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Kamen Rider Black is the eighth TV series in the Kamen Rider franchise, airing three years after the Kamen Rider ZX TV special and broadcasted from 1987 to 1988.An evil cult named "Gorgom", consisting of Two Guys and a Girl in white capes and robes, intend to choose a new leader- known as the Creation King- by capturing two chosen humans, implanting them with two powerful artifacts called Kingstones, and having them fight to the death. The winner will become the new Creation King, and together with Gorgom they'll Take Over the World.Using the promise of power, Gorgom recruited many famous and intelligent people to their cause. And the two lucky brothers to be chosen for this project- thanks to the fact that they were born during a solar eclipse- are Kotaro Minami and Nobuhiko Akizuki.However, Nobuhiko's father suddenly has a Heel-Face Turn and interrupts the brainwashing process. This frees Kotaro from complete brainwashing, but he still retains his strength enhancements and Kingstone. This allows him to transform into Gorgom's Champion "Black Sun", redubbing himself "Kamen Rider Black".And so begins Kotaro's battle against Gorgom to prevent more casualties as well as saving Nobuhiko. However, things got rowdy when Nobuhiko suddenly revives himself, brainwashing complete, as Black's main rival Shadow Moon.Gritty and dark, it remains one of the more beloved Showa era Kamen Rider shows. It also received a Lighter and Softer sequel named Kamen Rider Black RX.
Bishonen Line: in the first episode, Kotaro first transforms into a bulky insectoid note which only appears in silhouette which lasted only for a couple of seconds before the transformation into the black armor was complete.
Bittersweet Ending: Kotaro won and destroyed Gorgom, but Nobuhiko is believed to be dead (until Black RX) and he's living alone now because Kyoko and Katsumi fled from Japan after Black appeared to lose a duel to the death with Shadow Moon (though in the end, not quite).
Chef of Iron: Meta example: Tetsuo Kurata can cook a mean steak, as he demonstrated when he kicked Takayuki Tsubaki's butt on a Japanese cooking show; he currently owns and operates his own steakhouse in Japan.
Continuity Reboot: Ishinomori's intention for the series was to make a stand-alone Kamen Rider sequel that didn't require any familiarity with the previous seasons. This idea was abandoned by its sequel RX.
Cult: Black fights against a Gorgom mutant (possibly modeled after Baphomet) who somehow has a cult dedicated to him comprised of an entire village's residents. It's one of the more disturbing episodes in the series, with most of the action taking place at night with dark and shadowy shots throughout, including the final confrontation. Gorgom itself is arguably one to the humans working with them.
Cute Monster Girl: Bishium, possibly; we don't know if that plastic sheet is a mask or actually part of her face. She is also the most humanoid after her transformation, even keeping her face.
Crossover: Averted in the series. Black was the first Rider series since Kamen Rider Amazon where the main hero did not team up with any of his predecessors. note Kamen Rider Super-1 had a team-up in its movie version. In fact, it was the first Rider sequel where they did not reference any of the previous Kamen Riders at all, as Amazon's name was given to him by a kid who knew the other Riders. However, Black did get a crossover with his future self in the 3D short film Run All Over the World, as well as with other Riders in Kamen Rider Decade.
To say Kamen Rider Black himself doesn't team up with the previous Riders is technically untrue on account of Kamen Rider Black RX crossing over with them and Black and Black RX being the same person.
Dark Is Not Evil: Not just on the name. Black is the designated 'Black Sun', soon to be the leader of Gorgom and destroy the world. He's the good guy, through and through.
Depending on the Writer: in some episodes, the Gorgom leaders treat the Mutants with reverence, referring to them as "Lord Mutant Name Here" and calling them "beloved." In others they treat them as expendable slaves.
That just applies to the humans following Gorgom, the priests has got to keep up a good public appearance to appease them.
Determinator: Minami Kotaro. The amount of sheer guts is so great, not even death can stop him. Literally
Dub Name Change: The Filipino dub renamed Kotaro to Robert, and Nobuhiko to Stephen. They even shared the Akizuki surname, thus implying they are blood brothers.
A variation: The stock transformation word "henshin" was changed to "Rider Change". Because Black became so popular among Filipinos, this was used in all other subsequently dubbed Kamen Rider series (even in Kamen Rider Hibiki, whose Riders don't have transformation phrases).
Also going to Completely Different Title, in Indonesia, while the names remain the same, the show is called Ksatria Baja Hitam (Black Steel Knight). Likewise, the stock phrases "henshin" became "Mantra Aji" (but it goes back to the Indonesian equivalent of "Henshin" in later rerun dubs), and "Rider Punch/Kick" becomes "Pukulan/Tendangan Padu Maut" ("Concentrated Death Punch/Kick")
In Brazil, Kotaro's given name was changed to Isamu, and the show had two titles: Black Kamen Rider (with the Rider's name before the Kamen Rider title, instead of after - however, BLACK RX uses the same Japanese name order, while still referring to Kotaro as Isamu) and Blackman.
Katsuki's given name was changed to Sachie. Baraom was the only High Priest to retain his original name, with Daromu changed to Danker and Bishumu being changed to Pérola (Pearl). Birugenia was changed to Taurus. Every technique was changed (the Rider Kick, for example, became the "Mantis Blow").
Failure Is the Only Option: A lot of Gorgom's plots are actually quite sensible. All it would take is for one of them to actually be completed (Black! You can't Rider Punch the Pacific Ocean!). And yet, Minami Kotaro manages to stumble upon them by chanceall the damn time. It helps that he's also incredibly suspicious of everything to Batman-like proportions, but it's quite clear over time that Gorgom fears that Masked Rider Black has a genius tendency to figure out their plans from the slimmest of threads (How does he keep on finding us?!).
Well it doesn't help that any problem the series can come up with, even a kid being bullied, is secretly a Gorgom plot.
Probably helps that Black was originally intended to be their king and is using one of their sacred artifacts to transform with.
Mythology Gag: The first episode has the hero fighting against spider-themed opponents that killed the scientist who rescued him. Just like the first episode of the original Kamen Rider series (though in that case it was only a single spider adversary).
Speaking of the first KR episode ever, Kotaro dwells on his inhumanity by wrenching a water faucet out with his bare hands like Takeshi did.
The SIC figure for Black is actually halfway between his TV appearance and the bulky insectoid proto-form from ep. 1.
Non-Serial Movie: Two theatrical movies were made. One set during the Birugenia episodes, while the second one is set during the Shadow Moon episodes.
Odd Name Out: May or may not be deliberate, but in the beginning, we meet Kotaro, Kyoko, Katsumi, and Nobuhiko. The one without a K-name winds up kidnapped, and after being MIA for 2/3s of the series, becomes Black's Evil Counterpart Shadow Moon.
Oddly Small Organisation: Without taking the Mutants into account, Gorgom is a rather small cult to begin with, even though they are implied to have connections with people in high and powerful positions. Made all the more glaring by the fact that they don't even have any Mooks.
One-Winged Angel: It appears that the High Priests will have to sacrifice their lives to complete Shadow Moon's transformation, but once he is at full strength, he saves them and upgrades them into stronger forms.
Power Walk: Much of the end credits. Since he's the only main hero, Black gets to do the Power Walk on his own.
Sdrawkcab Name: In Episode 39, the Gorgom tries to brainwash people using a J-pop song titled "Mog-Rog".
Sentient Vehicle: Battle Hopper, Black's main motorcycle, is an actual living thing.
Soundtrack Dissonance: in episode 47, the Theme Music Power-Up is still playing out even when Shadow Moon is clearly getting the upper hand in his duel with Black. The music only stopped when Shadow Moon dealt the killing blow.
Technicolor Death: The Mutants go out a little artsier then the standard toku explosion; they get wrapped in cartoon fire and then burst into fireworks.