About Kamen Rider
Kamen Rider - the masked superhero inspiring Japanese kids since 1971
Kamen Rider is a smash hit superhero show by creator Shotaro Ishinomori and Toei Productions, which has been broadcast in Japan since 1971. The series celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2016. Every installment of the series features a protagonist that transforms into masked superhero Kamen Rider, and fights forces of evil. Kamen Rider translates to "Masked Rider," and this name comes from how the hero tends to arrive on the scene - wearing a mask and riding a motorbike. These masks are different for each rider, and are based on a range of motifs, most commonly insects. The leading role is ordinarily played by a young male actor, often the heartthrob of the day. The series has moved beyond its beginnings on TV, and there are now movies, cartoons, novels and stage plays based on the original concept. The masked rider rushing in to save the day has fans among young and old alike, and shows no sign of slowing down!
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The Kamen Rider series is normally divided based on era names - productions from the original series up to and including Kamen Rider J are called Showa-era Kamen Rider, and productions from Kamen Rider Kuuga onwards are called Heisei-era Kamen Rider. Showa-era Kamen Rider plots feature shadowy evil organizations altering their victim's bodies to further their nefarious aims. The main character is ordinarily subjected to part of this process, but manages to escape with their fundamental reason and conscience intact - turning into a superhero set on punishing wrongdoers. In the Heisei era, the series largely shifts away from this "altered human" trope, and has also seen female characters become part of the superhero team. Since each Heisei-era iteration features an original world and setting, there are fewer opportunities for crossovers that let characters from different series meet, a common occurrence in the Showa era. Each Rider has one or more finishing attacks. The original are the Rider Kick, Rider Punch, and Rider Chop, which have been seen in every series from the very start. The finishers have grown more elaborate in recent years, with some involving weapons like swords or guns.
Every year, numerous Kamen Rider events are held all over Japan. These events are normally built around audience participation, from cheering crowds surrounding Riders on stage to individual fans getting the chance to meet their heroes during shooting or hand-shake events. The long-standing series is also a hit with brands - major manufacturers of toys, stationery, apparel, and more have teamed up with Kamen Rider for exciting new releases. For example, the Transformation Belt, based on the belt Kamen Rider wears, has remained a popular item ever since its release. Over the years, the props, signature moves and key character phrases have evolved with the times, with recent releases in the series being heavier on effects and spectacle compared to the early years. One aspect that's changed significantly is the transformation belt. Recent Kamen Rider characters are able to change the form they change into by adding items to the transformation belt.
Kamen Rider Battle Ganbarizing, a trading card-based arcade game in the Data Carddass line, has become popular for letting you scan "Gashat" transformation items from Kamen Rider Ex-Aid to level up your trading cards.