per family line (in other words, only one from the Greymon line, one from the Garurumon line, etc.). They can of course Digivolve from the same Digimon, that’s fine, but I don’t wanna double up on Greymons. Speaking of which, let’s start with…
Yeah, I bet you were expecting someone slightly different, but to be honest, I kinda find VictoryGreymon to be WarGreymon on steroids, and his sword, the Dramon Breaker, has longer range than WarGreymon’s claws. His ultimate attack is the Trident Gaia, where his sword is split and inserted into his gauntlets, then charges up all the atmospheric energy into them and fires it in a massive blast.
Yeah, probably noticing a bit of a Digimon Next trend here. lol Anyway, ZeedGarurumon trades in MetalGarurumon’s wings for a super dreadnought-class weapon mounted onto his back, the Zeed Cannon, as well as the upgraded laser-targetters on his nose, which allow ZeedGarurumon to lock-on to hundreds of targets at once. When that’s not enough, however, he can lock-on and fire all weapons using the Full Metal Blaze technique.
I really couldn’t do either of these two without the other, honestly, so I’m calling it a draw for #3. Call it a cop-out, but they’re both equally powerful, equally awesome-looking, and are both Celestial Digimon. Ophanimon dispatches foes with her Eden’s Javelin, and can finish off enemies with her final attack, the Sefirot Crystal. Seraphimon fells opponents with the holy sword Excalibur, generated from his forearm, and dispenses of evil with his greatest technique, the Strike of the Seven Stars.
…So when IS a mon Justimon? lol Anyway, how could I possibly avoid mentioning the walking reference to the fourth Kamen Rider, Riderman? Justimon has multiple equippable arms that allow him to do different attacks, like the giant steel Accel Arm letting him use the Thunderclap attack. When all else fails, he uses the Justice Kick, his finishing move that lets him kick with the pulverizing force of 45 tons.
Why couldn’t we have gotten UlforceVeedramon in Digimon Adventure 02? We had to settle for Imperialdramon, who I swear had probably the lowest power levels I’ve ever seen out of a Mega-level Digimon. Meanwhile, in the manga, we had UlforceVeedramon, one of the Royal Knights, and carrier of the Ulforce. He attacks with his Ulforce Saber, a beam-sword that can cut through virtually anything, and blast opponents away with his finishing blow, The Ray of Victory.
Anyhow, that’s it for my look at the Mega-level Digimon. Next time, we’ll scale down a bit and go back to being Rookies. Ja né!
- Digimon – Leomon (koifishsketchbook.wordpress.com)
- Digimon Adventure: Episode 3 Retrospective (chainalm.wordpress.com)
- Digimon Masters Hack Generator 2013 (downloadgenerator.wordpress.com)
- Megaforce Returns and Digimon Fusion Premieres Sept 7th (thepowerscoop.wordpress.com)
- Anime Review: Digimon – The Movie (pandemimeprime.wordpress.com)
- /C O R R E C T I O N — Saban Brands/ (sacbee.com)
- Anime Rant: Pokemon or Digimon? (pandemimeprime.wordpress.com)
- Digimon now streaming on Netflix (prosandconventions.wordpress.com)
- Digimon World ReDigitize Translation Teaser (digimonworldre.wordpress.com)
- Evolve and Fuse Digimons in Digimon Crusaders (sunrisingblog.wordpress.com)
Have I mentioned how much I love Kamen Rider? *ducks thrown objects* Alright, once or twice. Well, one staple of Kamen Rider that I always like to see them experiment with and upgrade from series to series is the henshin (transform) device, nowadays referred to as Drivers. In a nutshell, it’s a belt (most of the time, anyway) that is used to transform the wearer into their Kamen Rider form. In modern versions, it also unlocks different attacks, power-ups, and form changes to adapt to different opponents. The past few seasons have also used additional items in tandem with the Driver to do these things (cards, medals, rings, etc.). And here are five of my all time favourites here for you all. Oh, and before anyone says anything, the first series I ever watched anything of (not counting Saban’s Masked Rider) was Kamen Rider Kiva, the first season I watched from beginning to end was Kamen Rider Decade, and my personal favourite is Kamen Rider W. So, before anyone accuses me of this, yes, I’m going to be at least slightly biased to the more recent ones. Guilty as charged, let’s get this over with. lol
The personal henshin device of Kamen Rider W, the Double Driver is unique among all henshin devices in that it essentially connects two people into one. It is first strapped onto Shotaro, then a copy appears on Philip. It utilizes purified Gaia Memories, USB port-looking devices that contain the memories of the world. To transform with it, Philip places a Memory in the right side (usually the Cyclone Memory) which causes his consciousness to travel with the Memory to Shotaro’s Driver. Shotaro then plugs it and a second Memory (usually the Joker Memory) in and slides the two apart to form a W shape, thus becoming…
By switching Gaia Memories in and out (Shotaro’s Metal and Trigger Memories and Philip’s Heat and Luna Memories), Kamen Rider W can execute half-changes, turning one side of his body a different colour to reflect the different power-ups granted. Also, a special Maximum Drive slot on the right side is used to allow W to execute a finishing move, accessed by plugging a Memory into said slot. Now, there does exist a Driver similar to this called the Lost Driver, first used by Kamen Rider Skull, that allows a single person to become a Rider that uses the power of whatever Gaia Memory is inserted, but since it works essentially the same, looks the same (minus a plug-in for a second Gaia Memory), and has actually been used by Shotaro and Philip on occasion to become Kamen Rider Joker and Kamen Rider Cyclone, I’m basically grouping it in here.
