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YMMV / Kamen Rider Zero-One

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  • Arc Fatigue: The Workplace Competition Arc, to the point where, as admitted by Producer Omori in a producer roundtable discussion on the TTFC, it's critically divisive. A lot of fans do agree that, while the arc was enjoyable to a certain extent and helped give Aruto a needed wake-up call as to how cutthroat the business world can be (especially when people like Gai Amatsu are involved), it dragged far longer than it needed to, not helped by the fact that, after a well-paced arc, it returned to the "Monster of the Fortnight" formula, which meant the arc took twice as long to conclude. Gai winning the first two and last round and the revelation he's been cheating the whole time and getting away with it with no consequences to his actions didn't help matters.
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  • Ass Pull: Gai Amatsu revealing that all the puppy soccer he's played throughout the series is because he loves Hiden Intelligence and likened Korenosuke and Aruto's fixation on Humagears to an incident from his childhood where his father made him give up a beloved robot dog in order to focus on "bigger and better things," considering it all to be a waste of the company's potential and AI technology as a whole comes completely out of left field and is given no buildup at all.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After eleven episodes of featuring HumaGears that turned into Magias are beyond saving, episode 17 softens this by introducing remotely-hacked Ark Magias. The kicker? The next episode revealed that any victim turned into one and destroyed still had their AI retrievable and saved into a new body.
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    • Due to how much of an irredeemable Hate Sink Gai is, you can pretty much expect every time he gets beaten up to be this. This gets especially satisfying after the "Workplace Competition" during which he keeps getting away with many crimes, cheating and more or less every Kick the Dog moment and now karma finally caught with to him which hits with the force of a cluster of rampaging animals filled with burning vengeance.
      • In episode 22, after four episodes of him getting away with cheating, ruthlessly destroying HumaGears, and being virtually unstoppable, seeing Gai/Thouser soundly trounced by Zero-One's Metal Cluster Hopper is most gratifying. Made even more gratifying in episode 24 when now in control of Metal Cluster Hopper, not only can Zero-One revert HumaGears back to their original forms without destroying them, he also gives Thouser an even bigger beatdown.
      • After Gai coldly tortures Isamu with the chip in his brain, seeing him getting beaten down by RampageGatling Vulcan is certainly a delight to the eyes.
      • It turns out that Gai winning the Workplace Competition and taking over Hiden Intelligence was 1000% MEANINGLESS! Since Korenosuke patented the HumaGear and other technology under himself which was passed over to Aruto after his death which means that the only thing Gai got was the company. Not to mention yet another beatdown with a clear face of Gai at being outsmarted.
      • In episode 32 he gets thrashed yet again, this time by Naki and Fuwa teaming up.
      • Episode 33 has Yua finally turning on Gai, teaming up with Fuwa to — yet again — give him a well-deserved beatdown. She even makes her resignation from ZAIA official by slugging her now former employer in the face.
      • Episode 35 has Horobi beating Gai after Aruto saves him from a Stinging Scorpion-powered Jacking Break and Naki hacking the Battle Raiders and Gigars.
      • Episode 37 provides another catharsis in the form of the four members of MetsubouJinrai.NET beating up Thouser in four versus one combat.
      • Episode 38 has Gai getting defeated by Aruto once again and footage of attempting to kill Jun forwarded to ZAIA by Shesta after desperately erasing every evidence of his unethical conducts for nothing. This leads to Aruto, Is, Jun, Sanzo, and Shesta finally giving him "The Reason You Suck" Speech he deserves for all he has done now that his standing as President of both companies is ruined.
