Kamen Riders 1 through OOO (and New Den-O
too many to be listed in one caption.note
"Won't you believe in him? Even if there is no God or Buddha... there is Kamen Rider."
(also known under the English translated title of Masked Rider
in shows prior to Kamen Rider Doublenote
) is a franchise of tokusatsu
series created by Shotaro Ishinomori
and produced by the Toei Company
in 1971, and has since then become one of the milestones in Japanese pop culture, greatly revolutionizing the Japanese superhero and action genre, effectively becoming the figurehead of classical superheroes and the idea of "poetic justice" in Japan.
Kamen Rider famously launched the "Second Monster Boom" or "Henshin Boom", a period in the 70's that saw the birth of many imitating superhero shows (specifically, that of the Henshin Hero
variety), moving tokusatsu from the film industry to television. The subsequent domino-effect made Kamen Rider's influences in the current Japanese media deep rooting. Shows such as its brother-show Super Sentai
, and to go even further Sailor Moon
(and the Magical Girl Warrior
genre as a whole) wouldn't be possible without Kamen Rider, just to name a few.
The central concept is that a lone hero undergoes some great tragedy at the hands of a villain (usually a whole underground organisation seeking to Take Over the World
from the shadows) but rises to use the technology of the villains against them and as a general force for good
. While the interpretation of this theme can vary wildly from year to year, every single Kamen Rider series embodies this in one way or another. Another important theme is that the hero regrets the act of fighting, but is forced to do so for the sake of humanity; this is shown by the iconic "teardrops" coming from the eyes of the helmet.
It typically has a smaller main cast than (in the west) the relatively more well-known Sentai
(the title of each series refers to a single main Rider instead of Super Sentai
's Five-Man Band
), but not always. Some series feature huge numbers of Riders, with the most extreme example being Kamen Rider Ryuki
and its 13 Riders and, more recently, Kamen Rider Gaim
with 16 (although Kamen Rider Hibiki
has a lot more if you count all the Riders seen briefly, or even just briefly mentioned).
The Kamen Rider
franchise is generally divided into two distinct "eras", using the Japanese names for the time period in which they were made. The Showa Eranote
In the 1990s, while the series was on hiatus, a trio of movies was made; though produced after the end of the Showa
period (1989), English-speaking fans typically place them with the Showa series because of Ishinomori's involvement, which was later made official with Kamen Rider Taisen
Every series created after Ishinomori's death in 1998
is referred to as the Heisei Eranote
(colloquially referred to by Japanese-speaking fans as Phase 2 Heisei Ridernote
and by English-speaking fans as Neo-Heisei
) Rider series are often categorized separately from previous Heisei
series, due to a shift in production staff, tone, airing schedule (due to Decade
being 31 episodes instead of 50), the switch from "MASKED RIDER" to "KAMEN RIDER" on the English portions of the logos, and a concerted attempt at creating a Shared Universe
Other Kamen Rider Media
TV and MoviesVideo Games
Western AdaptationsOther Media and Related Links
- Kamen Rider Battle: Ganbaride (Arcade)
- Kamen Rider Ganbaride: Card Battle Taisen (Nintendo DS adaptation)
- Kamen Rider Ganbarizing
Universal tropes of the series are:
- The Ace - Shigeru Jo and Soji Tendo, Jo perhaps even more.
- Adaptational Villainy:
- Several movies include villains that are updated versions of heroes created by Shotaro Ishinomori. At least one movie combined this with Adaptational Heroism by including characters based on villains from the older show, who turn out to be good.
- In crossovers, expect at least one Anti-Hero or Anti-Villain monster from a Kamen Rider show to just be downright evil.
- Alternate Continuity - The Heisei-era movies play it straight, but a few (most prominently Den-O's Ore, Tanjou!! and Double's The Gaia Memories of Fate) are in-canon. Kabuto has an interesting twist on this, with movie!Tendou changing the past and bringing the TV series continuity into existence.
- Anyone Can Die - The series does not shy away from death. Both main characters and background ones can and have died. Not every season features this, but on occasion, you will get people dropping like flies within the last ten episodes. Heck, even Fourze, one of the most idealistic and saccharine of the franchise, couldn't get away without killing off a few characters or putting them in a worse condition.
- Artifact Title
- Some of the main Riders don't actually go by the "Kamen Rider" title in-universe at first. Showa Rider series like Stronger popularized the practice of 'earning' that title via a crossover with previous Riders (though both he and Tackle are still shown to have chosen their respective titles in their second episode); Kuuga and Agito revived this practice in the Heisei era, which got pretty inconsistent after that (Hibiki is the best known aversion). Later, Decade applied Kamen Rider title to all that come before it and afterwards Double and Fourze used it extensively, and even used that practice of earning the title in crossovers. OOO and Wizard, though, not so much. Gaim plays the issue oddly, as the common term used there is Armored Rider.
- For a more literal version, some of the Riders don't use their bikes that much (Drive doesn't even have a bike); and others like Amazon, Shin and Hibiki don't wear masks at all, they physically transform into their Rider alter-egos.
