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Bug Man Incarnate: A Definitive Guide for Getting Into Kamen Rider

Edited by Ben Ventura

With the recent announcement of Shin Kamen Rider, a question I’ve been hearing frequently is, “How do I get into Kamen Rider?”.  It’s a fair question to ask, as unlike other Tokusatsu series and movies like Ultraman, Power Rangers, or Godzilla, Kamen Rider isn’t as readily accessible to a western audience .  I don’t mean this as a matter of the content being difficult to get into; it’s tough to find all the various television seasons, movies, and manga in English.  I hope that with this guide, I can explain why the current state of Kamen Rider’s presence in the West is the way it is, and make it easier for you, the reader, to get into this wonderful franchise.

What is Kamen Rider?

Kamen Rider is a tokusatsu (lit. “Special Filming”, a term used to describe the genre of live-action films and TV shows that use special effects) franchise created by manga creator Shotaro Ishinomori.  Ishinomori originally intended to adapt his manga series Skull Man for television but ultimately opted for a grasshopper-esque design for the hero instead, as Skull Man’s content was deemed too dark for the show’s intended 7-13 year-old audience.  

The Original Kamen Rider Is Coming to YouTube - for Free | CBR

The first series in the franchise, the suffix-less Kamen Rider, first aired  in 1971 and followed the adventures of college student-turned-cyborg Takeshi Hongo as he fights the terrorist organization Shocker. Since then, the franchise has undergone many iterations, with roughly 40 main riders and over 100 riders in total at the time of this writing.  While themes and plots vary, at its very core, the franchise will always follow a singular motorcycle-riding masked hero who fights against monsters (or Kaijin, as they’re commonly referred to) and evil organizations.

The Kamen Rider franchise’s many seasons can be categorized by the eras in Japanese history within which they aired in: The Shōwa Era (Kamen Rider – Kamen Rider Black RX, 1971 – 1989), the Heisei Era (Kamen Rider Kuuga – Kamen Rider Zi-O, 2000 – 2019), and the Reiwa Era (Kamen Rider Zero-OneKamen Rider Saber, 2019 – Present).  The show took a break from 1989 to 1999 (the first ten years of the Heisei era), but during this time the series was kept alive through movies and stage shows. 

While the bulk of the Kamen Rider franchise is its long running TV show, there are also movies, V-Cinema (direct-to-video releases), web-series/net movies, novels, manga, and stage shows that expand on the series’ many seasons. As of the second half of the Heisei era (Every season after Kamen Rider Decade and before Kamen Rider Zero-One), each season of Kamen Rider has had at least one crossover movie with either the previous season’s rider or a variety of previous riders (often referred to as “Movie Wars”), one Summer movie which typically introduces a new movie-exclusive villain, and a set of post-show V-Cinema movies, usually focusing on other riders from the show.

Kamen Rider has been adapted for American audiences twice.  The first was in the mid-90s, when Saban Entertainment, fresh off its roaring success adapting Kamen Rider’s sister series Super Sentai into Power Rangers, was trying to adapt other Toei properties to recreate that success.  Kamen Rider received an adaptation from Saban Entertainment similar to Power Rangers with the Masked Rider series, which adapted Kamen Rider Black RX into a 40-episode series. The character also appeared in a 3-part crossover with Power Rangers.  Unlike other Saban Entertainment adaptations like V.R Troopers and Big Bad Beetleborgs, which both ended as the company ran out of Japanese Footage to adapt, Masked Rider was canceled due to low ratings and paltry toy sales.  

However, the Kamen Rider franchise would see yet another American adaptation in 2008 with the CW’s adaptation of Kamen Rider Ryuki, Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight.  The series managed to win a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination, and even got two video game adaptations, but had received neither a second season, nor a follow-up.

Aidan BLM.'s tweet - "Happy 50th anniversary to Kamen rider. A franchise  that I love so much. It's story, themes and characters are amazing and I  always love it. I'm glad I've

At the time of this writing, Kamen Rider is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a number of recent announcements including a remake of Kamen Rider Black titled Kamen Rider Black Sun, an anime adaptation of the Kamen Rider W sequel manga Fuuto Detective, Shin Kamen Rider, directed by Hideaki Anno and slated for a 2023 release, and two new American localizations of Kamen Rider Ryuki and Kamen Rider Zero-One done by TokuSHOUTsu.  The latest season, Kamen Rider Saber, began airing in August of last year, and is slated to end later this year, before the next season, presumably celebrating the series’ 50th anniversary, is released.