Kamen Rider IXA is probably my second favourite Kamen Rider, just behind Kamen Rider Skull, and naturally, I really like his Driver too: The IXA Belt. Simply take the Knuckle section, slap it to part of your body (preferably one that won’t hurt like a bastard later), then one it signals that it’s ready, clamp the knuckle back into place to become…
The IXA Belt also comes equipped with its own Fuestles, much like the ones Kiva has. They allow him to hijack Kiva’s weapons, summon his personal vehicle, power up the knuckle section into an attacking weapon, and more. Since the IXA Belt doesn’t lock itself down to a specific user, it means that, in theory, anyone can be IXA. However, that also means that, in practice, only the best for the job could be IXA.
As I said before, MOST Drivers are belts. Here’s an exception: The Diendriver used by Kamen Rider DiEnd. Again, transformation is simple: Insert the DiEnd Kamen Ride Card into the slot on the left side of the gun, load, and pull the trigger, thus transforming into…
Now, wherein Kamen Rider Decade’s Decadriver allows him to assume the forms of other Kamen Riders and mimic their powers, the Diendriver has a different purpose: It summons Riders by having their cards inserted into the slot. Now, whether these are the actual Riders who then do as DiEnd asks, or copies based on their memories that do DiEnd’s bidding, or something else entirely isn’t 100% confirmed. In fact, many times, it feels like they’re one thing, then another thing another time. Like many things in Kamen Rider Decade, they choose not to explain this function too much…which is probably why a lot of people really don’t like that season, because they never frakking explained what the hell was going on most of the time. Still, it’s an awesome Driver/weapon, so I’m not gonna deduct points over that.
The V-Buckle (leave me alone, I don’t know what it’s called in Kamen Rider Dragon Knight) is different among most henshin devices in that it is actually used by a vast number of Riders. Which ones? EVERY SINGLE RIDER from the Kamen Rider Ryuki (Kamen Rider Dragon Knight) series, though obviously one in particular…
There’s an alternate design for the Alternatives, but it pretty much works the same way: Slide the Advent Deck in, and it transforms you into a Rider possessing the powers of said Advent Deck, each one based off a different creature. There’s just something ominous about when one of the Riders from that series drawing a certain card from their Advent Deck, in particular the Final Vent card that allows them to use their finishing move. They make it look as dramatic as possible, especially when they’re about to use it on each other, because you know someone’s about to die (or be Vented in Dragon Knight).
The OOO Driver, belonging of course to Kamen Rider OOO, it can be somewhat complicated to use at times. Basically, slide three Core Medals in, each one in the proper position, and run the O Scanner across all three in sequence to become…
So, why is this complicated? Well, there are seven sets of Medals, plus a few extras found here and there, each colour coded to their set and belonging to different sets of animals (birds, insects, reptiles, etc), and each Medal only works in a specific slot on the OOO Driver, granting a different armour piece to OOO. For example, let’s take my favourite Medals, the red ones. There’s Taka, which is a Head Core Medal, Kujaku, which is an Arms Core Medal, and Condor, which is a Legs Core Medal. To transform, you need Head, Arms, and Legs Medals, and while most of them can be mixed and matched, there’s one set that work entirely as a set only. If you’re missing one, you’re screwed. Plus, there are so many Medals, and at least two extra copies of each Medal, so handling them all can be troublesome. Still, if you can work around it, it’s one of the most powerful Drivers around, as using all three of a specific set grants power equal to the advanced forms of most Riders…although they also can cause you to lose consciousness if you use too much power and aren’t used to it…Yeah, that’s kind of a trade-off. o.O
So, there’s my 5 Favourite Henshin Devices. Got a favourite that isn’t on here? Or perhaps you prefer henshin devices from another series? Drop a line below, and I’ll see you guys next time when I talk about my 5 Favourite Morphers from Power Rangers/Super Sentai. Ja né!
