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YMMV / Kamen Rider

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YMMV tropes applying to the Kamen Rider franchise:

  • Broken Base:
    • The issue of whether the later series are as good as the older series. For starters, Kamen Rider Wizard and Kamen Rider Gaim are both massive divisive seasons, though for separate reasons: Wizard is derided by some as playing it safe with the franchise and having a bland protagonist, but is lauded for the great effects in the fights and likable side-characters. Gaim, on the other hand, is derided for being too dark, having too many characters to keep track of, and having one of the bleakest stories in all of tokusatsu, which had some calling Too Bleak, Stopped Caring. Alternatively, some love the Darker and Edgier approach and say it's given Kamen Rider its best characters ever.
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    • Whether or not the series should get a Power Rangers-esque adaptation - proponents will point towards Kamen Rider Dragon Knight as an example of how to adapt the series properly, as well as point out that if there was an American KR franchise, merchandise would be released over here, and the source material would likely be released similar to how Shout Factory is releasing the Sentai series; opponents on the other hand would will point towards Saban making the show more appropriate for kids, and also point towards the OTHER American Adaptation as a counter-argument, and note that a subbed version released on an anime streaming website like Crunchyroll, which Shout Factory finally provided for the original series and Kuuga, would be easier to make and allow fans access to the actual series, rather than a heavily modified adaptation. Others still would prefer a Hong Kong Dub over just subtitles.
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  • Complete Monster: Now has a page which includes a list of the most despicable beings in the franchise.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: There's a licensed restaurant in Japan that serves themed dishes based on each show. It has a disturbing habit of making dishes based on death scenes, emotional moments, and the darker aspects of the franchise's various forms of Applied Phlebotinum. But being a fantasy restaurant, it circles back around to being downright silly instead of insensitive.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • There's "Power Rider", a trademark Saban filed...but never did anything with. Was Saban intending to adapt Kamen Rider a second time? Was it just a trademark they filed so it couldn't be used? Or was it something else entirely?
    • Foundation X, a mysterious organization interested in the tech of Kamen Riders which was introduced in 2009's W and made further appearances with the following OOO and Fourze, is a common subject of theories for ongoing series, mostly in the context of crossovers. It even made a full reappearance in 2017 for a Kamen Rider Build crossover. Naturally, 2018's 20th Heisei series Kamen Rider Zi-O sparked a lot of speculation about Foundation X that never amounted to anything. Three years later, the 50th anniversary series Kamen Rider Revice faced even stronger speculation about Foundation X thanks to the presence of the aesthetically and nominally similar Kamen Rider-related organization Fenix, which also never amounted to anything.
  • Fandom Heresy: One of the longer-running ones is the 2nd Phase number theory. The first few such series (Decade to Fourze) had very clear numerical themes, with the number incremented by one every year (Decade's number was 10, but easily serves as 1 in the pattern; Double was "two Riders in one" and used two Memories at once, OOO's Medals came in threes, and Fourze was named for 40 Switches ("Four-zero") and used four at a time). A number of fans believe the theory that Toei kept on incorporating the theme even when the Rider's name and number of trinkets didn't reflect it, though just as many think that said believers are only seeing the theme numbers because they want to find the theme numbers, not because said numbers are there on purpose. The theory died down over time, as there was little discussion over any presence of tens in Build. The theory was finally put to rest by Shirakura on twitter, confirming that it was never more than a coincidence.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Seiji Takaiwa is known to the fans as Mr. Kamen Rider due to the fact that he's been the suit actor for nearly every Hesei Rider (He didn't act Kuuga and Hibikinote ). Considering the fact that he's somehow managed to choreograph 14 different personalities, making them recognizable characters even behind the suits, he definitely deserves the title.
    • Western Fans have given the Riders the collective nickname of "karate bugmen" as a tongue-in-cheek way of acknowledging that the franchise can be pretty Narmy at times...though that's not necessarily a bad thing.
