"Space...a wondrous world, filled with infinite cosmic energy. Using the Astro Switches, these young people will open the door to the future of space. Space on your hand! Reach out and seize the universe!"
The 2011-2012 Kamen Rider series and the thirteenth entry in the franchise's Heisei era. Pronounced "Four-Zeh" as in "Four-Zero",note In Japanese phonetics i.e. Kamen Rider's 40th anniversary series.Amanogawa High School is a school that encourages every one of its students to be themselves, creating a diverse (but chaotic) student body. Arriving into this bedlam is New Transfer Student Gentaro Kisaragi, a cool guy with a Delinquent image who immediately vows to become friends with every single student in the school.When the school is attacked by mysterious monsters named Zodiarts, Gentaro receives the Fourze Driver and Astro Switches from fellow students Kengo Utahoshi and Yuki Jojima. Using their power, he transforms into Kamen Rider Fourze to protect the students of Amanogawa High. Fourze can equip up to four Astro Switches at once, using them to equip attachments onto his arms and legs that boost his combat potential.The plot's main driving element is Gentaro's goal in making friends with everyone in the school, even the Zodiarts Switchers. As such, many of the characters learn important life lessons from Gentaro as he tries not only to fight monsters, but also to befriend them and save them from themselves. The Zodiarts themselves show parallels to the darker sides of humanity and with each one that appears, it becomes harder and harder to free them.
In The Movie, it turns out the Big Bads are really the two Ironmen based on Grounzel and Skyzel from Space Ironmen Kyodain, while the Black Knight, a villain from that exact same show, is one of the good guys Also, the giant orbital weapons platform the villains are controlling is based on Daitetsujin 17 (which transforms from a space fortress into a robot just like in its original show).
This is done again in Movie Wars Ultimatum, in which the three Big Bads are based off Akumaizer 3. There was also Inazuman, though he had a Heel-Face Turn.
Absentee Actor: Averted, as in episodes #6 and #7 has Shun and Tomoko get just one appearance, with varying relevance to the plot (probably to set up their upcoming involvement as future members of the Kamen Rider Club). It's even lampshaded in #7 when Gentaro asks himself; "What was I thinking, how would he know about that?"
Also averted in #8 with Sonoda and Ohsugi showing up in school on a Sunday.
Finally used in #15. Every KRC member except JK appears because (in-universe) JK is hosting a Christmas Edition of his JK Night party.
Played straight again with Tomoko in #41. Justified since she is stuck in the Dark Nebula.
Accidental Aiming Skills: In #7, during detention class, Shun, angry at Gentaro painting him a moustache as payback for throwing away the latter's detention papersnote All students are supposed to write the kanji Reflection a thousand times, corners him. When Gentaro tries to get off, his brushnote Said detention giver gives Gentaro the task of doing his kanji with a caligraphy brush (hence it'll take longer for him to do.) flies away and accidentally paints a devil-head splatter all over Tomoko's detention paper.
Gamou gets this as well as he realizes his attempts in meeting the Presenters were in vain. Gentaro forgives him even though he killed Kengo and gives him the Secret Handshake. The last we see of him? He has a flashback of when he was a little boy reaching out into space before transforming into Aquarius Zodiarts to heal the Core Switch before disappearing into Cosmic Energy.
An Aesop: Aside from #1-2, there seems to be a trend of aesops similar to what happened in Gokaiger:
#3-4: "Do stuff that's beneficial to yourself and not to latch onto others."
#5-6: "If you want to be friends with someone, you have to accept who they are."
#7-8: "You must decide your own life and not let others decide for you."
#9-10: "It's all right to be yourself and to know that you're never alone."
#11-12: "There are people who are willing to help you with your problems; don't push them away."
#13-14: "Love can break through even the most powerful of temptations."
#15-16: "Art is not about perfection, but more of the love and compassion you put into it."
#17-18: "If you want to be friends with others, you have to show who you really are."
#19-20: "Even if you have opposite ideals, that doesn't mean you can't still be friends."
#21-22: "Even when times are tough, you just have to persevere."
#23-24: "You can be a hero just by doing the right thing."
#25-26: "Growing up and graduating is a part of life, but you should look forward for a better future."
#27-28: "The best feeling in the world is to be able to make people smile."
#29-30: "Not all people are untrustworthy; there are people who will always be friends with you through and through."
#31-32: "Friendship is the power that can conquer the impossible. These are the bonds that shape humanity."