- Many of the pre-Decade Heisei riders only had "normal" motorcycles (i.e. run of the mill bikes with no indication of their owner's superhero identity) and rode them almost solely in their untransformed states.
- Ass Kicking Pose - Earlier series usually depend on a series of this in order to transform.
- There are some exceptions, though: Hibiki and Ryuga do not pose when they transform, for example.
- Black (later Black RX) is pretty extreme with this. Not just transform, they use them AS! EMPHASIS!
- Badass - Shiro Kazami, Shigeru Jo, etc.
- More visible in the Showa series, where the Riders often fight mooks while untransformed. Minami Kotaro (Kamen Rider Black & Black RX) was notable for going toe-to-toe with monsters of the day while still in human form since that particular series had no mooks. Justified by the fact that they are all cyborgs or enhanced humans (or, in the case of Amazon, Tarzan) who are stronger than the average human. Of course, there are also exceptions in the Heisei series, such as Hibiki where the Oni are all good fighters even in human form and can fight untransformed.
- Badass Biker - It's there in the title, after all. Again, more apparent in the Showa series where more attention was drawn to them.
- Badass Normal - Taki Kazuya regularly faces cyborgs hand-to-hand despite being completely human. Riderman (V3's Rival) was, in his original appearance, basically a Mook with a swappable right forearm - he Took a Level in Badass between that and SPIRITS.
- Empowered Badass Normal - All of the Showa riders except Riderman.
- Bare-Fisted Monk - Most of the Showa Era Kamen Riders didn't use any weapons. note Instead, they relied on good old martial arts and some devices embedded in their body. When Kamen Riders 1 and 2 did use weapons, they were usually stolen from enemy soldiers.
- BFG - Hyper Kabuto's Perfect Zecter in Kabuto, Zolda's final weapon in Ryuki. Riderman's Machine Gun Arm is literally that. Faiz's Faiz Blaster, Zeronos' Denebick Buster, and Kiva Arrow may count as well.
- BFS - Zeronos' ZeroGasher in Den-O, Kabuto's Perfect Zecter in Kabuto, Den-O's DenKamen Sword in Den-O, Blade's King Rouzer in Blade, Kiva's Zanvat Sword in Kiva, Decade's Blade Blade (a sword made from the Kamen Rider Blade) in Decade, Double's Prism Bricker in Double, Fourze's Barizun Sword in Fourze, Wizard's Axcalibur (which doubles as An Axe to Grind) in Wizard, and many many more.
- Blessed with Suck - more prominent in Showa Riders (almost all of them are transformed into cyborgs, usually against their will); Gills is a prominent Heisei example. Some Heisei Riders get retconned to invoke this for Decade. Then there's Shin...
- Body Horror - Implied in any season where the Rider is created on the Big Bad's operating table. Played completely straight with Shin Kamen Rider, in ways that Amazon and Gills can only hope to accomplish. His face broke open!
- By the Power of Grayskull! - "Henshin!", and variations thereof.
- Only modified with Amazon, whose transformation cry is his own name: "A-MA-ZOOON!"
- Averted with the Riders (actually Oni) in Hibiki, who don't have transformation calls.
- The lone exception to this aversion is in the second to last episode of Decade, where the alternate reality version of Hibiki uses the familiar "Henshin" cry while transforming.
- Calling Your Attacks - RIDER KICK!
- Every Showa TV series use this tropes.
- In general, the Heisei Riders themselves don't do this, but their Transformation Trinket does it for them.
- The Cameo - Traditionally, every year there is usually at least one cameo by one of the suit actors outside of costume (or at the very least, a martial artist from JAE, the martial arts organization where the suit actors come from). This also happens regularly in Super Sentai as well.
- Camp: A lot of the motions in the series are exaggerated in order to provide greater effect. This especially comes into play once the comedy kicks in, with everyone, suited or not, starts exaggerating everything.
- Can Not Spit It Out/Poor Communication Kills - Writer Toshiki Inoue includes extremely heavy doses of this, with tragic results, in every single series or movie he writes. Inoue was the head writer of Agito, Faiz, the second half of Hibiki, and Kiva, plus The Movies based on those four shows, Kamen Rider The First and The Next, and the Non Serial Movies for Ryuki and Blade, in addition to fill-in episodes on many Heisei Rider series he wasn't head writer of. You can guarantee that if a Rider series or movie involves tragedy resulting from the main characters not wanting to simply sit down and explain the situation to each other, it was written by Toshiki Inoue. Or Shouji Yonemura, who has made a career of copying and Flanderizing Inoue's style. Of course, if characters do confront each other over something, either a Rider vs. Rider battle will ensue, or one character will punch the other in the face and leave the room. Neither will resolve anything.
- Car Fu - the series used to be built on Motorcycle Fu (he's called Kamen Rider for a reason), including the finishing move consisting of a ramming charge through the monster, known as Rider Break. It tapered off at times, but Double really brought it back, and the film Let's Go Kamen Rider has a truly epic moment when the Great Leader of Shocker's One-Winged Angel was defeated this way courtesy of ALL the Riders in the entire series. They called it the All Rider Break.
- Catch Phrase - several characters; by far much more prevalent in the newer series. A fine example is Momotaros' Ore, Sanjo! (I, have Arrived!) in Den-O.
