I was planning to end the hiatus with a Jake & Leon comic and I’m not sure I’m going back to “work” (it’s only a job if I’m getting paid…and I’m not) next week just yet. I’ll see how I feel on Sunday, but I would like to resume soon. However, with so many stuck home I thought we could all use a little entertainment. So how about some Kamen Rider? Specifically the first ever series.
Created in 1971 by manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori, the original Kamen Rider was scientist and motorcycle enthusiast Takeshi Hongo, forced to become a cyborg slave of the mysterious organization Shocker as part of a plan to conquer the world and alter everyone into cyborgs under the leader’s power. Though the organization changed in later years this was the basic formula for how the classic Kamen Riders got their powers, being turned into warriors for some evil group only for our hero to rebel and fight them instead. The more recent Riders dropped the surgically altered cyborg gimmick and mostly came up with different reasons to become Kamen Riders. Two of these series were seen in America. Kamen Rider Black RX became Saban’s Masked Rider (also grabbing footage from two movies, Kamen Rider Zo and Kamen Rider J) while Kamen Rider Riuki became Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, both following the Power Rangers formula of Japanese action footage and American produced story footage.
As part of Shout Factory’s new “TokuSHOUTsu” project I mentioned before the break they’ve put episode one of the original Kamen Rider on their new YouTube channel. Join us in the origin of the first Kamen Rider as he takes on “The Mysterious Spider Man”. No, not that Spider-Man. Notice the lack of hyphen.
If you’re curious if any more Western superheroes get turned into namesake monsters or how Hongo proves his innocence and stops Shocker’s plans you can look for the TokuSHOUTsu channel on Pluto TV or on Shout Factory TV’s streaming site. All the links are in the article I linked to in the intro. Maybe they’ll explain how they tricked out Hongo’s motorcycle so fast with the armor?