#33-34: "Everyone has the right to be normal for a change, even superheroes."
#35-36: "It's okay to have your dreams, but don't use shortcuts to achieve them. Use your passion, heart and friends to do so."
#37-38: "Do not let your passion for your dreams ruin everything around you."
#39-40: "Do not confuse your true feelings with your goals."
#41-42: "The person you thought you know isn't who you think he/she is." It goes both ways of good and evil.
#43-44: "We all have our dark sides, but real friends will accept you for who you are, good and bad."
#45-46: "Do not trust strangers." As in believing your enemy.
#47-48: "All things must come to an end, but that doesn't mean you should not live things to the fullest."
All There in the Manual: SOLU, the substance that appears in Movie War Megamax, is actually an acronym for "Seeds Of Life from the Universe". This doesn't get mentioned anywhere official, but you can hear Souta Fukushi (Gentaro's actor) say it in half-decent Gratuitous English in the Super-1 quiz short.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Leo Zodiarts invades the Rabbit Hutch in the penultimate episode and starts wrecking up the place. By the finale, the entire structure AND part of the school have been leveled.
Alpha Strike: Done by enabling just the shooting switches, such as Fire States+Launcher+Gatling.
Arc Words: There is lots of mention of Hayabusa the satellite, from Yuki's interest, cosplay and song of it, to Shun's last name being rearranged to say space craft.
Artistic License - Engineering: #2 has Fourze using Massigler to attack the Orion Zordiarts by grinding it with the front wheel, until it spews sparks. That's right, Massigler is the only motorcycle in existence with front wheel drive!
Back for the Finale: Nadeshiko returns in Movie War Ultimatum, explaining that she met XVII in space and she asked him to bring her to Earth so she could see Gentaro again. At the end of the film we see her and XVII saying goodbye as they return to space.
Be as Unhelpful as Possible: In # 25, Altar, Chameleon, and Dragon Zodiarts reappear and the original switchers neither confirm nor deny the KRC's suspicions. They were just Red Herrings anyway, though Ritsuko and Tamae did get offended when Gentaro asked them.
Beauty Contest: #3 centers on one. Keeping with the show's use of high school tropes, it's pretty obvious it's in the bag for Miu from the get-go. Gentaro tries to turn it into a real contest by saying he'll become her friend if he can find someone who can beat her. Unfortunately, the only candidate he can find is Yuki. And then episode then ends on a wham when a hidden-camera footage is played on the screen showing Miu throwing away fan letters and gifts from admirers, turning most of the student body against her.
Big Eater: Jun, one of Miu's sidekicks, is almost always seen eating, usually candy and snacks. She even has bananas hanging from the inside of her locker door!
Big "NO!": Shun when he was daydreaming for Miu to accept his request for the prom which ended up being rejected hard.
Bittersweet Ending: #38 has Gentaro free Erin from the influence of the Zodiarts Switch, but Gamou insists that her memory gets erased so she remembers nothing prior to meeting Gentaro and Yuki. Thankfully, the ending gives us a positive note.
Body Horror: Magnet States' finishing move implodes the target.
Book Ends: #9 starts with Yuki and Gentaro racing to school; #10 ends with Tomoko joining them.
#15 shows the debut of Motoyama on the rooftop with his painting of Mount Fuji. Where do we see him in the following episode? Back on that rooftop, redoing that same picture and Abe meeting up with him.
Potechokin was the first Foodroid Miu played with. In #26, it's helping her pack.
The finale has two: when Gentaro uses the Rocket Drill Kick, the drill penetrates the ground and he spins around a few times. Also, when we first met Gentaro, it was when Kengo had a letter in his hand that he chucked into the water. Just as Gentaro is about to do that with Kengo's farewell letter, Kengo appears behind him. He even scolds Gentaro using the same words Gentaro mentioned to him when they first met.
"When someone gives you a letter, you better read it! Be sure to properly address their feelings."
Breaking the Bonds: Subverted in #10; Gentaro supposedly uses "the double energy of youth" to break his bonds, but it turns out that Kengo just summoned a Foodroid to cut the bonds.
JK: Oh, that makes more sense.'''
Brick Joke: Tomoko with her devil-head inkblot, from #7 to #8.
That corner in the back of the school where the hoodlums attack Gentaro and fail (twice) is shown vacant in #5. Then #7 reveals that the hoodlums have found an alternate hangout outside school grounds.
A visual Call Back to the "trash" label for Gentaro appears in #6 - he's left for dead on an empty grassy slope, but when Tomoko finds him later on, he's suddenly surrounded by actual trash.
Canon Welding: In #33 Foundation X reappears as Gamou's financial backers, tying Fourze into the same continuity started by Double and OOO.
As early as episode two, this is hinted at, as Tomoko explains what a Kamen Rider is while showing videos of the first Kamen Rider, Super-1, Black RX, and Kuuga, along with the Fuuto Tower. Movie Wars Megamax, which is definitely canon as it affects the latter half of Fourze, ties Double and OOO into this as well, along with the first seven riders. At the least, this means that most of the Showa Riders, Kuuga, and the "Neo-Heisei" Riders all share the same verse.
When facing off against an enemy: "I'm Kamen Rider Fourze! Let's settle this one-on-one!"
When activating Cosmic States: "Our friendship will take on the universe!
Cerebus Retcon: The Movie is set after The Reveal of Sonoda as Scorpio Horoscopes, so the Net Movies actually take this approach by showing how the Zodiarts under her wing came about, and even shows her going through a nervous breakdown following the repeated defeats!
Cerebus Rollercoaster: AND HOW. First, you'll be seeing Gentaro goofing around as Fourze, then you see a creepy guy trying to kill girls by driving a bus off of an unfinished highway. Then you'll see a student who likes making puns become one of the worst of all the Zodiarts and after that, it's the High School Dance. THEN we have Gentaro dying by the hands of the other Kamen Rider before the annual school field trip to Kyoto. And it only gets crazier from there.
Chekhov's Gun: The Meteor Storm Beyblade's ability to absorb and reuse all damage comes up again in #44, as it turns out to be the best thing to counter the Gemini Action Bomb ability.
Christmas Episode: Episodes 15 and 16 involve around Yuki helping the Glee Club, and the Kamen Rider Club having their own Christmas Party.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Played straight. Scorpion's Dustards (read: Mooks) were able to overwhelm Fourze when they were attacking individually. Once they started attacking at the same time, Fourze got a break.
Continuity Nod: When seeing the interior of the Rabbit Hatch, one can notice two posters on the wall: One of Miu from #3, and another about JK Night in #5.
Miura gets mentioned in #8, stating that he was currently in the hospital after using the Zodiarts Switch. He appears in Episode 13-14, with the Kamen Rider Club trying to help him recover after becoming a Zodiarts.
Chouske is seen in #7 with all the other delinquents in a new hangout so Gentaro doesn't beat them up again.
Yuki brings up the witches of #9-10 to scare off Ohsugi in #11 - but he's stricken with acute Genre Blindness.
After the events in #11-12, Gentaro and company are seen screwing the locker to the wall.
In Movie Wars MegaMax, not only does Eiji remember Gentaro from Wonderful! Shogun and the 21 Core Medals, but Shotaro brings up meeting Eiji way back in A to Z: The Gaia Memories of Fate and their second meeting in Movie War Core.
The MovieLet's Go to Space! brings back enough past characters to operate all 40 Astro Switches at once, and brings back the Clear Drill Switch from the Hyper Battle Video, having it materialize when Gentaro goes into Meteor Fusion States.
And the cherry on top comes in Movie Wars Ultimatum: Not only do we get links back to Eternal's part in W Forever, Let's Go To Space!!, AND Megamax, but Wizard's appearance in Megamax gets explained AND set up via Stable Time Loop. Also, remember the kickboxing teacher? She's back. With her own fight scene.
Couch Gag: The camera goes into a hard zoom of a random Astro or Zodiarts Switch before the OP starts every week.
Crapsaccharine World: This show is all about friendship and buddies being with you...it also has some of the cruelest monsters, the hero dies, two villains get horrible deaths, the Genki Girl gets broken badly and the Big Bad wants to annihilate all of Japan. Very jarring, to say the least.
Curb-Stomp Battle: The Leo Zodiarts does to this Fourze and Meteor a multitude of times. It is then played completely straight for the Sagittarius Zodiarts with his debut in #42, who beats the utter living crap out of Fourze and Meteor, without even taking a SINGLE scratch.
#41, hands down. Virgo single-handedly destroys the Kamen Rider Club, driving off most of the group by threatening to kill them and throwing Tomoko and Ryusei into the Dark Nebula, which means Gentaro can't use Cosmic States. Oh, and Virgo was also Tachibana the whole time.
