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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:51 pm
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Country: Korea, Republic of (kr)
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Waifu: Shiori Tsukada
REVIEW: Kamen Rider W


Original Run:
September 6, 2009 – August 29, 2010

Head Writer:
Riku Sanjo
[Also the head writer of Digimon Xros Wars (the anime) and Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger]

Head Director:
Ryuta Tasaki
[Directed episodes from various tokusatsu series (Super Sentai and Kamen Rider)
as well as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon and Cutie Honey: The Live]

Note: Asterisk means they are the lead stars.

* Renn Kiriyama
* Masaki Suda
Hikaru Yamamoto
Minehiro Kinomoto
Rin Asuka
Minori Terada
Naoko Kouda
Shingo Nakagawa
Takeshi Nadagi
Tomomi Kasai
Tomomi Itano

Synopsis: show
Futo, which literally translates to 'Windy City', is to be ideally an ecologically-enhanced city, using wind to power the city's main functions (as seen with Futo Tower). While things act normal in the public eye, a rich party known as the Sonoazki family operates behind the scenes, selling USB flash drives known as Gaia Memories to those interested, whether being criminals or civilians. Gaia Memories transform their users into monsters known as Dopants, committing crimes which renders the police forces useless. Gaia Memories are especially dangerous to the users as every time they transform, they release toxins into the body which help accelerate the symptoms of insanity and could die from the unrestrained usage. After the death of Sokichi Narumi (Koji Kikkawa), the passion to protect what is beautiful in the city of Futo remains in the eyes of both Hidari Shotaro (Renn Kiriyama) and Philip (Masaki Suda). Shotaro is an admiring, self-proclaimed hard-boiled detective and head of the Narumi Detective Agency. Circumstances change when the boss' daughter, Akiko Narumi (Hikaru Yamamoto) arrives to the agency as not only the bossy landlord, but shortly after becomes the chief. Philip is a strange young man who can access all of Earth's information in a dimension known as the planetary bookshelf. As each circumstance is different, Shotaro and Philip both act not only as one detective, but as one Kamen Rider as well.

THE GOOD: show
Ah, yes, the snazzy catchphrase never loses.


"Now, count up your sins."
A trademark quote which was often said by Shotaro's mentor, Sokichi Narumi.

YouTube Video:

W-B-X - W Boiled Extreme by Aya Kamiki and Takuya.

Double... as if that wasn't obvious enough even with the title, and even the theme song. There are plenty of elements contributing to the story for Kamen Rider W, but the most emphasized one is half in half/trust in trust (simply being there for your partner). This is primarily interesting because this is a type of chemistry completely unique to Kamen Rider W. Surely you get that in its sister franchise, Super Sentai, but in Kamen Rider, this chemistry is offset. It is usually shared between the main rider and the secondary rider, but here while that rule still applies, the main chemistry between the duo who henshin into W is what makes the show more worthwhile to watch.


"We are a two in one Kamen Rider!"

It does an excellent job of keeping this element around at all times. Yes, I repeat: ALL TIMES. I literally cannot think of a moment where this element wasn't in the complex involved. On the subject of writing, the writing in Kamen Rider W is pretty swift (as ironic as that may be, considering it takes place in a windy city), though in about the first 15 episodes or so, you begin to wonder if there will be more dynamics added into the scene. It doesn't suffer from a slow plot build-up, rather, it actually goes at a pretty moderate pace. Around episode 35 is where the climax lies, so it starts to pick everything up very quickly and abruptly, even. Though to my surprise, it did a nice job putting everything in its desired place.

Begins Night:


"Do you have the courage to ride with the Devil?"
A quote used by Philip when first meeting Shotaro after the downfall of Narumi.

An event often brought up in the earlier half of the series, which tells the story of how Shotaro and Phillip became W. As a visual to how the duo became the hero that prevents the people of Futo to weep, the flashbacks as well as the movie war crossover did a pretty decent job giving viewers an emotional outlook between the influences passed on from Narumi to Shotaro and Philip. Narumi did deserve a little more screen-time in the movie, but seeing how it was the first in the crossovers for the movie wars series, it was fine as is.


Shotaro defining what "hard-boiled" means.