  • Complete Monster: Azu is the only member of without redeeming qualities and their worst Psycho Supporter. A jovial but sociopathic Humagear resembling Hiden Intelligence's Izu, Azu doesn't care for the supremacist ideology of the extremists, worshipping Ark and starting conflicts for her own amusement. Meticulously collecting data to revive Ark, Azu succeeds in bringing the malicious AI back to Japan, leading to more terrorist attacks and countless explosions across the entire city. After Ark's defeat, Azu manipulates Aruto and Horobi to replace it and trigger a Robot War that will inevitably result in both sides losing, seeking to distribute the power of Ark among the population and using the genocidal Kamen Rider Eden as her backup plan to ensure a massive number of casualties.
  • Contested Sequel: In comparison to Kamen Rider Zi-O. Some praise Zero-One for having more consistent, realistic, and varied characters with great development, and for having one of the more well-realized and interesting settings in Kamen Rider's history. Others however, criticize this show for not innovating upon the Rider formula far more than it could have, dragging out certain plot points for too long, or poorly handling some characters (Gai’s Heel–Face Turn, Yua’s motivations). Not helping matters is that Zero-One was unfortunately cut short due to the pandemic, leading to a rushed ending in order to keep on schedule.
  • Creepy Awesome: Aruto as Ark-One is nothing less than completely terrifying and awe-inspiring. Every fight scene featuring this form showcases him as nothing less than an uncanny and foreboding force of nature both in and out of suit.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Making Isamu laugh when it seems nigh impossible at first is one thing. Making him laugh when he’s still recovering from grievous injuries AND major surgery is very, VERY bad. But still funny.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    •, they ended up having great popularity despite being villains due to their dark and cool nature, and all the members being very good looking and having a familial relationship with each others- especially Horobi and Jin's parent-child relationship. Horobi's actor himself said that he was quite surprised as he thought the villains wouldn't usually be so liked. They even had released 2 books dedicated entirely to the 4 actors of, their V-Cinema coming in fast and already planned for DVD and Bluray releases. One of the interviewer said that's popularity was definitely a surprise.
    • Fukkinhoukai Taro, the Macho Camp comedian-type Humagear and the Starter Villain in the first episode, made an impression to Japanese audiences. He even gets fan art in Pixiv. He even returns in a Youtube spinoff.
    • Many viewers took a liking to Seine, due to the Pretty Cure connection (her actress voiced the protagonist in Kirakira★PreCure a la Mode). It is also because her backstory and fate was considered one of the saddest — if not the saddest — in the series.
    • Is's quirky, detective brother Wazu is also beloved for his odd behavior, surprisingly impressive investigative abilities, and his kind-heartedness, despite dying only after two episodes.
    • Smile Sumida also gets trending in Twitter, partially because of her Nice Girl traits. The fact that her actress was also an Idol Singer and gravure idol might have also contributed to this.
    • In Episode 44, an unnamed, cat-ear wearing Maid-type HumaGear protester, and attacking Yua with a placard in which Yua would not respond, is also being the talk of Japanese fans in Twitter, to the point that she got her own fanart.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • The hooded person in #18, implied by Horobi to also be a member of MetsuboJinrai. There are several guesses as to who they could be, with a few on the internet believing they could be the long-haired Is from the opening, while others claim they are the "Bou" of MetsuboJinrai, judging by its members' names (Horobi/Metsu, Jin, and Rai(den)/Ikazuchi). Episode 25 reveals their name is Naki, which means "death" or "deceased", which also happens to be what "Bou" can be translated as.
      • On the subject of the long-haired Is, after the first part of the President Special aired, some fans believe that the long-haired Is is the Ark either hacking Is' body or simply mimicking its appearance. The fact that long-haired Is sports red-eyes at one point during the special and has the MetsubouJinrai.NET marker on the back of her left hand adds further fuel to the fire. Ep 35.5 reveals that the long-haired Is is in fact a member of as Ark's messenger, As.
