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Kamen Rider Kiva is the 2008-2009 series of Kamen Rider and the ninth installment in the Heisei Era.

Across the years humanity has been menaced by the vampire-esque Fangire. As an organization of hunters tries desperately to hold the line, 2008's main hope rests in Wataru Kurenai, a violinist with some very strange habits. His father has disappeared, leaving behind his magnum opus, the Bloody Rose violin. Whenever the strings of the Bloody Rose vibrate, Wataru is called to do battle, using his partner bat Kivat to transform into Kamen Rider Kiva.

The story is told in two time periods simultaneously, with events in the past directly affecting the present. In 2008, Wataru struggles with his legacy as Kiva while contending with the Wonderful Blue Sky Organization, humanity's defence against the Fangire. Of particular note are two members: Megumi Aso, a model by day and Fangire hunter by night who wishes to carry on her mother's legacy, and Bounty Hunter Keisuke Nago, the organization's top operative who wields the power of Kamen Rider IXA and a vengeful obsession with defeating Kiva.

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Meanwhile in 1986, Wataru's father Otoya Kurenai waltzes through life while the Wonderful Blue Sky Organization struggles to fight off the Fangire threat. He falls for Yuri Aso, the organization's top operative who seeks to avenge her mother's death, and joins her in their fight. He soon comes into conflict with another new operative, a mysterious vagabond named Jiro, who is chosen to be the user of the Wonderful Blue Sky Organisation's newest weapon: the prototype IXA System.

Partnered with the Super Sentai show Engine Sentai Goonger after initially airing alongside the final episodes of Juken Sentai Gekiranger in the Super Hero Time block.

Kamen Rider Kiva's tie-in projects include:

  • Kamen Rider Den-O & Kiva: Climax Deka, a crossover movie with the previous season, Kamen Rider Den-O (at least on paper; in practice, the Den-O cast steal the show).
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  • Kamen Rider Kiva: You Can Also Be Kiva, a non-canon DVD special distributed by Televi-kun magazine where Wataru, Otoya, and Nago interact with the viewer.
  • Kamen Rider Kiva: King of the Castle in the Demon World, the summer Non-Serial Movie.
    • Kamen Rider Uranote -Kiva: Queen of the Castle in the Demon World, an internet Gag Series.


This series contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Jiro in Garuru form, when consuming human souls, starts by cleaving their souls from their bodies with one swipe of his claws.
  • Abusive Precursors: The role of the Fangire King is to stem human progress by targeting its scientific advances.
  • All Just a Dream: The entire events of "Queen of the Castle in the Demon World".
  • All There in the Manual: The official backstory mentions thirteen Demon Races, yet we only ever see eight (Fangire, Kivat, Dran, Wolfen, Merman, Franken, Sagarc, and Legendorga). The setting information reveals the other five and their status:
    • Mermaid: A One-Gender Race resembling traditional mermaids, they have a symbiotic relationship with the Mermen in order to reproduce. They escaped the Fangires' purge, but were hunted extensively by humans in the 19th century, and with the near-extinction of the Mermen their numbers continue to dwindle.
    • Ghost: A race of beings who, due to their lack of corporeal form, can't interact with physical matter. They absorb Life Energy by inhaling it.
    • Gigant: A race of giants, all over 10 meters tall, with several sub-species like Cyclops and Yeti. The 3WA from The Movie captured several Yeti for experimentation in order to make Kamen Rider Rey. They've managed to avoid the Fangires' extinction quest.
    • Hobbit: The polar opposite of the Gigant, a race of 10-centimeter, dwarfen beings. Hobbits are pacifistic farmers who live in the woods and escaped extinction by surrendering and subordinating themselves to the Fangire.
    • Goblin: A race of cruel creatures who eat the flesh of other intelligent beings and had nasty habits like collecting bones. In-fighting all but eliminated their race, a job completed by an army of Fangire lead by the Checkmate Four and the first King, who wielded the Saga Armor in battle.
  • All Your Powers Combined: DoGaBaKi Form.
    • There's also Emperor DoGaBaKi Form in the Hyper Battle Video. Unfortunately, due to budget constraits, it looks a bit shit (it's VERY clearly just the original DoGaBaKi with Emperor Form's helmet, bracers, greaves, and cape).
      • Which is a little odd and redundant, seeing as Emperor Form can already use all three Arms Monster weapons thanks to Tatsulot's Fever ability.
  • Alternate Continuity: The upcoming novel, which is a reimagination of the TV series, where Kiva is Wataru's Fangire form. With that, Kivat, Bassha and Dogga do not exist in this story. Meanwhile, Jiro/Garulu, who is in turn, a Fangire Hunter. Shizuka Nomura is an important character and actually does something to contribute to the plot. And Nago never befriends Wataru, who ends up as the final villain.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted in a few incidents with Fangires who just want to live normal lives and particularly with the Checkmate Four, who are more Lawful Evil.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Wataru and Shizuka befriend a large, cheerful man who Does Not Know His Own Strength, nicknaming him "Dai-chan" ("Mr. Big", essentially). When he recovers his memories, it turns out that he's Rook, The Brute of the Checkmate Four, who spends most of his time engaging in random acts of murder for fun.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: invoked at the beginning of every ep, thanks to Kivat.
    "Minna, shiteru ka?" ("Everybody, did you know?")
  • And the Adventure Continues
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Subverted to hell and back by Queen, whose purpose is to kill any Fangire who falls in love with a human; King, who is not above killing any Fangire who seeks to help human progress; and any Fangire attempting to kill Maya, past and present.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Nago scoffing the idea of spiritual mediums. Sadly, he's the one character who never witnessed Otoya possessing Wataru.