Speaking of, the series does a lot to maintain the aspect of the revolving joke of Shotaro being hard-boiled, but is insisted to be half-boiled instead. To clarify, being hard-boiled is just as the term would suggest. It is to be comparatively tough as that of the process of a hardening egg; however, the terminology is defined in the first episode by Shotaro as someone who doesn't allow themselves to be swayed of their emotions and can make the right decision. The origin of the term is often brought upon the subject of detective novels, particularly accredited for the first hard-boiled story is Carroll John Daly's, "The False Burton Combs", published in December 1922 in the Black Mask magazine (Wikipedia). So as you can see, the term "half-boiled" would imply that someone has the intentions to do the right thing, but often has a hard time doing it. That would essentially explain Shotaro's dilemma as the series progresses, doing his job as a private dick. Akiko's slippers have words or phrases on them that she uses in moments of need to draw attention to the issue, which by the way, would also imply she has a lot of slippers or a lot of money. Philip, when focused on something, can often never stop taking the time to learn about it. This halts the progress in some cases taken up by the agency because his brains are one of the biggest assets of how they are able to analyze enemies to devise a counter-measure. Even the secondary rider, Terui Ryu's quote, "Don't ask me questions!" has a sense of humor behind it. If you're looking for humor to go with spice, Kamen Rider W handles this aspect very nicely.


Akiko readying her slipper for an attack.


Kamen Rider W, looking at Futo Tower in the distance.

Futo, being a fictional city in Japan, might have influences to Chicago which is also referred to as the "Windy City". The influences behind Chicago's nickname are either from its location or the politics involving the rivalry between Chicago and Cincinnati, though contrary to observation and statistics, Chicago is actually not windier than any other state in the United States. The most windy state in the United States is Amarillo, Texas (Wikipedia). While any booming city in a popular state could add influence to the design of Futo, Chicago still leads as a prime influence for its design taking on the nickname "Windy City" in its translation. The style worn by the citizens of Futo are a mixture of both throwback 1930's and modern styles. This is evident as Shotaro sports a fedora, complimented by a 1930's wardrobe (tie, vest, collar shirt, bold pants and boots) while Philip sports a bit of an eccentric look (a clip in his hair which holds part of it behind his ear, while his bangs come around for lunar swoop and a long-sleeved, striped shirt hoodie combo with gloves ((on occasions))).


A side by side comparison.
(Note: Philip actually cuffs his pants, which is an oldschool thing to do that's been being brought back into style)

As stated earlier, one of the bigger influences in Kamen Rider W is the throwback in detective stories. The writers are able to maintain interest each case which spawn for an episode or two at most. My personal favorite was the one involving the Yesterday Memory, which the writers could have been potentially referencing Metal Gear Solid II: Son's of Liberty's song, "Can't Say Goodbye to Yesterday". For those who haven't heard, this is for your benefit:
YouTube Video:

Soundtrack: Kamen Rider in general knows how to handle music much better than the sister franchise, Super Sentai. There's more variety regardless of what series you go to. Being more fond of Jazz, the series' music complimented my tastes very satisfyingly. My particular favorite in the soundtrack would have to be, "Jiken daa!". For listening pleasure, once again:
YouTube Video:

@ 4:00.

There are so many good songs that it was literally hard to narrow it down to just once. I downloaded practically every single and the soundtrack collection album, which even has some of the songs in it. The video linked has a playlist on youtube, or you can PM me for a link to the soundtrack if you want. This is just an example reiterating the point that the styles often mix to create a unique chemistry.

Secondary Rider:
YouTube Video:

Wilma-Sidr - Leave it all behind
And yes, this is a cover. Personally, I enjoyed both.

This is the part of the series that most viewers anticipate and without a doubt, I was anticipating the moment for when he would debut. Terui Ryu (Minehiro Kinomoto), a superintendent appointed to the Futo Police Department's Patrol Crime Investigation Division as the supervisor to both Mikio Jinno (Takeshi Nadagi) and Shun Makura (Shingo Nakagawa). His catchphrase already stood out to me from the start. The guy ends up getting some really nice character development too, not following the role of a typical anti-hero.

"Don't ask me questions."
Terui Ryu with Aoi Katsuragi (Yukari Taki) in Kamen Rider W Returns: Kamen Rider Accel

He says this a lot. Literally. Most of the time, he says this when he's out looking to settle things with his past. He was driven by the hatred he had for the man who killed his family, and he's very driven to correcting what's been done. Around ten or fifteen episodes more, his character actually starts to develop in such a way where I can actually respect him, not because he has a cool extra mode to go complete a set of colors, (i.e. his theme) but because he's an elastic character who expands his boundaries from his experiences to understand others. I would elaborate more on his background with the mysterious Shroud, but I think I would honestly give a little too much away.

Oh, and by the way, Kamen Rider W Returns: Kamen Rider Accel was a superb movie. The movies in the Kamen Rider W Returns series actually showcase more violence and wicked fight scenes, so by the time you're done with the main show, you can treat yourself to not only the crossovers (personally I watched the crossovers around the time they happened in the series, episode wise) but the main movie and extras as well.

Of course there are more good things about Kamen Rider W, but they are for you to explore.

THE BAD: show
Overall, this series is very well composed. There are a lot of interesting concepts that come into play, and I think that's probably the strength of Riku Sanjo. However, there were a few things that could have been done better in an effort to make the series a better experience.


YouTube Video:

From episode 13.

