Monday, September 12, 2011

First Thoughts on Kamen Rider Fourze (Part 1)

Hello Toku Faithful one and all, EZ Rider is here. I know it’s been awhile since I wrote one of these so forgive me if I’m a bit rusty. Well I finally got around to finishing Kamen Rider OOO (and yes, I will be writing an article or two on that later) but now it’s time to look to the stars with the new series. Kamen Rider Fourze. Every day since OOO drew to its close fans constantly asked me what I thought about this show. Well, a wise man once said be careful what you ask for because this…is really not going to be pleasant.


This is another fine mess you've
gotten me into. - Oliver Hardy.

We start out in space where a space station begins to explode. My god can we NOT begin a Kamen Rider series with something peaceful for a change? Anyway two astronauts start fighting over the MacGuffn- I mean a briefcase of vital importance and one of them escapes to safety. The astronaut holds some kind of device and mutters “Kengo” before the base is destroyed for good. Well that explains…nothing! But I’m sure it will later on so move on.

Cut to 17 years later and we see high school students heading to class. Our resident asshole for the series Kengo is strolling around when a girl hands him an envelope, which he promptly throws in the water. Wow, why don’t you just threaten to kill her while you’re at it, Heero Yuy!! Anyway some figure clad in black runs up and spouts some BS about friendship and jumps in the river to save the letter. Well I have to admire him standing up for a girl but bang my head on the desk for the way his hair looks. Seriously, it’s like he got in a fight with a bottle of hair gel! And the hair gel won!

"Apologize to the lady or my hair will kick your ass!"

Then we see the opening and my god is it fast paced. It looks like it was sped up in post production. I kid you not. The theme song is okay but I’m not big on the almost rap-like lyrics. After that seizure-inducing mess we cut to class where Kengo and the girl from before are sitting and in hops the toy promotions-I mean “mini-bots” of the series. Droids that look like food. Are you serious??? Who in their right mind would think that would be food??? If someone actually picks one up and tries to eat it and breaks all their teeth then this show is dumber than I had anticipated.

Anyway the smoking hot teacher introduces a new class member, Kisaragi Gentarou. And big surprise, it’s the guy from before. He promptly strolls in, spells his name on the chalkboard and says he wants to be friends with everybody. And back in my day that would result in swirlies, wet willies, wedgies and several other embarrassments for the rest of my stay in high school. So nice going asshole.

"I'm Gentarou. I like jumping off bridges, fist bumps,
and cosplaying as Honda from Yu-Gi-Oh"

Everyone in the room looks at him like his is a mental case (which he is), but Gentarou runs into a familiar face from elementary school, Yuuki. He also returns the letter to Kengo, who acts as his usual charming self. Gentarou tries to make friend with him but Kengo actually breaks character and accepts his offer. Oh wait nope, he remains a dickhead and storms out of class. Wow, haven’t seen a character like that before in Kamen Rider. No sir. And apparently cutting class does NOT come with any repercussions.

"Don't Call me Partner!"

In the teacher’s lounge someone is larping Death Note and e-mails a warning about high school being a den of devils and how they will destroy it. Meanwhile we cut to blurry vision to see giant figures clad in black robes. Wow, real subtle bad guys. Anyway at lunch, Gentarou goes looking for Kengo, I have no idea why but just go with it. He heads to the cafeteria and compliments everybody like he’s Joe Cool and Ferris Bueller rolled into one. When he takes a seat at an empty table Yuuki begs him to move since that table belongs to, get this, the cheerleaders.

Yea, apparently the tables are divided amongst your typical high school cliques. You got the delinquents, the nerds (which I HIGHLY resent being a clique), the hippies- I mean class clowns, the otaku (which I ALSO HIGHLY resent), and the muscle heads. Thank god no glee club! If I had to suffer through that I’d put a bullet in my laptop then my head. So all the others label Gentarou a geek and he’s trying to convince them he’s not. Too late, moron. And here come the cheerleaders right on time. Gee, I wonder if they are all stuck up prissy rich girls. Oh, what a shock!! They are!!!

And to make matters worse the jocks show up too, led by the whitest Asian I have ever seen!! Seriously, he looks like Charlie Sheen in Lucas! Gentarou tries to defend his honor and HOLY CRAP, he actually puts up a fight. I’ll give him credit for actually knowing how to fight early on, but it doesn’t last long as they all gang up on him. You know, the logical thing people do. All the while some otaku girl keeps watching while iPad. Yay!!! More Apple product placement please!! Lord knows I did not get enough in OOO. My god Toei is becoming more and more pretentious.

Undeserved attention, surrounded by chicks.
He IS Charlie Sheen!

So while Gentarou is being constantly bullied and no teachers around who seem to want to stop it(Guess that anti-bullying campaign hasn’t reached Japan yet), we get our first monster attack. About time if you ask me! The jocks do the first thing they do being Neanderthals and what not, run away. Gen-chan saves Yuuki before she is blown to bits and actually tries to fight off the monster with a lead pipe. Okay to be fair any protagonist who tries to stave off a monster un-henshined is at least trying so I’ll give him that one. Needless to say he gets his ass handed to him, again. Man, Ryoutarou in Den-O didn’t get beat up this much in a single episode.

Luckily Kengo shows up in a huge CGI clusterfrak known as the Powerdizer, which looks as ridiculous as the Transtek Armor in Operation Overdrive. Yuuki points out the monster has the Orion constellation on his body. So every monster has a constellation on it??? Okay they are taking this space motif entirely too far!!

Kengo barely drives off the monster but piloting that faux Power Loader apparently drains you, it’s kind of like wearing the 86 IXA belt for too long. Kengo admits that won’t stop the kaijin and the two decide to go into their secret fortress in the school which has it’s own anti-gravity room. I could complain and ask who the hell funded all this but I’ll let it go for now. Yuuki complains that Kengo cannot use the Fourze power since he’s too injured. He of course acts like a you-know-what and ignores her.

But oh no!! Gentarou found the secret room and is playing in zero gravity. Gentarou saw all their secret stuff to so naturally Kengo is pissed. The monster returns and Gentarou swipes the belt, saying he’ll stop it for them. Maybe you should have asked how it worked first, dumb shit!!! Yuuki shows him how to work the belt and it’s actually kind of funny to see a main hero NOT instantly know how to use the belt for a change. Gentarou “henshins” to become Fourze. I would have rather Yuuki transformed but, discrimination and all, what are you gonna do?

My god the outfit is LAUGHABLE! Fourze looks like a retarded Stromtrooper. The rocket head, the bulky armor. It just looks silly. I’m sorry but I’m actually missing the multiple forms from W and OOO. So these two tear the school apart until Fourze copies Mazinger Z’s rocket punch to take the fight outside, Fourze tries some new trick like a launcher on the leg that fires missiles….yea…..

Kengo tells him what to do via a radar on his arm. Fourze uses a chainsaw leg attack, dead god I can’t believe I said that out loud before typing this. Anyway Fourze finishes off the monster with a Rocket Drill Kick. So after the monster is dead we cut to another guy in a suit babbling nonsense. Well at least he’s not singing Happy Birthday and making cakes, thank god. Our heroes celebrate but Kengo comes out in the Powerdizer yet again and grabs Fourze. Yuuki and Gentarou begging him to stop to end episode one.

You know I'm starting to get the feeling that
Kengo doesn't like Gentarou. I can't imagine why.

So that was episode one of Kamen Rider Fourze………..WHAT THE HELL??????? This is ridiculous. This is the same crap we’ve seen over and over and over again!! Only now it’s in high school. Gentarou, despite being friendly and stoic, is a total moron, Kengo is a cookie cutter asshole, Yuuki is the token damsal in distress and the other characters are just clichés you could find in any movie about high school!! Gentarou and Kengo almost remind me of Ban and Hoji only Hoji was tolerable at first. When I see Kengo I just want to beat his face in with a brick, that’s how much I hate him right now.

