KAMEN RIDER X KAMEN RIDER WIZARD & FOURZE: MOVIE WARS ULTIMATUM
Latest Kamen Rider “Movie Wars” Film Opens in Japan on December 8th
Author: Alicia Ashby
Source: Toei Co., Ltd.
Official Site: movie-taisen.com (Japan)
Toei Materials Translated by: Elliot Gay
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming movie.
Official English Title: KAMEN RIDER X KAMEN RIDER WIZARD & FOURZE: MOVIE WARS ULTIMATUM
Japanese Title: 仮面ライダー×仮面ライダー MOVIE大戦 アルティメイタム (Kamen Raidaa × Kamen Raidaa Uizaado Ando Fooze Muubii Taisen Arutimeitamu)
Magic x Space! An invincible collaboration! The curtain rises on Ultimatum!
The plot to eliminate humanity begins now! Superheroes unite!
KAMEN RIDER FOURZE (仮面ライダーフォーゼ, Kamen Raidaa Fooze, 2011) was designed as the 40th anniversary project for the legendary Kamen Rider series. Now, the era of the Space Rider has ended, and the Magic Rider era has begun. Despite having only just begun airing in September, KAMEN RIDER WIZARD (仮面ライダーウィザード, Kamen Raidaa Uizaado, 2012) has already garnered huge attention.
The fourth in the Movie Wars series, KAMEN RIDER X KAMEN RIDER WIZARD & FOURZE: MOVIE WARS ULTIMATUM will be the first time that Wizard and Fourze truly appear onscreen together. Combining their powers to stop evil from destroying humanity, the proud Riders come together!
This year’s Movie Wars also tops the previous three entries by including a host of new surprises! Additional heroes born from the mind of Shotaro Ishinomori — Inazuman and Poitrine — also participate in the battle.
Who will control the future of humanity? Will it be the power of space, Cosmic Energy, magic power, or the new humanity’s ESP!?
Leading the charge is director Kouichi Sakamoto, who worked on last year’s KAMEN RIDER FOURZE & OOO (仮面ライダー×仮面ライダー フォーゼ＆オーズ MOVIE大戦 MEGA MAX, Kamen Raidaa × Kamen Raidaa Fooze ando Oozu: Muubii Taisen Mega Makkusu, aka Kamen Rider × KAMEN RIDER OOO X KAMEN RIDER FOURZE: MOVIE WARS MEGAMAX). Following up this summer’s huge success, KAMEN RIDER FOURZE THE MOVIE (仮面ライダーフォーゼ THE MOVIE みんなで宇宙キターッ!, Kamen Raidaa Fooze Za Muubii Min’nade Uchuu Kitaaa!), he’ll certainly bring out the best in these heroes and heroines. This year’s most exciting film is ready to hit theaters. The greatest film in Rider history is waiting for you!
Kamen Riders, to the boundless future!
–Toei publicity materials for KAMEN RIDER X KAMEN RIDER WIZARD & FOURZE: MOVIE WARS ULTIMATUM
ULTIMATUM: ISHINOMORI HEROES RETURN
Toei has aggressively expanded its annual slate of theatrical projects in recent years. Where once the studio’s properties only entered theaters at most twice per year, Toei now produces anywhere from four to six feature films per year. Kamen Rider’s “Movie Wars” series of films was born out of that drive to expand, and began in 2009 with KAMEN RIDER W & MASKED RIDER DECADE (仮面ライダー×仮面ライダー Ｗ（ダブル）＆ディケイド MOVIE大戦2010, Kamen Raidaa × Kamen Raidaa: Daburu ando Dikeido Muubii Taisen Nisenjuu). The format presents a series of short films about the various Kamen Riders, which climax in a crossover battle segment where the heroes team up. The initial Movie Wars projects focused primarily on the hero of the currently airing show and the one that just finished up, similar to Toei’s Super Sentai Versus films. Later projects grew more elaborate, working in guest appearances from more Kamen Riders, and even creating their own original characters.
This year’s entry in the Movie Wars series is perhaps the most jam-packed film in the series to date. Not only will KAMEN RIDER X KAMEN RIDER WIZARD & FOURZE: MOVIE WARS ULTIMATUM depict Kamen Riders Wizard and Fourze teaming up, but it also promises to work in guest appearances from Kamen Riders OOO, Birth, W, and Accel. In addition, new, reimagined versions of several Toei Superheroes created by Kamen Rider creator Shotaro Ishinomori will also appear in the film, serving as heroes, rivals, and villains.
The film is also crammed to the brim with top-flight Toei creative talent. While the film as a whole is being overseen by KAMEN RIDER FOURZE producer Hideaki Tsukada and director Kouichi Sakamoto, the writing for the film was split up according to which characters are featured in a segment. Original FOURZE writer Kazuki Nakashima has returned to pen segments focusing on that show’s cast. The Wizard segment will not be handled by KAMEN RIDER WIZARD head writer, Tsuyoshi Kida, nor usual fill-in writer, Junko Komura. Instead, Wizard’s portion of the film, plus the final crossover battle segment, were written by Toei veteran Yoshio Urasawa, original writer of the 1990 TV series POITRINE (美少女仮面ポワトリン, Bishoujo Kamen Powatorin, aka MASKED BEAUTY POITRINE).