Should be rather self-explanatory.

Wakana (Rin Asuka) pretty much has the world served to her. She can take everything leisurely seeing as how her older sister is doing all of the work regarding the museum. She has a job as a DJ, known as 'Healing Princess'. She puts on a good front about how she's angelic, to match her theme and scheme when she's actually very snide in nature towards others.

YouTube Video:

This is probably the easiest way to look at her character from the get-go.

Kudos to Shotaro on actually having some common sense, despite how unorthodox his approaches are to various cases/situations/whatever strolls in the city. He graduated from being a sheep to being a sheep herder, essentially. It was until episode 14 when Wakana-hime's innocence came into play, when she confronted the mysterious man, Philip. In episode 14, Wakana-hime was doing her usual segment of answering questions made by her fans and for her fans. A man with unorthodox approaches known as Mr. Question, was indicated to have some sort of personal relationship with Wakana-hime, and she goes to the Narumi Detective Agency to figure it out. Phillip knows of her origin as a Sonozaki, so he did what was necessary at the time to conceal himself behind the door, when he was approached by her. They changed hands through the door and as Philip described, it was a sensation he simply couldn't find the answer to. It has given some light to the two characters interacting in some way shape or form later on in the story.

As a viewer I deeply anticipated their relationship to grow. Around the climax of the series, things get very, very tense.

"Moshi Moshi?"
A conversation between Philip and Wakana-hime. Actually there's some dialogue that follows where they actually meet in person. Here's a synopsis:

Imagine: A girl you've been very interested in for a long time has daddy problems. She knows you work hard and you do good things. This girl knows that you bring the best out of her and she's willing to (and literally) throw away ALL of what little responsibility she has and somehow persuade you to run away with her. Remember that despite how spoiled she sounds, she's actually genuine. Would you do it? In Philip's case, yes and no. He's shown to have optimized priorities about figuring out his past more than his interest in Wakana-hime. This will play a very crude irony later on as Wakana finds out her true purpose in the Sonozaki family, the family to have been chosen by the Earth itself.

And that's just it. This character is a legit "one-trick" pony. What happens when they encounter again? SUDDEN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT that quite frankly, is so abrupt, it would be ludicrous to not think that Sanjo was on the verge of being approached for a potential incestuous side plot-line. Who's to say incest was the main cause behind such a sudden character warp? Well, quite frankly, if it wasn't love, then what was that sensation Philip couldn't explain? Perhaps it was simply the fact that Wakana felt calm around Philip because he knew the right words to keep her at ease, much like in previous flashbacks with her younger brother, Sonozaki Raito.

While the rest of the family could very easily be analyzed for being "one-trick" ponies, the chemistry between every single member of the family is what brings out their characters the most. While the Sonozaki family was deteriorating from the inside out, they somehow manage to find themselves in one common ground towards what appears to be the finale of the series. While doubts were had, the way it was done was very well done. At least the writer didn't try to pull some plothole like they did in Kamen Rider Fourze when they brought Kengo back after supposedly being killed on the moon.

Kamen Rider Eternal:
YouTube Video:

Abingdon Boys School - Strength

"Now, enjoy your Hell!"
His catchphrase, to put simply.

In retrospect, this character and his movie/s could have been done in a way where it didn't have to be told in flashback. This is very different from video games (particularly) RPGs that don't explain a character's background well enough and it's just vague interpretation ((thinking about this again, in a style its similar to Shakespeare's tragedies and vague interpretation of action sequences)). For the character, the movie did him some justice instead of being labeled as some simpleton "one-trick" pony who wanted to burn everyone in his hometown to cinders. It was actually pretty fitting that Accel's movie had an intro (perhaps to symbolize new beginnings) and Eternal's movie had an ending theme (perhaps to symbolize the end of an untold hero).

Shedding some light:

Daido Katsumi (Mitsuru Matsuoka) is the leader of a group of supermen/organization known as the NEVER. These men (and woman) basically go around doing jobs for hire and pay, capable of doing things that a military couldn't even imagine doing on their own (i.e. Super Soldiers). Their body is hardened and cold, which makes sense considering a NEVER is essentially a human corpse after death. Yes, that's right, these people are DEAD. This would pretty much imply any tacitness towards humanity has been abandoned. The gripe of this character being, in Kamen Rider W Forever: A to Z/The Gaia Memories of Fate, is that the perspective of this character is about as linear as you can get with the Sonozaki family on the front. The difference between the two in comparison is that the family developed while Katsumi developed... backwards? Kamen Rider W Returns: Kamen Rider Eternal is a prequel to the movie Kamen Rider W Forever: A to Z/The Gaia Memories of Fate and quite frankly, it did show that Katsumi at one point had some sort of human characteristics, even after being turned into a NEVER.

