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Series / Kamen Rider Hibiki

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Hit the beat, keep your beat!

Kamen Rider Hibiki is the 2005-2006 series of Kamen Rider. The sixth installment in the Heisei Era, Hibiki was intended to be a radical departure from the standard Rider formula in order to shake up things in response to the declining ratings and sales of the franchise.

Deep within the forests of Japan, a secret war is being fought against the monstrous Makamou that prey on innocent humans. Standing on the frontline of this battle are the Oni: humans who have trained their bodies to harness supernatural power and defeat their demonic enemies.

A young boy called Asumu Adachi stumbles into this conflict when he meets Hibiki: a cool and confident man who is also one of the leading Oni of the "Takeshi" group. Asumu is unsure what he wishes to do with his life, and finds a mentor and role model in the reluctant Hibiki. He later meets Ibuki, a mellow Oni training a young girl named Akira to be his successor, and Todoroki, an excitable new Oni who wishes to create his own legacy under the watchful eye of his veteran mentor Zanki.

The story is told from the perspective of Asumu and is very much a Coming of Age Story focusing on the relationship between mentor and student, the old and new generation and the choices that we make in life. The Oni are all Musical Assassins, using their "pure sound" to purify the Makamou they fight. The series also averts Hard Work Hardly Works by showing the Oni training hard to maintain their bodies and ability to use the Oni power; in fact, an entire arc ("Summer Of Training") is devoted entirely to their training efforts.

The show suffered from poor toy sales and high production costs, and became one of the few Kamen Rider series to be Retooled. The producer and main screenwriters were fired and replaced, leading to a vastly-different tone in the final third of the series. Production was reportedly so disorganized that the script for the last episode was being rewritten while it was being filmed. Several of the actors went on to speak out against the changes, feeling that the final result did not reflect the true spirit of the show.

Partnered with the Super Sentai show Mahou Sentai Magiranger after initially airing alongside the final episodes of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger in the Super Hero Time block.

In addition to the main series, Kamen Rider Hibiki has two spinoffs. Kamen Rider Hibiki: Asumu, Transform! You Can Be An Oni, Too!! is a DVD episode that was distributed by Televi-kun magazine. Kamen Rider Hibiki And The Seven Senki is a Non-Serial Movie that places Hibiki characters in a The Magnificent Seven Samurai homage. There is also a novel set in the same period as the film released in 2013, written by the same person who did much of the show's first half and which doubles as a crossover with Henshin Ninja Arashi.

Followed by Kamen Rider Kabuto.

Voted #17 series in the Heisei era, and #24 product overall in NHK’s All Kamen Rider Popularity Ranking.

Recurring Kamen Rider tropes include:

Because I'm well-troped...