- Kamen Rider Decade (dheoalviansyahgoblog.wordpress.com)
- Decade! Girl (chocojenn.wordpress.com)
- Kamen Rider Craft DX 1.6.2 Mod for Minecraft 1.6.2/1.6.1 (minecrafthd.com)
- Kamen Rider Battride War  Platinum! & Oboro Muramasa (helugame.wordpress.com)
- Gokaiger x Goseiger x Super Sentai: 199 Great Hero Battle (2011) (asianflixs.wordpress.com)
- Tokusatsu Theater at Filmbar (legionofsand.wordpress.com)
- The Legacy of Japan’s Giant Robot Sci-Fi Shows (tested.com)
- Wonderful 101 Trailer Finally Released and the Trailer Looks Redonkulous [Video] (geekosystem.com)
- Obscura Magazine 2013 Summer Issue – The Ultraman Series (freshnessmag.com)
- Film Review: Pacific Rim (rosslangager.com)
Y’know, right after the Zords, the thing that I would want most in terms of being a Power Ranger is a kickass weapon. And let’s be honest, they’ve had some pretty awesome ones. But which ones would I consider my personal favourites? Well, that’s what I’m here to count off. And once again, because I know some people aren’t familiar with the Sentai footage, I’ll primarily use names, terms, and historical events on the PR side of things, while also giving Super Sentai names and history afterward. Also, allow me to list criteria/limitations for this list right off the bat.
- I’m going to limit this to one weapon per team, just so I don’t double up. As such, you won’t be seeing both the Power Sword and Power Ax on the list.
- One weapon per Ranger, so only ONE of Tommy’s weapons. Not, for example, Saba AND the Brachio Staff.
- They have to be single weapons. In other words, no Power Blasters. That said, single weapons that turn into a team’s blaster on its own, or Power Blasters/Cannons/etc. that aren’t a combination of weapons are all alright.
So you know how some of the most awesome weapons in fiction are swords that turn into guns? Lightning’s gunblade, Ruby Rose’s Crescent Rose sniper scythe, Kamen Rider Wizard‘s Wizarswordgun, and so on. Well, PR/SS have had a number of these, one of the most recent being the Fire Smasher. It’s basically a Zanbatō that can turn into a cannon. In either mode, it is a powerful, albeit challenging to wield, weapon. It’s actually proven to be one of the more popular weapons, as aside from being used by the Red Samurai Ranger (ShinkenRed), it was also used by Kamen Rider Decade when he and ShinkenRed swapped weapons to battle a monstrous version of Kamen Rider DiEnd, and a giant version is wielded by Shinken GokaiOh.
Okay, as silly as the Solaris Knight’s (MagiShine) weapon is, it’s actually highly effective when put to use. By spinning the dial on the side, it charges up shots that, when fired, are guided light bursts that hit the target no matter where they are, even if they’ve gone underground. Also, by fully charging it, he can fire the genie inside, Jinji (Smoky), for a massive finishing attack. During team-ups, MagiShine has also loaded DekaBreak (SPD Omega Ranger) and Zubaan (the Sentinel Knight from Operation Overdrive) inside, allowing them to use their finishers alongside Smoky.
This was one where if I didn’t include it, someone was gonna kill me. lol Anyway, Saba is an enchanted sword that was wielded by Tommy Oliver as the White Ranger (Kibaranger), as well as acting as a sort of partner to him. Beyond his natural abilities as a short sword, he’s also capable of speech, firing energy blasts, levitation, and assists in controlling the White Tigerzord, allowing it to mimic Tommy’s moves while it was in Warrior Mode. Also, in Dairanger, Byakkoshinken (or Byakko for short) voiced-over Kibaranger as a means of hiding his identity as a child.
While Time Force had a TON of badass weapons, this choice again came down to which one would people kill me the most for leaving out. This is the personal weapon of the Quantum Ranger (TimeFire), though he has lent it to others where necessary. It’s also another example of a badass gun that turns into a sword and vice versa. While it may not be the biggest or baddest looking weapon when compared to the stuff that’s come out since, this little bastard still packs a hell of a punch. So whenever you’re gloating over how much ass you’re kicking, and you suddenly hear a sound like someone tapping a gun on the back of their hand, don’t bother turning around, just RUN. lol
Noticing a lot of red here…Meh, anyway, the Falcon Summoner is a simultaneous blaster, bow, and summoning tool for the Wild Force’s Falconzord (GaoFalcon). It also marked an interesting transitional period that most might not be aware of, but it is the first bow weapon on Power Rangers wielded primarily by a male Ranger, in this case the Red Wild Force Ranger (GaoRed). Granted, in Super Sentai, bows and arrows had been used by men since the very beginning, but not so much in Power Rangers. In fact, they were usually used by Pink Rangers. I don’t get that. Look at Robin Hood, or Hawkeye from the Avengers. They make the bow a manly weapon when it needs to be. And really, what’s more manly than a bow and arrow that summons a giant falcon out of a volcano? I ask you.
