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Film / Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue

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The Black Sheep of Kamen Rider? Or just covered in dried blood?
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If you think this is a run of the mill take on good and evil, go elsewhere.

If not, read on.

Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue is a Darker and Edgier Direct-to-Video incarnation of the Kamen Rider franchise released in 1992.

It is the story of Shin Kazamatsuri, a simple young man who's experimented on by his father, Dr. Kazamatsuri, and his father's partner, Dr. Onizuka, at the Institute of Super Science Technology. Rather than contributing to a possible cure for diseases as he and his father believe, Shin is instead unknowingly gene-spliced with Grasshopper DNA. This results in him getting the power to become a Grasshopper-monster himself, which the CIA dubs the "Masked Rider". This secret puts him and his loved ones in danger from the Syndicate funding the experiment, the CIA, and Onizuka, who can also transform into a Grasshopper-monster.

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While often shunned by Kamen Rider fans due to its apparent Deconstruction nature, Shin Kamen Rider arguably draws heavy influences from Shotaro Ishinomori's original manga interpretation of Kamen Rider, more specifically the Kamen Rider BLACK manga. Sadly, due to lack of interest and the unfortunate death of Ishinomori, it never got past the prologue, leaving the film as a curious example of when early-90's visceral science fiction met a classic Tokusatsu franchise. In recent years, Shin has made several reappearances in the franchise.


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This work features examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sarah Fukumachi, the CIA operative. Over the course of the film she orders a raid on Onizuka's lab (and is the only survivor), saves Shin from a sniping attempt, bursts in on the Nebulous Evil Organization's transport of the transformed Onizuka with a rocket launcher, and most likely would have killed Shin in the climax had an organization helicopter not gotten in the way. Even after being peppered with bullets by the gunners on the helicopter, Sarah still manages to blow the helicopter to kingdom come with the same rocket launcher.
  • All There in the Manual: Shin Kamen Rider is covered with harmful implements, which never get expanded on here, but the Net Movies for The Movie of Kamen Rider Fourze bring it all up, rendering him as a Person of Mass Destruction. To Gentaro's misfortune.
  • Anti-Hero: Unlike his predecessors from the line of Showa-era Riders, Shin is not a full-fledged hero since he deals with his own struggles against both the Foundation and the CIA.
  • Artifact Title: Shin doesn't wear a mask, he physically transforms into Kamen Rider, nor does he ride his bike (a Suzuki Bandi 250) in his transformed state.
  • The Berserker: Dr. Onizuka. Surprisingly inverted with Shin, who, while capable of inflicting horrific damage and violent finishers on his enemies, is for the most part docile until provoked, avoiding confrontation with the CIA after his first transformation, and even embracing his lover Asuka in a hug despite his horrific appearance.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Everyone save for Shin dies at the end of the film. He then decides to take up arms against the Syndicate and the CIA. All while carrying his girlfriends corpse.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Shin's "finishing move" is to cut a monster's head and pull it off complete with part of the spine and dripping neon green blood (Eat your heart out, Sub-Zero.) Yes, there actually is a Rider with a more violent attack style than Kamen Rider Amazon. He's also armed with regenerating spikes on his arms, and claws capable of ripping extremely ragged cuts into the bodies of his enemies.
  • Bio Punk: Foundation's work involves creating genetically-modified super-soldiers through intense gene therapy.
  • Body Horror: DEAR LORD. Gills and Omega WISH they could get this level of body horror.
  • Creator Cameo: Shotaro Ishinomori is the guy with the Funny Afro at the beginning of the movie.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Shin killing the Big Bad who just killed his Love Interest. The former is a grasshopper-monster complete with super-strength, sharp claws and ultra-regeneration powers, the latter is a normal human with a gun who just murdered the hero's girlfriend. Yeah...
  • Cut Short: Despite the fact that the title calls it a prologue, Shin never went any further than the one movie. Kamen Rider Decade's comedy net spinoff has Shin asking the Decade cast to help his petition for a sequel, and subsequently finding success and fame only for the whole thing to be All Just a Dream. Poor Shin.
  • Darker and Edgier: Shin is the darkest and grittiest interpretation of Kamen Rider to date barring Ishinomori's own manga works, prior to Kamen Rider Amazons. In fact, it might even surpass those in the level of darkness. Rather than a traditional super-suited human like most Riders, Shin is genetically altered and undergoes a horrifying transformation. The fight scenes are visceral and bloody. And if that weren't bad enough, almost everybody in the film dies. Considering that the Kamen Rider fanbase is normally very supportive of darker installments (Kamen Rider 555, Kamen Rider Gaim, Kamen Rider Build, etc.), the controversial nature of this film amongst the fandom is quite the indicator of what this film is like.
  • Deconstruction: Of the henshin hero genre. Shins transformation is graphic and painful, the monsters are incredibly desaturated in their color scheme, and the amount of gore here would make Kamen Rider Amazon proud.
  • Fanservice: We get a completely nude scene of the female lead in the shower and swimming naked with Shin, who's also naked.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: While we do have a Big Bad, the CIA will not hesitate to dispose of Shin if he proves uncooperative.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Shin becomes a non-eldritch variety when he transforms.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifter: Shin, at least initially, has no control over how or when he transforms.
  • Kill 'Em All: By the end of the movie, pretty much every named character except Shin and his gym buddy, who was nowhere near the scene of carnage, is dead. Including Shin's girlfriend, who was pregnant with his child. Sarah, the CIA operative, has her fate left unknown.
  • Painful Transformation: And HOW! Instead of taking a pose and transforming in a flash akin to his prior Showa counterparts, Shin instead slowly mutates in a horrific, grueling manner as his entire body reshapes itself. It's not very pretty, to say the least.
  • Papa Wolf: When Shin finds out that his girlfriend was pregnant after she's gunned down by the Big Bad, the results are... Not very pretty in the slightest.
  • Psychic Link: Shin and Onizuka and later, Shin's unborn child have one. It's the reason that for the first half of the film Shin thinks he's been killing people when it's actually Onizuka.
  • Psychic Powers: Telepathy between Kamen Riders.
  • Tainted Veins: A heroic example occurs during Shin's second transformation.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Meta example: According to Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders Super Spin-Off net movie, Tsukasa and the others acknowledges Shin as the thirteenth Kamen Rider (counting Black and RX separately, who are technically the same character). Guess which one was the scariest, deconstructed the entire concept, and didn't fare so well.
  • Tranquil Fury: Shin has a pretty intense moment of this when the Big Bad guns down his pregnant girlfriend. He barely changes his facial expression, but it's almost impossible to not know what he intends to do
  • Took a Level in Badass: Shin doesn't really do this in his own movie, but in the anniversary movies for Decade and OOO, where he fights alongside the other Riders and even gets his own bike, and in All Kamen Rider Generation, where he acts more like a real hero. In fact, in one of the Taisen Movies he takes on Hades God Dagon and BEATS HIM.
  • The Unfought: Onizuka, who's instead killed off by CIA agents, with his cries of pain as he dies triggering Shin's first full transformation.
  • The Voiceless: Shin, but only while transformed. Subverted in later appearances in games and movies, where he's able to communicate in a coherent, albeit gruff voice.

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