Kamen Rider Agito is the 2001-2002 entry in the Kamen Rider franchise, and second in the Heisei Era.All across the city, mysterious and impossible murders are taking place, carried out by angelic creatures that are Immune to Bullets and seem to be hunting very specific families.Two years following the incident with the unidentified lifeforms, the Metropolitan Police Department commissioned their best technical geniuses to create an effective countermeasure should their city ever be plagued by monsters again. The result was the Generation 3 (G3) Powered Armor, worn by capable-but-klutzy police officer Makoto Hikawa. In response to these supernatural creatures, codenamed "Unknowns", the G3 Unit is sent out to protect the city. They find an uphill struggle ahead of them not just against the Unknowns but against those within their own police department who would seek to use the G3 System for their own gain.Ryou Ashihara had a promising career as a swimmer until a near-fatal car accident. He began to swim again once he had healed, only to find that his body had undergone a metamorphosis, one that would drive all of his former friends and confidants away from him. After this, he receives a letter containing a list of passengers from the Akatsuki-Go cruise liner: the same cruise liner that his father boarded shortly before committing suicide. Ryou resolves to uncover the reason why his father committed suicide, driven by his loneliness and the new power he has attained: to transform into the feral creature known as Gills.Shouichi Tsugami is a man without a past. Months ago, he washed up on a beach with no memory and an empty envelope addressed to himself. Taken in by the Misugi family, he enjoys nothing more than a simple life tending a vegetable patch and looking after the household. However, when an Unknown is about to attack a human, he feels an overwhelming compulsion to go to their defense, summoning a mysterious power he knows nothing about but holds the key to everything: the ability to transform into Kamen Rider Agito.This show links the stories of all three men together as they attempt to uncover the mysteries surrounding the Unknown and the source of the Agito power, clashing not only with the Unknown but with their own insecurities, pasts, and with each other.
All There in the Manual - So, so much in terms of names. Agito's forms, the names Gills and Another Agito, the monster names, and even the Unknowns' true names being the Lords? Never mentioned in-show. The same goes for weapons and most vehicles. (Including the Tornador, if its name being in one of the battle songs doesn't count.
Actually, a character referred to Gills as such after his second transformation into that form
The Cameo - Hiroshi Fujioka appears in Project G4 as the MPD superintendent general and briefly interacts with Shoichi, showing approval for the young man.
Cool Bike - Normally this is the part where we say "Kamen Rider, of course," but many Turn of the Millennium series only have the bike in an episode or three for Merchandise-Driven purposes and not everyone gets one. This series is not like that. All the Riders do plenty of riding, their civilian-used machines transforming with them (how does a semi-mystical evolution-mutation-thing do that? Best not to ask.) except for non-morphing G3, of course. There are several bike chases as well.
Clothes Make the Superman: A major plot point of the G3 System. Hikawa's role as the wearer of the G3 comes into question a few times and as a result, other characters get their chance to wear the armor as well.
Type C: As a Running Gag, Shouichi will often refer to other characters, particularly Hikawa, as "Kongouji".
In the movie, this is reversed onto Shouichi. In a brief scene, he's stopped by someone when he leaves a restaurant. The person has mistaken him for an old classmate named, you guessed it, "Kongouji".
Alcohol Hic: Ozawa comically downs whole pitchers of beer (when offscreen for a moment, the full pitcher will return half full, and again and be empty, and then get refilled. This process repeats multiple times during this scene.) and at no point appears to be even a little impaired. She leaves, creates G3-X, then gives a hiccup.
Badass Normal - G3/G3-X. They're just normal humans wearing a high tech battle suit, and yet still manage to kick butt. Infact, in a way, this gives him some added benefit, as the Lords are forbidden from killing a normal, non-evolved human or the Overlord will kill them.
The Berserker: Gills is given to primal screams and wild attacking that gets him compared to Kamen Rider Amazon. Agito himself is much less this, but is mostly driven by instinct, rarely speaking during battle, and, once in an early episode, nearly attacking Hikawa right after the monster before he manages to stop himself.