  • Arranged Marriage: Because Mio is the 2008 incarnation of the Fangire Queen, she is expected to marry Taiga who is the Fangire King. She almost goes through with it too, but instead she tries to kill him as she's not really in love with him.
  • The Artifact: Bloody Rose and Wataru's original goal to build a violin equal or surpassing it.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Kamen Rider Arc in the movie, billed as the tallest Kamen Rider in history at 3.2m.
    • Ep. 41 combines this with Zerg Rush. The thing is, they're all copies of Sagarc.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Otoya and Yuri get such a moment in episode 24.
    • Nago & Megumi also get one, as they are married in the final episode.
  • Badass Cape: Kiva Emperor Form and Dark Kiva.
  • Battle Butler: Riki/Dogga, and the Arms Monsters in general. The Moose Fangire is this to Taiga. Interestingly, both cases are there to supplement some kind of Parental Abandonment.
  • Battle Couple: Nago and Megumi, especially since the two get hitched at the end of the show. Otoya and Yuri were this to an extent until Otoya fell in love with Maya.
  • Berserk Button: Literally. "BUTTON! MY BUTTON! MY BUTTON!"
  • The Berserker: Garulu Form lack's Wataru's hesitation and growls a lot white fighting, so can look like this. It actually happens when Bishop unseals Wataru's Fangire side and he turns on his friends.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Kengo gets such a moment in episode 19. And upgrades to Dynamic Entry in ep. 34.
  • Big Eater: Megumi, who's supposed to be a model. Apparently she gets it from Yuri, who's shown taking up a 3000g eating challenge in ep. 12, and then going on amusement park rides - and it's Otoya who has trouble keeping it together.
  • Blood Brothers: Otoya and the Arms Monsters.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Wataru's son from the future Masao interrupts Nago and Megumi's wedding to warn everyone of the Neo Fangire. The series ends with Wataru, Masao, Nago, Taiga and the Arms Monsters transforming and flying off to face the threat.
  • Book-Ends: There's a Fangire attack occurring in a church in both the premiere, middle, and finale of the show.
  • Bounty Hunter: Nago's "real" job when he's not hunting Fangire.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Tatsulot to Kivat.
  • Bullet Catch: Wataru is capable of this in his kiva form, however it ends up bein Awesome, but Impractical since Fangires don't use firearms.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Wataru may be a competent violin player and craftsman, but the materials he uses...
  • Cassandra Truth: Yuri Aso is always being told these, such as "I'm actually 105 years old" and "Your boyfriend is actually a Wolf Man who wants to use you to repopulate his race."
    • Possibly averted with Otoya, who doesn't seem to care that Maya claims to have known people from hundreds of years ago.
    • Very early on in the series, Nago asks Wataru where Kiva went, and Wataru points to himself. Nago tells him to stop kidding around.
  • Chained by Fashion: Applies to Kiva, Arc, Rey, and 80s King
  • Chess Motif: The Checkmate Four, as noted by the name, all have Chess Motifs which fittingly refers to their roles. For an added bonus, Rook's Image Song fades into King's Image Song, making the reference to Castling, a technique that can only be done by both the King and the Rook in which the King and the Rook move to each other's spots.
  • Clear My Name: all '08 Blue Sky agents in ep. 27 (Nago narrowly escapes though, kickstarting the plot).
  • Conspicuous CGI: Kiva's ride, the Machine Kiva, once the Bron Booster attachments go on - or get added on in postproduction, apparently. Especially conspicuous in a series with CGI dragon castles battling giant chandeliers smoothly every time.
  • Crossover: In the movie Climax Deka, Kiva was crossed over with Kamen Rider Den-O. Or maybe it's the other way around because the Kiva characters have such a minor role. Happens again in Den-O and Decade: The Onigashima Warship, where the Arms Monsters appear but get about five minutes of screentime, most of it while under possession by the Taros.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Done rather epically in the final fight against the revived King.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Mio
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: Garulu Form's specialty.
  • Dare to Be Badass: "Break The Chain" is essentially "get out and enjoy life" sung to sweet rock music; apt, given what Wataru's like at the start of the series.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Dark Kiva, when used by Otoya and Taiga.
  • Dark Reprise: Within the show's music, the song "Individual-System" is IXA's theme, singing of IXA as a hero. Then there's the Nago version, "Fight for Justice", which distorts the lyrics to suit Nago's single-minded mission. The inverse happens when the song is remixed again into "Don't lose yourself", sung by the new, friendlier Nago.
    • Subverted in that when "Fight for Justice" finally appears in the show, it's as Rising IXA's theme after Keisuke learned from Otoya how to be a better person
  • Deader Than Dead: While Kiva destroys a Fangire's body and Castle Dran absorbs its soul, IXA destroys both body and soul.
    • As do Queen and King. Kiva's Emperor Form does the same; we can only assume he got to the point where he stopped caring. (Or rather, production got tired of doing it. There is no onscreen discussion of certain suits/forms having super-awesome fangire soul-exorcism powers that others lack - the "fangire soul leaves and Dran eats it" sequences just stop appearing after a while.)
  • Deadly Upgrade: IXA's 1986 incarnation is rather unstable.
    • It is fatal for humans to become Dark Kiva, as Otoya proves.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kivat.
