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“Hope exists beyond your resolution!”

“The saber in your hand! Is a pen to write it down! Words to save this world!”
— The Surprisingly Good English first line of the opening theme.
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Kamen Rider Saber is the 2020-2021 entry in the Kamen Rider series, the second series in the Reiwa Era and the thirty-first overall. It debuted on September 6, 2020, airing alongside Mashin Sentai Kiramager, and later, Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger in the Super Hero Time block. In contrast to the technological motif of its predecessor Kamen Rider Zero-One, Saber instead has a fantasy and storytelling motif, similar to Den-O, Wizard and Ghost. It ended on August 29, 2021, and was succeeded by Kamen Rider Revice.

The series revolves around the Sword of Logos, a 2,000-year-old organization dedicated to protecting the power of the Omniscient Tome, an all-powerful, all-knowing book whose pages were torn out and scattered, inciting conflict and war. The Sword of Logos is comprised of swordsmen wielding the eleven Holy Bladesnote  in conjunction with Wonder Ride Books — the lost pages of the Omniscient Tome that contain the power of different stories — to become Kamen Riders and defend the world from magical destruction. They fight against the Megid, a mysterious group seeking the power of the Omniscient Tome by creating monsters to wreak havoc on reality through the power of stories.

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In the present, a young author and bookstore owner named Touma Kamiyama and his editor Mei Sudo are roped into this conflict when the world around them is absorbed into the fantastical Wonder World by a Megid. As he begins to rediscover his forgotten connections to the Sword of Logos, Touma obtains the Flame Blade Raging Firenote  and transforms into Kamen Rider Saber, joining the Sword of Logos' Northern Base and its swordsmen Rintaro Shindo, Ryo Ogami, Kento Fukamiya, Ren Akamichi, and Tetsuo Daishinji, all directed by Sophia in the escalating battle for the safety of the world against the Megid and the traitorous Kamen Rider Calibur. However, Touma and his friends later discover there may be more to this conflict and their guild than meets the eye...

Kamen Rider Saber's tie-in projects include:

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Recurring Kamen Rider tropes include:

  • Cool Bike:
    • Saber has the access to the Diago Speedy, a special magazine-based Wonder Ride Book that transforms into a motorcycle with a blade attached to where the headlight should be.
    • The Sword of Logos Riders all use the foldable smartphone Gatrikephone, which can convert into a three-wheeled motorcycle known as the Ride Gatriker that is armed with two Gatling guns.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Played straight for the Megid, especially Legeiel.
  • Elemental Powers: Often an incidental design theme in Kamen Rider, this time it's part of the core premise. Each of the 11 Holy Blades and the Riders they allow transformation into use the power of an element with a distinct name defined at the end of the associated sword's name. Each sword has at least one Wonder Ride Book associated with it and by extension associated with the elements.
    • Saber, Blades, and Espada form a Fire, Ice, Lightning trio with their respective elements Rekka, Nagare, and Ikazuchi, though Blades' ice powers come as an extension of water.
    • The Mighty Glacier Buster uses the power of earth, called Gekido, making him a great destructive force using hard-hitting techniques and abilities.
    • Kenzan, green and nimble, is associated with Hayate, or wind, complimenting his fast, athletic Dual Wielding style and ninja-based abilities.
    • The antagonistic Calibur is associated with Kurayami, darkness. Death by his blade means being sealed away in darkness.
    • Slash's Onjuuken Suzune channels the power of sound, though he usually relies more on his gun and blade fighting style until he pulls out his Bremen no Rock Band Wonder Ride Book.
    • Falchion is the Swordsman of Void, or "Kyomu," a power which nearly allows him to return the world to nothingness. The Mumeiken Kyomu also serves to control the unlimited power of the combination of all Seiken, Haouken Xross Saber.
    • Kamen Rider Saikou is the Kougouken Saikou, the Strong Light Blade. This allows him to cast a Living Shadow to wield him and compensate for having no humanoid transformation.
    • Kamen Rider Sabela's element Noroshi allows her to transform into smoke, making her impossible to predict in battle.
    • Durendal's Jikokuken Kaiji has Time Master powers, described as being able to "skip" time, causing himself and his opponents to jump a few seconds into the future with only Durendal knowing what's happened in the skipped time. If it wasn't coincidental, it would have been a Shout-Out to Diavolo's King Crimson.
    • Created from the union of all eleven Seiken, the Haouken Xross Saber uses the Seiken themselves as its element. It also has an association with space, the stars serving as a subtle extension of Saber's flame element.
  • Henshin Hero: It wouldn’t be a Rider series without this! All of the heroes transform into Riders, with the most prominent being Touma Kamiyama transforming into Kamen Rider Saber, Rintaro Shindo transforming into Kamen Rider Blades, and Kento Fukamiya transforming into Kamen Rider Espada. Notably for the franchise, Kamen Rider Saikou transforms into his own Transformation Trinket and Cool Sword: the Holy Blade of Light.
