"The rings of magic, the Wizard Rings. They shine on the hands of the modern mage, as he changes despair into hope."
The 2012-2013 Kamen Rider series; the fourteenth entry in the franchise's Heisei era and the twenty-third series overall.A dark magical ritual is held on the night of a solar eclipse, summoning a horde of evil spirits known as Phantoms into this world. These monsters manifest themselves through humans with magical potential ("Gates") who have been pushed past the Despair Event Horizon, and seek to create more of their kind by destroying the hope of innocent people.Haruto Soma is a young man who manages to survive the dark ritual, finding out afterwards that it has bestowed upon him the ability to use magic. He receives a magical belt and set of rings from a mysterious wizard in white who teaches him to channel his new abilities and become Kamen Rider Wizard, arch-enemy to the Phantoms.With the aid of the enigmatic Koyomi, aspiring apprentice Shunpei Nara, rookie detective Rinko Daimon, and archeologist Shigeru Wajima, Haruto must learn to become the champion of hope and defeat the Phantoms as Kamen Rider Wizard.
Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: Usually averted with the Thunder Ring creating a green, electric dragon, but when Wizard used his Thunder Ring together with the Special Ring, it created yellow lighting instead.
And Earth is Yellow for Land Style, but we don't have a trope for that.
There's also Super Hero Taisen Z which not only has the Kamen Riders team up with Super Sentai as they did in the previous instalment also the Space Sheriffsand some other Metal Heroes too. This is the first time that Toei's big three Toku series have crossed over at the same time.
Defeat Equals Explosion: While a constant in Kamen Rider, it's played interestingly this time around as they explode into the Element Wizard killed them with instead of just a fireball.
Subverted when Phantoms are mortally wounded rather than finished in battle. As seen with Medusa in #47, Fueki in #50, and Gremlin in #51, a mortally wounded Phantom reverts to their human form before dissolving into ashes shortly after.
Not Using the Z Word: Like (most of) past Heisei Rider series, Wizard and Beast aren't called Kamen Riders in-show and only use the title during crossovers with other Riders. Friends use their Gratuitous English titles, while the Phantoms instead refer to them impersonally as mahoutsukai, a catch-all term for magic users; with Wizard being the yubiwa mahoutsukai ("ringed wizard") and Beast being the inishie mahoutsukai ("ancient wizard"). Sorcerer is similarly called the kin mahoutsukai ("golden wizard"). One bit that can be lost in translation for English viewers is that "White Wizard" is strictly the latter impersonal description (shiro mahoutsukai); his proper title was only confirmed post-series to be Kamen Rider Wiseman.
Phlebotinum Rebel: Haruto got his magic by surviving the human sacrifice that created most of the Phantoms. This is pretty much in line with Kamen Rider tradition; particularly the Showa Riders who were forcibly upgraded and then went rogue. Also, it's later revealed that the magic stones used for the Dragon Style upgrades are created by Wiseman himself - and he's letting them fall into Wizard's hands. For that matter, Wiseman IS the White Wizard, so either way Haruto's antagonizing him.
Tropes Associated with Kamen Rider Wizard:
Actor Allusion: In the Hyper Battle DVD, the donut shop manager's big wish is to helm a dance crew. He's played by Kaba-chan, who's actually handled dance choreography before, such as the dance used in the music video for "Forest of Rocks", Movie Wars Ultimatum's theme song.
Yamamoto from #46-47 was previously Todoroki, whose actual surname was TodayamaAnd his Mage form is accented with green just like Todoroki!
Affably Evil: The Cait Sith Phantom in #4. He honestly doesn't want or even care about creating new Phantoms, prefering to just slack around and sleep all day, and only goes after the Gate once he's threatened into it by Medusa. The only thing that makes him a villain is that he says he thinks it would just be easier to kill the Gates rather than drive them into despair.
All Myths Are True: Santa Claus appears in #16, and it certainly seems to be the real deal, since he appears in someone's Underworld and gives Haruto a fully-functional magic ring.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Both played straight and downplayed. Downplayed for the Antique Shop, as while it did have some Phantoms appear, they didn't trash the place but rather used the residents in the shop to their advantage. Played straight for the Donut Shop though, as it was one of many destroyed during Gremlin's rampage in the finale.
The two children trying to escape the dimension are younger versions of Koyomi and Haruto.
Animal-Themed Superbeing: "Mythological Monster Motif" version. Wizard has a dragon motif, though it's not immediately obvious until he uses a Dragon Style. Beast is chimera-themed straddling the line between "Mythological Monster Motif" and "All Animal Abilities".
Haruto finally gets one of the special donuts... for someone else. Cue Face Fault. This happened twice.
Through out the final episode, Haruto suddenly has a resolve to save Koyomi. Cue everyone worrying that he'll do the exact same thing Fueki did and cause the Sabbath. As it turns out, he just wants to put Koyomi's soul to rest, and he needs the Philosopher's Stone to do that.
Be Yourself: Deconstructed when Rinko advised Phoenix. Being himself pretty much means being an Ax-CrazyBlood Knight who does whatever he wants when he wants, which is a bad thing to everyone, villains included. To further twist the knife, it's one of the heroes that suggests this to him.
Big Damn Heroes: In the first episode alone, Haruto saves Rinko twice. The White Wizard also has a habit of doing this, when he bothers to make his presence known.
Beast does one in #23, saving Wizard from Phoenix.
Bittersweet Ending: #15. The guy that they'd thought was the Gate turned out to be the Phantom, and the girl who'd been waiting for him to return is the actual Gate. And because the fact that the actual guy is already dead would send her straight into despair, they can't tell her the truth.
