Ranking the Heisei KAMEN RIDER shows

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Ranking the Heisei KAMEN RIDER shows

Postby Jinzo Ningen » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:39 pm

Just recently completed watching Kuuga and Agito for the first time. As a diehard fan of the Showa Riders I am intrigued by the wealth of further entries in KR lore. Prior to now, however, I had never gotten around to watching any of the newer shows. I both found Kuuga and Agito to be really quite good, IMHO. Some sad deviations from 'traditional' KR show structure, but great characters who made both shows a lot of fun to watch. >>I have DL'd Kabuto, but only watched the first ep so far (wow, fansubbers actually engineered an English dub for it!?!? Cool!!), so I will be checking it out in its entirety eventually.<<

Wondering - for those who have seen some or all of the others - which shows in this long-running franchise are worth diving into... and which ones are worth avoiding. (I will say that some of the gimmickry I've seen in later shows seems off-putting. But if the show has great characters then I can overlook the silliness ...at least up to a point. LOL.)

Thanks!
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Re: Ranking the Heisei KAMEN RIDER shows

Postby Dr Kain » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:15 pm

I've got to be honest, I've never understood the people who prefer the Showa series over the Heisei ones. The Showa ones are good and all, but they lack the depth of character development and story that many of the Heisei shows contain.

Anyway, if I were to rank the Heisei Rider shows, it would go as:

1. Blade
2. W
3. Gaim
4. Agito
5. Ryuki
6. OOO
7. Fourze
8. Kiva
9. Kuuga
10. Build
11. Hibiki
12. Den-O
13. Kabuto
14. 555
15. Drive
16. Wizard
17. Decade
18. Ghost

I have not watched Ex-Aid beyond its first episode, so I can't rank it. Of course, I only made it to two episodes of Ghost too, but I have no desire to even give that show a second chance while I want to watch Ex-Aid, which is why Ghost is on that list. I also gave up on Zi-O after episode 4 as it was complete and utter "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" and sounds like it hasn't improved.
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Re: Ranking the Heisei KAMEN RIDER shows

Postby klen7 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:41 pm

Does W get better as it goes? I always see it highly ranked, but I just can't get into it
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Re: Ranking the Heisei KAMEN RIDER shows

Postby Dr Kain » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:37 am

klen7 wrote:Does W get better as it goes? I always see it highly ranked, but I just can't get into it


I was in love with W right from the get go, but I didn't feel it really took off until around episode 10. The moment we really get an insight into the villains and they start to really build up Ako and Accel when he comes in is when the show just keeps on moving.
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Re: Ranking the Heisei KAMEN RIDER shows

Postby klen7 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:40 am

^ I'll give it another shot at some point. Sometimes it feels like not watching the shows in order does a disservice to the show or two immediately preceding it, because they seem to figure out what does or doesn't work and improve (Agito vs Kuuga for instance) so i was wondering if OOOs kind of killed W for me by doing it "better" even though it was the derivative
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Re: Ranking the Heisei KAMEN RIDER shows

Postby Jinzo Ningen » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:53 am

These later Riders have too many forms (for no other reason, IMHO, than to sell more toys) and silly contrivances (cell phones & playing cards!?! :?) which makes it tough for me to get past. I also don't care for the newest Rider's eyes being highly stylized kanji for their names. Sorry, but I think that's just plain dumb.

Biggest gripe, even with Kuuga & Agito, (both of which I actually sorta enjoyed), was that the villainous overlord, the monster of the week and even the Rider himself often felt tacked on, plus the red shirt/cannon fodder goons have been jettisoned altogether! Boo! :lol:. Kuuga & Agito play more like angsty teen soap operas for 90% of the running time, then almost like an afterthought they toss in a monster who threatens and/or kills someone... then the Rider shows up and quickly defeats it - so quickly that we rarely get a chance to fully admire and appreciate some of the gorgeous kaijin suits created for the shows.

As for why anyone would prefer the Showa over Heisei? Seriously, Kain?!? That's sort of like saying that the old Superman comics, George Reeves TV show and the Chris Reeve movie(s) are just dumb old junk, and "true" fans should only be reading New 52 and/or watching Man of Steel and beyond if they want to see the "real" Superman. :roll: The Showa Rider shows laid the groundwork for ALL of the Riders who followed, along with most of the other post-'72 Henshin hero shows as well. They also were more pure, more in keeping with Shotaro Ishinomori's original manga ...and didn't resort to cheapjack gimmickry just for the purpose of selling more action figures; (even Stronger's 'Charge-Up' form and Super-1's 5 Hands didn't feel like they were there 'just because'). It wasn't until Black RX that Bandai appeared to take over creative control, mandating seemingly endless multiple-from Heroes in a transparent ploy to increase toy sales. And I'll admit that the older shows may be somewhat simplistic & formulaic... and certainly the F/X are a far cry from today's stuff. But that doesn't make them bad or stupid or outdated old crap! If the original(s) weren't so pure, engaging, thrilling and genuinely beloved by fans - over multiple generations - these later iterations you prefer wouldn't even exist.
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Re: Ranking the Heisei KAMEN RIDER shows

Postby Dr Kain » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:28 pm

I have no idea how you figure I would say anything positive about the New 52 or Man of Steel.

My point was that the Showa riders are one dimensional characters while the Heisei ones are not. If you want me to compare it to something in comics, Showa riders are like Golden Age super heroes while the Heisei ones are Bronze Age super heroes.

I never said you couldn't like the Showa stuff, I like the Showa stuff too, but you can't say they had better character development and plotlines. Nor did I even say in my original post that they were crap.
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Re: Ranking the Heisei KAMEN RIDER shows

Postby Jinzo Ningen » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:42 am

No, you said "I've got to be honest, I've never understood the people who prefer the Showa series over the Heisei ones."

Perhaps it's a matter of age. I was exposed to the classic toku shows long before I even knew they were still making newer shows into the 90's and beyond. While I wasn't exposed to them until I was in my early 20's the Showa stuff hooked me instantly. They set the tone for what was to follow. Although a lot of what became the traditional 'tropes' of the shows have been jettisoned in these later iterations. Again, these newer shows play more like soap operas; more emphasis on the humanity of the people (which admittedly makes for more well-rounded characters), but at the expense of so much of what made them enoyable - at least for me. These newer shows seem so damn dark and depressing now. There's hardly any sense of fun, with the pure joy of watching a hero defend the helpless against overwhelming odds against horrible monsters, yet who would always triumph. Now it feels like a bunch of self-doubting wimps who seem angry & depressed and everything has gloominess to it that erases the sense of wonder. Questioning what's right and wrong is natural, as well as some self-doubt. The problem is that in these newer shows the hero seems to wallow in the grim outlook. That gloomy obsession stuff it is a turn-off.

Thinking more, I feel it is age-related. I see enough depressing, mean-spirited hate and hopelessness in this world on a daily basis, and if not I can always read about it or just watch the news. I watch these kinds of shows to get away from the depressing crap that the real world offers, in excess. I don't care to have my heroes mirror that angsty self-loathing. I want someone to look up to, not someone who seems almost as bad as the scum they're supposed to be battling. It's why I HATE the newer takes on Superman. He was supposed to be a bright beacon of hope; a boy scout in tights. Now he's just a whiny emo wrist-cutter who feels sorry for himself and blah, blah, blah. We have that psychobabble inner turmoil crap with Batman. I am sick of that - and the character for the most part. Let Bats hate himself and the world. Superman is supposed to inspire us; to show us what we can be if we overcome our baser selves. Now he's just another punk, people are suspicious of him and hate him, etc. Yuck. I'll pass.

I've ran off the rails here... Regardless, I don't think I'll care much for further Kamen Rider entries. Not if they highlight the soapy gunk and downplay the childlike sense of wonder and role model heroes. Thanks anyhow. :(
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Re: Ranking the Heisei KAMEN RIDER shows

Postby Dr Kain » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:10 pm

Yes, I'm talking about the people who just dismiss the Heisei shows because they aren't the Showa ones despite the Heisei ones having actual plots and character growth (like how there are people that hate the new Doctor Who shows just because they aren't the old ones).

Not sure how you think all of the newer shows are dark and depressing though when series like Den-O and Ex-Aid are colorful and silly. Nevertheless, I'd rather have a hero is who self doubting and unsure of himself, allowing him to grow into a hero through the course of 50 episodes over a generic, one dimensional always positive hero (which is one of the reasons Wizard is one of the worst Heisie Kamen Rider shows). That's why I always found Rodimus Prime to be a far better character than Optimus Prime in the original Transformers cartoon. Optimus was as deep as a sheet of paper. Rodimus had a personality. He had to learn how to be a leader. There was a character arc there that was not present with Optimus. The Kamen Riders are still humans, not some all knowing, all powerful space cop that can pull out any plot convience that will allow him to win the day out of his ass. They should have doubts like humans do.

Now I agree with you on Superman. Superman is not supposed to be self loathing, that is what Batman is for. That is why Batman and Superman work so well together. Hell, that is why Green Arrow and Flash go so well together for the CW DC shows.

Anyway, the point is, I'll take story and development over being one dimensional for the sake of it. That's why I do like Black a lot. He's kind of in that inbetween phase. Yes, he doesn't have much development since he is the same person at the end of the show that he was in the beginning, but he did have a personality and was troubled throughout his entire show. He lost everything he had in the end. Had the show had more plot during its run though, it probably would have become my favorite rider series instead of being my second favorite.
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