  • Demonic Possession: Not quite demonic, but there's a two-episode arc where Otoya's spirit takes over Wataru's body. It doesn't seem to happen for any particular reason, other than to generate a Funny Moment as Kouji Seto pulls a credible impression of Kouhei Takeda and the normally sullen Wataru acts...well, like Otoya.
  • Demoted to Extra: Ramon/Basshaa kinda gets the short end of the stick. He is the only one of the Arms Monsters who doesn't get a character-specific arc or a Fever attack as part of Emperor Form. Even in Kamen Rider Decade, it continues, as when Kiva's powers are being used by Tsukasa, he uses Garulu and Dogga Forms to good effect, dons Basshaa, and... doesn't get off a single shot before being owned.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Kiva Form
    • The full name of the Zanvat Sword (Maōken Zanbatto Sword) includes both the Japanese and English terms, resulting in the translated name being Demon Imperial Sword Zanvat Sword.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Not so much early in the season (Fangire are notably NOT a One-Gender Race), but after the Fangire Queen is revealed, most of the Fangire she eliminates for falling in love with humans are female. Ep. 42 takes this to its logical conclusion by having Yuri and Maya face off with a female Fangire acting as Castle Doran sentry.
  • Detachment Combat: Fangires attack humans with flying teeth.
  • Deuteragonist: Otoya
  • Dhampyr: The title character, who is half-Fangire.
  • Disappeared Dad: Megumi's father is never mentioned, and we don't find out who it is.
  • Disney Death: Shima, Maya
  • Distant Finale: The '86 flashbacks in the latter half of #46 act as this for the 1986 era, which is never revisited from that point on.
  • Distressed Damsel: Yuri, Mio, and 2008 Maya to some extent.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: After a fashion; Toei formed a "limited band" called TETRA-FANG to perform the battle themes for Kiva, with Koji Seto (Wataru) as lead singer. This also applies to the remixes of IXA's theme Individual-System (sung by Keisuke Kato), and debatably to the songs on the Inherited-System album (sung by the primary users of the IXA System, including Otoya, Yuri, Megumi, and Jiro).
  • Dracula: Kiva or Dark Kiva?
  • Dragon Rider: Even better, a robot dragon.
  • Dramatic Irony: sometimes used to connect '86 and '08 events. And played straight when Taiga learns that Wataru's girlfriend is leaving him for someone without knowing that it's him.
  • Dreadful Musician: In episode 9, Yuri's violin playing can kill a whole pool of fish.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Blink and you'll miss Nago in the OP from the first ep onwards.
  • Easily Forgiven: Otoya winds up befriending all the Arms Monsters, even after Jiro actually kidnapped Yuri.
  • Elemental Powers: Kiva's forms using the Arms Monsters each have one.
  • Epic Fail: ep. 28, when Wataru and Kengo are drafted into a shorthanded Blue Sky Organisation, and proceed to bumble dangerously during weapons practice. Epic Fail with an Epic Flail, even.
    • Wataru as Nago's bounty-hunting understudy in ep. 32 goes as well as you'd expect it to.
  • Evil Counterpart: Dark Kiva is an inversion - he came first chronologically, and the modern Kiva is his good counterpart.
  • Expy: A very rare case of the Expy as a leading character. Otoya is clearly modelled on Ozaki of Den-O, from the outfit to the hairdo to the Leisure Suit Larry schtick and perhaps Austin Powers.
    • The Checkmate Four is what happens when you mix the Volturi with the Lucky Clover.
    • Mio is a lot like the main Rider, to the 'are they Separated at Birth twins?' level, and they enjoy each other's company a lot but it doesn't end well. Where have we seen this before?
    • The dynamic between Kiva and Ixa is very similar to that between Zetman and Alphasz. They even have similar color schemes.
      • It also resembles the dynamic between Agito and Gills, with the Second Rider hating The Hero as a Rider being good friends with him in their human identities. It even has the same resolution, with the Second Rider learning the Hero's identity and getting over his hatred.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Rook, when still amnesiac, downs a whole pot of mushrooms and whatever Wataru was planning to use for his violin varnish.
  • Fake Band: The Ikemens, featuring Kengo and Wataru. Though they did produce a cover of Wataru's battle theme ("Destiny's Play") for the Kiva soundtrack.
    • Though in the context of the show, Destiny's Play was an original song of Kengo's creation
  • Faux Action Girl: Megumi and her mother, Yuri (whose attacks can even prolong Fangire lives for up to 22 years). Though they both get a Moment of Awesome in episode 31.
  • Fanservice: The director's cut of The Movie shows Otoya's butt during the bath scene.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Vampires, European dragons, werewolves, mermen, Frankenstein's monsters, ghosts, mummies, medusas, gargoyles... the list goes on and on.
  • Finishing Move: For the first time in a while, some of these involve Stock Footage:
    • Kiva: Darkness Moon Break, Garulu Howling Slash, Basshaa Aqua Tornado, Dogga Thunder Slap, Emperor Moon Break, Emperor Howling Slash, Emperor Aqua Tornado (never shown), Emperor Thunder Slap, Final Zanvat Slash, Bloody Strike, DoGaBaKi Emperor Break.
    • IXA: Broken Fang, IXA Judgement, Final Rising Blast
    • Saga: Snaking Death Break
    • Dark Kiva: Darkness Hell Crash, King's Burst End, King's World End
    • Rey: Blizzard Claw Execution
    • Arc: Ultimate Dead End
  • Foregone Conclusion: Right from the beginning, we know that Yuri and Otoya end up dead. Partially subverted in Yuri's case, as we never see her die or even find out what happened to her.
