Would You Take The Kamen Rider Completionist Challenge?
I decided to read through the Sentai Bandicoot's past post where he asks, "How Much Sentai is Worth Watching?" and it made me think, "How much Kamen Rider is worth watching?" This is one question I just want to ask myself considering that I really don't find myself too open towards the Showa era -- back when Kamen Rider villains operated with the entertaining half-brained yet dangerous plans for world domination (ex. making a necklace that unleashes bees) in contrast to the more dramatic era of Kamen Rider -- where most of the writing feels like that they're focused more on creating many quality dramatic storylines mixed with science fiction fantasy -- which I believe that they may help in unleashing one's inner child for older fans.
One could think about watching Kamen Riders from the the Showa era. Personally, I'm not even that interested in that era even if I will give them a shot or two whenever I feel like it. My first Kamen Rider was Black, I tried watching Black RX -- then I had Amazon (and I ended up preferring the gorier spin-off Amazons), Stronger and Super-1. The Showa era of Kamen Rider was full of hiatus periods such as the six year gap between Stronger and Skyrider as well as Super-1 and Black. Black RX then ended the original era which was probably due to its lack of popularity -- which resulted to the 11 year hiatus of having a new Kamen Rider series. It wasn't until the year 2000 when Timeranger came (which I think was meant to close one era of Super Sentai and begin a new era with Gaoranger) that Kamen Rider Kuuga reopened the whole franchise. The Showa era would have had the first Kamen Rider, V3, X, Amazon, Stronger, Skyrider, Super-1, Black and its unfortunately overly criticized sequel Black RX (which I still have a soft spot for) which would be a total of nine episodes. In-between, there was the ZX movie which never formalized itself into a TV series for some reason.
The Heisei era of Kamen Rider (which is about to come to an end by 2019 due to Emperor Hirohito's abdication as Head of State -- which will soon open a new era for Modern Japanese history) started with Kamen Rider Kuuga in the revival of the Kamen Rider franchise. Kamen Rider Decade became the tenth Heisei Kamen Rider and Zi-O would become the 20th Kamen Rider -- which may still be broadcast as the dawn of the new era in Modern Japanese history arrives. We could think of how Kamen Rider Gaim was the 15th entry of the Heisei era Kamen Rider series or how Kamen Rider Kiva celebrated what would have been the 70th birthday of Shotaro Ishinomori. We've got a lot of milestones there, haven't we? Then of course, there's also what I'd call the Heisei era after what I'd call the Decade Meltdown because I still find that series to have plenty of brilliant ideas yet they weren't executed as well as I wanted them to be. Don't take my word for it and watch Decade for yourself because some still find it enjoyable. If you can finish Decade and enjoy it (and please watch the Decade movie and the W/Decade crossover to see the finale due to its hanging finale) then I'm pretty fine with it. If not, feel free to express why it didn't click with you since you and I may have different negative (and positive) opinions towards the series. Besides, some may not even like Kamen Rider Agito (my favorite pre-Decade season) and I'm still fine with people who don't like the series for rather personal reasons.
I've seen all the series from Kuuga and I'm about to finish Build when the latter finishes its final build-up and it's pun intended. I didn't see them all in chronological order and I was rotating around, relying on what other people thought and I found myself liking certain series that Sentai Bandicoot didn't. I have found him putting Kamen Rider OOO, Kiva and Kamen Rider Kabuto in his lower list -- all the while I found them enjoyable. I admit, I've also found him to be someone who dislikes Hurricanger, Go-Busters and Boukenger yet I'm still a fan of those series. I even find myself actually enjoying ToQGer a few years after it ended considering that it's written by Yasuko Kobayashi -- the same way that I could still enjoy Fiveman and Turboranger -- because they were both written by Hirohisa Soda. It's pretty much like I'd tell people that just because I think that a certain series is bad for my taste doesn't mean you have to think the same about a certain Kamen Rider season. It's like when I say that Maskman is the best 80s Super Sentai, Jetman is the best 90s Super Sentai, Dekaranger is the best Super Sentai series from 2001-2010 or that Kyuranger is the best post-Gokaiger series (though it used to be Go-Busters for me) ever released by Toei during its long-term run of the Super Sentai franchise -- they are all just my opinions floating around and you can have your own choices. They aren't facts though I still need facts to defend why I think like that, right?
I thought about the few words of wisdom by the Sentai Bandicoot. Maybe, it's best not to try to be a Kamen Rider completionist by force or to take one's time to enjoy the franchise as a whole. Sometimes, I feel the generation gap between today's youngsters and my generation and I feel it more often than not. Not everyone may be interested with all the old school entries and I'm pretty fine with it. It's just like I may prefer to watch Lupinranger vs. Patranger over old school Lupin-related media though I'd like to check some of the latter out to help me appreciate the former's inspiration more. The same can go for Kamen Rider considering that there's a huge gap between 1971 and 2018 -- that would be a total of 47 years! Kamen Rider Black turned 30 last 1987. The question is would you still be interested in watching these shows? I may end up suggesting some people who are born in the 90s and beyond to try giving Black a shot to see what they will think about it -- all the while I may tell them that if they don't feel like completing it then don't complete it if they can't find it watchable.
Not to mention, there's always that dreaded taste fatigue when it comes to one's head. I even think about how taste fatigue could be one's worst enemy in enjoying any franchise. Sentai Bandicoot's advice and words of wisdom? Take breaks whenever it's necessary to get the juices to flow once again in one's mind. I would like to emphasize that taking breaks may be the best way to cure one's taste fatigue and return to watching Kamen Rider. In short, enjoying Kamen Rider may be better off at one's pace. I mean, isn't it good that Kamen Rider and Super Sentai are only aired once a week? It gives you time to recuperate and enjoy other stuff, right? Then it's time to really enjoy Kamen Rider again, get that Kamen Rider helmet and drive one's motorcycle into the sunset when one feels like it. After all, these shows are for your enjoyment, right?