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YMMV / Kamen Rider 555

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Regarding the fact that Chie accused Kiba as the culprit of Kazuaki's murder when she noticed him arrived to Soeno and Sawamura, did she do so as an illustration of her being a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing or out of being overly pressured by the two detectives of the incident, which led to her accusation solely out of instinct?
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • The Japanese has no problem with Kusaka despite his Jerkass personality, at most a meme or two. American fans however, hate the guy, and/or enjoy doing so.
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    • The show itself partly falls into this. In Japan, it's loved for its dark plot and themes, while in the West, while it's still well received overall, some dislike it due to the backbone of most of its drama relying heavily on the characters not knowing what to say to each other.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Base-Breaking Character: Masato Kusaka. Many like him for being a Jerkass, others hate him for the same reason, mainly by the Western fans, and then there are those who Love to Hate him.
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  • Badass Decay: Takuma. At first, he's able to curbstomp all three Renegades on his lonesome, is enough for one of them in human form, will kick your ass with poetry, and at one point wields the stolen Faiz Gear against the good guys (admittedly, though, that last seems to happen a lot.) Later in the series, he's a constantly weepy, whimpering Butt-Monkey. Takuma circa #20 and Takuma circa #40 have zero in common and not in a good way. To be fair, this trope is Justified; and somewhat Foreshadowed! He IS a dangerous enemy...right up until the episode he gets his butt kicked and nearly killed by Faiz in Axel Mode. After this, at some point we see Lucky Clover gathered in front of some 'Masterpiece' paintings carrying on a discussion; which boils down to him saying "at a certain level, if it isn't perfect its garbage". One can presume that before that episode, he was so used to being on the giving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle that nearly getting killed broke him, and THEN he gets beat up by a Delta Gear user. From here it becomes clearer and clearer that he was always a Smug Snake and is simply undergoing a much slower version of such characters comeuppance. He'd gotten to think he was perfect until he lost a round or two, which caused his fear that he's garbage to become ever more crippling.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • For those who don't like Masato Kusaka, him getting his neck snapped by Yuji Kiba is very satisfying, considering that he's a jerk who hates all Orphnochs. Not to mention that his Kaixa Gear ended up in Kiba's possession amps up the satisfaction to the fans.
    • After all the abuse he received from Kitazaki, Takuma finally getting his revenge on him after the former was weakened by Faiz and Delta. If it's not enough, Kitazaki's demise at the hands of the Arch Orphnoch is much more satisfying.
  • "Common Knowledge": Many fans were under the belief that the Faiz design was based on a firefly, to keep in with the insect theme of Main Riders. But surprisingly, Faiz's form was designed on on a shark instead (with the sharp teeth designs and two antenna resembling a fin).
  • Complete Monster: In this Cyberpunk world that stands as one of the darkest series in the franchise, these select two stand out:
    • Kitazaki/Dragon Orphnoch is a Lucky Clover agent who cares more for his own enjoyment rather than the Master Race philosophy preached by Smart Brain. A sadistic teenager with the power to turn everything he touches into ash, Kitazaki, who lives solely for fighting and killing, sees the war between humans and Orphnochs as an opportunity to never feel bored again. Shortly before the events of the series, Kitazaki took part in a massacre that left several Ryusei students dead, killing Mari and Sawada himself. When in the presence of other Orphnochs, Kitazaki uses his abilities to physically hurt them, such as pressing his fist against their cheeks. After obtaining the Delta Gear, Kitazaki uses it to engage in brutal confrontations with other Riders, and tortures another Lucky Clover assassin when he tries to steal it from him. If the mission he is given is not fun enough, Kitazaki creates "games" to challenge the rest of the Lucky Clover, such as promising to slap other members in the arm if he kills their target first, knowing this would leave them without a limb. In one of his games, Kitazaki decides to kill their king, the Arch-Orphnoch, a being living inside the body of a little boy, just to prove his superiority, despite having the information that this would result in the extinction of his entire race.
    • Masahiko Minami is a xenophobic National Police Agency officer and human supremacist who leads an opposition against Orphnochs to purge all of them, living by his own sociopathic dilemma of using those who allow themselves to be used. Introduced stopping a police investigation, Minami recruits an innocent detective to spy on an Orphnoch, and orders his death when the man began sympathizing with Orphnochs. In his facility, Minami has an Orphnoch kept locked inside a glass box as his own guinea pig, conducting inhumane experiments to revert them back to human form. Making a deal with Smart Brain to have more subjects, Minami captures Yuka and electrocutes her, ignoring complaints that the operation could kill her, as he considers her a "worthless life" anyway. When she is saved by his prisoner, Minami promises that he is trying to work towards human and Orphnoch cooperation, but sets up a squad of heavily armed soldiers to eliminate Yuka, Kiba and Takumi, indirectly causing her death. When the laboratory is attacked by an enraged Kiba, Minami leaves his staff to die and escapes to save his own skin. When he's found and killed by Kiba, Minami spends his last moments laughing at his face and stating that the Orphnochs will never succeed. Existing solely to show that Humans Are the Real Monsters, Minami proved himself to be far more evil than many Orphnochs.
    • Paradise Lost: Leo/Kamen Rider Psyga, the Lion Orphnoch from this alternate continuity and its prequel Lost World, is a Sociopathic Soldier placed under supervision of Murakami who is feared by humans and Orphnoch alike. A foreign who arrived in Japan to help with Smart Brain's cause, Leo was given the Psyga Gear after having found an extremely injured Murakami and demanding an Emperor Belt for himself, or else he would leave him to die. Leo joined Smart Brain's paramilitary solely to kill humans and have a chance to fight with other Orphnoch, leading the Riotroopers in the genocidal campaign against the human population. Introduced murdering three members of his own race with no hesitation, Leo participates in attacks against the Human Liberation Army at their sanctuary, personally killing Kusaka and leaving several civilians dead or injured, later taking the opportunity to bomb the place. Shortly after kidnapping Mari, Leo tried to stop Takumi from saving her, intending on having her executed on live television.
    • In the non-canon novel adaptation Seiden: Grotesque/Deformed Flowers, by Toshiki Inoue, Masato Kusaka/Kamen Rider Kaixa manages to be much more repugnant and heinous than he already was in the show. In the past, Kusaka was a lonely and bullied orphan who only had his friend Mari to keep him company, but unbeknownst to her, Kusaka only saw her as a possession, rather than a real friend. When his classmates are attacked by an Orphnoch, Kusaka generalized the entire race as being monstrous abominations who deserve to be destroyed by him, even if there are good-hearted Orphnochs. Upon getting hold of the Kaixa Gear, Kusaka took the chance to try and kill all Orphnochs and keep Mari only to himself. Kusaka was responsible for the murder of Yuka, another bullying victim and a close friend to Kiba, driving him to hate the human race. Not satisfied with his crimes, Kusaka rapes the underaged Mari, not caring if the assault had left her hopeless and depressed. Kiba is so disgusted by this that he personally rips off Kusaka's limbs as punishment for his crime. Later, Kusaka resurfaced once again to make Mari's life a living hell, but was ultimately stopped and killed by Takumi Inui. A calculating, antisocial bigot who saw others as mere objects for him to use in his genocidal quest, Kusaka served as a brutal example of how even the worst kinds of people can become Riders.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
  • Esoteric Happy Ending:
    • The movie's ending; yes, Takumi saved Mari, but the renegade trio are all dead, we're down to one Rider since there's no sign of Delta, and the world is still overrun by Orphnochs with the human race near extinction and the resistant force abandons Mari and her friends.
    • The show's ending: The Orphnoch King is defeated… but he yet lives, and Saeko is still tending to him and plotting something. This means we actually don't know if the good guys win this series. Half the cast is dead, and not in the temporary way, and all friendly Orphnochs, up to and including Takumi himself, still suffer from the breakdown they all suffer; we see Takumi's vision begin to blur, letting us know that he doesn't have long. There's a reason this is a strong contender for the darkest KR series.
      • Extended even more when in Kamen Rider #4, it reveals that EVERYONE, except for Kaido, died. This includes Mari and Keitaro, and yes, Takumi. However, due to being revived in the twisted timelines, he's had enough of sacrifices, thus causing the constant time loops. The movie ends with Takumi finally ending the loops and dying for good... But at least preserving the fact that he died with a smile.
      • Kamen Rider Zi-O basically tried to cut them some slack when unrelated timeline changes result in Takumi and Kusaka coming Back from the Dead due to their history as Riders being erased for the most part. Kusaka isn't even as bad as he usually is since his real goal is to help out two classmates with their problems (one of them being the Monster of the Week) Even if he has to do it in his typical fashion. A V-Cinema taking place after the series, where Kusaka makes another appearance, implies that their resurrections stuck.
  • Fanon: A meta example, as it’s believed that the reason why Psyga’s dialogue is in English is because his actor’s spoken Japanese during filming is hard or outright impossible to understand and he was instructed to speak English.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Both of 555's novels, with one (Grotesque Flowers) featuring Masato coming back from the dead and rapes Mari, and the second (part of the Heisei novel series) references said rape. Since the subject of rape hasn't even been a topic of discussion in the franchise prior to or since then, this comes out way out of left field. Maybe even when it concerns Masato. It's actually hard to put it in continuity, and his darkening is a major part of it. Show Masato is a treacherous snake who puts his own desires above others' lives, and that's bad, but book Masato is more like something out of a horror movie.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Despite the series having the love triangle between Takumi, Mari and Kusaka as one of its most important parts, and that it's implied Takumi and Mari eventually end up together, many fans prefer shipping Takumi with Kiba instead, due to the Ho Yay and chemistry between them, and the fact that their relationship is some of the healthiest ones possible in this dysfunctional series.