Anyway, those are my 5 Favourite Weapons from Power Rangers/Super Sentai. Got a favourite that wasn’t on the list? Feel free to bring it up in the comments below, and I shall see you guys the next time I put one of these together. Ja né!
- It’s morphin’ time! (bigcomicpage.com)
- SDCC 2013: New Power Ranger Exclusives And Premium Figuarts Toys (geek-news.mtv.com)
- Power Rangers Mystic Force (powerrangercostumes.wordpress.com)
- Power Rangers Morph Through 20 Years! [Video] (geeksaresexy.net)
- A Power Ranger Made Out Of Power Rangers (creativitism.wordpress.com)
- Power Rangers Meme Contest Best Entries and Winner (toplessrobot.com)
- Knights of Pen and Paper dev’s next game is a Power Rangers sim (polygon.com)
- Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Most Surreal Moments in Power Rangers (jygersrant.wordpress.com)
- Talking With The Original Green Power Ranger Jason David Frank (ireport.cnn.com)
- Gokaiger x Goseiger x Super Sentai: 199 Great Hero Battle (2011) (asianflixs.wordpress.com)
A short reel on some of the things you can see here on my blog, and my show on Blip.
Special thanks go out to Pink Ranger Wannabe, N. Harmonik, and so-shipsahoy, all of whom can be found at the following…
Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen and others, to the Kamen Rider Spotlight. Today, we count the medals as well look at my girlfriend’s favourite Rider (Should I be jealous? lol), Kamen Rider OOO!…This is gonna be a LONG one…-_-
Kamen Rider OOO is a travelling young man named Eiji Hino. The victim of a tragedy that caused him to lose all selfish desires, he became the perfect individual to become OOO when a group of creatures made up of strange Medals called the Greeed awaken and begin to feed off of the desires of humans. OOO is assisted by the bird Greeed, the enigmatic Ankh, who provides him with and safeguards the Medals required to become Kamen Rider OOO.
OOO’s henshin device is the OOO Driver. For 800 years, it served as the seal on the Greeed, but with the seal on the Greeed broken and the secondary seal on the Driver itself undone by Eiji, he and he alone can become OOO by inserting three Core Medals into the Driver and scanning them with the O Scanner found to the side of the belt formed by the OOO Driver.
The Core Medals that make up the Greeed are also used to transform Eiji into Kamen Rider OOO. Each Medal represents a different animal, and also provides Eiji with a different head, arms, or legs amour piece as OOO. The initial five coloured Medals (red, yellow, green, silver, and blue) can be mixed and matched, whereas the purple Medals only work with themselves, as do the orange Medals, though with the latter I’m willing to bet that’s only because they appeared in one of the movies. The Kangaroo, Imagin, and Shocker Medals were each one-time appearance Medals as well, the Panda Medal only appeared in a game, and the black Medals also only appeared in one of the movies and were not used by OOO, but rather by the villains of that movie. But yeah, suffice to say, there are a LARGE number of possible random combos OOO could use, but to save time since this is already likely to be my longest Spotlight yet, let’s look at the primary Medal Combos.
TaToBa Combo is likely OOO’s most used form. This is likely due to the perfect balance of speed, power, evasiveness, and accuracy. The Taka Head grants OOO improved senses and can even lock onto otherwise invisible targets, the Tora Claw gauntlets grant razor sharp claws that stab and slice enemies, and the Batta Legs grant enhanced jumping and kicking power. His finisher is the TaToBa Kick, wherein after bouncing high with grasshopper-like legs, OOO dives through a series of red, yellow, and green rings to deliver a powerful Rider Kick.
The Medajalibur is a powerful sword that was crafted for OOO by the Kougami Foundation. It’s usually used in TaToBa Combo, but has seen use in others on rare occasion. My own personal theory on this is that the Tora Arms with the claws retracted can get an easier grip on it than the others. By inserting three Cell Medals and scanning them, OOO can use the OOO Bash, a powerful slash that can cut through anything, though strangely when it cuts through inanimate objects (buildings, vehicles, etc.), they reform as the attack ends.
The Ride Vendor is-Wait, that’s not right…
There we go! The Ride Vendor is OOO’s motorcycle. It starts off as a vending machine (seriously) that can be activated by OOO by inserting a Cell Medal into it. The wonderful part of that is that the Kougami Foundation has them set up all throughout the city, so there’s no shortage of them. They also carry the Candroids, little robotic buddies that can assist OOO in a variety of ways, but we’ll discuss one in particular a little further down.