Fourze’s outfit is laughable even though his powers are kind of impressive- no! They just feel like a rehash of Birth’s weapons, except for the rocket which was kind of cool. This series has been built up so much and I was really excited for it but it just left me feeling empty. It’s like coming home from a great day out and finding out your place was robbed. That’s how this felt. Now to those of you wondering, NO, this was not as bad as Decade but it’s a far cry away from Faiz or Kabuto. Granted I am interested to see where they go from here but this was not a good start to the series. But I can be fair. I will wait until episode two before I pass judgment on this show.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my thoughts on Kamen Rider Fourze. Next time we find out the big plot twist is Kengo has abandonment issues. See you then.


  1. Daimonji (the Quarterback)'s actor is actually half-caucasian, so that's why he looks so white.

    I agree that the foodroids are pointless and so is PowerDizer. I found the episode more geared toward comedy, which I know isn't what you usually look for in Toku, but I guess you are right in that we are seeing a lot of old things reused. I know it's supposed to be a 40th anniversary thing but still.

    We can only hope it gets better over time.

    I liked the opening, but boy is it difficult to try to sing.

    Alright, back to my efforts to write fandubs for all the OOO Fight Songs. Wish me luck.

  2. Wow, you summed up my thoughts about this episode to a T. Though I wasn't as angry as you. I guess it's because I didn't really have high hopes to begin with. I'm still going to watch to see where this show goes though. Oh, I'm also glad I'm not the only one who got a Ban/Hoji vibe from Gentarou and Kengo.

  3. I think Fourze so far has been rather intriguing. It's such a weird way to celebrate an anniversary. lol.

    Eh, Faiz and Kabuto were both pretty terribly written shows. lol

  4. May I ask EZ Rider, why do you hate comedy so much?

  5. Kengo has a condition, that's why the PowerDizer exhausted him, and that's why he can't henshin into Fourze. ("Why was I born with this body!") Maybe if you paid attention better you would have picked up on that.

    Gentaro didn't ask how to use the Fourze Driver because he's brash. If you didn't pick up on that little subtlety, I don't know what to tell you.

    Why resent cliques being cliques, man? (btw if you had watched it with a real subbing group, the first "nerds" is extra studious / studyaholics, nothing wrong with that...) Its a freaking show. Don't take it personally. And in case you missed it, they all DO become friends. If you paid attention at all during the OP, it shows them all happy and having switches together.

    Furthermore, Anna Tsuchiya is definitely not anywhere close to rap. She's amazing, and its awesome they got her to do the OP, ALMOST as amazing as GACKT for Decade.

    Also, they label Yuuki a geek. They never say Gentaro is a geek. They say, "It'd be bad for a geek to sit there", Gentaro says, "Geek?" and then she says, "They mean otaku, and they're talking about me." SO they never call Gentaro a geek.

    Your review is fail.

  6. @FantasyLeader

    Comedy is not a problem just as long as you don't suck at it and overuse it.

    I quote Galvatron. This is bad comedy.

  7. Ah, I see. Well, comedy is often quite a subjective term since it comes in many different forms. For you, Fourze is an example of bad comedy. ;)

    Shows like Dairanger, Kakuranger, Carranger, Abaranger, Dekaranger, Magiranger, Go-onger, KR Kabuto, KR Den-O, and Changerion all have their different forms of comedy. Some appeal to particular people, while not appealing to others.

    For me, I thought Fourze's comedy was okay. But I think I found myself paying more attention to what the world of Fourze was like. lol

  8. "... but it’s a far cry away from Faiz or Kabuto"

    Um, yeah it's not, but why should it be anything like those two shows to begin with? This statement severely confuses me.

  9. This was directed by Koichi Sakamoto, who also directed the Kamen Rider W A to Z movie, and is one of the directors of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.

