3 RIDERS VS GENERAL DARK (Or, “Yes, People Knew About Kamen Rider In 1984”)

Talk about rare finds! A couple of years ago, I’d heard of this US Kamen Rider fan-film featuring Oriental Cinema‘s Damon Foster, fandom pillar August Ragone and (apparently) some suit-work by Steve Wang, but I’d believed it lost to the ages. Shows what I know, because it’s been posted on YouTube in two parts for your viewing pleasure! Say what you will about the quality but damn if this isn’t impressive for its time!

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Kamen Rider: Remastered!!

Ever wanted to see the Original 98-episode Kamen Rider TV series but lacked time or money for it? Well good news for you guys and gals…if you’re in Japan anyways. Starting this October, Kamen Rider will be broadcast on Toei Channel in a brand new HD Remastered Edition!

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According to Mainichi News, during an event hosted by Hiroshi Fujioka (Kamen Rider 1 himself!), it was announced that Kamen Rider will start broadcasting on Toei Channel on Mondays at 4PM, starting October 5th. The series will be touched up from the original 16mm prints, with all dust and scratches fixed up, to create a new digital HD master. I’m honestly getting a Dragon Ball Kai vibe from this so don’t be too surprised if a few months from now, we hear about a Kamen Rider Special Edition Blu-Ray Memorial Box.

(Now here’s a quick edit and an interesting thing to note: Patrick Macias mentioned that there’s been a standard definition remaster before…which actually looked spectacular. The first DVD releases were using touch-ups of the old 16mm prints as well but they hadn’t been digitized. Looking elsewhere, apparently there have been complaints about the audio bitrate or something along those lines. With this in mind, this could either mean that there isn’t much tech involved here, saved for audio restoration and finishing touches, and this is indeed just part of the Anniversary Project……or further evidence of an excuse for Kamen Rider Blu-Rays. Take your pick, I’ll have to do a comparison when the series starts airing.)

It seems like NOW Toei is hung up on the Heisei Rider 10th Anniversary. How do I figure? Firstly, with Double being touted as part of the “Heisei Kamen Rider 10th Anniversary Project”. Same goes for the Toei Channel broadcast of Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, also happening in October. That’s right, Kamen Rider Dragon Knight is going to get the Japanese Power Ranger treatment: Japanese actors dubbing over the American cast, with some voices from the original show coming back. In this case, Satoshi Matsuda, the original actor of Kamen Rider Knight, will be coming back to voice Wing Knight.

My only problem, shouldn’t they have done this with, y’know, the program that was designed to be an anniversary project? Regardless, this is an awesome thing that they’re doing with the HD Remaster. Maybe a fansubber group that is A.) Competent and B.) NOT TV-Nihon (Sorry guys, I’m just not fans of your work) can take a crack at this for the sake of the new wave of fans out there. That or, lord forbid, Bandai ups this on the forthcoming Bandai Channel when it goes live. In the meantime, time to break out the scarf and belt and run around in the rock quarry in celebration.

Passing of the Torch (in a Perfect no Sekai)

Instead of bringing you Friday ACE this week, I figured I’d post the following:

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On /m/ (where apparently, they know I roam there enough to refer to me as /m/ike Dent), somebody posted this short story to compliment the above artwork. It’s actually kind of cool so I figured I’d post it here for those not brave enough to tread through 4chan.

“Wait, you don’t have to go! Please, you still can have more episodes!” Cries Cure Peach, as the tears stream down her face.
“I’m sorry, but my journey continues elsewhere, while another’s journey begins here,” Decade says, as he wipes a tear from her eye. He turns to Red, who extends a brofist. Decade bumps it.
“Well, it was fun. I guess… I’ll see you in a few weeks?” Red says.
“I’ll see you when I see you. Take care of yourself,” Decade replies. Decade turns to W, who sits side legged on his bike.
“This is all yours now. It can be rough sometimes. Some will hate you, kick you, spit on you, but you keep your head up. Your the Rider now,” Decade says, as he extends his hand for a handshake. W looks down and reaches to connect, but Decade quickly lifts his hand, and lets out a little laugh. He hops on his bike, and starts it.
“Please, don’t go!” Cure Pink shouts, falling to her knees, crying even harder now.
“Sorry. I’m just a passing through Kamen Rider.”
Decade’s bike roars to life as he rides into the sunset.

As Decade’s bike flies across the open field, a similar blue colored fellow pulls up next to him.
“Where you heading?” Asks Diend.
“Same place you are, I figure,” Decade replies. Between the two bikers, a black clad Rider pulls in, his red scarf billowing in the wind.
“Follow me,” says the Rider.
“Where to?” Decade asks.
“Where all Riders who have finished their missions go. It’s time to rest, boys. It’s time to rest.”
The three Riders continue towards the sun, until they cannot be seen no more.