GataKiriBa Combo is the green Medal Combo. The Kuwagata Medal allows OOO to send out lightning blasts from the horns, and the Kamakiri Medal grants him blades on his gauntlets that can also be held and used like swords or scythes. In GataKiriBa Combo, OOO also possesses the power of multiplication, creating copies of himself to either overwhelm a single opponent or even the odds against many. Apparently, according to Eiji, the hard part of that ability is actually putting himself back into a single one of him. His finisher is the GataKiriBa Kick, where all of the duplicates aim Rider Kicks at a single target. Also, apparently the reason this combo didn’t appear all that often was because it was taxing for the CGI. lol
RaToraTah Combo is the yellow Medal Combo. The Lion Medal can send out a massive wave of heat and light (so insects must LOVE this combo), and the Cheetah Medal lets OOO run super-fast and deliver lightning-quick kicks. Overall, RaToraTah lacks a lot of the power of the other combos, but makes up for it with its speed. Its finisher, the Gush Cross. After running through a series of Yellow Rings, the Tora Claws are infused with the Lion Head’s light and heat, creating a massively powerful cross slash.
Shortly after gaining access to RaToraTah Combo, OOO was also given the new Tora Candroid. Through it, the Ride Vendor is turned into the Toride Vendor, a feral jungle cat of a motorcycle. In this form, its speed and power are enhanced, and it can fire medal-shaped projectiles at targets. The downside is rather steep, as it’s usually impossible to control, but thanks to a special ability of the machine’s, it siphons out the excess energy of RaToraTah Combo while simultaneously taming the beast, making this combo all the more potent.
SaGoZou Combo is the silver Medal Combo. The Sai Medal grants OOO a hard and pointed horn for head-butting, the Gorilla Medal gives him massive gauntlets for punches, lariats, or even for rocket punches, and the Zou Medal allows him to create small quakes with every step at the cost of pretty much all of his running and jumping power. In SaGoZou Combo, he can pound his chest to create shock-waves and manipulate gravity with his horn. Obviously, SaGoZou Combo makes OOO the stereotypical strongman, granted with immense offensive and defensive strength while unable to run fast or jump high at all…which makes his finisher, the SaGoZou Impact, all the more insane to watch. He rockets himself up into the sky using his gravity control, then stomps down hard to send a wave through the earth that pulls the opponent down into it and toward OOO, who then bashes the hell out of him with a simultaneous double punch and head-butt.
TaJaDol Combo is the red Medal Combo, and honestly, it’s my personal favourite. The Kujaku Medal grants OOO the use of a powerful weapon called the Taja Spinner, while the Condor Medal gives OOO talon-attachments. In TaJaDol Combo, OOO’s Taka Head becomes the Taka Head Brave, further enhancing his sight, he can generate small blasts in the form of Peacock tail feathers, and even sprout wings for fast and easy flight. His finisher in this form is the Prominence Drop, wherein he swoops in from high up and grows large talons to crush the target in their razor sharp grip. But probably it’s greatest feature is…I LOVE its insert theme. 😀
And yes, that IS the actors playing Eiji and Ankh singing the song. And the fangirls start a creamin’. ^_^
The Taja Spinner is one of OOO’s greatest weapons. It acts as a shield while also granting him the ability to shoot flames at his opponent, either in small fireballs or in long streaming infernos. But beyond that, the Taja Spinner opens to reveal seven Cell Medals inside. These Cell Medals can be exchanged with Core Medals for different elemental attacks, via scanning them with the O Scanner. In particular, using the Red Medals allows OOO to use the Magna Blaze, projecting a phoenix around him before delivering a powerful Rider Punch. And somewhere, Captain Falcon is shaking his fist in anger. lol
ShaUTa Combo is the blue Medal Combo. The Shachi Medal allows OOO to send and receive sonic waves, fire blasts of water, and allow him to breathe underwater for up to three hours, the Unagi Medal grants him electrified whips, and the Tako Medal gives him legs covered in suction cups that can cling to walls or split into eight tentacles. In ShaUTa Combo, while OOO doesn’t possess nearly the punch and kicking power that the other Combos, he has incredible flexibility and even the power to completely liquefy, not unlike Black RX’s Bio Rider form. His finisher, the Octo Banish, sees him shooting into the air in liquefied form, wrap the Unagi Whips around the opponent, and drag himself and the target together while the Tako Legs form tentacles that spin like a drill, drilling straight through the enemy.
PuToTyra Combo is the purple Medal Combo. Unlike all other Medals, the purple Medals cannot be used for Random Combos, only working together for PuToTyra Combo. This form essentially makes OOO a berserker unless he’s able to keep complete concentration during a fight, which is easier said than done. The Ptera Medal allows OOO to see Medals and auras within a Greeed’s body, as well as grow wings for flight or for sending waves of ice cold winds that freeze targets in ice upon contact. The Torikera Medal grants him the Wind Stinger horns on his shoulders that can stretch out near endlessly and stabbing into targets. The Tyranno Medal gives OOO clawed feet and can grow a long, thick tyrannosaurus tail for harsh swings and slams. OOO’s finisher in this form is the Blasting Freezer, wherein the Wind Stingers stab into the target, keeping them in place so he can freeze them in a block of ice and then shatter them apart with a massive swing of his tail.
