Kamen Rider Black RX
is the ninth TV series in the Kamen Rider
franchise and, unusually for the series, a direct sequel to the previous series, Kamen Rider Black
. It was broadcasted from 1988 to 1989 and was the last TV series aired during the Showa-era before the transition to stand-alone movies throughout the 90s.
Six months after being practically left alone at the end of Black
, Kotaro Minami has finally gotten on the road to a normal life. He's been adopted by the Sahara family and has a steady job as a helicopter pilot.
However, a new threat to the peace of Earth comes in the form of the Crisis Empire, which seeks Earth as their new invasion target. Acknowledging Kamen Rider Black as a threat, they capture Kotaro while preventing his transformation and attempt to goad him into joining the Empire. Kotaro refuses, and as a result he has his King Stone destroyed and gets thrown off to space.
The sun's radiation, however, resurrected Kotaro's Kingstone and split it into two. Thus, Kamen Rider Black evolved into Kamen Rider Black RX
. It also resurrects the destroyed Battle Hopper, upgrading it into Acrobatter. Now, Kotaro must use his new powers to defend Earth from the Crisis Empire, consisting of General Jak, Colonel Maribaron, Naval Commander Bosgan, Captains Gatenzone and Gedorian.
The Lighter and Softer
tone of the show clashed horribly with the Darker and Edgier Kamen Rider Black
, and fans did not approve. However, it's quite wrong to label it a Franchise Killer
, as the series had pretty good ratings (it performed better than Kidou Keiji Jiban
, the Metal Heroes
series that aired during the same season, and actually scored a slightly higher series average than Blacknote
). It's also notable as the first Kamen Rider
series to introduce the concept of form changes
, which became a staple of the Heisei era. Black RX
still remains popular amongst the older franchise, and like its predecessor, it enjoys massive popularity in the overseas market
Oh, and this show also received an "adaptation" by Saban (guys behind Power Rangers
), called Masked Rider
Kamen Rider Black RX provides examples of the following tropes:
- As Long as There Is Evil: Uttered by Grand Lord Crisis, the Big Bad (who maybe the same Big Bad of Original Kamen Rider through Kamen Rider ZX) upon his demise.
- Back from the Dead: Battle Hopper, becoming Acrobatter. Also later, Shadow Moon.
- Badass Driver (Look below)
- Celebrity Paradox: In episode 1, one of the characters actually pick up and read the manga adaptation of Kamen Rider Black
- Chef of Iron: As noted on the Black page, star Tetsuo Kurata is a heck of a steak chef (with his own restaurant) and once battled the star of Kamen Rider Blade, Takayuki Tsubaki, on a cooking show - and curb-stomped him.
- Crossover: RX teams up with his past self (along with Biorider and Roborider) in the short movie Sekai ni Kakeru. He also teams up with all the other past Riders (from Kamen Rider I through ZX) in the final episodes of the series.
- Dolled-Up Installment: Sort of. RX was originally planned as a stand-alone show starring a new protagonist, but Toei decided to keep Tetsuo Kurata for another year due to his popularity and retooled the show at the last minute into a continuation of Black. Outside Shadow Moon's brief guest appearance, RX barely acknowledges the events of the original Black.
- Finishing Move
- Black RX: Two of them:
- Roborider: Hard Shot
- Biorider: Spark Cutter
- Gag Sub: of the first episode, done by The Tipping Forties as part of a mod challenge on Something Awful.
- Green Lantern Ring: Biorider ends up being Kotaro's most versatile form.
- Heel-Face Turn: Shadow Moon, who immediately follows with Heroic Sacrifice.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Seiyuu Rikiya Koyama (Kiritsugu Emiya, Mamoru Takamura, Coyote Starrk and Yamato) appears in person. As a recurring character (Joe Kasumi).
- Fake Shemp: When Kotaro cradles Nobuhiko's unconscious body at the end of the last Shadow Moon episode, it's obvious that the producers didn't get a hold of the original actor who played Nobuhiko, as someone else is used for the shot.
- Improbable Weapon User: Maribaron uses her feather on her helmet as a weapon.
- Intrepid Reporter: Reiko.
- Lighter and Softer: For the majority of the series. However...
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: By the end of the series, all older Kamen Riders before Black join forces with RX to defeat the Crisis Empire.
- Mood Whiplash: From the intense and dark Kamen Rider Black to the goofy and light-hearted RX... until near the end when Jark murders the Sahara parents in cold blood.
- Multiform Balance
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Odds are, Black would've been outclassed by the Crisis Empire, but the villain decided to throw the 'Child of the Sun' into space were he'd be exposed to direct light from the sun, causing him to evolve into the much stronger Black RX.
- No Accounting for Taste: Shunkichi and Utako Sahara argue so much, you sometimes wonder how did they even manage to have two children.
- The Power of the Sun
- Redemption Equals Death
- Refrain from Assuming: The ending theme, "Dareka ga Kimi wo Aishiteru" (Someone Out There Loves You), is sometimes known as "Lonely Heart".
- Same Character, But Different: Minami Kotaro is a lot more spacier and happy-go-lucky since last time we saw him. Either those six months were really relaxing, or absorbing direct sunlight in space messed with his head.
- Superpower Lottery: The upgrades Roborider and Biorider
- Really, Black RX as a whole has this. The Kingstone Flash alone is capable of ridiculous feats.
- Taking You with Me: Maribaron attempts to do this in the final episode when she was deadly wounded by Crisis. She failed.
- Theme Naming: A variation, though not by name. Each Crisis general summons monsters based on certain themes. Maribaron uses supernatural monsters, Gatenzone uses mecha monsters, Gedorian uses alien monsters, for example.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Variation. RX was the first Rider to use both feet for his Rider Kick. Every Rider before him only used one foot in their kicks - including Kotaro himself in his previous suit.
- And note that his RX Kick wasn't even the Finishing Move - it was mostly used to weaken foes before RX stabs them with the Revolcane.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: The Crisis Empire tries to dispose of Kotaro in this fashion. Fortunately, they didn't realize that the previous villains didn't call him Black Sun for nothing and this merely exposes him directly to the sun, evolving him into Kamen Rider Black RX.
- Weapon of Choice: RX has a different weapon for each form.
- You Look Familiar: Makoto Akatsuka, who played Shunkichi Sahara (the dad), previously guest-starred in Episode 28 of the previous season as the nameless father of the kid of the week.