In various scenes in the video, you'll probably begin to notice his maximum drive ability is make ALL of the previous Gaia Memories irrelevant. Talk about overpowered much? I think it's remotely fitting to the design of Eternal, but then the trump card plays. Shotaro always has the trump card.

Shotaro obtaining the Lost Driver that was once owned by Narumi Sokichi himself.

While this part was cool, it really didn't make sense. Shortly after this event, Shotaro is attacked by the "cold woman" only to find out that the Joker V2 drive was in his possession this entire time, hidden behind the wall near his desk. If the ghost of your mentor is truly a foreign aid when everything has been damned for the main protagonist, then that is one truly remarkable man. No sarcasm intended.

Aside from these factors, there really isn't much to disappoint about this series, as said earlier.

Last edited by 「Breaker」™ on Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:30 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:51 pm
Posts: 895
Country: Korea, Republic of (kr)
Gender: Female
Waifu: Shiori Tsukada
* Based on an interview with Kiriyama Renn, he has always yearned to play the role a Kamen Rider.


* Tomomi Itano (Queen) and Tomomi Kasai (Elizabeth) are from the jpop group, AK48B. Their only single was "Love?Wars" (which was announced and filmed in 2010 before the depiction of the fiction in Kamen Rider W caught up) was released on March 31st, 2010. It reached the #4 spot on the Oricon Weekly Single Rankings chart, and remained in the charts for a total of 9 weeks.
* Kamen Rider Double Forever: A To Z/The Gaia Memories Of Fate is the first Kamen Rider featured film to be filmed in 3D. --
* The opening "W" is by Mitsuru Matsuoka.
* The movie takes place between episode 44 and 45.
* Eiji Hino (Shu Watanabe) who is Kamen Rider OOO's debuts in this movie. Also joining his debut are Kamen Rider Joker and Kamen Rider Eternal.
* Masayuki Deai, who played Ken Ashihara in the movie, has previously appeared as Eiji Takaoka/BoukenSilver in Super Sentai's GouGou Sentai Boukenger.
* It aired along with Tensou Sentai Goseiger: Epic On The Movie as a double bill (or otherwise known as a double feature).
There are more easter eggs along the series, but this is to scratch surface!


Yes, absolutely. Even if you're new to Kamen Rider, this show does a good job with plot, has likeable characters and tons of content literally at the fingertip and tons of influences. This can easily be one of the best Rider series ever made.

My apologies for the delay. Between real life and reciting everything you like from memory, it was a pain in the a**. Protip to the newbies: take a lot of notes.

The next series I'm going to review is Kamen Rider Fourze.

Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:31 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:51 pm
Posts: 895
Country: Korea, Republic of (kr)
Gender: Female
Waifu: Shiori Tsukada

Gaim ended a couple of weeks ago, which means we'll be seeing more of Drive.

However, that's not limited because of the movie war coming out this Winter.

This is the second promo for the movie war:

YouTube Video:

The film is being directed by Takayuki Shibasaki (Kamen Rider Taisen) and is written by Riku Sanjou (Kamen Rider Drive portion) and Jin Haganeya (Kamen Rider Gaim portion).

There's not much to really go on or how they're going to interact in terms of story, aside from the fact that Urobuchi isn't writing this. I honestly don't know what sort of lose ends they can tie up in Gaim. It seems in the movie wars, that the author ties up some loose ends in the series.
In Decade, it was bringing back all the previous Heisei riders back (including the alts) by eliminating Tsukasa Kadoya, and then his return back into the world by having physical evidence of his existence.
(Still on hiatus for Decade)

In W, it was the explanation of Narumi's role as a Rider following his unraveling character to better understand him and why Kamen Rider's exist (for Akiko's sake).
(Finished W, including all movies)

In OOO, I think the message that was being sent while the return of Ankh was mysterious of its own, is that no matter what happens, tomorrow can wait and that you should live for today.
(Finished OOO, need to complete one movie)

In Fourze, it was to further testify the bonds between friends who all go their separate ways and teach the ways of being a hero (or being responsible, rather) to the youth.
(Finished Fourze, including all movies)

You've got me on Wizard. I'm actually trying to finish that right now while waiting for Drive's weekly episodes. Since I'm aware of what goes on towards the end, it won't be that much of a spoiler for me. I am expecting it to drag on for at least a little bit more, considering it has a whopping 51 episodes.

But back to Drive,

This toy catalog revealed some stuff regarding Mach.

This was a while back, but someone hacked into a Drive belt and unlocked some symbols/sfx that will probably be played later in the series.

YouTube Video:

YouTube Video:

I haven't been around all too long in Tokusatsu, unless you invole Power Rangers in that category, but do things like this happen often?

I find it interesting that someone was able to do this, or if these sounds were intentionally locked in the device for accessories used later in the toy lineup to unlock these sounds.

Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:21 pm
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