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Walking the path of Heaven, the man who will rule everything.
The 2006-2007 series of Kamen Rider and the seventh installment in the Heisei Era. Also notable for being the 35th anniversary series of the Kamen Rider franchise.In 1999, a meteor fell to Earth and obliterated the Shibuya district of Tokyo. Along with the destruction the meteor brought something far more dangerous: the Worm, an insectoid race of aliens with the ability to perfectly mimic the appearance and memories of a human. Seven years later, the Worm have infiltrated society and are slowly killing off the human race, replacing them with their own.Earth's only defence lies in the secret organization ZECT, who are losing ground against the evolved Worm and their Clock Up ability. To counter this, ZECT develops the Masked Rider System and Kabuto Zecter weapons, which new recruit Arata Kagami is eager to try out.Enter Souji Tendou: genius chef, philosopher, loving brother, martial arts expert and all-round Ace at everything he does (also, kind of a dick). During a Worm attack, Kagami calls out for the Kabuto Zecter but instead it goes to Tendou, who proclaims that he is The Chosen One and uses it to transform into Kamen Rider Kabuto.This series can also, at times, get really depressing, hence its own Tear Jerker page.
But Not Too Foreign - While Hiro Mizushima merely grew up overseas, the show hangs a lampshade on this trope by casting a clearly mixed-parentage boy as young Souji Tendou in flashbacks. They do resemble each oher to a degree.
Cameo - Kikawada Masaya, who plays Hongo Takeshi/Rider-1 in Kamen Rider THE FIRST, briefly appears in-character to call Tendou a weird guy. Epileptic Trees, away!
Kagami sort of gets one in the Hyper Battle Video: "The man who washes his face in front of a mirror every day."
Although not a Meaningful Name, Hiyori tends to say any variation of "Why me?"
Charles Atlas Superpower - Tendo has actually been training his whole life to use the Kabuto Zecter, and is shown dealing with an armed mugger while not messing up the tofu in his hand in the first episode, well before obtaining said Zecter. The fact that all his training gets ignored in future episodes while his latent ability isn't led to a fair bit of Memetic Mutation.
Divergent Character Evolution - Tsurugi Kamishiro, who began as a one-dimensional rich jerk who was only there to act as yet anotherrival to Tendou and fill out the show's Rider quota. After Tendou was finished proving his superiority and moved on, Tsurugi developed the most delightfully quirky personality as he sought to regain his lost wealth and learn about the ways of the common people with his best friend Ka-GA-mi.
Empathic Weapon - The Zecters, who choose their masters based on their own personality quirks.
Engrish - Lampshaded by Tsurugi Kamishiro, a native Japanese speaker who takes mundane Japanese words and, believing them to be exotic and foreign, mangles them something fierce. (e.g. Ramen becomes the exotic French dish "La Men".)
HyperKabuto: Hyper Kick, several with the Perfect Zecter but most noteworthy are Maximum Hyper Typhoon and Maximum Hyper Cyclone
TheBee: Rider Sting
Drake: Rider Shooting
Sasword: Rider Slash
Gatack: Rider Kick, Rider Cutting
HyperGatack: Hyper Kick
KickHopper: Rider Kick
PunchHopper: Rider Punch
Caucasus: Rider Kick
Hercus: Rider Beat (Avalanche Break)
Ketaros: Rider Beat (Avalanche Slash)
Forgotten Phlebotinum: Clock Up during the last ten-ish episodes. It was much worse than simply letting it go unused - you had a major baddie clobbering Riders via Flash Step and lesser ones speeding away as the Riders watched helplessly on a regular basis, as if all the Rider suits weren't designed to combat just that.
The Cassis Worm's Flash Step was actually so potent that even a rider in Hyper Clock Up was basically stationary to him, so this can be partly forgiven.
The heat-vision binoculars, which were demonstrated to be able to spot a worm in human form in episode 5. They would have been INSANELY useful later in the series, but outside of a brief reappearance in Episode 8, they're never used again.
Gambit Pileup - ZECT, the Worms, the Natives and Tendou are all spinning their own series-long plans at once.
A God Am I: Tendo has one of the biggest God Complexes in all of media history. He never loses a fight, is perfect at everything he does, and the entire story seems intent on fueling that complex (For example, the Kabuto Zecter goes to him instead of Kagami as was planned, he gets the Hyper Zecter from a future version of himself, and the Perfect Zecter lets him steal Zecters from other people even while they're transformed). Heck, just look at his catchphrase! What he is essentially saying is "I will become God!"
Good Is Dumb - As a rule, the nicer you are the less privvy you are to secret information and the greater you are manipulated by the various plan spinners.
Gratuitous English - The "Masked Rider System" (which is called that, even in Japanese, rather than "Kamen Rider System"), Kamen Rider "TheBee", ALL ZECTER COMBINE.
Cast Off henshin is usually accompanied by a voice speaking an English phrase to the effect of "Change (insect)."
To say nothing of Tsurugi, along with the occasional Gratuitous French, Italian, and Chinese.
The movie, God Speed Love, contains a good bit in the second half. Two characters speak a few complete sentences in English, and just about everything the computer says is in English.
Hunter of His Own Kind: In all honest case, Tsurugi is thoroughly convinced that he's himself, when in fact, the Scorpioworm has taken his identity after killing the real one. The worm then actually forgot his own identity. Eventually, he literally ends up hunting his own kind as a result.
Informed Ability: Remember when Gatack was introduced, they called him "the strongest Rider"? HA!
