Reviews: Kamen Rider Decade

Look At The Mess We Made

Let me say this to start: I can't help being biased. While Dragon Knight was the series that got me to try Kamen Rider, and Ryuki was my technical first, Decade is the show that made me love the franchise.

Not that I refuse to acknowledge it's problems, mind, so with that said let's talk about the plot. There isn't one. Or at least, there isn't an overarching story. The whole hook of the series, the grand tour of the Heisei Rider worlds, is blown through in nineteen episodes, and doesn't bother developing the one thing it has resembling a villain, Narutaki during that time. Then the Riders claim there's a whole multi-verse of worlds out there so they can spend six episodes faffing about with, in order, a world ruled by the various "Evil Version Of The Hero" Riders, Di-End's world starring the Riders and monsters from the Blade movie and Shinkenger's world (Yes, a Rider/Sentai crossover) After that they remember that Kamen Rider had a showa era and start using those worlds complete with a spiffy new version of SHOCKER, DAI-SHOCKER, as an antagonistic force, but that's the last six episodes of the series.

And I guess I should probably also mention the fact that the Rider Worlds Decade journeys through are alternate universes, but this is a very minor detail in the end. While it makes for a poor tribute, the AR Worlds are all interesting What If? scenarios to their original series' (What if BOARD wasn't destroyed? What if Fangires coexisted with humans under Kiva's rule? What if Faiz was set in a school and had likable characters?).

TL;DR Decade Has No Story.

However, the lack of a real plot isn't enough to ruin the series, for me, because of the characters. I knew from the first episode that I liked Tsukasa and Natsumi, Eijirou is the chillest old guy ever, and while Yusuke doesn't really need to be there, Kaitou makes up for it by taking trolling to artistic levels.

Decade is not a perfect series, by any stretch of the imagination. The plot's a mess, there are no villains and it fumbles at paying tribute to the previous ten years of Kamen Rider. But I found it to be a fun mess, and if you can let go of the fact that these aren't the same Riders you knew, maybe you can too.

Oh, there's one more thing I should probably mention, it's really important, you see, that you *schick* *Ka-chuck* [ATTACK RIDE: INVISIBLE]

Decade Has No Story

For a year I waited for some sort of answer, some sort of explanation as to what Decade was all about- someone to tell me what the hell was going on. And then finally Movie War 2010 came out and gave us an answer.

"What about Decade's story?" Wataru: "Decade has no story."

This is actual dialogue and it is actually true.

Decade is a rambling incoherent mess that tries to be an homage and fails through some utterly bizarre choices. The concept for the series is sound- no the concept for the series is awesome. There's a Crisis on Infinite Kamen Riders, and all the worlds are merging together. To save them a lone hero must travel through the worlds of all Riders past, teaming up with his predecessors to save the cosmos. Cool idea, right? But sadly what we got was lackluster.

The first and single biggest problem is that instead of revisiting previous series, Decade goes to Alternate Universes that have the same riders/monsters as the ones we know, but different actors/stories/characters to the point that they're In Name Only. Very few original actors return to reprise their roles- the only one I can remember is Wataru/Kamen Rider Kiva who shows up at the start of the series and in the movie. There are occasional moments when this somehow works out and is awesome -as someone who never watched Kamen Rider Black/RX, I thought his worlds were awesome (another rare case of the original actor reprising the role)- but generally it fell flat.

The second major problem is in how these episodes play out. From the formula you'd expect that our new, young hero, Decade, would travel from world to world, learning from the mature, experienced Riders. But instead, almost every episode is about Decade explaining to other riders why he is more awesome than them and should be doing their job. It doesn't pay respect to them, it just makes Decade look like a bigger asshole.

Those two problems alone ought to be enough to sink the series, but it being Decade, there's more. The series spends almost its entire run on 2-episode ministories and little arc/myth building. By the time they got off their arses and decided to do some plot, the series was over and they needed a movie.

400 words is not enough to detail all the reasons Decade was terrible. But the movie said it best.

Decade has no story.

Journey through the Decade! What do your eyes see as they travel through the worlds, Kamen Rider Decade?

Well, I know what my eyes saw as I journeyed through the decade: ABSOLUTE CRAP. I thought Decade would be amazing, but it is such a sore disappointment that I refuse to even refer to it as a Kamen Rider series.

Let's look at it.

The plot is silly: Decade has to journey through the worlds because his world is blowing up for some reason and also he's meant to be the destroyer of worlds that can kill all the riders ever. In my opinion, the plot of Decade was nothing but a poorly conceived fanfiction with a ton of holes and a completely nonsensical plot that tried to be "epic" but failed. Miserably.

The characters are some of the worst characters ever. Kamen Rider Decade, Tsukasa Kadoya, is the must infuriating Mary Sue I've ever come across. Godai was kind of a sue, but he was still well done. Tendou was an incredibly amusing sue. Decade is just... horrible. He comes across as an absolute douche, yet everyone likes him for some reason. All he's good for is speeching at the end and giving the morals that don't even fit with the theme of the original series in the rider worlds. And he can do EVERYTHING. He can play the violin, cook like a professional chef, and oh, KILL ALL THE OTHER RIDERS. Giant mary sue. No one else is memorable or likable, and Onodera Yuusuke is Yuuseless, completely unlike the original Kuuga.

I have to mention the fact that Decade isn't a crossover. It's not. A crossover is where one series interacts with another. I don't consider the AU worlds the original series, and the original riders barely appear, and their characters don't interact at all. Characters =/= the rider suits themselves. I don't care about the AU riders, but I DO care about the original ones! Do you know what a crossover IS, Toei?

The suits are just... bad. Why is decade pink? Why does diend have a radiator for a face? Why does decade complete look so goddamned silly?

I'll conceive that there's some decent action and the music is pretty swank. But that's about all I can say for decade's positives. It's a bad fanfiction of a series with horrible designs, a mary sue protagonist, and honestly, I'm not recommending anyone watch it. Maybe they shoehorned it in at the last moment and spent more time polishing double. Who cares, decade sucks.