Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Kamen Rider Opening Themes
…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!
Kamen Rider Spotlight: Kamen Rider OOO
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!