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Series / Kamen Rider 555

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"The end justiϕ's the means."

Kamen Rider 555 (officially translated Masked Rider Φ's, with "555" being read as "Phi's" or "Faiz") is the 2003-2004 series of Kamen Rider and the fourth Heisei Era series.

20 Minutes into the Future, the Smart Brain megacorporation has achieved almost global dominance of the electronics and vehicle industry. However, their true goal is to Take Over the World by forcing mankind to the next stage in their evolution: the Orphnoch.

A young man named Yuji Kiba is involved in a terrible car accident, falling into a coma for two years and eventually dying. However, moments later he comes Back from the Dead, reviving as the Horse Orphnoch. Awakening to a world where his parents are dead, his career has been given to another man, his possessions have been stolen and sold by greedy relatives, and his fiancée has married his brother, he goes mad with grief and embarks on a killing spree. His rampage is stopped by the mysterious Smart Lady, the mascot character of Smart Brain, who gives him a new home and purpose; one that he soon comes to rebel against.

Mari Sonoda is an orphan who receives a Smart Brain briefcase and motorbike from her stepfather living in Tokyo. On her travels, she encounters the Stoic drifter Takumi Inui, and a mixup with their bags causes him to pursue her. Soon afterwards, Mari is attacked by an Orphnoch who is after the contents of the briefcase: the Faiz Gear. Putting on the Faiz Driver, Mari attempts to transform but is rejected by the belt. In desperation she puts it on Takumi, and he successfully transforms into Kamen Rider Faiz.

What unfolds is a saga between two men on different sides of the same war: friends as Takumi and Yuji, but fierce rivals as Faiz and the Horse Orphnoch. Things become more complex with the arrival of Masato Kusaka, another alumni of the same orphanage as Mari. He becomes the wielder of the Kaixa Gear, yet holds a deep infatuation with Mari and is not shy about disposing of any romantic rivals. The trio of belts is completed with the arrival of the Delta Gear, which can be used by anyone. Opposing them is Smart Brain's strongest four Orphnoch: Lucky Clover, whose objective is to seize all three Gears and awaken the mysterious Orphnoch King.

Partnered with the Super Sentai show Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger after initially airing alongside the final episodes of Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger in the Super Hero Time block, marking the first such Rider/Sentai partnership to be accompanied by the name.

In addition to the main series, Kamen Rider 555 has a few spinoffs.

  • Kamen Rider 555: Paradise Lost (2003) is a Non-Serial Movie set in a world where the Orphnochs have successfully taken over.
  • Kamen Rider 555: Hyper Battle Video (2003) is a DVD episode that was distributed by Televi Kun magazine, where a Smart Brain weapon kicks off a Musical Episode.
  • Kamen Rider 913 (2020-2022) is a manga that adapts part of the series from the perspective of Kamen Rider Kaixa. It was written by 555's writer Toshiki Inoue (and announced on 9/13/2019invoked).
  • Kamen Rider Outsiders (2023) is a web miniseries that includes Smart Brain, the Arch Orphnoch, and a new Kamen Rider Delta.
  • Kamen Rider 555 20th: Paradise Regained (2024) is a movie celebrating the show's 20th anniversary (and, similar to the manga, announced on 5/5/2023invoked).
    • Kamen Rider 555: Murder Case (2024) is a special released on the Toei Toku Fan Club streaming service as a spinoff of 555 20th. It's a murder mystery with Kaixa as the detective (and was another 9/13 announcementinvoked).

Followed by Kamen Rider Blade.

Voted #7 series in the Heisei era and #7 product overall in NHK’s All Kamen Rider Popularity Vote.

Recurring Kamen Rider tropes include:

I don't have tropes. But you know, I can protect them.