- Den-O as a series, while not the first to have catchphrases, was the most well known for them; and started a trend of just about every Rider after it having a catchphrase (though not always stated by the Rider himself, as is the case with "Kivatte Ikuze" (Let's go Kiva!) wherein Kivat says the phrase instead)
- Most Showa Riders have "Rider ______" as their attacks.
- Character Tic - Most of the Riders have at least one, especially if Seiji Takaiwa is in the suit. For example, it distinguishes who's using the Faiz gear: a hand flick for Takumi and adjusting the collar for Kusaka.
- Conflict Ball/Let's You and Him Fight - When it comes to Rider-versus-Rider battles. The original happened back in V3. Taken Up to Eleven with Ryuki, Decade, and Gaim; which have pretty much everyone fighting everyone else. Justified by Ryuki and Gaim though, as the antagonists specifically picked the Riders that could escalate conflicts. Largely rolled back in recent series like Double and OOO, though.
- Cosmic Retcon: Of a complicated sort. The parallel universe premise of Decade has since disappeared, while a new unified continuity has started from Double onward. The ReBoot is cemented by Movie War Megamax, which states the Showa era are Urban Legend, while Double to Fourze are the "new" Kamen Riders, with nary a mention of any Heisei series prior to Decade. The Super Hero Taisen films complicate the matter further by seemingly retconning some of the endings to previous series
- Cliffhanger - Rider series are notorious for showing something cool and unexpected in the next episode previews, and then not revealing said cool thing until the last 30 seconds of the episode.
- The original series (and especially V3) would sometimes show the Rider mere moments from death at the end of the episode... then be doubly awesome in the next one.
- Decade ends the last episode on a cliffhanger, with the finale only being available in theaters months later.
- Creator Cameo: Shotaro Ishinomori has been on screen a few times. He's the guy with the Funny Afro planting the bug in the beginning of Shin Kamen Rider.
- He also played the fisherman who tells Kotaro Minami about Onigashima in the Kamen Rider Black movie "Hurry to Onigashima". And he made an appearance in episode 84 of the original Kamen Rider series, playing yet another fisherman who encounters Isogin Jaguar, that episode's Monster of the Week. Though he looks different from how people might remember him because he doesn't have the Funny Afro or glasses.
- Crisis Crossover: Decade for the Heisei Era, SPIRITS for the Showa Era, and Super Hero Taisen for Toei's toku as a whole.
- Neo-Heisei era shows made it a tradition to have a finale where multiple Riders band together.
- Darker and Edgier - Compared to Super Sentai. Although it should be mentioned that Kamen Rider is older than Sentai.
- Specific series invoking this trope compared to other KR series include Kamen Rider X, Stronger, Black, Shin Kamen Rider, Faiz, Blade, and Gaim.
- There's even an entire darker and edgier toyline, S.I.C., which reimagines the Riders in a more organic form. More recent entries are tamer, but the initial figures in the line were somewhat twisted.
- Very rarely does a Kamen Rider series get to be Lighter and Softer. The only known ones at the moment are Black RX, Den-O and Fourze (though OOO can be a contender for this sometimes).
- Newer series, while neither darker or lighter, managed to be more Mind Screw-y (Kabuto and Ryuki, especially).
- Black, already at the dark and gritty end of the spectrum for the series, has a manga adaptation drawn and written by Ishinomori himself that's straight-up terror.
- Deadly Upgrade - Stronger's Charge Up, Kuuga Ultimate Form, the first version of G3X, the G4 Armour, Gills Exceed (subversion), the Kaixa and Delta Gear in 555, Blade King Form in Blade, the Hopper Riders in Kabuto, OOO PuToTyra Combo in OOO, and Kiwami/Zenith Arms and Yomotsuheguri Arms in Gaim.
- Completely inverted in Fourze, where the key to activating his Super Mode actually brings Gentaro back to life!
- Deconstruction: Though the series itself has other examples and can vary sometimes. Ryuki, while not as brutal as Shin really tears into the concept of Mons and what is a Kamen Rider, and Kuuga itself is a Deconstructor Fleet by being a more realistic take on the genre.
- Deuteragonist: A common trend in the Heisei era is that in addition to the lead Rider, there is usually a secondary main character, who may or may not be the secondary Rider.
- Diving Kick: The Rider Kick, easily the Trope Codifier (If not the outright Trope Maker) in all of Japanese Media, and any other that shouts out to it usually is a reference to the Rider Kick.
- Early-Bird Cameo: It's become tradition for the tie-in movies to have these; the upcoming Rider will make a cameo in the summer movie, and the secondary Rider will make an appearance in the following Movie War installment.
- Elemental Powers - Some Riders have them, and here's a notable list.
- Enemy Within - subverted in Den-O - and how!
- Evil Twin - Shocker Riders, Shadow Moon in Black, Ryuga in Ryuki, Dark Kabuto in Kabuto, Dark Kiva is arguably an inversion, as regular Kiva could be considered his good twin. Rider 2 was this, in the original manga.
- Den-O had the rare monster version with Momotaros and Negataros. Of course, the latter also gets to be Nega Den-O.