Although, in the final battle of the show, that title is justified at least partially... Gattack's Double Caliburs cut the worm that Hyper Kabuto's Perfect Zecter failed to damage, allowing them to win with a Double Rider Kick.
Invincible Hero: The main problem with Tendou. Hell, it got so bad that the show had to introduce an Evil Twin because no-one else could come close to being a Worthy Opponent. Even then, the twin only lasted two episodes before Tendou overtook him and proceeded to curb-stomp him into the ground. And the show makes it clear that the only reason Tendou had trouble in the first place against the twin was because he was going through a Heroic BSOD.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Around halfway, or even earlier if you look hard enough, Tendou begins to show more signs that he actually cares about those around him despite his attitude. Most notible throughout the entire series with Yuka and eventually with Hiyori, more obvious when you find out she's Tendou's "sister." Kagami might be one, too. To some degree.
Kaitou - the Sasword debut arc involves Tadokoro's team creating their own Phantom Thief, 'Shadow', to lure out a Worm that targeted criminals.
Kudzu Plot - Kabuto has more loose ends than a kitten-infested yarn ball factory.
It's heavily implied that Gon's memory problems are due to PTSD rather than amnesia. (Which, actually, is relatively accurate - memories blocked due to stress work a lot more like TV-brand amnesia than the actual amnesia condition.)
Mamiya Rena aka Uca Worm. After she takes a hard hit in one battle, she loses her memories of being a worm and resumes her human persona's former life.
Last Name Basis - It's very rare for any of the Riders, and several other characters, to be called by their first name. The Kamen Rider Decade Kabuto arc reverses this, using first names all around.
Leitmotif - the destruction of Worms (particularly by Tendou) will end with a booming Hollywood-worthy theme, accompanied by Tendo's path-of-heaven finger gesture. Without fail.
Meaningful Name - Souji Tendo and Tsurugi Kamishiro make highly pretentious catchphrases out of the literal meanings of their names. Lampshaded in the Hyper Battle Video when Kagami wants one too and gets, "The man who washes his face in the mirror every day."
Also Lampshaded with Juka, who gets "the beautiful girl who walks on the path of heaven, and makes trees and flowers beautiful."
Messianic Archetype - A deconstruction of this trope. Tendo shows that if you raise someone from birth to be a savior, train them until they are better than everyone at everything, and tell them that they will be the hope of the world...yeah, there's no way they're not going to have a massive superiority complex.
Mood Whiplash - Entire stretches of episodes strung together could be made of this. You'd switch scenes without a clutch between Kabuto and Gatack fighting for their lives against impossible odds, and Tsurugi running around saying silly words and dressing funny. Even if the actual show didn't already contain copious amounts of this, the after-show joke segments which often followed an incredibly tense cliffhanger ending would probably count.
Mythology Gag - The double gold stripes on the Shadow Zectrooper uniforms are a reference to the first Kamen Rider, who was redesigned with double silver stripes towards the end of his series (as opposed to No. 2, who had single silver stripes to differentiate them.) All Zectroopers also carry Arm Cannons reminiscent of Riderman's Cannon Arm, lampshading their status as 'normal' soldiers.
Tendo's Koans always refer to himself as the sun. Kamen Rider Black carries the title of 'Black Sun'. And Dark Kabuto's debut is also marked by an actual black sun ie. an eclipse.
In episode 17, Daisuke, accompanying Gon to the women's restroom because she's scared, is caught by a woman, who then opens up her cell phone to call the police. As she dials the numbers, Faiz's phone effects can be heard.
In the documents that are found in Area X, the Masked Rider Project was started on April 3, 1971. This was the air date of the first Kamen Rider.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Towards the end of episode 7, Tendou tells Yagumura about the escaped Worm he was fighting. Yagumura believes he's trying to trick him and fights him in the opening of episode 8. When he later receives a call from his superior, he finds out Tendou wasn't trying to trick him, and it ended up resulted in a death of a smoking man in white clothes earlier.
Non-Serial Movie: Subverted. 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.
And in an odd subversion of the Timey-Wimey Ball, this actually makes the plot slightly less confusing by explaining some of the plot points of the series itself (i.e. how Tendou got the Rider Belt and Hiyori's obsession with drawing bug-winged people).
Real Life Writes the Plot - Daisuke Kazama/Kamen Rider Drake had his storyline hastily concluded and took an extended leave of absence when his actor - an up-and-coming male idol - had to record (and promote) his new album. Later, Hiyori Kusakabe was Put on a Bus for several episodes (and was almost entirely divorced from the events of the final arc) after her actress developed health problems.
The Hopper Hell Brothers are also a reference to the original Kamen Rider—originally, Kamen Rider's name was going to be "Kamen Rider Hopper King".
Tendou's finisher itself is a shout out, as it's the first Heisei finisher to be explicitly named "Rider Kick" (even though past kick finishers resembled the original much more than the ones in Kabuto.)
After Daisuke gets dragged into a womens' restroom by Gon, a random girl catches him in there and calls the police with a red-colored cell phone that sounds exactly like the Faiz Gear Phone.
And then there's Kick Hopper's Finishing Move combo: Rider Jump! Rider Kick! Just like the theme song to the original Kamen Rider series.
The seventh Heisei Rider and the seventh Showa Rider are both rhinoceros beetle themed.
Surprisingly Good English - The Zecters, voiced by an Indian actor. Also, Hiro Mizushima (Tendou) can speak fluent English. He only ever speaks with an English accent in non-canon bonus material though; in-character, he uses a Japanese accent like anyone else (e.g. still pronouncing Rider as Raidaa).