|Name:||Kamen Rider, 仮面ライダーシリーズ, Kamen Raidā Shirīzu|
|Date(s):||1971 – present|
|Medium:||Television, Film, Manga|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|External Links:||at Wikipedia|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Kamen Rider also known as Masked Rider, is a Japanese media franchise consisting of tokusatsu television programs, films, and manga, created by manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori and inspired by his earlier manga Skull Man. Kamen Rider media generally features a motorcycle-riding superhero with an insect motif who fights supervillains, often known as kaijin (怪人, mystery people).
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. The original series spawned television and film sequels and launched the Second Kaiju Boom (also known as the Henshin Boom) on Japanese television during the early 1970s, impacting the superhero and action-adventure genres in Japan.
Bandai owns the toy rights to Kamen Rider Japan (and some Asia regions). Bluefin Distribution, a subsidiary of Bandai Namco, distributes Kamen Rider merchandise in North America.
The Kamen Rider franchise primarily revolving around the eponymous Kamen Rider, a superpowered vigilante who mostly resembles a grasshopper and rides a motorcycle, and their one-man war against an ever-larger malevolent force, usually a terrorist organization bent on world domination. A common running theme in the franchise is that the Rider's power derived from the same source and technology used by malevolent forces, thus forming a moral vow for the protagonists to use this power to fight against evil.
Similar to its counterpart, each series focuses on a different Rider, a new set of characters and a different story set in its own universe, though there been multiple instances of past characters from previous Kamen Rider series crossing over to team up against a common foe.
Kamen Rider has a more loose formula than its sibling Super Sentai. There's a few important elements most series share and everything else is quite flexible.
- A Rider's power comes from the same source as their foes.
- Riders are tragic heroes, often having said power inflicted on them or taking it out of desperation.
- A Rider must overthrow the evil that lead to their creation.
- Most Rider foes are some flavor of fascists; aiming to destroy, dominate, or enslave humanity.
- The true power of a Rider is a kind heart and a strong will to use their strength to protect.
The Kamen Riders
The Kamen Rider (仮面ライダー, Kamen Raidā, translated as "Masked Rider"), also known as simply Rider (ライダー, Raidā), is a collective name referring to the eponymous heroes and numerous individuals of the series. Usually resembling a grasshopper-themed masked superhero or a similarly-looking vigilante in spandex, the Riders are enhanced humans with superhuman strength, resilience and agility, specifically modified to fight an entire army. Originally created by the terrorist organization known as "Shocker" as a means of creating super-soldiers, one of these potential soldiers, biochemistry lab student and motorcycle enthusiast Takeshi Hongo, escaped from captivity and has since been fighting against Shocker, often recruiting similar individuals to fight alongside him.
Adaptations outside Japan
In 1975–1976, Tong Hsing Film Co., Ltd. in Taiwan produced a Super Riders series based on the Japanese version.
- 1975: The Super Rider V3 based on Kamen Rider V3
- 1976: The Five Of Super Rider based on Kamen Rider X
- 1976: The Super Riders based on Kamen Rider vs. Shocker and Kamen Rider vs. Hell Ambassador
In 1995, Saban Entertainment produced the first American Masked Rider series after its success adapting Super Sentai into Power Rangers and the Metal Hero Series (VR Troopers and Beetleborgs).
In 2009, a new series, produced by Michael and Steve Wang, was broadcast: Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight, which was adapted from Kamen Rider Ryuki. Although it was cancelled before finishing its syndicated run, it won the first Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination at the 37th Daytime Emmy Awards. 
Unofficial Thailand Adaptation
In 1975, Chaiyo Productions made an unofficial Kamen Rider movie entitled Hanuman and the Five Riders, which used original footage of Chaiyo's Hanuman character, spliced with footage from the "Five Riders Vs. King Dark" movie. However, Chaiyo went ahead with the production without authorisation after Toei denied them permission to make an official movie with them, putting the legality of the movie into question.
- Rider Dad AU by Miyuko, SailorCresselia, Silverbird22, zyngacat, and Jen425
- Hen-verse AU by aquabluejay, cestlaviminako
- ^ Takeshobo, ed. (1995-11-30). "BonusColumn「変身ブーム到来!!」" [Bonus Column 'The Henshin Boom Arrives!']. 超人画報 国産架空ヒーロー四十年の歩み [The Super Heroes Chronicles: The History of Japanese Fantastic Televisions, Movies and Videos, 1957–1995] (in Japanese). Takeshobo. p. 85. ISBN 4-88475-874-9. C0076.
- ^ "Kamen Rider". www.bluefinbrands.com. Archived from the original on 2021-08-16. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
- ^ "WINNERS: Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts Emmy Awards". June 26, 2010. Archived from the original on 2021-12-30. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- ^ "｢KAMEN RIDER DRAGON KNIGHT｣第37回デイタイム・エミー賞において最優秀スタントコーディネーション賞を受賞! | 東映[テレビ]". 2010-06-29. Archived from the original on 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2010-07-04.[Dead link]