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YMMV / Kamen Rider Kiva

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  • Awesome Music: the OP. Epic guitar riff is epic.
    "Baku baku Beating Heart! Katobashite Kick it Up! Baki baki Burning Heart! Kimi koso One and Only!"
    • Emperor Form's Leitmotif, Supernova.
    • And before that, we had Destiny's Play. As well as it's Re-Union Edit.
    • Saga has his own awesome Leitmotif: Roots of the King.
    • Generally, everything TETRA-FANG (including Koji Seto/Wataru himself) made. To give one an idea of how awesome the music of this series is in the Heisei period: apart from Den-O's all-too visible Wolverine Publicity, only the Kiva soundtrack has proved popular enough to warrant a reunion concert years after the show.
  • Badass Decay: When Kengo is given IXA, Nago loses a lot of his cool. And gets punched a lot.
    • But then he gets it back, and he spends most of the rest of the series beating the crap out of the second most powerful Fangire, Bishop- a Fangire who handed Kengo his ass on a platter.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Keisuke Nago; some detractors sees him as an "offshoot to Kusaka", who has caused a lot of drama, and had gained little comeuppance to compensate. What makes it worse is that he feels 0% guilt over his actions, including playing the driving part in his father's suicide. While fans of the said character sees him as a "better version of Kusaka", due to his decent Character Development in which makes him a better person, especially after he learned that the present-day Kiva is an ally to humanity.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Shoodoran appears out of nowhere to help the regular Castle Doran in episode 8...and is never heard from or mentioned again.
  • Complete Monster: While the Fangire race are the major antagonists in the series, there are 4 specific members who crossed the ultimate lines:
    • The ruthless Bat Fangire/1986 King is the lord of all Fangires, using his position to annihilate the Merman and Franken races and persecute Jiro, the last of the Wolfen. Discovering his wife has fallen in love with Otoya Kurenai, the King tries to force her to kill Otoya, and when she refuses to do so, the King offers the surviving members of the races he meant to exterminate a chance to live if they kill Otoya for him. Transforming them all into conscious weapons for trying to escape from him, the King captures Otoya and torturously drains him of his life energy to feed his living castle. Threatening the life of his own infant son to prevent his wife from seeing Otoya again after he escapes, the King's actions disgust even his most loyal servant to the point that he aids Otoya, giving him the power to destroy the King.
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    • Bishop, the Swallowtail Fangire, is King's calm, psychopathic right-hand man. A firm believer in the superiority of Fangires, Bishop informed the King of his wife's love for a human, resulting in Maya having her powers taken away from her. Trying to force Mio into embracing her fate as the new Queen, Bishop burns a Fangire in front of her when she refuses to kill him for having loved a human, later telling her that she must kill her Love Interest if she wants to be a true Queen. Under Taiga's orders, Bishop uses his powers to awaken Wataru's Fangire blood, almost making him murder his own friends. Seeing Mio as a failure, Bishop assassinates her and pins the blame on Wataru, fully intending on leaving him depressed. Proudly confessing his crimes to Taiga, Bishop is kicked out of the Checkmate Four and uses a magical crystal ball to drain the souls of multiple people. Planning on bringing the previous King back, Bishop revives the defeated Fangires and orders them to murder every human they come across, sacrificing his own soul to complete the ritual just so he could become one with the King and "destroy everything".
    • Rook, the Lion Fangire, is an excitement-seeking sociopath who murdered Yuri Aso's mother twenty years before the work takes place, leading to Yuri's hatred of Fangires. A genocidal maniac, Rook drove the Wolfen race to near-extinction, leaving Jiro as the sole survivor. To sate his boredom, Rook invents a game in which he must eat a selected group of people within a given amount of time, eating ice cream if he succeeds and punishing himself with electric shocks if he fails. Inventing a new game, Rook decides to do good deeds before getting himself killed, not out of a genuine interest in kindness but merely to keep himself entertained.
    • The Rhino Fangire tricks young people into believing he'll help make their dreams come true to lure them in so he can steal their life force. After killing them, he takes an item from them that relates to their dream as a trophy to put in his "Dream Graveyard". His choice of prey is based solely on a love for crushing the dreams of young people and nothing else. Even Wataru, who had generally tried to find the good in everyone, even Fangires, found his actions unforgivable.
  • Designated Hero: Otoya Kurenai. His good qualities perk up few and far in-between each other, and he tends to think with his other head around women.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: King and, to an extent, Bishop.
  • Epileptic Trees: There were plenty, of course, but one of the most common got subverted surprisingly thoroughly. Since 1975's Kamen Rider Stronger, it's been standard operating procedure for seasons of Kamen Rider to have females who get powers to die. Since it's made clear very early on in Kiva that Yuri was going to die soon, most fans assumed that this would happen as a direct result of her getting and using the IXA powers. Come mid-season, she gets the powers, uses them in battle, kicks complete and utter enemy ass... and nothing happens. The show never really explains how she died; many fans at this point assume something relatively mild, like a car accident.
    • Does Wataru have a Fangire Form at all, and if so, what Fangire is he? Unlike his half-brother, who's heavily hinted to be the Snake Fangire, no hints are givennote .
  • Game-Breaker: Kiva's Emperor Form and Dark Kiva.
  • Growing the Beard: The story really picked up speed after about 20 episodes, with the introduction of Mio and Maya.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Ep 27 opens with Kivat saying something about time travel being a possiblility, even stating 'I'd like to return to that day'. Tomokazu Sugita would later return for the second season of Haruhi Suzumiya, infamously known for Endless Eight...