Where the fall Kamen Rider film is designed primarily for fans of that year’s series, the Rider Movie Wars films target fans of Toei’s superheroes in general. Usually recent Rider shows are emphasized, since children can easily recognize those characters, but the films increasingly showcase vintage characters, too. While a basic familiarity with the events of the various original TV shows in question can make the films easier to follow, more detailed knowledge usually isn’t required. The Movie Wars films as a result have broad appeal, and usually rank among Toei’s top-grossing superhero features.
In Nakashima’s Fourze segment, we catch up with the main cast five years after the end of the series. The original members of the Kamen Rider Club have all graduated high school and begun their careers. Protagonist Gentaro Kisaragi (Sota Fukushi) has returned to Amanogawa High School as part of the teaching staff, where he now advises a new Kamen Rider club. His sidekick Kengo Utahoshi (Ryuki Takahashi) is a researcher at Kyoto University, studying the Cosmic Energy that powers most of Fourze’s gadgets and villains. Female lead Yuuki Joujima (Fumika Shimizu) finally became an astronaut. As for the rest of the ensemble cast, Tomoko Nozama (Shiho) is a novelist, Miu Kazashiro (Rikako Sakata) a model, and Shun Daimonji (Justin Tomimori) an American football star. Brooding outsider Ryusei Sakuta (Ryo Yoshizawa), who could transform into Kamen Rider Meteor, has joined Interpol and is now partnered with Inga Blink (Miki Hara, reprising her role from the fall film, KAMEN RIDER FOURZE THE MOVIE).
Finally, Kamen Rider Nadeshiko will return from 2011’s KAMEN RIDER FOURZE & OOO. In the earlier film, Kamen Rider Nadeshiko was the result of an alien substance called SOLU (Seeds Of Life from the Universe) imitating life forms it encountered on Earth. These life forms included Ryusei’s female classmate Nadeshiko Misaki (Erina Mano) and Gentaro in the Fourze suit. Nadeshiko fought by Fourze’s side as his partner through portions of the film, and became a fan favorite character despite having relatively little screen time. Although she seemingly died during the events of KAMEN RIDER FOURZE & OOO, in fact she just had to return to space. She comes back to Earth in ULTIMATUM to help Gentaro and his friends. Erina Mano will return to reprise the role in the new film.
The plot of the Fourze sequence is set into motion when a group of students at Amanogawa form the “Monster Alliance.” The members of the Monster Alliance all possess psychic powers, and are lead by a particularly strong psychic named Saburo Fuda, who can transform into the mutant creature Sanagiman. The Monster Alliance is being manipulated by a man named Kagehito Banba, who holds the Hercules Zodiart Switch.
In Shotaro Ishinomori’s original Inazuman manga and the 1973 INAZUMAN (イナズマン) TV series, Sanagiman is a form that the mutant hero (Saburo Kazeda in the manga; Goro Watari in the TV show) can transform into using his psychic powers. When Sanagiman absorbs enough energy from enemy attacks, he transforms into the moth-like Inazuman. In the TV show, he attacked with his long yellow scarf, while in the manga Inazuman attacked with his own heightened psychic abilities. In the manga, the protagonist briefly flirts with the idea of joining the villains, but eventually has a change of heart. A similar change of heart seems like it might be in store for ULTIMATUM’s Saburo Fuda.
The Wizard portion of the film concerns that show’s hero, Haruto Souma, meeting with a young woman named Yu Kamimura who can transform into the Masked Beauty, Poitrine. The two have a magic duel, but later become allies. The Wizard portion of the film seems to set up the Akumaizer-3 storyline, although otherwise relatively little is known about it. Most of the trailers and promotional materials focus on the return of Poitrine. The POITRINE series was part of Toei’s now-defunct Fushigi Comedy franchise, which targeted younger and female viewers. While Fushigi Comedy produced several heroine shows, only POITRINE is counted as an official Toei Superhero, since she was created by Shotaro Ishinomori.
The film’s third and final act promises to bring all the heroes from the other segments together in a battle against a massive “Monster Army,” commanded by the evil demons Zatan (ザタン), Eel (イール), and Gara (ガーラ). These characters are a sinister update of the heroes from the 1975 Toei series AKUMAIZER-3 (アクマイザー３, Akumaizaa Surii), created by Shotaro Ishinomori. In the film, Zatan will be voiced by the Demon Kakka, lead singer of the classic Japanese metal band Seikima II. Eel will be voiced by Seki Tomokazu, and Gara by Yuuji Mitsuya. In the original AKUMAIZER-3, the trio were virtuous demons who chose to become defenders of humanity. In ULTIMATUM, they appear to have turned on the human race.