Episodes 3 and 4 have a twist on this: The Monster of the Week (aka Tamae) makes Miu a Fallen Princess by revealing her inner bitch to the students via Engineered Public Confession, all to win the school's Beauty Contest. Gentaro convinces her not to give up but to do things fair and square, resulting in Miu giving a heartfelt speech that nets her the crown, all of which causes her to warm up to Gentaro and join his crew.
Yuki gets two: one in the OOO movie with Gentaro and in the end credits of OOO's final episode with Kengo.
As has become tradition, Fourze's successor Wizard made his first appearance in Let's Go to Space!, but he only appears transformed. He also appears in the finale unintentionally disrupting Shun's attempt to propose to Miu with his own bling.
Event Flag: Discussed in The Movie, where Shun says "You go on ahead, I'll handle this!", which JK immediately points out that that's a death flag if ever there was one. Shun responds that he can't die until he gets back to Earth and has one more date with Miu, while JK quietly mutters "He just keeps raising that flag..."
Evolving Credits: Like with OOO, the opening is usually adjusted to highlight the latest Switches, but it's stopped at Switch #20 for now.
Episode 19's opening takes out Sonoda and adds Meteor. Episode 21's opening adds Magnet States and showcases the Switches starting with #21 (Stealth).
#35 adds Cosmic into the States montage. It also added Ryuusei into more of the Kamen Rider Club Shots, updated the States (including adding Meteor Storm into the credits), and Miu, Shun, Ohsugi-sensei and Gamou have new clips for the opening.
Fanservice: #41 gives us a male example with Shun in the shower. And he's still naked when Virgo Zodiarts teleports into his bathroom.
Much earlier in the series, in #3, we have Miu and her friends in swimsuits. Not even a totally gratuitous scene, since Miu's reaction to her fans' gifts are being secretly filmed and are used against her during the School Queen contest at the end of the same episode.
First Contact: The reason the Presenters sent the Core Switches throughout the universe according to Kengo. A race who could decipher the data in the Core Switch is deemed worthy to meet with the Presenters.
In the opening, during the montage of Fourze using various Switches, Shield!Fourze can be seen flashing a peace sign and Flash!Fourze accidentally blinds himself. From #21 onwards, Fourze lampshades the nature of the Stealth switch by performing a ninja hand gesture before fading out, and plays Rock Scissors Paper against the Hand switch - but loses. In the next update, when Fourze activates his GiantFoot switch, he accidentally crushes himself.
#1 has a funny foreground event the first time we see the classroom, with one student invoking some kind of summon ritual amidst the classroom chatter.
#5. Sonoda and Ohsugi are discussing something while another teacher in the back is getting punked by a student, then retaliates with a headlock.
#9. While Kengo is pointing out the silliness of Yuki and Gentaro racing to school every morning, there's a couple of the "inmate" students doing an even more strenuous exercise behind him.
It doesn't help that Gentaro seems to have a hard time understanding the English words everyone is throwing left and right. (The best one is in the first episode, believing Miu calling Gentaro "Trash amongst Trash" meant "Man amongst Men"). He knows how to say "Thank you" in English, at least.
Against Unicorn in #6. Heck, Gentaro once said to Kengo that "[he] must think [he's] so smart by using katakana" in #2!
The detention teacher in #7 uses a few English words, but especially "bad boy" for Gentaro, which he always pronounces in a gleeful yet creepy way.
Episode 15 has Yuki, along with the Glee Club, sing a nice rendition of Jingle Bells.
In the same episode when JK goes to throw Fourze the Pen switch, he says "This is a Pen" (which may be a common phrase in English-as-a-second-language class if this clip is any indication).
And in #31, we have the PE Teacher acting as the English teacher due to Aries casting her in that role.
Karma Houdini: Misa Toriizaki and the Ugly Ducklings get away with forcing Norio Eguchi to become Cygnus Zodiarts and all we here is that it's been disbanded from Kengo.
Lighter and Softer: When Fourze was in production they decided to make it a show that would be "uplifting" after the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami, explaining the very soft tone and focus on friendship.
Limited Wardrobe: Justified by the school environment (and gets rather egregious with Shun and Miu), though it should be mentioned that Gentaro wears his uniform to "JK Night" in #5 when everyone else has dressed to the nines (well, moreso than usual in JK's case.)
Gentaro subverts this: while he still has his jacket and pants, he'll sometime be depicted in different shirts. Also, starting with #15, the school is shown wearing winter coats, and Gentaro now sports a new jacket.
