Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Memories of Super Heroes: My Top 5 Kamen Riders

I reckon that many of you, especially if you're male, loved watching super heroes shows on TV.
I sure did. Around that age I still lived in Japan (I moved when I was 5) and absolutely loved watching these colourful suited fighters battling people in strange monster suits lol.

There are several different superhero shows in Japan, with the most popular ones being Ultraman, Kamen Rider and Power Rangers (which is also popular, or at least used to be, in Western countries).

My favourite out of these was Kamen Rider, aka 'Masked Rider'. I don't know where the creators of this series got their idea, but the hero is a person who wears a suit designed after a grasshopper, and more recently some other insects.  I'm not really sure what these new ones are as I left Japan before they aired, plus I grew older and lost interest. They ride around on motorbikes and arrive at the scene of trouble on these (and often collide into enemeies with them too). This was one of the main reasons I liked Kamen Rider over the other heroes, and I also became a fan of motorbikes (for a while) because of this.

I remember making my mother draw all the different characters and covering a whole wall with them. I also had lots of toys of these Kamen Riders, which were my treasures and played with all the time. I also remember mimicking the movements that the hero does when transforming into the Kamen Rider, and having play fights with my older brother (I always lost...)

You can watch the sequence of movements here:
It's pretty hilarious.

The Kamen Rider series have been continuing since the 70's, so there are some really old and funny footage you can see lol. There were no new Kamen Riders from 1989 to 2000 apart from some movies, so I only got to know these old dudes while I was still in Japan. Since their revival in the 2000's there have been 13 new series with new Riders, which I was surprised and sort of amazed about. That's even more than the older group.

SO! Anyway, here's my 5 favourite Kamen Riders that I remember, which is not a whole lot, but I still remember that I liked them at least.

Kamen Rider
This is the original Kamen Rider. Without him there would have been no
 other Kamen Riders, and so he deserves a place on this list

Kamen Rider Amazon

Kamen Rider Amazon was probably my most favourite one when I was a kid. I'm not sure why though. Probably because he looks so different to the others. His design is supposed to be inspired by a particular lizard unlike grasshoppers or other insects.

Kamen Rider Black

I think this was the series they were playing just before I left Japan.
 I remember that I really liked the bike off this one. The arch-rival off this series, 
called Shadow Moon is also cool, but was kinda scary to me back then....
The first episode is also sort of creepy. The main dude gets kidnapped by an 
evil cult and is brain washed by some weird hooded people.

Shadow Moon
He's the bad guy I mentioned before and is not technically a Kamen Rider (I think), 
but he looks like one and so he makes it into this list.

Kamen Rider Black RX
This guy one is from the sequel of Kamen Rider Black. It's the same person but 
has got a newly designed suit, bike, and other weapons. They started playing
this series just as I was leaving the country.

Well I hope this was somewhat interesting for you to read. Although I don't really have any interest in these guys anymore they definitely were a huge part of my early childhood. It's also pretty fun to watch how cheap and dodgy these shows were made too. Well anyway, that's about it for today.

This guys is one of those minions that kind of dance around
 like monkeys and then get beaten up by the hero. He's saying:

"I wanted to become a Kamen Rider."

So did I.


  1. My favorite Kamen is Action Kamen (aka Masked Muchacho)!

    Though except him, I don't know very much about the Kamen series.
    I often see episodes subtitled by fans on the web but seeing there are so much, I never tried to watch some episodes.
    I'm more familiar with Super Sentai through Power Rangers with the serie broadcasted in the 1990's (I never watch the recent one).

    What I know is all Kamen collectible figures are expensive! At first, I wanted to buy one because it looked cool and well-done but after seeing the price... eehm... lol

    On wiki it's written Kamen Rider character was based on Ishinomori Shotaro's prequel characters Cyborg 009 (created in 1963), 8 Man (also created in 1963) and Skull Man (one-shot manga from 1970). And it was Ishinomori's son who did the choice of the Kamen Rider design Grasshopper.

    It seems like Kamen Rider influenced a lot the Japanese culture, such as Shin Chan with Action Kamen/Masked Muchacho or SMAP's "Kamen Renaider", etc.

  2. Haha Shin-chan. I remember that one. Although I wasn't allowed to watch it in Japan because my dad thought it was too stupid.

    Yeah~ there are some cool looking Kamen Rider figures. It's funny that a lot of old men still collect these things that they liked as kids.

    Haha and yes Kamen Rider has had a huge influence on Japanese pop culture. It gets mentioned in lots of shows, anime/manga etc. It's prone to getting parodied too just like you've pointed out. Probably more so than the other super hero guys too, like Ultraman etc.

  3. Indeed, Kamen Rider is really popular. Maybe because of the variety of monsters and the motorcycles.

    By the way, I tried to imagine you with the Kamen Rider Amazon's motorcycle, what I can say is this motorcycle would take a lot of place in your house lol

    Shin-chan is amazing! You should watch it! lol
    I really like the manga, it's really witty.
    There are so much to say about Shin-chan.
    But now when I read Shin-chan, I also have a special thought to Usui Yoshito since he passed away, I'm thankful to his creation of Shin-chan, it always makes laugh when I'm tired or sad.