Heisei Era Kamen Rider's Transition From Darker and Edgier to Lighter and Softer

Kamen Rider was supposedly known for its nightmare fuel value even during the Showa era when writing style was very different.  True the Showa Riders were filled with villains who had very convoluted if not really silly schemes like Super Sentai villains but they were still nonetheless filled with nightmare fuel.  Now for the change of writing style and the transition from "darker and edgier" to "lighter and softer".

Despite the tons of changes Kuuga had in the style of how to do Kamen Rider, it retained the one thing that Kamen Rider was known for- nightmare fuel and scary stuff.  Yup, Kuuga is enjoyable but doesn't have much of the comical humor.  It had really tons of nightmare fuel and so did many of the Riders that succeeded it until Hibiki.  Kuuga was basically a revival for nightmare fuel and heart-pounding action, made better during Kuuga and done rather too much during Faiz.

Kamen Rider Faiz was where things got the darkest and the edgiest that for me, it was just too painful to watch even if I'm quite a drama king myself.  This was Inoue's attempt to make it his darkest work and he was quite pleased to even appear at the end of the series as a cameo.  However I wonder what he ate that made him go from his usual routine of darker and edgier to becoming lighter and softer.

However a twist of things happened after Hibiki.  So let's face it, Kida was fired in favor of Inoue and Takatera was removed in favor of Shirakura during Hibiki.  In the case of Toshiki Inoue, he apparently got tired of darker and edgier stuff which he overdid in Faiz and placed in perfect balance during is time as a head writer for Agito and prior to that, writing some Kuuga episodes (to which was a test of direction to where the Heisei era was headed for).  Toshiki Inoue instead ended up doing Kamen Rider Kiva not in a darker and edgier way but surprisingly lighter and softer and it felt really very kiddie in contrast to most of its predecessors.  Yup, the Fangires aren't really scary- you might figure out that whole "just drain energy" was pretty stupid compared to the Grongi biting people and letting them bleed.  Kiva was the start of the whole lighter and softer franchise.  Sad to say, Inoue thinks he's so funny but sometimes his humor relies too much on blatant silliness.

Yasuko Kobayashi's first attempt to right lighter and softer was probably hinted when she wrote the most stupid ending for Kamen Rider- that was the reset button.  A reset button?  Not really, since Yui dies at the end of the series but it's a reset button in a sense that the Riders' character development all got thrown out of the window.  The "cowardly direction" she had was taken into OOO when that show was a turnaround of her darker and edgier to going lighter and softer with all the tragic deaths and all.  Of course, it wasn't without some negative elements but still, OOO was a real direction for lighter and softer for Kobayashi who was previously known to write usually edgier stuff.  Then again, she started getting lighter and softer with Samurai Sentai Shinkenger.

Perhaps the most wacky Kamen Rider series might go to Kamen Rider Fourze.  Aside from the teenagers theme, the whole show in itself was mostly comedic like OOO.  In fact, this show felt more comic which has even beaten the excessive humor in Kamen Rider Black RX (which still had some nightmare fuel).  While it's definitely better than Decade and Saban's Masked Rider, but this show still is filled with so much comical goodness.

Just my thoughts- Toshiki Inoue and Yasuko Kobayashi have presented their own brand of comedy, I can't wait for Arakawa to return to write Kamen Rider so we can all try another comedic blend of things. So if Saban wishes to adapt Kamen Rider yet again, he should consider consulting Toei first and then choose among the lighter and softer seasons from Kiva up to Wizard, collaborate with Nickelodeon and all to get it done properly for the sake of Toei's income.


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