Series / Kamen Rider Decade


Overall Series Review:

Kamen Rider Decade is the tenth Kamen Rider series in the Heisei era... & is perhaps one of the most infamous ones. Kamen Rider Decade is styled as a "Crisis on Infinite Earths" style crossover, where this tenth Kamen Rider, the titular Decade, travels through the various worlds of the previous Kamen Rider series và tries khổng lồ unravel some sort of cosmic mystery while also looking for his own destiny. It"s unapologetically fan-wanky, và given that the main character is an amnesiac man with the ability to transform into the previous nine main Kamen Riders, definitely will raise some eyebrows. Throw in the fact that this enigmatic world-walker is also the "Destroyer of Worlds", able lớn go to lớn every world but being rejected by all of them, is also an interesting (if, again, fanwanky) story.

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And... Và people who discover the existence of Decade through encountering the character in other, later series (I myself first encountered Decade in a Gaim movie, và later on in Wizard và the early episodes of Zi-O)might be fooled into thinking that Kamen Rider Decade might be a series that"s worth watching. And... & it kind of is, just due to lớn the sheer short length of the series. Unlike the other Heisei series, which ran in the ballpark of 40-50 episodes, Decade ran for 31 episodes và was infamous for being truncated and cancelled, ending on a cliffhanger that"s barely resolved in a couple of hodgepodge movies later on. And the chất lượng of Decade"s own series is extremely... Rocky. A lot of the buildup to the mysteries surrounding Decade & his supporting cast is well-done, but the truncated nature and the lack of any real resolution is going khổng lồ frustrate anyone who enters this series expecting a whole meal.A memetic line from the epilogue movie, after all, is "Decade has no story", & while that"s a hilarious line to meme about considering the rocky nature of the show"s story... It"s more that "Decade spends all of its runtime building up to a final act that probably should"ve taken 10+ episodes to tell, but was forced lớn be crammed into two episodes và end at a cliffhanger".
And, honestly, it"s testament khổng lồ Decade"s actor, Inoue Masahiro, who is easily the go-to legacy actor who keeps coming back every two years or so to lớn have a cameo in a movie or even in the series itself. Hell, he essentially fulfills the role of a fourth Kamen Rider throughout the twentieth Heisei series, Kamen Rider Zi-O!And when given a decent script, or when he"s written as a travelling, enigmatic Kamen Rider... Decade is awesome, and Inoue Masahiro portrays the traveling Kamen Rider just sort of... Dicking around in his travels through dimensions. Masahiro clearly loves being Decade, & in his appearances outside his home series, Kamen Rider Decade tend to lớn be pretty damn cool.Of course... In his own series? Bluntly... It kinda sucks. Và it"s not just because of the truncated ending either. The concept of a dude who travels through worlds and just kind of wants to fit in (and maybe rescue his original dimension) but is rejected by all, only being able lớn introduce himself as "a travelling Kamen Rider, remember that!", while also being hailed as the horrifying Destroyer of Worlds... It"s interesting, but the fact that a series that"s supposed to lớn be a celebration & a homage to lớn the nine previous series that came before it ended up being the Decade cast travelling into "Alternate Worlds" (officially termed "Alternate Reality", or AR) vaguely based on one of the previous nine series ends up making the show genuinely feel more lượt thích a parody at times. Tsukasa is meant khổng lồ go và attempt lớn find his "role" in each of the nine worlds (and later a couple of extra ones based on Showa series), but the fact that some of the AR worlds barely resemble the series they"re supposed to lớn represent other than vaguely featuring the same suits và characters with slightly-different names khổng lồ the ones we know & love is probably why the whole AR world nonsense was dropped entirely ten years later when we got khổng lồ Zi-O. Which, one could argue, as messy as it was, is a far more cohesive and respectful homage series than Decade was.Like, take the early Ryuki-based arc, for example, which ended up being honestly kind of a bizarre parody where the mysterious Rider War was a bizarre kangaroo court where lawyers transform into Kamen Riders và defend their clients through combat... When only a single character in the original Ryuki had a day-job of a lawyer. Or the practical farce of the Blade arc, where the entire premise of the show is reduced into what"s essentially a parody of the competitive nature of a corporation. Or the Faiz arc, which ended up being... A school drama for some reason? Honestly, other than an excuse to reuse the suits, none of the story arcs really over up being particularly good tributes khổng lồ the original series they"re supposed to. Và if Decade was meant lớn be a primarily comedic show lượt thích those Hyper Battle DVD"s, it"d be one thing. But we go through these bizarre doppelgangers that have similar names khổng lồ the Kamen Riders we know và love... But act completely differently. At that point, why not just make all-new characters?(Confusingly, the characters seen in the Den-O arc are explicitly the "prime universe" Den-O characters, while Kamen Rider Black/Black RX"s actor reprises his role while explicitly being AR versions. It"s a headache.)At least the chip core cast is decent. I"ll go into slightly more detail after the break, but the main character, Kadoya Tsukasa, is kind of a dick -- not the first main character to be a dick, but at least his general frustration and tiredness isn"t rewarded with lavished praises lượt thích some other previous protagonists that rubbed me the wrong way *coughkabutocough*. He does dickish things, but the writers are also pretty happy lớn toss some crap his way, & he"s likable enough as a main lead, at least for what we see of him here. Of course, the inconsistent writing does mean that just as Tsukasa seems to about lớn have some depth, it gets wiped clean in time for the next arc, and honestly, the best of Tsukasa"s characterization actually ends up happening in the two tie-in movies và not the series itself.