    • Thanks to Horobi taunting him that he might not be as in control of his actions as he thinks, there is also a popular fan theory that the hooded person may be a split personality of Isamu, created from the Ark somehow hijacking his mind when he first used the not-for-humans Assault Wolf Progrise Key and using a female voice to mask his true identity. This is further supported by how aside from those chosen to be Raiders, Isamu is the only other character who has had any form of interaction with them, played such that it looks like hallucinations happening in his mind, while both Horobi and Jin taunted him with the phrase "they might be closer than you think" whenever he questions them about their whereabouts. This was later proven true to an extent as it turns out Gai had an A.I. chip installed in the brains of ShotRiser users to allow them the ability to use it. After he was hospitalized during the climax of the first arc, the chip inside Isaumu became Naki's Soul Jar, which meant that Naki had been inside Isamu ever since.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • While he was already a fun Psychopathic Manchild before, Jin's return as Burning Falcon sees him becoming a stylish Badass in a Nice Suit and a fairly competent Chessmaster. Of course, by this point Jin's villainy is debatable.
    • Gai may be a corrupt businessman through and through, but his charisma and sleekness both in and out of Thouser make it hard not to love him.
    • Horobi's dark charisma and badassery, along with his intriguing backstory and behaviors, has attracted many fans. His suit actor being Seiji Takaiwa (aka Mr. Kamen Rider) certainly does help his overall popularity.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Wazu's enthusiastic behavior in hopes of Izu calling him "Big Brother" is definitely heartbreaking seeing as how he only got it from her after a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Is avoided death that far back. She does eventually die towards the show's end. Compared to her brother, which had a positive consequence, this has a far more negative consequence.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Earlier in June 2019, a series of toy catalog scans for Zero-One was revealed, claiming the series would take on a “company/business” theme, with forms and powers based on business suits and job classes. While eventually proven to be fake, multiple elements of the theme were actually used in the story:
      • The main character Aruto Hiden, who unexpectedly becomes president of a major company, and was named as the “Company President Rider” in the official trailer.
      • The multiple uses of the Arc Words I am the President and a Kamen Rider counts towards this as well.
      • The initial weapons for the Riders are all converted from briefcases.
      • The second and third arcs have the story turn into a Corporate Warfare in the guise of a Tournament Arc between Hiden Intelligence/Manufacturing and ZAIA Enterprise.
      • The catalog names the secondary Rider as Kamen Rider Zero-Two. The Zero-Two name eventually does get used, but as Zero-One's Super Mode instead.
    • In the earlier releases of the DX Ziku-Driver, there was a Manual Misprint in which the instructions indicated that one of the singers of Over “Quartzer” was Takanori Nishikawa, instead of ISSA. Bandai Namco later released a statement confirming this error, and was to fix it in future productions of the DX toy. Guess who became one of the singers for the opening theme song for Zero-One, REAL×EYEZ?
    • When the toy line was first revealed, many complained that the Progrise Keys didn’t have a button to open the keys (before the show revealed that they needed to be scanned before opening). Come episode 17, and it turns out that Thouser’s Amazing Caucasus key opens exactly like this.
  • Ho Yay: While not as outrageous as some past Rider examples, Isamu is the only one who finds Aruto's jokes funny and the two do share a few unintentional moments, such as being forced into a hug in Kamen Rider: Reiwa the First Generation.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Gai Amatsu. Episode 38 reveals just how messed up his upbringing as he lived under the expectations of his Abusive Education Papa forcing him to achieve a 1000% grade that's absurdly impossible, even forcing him to return his robot dog Thouser back to Hiden Intelligence because it became a hindrance to his education. Presumed years of this kind of treatment molded him into the ruthless Corrupt Corporate Executive we came to know him as today.
