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Ciaranreds Tokusatsu review Kamen Rider The First
Hello Folks today i am here to introduce to the world of Kamen Rider with this new reimagine of the original Kamen Rider Series into this 2 hour film. So lets Henshin or Trasform for those of you not familiar with Tokusatsu terminology.
First off Kamen Rider is one of Japan's biggest superhero franchises with at least 23 television series and many films and Video games, manga, toys clotbhes and even towels. The Kamen Rider Franchise was created by Shotaro Ishinomori a legendary figure in Japan for much of his works including works in both Super Sentai and Ultraman. Ishinomori came up with the idea for the Kamen Rider to be a mysterious hero who fights for justice against an evil terrorist organisation called shocker with a bug costume motiff, who rides a motorbike. Now as newer seasons began, the enemies and thew riders would change but certain elements, like the rider having a motorbike and the rider having to transform by striking a pose and activating his or in the very rare case (ya Kamen rider is somewhat conservative when it comes to having female riders) belt.
Anyway Kamen Rider the First is a reimagining of the original Kamen Rider series and makes changes, mainly updating certain things such as the use of nanities and updasting the monsters of the series from regular imhuman creatures to actual cyborgs with unique abilities and costumes that make them look like monsters. Am the transformation are different as well since in Origianl series the two riders did a few hand poses and then bamb they were Kamen Riders, in this series, they open thier shirts to reveal the costume, then they activate thier belts and then put on the costume. So it takes a far more realistic apporach to the series, fair enough i can see that why it makes sense.
So the film was directed by Takao Nagaishi and starring Masaya Kikawada as Takedsi Hongo aka Kamen Rider the first, Hassei Takano as Hayato Ichimonji,/Katsuhiko Yano/ Kamen Rider 2, Rena Komine as Asuka Midorikawa the love interest of the two riders and of course, i would be a disgrace not to mention the return Hideyo Amamoto from the grave. You see Hideyo Amamoto was the original Doctor Shimigani, the leader of Shocker in the Kamen Rider series. They used stock footage of him combined with the voiceover.of Eiji Maruyama helped recreate the power and evil of Doctor Shimigani.
Okay the question of the hour is what did i think of the film? I thought this film was good, not great but good. The film has a lot of strenghts, such as the attempt to make the film more realistic but also be fun and stay Loyal to the source matireal. They succed here on thios by exploring certain elements such as how would one to come to turns with adapting to having super strenght all of a sudden. This is of course protrayed brilliantly, when Hongo aka Kamen Rider 1 is walking about trying to get a grips with himself, when he sees a girl walking across the road, who is about to be run over by a Truck. Hongo runs across grabs the girl and stops the truck with his bar hand causing the the front of the truck to implode from the impact. So he saved the girl right? Yes and no, he saved her from running her from being run over, but when grabbing and holding her, he was a bit to strong and accidently crush her ribs and lungs leaving her hospitalised for a while.Now this is an interesting comcept of asking what would be the real consequences of having superpowers and how they could effect people.
Another strenght of the film, is the reimaging of Kamen Rider 2 aka Hayato Ichimonji, who rather then be a side character who happens to become Kamen Rider 2 and be saved from Shocker at the last second and become a slave of Shocker, instead he's the fiance of Asuka Midorikawa, and the last victim of Hongo assassination as an agent of Shocker. Then he is brought back and thrned in the second Kamen Rider or Hopper 2 as Shocker called him in the film and Brainwashed into beleiving that Hongo is a rival for the love of Azuka, and begins to attack him. Eventually they are forced to team up of the two rider sna d the epic climax battle at the end of the film.