Why is it difficult to find Kamen Rider media in North America?

While there’s no concrete reason for the lack of Kamen Rider content in North America, some possible reasons include the slightly more mature material not being appropriate enough for younger audiences familiar with Power Rangers, as well as there being a lack of interest in the material.  As mentioned above, both attempts to adapt Kamen Rider for Western audiences proved to be commercial failures at the very least.  

But the world has changed significantly since the release of Masked Raider and Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight, and the advent of the internet has made it far easier for Western audiences to become more acquainted with the series.  Despite a rapid increase in interest in the series overseas, Toei’s acknowledgement of said interest has progressed at a snail’s pace.  The amount of localized Kamen Rider content that Toei has licensed for the west is far outnumbered by fellow production company Tsuburaya with their Ultraman series.  Will things change with the 50th anniversary of the series?  Only time will tell.

What is being done to make Kamen Rider more accessible in North America?

While Toei has been rather averse to localizing and translating Kamen Rider for Western audiences, it doesn’t mean that there haven’t been attempts to bridge that gap.  Currently, through legal means, North American audiences can watch the original Kamen Rider series, Kamen Rider Kuuga, and the Heisei anniversary movie Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Forever on Shout Factory’s TokuSHOUTsu channel, as well as Tubi TV for free, with ads. (NOTE: KR Heisei Generations Forever, as well as most, if not all Kamen Rider movies, are not good entry points into the franchise).  The 2001 season Kamen Rider Agito can also be streamed with a subscription to the TOKU streaming platform.  

To celebrate the series’ 50th anniversary, Toei has been releasing subbed versions of the first two episodes of various seasons of the franchise, as well as movies like Kamen Rider ZO and Kamen Rider J to their Toei Tokusatsu World Official YouTube channel, though there’s been no explicit mention of how many episodes they will be uploading to the channel in total.  

Shout! Factory, Toei Company Ltd. Announce Distribution For KAMEN RIDER ZERO -ONE And KAMEN RIDER RYUKI « SciFi Japan
The two shows being localized by Shout! Factory later this year

On April 3rd, 2021, the anniversary of the premiere of the first episode of Kamen Rider, it was announced that Kamen Rider Ryuki (2003) and Kamen Rider Zero-One (2019) would be localized for North American audiences by Shout Factory, with the two seasons streaming on their TokuSHOUTsu platform, and the latter receiving a blu-ray release, making it the first season of Kamen Rider to ever receive a physical blu-ray release in North America. 

How to Access Kamen Rider currently

There’s a harsh truth to be acknowledged in regards to getting into Kamen Rider in that, as very little of the franchise has been legally localized in North America, and even less so in Europe and other regions, accessing Kamen Rider involves a significant amount of piracy.  Pearls be clutched, gasps be had, but it’s true.  But the very fact that people outside can access so many seasons of Kamen Rider outside of Japan is thanks to the work of subbers & scrubbers.  

While piracy should never be suggested as a glowing recommendation, when it happens to be the only method of accessing a certain piece of media in a certain region of the world, it should be considered.  Nevertheless, as a viewer, you should support official releases whenever and wherever possible.  A common practice in the Kamen Rider/Super Sentai fansub community is taking down subbed versions of shows that get official releases, in order to support those releases.  In showing interest for official releases, it signals that there is a significant interest in the series outside of Japan, and could push Toei to localize more seasons of the Kamen Rider franchise.

A Primer on Kamen Rider Subs and Scrubs

In order to localize Kamen Rider for english audiences, the content needs to be translated and subtitled.  So who is responsible for doing this?  Fans; amateurs putting professional-quality work (most of the time) into not only translating the content, but encoding the video as well.  As the internet became more and more connected over the years, fansubs became more proliferant, with more and more subber groups popping up to handle subbing various series and seasons.  Here are some common terms you might want to know when looking for fansubs:

  • Sub: A subtitled, translated/localized video 
  • Subber: Someone who translates/localizes raw Japanese video 
  • Scrub: An edited Sub, usually with subtitle errors fixed
  • Scrubber: Someone who goes back and fixes mistakes in fansub scripts and/or adjusts them to better fit the story
  • Raws: An untranslated, unsubtitled video, often ripped from streaming sites and DVD/Blu-Ray releases, or recorded from TV
  • Encoder: Someone who encodes subtitles into video files
  • Scripts: The raw translated text with timecodes mapped to video timecodes, but not attached to a video
  • Softsub: A subtitled video in which the subtitles are not hardcoded into the video’s encoding, and can be turned on/off in a video player, or switched out for another subtitle track (often associated with files ending in .mkv)
  • Hardsub: A subtitled video in which the subtitles are hardcoded into the video’s encoding, and cannot be changed or turned off/on (often associated with files ending in .avi or .mp4)