Cue opening theme. The end.

After this, I don’t need to wait til December!

Riding Blind (Or, The Great Kamen Rider Experiment of 2009)

Today I watched the first episode of The Guild‘s third season. I hadn’t seen any trailers or read anything prior to it. In fact, I was almost ready to ignore the hype before just getting the first episode on a whim. The episode was fun and it set up a lot of things….until all of a sudden, this guy shows up.

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I’m sure you might consider this a spoiler but not when it’s clearly in the trailer. Anyway, I started thinking about the past year with Kamen Rider Decade….

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….Because for some reason, everything goes back to Tokusatsu somehow in my mind-The point is that with that show, we had spoiler information on not only the entire Final Form Ride series but that of Complete Form, months before its debut. Maybe I’d have enjoyed Tetsuo Kurata’s return as BLACK and BLACK RX had I not read up on anything? Maybe the movie might be more enjoyable not having seen anything going into it, spoiler clips or otherwise?

So…..I had an idea.

I, Mike Dent, will attempt the impossible: I will ignore any and all spoiler photos, discussion threads, anything that could possibly reveal any more information about Kamen Rider Double than what has already been revealed. I’ll then watch the show from start to finish to see if I can truly enjoy it more for not having known about power-ups, new villains, etc. This had been suggested to me before but on in the capacity of not watching a Sentai series to enjoy its Ranger adaptation. I didn’t really see the point as I’m not really that much a Ranger fan but now, it seems like an interesting idea.

In an age where information is overflowing through the cracks, it may seem futile but I’ll let you guys know about how this one turns out. Feel free to try it out too if you want! I’m interested to hear what your responses are while flying blind.

Double, Hard Boiled!

From Henshin Justice comes our first look at Kamen Rider Double:

Time for a quick first impression!

Stuff I like….
The detective concept: It’s a fresh idea, something this franchise needs. Yes we’ve had Riders as police officers but nothing on par with private detectives. They also get points for the slight nod to Tantei Monogatari with Shotaro’s look.

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I’m seriously getting a Yusaku Matsuda vibe from the guy. Anyway, As long as the Shotaro/Phillip dynamic doesn’t wear out its welcome, this could be awesome.

The theme song: Sure we’ve only got an instrumental to go off of but imagine it with the voice of Aya Kamiki….

If they’re really going for the jazzy sound that I think they are, she’s going to make this song rock. Even if the show falls apart, at least we’ll have this song to make the show worth the trouble.

Suit Design: I was a bit wary at first but as expected, after seeing it in action, I’m really digging it. I already know we’re getting a Trinity Form-ish power up that’s going to look like a clusterfsck but here’s hoping they don’t blow the final upgrade like they did with Complete Form. Whoever greenlit that suit concept needs to be forcefully tackle snogged by Shocker minions ala Sentai AV style.

The catch phrase: “Saa….Omae no tsumi wo kazaero!” Going by my rough translation (and given the setting of the series), it’s means “Now then, let’s air out your crimes!” Feel free to call me out on this one but otherwise, I think it’s kinda cool.

Now, there are two things that could break this for me…
Writing: This announcement hasn’t been made yet and I’m hoping for the best here. If it’s Inoue, from what we’ve seen, it could be the return of Cutie Honey THE LIVE/Changerion Inoue and we won’t have anything to worry about. If it’s Kobayashi again, I wouldn’t mind it; I’m willing to trust her with anything with how well Shinkenger’s turned out. Really, as long the marketing doesn’t take over the story and/or we are angst-free for once, this show might be good.

EDIT: Ryotarou from HJU pointed out that the writer HAS been announced for this series and it’s none other than Riku Sanjou, best known for his work on the manga Beet The Vandel Buster. The other thing he’s known for? Writing the screenplay for MD Geist. SOLD.

Phillip: We haven’t heard/seen much from him yet. Thankfully, he’s not the main focus but I hope to god that he isn’t a total goofball. Make his role important but don’t chuck him under the bus.

Lastly, 10th Anniversary Project: Wait what? Wasn’t DECADE your tenth anniversary project? If not then why the hell did you even both putting us through that fanfic of a TV show? [Multiple Expletives Deleted]

So wow, unless I get totally disillusioned by All Riders VS DaiShocker, I’m actually looking forward to seeing this show. Kamen Rider Double will be making its premiere September 6th on TV Asahi. To quote the promo, “THIS IS IT!”