I Don't Feel Much Of A Generation Gap With New School Heisei Kamen Rider
While not all of the Heisei Kamen Riders are that good, some are better and some come out pretty bad for me. As of late, I noticed I don't feel much of a generation gap or any of that gap at all. While post-Go-Busters Super Sentai season may leave me that feeling of having a generation gap, I don't feel it with Kamen Rider. Even if I didn't like ToQGer's crossover with Kamen Rider Gaim but I still feel like the latter fit me more. So what's the issue?
From Japan Info, here's what it says about Kamen Rider:
With different themes for every installment, Toei made the story line quite dramatic with unexpected events and plot twists to cater to older audiences, while at the same time making the series as educational as possible so that the kids in the audience will learn something after watching the series. Taking latest Kamen Rider GHOST as an example, the theme of Rider power-ups (a Rider’s special abilities) have been based on famous historical beings (eg. Newton, Edison, Robin Hood, Nobunaga, etc.) Audiences can also easily fantasize to be one of them by purchasing the rider’s belt and buckle from their neighborhood toy store. Many hardcore fans (especially the older ones!) also like to purchase them as a collection item.
The Rider series is suitable for all age groups due to its dramatic story lines. It is also cool, colorful and has fun computer generated images that can entertain anyone. The creativity of the writers and directors with plot twists and their ability to incorporate different aspects while sticking to the original theme makes the series a success, and one to look forward to every year.
I do find this statement partly true for myself. Kamen Rider tends to be a little more mature than most Super Sentai except in a few cases. Those few cases are like Gekiranger is more mature than Kamen Rider Den-O, Go-Busters is more mature than Kamen Rider Fourze. On the other hand, I feel like neither Kamen Rider Wizard and Kyoryuger are more mature than the other (though Kyoryuger has better action scenes) and Kamen Rider Ghost isn't really more mature than Zyuohger. During Kamen Rider Ghost's run, I found myself more entertained by Zyuohger.
Somebody may say that I should also consider the Showa era. Well, I'm watching some Showa era that has been subbed. I've watched some pre-Kamen Rider Black shows. The difference between the Showa era and the Heisei era is the writing style. The Showa era Kamen Rider villains were always hatching the ridiculous villain schemes that keep the show going. I do agree that a lot of the Showa era had some nightmare fuel but I can't also deny that the first seven Kamen Rider seasons of the Heisei era had nightmare fuel too. Much of the old school Kamen Rider had the old hat special effects of that day that prevent the nightmare fuel to be that scary though Kamen Rider Black/Black RX managed to outdo the 80s. But from Kamen Rider Kuuga to Kamen Rider Kabuto, they had more nightmare fuel that wasn't as prevalent with most of post-Timeranger Super Sentai.
The nightmare fuel era is over but why do I still like new school Kamen Rider? Like as said, darker and edgier doesn't always mean better. Kamen Rider Faiz may have had nightmare fuel but the show had Toshiki Inoue trying his best while burning out at the same time. Kamen Rider W may not be darker and edgier but I felt like it was better written with its dramatic storylines. The Heisei era Kamen Riders more or less operate as a fantasy TV drama series while staying true to the Tokusatsu spirit. Even if it gets more kiddy after Kamen Rider Kabuto but it still has the feel that seems to capture older audiences. I guess it's that feel it's a Tokusatsu combined with J-Drama elements that makes it more appealing to me.
This makes me feel this ultimate irony in my preferences between Kamen Rider and Super Sentai: I end up choosing more old school Kamen Rider (but not the super old school) while new school Kamen Rider still works fine with me. I guess it's all about that generation gap. Most of the old school Kamen Riders are older than I am. They're probably as old as the pre-Hirohisas Soda Super Sentai series which I'm already having a hard time to adjust to. In the end, a good series is a good series regardless whether it's old school or new school. It's all about quality story writing, good merchandise and bringing the best they could. It may not always work but there's always ups and downs when it comes to progress and innovation which needs constant check whether or not it made things better or worse.