Magically Binding Contract: When Gentaro loses his bet with the Taurus Zodiarts, he finds himself unable to disobey Taurus' rules, and his signature on the contract for the bet glows. It seems that a bet and Taurus' victory are a condition for it to work that way, but it could be that it's just the only way he can get people to sign. The viewer doesn't get to see the fine print.
Not the first time it works this way, either: While it's not his whole shtick, at one point Cancer is stealing souls in the form of rings that he can cut with his claws, rendering the person comatose. He says he'll give them back if one of the characters makes him laugh. When tricked into a loophole by his Exact Words, instead of saying "that doesn't count" or "I Lied," he can only go Oh, Crap as everyone - even those whose soul rings had been cut - is restored.
Mundane Made Awesome: #40. How Ryusei as Meteor wins the golf match against Sugiura as Taurus - Meteor Storm Form! Using the Storm Shaft as a golf club and winding up with cosmic energy for a METEOR STORM DRIVE!!
Also, in the last episode when Gentaro goes to face Sagittarius Nova, there's just something incredibly awesome about the way he finishes his soup.
Gentaro does a point-blank fire shot in Fire States against the Perseus Zodiarts in #15, much like how Kamen Rider Garren and Kamen Rider DoubleHeatTrigger form used such an attack. Interestingly, Meteor has a similar move in #18 via the "Mars" function on his Meteor Galaxy.
Kamen Rider Meteor's support is named Tachibana in honor or Tobei Tachibana, who was an ally and mechanic to the first seven Showa Riders (from No. 1 to Stronger).
The Lynx Zodiarts is a monster cat that can do bursts of superspeed. His look, the way he moves, everything makes him basically a repaint of the Smilodon Dopant.
And Leo has Wolverine Claws and wind attacks, basically making him Kazari. He also carries the Switches of defeated Horoscopes, just as Kazari once carried the Core Medals of some of the other Greeed.
Not only is the Cygnus Zodiarts similar to both Seig and Ixa, but the Cygnus cult meeting involves a Swan Lake ballet and an exercise ritual worthy of IXA-Cise. Towards the end of #23, Cygnus performs a kick that is very similar to the Fang Streiser.
And the Giantfoot Module mimics the Kiva Dogga Form's Finishing Move in terms of concept.
#43 - Creepy dollon Yuki's front porch? Checked. Yuki's father? Checked. Yuki's parents love for cosplay and frequently change thier house's decor to satisfy different cultural themes? Checked. All of these seems familliar...
Cosmic States' Rider Kick is surprisingly devoid of frills and even uses the right leg to deliver the kick instead of Fourze's usual left, making it designed to evoke the original Kamen Rider's kick. The attack is even simply named "Rider Kick" instead of Gentaro's usual elaborate names.
Each of the names of the Kamen Rider Club's main members is a reference or Significant Anagram of the name of one of the first six Showa Riders. This is referenced in Movie Wars Megamax where each member of the club cosplays as the rider their name is an anagram of, with Gentarou taking the spot of Kamen Rider Stronger.
In The Movie, the Kyodain characters' roles are reversed; in the original show the Kyodain were the heroes, while Black Knight and Gaburin Queen (Inga Blink's name is an anagram of hers) were villains. Of course, at first it looks like Inga and Black Knight are bad guys too...
No Sell: Done by Tatsugami in Episode 47 when Ryusei throws a one-inch punch at him when he invades the Rabbit Hutch.
Non-Serial Movie: Averted in terms of Movie Wars Megamax, where everything fits perfectly and is referenced again, unlike last year's teamup, Movie Wars Core. Rocket State even sees use in the regular series. The Foundation X storyline begun in Double also returns in this film (though isn't fully resolved; Gamou is seen to work with them later in the series.) Leo and Virgo also debut in it. This one didn't just happen, it's required reading.
Interestingly, OOO and Fourze seem to know each other from the events of The Shogun and the 21 Core Medals, which at the time looked really non-serial (mainly, the Greeed were never seen to get back the Cores they let OOO borrow to take out Gara, and Burakawani Combo doesn't seem to exist outside that film.) Best to not give yourself a headache over that one.
Then we see Burakawani used again in Ultimatum... but it's ambiguous whether it's the real deal.
Also, for the first time ever, averted by Fourze's Hyper Battle Video! The Clear Drill Switch, what was believed to be the traditional one-off gimmick, appears in both Let's Go To Space!! and Movie War Ultimatum as part of Meteor Fusion States!
People are starting to notice a pattern emerging: Decade (10, who can use one card at a time), Double (2, two minds sharing half a body), OOO (3, powers in three areas), and now Fourze (40, weapons and powers on four limbs). We don't know what they'll do next year, as five is already taken.
They're doing 5 anyway—Kamen Rider Wizard's powers seem to be based on rings, which are placed on the 5 digits of one hand. They continued with 6—Kamen Rider Gaim uses locks, which, when unlocked, resemble the number 6, as well as the fact that "lock" pronounced in a Japanese style gives you "roku", which means six.
To activate Elek States in #6, he learns how to accept the drawback it has just like he accepts JK for who he was.
To activate Fire State in #10, he accepts Tomoko for who she is which lets him absorb fire.
To activate Magnet State in #20, he reinforces his bond with Kengo by saying that no one could replace him.
And to activate Cosmic State in #32, he uses the bonds of all the members of the Kamen Rider Club. It should also be noted that those bonds must stay together if Gentaro wants to use this state.
Precision F-Strike: In Episode 12, when Kengo realizes that he might be stuck on the moon for good, he says "This is bullshit!" Notable because it's Kengo saying this.
Product Placement: Pretty subtle, actually. The Foodroids (hamburger, fries, nuggets, etc...) may seem like an odd choice, but considering that one of the show's sponsors is Mc Donalds, it makes a lot of sense.
Remember the New Guy: Apparently Gentaro already know Yuki's parents from before their debut in #43. Justified as he has known Yuki since childhood, though.
Rousseau Was Right: Gentarou makes friends with everyone. Everyone. There is no one who doesn't turn out to still have some spark of goodness in them, even The Chairman/Saggitarius Zodiart.
Rule of Three: Shown all over the place. Miu and Ritsuko lead a posse of three, Power Dizer went through three users aside from Kengo (Miu, Shun and JK) and has three modes, there are three female members of the Kamen Rider Club, etc.
The debut of a Foodroid also shows the food they were based on. The only exceptions are Burgermeal and Softonya.
Poor JK frequently gets knocked over, either getting caught in the crossfire of a fight between club members, hit by someone passing at high speeds, or actually receiving a blow from a Zodiarts. He also occasionally manages to fall over on his own. These usually take the form of a Funny Background Event, and JK almost always ignored and left on his own, though Shun has been known to casually pick him back up by his jacket.
Same Story, Different Names: The episodes for #41-42 are eerily similar to Kamen Rider Double's "The O Chain" arc, with the Evil Mentor telling the rider to fight with negative emotions instead of positive ones as they are unable to fight properly due to some monster-related mess.
School Club Front: The Kamen Rider Club at school, which is actually made up of the students helping the Kamen Riders and has a portal to a base on the moon. It is unclear just how much the club claims to be a legitimate school club.
Shipper on Deck: Most members of the Kamen Rider Club seem to be shipping Tomoko and Ryuusei. Particularly obvious at the end of #44 when Yuuki hands out homemade tickets to space and gives those two a couple's ticket.
And in the finale JK is forming a heart over Tomoko once Ryusei ask her to come visit some time. Her Battle Aura became pink.
The Sunday detention class itself stands out as a straight-up Homage of The Breakfast Club. A jock, a delinquent, a creepy girl, a cute girl, and a brain are all sent to weekend detention with a Jerk teacher who picks on the delinquent from the get-go, and a key moment is when the Jock reveals through blubbering tears that he's terrified of not living up to his father's expectations. Even the writing 1000 words punishment mirrors the 1000-word essaynote The 1000 words is supposed to be writing the kanji for 'Reflection' 1000 times. Considering the show's heavy use of english language and American high school tropes, we can probably expect to see more homages like this in the future.
#16 has some as well. The sound in the Rabbit Hatch that let Kengo know Gentaro was in danger is also the sound of the low HP bar from the Kingdom Hearts series. Not to mention Gentaro getting a brush that actually writes things in the air.
It doesn't help that Swan Lake was a heavy motif in those episodes.
Yuki says that the Ugly Ducklings have had their fill of heroes. This isn't too remarkable by itself, but she does so while mimicking the Henshin pose of Kamen Rider OOO!
While the myth behind the Coma Berenices constellation mentions Queen Berenice sacrificing her hair, the Coma Zodiarts' ability to turn it into more monsters comes from a different mythical character. Sun Wukong, to be precise.