The Medagabryu is an axe that becomes a bazooka, made to channel the purple Medals’ power to destroy other Medals. The axe form can be used with any Combo, while the bazooka can only be used by PuToTyra. By inserting Cell Medals into the tyranno mouth of the weapon, it can perform a finisher. In the other combos, the finisher is a slash of purple Medal power also powered by that Combo’s elemental powers called the Ground of Rage. In PuToTyra Combo, it allows OOO to fire a massive burst of energy called the Strain Doom.
BuraKaWani Combo is the orange Medal Combo. The Cobra Medal doubles OOO’s eyesight, even granting him infra-red, the Kame Medal gives him a two-piece shield split on the gauntlets, and the Wani Medal equips his legs with saws that create the image of a crocodile head chomping on enemies when he kicks them. In BuraKaWani Combo, OOO can play a flute to turn the ponytail-like attachment into a snake that attacks according to OOO’s will. His finisher is the Warning Ride, wherein a series of orange rings are projected that OOO slides through feet first before sailing up and delivering a Rider Kick that creates the image of a giant crocodile head crunching the target.
TaMaShii Combo is a special Medal Combo. The Shocker Medal was created through the sheer evil power of SHOCKER, the original foes of the Kamen Riders, while the Imagin Medal is somehow crafted from a part of Momotaros. The Imagin Medal gives OOO massive shoulder-mounted horns, while the Shocker Medal grants legs similar to the Condor Legs but using the same energy that SHOCKER tends to channel. This combo only appeared once, as the Medals vanished after a single use, likely because they were incomplete somehow. Its finisher is the Tamashii Bomber, basically a mighty ki blast using the combined powers of OOO, the Imagin, and SHOCKER.
The Kangaroo Medal is a unique Medal used only once. Unlike most Medals that grant a different head, arms, or legs piece only, the Kangaroo Medal could be used to grant both an arms or a legs piece depending on which slot it was placed in. In the arms slot, it granted OOO boxers gloves with which to throw super-fast and powerful punches. In the legs slot, it gave him spring-like legs that actually gave kicking and jumping power surpassing the Batta Legs, and could manifest a Kangaroo tail. It stands to reason it could be mix and matched with any of the other standard Medals, but there’s no way to tell. Much like the Imagin and Shocker Medals, it vanished after a single use.
Super TaToBa Combo is arguably OOO’s ultimate form. This form possesses all the same strengths as TaToBa Combo, but its speed, power, and defensive prowess are all increased dramatically. Even the Super Tora Claws are longer and sharper than the originals. Also, because these Medals come from the future and now exist outside of their original point in the space/time continuum, OOO can actually freeze time for a few seconds. His finisher is the Super TaToBa Kick, and just like everything else with Super TaToBa Combo, it possesses far more explosive power than the original.
…WOW, that was a long one. For the next Kamen Rider Spotlight, I think we should maybe get a little…dark. 😉 Ja né!
Okay, so this hasn’t exactly turned out to be the happiest Halloween ever, but nonetheless I wanted to give you the Kamen Rider Spotlight I promised earlier this month. So today, we look at a Rider whose Spotlight is all too fitting to occur on this day (and I swear, if I hear one Twilight related jab at this guy, I’m not gonna be held responsible what I do in rebuttal, lol): Kamen Rider Kiva.
Kiva is a young man named Wataru. Living on his own, Wataru shy and obsessed with his own hygiene, and while he never lies, he does hide a secret: He is in fact Kamen Rider Kiva, a title passed down from father to child among the race of creatures known as the Fangire Race, beings similar to vampires, but with a stained glass motif, and each belonging to an animal class, being able to take on a monstrous form of said animal. However, because they feed off human life energy, Wataru fights to protect humans, and ends up meeting several friends and allies from all walks of life, be they human, Fangire, or other monstrous beings. His story is of course a bit more complicated than that, but we’re not really here to give complete spoilers to the show.
As I’ve alluded to, most Riders use a Henshin Device in the form of a belt, and Kiva is no different in that regard. However, Kiva’s belt is summoned in a very different manner. His partner, Kivat-bat the 3rd, bites into Wataru’s hand, awakening his Fangire blood and summoning a series of chains that form the Kivat Belt. Once hung from the belt upside-down in true bat fashion, Kivat transforms Wataru into Kiva.
Kiva’s motorcycle is the Machine Kivaa, his own personal variant of the Honda Shadow 750, as built for him by Motobat the 16th. It’s actually a living creature with the brain of a horse installed inside, and has the ability to vanish from plain sight when travelling at higher speeds. Using the Buroon Fuestle, Kiva can upgrade the Kivaa with the Buroon Booster, upgrading its speed and making it capable of multiple motorcycle tricks, and at top speeds creating a field that cuts air resistance on the motorcycle almost completely.
