Kamen Rider Kiva: A Danny Phantom-ish Kamen Rider Season!
Kamen Rider Kiva may be a mess (for some) but I still have a soft spot for it. Maybe I've had enough of too much dark and edgy. Also, it's for me more rewatchable than the super depressing season that is Kamen Rider Faiz. Moving on... why do I think Kamen Rider Kiva is a Danny Phantom-ish season?
While it has horror elements but it's hardly horror but a parody of past successes. Nothing in the show really scares anyone maybe except when Fangires leap into action. But other than that, the way humans die from Fangire attacks here is very, VERY cartoony. They turn into glass and break. The whole premise of the show feels more like a Nicktoon for teenagers than the horror Kamen Rider has. Hey I'm not complaining, I kinda like having cartoony seasons too!
For a start, I always felt like Wataru was more like Danny Phantom than a Kamen Rider. While Danny Phantom became half-ghost due to some freak accident, Wataru is half-Fangire and half-human. The process allows Wataru to become Kamen Rider Kiva. He fights his other half and he possesses both human and Fangire traits. Also, he is the son of an idiot but that idiot had long died and he's the only child of both his father and mother. But personality-wise they are very different... Danny Phantom is easily irritated while Wataru's not.
The whole idea of humans vs. Fangires here is written not in the typical Tokusatsu way. Much of Kamen Rider Kiva focuses more on cartoony humor. For example, the Wonderful Blue Sky Organization can be compared to the ghost hunters in Danny Phantom. They have their biases towards Fangires just like the ghost hunters have their biases towards ghosts. I always felt that Megumi is the show's Sam Manson except she and Wataru never became an item.
Wataru's maternal half-brother Taiga can be viewed as the Dash Baxter of the show. While Danny and Dash were not related at all, they both fight for Paulina.
Mio is the Paulina of the show. Both girls are selfish and manipulative while they are in love with the hero. I always thought of it that if Paulina were destined to marry Dash, she might actually ask Danny to kill Dash. The same thing happened when Mio asked Wataru to kill Taiga. She's also jealous of Shizuka just as Paulina is jealous of Sam.
Fangires are the show's "ghosts" except they die because they are not undead. Wataru must combat the Fangires (his other half) and save humans. He always senses the Fangires whenever they cause havoc. Like the ghosts in Danny Phantom, not all of them are evil.
Rook/Lion Fangire is the show's Skullkur. Like Skullkur in Danny Phantom, he plays his game and hunts people for fun. He is a constant nuisance to the inhabitants of the world of Kiva. He like Skullkur plays the bounty hunter game. However Skullkur has no self-punishment but still plays games with his prey nonetheless.
Bishop is the Vlad Masters of the show. While his rivalry was heavily focused on Nago, however you cannot deny he is scheming AND manipulative. He happens to be a slightly more serious version of Vlad. Both him and Vlad Masters always try to get power. You have to remember he orchestrated Mio's death and later revived the Fangire King as a feral beast.
I always had my thoughts. Did Toshiki Inoue watch Danny Phantom with his daughter? Did Naomi Takebe meet up with Butch Hartman? Although the first is possible, the second which Naomi Takebe met with Butch Hartman is impossible. The show itself felt like a modified version of Danny Phantom overall.