The series itself. The Phantoms have been defeated and the Sabbat prevented, but Koyomi is dead... Well, deader.
Big "WHAT?!": In the movie, Rinko, Shunpei, The Donut Manager, and the Manager's assistant shout "Henshin!" and transform. Haruto and Koyomi's expressions are priceless.
Black Comedy: The phantomication of one of the Gates is treated as one. Despite phantomfication being a serious issue as it involves a depressed Gate dying and a monstrous Phantom being born out of the gate and impersonate him/her, that case was a punchline to Rinko and Shunpei after they worked so hard preventing a Gate from giving into despair by clearing his name.
Bland-Name Product: #8. The kid mentions that his parents got him a Gundam-looking model kit, the "TE-01 Nakker the One" (which is actually more like a love child of the GM and the Ideon). More observant viewers have pointed out that TE-01 may well be adapted from an anagram for TOEI (which can't actually use something closer to a Gundam cos they don't own it. That would be Sunrise), while "Nakker the One" is a reference to series' director Shojiro Nakazawa.
Boring Yet Practical: The Axcalibur's transformations between its two modes is basically...turning the weapon over. While not fancy, this does allow Haruto to switch his fighting style very quickly and easily and make the weapon more versatile.
Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens to any potential Mage the White Wizard has to take by force - Yuzuru and Yokoyama.
Breather Episode: The Myna Bird arc takes place right after a wham episode regarding Sora and right before The White Wizard becomes a constantly active character to the plot and brings it close to the endgame via Wham Arc.
Call Back: In #31 Haruto finds Koyomi where they first met (near the location of the ritual that created the Phantoms). When Haruto's magic is restored, Dragon's wings can be seen on his back during the magical surge that results if one looks closely, just like when Dragon was first born during the eclipse, only this time, they're composed of light instead of darkness.
In #53 Nitoh lends Haruto the Falco and Dolphi rings - two rings that Haruto had used before - to save the two kids.
To be fair, "all his gear" at the time was was a set of ridiculously large, gaudy rings and a belt buckle in the shape of a hand.
Catch Phrase: Wizard's is "It's showtime!", while Beast uses "It's lunchtime!" Kosuke also has a habit of interrupting people with "Stop! Don't say it!"
Wizard also has "I am the final hope" when using All Dragon or Infinity Style.
A Chat with Satan: #9, when Haruto must confront his childhood trauma to unlock the power of Dragon. Dragon appears as a sinister clone of his adult form, and taunts him about how Haruto is going to succumb to despair, should he use the Flame Dragon ring.
Two in #18: first in Nitoh's flashback, when he uses the Beast Driver for the first time and is confronted by Chimera. Second with Medusa, who is able to convince him to help her create more Phantoms, promising Nitoh a fair share.
Nitoh gets another one in #29 when he speaks with Chimera after using the Hyper Ring.
Subverted in #31, when Dragon declared himself as Haruto's hope.
Nitoh gets another chat with Chimera in #49, as Nitoh frees Chimera to stop the Sabbath.
Co-Dragons: Yugo (Phoenix Phantom) and Misa (Medusa Phantom), who serve someone they call "Wiseman".
Later on, Sora (Gremlin Phantom) and Misa (Medusa Phantom) share this dynamic.
Combining Mecha: A rare palm-sized version - the Plamonster interchanging gimmick from the toyline is in the actual show.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Haruto is forced to quickly use his styles and spam his defensive magic against Phoenix, and yet still gets the shit beaten out of him effortlessly. Wizard returns the favor once he obtains Flame Dragon Style.
Unfortunately in #13, Medusa shows up, and once again Haruto becomes desperate, forcing him to spam 'Defend' like he did with Phoenix. As expected, it doesn't work for long and she easily knocks Haruto out of his transformation. (He does better in the next episode by using a Dragon Style this time, but unlike with Phoenix only manages a stalemate.)
Haruto gets owned by the MoTW in #20, but at the start of the next episode, #21, said MoTW gets curbstomped by the White Wizard himself.
Two in #31: Legion does this to the depowered Haruto, and soon after he repays the favor and finishes him after his powers return and he obtains the Infinity Ring.
In #36, Wiseman gives one to Haruto that's so laid back and so brutal, it disabled the Drago-Timer!
Dance Battler: Wizard's fighting style, while not as flashy as most, definitely has this vibe to it.
Taken to an extreme in the Hyper Battle DVD, which introduces the Dance Ring, and features an entire battle sequence using the steps to the season's theme song.
Darker and Edgier: Compared to its other Neo-Heisei predecessors, Wizard on the whole is a lot more intense, going back to some of the older Heisei roots.
Lighter and Softer: Its successor, however, ended up out-darking Wizard after only twelve episodes. Part of it might be because people do wind up becoming monsters on screen.
Dark Is Not Evil: Haruto's normal form as a rider is in dark reds and blacks, but he still acts as heroic as his mentor looks.
A Day in the Limelight: An interesting variant of the trope. There are some arcs that give the villains some backstory as to who they were before they went Phantom. Though it always seems that whenever they do get focus, they Kick the Dog at that moment.
Death by Despair: To be more specific, despair gives birth to Phantoms from within Gates (humans with high magic potential). The Phantoms then burst out of those Gates, killing them in the process.
