…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!
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!