  • Monster of the Week: The Mamono Megids, a race of creatures summoned from Alter Ride Books by their main members, who are bent on changing our world into their image. Like Wonder Ride Books, they are also separated into three categories: Mythical Beast, Animal, and Story.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • The powerful Extreme Omnivore Megid created by Storious is generally referred to only as Charybdis, not "the Charybdis Megid" - much like Desast, whom it was created to be a perfected version of.
    • As usual, there are terms which get named in Japanese some time before any official romanization appears, leaving how they’re spelled in English up in the air. In this case, the blue lion Rider was widely thought to be “Kamen Rider Blaze.” Some caught on to the naming scheme and realized it was “Blades,” as was eventually confirmed, while some third options like “Brace” cropped up.
    • The Wonder Ride Book for Saikou’s power-up has X-Swordman on the cover, but the TV-Asahi website refers to it as X Sword Man.
    • The most obvious example is probably Kamen Rider Xross Saber - pronounced "Cross Saber."
  • Transformation Trinket: This season’s collectible power-up takes shape in the form of Wonder Ride Books. They are separated into three categories: Divine Beast, Animal, and Story. The various Riders use these books in conjunction with different belt gadgets:
    • Saber, Blades, and Espada can use the Seiken Swordrivernote  and a Seiken with a unique crossguard Emblem to access their power; using each category in the left (for books on mythological beasts), center (for animal books), and right (for stories) slots of the Swordriver respectively and affect the appropriate third of the Rider’s suit. They also each have a matching set designated for them with one from each category.
      • Saber’s set of books includes Brave Dragon as his Divine Beast and primary book, Storm Eagle as his Animal and Saiyuu Journeynote  as his Story. As his first Mid-Season Upgrade, he gets Dragonic Knight; followed by Primitive Dragon and Elemental Dragon. In The Phoenix Swordsman and the Book of Ruin, he gets Emotional Dragon.
      • Blades’ set of books includes Lion Senkinote  as his Animal and primary book, Tenkuu no Pegasusnote  as his Divine Beast, and Peter Fantasista as his Story. He also has the Mid-Season Upgrade King Lion Daisenkinote  followed by Tategami Hyoujuu Senki.note 
      • Espada’s set of books includes Lamp do Alangina as his Story and primary book, Needle Hedgehog as his Animal, and Tri Cerberus as his Divine Beast. He later obtains another Wonder Ride Book called Arabiana Night to access his Rider's Super Form.
    • The other Riders have two books each, one of any category that they insert into their swords (instead of belts) to transform and one Story used as a powerup: the Divine Beast book Genbu Shinwanote  and Jackun-to-Domamenokinote  for Buster, the Story book Sarutobi Ninjadennote  and Kobuta 3 Kyoudainote  for Kenzan, and the Story book Hanselnuts to Gretelnote  and Bremen no Rock Bandnote  for Slash. Sabela and Durendal also use this system but possess only one Animal book each, Konchuu Daihyakkanote  for Sabela and Ocean History for Durendal.
    • Calibur uses the Divine Beast Jaaku Dragonnote  with the Jaken Caliburdrivernote  belt, and he later upgrades to Jaou Dragon.note 
    • Saikou uses the Story Kin no Buki, Gin no Bukinote  with the Kougouken Saikou and the Seiken Saikou Drivernote  belt (a recolored Caliburdriver). He can then add the superhero comic X Sword Man (classified as a Divine Beast) into the empty belt slot as an upgrade.
    • In Kamen Rider Saber: The Phoenix Swordsman and the Book of Ruin, Falchion uses the Haken Bladrivernote  (a retool of the Swordriver with only one open book slot) with the Divine Beast book Eternal Phoenix.
      • Trio of Deep Sin has the next Kamen Rider Falchion use the same sword and driver, only this time, with Amazing Siren replacing Eternal Phoenix.
    • Uniquely, Solomon does not use a sword to transform, though he uses a recolor of a belt that is normally used in conjunction with a sword. He uses the Omni Force Wonder Ride Book (a retool of X Sword Man) in the Dooms Driver Buckle, a gold repaint of the Jaken Caliburdriver/Seiken Saikoudriver. While Calibur and Saikou use the pommels of their swords to press the button on top of their buckles to activate transformations, Isaac simply presses the button with his thumb.
    • Storious inherits Solomon's Dooms Driver Buckle, using it in the same way with his Grimoire Wonder Ride Book (a repaint of Omni Force).
    • There are additional Story books not known to be assigned to any specific Rider. The only one to have plot importance is King of Arthur, while the rest made token appearances in Chapter 7:
    • The toyline also includes Wonder World Story of [Sword] books based on each Rider, classified as “World Story” books alongside Hōshin Kamen Engi. Wonder World Story of Kougouken Saikou appears in the show and is transformed into the X Sword Man book.
    • And there are the requisite Wonder Ride Books of past Riders from the previous series in the toyline, with Ghost Ijinroku appearing in the Kamen Rider Ghost crossover.

I will decide this story's tropes!

  • An Aesop: Has a few.
