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[[caption-width-right:350:#1 is on the left, #2 is on the right.]]

->''Kamen Rider, Takeshi Hongo, is a modified human. He was altered by Shocker, an evil secret society with aspirations for world domination. Kamen Rider fights against Shocker for the sake of human freedom!''
-->'''OpeningNarration.'''

The one that [[Franchise/KamenRider started]] [[TropeMaker it all.]] It aired from 1971-1973.

Kamen Rider was originally Takeshi Hongo, college student and motorcyclist. One day, the forces of the evil organization, Shocker, nabbed him and subjected him to experiments [[SuperSoldier to turn him into an elite agent of evil.]] However, Hongo was saved from being [[BrainwashedAndCrazy inducted into Shocker's ranks]] by the sacrifice of an unwilling Shocker scientist, Prof. Midorikawa. Now, as Kamen Rider, Hongo defends the world from Shocker's aspirations; later, he is joined by intrepid FBI agent Kazuya Taki. After that, Hayato Ichimonji, a photographer saved from reconditioning by Hongo, joins the fight as Kamen Rider 2.

!!!The original Kamen Rider provides examples of:
* AdultFear: Episode 27 basically starts out as a plot to kidnap children, complete with creepy guy with a van.
* AlternateContinuity: Series creator [[Creator/ShotaroIshinomori Shotaro Ishimori]] wrote and drew a ''Kamen Rider'' manga alongside the series, which goes into a very different direction - [[spoiler:Hongo is killed by the Shocker Riders. Ichimonji, one of the latter, fights off the brainwashing and replaces him. Hongo later returns as Rider 1 as his brain was saved and placed into a mechanical body.]]
* {{Badass}}: Hello? HiroshiFujioka as Takeshi Hongo, anyone? This is where every Rider badassery starts.
** Takeshi Sasaki (Hayato Ichimonji) and Jiro Chiba (Kazuya Taki) also count.
* BadassBiker: Both Kamen Riders.
* BigBad: The Great Leader of Shocker and Gel-Shocker.
* ByThePowerOfGrayskull: The series' signature phrase "''Henshin!''" did not appear until Kamen Rider 2 was written in. Hongo's wind-powered transformation initially involved simply exposing the belt turbine while riding, or while flipping through the air, with nary a word said. Ichimonji, however, had a belt that's still wind-powered, but with a sort of cover over the turbine. The ''henshin'' command caused it to open.
* TheChewToy: Shocker mooks gets alot of abuse from both the riders and monsters.
* CoolOldGuy: Tobei Tachibana. He even sometimes gets to smack around Shocker mooks, though the Riders and Taki are much better fighters.
* CrapsackWorld: In the manga version, the world is a lot more uncomfortable place where rapid industrialization and governmental corruption and neglet runs deep leaving the rest of the population having to suffer for it. Shocker itself was explicitly a product of this very system, and at the end [[spoiler:its greatly implied that the corrupt system that bred the problem of Shocker in the first place sees little chances of actually improving.]]
* CurbstompBattle: Rider 1 shows no mercy to Catfishgiller...
* DarkerAndEdgier: Very much, especially compared to SuperSentai made by [[ShotaroIshinomori the same creator]]. However, after episode 13 the grittiness was [[LighterAndSofter toned down slightly]] [[EnforcedTrope to avoid a possible cancellation]]. [[TropesAreNotBad It worked.]]
* DeathByOriginStory: Professor Midorikawa.
* TheDragon: Four dragons to be exact: Colonel Zol, Doctor Shinigami, Ambassador Hell and General Black.
* DoItYourselfThemeTune: Until Episode 13, the theme was performed by HiroshiFujioka. Masato Shimon took over in episode 14, when Kamen Rider 2 showed up.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Compared to the rest of the series, regarding the transformations. As mentioned above, Ichimonji was the first Rider to have a traditional ''henshin'' sequence. And in the very first instance, he zips open his vest (to expose his belt) in the middle of posing. Later, the ''henshin'' movements become an unbroken sequence of poses.
** More noticeably, the iconic Rider Kick was nonexistent at the start, and the first named finisher in the series was the Rider ''Throw''.