  • Love to Hate: Gai Amatsu. As the series progresses, he starts out as a mysterious Chess Master seemingly just out to undermine Hiden for being their main competitor. When it's later revealed that he's behind the Ark's hatred for humanity and therefore the Daybreak Incident (which he predicted and went through with despite anticipating the casualties), it looks more like he's really a man with a Xanatos Roulette up his sleeve. But as the show progresses, even that gives way to his true colors: he's a massive narcissist with a hero complex, thinking his terrorist tactics are justified by the new scientific peak humanity will reach in the process. He even resorts to Implausible Deniability, claiming his technology can't be used for evil even though every round of the job competition involves one of his employees or chosen contestants trying to sabotage Hiden by using Raidriser belts, which has been confirmed to have access to. He's like a Faux Affably Evil Kuroto Dan (or at least more than he originally was), replacing Kuroto's Large Ham with outright delusions of grandeur. As he's gone on however, good will towards him as a villain has started to wane due to the fact that he somehow manages to keep on top. Not that things haven't been going downhill for him once the third arc began. Invoked by his actor, who has explicitly stated that he wants to make Gai the most hated character in the entire franchise.
  • Memetic Loser: Because of how he is always on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle since Aruto learned how to control Metal Cluster Hopper, how he gives upgrades to Aruto and Isamu without realizing the consequences of his actions before it's too late, and having perhaps the biggest Meaningless Villain Victory in the history of Kamen Rider, a lot of fans like to joke about how pathetic Gai Amatsu is.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • “A jump to the sky turns to a Riderkick.” Explanation 
    • Kamen Rider Iron ManExplanation 
    • Fukkinhoukai Taro has been paired with Machio Naruzo thanks to their physiques and overall camp attitude. Funnily enough, Taro’s actor Kinnikun Nakayama is also actively involved with promoting the series' anime as well. Others call him the Japanese version of Ricardo Milos.
    • Aruto’s expressions as a comedian became a source for reaction faces.
    • Isamu is fast becoming the flag bearer of memes for Zero-One, like Kuroto Dan in Ex-Aid and Woz in Zi-O:
      • Isamu’s over-dramatic opening of Progrise Keys, which has spawned memes replacing the Keys with potato chips, softdrink bottles, oranges, etc.
      • His face at the end of Episode 4 has been compared to Polite Cat.
      • His gut-busting face in Episode 9 reacting at Aruto's joke became an image macro.
      • And let us not get started with his actor's antics off screen in his Youtube channel.
    • Toei’s Detroit: Become Human Fix Fic Explanation 
    • The moment Episode 6 aired, people were already churning out Pretty Cure/Kamen Rider Zero One fanart and jokes in Twitter and Pixiv, as Cure Lemonade’s voice actress appears in a cameo, and Cure Whip’s voice actress appears as a HumaGear and both Victim and Monster of the Week. This is yet one more example in a longstanding pattern of Pretty Cure and Kamen Rider crossing over in fanart, another such example being the Name's the Same situation between this season’s secondary Rider and Star☆Twinkle’s fairy mascot.
    • Crossing it with Nightmare Fuel, Mashiro-chan's Evil Laugh and transformation into Magia became a reaction image macro.
    • Is and Aruto's pose in episode 9 resulted in people comparing them to Popuko and Pipimi. Her slide before that pose is also the subject of humorous edits, including having her surf on a board, her riding a magic carpet, and adding her to a Initial D scene.
    • Is's ad-lib gesturing in Episode 10 is fast trending on Twitter.
    • After Episode 11, people made jokes about Yuya being killed again.
    • "Wazu is Doraemon": Explanation 
    • Shining Assault Hopper Gundam Explanation 
      • ELS MetalCluster Hopper Explanation 
    • Yua's presenting of a calligraphy frame like an idiot board caused people to write memes on the poster.
    • "Presented by ZAIA!": Explanation 
    • "Presented by Raider Shadow Legends": Explanation 
    • Are you really a gorilla? Explanation 
    • Using Thouser as a shield Explanation 
    • Gai and his obsession with 1000. Explanation 
    • Zero-One’s gimmick is belts. Explanation 
    • Thouser Curb-Stomp Arc. Explanation 
    • Resignation Punch! Explanation 
    • Fuwa is the main character/Kamen Rider Vulcan the seriesExplanation 
    • As's Gut/As is pregnantExplanation 
    • Kamen Rider AizenExplanation 
    • Many jokes have spawned about Ark-Zero possessing Conqueror's Haki, after a scene in #37 where he incapacitated multiple AIMS troopers with what looks like his aura.