Body Horror - Gills. Aside from the painful side-effects of being an imperfect Agito, Ryo's entire body transforms into a feral insectoid with fangs and claw protrusions. Unlike G3 or Agito, who are clothed in armor, Ryo's body literally becomes a monster.
Double points for Mid-Season Upgrade Exceed Gills, who has tentacles that emerge from folds on his back.
Boring, but Practical - G3/G3-X compared to most other Riders. He can't transform and has to put his suits on like a normal person and is armed with guns instead of supernatural weapons. However, his suits do exactly what they were designed to; keep the user alive and fight the Unknown. In fact he has the highest defense of any Rider in Agito.
BFG/Gatling Good - The G3-X System's GX-05 "Cerberus", roughly the length of the suit actor's leg. It can even launch grenades.
Blade Below the Shoulder - G3's GS-03 "Destroyer" is an arm-mounted vibration sword. Strangely, it's also a Deconstruction of the trope, as it's inherent design makes it inaccurate - the hilt is the size of the user's forearm, which makes it that much easier to grab.
Blessed with Suck - getting psychic powers in this world (themselves typically not particularly useful) = marked for death by the Unknowns.
Brand X - Averted with G3's Guardchaser - it's apparently made by Honda in-universe note it has the Honda logo prominently on the cowl - which the real-life bike the Guardchaser is built on doesn't have. Which makes sense; it's a souped-up cop bike.
Broad Strokes: Agito was originally written as a sequel to Kamen Rider Kuuga, but the writers of Kuuga objected to the idea since it would've made Godai's battles meaningless. Instead, Agito was rewritten to work as its own standalone story with certain details between Kuuga and Agito changed. Word of God says it's your choice whether or not you should watch it as a Kuuga sequel/continuation/parallel universe, however, since the Continuity Nods (mostly the first few episodes and the whole reason for G3-X existing), supplementary backstory tie-ins, and similarities are still present either way.
"You're free to enjoy Agito as a continuation of Kuuga if you so wish, or imagine it takes place in a parallel world, if you so choose. I appreciate this may sound like an asspull, however, so I guess I would say that while Agito takes place '2 years after #4 destroys the Unidentified Lifeforms', it is not a sequel to Kuuga, so take to the show with that in mind."
—Kamen Rider Agito Production Site.
Broken Pedestal - Houjou and Ozawa's mentors are both examples of this trope. Houjou's mentor turns out to be a murderer, and Ozawa's mentor has a long-standing grudge against her. For once in his life, Houjou actually does the right thing and turns in his mentor. Ozawa's mentor, however, gives her a chip limiting the G3-X to controllable limits.
Calling Your Attacks - Like its predecessor Kuuga, it's averted and never happens. Although aversion of the trope was fairly common for most of the early Heisei series.
Canis Latinicus - All the Unknowns except the El have Latin genus and species names. The Latin is surprisingly good (maybe not quite perfect, but still...). The genus names sometimes come from real genera, while the species names are usually meaningful Latin words (and the genus names sometimes also fall under this). The given katakana spellings indicate a surprisingly good knowledge of Latin pronunciation.
Cape Busters: G3 Team is technically this. They're normal people who fight mystic beings with just Powered Armor and some hightech weapons. At one point, they are sent after Agito.
Continuity Nod - The G3 suit was originally designed to fight Grongi. In fact, it looks like a robotic version of Unidentified Life Form #4 and is referred to as such. SIC Hero Saga ups the reference by showing the G-1 as looking near-identical to Kuuga.
G3's bike, the Guardchaser, also takes its name from Kuuga's Try/Beatchaser.
Cosmic Plaything/Yank the Dog's Chain: The universe seems bent on making Ryou's live as full of suffering as possible. Whenever it seems it will get better for him, it's just going to last for a really short while before his life get worse again. Hell, in the epilogue, he is the only one who is shown without friends or family and only has a puppy as his companion in Walking the Earth. Poor guy....
Crazy-Prepared - Dr Kino carries a set of surgical tools on his person at all times.
Delayed Reaction - The Lords, at least early on, tend to have this when they're killed by Agito's Rider Kick. In one instances, the Lord in question stands up, brushes herself off and laughs...then explodes suddenly. G3's Salamander gets this as well on one monster as well. The only Rider whose finisher seems unable to get this is Gills, but in his case it probably has to do with the long blade driven about an inch or two into their shoulder.
Devil but No God - The Overlord of Light was killed by the Overlord of Darkness. But the former got the last laugh by implanting humanity with the Seed of Agito so that they might surpass the control of the Overlord of Darkness. Though to be fair, the Overlord of Darkness isn't exactly evil, he just was afraid of humanity and never truly understood them.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? - In episode 46, Shouichi decks the Agito-verse's equivalent of God. This leads him to decide humanity is too dangerous to keep around anymore... And in the final episode, he tops it off with a Rider Kick.
Family-Unfriendly Death - Many of the Unknown's modi operandi fit the bill. The Tortoise Lords bury their victims alive, the Zebra Lords cause rapid decay, and the Bee Lords phase their victims into walls.
In the TV special A New Transformation, the Beetle Lord shoots a dart that causes its victims' bodies to collapse into ash. Has shades of Body Horror - especially when one victim tries to runs away from the Lord with a limp. Cue him looking down to find his left leg having vanished into a pile of ash.
Finishing Move - Like nearly every Rider in existence, the leads in this series all have their own. Agito, in fact, has one for every form. Gills (and his Mid-Season Upgrade form Exceed Gills) has the Heel Claw. And Another Agito has the Assault Kick.
G3 might be an averted example, but its successor G3-X has something akin to a finisher in the form of his Cerberus Gatling Gun. G3-X generally starts a fight with his other weapons before breaking out the Cerberus to finish off his enemy.
God Cannot Comprehend Humanity In the final episode when the Overlord of Darkness returns to the realm where the human he revived and borrowed the appearance of is about to die, he says his purpose for reviving that man was to have him become the Overlord's angel who would kill Agito. However, even though he had been defeated by humans and Agito working together, the Overlord of Darkness believed that humans would one day kill Agito. The man he had borrowed the appearance of called him on it, saying that even if the Overlord of Darkness created humanity, he has absolutely no idea what humans are like, and that they will be able to accept Agito. The Overlord of Darkness responds by saying that they will wait and see together.
God Is Dead: Sort of. Only one of the two is. Also, at some point Overlord of Darkness did physically "die", so he sealed his DNA into a giant puzzle.
God Is Evil/Satan Is Good - The Big Bad, the Overlord of Darkness is actually the creator of humanity, who sees them as his pets. His ancient adversary, the Overlord of Light, is the Trickster who gives humanity the means to free themselves from control of the Overlord of Darkness.
God Is Flawed: While Overlord of Darkness isn't actually evil, he has little understanding of humanity.
Gone Horribly Right - The problem with the G3-X's AI isn't that it doesn't work: instead, it works too well; it's so perfect that only a perfect man can keep up with it.
Grappling-Hook Pistol - averted: the GA-04 "Antares" fits on G3-X's arm like an Arm Cannon and looks mechanically plausible. But he doesn't use it to Building Swing; instead using it to keep a fast Unknown from running away from its GX-05-related death.
Evolutionary Levels: The entire premise of the series, the Overlord of Light gave humans the ability to evolve into something that could overpower the Over Lord of Darkness someday.
Harmony Versus Discipline - Shouichi is Harmony, Hikawa is discipline. This becomes a plot point during the G3-X arc, as Shouichi's harmony works better with the G3-X's AI than Hikawa's discipline.
Healing Factor: Gills, somewhat. He shows able to regenerate some injuries, particularly when the Ant Lord Queen tears his arm off; transforming into his Super Mode causes it to regenerate.
