Kotaro Minami/Kamen Rider BLACK
Portrayed by: Tetsuo Kurata (live), Jiro Okamoto (suit actor)
A young 19-year old man born during the solar eclipse who was captured and turned into their cyborg Century King, dubbed "Black Sun", alongside step-brother Nobuhiko Akizuki by the cult Gorgom but escapes the brainwashing process thanks to his step-father sacrificing his own well being for interfering the operation. Using the powerful King Stone grafted into his body, Kotaro transforms into Kamen Rider BLACK in his quest to save Nobuhiko from Gorgom's clutches.
Tropes that apply to him in general
- Abel And Cain: The Abel to Nobuhiko's Cain. This becomes tragically clear when Nobuhiko emerges as Gorgom's champion, the two would inevitably clash to the death until only one remains.
- All-Loving Hero: Is one of the earlier examples in the franchise. This is best shown where he shows compassion towards the Whale Mutant, who, despite being a Gorgom Mutant, wants to protect the sea.
- Anti Anti Christ: Was created to become the next Creation King. However, he ends up as this thanks to his father's sacrifice.
- Back from the Dead: After his death at the hands of Shadow Moon, the Whale Mutant manages to retrieve his corpse and revived him with a special potion.
- Came Back Strong: As a result of being revived by the Whale Mutant through a special potion, he manages to destroy Grand Mutant Darom with ease.
- Determinator: Not even dying can stop him.
- Fingerless Gloves: Wears a pair of these when he's not in his Kamen Rider form.
- The Hero: The titular character of the series.
- The Hero Dies: At the end of episode 47, he was legitimately killed by Shadow Moon in their first duel thanks to the intervention of the Creation King. It didn't last long after he was resurrected 2 episodes later.
- Hope Bringer: Most of the Japanese citizens under Gorgom's rule sees him as their only hope to regain their freedom. This is best shown where after BLACK defeats Grand Mutant Darom, the remaining human members of Gorgom repented from their evil ways and put their faith in him to put an end to Gorgom's tyranny.
- Phlebotinum Rebel: Is one of Gorgom's Chosen Ones who was set up to become one of their Evil Overlords, but escaped brainwashing and turned on them.
Tropes exclusive to him as Kamen Rider BLACK
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Similar to his predecessors, BLACK only relies on hand-to-hand combat along with the reliance of searching his enemy's weak points.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Not just on the name. Black is the designated 'Black Sun', soon to be the leader of Gorgom and destroy the world. He's the good guy, through and through.
- Finishing Move: The signature Rider Punch and Rider Kick.
- Weak, but Skilled: Although the "weak" is debatable, the skill part is not - He and Shadow Moon were both created to be equally powerful; however, due to Kotaro never entering the same coma that Shadow Moon was in for most of the series, he obtained a large amount of combat experience, when the two actually do fight, Kotaro actually comes very close to winning, only stopping when the Creation King tricks Kotaro into thinking Shadow Moon's control has been broken, allowing Shadow Moon to strike with a nasty surprise attack.
Kyoko AkizukiThe younger sister of Nobuhiko, she often finds herself targeted by Gorgom, who seek to use her to awaken Shadow Moon.
Katsumi KidaNobuhiko's girlfriend and Kyoko's closest friend.
Battle HopperKamen Rider Black's sentient Cool Bike.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Twice. First when insects corrupt him and make him go berserk, and again when Shadow Moon overrides Black's control of him.
- Cool Bike: As with every other motorcycle rode by Kamen Riders.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Doesn't take kindly to Road Sector, despite the latter having no degree of sentience.
- Heroic Sacrifice: After the second Brainwashed and Crazy stint. Thankfully he comes back in RX, having evolved into Acrobatter.
- Non Human Side Kick: Despite being a bike he's the closest thing Kotaro has to a sidekick and ally in his fight against Gorgom.
Road SectorA prototype motorcycle created by Gorgom meant to be mass-produced for their mutants, it was instead stolen by Kotaro and becomes his second Rider Machine.
- Evil Counterpart: Has one in the form of Hellshooter.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: After white, Red is the most prominent color on it's paint job.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: Averted. Although it's introduction would suggest it's this for Kotaro, it acts as a supplementary bike to Battle Hopper.
- Non Human Side Kick: Unlike Battle Hopper, Road Sector never really talks at all.
- Put on a Bus: Returned to it's creator at the end of the series; not counting Let's Go Kamen Riders, it's remained unused by any Riders since.
- Red Is Heroic: Red is its second most prominent color, behind white.
Nobuhiko Akizuki/Shadow Moon.
