Heisei Era Kamen Rider: Not Too Kiddie After All
Some people unfairly criticize me that say that I'm being childish for watching Kamen Rider or Tokusatsu in general but to be honest, my fellow Tokusatsu critics are ADULTS. So far, here's why I don't really count Kamen Rider to be childish can can appeal to different age groups:
Tons and tons of mature drama you can't find in TV-Y7-FV rated TV shows. The Heisei era of Kamen Rider has a lot of these. I at first wasn't able to appeal to these until I saw all the engaging plots. Ryuki for example had a pretty depressing atmosphere, moral dilemmas and even deaths that made the show far more complex than Kamen Rider Ryuki. Little kids may enjoy the action but older audience can enjoy the engaging plots or the fact that there's blood, deaths and all that doesn't make it too "kiddie" at all. That's what I hate about American TV shows- they are too easy to outgrow. On the other hand, Heisei Kamen Rider as stupid as it can get actually has a lot of mature themes like learning to grow, overcoming human weakness, etc. which most American children are too afraid to confront. Like I would say plots like dying of cancer (or any sickness), murders, revenge and all that are executed so craftily it's not really so kiddie.
Extremely cruel characters can be present. The Grongi were playing a cruel game which I think would have freaked me out as a child but not as an adult. The Lords were also more or less a scary force to deal with. Maybe my best example should be bloody Ouja from Ryuki. You can't have villains like him in U.S. TV can you? Nope. In the American standard, this guy would be deemed too scary for them stupid soccer moms. Ouja's villainy is so scary he definitely puts Disney's scariest villains to shame considering he is a psychotic killer, he really takes delight in his cruelty plus he's one extremely cold character that would frighten children with how he really kills people, taking delight in doing it! This is one reason why I prefer Ryuki over Dragon Knight because of how these characters are present.
Real on-screen deaths. Whether it may be the rainbows and teddy bears world of Kamen Rider Kiva to the more mature world of Kuuga and Agito, I would say those on-screen deaths were necessary. Like you've got corpses lying down, people getting maimed, you get to see real carnage... though moderated due to some TV standards but not TV-Y7-FV style. That's why I really dislike most American adaptations and most of time, I don't give American adaptations a chance for myself while I can tolerate it for others. It's just me, others may like what they want.