Healing Hands - Mana, of all people, turns out to have this, but she burns it away when she revives Ryou, curing his Rapid Aging in the process.
Heel Realization - In the end, the Overlord of Darkness finally realizes that his assault on humanity may have been misguided and decides not to destroy them.
Homage: The G3 System and related department (SAUL) is similar to an older Metal Heroes show, Blue SWAT (right down to the need for a support van), while using arm weaponry not far removed from that of Riderman. The competing V-1 system goes further, visibly resembling Space Sheriff Gavan and using a survivingBlue SWAT prop as its main weapon (the customized Dictator handgun).
Gills transformation and brawling fighting style seems very similar to another feral Rider.
Humans Are Special: In the finale, the Overlord is convinced of this and decides allowing humanity to evolve isn't such a bad thing.
Immune to Bullets - The Unknowns, most of the time. Makoto is very surprised to find this out the first time since the G3's GM-01 "Scorpion", while likely averting this trope against the Grongi, packs more power than a rifle.
Subverted later with the G3-X's GM-05"Cerberus" - turns out they're not totally immune...
Leitmotif - The Over Lord is the most obvious example: nearly every appearance by him on-screen comes with dramatic orchestral music.
Karma Houdini - Houjou, who, despite having been a total dick throughout the series, escapes with his ass unkicked. However, he is satisfyingly cowed the first time he fights an Unknown. The assholery ends there.
While he is an ass, he never quite does anything that would make him a bad cop.
And he does get a few Break the Haughty moments for being an asshole. He even gets a What You Are in the Dark moment when he learns about a case-breaking clue in a murder. He was forced to decide if he should keep quiet about it and let the G3 Unit be reformed as he wanted, or make the murderer face justice and give the G3 Unit another break as a consequence. He choose the latter. So the Karma Houdini trope is voided. Not to mention the pet the dog moments (see below).
The Overlord of Darkness himself seems to get off scot-free.
The Lad-ette - Sumiko Ozawa is exceedingly blunt, making it a point to slag off anyone she has a problem with to their face. She's also a heavy drinker; in one episode, she had no less than seven pints of beer in one sitting, and she didn't come off as even slightly drunk afterwards. Then you add the fact that she's got some aspects of Wrench Wench (with her being the creator of the G3 System and all)...
Best part? She designs the G3-X pretty much immediately after drinking the 7+ pints of beer. And this is a kid's show!
The villains of the show have a double meaning. Their first meaning, the Unknown, as in their motives at the start of the show were unknown. Their second meaning comes when the show digs deeper in their story. The Lords, fit their very power.
The name "Agito", is a Latin word meaning "to put into motion", referencing Shoichi's evolving powers.'
The name of the boat that Shoichi gained his powers from is called the Akatsuki, which means Dawn... as in the dawn of a new generation of humanity.
Metaphorgotten - In episode 32, Hikawa tries to explain to Professor Misuki why he should go easy on Mana, but the Professor takes his comparison and runs with it.
Hikawa: No, no violence! You have to treat girls like glass goods. Misuki: Glass goods... But, how much is this glass good? Hikawa: Huh? Misuki: There are various types of glass goods. You care for them depending on their value. Hikawa: That's... Maybe she's about 50,000 yen? Misuki: You'd only pay 50,000 yen for Mana?!
The Movie: Notable for being the first Kamen Rider movie to tell its own story (and pretty much started the tradition of Heisei Rider movies to be set in an Alternate Continuity until, arguably, Kabuto or Den-O), and for introducing the concept of movie-exclusive Riders (in this case, G4).
Milestone Celebration - This series was made during Kamen Rider's 30th anniversary and contain homages to past Kamen Rider Series. Some of the monsters are based on old villain's, and you can make the case the lead riders themselves are based on previous Kamen Riders. It also homages the Metal Heroes series which Kamen Rider took the place of and incorporated some concepts.