#37. As if reinforcing the ShonenIdiot Hero thing, Gentaro makes it through the test by sheer luck without being able to answer a single question, much like Naruto once did.
#39. Emoto draws a comparison between Gamou, Utahoshi Rokuro and himself with the sun, earth and oceans, and the moon. This was also done in BB Senshi Sangokuden with Sousou, Ryubi and Sonken respectively. Which turns downright meta as Emoto turned on Rokuro, thanks in part to Gamou's manipulations, which is precisely what happened with Sonken, Ryuubi and Sousou's precursors Sun Quan, Liu Bei and Cao Cao in Romanceof The Three Kingdoms.
#42. The Meteor Storm Beyblade left spinning continuously after Ryusei himself is apparently sent to the Dark Nebula just screams Inception. Incidentally, Emoto's role is revealed to be an agenda within an agenda.
Signature Style: Yes, Koichi Sakamoto has a hand in this show, and just to hammer it home we have Fourze jumping off a flying bike to kick the enemy in #2. Other elements of Sakamoto's style are present such as the wire-fu (in mild doses when compared to Power Rangers) and filming at an angle. And in episode #32 and #48, the Kalishplosions even get carried over.
Space is Just Awesome: Tends to happen with any person entering the Rabbit Hutch and realising where it really is for the first time.
Also both Gentaro and Kengo see the Earth from space and see that it's very beautiful.
Sports Preemption: Happened for both the US Open (a pre-emption which happens every year), and the London 2012 Olympic Games, despite Fourze's 8am timeslot being midnight in England, so there's no live coverage then. As a result, the series length was curtailed slightly.
Stealth Pun: In The Movie, when the three Dizers team up, Shun calls the original Power Dizer King Dizer, Miu calls hers Queen Dizer, and JK calls his JK Dizer. It's subtle, but you can faintly detect how the names of their Dizers sound like the three highest suites in card games like Poker and Blackjack.
Talent Contest: Episode 3 features a contest for School Queen, in which the candidates showcase their talents and deliver a speech as to why one should vote for them.
Then there's Claw+Chainsaw+Spike+Scissors against Gemini, a rare melee-range version.
Thousand Origami Cranes: In #37, Gentaro's group—while in a space isolation test—is making ten thousand paper cranes to pass the time. Gentaro actually tries to get Ryusei to calm down by saying "think of Jiro when you do it!"
Time Skip: The Fourze portion of Movie War Ultimatum takes place five years after the end of the series and shows what become of the Kamen Rider Club: Kengo's following in his father's footsteps as a scientist, Yuki achieved her dream of becoming an astronaut, Shun is a professional football player, Miu is a fashion model, JK is a style reporter for a magazine, Tomoko's become a novelist, and Ryusei works for Interpol alongside Inga Blink. And Gentaro? He's a teacher at Amanogawa, as well as the sponsor for the Kamen Rider Club (which only has a single member).
Trash the Set: A destructive battle takes place in the Rabbit Hatch in the penultimate episode. It goes on for some time with nobody seeming to realize that a hole getting punched in a wall would be very bad. Then precisely that happens. However, it seems that some sections are closed off from some others, because the base is used without spacesuits after the battle.
Two-Teacher School: Ohsugi and Sonoda are the only regular staff members to appear on the show. Two other teachers appear briefly for two episodes each.
The finale reveals that there are at least six teachers.
Urban Legends: The past Kamen Riders. In Episode 2, Tomoko has apparently been collecting information on them. She's shown to have videos of Rider 1, Super-1, Black RX, and Kuuga fighting their respective monsters, and a news article on the destruction of Futo Tower from the Double movie. Later, in Megamax, Gentaro expresses shock and delight that the 'Legendary Seven Riders' even exist.
Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: We have a Large Ham protagonist who promises to befriend everyone in his school. Then we have the monsters like Makise, Kijima and Yamada coming around that makes this series turn over its head and become pretty dark.
Wham Episode: #11: Kengo's now seemingly stuck on the moon because the Pyxis Zodiarts destroyed the locker that acts as its teleporter.
#13. Aside from bringing back an old Zodiarts Switcher, the identity of the Scorpion Zodiarts is finally revealed.
#14. The Principal is revealed to also being a Zodiarts.
#18. Sonoda is no more as she's been cast to the Dark Nebula and the Virgo Zodiarts has replaced her.
#19. The Dragon Zodiarts is stronger than both Fourze and Meteor, Kengo has seemingly quit the KRC and has ended his friendship with Gentaro and the Magnet States have flown into the sky.