    Also, it was written by Kazuki Nakashima, who was responsible for the series composition of Gurren Lagann.

    Does that help any?

  10. @Anonymous

    Given both their track records that explains a lot actually.

    And yes it does. XD

  11. Despite the fact that I'm having a ton of fun watching Fourze so far, I agree with most of what you said. I can't stand the design of the Fourze suit. The helmet's only slightly okay, but just slightly. Everything else is...kinda ugly and bulky. High school settings are only good with the right kind of story and this really isn't it. Space exploration/astronauts and high school don't go together at all. So far the only character I like is Gentarou. There's nothing really likable about any of the others so far.

    Also am I the only one who thinks that Kengo's little burger shaped robot looks a bit like Wall-E (only not as...interesting)?

    Personally I'm okay with the comedy. Then again I'm generally a pretty easy person to please when it comes to comedy. I just like laughing and it ain't hard to make me laugh. So I'm generally a terrible judge of what's "good" or "bad" but then again comedy is subjective. Story however isn't. 2 episodes isn't enough to really judge the story but I do feel there's stuff so far that needs to be explained and I hope they do really get into them (like Kengo's "condition").

  12. @SombraStudio

    I appreciate your honesty and I think you're right. 2 episodes is not enough but I tend to only cover 2 before I stir up the full force of anger from the toku community.

    Ha! Looking back you're right. The burger droid does look like Wall-E. If there's an egg droid with blue eyes I think we got something. Disney please don't sue =P

  13. I lol'd at Heero Yuy line

    Overall, I was interested by the series with this episode. It's definitely shaping up to be a more whacky, jokey rider show from the looks of it. I liked it, but I didn't try to take it too seriously.

    I think the show needs to ease up on the toy commercial sections. The Candroids at least did something, BurgerBot is really useless. Power Dizer is also pretty silly but they'll be a toy for it for sure.

    That's what, about 4 different toys in episode 1? (belt, switches, fooddroids, Dizer) This is gonna be a loooong season :P

  14. you do realize they made them sterotypes for atmospheric reasons right ?

  15. i sure won't be watching this show anytime soon . mostly because one , it's lame really who cares about space anymore ? i mean gawd i wish they would pick a better idea than some retarded weirdo wearing a space suit yelling i want to be friends with everybody ! two , what happened to his head when he not transformed his head looks like an UNerected dick when he transforms . . poof. . .STILL looks like a dick only shorter i mean who in their right mind would support this shit by watching it ?! those people must be mentally challanged or have horrible sense of taste in style . from KR kuuga to KR ooo it was great and acceptable and enjoyable to watch but this is . . .how should i say this simply I WOULD RATHER CHOP OFF MY OWN DICK WITH A KITCHEN KNIFE THAN WATCH OR EVEN LISTEN TO THE FEW MINUTE OF THIS SHOW . this rider looks like he's still mentally stuck in his kindegarden years ! i mean come on how can't anyone not notice this . i want to be friends with everyone ! aw shut the fuck up and go jump off a bridge with a rope tied to ur head already , in conclusion . .this show makes me shit BRICKS ! its straightforward lame , boring and come on a space themed kamen rider here i thought they were going to create a more mind blowing kamen rider like decade or kabuto even den-o but no they shattered my expectations into millions of tiny pieces and broke them into more tiny pieces . . . . honestly if this piece of shit kamen rider were to fight decade when he turned evil and became the destroyer of worlds . . . fourze's world would be destroyed in less than a nanosecond . . decade wouldn't even have to raise his fingers cuz fourze can't even stand up to his level or any lever against any kamen rider . . . . in a rider war fourze would be the first to go rather than a rider trooper whos not even a rider but they would have more chance of survival than fourze . . . even natsumi's grandfather (KR DCD) would have higher chances of survival or would given a better fight than fourze this show is just terrible truily terrible its godammn horrible .