- Decade travels to an entire world of evil counterparts.
- In the Double movie the Cyclone, Heat, Luna, Metal, and Trigger Dopants.
- Who are evil counterparts to both Double, and then Kamen Rider Joker when Phillip is absent.
- Bujin ("Warrior God") Gaim in the Wizard x Gaim movie. His homeworld also has "Bujin" twins of the other Heisei Riders, but Bujin Gaim is the only outright evil one.
- Evolution Powerup: There are generally three tiers to the Kamen Riders' powers, especially in the Heisei era: The default form (including any elemental or weapon transformations), the Mid-Season Upgrade forms and the Final (Super Mode) forms, with each tier rendering the previous ones practically obsolete as the new level of power makes the Rider perform LEAGUES better.
- Finishing Move - Rider... KICK! (and Punch, Chop, Slash, etc.)
- Fun with Acronyms - Example: GOD = Government Of Darkness, from Kamen Rider X.
- G-Rated Drug - Every other Neo-Heisei series (Double, Fourze, and Gaim) has applied a drug metaphor to whatever turns people into the Monster of the Week.
- Genre Motif - Starting with Kiva, each show's background music has a distinctive genre. This also shows up in the releases of the opening and ending songs, which usually get a remix in the style specific to the show. Kiva has violins, Decade has both a full orchestra and hard rock, Double throws in some jazz, OOO's seems to be ska and Fourze uses both techno and classic rock. Gaim takes this Up to Eleven with different Riders having different motifs based on their costume.
- Good Is Not Soft: Like many other Japanese fictional heroes, the Riders are often nice people who won't hesitate to pummel and kick the monsters of the week and their Mooks to death.
- Gorn- The manga of the older series gets quite gory at times...
- Gratuitous English - most of it from the talking transformation devices.
- Hammerspace: It's not always entirely clear where on their person the riders keep their belts (and their Merchandise-Driven trinkets for that series) when they're not wearing/using them. If no in-series explanation is given for this, then expect to see the belts getting pulled out of seemingly nowhere on a weekly basis.
- Henshin Hero - Trope Namer and Trope Codifier. Nearly every rider since Rider 1 has used the cry of "Henshin!"
- Heroes Prefer Swords - Virtually every Heisei Kamen Rider either uses a sword as one of their weapons, or has a primary/ultimate form where a sword is the main weapon. Though how often they utilize said sword is sometimes a matter of contention (such as in OOO).
- Hijacked by Ganon: If it's a Massive Multiplayer Crossover and it's written by Shouji Yonemura, the series' original Nebulous Evil Organisation, Shocker, is normally involved. Most notably in Decade, which features the similar organization Dai-Shocker, an alliance of villains from across the Kamen Rider series.
- In the Showa era, Shocker's Great Leader turned out to be behind any number of evil organizations.
- Neo-Heisei shows produced by Hideaki Tsukada (which, so far, include Double and Fourze), the villain faction Foundation X is usually involved. The other Neo-Heisei shows' staffs seem less keen on using Foundation X: They had little to no presence in OOO's series (despite foreshadowing in The Movie of Double) and absolutely no involvement in Wizard. In Movie Wars MegaMax, the Big Bad of OOO's segment is not related to Foundation X in any way, until the very end.
- Hotblooded: One of the Trope Codifier in Japanese pop culture, in fact.
- Horrifying Hero: While definately not anymore, during conception Kamen Rider was designed to be a more fearsome and grotesque figure compared to the comtemporaries at the time, which initially led to the Skullman-esque design. Producers thought this would be too intimidating to the kids, so it was toned down to the grasshopper design we all know today.
- Humongous Mecha - King Dark from Kamen Rider X.
- Castle Doran and Powered Ixer from Kiva. (The former isn't quite a mecha, but the intent is there.)
- The DenLiner in Den-O can assume this role too, especially when combined with the KingLiner. The former is a train, and the latter? A train station.
- In the Name of the Moon - Most of the original series does this, but Stronger took it to the next level by giving the main character a tell-tale whistle whenever he wanted to drop in on the bad guy, and an entire speech - from higher ground! Later, he does this while handing out beatings.
- Decade also does this when he's about to take down the Big Bad of each world he visits.
- Japanese Beetle Brothers - Either as heroes or villains, depending on the series. This is most prevalent in Blade and Kabuto with the main protagonists, Blade and Garren, and Kabuto and Gatack respectively.
- Kiai: Many of the Showa Riders tend to say "TOH!" while fighting, while Amazon instead has a high-pitched "KIIIII!" Blade has "UEEI!"
- Last Villain Stand: Many of the Generals/Commandants/Warlords, whatever they were called in their specific organization, would face down their Rider after he'd slaughtered their armies and ruined their plans enough, transform into a monstrous form with incredible power behind it, and fight the Riders one on one.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: With the start of the Heisei seasons, the production people have tried to make each Rider start out red, but the trope has been zigzagged with a vengeance, with some Riders saving their red variant for a form change (Agito, Faiz, Hibiki, Decade, Double, Fourze, Gaim), while some never do at all (Blade).