  • Aborted Arc: Remember how the Delta belt gave its users permanent superpowers even when untransformed? Neither did the writer!
  • Alternate Continuity: The Movie, which poses the question "What If? the Orphnochs did rule the world?"
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Notably subverted: Orphnochs aren't evil by default. Smart Brain is the true evil of the series and the Orphnochs have little choice in the matter, as Orphnochs who refuse to do as Smart Brain orders are marked for death or tricked into serving them.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Murakami convinces Mr. J, now down to his last "life", to go out and fight again by threatening his pet dog.
  • Anyone Can Die: Doesn't mean they necessarily stay that way, though
  • Aside Comment: Kaido says "I've had it with this life" to the camera when rescuing Keitaro and a young boy from a burning building at the end of #32.
  • Asshole Victim: Yuka's sister and her classmates. Their mistreatment towards Yuka causes her to commit killing spree towards bullies like them.
  • Attractive Zombie: As the Orphnochs are in fact zombies (specifically the Revenant Zombie kind) by their very nature, every single one counts, though that's due to being able to alternate between their human and monster appearances. Especially true of the main Orphnoch cast, including the titular Rider and hero himself.
  • Back from the Dead: Every Orphnoch, but one non-Orphnoch example is Mari Sonada, who is killed in the latter half of the series but brought back to life after Takumi makes a Deal with the Devil.
    • Pretty much every recurring character not named Keitaro or those two cops have already died once.
  • Bad Guy Bar: Bar Clover, the meeting place of Lucky Clover, with one of them moonlighting as the bartender.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: MASATO KUSAKA. He is after all, a selfish and manipulative asshole who wants to get anything for his own self-interests, including Mari.
  • Bastard Understudy: Kaido would get one in Yoshio Kobayashi, the Rabbit Orphnoch, who later tries to outdo him when they are both auditioning for a spot in Lucky Clover.note 
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Yuka Osada in spades. Bullies beware. Later on, Kiba after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Takumi and Mari. The movie pretty much made them the Official Couple.
  • BFG: The Faiz Blaster, when it's not a BFS.
  • BFS: The Orga Stlanzer, when its Exceed Charge activates. The Faiz Blaster also qualifies whenever it's not a BFG.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Unlike previous seasons, multiple characters act against the main Rider and each other.
    • Kyoji Murakami is the chief of Smart Brain and the one ordering Lucky Clover to convert more people to their cause.
    • Masato Kusaka, the primary user of the Kaixa Gear and Takumi's main rival, is a violent man obsessed with exterminating the Orphnoch and getting into the heart of his childhood friend Mari, to the point of repeatedly trying to ruin Takumi's friendship with her and other people.
    • Aki Sawada, Kusaka's own rival and like him, a man who is in love with Mari, but seeks to kill her in an attempt destroy his own humanity.
    • Masahiko Minami, a ruthless NPA officer and leader of a radical anti-Orphnoch resistance group.
    • Yuji Kiba, Takumi's former best friend, who becomes the new chief of Smart Brain and holds a grudge against humanity after suffering a tragic event indirectly perpetrated by Minami.
    • The youngest member of the Lucky Clover, Kitazaki, is a narcissistic Orphnoch who took part in the massacre of several Ryusei students. Kitazaki betrays the Lucky Glover to try and kill the Arch-Orphnoch just so he can prove himself to be the "ultimate being".
    • The aforementioned Arch-Orphnoch is a creature believed to be the one who will devastate humanity and devour other Orphnochs.
  • Bittersweet Ending: They defeated the Arch Orphnochnote  but at the cost of Kiba's life and the end implies that Takumi is dying, but he still has Mari and Keitaro by his side so he isn't alone.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Mr. J is the first of the Lucky Clover to go.
    • He isn't just the first to die, he's the first to die three times before the third one makes it permanent.
  • Brand X: Many of the electronics seen have Smart Brain's logo plastered on them.
  • Broken Bird: Yuka Osada, literally.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Happens multiple times when a character has his Rider Gear stolen (and used) by a bad guy.
  • Butt-Monkey/Double Standard: Keitaro in #41 at least. The fact it's presented as a comedy moment makes it even worse.
  • Canon Immigrant: Faiz Blaster Form makes its first appearance in the Non-Serial Movie Kamen Rider 555: Paradise Lost.
  • Cassandra Truth: Takumi, whenever he tries to explain to anyone that Kusaka is a scheming sociopath. Naturally, they all assume that Takumi is just jealous.
  • Cast from Lifespan: All Rider gear in this series is powered by Orphnoch DNA. Each time a user transforms, a bit more of their Orphnoch DNA is used up, shortening their lifespan. The rate of consumption depends on both the gear and user in question, but all systems cause irreparable harm to the user, even if they don't immediately notice it. Eventually, the gear will use up enough DNA to kill any user. The Rider gear is so deadly that it had to be programmed with a failsafe that automatically rejects any normal human as even one transformation would kill them immediately.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "The King's sleep is long".
