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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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Of Yusuke Godai. Both are Friends to All Children, are generally nice guys and have high hopes for humanity... the only problem is their attitude, which might be attributed to their age, appropriate considering Gaim has elements of a Coming-of-Age Story and the ongoing theme of Kids vs. Adults. Whereas Godai was more down-to-earth, humble, and really hard to anger or break, only going completely angry once in the entire run, Kouta goes through a Drunk with Power phase before Takatora beats some sense into him, gets notably angered easier than Godai, and is absolutely broken when he finds out that he's been fighting humans this whole time.
- With Kaito, he's a wiser Sayaka Miki, complete with a sword (in Orange Arms), a cape (in Kiwami Arms), and healing powers (as an Overlord).
- He is also similar to Shinji Kido, since both of them are Japanese-themed main characters who became Kamen Riders by accident.
- He, like Kira Yamato, refuses to kill a human (even if that human is his enemy or has turned into an Inves) unless the said human is a Sadistic Omnicidal Maniac.
- One can interpret that his tragic relationship with Micchy makes him comparable to Kotaro Minami. His first name also counts.
- And who would've think that Kouta's mutation into an Overlord is the closest thing we get to Kazuma Kenzaki and Eiji Hino?
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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...
- 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.
- 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".
- Personal Arms:
- Borrowed 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 karate-chop 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.
- 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:
- Personal Arms:
- Borrowed Arms:
- 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.
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.
- Fangirl: Of Bravo, of all people, to Kouta's anger.
- 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.
- 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.
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
Portrayed by: Kanon Tsuyama
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.