Portrayed by: Takahito Horiuchi (live, Nobuhiko)
Voiced by: Masaki Terasoma (Shadow Moon)
The step-brother of Kotaro and older brother of Kyoko, also born during the solar eclipse, who was captured by Gorgom and converted into their Century King. However, unlike Kotaro, he ended up being brainwashed and put in a hibernation state until the High Priests sacrificed their stones to complete his transformation into Shadow Moon in order to fulfill his mission to become the next Creation King by defeating Kamen Rider BLACK in a battle to the death.
- Anti Christ: Unlike Kotaro, Nobuhiko ended up become this figure thanks to the brainwashing he received from Gorgom.
- Cain and Abel: Cain to Kotaro's Abel.
- Dark Messiah: Revered by Gorgom as their religious figurehead.
- Dragon-in-Chief: To the the Creation King, who at the end of the day is just a giant heart. Shadow Moon is the one who leads the cult up front and serves as the more formidable threat to Black, carrying the Creation King's will in their quest to kill Kamen Rider BLACK in order to achieve world domination.
- Evil Counterpart: Inverted. BLACK is the Good Counterpart since the Century Kings were meant to be brainwashed into evil in the first place.
- Hero Killer: With the help from the Creation King, he has managed to kill Black during their first match.
- Light Is Not Good: His colors contrast BLACK's (being white with green eyes, compared to BLACK's black armor with red eyes), and if you couldn't tell by the other tropes.
- Lightning Bruiser: Compared to Black's sleeker appearance, Shadow Moon has more armor-looking in appearance, yet his overall stats are equal to Black.
- Satanic Archetype: The Century Kings and the Creation King are essentially equivalent to the role of a demon king. This is lampshaded even further in the manga adaptation by Shotaro Ishinomori where Black and Shadow Moon are addressed as "demon kings" instead of Century Kings.
- Shock and Awe: Comes in green, yellow, and red variants.
- Tragic Villain: Was a kind person before being abducted and Brainwashed by Gorgom.
- Unskilled, but Strong: A case could be made, since in their duel Black's winning for most of it despite them supposedly being equally powerful and Shadow Moon actually being armed. The tide only turns when the Creation King makes it seem like the spell's been broken over him, letting Shadow Moon get in a devastating surprise attack. Makes sense when you consider that Shadow Moon spends most of the show in a coma while Black's been sharpening his fighting skills on monster after monster.
- In the Hood: All three of them wear white hoods.
- Light Is Not Good: They all have mostly white appearances, yet are the Sinister Ministers of an evil cult.
High Priest/Grand Mutant Darom
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: His Grand Mutant form is based off a trilobite.
- Evil Genius: Darom is usually the one who masterminds the cult's schemes.
- The Heavy: Default leader of the High Priests until Shadow Moon's revival.
- Psychic Powers: Can manipulate others simply by pointing at them.
High Priest/Grand Mutant Baraom
- The Brute: Baraom relies more on physical capabilities in contrast to his fellow high priests.
- Light Is Not Good: Not as much compared to his fellow high priests. He wears a white cloak like them, but his face is a dark green rather than white. He's still pretty evil though.
- Mega Neko: Baraom's Grand Mutant form is a saber-tooth cat-like creature.
High Priestess/Grand Mutant Bishium
- Dark Chick: Besides being the only female of the High Priests, Bishium tends to rely more on manipulation and underhanded tactics.
BilgeniaA failed candidate for Creation King, born 30,000 years ago on a Solar Eclipse.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Was this at the start of the series. The Creation King eventually forces his release.
- The Unfavorite: Was chosen as a candidate for Creation King, but as he wasn't liked by said king, he was never given a King Stone.
- Wild Card: Although he's unquestionably evil, he doesn't work with Gorgom's high priests, nor does he attempt an Enemy Mine with Kotaro.
- The Worf Effect: Manages to last a decent amount of the show, only to get Killed Off for Real by Shadow Moon in the latter's debut.
- Big Bad: The true mastermind behind Gorgom and everything bad in the series. If it wasn't for him, not only would Kotaro and Nobuhiko have grown up leading normal lives, but Gorgom would not have been created, and Kotaro's adoptive father/Nobuhiko's father would still be alive.
- Evil Is Visceral: He's a giant floating heart.
- Expy: Arguably of the Great Leader of Shocker. Unlike with the sequel series, there's nothing to suggest that he's just another incarnationnote , meaning that he's a separate character.
- The GM Is A Cheating Bastard: Kotaro teams up with Whale Mutant? Teleport Kotaro away. Kotaro is winning against Shadow Moon? Tell Kotaro that Shadow Moon's mind control is breaking.
- Really 700 Years Old: Supposedly had been living for 50,000 years, which is how long each Creation King is supposed to live. In fact, the entire reason the plot kickstarts is that his life is almost over, and he needs a successor.
- Walking Spoiler: It's really hard to talk about him without talking about spoiling the end of Black.