** The standard Toku DefeatEqualsExplosion didn't show up for a dozen or so episodes. Monsters until then went out with a variety of [[SpecialEffectsFailure rather unconvincing]] disintegration effects, including an especially bizarre one involving beaded necklaces being unspooled onto a completely unrelated background in reverse.
* EccentricMentor: Tobei Tachibana, who shows up for pretty much the entire Showa era.
* EvilOldFolks: Dr. Shinigami.
* EvilTwin: Shocker Riders, a whole team of them!
* {{Expy}}: Kamen Rider was actually developed as a more family friendly version of SkullMan.
** This reference was brought full circle when Kamen Rider Skull was created for Series/KamenRiderDouble.
* FakeShemp: To write around Fujioka's accident, Toei used stock footage of him out of costume and a stuntman in costume and voice actor Rokuro Naya.
* FullyAbsorbedFinale: Although the series wasn't cancelled, the final episode hints strongly that [[spoiler:Shocker's leader survived]], and that plot thread only would be finally resolved in ''Series/KamenRiderStronger'''s finale, which brought back Hongo and Hayato and also featured Tobei Tachibana. [[spoiler:Until the next series, anyway]].
* GeniusBruiser: If the fact that he's a brilliant college biochemistry student doesn't convince you, his ImprobablyHighIQ will.
* GovernmentConspiracy: [[spoiler:In the manga adaptation, it later turned out that in fact, the government was in fact the original idea-men behind Shocker's grand operation, meant to assert total control over their populance, which Shocker took for their own benefit]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Saboteguron, the first Kaijin faced by Kamen Rider 2, is taken out by one of his own Cactus bombs.
* HorrifyingHero: The effect isn't as striking nowadays, but Kamen Rider when it came out was a noticeably much more intimidating and surreal figure compared to other heroes at the time such as ''Series/{{Ultraman}}''.
* HumanoidAbomination: [[spoiler: The Great Leader]]
* IAmAMonster: Both Takeshi and Hayato have these moments in some episodes and in the original manga by Shotaro Ishinomori, they feel bad about their cyborg condition.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: With only minimal exceptions, all the episodes name the villain Kamen Rider would face.
* ImprobablyHighIQ: Takeshi Hongo is chosen by Shocker for, among other things, possessing an IQ over 600.
* LongBusTrip: When the original Kamen Rider left Japan for a while to fight Shocker around the world, Ruriko Midorikawa went with him. She never came back.
* MidSeasonUpgrade: When Rider 1 returns to take over the show, he gets new powers and a new bike, along with some new duds to go with them. Rider 2 also gets a power-up a bit later.
* OneManArmy: The idea behind Kamen Rider was to have a lone hero to stand up against a much more vast, oppressive majority, turning the Kamen Riders effectively into this.
* OneWingedAngel: Shocker's generals each had a monster form they'd unveil for their final battle against Kamen Rider.
* PhlebotinumRebel: Again, both Kamen Riders.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Hayato Ichimonji, and more importantly Kamen Rider 2, were created when Hiroshi Fujioka, who played Hongo, shattered his leg in a motorcycle stunt gone wrong.
** When Fujioka broke his leg and needed to be replaced, the writers came up with four possible solutions to continue the series: [[TheOtherDarrin get a new actor to play Takeshi and act as if nothing has changed]], [[TheNthDoctor give Takeshi a cosmetic surgery to explain the different actor]], {{retool}} the series completely by changing the main character and setting, or simply continue the same story with a new main character. Ultimately they went with the fourth choice and they were eventually able to get Fujioka and the original Rider back on the show after he recovered.
** Also, in the episodes leading up to Ichimonji's arrival, there were a few episodes where they used stock footage and a voiceover (who sounded ''nothing'' like Fujioka) for Hongo, and as they began to run out, the supporting cast ''really'' got to shine as there were more and more episodes where Hongo's only involvement was [[MysteriousProtector fighting the monster while suited up and then riding off without a word]]. Ruriko, Tachibana, and eventually Taki would do all the investigating and figuring out what was going on, and Tachibana really grows into the guy we're going to know the rest of the series and [[Series/KamenRiderV3 across]] [[Series/KamenRiderX series]] [[Series/KamenRiderAmazon yet to]] [[Series/KamenRiderStronger come]]. The series took on quite a different, more mysterious feel.