  • Foreshadowing: In #19-20, where Otoya "borrows" Wataru's body from beyond the grave, he mentions Kivat the 2nd, a character who shows up 18 episodes later. There's also the Kivat-like silhouette in the '86 period appearing at the end of #20.
    • Nago admits that he does like Megumi as early as #4. By the last episode, they're married.
    • Kengo's right hand is a bit sore after his Big Damn Heroes moment in #19. In #28 he takes a Game-Breaking Injury to that arm.
    • #32. Taiga can make someone back down with just a staredown. Wataru starts spamming this when he takes the Fangire King rank for himself.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: While the arms monsters aren't forgotten as characters, Kiva's form changes are mostly sidelined once Wataru earns Emperor Form. Similarly, the Fever attacks that involve connecting Tatsulot to the Arms monsters in weapon form are forgotten when the Zanvat Sword is introduced (before Bassha Fever even has a chance.)
    • Not to mention Castle Doran, Shoo Doran, Buron Booster, etc.
    • Some powers were never even shown: IXA only ever used one of his three Fake Fuestles, and according to the official toy, the IXARiser has special codes called IXARiser Blast Commands, as well as a Scouter Search Mode, but these were never displayed in any official material.
  • Four Is Death: The Checkmate Four, which have members themed after the standard special chess pieces.note 
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Dogga is based on this.
  • Freudian Trio: The Arms Monsters.
    • Id: Jiro
    • Ego: Ramon
    • Superego: Riki
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: in The Movie. An escaped convict, found sleeping in a dump early on, becomes Kamen Rider Arc.
  • Funetik Aksent: IXA. Or in its case "Fa-Ne-Ti-Ku A-Ku-Se-N-To."note 
  • Fun with Acronyms: IXA = Intercept X Attacker (which is a pun on ikusa, meaning "war")
  • Fur Against Fang: Jiro (a Wolfen) fighting the Fangire in 1986.
  • Generational Saga: Split between 1986, when Otoya serves as the main protagonist, and 2008, with his son Wataru.
  • Genius Loci: Castle Dran
  • Girlish Pigtails: Yuri in the flashbacks to Rook killing her mother. Which look really Narmy considering she's like the Jane Lynch of Kamen Rider.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Nago, at least until he starts mellowing out in the second half of the series.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Wataru, although the hint is rather obvious whenever he begins his transformation sequence.
  • Hammer Space: Where does the IXA belt go? To complete the transformation, the IXA Knuckle must dock onto the belt, but many times, the Knuckle is stolen and the new user will be able to activate it - when he reaches down to complete the transformation, the belt is just there. The first few times IXA is used, we see the belt must be attached manually, so it's not one of the "Driver creates belt" cases (like Kiva himself, for example.)
  • Handsome Lech: Otoya
  • Heroic BSoD
  • Hikikomori: Wataru, who is so withdrawn in the first episode he might as well be. Sadly, after he got over it, after having the worst case of Heroic BSoD in Rider history it happens again.
  • He's Back: There are tons of moments late in the show, given how much of the trouble the heroes had to go through. One that springs to mind is Nago returning as IXA in #40, complete with the episode title fitting that exact moment.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Kengo.
  • Hour of Power: Kiva can only use DoGaBaKi form for five minutes.
  • Hufflepuff House: The Rook position in the Checkmate Four. All of the other members have important roles in Fangire society. Rook just plays games all day. At one point he decides to do good deeds and then die so he can go to heaven, simply because he has nothing better to do.
    • Although no real purpose has been cited, he did seem to (mostly) wipe out the Wolfen at the very least (Possibly the Franken & Mermen too). It is possible that eliminating competing monster races was his job, and it's been accomplished.
  • Hulk Speak: Dogga
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Episode names are in two parts to represent events in the past and present. Not to mention that the first part has some reference to music.
  • Idiot Ball: Bishop: "Hey Taiga, I thought that Mio was a crappy Queen because she got you hurt and was making you act dumb, so I killed her and made it look like Kiva did it. Isn't that great?" * PUNCH TO THE FACE* "Ow... Well screw you, then! We don't need a new king! I'll just bring your dad back to life."
  • The Idiot from Osaka: Kengo. At first.
  • I Do Not Drink Wine: Invoked. Megumi takes to Taiga immediately, offering to buy him lunch, but he turns her down by claiming he "doesn't eat much".
  • IKEA Weaponry: Blue Sky agents are always issued with these, whether it's Yuri's two-part knife (which even becomes a Whip Sword!) or Megumi's odd winged pistol (which somehow doubles as an Epic Flail).
  • Inspector Javert: Nago's shtick before he starts to mellow out.
  • Instant Runes: Dark Kiva's Finishing Move
  • Institutional Apparel: Prison escapee Takashi Sugimura wears this for the entirety of the Non-Serial Movie
  • Interspecies Romance: Otoya Kurenai and Maya.
  • Ironic Echo: between certain '86 and '08 events.
  • Jerkass: Keisuke "I hate music" Nago.
    • Also, Yuri Aso towards Otoya, when the latter isn't trying to get into her pants
      • She gets better. As in she finally realizes Otoya loves her and moves in with him. Unfortunately, that doesn't last.
  • Karma Houdini: Jirou faces absolutely no backlash for kidnapping Yuri and trying to rape her.
  • Kid from the Future: Wataru becomes one to Otoya when he travels back in time, and the Generation Xerox effect photocopies it all over again when his son from 22 years in the future appears in the final episode.
  • Knight Templar: It would probably be more accurate to re-name this article "The Keisuke Nago".
  • Large Ham: Certainly not Kivat-bat the 3rd.