The constant references to other films is another strenght. The fact that they used stock footage to recreate Doctor Shinigami rather then just get a new actor or the character like in the Kamen Rider Decade movies (More on that in later reviews). The fact that the opening shot of the film was done to match the opening shot of the original series. They brought in Hiroshi Miyauchi who played the original Kamen rider V3 in the series Kamen rider V3 to play the character Tōbei Tachibana, who in the old series gave eacch of the showa era Kamen Riders thier mototrbikes. In the miovie he gives Hongo his bike. Hell Hassei Takano who plays Kamen Rider 2 here was Kamen Rider Raia in Kamen Rider Ryuki. So its good to see a series that is niot afraid to pay plenty of homage to its source matiral while updating it at the same time.
The fact they successfully give the characters far more detail and development. Here both riders are giving far better character development and flaws as well as a good reason for the two of them to team up and become allies. Also the fact that they updated the costumes of each of them to make each one more distinglishible is a good thing
Original costumes of Kamen Rider 1 and 2
The Kamen Rider the First versions of the costumes
The film has some major problems such as pacing. At times this film will drag, or just slow down for no majorly good reason, but to be fair this doesn,t last to long and you are usally giving good reasons, such as characters trying to figure out something or get to grips with one another or just to help develop the plot.
The subplot of this film is badly done. The idea is the plot follows the blossuming relationship of two terminally ill patients and hope at the start they are both lonely and misrable and gradully as they both meet, they start to brighten up and warm up to each other till sadly disater nstrikes as the illness begin to finally take thier toll on them. Thankfully a nice man that give out roses turns up and looks in no way like Doctor Shinigami in a messengers outfit.
Ya this plot to be fair, I can see what they were trying to do by exploring the origins of the villians and how truely evil steps and plotas of Shocker and how much they truely are evil. Right fair enough, but to be quite honest, when we see Shocker sending out bad guys to kill innocent people left right and centre and outright atttack rogue agents in public and put many innocent people at risk. I think it safe to say that these guy are pure evil, but rather then bog us down with a very slow moving sub plot that belongs in a hospital drama rather then a superhero film,
Why not Doctor Shinigami walk down the street and have him, steal candy from a baby, push a Nun into on coming traffic fire, a gun at boy scouts, kick a puppy and have him go on record that he doesn,t beleive that the Holocaust happened and was nothing more then an Allies conspiracy. Thier i have made worse then Hitler and its shows that he is bad business and anything he is in charge of is bad business..
Ah the whole obsession of Hongo with pure beauty of the crystal, i don,t get it at all. I can even see the point bar freeing him the Shocker brainwashing, but i just don,t see have this freed him at all.
Overall this film was good and i would recommend it to anyone who wishes to try and get into Kamen Rider or even modern Tokusatsu. I give 7.5 out of 1. Too be honest this film helps to update and make these Characters more relavent and sympathic and enjoyible, compared to a film that tried this with an american icon, what was that film again............ ah something returns, ah super............ stalker, supermessiah returns, was it, ah well we will get to that eventually
Anyway since i am on a role with Tokusatsu films and i already did one film that modernises a classic Japanese superhero, i might take on a more cheery and happy and.......... oh i don,t want to say it, it will make perverteds and sex crazed, ohhh god dammit hot, sexy, attractive, nice ass, oh bloody hell i am reviewing Cutie Honey
Well anyway till next time Nikki Nikki, now i have to go and get myself back in check before i review sweet assed Cutie Honey....... oh god dammit i meant Cutie Honey.
Next Time Cutie Honey
Ohhh Honey why must you taunt me, oh i mean ya here the poster for Cutie Honey
Please leave your comment below and i would love Feedback.
- Ciaranred's Tokusatsu reviews Cutie Honey (2004) - Anime/Tokusastu Aug 06
- Ciaranred comicbook reviews: Marvel Civil War. as well as a bit of my back story. - Comics/Books Aug 04
- Ciaranred's comicbook reviews Ciaranred's Pull list 4/08/2011 - Comics/Books Aug 04
- Gekired's livestream and Introduction and schedule (Ciaranred's Livestream counterpart) - Original Content Aug 16
- The Five Point Podcast Episode 45: Cutie Honey (1973) - Anime/Tokusastu Mar 03