Do you remember the ill-fated Masked Rider series of the 90’s? Just like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Masked Rider was a television programme that was developed using footage from an existing Japanese series. What was that series? Yes, you guessed right – Kamen Rider.

The premise is simple: a hero (or two) is chosen and given special powers, a mask, and a spiffy motorcycle. His mission is to save the world from whatever villain is threatening it in that series. The Kamen Rider franchise is so popular that every year, there’ll be a new Kamen Rider series with a brand new cast and storyline. It’s just like the Super Sentai series, which Power Rangers is derived from. In fact, it’s so popular that they even have Kamen Riders from different series meeting each other in crossovers, like Kamen Rider: Heisei Generations FOREVER exclusively dropping at Golden Village Plaza Singapura this weekend only.

If you’re wondering, “kamen” (仮面) actually means “mask” or “disguise” in Japanese. So, the English title, Masked Rider, was more or less a literal translation. A Kamen Rider is basically a superhero with a motorcycle, and everyone secretly wants to be one. Why wouldn’t they?

It’s the ultimate wish fulfillment – there’s masks, morphing, and motorcycles. And the Kamen Rider series is so popular that it often acts as a springboard for young male Japanese actors to get visibility. Many popular Japanese idols started out as a Rider.

But how do Kamen Riders get their powers? Each series often has a different origin story for the title character. If you want to be a real-life Kamen Rider, maybe you can try out these different methods of getting their powers.

 

1. Get your powers from the future (Kamen Rider Zi-O)

The current series airing now is Kamen Rider Zi-O. In the show, high school student Sougo Tokiwa (So Okuno) receives an ominous message from the future before becoming a Kamen Rider. His mission? To save time and space and other Kamen Riders across history. Of course, the story isn’t as straightforward as that – there’s a reason why Sougo Tokiwa was chosen to be the Kamen Rider to save all other Kamen Riders.

So why was Sougo chosen? It turns out that in the future [spoilers] Sougo Tokiwa becomes the tyrannical ruler Demon King Oma Zi-O of Earth, which is why his enemies have gone back in the past to try and change the timeline and prevent him from becoming evil. [spoilers] So you could try going down that route, but it’s going to be pretty painful for everyone involved.

 

2. Build your own Driver (Kamen Rider Build)

In Kamen Rider Build, the eponymous hero is Sento Kiryu (Atsuhiro Inukai), a brilliant scientist who has amnesia and later discovers he’s not who he thought he was (that’s the major mystery of the series). Like all Kamen Riders, he uses a Driver (the device that each Kamen Rider uses to transform) to turn into Kamen Rider Build – but he’s also so intelligent that he managed to build another Driver to help create another Kamen Rider.

If you lack the technological know-how to build your own Driver, you could always resort to store-bought ones. Be warned though – they probably aren’t going to turn you into a Kamen Rider.

 

3. Be an expert video gamer (Kamen Rider Ex-Aid)

For once, playing video games pays off – because that’s exactly how Emu Hojo (Hiroki Iijima) became Kamen Rider Ex-Aid. In Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, Emu is a medical student who’s a former pro video game player. Thanks to his prodigious computer gaming abilities, he’s able to use a device called the Gamer Driver to transform into Kamen Rider Ex-Aid – much to the surprise of everyone around him!

 

 

So the next time your folks nag you for playing too many video games, just brush it off and continue honing your skills. One day, your skills may enable you to become the next Kamen Rider.

 

4. Inject monster DNA into yourself (Kamen Rider Amazons)

The web series Kamen Rider Amazons debuted on – you guessed it – Amazon Prime in 2016. There is another series called Kamen Rider Amazon which aired in 1974, and that series really took place in the Amazon Jungle. But we’re talking about the newer, 2016 series in which the world is plagued by monsters called Amazons. These monsters are actually the result of a botched pharmaceutical experiment – but the Kamen Rider Amazons (three of them) fend them off in every episode.

It’s later revealed all the Kamen Rider Amazons have monster DNA infused into their cells, which is why they’re more powerful than the average human and are the only ones who can battle the monsters. Kamen Rider Amazons was known for being much more violent and gritty than the other Kamen Rider series, although it still had colourfully costumed heroes battling equally colourfully costumed villains.

 

5. Die and get revived (Kamen Rider Ghost)

Kamen Rider Ghost has a slight Cardcaptor Sakura feel, in that the main character must collect a certain number of MacGuffins by the end of the series. Takeru Tenkuji (Shun Nishime) is murdered on his 18th birthday – but is then brought back to life and given the power to transform into Kamen Rider Ghost. His resurrection is only temporary though, and he must collect 15 Ghost Eyecons (devices that contain the spirits of great heroes) to be fully resurrected.

We really don’t recommend that you try this way of getting Kamen Rider powers, because there are so many ways it could go wrong…

Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

What’s better than watching a Kamen Rider series? Why, watching different Kamen Riders interacting with each other – which is exactly what happens in Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER. The third and final movie in the Heisei Generations series, Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER sees the Kamen Riders of the 2010’s Heisei Era uniting to battle a force that threatens them all. While the main characters are from Kamen Rider Zi-O and Kamen Rider Build, the film also features characters from Kamen Rider W and Kamen Rider Den-O, as well as cameos by many other Kamen Riders.

For all who love Kamen Riders… Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER is for you.

 

Are you a fan of Kamen Riders? You might be interested to read this interview with Ryo Yoshizawa (Kamen Rider Fourze): 

 

Credits: Golden Village Cinemas

 

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