    • Ai-chan can solve anything!Explanation 
    • Zero-Two out-predicts the Ark's predictionsExplaination 
    • "Ark-One is Zero-One's actual final form, happy now?"Explaination(Spoilers) 
      • " Realizing Hopper is the true final form."Explaination(Spoilers) 
    • Unlimited Ark WorksExplaination(Spoilers) 
  • Moe:
    • Is for many fans. Her surprisingly dorky moment of misinterpreting an innocent statement for one of Aruto's jokes and explaining it before delivering his Catchphrase as a comedian in #3 only bolstered the number of people who find her cute. It came to the point that in Pixiv, Is currently has the highest count of fanart for a Rider female protagonist, surpassing Poppy from Ex-Aid.
    • Jin for some other fans. For a Psychopathic Manchild that works as The Brute for the Big Bad, he talks and acts like a five-year old boy.
  • Moral Event Horizon: See this page for examples.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: As per usual, the Zero-One Driver and the Progrise Keys.
    • Jump!
    • Authorise! Prog-Rise! To~biaga-Rise! Rising Hopper!
    • The OP theme, REAL×EYEZ by J and Takanori Nishikawa: Zero-One, Zero-One, Zero-One, Zero-One...
    • A.I.M.S. Shot Riser’s standby is very catchy as well: a very robotic "Kamen. Rider." repeated over and over.
    • There is also the sound along with the visual of each letter stamped one by one on the screen as the finisher is about to be announced. The finisher voice itself also qualifies.
    • Metal Cluster Hopper's sounds, Everybody JUMP!, "Let's Rise! Le-le-let's Rise!"
    • Rampage Gatling's Henshin sound as well, All-Rise!
    • Zero Two - Zero Two Jump!, Zero-Two Rise, Road to Glory has to lead to growing path to change! One to Two! Kamen Rider Zero Two, It's never OVER!.
  • Narm Charm: The last bit of the Progrise Keys calls, due to their Gratuitous English and the monotone text-to-speech voice used, save for Thouser's, which sounds like a dramatic TV announcer:
    Rising Hopper: A jump to the sky turns to a Riderkick.
    Flying Falcon: Spread your wings and prepare for a force.
    Shooting Wolf: The elevation increases as the bullet is fired.
    Rushing Cheetah: Try to outrun this demon to get left in the dust.
    Biting Shark: Fangs that can chomp through concrete.
    Punching Kong: Enough power to annihilate a mountain.
    Flaming Tiger: Explosive power of 100 bombs.
    Lightning Hornet: Piercing needle with incredible force.
    Freezing Bear: Fierce breath as cold as arctic winds.
    Breaking Mammoth: Larger than life to crush like a machine.
    Shining Hopper: The rider kick increases the power by adding to brightness!
    Shining Assault Hopper: No chance of surviving this shot.
    Assault Wolf: No chance of surviving.
    Burning Falcon: The strongest wings bearing the fire of hell.
    Rocking Hopper: Kamen Rider will fight to protect humanity. Type-1.
    Amazing Caucasus: When the five horns cross, the golden soldier Thouser is born. Presented by ZAIA.
  • Robo Ship: It is not hard to ship Aruto and Is together due to their chemistry and how cute they are together.
  • Shocking Moments: #42 starts with the implication that Horobi is going to become Ark-One. This was actually a simulation that As used to set up Is' murder by Horobi. Her death pushed Aruto over the Despair Event Horizon and allowed As to manipulate him into becoming Ark-One himself.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • If you are an employer, treat your employees as friends and partners, not as your property. Aruto is a positive example, treating his own HumaGear security guard in Episode 2 as family. Choichiro in Episode 5 on other hand is the opposite, overworking his own robot manga assistants to the point of shutdown. He later learned the hard way. Gai's later treatment of Yua (and his workplace in general) further shows this. This is especially poignant as Japan has a notoriously toxic work place culture, including people working themselves literally to death, as Choichiro makes his HumaGear do.