Of the entire 'ordinary person gains powers' thing that often goes with Kamen Rider. First off, in order to gain your powers, you must get to your Despair Event Horizon, usually brought on by a Phantom. Then you must try your hardest not to succumb to it (which considering how few wizards there are, is pretty rare). From there, you'll be taken by what seems to be the Big Good to get your training done. Whether you like it or not. It shows just what sorts of hell the wizards have been through too. Our hero is a deeply-hurting Failure Knight, the Second Rider is constantly on the verge of death, Mayu has become obsessed with revenge against the monster that killed her sister to the point where after The White Wizard steals her kill goes through a mental break, and Fueki, the White Wizard/Wiseman, is so obsessed with his goals with reviving his daughter that he is playing both the Wizards and the Phantoms like fools, not to mention almost killing Kizaki, kidnapping a child, and conducting a mass genocide. twice.
It also deconstructs the earlier Kamen Rider shows insistence that there's some good (or humanity) in monsters by reaffirming time and time again that the Phantoms are Always Chaotic Evil and that the ones who don't want to drive people to despair simply just want to do wanton destruction. The Wrong Genre Savvy example below is just one example. Other examples include a Gate who thinks her sister (who's now a Phantom) is still her sister. She's wrong, big time. And another example comes in the form of Haruto meeting up with a quirky Phantom who doesn't seem to want either despair or wanton destruction, and seems like a sort of good guy. Turns out that guy was a serial killer prior to the Eclipse and that he still does it afterwards. The ironic part is that he's the one with the most humanity attached, as he is just a human who turned into a Phantom as opposed to the Phantom killing the human and taking his form. The only other Phantom with humanity attached is a Necromantic who will do anything to save his daughter. This all gets reconstructed by Haruto's own Phantom, Dragon, whose resurrection confirms that, yes, Phantoms can be good guys, just that they need a lot of talking to.
If you see it as such, Koyomi could be seen as a deconstruction on the Rider's assistant dying and coming back to life, starting from Phillip from Kamen Rider Double. She takes a quality from each of the assistance before her (Phillip's family connection as well as being Dead All Along, Ankh's ability to sense other monsters, and Kengo's connection to the MacGuffin) and combines them into one character. Much like Phillip, Koyomi is Dead All Along and attempts to revive her were what caused the events of the show in the first place. Not only that, but once she finds out, she pretty much says that she'd rather they just let her die than go through the painstaking effort of bringing her back, something Haruto seems more than willing to do for her after she gets killed by Gremlin, as opposed to the other three Riders, who each had some varying degree of wanting their assistant back. Even more so, there's a Bait and Switch that hinted towards the fact that Haruto was probably going to save Koyomi, which was followed with reactions from his fellow allies as they believe him to be Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
Despair Event Horizon: The Phantom's goal is to drive humanity as a whole over this. Phantoms are also born by someone getting driven over this, killing them in the process.
Deus Exit Machina: They had to separate Haruto from his Infinity ring for a while to keep him from defeating the apparentBig Bad too soon, so he basically just gives it to another mage because the White Wizard had promised her a power-up of her own if she got it from him. Despite having some pretty darn good reasons to be suspicious of the White Wizard by then. He does this again by giving his Infinity Ring to an alternate universe version of himself.
Enigmatic Empowering Entity: The White Wizard, who teaches Haruto how to use the WizarDriver before disappearing. He later anonymously sends Haruto the magic stone for Flame Dragon Style and directs Koyomi into Wiseman's lair for the Water Dragon Style stone. Gremlin also served as one by providing the Land and Hurricane Dragon stones, seemingly without the White Wizard's involvement.
Epic Fail: Beast vs Phoenix in #23. Beast goes for a Finishing Move with his Dice Saber... and rolls a one. The cute little mana chameleon just bounces off Phoenix a couple times while both combatants just stare at it. And if you think that part of the blame lies with the fact that a chameleon isn't very badass to begin with, it happens again two episodes later, when rolling a one with the Falco Ring is just as pathetic.
Expy: Haruto could be one for Vash The Stampede, what with his love of doughnuts, a white-colored gun that's his main weapon, a red colored longcoat in one of his forms, and his happy personality hiding something deeper.
Haruto also has some similarities to Harry Dresden: They're both trenchcoat-wearing wizards who favor fire magic, love doughnuts, use guns and magic rings, and have light-hearted personalities covering deep inner pain. On top of that, both count a no-nonsense female cop and an energetic younger apprentice amongst their allies.
His backstory, extensive use of his sword and the ability to turn into liquid via Water Style also brings in mind Kamen Rider Black RX.
Legion's powers involve leaving people in comas and he's introduced during the Main Rider's Super Mode arc, just like Aries.
Interestingly, by the end, quite a few of the major characters can be seen as similar to some of the characters from Ryuki. The most obvious are Fueki and Koyomi, who parallel to Shirou and Yui Kanzaki, respectively, but more subtly, the four different magicians other than Fueki and Kosuke all play similar roles to Kamen Rider Odin, especially those brainwashed by Fueki. Haruto also brings to mind Ryuki himself while Mayu is reminiscent of Kamen Rider Femme. Finally, the three major Phantoms serving under Fueki all have traits belonging to Kamen Rider Ouja, to varying degrees (Phoenix shares the Blood Knight trait, Medusa shares the Manipulative Bastard trait, as well as having the same relation to Mayu as Ohja had to Femme, and Sora gains Asakura's Serial Killer past.
Extremity Extremist: Wizard seems to primarily use kicks in his fighting style, in addition to the WizarSwordGun. Justified because punching with such big rings on your hands is bad for both the fingers and the big rings. Those props are delicate!
Face Fault: The donut shop manager and his assistant do this whenever they fail to coax Haruto, their frequent customer, into trying out any kind of donut they make other than "plain sugar".
