What I See as Experimental Kamen Rider Seasons for the Heisei Era

Heisei Era changed much of the Kamen Riders.  In one way or another, everything changed like gone are the days of villains making convoluted, complicated plots that waste the budget of the organization and almost every episode is a cliffhanger like a J-Drama is.  In fact, Black RX kind of started that trend in some episodes though I'm talking about the Heisei Riders which is written as a J-Drama in contrast to the Showa Riders:

Kamen Rider Kuuga was pretty much an experimental season that rather did well.  Naruhisa Arakawa at this point may have pre-defined his writing styles in some way.  The experiment was trying the realistic approach to Kuuga and some mystery wrapped writing, the Grongi were very new considering they didn't make all those "Hey let's make those children grow seeds." or "Let's trap a school full of children and then let the hero fall into it." type of plans.  No, they played a lethal hunting game that added the suspense factor.  This series was very well-received despite some errors.  Toshiki Inoue continued to improve the good stuff that Naruhisa Arakawa left behind when Kuuga ended.  This was the start of Toku J-Drama and it stood out pretty well.  Agito was more of continuing what Kuuga behind and making it better than an experimental season.

Kamen Rider Faiz was another show that experimented on, "Hey let's get overly edgy."  Yup, everything about this season was on the darker and edgier.  For me, this season was horribly painful not from execution but it was so depressing.  This for me is Inoue's worst headwriting job and he did it all on himself.  To be honest, Toshiki Inoue revealed his love for douchebags here.

Kamen Rider Ryuki for me was the love it or hate it.  It deviated greatly from what Kamen Rider is into a full blown J-Drama type.  Everything about Ryuki was radically new and experimental.  So we have the concept of a Rider War where good Kamen Riders must battle evil Kamen Riders.  Ouja was probably the best return of evil Kamen Riders- he totally beats out Shadow Moon in being an evil Rider with his being like Kensei Bilgenia.  The whole season focused on a Rider War rather than a Kamen Rider battling an evil organization.  Both head writer Yasuko Kobayashi and Toshiki Inoue again did their tandem and gave us a lot of douchebags to deal with like Ryuki, Knight, Zolda and Tiger and of course, Ouja the ultimate douchebag (but he's a villain so that doesn't matter).

Kamen Rider Hibiki was notorious for its change of staff.  Kida was replaced by Inoue by episode 31 and Takatera by Shirakura.  Everything about this season tried the Japanese style Rider rather than the "may fit with other races" Riders.  This is pretty much experimental with its concepts of using music as the theme and a very Japanese show.  I'd like to see another Japanese themed Rider soon.

Kamen Rider Kiva was taking on the lighter and softer with Toshiki Inoue who likes darker and edgier stuff for starters.  Heck, this whole series felt like as if Toshiki Inoue went to Nicktoon Studios to write this episode and had help from Butch Hartman or maybe his daughter is a fan of Danny Phantom and Castlevania I dub this season as "Kamen Rider Danny Phantom".  Aside from the dual timeline (which complement each other), Kiva was more focused on Inoue's lighter and softer than darker and edgier which was as I could say, "For better or for worse."  It also took some elements from past successes and since it was Shotaro Ishinomori's would have been 70th birthday, this also took some elements from Black but parodied them.  But this series was a parody of Kamen Rider at best imo.  The same kind of concept of being a lighter and softer rider persisted its way to OOO, Fourze and Wizard.

Kamen Rider Decade for me was the experiment for making a Kamen Rider Anniversary, in fact it was the tenth Kamen Rider of the Heisei era.  This was where Kamen Rider worlds were visited to set things straight.  Okay it's pretty messy but I admire the whole concept of visiting the worlds and trying to save them.  In fact, this show was pretty much a success to children and selling toys so I can let my dislike for it slide.

Overall these seasons were pretty much molds for later concepts as well.


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