    • Western fans also have coined the term "Rider Bros" for Rider veterans who still look back on the show fondly, reprise their roles in crossovers and video games, and are generally friendly and receptive with the fandom. Considering the franchise has been running long enough to produce a ton of Promoted Fanboys, the list is quite expansive.
    • Fans have applied the unflattering moniker of "Piss Gold" to instances of Gold-Colored Superiority which look to be more on the yellow side. These include Kamen Rider Double CycloneJokerGoldXtreme, Kamen Rider Wizard Infinity Dragon Gold, Super Evolved Roidmudes, and Gold Drive.
  • Fanon: Although each Rider typically has a realistic eye color as a civilian, fanart tends to portray them with more fantastical colors matching their Rider form instead (so a lot of Heisei Riders would have red eyes, Shotaro Hidari would have purple eyes, Tsukasa Kadoya magenta, etc.) This extends to giving Sento Kiryu heterochromia to match RabbitTank and sometimes doing the same for Emu Hojo, which likewise matches Mighty Brothers XX.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Since Skull was chronologically the first Rider to appear in the Double-verse, it could be argued that the Spider and Bat Dopants actually were the first MotWs in Double. And since chronologically, Skull was active before all Heisei ridersnote , that would make the Spider and Bat Dopants the first MotWs for the entire Heisei (and 2nd Phase Heisei, if you believe there's a dividing point) era.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With both the Super Sentai and Power Rangers fanbase. The former for being sister series and having different yet equally valid interpretation of their genres and the latter for helping them being introduced to the greater toku genre and their shared hatred of Saban’s Masked Rider.
    • In an rather interesting case, Kamen Rider seems to be really friendly with the Pretty Cure fandom, thanks to no parts of having multiple KR references and, in the case of Doki Doki! PreCure, borrowed themes and motifs from two of its Heisei seriesnote . Additionally, both fans were clamoring for a possible Kamen Rider/Pretty Cure crossovernote .
    • Another rather interesting case, if Reddit if to be believed, based on so many crossover and memetic posts combining the two, many Kamen Rider fans who are also really friendly with the fandom of The Owl House, of all shows. Expect a lot of crossover content within the two, especially if Kamen Rider Saber is involved.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In a meta sense, an episode of the Super Hero Taihen net movies had a gag plot where veteran suit actor Eitokunote  attempted to eliminate fellow suit actor Seiji Takaiwa to ursurp his role as the lead Kamen Rider, but was caught at the end and mocked by his "victims" that he would not amount to anything more than a Monster of the Week actor. Years later, Takaiwa's retirement from the lead Rider role has him pass down the mantle to Yuya Nawata, a relatively new suit actor who started off as MoTWs before taking up more popular Kamen Rider roles such as Genm and Geiz.
  • Macekre: "Saban's Masked Rider". To capitalize on the success of Power Rangers, Saban licensed the already Lighter and Softer Kamen Rider BLACK RX, dialed the Lighter and Softer elements up to eleven, and turned it into "Saban's Masked Rider": a lame old Aesop-tastic romp of a sit-com starring a superhero alien learning about Earth culture with his adoptive American Family. Later the editing got so shoddy that at times you could clearly see the original Japanese actors, or the fact that the footage they were splicing in was from a completely different series starring a completely different hero. (Dex is Black RX one scene, J the next! No, they don't look alike. At all.) To say that Ishinomori was disgusted would be putting it too lightly. Not to mention that the events of the series have been Retconned to be a Show Within a Show in Power Rangers, as seen in "The Quantum Quest". The only remaining canon material from the series is the Backdoor Pilot episode of Power Rangers.
  • Magnificent Bastard: See here.
  • Memetic Mutation: Enough to have a dedicated page.
  • Narm Charm: The series BREATHES this trope. When you can take a bunch of dudes doing Wire Fu in ridiculous jumpsuits against rubber monsters seriously, THAT is an achievement. Taken up to eleven in Kamen Rider Gaim, where the plot is about Riders in dance teams using powers themed on fruits, yet it STILL manages to be awesome. And serious. And very dark. Of course, the fact that Gen Urobuchi wrote it probably had something to do with it. There's also Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, which manages to be a goofy series about video games while also having some deep and thoughtful themes on the value of life.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki. Just think about it. Every mirror - hell - every single reflective body you walk past could be a portal from which a monster whose only desire is to eat you could emerge from. And don't think it's just that odd piece of glass in the streets, or that puddle of water you need to worry about either. Every mirror is fair game, even the ones in your home. Really, the only guarantee of survival in the Ryuki world possible if you were just a 'normal' is to lock yourself in at home and cover up every piece of glass... but even that did not work out so well for De-Powered Shinji in Zi-O
      • ...Or if you somehow found a discarded deck like Shinji did.
      • The monsters are essentially relentless, and will never stop hunting you once you are chosen as a target. Lousy luck if you're in the dark about, but if you are aware of their existence..... This applies to Dragon Knight as well, with the trade off of mindless monsters that will eat you at the first opportunity for an organized force that is just waiting for it's shot at conquering the whole damn world, and if not for the Riders, would have succeeded.
      • We should also count the series where the monsters can take human form. like the worms of Kamen Rider Kabuto. They kill the original, and take that person's place. An impersonation so good, that they can fool anyone, including THEMSELVES! This means that anyone you know, Father, Mother, Best friend, ANYONE could be a worm in disguise. Lovely thought.
    • Shocker is everywhere. If you are in their sights, whether it be a random target or worse, if you're a witness, they will find you. Your home is no longer safe, your friends might be monsters in disguise or already dead, your drinks might even be poisoned—No matter what you do, they will always be five steps ahead. Sure, Kamen Rider 1 or 2 can save the day, but lord forbid you're the first victim of the episode. You know, the one nobody ever saves...
    • The Imagin from Kamen Rider Den-O - you think that the Worms are bad? At least the Worms are restricted to what time they show up; the Imagin could've potentially gone back to when any previous Rider series took place and wreaked havoc. Unless you happen to be a singularity point (something which seems to be very rare), if one forms a contract with you, you'd better hope it's a benevolent one, otherwise they'll go back in time and pretty much rewrite the present as you know it.
    • The Magia from Kamen Rider Zero-One. In a world where completely human-looking HumaGear are commonplace as labor and service workers, all it takes for the terrorists to hijack them is getting close and putting a spiky ZetsumeRiser belt on them. Just 5 seconds, maybe a bit more if they're loyal enough, and your driver, consultant, waiter or fellow coworker you've known for years is now a devoted Killer Robot. Then, when they use the belt themselves, their skin melts, revealing their real metallic body that looks close like the Terminator with two rows of teeth. Not only do they have weaponized armor that grows from their mouth, they can use Combat Tentacles to corrupt any other HumaGear in proximity into footsoldiers, leading to a large-scale outbreak if not stopped quickly. And unless they have a special backup or defeated by a designated late-game Rider from, they can't be saved.
  • Periphery Demographic: The adult fans, although that demographic has been acknowledged with works like the extremely dark Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue. Mothers of the core demographic are this as well, which is why Rider has moved towards a Cast Full of Pretty Boys especially in the Heisei series.
  • Star Trek Movie Curse: With Rider, the "curse" seems to be attached to shows with a mystic/supernatural theme. Kamen Rider Amazon, whose hero got his powers from a Mayincatec armband rather than Applied Phlebotinum, was so gory (albeit by 1970s standards) that the backlash from angry parents almost killed the franchise. Decades later, the oni-themed Kamen Rider Hibiki was popular with fans, but suffered a Retool that messed it up so badly that it's become one of Tokusatsu's most infamous cases of Executive Meddling. The next three supernatural shows, Kamen Rider Kiva, Kamen Rider Wizard, and Kamen Rider Ghost are generally held in low regard by the fandom, with Ghost in particular being viewed as one of the weakest seasons ever made and Wizard not too far behindnote . The second Reiwa-era series, Kamen Rider Saber, has the double whammy of being magic-themed and having the same head writer as Ghost, and while it's agreed to be a step up from Ghost, it had the absolute misfortune of airing during the COVID-19 Pandemic, with sales suffering as a result.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Or rather, an organization - Foundation X could've easily filled the role of villainous organization that Shocker has filled in almost all the post-Double works involving Shockernote ...yet since Movie War Megamax, they've only appeared in two crossovers in 2017, one of whichnote  only serves as a cameo buildup to the othernote . Their absence is especially notable in Movie War Core, considering that they were also shown to be interested in the medals that Kamen Rider OOO uses, and Kamen Rider Zi-O, the franchise tribute 20th Heisei series.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
  • Woolseyism: The official Asian English dub that started from Ryuki uses "Transform!" for the Riders' transformation callnote . It wasn't until midway through OOO did the dubbing team in-charge at that point decided to adopt the fan-preffered original term "Henshin".

