Kamen Rider is a franchise of Japanese live-action TV series created by Shotaro Ishinomori and produced by the Toei Company. The various Kamen Rider media generally feature a motorcycle riding superhero with an insect motif that fights super villains often referred to as kaijin.
For many of you readers, this premise may seem very similar to Power Rangers or Super Sentai as it is called in Japan. However, other than a few aesthetic similarities and them both having the same creator, the two shows have many differences.
-Most Kamen Rider series have fewer transforming heroes (with the exception of Ryuki) that are accompanied by many non-transforming characters.
-Super Sentai is more formulaic while Kamen Rider is more character driven.
-Super Sentai incorporates giant robots while Kamen Rider focuses on gadgets and alternate forms for existing riders.
-Kamen Rider tends to have darker and more serious storylines then Super Sentai.
Now that we have established what type of show Kamen Rider is, you’re probably wondering which series you sould start with. You see, the Kamen Rider franchise is separated into the Showa Era and the Heisei Era. Kamen rider series made in the Showa Era (1926-1989) Started with the original Kamen Rider and ended with Kamen Rider J. The Heisei Era (1989-present) began with Kamen Rider Kuuga and is still going with Kamen Rider Giam being the most recent installment. While theres nothing wrong with the Showa Era series, some newcomers may be put off by the sci-fi horror elements and the lack of some of the more conventional tokusatsu tropes. Generally The Heisei Era Kamen Rider series are a lot more accessible. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, lets get to my recommendation.
Kamen Rider OOO
Kamen Rider OOO aired September 5, 2010 and is the twelfth series in the Heisei Era. Eiji Hino is a traveling man who has no place to call home and a tragic past. When metallic creatures known as the “Greeed” awaken after their 800-year slumber to attack humans and feed off of their desires, the disembodied arm of the Greed named Ankh gives Eiji a belt and three Medals to fight the other Greed as Kamen Rider OOO. The mysterious Kougami Foundation approaches Eiji and begins assisting him in his fight against the Greed, though their true motives are not clear. As Eiji fights the Greed and their Yummy monsters, learning more of the Greed and Ankh, he starts to find a purpose beyond his journey.
This series does an excellent job balancing action, drama, and comic relief with a premise that won’t alienate newcomers to the franchise. The only significant problem with this series is the more excessive CGI effects, but other then that the show is definitely worth watching whether you’re a fan of tokusatsu or you new to the genre.