  • Akashic Records: The show’s central MacGuffin is a Great Big Book of Everything that is the total of humanity’s knowledge, whether it is its stories or scientific achievements, which two groups have been secretly fighting over even in the present day, even though it’s been broken up into the various Wonder Ride Books.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • A website by Bandai allows users to mix-and-match Wonder Ride Books to create additional forms for Saber, Blades and Espada through concept arts, including theoretical designs for books not used in the Swordriver, such as Genbu Shinwa. A datamine of this site also revealed what potential “blank” forms using no books would look like.
    • The Monster of the Week aren’t explicitly referred to as Mamono in the series, instead being referred to as Megids just like the villain generals. The show’s website and supplementary materials revealed that the term Mamono was derived to denote that they are lesser beings that dwell in/are summoned from Alter Ride Books, in contrast to the Megid generals who were once part of the first humans to have discovered the Wonder World.
    • Sample pages of the Show Within the Show comic book SwordXMan can be seen on the Kamen Rider official website, which reveals a villain character whose design bears a resemblance to both Kamen Rider Calibur and Charybdis, the latter of which would later be defeated by Saikou X Sword Man.
    • The Haouken Xross Saber utilises the power of only 10 Sacred Swords, despite being made of 11 swords in the ritual. A breakdown of the sword on TV-Asahi’s website reveals that the 11th Sword Kyomu's Power of the Void is used as a subactive Restraining Bolt, returning the excess power that Xross Saber generates to nothing in order to preserve the harmony of the galaxy.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Saber runs wild with this even more than your average Rider series, mostly thanks to the Seiken.
    • While Saber’s name is usually written in katakana, the series' title also shows off the optional kanji spelling 聖刃, "holy blade."note 
      • The same can be applied to Saber's Final Form, Xross Saber. As detailed below, the Haouken Xross Saber is sometimes written with "Xross Saber" as 十聖刃, or "ten holy blades." This hasn't yet been officially used for the actual name of the Rider form yet, though.
    • The naming scheme of the Seiken makes heavy use of Alternate Character Readings, each name starting and ending with the same character, always using the kanji 剣 ken, "blade/sword," and often using homophones of relevant words or phrases with different kanji. To be specific:
      • Kaenken Rekkanote : "Kaen" is a word that means "flame/blaze" and "Rekka" is a word that means "raging fire."
      • Suiseiken Nagarenote : "Suisei" is a word that means "force of water" and "Nagare" is a homophone for "current" but written with the meaning "running stream."
      • Raimeiken Ikazuchinote : "Raimei" is a word that means "thunderclap" and "Ikazuchi" is a homophone for "lightning" but is written with the meaning "yellow lightning."
      • Dogouken Gekidonote : "Dogou" is a word that means "powerful local clan" or "local strongman" while its individual kanji mean "earth/soil" and "powerful." "Gekido" is a homophone for "fury" but is written with the meaning "violent earth."
      • Fuusouken Hayatenote : "Fuusou" is a homophone for "wind and frost" written with the meaning "wind pair," referring to Hayate being a combining pair of swords. "Hayate" is a homophone for "gale" written with the meaning "green wind."
      • Ankokuken Kurayaminote : "Ankoku" is a word for "darkness" and so is "kurayami," though kurayami is written with the meaning "moon darkness."
      • Onjuuken Suzunenote : "Onjuu" is a portmanteau of "sound" and "gun," and "suzune" is a portmanteau of "tin/copper" and "sound." A fun bonus meaning is that "juuken" means "bayonet."
      • Mumeiken Kyomunote : "Mumei" is a homophone for "nameless" or "unsigned" while being written with the kanji for "nothingness" and "signature." Kyomu is a word for "nihility, nothingness."
      • Kougouken Saikounote : "Kougou" is a portmanteau of "light" and "strength" but is also a homophone for multiple words, most aptly "eons" or "a long time" as Yuri was sealed away for hundreds of years to protect Avalon. "Saikou" is a portmanteau of "extreme/most" and "light," but is a deliberate homophone of "highest/maximum/supreme" (最高).
      • Eneiken Noroshinote : "Enei" is a portmanteau of "smoke" and "imperial," the latter likely referencing the sword's usage as a direct subordinate of Master Logos. "Noroshi" is a word for "smoke signal."
      • Jikokuken Kaijinote : "Jikoku" is a homophone for "the time" or "opportunity" written as a portmanteau of "time/hour" and "country" — the latter likely intended with the kanji's connotation of governance as the sword is used as part of Master Logos' personal guard. "Kaiji" is a portmanteau of "world/boundary" and "time/hour" with a lot of homophonous meanings, including "mysterious event."
      • Haouken Xross Saber: As the ultimate Seiken and Saber's Final Form, the Haouken makes clever use of the swords' naming scheme. "Haou"note  is a portmanteau of "blade" and "king" and is a homophone for "supreme ruler." "Xross Saber," much like Saber, is generally written with only katakana but has the alternate writing 十聖刃, meaning "ten Holy Blades," the gist being that "ten" (十) is read as "cross/Xross" and "Holy Blade" is read as "Saber."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Reika tells the Swordsmen it may be necessary to kill Touma to protect the world, Ogami ask her twice if that’s Master Logos’ orders. She dodges the question and says her and Master Logos’ will are one and the same.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Around the time the third Calibur showed up, Tassel was last seen leaving his premises and the camera shows an empty room when Calibur does show up. This, along with his behaviour in the next episode, seemed to hint that he was Calibur as opposed to the obvious choice of Kento. Of course, it’s not the case.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The villains of Saber are very decentralized, and our heroes face threats on multiple fronts.
    • Daichi Kamijo/the second Kamen Rider Calibur is initially touted as the Big Bad, and is working with the Megid to get his hands on the Table of Revelation so he can uncover “the truth of the universe.” Later, Kento becomes the third Calibur and starts sealing the other Sacred Swords in hopes of preventing a Bad Future of some sort, which pits him against both the villainous swordsmen and his former allies.
    • Beside Calibur, the three Megid leaders - Storious, Legeiel and Zooous - are on more or less equal terms with one another, and are the ones creating Megid monsters in the name of remaking the world In Their Own Image.
    • Pulling the strings from the shadows is Isaac, the current Master Logos, who also seeks to obtain the Book of Ancients so he can use it to remake the world to his own liking. He also causes quite a bit of trouble by manipulating the other SOL Riders into going against Touma. It’s also later revealed that he’s the secret mastermind behind the attack on Wonder World 15 years ago.
    • By the end, Storious is the ultimate Big Bad, being behind the corruption of Legeiel and Zooous, and usurping Isaac by killing him after he's defeated and stealing his Ominforce Book to rebuild the Great Book.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The second arc sees the Riders of Northern Base split up due to Reika Shindai’s manipulations, putting Touma in opposition with many of his former comrades. By Chapter 30 however, with the revelation of Master Logos’ true intentions, all except Kento and Ren are on the same side.
  • Breaking Old Trends: While the Evolving Credits (both OP and ED) get expanded to show all the Northern Base Riders and even Yuri, there’s zero sign of Rider form changes and super modes like Crimson Dragon, Dragonic Knight and even Primitive Dragon, a first for a modern Rider series. Not to mention that Kento is still among our heroes despite having been on and off the bus and ditching Espada to be the new Calibur.
    • After Chapter 40, the credits do evolve once again, showing Saber’s final form and all of the riders.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Touma does this at the beginning of Kamen Rider Saber Prologue when introducing himself.
  • Calling Your Attacks: The members of Swords of Logos and Desast participate in this.
  • The Cameo:
    • Metal Yoshida and Ryō Matsuda, who had played Oren and Jonouchi in Kamen Rider Gaim, appear as nameless victims of the Medusa Megid in Chapter 8 as a subtle cross-promotion for Gaim Gaiden: Kamen Rider Gridon VS Kamen Rider Bravo.
    • Husband and wife Hideyoshi Iwata and Mayu Hasegawa (Zena and Moa in Ultraman Geed, along with Hideyoshi being the suit actor for several Ultramen) appear as bystanders in Chapter 16.
  • Can't Catch Up: This is a point of contention for Ren, who, believing strength matters above all else as a hero, develops a bone to pick with Touma's Protagonist Power-Up Privileges. However, he's not the only one this trope applies to - by the time Kamen Rider Solomon shows up, the only active Riders with power-ups are Saber, Blades, and Saikou. By the time Xross Saber is in action, Buster, Slash, Espada, and arguably Blades are relegated to Team Cannon Fodder. Saikou manages to avert this trope and bail out stronger Riders multiple times despite having only one power-up due to his unique abilities.
  • Central Theme: The Power of Friendship and the importance of placing trust in your friends. Characters like Hayato, Kamijo and Kento who chose to bear their burdens by themselves rather than confide in their friends end up causing more problems then they hoped to solve. Whereas Touma, who places trust in his allies and goes out of his way to reach out to them, achieves his greatest victories in the series because he had friends by his side..
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Despite the Downer Beginning, Saber started out light, filled with fantasy and storytelling elements along with most of the Riders being united in their cause against the Megid which Touma illustrates as The Power of Friendship. As the show progressed, Saber eventually dealt with more serious matters such as Calibur’s reveal and his aims, Kento being Put on a Bus which led to his eventual corruption as the third Calibur, Reika framing Touma for being a traitor to the Sword of Logos, said organization’s Southern Base later presented as The Conspiracy, Touma’s tenure with Primitive Dragon, etc. Saber still manages to have its brighter moments, but by that point, the story has already ramped up the stakes and intensity.
  • The Conspiracy: A rather nebulous one is present in the Sword of Logos. It’s later revealed to include the Shindai siblings and the Guild’s head, the current Master Logos, who are aiming to gather all the Wonder Ride Books and claim the Omniscient Tome, so they can use it to remake the world.
  • Covert Group: According to Rintaro, the organization Sword of Logos is a “secret guild” that has existed for eons, with its members working to protect the books that made the world.
  • Cool Sword: The Riders of Saber transform with the power of Seiken note . Each one embodies a different Elemental Power.
    • Saber, Blades, and Espada share a sword design - an ornate silver blade glowing along the side with a unique emblem on the hilt for each Rider which is stored in the Seiken Swordriver when not in use and drawn to initiate transformation: Saber's is the Kaenken Rekkanote , Blades’ is the Suiseiken Nagarenote , and Espada’s is the Raimeiken Ikazuchinote .
    • Buster wields the Dogouken Gekidonote , a BFS he uses by itself to transform.
    • Kenzan’s is the Fuusouken Hayatenote , a ninjatō he uses to transform that can split into two swords or form a Fuuma Shuriken.
    • Calibur uses the Ankokuken Kurayaminote  with the Jakennote  Caliburdriver to transform.
    • Slash’s is the Onjuuken Suzunenote , a sword he uses to transform that can turn into a gun.
    • Falchion’s is the Hakennote  Mumeiken Kyomunote , a retool of the swords used by Saber, Blades, and Espada.
    • Initially, Kamen Rider Saikou himself is the Kougouken Saikounote , wielded by the Saikou Shadow he summons. Saikou later wields the sword personally when he creates his power-up, X Sword Man.
    • The King of Arthur Wonder Ride Book grants its user the Kingexcalibur sword and the King of Arthur mecha, which mimics the movements of the wielder. Saber can transform into the Saver Saber and be wielded by King of Arthur. The parts of both are named after Knights of the Round Table.
    • Sabela’s is the Eneiken Noroshinote , a rapier that she uses by itself to transform.
    • Durendal’s is the Jikokuken Kaijinote , a sword he uses to transform that can turn into a trident.
    • Solomon’s is the greatsword Caladbolg, a gold and black version of the Kingexcalibur.
    • For Saber’s final form, he uses the Haōken Xross Sabernote , which allows him to use the powers of all Seikens excluding the Mumeiken Kyomu.
  • Cypher Language: The inscriptions used in the Wonder Ride Books and equipment are Japanese rōmaji written with highly stylized English letters turned sideways and often (but not always) without spaces. For instance:
    • The lines at the bottom of the Swordriver say “Seiken wo hikinuke” (“Draw your holy sword”), and its book slots say “Koko ni hon wo sashi chikara wo kaihou” (“Insert books here to unleash power”).
    • As expected of books, the Wonder Ride Books have several passages of text. The inner cover states “Jobun kono hon ga page wo mekurareru toki ni arawareshi seinaru sadame ni erabareru kenshi no na wa” (“Foreword: He who appears when the pages of this book are turned, the swordsman chosen by holy fate’s name is…”) and the transformation page has a description of the book’s power, usually in the form “[X] ga seiken tomajiwari miniyadoru” (“[X] join(s) with the sacred sword and dwell(s) within you”). Other bits include a blurb about the QR code, instructions about which Swordriver slot it goes in, and some kind of warning.
    • Even the soles of the Riders’ boots have an inscription, “Kono ashi de Rider Kick” (“With this foot, Rider Kick”).
    • The bottom of the Caliburdriver reads “Hon wo sashite henshin” (Insert a book and transform).
    • The Dogouken Gekido’s blade reads “Kyodaina daichi no ken de nagihare” (Mow down with a huge sword of ground).
    • The Onjuuken Suzune reads “Oto de kizamu” (Carve with sound).
    • “Rider” is written on the Sword of Logos Buckle.
    • The left Hissatsuholder reads “Hon demo ken demo hairimasu yo” (You can insert a book or a sword) and the right reads “Kochiragawa ni wa hon nisatsu hairimasu” (On this side you can insert two books).
    • “King Arthur” is written on King of Arthur’s armor.
  • Dancing Theme: Not only does Saber have an ending theme, being the first series to have one since Hibiki, it has full choreography to go with it!
  • Darker and Edgier: Zig-Zagged. Despite the fantasy and storytelling motif, Saber is much darker than Takuro Fukuda’s previous Rider show, and while at the same time, it has more comedic moments than its predecessor Kamen Rider Zero-One. The show started with more lighthearted moments such as The Power of Friendship, True Companions between the Riders and some comedic moments. That is until Cerebus Syndrome kicks in, more intense moments happen in this show and is noticeably less uplifting than the latter, with more death counts, infighting between Riders, and a dark conspiracy within the organization being brought to light.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: God, this show is full of them, all of them being the Seiken.
  • Downer Beginning: The episode begins with the city in ruins thanks to the Megid. A young Touma is trying to keep his friend Luna from being sucked in, but unfortunately doesn’t have the strength to hold on. With no other options left, Daichi Kamijo performs a Heroic Sacrifice by plunging his sword into the ground, engulfing the Megid and himself in flames. The city is back to normal… but with Daichi nowhere to be found, only leaving behind the Brave Dragon Wonder Ride Book in Touma’s hand. Present-day Touma however barely remembers the events as All Just a Dream and is completely unsure if the events did happen, while feeling he has forgotten something important. While not as depressing as Drive, it’s still pretty brutal.
  • Easter Egg: The Foreword page of the Wonder Ride Books (see Cypher Language above) is arranged so that the leftmost column of letters spells out “KAMEN RIDER.”
  • Episode Zero: The Beginning: A recap special called “Kamen Rider Saber Prologue” aired exclusively on Tencent Video a month before the series premiered.
  • Everybody Lives: In the end, everyone who died in the finale of the series comes back thanks to Touma writing back the world after Storious destroyed it. Tassel, the first Master Logos and the Megid also come back as ghosts in the Wonder World. The only ones who stay dead are Daichi and Hayato (though they may still be alive inside Kurayami) and Isaac (who no one probably misses).
  • Eyecatch: For the first time since Kamen Rider Super-1. Appearing post-commercial, it features the Wonder Ride Book of the episode while some information is shown on the side in both Japanese and Cypher Language.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Most Story Wonder Ride Books are based off actual real-life stories, albeit with their titles rendered in Japanese rōmaji, or one letter off in at least one case, possibly to avoid copyright issues (or rather, ensure that the Kamen Rider versions can be copyrighted).
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The Seiken Swordriver enforces this trope on its users, but gives them the potential to be any combination of these roles due to how it channels the powers of the Wonder Ride Books, with the Divine Beast books improving technique, the Animal books increasing power, and the Story books granting special abilities.
    • Accordingly, Saber, Blades, and Espada fall into this trope due to each using a different kind of Wonder Ride Book to transform, the Brave Dragon Divine Beast book, the Lion Senki Animal book, and the Lamp do Alangina Story book.
  • Five-Man Band:
    • Touma and his team form this in the second arc.
      • The Leader: Touma Kamiyama, the face of the team and the one leading the effort to stop the Megid and uncover the traitor in Sword of Logos
      • The Lancer: Yuri, the first swordsman to join Touma with a more aloof personality that contrasts Touma’s outgoingness, though he does warm up over time. He later shares the position with Rintaro and Kento during their respective comebacks to Touma's side due to the latter two forming a Power Trio with Touma and are the swordsmen most closest to him.
      • The Smart Guy: Tetsuo Daishinji, the blacksmith responsible for maintaining the Sacred Swords who aids Touma with his knowledge of the Wonder Ride Books and SOL.
      • The Big Guy: Ryo Ogami, given how he’s the physically strongest of the bunch.
      • The Chick: Mei Sudo, who despite not being a swordsman like the others acts as the emotional center of the team.
      • Reika and Ryoga Shindai would eventually join Touma as co-Sixth Rangers by the end of the third arc.
    • The previous Sword of Logos Riders from 15 years ago also form one.
      • The Leader: Daichi Kamijo/Kamen Rider Saber, who acted as the leader of the Northern Base Riders.
      • The Lancer: Hayato Fukamiya/Kamen Rider Calibur, Daichi's friend with a more brooding personality to contrast.
      • The Smart Guy: Kyoichiro Shinsen/Kamen Rider Espada, a geeky swordsman with a love of accounting and computers.
      • The Big Guy: Kenshin Nagamine/Kamen Rider Blades, a very skilled fighter devoted to his duty as a swordsman.
      • The Chick: Amane Kagami/Kamen Rider Kenzan, the only female of the bunch who's beauty has led her to be admired by the other guild members.
      • Sixth Ranger: Ryo Ogami/Kamen Rider Buster and Tetsuo Daishinji/Kamen Rider Slash, the most recent additions to the Band at that point.
    • The villains form one for an attack on Northern Base in Chapter 32.
      • Big Bad: Master Logos, the mastermind behind the attack and the one who broke Northern Base's barrier.
      • The Dragon: Ryoga Shindai/Kamen Rider Durendal, Master Logos's right-hand and bodyguard.
      • Evil Genius: Storious, Master Logos's co-conspirator and the string-puller behind the Megid's end of the attack.
      • The Brute: Zooous, whose been turned into a raging berserker by Storious.
      • Dark Chick: Reika Shindai/Kamen Rider Sabela, Ryoga's sister and Master Logos's messenger/assassin.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The base forms of the three main Riders embody these: Saber, Bladesnote , and Espada respectively.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Kamen Rider Calibur released Desast, the latter was in possession of the Storm Eagle Animal Book. It has also been shown twice that Calibur had the Saiyuu Journey Wonder Ride Book, with both books needed to complete Kamen Rider Saber’s full Wonder Combo. Given that the then current Calibur’s true identity is that of the original Saber, this was no coincidence.
    • A minor one, but Rintaro asks Ikki about being human. 26 weeks later, he's revealed to be an Human-Demon Hybrid.
  • Good Versus Good: The framing for the show's second arc revolves around Reika scapegoating Touma into an enemy of the Sword of Logos to turn his friends on him and draw out the Sword of Light. The other swordsmen (particularly Ryo and Tetsuo) are immediately suspicious and only oppose the novelist out of principal; perfectly willing to hear Touma and Yuri out while taking note of their supervisor's increasingly-unstable behavior and evasive attitude. Touma meanwhile constantly tries getting through to his friends and displays no malice - fighting to protect people despite Reika's insistence he's working with the enemy. Both sides' subversion of Poor Communication Kills starts a domino effect that slowly unravels Reika's lies and turns every swordsman away from the organization at some point or another.
  • Generation Xerox: The first Calibur was a Well-Intentioned Extremist who betrayed Sword of Logos. The second Calibur? Also a Well-Intentioned Extremist and Fallen Hero. Same with the third, who also happens to be the son of the first.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The Book of Ancients literally is a book of everything, containing all of human history before being split up into the Wonder Ride Books.
  • Hero of Another Story: Sword of Logos is composed of two secret guilds with swordsmen that protect the world: the Northern Base and the Southern Base. The former is the one the show follows. Southern Base later turns out to be Villain of Another Story.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: In a first for Kamen Rider, the episode titles are called “Chapters”note  instead of simply “episodes.” Additionally, the names for the episodes are also written like descriptive sentences, along with being broken by commas and ending with periods.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: A non-lethal example. In his beginning flashback Touma’s childhood friend Luna gets Trapped in Another World and it’s unclear what happened to her, but Touma feels extreme guilt about it.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The secondary activation announcement for the toy-exclusive Sengoku Gaim Emaki Wonder Ride Book spoils a key twist from Gaim, namely Kouta Kazuraba’s ascension to godhood at the series end. While said twist being a Late-Arrival Spoiler has frequently come up in crossovers following Gaim due to some plot points relying on it, this is the first time a legend device itself specifically references it.
  • Legacy Character: The titles of the Sword of Logos Riders were passed down from a line of previous swordsmen along with the swords themselves. The name of the leader of SOL, “Master Logos,” is also passed down from the founder of the guild.
  • Legacy of Service:
    • The Daishinji clan have served as blacksmiths for Sword of Logos for generations.
    • The Shindai clan have served as protectors and enforcers of Master Logos.
  • Lighter and Softer: While darker than Takuro Fukuda's previous foray into the Kamen Rider franchise, Saber is still lighter than Zero-One before it. The heroes stay unified for most of the show, with a lot of focus on The Power of Friendship, and the ending is a whole lot more optimistic.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: While its character count isn’t particularly high by Kamen Rider standards, the appearance of ten Kamen Riders was advertised early on, when most series are lucky to reach ten with all of their episodes and movies. By the end of the show, there have been thirteen Riders, and that's getting into their predecessors and successors.
  • Medium Blending: While the previous series used CGI for special effects and full CGI for complex fight scenes, Kamen Rider Saber marks the first time they use full CGI regularly, using Unreal Engine.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Seiken Swordriver requires the user to pull out the Seiken from the right side of the Driver to transform, similar to how Kamen Rider X pulls the Ridol from his belt.
    • Three of the miscellaneous books seen in Chapter 7, used to unlock Avalon, have similar titles and covers; are based on Momotarō, Urashima Tarō, and Kintarō; and are colored red, blue, and yellow respectively. Putting those three tales in a set with those colors makes a clear reference to Kamen Rider Den-O, with some of that series’ main Imagin based on the same tales and colored the same way.
    • Another one of the books used in the ritual is Osha Jizou San, based on the story of Kasa Jizō. On its cover, the frontmost Jizō statue is wearing the Ore Parka Ghost.
    • The Yeti Megid is the first Monster of the Week of 2021, evoking the original series’ appearance of Shocker’s yeti-themed monster, named Snowman, in the very first New Year episode back in 1972.
    • Speaking of the original series, the Buster spinoff manga involves a Spider Megid, which being a part of Ryo Ogami's backstory would make it pretty early in Saber canon, just like the original Spider kaijin or Kumo-Otoko.
    • Saber crosses over with Ghost in two specials - with which it shares its producer and head writer.
  • Named Weapons: Each of the Seiken's names follow a pattern that, in English, translates roughly as "(Descriptive phrase) Blade (Name)," with each sword named around its respective element.
    • Outside of the Seiken, there's the sword summoned by the King of Arthur book, Kingexcalibur, and Kamen Rider Solomon's sword, Caladbolg.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The series premiere differs heavily from the trailer and prologue, namely with the size of Touma’s bookstore, his outfit, his first official transformation, Rintaro holding his own Swordriver, and more. The only things that haven’t really changed are the MOTW and the appearance of Wonder World.
  • People Jars: The Osha Jizou San Wonder Ride Book generates an armor piece that has Jizo statues in capsules sticking prominently out of the arm, giving off this impression.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Starting with Chapter 16, courtesy of Reika turning the Northern Base Riders against Touma by branding the latter as a traitor, as Touma attempted to explain his scenario and what Daichi told him, the others refused to believe him and, one by one, they (reluctantly) clashed with him. Then in Chapter 18, Touma attempted to stop Rintaro from attacking Yuki as the Yeti Megid and explaining that said Megid was a human, with Rintaro refusing to listen to him, not helped with the fact that he wasn’t even around when the predicament occurred; said clash eventually results in Touma wounded and Yuri having to bail him out.
    • Subverted in Chapter 19, when Ryo Ogami and Tetsuo Daishinji agree to ask Touma what actually is going on. Ryo stays behind to keep Rintaro and especially Ren from going after Touma, while Tetsuo goes after Touma and Yuri to ask why they’ve been going against Sword of Logos. At the end of the episode, he seems to even believe what Touma’s been saying!
  • Product Placement:
    • Following on from Zero-One’s Sparking Giraffe Progrise Key, Toys “R” Us again released a promotional item themed after itself and its mascot Geoffrey Giraffe; this time the Kirin no Ongaeshi Wonder Ride Book.
    • The Televi-Kun magazine tie-in goes further than usual, as the featured collectible is a Wonder Ride Book version of Televi-Kun itself.
  • Recap Episode: A rather strange version. “Kamen Rider Saber Prologue” is actually a recap episode of the previous series, Kamen Rider Zero-One (which already had about five of them, making it all the stranger), spliced together with footage from Saber’s trailer and original footage that introduces us to Touma and Mei.
    • Chapter 28 is this, albeit loosely. While it relates important events leading up to the present, it leaves out everything concerning Touma’s Frame-Up; making only a passing mention of Reika as a source of strife.
  • The Red Baron: Each Rider has their own title: Saber is the Swordsman of Flames, Blades is the Swordsman of Water, Espada is the Swordsman of Thunder, Buster is the Swordsman of Land or the Strongest Swordsman, Kenzan is the Swordsman of Wind, Calibur is the Swordsman of Darkness, Slash is the Swordsman of Sound, Saikou is the Sword(sman) of Light, Sabela is the Swordswoman of Smoke, Durendal is the Swordsman of Time and Falchion is the Swordsman of Immortality.
  • Revenge Before Reason: After his initial defeat against Touma, Legeiel of the Megid becomes increasingly single-minded in pursuing revenge, to the point where he allows Storious to give him a Deadly Upgrade that causes him to die once he’s defeated again.
  • Set Bonus: While any Rider can use any Wonder Ride Book, they gain effectiveness when using two or more books that share the same element as their respective swords. This is incredibly similar to Kamen Rider OOO, such that a Rider using three books of their own element ignores the usual naming convention for Ride Book combinations and is considered its own unique form known as a Wonder Combo.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show: Besides all the classic fairy tales that appear in the show under new titles, we also see a completely original title in SwordXMan, an American-style superhero comic book that Yuri references a few times, and Lost Memory, a book that Touma wrote prior to the start of the series.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Touma remembers the words of the original Saber, “hope lies beyond our resolution,” which actually unlocks something that he’d left behind. Sophia and Rintaro start taking Touma seriously after that.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Kamen Rider Ryuki and Kamen Rider Gaim, being a multiple Rider show with the Riders themselves having some form of warrior theme. Unlike the other two, Saber has most of the Riders unified to a common cause and affirming in True Companions, with the heroic Riders only clashing with one another usually due to a misconception. If anything, Saber comes off as a tad more optimistic than the two as the heroic Riders here all end up united to the very end, with the show going out with a Happy Ending.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening shot of the series opening is a spoiler for one of the final scenes of Chapter 47 where Touma walks out of a house in Wonder World.
  • The Power of Friendship: While not to the extent of Fourze, a common element in Saber is that Touma would keep trying affirm the bonds between him, Mei, and most of the other Riders throughout the show, especially in regards to his Childhood Friends Kento and Luna. Even when things eventually soured between him and the other Riders, it ultimately didn't last as not only did Touma refused to give up on them, one by one, the others gradually regain their trust in him. Come the final arc, Touma managed to make allies with the rest of the heroic Riders, to the point where they all welcome him back once he returns to Earth from Wonder World.
  • They Call Him "Sword": Taken to its logical conclusion, with almost every Rider having a sword-related name: Sabernote , Blades, Espadanote , Buster, Kenzannote , Calibur, Slash, Falchion, Sabela, and Durendalnote . Saikou, however, shares his name with his sword, as he fuses with it to transform. Solomon and Storious are the only Kamen Riders in this season that don't have a sword-related name in their titles, with Solomon featuring a king's name and Storious sharing his name for his rider form.
  • Trapped in Another World: What the Megid aim for. Using the Alter Ride Books, they trap part of the city in Wonder World, putting up a barrier so that no one can get in.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The Shindais' complete inability to work with others rears its ugly head in #43, where their attempts to supersede Touma prevent the trio from destroying Charybdis before Storious can use it to make the Grimoire.
  • Urban Fantasy: The series takes heavily from the genre, as the other world most of the characters reside in bleeds into our world thanks to the Megid.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 10 ends with the reveal that Calibur is in fact the first Saber, Daichi Kamijo, who betrayed Sword of Logos for power.
    • Chapter 15 ends with the reveal that Daichi’s betrayal was due to Hayato betraying Sword of Logos and causing the Downer Beginning, and Daichi dies due to Desast stabbing him from behind.
    • Chapter 26 reveals quite a bit about the series’ backstory, that being that Tassel, the first Master Logos and the Megid were all once followers of a mysterious woman who connected the worlds.

“The world changes like chapters in a book. All you need to do is turn the page.”

 
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Saber Slope

In Episode 35, Touma attempts to rescue Luna from Master Logos' captivity when he uses her for his ritual to summon the Almighty Book. As Luna was about to be absorbed into said ritual, her cries create a bridge of light between her and Touma, allowing him to run up and finally rescue her. What's supposed to be an emotional scene is ruined by the lousy effect and Syuichiro Naito's overacting. It's no wonder why this became a meme.

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