Kamen Rider <Series>
(The First Rider: After His Comeback)
(The First 3 Riders)
(A Big Franchise Over the Decades)
“Kamen Rider” was originally written by Ishi(no)mori Shotaro, who is the author of “Cyborg 009” introduced last week, but later on the series became such a big franchise that Ishi(no)mori didn’t catch up with the popularity and he dropped the ball, which means all other characters and their episodes were written by other authors.
It is said that Ishi(no)mori came up with the original Kamen, which means “Mask(ed),” Rider character from a grashopper or a locust. That’s why each rider’s mask always looks like a grashopper or locust no matter what their costumes might change depending on the theme of each.
When its TV show started in 1971, most kids, including me, were hooked*! The first series lasted until 1981 with a couple of years’ interval. Six years after this first phase, a new rider called “Kamen Rider Black/Black Rx (The roles were played by the same actor.)” was born. Personally, it was Kamen Rider V3 that I had liked best among all those riders in the first phase. But, this “Kamen Rider Black/Black Rx” totally mesmerized me (Yes, I admit I am childish!). This series was aired from 1987 through 1989. Including my most favorite, all riders are categorized as Showa Era riders**.
(Kamen Rider V3)
(Kamen Rider Black/Black Rx)
After Heisei Era started, this franchise has been still in the market, generating constant revenue. Even US has adopted a Kamen Rider character, created its US version, and aired the show for a while, which some of you must have remembered. I don’t think the show gained much popularity in US, though.
(Kamen Rider Dragon Knight)