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Series / Kamen Rider X

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All spoilers for Kamen Rider and Kamen Rider V3 are left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

Kamen Rider X was the third Kamen Rider series from Shotaro Ishinomori, there was also a manga released around the same time.

Keisuke Jin is a guy living in Japan with his father and fiancee, his father is a famous inventor as well as a judo expert. His father has been working on a motor that could be revolutionary. However, the latest evil organization Government of Darkness (or GOD for short) wants the invention. Jin's fiancee is a spy for GOD and executes both Jin and his father, but not before Dr. Keitaro manages to somehow drag Keisuke Jin all the way into his lab and install the engine into him. Dr. Keitaro dies shortly after, but not before leaving his son the gear to become Kamen Rider X. X vows to destroy the Government of Darkness, and avenge his father.

Kamen Rider X has had two theatrical releases: an movie version of episode 3 also titled Kamen Rider X, and Five Riders Vs King Dark where he teams up with his predecessors from the original series and Kamen Rider V3.

Recurring Kamen Rider tropes include:

  • Automobile Opening: As is the norm for Showa Riders, a good portion of the Opening Credits is X-Rider riding the Cruiser.
  • Badass Biker: Rider X of course.
  • Big Bad: The G.O.D. General Commander, an unseen individual who leads the Secret Society G.O.D. and gives orders through tapes carrying his voice recordings. In a franchise first, he's also a different entity from the Great Leader, who apparently decided to sit this series and the next one out.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: SET UP!!
    • Following X's upgrade surgery, DAI HENSHIN!!
  • Cool Bike: The Cruiser.
  • The Dragon: Apollo Geist, the "Chief of Security" for GOD, whose position mostly involves killing any dissenters, overseeing the Evil Plan every once in a while, and fighting X-Rider.
  • Finishing Move: X-Rider has the X Kick to start. After his upgrade, he can perform the Vacuum Hell Wheel in which he grabs the monster, forms a wheel with it, hurling them into the air, and finally kicks them into the ground.
  • Henshin Hero: X-Rider, who transforms by withdrawing his Ridol stick from his belt.
  • Monster of the Week: G.O.D. initially has the Shinwakaijin ("Myth Monsters"), who are based on figures from Greek mythology. Then King Dark's emergence brings in the Akuninkaijin ("Villain Monsters"), who are reincarnated historical figures blended with animals, most infamously Starfish Hitler.
  • Mooks: G.O.D. Warfare Agents.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: G.O.D., a secret society alluded to have their hand in numerous world affairs.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Ridol.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: As is the norm for Kamen Rider, G.O.D. generally sends forth a MOTW with an Evil Plan Once an Episode, with X-Rider then arriving on the scene to stop them.

Kamen Rider X provides examples of:

  • Back from the Dead
    • Most notably, Apollo Geist's body is recovered and reconstructed after he is first slain by X-Rider.
    • #21 has the return of Hercules, Medusa, Mach Achilles, Flaming Prometheus and Ulysses.
    • #27 has the return of Neptune, Medusa and Chimera. It is explicitly noted that they have been revived by King Dark.
    • The Movie has Franken Bat leading an army of revived monsters.note 
    • #28 has Spider-Napoleon supported by Mach Achilles and Salamander-Gong.
  • Badass Bystander: The climax of episode 32 takes place inside a restaurant with an African theater group. When the fighting breaks out and the woman with the schematics is cornered, one performer powers through them and easily subdues the GOD mooks.
  • BFG: Apollo Geist has one that's attached to his right arm and boy it's friggin powerful.
  • Black Knight: Apollo Geist fits this description, only in red armor.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Not quite to Amazon extent in terms of gore, but close, with enemies being sliced in half, decapitated, and impaled. And Keisuke Jin is bloodily executed via machinegun fire in Ep. 1. The manga of X extremely gory at times.
  • Breather Episode: #27 takes a break from the RS Device blueprint hunt for a Recap Episode, though it is somewhat important for reintroducing V3.
  • Call-Back: #5 reintroduces Tobei Tachibana and has him mention Destron, the last villain organization, as well featuring the first four Riders through flashbacks.
    • The first three Riders are additionally mentioned in #9 and #10.
  • Canon Welding: X is tied to the previous series beginning with #5, which introduces Tobei Tachibana.
  • Clip Show: Episode 27 has Tobei Tachibana recounting the events of Kamen Rider and Kamen Rider V3.
  • Cyborg: The previous two Kamen Rider series referred to Riders as kaizo ningen ("modified human"), which has a wider meaning than the usual English rendering "cyborg". This series used the term Kaizorg.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the two series before, X is much darker. The number of on-screen deaths is noticeably higher and the overall tone is much more grimmer and depressing.
  • David vs. Goliath: X-Rider vs. King Dark.
  • Death by Origin Story: Keisuke Jin (sort of) and his father. His father uploads himself into a computer to help him in the fight against evil, but literally one episode later realizes this is actually holding X back and blows himself up.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In a franchise first, X-Rider made a pre-series appearance on a calendar in the Inazuman manga of all things, six months prior to his debut on television. One notable difference from the final version is that his belt does not have the Ridol buckle.
  • Emergency Transformation: Keisuke Jin was converted into X-Rider by his father after being critically injured, in order to save his life.
  • Evil Twin: Government Of Darkness Rider (actually a camouflaged monster)
  • Fake Shemp: Riderman in The Movie is played by a suit actor, stock footage from the tv show and an uncredited voice actor.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: In Episode 2, Keisuke Jin suddenly uses a two-barrel blowdart gun. It takes out some attacking GOD minions and even saves the Kid Of The Week from being lynched. In spite of it looking like the coolest thing ever, it is never seen again.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Government Of Darkness.
  • Gorn: The manga is filled with it.
  • Historical Domain Crossover: The Nebulous Evil Organisation G.O.D. has the Villan Monsters, made by combining animal DNA with the DNA of historical figures. However, their list is all over the place: while it includes a few recognized villains like Al Capone, Genghis Khan, and Adolf Hitler (who resulted in the memetic Starfish Hitler), it also includes figures who were more ambiguous (Ishikawa Goemon, Geronimo), completely unremarkable (Benjamin Ogle), and some who were just straight-up fictional such as (Arsène Lupin).
  • Humongous Mecha: King Dark, a towering robot who spends most of his time hunched over in a cave.
  • Love Hurts: Literally. First Jin's girlfriend turns out to be a GOD spy, then her identical twin sister gets killed, then she turns out to really be a spy for Interpol and gets killed as well.
  • Love Is a Weakness: In the first episode Jin's dad is killed, but uploads his brain into a computer to be able to keep advising him. This lasts literally one episode before he decides having his dead dad to moan to is actually making Jin weaker, and he blows himself up so Jin will have to toughen up enough to save the world.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Apollo Geist uses his shield as a weapon.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: King Dark's pilot is Dr. Noroi, a decrepit scientist hooked up to a series of cables.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: After X is defeated by Spider-Napoleon, V3 upgrades him. He gains a new transformation pose ("Dai Henshin!") and a new finisher, the Vacuum Hell Wheel.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Pretty much every kaijin in the second half is an example. The monsters in the second half are combinations of animals and historical figures. Hence you get Scorpion Geronimo, Ant Capone, and, of course, Starfish Hitler.
  • Non-Serial Movie: 5 Riders vs King Dark. It's supposedly in continuity due to bringing back Riderman, but can't fit well into the series at any point. Rider X still hasn't been upgraded in the movie, but already knows the Riders, while in the tv show he only meets Rider 2 for the first time after getting his upgrade.
  • Punny Name:
    • Hitode is Japanese for starfish, so Starfish Hitler in the original Japanese would be pronounced "Hitode Hittora".
    • One that works in both Japanese and English is Ant Capone, or "Ari Capone".
  • Putting on the Reich: Starfish Hitler's GOD Mooks are all dressed in custom uniforms (being some of the few mooks with such radically different clothing) based on the SS uniforms.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: It even has an X on it!
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Professor Nambara is just another victim of GOD, a scientist captured and forced to construct an experiment. However before he's killed, he splits up his blueprints and sends them to his friends, setting up the Macguffin hunt that goes through most of the remaining episodes.
  • Stone Wall: X-Rider isn't any slower than the other Riders, but he's built to withstand the deepest ocean depths, and is therefore very sturdy. (The others mostly have stylized chest muscles protecting their torsos - X has body armor.)
    • Early on in the series the villains try shooting him repeatedly with machine guns. They stop around the time he walks through a hail of gunfire like Superman.
    • Comes to a head in SPIRITS, when a dude punches Keisuke in the face while untransformed... and breaks his hand, while Keisuke just gets a bloody nose which goes away in a few panels.
  • Story Arc: A rare example in Showa Rider. The series starts with the mystery of Ryoko and Kiriko, which abruptly ends in episode 8. Then the last third of the show has the pursuit of the RS Device blueprints.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: STARFISH HITLER!!!
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Subverted. X is made to swim, and has an edge in underwater combat.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: The Ridol, which is a combination staff/whip/rapier.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Starfish Hitler is a walking Nazi stereotype.
  • Villain Song: GOD's March, sung by Koorogi '73. A small segment is heard at each title card.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: X's origin, and slightly later in the series how Apollo Geist is resurrected.