Fate Worse than Death: In #23, Wizard uses his combined Dragon power to kick Phoenix all the way into the sun, where the sun's intense heat and his own regeneration ability have him forever trapped in a cycle of death and rebirth.
Fire, Ice, Lightning: Near the end of the series, the Kamen Rider Mages used the Special, Thunder and Blizzard rings to release streams of fire, lightning and ice respectively onto the surrounding Ghouls.
Funny Background Event: When the crew finds out about Beelzebub's transmitting bug thingies, Nitoh naturally wants to snack on their energy. He is once seen in the background chasing one with his bottle of mayonnaise as Rinko is in the foreground.
There's honestly quite a few of them, often with the Donut Shop Hungry staff as the subject.
Groin Attack: Nitoh suffers one in #45 at the hands of Sakai's son, who's been enthralled by Siren. They even lampshade the comedic bell-ringing sound effect by having Shunpei and the Gate of the Week mistake it for the microwave going off.
Hope Bringer: Haruto takes on this role when he leaps inside someone's soul, to combat the Phantom attacking them from within. He even lampshades it beforehand.
And in episode 31, after Dragon Came Back Strong, it declared that it would be that for Haruto.
Humans Are the Real Monsters: If you look closely at this season you realize, yes, they are. While the Phantoms are monsters in the end, they were all created by, and followed the orders of, a selfish, egomaniacalhuman, and the most evil of the Phantoms is so heinous because he kept his humanity. Really makes you think.
Infant Immortality: In #41 we get our first child Gate who reaches splitting point when his Phantom starts reaching out of him... and survives.
Immune to Bullets: Phantoms, and even Ghouls, are impervious to bullets, and presumably other 'normal' weapons, and can only be harmed by magic and Silver Bullets.
Insistent Terminology: Gremlin—or rather, Sora—insists on calling Phantoms by their Gates' names, which generally doesn't amuse them one bit (and this time, That Man Is Dead is literal). Medusa especially hates being called Misa.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Wizard has the Dragon Phantom sealed inside him, which he can summon if he wishes; and a dragon motif seeps into the rest of his gear.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Wizardragon loves to see Haruto in despair and wishes to break out of him, but he does show subtle signs of care and respect to him such as taking control of Haruto's body temporarily to stop him from drowning after being knocked unconscious into the water by Phoenix, and even lending Haruto his power.
That could be explained by saying Dragon prevented Haruto from drowning because if Haruto dies, he dies and lending Haruto his power he hopes will bring him closer to despair. So he's still more of a Jerkass whose actions, while for his own self gain, could be interpreted as being kind acts.
The is played straight in #30. Dragon has the chance of being free when the Legion Phantom invades Haruto's underworld. But he chooses not to and instead fights alongside Beast and Chimera, to the point of taking a fatal hit meant for Chimera and Beast. Thus removing Haurto's ability to use magic.
That falls apart if you consider that if it worked that way, Wiseman wouldn't have imprisoned Legion in the first place. Likely, Legion destroying Haruto's underworld would have simply killed Dragon along with Haruto, so again Dragon was just protecting himself. Also, he didn't sacrifice himself for Beast and Chimera. He exploited an opportunity to get Legion in his jaws, but Legion landed a fatal blow to Dragon before Dragon could crush him to death.
But in the following episode, after Dragon Came Back Strong, he outright declared that he would once again be Haruto's hope, thereby playing this trope straight.
Tatsuro from the Christmas episode is a more typical version.
Kid with the Leash: Haruto to the WizarDragon; it needs to be combined with the bike, or it'll turn on Wizard and damage the mind they're supposed to be saving! After the conversation in #9 that leads to Flame Dragon Style, the Dragon seems to be less rebellious; seeming to work with Haruto in #11 rather than against, and after WizarDragon is revived by the power of hope in #31 after being destroyed in the previous episode, resulting in Haruto accessing Infinity Style, he appears to be fully obedient to Wizard.
Kill and Replace: The Phantoms do a variation, as they're born when they kill their Gate, then masquerade as them. Minotauros pulled this off well enough that poor Rinko didn't even realize he was her partner until it was too late.
Laser-Guided Karma: Medusa reveals to Mayu that she killed her parents and rubs it in her face, almost sending her to despair and forces Haruto to watch, so he, too, will fall into despair as well. Just when things are about to get worse, the White Wizard shows up and blows her away with an explosion spell. And an even sweeter deal is that Mayu suppresses her Phantom, meaning that Medusa's plans just backfired on her; especially since White Wizard is making Mayu his apprentice, which would mean another magician...which would mean that there'd be one more rider killing off the Phantoms. In short: she just created another problem.
In a way, the entire series is this. If the Phantoms hadn't performed the dark ritual to begin with, Haruto would have likely never become Wizard, and they wouldn't have had such a hard time creating new Phantoms. Haruto is literally walking karma for the Phantoms. Once the true purpose of the Sabbath ritual is revealed, that role goes to Sora instead.
The Donut Shop Hungry, a donut-themed food truck where the main characters often hang out (helped by Haruto being a loyal customer), at times with the gate of the week or someone related to the gate, in order to talk about the Phantom issue. Being a food truck, it's also the first local hangout that's always on a different location in the city. It is destroyed in the final battle, but if footage from future movies are any indication, the Manager eventually buys a new truck.
There's also the Omokagedo, an Antique Shop run by Wajima, Haruto and Koyomi's caretaker and provider for Haruto's Wizard Rings. The main characters also hang out here usually with a Gate or someone related to them, especially if they need to find a place to protect them from Phantom attacks.
