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Manga / Kamen Rider Spirits

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No Gods or Buddha. Only Kamen Rider.note 

A manga started in 2001, drawn by Muraeda Ken'ichi and based off of the original Showa era Kamen Rider series up to ZX. Essentially an alternative version of Kamen Rider ZX, depicting everything as the original shows would have done with an A-movie budget, it brings together the first ten Riders for a Crisis Crossover.

Takes place in the present day (to the extent possible). It begins with Kazuya Taki (still an FBI agent) in New York City investigating a series of grisly vampire-like murders. As it is clear he can't rely on the Riders for help (Takeshi Hongo tends to appear and disappear like the wind), he has built his own Rider Suit, homaging Skull Man and informally known as "Taki-Rider". Taki is more than man enough to take on the Mooks, but when the man behind the plot shows up... so does Hongo and his Scarf of Asskicking.

Following that, we then see the other Riders battle various monsters of the week on their own, leading up to the appearance of the evil Badan Empire and their new champion, Kamen Rider ZX. However, Badan didn't expect the seemingly amnesiac ZX to regain his memories...

This series, more than anything else, is about reminding modern readers just how awesome the original characters were, without needing a revision. It ended abruptly when its original publication Magazine Z suddenly shut down, but soon enough resumed serialization in a new publisher as Shin Kamen Rider Spirits. SKRS is due to be complete by 2023.

For the Heisei-era equivalents, see Kamen Rider Decade and its Spiritual Successor/Stealth Sequel, Kamen Rider Zi-O.

The following tropes apply to this manga series:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The untransformed characters aren't usually drawn as realistic renditions of the actors but are stylized to match the art style. Thus, this tends to occur.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The Riders were already very badass, but the manga took it even further by making all of them capable of performing stunts that would make Cyborg jealous.
    • Mr. Titan was definitely no slouch in Stronger, but the manga makes him into a One-Man Army capable of destroying an entire military platoon without sweat.
  • Adaptation Expansion: What did you expect when they're making a serialized manga out of a 45-minute TV special?
    • Elements of the TV special that were only briefly remarked upon, like Ryo's sister (who is dead only a few moments after she's introduced) get more development.
    • The manga also helps explaining the various Plot Holes in the Showa era shows, such as the unexplained return of Riderman in various reunions despite him dying in the original show.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Even if he was a villain in Stronger, you have to feel sorry for Dead Lion when you see him again here, left with no place to go after Black Satan was destroyed and forced to scrap for food while his cybernetics rust. When he sees Titan and all of Black Satan's Kikkaijin have been brought back as part of Badan's Evil Plan, he's reduced to tears.
  • Ass Pull: Lampshaded hilariously in-universe when Skyrider and Stronger show up at Badan's aerial base. Skyrider can clearly fly, but Stronger apparently just kicked his way in.
    Skyrider: How the hell did you get in here?
    Stronger: HOW SHOULD I KNOW!?
    • Later in the chapter, Skyrider says he carried him.
  • Back from the Dead: The executives and kaijins of all 11 past evil organizations the Kamen Riders faced are resurrected by Badan in the stages leading up to the Great Leader's revival.
  • Back Stab: A favorite technique of the Riders seems to be to finish off the enemy when their back is turned.
  • Badass Army: SPIRITS, a paramilitary force made up of victims of Badan's assaults and led by Kazuya Taki. Platoon 10 in particular are the ones who do the most to assist the Kamen Riders.
  • Badass Biker: ...take a guess.
  • Badass Bookworm: Riderman by default, as he is nowhere near as powerful as the other Riders. He thus tends to fight indirectly or at a range, and above all strategically.
  • Badass Crew: When all ten riders are in the same place at the same time. It says something about them that this is very rarely necessary.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Taki, as he is in the original series. In Spirits however he takes it a step further by becoming "Taki Rider" to fight alongside the other Kamen Riders and by forming a Badass Army to help in the fight against Badan.
    • Anri isn't a Rider at all, but that doesn't stop her from doing her best. Her introductory chapter has her assisting Joji Yuki against a revived Marshal Yoroi.
    • GanGanG really wants to be this, so he does his best to assist the Riders whenever he can. At the very least, you have to give him points for trying.
  • Back from the Dead: An absurd number of past villains get brought back by Badan and set loose to terrorize Japan.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: What else would you expect from a Crisis Crossover? You've got the Double Riders of course, as well as Amazon and X-Rider fighting side-by-side, and ZX also getting to fight alongside each of the Riders.
  • Big Damn Heroes: There's almost too many moments to count when things seem hopeless, only for a Rider to swoop in and save the day.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Not just Kamen Rider Amazon here. And no, it's not foam and Kool-Aid blood.
  • The Bus Came Back: Ruriko finally returns and an explanation was given of what's she's been doing since her disappearence from the original show.
  • Car Fu: The Riders, naturally, but even Anri gets into the action by crashing a damaged helicopter into Crabroid.
  • Decomposite Character: Implied. In the TV continuity the various "Great Leaders" we saw seemed to all be the same entity in different forms, but Spirits has each incarnation appearing separately.
  • Determinator: All 10 Kamen Riders. No matter what gets thrown at them or how injured they are they keep on fighting.
    • Stronger deserves special mention for surviving a Suicide Attack from the Empty Shell of his former Love Interest, getting the outer layer of his chest blown off, and still getting up, transforming again, shoving a warhead through Titan's face, and then taking on the rest of Black Satan all by himself.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Spirits answers what happened to Dead Lion after the destruction of Black Satan midway through Kamen Rider Stronger. He's now a wandering vagabond who spends most of his time hunting for food. When he discovers Black Satan has been resurrected, he immediately throws his lot in with them again.
  • Dynamic Entry: Taki crashing his bike through a church window... and then Hongo Takeshi suddenly appearing in the open door to save Taki sticks out: the "Dynamic" part is more his subsequent Henshin - in color!
  • Evolutionary Levels: When JUDO fight ZX, he transform into Ichigo. Then shift to other riders, in chronologial order (skipping Riderman), each form are more powerful than previous one. He claims these forms represent a step of evolution, with ZX being his perfect body.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Riderman ends up returning to the Great Leader's side.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: Tsukuyomi, who in the past performed a Heroic Sacrifice to seal Susanoo in the moon.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be:
    • The Rider Kick now rips monsters in half. Usually followed by the traditional explosion.
    • Topped by Amazon's Super Daisetsudan, which cuts a mutated Salamander the size of a T-Rex in two. Down the middle.
  • The Heavy: Ambassador Darkness, the Great Leader's top disciple and the one directing Badan's activities.
  • Heel–Face Turn: ZX starts out a brainwashed cyborg of Badan. Of course, him rebelling is basically a foregone conclusion.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The Garanda Empire, Dogma Kingdom and Jin Dogma were among the few organizations in the Showa era not explicitly confirmed to be connected to Shocker or the Great Leader. In Spirits however, they're specified to be evil organizations that the Great Leader secretly controlled.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Stronger, usually. Subverted, in that when he does say it this time, he's visibly battered and broken, with no obvious chance of winning. And then he does.
  • Legion of Doom: Every single villain from the Kamen Rider seriesnote  gets revived by Badan. They're sorted by the evil organization they were originally part of and each given a different portion of Japan to terrorize by the Great Leader.
  • The Man Behind the Man: It's revealed that every evil organization the Riders faced, from Shocker to Jin Dogma, were being controlled from behind the scenes by the Badan Empire.
  • Militaries Are Useless: The JGSDF was mobilized to take on Badan's forces in Tokyo. They just tear through them like they were nothing.
  • Monster of the Week: The early volumes take this format, each focusing on a different Rider fighting a different monster. After ZX is introduced and takes center stage however, the series shifts to a more overarching plot.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Oh, Crap!: One MOTW has this when he realizes that a single spot on his near-impenetrable armor is weakened from repeated attacks by Riderman... as the latter slams a machine gun into the weak point and blasts away at point blank range. Turns out that impenetrable armor means the bullets can't get out = death by ricocheting bullets aplenty!
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: ZX, even moreso than in the TV special. He was turned into a cyborg so he could be a host for the Great Leader, but this being a Kamen Rider work...
  • Private Military Contractors: Near the end of SPIRITS, Interpol officer Ken Sakuma and Annrietta Birkin team up to form the unit, made up of 2,500 contractors willing to back up the assembled Kamen Riders against the Badan invasion since most military forces were wiped out in the initial attack. The catch? They’re known as SPIRITS.
  • Rule of Drama: Some monsters have tragic backstories, and as such get to have a dramatic death scene. Others don't, and simply explode.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Great Leader turns out to be JUDO, an evil entity sealed inside the moon. The true goal of all the evil organizations it founded was to create a body strong enough for it to possess so it could resume its reign over Earth.
  • Serial Escalation: We get to see the individual Riders face off with individual members of Badan earlier on, and then start taking on veritable armies of their (revived) monsters of the week - at which point this trope kicks into high gear.
  • Super Team: The Nine (and soon enough Ten) Legendary Kamen Riders, who've united to fight the Badan Empire.
  • Time Skip: 4 months forwards shortly after ZX's first battles
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Later on in the series, when something major happens or when the starring Rider really starts throwing down, it's marked with song lyrics on-page.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: When Badan starts their invasion of Earth, they concentrate entirely on Japan. Mikage explain that this is because the island was the seat of Badan's power in the past and they're just reclaiming what's theirs.
  • You Are Not Alone: In the first chapter, Taki is despairing because he's the only person in New York who had an inlinking of what was going down, but he's powerless before the MOTW. And then Takeshi Hongo strides through the door:
    "Tonight, we are Double Riders."