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The supporting cast is a bit more problematic. Initially, Decade is accompanied by the grandfather/granddaughter pair of the camera siêu thị he works in, Hikari Eijiro and Hikari Natsumi. Eijiro"s just a kooky old grandpa you see in every other Japanese show, while Natsumi... She"s around a lot, but she"s mostly jut there to lớn be a serious foil khổng lồ Decade"s fooling around, and struggles to really have a personality of her own. Shortly after the first couple of arcs, the AR Kamen Rider Kuuga, Onodera Yuusuke, tags along with them... & he has a massive reputation of being a gigantic loser among the fanbase. Và I honestly have to agree. He"s a whiny kid, which doesn"t immediately mean he"s a bad character, but for someone who"s supposed to lớn be a homage lớn one of the more important legacy characters out there, Yuusuke honestly only shows up to be beaten up -- either in human or in rider form -- by the enemy of the week so Decade can show up and win. Secondary riders tend khổng lồ have a raw khuyễn mãi giảm giá in these earlier shows, but man, I genuinely don"t think Yuusuke even ever won a single fight.Around the one-third mark, we"re introduced to the real secondary rider, Daiki Kaito, Kamen Rider DiEnd, has a cool suit and a hilarious name, and his ability of summoning random obscure riders from previous shows is neat, but the character is mostly a one-note thief who"s friends with our main cast because... Uh... I"m genuinely not sure why. DiEnd sort of just went from a dickish rival who goes around stealing shit from every world into being basically bash-buddies-worthy-rival with Decade just because... Show mandates, I guess? DiEnd"s actor is pretty charismatic and makes it work, but ultimately it"s kinda hard lớn buy his character development.

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Eventually, after moving through the nine worlds of the Heisei series (Kuuga, Kiva, Ryuki, Blade, Faiz, Agito, Den-O, Kabuto và Hibiki) & acquiring the forms of all nine original protagonists over the course of 20 episodes, we sort of start building up to lớn something as Decade sort of tries to tread into some original territory. Two mysterious characters that follow our main cast throughout the series just to lớn say cryptic things -- the trenchcoated prophet man Narutaki (onore dikeido!)and the enigmatic female bat toy Kiva-la -- seem to lớn hint at something far grander about Decade"s purpose. We get a relatively interesting storyline as we go through a couple of arcs involving the "World of the Dark Riders", a crossover with the Sentai show at the time, & the World of Diend... But then we randomly shoehorn tributes to lớn Showa series Kamen Rider Blackand Kamen Rider Amazon, before rushing a finale within two episodes to try and tie in khổng lồ the huge prophetic rider war in the prologue of the first episode.And... Và to say that the plot of the final two episodes is convoluted is an understatement. The two Showa two-parters at least sort of try và introduce what passes for a main villain in Apollo Geist, himself hailing from the Showa series Kamen Rider X, but what Apollo Geist is, & how he relates khổng lồ Decade"s destiny as the Destroyer of Worlds, as well as Narutaki"s hammy-but-cryptic warnings, or the vision Natsumi sees of Decade fighting against an army of Riders assembled from all of the designs from the various series và slaughtering them all. Then all the AR worlds collide, all the random minor characters keep fighting each other và seem khổng lồ erase themselves from existence, & it"s implied that the destruction of the world is due to Decade"s presence... It"s genuinely convoluted, and the genuinely random appearances of the realKiva and Blade from their original series (especially for someone who haven"t watched Kiva at the time of watching this show) to lớn seemingly replace the AR versions và fight Decade... It"s all convoluted & never really explained well. Considering the show ends with Decade being confronted with what"s implied to lớn be the original versions of the Kamen Riders (or evil, corrupted versions in the Director"s Cut), it remains ambiguous just what the fuck is going on, and if these AR worlds are unnatural to begin with.And... & honestly, as much as I bởi count Kadoya Tsukasa as one of my favourite Kamen Riders of all time, his actual series is a clusterfuck of a mess. Và it"s really hard to blame the series considering how obviously it was truncated, và how subsequent movies và other side material released afterwards hint at what Decade was meant to be, but with the series itself going back and forth between trying to lớn play up the twists (are Kivala & grandpa Eijiro actually evil sleeper agents?) và just forcing a happy "everyone is happy và they are best friends forever huzzah!" theme down our throats.It is practically essential lớn watch Movie War 2010 to get a properly satisfying ending to lớn Decade, but even then the conclusion there is somewhat confusing & honestly feels like it"s a rushed retelling of the cliffs" notes of what Decade"s original final act is meant to lớn be... Before we rush into the typical crossover movie mishmash of gratuituous action scenes and team-ups. It"s at least a conclusion, but not the most satisfying one due khổng lồ how it"s told.At least the action scenes are pretty well-done, with a lot of fun action scenes due to the nature of "everything available in the past 10 years are toys for us lớn play." The music is great, with Gackt"s Journey Through the Decadebeing one of the better Heisei phase 1 themes, & that little jingle that plays whenever Tsukasa gets serious is one of my favourite instrumental themes ever.