    • Gai's backstory shows the very negative results an Abusive Parent can have on their child by expecting impossible results and harshly punishing them for any failure. This is, as above, a major problem in Japan.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • During the motorcycle duel in the second episode, a quick close-up briefly reveals that the bikes are strapped to a moving platform and aren't actually moving.
    • Episode 18 has Aruto transform into Zero-One Shining Assault Hopper, but the transformation announcement played was for Shining Hopper instead.
    • In episode 20, if you focus on Smile during the transformation, you can actually see the moment the footage cuts from Aruto-as-Fumiya-Takahashi to Aruto-as-Yuya-Nawata (the guy in the Zero-One suit).
    • In episode 40, there's a possible one. The camera is pulled back during one part of the fight where the intent seems to be to highlight Zero Two's speed. During scenes, the original actor leaves the scene just as a second actor comes into frame. This might be a production error, or it might given the structure of the rest of the scene be an intended effect. It's hard to say.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Unintentional example with Ryutaro Okada (Isamu/Vulcan) and his own Youtube channel, which has not only been carrying more and more Zero-One related material but even boasts appearances by his co-stars, and has become this season's stand-in for the Zi-O Supplementary Episodes.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • For someone who has such an important and lasting impact on the setting, the audience knows shockingly little about Korenosuke Hiden AKA the literal creator of the HumaGears AKA Aruto's biological grandfather whom he inherits Hiden Intelligence from. We never do know just how Aruto personally felt about or viewed Korenosuke as a person - something more egregious given that it is heavily implied he did not go to his own grandfather's funeral in episode 1. We also never know just how much Korenosuke knew about, the Ark, and Gai to warn his grandson and company about their threat in his will and be Crazy-Prepared enough to set up so many countermeasures after his death, including exact wording in his will.
    • Yaiba is practically a throwaway character, given that her motivations for just about anything go unrevealed throughout the series and her characterisation changes between having a Lack of Empathy and having Fuwa as her Morality Pet on a whim. Not to mention that she didn't get any upgrades in her rider form aside on her only form change despite being billed as the series' third rider.
    • Despite a large build up, the Ark is little more than a Generic Doomsday Villain upon awakening, with no real characterisation or interesting traits to speak of.
  • Unexpected Character: No one expected Aruto’s robot dad to play any sort of role after the first episode, least of all a villain in Reiwa: The First Generation. Even his actor expected the role to be a One-Scene Wonder.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The official website tells what happens behind the scenes for each episode, including the special effects they brought up in certain scenes. Some scenes are portrayed with conventional special effects that are plausible, cost-efficient, and awesome.
    • Episode 5 had Flaming Tiger debuted in flames (reminiscent of Kuuga’s Mighty Form). The catch? No fire or CGI effect was involved. The "fire" was actually vapor illuminated in orange light. Practical and safe, not to mention awesome!
    • Episode 7 has Little Assassin frozen over. The effect is presented with powdered sugar sprayed on the actor.
  • Woolseyism:
    • Aruto’s jokes revolve around Japanese wordplay and puns that do not translate well into English, much to the chagrin of many a subbing group. One such group, Rider Time FanSubs, actually went through seven different translations for Aruto’s shine/shain pun in episode 2.
    • A non-joke example is Over-Time’s translation of, which is changed to “”. They seem to have dropped that particular translation by episode 3, however.
    • Because of the rapper HumaGear MC Check It Out's Rhymes on a Dime way of speech, many fansubbers have shown difficulties coming up with rhyming equivalents of his lines in English, one fansubbing group even lamenting over having to consult a rhyme generator website.


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