YMMV tropes applying to the first Kamen Rider series:

  • Archive Panic: The main reason a lot of westerners don't start with this series despite it being the first and legally available. It has 98 opposed to the standard 50 and unlike later Kamen Rider series there is very little story progression making it quite a daunting task to watch all of it.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • First Installment Wins: To this day, no other Kamen Rider series has had more episodesnote , and of all the Riders who return in later works, Takeshi Hongo has made the most appearances. He's also the only Showa era Rider to have a movie crossover with a 2nd phase Heisei rider - although Black and Amazon would have arcs in Kamen Rider Decade, the amount of appearances that Takeshi Hongo has had either untransformed or as Ichigo is the most of all Showa Riders.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • Shocker is established to have ties to the Nazis, with several of it's key members having been Nazi officers. The Great Leader of Shocker is implied in later series to be an evil spirit powered by and sustained by human evil. Is it any wonder the guy first surfaced, that we know of, after the atrocities of WWII and brought many Nazi officers along with him?
    • Gel-Shocker's symbol of a snake crushing an eagle is thematic, as the snake (Geldem) merged with the eagle (Shocker) and effectively crushed any resemblance that the latter had.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Guilgaras, the Monster of the Week of episode 52, could breathe a toxic gas called the Deadman Gas. 50 years later, the antagonists of Kamen Rider Revice would be named the Deadmans. For bonus points, the end of the episode has Ichimonji leave for South America to fight their local Shocker branch, while the events of Revice began in 1971 when Giff's casket was unearthed in South America.
  • More Popular Replacement: Interestingly, Hayato Ichimonji was initially this when he was first introduced, as the beginning his tenure as the lead was right around when the most well known conventions of the series were starting to form. It was to the point where even when Hiroshi Fujioka recovered from his injuries, the producers still wanted Takeshi Sasaki to be co-leads with him. Sasaki refused, being old friends with Fujioka and having accepted the role on the condition that the lead role be returned to him once he recovered. Takeshi Hongo has thus been the face of the franchise ever since.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Although not to the same extent as Goranger, it's a bit jarring to watch this series if one was introduced to Kamen Rider through one of the Heisei-era shows - while it does have a secondary rider, initially the secondary rider acts more as a replacement as opposed to a supporting character, the lack of Swiss-Army Heronote , the main character having a permanent upgrade to gain more powers as opposed to a Super Mode they can transform in and out of, and the fact that the main character's powers come from him being a cyborg as opposed to getting his powers from other sources.
  • Special Effects Failure: Granted, it's an old series, but there are a lot of moments where it really tends to show its age.
    • This was partially justified by the fact that the show had a very low budget even for it's time.
    • Exhibit A: Before defeated monsters began to explode, they would instead dissolve. At first, this was represented by foam, but then someone would pull beads to show this.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Through the series, we see Shocker's monsters turning people into skeletons and ashes. The effects are laughable but still!
    • Episode 2 ends with a monster thrown off a building and splattered.
    • The Sarracenian monster in episode 4 killed someone by literally crushing him with his bare hands.
  • What The Hell, Costuming Department?: Ambassador Hell's outfit, which it has been described by some as Ross Perot in a cockroach suit.