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Teruo Suzuki, initially seeming to just be a normal child, who later turns out to be the Arch Orphnoch.
  • Chew Toy: Itsuro Takuma becomes Kitazaki's bitch once the latter showed up. He later got revenge.
    • One can also claim that the Auto Vajin is Takumi's. He seemed to have jumped numerous times directly into enemy fire to protect his master. Notable examples being shot be hundreds of missiles from the Side Basshar and the Jetsliger. Maybe enough to make a drinking game. Of course, when he started out it almost filled Faiz with bullet holes itself, so maybe it was just trying make up for that...
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Rider Gears can be equipped by anyone capable of using them. Each of the three main ones (Faiz, Kaixa and Delta) are worn by other characters besides their primary wielders at different points of the series. This is the first Rider series to work that way: the Riders of Ryuki had to make a contract, and every Rider before them except for G3 had their powers somehow integrated into them (most of the Showa series had cyborgification, Kuuga had the driver bond itself to him, and in Agito, Rider forms are the mature state of a natural mutation.) Even in later series where Rider gear can theoretically be passed around, the main forms of a given Rider are almost never used by anyone besides their primary user. Of course, being able to use the Rider Gears is actually quite a telling detail later on in the show, as only Orphnochs can use them, leading, of course, to Takumi getting quite the surprise.
    • Becomes subverted as the series goes on, as Takumi and Masato prove themselves to be the best users of their gears due to how used they are to them.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Naoya Kaido, the Snake Orphnoch and eccentric to the point of insanity.
  • Collateral Angst: Yuka Osada, whose death sparks Yuji's breaking and Face–Heel Turn, again.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Kyoji Murakami.
  • Creator Cameo: Toshiki Inoue, the main writer for the series, who wrote all the episodes and the movie, appears in the final episode as the construction foreman who tells Itsuro Takuma to put the muscles into himself.
  • Creepy Child: Teruo, the Arch Orphnoch/Orphnoch King.
  • Cyberpunk: Long before Double was brought in the picture, the show presented highly advanced technology presented by an evil Mega-Corp, a secret conspiracy that gets almost everyone killed, transhumanist themes present in the Orphnochs, and nearly all of the main cast being anti heroes at best.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is one of the darkest entries in the series, with the focus on the monsters being as human as the people they try to kill, the humans themselves not always being quite so innocent, and the themes of death, betrayal and fittingly for a show with a phone Transformation Trinket, communication problems up the wazoo. Taken to new heights in the novel, Rape as Drama (Kusaka's raping of Mari, Yuka getting pregnant by Keitaro and Yuji beating the shit out of Kusaka for that.)
  • Dark Messiah: The Arch Orphnoch/Orphnoch King is revered by the Orphnochs, since it is the only one who can correct their genetic flaw.
  • Deadly Upgrade: The Kaixa Gear kills most of its wearers after one use. The Delta Gear's power is addictive. Becoming an Orphnoch: already effectively this because if it doesn't result in you going nuts and having to be put down by a Rider, it will result in Smart Brain deciding that this makes you a traitor to Orphnochs and placing you on their hit list: proves to be this on its own. No one can take the conversion; all Orphnochs will suffer from a drastically reduced lifespan.
    • In fact, all the Rider Gears are this: Transforming into a Rider consumes Orphnoch DNA, which for Orphnochs would cause their DNA to break down with prolonged usage. For humans implanted with Orphnoch DNA, the Faiz Gear is kind enough to reject the transformation if there is insufficient DNA to burn (with an ERROR message), however the more ruthless Kaixa Gear would allow for transformation to burn off whatever remaining Orphnoch DNA most human users have left in them, resulting in their death when they run out. The only reason Kusaka was able to survive multiple usages was due to the fact that he had a lot more Orphnoch DNA implanted in him. Similarly, while the Delta Gear seemingly comsumes significantly lesser Orphnoch DNA (to the point where users who couldn't use the Faiz Gear are able to use it), it will drive users insane and would usually end up getting themselves killed before we can see any potential long-term effects.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The first episode centers almost entirely on Yuji Kiba, giving viewers the impression that he's the one who will receive the Faiz Gear from Mari, while some other viewers (thanks in part to the trailer) believed that it'd be Mari who'd be the Rider, going to the point where she was about to henshin. Then the belt gives her an error and Takumi comes in... Ironically, he was the inverse, believed to be the guy who killed one of Mari's traveling people until the monster for that episode comes out and reveals that he did it.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Well before appearing in the series proper, Faiz's Blaster Form was shown in Paradise Lost, first presented as a previously unseen piece of equipment. It was shown again during the final battles, with Takumi eventually using it to turn around a losing battle against Kamen Rider Orga and build up hype for it when it appeared in the series proper.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: Kitazaki, who turns anything he touches, living beings included, to ash.