#22. Think that Gentaro defeated the Pegasus Zodiarts? You'd be wrong. Introducing: the Cancer Zodiarts!
#25. Miu and Shun are graduating, Yuki's Club President, JK is now the pilot of Power Dizer and Miu states to Shun that she wanted to go to prom with Gentaro while Fourze and JK are getting their asses kicked by three Zodiarts.
#27: Ryuusei's timing for getting the Idiot Ball had to be when he was fighting Cancer, thus revealing his true identity. And when Ryuusei needs to talk to Tachibana, Tachibana will not let him transform now that someone knows who he is. At the same time, Cancer has gone into Nova mode due to him absorbing the souls of other students!
#29: Remember the time where Ohsugi took the locker to Rabbit Hatch around 18 episodes back? He now knows about Rabbit Hatch and took the only switch capable of stopping Musca!
#30: At the end of the episode, Aries Zodiarts has appeared.
#31: Ryuusei kills Gentaro with the one-inch punch and for doing so Tachibana revokes his powers as Meteor, which leads to the Kamen Rider Club finding his identity out.
#33: In Movie Wars MEGAMAX, we see that Foundation X was slightly involved in the Zodiarts Switches. Now we know that they really are!
#34: Hayami has activated Supernova Form and notes that the Chairman is the Sagittarius Zodiarts.
#40: Guess who's Virgo Zodiarts? It's Emoto! And she just sent Tomoko into the Dark Nebula! And he's also the one who left Rokuro for dead on the moon in the first episode!
#41: Guess who's Tachibana, Meteor's benefactor? Virgo! And Meteor gets Dark Nebula'd too.
#42: Sagittarius makes his debut by severely wounding Emoto. After a hurried explanation on Emoto on the backstory to Kengo, Leo and Libra come in and finish off Virgo! That's right: THEY KILLED OFF VIRGO!
#43: Yuuki's questionable antics revealed to be the actions of her doubleganger? Not a surprise. Her not being a willing Zodiarts? Also not a surprise. But then the stakes get raised when it's revealed that Yuuki's babbling about the voices from space? That isn't her being loony about space, it's something that actually happened and Gamou has heard those voices as well. He's going to take her Dark Side with him to the stars. Oh, and Yuuki is going to be replaced by her Dark Side in twelve hours, and when time's up, she'll vanish completely.
It took up to #45 but The KRC finally figure out who Libra, Leo AND the Big Bad are!
And another bit? Ran didn't become Pisces by force like Yuki. No, she chose to do it to save Hayami!
And the thing Aquarius Zodiarts did in Ep. 37? It didn't help Kengo at all, she just delayed the next time it happened...
Turns out, there IS a Dark Nebula. And the Day of Awakening Gamou's been talking about? While he goes to somewhere nice (probably), HIS ACTIONS WILL CAUSE THE DARK NEBULA TO SUCK UP AND DESTROY JAPAN!!!!!
#46: Oh, boy. What do we have here? First off, Ran's Switch turns red, then it turns out Hayami was really The Mole. Then, Ran loses her switch and Gamou invokes the Day of Awakening. However, Kengo emits a white light that stops the ritual and then it's revealed that he's the Core Switch!
Wham Line: Courtesy of Kengo in Ep. 47: "I'm the Core Child, and I was born from the Core Switch. I'm going to return to the homeworld of the Presenters."
Anything else Kengo says in that episode qualifies. This line is the most shocking:
Kengo:: (in a fake Creepy Monotone) When I awaken as the Core Child, I lost all human emotions."
Wham Shot: #40: Did you all think Gamou was the astronaut who killed Rokuro? Surprise...it's Emoto!
What Happened to the Mouse?: Everything's all hunky dory in the end, but we still have three people—Sonoda, Kijima and Sugiura—stuck in the M-Bus in a frozen state. Presumably, Gentaro can use Cosmic States' teleportation power to get them out, but we never see him do it, and also the problem of what happens next is never addressed—Sonoda and Sugira could be pretty easily rehabilitated, but the jury's still out on whether we want Kijima back (A sequel novel was later released, and confirmed that Gentaro did indeed use Cosmic States to rescue the people stuck on the M-Bus).
Yamada (Aries) is still stuck in his coma. And we never find out how Yayoi (Coma) and Nonamura (Lynx) are coping after Gentaro turned off their switches... until The Movie anyhow.