The trio’s designs in the film are based not on the original suits from the 70s show, but instead on updated designs created for the S.I.C. (Super Imaginative Chogokin) action figure line in 2005. Bandai launched the S.I.C. line in 1998, targeting it at adult toy collectors who wanted to see classic Ishinomori properties rendered in the hyper-detailed design style popularized by Todd McFarlane’s McFarlane Toys action figures. Early releases focused on characters from properties like INAZUMAN and KIKAIDA, before eventually focusing primarily on updating Kamen Rider designs both old and new. The AKUMAIZER-3 release was particularly popular, as it included all three demon heroes in one set.
It is worth noting that in the original series, the heroic demons’ names are written differently than they are in KAMEN RIDER WIZARD AND FOURZE. The original Akumaizer-3 trio were named Zabtan (ザビタン), Ebel (イビル), and Gabra (ガブラ). The “evil” KAMEN RIDER WIZARD AND FOURZE versions remove the B’s from the original trio’s names. Some fans believe this may foreshadow the involvement of elements from AKUMAIZER-3’s sequel, the 1976 TV series THE INCREDIBLE BIBYOON (超人ビビューン, Choujin Bibyun, aka SUPERHUMAN BIBYUN). BIBYOON’s plot focused on the three demonic heroes from AKUMAIZER-3 reincarnating, after their apparent destruction at the end of the original TV series. As of this writing, no BIBYOON elements are confirmed to be appearing in the film.
During the film’s climax segment sequence, a heroic new version of Inazuman will appears to help the heroes. The new Inazuman suit is based on the original manga design, and so lacks many elements of the TV version (like the yellow scarf). The storyline of this segment may also involve time travel, perhaps through use of Wizard’s magic Time Ring, as a way to explain why the hero of this year’s Rider series can meet with versions of the FOURZE characters from five years in the future. Kamen Riders W, OOO, Accel, and Birth will appear in this sequence to help fight the Monster Army. Of the returning heroes, only Shu Watanabe is confirmed to be reprising his role as Eiji Hino, OOO’s secret identity. The other Riders may be what fans call “suit only” appearances, where the characters are depicted primarily through suit acting and may not even speak any dialogue.
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Japanese Release Date: December 8, 2012 (nationwide)
Gentaro Kisaragi: Sota Fukushi
Kengo Utahoshi: Ryuki Takahashi
Yuki Jojima: Fumika Shimizu
Ryusei Sakuta: Ryo Yoshizawa
Miu Kazashiro: Rikako Sakata
Shun Daimonji: Justin Tomimori
Tomoko Nozama: Shiho
JK: Shion Tsuchiya
Chuta Ohsugi: Takushi Tanaka
Nadeshiko Misaki: Erina Mano
Inga Blink: Mikie Hara
Takashi Satake: Satoshi Jinbo
Mr. Morota: Satoshi Morota
Haruka Utsugi: Nao Nagasawa
Miyoko Ohki: Rika Adachi
Saburo Fuda: Kenta Suga
Rumi Komaki: Kasumi Yamaya
Daita Kondo: Kazuyoshi Nagazawa
Chikao Nezu: Yuya Hara
Kagehito Banba: Toshiya Toyama
Haruto Sohma: Shunya Shiraishi
Koyomi: Makoto Okunaka
Shunpei Nara: Junki Tozuka
Rinko Daimon: Yuko Takayama
Shigeru Wajima: Hisahiro Ogura
Misa (Medusa): Erina Nakayama
Yugo (Phoenix): Atsumi
Donut Shop Manager: Kaba-chan
Donut Shop Employee: Ryo Tayano
Chief of Police: Takayasu Komiya
Yu Kamimura: Mari Iriki
Wiseman: Toshio Furukawa
Eiji Hino: Shu Watanabe
Zatan (Voice): Demon Kakka
Eel (Voice): Tomokazu Seki
Gara (Voice): Yuuji Mitsuya
Kamen Rider Wizard, Kamen Rider Fourze: Seiji Takaiwa
Kamen Rider Meteor: Eitoku
Kamen Rider Nadeshiko: Sanae Hitomi
Director: Koichi Sakamoto
Original Concept: Shotaro Ishinomori
Screenwriters: Kazuki Nakashima, Yoshio Urasawa
Producer: Hideaki Tsukada
Cinematographer: Koji Kurata
Music: Kotaro Nakagawa, Shuhei Naruse
Action Director: Koichi Sakamoto
FX Director: Hiroshi Butsuda
Theme Song: “Forest Of Rocks”
Artist: (His Excellency) Demon Kakka
Lyrics: Shoko Fujibayashi
International Sales: Toei
© 2012 “Wizard and Fourze Production Committee” Ishimori Pro · TV Asahi · ADK · Toei