Kamen Rider Kabuto: Is It Shoji Yonemura's And Shinichiro Shirakura's One Shot Wonder?
I have just finished watching Kamen Rider Kabuto from start to end (the first, I just watched it on a broadcast which sucked), so I thought is this show the one shot wonder of Shoji Yonemura (as the head writer) and Shinichiro Shirakura (as the head producer) of this show. I felt like this show was pretty weird but it was entertaining enough to keep me occupied.
The show's plot involves the alien lifeform known as the Worms have landed on Earth, they mimic people and they were brought by a meteor that crashed some time ago. An organization known as ZECT is formed to combat worms while we have the hero, Souji Tendo who believes he walks the path of Heaven. Souji becomes Kamen Rider Kabuto after seven years of training to fight the Worms while there are some twists and turns along the way.
So what's with Yonemura and Shirakura? They are names that tend to make me cringe due to the Super Hero Taisen films. While I can admit that I am still learning the art of story-writing but these guys have had more experience than I did. Yonemura like Bruce Kalish in the Disney era of Power Rangers can be hit or miss. I felt like he had some good episodes, the Kamen Rider Grand Prix movie for me was a decent film, Super Hero Taisen Z was watchable but most of his works tend to get criticized by fandom... yet I hear so much love for Kabuto. With that in mind, it reminds me of how Power Rangers SPD gets so much praise with Kalish as the writer, yet the writer himself can be subject to criticism for his later works as a headwriter for other Power Rangers series.
The show has multiple Kamen Riders but I felt like the focus was too much of Souji Tendo and Arata Kagami who serves as the "incompetent sidekick". Sometimes I felt like the twist of "Tsurugi Kamashiro" who is in reality the Scorpio Worm was either a nice twist or just too sudden. So Tsurugi is a Kamen Rider but he is also a Worm which asks, "Will this Worm live like a human or will he be so guilt-induced that he will choose to die." Whether or not it was a nice plot twist or not, people can be very divided on that. For one, I think Tsurugi's plot twist was interesting but I thought the way it ended was far too cliche. Most of the other riders weren't so well-focused either compared to Kamen Rider Ryuki and Kamen Rider Gaim.
The interesting plot was that the Masked Rider system (and the show for some reason decided not to use "Kamen Rider" system for a reason) would be like the story of the Red Shoes. The Masked Rider system may soon spiral out of control until all Worms are destroyed. This provided a greater problem for the heroes, even for Souji who is sort of a douchebag with his self-proclamation he is walking the path of Heaven, the man who rules over all which for me can get annoying.
While I felt like the Worms were usually "chaotic evil" but it can be shown that not all of them are. I mentioned "Tsurugi" earlier who inherited the memories of the person he's killed and mimicked but at the same time, he has learned to live like a human to the point he feels guilt when he finds out he is not the real deal, he killed the real deal and that he's a Worm, something he swore to kill as a result of inheriting the memories of the real deal. The other is Hiyori who Souji felt was his "sister' even after he grew up with his paternal grandmother and Jyuka who might have been a cousin of his but they grew up as "siblings" after they were both taken in. So what happened to Jyuka's parents is unknown but we know that Souji's parents were killed during the rise of the Worms and we know another species of Worms called the Natives, so what were they really and apparently, there's human evolution that's being tackled.
Not to mention, the show eventually shows some of the wickedness of the human heart within ZECT with Masato Mishima. While appearing loyal to his superiors, he's a real backstabber. I felt like these types of villains are a cliche in Tokusatsu where a human exceeds the evil of those who aren't supposedly human. Speaking of which, I almost wanted to joke that he's part of the Mishima Zaibatsu in Tekken due to his surname even when that's just impossible, you know my corny sense of humor right? In the end, he reveals the evil of his human heart makes him the final villain instead.
So what are your thoughts on this series?