After the end of Kamen Rider Super-1, the Kamen Rider Series went on another hiatus. But fans still campaigned for a new series, so Shotaro Ishinomori introduced a new Kamen Rider—without a TV show.The "tenth Rider" debuted on July 1982, in an illustration published by such Japanese magazines as TV Magazine and TV Land. After a year-long multimedia campaignnote , ZX finally made his live-action debut in the hour-long special Birth of the Tenth! Gather All Kamen Riders!!.Ryo Murasame, captured by the Badan Empire in the Amazonian rainforest with his sister Shizuka, is remodeled into their own Super Soldier, ZX, while Shizuka is killed just as soon. Initially Brainwashed and Crazy, Ryo miraculously recovers and escapes. He eventually meets three strangers revealed to be V3, Riderman and Super-1, who personally introduce him to the other Kamen Riders and join him in his fight against Badan.The manga Kamen Rider SPIRITS is an alternate take on the ZX story. The crossover film Heisei Rider Vs Showa Rider Kamen Rider Wars Featuring Super Sentai (released on the 30th anniversary year of ZX) puts a large focus on ZX, with the return of both Ryo and the Badan Empire.
This work features examples of:
- All There in the Manual: By itself the TV special feels like it's missing large chunks of exposition, but it's only the last part of the media campaign mentioned above.
- Backup Twin: ZX's nemesis, Ambassador Darkness, is the twin brother of Ambassador Hell from the original Kamen Rider.
- They're "cousins" in Spirits.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Ryo was initially this, but he snaps out of it after an accident.
- Clip Show
- Death by Origin Story: Poor Shizuka.
- The Empire: The Badan Empire.
- Hidden Weapons: ZX has an electric rope in his belt, explosive shuriken on his shoulder pads and grenades in his boots.
- Its Pronounced Tropay: Spoken as "zet cross", not "zee eks".
- Let's You and Him Fight: How Ryo meets the rest of the Riders.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Tiger-Roid/Tiger Robot, a walking mashup of man, tiger and BFG.
- ZX himself, as he is an insect-themed cyborg ninja.
- Reunion Show
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- The Man Behind the Man: After Ambassador Darkness is killed, an evil spirit behind Badam and every previous organization reveals himself. Surprising absolutely no one, it's Great Leader again.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Shizuka. A rather extreme example, as she's killed off just seconds after being introduced in the opening narration. We don't even see her before she dies.