  • Everything's Even Worse With Sharks: the Kamen Rider Decade Net Movies have revealed that the Faiz suit was partially inspired by sharks. Note the sawtooth-looking mouthpiece and fin-like antennae.
  • Faceless Goons: The Riotroopers, Smart Brain's faceless army of Rider-like troops.
  • Genki Girl: Smart Lady. Lampshaded when one of her co-workers comments on just how annoying her super-happy act is and how she never turns off.
  • Gratuitous Greek: The Theme Naming for the series' Kamen Riders: Faiz = Phi (Φ), Kaixa = Chi (Χ), and Delta = Delta (Δ). The Movie adds Orga = Omega (Ω) and Psyga = Psi (Ψ). Word of God says the Mook Riotroopers are Omicron (Ο). Stage shows added Kamen Riders Alpha (Α), Beta (Β), and Gamma (Γ). And in The Movie, a scan of an "in-universe" Smart Brain catalog from Paradise Lost depicts the Kamen Riders Neo-Alpa (Alpha [α]), police and rescue-use Seeda (Theta [Θ]) and the civilian sporting-use Pyron (Pi [Π]).
    • The opening theme song even gets in on the action by being titled "Justiϕ's" ("Justiphi's"/"Justifies"/"Justi-faiz").
  • The Gunslinger: The Delta Blaster.
  • Heroic Neutral: At first, Takumi has no real concerns with fighting Orphnochs and is just trying to live his life. Still, in a crisis he'll actually deal with it rather than run away. Even after his Character Development, he stays this way: Never a man to really stick with the rules, but never a man to constantly question and break them.
  • Hollywood Evolution: The Orphnochs are the "next evolution of humanity and animals," and the reason Orphnoch victims turn to dust is that Orphnochs actually attack by their method of trying to sire Orphnochs but the human body can rarely withstand such "rapid evolution." In the end we find out that all Orphnochs are dying; no one can withstand the "rapid evolution." It takes seconds with most, as seen with the weekly nameless victims who wander in confusion and then fall apart, but no Orphnoch will live anything like a normal human lifespan.
  • Homage: The Orphnoch forms of the Lucky Clover members were based on the monster forms of the Hakaider Corps. of the live-action Kikaider 01, mostly by sharing their animal motifsnote  The clear dome on the Rose Orphnoch's head was also inspired by Hakaider, whose helmet had a Brain in a Jar.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Save for Mari and Keitaro, EVERY Human that Yuji and Yuka meet plays this straight and it eventually is the basis for Yuji's Face–Heel Turn
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Naoya Kaido, who had a promising future as a guitarist before his hand was crushed in an "accident".
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Shuji Mihara, who eventually accepts the call and becomes the Delta Gear's primary user. Also Itsuro Takuma decides to live out the rest of his "life" as a human in the finale.
  • Irony: The primary henshin device for the series is a cellphone, in a series where Poor Communication Kills is the norm and characters have no idea what to say to one another.
  • Instrument of Murder: The Hyper Battle DVD had the Faiz Sounder, a boombox that transformed into a powerful sonic cannon. This was the winning contest entry Toei had for a new weapon for Faiz, which like all other weapons in the show, was based off a real world object.
  • Interspecies Romance: Played straight with Keitaro and Yuka. Takumi and Mari could count as well.
  • It Only Works Once: The Kaixa Gear kills off almost all of its users after one use except for Masato.
    • Then there's the much more literal "Henshin One Shot". "The world isn't generous. Henshin One-Shot only works for one shot." When it fails, it doesn't fail the way we've come to expect. The Kaixa Gear itself disintegrates, rather than Keitaro.
  • Jerkass: Many characters in this show are set as jerks, but especially Masato, Yuji, Yuka and Kaidou.
    • In Yuji's case, we have his uncle, who sold his father's company and house when Yuji was in a coma, and Chie, who tried to come back with Yuji just to throw him under the bus and run away from the police.
    • Yuka's backstory was heartbreaking on so many levels. Her family treated her badly, preferring her sister, who hates her and robs her money and she was often bullied in school. Her family is shown to be the worst when she saved her sister, who twisted her ankle, who threw her under the bus and actually got her kicked out.
    • Kaidou's professor schemed an accident that ended his dreams of being a musician just because of sheer jealousy.