Lunacy: A subtle one; look closely at White Wizard's magical circles, and you'll see that in place of the shape symbols for Wizard's four Styles, he has symbols that seem to represent a lunar eclipse.
Magic is Evil: To use magic, one must draw upon the power of their inner Phantom, an inherently evil being. Haruto is able to suppress/control his Phantom and use magic to fight as a hero, keeping in line with the Phlebotinum Rebel Kamen Rider tradition.
Magic A Is Magic A: Played with, as Beast initially didn't know that Wizard uses a slightly different magic system than him. He thought that they both gain mana from their enemies and were therefore competing with each other over who gets to feed, not realizing that Wizard generates his own mana from regular food.
Magic Misfire: Haruto doesn't know what a ring does until he tries it. This has caused him to be the first victim of rings that affect their wearer negatively, such as Sleep and Smell. (Once he sees what a ring does, he knows better to get it on some other shmuck's hand first.)
The Magic Goes Away: The opening narration implies magic was once much more common, but as time went on became forgotten and sunk into myth.
Masquerade: How the government wants to handle Phantom cases. Even when a Phantom exposes himself on live TV, NSB's first thought is to give the station a cover story. This also leads to...
Not Your Problem: This is what an official from the National Security Bureau (and the government by extent) is telling the police to back off from Phantom cases, which gets under Rinko's skin. However, #16 reveals that the police now have orders to ignore Rinko's investigations.
Mental World: The Underworld - the spiritual landscape of Gates, people with magic potential and where Phantoms are "born". In order to defeat them before they can kill the Gate and wreck havoc in the real world, Wizard has to embark on a Journey to the Center of the Mind.
Mooks: Called Ghouls. So far, they stand up to Five Rounds Rapid, which makes them tougher than a lot of Toku grunts (which are often defeated by untransformed heroes via chop-socky. Haruto beats them without changing, but does it with Rider weaponry.)
Their very existence is pretty notable: this ain't Super Sentai. Usually, in Kamen Rider, mass-produced monsters appear on special occasions like The Movie, or near the finale as a symptom of how everything's falling apart. More recently, they're used by generals (Masquerade Dopants were even acknowledged in-universe as code for "uh-oh, this time it's serious.") The last time everyMonster of the Week came with grunts in tow was around 1989 or so. Possibly so they can have Beast not die and also not snatch Haruto's victories out from under him every week.
Mythology Gag: Wizard's forms are nearly similar to Kamen Rider Kuuga. With some having the same color scheme and having upgrade version of their standard form. It helps that the guy who gave him the WizarDriver has a white/gold motif with an orange visor, similar to Kuuga's Growing Form.
The transformation scene is reminiscent to the three Kamen Riders that are present in Kamen Rider Blade (the "Turn Up System" of Blade and Garren for Wizard, and the "Open Up System" of Leangle and the Missing Ace Riders for Beast).
The use of the Rider Machine with a kick finisher is similar to a finisher Gatack did.
Combine Land Style with the Kick Strike and Drill Rings, and it looks just like Fourze's Drill Switch.
Several to Faiz (apart from the obvious number "5" motif):
Kick Strike's actual kick (after all the fanciful flips and at the point of crashing down) resembles the Crimson Smash. It even ends the same way: Kick through energy (Triple Rings for Wizard, Large energy cone for Faiz), appear on the other side, pose, and the Rider's sign appears.
All mobile phones used thus far are flip phones, just like Faiz's.
Both Riders' powers can only be used if they are biologically similar to their enemies.
Beast consuming mana has the exact same sound as OOO PuToTyra's Medagabryu consuming cell medals.
Rinko thinks Phoenix might not be all bad because he told her how the Monster of the Week could be thwarted (he left out the part about only telling her because it wouldn't do for Wiseman's own phantom du jour to win after Phoenix's own repeated failures are threatening his place in the pecking order.) She tells him he should leave the others since he's clearly dissatisfied, and he decides to follow her advice... and indulge his Blood Knight tendencies with no regards for the ongoing plan.
In #22, Shunpei accidentally snapped off the dragon-statued ring part off the Drago-Timer, rendering it unusable for the episode's duration. It's funny at first, but then Wizard is forced to fight against Phoenix and without his Drago-Timer, Wizard is at a serious disadvantage.
After unlocking Infinity Style, Haruto simply stands there for Legions first few strikes, not even flinching. In fact, Legion's halberd breaks on his armor!
Later in the battle, Legion tries his energy attack, which previously overpowered both Chimera AND Dragon's attack. Haruto holds his arms open so it can hit him straight in the chest and bounces off, the attack itself broken into three pieces!
Nothing Is Scarier: Gates covered in cracks and about to split open can be scary, but Haruto going into arrest after he loses WizarDragon, with the only effect being the WizarDriver going off, is as horrifying as it is realistic.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Amadam claims it contains the souls of defeated Monsters of the Week from previous Kamen Rider shows, who are apparently reborn as the pocket dimension's inhabitants. There's also two children who want to escape the pocket dimension before they turn into monsters...which would unleash all the other monsters into the real world. As it turns out, the dimension was created to trap Amadam, and he was trying to manipulate one of the children who had the power to help him escape.
Police Are Useless: Their sidearms can't hurt or kill both Ghouls and Phantoms. This forces the police force to not get involved in Phantom-based cases.
Poor Communication Kills: Kosuke has a tendency to interrupt with "Stop! Don't say it!"; which makes him rather hard to explain things to.
Lampshaded in one late episode where Haruto responds to this Catch Phrase with "How about letting someone else finish a sentence for once?"
Product Placement: #14 has a weird one, where there's a bit with the Donut Shop Hungry guys that's only purpose is to show that their latest treat is a new Poitrine donut, as a reference to then-airing Movie Wars Ultimatum.
Red Is Heroic: Wizard uses Flame Style as his default, and a lot of his stuff is red even when he's in other Styles.
Ring of Power: This year's collectible trinket. Even Wizard's helmet is designed to look like a ring that wraps around his head. There are two types of rings:
Transformation: Worn on the left hand, these allow wizards to assume their Rider forms. Wizard himself has multiple transformation rings, allowing him to use different Elemental Powers, and upgraded "Dragon" versions of those rings as well.
Flame Ring and Flame Dragon Ring: Ruby rings with the power of fire.
Water Ring and Water Dragon Ring: Sapphire rings with the power of water.
Hurricane Ring and Hurricane Dragon Ring: Emerald rings with the power of the wind.
Land Ring and Land Dragon Ring: Topaz rings with the power of the earth.
Infinity Ring: A diamond ring that unlocks the Dragon Phantom's full powers.
All other wizards have just one Change Ring unique to themselves.
Magic: Worn on the right hand, these allow wizards to cast magic spells. The various wizards all seem to draw from similar pools of rings, though for some reason Haruto has a different model of WizarDriver that calls them by different names (where names differ, Wizard's is listed first).
Driver On Ring: Transforms the wizard's belt buckle into their WizarDriver. Haruto's version of the ring has a different design on it, but the same name and effect.
Dragorise Ring: Summons the Dragon Phantom in a person's Underworld. Unique to Haruto (others having their own "-rise" rings is possible, but unlikely - the movie Mages don't have Phantoms to summon, and White Wizard and Sorcerer can take on their Phantom forms without rings). Wizard only needs it in regular Styles; when in Dragon Styles he's already using the Dragon's power and just needs to release it.
Connect Ring: Provides a link between two locations or people, practically being used by wizards as a Hyperspace Arsenal.
Kick Strike Ring: Enables a wizard to do a kick-based Finishing Move, with Haruto's empowered by the element of his current Style. When used with the Winger WizarDragon, the latter transforms into a giant dragon foot for the attack. It can also combo with the Drill Ring in Land Style to make a drill kick.
Engage Ring: Allows a wizard to access the wearers' Underworld. Haruto seems to carry spares of this one, as he lets the victims keep their Engage Rings afterward.
PlaMonster Rings summon (as model kits!) and then power up PlaMonster familiars. Haruto has rings for Red Garuda, Blue Unicorn, Yellow Kraken, and Purple Golem; while the White Wizard has a Black Cerberus and used to own a White Garuda before giving it to Mayu.
Defend Ring/Barrier Ring: Allows a wizard to create a strong defensive shield. For Haruto, this shield takes on the elemental properties of whatever Style he's using.
Big Ring/Giant Ring: Expands a body part (and in the case of a hand, whatever it's holding) to enormous size.
Copy Ring/Dupe Ring: The Copy Ring allows a wizard to create copies of himself in combat, though with the apparent limitation that all the copies act in unison. The Dupe Ring, while physically identical to Copy, seems to work differently in that the copies seem to be autonomous. Haruto has also used his Copy Ring on the WizarSwordGun when he's in a Dragon Style to duplicate it and dual wield.
Bind Ring/Chain Ring: Summons chains to ensnare the enemy. Like with the Kick Strike and Defend Rings, Haruto has his chains affected by his elemental Style.
Drill Ring/Screw Ring: Allows a wizard to spin at high speeds and tunnel through the ground. Haruto usually pairs it with Land Style, and he also used it with the Kick Strike Ring to make it a Spin Attack.
Special Ring: When Haruto's in a Dragon Style, it makes one of the WizarDragon's body parts manifest, usually for a Finishing Move. In Flame Dragon Style, the head appears as a Chest Blaster; Hurricane Dragon Style grows the wings for Flight; Water Dragon Style uses the tail, again primarily for Tail Slap attacks; and Land Dragon gets Wolverine Claws. Other wizards can also use these attacks, though it's not clear if they have potential access to all of them or only one each: the White Wizard and Mayu have used their own Special Rings for flame blasts, and Yokoyama's use activated a tail attack.
Thunder Ring: Allows a wizard to shoot a large, dragon-shaped bolt of lightning from his hand. Haruto uses this one with a Hurricane Style.
Blizzard Ring: It freezes everything in the vicinity. Haruto often uses it with a Water Style.
Gravity Ring: Used to manipulate a target's gravity. For Haruto, usually used with one of the Land Styles.
Excite Ring: Gives the wearer massive muscles, similar to Hulking Out but without the anger issues.
Drago Timer: A ring/wristwatch combo for Haruto's Dragon Styles. Wizard can set the wristwatch part to summon the Dragon Styles that he's not using and then activate all their Special Ring finishers at once; unlike the Copy Ring all four Wizards can act independently. Using the ring part will combine the four Dragon Styles into All Dragon.
Explosion Ring: Launches an extremely powerful exploding fireball. Haruto does not own this ring, but the White Wizard and Mages do.
Time Ring: Used in Movie Wars Ultimatum for Time Travel.
Fall Ring: Opens a hole directly below the wearer. Used in Movie Wars Ultimatum.
Special Rush Ring: While it seems to be classed a Magic Ring rather than Transformation, it's used in Movie Wars Ultimatum to activate Special Rush, a Palette Swap of All Dragon.
Rider Rings: Each one summons a prior Rider to fight - though as Amadam found out the hard way, not necessarily on behalf of the wearer; summoned Riders still have free will and will not willingly fight for evil. Some appeared in Movie Wars Ultimatum and in the final crossover episodes. A tie-in to the Ganbaride arcade game.
Merry Christmas Ring: Given to Haruto by Santa Claus himself, it restored destroyed Christmas presents, but disappeared after being used. Under the circumstances, it may be that its real power was to create a Christmas Miracle - Haruto commented that its magic was unlike any he'd ever seen.
Common Ring: Multipurpose rings from Wizard in Magic Land, with different versions owned by Sorcerer and the movie versions of Mage.
Create Ring: Allows Reality Warping; only in Wizard in Magic Land and unique to Sorcerer.
Finish Strike Ring and Final Strike Ring: Special Finishing Moves for Wizard in Magic Land. Finish Strike is Wizard's, giving him access to Infinity Dragon. Final Strike is Sorcerer's, though it's not clear what his finisher is.
Clear Ring: Used in the final crossover episodes, it allows Wizard to enter the Mirror World.
Beast, on the other hand, has an ancient Driver not compatible with modern rings, so he uses an entirely different set. Beast's rings can be used with modern Drivers, though, having an entirely different effect.
Driver On Ring, Beast Ring, Engage Ring, Chimerise Ring: Functionally identical to the other wizards' rings, with the Beast Ring serving as his transformation and Kick Strike Ring, and Chimerise being his counterpart to Wizard's Dragorise.
Griffin Ring: Used for the Green Griffin PlaMonster familiar.
Falco Ring: Summons the Falco Mantle that grants Flight. When scanned by a modern WizarDriver, it grants the user the ability to scatter into feathers as a method of evading attacks.
Buffa Ring: Summons the Buffa Mantle, giving Super Strength and endurance.
Dolphi Ring: Summons the Dolphi Mantle; it's been shown to have healing magic and has been said to have Super Not-Drowning Skills. When scanned by the WizarDriver, the user is granted similar abilities to a dolphin and can emerge into and out of the ground as if it were water.
Chameleo Ring: Summons the Chameleo Mantle for Invisibility, and the tongue on the chameleon-head shoulder pad can be used to Whip It Good as well.
Hyper Ring: Changes Beast into Beast Hyper and arms him with the Mirage Magnum.
The Rival: Beast immediately considered Wizard this, as he thought they were both in competition with each other over consuming Phantoms' mana. He still keeps it up after being set straight, and when the White Wizard shows up Beast treats him as another rival.
Reality Is Out to Lunch: #52 and #53 take place in a Pocket Dimension where both space and time are broken. For example, Haruto gets dragged from a house and suddenly appears in the middle of a bridge over water, with no house in sight. Then he gets dragged back, suddenly appearing in the house after reaching the middle of the bridge. Also, most of the inhabitants become Monsters of the Week from previous Kamen Rider shows once they reach a certain age. And see And You Were There.
Another one is the doughnut shop owner saying she has a new type of doughnut, only for Haruto to order plain sugar.
A more subtle and more sinister one is every time a Rider is being defeated badly, they get thrown in the water - an idea that's been recurring ever since Faiz.
It looked like Beast sometimes getting an Epic Fail by rolling a one on his Dice Saber would be this...until episode 33. He was fighting against the Bogy Phantom, which has the ability to manipulate luck, so naturally he rolled a one for the Falco Saber Strike...but because he was fighting for the sake of his friend, he was able to supercharge it, causing the one falcon he sent out to suddenly grow, thereby negating the bad luck that made him roll a one.
Sexy Santa Dress: Rinko is forced into one in #16 as part of police duty on Christmas Eve, though it's more cute than sexy, as noted by Haruto. She gladly accepts Haruto's compliments, but is otherwise embarrassed by it.
Shoulders of Doom: Beast has one by default and gets the second when using a special Mantle.
The professor who dug up the MirageMagnum thinks this bunch of groupies is welcoming him at the airport, when actually they're here for these two popstar types in long white wigs and huge shades. Lady Gagahas fans in Japan, so this is most likely deliberate.
The final battle involves a guy demanding that the monster gives him back his girl, a female ally who encourages him to do it for himself, a punch to the monster's center, and finally, a dive into a trippy world that ends in the hero grabbing the girl's hand and rescuing her.Sound familiar?
Shrinking Violet: The Golem Plamonster. Bonus for actually being violet in color.
Silver Bullet: Wizard's WizarSwordGun fires these as its default projectile.
Sneeze Cut: Wondering about the random cut to Kizaki at the end of #11? It's this.
It happens again in #20. While eating ramen (with mayonnaise of course) in the rain, Kosuke vows to catch the next Phantom before Haruto. Cut to Haruto feeling a bit of "a chill."
Happens to Kizaki again in #40 when Haruto realises they will have to talk to him when Rinko suggests that they go to Section Zero to ask about Fueki.
Spiritual Successor: To Kamen Rider Kuuga. You can see the influences, such as the cops being involved in most of the Phantom cases to Haruto's upgrades to his standard forms to even how the villain structure worked (Two higher ups order around a lower class while obeying an even more higher up). Near the end, it becomes one to Kamen Rider Ryuki, as the Big Bad shares a similar goal to Ryuki's Big Bad, and the bittersweet ending it takes.
Spit Take: Wajima does this after Haruto gets into a pair of cuffs. The National Security Bureau agent also does this when he sees a phantom on live TV. Wajima does it AGAIN when Rinko gets arrested.
Stealth Pun: Please is quite literally a magic word; the driver uses it whenever engaging a Magic Ring.