Kiva’s natural form, termed simply as Kiva Form, is a fairly well rounded basic form. He has access to all the Fuestles in his arsenal, and possesses a powerful Rider Kick called the Darkness Moon Break, wherein he kicks the target against a surface so hard that he leaves a indentation in the surface in the form of his emblem.
Garulu Form is formed when Kiva summons the Garulu Sabre. In this form, Kiva is an almost rabid werewolf-like swordsman. His speed is much higher and he fights with a ferocity unseen in his other forms. His mouthpiece can also open to place the Sabre in his ‘mouth’, and then execute the finishing manoeuvre, the Garulu Howling Slash.
Basshaa Form is formed when Kiva summons the Basshaa Magnum. Despite the loss of most of his attack power and agility in this form, his long range attacks and quick analysis of enemy weakpoints can make up for such losses. He can also manipulate the water and rain, creating his finisher, the Basshaa Aqua Tornado.
Dogga Form is formed when Kiva summons the Dogga Hammer. In this form, Kiva’s speed is cut down harshly, but his physical prowess is increased dramatically. He can also see invisible foes and manipulate electricity. His finisher, the Dogga Thunder Slap, creates an effigy of the Dogga Hammer out of lightning that slams into the target HARD.
DoGaBaKi Form is formed when Kiva summons all three of the Arms Monsters weapons, combining the base elements of his Dogga, Garulu, Basshaa, and Kiva Forms. In this form, Kiva’s power is increased to such a high level that he can only assume it for five minutes. Any longer and it can be deadly to him. He can summon any of the weapons in this form, and presumably can use any of the finishers from his other forms.
Demon Imperial Dragon Tatsulot is a small dragon that becomes something of a second partner to Kiva along with Kivat. He also serves as a Henshin Device that allows Wataru to assume Kiva’s Emperor Form and utilize his upgraded finishers in Emperor Form.
Emperor Form is Kiva’s true form, awakened through Kivat and Tatsulot. Because Tatsulot also provides upgraded versions of all of Kiva’s other finishing moves, Wataru eventually grew to use this form over the others, often-times transforming straight to Emperor. On one occasion, Emperor Form was powered up into a berserker form when Wataru’s Fangire blood went out of control. He later receives a weapon called the Zanvat Sword that, when used with Emperor Form, allows him to execute the Final Zanvat Slash.
DoGaBaKi Emperor Form is a very rare form that Kiva has only used once. It requires him to transform using Kivat, Tatsulot, and the Arms Monsters weapons. It possesses the abilities and powers of all Kiva’s forms, but presumably possesses the same limitation as the standard DoGaBaKi Form. His finisher is the DoGaBaKi Emperor Break.
Flight Style is a powerful dragon-like form that Kiva can assume while in Emperor Form. Rarely seen, it gives Kiva supersonic flight, bladed wings, flame breath, and deadly finisher called the Bloody Strike.
Well that’s all for today. Next time on the Kamen Rider Spotlight, we regret nothing as we tighten up, because we got to keep it real and ride on right time when the sun goes up, and remember that time judged all and shout out the power to tearer since anything goes. Ja né!
Ore sanjou! It’s time for another instalment of the Kamen Rider Spotlight, and this time we’re riding on the train that travels time with Kamen Rider Den-O!
Den-O is a kinda weak kid with horridly bad luck named Ryotaro Nogami. Through a series of events, he learns of the Imagin, humans that lost their physical forms due to their histories being erased and possess other humans to gain new forms from their imaginations, eventually taking the person’s life to travel backward in time in search of the one responsible for the erasure of their history, destroying everything in their path. However, there are some Imagin that are willing to help stop the damage to time, teaming with Ryotaro as he boards a time travelling train and becomes Kamen Rider Den-O.
The Den Liner is Den-O’s time travelling train, made up of eight cars, each also equipped with a varying array of defence mechanisms and weapon systems. The DenLiner can be accessed by anyone with a Rider Pass opening ANY door when time lines up so that the hour, minute, and second are the same (2:02:02, 6:06:06, 12:12:12, etc).
The Den Bird serves both as Den-O’s personal motorcycle and can also plug into the main cockpit for the DenLiner. Once plugged it, it allows Den-O to take manual control of the DenLiner.
The Den-O Belt is Den-O’s Henshin device. By sweeping his Rider Pass past the Set Touch, the scanner in the centre, he transforms into Den-O. His natural form is his Plat Form, but by pressing one of the other four buttons and sweeping the Rider Pass, he transforms into one of his forms, provided one of his ally Imagin are available to possess him. It’s also possible for the Imagin to become their matching Den-O form themselves provided they have a copy of the Den-O Belt and Rider Pass.