  • Jumped at the Call: Keitaro wanted to, but unfortunately the call didn't want him. Mari also tried to henshin into Faiz more than once, but never succeeded.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: After Lucky Clover spend weeks trying and failing to steal the Rider Gears through force, Kaido and his protege Yoshio succeed in their first attempt by impersonating police officers and tricking the protagonists into giving up the Gears.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Saeko Yageyama, who killed Yuka, and in doing so was resposible for the death of Kiba, as that set off his Heel–Face Turn. Yet she's alive and well at the end of the series, if you call being insane, trapped in Rubber Suit form and possibly immortal "alive and well".
    • To say nothing of Kaido, who wears the Faiz gear on Smart Brain's behalf early on, is the only Riotrooper to survive, and gives the Faiz and Kaixa Gears to Lucky Clover. He's the only one of the three Renegades to survive, even though being the only one who did not become an Orphnoch naturally (as opposed to being "sired"), and therefore supposedly weaker.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Yuji Kiba killing Masato Kusaka with the Kaixa Gear, which cemented his Face–Heel Turn and new position on the Sorting Algorithm of Evil.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Decade, the Decade net movies, and plenty of signature banners/avatars do not shy away from how Takumi is the Wolf Orphnoch.
  • Left the Background Music On: President Murakami's scenes in his office at Smart Brain HQ always include Ominous Latin Chanting, but it's not until an underling walks in and the audience needs to hear the following conversation that we realize he's listening to the BGM on a CD player while working or drinking wine.
    • In the original televised airings, several scenes involving Aki Sawada would have "Pass The Courvoisier Part II" slowly overcome the scene's original music, reaching it's crecendo when he started killing people. However, due to the song's rampant use of the N word, this was removed in reruns and in the home video release.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Played with and lampshaded in the first episode of the pizza house story arc (which leads to the debut of Faiz Accel and the unofficial "Flu Orphnoch").
    • The entire main cast and few side ones have some form of affections for the other casts.
    • Which are Kusaka and Sawada were in love with Mari since childhood. While Kusaka is obsessed with her, Sawada tries to kill her, so he can kill off his humanity. Kaido is also in love with Mari, but Mari at first was interested in Kiba. Kiba, himself was still reeling from killing his girlfriend Chie, and didn't really notice. Yuka was email friends with Keitaro and had feelings for him, but also had a massive crush on Kaido. While Keitaro was interested in Yuka, he later got his wish and they hooked up. For a time.... While the main character Takumi generally kept out of the mess, but he and Mari had Belligerent Sexual Tension.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Masato Kusaka, to the point where he views anyone particularly close to Mari as a threat that needs to be eliminated. Permanently.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The opening theme. It starts out sounding like it's going to be a fairly upbeat, techno-laden song, then suddenly nosedives into a song about having to fight whether or not you want to, because you can't run away from your problems forever.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Pretty much what The Jetsliger and Side Basshar was made for Just so you know the Jetsliger is a jet powered bike with a laser cannon on it's front and the Side Basshar is a motorcycle that transforms into a walking weapons platform.
  • Made of Incendium: Defeated Orphonochs erupt into blue fire and then crumple into dust.
  • The Man Behind the Man: In the Non-Serial Movie, Smart Brain is shown as truly being run by three guys seen as blurry faces on hologram screens. All of them are played by longtime Toku Big Bad voice actors who've been menacing Riders and Rangers since The '70s. (One of them is Gorō Naya, which is really interesting, given the recent Word of God about every Naya-voiced "[Organization Name]'s Great Leader," no matter how different-looking from the last or or clearly dead by the end, being the same guy.)
  • Merchandise-Driven: Sure, you have commercials promoting replica Faiz belts and Kaixa weapons. But did you know they also had Faiz HOT DOGS, AND CURRY?!? Yep, that's further proof that Toei makes bank with the Kamen Rider franchise.
    • Within the ranks of Kamen Rider merchandise, complete sets of Rider Gear are some of the most expensive items. And those are just the original toys—there are also more professional types for adult fans which regularly net over a thousand dollars if you can actually find them.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Axel Form.
  • Mood Whiplash: Sawada/Spider Orphenoch's debut shows him setting a bus on fire and murdering all the passengers onboard. It's a plenty creepy and downright terrifying first appearance...or at least it would be if Busta Rhymes singing "don't this shit make a n*gga wanna jump" wasn't the only audio during the scene. note 
