My On/Off Journey With Watching And Not Watching Kamen Rider!
As a Toku fan, I tend to go backwards to old school and that's how I'm feeling about Super Sentai (that is, I am more interested in watching Super Sentai series from old school than new school). Back as a child, my very first Kamen Rider was Kamen Rider Black (dubbed as Masked Rider Black) and later, I would see Black RX on some Cable TV channel (Star Chinese I think) to which I didn't really understand what was going on. Oh, I'd like to forget about Saban's really failed Masked (Mashed) Rider which didn't even click in America. I couldn't forget the whole Masked Rider/MMPR crossover which came before that awful series started. Now back to the original versions shall we?
I was sort of the stuck up guy and always said, "Showa's the best! Showa's the best!" I remembered how remembered a now extinct site that declared Kamen Rider had died since Kuuga. So I was just a slave back then, I took that stand and I really was unwilling to move forward beyond Showa. I stuck myself with learning more about the Showa era and watching raw videos of them before I would run into English subtitles. I remembered how I easily had easy instant biases when it came to the newer generation of Tokusatsu. I mean, I was more into Chinese entertainment and I didn't take into mind I don't need to give up on Tokusatsu, I can still enjoy it right? Black RX was the least popular of the series but what I didn't realize is that, the whole series was an experimental ground for newer concepts like multiple fighting forms and non-super allies getting more involved than before. I soon knew of Black RX as the last Showa series, later Kuuga would enter.
When it came to Kuuga, I remembered playing the Playstation game but I had biases again. I didn't like the way Kamen Rider was now written... since I always treated Tokusatsu and Japanese drama as two completely different genres. I didn't feel the spark too much back then and out of a closed mind, I really, REALLY missed a lot of what Kamen Rider during the Heisei era had to offer! I wanted to stay "solid with Super Sentai" as a Tokusatsu fan... I mean let's face it, I practically ditched almost every Tokuatsu when I decided to return watching Super Sentai! Yes, I returned to watching Super Sentai for the stupid reason because of the pretty girls like Nanami and Jasmine.
When I started to do research on the Heisei era, a lot have changed. Gone are the days when villains were operating like Super Sentai villains that is, launch one stupid plan after the other in their quest to take over the world or destroy humanity. You don't have all those half-brained, convoluted and/or unbelievable plots that I enjoyed in Tokusatsu villains. Instead, I felt like WTF why is it two episodes before a monster goes away? Why isn't there a monster all the time? I always felt like these stuff made me have biases towards the Heisei era of Kamen Rider!
I remembered Kamen Rider Ryuki airing but I didn't care too much about it. Man, I still remember how I had some unfair criticism towards the show like, "Riders should be helping each other, not killing each other." That is until I remembered one important name or keyword in "Shadow Moon", the first evil Kamen Rider. I don't exactly know how I even started having unfair biases, again when Kamen Rider Ryuki aired in ABS-CBN, I was pretty much stuck with Chinese stuff or two, the dubs were just plain annoying.
I didn't care too much about Decade maybe except for four episodes namely the Shinkenger Arc an d the Black/Black RX arc. But I could talk too much about the Shinkenger/Decade crossover as the first official Super Sentai/Kamen Rider crossover. It still reminded me of "Friend In Need" but it's a much better version of that sucky crossover. Yeah I know I really have issues with Kamen Rider Decade but the crossover was actually watchable and you get a real decent script especially when you have Mako kicking and healthy (compared to Kimberly being sick) and Chinomarako becoming another version of Kamen Rider Diend and the World Without Riders concept. I wonder what took Toei so long to bring the idea to television? Perhaps it wasn't the time until Kamen Rider Decade came in and the crossover was fully possible.
What convinced me to try and watch Kamen Rider from start to end were Super Sentai/Power Rangers fans who said, "You can give it a shot. We don't know the end result but just try it." Then I started some Heisei era rewatching namely Kamen Rider Kuuga. I soon said, "Oh my what have I really missed all this time? What have I missed all this time? Wahahahahahaha!!!!!" was my only reaction back then. I realized I could stick through the Heisei Kamen Rider because of its pretty much TV drama type of format where there wasn't always a monster of the week or two, it took two episodes before the monster of the week was gone. I was just interested with Kamen Rider of the Heisei era all the more though my favorites are Kuuga and Agito. I also like W, OOO, Fourze, Gaim and I am currently watching Kamen Rider Wizard.
After Gokaiger, I felt like Super Sentai went downhill starting with Gobusters, Kyoryuger was really bad for me, I felt ToQGer was even worse and I'm mixed with Ninninger and I feel like Power Rangers just got much worse than the Kalish era. The feeling I have that Super Sentai and Power Rangers has declined has made me "catch up" with Kamen Rider Gaim (which helped me overcome Kyoryuger and ToQGer) as well as Kamen Rider Drive (which I am now more excited for than I would be for the next episode of Ninninger). So pretty much, I have become more of a Kamen Rider fan than a Super Sentai fan based on my current journey.