Recovering From The Decade Meltdown Since 2009 Up To 2016
It's already 2016 and yet I still can't forget why I really don't bother to rewatch most of Kamen Rider Decade except for the crossover with Shinkenger. Decade felt like an interesting concept. It's the tenth entry of the Heisei era of Kamen Rider hence its name. It was going to feature other Riders but instead we have Alternate Reality. The more I watched the show the more I just wanted to think about it, "Well Saban's Masked Rider made its return with a sequel. It's got better acting, special effects, action scenes and it's no cheap flick. On the other hand, the writing is almost as bad if not it's just as bad as Saban's Masked Rider!" That's why I love to call Decade as the pseudo-sequel of Saban's Masked Rider.
The only redeeming point the show has had is with its crossover with Samurai Sentai Shinkenger and nothing more. I almost didn't watch it because I thought Mako was going to get sick. Fortunately, she wasn't sick and the whole crossover did what the MMPR/Masked Rider crossover failed to do right but the rest of Kamen Rider Decade still flunks. I guess the whole crossover was probably meant to boost ratings. It wasn't a pilot similar to Saban's Masked Rider's poorly done crossover with Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. The formula was redone with two more crossovers in the form of movies namely Kamen Rider Gaim's crossover with ToQGer (which was most likely linked with the Heisei VS. Showa movie) and Kamen Rider Drive's crossover with Ninninger (which was pretty good though I'm no fan of Ninninger). Today, I think Super Sentai is having a steady decline as it may have reached its maturity period after many years of giving good servings, it's exhausted and may need a break for a few years if need be. Kamen Rider managed to get over the Decade disaster even if it doesn't get better all the time. You still can't deny that there's some progress done.
After Kamen Rider Decade, it's nice to see that there was a degree of recovery. Post-Decade Kamen Rider has shown some new ways to write Kamen Rider. There's some polishing done with what was left after Kamen Rider Kabuto. I like Kamen Rider Kiva but I can't deny Toshiki Inoue was already burnt out which reminds me how I'm a fan of Kamen Rider BLACK RX, Kosoku Sentai Turboranger, Chikyu Sentai Fiveman and Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters which are all unpopular seasons. Then we have some new seasons which I thought tried something new. Sure, it may not be as great as Kamen Rider Kuuga and Kamen Rider Agito (which I thought were masterpieces hard to replicate) but they're shows that are far more enjoyable than Kamen Rider Decade.
I can't deny that I'm a fan of Kamen Rider W. The writer Riku Sanjo may have not been so good with Kyoryuger but W was an enjoyable show. It managed to fix the rough edges that were left by Kamen Rider Den-O and Kamen Rider Kiva. Was it really a huge classic like Kamen Rider Kuuga and Kamen Rider Agito? Not really but it was still worth its watch. It's a nice approach to sometimes have lighter and softer. It's not necessarily bad and neither is darker and edgier necessarily good. Kamen Rider Faiz is darker and edgier but I really don't think too highly of it either. Kamen Rider W managed to fix a lot of stuff from the post-Kabuto era. Kamen Rider Den-O's a huge it while Kamen Rider Kiva left everyone mixed about it. After W, I also enjoyed the lighter and softer Kamen Rider OOO followed by Kamen Rider Faiz.
Kamen Rider Gaim is also something I really like in the new school Kamen Rider series. The Battle Royale concept was interesting but Kamen Rider Ryuki became a wreck no thanks to executive meddling. The show managed to give a real proper ending. Ryuki's ending was a bummer since why did the executives have all the character development thrown out? It's obvious that the ending was that every Kamen Rider in the Rider War died in the conflict. Instead, we have such an idiotic ending where the reset button is pressed and everyone's back to square one. Not for Kamen Rider Gaim as the series managed to wrap things up better. Gaim may not be as dark as Ryuki but it's better written. From start to end, there's a real proper conclusion including how the Golden Fruit and Helheim plots were handled better. I guess Ryuki was just an experimental season and years later the people behind Gaim found a way to fix a concept that didn't work well the first time. I admit I never liked the ToQGer/Gaim crossover but that doesn't change the fact I'm a fan of the show.
I'm a fan of Kamen Rider Drive but it's not as good as Gaim. But still, I finished it and I like it even if it could have been better. Like I thought that Drive could have worked better if they created a modernized version of Mobile Cop Jiban. I thought Shinosuke Tomari could have worked better if he were a Robocop-based Kamen Rider and that the Roidmudes were modernized versions of the Biorons. Funny I'm saying it considering I wasn't such a huge fan of Jiban. Kamen Rider Ghost isn't as good and I personally prefer Doubotsu Sentai Zyuohger. Kamen Rider Ghost didn't get everything wrapped up that well either but I admit it was a fun ride. As of late, I think I'm going to enjoy Kamen Rider EX-AID. EX-AID may look goofy but I like the whole gamer x surgeon concept or am I just watching it for Asuna/Poppy herself? Can't really say but I think I'll enjoy EX-AID better than Zyuohger. It's too early to say it though since I'm also watching Zyuohger because of Amu. But again, a good story will always have better impact than eye candy, right?
As of late, I still feel positive about Kamen Rider. On the other hand, I still need to take not every franchise will soon face its fatigue. After so many good seasons (and a few bad seasons) one should expect there are periods of decline. The Heisei era of Kamen Rider will not be exempted from it. It's best to be ready for an incoming dork age sooner or later considering we've had a lot of good servings for most of its run.