Plat Form is the basic form of Den-O. Ryotaro rarely ever uses this form, really only ever appearing in transition between forms. This is due to Ryotaro’s frail physique and lack of any kind of self-defence training. He has access to the weapons of the other forms, but they do him little to any good whatsoever.
Sword Form is likely Den-O’s best known form, and is assumed while being possessed by the Imagin Momotaros, arguably the most popular character of the Den-O series. Momotaros is a hot-headed and warmongering Oni-like Imagin, but he can be a good and goofy individual to his close friends. As the name suggests, Sword Form provides Den-O with a powerful sword. His standard finisher, the Extreme Slash, sends his blade launching out from the sword, connected by a chain of electricity, which he slashes across the foe. He has multiple variations of this move. He also has a roundhouse Rider Kick he’s utilized on rare occasion.
Rod Form is accessible by letting the flirtatious turtle-like Urataros possess him. Armed with a long shaft that can also be utilized as a harpoon and a fishing rod. He’s a bit more defensive than Sword Form while lacking a bit of Sword Form’s attacking power. For his finisher, the Solid Attack, he pins the opponent by using the rod as a harpoon and executes a Rider Kick on it.
Axe Form is formed when Ryotaro allows the bear-like sumo/samurai to possess him. He’s armed with a mighty axe that makes him the most powerful short range form and has increased strength, power, and durability. The downside is that he’s slowed insanely down. His finisher is an all-powerful falling slash with the axe known as the Dynamic Chop.
Gun Form is formed when Ryotaro is possessed by Ryutaros, a dragon-like, childish, reckless risk-taker with a love of break-dancing. Armed with a high-powered gun and able to utilize his break-dancing for ducking and dodging, he should be the superior of all four original forms. The problem is that Ryutaros’ lack of accuracy combined with the power of his ammo can make Gun Form a bit unreliable. His finisher is the Wild Shot, which is a powered up shot that will blow away just about ANYTHING, provided that Ryutaros can get his aim right.
Wing Form is a rarely used form brought about by Ryotaro being possessed by Sieg, a swan-like regal-minded individual whose need for the others to treat him in a princely manner can make him something of an annoyance. The special Wing Buckle also must be placed over the Den-O Belt for this form to be achieved, as there is no button for this form. Wing Form is equipped with a hand-axe and a boomerang, and possesses agility surpassing even Gun Form. His finisher, the Royal Smash, is a pincer attack with the twin weapons.
The Climax Cellphone K-Taros is a cellphone/henshin device. When three of the four Imagin were turned to dust, Ryotaro’s feelings for them turned the dust to the K-Taros and allowed for the Imagin to return later, as the K-Taros kept them connected, both by letting Ryotaro call them from anywhere and by attaching it to the Den-O Belt to allowed him to transform to Climax Form.
Climax Form is summoned by using the K-Taros to call Momotaros, Urataros, Kintaros, and Ryutaros together. It’s essentially an improved form of Sword Form, but the combined effort and powers of the four Imagin with Ryotaro grants him power beyond all of his other forms, save for the later further upgrade to Super Climax Form. It has a number of finishers, such as the Boisterous Kick and Boisterous Punch, which lines the masks of the other Imagin along the leg or arm for a devastating blow, the Boisterous Shout, which opens Ryutaros’ mask open to launch a barrage of missiles, and finally the Boisterous Slash, which channels all their power through Sword Form’s sword for a massive Extreme Slash.
Liner Form is powerful upgrade to Plat Form that Ryotaro can use for situations where the Imagin are unable to possess him for whatever reason, be it some outside force keeping them away or in the case of one of the movies where Ryotaro and the Imagin all transformed into the different forms of Den-O. It is accessed by inserting the Rider Pass into the DenKamen Sword. While it is definite improvement to Plat Form, and the DenKamen Sword allows Ryotaro to imitate the fighting styles of the Imagin, it still leaves Ryotaro on his own in the field, and given his bad luck and lack of real fighting skill, this can be a problem at times. His finishing move, the Densha Giri, comes in five variations. The first four are imitations of the main four forms’ finishers, while the final is a massive slash dubbed the Fullthrottle Break, but each attack produces the illusionary form of the matching Imagin’s car from the DenLiner, with the Fullthrottle Break producing all of them at once.
Super Climax Form was used once when Wing Form used the K-Taros to bring the other four Imagin together with Sieg. This is generally considered to be Den-O’s ultimate form. It functions much in the same way as Climax Form, only with extra power, likely best demonstrated with the Super Boisterous Kick, wherein Sieg’s mask on the back sprouts into full spectral wings and the power of all five Imagin come together for a massively powerful kick that obliterates the target.
Well that’s all for this edition of the Kamen Rider Spotlight. The next one will be a special Halloween edition wherein we take a look at the Rider who breaks the chains of destiny. Ja né!
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!