  • Morality Pet: Kaido had one in Teruo, before it turned out the latter was the Orphnoch King.
  • Musical Episode: The Hyper Battle Video, where a Smart Brain stereo compels the main cast to dance.
  • Mythology Gag
    • The Orphnoch King was clearly designed with the Old Gen Kamen Riders in mind, Scarf of Asskicking and all.
    • The Faiz Edge being a sword with a motorbike handle as a handle evokes Kamen Rider Kuuga; Kuuga's Titan form typically used his bike handlebar to transform into his sword.
    • There's a lot of old-school KR in this series. The Riotroopers are basically the new Shocker Riders (there are even six of them! Gold armor to go with the Shocker Riders' gold gloves and boots, no less.), and a lot of the technology is classic Rider attacks we willingly suspended disbelief for given a reason to work that way, Batman Begins style. And while it's a bit of a stretch, the Orphnochs are reminiscent of some of the unwillingly-enhanced former human monsters from the old days: All of them were normal people to begin with, a fact the plot gives due attention to, except when it doesn't. Most didn't want the change, and once it happened, some became monsters, some remained themselves and were forced to do things they don't want to by the organization, and a precious few defied the organization and lived to tell. The main Rider is the prime example of the latter. And not everyone survives the conversion process (though Shocker didn't seem to have to kill hundreds to get one monster out of it.)
    • When Kusaka sees Hanagata again for the first time and demands to know what's going on, he tells him to fight, and keep fighting and winning (and we hear that repeated a few times) and it sounds very much like Shiro Kanzaki. To really hammer it in, when Hanagata steps out in Goat Orphnoch form, we hear the mirror world noise.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: This preview for the first episode portrays Takumi as a villain and Mari as Faiz. The show, not so much...
  • Oops... I Did It Again: And again. And again. And again.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Mr. J, who had three "lives".
  • Orphanage of Fear: Though the Ryuusei Orphanage wasn't that bad on its own, all of the orphans were eventually killed and used as guinea pigs in Smart Brain experiments.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Orphnochs are essentially zombies in a sense. Back from the Dead? Check. Power to infect others? Check. They have also been compared to vampires, until the true vampires of Kamen Rider came along.
  • Peace & Love Incorporated: Smart Brain. "Life is frail. Life is limited. So, why don't you think about true life? Be smart! True life is your start!"
  • Poor Communication Kills: A series with phones as the Transformation Trinket involves a lot of communication problems. Perfect.
    • At one point, Takumi and Yuji are on the verge of either clearing up a major misunderstanding or becoming even worse enemies. It all hinges on their two easily-distracted friends delivering messages (of the "Tell him I said..." kind) to the other person accurately. Guess what happens.
    • The series is full of this trope. The fact that Takumi and Yuji only meet both transformed or both untransformed for quite a while, and them having an increasingly awkward relationship thanks to horrible coincidences both help this along, but this problem - among others - would be so much simpler if not for the protagonists having abysmal communication skills.
    • This trope is a recurring theme in the work of Toshiki Inoue, who wrote every single episode of Faiz. Inoue used to be subtle about it (e.g. in Kamen Rider Agito); it reached Plot Tumor status in Faiz, and it became an even bigger Plot Tumor in Kamen Rider Kiva.
    • This trope is an inadvertent result of Japanese culture more than anything. They are pretty big on not just telling people about your personal problems, because it makes you seem like you're being imposing (or worse, trying to push your problems onto other people). Due to this, big misunderstandings are common.
    • There's a world of difference between that and just walking off rather than saying "I'm not a traitor to humanity, I helped that Orphnoch because she saved my life" the fifth or so time your friends ask you why you attacked another Rider. Not that this franchise is a stranger to Let's You and Him Fight between Riders... but there's also a difference between that and letting your friends wonder for five episodes if you've gone dark side when it's easy to say "the bird one's not evil." Numerous such examples exist, to the point where the series would be half as long without them.
  • Power Trio: Faiz, Kaixa and Delta, with the roles switching depending on who is wearing each Gear.
    • Freudian Trio: In terms of the main users of the Rider Gears.
      • Ego: Takumi
      • Superego: Kusaka
      • Id: Shuji
  • People Jars: In The Movie, Murakami is a head in a jar. How it happened, we never learn.
  • Perky Female Minion: Smart Lady, Smart Brain's resident Genki Girl mascot.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: Because the human body cannot withstand such rapid evolution, continued transformation into an Orphnoch will eventually lead to the Orphnoch's destruction. Destruction furthers if you use a Rider Gear, with Kaixa users having the higher risk. Also, Masato undergoes this when the Orphnoch DNA powering his Kaixa Gear starts to run low.