  • Fountain of Memes: Kusaka's one of the most memetic characters in the franchise for his extreme Jerkass behavior, Slasher Smile, and obsession with Mari, all of which his actor actively encourages to the point that September 13 (9/13) is an annual celebration of how enjoyably awful he is.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While respected by the Japanese fandom, the (seemingly) American Leo, aka Kamen Rider Psyga is naturally loved by English-speaking fans for his perfect English in a franchise that has been historically bad with its English.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The fact that Kiba Yuji died as a young man in the beginning of the series becomes saddening when as of August of 2015, his actor had also passed away at the age of 35. Harsher still he died in both the series finale and the Paradise Lost film. On top of that, he's in a series where Death Is Cheap, and was first encountered in a coma after an accident. Though the actor died of an illness, not an accident, it's still a very sharp reminder that in the real world, when your condition is something doctors don't know how to treat, it doesn't mean you wake up with superpowers, it just means you die. It also makes his Adaptational Villainy when seen in flashbacks in Heisei Vs. Showa harsher - it's like he's being badmouthed when he's not here to defend himself.
    • When we're first introduced to Kusaka, we see him riding a horse, and Takumi tells him "not to get kicked by a horse and die". Kusaka eventually gets killed by Kiba, the Horse Orphnoch. Of course this could double as Hilarious in Hindsight depending on how you view Kusaka.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Remember the opening sequence? In a moment, Takumi is sitting on a chair looking like he was going to have his hair cut by Mari. Come the Showa vs Heisei movie and Takumi is there...with shorter hair.
    • The Hyper Battle DVD Takumi a fan of The Lonely Island?
  • Love to Hate: Kusaka is this for various reasons. Magnificent Bastard? Check! Draco in Leather Pants? Check! Being the definitive Jerkass in the history of Kamen Rider? Check!
  • Memetic Loser: If there's anything else that people enjoy about Kusaka the most. It's that he eventually gets what he deserves. The show itself? Kiba snaps his neck and takes the Kaixa gear. Paradise Lost? Killed by Psyga near the beginning. The novels? There's no way that version of him was going to get away with what he did. He's not even safe from things like Kamen Rider Taisen with the retelling of his death or Kamen Rider Zi-O where he almost gets his neck snapped again even though he's not as bad as usual.
  • Memetic Mutation: See this page for examples.
  • Narm:
    • Dragon Orphnoch stopped beating up Faiz due to a toy airplane.
    • Leo, the badass Rider in Paradise Lost... who speaks English. Not Gratuitous; he speaks perfect English and, other than "Henshin," he never speaks a word of Japanese. Rumor has it that his Japanese was so bad, they made him speak English instead.
      • Speaking of Paradise Lost, Kyouji Murakami, is executed for his numerous failures throughout the movie up to and including the loss of the Psyga Gear, the Orga Gear, and a very powerful Orphnoch. Normally this would be disturbing, but the method of execution is placing him under a Smart Brain branded weight and pushing a button that just drops it on him off screen. For such a serious movie, Kyouji's death comes straight out of Looney Tunes.
  • Nightmare Fuel: See here for examples.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Kaido's actor, Mitsuru Karahashi, may now be better known to tokusatsu fans as Fuwa Juzo in Samurai Sentai Shinkenger.
    • Same thing for Kitazaki's actor, Ray Fujita, better known as Rei Suzumura from GARO.
    • The little girl who played Mari as a kid? Aoi Yūki as a kid.
  • The Scrappy: You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who actually likes Shuji Mihara. Lots of viewers decry him for having virtually no personality or charisma and view him as unworthy of the Delta Gear, with many preferring Kitazaki as its user.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Takes 8 episodes to catch on.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: The series goes so far with likeable characters being put through utter hell, characters who get into conflict because they couldn't do so much as sit down and talk for a few minutes, horrible people that get away with the crap they do, and an ending that's a borderline Downer Ending due to the heavy amount of awful things more likely to happen to the characters than good (Assuming that they haven't died yet), it's one of the darkest series in the Kamen Rider franchise. Which either makes it an interesting and compelling watch, a miserable series where one is just going to stop caring about anybody, or some combination of both.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: With the dark, serious tone of the show, one could easily mistake this TV Asahi Sunday morning program for an adults' show.
  • The Woobie:
    • Kiba is established as this in #1. He wakes up after a 2 year coma and it's revealed his previous happy life is no more. His parents are dead, his girlfriend hooked up with someone else and his house is sold because his corrupt uncle needed money.
    • Yuka gets it just as bad. She's not only The Unfavorite and has to deal with Abusive Parents who absurdly dote on her (half? step? foster?) sister, but said sister is an Ungrateful Bitch who, after Yuka brings their parents to her when she gets hurt, lies off her ass and tells them that it's Yuka's fault in the first place. Apparently, Yuka's property is also routinely stolen and/or destroyed at school. In #4, a group of girls tackle her to the floor and steal her shoes and socks - the next time she sees her stuff, it's torn and cut to pieces. Is it any wonder that when she first became an Orphnoch, she took no prisoners?

Alternative Title(s): Kamen Rider Faiz