  • Ho Yay: A lot of the things Taiga and Wataru do in episodes are particularly suggestive (there's some serious Ho Yay and Bro Yay going on here).
    • Forget about Taiga and Wataru, essentially every male main character takes a bath together at least once during the series.
  • Memetic Molester: Keisuke Nago for what he does if you make a wrong choice after the IXA-cise segment.
  • Memetic Loser: For almost a decade, Kiva himself was his, at least in the Figuarts side of the fanbase. Until October 2018, Kivanote  hadn't received an official Figuarts while almost every other Kamen Rider (Including ones from Kiva itself) has already had one. Even one-off riders like Nadeshiko and Sangou have already seen a Figuarts release before Kiva. It's common to see fans joking about how certain Riders and Precures have received a Figuarts before Kivanote .
  • Memetic Mutation: IXA-CISE!!!
    • DAD, NEO-FANGIRES! Explanation(SPOILERS) 
    • X got a Figuarts before Kiva!Explanation .
  • Nightmare Fuel: Make the wrong choice after the IXA-cise segment in the Hyper Battle DVD and you will find yourself molested by Keisuke Nago in the bathtub. His preferred term? "The Nago Special!"
    • Saga's finisher involves impaling and hanging fangires before ultimately causing the victim to explode in tremendous pain. One could actually feel sorry for the Horsefly Fangire for having to die in such a brutal way.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Otoya Kurenai was first seen as The Scrappy since most of his perverted tendencies tend to draw ire, and his possessive talk around Yuri is another factor which many viewers initially sees him as one. Until this traits disappear at the mid of season after he met Maya. Not only that, he is shown to be able to maturely such as sacrificing his own life to save Taiga and to make preparations for his future son's safety before he die.
  • The Scrappy: Ryo Itoya, the Spider Fangire, has drawn a lot of ire for his stalker tendecies. He harassed both Yuri in 1986 and Megumi in 2008, and his creepy attitude doesn't help it either. Fans cheered when Mio, of all people, kills him in a spectacular way.
  • Squick: Played with whenever Wataru searches for new ingredients for his violin varnish. One time he collects LIVE SNAILS.
    • Taken even further when he uses said varnish as a cooking ingredient. Knowing the kind of things he uses for varnish...
    • Hell, in Climax Deka it nearly gets him arrested!
  • Tear Jerker: Mio's death in episode 44, which reduces Wataru into a screaming fit of insanity.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: IN SPADES. For every one plot that Kiva pulls off, there are two that get thrown away.
    • For starters, the show's basic setup (namely, the 13 Demon Races) should have allowed for a lot of interesting characters and significantly impacted what the world is like. Instead, we only really got to deal with the Fangire and The Masquerade is strong enough to ensure that next to nobody knows about the Demon Races, even when the city gets attacked by Sabbats.
    • It even goes down to basic features for the Riders. IXA only uses the fake Fuestles once in the entire show, likewise with Kiva using some of his powers (Dogabaki and Shoodoran for starters, though the former is a case of Real Life Writes the Plot) just once or twice.
    • Kamen Rider Saga; they could have done anything with it - have Taiga keep using it after he gains the ability to become Dark Kiva, and use DK as a super mode, introduce a new character who uses it to act as an antagonist/rival, give it to an existing character like Kengo note ...but no, as soon as Taiga becomes Dark Kiva, it's almost as if it never existed.
    • Wataru's status as a half human, half Fangire. He doesn't suffer any negative effects because of his Fangire heritage until Taiga and Bishop stir it up once in an attempt to get him to come to their side. He's also not very strong (at one point it is shown that he can't do more than ten push-ups) and does not possess any sort of unique ability born from his monstrous heritage (when not transformed, that is). To be fair Wataru doesn't learn about his unique status until late in the series, but the writers could have made Wataru more interesting if they gave him some sort of weakness or problem that resulted from this and made him struggle with it until he learned about his parents and learned to accept who he is. Wataru does accept his heritage, but the only thing he has to show for it is Kiva, his status as the new King and a lot of painful memories. As it stands the only difference between a human and a Fangire/Human mix is that the mixture can use things that would normally only be accessible to a Fangire (like Castle Dran) and would not have to worry about the negative effects of transforming with Kiva/Dark Kiva.
    • The existence of people with mixed heritage arose much earlier in the show - Jiro wanted to marry Yuri so that she would bear his children and help repopulate his race. This plotline was dropped after Jiro's true self was uncovered and Yuri revealed that she was in love with Otoya.
    • The fact that nobody mentions what exactly happens to Yuri to cause her death somewhere in between 1986 and 2008.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Considering the success of this series' predecessor, this trope falls into this shape. Luckily, Kiva was a success by its own merit.
  • What an Idiot!: Yes, Bishop, do tell Taiga that you killed Mio instead of shutting up and letting Taiga continue to assume that Kiva did it, therefore getting rid of him without having to lift a finger. No wonder you are an Evil Genius!
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Wataru wears a shirt that says "Stupid" in episodes 17 and 22.
    • An example wherein Real Life Writes the Plot, and the problem wasn't stupid appearance: Kiva's default form is perfectly fine on its own, but it and his Arms Monster forms were too heavy for Seiji Takaiwa to act in properly, and in fact he nearly died once due to the weight. This is why Emperor Form was overused for the series, as it was far lighter and easier to work with. Unfortunately, it came at the cost of trashing the rest of Kiva's powers.

Example of: