So You're Trying To Give The Fate Of Humanity A Rider Kick?!

After rewatching some classic Heisei Kamen Rider series and remembering Gaim around two years ago,  I felt like some Kamen Riders were very atypical in some way. What were they? Here they are.

Warning there are spoilers ahead so read at your own risk!


Kamen Rider Agito 

Kamen Rider Agito's entire season first appeared to be typical. The Lords appeared to be a bigger threat than the Grongi but they seemed very selective about who lives and who dies. The Grongi had more indiscriminate killings than the Lords who were simply trying to keep the balance. Long ago, two Lords were involved in the creation of humanity. One was the Overlord of Light and the Overlord of Darkness who both carried the Yin/Yang symbol. Like Prometheus and Epimetheus, they were involved in the creation of mankind but both of them couldn't agree on anything. One day, Light decided to give the Seed of Agito to humanity with Darkness feared would only cause humankind's destruction.

In the present day, the Lords who were in charge of maintaining balance were tasked to kill those who had the potential to become Agito. I felt like the Lords were like Marvel's Celestials who were in charge of human evolution. The fear of Darkness was simple as this - mankind may not be ready to accept Agito. Are we getting a human/mutant conflict like in X-Men here? I felt it's pretty funny how you've got that issue going on in 2001 and you've got Power Rangers Time Force airing in the United States that same year. Then just a few years later, you've got Kamen Rider Faiz that again tries to pull an X-Men stunt. But let's focus on Agito for now.

The battle of Agito has always been trying to conclude on the Lords (Unknown) vs. the Agitos. It's not really a war of good and evil but rather a war for the fate of humanity's evolution. The Lords would do their gesture with the permission to kill a human being. Normally, the Lords weren't allowed to harm any normal humans and the resurrected Overlord of Darkness punished one of them for doing so. When a human turned out not to have the power of Agito, they simply left them alone. It felt like Zeus' act of trying to get fire back from humanity. The Lords simply feared that normal humans can't accept Agito which the Overlord of Darkness wanted to simply keep humans the way they are.

The whole incident also had its links to the Akatsuki Gou. Before the main hero Tatsuya Sawaki took on on the name Shouchi Tsugami (the name of his sister's boyfriend), the whole problem was when the Overlord of Light reawakened in that said ship. The passengers were all given that power to become Agito. But before that, many others were also given that power and they awakened at different periods in time. One of which was Yukina who committed suicide to escape the fate of being an Agito. To have the potential to become an Agito meant to suffer the wrath of the Lords. You couldn't escape it unless you lost that power. The Lords were somewhat fated to crush anyone who has the potential to destroy humanity in itself.

I felt like the Overlord of Darkness was actually Fate personified aside from being the creator of mankind within Kamen Rider lore. The last episodes of Agito again rested on fate. The whole police department felt like they were fighting fate when they sought to protect the Lords and destroy Agito. They feared that the Agito would one day overrun mankind. Hmmm... is it me or are we getting more X-Men vibes here? It seems like the Agito Seed is like the X-Gene in X-Men or what? The Overlord of Darkness saw the inevitable when Hikawa ended up momentarily hurting him. He decided to restart humanity to preserve balance. Yet in an act of defiance, Agito ends ups performing a Rider Kick on Fate itself... LITERALLY!

I was thinking that before Kamen Rider Agito, there was Mirai Sentai Timeranger that came before it where the whole enemy was fate itself. The formula isn't that easy to repeat and I guess more people prefer innovating and modifying ideas from the typical Kamen Rider must save the world from villains vs. Kamen Rider must rider kick the fate of humanity. But strangely, Kamen Rider Agito was considered Toshiki Inoue's magnum opus.


Kamen Rider Gaim

Years later comes another fan favorite of mine namely Kamen Rider Gaim. While Kamen Rider Ryuki fell apart, I'm glad that Kamen Rider Gaim didn't. At first, I felt this show was typical with the Yggdrasil Corporation as the main villain or something. But the whole issue was actually with the fate of humanity itself. Both Yggdrasil and Inves from Helheim both have the struggle as well with the Kamen Riders involved with the Lock Seeds.

The whole show itself has some people fated to become Kamen Riders. Kouta himself becomes Kamen Rider Gaim and is dragged into the whole conflict that could determinet he fate of humanity. Much of humanity itself is at stake as the Kamen Riders battle for that Golden Fruit. While Ryuki only granted one wish, the Golden Fruit could shake the fate of all of humanity one way or another. Helheim, Yggdrasil and the whole Rider War depended on this one. A lot of stuff in Gaim were pretty much trying to battle fate itself than anything else.

Yggdrasil isn't really evil compared to Shocker or Foundation X. It's really ambiguously moral as far as the story goes. The same goes for the Inves who as the "main antagonists" are more or less like the Lords in Agito. The whole issue feels more like everyone's fighting for the fate of humanity. Micchy himself betrays his older brother Takatora while feeling it's his responsibility to cleanse humanity. Kaito and Kouta have noble goals. Kaito just feels like he wants to help humanity to get stronger while believing in the survival of the fittest. Kouta himself may have had no idea on what to do with that power until the very end.

The whole battle ends up who's going to get that Golden Fruit to get that power. Others seemed to accept it's the fate to fight and die in battle. Kaito believes that it's his fate to battle with Kouta to see who gets the Golden Fruit. The whole battle could determine the fate of humanity itself. After Kouta won, accepts that power but refuses to restart humanity. Instead, he and Mai both choose to start life somewhere else instead of trying to restart humanity on Earth. It's quite a twist from Kamen Rider Black's ending where the hero refused the reward for his victory.

While I personally like Kamen Rider Gaim against Kamen Rider Ryuki but I still feel somewhat attached to Kamen Rider Agito's more complex mysteries. Both shows had their own charm. If I want a battle royale that's better than Kamen Rider Ryuki, I'm going to pick up Kamen Rider Gaim. But if I want nightmare fuel and complicated mysteries, I'd pick up Kamen Rider Agito.

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