The first group of monsters are big cats, and the second are turtles. This homages Kamen Rider V3, where the first monsters of the week were Scissors Jaguar and Turtle Bazooka. Especially fitting because Agito is the second series of the revived franchise, just as V3 was the second series of the original franchise. V3 and Agito also both followseries where the first monsters were a spider and a bat.
Poor Communication Kills - Ryou/Gills thinks Agito is responsible for the death of his girlfriend, and goes after him at every chance. Ryou and Shouichi are unaware that the other is Gills/Agito, but are familiar with each other. Rather thoroughly averted (especially when compared to Kamen Rider Faiz) when they finally find out - Ryou's reaction is a surprised "You're Agito?!", followed by forgiveness and cooperation.
This was the first season with Toshiki Inoue (who is a signature user of this trope) as the head writer, after all.
Power Degeneration - a side effect of transforming into Gills, in the form of post-fight Rapid Aging. Healed out of existence (as a side-effect, apparently) when Mana revives Ryou.
Psychic Powers - Mana is an ESPer. Most of those who have the potential to become Agito are telekinetics, and the rest are ESPers like Mana.
Rearrange the Song: Starting with episode 36, the opening theme is replaced by "Kamen Rider AGITO ~24.7 version~," a remix with different lyrics and a heavier rhythm.
Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: In-universe. The Overlord of Darkness still likes 'normal' humans just fine while battling the Riders who got their powers from the Seed of Agito. But then, Hikawa lands a decent hit on him in his purely manmade armor. This makes him decide humans in general were a bad idea and he should Kill 'em All, setting up the final few episodes.
Rule of Symbolism - So, so much. Most notably the Unknowns, who have wing-like protrusions from their backs and halos flashing above their heads when they want to summon a weapon or right before they die.
They even cross themselves to ask their Overlord for permission to sin before they kill someone, and the highest-level Unknowns are called the El (a Hebrew name for God).
Shout-Out - G3-X's red eyes and mouth guard are apparently called the Red Eyezer and Perfecter after similar parts on Kamen Rider X.
So Last Season - The G3 proves to be largely ineffective against the Unknown because it was made to fight the Grongi from Kamen Rider Kuuga. It gets a minor upgrade, after which it is more effective, eventually destroying an Unknown with a couple of grenades.
Stone Wall - G3 isn't initially effective against the Unknowns, but it definitely keeps the wearer(s) alive (in fact, the Generation Series has the best defense of all the Riders in Agito). G3-X, on the other hand, is more of a Lightning Bruiser.
Superpower Lottery - The various powers gained by people before they complete their evolution into an Agito. Frequently of the Blessed with Suck variety. Obviously, the winner of the lottery is our main Rider.
Super Prototype - G3, as it turns out (while also a subversion - it's the only G series unit we see until G3-X comes out). The base of every G unit afterward, and stronger than the production (prototype) G3-MILD.
Transforming Mecha - Though not technically a mecha, Agito's bike transforms into a hoverboard.
Unstoppable Rage - somewhere between this and Superpowered Evil Side is the original G3-X AI. Hikawa actually goes unconscious from the stress it puts on him, while the G3-X goes on beat up Houjo in the V-1 suit, kill an Unknown, and nearly shoot Agito.
Agito's Burning Form opperates on this. The angrier Agito gets, the more powerful he becomes in the form.
The Voiceless - Agito while transformed, for the first 2/3 of the series or so. When Shouichi senses an Unknown and is sent by pure instinct to fight, he drops what he's doing and runs off without a word, then fights equally wordlessly. More than ten episodes in, he speaks for the first time to say "Hikawa?" when G3's identity is revealed to him, and more than ten episodes later still, his bike transforming into a hoverboard (he didn't know it could do that) evokes a "what?" as suited Agito's second word. He is more talkative in Rider form near the end of the series, even saying full sentences. There are still entire extended battles fought without a word, though. Considering that a major conflict in the show kept going because of a lack of clear communication, this became a plot point.