    • Also, the Spider Fangire. Oh god, the Spider Fangire.
    • No mention of Keisuke Nago yet?! Just look at his exercise video for proof!
    • Megumi has her moments too. And special mention must be made of Kenji Matsuda, previously The Stoic in Kamen Rider Hibiki, now spending exactly half the time flexing his comedic chops by playing up the wolfman behavior as Jiro.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Otoya in episode 25.
    • Rook in #15-16 too.
  • Last of His Kind: Garulu, Basshaa and Dogga are the last of the Wolfen, Mermen and Franken races respectively.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: No web page about Kiva fails to gleefully mention Wataru's Dhampyr nature within the first two or three sentences, though in the show, Wataru's mom being the Fangire Queen instead of the woman we thought it was for the first 20-some episodes was a huge revelation.
  • Life Energy: All humans have this, and the other races generally eat human life energy for sustenance, but it's not really clear on whether said other races have life energy of their own or not.
  • Lighthearted Rematch: In the finale, Wataru and Taiga, who have been trying to have a fight to the death that Bishop kept interrupting for several episodes, have already made up and become loving half-brothers again. But they still want to fight, if only to fully get rid of their stress and bring them a bit closer together. Of course, how "close" they become is anyone's guess.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Any human killed by Fangires will become glass and shatter eventually. The Fangires themselves turn into glass when dying or killed, only difference is that they turn into stained glass.
  • Love Hurts Boy, does it ever in this series, especially when you take into consideration what happens to Mio, Maya and Yuri. It SUCKS to love a Kurenai...
  • Love Triangle (about three or four: Otoya/Yuri/Jiro, Taiga/Mio/Wataru, Otoya/Yuri/Maya and Otoya/Maya/King)
  • Magic from Technology: IXA's Fuestles seem to invoke this.
  • Meaningful Echo: between certain '86 and '08 events, and once the '86 story is done with after #46, this takes place within '08 when both Taiga and Nago find themselves about to lose everything they have.
  • Meaningful Name: Wataru Kurenai ("crimson" in Japanese), Riki (Dogga's human form, "power" in Japanese), Jiro (part of whose name means "wolf"), Bishop, King, Rook, Maya ("True Night"), "Kiva" using the katakana for "kiba" ("fang") and being a contraction of "King of Vampires" according to Word of God.
    • Also, as Otoya himself points out early on, the first kanji in his name means "sound". Given that he's a musician, it fits.
    • The real names of the Arms Monsters are all onomatopoeia for sounds related to their forms: Garulu is the sould of a wolf howling, Basshaa is the sound of splashing, Dogga is the pounding of a hammer.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future...: The story is told in both 2008 and 1986 simultaneously. Time jumps are a common occurrence.
  • Medium Awareness: Once Tatsulot joins Kivat in the episode intros.
    "Who's Modigliani?" "Watch the first episode..."
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: DoGaBaKi Form
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Wataru at first, to the extent that people have been calling him 'Obaketarou'.
  • Monster Mash: This season's particular motif.
  • Mood Whiplash: #33. Going from Yuri catching Otoya with Maya to Megumi complaining that she's gaining weight? Not cool.
  • Mr. Fanservice: EVERY SINGLE MALE CAST MEMBER. Seriously. Even the 1986 KING has his fans.
    • And the producers knew it, too. Not for nothing is Wataru shown lying naked in a bed of roses during the opening sequence.
  • Muggle-and-Magical Love Triangle: Subverted, as at least one member is always Locked Out of the Loop.
  • Multiform Balance:
    • Kiva:
      • Kiva: The default form with balanced stats and high jump power that makes him good with an acrobatic aerial fighting style.
      • Garulu: Transformed by using Garulu Saber. Has the fastest land speed and a stronger kick in exchange for lower arm strength.
      • Basshaa: Transformed by using Basshaa Magum and has sharp vision to make better use of it. Marginally faster than Kiva Form but weaker in everything else. However, this form is good for aquatic combat and capable of creating water even on dry land.
      • Dogga: Transformed by using Dogga Hammer. He gains Super Strength to wield it and heavy armor. Naturally, this costs him speed.
      • DoGaBaKi: Transformed by using all three Arms Monsters at once and can use all three weapons at once. Has higher kick power than basic forms, but weaker arm strength than Dogga, slower than Garulu, and lower jump than Kiva. This form also causes high physical stress, so it can only safely activate for 5 minutes.
      • Emperor: Super Mode activated by having Tatsulot remove his Power Limiter. Superior to the basic forms in almost every respectnote  and can use the Arms Monsters without transforming as well as the new Zanvat Sword.
      • DoGaBaKi Emperor: A non-canon form only seen in a DVD. Activated by transforming into Emperor Form while in DoGaBaKi Form. Supposedly it's DoGaBaKi Form with Emperor Form's combat abilities.
      • Emperor Batnote : Transforms from Emperor Form into a bat monster. Can fly at a speed over mach 3.4 and is powerful enough to engage in a fight against a Sabbat.
    • On surface, Ixa seems to use Next Tier Power-Up with each form (Save Mode > Burst Mode > Rising Ixa) being stronger than before. However, the Save Mode has its use as fail-safe to the Burst Mode by lowering the Powered Armor's output and disabling some functions to stabilize the system. It's just that after 22 years of development, Ver.X armor's Burst Mode is reliable enough.
  • Mysterious Parent
  • Mythology Gag: Kiva's four standard forms correspond to each of Kamen Rider Kuuga's forms:
    • Kiva Form: Mighty Form (red armored, bare-knuckle all-around fighter)
    • Garulu Form: Dragon Form (blue armored, speed-based melee form)
    • Basshaa Form: Pegasus Form (green armored long-range gunner)
    • Dogga Form: Titan Form (purple armored brute strength form with heavy weapon)
    • Emperor Form: Ultimate Form (gold armored Super Mode with the power to use all past forms' weapons (for Kuuga it's All There in the Manual) and a dark counterpart (Dark Kiva and N-Daguba-Zeba respectively).)
      • Lampshaded in Decade when Tsukasa gets into a fight with an Alternate Universe Wataru, using each of Kuuga's forms to match up with their respective Kiva forms.
    • Kiva also contains some nods to Kamen Rider Agito - Garulu and Basshaa Form are asymmetrical, just like Agito's Flame and Storm Forms, Garulu and Storm have their own set of similarities (blue, left-handed melee fighter), and of course DoGaBaKi Form corresponds to Trinity Form, both being mish-mashes of their respective Riders' alternate forms and using All Your Powers Combined-empowered Rider Kicks as their finishers. Additionally, in the early parts of the series Wataru tends not to talk when he's in the Kiva suit; Shoichi was much the same in Agito.
      • The origins of the four Riders in Kiva also mirrors that of the four Riders in Agito - Magic Based Primary Rider, Technology Based Second Rider, Incomplete version of the Primary Rider, Alternate Version of the Primary Rider.
    • Also, the spider-monster in the first episode, who's an Ascended Extra of sorts this season.
    • Rising IXA's Transformation Trinket pops out of the mouthpiece, possibly a tribute to Kamen Rider X.
      • IXA's weapon works just like Kaixa's (a plus shaped weapon that changes from a gun to a sword), they both have a phone Transformation Trinket (although to be fair, IXA's phone is for his most powerful form), and just look at their names! Not to mention that the one who uses it the longest is... not all there.
      • Even better, Saga's belt copies the spinning hub and rod in the side from X's belt.
    • At the end of The Movie, there is a shot of a bunch of mascot costumes goofing around, four of which were the same ones the Taros wear in one of Den-O's own movies, Final Countdown. The one wearing Momotaros's dog costume was even holding a sign that reads "Yakisoba Sanjou!".
    • Taiga's costume of a white jacket and a black glove on one hand resembles what Minami Kotaro wears in Kamen Rider BLACK RX: a white jacket and a white glove on one hand.
  • Never Live It Down: In-universe. Kiva's been branded by the Blue Sky group as an enemy of humanity, but we don't learn till much later that this was all because of Dark Kiva's actions in the past.
  • The Nicknamer: Kivat III called Megumi "Modigliani-neechan"note  in the beginning.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Shizuka does it during her Yandere attempts to break up Wataru and Mio...and then again during her attempts to patch them up.
  • Non-Human Sidekick (Kivat the Second, Third and Tatsulot)
  • Non-Serial Movie: King of the Demon Castle can't fit within the series' continuity and is never referenced again, but it explains where Kiva Flight Style comes from.
    • Though it's implied that Flight Style is Wataru's Fangire form. Dragon Fangire anyone?
    • Additionally, powerful Fangire souls can become massive chandelier-like creatures called Sabbats if not dealt with properly.
    • The presence of Kiva Emperor, but lack of IXA Rising, would indicate that the movie is supposed to take place some time in between episodes 24 and 27 (the episodes where Emperor and Rising respectively debut). Preventing this from being canon, however, is Wataru's knowledge of the Time Door in Castle Doran or the existence of the Arms Monsters, as well as Megumi learning of Wataru's identity as Kiva before it happens in the show. Also questionable is Wataru being in high school (something never mentioned in the show), despite the fact that not only is he 21, but he is also shown to have a stable job.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Sort of averted with IXA (the prototype exists in 1986), but the fact is that there is only one IXA System in existance.
    • Nope, turns out that the 86 model and the 08 model are different units.
  • Not So Invincible After All: In 1986, Rook is a wrecking machine, powerful enough to curbstomp Otoya, Jiro, Riki, and Ramon effortlessly. But all of that comes to an end when he's tricked into using the IXA Knuckle himself, going through a world of hurt when the suit starts acting up on him and leaving him at the mercy of the guys he'd previously kicked the crap out of.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Otoya Kurenai
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Queen/Maya gets her own backing choir.
    • As does Bishop—considering the imagery associated with bishop, understandable.
    • Don't forget Taiga.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Taiga and D&P.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: It's not until Episode 10 that a Fangire is killed by someone other than Kiva, and not until Episode 11 that a Fangire dies in 1986. Most of the time, a Fangire in 1986 can be expected to live till 2008 (sometimes beyond). Of course, without Castle Doran around to consume the Fangire energy, the likelihood of Sabbat appearances is higher...
    • Also, Nago feels this way about Kiva. At first.
  • Orgasmically Delicious: Jiro's reaction to Kido's coffee.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: they're made of stained glass and resemble dozens of animals (and plants) that aren't bats.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: they tend to either be castles, windmills, or wrist-mounted powerup items.
  • Palette Swap: Maya and Mio basically have the same Fangire form, but in red and blue respectively (which dips into Red Oni, Blue Oni at the same time - Maya, bubbly and lively; Mio, quiet and introverted.)
    • The Bear Fangire in ep. 24 is recolored into a polar bear for ep. 44.
  • Parental Abandonment: Wataru's mother left him alone to raise himself; we're left to assume that Kivat III and the Arms Monsters played a major part here.