  • Alliterative Name: Every Oni began life with one; upon becoming an Oni, they adopt a new name that begins with the same syllable (Ex.: Hitoshi Hidaka -> Hibiki). Though Todayama was briefly given the option to take the Zanki name.
  • All Myths Are True: well, just the ones about Japanese demons at any rate...
  • The Apprentice: Asumu
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Notable as the first time that Heisei-era Kamen Riders battle monsters the size of buildings, WITHOUT relying on giant size themselves. The first were the battles against King Dark and the leaders of the Delza Army and Neoshocker
  • Badass Normal: Most of the Oni are strong fighter even untransformed. Justified as they always trained their body and most of their strength come from their own training instead of being just Instant Expert. Biggest example would be Zanki after his semi retirement before Shuki shows up.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The novel deals with a new group of Edo-period Oni chasing after the third Hattori Hanzō, Hattori Masanari. As it turns out, he's actually a fellow Oni named Shokuki, but never did redeem himself for that Accidental Murder and turns into a Makamou near the end.
  • Big Eater: Todoroki. Mentioned to be the source of his strength in the Hyper Battle DVD.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Oddly enough, the penultimate episode ends with one of these. When Hibiki starts the sealing ritual to stop Orochi from occurring, he and the other Oni are attacked by hordes of Makamou. The ending of this climactic fight isn't seen, as the final episode takes place one year later.
  • Breath Weapon: Hibiki could shoot flame from his mouth, before the Retool tossed the ability to the wind.
  • Butt-Monkey: Sabaki who loses every time we see him
  • Captain Crash: In a massive subversion of the best known Kamen Rider trope, pre-Retool Hibiki is utterly crap on a bike or in a car.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Todoroki(!)
  • Distant Finale: Unlike the standard version of this, it takes place only one year down the line.
  • The Everyman: Asumu Adachi
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Inverted here. Apparently the orchestra performing the soundtrack for this series doubled up as the foley department.
  • Evil Mentor: Shuki, Zanki's Knight Templar teacher.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Watch Kiriya's expression when he meets Hibiki for the first time.
  • First-Name Basis: The one-year-later Distant Finale is open-ended as to the nature Asumu and Hitomi's relationship, but the change from calling her "Mochida-san" to calling her "Hitomi" is pretty blatant, nonetheless.
  • Freudian Trio
    • Ego: Hibiki
    • Superego: Ibuki
    • Id: Todoroki
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Zanki does this to Ibuki once, and Todoroki gets something like a Heroic BSoD when he thinks Zanki doesn't believe him to be worth the trouble.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: these are recurring enemies in this series.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Shuki, whose Oni form reflects this by growing an ugly demon face.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: As revealed in the novel, Hattori Masanari never redeemed himself as the third Hattori Hanzō and turned into a Makamou, cursing his fellow Oni and predicting the rise of Nazi Germany and later Shocker in his dying breath.
  • Homage: A couple to Shotaro Ishinomori's earlier work, Henshin Ninja Arashi, which, according to rumor, Hibiki was at one point planned to be a spin-off/sequel/remake of. The Oni Armor used by briefly used by Shuki was visually inspired by Arashi himself, and the Makamou that appear in The Movie bear a symbol reminiscent of Arashi's Blood Wheel Clan.
  • Honest Axe: Asumu learns to narrate this fable towards the end of the series. It's relevant to the plot in a way, as Asumu has to be honest with himself about whether the path of an Oni was ever the one for him.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All episodes in Hibiki are composed of a noun following a verb that qualifies it.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: Some of the monsters are giant flying fish with wings stuck on.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Elite Mook Berserk Douji.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Pretty much every good guy in the show, since they're all Musical Assassins.
  • Instrument of Murder: Ibuki's gun/trumpet and Hibiki's fireball-shooting drumsticks.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: "Kagayaki" (lit. "Radiance"). Hibiki is the only Kamen Rider series to have one such thing... until the executive meddling struck in.
  • Kabuki Sounds
  • Karma Houdini: Kiriya eventually gets his wish to become an Oni despite all the crap he pulls to try and cheat his way to the top. However, this could be a subverted trope, since he does get much character development and becomes more humble towards his superiors. He even admits to his rival Asumu that he thinks well of him in the epilogue.
  • Karmic Death: Shuki, responsible for Zanki's Game-Breaking Injury many years ago, dies by her own hand in the present.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The in-universe explanation for Hibiki's Kurenai Super Mode is that monsters get stronger during the summer months, and Hibiki wants to save time by blowing them up in one hit.
  • Larynx Dissonance: A comedy trope played for the creepy factor. The Douji (male) speaks with the voice of the Hime (female) and vice versa.
  • Lighter and Softer: Despite this series being about demon hunting as well as carnivorous demons preying on humans and the transformation sequences decimating the Onis' civilian clothing, Hibiki has a much more Slice of Life tone than the first five Heisei series as well as being a coming-of-age story about training and being a better person. On a slightly smaller note, the Retool removed the fire breathing (Onibi) and the Oni claws (Onizume) abilities' sequences along with Ibuki opening his mouth for his attack, and the Makamou that opened their mouths too wide or spurted liquids due to the complaints about these sequences from parent advocacy groups who claimed that they scared children.
