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Series / Kamen Rider V3

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Henshin, V3!!
Kamen Rider V3, Shiro Kazami, is a cyborg. Mortally wounded by Destron, he is rebuilt by Kamen Riders 1 and 2, reborn as Kamen Rider V3.
Kamen Rider V3 is the second installment in the Kamen Rider series, aired from 1973 to 1974. It is also served as the sequel to the original series.

Shiro Kazami was marked for death by the evil group Destron after witnessing a murder by their hands. When Destron forces him to watch the murder of his family, Kazami pleads with his saviors, the Kamen Riders to make him into a cyborg-warrior too. They only comply after he is wounded saving their lives; now, after the sacrifice of his saviors, Kazami as Kamen Rider V3 takes on the forces of Destron. Later, he is joined by former Destron scientist Joji Yuki, who takes up the mantle of Riderman, also known as the fourth Kamen Rider.

Kamen Rider V3 has had two theatrical releases: the film also titled Kamen Rider V 3 is a film version of episode 2, while Kamen Rider V3 vs. Destron Mutants is an original story.

Voted #3 series in the Showa era, and #25 product overall in NHK’s All Kamen Rider Popularity Ranking.

Recurring Kamen Rider tropes include:

  • Automobile Opening: As is the norm for Showa Riders, a good portion of the Opening Credits is V3 riding the Hurricane.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Kazami uses "Henshin... V3!" to transform into the titular V3.
  • Badass Biker: V3 wouldn't be a Kamen "Rider" if he wasn't.
  • Big Bad: The Great Leader of Destron, previously of Gel-Shocker, who returns to make another attempt to conquer the world.
  • Cool Bike: Kazami uses the Hurricane as his primary motorcycle.
  • The Dragon: Just like Shocker, Destron has four successive lead executives, Doktor G (13-30), Baron Fang (31-35), Archbishop Tsubasa (35-40) and Marshal Armor (40-52).
  • Finishing Move: V3 has multiple, but usually he uses a good old-fashioned "Rider Kick" to finish off monsters.
  • Henshin Hero: Just like his predecessors, Shiro shouts "Henshin" to transform.
  • Last Villain Stand: Just like Shocker, Destron executives send out monsters for a number of episodes before making theirs. Doktor G's is #30, Baron Kiba's is #35, Archbishop Tsubasa's is #40 and Marshal Armor's is #51-52.
  • Monster of the Week: Like Shocker, Destron's monsters are modified humans blended with animals. Destron itself has four distinct monster tribes led by an executive: The Mechanical Army led by Doktor G are animals blended with inanimate objects, then there's the Kiba, Tsubasa and Yoroi Tribes.
  • Mooks: Destron Combatmen.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Destron, the successor of Gel-Shocker.
  • One-Winged Angel: Just like Shocker, Destron's executives are modified humans who reveal their true forms in their Last Villain Stand. Doktor G's is Kani Laser, Baron Kiba is Vampiric Mammoth, Archbishop Tsubasa is Vampire Bat and Marshal Armor is the crayfish-themed Zariganna.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: V3 has not one, but two Scarves Of Asskicking. They're actually attached to his shoulders like capes, and V3 couldn't wear a scarf anyway because of his high collar... but what else are we gonna call this?
  • Transformation Trinket: The Double Typhoon.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: The Monsters of the Day frequently teleport away after the initial conflict with V3 goes south. In episode 33, Snow-Wolf subverts the trope by leaving the fight, only to sneak attack Shiro just a few seconds later when Shiro went to go look for him.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: As is the norm for Kamen Rider, Destron generally sends forth a MOTW with an Evil Plan Once an Episode, with V3 then arriving on the scene to stop them.

Kamen Rider V3 features examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: A devastating, but handily forgotten, one is discovered in the third episode when it turns out that if the fans in V3's belt are clogged he loses his power. Slightly more prevalent is that once Shiro changes, he has to wait exactly three hours before he can do so again. A later episode mentions that he actually has four glaring weaknesses, but the only one that's ever confirmed is the "one henshin every three hours" one.
    • However, the show does take pains to show that V3's Henshin sequence isn't a free action. Kazami being interrupted while doing it is a minor Running Gag.
  • All Your Powers Combined: A lesser example of this. V3 was stated to have all the strength of #2 and all the technique of #1. His more well-known trait, the "26 Secrets," are unique to him.
  • Annoying Arrows: V3 get's shot with a harpoon in episode 23, pulls it out and keeps on fighting. It didn't throw him off nearly as much as when he was shot.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In Episode 43, Joji Yuki's debut, he's lowered into a vat of acid by his rival, Marshall Armor. His right arm is burned off past the elbow, though before his left is lost, the Science division of Destron soldiers intervenes.
  • Artificial Limbs: After he loses his arm, Yuki is given a prosthetic that his underlings managed to smuggle out.
  • Badass Bookworm: Joji Yuki, former Destron scientist and creator and user of the Riderman suit. In episode 49 he manages to use his knowledge of medicine and Destron science to remove a deadly Vatal Bullet from Shiro. During the procedure Shiro was standing, holding a door closed and being knocked around by Destron soldiers trying to get in, and the operation still went off without a hitch.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • The Movie has Cannon Buffalo leading an army of old monsters, comprised of Guillotine Saurus, Poison Needle Spider, Magnet Wild Boar, Spray Mouse, Pickel Shark, Missile Gecko, Drill Mole, Chain-Sickle Ladybug, Burner Bat, Lens Ant, Toad Boiler.
    • A tribute to the original series, #27-28 has Doktor G preside over the revival of not just Shocker's four Dragons (Colonel Zol, Doctor Shinigami, Ambassador Hell and General Black) but four monsters (Dokudahlian, Shiomaneking, Imoriges and Unidogma) as well.
    • The final episode has V3 making short work of revived monsters Will-o'-the Wisp Walrus, Man-Eating Banana Plant, Zombie Bat (aka Archbishop Tsubasa).
  • Bad Boss:
    • Doktor G orders Bomb Boar to open fire on the three Riders during The Movie, in spite of his soldiers being in the blast radius.
    • Baron Tusk holds his Tusk Tribe in high regard, but that doesn't extend to the regular mooks. In one episode he kills one to demonstrate the new chemical Destron had acquired.
    • Archbishop Wing demonstrates his shrinking technology on one mook, all it does is blow the guy up.
    • Marshall Armor not only had Joji Yuki carted off, but then he proceeds to smash up the experiments that the other Science Division soldiers were working on for no real reason. When Chameleon unveils his new powers in episode 50, and kills two Combatmen, Marshall Armor's only expresses annoyance that they died so easily.
    • The Destron leader doesn't have a whole lot of regard for his minions either. In the final episodes he reveals that he was going to have Yuki killed anyway for being a liability and later blows up one of his communication plaques to kill Marshall Armor for failing him.
  • Bad Santa: Rhinoceros Tank's human form was a Santa Claus who gathered children together all to give them fruit and force them to join Destron. When they refuse, he undergoes an Evil Costume Switch and has black Santa robes rather than the heroic red. He also starts beating the children.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A few times our hero(s) manage to make some dynamic saves
    • In Episode 33, Tachibana, Junko and Shigeru are all captured by Baron Tusk, who's managed to freeze Shiro. All seems lost as he prepares to sacrifice them until Hongo bursts in and rescues them, followed closely by Ichimonji.
    • In Episode 34 Shiro and Hongo have been defeated by Smilodon and put into a transformation cancelling room. Ichimonji as Rider #2 breaks in to let them both out.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Shiro's reconstruction left him with a strong durable cyborg body. He's put into chains and handcuffs a few times, and always manages to snap them with ease.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Yuki rarely is seen without a glove on over his prosthetic hand.
  • Curbstomp Battle: What happened when a mutant tried to kidnap, brainwash, and marry V3's love(?) interest. He spent the better part of seven minutes simply punching the hell out of the guy through at least three different scenes.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Averted with Buzzsaw Lizard and Primordial Tiger. Both look the same as the male monsters: guys in freaky rubber suits.
  • Dark Action Girl: Buzzsaw-Lizard and Primordial Tiger (aka Smilodon) are female monsters who give the heroes a hard time. Smilodon even took on all three Riders.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the previous series, V3 deals with the Riders going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the enemy organization. Not to mention that the first episode has Shiro's entire family being brutally murdered by the first Destron Kaijin.
  • Death by Falling Over: While the monsters are usually killed by a finishing move, Magnet Boar in episode 13 charges at V3 (who dodges by accidentally falling over) overshoots him and falls off a small cliff. He then gets back up... and explodes.
  • Death by Origin Story: Shiro's family, subverted with Riders 1 and 2.
  • Decoy Leader: Hinted when V3 cracks open the skull of Destron's leader, revealing a tape player.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Hiroshi Miyauchi (Shiro) sings the opening theme.
  • Dressed to Heal: The Science Destron mooks have an inverted color scheme. Whilst the soldiers have a black suit with white markings, they wear a white suit with black markings. Their masks are white in color with red markings. Often times they wear lab coats, and when Yuki was part of them he wore that uniform. He apparently kept this uniform after his Heel–Face Turn as he later uses it as a disguise to infiltrate an outpost.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Marshal Armor makes one in #40, the Last Villain Stand of his predecessor.
  • Epic Flail: Marshall Armor's primary weapon is a flail. Granted he never uses it as anything more than a boxing glove or mace likely for fear of damaging the prop weapon.
  • Evil Twin: Riderman gets one late in the series. He actually ends up switching places with him.
  • Expy: Of a sort. While most (if not all) Riders are based off of some animal or have some sort of theme, Riderman is generically based on a 'Kamen Rider'. This ties into Yuuki's backstory, and for most of his appearances during this show he is specifically fighting Marshall Armor, not Destron. That he actually gets an Evil Twin is just flat out ironic.
  • Eye Scream: Lens Ant's eye beams are reflected back at him in episode 11 using V3's Red Lamp power, blowing his eyes up.
  • Fake Crossover: In a photocomic published in Televi Magazine, V3 gave Spider-Man a helping hand in his fight against the Iron Cross Army.
  • A Father to His Men: Baron Tusk seems to regard the Tusk Tribe this way. When Fireball-Walrus is wounded, he limps back to the Baron who cradles him as he dies. Tusk attacks V3 in rage over Fireball-Walrus and the previous monster, Skull Warthog's, death. The exception seems to be Smilodon as he considers her his superior and treats her with more reverence than paternalistic affection.
  • Free-Range Children: The Rider Scouts. The literal one time one of their parents is seen (in the serial where the Shocker commanders come back to life), the man seems to think his son is doing his civic duty being part of a monster-hunting superhero's information network.
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: The series ends with a large unresolved plot thread, Destron's leader possibly still alive and well, with the monster defeated by V3 just having a tape player inside. However, V3 and Riderman would return in Kamen Rider Stronger to finish that plot thread in Stronger's own finale.
  • Good is Not Nice: Kazami has a vicious streak when it comes to Destron. (Later media tone this down a bit.)
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: In Episode 10, when Tachibana and some of the Rider Scouts are in a Destron prison, a guard makes a point to come down to give the scouts back their helmets as a mocking "final gift." Tachibana grabs him in a headlock through the bars and has the kids steal his keys.
  • Hand Stomp: In Episode 37, Dryad-Flying-Squirrel fights Shiro on top of a slope, and manages to throw him down so Shiro's clutching at a root. The monster stomps on his hand, but seeing as they're both on the angled slope, he has to put his weight on the foot stomping Shiro. Shiro moves his hand away and the monster ends up losing his balance and tumbling down the cliff.
  • Heel Realization: Riderman has a hell of a realization when he learns the truth behind Destron's actions, which lead him to say some damning words about his obliviousness…
    "I've been worshipping the devil!"
  • Heroic Bystander:
    • In episode 7, Professor Kawai is attacked by Knife-Armadillo. He runs into a jogger, who defends the professor and attempts to fight the monster. Though Knife-Armadillo kills him, he later expresses frustration that the jogger managed to stall him long enough for the professor to escape.
    • In Episode 51 a group of hikers witness a Destron crime and are attacked. The group's leader, Nishioka Tamotsu, ops to take a pick-axe to the monster's head to give everyone else a chance to escape.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Riderman stops a Pluton Rocket from hitting Tokyo by blowing it up mid-flight. While inside. He gets better.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Burner-Bat likes to jump to higher trees and hang from them upside-down in order to evade attacks and to put himself in a better position to rain attacks down on his enemies. After being shot by a civilian, the bullet wound is untreated, and all of his acrobatics and upside down hangings cause him to bleed out.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: V3 has 26 abilities, and since Riders 1 and 2 are apparently killed before they can tell him what they all are, V3 has to figure out what he can do all by himself.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Episode 43 shows a minor one in Destron. Marshall Armor and the combat division butt heads with Jouji and the science division. Marshall Armor even tries to have the latter killed because he saw Jouji as a threat to his position.
  • Invisible Parents: We see a Rider Scout's parents like once in the course of the show. Probably to avoid introducing the question of these people approving of a bunch of 11-year-olds riding around looking for very real, very dangerous villains.
  • The Juggernaut: Rhino-Tank from episodes 45-46. Marshal Armor's soldiers are all well armored, but Rhino-Tank really shines as one of the most powerful monsters, beating back Kamen Rider V3 and Riderman at different points, and being near unstoppable when charging into them. He even pushed an entire bulldozer into V3 to try and crush him against a wall, and the climax had him smash V3 through several floors of a building.
  • Kick the Dog: Marshall Armor framing and sentencing Joji Yuki to death because he saw the scientist as a threat to his position. All the Destron Commandants have done evil deeds but they did them for the glory of Destron, the Marshall did this for his own glory.
  • Large Ham:
    • Knife Armadillo rocks this trope like Van Halen. (His human form, not so much.)
    • Destron's first commander, Doktor G, allows rocks this trope.
  • Meatgrinder Surgery: Unlike V3's reconstruction, which was done under better circumstances, a grievously wounded Joji Yuki is converted into Riderman while inside of a storm drain by a group of renegade Destron Scientists. The team didn't want to go through with the untested procedure under the unsafe circumstances with his open wound, but Yuki managed to convince them as he was going to die anyway.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Averted; in the very second episode, Riders 1 and 2 sacrifice themselves to stop a nuclear bomb planted by the Destrons from going off in the center of Tokyo.
  • Obviously Evil: Lens-Ant's human form is a grotesquely deformed man with an obvious hunch, crooked protruding teeth, a horrific burn on half his face, and a threateningly awkward air about him. He even offers Tachibana and three Rider Scouts, some milk (which he insists they drink) and food that appears from nowhere. The four pretty easily figure out he's a monster.
  • Papa Wolf: In episode 15, when Dr. Okajima sees his daughter being menaced by Burner-Bat, he blasts the monster with a shotgun, making him retreat.
  • Playing with Fire: Several Destron monsters have fire based powers. Squid Fire has a flamethrower arm, Primordial Tiger, Burner Bat, and Pyre Condor have fire as a Breath Weapon.
  • Police Are Useless: Police are seldom seen in the series, and the ones that do appear tend to zig-zag the trope.
    • One Police team freely allows Shiro to walk about a crime scene to examine a dead body. Though they were disguised Combatmen looking to catch him.
    • Interpol keeps tabs on them and a Destron response team was sent. They managed to defeat a few foot soldiers during a raid on an outpost and blow said outpost up. Though they later run into Doktor G who kills most of them.
    • Episode 45 has Black Santa's kidnapping operation discovered by a policeman, who attacks and manages beat back an armed Destron soldier using his truncheon. Though Rhino Tank quickly kills him soon afterward.
  • Powered Armor: What the Riderman suit basically is, as Yuuki is either a unaltered human or a mook-level cyborg.
  • Power Incontinence: Shiro is hit with a Vatal Bullet in episode 49, causing him to lose control of his strength. He breaks his door handle off trying to use it, and rubbing his shoulder tears his shirt, amongst other things.
  • Religion of Evil:
    • Destron has many facets, one of which manifest as a group of cultist like Destron mooks whose uniform consists of long black robes and pointed face obscuring hoods. They treat Destron as their religion.
    • The Fang Tribe all practice magic in a cult-like group worshipping Doovoo. Baron Tusk implies that the Witch Smilodon was their founder.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Kazami's entire career as V3 is this, as is Yuuki's career as Riderman, but for different reasons. Kazami is hunting all of Destron, while Yuuki simply has beef with Marshal Armor and (until just prior to his Heroic Sacrifice) considers himself a loyal member of Destron.
  • Scary Scorpions: Destrons emblem is a stylized scorpion.
    • The uniforms of the Destron Combatants also have stylized scorpions on them.
  • Sinister Minister:
    • In the first episode, Scissors-Jaguar takes the form of a priest to make himself less suspicious, before dropping the act and acting like an evil preacher.
    • In episode 17, Spray-Rat finds and kills a local priest before taking on his form in order to lure in an unsuspecting couple to kill with a toxin. As the priest he's prone to evil bouts of laughter, sadistic banter, and general creepiness.
    • There's also a division of religious Destron Mooks who wear black robes and pointed hoods. They treat Destron like a Religion of Evil, perform a threatening funeral for Rider 1, and help oversee an evil marriage between Drill-Mole and Junko.
  • Something Person: Riderman is a rare example of a Kamen Rider playing this trope.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Destron gradually starts upping its throughout the show. At first, the evil plans are directly in the hands of the Monster of the Week. In episode 13, Destron introduces Doktor G, its first officer to try and improve their success rate. He dies in episode 30 and is replaced by Baron Fang (31-35) then Archbishop Wing (35-40) before Marshal Armor and his Armored Division, made up of the most powerful monsters in the show.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The human that would become Drill-Mole. He's either Junko's stalker or a very pushy ex-boyfriend. As Drill-Mole he attempts to force her into a wedding... of evil.
  • Tagalong Kid: The Rider Scouts tend to fill this role. Whichever one is involved with the monster of the week's schemes, or reports the action hangs around the gang while they solve the mystery. Junko's brother Shigeru is the most recurring.
  • Training from Hell: Practically any time V3 loses a fight, he turns to Tachibana Tobei. Who... Well. Trains him in ways that involve motorcycle racing, machine guns, taking shots from a wrecking ball...
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Very much averted. Shiro Kazami frequently has to move to higher or safer ground and restart his transformation.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The origin of V3. One of those cases where they didn't give him a full manual, though.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • There's quite a few one off characters who would seem to be significant but never return. The most notable one being Ken Sakuma, an Interpol agent and the last Destron Hunter. He survives his two parter and goes onto reappear as part of the team for a few episodes after that and then disappears without any real mention of him being there.
    • Something similar happens with the Double Riders. They appear to die in the second episode, turn up alive in 33-34 to help fight the smilodon witch, then disappear from the show again without a word of explanation.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: When V3 breaks out and takes Ambassador Hell hostage, Colonel Zol wants to just kill both of them, a sentiment which even Ambassador Hell agrees with. Destron's leader orders them to stand down and let V3 go all as part of his plan to gain more hostages. Though it's clear that whatever advantage they gained from letting V3 go wasn't worth it as he foils their plan once again.