    • We only see Nago's dad once in a flashback (and it's hinted that Nago drove his father to death). Nago's mother is never mentioned.
    • Kengo talks about his parents but they never appear. The fact that he's not really from Osaka doesn't rule out the idea that they are, and presumably still living there.
    • Same with Shizuka, though it's assumed she lives her mother (even though we never see her).
  • Pietà Plagiarism: How Riki in Dogga form consumes souls.
  • Plug 'n' Play Technology: Fuestles, played straighter with IXA than with the other riders
  • Poor Communication Kills: Uses a formula similar to Agito, with similar results. Nago hates Kiva, thinking that he's an even greater threat than the Fangire. He likes Wataru because of the young man's honesty and innocence. Wataru is aware that Nago is IXA, but the same isn't true in reverse. One episode ends with a Cliffhanger where Nago witnesses Kiva de-transforming into Wataru, with a feeling of "Oh, Crap!" hanging in the air...in the next episode, however, they have a calm discussion, and Nago says he's glad that the power of Kiva is in good hands. It doesn't go so well for other parties, but that's another trope entirely.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Played straight and mixed with Hot Wings when Kamen Rider Arc transforms into his power-up form, Legend Arc
    • Also applies to Kiva Flight Style
  • Power Limiter: The chains on Kiva's armor.
  • The Power of Rock: Kengo is the non-magical epitome of this. At least initially.
  • Powerup Letdown: Rising IXA, whose power level is wildly un-calibrated on its first use.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Ryo Itoya/Spider Fangire, whose puppet-glove insanity reaches Narm status at times.
    • Ramon is rather bloodthirsty (including once suggesting that he, Jiro, and Riki kill Wataru to release them of their contract), given that he looks and sounds like a kid.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Nago gets one in episode 26 after he fakes some tears in order to keep IXA.
  • Punny Name: Every rider from the series has this to one degree or another degree.
    • Kiva is a pun on "kiba"(fang)
    • IXA is a pun of "ikusa"(war)
    • Saga's name's last syllable is a pun on "Ga"(a kanji that means fang, and the same Ga that's the first kanji of Gaoh's name)
    • Dark Kiva's is more of a play on words, since in the show, he's referred to as "Yami no Kiba"(which could mean "Dark Kiva" or "Fang of Darkness")
    • Arc is a pun on "aku"(evil)
    • Rey is a pun on "rei"(cold)
    • Toshihiko Seki plays a prison guard named "Sanjo" in The Movie. When asked his name, he responds "Ore? Sanjo!"
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Emperor Form stealing the spotlight from Kiva's other four forms was entirely a pragmatic move; the original Kiva costume was reportedly so heavy that suit actor Seiji Takaiwa had a difficult time wearing it, almost dying because of its weight at one point. After that, the much lighter Emperor Form costume effectively became Kiva's default form.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Ramon/Basshaa is 105 years old (127 in '08), yet looks like a 13-year old boy when he's not in Rubber Suit form.
    • Although, it should be noted that the actor they hired to play him was 13-14 at the time...
    • And acts like a six-year-old girl.
    • It's only implied for the more powerful Fangires, but Maya actually brings up things that she did hundreds of years ago.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Rook has a pronounced Sweet Tooth.
  • Rearrange the Song: IXA's battle theme, "Individual-System", has two remixes sung by Nago's actor: "Fight for Justice" reflecting his Knight Templar attitude, and "Don't Lose Yourself" after he mellows out.
    • The Re-Union album, released in 2009, includes more remixes, including Wataru's version of his father's "This Love Never Ends", Otoya's version of his son's "Supernova", and an acoustic version of "Roots of the King" sung by both Wataru and Taiga.
  • Re-Cut: A fan with some spare time on his hands began to take clips from the episodes and turn the show into "Kamen Rider IXA", first focusing entirely on the 1986 plot and with plans to then tackle the 2008 plot, focusing more on Nago and Megumi, although it will still feature Wataru and the others.
  • Regal Ringlets: Megumi tends to wear this hairstyle often.
  • Remember the New Guy?: ep. 27, the first time Taiga is ever mentioned.
  • The Reveal: Wataru finds out his mother's a Fangire, Taiga is his half-brother, and that he is a half-Fangire.
    • Also, Bishop reveals that he was the one who killed Mio in order to protect Taiga. Too bad Taiga didn't agree with his method of thinking.
  • The Rival: Keisuke Nago
  • Robo Speak: The IXA belt speaks in a very syllabic, monotone style. In Gratuitous English.
  • Romantic False Lead: Taiga is a combination of a False Lead and a Hopeless Suitor.
  • Screw Destiny: Mio rejects her destiny as 2008's Queen. At first.
    • On the other hand, Wataru's destiny, Maya's end status, and Taiga's overall plan for the Fangire race all seem to pull this off.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Wataru himself, when Bishop "awakens" his Fangire blood, turning him into something of an Emperor Fury Form.
    • Played straight with Kamen Rider Arc, whose spirit was sealed away long ago by a past Kiva before being released.
    • The Arms Monsters in '08.
  • Secret Identity: For most of the series, nobody knows Wataru is Kiva except for Kivat and Shizuka. This is very unusual for a Kamen Rider show, since they usually take the route of "Oh, you regularly transform into an armoured bug-man. How 'bout that."
  • Self-Made Orphan: an infant Taiga finishes off his father and later seemingly does the same to his mother. He actually just punches her with the hilt of the sword.
  • Shipper on Deck: Megumi clearly ships Mio and Wataru, as she tries her best to get them together. Shizuka, on the other hand...
