Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kamen Rider Black

All right, we now take a break from the usual Sentai talk, and go over to what I'd like to call one of my essential childhood heroes, this time from the Kamen Rider series. Being Indonesian, I am of course talking about... Kamen Rider Black.

Come on, fellow Indonesians who's reading this... say it with me...


(That's how the show was dubbed into in Indonesia, in case you don't know what that name is. And GOD I still remember how the dub's tone of saying the word!)

That being said, this show aired during the early 90's in Indonesia, just in time for me who's in Elementary school. Which explains why I really like this show. On watching episodes in Youtube, I realized that the fanboyism hasn't died out even until now. For us Indonesians, Kamen Rider Black is like the essential Kamen Rider. It was REALLY phenomenal, maybe kinda like how the Filipinos viewed Bioman/Maskman for Super Sentai (Maskman also aired around the time of Black, and even though it was also popular, let's say Black garnered more fans).

Anyway, let's begin the talk about the show rather than how it goes in my country.

Our show begins with our hero Kotaro Minami (played by Tetsuo Kurata) running off from the Gorgom cult. As the backstory reveals, Kotaro and his step brother Nobuhiko Akizuki were selected as candidates of people to lead the Gorgom cult, Black Sun and Shadow Moon. Nobuhiko's father was in cahoots with the cult thus leading to all this, but he had a change of heart in the last minute and managed to save Kotaro from brainwashing, though he still had his body enhancement from Gorgom intact. Thus begins Kotaro's battle with Gorgom using the power granted by them, now calling himself Kamen Rider Black.

Of course, things gets complicated when Nobuhiko returned with his brainwashing complete, embracing the Shadow Moon persona and became Black's greatest rival.

I cannot compare this with other Kamen Rider series, except the fact that there's no cannon-fodder soldiers like other Kamen Rider series and every Super Sentai installments, but I would say that pretty much everything of Black reeks of awesome. The fight scenes could get brutal and the drama was really intense. Kotaro really had a lot at stake in his battle, and victory doesn't mean he gets what he wants. There's a lot of price to pay. And what can we say about Shadow Moon? He's a kickass villain Rider, and a really threatening one, not just on how much destruction he can cause or how much he can kick Black's ass, but on the mental note as well: Shadow Moon is Black's stepbrother whom he really cared about before, and vice versa. For him to turn 100% evil and choosing to fight Kotaro to death is quite the heavy decision for Kotaro. Although even though he would lose everything, Kotaro decided to push on and on and on... It's a pretty dark entry of the Kamen Rider series, and that's saying something (Kamen Rider is considered darker than Super Sentai, for your information).

That being said, Black IS one of the most influential series that was aired in Indonesia, and it was pretty popular in Japan too. So...

When it was announced that Black (and Black RX) was going to appear in Kamen Rider Decade, and that Tetsuo Kurata, despite being more wrinkled than how he looked when the original series aired, is going to reprise his role as Kotaro, there was much fanboygasm to follow. And BOY does that fanboygasm not disappoint (wrinkled or not, Tetsuo Kurata is STILL Badass as Kotaro!). I wasn't following Decade, but after hearing it gets a Shinkenger crossover, I did watch the crossover episodes with Shinkenger... but when it's decided that both Black and Black RX are the focuses after Shinkenger... I decided to stick around more. Yes, I'm that much of a Black fanboy.

Talking about Black RX, however, will be detailed later.

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