Last week I mentioned I was going to post Kamen Rider W the most recently completed Kamen Rider series in Japan. When I decided to post tonight’s entry as well I decided to post it first instead, since it’s an earlier series, 1987-1988 to be exact. The show is Kamen Rider Black and while it’s dated visually it’s still my favorite of the Rider series I’ve seen thus far.
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I wish this had aired around here in the 80’s I know I would have enjoyed it. Like I said, the effects are rather dated, but the series was great. According to Wikipedia, this is considered the most popular of the Showa, or at least the 1980’s, Kamen Rider series. It continued with a few movie spinoffs and a sequel series, Kamen Rider Black RX, where most of Saban’s Masked Rider came from.
The series continues to follow Kotoro Minami’s mission to find and rescue his brother while stopping Golgom’s other plans to replace the Earth with their mutant army. Later we are somewhat introduced to the current Century King, who has decreed that Kotoro and Nobuhiko must battle to the death, with the winner becoming the new Century King. There is also a new villain added in the form of Birugenia, who has his own ideas on how to do things.
Before I end this I would like to talk about the fansubbers, Century Kings (guess where they got the name from), and fansubbing in general. Sadly, while a remake of the original series (US Title: Masked Rider The First) has seen a US release, there has yet to be any proof that other Kamen/Masked Rider shows will join it. Fansubs for now are the only way to be exposed to these shows. As has been mentioned in the past by MarzGurl, this means that the people who own the rights to these shows aren’t making a thing out of it.
I would like to see an official release, and Century Kings have already done the subtitling. As I’ll get into more next week, later episodes show a willingness to add a flair to the subtitles not usually seen in official productions, adding a bit of life to the text and even working it to match the way it’s spoken. For example, when Kotoro (played expertly by Tetsuo Kurata, who also sings the opening theme song and has returned to the role numerous times since the show’s end) paused between the syllables of “hen…shin” (roughly Japanese for “transform”), the subtitles pause with it. It’s little touches like this that add a bit extra that you don’t usually seen in subtitles by official groups. I’d like to see that in other works.
Next week, we’ll get to W as promised. Or is it Double? I’ll get into that as well.
- Tokusatsu: A BW Primer (bwmedia.wordpress.com)
- SNS> Kamen Rider Dragon Knight episode 1 (bwmedia.wordpress.com)
- Go Go (Away) Kamen Rider Girls! [Video] (kotaku.com)