The Engage Ring. Think about it for a moment, and how Haruto gave Rinko the Ring in the first episode. Get it now? It can also explain why Nitoh is so aversive to using the Engage Ring or having the Engage Ring being given to him.
The hand on the back also opens up to charge the final attacks... which is done by shaking hands with it.
In #31, Haruto gets the Infinity Ring and is granted the use of AxCalibur, a sword/axe hybrid that has a yet another hand in the cross section. To charge the final attack, you give the hand a high five.
Takes One to Kill One: Being magical creatures, Phantoms can only be truly harmed by a Magician, magical weapons, or another Phantom. Conventional weapons can't even kill the Mooks. Also, the only way to become a Magician is to have a Phantom inside you and the Riders often use their own Inner Phantom to destroy rampaging Inner Phantoms, so this trope is doubly true.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: That's Sylphi's punishment for tormenting a child and kidnapping a woman as he is finished by not one but two Kamen Riders in their super modes.
To Be Lawful or Good: The Gate in #36-37 is a suspected arsonist who must be arrested...but being arrested would send him across the Despair Event Horizon due to him already being a depressed person. Thus this trope comes into play as the heroes must choose between doing the lawful thing and arresting the Gate, or the good thing and protecting him from despair.
Tokyo Is The Center OF The Universe: While most Rider series follow this, it get crazy for Wizard as apparently phantoms cannot leave Tokyo meaning any gate who hasn't had their inner phantom destroyed by Haruto can leave the city and be safe.
This might be because the Sabbath took place in Tokyo.
Total Eclipse of the Plot: A magic ritual under one such eclipse is what kickstarts the story. The White Wizard creates a magical one near the end.
Trademark Favorite Food: Haruto likes plain sugar donuts, which really frustrates the Donut Shop Hungry guys who are constantly trying to sell him on that week's new flavor of donut. Kosuke, meanwhile, loves mayonnaise and covers everything he eats in it.
Victim of the Week: Gates, humans with magical potential that Phantoms are trying to take over. Phantoms (the presence of which already means a Gate has fallen to them) attempt to turn more Gates into Phantoms each week.
Wham Episode: Both #14 and #15 in which it is revealed that the Wiseman is making the magic stones that are use to make Wizard's Dragon Styles rings and he is intentionally letting them get stolen.
Subverted in #27. Neither riders were able to stop Mayu from becoming a phantom on time, but she got to overcome the phantom herself.
Played terrifyingly straight 3 episodes later. The newest Phantom has the ability to directly enter Underworlds so he can tear them apart himself, and he uses his talent to enter Haruto's Underworld and KILLS DRAGON!!! He now no longer has magic.
The biggest whammy is #47, hands down. It turns out Fueki, the White Wizard, and Wiseman are all the same person. He reveals this by backstabbing Medusa as Wiseman, transforming into Fueki, then becoming the White Wizard, all in front of Haruto, Nitoh, and Mayu. Yes, it's been done before, but did you really expect them to pull it again this soon?
Wham Line: A Phantom in human form revealing their true identity normally caps it off with one of these, normally along the lines of "The human (insert name of Gate they were born from here) died long ago, giving birth to a Phantom... me."
Haruto gave one to Phoenix. After Phoenix proudly proclaim his immortality, Haruto said there would be no finale for him and kicked him all the way to the sun.
The White Wizard gives a truly worrisome one in #31: "This has become a nuisance." in response to Haruto gaining Infinity Style. The reason why this is so significant is revealed in ep 47
And earlier on during his final fight with Phoenix, where he comments: "And now this one is complete."
In episode 34, Gremlin, of all people, gives one. He says that he's the only Phantom who has managed to retain his human side.
This one turns out to actually be a subversion. While he did indeed keep his human heart, he was a Serial Killer a long time before he became a Phantom.
Since both Wizard and Beast were right there at the time, the usual interpretation is that one of them used their Engage Ring to save him offscreen. Maybe they just didn't have the budget for a giant monster battle that time.
What the Hell, Hero?: In #45, Shunpei yells at Haruto and Nitoh for putting the Gate (Haruto's favorite teacher, no less) at risk just so they can draw Fueki out of hiding; he rather pointedly says that makes them no better than the White Wizard.
The manager and his assistant set up a small shop in hopes that they can rebuild their donut shop. Haruto finally buys a donut other than plain sugar from the donut shop much to the manager's delight... only for it to be for Koyomi.
Nitoh heads off on a quest to find Chimera, and he's bringing Yuzuru with him as well... though only on weekends.
Rinko offers Mayu to be Haruto's replacement Wizard as Kizaki approves.
Yamamoto's wife finally gave birth and now they can become a loving family.
Shunpei becomes Wajima's apprentice in the hopes that he can make an amazing ring for Haruto.
Haruto goes on a journey to hide the Philosopher's Stone so that its powers will not be abused, as well as putting Koyomi's soul to rest.
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Heroic example: At the end of #19, Haruto and his friends realize that, since Nitoh has an unreleased phantom inside him that is threatening his very life if he doesn't eat enough mana, Haruto could just go into his Underworld and destroy it like he does for the other unreleased phantoms. They almost go through with it, but Nitoh backs out at the last moment.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Rinko thinks she's in an earlier Kamen Rider show where some monsters want to be good guys. She tracks down a missing person she believes (correctly) is a Phantom, and comes to believe that the other Phantoms are making him do evil so she encourages him to break away from Wiseman. Unfortunately for her, Phantoms really are Always Chaotic Evil, this specific Phantom is Phoenix, and that she really, really got the reason that Wiseman kept him on a tight leash wrong - he's not being forced to be evil, he's being forced to hold back.