- Lettered Sequel: Showa era series has many unexplained letters behind the titles (and Rider names): X, ZX,RX, ZO, and J. Heisei era also has W, OOO and the unoffical G.
- Long Runner: As the trailers for the Let's Go Kamen Riders film point out, 2011 was the franchise's 40th anniversary. Like another popular science fiction franchise, The Nineties marked a long period of absence during which the franchises' only screen presence was in the form of movies.
- Love Hurts - Boy howdy, does it.
- Literally in X, where the titular character originates after being gunned down by his fiance, a spy for GOD...and later lost another love interest.
- Magitek: In W and Gaim, both the monsters and the Riders derive their power from a mystical or otherworldly source (The memories of the earth/Gaia Memories in W, Helheim fruit/Lock Seeds in Gaim). In both shows, the characters must utilize the human-made technology of transformation Drivers to wield the power without going insane.
- Mask Power: Well... Kamen Riders.
- Masquerade: Most seasons include enhanced humans or monsters trying to pass themselves off as normal people until the hero uncovers them. Also the whole point of the Riders needing to transform - giving meaning to the title, Kamen (Masked) Rider.
- Generally averted in a number of Heisei series, though; as while the Riders don't call attention to themselves, they also don't keep Secret Identities and don't try to keep up a ruse that the monsters don't exist. A few like Kuuga, Double, and Gaim take the aversion further by having the general public aware of the monster attacks.
- Incidentally, Double has a Masquerade-type Dopant. Instant faceless henchmen.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Decade was a series devoted to this, but the All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker and Let's Go Kamen Riders films reunite all of the Riders. The latter featured other Ishinomori creations, including Inazuman, Kikaider (both of them) and Zubat. There's also Super Hero Taisen which crosses over with Super Sentai, and there are plans for more crossovers between the two.
- Meaningful Name/Punny Name: Plenty there, if you're really knowledgeable in Japanese.
- Meaningful Titles: Kamen Rider. Some use it right, some use it wrong. It has been an important plot point in several series, most notably the entire Showa Era, W and Fourze.
- Merchandise-Driven - Anything from multiple Riders to multiple power-ups, season depending. Much more pervasive in the newer series.
- Many series will have the official toys as their props.
- In their defense, they make the transformation devices too awesome to resist.
- Messianic Archetype: Many recent series feature a protagonist who is unafraid to sacrifice themselves for the greater good and displays extraordinary capacity for mercy and Forgiveness. However, their disregard for their own lives is almost always portrayed as a negative thing.
- Mid-Season Upgrade - The pre-Super Mode forms of the Heisei era Kamen Riders.
- Mons - Noticeably embraced by the Heisei Riders from Ryuki onwards (though Gouram in Kuuga can also count). Ranging from Deconstructions (Ryuki, Kiva, Gaim), played straight (Blade, Hibiki, mechanical ones in Faiz) and parodied (Den-O). Since Double this has shifted somewhat to Robot Buddies instead.
- Monster of the Week - In the case of Kuuga and from Den-O onwards, Monster of the Fortnight (thanks to two-week mini-arcs).
- Motorcycle Jousting: Happens infrequently in the franchise. A prime example occurs during the final battle of Kamen Rider Fourze's movie.
- The Movie: double-featured with the current year's Super Sentai movie in a "summer roadshow" (aka Super Hero Time: The Movie (insert year here)).
- Starting with Decade and Double, have been annual Christmas-time "Movie War" movies as well. And now, Super Hero Wars films that combine Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, and other series have arrived.
- Multiform Balance - First started with Black RX. Since then, it was codified by Kuuga and has become a tradition for Heisei-era Kamen Riders.
- The Multiverse: It was originally believed by fans that every entry in the franchise after Black RX was set in alternate time lines with a few movies being confirmed to be in different continuities and shaping the setting of Decade. However, the first episode of Fourze debunked this notion as V3, Black RX, Kuuga, and W were present in their continuity. This was further cemented in the Gaim-To Qger crossover.
- The Musical: There's been a few, including a 2010 show simply called Masked Rider Live & Show 2010 which is a Decade themed show, but actually focuses on Decade!Kuuga and a Not So Evil member of Dai Shocker who eventually does a Heel-Face Turn. It also features gratuitous appearances by Riders from just about every possible show, from both eras.
- Mythology Gag:
- The first Monster of the Week in nearly every season is based on a spider, the second is just as likely to be based on a bat. Blade turned its one spider-based MotW into a recurring villain of sorts, while the first episode's monster was based on a grasshopper, much like the first Kamen Rider was. And the first use of a Giant Spider in Hibiki paved the way for more massive CGI monsters, after the one in J had been all but forgotten.
- Kiva had both the spider and bat. The spider was technically the first monster to appear, but wasn't the first MOTW and in fact managed to survive for almost half the series. Being vampire-themed, the bat motif was used for Kiva, Kivat, and the King Fangire.
- Blade actually has Kamen Rider Leangle, a spider-themed Rider. We are through the looking glass.
- Double has gadgets based on a spider, a bat, and a stag beetle. The spider and bat are both Shout Outs to the MOTW, whereas quite a few Riders have been beetle-themed.