  • Sibling Triangle: Wataru, Taiga and Mio.
  • Shout-Out: Otoya performs Kamen Rider Ichigou's henshin pose when he transforms into IXA.
  • Snakes Are Evil: It's very strongly implied that Taiga is the Snake/Cobra Fangire, as seen with the cobra theme to Saga and Sagarc, as well as his ability to summon a shadowy mass of vipers or a giant feathered serpent named Kukulkan. Ultimately subverted, as Taiga isn't actually evil and ends up trying to help humans and Fangire live together in peace.
  • Spiritual Successor: Arguably to Kamen Rider Faiz, the last series that Toshiki Inoue was the head writer of (not counting Kamen Rider Hibiki, which he only became head writer of midway through) - both shows involve humans living with the same species as the Monster of the Week, the rider is actually a member of said species, there is a fair amount of prejudice by humans towards said species, and so on.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers (Shinji/Ryouko, Mio/Wataru, Maya/Otoya. Most Fangire/human relationships end up like this due to the role of the Fangire Queen.)
  • Stealth Pun: A rather clever one in the form of the Rhinoceros Fangire. His human disguise was a talent scout. Sai is Japanese for both Rhinoceros and Talent.
  • Suicide by Cop: Bear Fangire in ep. 24.
  • Super Speed: Garulu Form
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: The first episode plays this trope sillier than usual with Wataru communicating via pre-written messages in a spiral-bound notebook. When Megumi remarks "You can't possibly have every response you need in there!", Wataru immediately starts hunting through it for the proper response; when she starts trying to forcibly remove his heavy clothing, the camera briefly flashes to the notebook, which has fallen open on a page reading "Somebody please stop her!"
  • Theme Music Power-Up: "Supernova", Emperor Form's theme song, sung by Wataru's actor Koji Seto and composed by Naoki Maeda of Dance Dance Revolution fame. Qualifies as Awesome Music.
  • Those Two Guys: Or rather, That One Girl: Shizuka.
    • And to some extent, Akira Kido.
  • Time Passes Montage
  • Time Travel: A door in Castle Doran allows travel between 1986 and 2008.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Otoya and Yuri.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Jiro, Riki, and Ramon in 1986. They're no allies to the Fangires, but they still eat humans to survive and Jiro occasionally attempts to kill Otoya.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After losing his ability to play guitar, Kengo returns as a soldier and kicks Nago in the face. More than once.
    • Though it's more like Took a Level in Jerkass.
      • In the end, though he apologizes to them for being such a jerk
    • Wataru also does a rather impressive example of this near the end of the series. He's able to scare off Fangire just by glaring at them.
      • Also, at the end of the events in 47, Wataru overthrows Taiga and takes the throne of King and looks incredibly badass doing it all.
  • Tragic Monster: Quite a few, like Frog Fangire from #9-10. The Arms Monsters could count, except they're taking being the Last of Their Kind quite well.
  • Transformation Sequence: Kamen Rider hasn't used these in a long time, but this series has a stock footage transformation sequence for form-changing and 1986 Dark Kiva's transformation.
  • Tsundere: Yuri. Just...Yuri.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Yuri, Otoya and Jiro. Also Wataru, Mio and Taiga.
  • Un-Entendre: In one episode, Otoya, Riki, Jiro, Yuri, and two random girls have a triple date. At one point, Riki's date steps out to freshen up; he follows and eats her soul. After he returns and everyone asks where she went, he replies "I ate her". The others all exclaim "that was quick!" and congratulate him.
    • In this case everyone barring Jiro is thinking that he did something sex-related, Jiro being the only person thus far who actually knows Riki is Dogga, and ate her life force.
  • The Unintelligible: Sagarc, which speaks the long-forgotten Fangire language.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Wataru and Mio.
  • Vampiric Draining: The Fangire, and indeed most of the Demon Races.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Jiro in episode 24.
  • Visual Pun: The first time we see the Fangire King Taiga bleeding, his blood is blue.
    • We got one way before that. Before he became the Second Rider, Keisuke Nago was a Bounty Hunter who would capture criminals. As a memento, he would tear a button from their shirt every time he caught one. When one of them taunted him by sewing his button on so tightly that it couldn't be removed that easily, it caused him to undergo some Sanity Slippage before he went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. In other words, it was his Berserk Button.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: All Fangire, and presumably all Demon Races, can assume human form.
  • Weapon of Choice
  • Wedding Smashers: Unlike Hikaru and Urara, the happy couple actually gets to kiss, but a battle breaks out nonetheless.
    • And earlier, Mio crashes her own wedding by stabbing Taiga in the gut.
  • Wham Episode: Of the Wham Arc variant: The ramifications of Wataru, Taiga and Mio learning that they're Kiva, Saga and the Fangire Queen are spread over several eps, with Wataru revealing everything to the Blue Sky group as well. After Shima asking Wataru to help the Blue Sky Group and Taiga asking Wataru to join his side and lead the Fangires, there's nothing quite like Mio asking him sweetly to kill Taiga.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Maya wishes to know why so many Fangire fall in love with humans.
    • Which leads to her and Otoya faling in love and making a violin together.
  • Why Didit Have To Be Snakes: Yuri and puppies.
  • Wolf Man: Jiro/Garulu
  • The Worf Effect: Invoked. Riki gets the idea to expose Maya as a Fangire by attacking her - and gets curbstomped for his troubles.
  • Yandere: Briefly, Shizuka, in her attempts to mess up Mio and Wataru's relationship.
    • Mio slowly developed subtle elements of this.
    • As does Bishop with Taiga.

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