Sunday, September 19, 2010

First Impressions of Kamen Rider OOO (Part 1)

Well guys, it’s that time again. You know that feeling when you go into a show and you have no idea how it’s going to work out? Well that’s my job in a nutshell. I’m not going to lie and say I’m a walking encyclopedia of Tokusatsu and that I’ve seen every shred of it known to man, because if you do that then there’s nothing left to surprise you. Kamen Rider OOO is a show that will surprise you. May not be good surprises but that’s the fun part.

Now before I begin this review I’m recommending you suspend your disbelief a little without totally spacing out. Some people who may see this will never take it seriously. I can name one critic (who will remain nameless). He took one look at this and just gave up on it. So go in with an open mind and let’s get it over with.

(MASSIVE SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.)

Hasn't Amazon sued this guy for
likeness infringement yet?

The first episode begins with coins/medals raining down from on high and then it cuts to a museum where two guards are sneaking around. Seems this Abbot and Costello-like pair are sneaking into this museum to loot it and they won’t get caught since the other guard on duty has been drugged. Suddenly those medals from before gain a life of their own and open the Ark of the Covenant- I mean some ancient relic. Isn’t that how all good Kamen Rider series start? (Kuuga, Agito etc)

Anyway that relic turns into thousands of medals which take forms of evil oni but it’s okay since some SWAT team member riding in on a bike that was once a vending machine (no I’m not kidding) and starts shooting it. Oh wait, here’s a shocker. The bullets don’t work. He contacts the boss and informs them of what happened and this man in the red suit (which I’m sure doesn’t imply any evil intentions) tells him to eliminate them….even though his gun had no effect on them. So what to do you ask? Simple, blow up the building!!! But no big surprise, the oni turn back into their medal form and flee the falling building.

Bulk and Skull were more dignified than these two.

The boss is too busy to help since he’s um…making a birthday cake. Yea… Seems he is celebrating the birth of the so-called Greeed (and no that isn’t a typo, it’s what their called). He even sings Happy Birthday. Wow, even I thought that was out of place. Anyway we finally see our hero awaken when one of the medals hits him in the head, which he thinks is his salary. When he tries to change clothes and go home the walls fall around him and he has no idea what is going on.

We’re introduced to our protagonist during an interview with two detectives. Hino Eiji. He’s a drifter that just started working at the museum. Hmm, a main character with no past, sounds foreboding. While all this is going on we see a disembodied hand crawl out of the wreckage. I would make a Thing joke but, meh, too easy. Cut back to the man in the red suit (I should just call him Lew Siffer) who’s enjoying the cake with his um…I don’t know. Secretary? Wife? Call Girl? They never explain. Anyway it seems he predicted all this happening, yea because that makes all the sense in the world.

Our hero, Ladies and Gentleman.....

The four Greeed oni seem to be incomplete without their Core Medals. Apparently someone named Ankh took them. We later see our hero Eiji wanting to use that red coin he found at a vending machine but it rolls under the machine. A girl named Hina happens along and appears to be able to defy physics by PICKING UP the machine for Eiji but she quickly runs away after seeing that moving hand from before. He takes the medal back or tries to, but Eiji runs in terror.

Meanwhile we see how our monster of the week is created. Try and follow me here. A greeed finds a “greedy “ person (get it?), puts one of those medal coins in them like a vending machine and out comes a mummy-like oni which according to the Greeed was “born from the persons greed”…how subtle. Anyway, after consuming enough jewelry, the mummy turns into a Yummy (and no I have no idea how to pronounce it. I’m assuming it’s like Yami but I could be wrong.)

Poor guy. He must REALLY be craving Mt. Dew Code Red.

Now we cut back to our hero running from the glove of death. Seems this thing came from that relic as well and is revealed to be Ankh, what’s left of him anyway. This mantis-based Yummy is laying waste to everything and even wounds the two detectives from before (one of which will become important later). Ankh decides that Eiji can be of use to him and gives him the seal from the relic, which turns into a henshin belt. Eiji reluctantly agrees and takes the three Core Medals Ankh provides. He uses the O scanner to become Kamen Rider OOO and gains the powers of a Hawk, Tiger, and Grasshopper.

Ankh later gives him a light green Core Medal which swaps out the Tiger power for Mantis power. OOO uses those cool Mantis arm blades to finish off this Yummy with I gotta admit an attack that screams Fang/Joker, but that’s just what hit me when I first saw it. After Eiji beats the Yummy we see Ankh latch on to the passed out detective from before, possessing his body and taking on a new look, and while all this is going on his cell phone is ringing.

I feel bad for the production crew that has
to pick up all those coins off the set.

Are you ready for a twist? Hina, the girl with freakish super strength, is the detective’s sister. If that wasn’t creepy enough, the man in red is doing the birthday thing again. This time, it’s for OOO. Seems he knew about him too somehow. How? Why? We may never know (but I give it 25 episodes, maybe 35, give or take).

So that was the first episode of Kamen Rider OOO. Was it weird? Undeniably! Was it bad? Well it is only the first episode and I am interested to see where it goes. It has that “new to this world” feel of Den-O. Make sure to check out Part 2. This time Ankh really REALLY doesn’t care and Eiji gets a present from an unlikely source.

Until then, Later.


  1. I really enjoyed the first episode and am looking forward to seeing where this series goes. However, I think someone was watching Kamen Rider Kabuto when they were writing this. I mean, we have another SWAT Team that is owned by an organization to fight the Greeed and the way the Greeed became a Yummy. I was half expecting someone to say that they were "walking the path of Heaven, the man who will rule everything."

  2. I love the fact that the OOO Scanner is voiced by Akira Kushida of Metal Hero series fame.
    He has such enthusiasm when he says his lines.

    O's: SEEYA!

    I got a Heisei series tribute vibe coming from this show.
    Appropriate seeing how Kamen Rider is turning 40 years old next year. (1971-2011)

    The Greed are like a cross between the Worm and the Imagin with a bit of Grongi or Lords thrown in for good measure.

    The Rider himself is a blend of Den-O (unlucky average Joe), Faiz (Glowing parts of the suit when performing an attack.), and Amazon (chimera motif) with a nod to Hibiki in the form of the Candroids.

    The Red Dude scares me and his random mood swings tell me he is very dangerous and could turn on his subordinates at any moment.

    Since Double and OOO share the same world, I wonder if we will get cameos or see that Neon chick from Foundation X at the end? (aside from Movie War 2011)

    Just my two cents on the show so far.

    Keep up the good work EZ!

    Zaiber Otaku

  3. that Ankh is taken from Kamen Rider Dark Kiva hand?