- Movie War Core shows that when Sokichi Narumi first became Kamen Rider Skull, his first opponents were indeed the Bat and Spider Dopants.
- Den-O, on the other hand, had a bat monster first, and didn't have a spider monster until much later on. Instead, the first few monsters parallel the Contract Monsters of several Riders from Ryuki (bat for Knight, chameleon for Verde, crustacean for Scissors, crow for Odin, and rhino for Gai).
- Ryuki also had an example: The first monster was a spider while the first Rider, Knight, was a bat.
- Thinking about it; if Shinji had used his Contract Card on the spider, he and Knight would have become the first (anti-)heroic example of the spider & bat combo.
- Agito has another gag. Being direct sequel to Kuuga, the first two monsters are jaguar and turtle. Just like V3, the first sequel of Showa series.
- Kamen Rider G3/G3-X doesn't transform. He's a Badass Normal in a suit of Power Armor, similar to Riderman being a Badass Normal who fights monsters using gadgets instead of superpowers.
- After running the gamut of belt designs in the Showa era, the Heisei era begins with Kuuga and Agito, whose belts may have been all about the bells and whistles, but in fact maintained design elements from the iconic No. 1 belt - a horizontal oval structure with a spinning circular hub, and two boxy units at the side with some important function built in. In addition to this, the silver straps on Kuuga's belt were a parallel to Hongo Takeshi's original white belt while Agito's red straps similarly mirrored Hayato Ichimonji's belt.
- See Ass Kicking Pose above. Rider-1's right-arm-thrust-to-the-upper-left pose is so iconic that it's been reused several times - every other Showa rider, and Kuuga, Ryuki, Blade, Den-O in concept art, even Double to a small degree (just Shotaro). That's not counting the examples under Shout-Out. In fact, most of the main Rider poses are variants of it, with one arm extended away from its body.
- Names to Know in Anime - Shotaro Ishinomori - actually, a pretty good name to know in general. He's pretty much Japan's Stan Lee.
- Non-Serial Movie - Most Heisei series have one; Agito, Den-O, Decade, and Double avert it.
- Subverted in Kabuto. 99% of the movie is set in an After the End alternate universe, but at the end Tendou goes back in time and alters history, creating the T.V series timeline. Rather than creating a Timey-Wimey Ball, this time travel actually explains some of the plot points of the series (i.e. how Tendou got the Rider Belt and Hiyori's obsession with drawing bug-winged people).
- Movie Wars Core averts this trope and plays it straight simultaneously, being a crossover between Double and OOO. While it fits neatly into Double's continuity, trying too hard to work it into OOO's chronology will just give you a migraine. This is due to very little of the OOO series having been etched in stone as the movie was being written - imagine a decent fanfic taking place after episode thirty... of a series you've only seen episode one of. That's what the author of Core had to do and there was no way for it to work out better than it did; Toshiki Inoue gets Mis-blamed for it, however.
- Not Using the Z Word - Most of the Heisei era shows tend to avoid using the term "Kamen Rider" in series, except for the purpose of Crossovers.
- Averted in Double. In the beginning the titular Rider/Riders were just called "Double", but the public eventually started referring to the mask-wearing, motorcycle riding hero as a "Kamen Rider" and since then all the Riders in the show introduced themselves as Kamen Rider so-and-so. However, Shotaro and Philip are quite protective of the term the people gave them; you have to uphold the ideal to earn the right to call yourself a Rider.
- Also averted in Fourze, where past Riders are an urban legend. Fourze is called just Fourze until Tomoko points and says "A Kamen Rider!" Gentaro adopts the name, and they and their friends become the Kamen Rider Club. (Tomoko is also so far the only one to call Wizard a Kamen Rider thus far; in his own series, Wizard is right back to the Heisei series norm of never using the phrase.)
- Since teamups use the term and Decade is about teamups, this trope never stood a chance. Decade and company always call other Riders Riders, and his Catch Phrase is to refer to himself as a Kamen Rider who is 'just passing through'. Diend also refers to himself as a Kamen Rider throughout. This series is the only time you'll ever hear the words "Kamen Rider Kuuga" and "Kamen Rider Faiz" in-show.
- Even Kamen Rider The First and Kamen Rider The Next don't use it. Riders 1, 2, and V3 are Hopper Version 1, 2, and 3 respectively (the V in V3, whose meaning is never addressed in the V3 series, actually stands for 'version,' even.)
- Numerical Theme Naming: The Kamen Riders from Decade to Fourze all took on number-related names: Decade (10), Double (2), OOO (3) and Fourze (40; "four-zero"). The following Riders don't have number names, but may still continue the theme (it's not clear whether it's intentional or fans are just looking too hard): Wizard's belt symbol is a hand with five fingers, while Gaim uses padlocks which resemble a 6, and "lock" can be pronounced "roku" which means six...
- Several other Riders took numerical names as well, like ZO (which is shaped like 20, signifying the 20th anniversary of Kamen Rider) and Faiz (which sounds like Fives, as in 555, though it's also based on the greek letter Phi.)
- "On the Next Episode of..." Catch Phrase: Most series have them. "Awaken the soul!" (Ryuki) "This clinches it!" (Double) Saying "Next time on [show name]" is rare, and not nearly as awesome. Except for the Gratuitous English "Open your eyes for the next Faiz!" in the voice of the Faiz Driver. For the Grand Finale, it became "Open your eyes for the final Faiz."
- Painful Transformation - Averted in almost all cases - including the organic Riders like Amazon and Gills, the latter of which suffered from aftereffects. Played very straight, however, with Shin Kamen Rider.
- Palette Swap - For budget reasons, monsters in the new-gen series are sometimes given repaints or differently colored wardrobes to make "new" monsters. Sometimes happens with Riders too, particularly the movie-only Riders. Justified on occasion, where the monsters are representatives of the same type or species - an example being that the first three monsters Agito fights are essentially siblings.
- People in Rubber Suits - The extent to which they are rubbery depends on the series and design, not so much on the era. Played straight with the Mooks from The First and The Next. they wear gas masks and corresponding uniforms, being quite creepy, until you find that they still shout "yee!" a lot.
- Phantom Zone: A few series have this. Most notably, battles in Ryuki take place in the mirror world.
- Phlebotinum Rebel: This one dates back to the very first series, and extends into the Heisei era; Shotaro Ishinomori's trademark, actually.
- Lampshaded and discussed in Wizard's Post-Script two-part crossover, where the villain notes that every Rider's powers is connected to those of their enemies in some way - and somehow can't grasp how the Riders can be good in spite of having their powers based in evil.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, to certain degree, rather successful (not rating based, sadly).
- Product Placement - Honda makes all the bikes in the Heisei era since Agito (Gas Gas made the bikes in Kuuga) and Suzuki in the Showa era, but it's nowhere as obvious as the Shoei helmets that all Riders tend to wear. Not averted till the Heisei era - Shinji of Ryuki uses a moped, and Ryotaro of Den-O use a bicycle, both of which do not require the full face helmet.
- Averted in Double, where while main rider Shotaro/W rides a Honda, second rider Ryu Terui AKA Accel rides a red Ducati named Diablossa.
- Real Life Writes the Plot - After the "Rider Break" incident in Skyrider (see that show's entry on this for details), it's been a requirement that anyone who plays a main or secondary Rider has to have a motorcycle license and prove they are proficient in riding one, to avoid further accidents.
- Real Time - While the episodes aren't filmed in a real time format, dates in the Kamen Rider universe sync up with the broadcast dates. (For example, when Japan is celebrating New Year's, the Kamen Rider characters are celebrating New Year's too. The same with Christmas, often with ...amusing... results.)
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory - Ryuki & Den-O: this is critical to the plot in the latter.
- The Rival: Prepare for many a Face-Heel Turn and Heel-Face Turn in newer series - Riderman in V3.
- Robot Buddy: It's common for Neo-Heisei Riders to have little helper robots. Hibiki had some, too.
- Rule of Pool: See Super Drowning Skills. Any time a Rider has a fight near a large body of water, especially if it's on a bridge, odds are good that someone's going for a swim.
- Scarf of Asskicking - Another part of the Rider package, almost as iconic as the kick, the belt and the bike.
- Unfortunately, dropped starting with Black in favor of just armor - apparently, it's too easy for the suit actors to get tangled up in scarves. Lampshaded or subverted, depending on your point of view, when the Evil Twin from Blade is only distinguishable by the fact that he's wearing a scarf.
- Completely inverted in Hibiki, where the Mooks are the ones wearing the scarves.
- Ryotaro Nogami, the protagonist of Den-O, occasionally wears a red scarf (though really a muffler) as part of his street clothes in what is assuredly a Shout-Out to his precursors; however, he doesn't really do any ass-kicking while wearing it. When Momotaros possesses people during the Den-O arc of Decade, they gain a ridiculously long red scarf.
- Returned with Double, who has a silver scarf while the Cyclone GaiaMemory is active, but the subsequent series haven't used it as of yet.
- Along with the Nazca Dopant, who sports V3-style double scarves.
- In fact, the scarf is a part of W's suit - we just don't always see it because it isn't tied around his (their?) neck(s); instead, it sticks out through an opening at the back of the suit.
- Before W, Another Agito of Agito incorporated a muffler into his design.
- Signature Move: RIDER KICK! Also RIDER PUNCH! and RIDER CHOP!, but these tend to get dropped in the newer series.
- Sixth Ranger - or in this case, Second Rider. Kamen Rider 2 from the original series, but more often done in the Heisei series with, among others, Gatack, Zeronos, IXA, Diend, and Accel. (for that matter, every Heisei series except Kuuga has a second rider... and in some cases, a third, fourth, or even tenth.)
- Slice of Life - The first half of Hibiki in particular has elements of this, as does Kuuga.
- Space Is Noisy - with the sounds of beatings.
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix - A side effect of Heisei Rider belts having electronic voices.
- It's gotten so bad that someone spawned this insanely catchy mv, with almost every single Heisei transformation voice or phrase.
- This not only takes the transformation sounds, but other voices from the various Kamen Rider shows.
- OOO's official Image Songs are these; their names are homophones for his combos ("ShaUTa" becomes "Shout Out", for example), and the belt's transformation announcements are worked into the songs themselves.
- Wizard's belt is just asking for a dance mix, please. When it's primed, it sings out a catchy little tune on a loop until it activates a ring.
- Super Drowning Skills: Falling into a large body of water is almost always a KO, whether you're a monster or a Rider. Basically, it's become a Running Gag for the first enemy who's badder than a normal Monster of the Week to beat the crap out of the Rider and then send him flying into the drink. It's not the water that keeps them down, it's the Curb-Stomp Battle that ended with the dip. That said, Riders who suffer from this usually emerge from the water in a lot of pain but not seriously injured. The exceptions to the rule are Riders and forms specifically built for water: X, Drake, Den-O Rod Form, OOO ShaUTa Combo, and Wizard's Water Style.
- The series tradition is deconstructed in Gaim, where after Zangetsu gets thrown in the water he's not seen for almost the entire rest of the series, and when he does show up he's in a coma from oxygen deprivation.
- Super Mode - Started with Stronger's charged-up form, but doesn't become a staple until the Heisei series, where it's commonly referred to as an 'Ultimate Form' in honor of Kuuga's final form. While some Riders, Kuuga in particular, went through several intermediate forms, the Super Mode is the bare minimum (eg. Ryuki and Decade).
- In an interesting twist, Decade's Super Mode has the power of summoning duplicates of the other Riders' Super Modes to fight alongside him.
- Teamups or The Movie even give a Super Mode on top of the Super Mode. Rising Ultimate Kuuga, Den-O Super Climax, Double Gold Xtreme, Fourze Meteor (Nadeshiko) Fusion States, OOO Super Tatoba Combo and Wizard Infinity Dragon (Gold).
- Super Speed - seen in several seasons, but taken to ridiculous extremes in Kabuto - expected extremes, if you know your Ishinomori.
- Swiss Army Hero: Started with Black RX and has been a series staple since.
- Theme Music Power-Up - When the current Ending Theme kicks in, you know the battle is on. That, and older series had actual ass-kicking battle themes - several of them - which gets used to magnificent effect in the SPIRITS manga.
- There's actually a number of battle themes in the recent series, as well. Double has three of them, for example.
- Den-O had about 6 by the series end, and a few more for the movies.
- OOO gives a full, awesome song to every full Combo, plus TaToBa Combo, plus Birth, and all of them take on a deeper meaning when you know the characters: they're Image Songs as well!
- Similar same goes for Kiva. When the main actor is also a singer, you get ass-kicking music based on all the heroes, the Arms Monsters, a couple villains, and your Super Mode. You know who's coming by the first few notes.
- There Can Be Only One - The central concept of Ryuki. Also featured in Kuuga and Blade, interestingly between the bad guys. Kabuto forced this point somewhat with its BFS, and Agito... erm, suggested it would happen. Decade does this with entire worlds.
- Time Travel - Den-O (one of the series' main themes), Kabuto and Kiva to an extent. Riders 1 and 2, V3, Black, and Agito also meet up in the game Seigi no Keifu, sorta. It appears to some degree in many series; OOO managed to get into time shenanigans with nary a time train in sight in their three movies (and one with 'em, in the second All Riders movie.)
- Trademark Favorite Food: Seems to be a recurring theme in recent years; Tendou liked tofu and both he and Kagami loved Hiyori's mackrel miso, Otoya in Kiva liked Yuri's Omurice and Megumi liked seafood, Owner and his fried rice and pudding in Den-O, Akiko liked takoyaki and everyone loved ramen in Double, in OOO there's Ankh and his ice pops, Kougami and his birthday cake and Date with his oden, and in Wizard we have Haruto's sugar donuts and Kosuke's mayonaise. It's inverted in Decade because Tsukasa hates sea cucumber. Kougami could be a subversion since he's never shown eating them himself.
- Training from Hell: Again one of the Trope Codifiers in Japan. The original Kamen Rider duo had to undergo intense training under their friend and mentor Tachibana in order to develop new techniques and tactics against the formidable enemies.
- Transformation Trinket - While its gimmicks may vary from year to year, the transformation belt is an important part of any Rider's arsenal. Heisei series varies pretty widely in what they actually do.
- Hibiki ditches the traditional belts in favor of using handheld items and braces to transform (indicative of the fact that Hibiki wasn't originally intended to be a Kamen Rider series). Some of their weaponry is belt-worn, though.
- TheBee, Drake, Sasword, Hercus, Ketaros and Caucasus from Kabuto, as well as Diend use different kind of trinket other than the traditional buckle.
- Sole exception from Showa series is Amazon whose trinket is actually a bracelet (later two bracelets) on his forearm.
- True Companions: Eventually. But this ain't Super Sentai; the Riders almost never begin on the same page, and often even come to blows when neither is "evil" in the working-for-the-villains sense. Even Blade, where we've got a Heroes "R" Us organization, managed to have four agendas for four Riders. However, sometimes the main Rider and his supporting cast are this from the start.
- Utopia Justifies the Means - Faiz, Blade, Kabuto and Den-O