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Kamen Rider

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Action searchgray_iconsmall.png, Adventure searchgray_iconsmall.png, Mecha searchgray_iconsmall.png, Science Fiction searchgray_iconsmall.png, Supernatural searchgray_iconsmall.png
Shōnen searchgray_iconsmall.png
Anime, Manga, Film, Live Action, TV drama

The Kamen Rider Series (仮面ライダーシリーズ, Kamen Raidā Shirīzu; translated as Masked Rider Series) is a franchise of manga and tokusatsu television programs and films created by manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori. The various Kamen Rider media generally feature a motorcycle-riding superhero with an insect motif who fights supervillains often referred to as kaijin (怪人). The franchise began in 1971 with the Kamen Rider television series which followed college student Takeshi Hongo and his quest to defeat the world-conquering Shocker organization. Over the years, the popularity of the franchise has grown and the original series has spawned many television and theatrical sequels. The cultural impact of the series in Japan resulted in Akimasa Nakamura naming two minor planets in honor of the series: 12408 Fujioka, after actor Hiroshi Fujioka, known for his portrayal of Kamen Rider, and 12796 Kamenrider, after the series, itself.


Although each entry in the series is different, each one shares similar traits with one and another. All generally involve at least one young adult male transforming into a Kamen Rider to fight various monsters and organizations linked to that specific Kamen Rider's origin. As the series progresses, the Rider often learns more about the monsters in the series, other Kamen Riders or the origin of his powers. Early Kamen Riders were generally based on Grasshoppers and other insects, but this practice has declined in the newer set of shows in favor of other motifs. Usually referred to as Rider Machines, motorcycles are an integral part of the series. Since 1971, Suzuki originally provided motorcycles for the series until Kamen Rider Agito when Honda became involved and the single Ducati featured in Kamen Rider W. Early Kamen Riders wore scarfs along with their costumes, but this practice was dropped after Kamen Rider Black until the appearance of Double.

A trait shared among recent Kamen Riders is their ability to change forms and become stronger versions of themselves. The first power up appeared in Kamen Rider Stronger which was used by the title character. Kamen Rider BLACK RX had multiple forms, Roborider and Biorider. Since then, every title Kamen Rider in the Heisei era has had at least one power up with OOO having the most with 129 form combinations.

All Shōwa era Riders gained their powers through some form of surgical alteration to their bodies, a practice seen only a few times. Heisei Riders on the other hand, starting with Ryuki, are armored suits powered by magic, advanced technology or sometimes both. The Heisei era of Kamen Rider varies greatly in its use of Kamen Riders. Whereas all early Kamen Riders fought on the side of justice and peace, there have been numerous Kamen Riders in the Heisei era that have fought for personal reasons such as greed, revenge and the personal enjoyment of battle. Because of this, recent Kamen Riders have become less eager to immediately join the battle of justice.

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