    • Kamen Rider Delta goes through something like this after leaving Kitazaki's hands. It's more a case of less powerful users, really.
  • Plot Armor: The villains have this big time, barely dodging, blocking or surviving finisher after finisher while any unfortunate Monster of the Week who also gets caught in it is quickly destroyed. Of all the recurring villains on the show, only two are actually destroyed in battle by the Riders; the others either get eaten by the Arch Orphnoch or live. Special mention to Murakami who somehow survives a point blank triple rider kick.
  • Premature Empowerment: Mari forces the Transformation Trinket on Takumi before he has any idea what's going on. Also applies to anyone who revives as an Orphnoch after being killed by another Orphnoch.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Masato Kusaka, which gradually morphs into a Slasher Smile.
  • Punny Name: The show's title 555 is meant to be read as either "fives" or "Phi's", represented by the main character's name "Faiz". 555 is also what has to be typed into the phone used to become Faiz. The pun comes from the fact that 555 is the Japanese equivalent of 911, and thus the titular rider both has to dial for emergency aid to transform, and IS essentially emergency aid for dealing with Orphnochs.
    • Pretty much all the Riders qualify, as the numbers associated with each are tied to their name (e.g., Kaixa and 913note , Delta and 333note , Psyga and 315note , and Orga and 000note ).
  • The Quiet One: Yuka Osada, the Crane Orphnoch.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Yuji Kiba.
  • Rhino Rampage: Variant: The movie-only Elasmotherium Orphnoch rampages, with Kiba/Orga as one of its victims.
  • Refusal of the Call: Takumi had no interest in being Faiz. Unfortunately for him, a series of coincidences and mistakes throws the Faiz Gear back into his hands again and again until he gives up.
  • The Rival: There's almost too many rivalries to count.
    • First off we have Masato Kusaka to Takumi, who despite nominally being on the same side as him views him as an obstacle for having Mari all to himself, and actively sabotages his friendship with Kiba.
    • Then there's Kiba and Takumi who, thanks to Kusaka's aforementioned sabotaging of their friendships, switch between being good friends one minute and distrustful of each other the next.
    • Later on, Kusaka gains his own rival in the form of Aki Sawada, who also has a massive crush on Mari.
    • Takumi also gets a brief but intense one with Kitazaki, the Dragon Orphnoch, after he hands him his first loss in battle.
  • Satchel Switcheroo: Takumi only met Mari in the first episode because he got his bags mixed up.
  • Scaramanga Special: The various Rider Gears could easily be mistaken for regular electronics.
  • School for Scheming: The Ryuusei Orphanage, which doubled as a school.
  • Shoe Phone: The items making up the Gears are disguised as mundane items: cellphones, cameras and binoculars to name a few.
  • Shout-Out: Kaido's classic Kamen Rider henshin pose, complete with sound effect, just before saving Teruo from some bullies. It's especially brilliant because while Takeshi Hongo is a little before young viewers' time, it was also Shinji's pose in Kamen Rider Ryuki.
  • Slasher Smile: Masato Kusaka plays this trope straight, but most notably in #30 after he uses the Faiz gear to sabotage Kiba's and Takumi's friendship. And when Kusaka smiles, it's down right scary.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The soft, beautiful guitar playing of Kaido as Inui fights the Scarab Orphnoch and Yuji fights Owl Orphnoch/Kaido's Professor.
  • Spell My Name With An S: The show is called "555", while "translated" into English as "Φ's" or "Phi's", and the main character and all related merchandise is "Faiz". All of these are pronounced as Faizu in Japanese.
    • The Orphnoch as a whole were previously called "Orphenoch" by English fans until the official spelling without the E was discovered.
  • Spot the Imposter: In a subversion, Yuji often fails to notice when the Faiz Gear has switched hands and assumes that it's always the same person under the mask.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The moment Keitaro and Yuka hooked up, you knew their sweet relationship was going to be sabotaged by Orphnochs who found out. And then Keitaro finds out that Yuka's been killed by Orphnochs... Oh boy... sniff.
  • Start of Darkness: Kiba and Yuka both experience this when they died and their Orphnoch powers activate. By the time they realize just who they are, Kaido joined their group and was about to go through that same deal before they stopped him.
  • Super Prototype: The Delta Gear, being the first Gear created, is the most powerful but also has the least number of gadgets.
    • The Riotroopers are the production models of the Rider Gears and much weaker. Also, Psyga and Orga in The Movie are the newest model, and while both are much stronger than Faiz's basic form, Faiz Blaster is stronger than them both despite being a much older model.
