Kamen Rider is a tokusatsu series created by Shotaro Ishinomori and produced by Toei in 1971. It primarily features people in armored suits fighting against monsters.
Obviously the first trope you must have is the Henshin Hero
. The Kamen Riders all are normal civillians who uses a Transformation Trinket
to transforms into their superhero personas. They are also phlebotinum rebels
as their source of power usually are the same as the enemies they fight.Another important trope is the Monster of the Week
. Kamen Riders (and Toku series in general) deal with various monsters on a weekly basis. Some series even have mooks
for the heroes to deal with.One more trope that is needed is the Evil Counterpart
. The main villain(s) usually have something in common with the heroes, and may or may not be riders themselves. They are usually foils
of the heroes.
First and formost, do you want your rider to be tech based or magic based? Tech based riders typically use equipment created by humans. For example, Kamen Rider Build
is a tech based rider as the equipment are all man-made. Magic based riders typically come from a more fantastical source, be it an ancient civilization or an alternate dimension. An example of a magic based rider is Kamen Rider Wizard
where the equipment uses a power known as "mana" to function. You also need to decide the theme of your rider. It can be based on anything such as movies, dinosaurs etc. You can even combine multiple themes like Kamen Rider Ex-Aid
combining video games and doctors.After you have decided a theme, time to decide whether or not you want a gimmick, if so what would it be. Ever since Kamen Rider Ryuki
, the series typically have some form of collectible gimmick that are used by different riders or grant new forms/abilities. For example, Kamen Rider Double
have the Gaia Memories, USB like devices that allow Double to switch between various forms while Kamen Rider Kabuto
have the Zecters that are the Transformation Trinket
of the riders of that series. Do note it is fine for your rider to not have a gimmick, if you can't work it into the series, don't force it.
The rider series usually have a All-Loving Hero
as the protagonist, but what if the hero isn't morally righteous?The series usually take place in the modern day, but what if a series takes place in a different time period?
Suggested Themes and Aesops
Set Designer/ Location Scout
The riders typically have a home base where they hang out when not in battle. So make it feel homely. Give your characters their own personalized areas so it feels like they actually live there.
The riders usually use weapons such as swords or guns. But that doesn't mean you have to restrict yourself, go crazy. You can give your riders exotic weapons like a whip or a cane. If that doesn't work out, don't be afraid to make your character a Bare-Fisted Monk
.The riders also have little gadgets as well like phones or Robot Buddies
, so think of creative gadgets for your characters.Now on to the most important thing, the Rider Machines. Kamen Rider are called that because they ride bikes, and in almost every series, the riders have a bike they can ride into battle. The bikes can be dirt bikes, sports bikes or even choppers. Do note they don't HAVE to ride a normal bike, you can have them drive cars if you want like Kamen Rider Drive
or a train like Kamen Rider Den-O
Have fun! Simply choose a motif and base the rider suit around that motif. If you have multiple riders, make sure there is a throughline that connects them to each other.The monsters are usually People in Rubber Suits
, but sometimes there are big CGI monsters as well.
The fight scenes in Kamen Rider are usually intricately cheoreographed. So make each fight scene count.Be sure to have the obligatory vehicle chase in the first 10 episodes.
The Epic Fails
- Kamen Rider Hibiki could've been a great series, but mismanagement behind the scenes caused the series to crash and burn.
- Kamen Rider Ghost while not horrible, is infamous for having a protagonist that many find annoying due to his What an Idiot! moments and long winded friendship speeches. Not only that, the show seems to like killing him off. They did it so much that any emotional investment in the character has completely evaporated by the 3rd death. Also infamous for the secondary and tertiary riders being worfed.
- Kamen Rider Amazons season 2 due to the Romantic Plot Tumor between the new leads ruining the pacing.
- Kamen Rider Decade due to the main arc being an Excuse Plot to get the characters from one location to the other.