* RedOniBlueOni: Hayato Ichimonji/Rider 2 and Takeshi Hongo/Rider 1 respectively. Hayato Ichimonji is a lot more flirty and madcap than the serious and straight-laced Hongo (albeit with a lot more levity than usually associated with Blue Onis). However, it's slightly subverted in that the former took things in a more personal level, whereas the latter wouldn't give up a chance to openly laugh at the villains.
** Appropriately enough, Rider 2's suit is universally recognized as having red gloves and boots, and in Rider 1's original appearances he was ''blue''.
* ReluctantMadScientist: Professor Midorikawa only served Shocker to [[IHaveYourWife insure the safety of his daughter, Ruriko.]]
** As did a lot of other scientists over the course of the show.
* ReplacementMooks: Gel-Shocker completely eliminates Shocker's former Shocker troops and replaces them with new Gel-Shocker combatants. In addition to being stronger, they also could turn into paper sheets that allow them to move through the air.
* RivalTurnedEvil: The Kaijin Sasori-Otoko was once a fellow student of Hongo's named Hayase, who let himself become a monster to get at Takeshi.
* ShooOutTheNewGuy: Ruriko joins Kamen Rider 1 on his worldwide Shocker-busting tour in Episode 13 with little prelude ''and'' having apparently been as much in the dark as everyone else during the "Where's Hongo?" arc. Her departure consists of Ichimonji pretty much saying "oh, and Ruriko went with him." And when Hongo returns, Ruriko does not.
* SideKick: Kazuya Taki.
* SurrealHorror: A mild example of this, but nonetheless, in the first 13 episodes of the series, Shocker rom their headquarters to their monsters and combatants were often filmed in very bizarre and deranged ways. Lighting changes, experimental camera angles and just the more alien feeling compared to the more mundane parts. Especially notable is whenever Shocker's presence itself starts changing the ordinary setting into something more surreal. This was mostly dropped after Ichimonji came around though.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Averted. When it turned out that Fujioka needed to be replaced, the character Hayato was created to be the new main protagonist and titular hero. However, rather than being a Hongo clone, Hayato had his own distinct appearance, a clearly different personality and the tone of the show became a bit more light-hearted with his introduction. As a result, he stood out from his predecessor and the series' ratings actually rose during his tenure as protagonist.
* ThemeSongPowerUp:The opening song ''Let's Go Rider Kick'' plays everytime Kamen Rider beats the monsters onf the week. Well,it's a tokusatsu series!
* ThoseWackyNazis: Shocker's use of Nazi theming is far from subtle at times. Some of the official info suggests that Shocker was established by surviving Nazi officials.
** Hell, their Christmas episode involved Ichimonji Hayato dropping a mountain on a bunch of old Nazis who'd gathered up for a party. That, and to become wolf monsters.
** However, the manga and subsequent background material actually subvert this later on, by revealing Shocker to have ties with numerous other organizations and groups, including religious cults, militaries, and most notably [[spoiler: governmental parties in the manga]]
* VillainSong: ''Three'' of them: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajppaRHUutg&feature=related "The Demonic Shocker"]], "Monster Song", and "Oh! Shocker".
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Episode 10 involves Shocker conning unsuspecting dog owners into offering up their animals for a human sacrifice, and then kidnapping said owners. While we're sadly lead to believe the poor dogs didn't make it, what happened to the kidnapped men and women is never really stated. Well, other than a throaway line about Shocker sparing the men for experimentation, which has [[FridgeHorror some disturbing implications for the women we specifically saw showing up at the trap]].
* YouKilledMyFather: Ruriko initially believes that Hongo, rather than the off-screen [[MonsterOfTheWeek Spider Man]], -- [[NamesTheSame not]] [[Franchise/SpiderMan that]] [[Series/SpiderManJapan one]] -- killed her father. She does learn otherwise, however.
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