  • Location Theme Naming: The five movie-exclusive Oni are all about Location Theming - Nishiki is The Idiot from Osaka, Touki invokes Hokkaido's climate as the Mighty Glacier, and Always Camp Kabuki hails from the entertainment capital Edo (which would later become the actual capital, Tokyo.)
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Hibiki's first Super Mode is one that turns him red.
  • Magic Music: Used to purify the Makamou.
  • Meaningful Name: Ibuki ("majestic breath demon"), Hibiki ("echo demon"), and Todoroki ("roaring demon") all have names associated with sound.
  • Mentor Archetype: Hibiki, though he doesn't want to admit it.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Zanki.
  • Mickey Mousing: A staple of the first half of the series, prior to the Retool. The very first scene of the first episode consisted of this, and Mickey Mousing scenes continued to be used every couple of episodes until the Retool got rid of them.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Kurenai Form
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: A manta ray with eagle wings and claws? Check. A deepsea viperfish with buffalo horns? Check. A crayfish that flies on dragonfly wings? Check.
  • Musical Episode
  • Musical Pastiche: The instruments of the opening theme change depending on which Oni is the focus of the episode. (e.g. Drums for Hibiki, trumpet for Ibuki, electric guitar for Todoroki.)
  • Mythology Gag
    • The traditional Rider Kick is no longer the finishing blow of the season, but that doesn't stop our heroes from executing them anyway, from as early as episode 2. Black RX did pretty much the same thing.
    • Hibiki being utterly crap on a motorcycle (pre-Retool) could fall under this.
    • And the three primary Oni's special salutes hark back to Godai Yusuke's thumbs-up gesture in Kuuga.
    • The same thing happened in Kamen Rider Agito, and coincidentally involves another Jerkass meeting another title character for the first time.
  • Naked People Are Funny: When Tomizo tries to transform off his helmet in episode 16, he accidentally took off all his clothes in the process.
  • Non-Serial Movie: Despite providing a backstory for the Takeshi organization, the different origin for the Armed Saber and the actual presence of Orochi, an offscreen monster in the series finale, qualify The Movie under this.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Hibiki's behaviour sometimes borders on this, at least to total strangers.
  • Older Than She Looks: Shuki.
  • Oni: The Kamen Riders are all called Oni, but they are humans who transform with magical instruments to fight the Makamou, evil spirits.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Oni all go by their Oni titles in everyday life. Only the real names of Todoroki (Todayama) and Zanki (Zaitsuhara) have been revealed.
  • Palette Swap: Hibiki's first powerup form is... Hibiki in red and silver. The one that follows is significantly more elaborate. And Zanki and Todoroki look exactly the same, apart from bronze and silver detail respectively.
  • The Power of Rock: Todoroki (and to a lesser extent, Zanki), who wield electric guitars. Todoroki even goes so far as to play his own guitar solos whenever he wins a battle.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: "Super Douji" and "Super Hime", introduced after the Retool.
  • Razor Wind: One of several finishing moves the Armed Saber is capable of.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hibiki and Ibuki may appear to be a literal version of this, but they're really quite similar apart from an age difference and some levels of maturity. Hibiki and Zanki however...
  • Retraux: It's basically That '80s Show for Kamen Rider.
  • Robot Buddy: The Disc Animals.
  • Rule of Funny: the lighthearted attitude prevalent in Hibiki reaches fever pitch when romantic troubles cause Ibuki and Todoroki's finishing moves to give out on them.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Interestingly inverted: the Mooks wear the scarves, and the improvement is entirely cosmetic.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: Okay, it's standard procedure to advertise the series' movies every year, but aside from the end-of-episode bloopers, in episode 30, Hibiki advertises "an interesting Jidaigeki movie about seven cool men" to two elderly ladies at Tachibana. Maybe it's something else in-universe, but we spectators can't be fooled into thinking it's anything but its movie.
  • Shout-Out: The organization "Takeshi" shares a name with Takeshi Hongo (Kamen Rider 1).
  • Slice of Life: With the twist that most of the cast are professional demon hunters.
  • Tell Me About My Father: Asumu lives with his single mother. When his rival is constantly talking about surpassing his father, Asumu begins wondering what his own father is like. His mother is acting very distant about is, but gives him his father's address. Asumu indirectly gets to know his father by the testimony of other people. The episode ends with him asking his mother if its okay to like him, after which his mother encourages him to do so.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Kabuki in the summer movie.
  • This Loser Is You: Asumu.
  • Those Two Girls: Kasumi and Hinaka.
  • Training from Hell: Hibiki and Todoroki have to undergo this after they lose their powers.
  • The Unreveal: Akira in her Oni form. Shuki as she should look, given her actual age.
  • Visions of Another Self: The movie, which features "samurai era" parallels of the entire cast.


Video Example(s):


Hibiki and the Seven Senki

The Oni from Kamen Rider Hibiki use the ultrasonic vibrations of their music to shatter the Monster of the Week.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / MusicalAssassin

Media sources: