Characters: Kamen Rider Gaim Beat Riders

The Beat Riders are rivaling dance crews formed by the youths of Zawame City, named so by DJ Sagara. Originally competing in the Inves Games with their fellow cremates for fame and glory, things escalated when one Kouta Kazuraba found the Sengoku Driver and Lockseeds, leading to the birth of the legend of the Armored Riders. As more Riders start to emerge from the woodwork and strange monsters called Inves come out of the mysterious Hellheim forest, the teams find themselves at the center of the conflict in Zawame city.

It is eventually revealed that the Armored Riders were both lab rats and scapegoats for Yggdrasil, meant to test the Lockseeds and prototype Drivers before taking the blame for Inves outbreaks. After the Inves invasion of Zawame city, the remaining teams disband and reform under one banner, ditching competing with each other altogether and just wanting to dance.

WARNING SPOILERS BELOW, proceed with caution.
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Team Gaim

    Kouta Kazuraba/Kamen Rider Gaim 

Kouta Kazuraba/Armored Rider Gaimnote  Man of the Beginning

Portrayed by: Gaku Sano (live), Seiji Takaiwa (suit), Hayate Torii (live, child)

"It doesn't matter who's on my side! I'm still protecting the same people! Even if I completely change in the end!"

The main character of Kamen Rider Gaim. Kouta is an earnest young man who quits Team Gaim so that he can get a job and support his sister. However, after finding the Sengoku Driver and Orange Lock Seed he is drawn back into the competition between the different "Beat Rider" gangs, believing that his new-found power is the key to his maturation as an adult.
  • Accidental Murder: He had no idea that he killed Yuya until Takatora told him. This then extends to every single Inves he ever killed, who were all once sentient beings before Helheim made them a part of its ecosystem.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Downplayed, but after getting his Rider powers he used them for every little thing while acting very cocky.
  • Adorkable
  • All-Loving Hero: While he stays true to the formula, given the nature of the show, almost everyone takes a chance to pot shot at him exemplifying the trope once Cerebus Syndrome hits.
    • In #6, he tries to make friends with Kaito even after all the crap the latter has pulled. Kaito, fresh off of Ryoji and Hideyasu's betrayal, rejects it.
    • #11: Even after he finds out the truth about Yggdrasill and its involvement in the Invess Game, Kouta still tries to save the people at the base camp, despite clearly not liking - if not outright disgusted by them.
    • Further cemented in #12: While Micchy urges him to throw the Driver away and stop being Yggdrasill's guinea pig Kouta can't help but use his power to protect innocent people.
    • #14: Despite the fact Ryoji is now an Axe Crazy Bixie Inves, he still thought he could reach Ryoji... it didn't work and Sigurd jumped in to kill Ryoji.
    • #15: He tells DJ Sagara that he intends to use his power only to protect the city, and others.
    • #20: Might see this get Deconstructed. Kouta, upon realizing that the Inves were once humans, was unable to fight them outside of defending himself.
    • #23: He decides after his talk with DJ Sagara to fight so that others don't make the same mistakes that he has made and so that nobody else has to fight against Helheim's invasion.
    • #32: It eventually becomes slightly deconstructed/reconstructed. Up until this point, Kouta was ready and willing to give everyone a chance and look at things from their point of view. After spending a few episodes trying to appeal to Demushu, Kouta finally realizes how monstrous he really is, decides that there's genuinely no reasoning with him, and kills him using Kiwami Arms. He then proceeds to willingly fight the other Overlords with lethal force.
    • #40: Redyue takes a turn to deconstruct this for Kouta. She tells him that, even if he does save everyone, he's going to be hated upon because he has become something more than human. While she breaks Kouta down, all it simply does is cause Kouta to focus on the fact that he's fighting for the people he loves, not everyone.
  • All Your Powers Combined: In Kiwami Arms, he can use the weapons of every single Armored and New Generation Rider.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: An in-universe example: Micchy comes to believe that Kouta is an idiot who ruins his plans by rushing into things who also "corrupts" everyone that Micchy cares about with his beliefs. However, it's clear that this way of thinking is a result of Micchy's increasingly evil and deluded worldview, and Kouta really is the heroic and noble Hope Bringer that Mai and Takatora see him as.
    • There's another in-universe example in #36: Kaito believes that Kouta is at best naive and at worst insane.
  • Appropriated Appellation: A positive example, just like Haruto, who got his name the same way: After answering the kid aka Alternate!Haruto when he called for a Kamen Rider to save him in the finale of Wizard's series, Gaim learns of the name Kamen Rider and that they're protectors of Freedom and Justice. Since he thinks that describes him pretty well, he decides to take up the legacy of Kamen Riders and become Kamen Rider Gaim.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Kouta's morals slowly make him Sid's most hated foe after he becomes Sigurd.
    • Kouta also becomes this to Micchy after the latter's sanity breaks. Micchy starts to see him as the root of all of his problems and attempts to kill him.
    • And in the final episodes, he becomes one to Kaito. Where Kaito believes that people lose strength with compassion, Kouta believes the Opposite, that they can have both, and that they become stronger if they do.
  • Badass: While not all that great at the start of his tenure, he shows signs of this as he was completely willing to fight off a monster before gaining powers. Plus, the intro to the series and his appearance on Kamen Rider Wizard assures us he will eventually grow into a full-fledged badass, then #11 comes around making his Wizard appearance look like a joke compared to the potential he showed as a One-Man Army.
    Kouta: I'll never give up! If you say sacrifices are necessary, I'll fight the world that demands them!
    • Colonel Badass: Commands a horde of Inves in #45 against Kaito's army.
  • Bash Brothers: He had this relationship with Ryugen in the early episodes. And they were one more time in the final episode.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: This is basically what accepting Kiwami Arms really is for Kouta. He takes the power in an obvious Deal with the Devil situation because he needs greater strength to deal with the Overlords. He's also essentially admitting that it's hopeless to reason with the Overlords, abandoning his role as a protector to become both a conqueror and destroyer as he unleashes lethal force on sapient beings (though his intentions remain noble and the Overlords are almost entirely evil).
  • The Beastmaster: Manifests the Overlords' ability to command Inves in order to defeat Kaito and his army.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Mai, according to the rest of the team.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Finding out the Yggdrasill Corporation used him and the others as guinea pigs didn't sit very well with him.
    • He gets seriously pissed off when Team Red Hot start using the Inves for criminal actions.
    • He gets pissed off with every little secret Yggdrasil has. Upon learning of Yggdrasill's plans to wipe the city clean from Sid, the rage that builds (and Sid experiences, painfully) might as well be this. Ryoma then slams the button even harder the next episode when he explains the plan to kill six out of every seven people in the world, because the remaining one-seventh is all Yggdrasill will be able to save. Takatora then breaks the button by showing him what really happened to Yuuya.
    • He's enraged when Takatora apparently betrays him, not knowing that the Zangetsu Shin trying to kill him is actually Micchy.
    • After Micchy reveals himself to be the fake Zangetsu Shin and suffering from a brief Heroic BSOD, Kouta quickly regains his senses and angrily fights back.
    • He goes ballistic after Redyue mercilessly backstabs and kills Roshuo in cold-blood.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Friendly, nice, somewhat naive and all around do-gooder... until you piss him off enough.
  • Big Good
  • Big "NO!": Does an epic one when he tries to stop Sigurd from killing Ryoji.
  • Bishonen Line: His transformation to Kiwami Arms can be seen as this, as he goes from the bulky and heavily armored Kachidoki to the rather thin and lightly armored Kiwami Arms, which wears even less armor than his basic Orange Arms.
    • played even straighter after Kouta eats the Forbidden fruit in episode 46, as it turns him into a white haired and silver armored version of himself, while gaining godlike powers in the process. This makes his most powerful form the most human looking of them all, which is only appropriate, showing that he only lost his physical humanity, but nothing else of it, in his becoming an Overlord and then the Man of the Beginning.
  • Blood from the Mouth: He spits up blood while fighting the Byakko Inves just before his first transformation into Gaim.
  • Brains and Brawn: With Mitsuzane in the early episodes, with Kouta acting as the Brawn. Kouta is noticeably a better fighter than Micchy but, while not stupid, isn't a genius like him.
  • Break the Cutie: Gets hit with this hard after finding out that he unknowingly killed Yuya. He gets better, thankfully.
  • Break the Haughty: His ego swells after becoming Gaim, but Zangetsu severely deflates it after delivering a particularly bad beating.
  • Broken Pedestal: Like Takatora before him, he's this to Micchy in a really weird way. Kouta is extremely noble, selfless, and wants to save everyone. Unfortunately, as Micchy becomes more evil and deluded over the course of the series, he starts to view Kouta as a fool who rushes into things without thinking and "ruins everything." Even worse, he puts all of the blame for this hatred on Kouta himself, claiming that Kouta's adherence to his ideals is a foolish, childish notion that has cost him Micchy's respect.
    • Rebuilt Pedestal: But by #47 after being broken Micchy realizes that Kouta is a true hero and he realizes that Kouta is a great role model.
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end of #46 he and Mai depart, taking with them all of Helheim that invaded Earth. But since he has god powers, he can come back anytime he wants.
  • But Thou Must: One of the Yggdrasil employees in the forest begs him to help when their base is attacked by the Inves. Kouta isn't happy about this at first since they see the Armored Riders as guinea pigs and said employee was laughing about that fact earlier. He caves in after a moment, though, since he still doesn't want to let anyone get hurt.
    • After some sort of disease begins to spread, the Beat Riders are held responsible, so when an Inves begins to attack, Kouta doesn't start fighting until after he's attacked by Bravo.
  • Calling Your Attacks: While he normally doesn't do this, when he uses the Showa Rider Lockseed in Kamen Rider Taisen he shouts out two famous words when he activates the Ichgiou Squash.
    Gaim (Ichigou's voice with him): Rider... KICK!
  • Character Development: Kouta goes through a lot over the course of the series; fitting, as it's essentially a Coming-of-Age Story.
    • Kouta goes through a significant arc in the first five episodes. He starts off as a straight and narrow Nice Guy, who's doing his best to try and figure out what it means to be an adult. Gaining superpowers and becoming Gaim led him to become a prideful Mr. Vice Guy (albeit one with good intentions who still wants to help his friends and family) who treats the entire situation as a game. His Break the Haughty moment (see above) then forces him to realize how serious things really are, to the point that he stops using his powers and tries to caution Micchy about becoming a Rider. However, after hearing how he had inspired Micchy to become stronger, he regains his resolve and becomes Gaim again.
  • Character Tics: After he transforms he has a tendency to make a Horse Stance and hold his weapon over his head with his right hand.
    • His henshin pose is drawing a circle in the air, mirroring the opening of the crack that gives the Arm Part. It actually symbolizes that he's really become a hero: The entirety of episodes 2 and 3 was him fanboying over having super powers, with one of the first things he did being trying to find a cool henshin pose. After he finally decides to use the belt to just protect people, he instinctively finds one that's just right.
  • Childhood Friends: With Mai.
  • The Chosen One: Nobody's been chosen yet, but Sagara seems to believe that Kouta will be the one.
    • He's right.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Suffers from this big time. He will always rush to save people, even when it puts him at odds with Mitsuzane.
  • Cooldown Hug: Removes the Yomotsuheguri Lockseed from Micchy before giving him a tender hug in #43. This is something that only Madoka can do.
  • Creating Life: Is now capable of this after obtaining the Forbidden Fruit, as Roshuo showed. He chooses to use this to go to a dead world and start life from scratch.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Delivered them to low class Inves, an army of Kurokages and Sigurd.
    • On the receiving end from Zangetsu and Demushuu.
    • He returns the favor to Demushuu after getting Kiwami Arms.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Subverted as a rare heroic example. By #3, Kouta has been shown to be perfectly happy with using his powers for self gain. He soon grows out of it and focuses on protecting the city instead.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Best shown when he just shoots his opponent with his Musou Saber when he has them in a blade lock.
  • Confusion Fu: He didn't really know how to use his powers at first, so his style was really sporadic and weird until around episodes nine or ten.
  • Cool Big Bro/Parental Substitute: He's pretty much this to Micchy. Noticeably, Mitsuzane has a rather distant relationship with his brother, and his parents are never shown. Kouta is his only positive role model...which in hindsight explains why he has such an unhealthy duplicitous relationship with him. He doesn't want to lose the approval of the only good thing in his life.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Despite his supposed demise, Kouta ends up in a dream, where a blonde-haired Mai wants to have a chat with him in #44.
  • Declaration of Protection: He states this in the first episode to the mysterious woman, thinking she's Mai. He's right, but he didn't know that at the time.
    • Later in the series he basically extends this to the entire city, since Yggdrasill isn't doing a thing about the Inves.
    • After discovering that Yggdrasil plans to wipe out 6 billion people, he extends this declaration to pretty much the entire world.
  • Deity of Human Origin: In the end of the series, he obtains the Forbidden Fruit and becomes a god. He then becomes a literal god by going to a dead world and beginning life from scratch.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: He intentionally takes a fatal hit from Ryugen Yomi in order to get at his belt and detransform him before the Hell Fruit Lockseed kills him.
  • Determinator: He will stop at NOTHING in order to help those in need.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Gaim was the first Armored Rider because Gaim means Armored Warrior. So he's... Armored Rider Armored Warrior.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: In #46 Kouta surprises Sagara by relocating Helheim to a lifeless planet so he doesn't have to destroy the Earth. Sagara is pleasantly surprised.
  • Dramatic Irony: Kouta says that he can never kill another human being. As he says this Micchy and the audience discover that in the very first episode he unknowingly killed Yuya after he became the Byakko Inves.
    • In #29 Kouta makes a speech about how he would have never gotten as far as he did if he didn't trust his friends. He's saying this to Zangetsu Shin II, who is secretly Micchy (the person he considers his best friend), who is abusing his trust to try and commit first degree murder.
  • Drunk with Power: Typical of Urobuchi, not even a Nice Guy like Kouta can avoid letting superpowers get to his head, but unlike most cases, it's downplayed to humorous hijinks and he grows out of it quickly.
    • Comes Great Responsibility: Realizes that he can't handle the armor's power if he's using it for himself, but he can if he uses it to help people. #3 shows that he's still working on this, as while he's using it to help other people, he still benefits from it.
    • He finally gets over this attitude after his first encounter with Zangetsu. Later, he shows how far he's come when he laments this behavior after finding out that the Armored Riders were being used as Yggdrasil's lab rats.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In #11 when infiltrating Yggdrasill's research camp.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: His response to being told by a woman he met for the first time that if he is to fight now he will fight to the bitter end is that he'll do it if it means protecting her. Justified, since he thought it was Mai. Subverted since it was Mai.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In #43, he pulls a Deliberate Injury Gambit to save Micchy by allowing himself to be stabbed by the latter so he could remove the Yomotsuheguri Lockseed from him.
    • Not Quite Dead: It doesn't stick for long though, since he comes back later to deal with Kaito in the next episode.
  • Enemy Mine: This is what he sees helping Yggdrasill contain the Inves horde in #11 as. He despises the organization, but he won't let his hatred of them let people get hurt. It happens again in #22.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai
  • Expy:
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Slowly becoming one towards Kaito.
  • Foil: Kouta acts as one to all three of the other main characters:
    • Kaito resolves to use his power to subjugate the weak, while Kouta wants to use his power to protect the innocent.
    • Mitsuzane is willing to keep secrets and manipulate others in order to do what he thinks is right, while Kouta tries to be open and honest. Mitsuzane also becomes increasingly Drunk with Power as time goes on and cares more about his own desires than anything else; Kouta gets over himself fairly early on and is firmly dedicated to protecting others.
    • Takatora is willing to sacrifice innocent people if it means ensuring the human race's survival, while Kouta refuses to accept this and wants to save everyone. However, it's eventually revealed that Takatora and Kouta are Not So Different from one another, and Takatora is open to working with Kouta when a more idealistic option presents itself.
  • Forgiveness: Easily forgives Micchy while calling him an "idiot" after all the shit the latter did in #43. He's a friggin' saint!
    Kouta: You idiot, Micchy... When you think how long the road ahead's gonna be... Are a few little mistakes that big of a deal?
  • For Happiness: Slightly deconstructed. Kouta wants everyone to be happy to the point where he is determined to save everyone and refuses the idea of sacrificing innocents. The problem is that he never figures his own personal happiness into this ideal. Mai eventually asks him to promise to find his own personal goal in life once the fighting is over.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Sanguine.
  • Friend to All Children: His first chronological appearance (Wizard #52) has him jumping into an unknown portal because he heard children crying for help. His first appearance in the series has him helping a kid finding said kid's mother.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From Yggdrasil's perspective. He went from being just another of their lab rats to being able to near effortlessly fight his way into their base and only being stopped by Zangetsu.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Attempts to do this on Micchy in their last fight. It fails, and Kouta is forced to pull a Deliberate Injury Gambit to bring Micchy back to his senses.
  • God Is Good: In the end of the series, he chooses to use the Forbidden Fruit to become the god of a new world, the sort of world Kaito desired: one where people don't seek the power to oppress the weak and none are trampled.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Kouta becomes the threshold for the villains of the final act. They all know how powerful he is and are willing to resort to desperate measures and suicide tactics to defeat him.
    • The coming of the Overlords and Kaito's madness in the last few episodes make him throw away his reluctance to kill.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Kouta is the nicest most moral member of the cast, but that doesn't mean he's stupid. He regularly makes accurate deductions, asks the right questions, and thinks things through which is a major change from most All-Loving Hero type Kamen Riders.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Make no mistake, he is a Nice Guy and adheres to Thou Shall Not Kill. But when he gets truly enraged, he tends to turn into a One-Man Army.
  • Green Thumb: His Overlord powers have begun to manifest by the end of #40. He leaves a trail of rapidly growing plants as he walks, just like Roshuo.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Realizes that he had to mature and find out what it truly means to be an adult. Unfortunately for him, it means he had to give up some of his hobbies and leave his friends for a time. Then the rest of the series progresses, and things quickly get worse.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Kouta has trouble understanding that some people choose to be monstrous scumbags. Best shown in #43, where offering Micchy forgiveness helps break him instead of saving him.
  • Guilt Complex: One of the reasons why he's taking on Yggdrasill and Helheim on all alone is because he considers himself a sinner due to killing Yuuya and doesn't feel deserving of help.
  • Healing Factor: Becoming an Overlord has given him one.
  • The Hero
  • Heroic BSOD: Did not take losing for the first time well.
  • Heroic Willpower: Being a hero of his story after learning Comes Great Responsibility, makes him a true "Kamen Rider", especially has an ability to released the Riders from the Lockseeed seals, even able to imagine things come true like To Qger. When his blood becoming those of Over Lords as a result of using Kiwami Lockseed many times then eating a Helheim's Fruit, later eating Golden fruit on becoming The Man of Begginning. Kouta's heroic mindset resist Helheim's will.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: During the Yggdrasill Saga due to their smear campaign.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Does this in #43 by allowing himself to be stabbed by Micchy so he could remove the Yomotsuheguri Lockseed from him before passing out and apparently dying. He's barely alive in #44, thankfully.
  • He's Back:
    • In #5, he breaks out of his Heroic BSOD just in time to save Ryugen.
    • Episode #23: After being utterly broken by the events of the previous episode, DJ Sagara gives Kouta a pep talk and his Mid-Season Upgrade, which causes Kouta to go straight to Yggdrasil headquarters and destroy the Scalar System.
  • Horror Hunger: Not as bad as some examples, but he is clearly disgusted by how much he wanted to eat the Helheim Fruit and after he learned from Rosyou and Redyue that his blood becoming those of Over Lords, thus wanted to test it out if he's not human anymore or still a human as a half part of his Guilty Pleasure back since Episode #1 in Episode #45.
  • Honor Before Reason: Why he initially opposed Yggdrasill's ways of fighting against Helheim. While acknowledging that their goals were basically the same, he was unhappy about keeping the secret from the general populace and the corporation's manipulation of the Beat Riders. Eventually, however, he opposes them due to finding out the full scope of Yggdrasil's plans and because he realizes that most of its top players are evil nutcases.
  • Hope Bringer: Mai, Takatora, and DJ Sagara all see him as one.
    • Micchy also comes to see Kouta as one. Unfortunately, he's convinced that the hope Kouta inspires in others needs to be destroyed for the sake of his own plans and ambitions.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Most of his fight in the first episode consisted of finding out what all his new powers and gear can do, while desperately finding out the most effective way of taking down the Monster of the Week.
  • Humanoid Abomination: After #41, he is considered as one, only more noble though.
  • Ideal Hero: No matter what people like Sid or Takatora say, Kouta never stops trying to protect others and refuses to accept the idea of sacrificing innocent people. His idealism is the reason why he's the God of this trope.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Kouta, after a talk with DJ Sagara, decides that his enemy isn't Yggdrasill or even Helheim, but a reality that states you have to sacrifice something to get something. He decides to destroy that rule.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: Kouta is uncomfortable with this idea. This is best shown when he expresses reluctance in keeping the existence of Helheim secret from the public, even going so far as to ask his sister whether she would want to know if the world were coming to an end.
    • Furthermore, in #23, he wants to tell Mai the truth about what happened to Yuya, feeling that keeping the secret would dishonor his memory and be unfair to Mai. He ultimately tells her the truth in #26.
  • Implacable Man: Has become this on occasion when pushed too far, both times with Yggdrasil on the receiving end. Zangetsu was the only thing that could halt his advance either time.
  • Improvised Weapon: The orange that appears during the Henshin sequence can actually be used as a weapon. First shown in #2.
    • The crossover movie Kamen Rider Taisen shows him using it as an improvised shield, and then using the giant strawberry from Ichigo Arms as a weapon.
  • It's All My Fault: Like Takatora, he blames himself for Micchy becoming a villain, thinking that he could have prevented Micchy's Face-Heel Turn if he had been perceptive.
  • The Juggernaut: Whenever he uses Suika Arms. Not even a literal army of Inves could stop him.
    • Done again with Kachidoki arms. An entire army of Kurokage troopers barraged him with bullets. He took absolutely no damage, and then proceeded to decimate ALL of them right after.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Kouta knows many dark secrets and Awful Truths, and they give him nothing but grief.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: An odd case where Kouta is actively trying to get into the loop but Micchy is doing all in his power to keep him out of it.
  • Lucky Seven: His Orange Lock Seed is LS-07.
    • In #15, his holding room is number seven.
  • Lonely at the Top: Discussed by Sagara in #40. He points out that if Kouta succeeds in saving the world he'll have become so powerful that everyone would hate and fear him, leaving Kouta with nothing.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Redyue shoves him into an extremely trippy one in #40, where he's the Byakko Inves, Yuya is Gaim and is trying to kill him, and the Overlords are his friends in an attempt to make Kouta surrender his humanity.
  • Kiai: just like Eiji, whenever he does a finisher...
    Kouta: SEIHAAAA!
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: In #22, he stole Minato's Peach Energy Lockseed right off her belt. He does it again in #43 with Micchy's Hell Fruit Lockseed via Deliberate Injury Gambit.
  • Man in White: In Kiwami Arms.
  • Master Character Heroes: Osiris the Messiah.
  • The Messiah: Shows signs of this. He becomes a Broken Messiah when he finds out he killed Yuya by accident. He gets better, though. It gets punctuated in the finale, where after he eats the Golden Fruit and gain control over Helheim, he simply moves them to a dying planet so that they could begin life without having to leech off others.
  • Messianic Archetype: Kouta is this with his compassion and Forgiveness, as well as how he apparently dies for it in #43.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: The Jinba Arms note  and Kachidoki Arms.
  • Mini-Mecha: His Suika Arms can assume 3 different modes.
    • Be the Ball: Odama Mode note 
    • Flight: Gyro Mode note 
    • Powered Armor: Yoroi Mode note 
  • Morality Pet: To Mitsuzane. Unfortunately, Kouta doesn't realize this, and Micchy starts to degenerate into a Poisonous Friend before renouncing his friendship with Kouta completely.
    • He becomes one to Kaito, who goes out of his way to bail Kouta out of trouble during the Helheim Saga.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: While still a good person, becoming Gaim corrupted him for a stretch and made Pride and money his main vices. He gets over it after Zangetsu roughs him up pretty badly.
  • Multiform Balance: Titled "Arms".
  • Mundane Utility: Deconstructed. Episode 2 has him fail at using Gaim's power to find a job. Sure, Super Strength and increased agility would be very useful in everyday life... But when that involves putting on incredibly bulky Power Armor, the everyday part becomes a little sketchier.
  • Nice Guy: He's generally friendly and his first scenes (depending on what you consider his first) involve helping out kids.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He tells Takatora about the Overlords, which leads Takatora to believe that the world can be saved without sacrifice and prompts his team to follow suit. That's when he realizes they were planning on betraying him the whole time.
  • No One Could Survive That: Revealed in #44 that the injury he received from Micchy could have killed him.
  • Nobody Calls Me Chicken: Both Kaito and Sid have exploited this to get him to do what they want.
  • Not a Game: The reason why he quits in #4. After being crushed by Zangetsu, he realizes that fighting could get him killed and it scares the crap out of him.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: He does this to a Kamikiri Inves in #28 in a fit of rage and despair after Micchy tricks Kouta into thinking Takatora betrayed him. What's really disturbing is that Kouta does this of his own free will without any Superpowered Evil Side. Even he has limits to what he can take.
  • No Place for Me There: In #40, Redyue tries to convince Kouta that he's no longer human and can never fit in with them again; while Sagara tells Mai the same thing about him. Both Kouta and Mai admit the truth in that, but - to Redyue's shock and Mai's horror - that changes nothing and Kouta continues to fight for a world he can never belong to anyways.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Does this to Micchy on a regular basis.
  • One-Man Army: Whenever he uses Suika Arms even swarms of full powered Inves become mere mooks to him.
    • With Kachidoki Arms, he turned an entire battalion of Kurokage Troopers into mere cannon fodder. He later turns three animated Suika Arms (courtesy of Sid's special Lockseed) into scrap metal.
  • Only Sane Man: He's initially the only person who points out how dangerous the Inves are and wonders where they come from; everyone else just accepts such an oddity.
    • He's also the only person, besides Takatora, who realizes that Bravo could be bad news.
    • Seems to be a defining trait for Kouta. He is seemingly the only Rider (besides perhaps Zack) with his head on completely straight, lacking any villainous or anti-hero tendencies.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: In his Orange, Fresh Orange, and Kachidoki Arms forms.
  • Physical God: He wins the competition and gets the golden fruit. An example of his power is opening a rip to a dying planet and taking all of Helheim.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: After getting the golden fruit, his hair goes blond too.
  • The Power of Friendship: Talks about this to Micchy after the battle in #43.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "This is my stage now!"
  • Pride: Becoming Gaim made his ego steadily grow until Zangetsu severely deflated it in #4.
  • The Promise: Mai makes him promise to find his own personal goal in life after everything's over.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Subverted in #36. Kouta tries to rationalize that Micchy is not evil, just misguided. Kaito puts a stop to this line of thinking, pointing out how hypocritical it would be for Micchy to get special treatment just because he's Kouta's friend.
  • Protagonist Powerup Privileges: He has four standard Lockseeds (Orange, Pine, Ichigo, and Suika) compared to other Riders' one or two, and three Energy Lockseeds (Lemon, Cherry, and Peach) on top of that. Kouta is also the only Rider able to use the Energy Lockseeds to form Jinba Arms, and is also the only Rider to have forms like Kachidoki and Kiwami Arms.
  • Razor-Sharp Hand: In the final battle against Kaito, he punches his weapon before using it against him.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: As a result of the Kiwami Key turning him into an Overlord, he gains these whenever he uses his Overlord powers. Word of advice, if he does this, you'd better run.
  • Ron the Death Eater: In-Universe example. Micchy, grasping at straws for a reason to hate Kouta, decides that Kouta is willing to kill Mai to get the Forbidden Fruit.
  • Say My Name: KAITO!
  • Screw Destiny: He gives Woman of the Beginning Mai this speech to help snap her out of her cynicism.
  • Secret Keeper: Mitsuzane convinces him to keep Yuya's death a secret from Mai. Kouta's not happy with this and ultimately tells her the truth.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: He never gives a damn about cynicism, regardless of what people like Sid and Takatora say.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: To Oren early on, before the latter's Jerkassery becomes more serious.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Many people write Kouta off as an Idiot Hero — especially Micchy — but he's actually one of the more philosophical and insightful members of the cast.
  • Spanner in the Works: Yggdrasil would've easily had its way with the entire world if Kouta hadn't gotten the Sengoku Driver instead of Yuuya. This leads to him basically screwing over their entire plan because someone with actual morals became a Rider.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In-Universe example, with Mai pointing out that by doing everything for Team Gaim, everyone else has stopped contributing.
  • Stock Superpowers: Each Jinba Arms form possesses its own unique ability.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Even after finding out that Micchy is evil, he still sympathizes with him, thinking that he's just lost his way due to all the lies he's told.
  • Take a Third Option: Kouta is obviously a follower of the Neutral Path.
    • This culminates in #46 when he becomes the man of the beginning. He has two options 1. Let Helheim take over the earth, 2. He stops Helheim and he'll die. He chose 3. He let Helheim run free on a dying planet.
  • Taught by Experience: Kouta has become noticeably better at fighting as the series goes on. Where he originally couldn't even stand against Bravo without help, he actually holds him off on his own later on and even beats him with the help of Jinba Arms. He then proceeds to wipe the floor with all the Energy Riders, pointing out that the beatdowns he got from them were in a way experience needed for their rematch.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Him quitting being Gaim only lasted a single episode.
  • Theme Music Powerup: Gets it sporadically, such as in #17 and #21, but it really comes to the fore in #41 and #45 with Ranbu Escalation.
    • Interestingly it does not always play, but one can argue it comes up when his tenacity and determination seems to be rising up to uphold his ideals.
  • These Hands Have Killed: His reaction after learning he killed Yuuya.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: He ascribes to this trope wholeheartedly... too bad his hands are covered in blood due to him killing countless Inves who were once sentient beings on top of killing Yuya.
    • He sticks with this after he found out the truth about Yuya: even when he has several chances to kill Sid, he never takes any of them.
    • Averted with the Overlords. Kouta does try to reason with them, but he becomes willing to use lethal force against them once he realizes just how monstrous Demushu and Redyue are.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Showing how much more badass Kouta has become in Gaim he throws his Musou Saber at an Inves that has tackled Ryugen while Ryugen and the Inves were riding on a motorcycle and successfully impaled said Inves without hurting Ryugen.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: In #22 when he finds out he personally killed Yuya. Can't blame the guy
  • Took a Level in Badass: He's been steadily growing in skill over the course of the show.
    • Took a major increase in #23 when he gets Kachidoki.
    • This even shows outside of his transformed fight. In #21, he effortlessly beats the stuffing out of a larger, adult criminal untransformed, showing he's become quite the fighter.
    • Upon receiving Kiwami Arms, Kouta is able to effortlessly destroy Demushuu.
    • In #41, he is able to defeat Redyue by using his new Overlord powers.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted, but not in the sense that he's vulnerable during it: Kouta's one of the few Riders to weaponize his Transformation Sequence: It gives out a burst of energy that defends him from attacks, and the Armor Parts that drop from the portal can actually hurt, which he's used as a ball to kick the enemy for a distraction. He's also used his orange armor as more than just armor: He can convert it into a spinning helmet that can fend off attacks, and can even transform it into a spinning shield on his hand. Taken Up to Eleven with Kiwami Arms, where all the fruits can swarm the enemy in a metallic barrage.
  • ▄bermensch: Becomes one in #23, rejecting the hopeless solutions of the other Riders and choosing an ideal path above moral compromise. He wants to destroy the very rule of the universe that demands sacrifice in exchange for hope.
  • The Unchosen One: Unlike most other Riders who are part of Yggdrasill or were handpicked by Sid, Kouta found his Driver in Helheim Forest (dropped by Yuya, who Sid did pick). The difference really shows, since Kouta's moral compass is much stronger than any other Riders'.
  • Unknown Rival: In a weird way, he has this situation going on with Micchy. Micchy has become increasingly evil and bitter towards Kouta over the course of the series, to the point that he's now secretly attempting to kill him as Zangetsu Shin II. Kouta has absolutely no idea that this is the case and still thinks Micchy is his best friend... until the Internal Reveal in #35, when Micchy reveals his hatred of Kouta and attempts to kill him again.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Subverted. He's perfectly aware that DJ Sagara might be manipulating him, but goes along with it because he gets power ups out of it.
    • Played straight in #26 where Mitsuzane, Kaito, and Minato manipulate him to find the Overlords.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: Snags Sid's Cherry Energy Lockseed in #21.
  • Vocal Evolution: After becoming the Man of the Beginning, he takes on a wise and dignified tone of voice.
  • Weapon of Choice:
  • Western Zodiac: In #6, he's revealed to be an Aquarius (born January 30)
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gets called out by Mai, Akira, and Kaito during #3 for their own reasons:
    • Mai complains that he is seeking all the attention that comes from being an Armored Rider as well as taking all responsibility from the team, leading them to become lazy with their dancing.
    • Akira lectures him for quitting his jobs just to have fun with his friends. While he is earning a lot of money from Inves battles, she believes that his previous jobs (painting buildings and delivering food) were better since they helped other people and society, instead of just making him and his friends happy.
    • Kaito confronts him for "just" using his powers to defend Team Gaim's own territory, rather than try to take over other teams' areas. Kaito considers this a waste and criticizes Kouta for not seeking "true power". Considering that Kaito is a Jerkass, though...
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Kouta starts out as one, but increasingly gets put through the wringer over the course of the series. Fortunately, he hangs on to his optimism and becomes a more mature Ideal Hero.
  • Wild Card: Sagara outright calls him one in #32.
  • Worf Had the Flu: During his fight with Lord Baron in #44 he was still suffering from his wound from his battle with Ryugen Yomi.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He initially thinks he's in a pretty light-hearted Kamen Rider show where there's just a lack of poor communication between characters in conflict with one another. He's completely wrong. For one, he thinks the Overlords would be easy to talk to, but one chat with Deemushu reveals that he got everything he got from Sagara wrong. Second, he, along with some of the other Riders, thinks Micchy got manipulated by the Overlords and that's why he's being an antagonist to them, as opposed to what really happened.
    • Dangerously Genre Savvy: On the other hand, Kouta is painfully aware of the whole "growing up" thing, even if it means turning himself into an Overlord is part of his adulthood.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Every time it looks like Kouta is going to get some real help in stopping Helheim or Yggdrasill, something happens that makes said ally betray him like Kaito and Micchy or something horrible happens to said ally like Takatora being disposed of by the other Yggdrasill Riders.
    • In #35, Kouta finds out that Micchy, his best friend and one of the people that he trusts without question, hates him and has been trying to murder him for the last several episodes.

    Mitsuzane Kureshima/Kamen Rider Ryugen 

Mitsuzane "Micchy" Kureshima/Armored Rider Ryugennote /New Generation Rider Zangetsu Shinnote  II/Armored Rider Ryugen Yominote 

Portrayed by: Mahiro Takasugi (live), Daisuke Sato (suit)

"If it's to protect this joy...I'll betray anything and anyone."

A shy but talented member of Team Gaim. Unknown to the others, he is actually an heir to the Yggdrasill Corporation and attends an exclusive private school, a fact that he takes pains to hide from his teammates because he wishes some semblance of normality in his life. While he looks up to Kouta and Mai, the conflicts of the series end up setting him on a much darker path...

Using the Sengoku Driver and the Budou (Grape) Lock Seed, he can transform into Armored Rider Ryugen. He later obtains his brother's Genesis Driver and Melon Energy Lockseed, succeeding him as the second New Generation Rider Zangetsu Shin.

  • 0% Approval Rating: In #41, the Takatora hallucination points out that everybody else either doesn't like or doesn't trust Micchy anymore.
  • Achilles in His Tent: After he finds out that every time a Rider transforms they just give Yggdrasill more data, Micchy refuses to fight for a while.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: For Mai.
  • Always Save the Girl: Deconstructed; Micchy wants to "save" Mai, but he eventually becomes so deluded and desperate to do so that he blatantly ignores her feelings and opinions and performs whatever villainous action he thinks is necessary to protect her. Kaito points out that Mai is a strong person who doesn't need Micchy's "help," but Micchy is unable to see Mai as anything but a Damsel in Distress that he needs to rescue. Micchy's efforts to protect her are what ultimately lead to Mai's death (and transformation into an Energy Being).
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Shows signs of a Narcisstic Personality Disorder and a Borderline Personality Disorder.
  • Ambition Is Evil: He becomes obsessed with the power of influence and obtaining more of it, seeing it as the most important thing in life.
  • Anti-Hero -> Anti-Villain -> Classic Villain -> The Hero: He becomes less and less heroic as the story goes on. As his morality degrades, Micchy becomes an evil and twisted caricature of his former self, representing Pride, Envy, Wrath, and Lust. However, during the final episode, Mitsuzane becomes Ryugen once more in order to protect the city in Kouta's stead.
  • Arch-Enemy: Kaito has it out for Micchy because of his cowardly ways, swearing to destroy him himself. However, once he discovers that Mitsuzane is uninterested in fighting for the Golden Fruit after Mai's death, he ignores him in disgust and proceeds to his next arch enemy...
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Receives one from Mai in #26. Unfortunately, it led to anything but an improvement for his sanity.
  • The Atoner: Post-series, to the point of refusing Zack's friendship offer.
  • Ax-Crazy: By the time the Helheim Saga rolls around Micchy has become a high-functioning version of this trope. He gets worse as the series progresses, reaching a very creepy apex in #38.
  • Badass: Ironically, his increasing badassery is gained as he loses his morality.
  • Batman Gambit: To lure out Zangetsu at the end of the first arc, he and Kouta formulate a plan to use the other Riders as bait by playing off their greed and pride.
  • Bash Brothers: He formed this relationship with Gaim after becoming a Rider, though soon drifted away from it. They circle around back to being this in the epilogue.
  • Bastard Understudy: To Redyue, who's quite happy to teach him everything she knows.
  • Be Yourself: Part of the main reason he is in Team Gaim. In his high-end private school he acts like a stoic, elite student that sees all other students as a rival, but with his team he is much more relaxed and outgoing.
    • Eventually deconstructed: he started out not caring what his brother thought, but eventually stopped caring about what anyone thought. It also seems that his Team Gaim persona isn't "himself" either.
  • Being Evil Sucks: This lesson is hammered home by the end of the series, as his schemes led him to sacrifice everything and he has absolutely nothing to show for it.
  • Beneath the Mask: Micchy was introduced as a cheerful and friendly person who just wanted to spend time with his friends. As time goes on, however, he is revealed to be very ruthless and manipulative, and he starts to care more about his own happiness than his friends'.
    • By #27, the mask is breaking. Even Mai notices, though she hasn't completely caught on and just comments that he hasn't been acting "like himself". Tellingly, he then asks how he should act "like himself".
    • By #35, he doesn't even bother with the mask anymore in front of Kouta, as he decides to finally reveal his betrayal. Mai, Rat, and Rica also begin to realize that there's more to him than he lets on.
    • By #38, he's not even really trying to hide his behavior from Mai anymore. He's undergone a massive amount of Sanity Slippage by this point, so he doesn't really seem to care about keeping up the charade anymore.
  • The Berserker: He eventually becomes this as his frustration gets the better of him. Kaito notes that it makes him much harder to fight.
  • Big Bad Friend
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He clearly considers himself an ally and equal of the various other villains, but he never plays for stakes as high as they do and isn't nearly as cunning as they are (which they all take advantage of).
  • Big Damn Heroes: In #8 he shows up just in time with his new Rose Attacker to save Gaim from a swarm of Inves in the Helheim Forest.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He can seem very cheery and idealistic towards many things, as well as being The Smart Guy of the group, but give him a goal in mind and he can be just as manipulative and cunning as his brother.
    • This becomes more pronounced after Micchy joins Yggdrasil. He continues to act cheerful and friendly towards his friends, all while working with the antagonists and being completely okay with manipulating and lying to the people who care about him.
    • In #35, he makes a show of appearing as a benevolent benefactor when he explains his new Project Ark to Mai, Rat, and Rica. All three of them are smart enough to notice how disturbing he's acting, though.
  • Book Ends: Micchy caps off his return to heroism in his round 2 against Kougane with his transformation pose when he first transformed into Ryugen in #4.
  • Brains and Brawn: When working with Kouta in the early episodes, he's the Brains. While Kouta is a better fighter, Micchy is the one who comes up with the plans. Unfortunately, Micchy's conviction that he's the "smart one" leads him to become angry with Kouta when the latter doesn't go along with his plans.
  • Break the Haughty: #41 and 42 are spent crushing Micchy's narcissistic arrogance. At first, he becomes a much more dangerous villain; Micchy stops underestimating Kouta and becomes a nihilistic Death Seeker as Ryugen Yomi to kill him. However, the shock of (apparently) doing so and Mai's death at Ryoma's hands emotionally destroy him and leave Micchy a complete wreck.
  • Broken Pedestal: Micchy claims that he has one for Kouta in #35. He argues that Kouta's refusal to sacrifice anyone and continued resistance against Helheim has cost him Micchy's respect and loyalty. It's not a straight example, though, since Micchy is the one who's become a selfish, villainous Jerkass, and the whole incident really just underscores how evil and corrupt he's become.
  • Broken Tears: In #43, Micchy realizes that, after everything he's done over the course of the series, all of his efforts turned out to be pointless. The revelation leaves him a sobbing, broken mess.
  • Bungled Suicide: Micchy obviously didn't plan on living past his final battle with Kouta.
  • Bystander Syndrome: After learning about Yggdrasill using them as pawns, Micchy starts to suffer from this to the point that he stands by and lets both innocent people and Kouta get attacked by Invess without lifting a finger. He only gets away from this once he's cornered by Kurokage troopers while infiltrating Yggdrasil. He finally stops being this... after joining his brother, yet turns out he'd been joining Ryoma all along, whom manipulated his brother.
    • He relapses into this again in the final episodes; believing that everyone he ever cared about was dead by his actions has left him completely lifeless and apathetic.
  • Cain and Abel: With Takatora. But unlike how the series first presented them, Mitsuzane's the Cain.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Yomotsuheguri Arms is very powerful, but drains Mitsuzane's life force.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: In #18, he states, word for word, that he would betray anyone or anything to keep the joy he was feeling.
  • Clipped Wing Angel: Yomotsuheguri arms. While it does increase his power, it incapacitates Micchy with fits of intense agony right in the middle of battle, leaving him completely vulnerable. The only reason he wasn't immediately butchered due to this was that he was fighting Kouta, who explicitly didn't want to kill him.
  • Condescending Compassion: When Micchy takes Mai to Yggdrasil tower, he stresses how much he wants to protect her... even as he blatantly ignores her feelings, tells her to her face how she's "confused" by everything that's happening, and emphasizes that she needs to do what he tells her to.
  • Control Freak: Starts to become one more and more after joining Yggdrasill. He tries to manipulate Kouta into doing what he thinks is best, and becomes bitter and angry when Kouta doesn't go along with his plans.
    • He expresses very disturbing Tranquil Fury whenever things don't go his way or people don't act the way he wants.
    • When Dyudyuonshu asks him if Kouta used to be a friend of his, Micchy replies that his friends are the ones who do what he wants.
    • In #41, Kaito outright tells him that Micchy doesn't really care about Mai as a person, but just wants a "puppet" that he can control.
  • Consummate Liar: Micchy can lie, distort the truth, and misdirect blame with rather disturbing skill.
  • The Corruptible: As Sid and many other factors easily prove.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Sid started the job when he enjoyed provoking Micchy's dark side, and joining Yggdrasill warped him further. Redyue takes it Up to Eleven, though she admits that Micchy is so messed up by this point that he's driving himself nuts.
  • The Cynic: Increasingly becomes one as the series progresses.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: While Micchy was hinted to have a darker side early on, he still cared about his friends' well-being. As he becomes more Drunk with Power, he starts caring less about them while focusing on his own desires and taking sadistic delight in secretly trying to kill Kouta, his best friend.
    • By #42, Mitsuzane no longer remembers what Mai's smile looks like or even why he started fighting.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Ryugen Yomi Yomotsuheguri Arms, which grants Micchy immense power at the cost of his life force (and causes him immense pain with use).
  • Deal with the Devil: Ryoma gives him the Yomotsuheguri Lockseed to defeat/kill Kouta in order to have the time to extract the Fruit of Knowledge from Mai's body. However, the Yomotsuheguri Lockseed drains the life force of its user, which means prolonged use would ultimately kill Mitsuzane. He accepts the deal. He ends up regretting it.
  • Death Glare: His usual reaction whenever things don't go according to his plans.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He is so shocked by the sight of a ruined alien civilization that he immediately accepts Takatora's offer to join Yggdrasill.
    • He completely crosses it in #34. Seeing Roshuo's god-like power makes him decide to sell out humanity to the Overlords.
    • #43 is even worse. After his business with Kouta is finished, he ends up being betrayed by Ryoma before breaking down in despair like a hysterical child. It's so brutal that he actually stopped caring about whether or not Mai could be saved, and basically spends the rest of the series doing nothing but sobbing alone over just how badly he screwed everything up.
  • Did Not Think This Through: In #41, Redyue points out the flaw in Micchy's plan to have Roshuo safeguard Mai: if Roshuo genuinely takes a liking to her, he would never let a monster like Micchy anywhere near her. Micchy's reaction says it all.
    • Micchy trusts Ryoma to take care of Mai after she's been fused with the Forbidden Fruit... even though Ryoma is a Mad Scientist who has made it abundantly clear over the course of the series that he wants the fruit for his own ends. Ryoma himself points out how stupid Micchy was to do this.
  • Dirty Coward
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Micchy becomes increasingly angry with Kouta when he doesn't go along with his manipulations, even though Kouta is heroically saving lives and clearly isn't doing so to spite Micchy.
    • Micchy's response to Takatora being genuinely happy while speaking highly of Kouta? He gives Kouta a beating while disguised as his own brother, all so that he can destroy any goodwill between the two. Not to mention that fact that he's now willing to nearly murder his best friend.
    • He eventually decides that he needs to eliminate Kouta in order to save his friends. Why? Because Kouta gives them hope.
    • He decides that Rica and Rat deserve getting hooked up to Redyue's life-draining machine after they tried to leave Yggdrasil Tower against his wishes.
  • Dissonant Serenity: When Micchy is explaining his new Project Ark to his friends, he remains disturbingly calm as he reveals that he plans to save them while abandoning a majority of humanity to die. All of his friends quickly pick up on how creepy this is, thankfully.
    • When Micchy forces Mai to come with him by having an Overlord Inves beat up Peko, he remains completely calm and cheerful, even as a horrified Mai begs him to stop.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Micchy's overall behavior when he forces Mai to come with him to Yggdrasil Tower. He obliviously blackmails Mai into coming with him by threatening the life of one of her friends, all the while telling Mai how she's just "confused" and needs to do what he says. When we cut back to them later, Mai is sitting in Micchy's office, visibly terrified and wearing a completely different outfit, while Micchy himself talks about how everything will be fine once Mai starts seeing things his way.
  • Driven to Suicide: In a dark way. Realizing that his actions have accomplished nothing and he's lost many of his friends, he willingly uses the Yomotsuheguri Lockseed out of the belief that it would save Mai's life.
  • Drunk with Power: Unlike other characters, Mitsuzane isn't drunk off of the physical power being a Rider gives him. Instead, he becomes drunk off of the power of control and influence that being a part of Yggdrasill gives him.
  • Easily Forgiven: By Kouta in #43. His response? Far from being satisfied or relieved. Thankfully, however, this is the first step in Micchy's Heel Realization.
    • Discussed after the first Time Skip, when Hideyasu questions whether everyone should really be so quick to forgive Micchy for everything that he's done. Oren gently chides him and iterates the tragedy of Micchy's character arc: that, ultimately, Micchy was just a stupid kid who allowed himself to be used by several legitimately evil people.
    • After the second Time Skip, most of the other characters are willing to forgive Micchy for the things that he's done. However, Micchy hasn't quite forgiven himself.
  • Empty Shell: Becomes this after Mai's (human) death, effectively putting him out of the running for the Golden Fruit. Even after he knows there's a way to save Mai, he expresses no care.
  • Epic Fail: Micchy's entire character arc reaches this point in #43. All of his actions have done more harm than good, he's failed to actually accomplish anything, everyone either hates or doesn't trust him, and the people he cares most about are all dead either by his hand (Takatora and Kouta, though both are later revealed to have survived) or as a direct result of his decisions (Mai). He's such an idiot indeed.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Ties in with Micchy's narcissistic tendencies and his arrogance. He doesn't seem to understand why Mai, his friends, and Takatora gravitate towards Kouta instead of him, since Micchy is convinced that Kouta is an Idiot Hero who's constantly "ruining everything" while Micchy is the genius who will save his friends. Kouta, of course, earns their respect by being a hero and trying his best to save everyone, but Micchy never seems to see the virtue in this.
    • This becomes particularly glaring in #35, when he complains to Mai. He basically paints Kouta as a fool who doesn't think things through or accept the reality of the situation. Neither of these conclusions are accurate and are clearly influenced by Micchy's jealousy and hubris.
    • Micchy seems either unable or unwilling to acknowledge that Mai genuinely disapproves of his actions. He instead convinces himself that she's being irrational and will eventually come around to his way of thinking.
  • Evil Costume Switch: He's usually seen in brightly colored clothes, but when he joins Yggdrasill, he immediately switches to a pitch black shirt.
    • While he was already fairly evil, Micchy's switch from Ryugen to Zangetsu Shin symbolizes his complete surrender to his darker instincts. The switch in Rider powers is accompanied with matching white sweaters in his civilian attire.
    • After Redyue's invasion he's seen wearing formal clothing and a black blazer, similar to what Takatora was previously wearing before his 'death,' to show his rise to power over his brother and to show that he's The Quisling.
    • He eventually gains a new form, Ryugen Yomi Yomotsuheguri Arms, which is essentially a more evil-looking version of Ryugen's Budou Arms and Kiwi Arms forms.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Kouta after his betrayal.
    • He also becomes one to his brother, especially after becoming Zangetsu Shin II.
    • Yomotsuheguri Arms to Kiwami Arms. It's design also makes it one to his Budou and Kiwi Arms.
  • Evil Former Friend: Becomes this to Kouta in #26 when he shoots him in the back. Kouta doesn't find out about this until #35.
    • He becomes one to the rest of Team Gaim when he lets Redyue keep Rat and Rica hooked up to her life-draining machine.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Over the course of the series, Micchy arrogantly believes that he's intelligent enough to manipulate the villains that he allies himself with for his own ends. He's not, and he has an emotional breakdown when he finally realizes it.
  • Evil Makeover: As his morality degrades, Mitsuzane begins to resemble a more deranged version of his brother.
    • He starts wearing a blazer with formal clothing in #35, making his outfit almost identical to his brother's. This is also the episode where he finally reveals how evil he's become to Kouta.
  • Evil Is Petty: In a world where the planet Earth is at risk of being consumed by an Eldritch Abomination and multiple factions have grand ambitions of aiming to save the planet, letting it be consumed, or trying to become a god, Micchy is content to use his superpowers and all of the resources of a multi-billion dollar company to try and kill his ex-dance teammate, all out of mere jealousy.
    • Micchy tries to justify his actions with the excuse of "saving what he can of humanity," but he's really just protecting what he considers "his" and leaving the rest to rot.
    • He lets Redyue keep Kouta's sister captive, even though she has nothing to do with his grudge towards Kouta other than being related to him. He later leaves Rica and Rat to the same fate after they tried to escape against his wishes, actually thinking that they deserve it for not doing what he wanted.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Mahiro Takasugi confirmed in an interview that, knowing his character was going down a bad route, he lowered Micchy's tone of voice as the show went on to reflect the character development.
  • Expy:
    • At first, he is initially the same position as Kamen Rider Zolda, the green-colored gunslinger Rider from Kamen Rider Ryuki.
    • For the first eleven episodes, Micchy fills the role of a well-mannered Katsuya Jonouchi. After his Face-Heel Turn, he goes Darker and Edgier to the point of becoming Dark Bakura.
    • Being a former friend of the protagonist who turns evil and becomes a main enemy, he's one to Nobuhiko Akizuki/Shadow Moon of Kamen Rider Black. Word of God implies that this was intentional, as Black was a big influence on Urobuchi, being the drive behind the show's Rider vs. Rider concept (rather than Kamen Rider Ryuki, as many assume).
      • On that note, his fight with Takatora is possibly a reference to how Nobuhiko was Kotaro's adopted brother, and since it's as Zangetsu Shin and Zangetsu, respectively, it could also be similar to having Black fight his upgraded form, Black RX.
      • This is pushed further with Ryugen Yomi's Yomotsuheguri Arms, putting him on the same power level as Gaim Kiwami Arms.
    • His desire to protect his friends makes him increasingly more like: Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Homura Akemi...especially since he wants to protect them at any cost. Coincidentally, his brother also shares Homura's traits.
      • This was reinforced later on where Mitsuzane became Ryugen Yomi, he is indeed the Devil Homura to Gaim Kiwami Arms's Ultimate Madoka.
    • After he joins Yggdrasil, his Ax-Crazy and highly unstable personality makes him similar to Ouja from Kamen Rider Ryuki.
      • A case can also be made for Satoru/Tiger in the same series as both begin as well-intentioned young men who slowly lose their sanity through the course of the series.
    • His willingness to shoot Kouta also makes him similar to Masato Kusaka/Kamen Rider Kaixa from Kamen Rider Faiz, since he also tried to kill the primary Rider. Not to mention they both share Yandere traits.
    • He is also similar to Riddhe Marcenas. Both started out as an ally and sidekick to the main character of respective series, but turn against them eventually out of jealousy and conflicting ideals. Both receive upgrades that are evil counterparts to the main rider/gundam (Zangetsu Shin II for Micchy, Unicorn Banshee for Riddhe). Both also become Ax-Crazy when they betray Kouta/Banagher.
    • Moreover, he also has some similarities with Kirei Kotomine: both are saddled with evil dispositions but try hard to follow a righteous path, only to break in the end. Having a Poisonous Friend like Sid/Gilgamesh also helps.
    • Some have compared him with Sayaka Miki, an idealistic person who tried their best to do good, only to have situations out of their control screw them over and having their main reason to do good reject them, finally making them snap/fall into despair. As some have theorized, Micchy is what Sayaka might have become if she hadn't turned into a witch and instead pulled a Face-Heel Turn out of despair.
      • And if Sayaka is a raspberry, then Micchy would be grapes.
    • By #35, he can be said to be one of Anakin Skywalker, of all people. Both men started out as heroes, but underwent a Face-Heel Turn due to their arrogance, bitterness, and an all-encompassing desire to save the person they love. Both characters also ally themselves with extremely powerful villains and try to murder their best friends. In addition, they become increasingly evil while convincing themselves that they're the heroes of their stories.
      • Both men also lose it when they realize that their actions led to the deaths of their loved ones.
      • By the time the finale rolls around, both men realize the error in their ways and do an act of redemption (though Mitsuzane's case would be in the epilogue after the series).
    • A young, Teen Genius that steadily degrades into an Ax-Crazy, narcissistic, manipulative Psychopathic Man Child who believes his actions are always in the right? Sounds like a Kamen Rider version of Light Yagami
    • His voice, theme color, and motif (as Ryugen Yomi) makes him a sociable Shani Andras.
    • He's a Faux Affably Evil Chinese dragon Rider, a Control Freak, a Consummate Liar, a Tragically villainous younger brother, a Manipulative Bastard and a Sadist with a Chronic Backstabbing Ambiguous Disorder who ends up being broken after his actions bit him in the ass since the day he became Ryugen. Azula anyone?
    • Micchy is basically a gender-flipped version of Katejina Loos until his last-minute Heel-Face Turn in the finale.
    • Micchy is also considered as a Mutsuki Kamijo clone.
    • Micchy holds many similarities to Obito Uchiha and Sasuke Uchiha if they actually had to take responsibility for their actions and lacked their Karma Houdini powers.
  • Face-Heel Turn: He makes no hesitation to switch to Yggdrasill's side after seeing whatever Takatora shows him in #16.
    • Hazy Feel Turn: However, his own indecision makes it clear that Micchy has no clue what side he's really on. He eventually decides Heel.
    • Heel-Face Turn: Seems to have done this between #46 & #47 after learning from his mistakes and spending most of his time with Takatora during the six-month timeskip.
  • Fallen Hero: Began as a genuine hero but gradually degrades into an Anti-Villain and then a deranged psychopath willing to watch his own brother die and not lift a finger.
  • False Friend: He starts out as a seemingly genuine friend to Kouta, Mai, and Team Gaim, but it's made clear from the start that he has no problem with lying to them or trying to manipulate them behind their backs. He does genuinely want to protect them, but he never seems to actually care about what they think or feel and remains convinced that only he knows what's best for them.
    • As Micchy becomes more evil, he becomes more willing to get rid of his friends and family when they displease him. By #39, Mai appears to be the only person he still cares about other than himself.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He puts up a Nice Guy facade but all the oily hate manages to slip through.
  • Flawed Prototype/Psycho Prototype/Super Prototype: Yomotsuheguri Arms is all three at once. It was created before the Energy Lock Seeds and is on par with Kiwami Arms but it drains the users life force with each use.
  • Foil: Like Kouta, Micchy acts as one to all three of the other main characters:
    • Takatora: Micchy is introduced as a hero, but becomes disturbingly more villainous as the show goes on. His brother Takatora first appears as the ruthless leader of the villains, but it becomes apparent later that he is one of the most moral characters in the show, despite being misguided. Takatora also feels guilt for all of the horrible things that he does, believing that he's a Necessary Evil that will ensure the greater good; Micchy doesn't seem to care about the morality of his actions, so long as his own selfish desires are met.
    • Kouta: Both Riders start out wanting to use their powers to help their loved ones. While Kouta is initially Drunk with Power, he's limited to using his abilities for harmless monetary gain (while still helping his friends and family) and eventually grows out of it, unselfishly dedicating himself to protecting everyone. Micchy becomes much more selfish, allies himself with the villains, tries to protect his friends by lying and attempting to control them, and becomes so angry and jealous of Kouta that he betrays him.
    • Kaito: Both are entirely selfish and desire power; however, Kaito desires pure physical power while Micchy desires the power of influence and manipulation. Furthermore, Kaito is upfront with his enemies and despises tactics of deception and dishonesty. While a Jerkass, he always speaks genuinely and never lies. Micchy's skills at deception are his greatest asset, and he utilizes them to their full extent. In #27, they come to blows over this difference when Kaito becomes disgusted with and attacks Micchy after witnessing him shooting Kouta in the back and knocking him unconscious.
    • Ironically enough, Micchy becomes one to Mai. Mai is extremely caring and emphatic, wants to make people happy, and became focused on revealing the truth once she found out the full story of Helheim. Micchy becomes willing to betray anyone who displeases him, only cares about his own ambitions, and spent a good chunk of the series trying to keep secrets from everyone. It's ironic because, by #39, Mai is the only other person that Micchy still cares about, even though she's clearly horrified by his actions.
  • For Great Justice: Mitsuzane claims that he's helping Kouta fight Yggdrasill because it's the right thing to do. It's immediately subverted when Takatora claims that the real reason why he's doing it is just to rebel against his brother.
    • In #35, Micchy tries to take the moral high ground when he reveals his Face-Heel Turn to Kouta. He claims that Kouta's attempts to inspire hope are dangerous, argues that Takatora's fate was Kouta's fault (not knowing that Takatora is still alive), and seems to think that killing Kouta will help him "save" Mai and the others.
  • For Happiness: Deconstructed; Micchy justifies his actions with the desire to protect his friends from the conflict with Helheim and keep them happy. However, he eventually goes too far and begins trying to steer them away from anything that would make them feel bad, even if not knowing the truth would hurt them. He also becomes bitter and angry with his friends (especially Kouta) when they don't go along with his scheming since he is convinced that he knows what's best for them.
    • Eventually, it becomes clear that "their happiness" is really just an excuse for his own happiness and desires: for example, he uses Inves to sabotage Mai's attempt to warn the city of Yggdrasill's plans due to his own desire to keep her out of the conflict, even though such an act would (and did) clearly not make Mai happy.
    • It also becomes clear that the only people whose "happiness" Micchy cares about is Team Gaim. He's perfectly willing to form an alliance with Redyue and write off the majority of humanity so long as he gets to keep Team Gaim for himself. Even then, he doesn't hesitate to cut Team Gaim off when they don't do what he wants.
    • Micchy honestly believes that he's "the only one who can make Mai happy." When Kaito is told this in #41, he immediately calls Micchy out on it and points out how selfish he really is.
  • Foreshadowing: Micchy getting his Sengoku Driver from Sid sets the tone for his interactions with the other antagonists later in the series. Micchy is pleased with himself upon receiving it and only cares that he got what he wanted. However, he completely fails to realize that Sid wasn't the least bit intimidated by his threats and only met his demands out of amusement at Micchy's darker tendencies. Micchy would later go through similar interactions with Redyue and Ryoma, not realizing until the very end that he was just an Unwitting Pawn the entire time.
    • Micchy's line in #18 about how he would "betray anything and anyone" to keep the joy he was feeling is a twofold example. At first, it seems just to indicate how far Micchy is willing to go in order to fulfill his desires. The latter part, however, is ultimately revealed to be the root of most of Micchy's problems. Micchy became so desperate to keep everything the same and hold on to his happiness that he alienated his friends and did much more harm than good.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Phlegmatic.
  • Freak Out: Has a big one in #38, when a hallucination of his brother, whom he himself defeated, mocks his effort to make himself something more than just Takatora's little brother. It produces a genuine 'what the hell?' reaction from the onlooking Redyue, who just sees Mitsuzane slipping into a fit of mindless rage for no apparent reason.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He begins his role as little more than the hero's sidekick, but slowly grows into one of the show's most dangerous characters.
  • Genre Blind: Taking the Mad Scientist at his word that Mai will be safe pretty much sums it up. Ryoma even hangs a lampshade on how idiotic it was to leave him alone with Mai, given that Micchy knew Ryoma wanted the Forbidden Fruit.
  • Genre Savvy: When his manipulative and dangerously psychotic Overlord handler brings up Mai's name, Micchy doesn't just warn the former to back off, but immediately spirits the latter off to the safest place he can think of.
    • Wrong Genre Savvy: He just didn't think of what would happen if the owner of said place took a liking to Mai.
      • Even before that, when he first joins Yggdrasil, it's fairly apparent that Micchy sees himself as The Hero since he's trying to "protect" his friends. As time goes on, he starts to see Kouta, the actual protagonist, as an Idiot Hero who's ruining Micchy's efforts. The aggression that he builds up in response is what largely fuels his further Face-Heel Turn.
      • In #29, Micchy's plan to kill Kouta hinges on Kouta being an All-Loving Hero who would be willing to die to keep a fragile alliance. This plan falls apart because he doesn't realize that Kouta has a sense of self-preservation unlike most All Loving Heroes and will use violence for self-defense.
      • In #35, Micchy gives Kouta a Breaking Speech that tries to paint Kouta's hope-inspiring actions as dangerously delusional, blames him for what happened to Takatora, and makes clear that Micchy thinks killing Kouta will "save" Mai. Micchy still sees himself as The Hero, either genuinely not realizing or not caring about how evil he's actually become.
      • Ultimately, he wasn't as smart as manipulative as he thought, and still fell pawn the bigger villains.
  • Good Costume Switch: The very last set of clothes Micchy switches to are a simple dark gray shirt and black jacket similar to Kouta's, making a stark contrast against the fancy suit and tie he wore at his worst and marking his change into The Atoner.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Seeing the damage Helheim's already done to a alien civilization drove him to forgo his own morals and join Yggdrasill.
    • Micchy is left Laughing Mad after seeing for himself just how powerful Roshuo is.
    • Apparently killing Takatora causes him to literally lose his sanity and begin hallucinating.
    • His reaction to thinking Kouta and Mai are dead by his hand also qualifies, though it leaves him more broken than insane.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: #28 all but states that his grudge against Kouta is due to jealousy; he starts to exhibit Tranquil Fury as he listens to Takatora compliment Kouta. This causes him to stand by idly as his brother is seemingly killed. Then he takes his brother's Driver and name, all in an effort to both kill Kouta and to destroy the bond he had forged with his brother.
    • Long before that, it was heavily implied that Micchy had feelings for Mai. Her apparent attraction towards Kouta (and Team Gaim's approval thereof) clearly didn't sit well with him. Her "siding with" Kouta when she calls Micchy out on his behavior is what sets off his complete descent into villainy. He later claims he was okay with being on the losing side of that particular Love Triangle, but he's so deluded and twisted by that point that it's likely he's not being completely honest with himself.
  • The Grim Reaper: Ryugen Yomi; "Yomi" literally translates to "underworld."
  • Guile Hero: Starts out as one, but he dovetails into a Manipulative Bastard. However, he regressed back to this during the last episode.
  • Guilt Complex: After Earth has rebuilt itself in #46, Micchy refuses to rejoin with the Beat Riders since he feels that he doesn't have the right.
  • Hallucinations: Micchy starts seeing hallucinations of Takatora after defeating him.
  • Heel Realization: By the end of the penultimate episode of the series, Micchy finally comes to realize that he was wrong and becomes The Atoner for his actions.
  • Hero-Worshipper: To Mai and Kouta, at first.
    • It becomes horribly deconstructed in Kouta's case. Micchy becomes increasingly disillusioned with Kouta for being a hero while Micchy himself becomes a manipulative, selfish villain. Since Kouta isn't going along with his schemes, Micchy forsakes his friendship with Kouta and becomes dead-set on killing him.
  • Heroic BSOD: Or maybe Villainous BSOD; it could be either. When he thinks both Kouta and Mai are dead, he zones out for entire episodes over how he failed to do anything good over the course of the series.
  • Heroism Addict: While he doesn't cause a disaster in order to be the hero, he's more than willing to exploit one in progress and sabotage the actual hero to keep him from getting the glory.
  • Heroic Wannabe: This is one of the root causes of Micchy's Face-Heel Turn. He desperately wants to be The Hero who saves Mai and his friends, but his anger and jealousy towards Kouta (along with his own manipulative, Control Freak tendencies) leads him to become increasingly villainous. By #35, he's so desperate and deluded that he thinks murdering Kouta will allow him to save the people he cares about.
    • He accepts the Yomotsuheguri Lockseed when Ryoma convinces him that he needs to hold off or kill Kouta so that he has time to remove the Forbidden Fruit from Mai. Micchy desperately accepts, even though Ryoma is anything but trustworthy.
  • He's Back: The finale has him return to his heroic self as the only Armored Rider left to face off against Kougane/Kamen Rider Jam.
  • Hidden Depths: When pressed, he can be just as ruthless as his brother. Later on in the series, he doesn't even need to be pressed.
  • Hope Crusher: An odd example because he believes destroying Kouta's hope will keep him happy and safe. As time goes on, he instead tries to do so purely out of anger and jealousy.
    • Mitsuzane decides to become one for Mai after she tells him that she wants to stand by Kouta since he inspires hope in her.
    Micchy: Hope? That's the barrier between Mai and me? Well...it should be easy to destroy such a fragile thing.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Due to his arrogant attitude, Micchy has a tendency to vastly underestimate everyone around him. He dismisses Kouta as a foolish idiot, he interprets Mai's reluctance to go along with what he wants as her just being "confused," and he allies himself with various villains under the assumption that he's intelligently "using" them (when it's actually the opposite).
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: In #39 Roshuo uses Micchy as an example of why humanity is a lost cause. Given how selfish, petty, and homicidal Micchy has become, the point is pretty clearly made.
  • Hurting Hero: Ends up as this in the finale; while Kouta, Takatora, and everyone else accepted him again, he still refuses to rejoin them... until Kougane returns to start his rampage.
  • Hypocrite: Micchy initially has a low opinion of his brother, seeing him as cold and ruthless...even though Micchy reveals that he himself is cold and ruthless early on in the series.
    • Micchy claims that his actions are for the good of his friends, but he does his best to keep them Locked Out of the Loop and never seems to truly consider their thoughts and feelings.
    • Micchy angrily blames Kouta for "making Mai sad" when her attempt to warn the citizens of Zawame about Helheim fails. It only failed because Micchy himself summoned a group of Inves to sabotage the announcement. Unfortunately, Micchy thinks that he's completely justified in this accusation, since he blames Kouta for telling Mai about Helheim in the first place.
    • In #35, he tells Kouta that he and his attempts to inspire hope are to blame for Takatora's apparent death...even though Micchy himself stood by and did nothing while his brother was attacked; Micchy then took up his brother's Rider powers and tried to kill Kouta, all in an attempt to ruin his brother's newly established friendship with him out of jealousy; and Micchy had no problem continuing to work with the villains who betrayed Takatora in the first place.
      • It gets even worse when Takatora reveals himself and defends Kouta. Micchy almost immediately turns on him in anger, even after making such a huge deal over his apparent death.
    • In #38, he calls Mai irrational. Yes, the Ax-Crazy Psychopathic Manchild that runs off of Insane Troll Logic is calling someone else irrational.
    • In #41, Micchy argues that he wants to make Mai happy; Kaito immediately points out that Micchy is pretty much ignoring Mai's feelings in favor of his own desires.
    • After Kouta and Mai's apparent deaths and his beatdown at Ryoma's hands, Micchy tearfully questions why "everyone has abandoned [him]." His hallucination of Takatora then reappears and calls him out on this, pointing out that Micchy was the one who abandoned his friends and that it was his own actions and decisions that led to his current misery.
  • I Didn't Tell You Because You'd Be Unhappy: His (initial) motivation for keeping Kouta and Mai in the dark as much as possible.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: Micchy keeps several secrets about Helheim, Yggdrasil, and the truth about Yuya's disappearance from Kouta and the rest of Team Gaim out of the belief that keeping them Locked Out of the Loop would make them happier in the long run.
    • In #23, he tries to convince Kouta not to tell Mai the truth about Yuya's death, outright stating that she would be happier never finding out.
  • Image Song: Point Of No Return
  • In the Back: To symbolize Mitsuzane's fall into a complete villain, he shoots Kouta in the back as an act of spite.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Micchy's justifications for his actions become increasingly more flimsy as time goes on. This reaches its apex in #36: he argues that, since Takatora believes in noblesse oblige (which includes sacrifice as part of its philosophy), he should accept his own murder at Micchy's hands, since Micchy thinks it would mean that Takatora would be sacrificing his life so that he can succeed.
  • I Just Want to Be You: The first part of his initial motivations. He looks up to Kouta and Mai and wants to grow up to be an adult that has their best traits.
    • Eventually deconstructed: Micchy does want to be like Kouta, but only in the sense that Kouta is admired and respected by Mai, Team Gaim, and Takatora. Instead of realizing that Kouta earns this respect by being a noble, heroic person, Micchy becomes jealous and bitter.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Though coming from a rich and powerful family, Micchy just wanted to be with his friends in Team Gaim. Unfortunately, he wants to keep his friends all to himself and is willing to lie, scheme, and kill in order to do so.
  • Irony: Micchy joined his brother in Yggdrasil to protect Kouta from the secrets of Helheim, but Takatora revealed almost all of them to Kouta anyway.
    • Micchy initially dreaded joining Yggdrasil, had a low opinion of his brother, and cared deeply for Kouta and Mai. Upon joining he becomes Drunk with Power, starts to become more cold and evil than his brother ever was, and becomes increasingly more angry and bitter with Kouta and his friends when they don't go along with his manipulations.
    • Micchy originally wanted to grow up to be just like Kouta and Mai, but instead became the antithesis of everything they believe in.
    • Micchy's entire Start of Darkness came about due to his desire/obsession with protecting his friends, but his growing villainy has increasingly alienated him from them. Even Mai and Kouta, who both still want to save him in spite of everything he's done, have been forced to acknowledge that he's become an insane monster.
    • Micchy thought that it was impossible to defeat the Overlords but he unintentionally sets into motion the events that cause them to lose.
    • Micchy prided himself on his ability to manipulate others, but Ryoma is easily able to trick him into fighting Kouta and give him time to extract the Forbidden Fruit from Mai, killing her in the process.
      • On a similar note, Micchy had earlier derided Takatora for his habit of "trusting people that he really shouldn't." Micchy makes the exact same mistake over the course of the series by working with villains like Sid and Redyue. It reaches a peak when he trusts Ryoma to take care of Mai, which results in Mai's death and transformation into an Energy Being.
    • As he grows more insane and desperate, Micchy refuses to see Mai as anything but a Damsel in Distress that only he can save. Not only does this lead him to dismiss her actual feelings, it's his desperate attempts to save her that lead to her death and rebirth as The Woman at the Beginning.
    • Unlike some of the other villains, who were obsessed with obtaining the Forbidden Fruit for their own ambitions, he didn't really care about it at all. When Mai had it inside her, he cared more about her safety rather than the fruit itself.
    • To make a long story short, everything he's done was to keep what he had. Instead, he ends up losing it all.
  • Irrational Hatred: Towards Kouta as the story goes on. After some tragic events, he gets over it.
  • It's All About Me: Though he claims his actions are for the benefit of his friends' happiness, it becomes clear from all the lies and deception that Micchy doesn't really respect them as individuals and only cares about the emotional reward that their relationships with him provide. When Kouta and Takatora (his best friend and brother, respectively) bond with one another, Micchy turns on them with almost no hesitation out of jealousy, to the point that he stands by and lets the latter be nearly killed and tries to kill the former himself.
    • Micchy generally seems to think that his "loved ones" should be completely dependent on him. He thinks that going along with what he wants will make them happy in the long run, and he interprets Kouta inspiring Mai, Team Gaim, and Takatora not to give up hope as Kouta "taking away" everyone Micchy cares about.
    • When Mai tells Micchy that she wants to stand by Kouta and won't go along with Micchy's new Project Ark, she implores him not to give up hope and to help Kouta save the Earth. Micchy instead decides that he needs to eliminate Kouta so that he can be The Hero who saves Mai and the rest of Team Gaim.
    • Kaito calls Micchy out on this in #41, saying that Micchy only really cares about himself despite his supposed dedication to Mai's happiness.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: All of those secrets just keep on piling up and are having a notable effect on his sanity.
  • Kick the Dog: In #39, he finds out that Redyue broke her promise and has hooked Rica and Rat up to her life machine. He doesn't care and has the gall to say that they deserve it.
  • Knight Templar: What he essentially becomes by #35. Micchy wants to save his friends above all else. Unfortunately, he sees himself as The Hero and he's completely convinced that anything he does in pursuit of his goal is completely justified. He goes so far as to convince himself that Kouta needs to be eliminated so that Micchy can "save" Team Gaim.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Deconstructed; while it's not obvious at first, Micchy is convinced that he's smarter and knows better than everyone else. This isn't really true, but Micchy is so convinced of his intellectual superiority that he dismisses his friend's opinions and feelings, sees Kouta as an idiot, and remains convinced that he's smarter than the other antagonists and is successfully "using" them.
  • Lack of Empathy: Micchy justifies his descent into villainy with his desire to protect his friends, but it becomes increasingly apparent that he doesn't really take their feelings or desires into consideration. He instead tries to control them behind their backs and gets mad when they don't go along with his scheming, since he's convinced that only he knows what's best for them.
    • It only gets worse as the series progresses. During the Yggdrasil Saga, Micchy refuses to transform so as not to provide Yggdrasil with any data, even when innocent people are in danger of being killed by Inves right in front of him.
    • Micchy had no problem threatening innocent civilians with Inves when Mai was trying to spread information about Helheim, and even blamed Kouta when Mai was saddened afterwards.
    • He stood by and did nothing while his brother was apparently murdered, then took up his powers just so he could ruin his friendship with Kouta.
    • He starts working with Redyue and aiding her invasion attempts, despite the number of casualties that would inevitably ensue if she succeeds. He doesn't seem to care in the slightest as long as he gets what he personally wants.
    • In #35, Mai explains to Micchy that she (and by extension, everyone else Micchy cares about) has chosen to stand by Kouta due to the hope and idealism he inspires in everyone. Micchy appears baffled by this, and decides to murder Kouta to take away their hope, all so that he can then save everyone according to his own schemes.
    • When he forces Mai to come with him by threatening Peko's life in #39, Micchy doesn't seem to even slightly realize that Mai is horrified by what's happening, remaining calm and cheerful. Sadly, this behavior is largely due to his increasingly tenuous grip on reality.
  • The Lancer: Became this to Kouta after becoming Ryugen. It doesn't last. Except for one last time in the finale.
  • Laughing Mad: At the end of #33 and in #34.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Becomes Redyue's adviser and mole, all for the chance to kill Kouta and "save" his friends.
  • Love Hungry: It becomes more obvious over the course of the series that Micchy is rather desperate for his friends' love and respect. Unfortunately, he starts to become more bitter and evil when he doesn't feel that he's getting it.
  • Love Makes You Crazy And Evil: It's implied throughout the series that Micchy has feelings for Mai, and her safety has always been one of his prime concerns. Unfortunately, his obsession with keeping her safe and happy leads him to become an increasingly evil person.
    • In #35, Micchy claims that he would have been okay if Mai ended up with Kouta, but he's now convinced that he needs to eliminate Kouta so that he can "save" Mai. He's so deluded by that point that it's unclear if he's telling the truth or not.
    • Micchy is also a platonic example: he's driven by the desire (later obsession) to keep his friends in Team Gaim safe. Unfortunately, he believes that said desire justifies any action he takes, no matter how heinous.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Played for Drama; Micchy's obsession with keeping Mai safe leads him to make some very foolish mistakes. Trusting Ryoma to save Mai after she's been implanted with the Forbidden Fruit is probably the standout example.
  • Lust: Not just in the sexual sense. Apart from his increasingly creepy crush on Mai, Mitsuzane lusts after emotional fulfillment and will lie and manipulate anyone to get it.
  • Man Child: Psychopathy aside, #45 states that this is main problem: his Takatora hallucination tells him that he's in the mess he's in because he fought to stay in his childhood and keep everything the same; meanwhile, his friends and the rest of the world grew up and left him behind.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Has no problem using his Yggdrasill influences to get what he wants from Sid. He also begins trying to control Kouta in #12, to the point where he almost got him to throw away his belt.
    • Whenever Mitsuzane gets serious about trying to get Kouta to do what he wants, he invokes Mai's well-being to try to persuade him, arguing that Kouta doing what he thinks is right would put her in distress.
      • This is Truth in Television, since this kind of action is a real-world emotional blackmail technique.
    • When Micchy tries to get Mai to come with him to "protect" her, he resorts to having an Overlord Inves threaten Peko's life right in front of her so as to leave her no option.
  • Man in White: As Zangetsu Shin II.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: A villainous example. Micchy's entire Start of Darkness came about due to his desire to protect his friends. However, instead of working with and trusting them, he remained convinced that he was the only person capable of making the right decisions and resorted to lies, manipulations, and joining Yggdrasil to force them to do what he thought was best, all in the name of "protecting" them. As Kouta unintentionally defies him again and again, Micchy becomes increasingly frustrated, seeing him as an Idiot Hero who was ruining Micchy's attempts to keep him safe.
    • When Micchy accepts the Yomotsuheguri Lockseed from Ryoma, he's desperate enough to believe that Kouta actually wants Mai to die so that he can have the Forbidden Fruit and that Micchy needs to kill him to save her. Even though this entire scenario is obviously a deception on Ryoma's part, Micchy is still willing to accept it and throw his life away.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Mai's Masculine Girl.
  • Mask of Sanity: Best shown when he becomes The Quisling. He puts up the front of being a Reasonable Authority Figure when he's actually become crazier and pettier than ever.
  • Master Actor: Micchy can pull off his former personality with great skill even though he's become almost the exact opposite. He seems to have given up the charade by #39, letting his friends see just what he's actually like.
  • Master Character Heroes: Apollo the Businessman becomes Apollo the Traitor later in the series. He also has aspects of Hades the Recluse/the Warlock in the way he deals with relationships (or rather, fails to).
  • Meaningful Echo: His descent began with him shooting Kouta in the back. When Kougane posesses a girl and holds her hostage in the finale, he refuses to shoot her, showing how much he's recovered.
  • Misery Builds Character: He wants to inflict this trope onto Kouta. After a while, he just wants to make Kouta miserable purely out of hatred and jealousy.
    • He basically decides to enforce this on the rest of his friends by killing Kouta. Micchy believes that his friends will be better off if he takes away their greatest source of hope since he thinks that they'll then do what Micchy wants (which he believes will save them).
    • This ultimately happens to Micchy himself. It's only after he loses everything and undergoes an emotional breakdown that he finally moves away from his villainous actions.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Whenever things don't go Micchy's way or his friends don't do what he wants, he generally blames Kouta. Probably the most glaring example is his belief that Kouta needs to eliminated for inspiring everyone not to give up hope via his fighting against Yggdrasil and the Inves, since Micchy doesn't seem to realize that his friends are choosing to stand by Kouta of their own free will.
  • The Mole: He was initially this for either the Beat Riders or Yggdrasill. He eventually chose Yggdrasill.
  • Mood-Swinger: He's able to switch from Faux Affably Evil to a screeching Axe Crazy psychopath with frightening speed.
    • An extremely disturbing example of this occurs when Micchy forces Mai to come with him to Yggdrasil tower. He's so calm and cheerful towards Mai that it's off-putting, but as soon as he turns to address Peko, he becomes cold and arrogant. He then immediately switches back once Peko starts getting beaten and Micchy's speaking to Mai again.
  • Moral Myopia: Micchy believes that whatever he wants and whatever he does to fulfill his desires is good, and he sees anyone or anything who stands in his way (even unknowingly) as a threat or obstacle.
  • Motive Decay: At first, Micchy wanted to help Kouta and Mai, then he joins Yggdrasill to protect them and the rest of humanity. Unfortunately, that eventually degrades into a dangerous lust for power and personal satisfaction.
    • By #35, he does still technically want to save his friends. Unfortunately, this desire is based more on his own ambitions and ego than it is friendship, and he thinks the best way to accomplish his goals is by murdering Kouta.
    • In #39, he lets Redyue keep Rat and Rica hooked up to her life-draining machine, even though one of his biggest motivations was to protect them. He actually goes as far as to say they deserve it.
    • In #42, Micchy honestly can't remember why he started fighting in the first place.
    • In #43, Micchy doesn't appear to care about saving Mai anymore, even when told that there's a way to bring her back.
  • Multiform Balance: Titled "Arms".
  • Mundane Solution: Two of them in #9. First he stops a Helheim fruit from becoming a Lock Seed by not picking it while wearing the Sengoku Driver, de-powering in the process; then he tracks the Komori Inves by slipping his cell phone onto it.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Eventually becomes his go-to answer to every problem in his way.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: This appears to be part of his motivation for trying to kill Kouta in the latter half of the series, since it's hinted that Micchy is jealous of the admiration Mai has for Kouta. He later claims that he never minded the idea Kouta and Mai getting together, but he's so deluded by that point it's hard to tell if he's telling the truth.
    • It eventually becomes apparent that Micchy applies this sort of reasoning to all of his relationships. He comes to view the respect and admiration that Kouta gains from Mai, Team Gaim, and Takatora as signs that Kouta is "taking away" everyone Micchy cares about, and decides to murder him out of envy.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Micchy finally reaches this point come #43, after he apparently kills Kouta and finds out that Mai is dead. He realizes his actions have failed to accomplish anything and gets reduced to a crying mess once he sees that everyone he cares about (including Takatora, Mai, and Kouta) are all gone, and all of their deaths were his fault (though all three either survived or got better).
  • Named After Someone Famous: Likely named after Akechi Mitsuhide, a general of Nobunaga's who famously betrayed him.
  • Narcissist: Micchy shows all the signs of being one. While capable of a full emotional range, he has a massive superiority complex and loses it when his self-inflated sense of worth is threatened.
    • His "friendship" with Team Gaim seems to exist solely for his own emotional satisfaction; he doesn't appear to see them as people, and instead sees them more as extensions of himself. Despite "caring" about them, if they jilt or defy him enough, he'll cut them off and try to get rid of them (as he does with Kouta). Even worse, he seems to believe that Kouta gaining admiration from everyone Micchy cares about is tantamount to "taking them away" from him.
  • Never My Fault: If his plans fail, it's Kouta's fault for interfering. If Mai objects to Micchy's actions, she's just "confused" and will come around in time. Micchy never seems to even acknowledge that there's anything morally wrong with the things that he's doing. He completely breaks down when he realizes that everything (including Kouta and Mai's apparent deaths) was his fault.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Micchy, even at his worst, inadvertently helped the heroes.
    • He shot Kouta In the Back in Helheim, leading to Kouta being present to both help a lost and hungry Oren and encounter Deemushu while he was raiding the Yggdrasil camp, prompting him to help Takatora out and point to Deemushu as proof that there's another way to save Earth. This, after a string of betrayals and other events, led to Deemushu moving to Zawame, intensifying the war and led to Kouta's obtainment of Kiwami Arms.
    • Micchy kidnapping Mai and placing her in Roshuo's custody set into motion the events that led to the Overlords' ultimate defeat and the eventual duel to decide the fate of Earth.
  • Not So Different: Despite disliking his brother and his lifestyle, Mitsuzane can be just as much of a ruthless SOB when the situation calls for it.
    • Hypocrite: He states outright that he's a Kureshima and just as powerful, if not more so, than his brother - yet he continues to judge Takatora harshly.
    • In #6, he agrees with Hideyasu's strategy of taking down top dog Kaito by ganging up on him. However, since Kouta decides to defend Kaito, he decides to not go along with the ganging up.
    • Takatora makes this claim in #16. He expresses pride in Mitsuzane for taking the initiative to fight in the present instead of waiting for him to secure a future for the younger Kureshima and goes on claiming that Mitsuzane is just like him.
      • This starts to become subverted as time goes on: Takatora, for all of his faults, genuinely wants to ensure the survival of humanity and feels guilt for his more immoral actions. Mitsuzane becomes more and more Drunk with Power and degenerates into a Poisonous Friend and Manipulative Bastard who only really cares about his own desires.
    • He's this to Ryoma, unfortunately. Both started out as loyal friends to another Rider (Micchy to Kouta, Ryoma to Takatora), but they each became jaded when the object of their loyalty acted out of altruism instead of going along with their plans (Kouta wants to save innocents whenever possible in defiance of Micchy's scheming, while Takatora has no desire to rule over the world like Ryoma does). In the present, both are intelligent schemers who primarily act by trying to manipulate others.
    • He's this to Redyue, horrifyingly enough.
    • By episode #35 he's Sid 2.0. His Breaking Speech to Kouta holds many similarities to Sid's previous filibusters, mainly arguing that hope is a harmful and delusional disease.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In #28, Micchy becomes Zangetsu Shin II and takes a rather disturbing delight in trying to beat Kouta to death while he's not transformed.
    • During their second fight, Micchy ends up on the receiving end of one when Kouta doesn't hold back.
    • He gets it again when Kouta uses Kiwami Arms against him (after Bravo warns Kouta that Micchy isn't the original Zangetsu Shin).
  • Not So Harmless/Beware the Nice Ones: Showed his ruthless streak early on, which is how he got a Sengoku Driver in the first place. It only gets worse from there.
  • Obliviously Evil: A very disturbing case. At first, Micchy justifies his actions with the belief that they'll save his friends, but he never seems to actually recognize the villainy in what he's doing and doesn't express any sort of guilt for anything. It gets worse as he loses his grip on reality: he thinks anything he does is perfectly fine, and doesn't understand why his friends object to his actions.
  • Oedipus Complex: While he talks a big game about saving humanity with his new Project Ark, when you really get down to it, all Micchy really wants to do is prove that he's better than Kouta and Takatora, his two major role models.
    • While not outright stated, this becomes more heavily implied after Micchy joins forces with Redyue. He starts wearing suits just like Takatora's, takes up residence in Takatora's office, and starts boasting about how he's "stepped out from his brother's shadow." His hallucination of Takatora mocks him for it.
  • Oh, Crap: Mitsuzane has this when Kouta actually attacks him, no longer falling for his plan of disguising as Takatora.
    • He has two during his fight with Kouta in #33: first when Bravo quickly jumps in and alerts Kouta to the fact that Zangetsu Shin is an imposter, then when Kouta in Kiwami Arms is about to finish him off (though he manages to escape).
    • He has two such moments in #41: one when Redyue asks him what will happen between Roshuo and Mai and another when he deduces the location of the Forbidden Fruit.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Only he has the right to kill Kouta. No one else!
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In the alternate world of the summer movie, he retains his memories of killing his brother in the main world, but feels regret for his sins and has no intentions of hurting anyone again.
    • In #42 when the Takatora hallucination gives him another "Reason You Suck" Speech, instead of flipping out as usual, he instead quietly tells it to shut up.
    • When told that there's a way to bring Mai back after her death and transformation into an Energy Being, Micchy apathetically questions what the point is since she's no longer human, signifying just how emotionally broken he is.
  • Palette Swap: Ryugen Yomi's Yomotsuheguri Arms basically looks like a combination of Ryugen's Budou Arms and Kiwi Arms, but painted mostly blood red and black.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: As his morality degrades, he begins being shown with his hair swept over one eye.
  • Poisonous Friend: Micchy becomes obsessed with protecting Kouta, Mai, and the rest of Team Gaim. Unfortunately, he is convinced that he is the only person who knows what to do and proceeds to lie to everyone and manipulate his friends. When Kouta doesn't go along with his manipulations, Micchy becomes bitter ends up betraying him. He's still technically loyal towards Mai and Team Gaim, but not in a good way.
    • By #39, Mai is the only other person that Micchy really seems to care about. He's willing to go so far as to have an Overlord Inves threaten Peko's life right in front of Mai in order to force her to go along with his plan to "protect" her.
  • Pet the Dog: His attitude towards Mai may be seven shades of creepy, but when Redyue takes an interest in her as a potential pawn in their plans, he immediately puts her in Roshuo's custody, perhaps the safest place in the two worlds and certainly well out of his partner-in-crime's reach.
  • Power Born of Madness: After apparently killing his brother, Mitsuzane loses his already tenuous grip on reality. Consequently, his fighting style switches from hesitant and analytical to The Berserker, turning him from one of the less powerful Riders into someone strong enough to fight off Gaim Kiwami Arms and Baron Lemon Energy Arms at the same time.
  • Power Walk: Gets one before engaging Jam in #47.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Micchy thinks he's this, since he believes that his actions are necessary in order to protect his friends. He's actually a Deconstruction: his arrogance leads him to believe that his increasingly villainous actions are absolutely correct and he becomes disproportionately angry at Kouta (who Micchy sees as an Idiot Hero), whose ideals and heroism constantly lead him to unintentionally defy Micchy's scheming.
    • By #35, he's gotten to the point where he sees all of the hope that Kouta inspires in others as something that needs to be destroyed...by destroying Kouta. He thinks that this is justified due to the belief that taking away his friends' source of hope will allow Micchy to "save" them.
  • Pride: Micchy's Fatal Flaw. He's genuinely intelligent, but he's utterly convinced that he's smarter than everyone else. As such, he completely ignores his friends' thoughts and feelings in the belief that he knows what's best for them, he works with the other villains so that he can "use" them (oblivious to the fact that he's the Unwitting Pawn), and he starts losing it when things constantly don't go the way he wants.
    • Pride Before a Fall: Micchy's arrogance grows more and more over the course of the series, only to be brutally torn down during the Forbidden Fruit Saga. It's so bad he's left an Empty Shell.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: The defining theme of his character arc.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Despite only being sixteen, Micchy fits this trope disturbingly well. He doesn't seem to care about anyone or anything else beyond what he personally wants. He's even willing to kill his best friend and threaten innocent people if it helps his goals.
  • The Quisling
  • Quit Your Whining: After Kouta and Mai both appear to die and he's been beaten by Ryoma, Micchy is left utterly broken. As he cries over everything that's happened, he tearfully questions why "everyone has abandoned [him]." His hallucination of Takatora then reappears and points out that nobody abandoned Micchy; losing all of his friends and allies was a direct result of Micchy's own actions and choices. "Takatora" then tells Micchy that instead of sitting around feeling sorry for himself, he needs to actually learn something from the whole experience.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He wears pink capris with his Team Gaim uniform.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He's both given and received several throughout the show:
    • He gives one to some snobby student in #24 calling him out on being nothing more than a corporate drone with no dream or ambition that belongs to himself.
    • Micchy gets one from Yoko, of all people, who accuses him of being a foolish child who has no place where he belongs due to his reliance on lies and keeping secrets. She even points out that none of his friends would follow him if they knew just how manipulative he had become. Micchy actually loses his composure in response and yells at her to leave; Yoko just laughs in his face and walks right back into Team Gaim's base.
    • Gives one to Kouta in #35. It mainly serves to indicate just how much of a twisted Straw Nihilist Micchy has become.
    • And then there are the ones he gets from his hallucinations of Takatora - even his own subconscious is telling him how much he sucks. The standout one occurs when Micchy gloats that he's become a Self-Made Man by using his own power. "Takatora" states that this is a lie, that all Micchy ever did was leech off of the real Takatora's hard work, and he's still nothing more than his brother's shadow. Micchy doesn't take it well.
    • He gets several in #41. First, Kaito points out that, for all of Micchy's talk about making Mai happy, he doesn't really care about her as a person and just wants someone that he can control. Later, Redyue mockingly asks him if he really thought she wouldn't deduce that Micchy had put Mai in Roshuo's custody to "protect" her. She then points out the obvious flaw in his plan: if Roshuo genuinely takes a liking to Mai, there's no chance he would let someone like Micchy anywhere near her. Micchy is left reeling by this, right before another hallucination of his brother appears. "Takatora" taunts Micchy for foolishly thinking that people will just blindly do what wants anymore, especially since nobody trusts him by this point.
    • And in #43, Ryoma gives Micchy a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown and tells him that he's a cowardly liar who attempts to deceive others into doing what he wants who never comprehended adult-level actions and was never as smart as Micchy thought he was.
    • #45 piles on with yet another reason Micchy sucks: "Takatora" tells him that he's been acting like a child, and that he refused to grow up by fighting way too hard to keep things the same as in his childhood.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: As Ryugen Yomi.
  • Redemption Promotion: Micchy noticeably grew less competent as a fighter and planner the more his ego grew out of control and his sanity dwindled. By the end, Micchy was rather ineffectual, only being a threat due to his madness and instability. However, after being humbled and getting a reality check, he gets a chance to become The Hero after Kouta becomes a Physical God and is notably a better fighter than ever before.
  • Sadist: Micchy takes way too much joy in trying to kill Kouta. In #33, he even shoves the Inves who's helping him aside just so he could get in some more hits.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Micchy becomes more and more ineffectual as he slides further into insanity, a far cry from his earlier intelligent personality. However, he becomes much more capable after finally being snapped out of his Face-Heel Turn.
  • Sanity Slippage: Becomes more and more crazy as time goes on. It reaches a frightening depth in #38.
  • Screw Destiny: The second part of his motivations. Mitsuzane has had his entire life planned out for him since he was born. He loves the power that being Ryugen gives him because it lets him make his own choices.
  • Secret Keeper/Secret Secret Keeper: He has a lot of secrets to keep: Takatora being Zangetsu, Yuuya's fate, Helheim's inevitable invasion... It's actually the core reason he snapped.
    • Micchy is ultimately a deconstruction of both of these tropes. He initially keeps all of the secrets he knows because he believes that doing so is necessary to keep his friends happy. However, not only do his friends find out the truth on their own anyway, but knowing about everything that's going on is better for them (and everyone else) in the long run. Unfortunately, Micchy's arrogance leads him to become increasingly bitter with everyone, since he's convinced that he's doing what's best for them and is angry that they're not going along with what he wants.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Like his brother, Micchy has trouble acknowledging things that challenge his worldview. Unfortunately, this is largely due to his very high opinion of himself, and he becomes more angry and twisted the more his schemes are thwarted.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Sort of. During his conversation with Mai in #35, Micchy flashes back to Kouta's battle against a group of Inves towards the end of the Beat Riders Saga. He recalls this incident as proof of Kouta rushing into things without thinking about the consequences, completely ignoring or not understanding that Kouta was saving innocent peoples' lives while Micchy himself stood by and did nothing (which he considered to be the "correct" course of action at the time).
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Takatora's Manly Man.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: In #42, he quietly tells the Takatora hallucination to shut up. Unfortunately, it's because he's so far gone by this point that he no longer cares about anything but "saving" Mai.
  • Silent Antagonist: As Zangetsu Shin II, he doesn't speak to keep up the fašade that he's his brother.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: He becomes so nihilistic that he sees hope as a disease.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: He starts with implied threats to Sid and gets worse from there.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: One of Micchy's biggest weaknesses, since he thinks that he's far more capable and intelligent than he actually is. At the peak of his villainy, he saw himself as the mastermind controlling everything, even though his plans were frequently failing and the other villains were pretty clearly using him for their own ends.
  • The Smart Guy: When he's in Team Gaim's garage, he's often seen planning out something for the team, such as comparing the rankings of other Beat Riders or discussing their next move.
  • Smug Snake: What Micchy is ultimately revealed to be. As the Forbidden Fruit Saga reaches its climax, it becomes apparent that Micchy is really nowhere near as smart or capable as he thinks he is, and he's nowhere near the level of the other villains. This becomes especially obvious when Micchy breaks down and finally realizes that all of his schemes have fallen apart while costing him everything.
  • Spoiled Sweet: At first.
    • Spoiled Brat: What Micchy actually is. He gets angry whenever things don't go the way he wants, thinks he knows better than everyone else, is fine with getting rid of anyone who makes him mad, and never seems to express remorse for the horrible things he does.
  • Straw Nihilist: He is the Last Man to Kouta's ▄bermensch. When he becomes Ryugen Yomi, he admits that he can't find meaning in his own life anymore.
  • Teen Genius: One of Japan's brightest students, and he shows it with his many schemes and gambits.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Micchy has a very impressive rap-sheet. His crimes include blackmail, obstruction of justice, assault, framing people for crimes they didn't commit, identity theft, multiple murder attempts, becoming The Quisling to a sadistic monster from another dimension, and attempted fratricide. Damn...
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After being left with nothing but his own self-inflicted Hell, Kouta gives Micchy some peace of mind by giving his brother back.
  • Too Clever by Half: Micchy is genuinely intelligent, but he tends to seriously overestimate himself and his capabilities as he becomes more evil. He sees himself as a genius capable of controlling everything without realizing that there's a steep learning curve involved in manipulation, leading to more experienced manipulators like Sid, Redyue, and Ryoma corrupting him and using him for their own ends. Ryoma goes as far as to basically tell Micchy that he's a stupid kid who's too foolish to be the mastermind Micchy sees himself as in #43.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After he defeated Takatora, he stops holding back and is shown to be as powerful as Kouta and Kaito.
    • After his Sanity Slippage ends up affecting his combat performance, his recovery in the finale has him back to being competent enough to fight Jam. If Kougane hadn't held the girl he was posessing hostage, he would have won.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: As time goes on and he becomes more corrupt, Micchy acts like a prideful jerk to everyone, even Kouta.
  • Totalitarian Utilitarian: Just like his brother, only with a noticeable lack of sanity. It eventually becomes clear that Micchy only really cares about his own desires, though.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: He's come to see Kouta as a bad influence on him and their friends, though Mai and Team Gaim are starting to catch on that Micchy's the toxic one.
  • Tragic Villain: His line in #18, which also acts as Foreshadowing for just how far Micchy is willing to go:
    Micchy: If it's to protect this joy...I'll betray anything and anyone.
    • It really hits home in #43: after Kouta and Mai both apparently die, Micchy finally realizes that his actions have ultimately failed to accomplish anything and cost him his loved ones, and he has a complete emotional breakdown.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: In Gaiden episode of Zangetsu that Takatora finds out their father's dark secret. After Zangetsu's Gaiden episode, this is something Mitsuzane doesn't realize that he becomes influence by not only by of Ryoma and Sid's influence, but also his father's influence.
  • Tritagonist
  • Underestimating Badassery: The reason why all of his murder plots against Kouta fail is because Micchy refuses to believe that Kouta is anything more than a useless Idiot Hero when its clear to everyone else that he is an awe-inspiring Badass.
    • He also makes this mistake with the other villains. Micchy is convinced that he can manipulate the other antagonists in order to achieve his goals. However, his arrogance not only blinds him to how dangerously effective they are, it also makes it easier for them to manipulate Micchy for their own ends.
  • Undying Loyalty: Micchy has a very unhealthy and somewhat sycophantic devotion to Kouta and Mai. His entire world revolves around them, and by the Yggdrasill saga, Micchy's only objective is to make them happy.
  • The Unfettered: Once he has a goal in mind he will cross any line to see it through, from protecting Kouta to joining Yggdrasill. Kaito even states that this is how he becomes so much more powerful in #38.
    • Micchy's ultimate goal is to save his friends. He's willing to ally himself with Redyue and sacrifice a majority of humanity in order to do so.
  • Unknown Rival: In a way, he's this to Kouta. Micchy spends a good amount of time trying to manipulate Kouta into doing what he wants. Kouta doesn't catch on to this (assuming Micchy is just giving friendly advice) and instead does what he thinks is right, leading Micchy to become bitter and angry with him. It eventually peaks with Micchy becoming Zangetsu Shin II and trying to outright kill Kouta, with the latter completely unaware that his "best friend" has fallen so far (until #35, that is).
  • Unskilled, but Strong: As Zangetsu Shin II. He has the sheer power of a New Generation Rider, but is nowhere near as good a fighter as his brother is. When Kouta decides not to hold back against him, Micchy is quickly overwhelmed.
    • This becomes a plot point in #33, where Bravo identifies him as an impostor because he's not as skilled a fighter as Takatora is.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Ryoma in #43. Micchy believes Ryoma's Blatant Lies and uses the Yomotsuheguri Lockseed to fight Kouta, buying Ryoma time to remove the Forbidden Fruit from Mai. It doesn't matter if Micchy kills Kouta (thus eliminating the biggest obstacle to Ryoma's plans) or just stalls him long enough for Ryoma to get his hands on the Forbidden Fruit; either way, Ryoma comes out on top. Thankfully, Mai prevents hims from getting the fruit.
    • Micchy was always this to the other villains. Micchy always believed that he was successfully manipulating others into getting what he wanted, but it's pretty clear that Sid, Ryoma, and Redyue all kept him around largely out of amusement and used him for their own plans.
  • Up to Eleven: Just how crazier can Micchy get each episode? He just keeps topping himself.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: With Takatora during his childhood days.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Being hurt by Mai sets him off completely and leads him to see Kouta as a major threat.
    • Has a small one in #29 when Kouta fights back and overwhelms Micchy before their battle is interrupted by Deemushu. He angrily laments how his plans are constantly being thwarted by forces outside of his control.
    • And another in #33 after Kouta foils his plans again by pulling Kiwami Arms out of nowhere. It's bad enough to leave Micchy Laughing Mad.
    • He has another small one in #35: after telling Mai about his deal with Redyue and his new Project Ark, he's left utterly baffled when Mai doesn't want to go along with his plans and instead chooses to stand with Kouta. As he stumbles away, he decides that he needs to eliminate Kouta once and for all in order to "save" Mai.
    • The entirety of #41 acts as one for him. The various lectures he gets from others increasingly wear him down; once he realizes that Roshuo placed the Forbidden Fruit into Mai, he completely loses his composure before running off.
    • He suffered a huge one in #43. Kouta takes a near-fatal hit from Micchy so that he can remove and crush Micchy's Yomotsuheguri Lockseed, then forgives Micchy for all the terrible things that he's done. Feeling remorseful but still driven, Micchy goes back to Ryoma in order to make sure that at least Mai is alright, only to discover that Ryoma dissected her in order to obtain the Golden Fruit when he was fighting Kouta. Micchy attempts to fight, but gets his Genesis Driver disabled by Ryoma, and is beaten down afterward. When Kaito and Minato find him, he's a sobbing, miserable wreck.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Attends an exclusive school as the son of the Yggdrasill president, and doesn't want his friends to know.
  • Walking Spoiler: A lot of Micchy's actions (especially those from the second half of the series) spoil much about his development and overall plot details.
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • Personal Arms:
      • Handguns: The Budou Ryuhou in Budou Arms.
      • Dual Attack Wheels: The Kiwi Gekirin in Kiwi Arms.
      • Energy Bow: Sonic Arrow as Zangetsu Shin.
      • Hyperspace Arsenal: Ryugen Yomi's Yomotsuheguri Arms can use all of the Overlords' weapons, as well as the Budou Ryuhou and Kiwi Gekirin.
    • Borrowed Arms:
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In #26, Mai calls Micchy out on his behavior after he assaults Kouta. This jilts him into becoming a flat out villain.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In #44 Micchy gets another Kick the Dog moment when he says that saving Mai is pointless because she isn't human anymore.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In #26 he's given the chance to literally shoot Kouta in the back without anyone knowing (except Kaito, who Kouta won't believe). He does so.
    • His actions as Zangetsu Shin II can be seen as this. With his identity concealed, he makes several attempts to brutally beat or kill Kouta (taking obvious pleasure in doing so). Even worse, he does this all while tricking Kouta into thinking he's really Takatora.
  • White Knighting: What Micchy essentially starts doing over the course of the series. He's determined to "protect" his friends, but he tends to ignore their actual thoughts and feelings and do what he thinks will make them happy. It starts to become obvious that Micchy is largely driven by his ego rather than a genuine desire to help his friends; tellingly, his frustrations and anger are shown to be largely due to his schemes being thwarted instead of any sort of moral outrage at the villains.
    • Kaito actually calls Micchy out on this in #41. Micchy insists that he's "the only one who can make Mai happy." Kaito argues that Mai is a strong person who doesn't need Micchy's "help."
    • It gets much, much worse when Micchy becomes Ryugen Yomi. By this point, his only real desire is to "save" Mai, even if it's at the expense of his own life. Unfortunately, he's so far gone by this point that he believes Ryoma when he tells Micchy that he needs to kill Kouta to save her.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Micchy starts to develop this sort of attitude towards Kouta. He becomes increasingly jealous of Kouta for the admiration and attention the latter gets from Mai, Team Gaim, and Takatora, and develops a grudge towards Kouta when he doesn't go along with Micchy's scheming (even though Kouta clearly doesn't realize that Micchy is trying to manipulate him). Micchy puts all of the blame for this on Kouta and sees himself as being justified in his hatred.
    • Gets taken to a terrifying degree in #35: Micchy blames Kouta for the beating Micchy gives him (along with his subsequent murder attempt), arguing that he wouldn't have had to do so if Kouta had just gone along with Micchy's schemes.
  • Wicked Cultured: Micchy might be a crazy rat-bastard, but he has impeccable taste in teacups.
  • Wild Card: Doesn't care who he has to betray, as long as his goals are met.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Subverted. He's presented as this at first, but his desires and eventually his methods are nothing but childish. Worse, he believes he's this, which gives him an inflated opinion of himself.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: This is essentially how Kouta views him after he learns the Awful Truth.
  • With Us or Against Us: See Moral Myopia above. Micchy sees anyone or anything that stands in the way of what he wants as something that needs to be destroyed.
  • Wrath: Micchy keeps his rage and frustration bottled up, so it's rather disturbing to watch him unleash it on people who displease him.
  • Xanatos Speedchess: Rather impressively, he managed to use the remains of his failing plan to steal Kouta's Sengoku Driver in order to solidify his new position in Yggdrasill. Possibly subverted, though, since it's hinted that Ryoma knows that Micchy is lying to him and is letting him stay out of a sense of amusement.
  • Yandere: Eventually revealed to be a major one towards Kouta and Mai. He's obsessed with "protecting" them, even if it means lying, manipulation, and working with the more villainous members of Yggdrasil.
    • By #26, he's completely turned on Kouta out of anger and frustration for Kouta not going along with his manipulations. He is now only "devoted" to Mai.
    • Micchy's Breaking Speech towards Kouta in #35 seems to indicate that he believes murdering Kouta will "save" Mai, since Micchy thinks that Kouta's attempts to inspire hope are delusional and dangerous. He also goes as far as to tell Kouta that he should be proud that he murdered Yuya, since he saved Mai by doing so.
    • He's perfectly fine with threatening Peko's life in front of Mai if it will get her to go along with his plan to "protect" her.
    • As he fights Kaito in #41, Micchy outright states that he's "the only one who can make Mai happy." Kaito immediately calls him on it.
  • You Fool!: A heartwarming example. Kouta calls Micchy an "idiot" while giving him a warm hug in #43.
  • You're Insane!: Even though Kouta and Mai still think that Micchy can be redeemed, they both admit that he is insane.

    Mai Takatsukasa 

Mai Takatsukasa Woman of the Beginning

Portrayed by: Yuumi Shida, Shiori Saeki (child)

The strong-willed second-in-command/acting leader of Team Gaim, and main female protagonist. Mai is a professional dancer who works hard to improve Team Gaim into the best Beat Rider gang on the street.

She also has a blonde doppelganger only known as "the Woman of the Beginning"; see her entry on the Gaim - Other Characters page. This woman is a future version of Mai, trying to warn her friends and past self.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: According to the series' website, she's in love with Kouta. He doesn't appear to have any romantic feelings for her, though he obviously cares for her deeply. After #46 this might be subverted
  • All Loving Heroine
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Gives one to Micchy in #26.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: What the team interprets her bickering with Kouta as.
  • Broken Masquerade: This becomes her new goal when she learns the truth about everything.
  • But Now I Must Go: She leaves with Kouta when Kouta takes all of Helheim to a dying planet in #46.
  • Character Tics: Whenever Mai gets depressed or worried, she stands still, tilts her head to the ground, and keeps her hands close to her waist.
  • Childhood Friends: With Kouta.
  • Damsel in Distress: Near the end of the series, Micchy blackmails her into coming with him, spurring Kouta and Kaito to rescue her. Before they do so, Roshuo entrusts her with the Forbidden Fruit, but when she uses its power to Time Travel she soon traps herself; giving the two another incentive to settle the fight for the Fruit.
  • Determinator: Nothing will stop Mai from dancing and using it to spread joy. Not Inves, or Oren, or hatred. Nothing.
  • Expy:
  • Fangirl: Of Bravo, of all people, to Kouta's anger.
  • Forgiveness
  • Forgotten First Meeting: It's implied this happened with Kaito; she was the daughter of the priest at a shrine Kaito used to play at when he was a child.
  • Girlish Pigtails, Odango Hair: Among her wide repertoire of hairstyles.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Deconstructed. She slapped Mitsuzane, hoping she'd get through to him and snap him out of his obsessive phase. Unfortunately, much like how slapping an emotionally distraught person in real life would work, this only served to make him even worse.
  • The Heart: She's the member of the cast most concerned with helping others, and in turn all three of the main protagonists have her as one of their main motivations.
  • The Leader: Takes over as Team Gaim's leader after Yuya's disappearance.
    • After #18, she could be seen as the leader of all remaining Beat Riders
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Mitsuzane is dead-set against telling Mai that Yuya's dead, preferring her to be happy and ignorant. He even convinced Kouta to keep the secret from her as well. Kouta isn't happy with this and tells her the truth in #26.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to Mitsuzane's Feminine Boy.
  • Macguffin Girl: Becomes this after Roshuo puts the Forbidden Fruit in her for safe keeping.
  • Meaningful Name: Her surname is taken from the Takatsukasa clan.
  • Miko: Used to be one as a child.
  • Mission Control: After Helheim takes over the city, she acts as coordinator for the Riders protecting it.
  • Morality Pet: Is becoming this to Kaito, who tends to show his softer side, explain his more sympathetic motives, or performs a good deed after talking to her.
    • She, along with Kouta, are this to Micchy, since one of his primary motivations is to keep them safe. Unfortunately, neither of them realize this, and Micchy degenerates into a Manipulative Bastard and Poisonous Friend as the series progresses.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: She called Micchy out on his behavior and for not respecting Kouta's point of views in battle before slapping him. This is the final straw for Micchy and leads him to go fully evil.
    • It happens again in #35: Mai begs Micchy to not give up hope in Kouta; this is the last thing Micchy wanted to hear, so he resolves to kill Kouta once and for all.
  • Only Mostly Dead: #44 has Sagara state that Mai isn't dead, just not in this reality... stuck in a parallel world. He states the only way to bring her back is to fight for the Golden Fruit.
  • Only Sane Woman: Takes up the mantle as Kouta becomes Drunk with Power early in the series. Well, unless Oren is involved.
    • Tries to get the other Beat Rider Teams to quit using Inves in #15, so people would see that the teams aren't behind the attacks/illness. It fails but she gets points for trying.
  • Physical God: Becomes the Woman of the Beginning after Roshuo gives her the golden fruit.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: After becoming the Woman of the Beginning, Mai goes blonde.
  • Precocious Crush: On Oren, for being a famous pastry chef.
  • Put on a Bus: Defied. Kouta attempts to send her away from the city with the ToQgers in an attempt to protect her from the potential dangers he learned of in the past few episodes, but once she learned of the plan, she immediately got off the train and decided to walk back home.
  • Ship Tease: With Kaito, though Word of God says she's in love with Kouta.
  • Stepford Smiler: Downplayed; while she does express some sadness over the loss of the old-fashioned Zawame City and her own past, she nevertheless finds happiness in trying to dance to spread joy to others.
  • Tsundere: Shows some signs of this towards Kouta for leaving their group.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Both Kouta and Mitsuzane point out how foolish she's being when she continues to fangirl over Bravo after he becomes a full time villain who demonizes the Beat Riders.
    • Mai calls out Micchy after he assaults Kouta for telling Mai the truth about Helheim and Yuya, and gives him an Armor-Piercing Slap. Ironically, Kouta then argues that she's going too far, explaining Micchy's motives in a sympathetic light. Unfortunately, this whole incident helps cement Micchy's slide into villainy.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: See Get a Hold of Yourself Man and Nice Job Breaking It, Hero above. It's especially worse since (like Kouta) she never knew about Micchy's manipulative nature and how such an action would affect his sanity. Micchy's anger only grew worse after this confrontation with Mai, leading him to leave his brother to die, take up the role of Zangetsu Shin, outright try to murder Kouta on several occasions, and aid Redyue in her invasion of Earth.
    • It happens again in #35, though it really isn't Mai's fault: Micchy explains his deal with Redyue, his plan to carry out Project Ark, and expresses his frustration with Kouta, all the while expecting Mai to do what he wants. Mai declines to go along with his plans and implores him to have faith in Kouta like she does. Micchy decides that, since Kouta is giving Mai hope, he needs to get rid of Kouta once and for all so that he can "save" her.
    • Revealed in #43, in a rather odd way: Mai becomes the Woman at the Beginning, and after her body is killed and her spirit is put in the Forbidden Fruit, she goes back in time to try and warn Kouta, Kaito and Micchy of things to come. Unfortunately, due to the difficulty in changing time, she's unable to be more specific and only fuels their reasons to fight with her vague speeches... whoops.
  • Woman in White: After Micchy kidnaps her, he forces Mai to wear a white dress.

    Yuya Sumii 

Yuya Sumii

Portrayed by: Hiromi Sakimoto

The leader of Team Gaim, who goes missing after receiving a Sengoku Driver from Sid. It's revealed in Episode 14 that he was the Byakko Invess that Kouta fought in the first episode.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Team Gaim.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Try enjoying the first episode fight now after Episode 14.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: He goes missing in the first episode after getting a Sengoku Driver. The trope is then zigzagged: while it's played straight in that he reappears with a major impact on the plot, it's subverted in that he was killed after going missing and only "returns" in flashbacks.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted; he hasn't been seen for months but he has not been forgotten, and his friends continue to try and pick up the search for him as opportunities arise. When the truth does come out though, it manages to be a hard sticking point for everyone involved. Kouta actually had to accept his death twice before he could finally forgive himself.
  • Killed Off for Real: He's the first monster to go up against Gaim.
  • Missed the Call: He got a Sengoku Driver, but never used it and Kouta picked it up after he dropped it.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: He ate a fruit and transformed into a Inves that Kouta fought. This caused Kouta to become Gaim for the first time, stepped up Yggdrasil's plans, escalated the Beat Rider Inves Games to new and uncontrollable levels, and (once Micchy found out about it) caused led to tension between Kouta and Micchy.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: His disappearance and transforming into the Byakko Inves lead to Kouta becoming Gaim and everything else with it.
  • Tragic Monster
  • Walking Spoiler: Hello, Episode 14...
  • We Hardly Knew Ye

    Other Team Gaim Members 

Chucky

Portrayed by: Kanon Tsuyama


Rica

Portrayed by: Miina Yokota


  • Damsel in Distress: She and Rat are captured after trying to escape Yggdrasil Tower in #39. Both are then hooked up to Redyue's life-draining machine.
  • Living Prop

Rat

Portrayed by: Ren Ozawa


  • Casanova Wannabe: Shown hitting on the girls of Team PopUp and immediately failing.
  • Dude In Distress: He and Rica are captured after trying to escape Yggdrasil Tower in #39. Both are then hooked up to Redyue's life-draining machine.
  • Taking the Bullet: Gets wounded by the Bixie Invess while trying to protect Rica. Luckily, he avoids getting infected with the plague that some Invess carry.

Team Baron

    Kaito Kumon/Kamen Rider Baron 

Kaito Kumon/Armored Rider Baron/New Generation Rider Baron/Lord Baron

Portrayed by: Yutaka Kobayashi (live), Eitoku (suit), Kurando Katayama (live, child)

"The weak... are simply prey for the strong! That's why we need power! The power to stand up to any foe, no matter how strong!"

The ruthless leader of Team Baron until #18. Believing that modern society is a rotten system where the weak are persecuted by the strong, Kaito works tirelessly to improve both himself and his team so that they can survive in such a world. He has a very powerful and disciplined work ethic, and tries to pass that along to his team.

Using the Banana Lock Seed and the Sengoku Driver, he can transform into Armored Rider Baron. He later obtains a Lemon Energy Lock Seed and Genesis Driver, allowing him to transform into New Generation Rider Baron.

At the apex of the Golden Fruit saga, Kaito's growing Helheim infection, combined with being sheerly overpowered by Ryoma, results in him partaking of the Helheim fruit. However, having willed his way through the infection for so long has allowed a certain level of immunity to the fruit's adverse effects, allowing Kaito to retain his mind and become the Overlord Inves, Lord Baron.
  • 0% Approval Rating: Thanks to his ego causing the Inves game to explode out of control, everyone hates him.
    • It gets even worse when he becomes Lord Baron and sets his sights on world domination.
  • Above Good and Evil: Kaito holds power above all forms of morality.
  • Absurd Cutting Power: He cut through a tv screen by throwing a playing card at it.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Though he fights against Helheim, he does not care one bit about protecting innocent people, claiming that the weak deserve death.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Did Kaito become a tree spirit in the finale, or was his ghost just talking to Mai similar to how DJ Sagara was able to talk to the spirit of the Overlord Queen?
  • Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain: Straddles the line between the two in a hard-to-pin way. He does not seem to think about good or evil, holding his Social Darwinist creed above all morality.
  • Arch-Enemy: Deemushu begins to view him as this. He spends all of #27 violently demanding from any random human his whereabouts so he can challenge him again.
    • Becomes one to Kouta in the final episodes. Both want a better world. Kaito believes in destroying the old world is the only option. Kouta obviously disagrees
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Gives a solid one to Kouta in #36.
    Kaito: If you find nothing in Mitsuzane Kureshima's soul but a monster, would you still refuse to fight? Against HIM!?
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Kaito theorizes that the reason why he became an Overlord instead of a normal Inves is because he filtered Helheim's corruption through his Drivers throughout the show.
  • Badass: This man is Kouta's equal and opposite.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Kouta would have never found a proper way to deal with Ryoma so what better way to solidify Kaito as a villain than to give Ryoma a beat down?
  • Berserk Button: Does not approve of cheating to win.
    • As shown in #13, hurting one of his teammates (even if they are a cheat) is a big mistake.
    • And in #43, killing Kouta (apparently) and Mai is the last thing someone would ever do. Ryoma found this the hard way.
  • The Beastmaster: He's one of the first to figure out that his Sengoku Driver lets him command Inves. Once he becomes an Overlord, he gains it as an innate power.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Yggdrasill steps up on its game, Kaito always seems to be there to save Kouta and help him pull off a win.
    • #16 has him and Zack do this for Mai and Chucky.
  • Big Bad: Takes the main spotlight in the final episodes (save for the standalone final episode) with Micchy becoming a wreck and Ryoma killed off. You want to know just how big of a big bad he is? After his debut, the Gaim page depicting the Inves updated and Kaito is above the Overlords.
  • Blood Knight: His greatest strength and weakness: Kaito interprets every challenge as an enemy to be defeated, and always has to be focusing his energy on achieving something. Case in point: when he is transported to the alternate reality where soccer is used as a substitute for physical combat, with nothing else to do Kaito puts all of his energy into learning the sport. Unfortunately, this trait of his means that after Kaito has defeated all of his enemies, with no villains left to exert his power against he unleashes it all against the world itself.
  • Breakout Character: His popularity was actually the reason why the producers decided to give him a Genesis Driver. He wasn't originally supposed to obtain one.
  • Broken Ace
  • The Brute: Becomes this for Ryoma's Renegade Splinter Faction.
  • Bully Hunter: Believe it or not, this is what Kaito intends to do with the power he gains. He believes that the strong prey on the weak, but he wants to crush the strong in order to end this practice.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Doesn't give a crap about the Kumori Inves' rampage in #9 and says the other Armored Riders won't care either. He's right.
  • Byronic Hero: He hits every mark and keeps on going. Handsome? Check. It's All About Me? Check. Broken Ace? Check. The Cynic? Check. Runs on the Power Of Hate? Double Check. Cunning and charismatic? Check. And the list just keeps on going.
  • Cassandra Truth: He points out to Micchy that Kouta will never believe a word he says and even proves it for him. Not that he's bothered by it.
    • A meta example were his strength speeches. Kaito constantly spouted cliche shounen rival speeches earlier in the show and nobody ever thought anything would come of it. It turns out that Kaito is 100% serious about his Social Darwinism and isn't backing down.
  • Character Tic:
    • Just before he henshins, he twirls the Banana Lock Seed on his index finger.
    • Using his weapons in a different way than they were intended:
      • Using the Banaspear as a sword.
      • Using the Mango Punisher as a polearm.
      • Wielding the Sonic Arrow with a reverse grip.
    • Doing random card tricks whenever he's lounging at home base.
  • Chick Magnet: He's a Love Interest for both Mai and Minato.
  • Childhood Friends: #12 reveals he was this with Mai; he just didn't recognize her as an adult.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: As Lord Baron.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Tries to attack Gaim while he's in the middle of his transformation.
  • Death Dealer: He can pierce a TV screen by throwing one of his playing cards at it. Makes you wonder what would've happened to Ryoma's back had Yoko not intercepted his card attack in #15.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Gets a chance to meet a blonde-haired Mai in #45.
    • The roles are switched in #47, where Mai visits him as his spirit occupies the Shrine Tree, which is returned to its rightful place.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Possibly. Consider the fact that, while it may have been perfectly in character for him to get more power by being an Overlord, he didn't do this until he heard that Kouta and Mai were dead; considering he respected them to varying degrees, moreso the latter. The way he talks about claiming Mai, especially after seeing her dead body dissolve and learning what happened to her from Sagara, sounds as if while he definitely wants the godlike power of the Golden Fruit, he also wants to save Mai, and it just so happens that these two intentions intersect.
  • Determinator: No matter how many times the world has knocked Kaito down he just keeps on getting back up again stronger than before.
  • Deuteragonist: Positioned ahead of the other two main Riders as most important after Kouta.
  • Discard and Draw: He loses access to his Genesis Driver, but soon gained the ability to control Helheim and become an Overlord.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: As Lord Baron Kaito's eyes have become dull and lifeless as noted by Oren.
  • Eldritch Abomination/Humanoid Abomination: As Lord Baron.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite his drive to be the strongest, he still gives away a few high class locks he picked up to the leaders of Invitto and Raid Wild.
    • In #13, the forms a brief alliance with Gaim to take down Bravo.
    • His alliance with Ryoma's faction within Yggdrasil also counts, since Kaito is smart enough to know that they will eventually betray him.
    • Working with the other Beat Riders against the Overlords also turns out to be this, as he becomes antagonistic again once they're dealt with.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In #2, Kaito helps a little boy who's stuck in a tree by encouraging him to jump down on his own; when the boy does so, Kaito catches him and then tells him that he did well and knows to rely on his own strength from now on.
  • Evil Makeover: After becoming Lord Baron Kaito's human form has undergone an Obviously Evil makeover, with a Mean And Lean build, Black Eyes of Evil, a raspy voice, and his formerly fabulous hair has become disheveled.
  • Evil Overlord: An aspiring one as Lord Baron
  • Evil Sounds Deep: After becoming Lord Baron Kaito's voice gains a noticeable rasp to it, even in human form.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: His hair gets noticeably more wild after becoming an Overlord. And that's just part of his new look.
  • Expy:
  • Face Death with Dignity: With his last words, he praises Kouta's strength.
  • Fair Play Villain: Kaito despises underhanded methods going out of his way to make fights and duels to be as honorable as possible so people can show their true strength. This is one of the reasons that he opposes Yggdrasill: they want to wipe out six billion humans to save the human race while he wants the Helheim Invasion to occur unopposed so each individual human can show their own strength and worth.
    • Kaito is disgusted when Micchy shoots Kouta In the Back, and actually goes out of his way to make sure that he doesn't do anything similar again.
  • Famous Last Words: "You...are truly strong."
  • A Father to His Men: Genuinely cares for the core Team Baron members.
  • Fauxshadowing: The Yggdrasill Saga made it look like Kaito was going to become a straight up hero. Turns out that it was foreshadowing how evil he actually was.
  • Final Boss: He is the final major opponent that Kouta has to face.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The first scene of #1 implied he would go on to become an enemy of Gaim. Although the final battle didn't play out exactly the same as that scene; it's still Gaim vs. Baron, winner take all.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Choleric.
  • Freudian Excuse: Coming from a poor family and being indoctrinated with Might Makes Right ideas after Yggdrasill ruined his life made him the person he currently is.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Kaito was originally a jerkass dancer that made cliche speeches about "Strength". Now he's a powerful Overlord and a prime candidate to gain the Forbidden Fruit and remake the world in his image.
  • Green Thumb: He got the whole Overlord package as Lord Baron.
  • Genre Savvy: In a subversion of Transformation Is a Free Action, he tries to rush attack Gaim in #5 once he realizes that he is changing forms. Though he fails, it is surprising to see him go for it.
    • He realizes that Ryoma is a Mad Scientist so he got him to monologue both to fish for information and to create an opportunity to escape.
    • He knows full well that Ryoma and the other New Generation Riders will eventually betray him, despite their alliance, and is merely using them to become stronger.
    • During his battle with Mitsuzane, he makes continuous efforts to attack his Genesis Driver and try to break it.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy/Appeal to Force: His plan to deal with the Overlords is to become more powerful than them and then force them to do what he wants. It sadly sounds more rational than Kouta's plan given the Overlords' overall behavior (Roshuo excepted).
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Justified. He cares more about power than any morality.
  • Heroic Neutral: Kaito tends to show his good side only after a far more antagonistic character comes knocking.
  • Heroic Willpower: Well, some kind of willpower. In Movie Wars Full Throttle, Megahex revives him to be one of his minions. He immediately shows it's not that simple.
  • Hidden Depths: #12 reveals that he misses the old Shinto culture that Zawame City used to have before Yggdrasill industrialized everything.
    • In Tokkyuger vs. Gaim he could see Rainbow Line, and only those with a great imagination can.
    • We see the most of it in #31: Kaito believes that the only thing strong people can do is destroy, that he himself is weak, and that weak people can only struggle to oppose the strong.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: He may make a big show of being a cold-blooded Social Darwinist, but when the chips are down, he either fails to follow through on it or conveniently reinterprets his philosophy so that it'll allow him to do the right thing. This seems apparent basically every time he bails out Kouta. Though once the Overlords are gone, Kaito doesn't back out of what he preaches, though even he is willing to step it down from "only the strong will survive" to "the weak will never be oppressed again".
  • Honor Before Reason: He views deception and subterfuge as cowardly and refuses to utilize such tactics, even when it could benefit him.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Kaito (as Lord Baron) can kick Ryoma's ass with little effort, resulting to the latter's suicide.
  • Horned Humanoid: As Lord Baron he has black goat-like horns reminiscent of his old Banana Arms helmet.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: More subtle than Kouta, but Kaito obviously doesn't know how to use a lance at first, given how an Elementary Inves almost got the better of him.
  • Humans Are Special: He seems to believe this, thinking that humanity will supplant Helheim.
  • Hypocrite: Becoming an Overlord he wants to destroy a world where the weak are dominated and exterminated .... by wanting to dominate and exterminate the strong. He's fully aware of it, though, and it serves to highlight the depth of his cynicism. That, in his belief, he's a product of their world.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: Kaito's all about power, which contributes a lot to his moral ambiguity and him siding with Yggdrasil once he reveals his true colors. Even then, he outright admits he's only using them to become stronger.
  • Instant Expert: After taking a few hits in his first fight, he picks himself up rather quickly and finishes off both the monster he was fighting and the one Kouta was having trouble with. By the next episode, he easily wipes out an entire group of Inves.
    • When he summons some fully-materialized Inves in #5, he makes it clear that he has been experimenting with what the Sengoku Driver can do, ahead of the other Riders, and even chides Micchy for not doing the same.
  • In Their Own Image: Kaito plans to remake the world in his image after destroying it as Lord Baron.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Slowly becoming one towards Kouta.
  • Irony:
    • Despite seeking absolute power, Kaito is one of the few characters not to have become Drunk with Power at some point.
    • Kaito is Kouta's opposite in every way but is also his most reliable and dependable ally.
    • Kaito is the classic Shōnen rival character, but he is also a Magnetic Hero, which is a trait that an All-Loving Hero like Kouta would normally possess.
    • Deemushu, Kaito's Overlord-counterpart, was considered the weakest Overlord by Sagara. Kaito has become second only to Roshuo in power after becoming an Overlord.
  • It's All About Me: Unless you hurt a Morality Pet, he is ridiculously self absorbed and selfish.
  • It's Personal: See also Revenge below.
  • Jerkass: See himself and his team as being on top of the food chain, has no qualms treating his opponents like scum, vocally expresses that anyone deemed "weak" only deserve to be squashed underfoot.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Maybe. He clearly disapproved Peco's use of a slingshot to cheat and when Gaim was in trouble, he picked up the Musou Saber and charged in without a second thought.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: In #25 he points out how stupid it is to simply ask the Overlords to stop the Helheim invasion because they'd actually have to give a shit for it to work. Then in #36, he points out to Kouta that Micchy might have chosen to become a monster of his own free will and that just because he's Kouta's friend doesn't mean that he should get special treatment.
    • Jerkass Realization: He has this when he hears Deemushu ranting about how the strong should lord over the weak in a manner Not So Different from his own talks of strength and power.
  • Kick the Dog: In #13, his response to a group of people protesting against him being a Beat Rider is to sic some fully developed Inves on them, regardless of if they were begging for it or not.
    • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When they resent the very people who save them time and time again, who wouldn't blame Kaito for pulling that on some people?
    • A much straighter example would be when he nearly kills Ryoma, and probably would have finished the job if Ryoma hadn't taken a dive himself. Given what an asswipe Ryoma was it really comes off more as a public service than a crime.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Insert a pun on his knight theme and Lemon Energy Arms here, but he still qualifies as one who fights for what he believes in despite his cynicism.
  • Kneel Before Zod: To display his new authority in #44 Kaito makes two Inves bow down to him.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: While stuck in the Helheim Forest, Kaito learns from Kouta that the fruits around them can be harvested into Lock Seeds. The first thing he does afterwards is picking and harvesting as many Lock Seeds he can carry.
    • Does it again in #15, where he grabs a "newer" Sengoku Driver Model that can be used by anyone. He eventually gives it to Zack.
  • Kubrick Stare: Gives a scary one just before he eats a Helheim fruit and becomes Lord Baron.
  • Leitmotif: Ransen no Hikari
  • Let no Crisis Go to Waste: He likes Helheim's invasion, seeing it as the perfect opportunity to divide the weak from the strong.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Kaito always came off as more heroic than every other villain in the show and is mistaken as an Anti-Hero by other people due to his code of honor.
  • Magnetic Hero: Kaito is actually fairly charismatic; best shown when he got all of the good and neutral Riders to team up against Deemushu without really trying.
  • Master Character Heroes: He's an Ares all the way, with aspects of both the heroic Protector and villainous Gladiator versions.
  • Mean Boss: This works against him. His lack of respect for his vassals in the early episodes leads to both desertion and betrayal, though he really doesn't seem to mind because he just saw them as Sycophantic Servants too weak to make their own decisions.
  • Might Makes Right: This was the basis for his now once-an-episode strength speech in #6. It later comes out that this is how he believes the world does work, but not how it should.
  • Monster Knight: As Lord Baron.
  • Morality Pet: In a very weird way, he's this to Minato. He helps to humanize her and shows that there's more to her than a mere Blood Knight.
    • In a way, Kouta and Mai are often this to him, as working with them usually brings out the best in Kaito.
  • Multiform Balance: Titled "Arms".
  • Mundane Solution: He stops Redyue's life machine in #40 by kicking it really hard.
  • Near Villain Victory: Kaito was literally a sword swipe away from victory until Kouta surprises him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Him starting the Baron Alliance is what started the Inves Game to escalate, allowing Yggdrasill to be able to pin all of the blame of the Beat Riders, which in turn makes everyone hate him preventing important alliances from forming.
  • Noble Demon: He's a complete Jerkass, but helps out children, keeps his word, and hates cheating.
    • Also, in spite of his Social Darwinist views, he actually seems to try to avoid needless violence. His first attempts at contacting the Overlord Inves involved leaving packages containing Japanese dictionaries all over Helheim to try to set up a dialogue with them peacefully. Only when that fails does he actually try to fight them and gets his ass handed to him.
    • In #27, he is disgusted when Micchy cowardly shoots Kouta in the back and attacks him.
  • Nominal Hero: Cares less about protecting people and more about just wanting to destroy Yggdrasill.
    • He seems fine with the idea of working with Yggdrasill for unrivaled power, even if his city has to burn.
    • Once Yggdrasill and the Overlords are dealt with, he sheds his alliances with the "heroic" side entirely.
  • Not So Different: To Kouta. They are perfectly happy to help others in need and believe in fair play, but have contrasting world views.
    • In #8, Mai tries to tell him that she and he are Not So Different despite being the leaders of opposing teams; they both lost everything because of Yggdrasill. And they both need to be stronger, except that while Kaito needs to be stronger than everyone, Mai just wants to stop being The Load.
    • To Kouta again in #13, they easily fight in almost perfect synch against Bravo showing that it's more than in term of some traits, but in combat abilities.
    • Utterly solidified when they both become (well, Kaito always was), the ▄bermensch, said by Sagara as the reason why the two of them are stronger people than all of the other Riders.
    • He's also Not So Different to Deemushu, as they both value strength above all else. Becoming Lord Baron effectively removes any differences that were between them.
    • Also Not so Different from Micchy, as both are willing to let the world burn to the ground to be with Mai.
      • What ultimately separates him from both Deemushu and Micchy are the ways he treats strength and Mai. Deemushu is a mindless dumb brute who simply wants to trample things underfoot, the kind of irresponsible strength Kaito intends to be rid of for the sake of the weak. Meanwhile, unlike Micchy, he does not view Mai as a possession for emotional gratification, ironically when she herself has become the embodiment of an object by that point.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Enjoys torturing and slowly killing Ryoma by hitting him with Helheim vines and fists multiple times. Too bad he didn't get his chance to deliver the deathblow, since Ryoma killed himself.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. You may recognize the name Kaito as the last name of a certain dimension-hopping thief.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Despite respecting Kouta's strength, Kaito wants to beat him to see who's the mightiest.
  • Parental Abandonment: The prequel story Real Riders reveals that, after Yggdrasill took over Zawame, Kaito's parents couldn't afford to raise him and placed him in an orphanage. He waited for them to pick him up, but they never did. And as revealed in Gaim Gaiden, for good reason.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Helps Mai escape the Helheim Forest, even though it doesn't benefit him in #8.
    • In #13, he abandons his pride in order to save Peco.
    • In #15, he shows genuine sadness over Ryoji's death.
    • In #18, he abandons Team Baron, but gives Zack his spare Driver on the way out. While he claims he doesn't want dancing to distract him from his goal of toppling Yggdrasill, you get the sense that the reverse is also true and he doesn't want his team dragged into his quest.
    • In #27, he is pissed when he witnesses Micchy shoot Kouta in the back and knocks him unconscious. As Micchy draws in the finish the job, Kaito attacks him and defends Kouta. Afterwards, he hides the still-unconscious Kouta in a tree and covers him with leaved branches to protect him from Inves. It's pretty shockingly nice of him to go so far.
    • Continuing into #28 Kaito figures out Micchy's next attempt to murder Kouta so he secretly shadows him during a delivery to protect him.
    • When Kaito battles Micchy in #41, he argues that Mai is a strong person who doesn't need Micchy's "help."
    • In #43 he goes out of his way to save Mai from Micchy and Ryoma.
    • His reasons for the Forbidden Fruit are this as well: despite wanting the Forbidden Fruit to remake the world in his image, he also wants to save Mai from the Alternate Dimension she's stuck in... but plans to start a war to get her back. Also, his drive for the Fruit's power itself still counts as this, as he's revealed to create a world not ruled by the strong, but where the weak will never be suppressed.
  • Pride: He has to be the best. No exceptions.
  • Popularity Power: Kaito wasn't originally intended to be quite so prominent, but he proved popular enough the people behind the show decided to make him a New Generation Rider as well so he could stay competitive when the show started to up the ante.
  • Power Of Hate: Kaito is motivated by his all-encompassing hatred of Yggdrasill and draws all of his power from it.
  • Properly Paranoid: While he may be working for Ryoma's faction, he knows better than to trust them.
  • Reconstruction: Urobuchi has finally made a Darker and Edgier version of this trope. Kaito is what happens when The Rival is completely serious about his evil idealology and will follow through on his ideals.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Team Baron color scheme. They're not quite evil, but they are Team Gaim's initial antagonists.
  • Red Baron: Literally and figuratively - his Driver introduces him with particularly militaristic fanfares and titles.
  • Revenge: Kaito's ultimate long term goal is revenge on Yggdrasill for ruining his and his families life.
  • The Rival
  • Satanic Archetype: As Lord Baron.
  • Say My Name: KAZURABA!
  • Screw Destiny: In #3, when the Mysterious Woman starts giving him the spiel about being fated to fight endless battles, he interrupts her to say "I make my own fate!"
  • Secret Keeper: For Micchy. It's not because he vowed to keep a secret, but rather because 1) Kouta will never believe a word he says and 2) he prefers to kill Micchy himself for what he did.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Ryoma gets a little too full of himself Kaito gets the cathartic privilege to punch him in the face.
  • Smug Super: An odd example; while Kaito looks down on the weak, he never boasts about his own power, and more than anything he believes that it's human nature to seek power. The team at Aesir subs has noted that this makes Kaito's dialogue very difficult to translate.
  • The Social Darwinist: Kaito is practically an "anti-Social Darwinist", rallying against the idea that people in positions of power are inherently superior to the powerless. At the same time, he believes true strength lies in the moral and emotional, rather than the amount of influence one can exert on their surroundings. Though he recognises that he is bound by the system and takes measures to expand his own influence, his ultimate goal is to overthrow it and install something similar to a benevolent dictatorship.
  • The Social Expert: Kaito has a natural grasp of human psychology allowing him to figure out and make accurate deductions of Mai, Kouta, Yggdrasill's and Micchy's Hidden Depthss that even they aren't aware of.
  • Starter Villain: He's Kouta's main enemy and rival for the beginning of the story, but quickly pales against true villains that are much worse. Subverted when, once those other villains are dealt with, he becomes the Final Boss with a threat level equal to them.
  • Stealth Pun: He's Baron, and he's red. Of course he'd be depicted as The Ace.
    • Possibly unintentional, but his banana-themed armor's combination of samurai and European knight influences could be one.
    • Also, he's the series' second Armored Rider, with an initial banana theme. No wonder he's always just a step behind Kouta...
    • Let's not forget his reaction to cheating is to go bananas, a pun on his default Arms.
  • The Stoic: Even during funny scenes, Kaito remains disciplined and composed.
  • Supporting Leader: Of the Rider Alliance.
  • Super Smoke: He gains a more powerful version of Deemushu's old trick as Lord Baron.
  • Tainted Veins: After becoming an Overlord he has green veins growing out of his body in human form.
  • Take Over the World: After becoming Lord Baron, this is his goal.
  • Taking the Bullet: For Kouta in #31.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: His solution to dealing with Sigurd? Suika Arms.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: See Enemy Mine.
  • Tragic Hero
  • Troll: Only when talking with Micchy, though.
  • Tsundere: Just like Kyoko.
  • ▄bermensch: Sagara describes him as such. Kouta follows his example and becomes one too, though he has a more virtuous take on it.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Part of the Team Baron dress code; best seen when he's hanging around his base and has ditched his coat.
  • Weapon of Choice:
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His obsession with strength is for the purpose of destroying the strong so that they can't oppress the weak. In #45 Kouta agrees with this goal but objects to Kaito tearing down the current world to make it happen.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: Kaito never lies, and despite not shouting his ideals to the world, he will flat out tell someone what he's planning to do if they ask.
  • The Worf Effect: Is constantly getting beaten down by every new threat that comes up. Even as he gains new locks, he is quickly knocked back a few notches.
  • Worthy Opponent: This is basically how Kaito's entire moral system works. If you stand up for your beliefs and try to be strong, he'll be somewhat courteous and show respect, if you don't meet these standards he'll treat you like garbage.
    • He began to see Team Gaim as one in #5. As he explains, he wants to put the weak in their place, but recognizes that some such as Gaim would eventually gather their strength and fight back, which he sees as worthy of respect.
    • Shown in #14 where he stays behind to hold off Zangetsu Shin to allow Gaim to try to reach Hase. Granted he also wanted to settle a prior score, but it still shows he respects his rival(s).
    • He especially see Kouta as one.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: #42 reveals that the wound he received from Redyue is slowly killing him. He gets over it only by becoming an Overlord.
  • You're Insane!: Rather hypocritically, Ryoma of all people calls Kaito mad in #43 when he eats the Helheim fruit.
  • Zombie Infectee: He was wounded by Redyue, and the wound began sprouting vines. He didn't tell anyone, but Yoko found out quite a bit later. In the end, he gave in to the infection, but on his own terms.

    Zack/Kamen Rider Knuckle 

Zack/Armored Rider Knuckle

Portrayed by: Gaku Matsuda (live), unknown suit actor

Team Baron's second-in-command who becomes the new leader after Kaito leaves. He later becomes Armored Rider Knuckle, transforming using a stolen mass-produced Sengoku Driver given to him by Kaito and the Kurumi (Walnut) Lock Seed.

    Peko 

Peko

Portrayed by: Saku Momose (live), unknown suit actor

The third major member of Team Baron. He has a true love of dancing.

In the 2014 summer movie, he wields a Genesis Driver and the Matsubokkuri (Pinecone) Energy Lockseed, allowing him to transform into New Generation Rider Kurokage Shin.

Other Beat Riders

    Hideyasu Jonouchi/Kamen Rider Gridon 

Hideyasu Jonouchi/Armored Rider Gridonnote 

Portrayed by: Ryo Matsuda (live), Kazuya Okada (suit)

The cunning leader of Team Invitto. He compensates for his physical weakness through the use of underhanded tactics, and by manipulating more powerful people such as Ryoji to do his bidding. However, he quickly comes to realize this isn't enough, and so goes to Oren to ask for combat training.

Using the Donguri (Acorn) Lock Seed, he can transform into Armored Rider Gridon.
  • Advertised Extra: Gridon was part of the original series reveal alongside Gaim, Baron, Ryugen, and Zangetsu, even going as far as having a cameo in the first scene where all the riders revealed were featured. While the others are the series' main characters, Gridon became merely the Plucky Comic Relief and he's often absent from episodes. He hasn't even been a major part of the plot since he became Bravo's lackey.
  • Alone in a Crowd: Realizes this in the beginning of #25 now that all the Beat Riders are working together and the battles are over. It doesn't help when he overhears Mai, Chucky and one of Invitto's girls mocking him.
  • The Atoner: His primary motivation for taking the last Kurokage Trooper belt from Takatora, especially after he also gets the truth out of the latter about Ryoji's mutation and euthanasia at Yggdrasill's hands.
  • Badass Biker: Well, he has a bike, the badass part is lacking.
  • Bash Brothers: With Ryoji.
  • Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: When he challenges Team Gaim in #4, Mitsuzane mentions how Hideyasu is well known for his underhanded trickery; he says he prefers the term "tactics."
  • Brains and Brawn: The Brains; Ryoji's the Brawn. Hideyasu has shown he's much smarter and cunning than Ryoji, but is clearly not that competent as a fighter.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: This is what Ryoji sees him as after he becomes Gridon.
  • Butt Monkey: He starts out presented as a cunning schemer, but once he becomes Gridon this pretty much vanishes. First of all, he can't fight at all. Kurokage uses strategies that involve Gridon as a human shield and stepping stone, and gave him a lame name to boot. Working with Bravo is even worse.
  • Cerebus Retcon: His comedy routine with Ryoji becomes this when he reveals that he was planning to betray him the whole time.
  • The Chew Toy
  • Co-Dragons: Him and Ryoji become this to Kaito for about two episodes after becoming his vassals.
  • Character Development: The Hideyasu of the beginning of the show vs the Hideyasu of #32 definitely behave differently, and for the better.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Easy to miss, but Gridon is visible on Baron's side during the Sengoku Rider War sequence in the opening of #1, Foreshadowing his presence in the show.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
  • The Dandy: Dresses and talks rather flamboyantly.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: His real motivation, and the drive behind his own Coming-of-Age Story.
  • Determinator: While it doesn't come up in how he actually fights, Jonouchi's belt isn't exactly lying when it says he never gives up. When it became clear his team couldn't continue on its own without a Sengoku Driver, he went and got one, and kept it even after being beaten up by Team Gaim and Bravo. Even getting trashed by Zangetsu didn't keep him down long, and he's next seen asking for training from Bravo of all people. Even at the end, he stays true to his now-destroyed Donguri Lockseed call as he takes on Kamen Rider Jam with the last remaining Kurokage Trooper belt and Lockseed, even though he's outclassed and quickly loses. Wanting to atone for his role in Ryoji's death, which he feels responsible for, helps.
  • Dirty Coward: Best shown when Bravo's mere presence sent him running. He slowly and eventually grows out of it after a long time without becoming Gridon, the first thing he does when he's able to again is save Kouta and Oren from a horde of Inves by Taking the Bullet. No longer the case in #47, when he willing goes on to take on Jam with the last Kurokage Trooper set despite likely knowing he'd be severely outclassed, just to give himself some closure with Ryoji.
  • Dramatic Irony: In #25 he admits that he misses Ryoji and asks Kouta how he's doing having no idea that he was one of the key factors that caused his death. Taken to Tear Jerker levels at the end when he realizes and accepts Ryoji is dead, and does learn from Takatora of what exactly happened to him, he knows his responsibility in it.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After he and Oren become agents of Yggdrasil, or more specifically agents of Mitsuzane, he is shown wearing a dark scarf and black jacket as opposed to the bright clothing he wore before.
  • Evil Counterpart: Of Micchy, as the calculating Armored Rider that was partnered with a more physical fighter before betraying him, at first. Micchy eventually becomes Hideyasu's Shadow Archetype, each showing what the other could have become. Hideyasu had Oren to set him straight and he eventually accepted his guidance, while Micchy spurned both of the people he looked up to who tried to save him from himself, even trying to kill them. In the end, Hideyasu is content with his life, a changed man able to live his life well, freely accepting being Oren's apprentice, while Micchy has nothing to show for all his actions, solidified by Hideyasu discussing with Oren about Micchy's fate.
  • Evil Duo: With Ryoji. He's the superego.
  • Evil Genius: Much smarter and more cunning than Ryoji, and was the first to point out just how beneficial becoming a vassal of Baron would be for all parties. He then is also the first to realize how a continued alliance with Baron would eventually lead to the detriment of the teams allied to Baron.
  • Expy: Long story short, his relationship with Ryoji and Oren draws direct parallels to Nagisa Momoe. This is further strengthened in #12, since Hideyasu becomes the key instrument in Ryoji's demise, just like how Nagisa (as Charlotte, the Dessert Witch) sends Mami to her death.
    • Many traits of his personality is similar with Waver Velvet.
    • His Teacher-Apprentice relationship with Oren makes him the Asumu Adachi of this series. Arguably, though, Kiriya, might be a better fit, given their personalities.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Even if he was doomed to fail from the start, preparing to attack Kouta's sister of his own free will made him into a flat out villain.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: Neither he nor the members of Team Gaim care for "Gridon". Making matters worse, it wasn't Hideyasu's name; Ryoji came up with it, not five seconds after giving himself the Awesome McCoolname "Kurokage".
    • Even his weapon suffers from this! "Donkachi" is just "Tonkachi" note  with an accented "to" kana!
  • False Friend: Ryoji genuinely sees Hideyasu as a friend...Hideyasu doesn't. At first, at least, though by the time this is the case, Ryoji's dead, and as Hideyasu eventually learns, he's partially responsible and regrets it.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: At first.
  • Gang of Hats: Gaim and Baron wearing blue and red is one thing, but from what we've seen of Team Invitto, they're all in glasses.
  • Harmless Villain
  • Heel-Face Turn: After finishing his training and learning what's really going on, he and Oren stop their Jerkass actions and start helping.
  • He's Back: He finally transforms for the first time since abandoning Ryoji in #25, in which he saves Kouta and Oren from an Invess attack after thinking over his actions.
  • Hidden Depths: #25 shows that he's completely aware of how much of a loser he is causing his villainous behavior.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Is known for underhanded schemes, but when Ryugen fires on him he complains that ranged weapons aren't fair.
  • Irony: Hideyasu prefers the intelligent approach, but his weapon as Gridon is anything but subtle.
    • Going purely by the numbers, Gridon is a Mighty Glacier on par with Gaim's Pine Arms or Baron's Mango Armsnote ; now recall that this set of Arms ended up in the hands of a Dandy who's not really a fighter.
  • Jerkass: A bit more passive than most examples of this, but there is no denying that this guy is a dick. He grows out of it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He ditches Ryoji after he loses his Driver and looks for a new doormat... Said doormat makes him his new doormat.
  • Legacy Character: Gets to be Kurokage in the last episode.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Bravo and Gridon haven't been kept appraised of the latest plot developments (well, Kouta tried but Bravo refused to listen). In #25 they start getting a clue that they're about twelve episodes behind.
    • And in the end, Hideyasu still has no idea what happened to Ryoji and is still looking for him, until he learns from Takatora after the Time Skip.
  • Made a Slave: What Oren basically does to him and he totally deserves it. It becomes a true mentor-apprentice relationship after #25, their shared character development episode
  • Manipulative Bastard: Ryoji never realized that Hideyasu was only feigning friendship.
  • Megane
  • Mighty Glacier: Jonouchi is this stats wise, but his incompetence is Played for Laughs and makes him a Joke Character.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Sees himself as a cunning tactician and great warrior, but every other faction has successfully manipulated him at some point and he can barely beat a mook Inves.
    • #12 shows he's more than aware of this by now - the first thing he does after cutting ties with Ryoji is go beg Oren to teach him how to actually fight.
    • It's tempered, but still there after accepting his life under Oren's wing, and does pay off in #47 when he correctly guesses Takatora still has one last Kurokage Trooper belt and knows the latter is in no shape to fight full on
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: While Kaito hasn't been outright abusive, in #5 he talks about how he hates the weak and how Team Gaim might be a possible Worthy Opponent by standing up to him. Hideyasu realizes this doesn't bode well for the teams that haven't done so, including his own; so he takes Ryoji and they go behind Kaito's back to get their own Drivers and break off from Baron's alliance. Turns out being an ass doesn't earn loyalty, Kaito.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: In #34 he had the chance to go Suika Arms, but he panicked which caused Oren to have to pick up the slack.
  • Obliviously Evil: Jonouchi has no idea about the consequences of a lot of his more villainous actions, seeing all of the bad things he does as part of the Inves Game.
  • The One Guy: He is the only male member of Team Invitto.
  • Real Men Wear Pink
  • Reality Ensues: Becoming a new Kurokage to honor Ryoji's death may be touching, but it doesn't change the fact that he had never used Matsubokkuri Arms before, not to mention that he already wasn't a very good fighter in the statistically-superior Donguri Arms, meaning his performance with a much weaker powerset would be even worse.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Ryoji's red. Hideyasu is calmer and more level-headed, preferring to resort to trickery rather than head-on fighting.
  • Redemption Promotion: As a villain, Jonouchi is a useless slime ball, as a hero he's an effective warrior who's well on his way to making something out of his life.
  • Running Gag/Leitmotif: Particularly in comedic moments, Hideyasu is heralded by his Donguri Arms' transformation chant "NEVER GIVE UP", even if it does tie in to his character arc. It's so closely associated with him that, even months after the Lockseed's destruction, it plays in his first appearance in the finale.
  • Sissy Villain: As a dandy, he was always kinda effeminate, but he was less a villain and more selfish. The after he went under Bravo's control he seems to become more feminine and more and more villainous.
    • Though in #25, he tries to shake it off. He ends up staying with Oren, but he regrets what he did to Ryoji.
  • Small Name, Big Ego
  • Smug Smiler
  • Supreme Chef: After his training is complete, Takatora and Akira consider his pastries to be as good as Oren's.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Says this pretty much word-for-word in #11 when he convinces Ryoji to go after Ryugen while he just sits back and collects Lock Seeds.
  • The Starscream: To Kaito, along with Ryoji.
  • Taking the Bullet: For Bravo, defending him from a assault from a swarm of Kumouri Inves.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Spends most of the series taking one, as he took the bullet for Kouta and Oren in #25. The level is fully taken in #32, where he fought alongside other Riders against Deemushu and his horde of Inves. To further point it out, back near the beginning of the series, Hideyasu had trouble even with minor, common Invess, but now he went up against stronger ones, among them a red Lion Invess, which was first seen when Kouta had to use Jinba Lemon to fight it.
    • He and Bravo then held back dozens upon dozens of Inves on their own, and actually doing a good job at it (even if Bravo still has to save his ass every now and then). In the very next episode, the two work together and hold off Micchy/Zangetsu Shin II. They don't completely defeat him, but they succeed in repelling him before making their escape. Considering how poor a fighter Hideyasu started as, this is very impressive.
  • Tsundere: He's only helping Kouta because Oren told him to, not because he actually cares...Riiiiiight.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Thought he could make a tool out of Oren like he did Hase. Turns out he couldn't be more wrong.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: A case where the "Unskilled" completely eclipses the "Strong". He's a Mighty Glacier but he can barely stand up to mook Inves.
  • Western Zodiac: A Virgo (born August 30) as revealed in #12.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: While he doesn't kill anyone, he decides to abandon Ryoji after his De-power. He severely regrets this, especially after learning what happened to him.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Done in #25 as part of Oren's training to become a true man.
  • Weapon of Choice:

    Ryoji Hase/Kamen Rider Kurokage 

Ryoji Hase/Armored Rider Kurokagenote 

Portrayed by: Atsushi Shiramata (live), Yasuhiko Imai (suit), Yuki Anai (Hekija Inves voice)

The hot-headed leader of Team Raid Wild. Using the Matsubokkuri (Pinecone) Lock Seed, he can transform into Armored Rider Kurokage. Unfortunately, during the first major battle of the series, his Driver is destroyed; and along with his Rider powers he loses the respect and friendship of the other Beat Riders. This drives him to desperation, and in so doing shows the first signs of what's truly at stake...
  • Always Someone Better: Teams Baron and Gaim seem to have become this to him as he's been trounced by Kaito and Kouta, resulting in Raid Wild moving lower on the teams' ratings system and Gaim to pass them by.
  • Axe Crazy: As the Bixie Inves he's nothing more than a wild animal obsessed with power.
  • Badass Biker
  • Bash Brothers: With Hideyasu.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted power after losing the ability to transform. Well, he got it when he was turned into a new Invess.
  • The Berserker
  • Brains and Brawn: The Brawn; Hideyasu's the Brains. Ryoji's certainly not bright, but he's a better fighter than Hideyasu, and even tries to implement strategies in battles.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Zangetsu accidentally destroys his Sengoku Driver and he loses respect from just about everyone.
  • The Brute: Becomes this for Baron after becoming a vassal. He is much more hot-headed and was initially going to start a fight when he heard Kaito's offer.
  • Can't Catch Up: He wants to show that he and his team are strong, but he gets painfully defeated two episodes in a row. In #2, he challenges Team Baron to an Inves game, where Kaito uses three Inves to Ryoji's one to beat him easily, and in #3, he adopts the multiple Inves strategy as he challenges Team Gaim, only for his two Inves to be easily defeated by Kouta in his Rider suit. He gets a bit better once he becomes Kurokage, but his transformation Lock Seed is at the second-lowest rank (Class C), which doesn't help that much.
    • And then he loses what he does have in #12, which makes him desperate...
  • Co-Dragons: Him and Hideyasu become this to Kaito for about two episodes after becoming his vassals.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He loses everything between #11 and #13. His powers, his friends, his dignity; no wonder he gets desperate.
  • Determinator: Despite his crappy state his determination and tenacity can make him a threat at times. Best shown when he forced Zangetsu to go on the defensive, even if it was only temporarily.
  • Drunk with Power
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: After losing his powers, Ryoji's behavior has many parallels to a person going through a drug withdrawal with a sidedish of PTSD.
  • Delinquent: Dresses like one
  • Delinquent Hair: He has a somewhat American greaser style.
  • De-power: Gets his belt smashed by Zangetsu, rendering him powerless.
  • Expy: (Urobuchi to Shiramata, Hase's actor, before the filming of #14): "Hase-chan is in the same position as Mami-san from MadoMagi, because they both create the turning point of the story."
    • His death even aired one day (January 19, 2014) before Mami's (January 20, 2011).
    • An Armored Rider who ends up becoming an Inves and then killed off? Not the first time they've done this.
    • Before Mami, there was Kamen Rider Scissors who was also in the same position as Hase for being the first rider to be killed off first.
  • Evil Duo: With Hideyasu. He's the id.
  • Famous Last Words: "Give me back my power!"
  • Foreshadowing: His Inves form is very similar to the Byakko Inves... Oh, Crap.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Much like his fellow human-turned-Inves Yuuya, his death and existence could have been easily forgotten but instead is brought up from time to time, with his death even serving as a Chekhov's Gun for one more Inves transformation. In fact, one of the main points of closure that the Grand Finale addressed is Hideyasu learning of his death, taking responsibility for it, and accepting his death.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: At times you get the feeling that he's both stronger and smarter than Hideyasu.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: He loves being Kurokage. Losing his powers drives him to become an Inves to be badass again.
  • Irony: In his first battle, he tries to destroy Baron's Sengoku Driver so Kaito can never transform again, but fails. This exact thing happens to him later on.
  • Killed Off for Real
  • Leeroy Jenkins
  • Master of None: Stat-wise, Kurokage is the weakest Armored Rider; his attack power is comparable to Gaim's Ichigo Arms, but he lacks the speed and agility that balances it out. That said, he's a good enough fighter to keep from being a total Joke Character.
  • Meaningful Name: Not his actual name, but the name of the team he's with: Raid Wild. After becoming an Inves, he raided Drupers and was more like a wild monster.
  • Nominal Importance: Inverted, he was the only Armored Rider who had no individually assigned suit actor (he was played by Yasuhiko Imai, Bravo's suit actor), meaning that he wouldn't be in the series long enough to specifically assign someone to it.
  • Panthera Awesome: As the Bixie Inves.
  • Playing with Fire: Can breathe it as the Bixie Inves.
  • The Power of Friendship: He genuinely seems to believe in this and is trying to pass it on to Hideyasu. It fails.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Hideyasu's blue. Ryoji is more hot-headed and eager to fight head-on.
  • Red Right Hand: After becoming an Inves, when he takes human form his Wolverine Claws stay.
  • Sanity Slippage: Ryoji starts to hallucinate Invess, Zangetsu, and Bravo all around him after losing the ability to transform. And not long after, he is turned into an insane Invess.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Those creepy hallucinations in #13 can remind a guy of PTSD.
  • The Starscream: To Kaito along with Hideyasu.
  • Tragic Monster: After Zangetsu damaged his belt and everyone wrote Ryoji off as worthless, he sought out power and was turned into an Invess for his troubles....and then killed off.
  • Unwitting Pawn: #12 reveals that he was this to Hideyasu all along.
  • Walking Spoiler: Being turned into an Invess and killed early on is his main contribution to the plot.
  • Weak, but Skilled
  • Weapon of Choice:

    Team Red Hot 
One of the Beat Rider teams led by a kid named Sonomura, and the only one to get any screentime while not being involved in the Rider conflicts (though not for lack of trying - Sid sold them a Sengoku Driver but Oren caught them gloating and beat them up to take it from them). They're, to put it bluntly, irresponsible idiots; and their appearances are basically the few occasions that the show needs an example of a less-than-sympathetic team.