  • Super-Speed: Faiz Axel Form.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: The Kaixa Blaygun and Faiz Blaster Form's Faiz Blaster.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.- A unique thing about this series is how much time is spent on the monster's motivation, almost all of them get a day in the limelight and expand on their motivations. Your Millage May Vary on how sympathetic they actually are.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: the plot of both games- The Ryuusei Orphanage reunion.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Mr. J, it's not really advisable to try to block a Rider Punch with your pecs.
  • Theme Naming: The Kamen Riders this year are all named after Greek letters.
  • Transforming Mecha: Auto Vajin, which could transform from a bike into a support mecha. And the Side Basshar which transforms into a 20 foot tall robot with a right arm that launches missiles that split into MORE missiles... Really.
  • Tron Lines: On all of the Rider armors. All There in the Manual states they're the channels through which "photon blood" passes through, hence the look of the transformation: once the lines are filled in and the circuit is complete, the suit appears.
  • Tsundere: Mari Sonada towards Takumi.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In the movie, no one bats an eye when a group of Orphnochs attack a group of humans. Justified since a majority of the Earth population are Orphnochs.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Whenever the user of the Faiz Gear has to battle the user of the Kaixa Gear as without its own upgrades, it's the weakest of the bunch. Taken up to eleven in Paradise Lost where Takumi has to fight Kamen Rider Psyga (who is basically in Blaster Mode all the time and flies so fast that Axel Mode can barely keep up with him) and Kamen Rider Orga (who is a physical juggernaut armed with a massive BFS made of golden energy) who both possess Emperor Belts, perfected and enhanced versions of the Delta Gear. Notably, Takumi succeeds in defeating Psyga with his regular form and a very well-placed finisher via the Faiz Edge while he has to go all out with his Blaster Mode just to briefly knock Orga down so he can concentrate on saving Mari.
  • Villain Song: The Smart Lady gets several in the Hyper Battle DVD.
    • Don't forget My Name Is Smart Lady
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Orphnochs, once awakened, can shapeshift at will.
  • The Virus: Orphnochs are created in one of two ways: either a human dies and naturally becomes one, or they are murdered by an existing Orphnoch, in which case there is a chance that they revive as an Orphnoch.
    • A very small chance. Hundreds of victims turn to dust for every one that turns into an Orphnoch. Most Monster of the Week Orphnochs do their murdering by the siring method, with no fear of their victims turning into a stronger monster and kicking their butts. Kaido was the only time we've seen it work with our own eyes, and none of the others in the main cast were sired.
    • The reason most victims die, is that Orphnochs try converting victims by aiming for the heart, which usually results in disintegrating it. Everyone else got turned through means that didn't involve this.
  • Wham Episode: #34. People never saw the twist involving Takumi Inui's true identity as an Orphnoch coming.
    • It's actually pretty obvious when you consider episode four: after Mari and Keitaro both get "ERROR" when trying to use the Faiz Gear and the Orphnoch uses it saying "Not just anyone can transform". That alone is sufficient reason to be suspicious, especially once the Faiz Gear is stolen and used by Orphnochs a few more times. Especially given Faiz's dark tone and the Continuity Nod, it's not unreasonable to assume "Our hero is the monster" like in Showa series of old.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Keitaro Kikuchi, whose goal in life is to make people happy.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Delta Gear, which can be used by anyone but whose power is highly addictive... until the end of its introduction arc, after which its critical flaw is handwaved away.
    • Even in its introductory arc, it was stated that some could use it safely. Mihara's just one of the lucky ones, and he doesn't see himself as so lucky and really wishes he could refuse the call.
    • Even before that, its first onscreen user Saya Kimura was shown to have been immune to the addictive effects, though likely due to her supply of Orphnoch DNA. In fact, she plays with this trope to test Takumi when she reveals herself to be the Delta we'd been seeing up to this point to him, to see if he's worthy enough to pass on the Delta Gear to, asking him if he feels good about using the power of Faiz.
  • Wolf Man: Takumi Inui, the Wolf Orphnoch.
  • Yandere: Masato Kusaka desires Mari all to himself, and is hostile to anyone he sees as getting in the way, particularly Takumi.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Movie shows the scenario of what if the Orphnochs took over 99.9% of the world. (The answer is, it sucks to be a human in that world, but the Orphnoch majority lives pretty much like we do.)

Open your eyes for the next Faiz.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Kamen Rider Faiz


Death of Elephant Orphenoch

Instead of simply exploding like most toku monsters, Kamen Rider Faiz's Orphenochs suffer this trope instead.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / ReducedToDust

Media sources: