Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kamen Rider Motifs

Back in 1971 where kids shows weren't nearly as gigantic as the franchises they've grown to become today, character designs were pretty straightforward. I present my point through this blog post on how the Kamen Rider designs have progressed throughout the years, from the Showa era to the present Heisei era. 

The Showa era riders were basically designs based on insect motifs. They had distinct insect like figures, and were considered bugs, with the exception of a few riders. But case in common, they were always designed after an animal. Here's the breakdown:

Kamen Rider Ichigo, Nigo - Grasshoppers
Kamen Rider V3, Riderman - Dragonfly
Kamen Rider X - Waterbug
Kamen Rider Amazon - Monitor lizard (yes, a lizard)
Skyrider - Locust
Kamen Rider Super 1 - Honet
Kamen Rider Black/RX/Shin/J/ZO - Grasshoppers

Fast forward to the Heisei era, where everything is about money and making parents and collectors alike to buy more toys. The Riders these days come with fancy belts and are sure to have gimmicks that is based on collectibles. Such examples are cards, rings, switches, coins, whatever they can mass produce in different designs to get you to commit into their products. The character designs have been straying away from the original formula of insects or even animals. Note I'm only talking about the main title riders and not the sub riders, simply because there are just too many.

Kamen Rider Kuuga - Stag beetle/elements
Kamen Rider Agito - Dragon/beetle/elements
Kamen Rider Ryuuki - Dragon/Knight
Kamen Rider Faiz - Phi/Dragonfly/Shark
Kamen Rider Blade - Rhinoceros beetle/Cards (spades)
Kamen Rider Hibiki - Oni/Taiko
Kamen Rider Kabuto - Japanese beetle
Kamen Rider Den-O - Train/Peach (yes, a peach)
Kamen Rider Kiva - Bat/Vampire
Kamen Rider Decade - Barcodes
Kamen Rider W - W (the letter), grasshopper
Kamen Rider OOO - King/coins
Kamen Rider Fourze - Rocket/Astronaut
Kamen Rider Wizard - Magic/Jewellery

Here comes the new Rider for 2013. A few months back there was this rumour of the new Rider being based off the popular mobile game Fruit Ninja. He would just a knife to chop off fruits and transform using the seeds. I was like "RIGHT. How can people even take this seriously?" Well guess what. Kamen Rider Gaimu, our latest Rider, IS FREAKING BASED ON FRUITS. And a Sengoku theme as well. Just look at him. LOOK! He has an orange for a face and armour. Rumours are that him, with other riders, will have different fruits for different armours. I've already seen pictures of the banana, pineapple forms, and there's a listing for a durain form. No joke people. 

Well, I guess it's the same every year. We complain about their designs in the beginning but when we see them in action we start liking them. I remember hating Den-O and Kabuto in the beginning, but those 2 are now one of my favourites. I'll post more thoughts when the show starts :)

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