Where to Start With Kamen Rider

While the answer to this may vary depending on where you look online, most seasons of the Kamen Rider franchise are structured as standalone stories that don’t require any knowledge of previous seasons’ story or lore.  At most, previous storylines and characters will be referenced in crossover movies, which in turn don’t have much impact on the season’s main storyline.  The biggest exception to this would be Kamen Rider Zi-O, which celebrated the series’ 20th Heisei-era season by bringing back riders from previous seasons.  As such, Zi-O should not be recommended as anyone’s entry into the series.  

The franchise’s many movies are often not good entry points into the series either, as they assume the viewer already has a significant amount of knowledge of who the characters in the movie are.  These movies take place either midway through a season, or after the season has finished, so it’s not recommended to use them as jumping-on points.

玲維 on Twitter: "Wの声はオルガとバナージかよ! 桐山漣さんと菅田将暉じゃないのか…… #仮面ライダーW #桐山漣 #菅田将暉  #RIDER_MoH… "
The two protagonists from Kamen Rider W, Shotaro and Philip

As for a personal recommendation, I would recommend Kamen Rider W as any new viewer’s first season, as it’s not only a fantastic season, but also a season I’d consider to be the platonic ideal of what Kamen Rider as a franchise is.  It’s Kamen Rider done as detective fiction, and the bond shared by the two protagonists exemplifies the spirit of the Kamen Rider franchise at its purest.  Beyond that, you’ve got a fun transformation gimmick in the form of USB Flash drives, a sinister crime family with hidden ties to our heroes, and fantastic action choreography.  After that, just choose whichever series piques your interest, and jump on in.

A List of Kamen Rider Seasons and Recommended Ways to Watch Them

Kamen Rider (Shōwa, 1971-73)

Kamen Rider 1 (Masked Rider 1) by ShinRider on DeviantArt

College student Takeshi Hongo is kidnapped and turned into a cyborg by terrorist organization Shocker.  He manages to escape before being brainwashed and vows to fight against Shocker to  stop their reign of terror as the eponymous Kamen Rider (later known as Kamen Rider 1/Ichigo).  He is later joined by Hayato Ichimongi, who fights alongside him as Kamen Rider 2 against Shocker and its successor, Gel Shocker.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Official release; TokuSHOUTsu, Tubi TV

Kamen Rider V3 (Shōwa, 1973-74)

Kamen Rider V3 vs. Destron Mutants Now Subbed - Orends: Range (Temp)

A sequel to Kamen Rider, college student Shiro Kazami undergoes the process of becoming a cyborg to fight against terrorist organization Destron and protect mankind.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Generation Kikaida; First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider X (Shōwa, 1974)

Kamen Rider X the Movie Japanese Movie Streaming Online Watch

Scientist Keitaro Jin is able to transform his son Keisuke Jin into a cyborg before being killed by the terrorist organization known as G.O.D.  Fighting as Kamen Rider X, Keisuke vows vengeance upon G.O.D for the death of his father.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Order of Zeronos (eps. 1-6), The Masked Subbers (eps. 7-35)

Kamen Rider Amazon (Shōwa, 1974-75)

Kamen Rider Amazon (1974) 11-13 BluRay – ASkyTI Fansub

Orphaned from a plane crash in the Amazon forest, Daisuke Yamamoto grows up amongst an Incan tribe as a wild child.  His village is massacred by the demon Gorgos and the evil organization known as Geddon.  He is given the GiGi armlet and is given the ability to transform into Kamen Rider Amazon, as he heads back to Japan to put an end to Geddon. 

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Hi No Tori Fansubs; First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider Stronger (Shōwa, 1975)

Kamen Rider Stronger To Be Released On Blu-ray In Japan - The Tokusatsu  Network

Shigeru Jo finesses the evil organization Black Satan into giving him cyborg powers, which he uses to become Kamen Rider Stronger.  Alongside Tackle, another cyborg warrior given powers by Black Satan, he fights the organization to avenge the death of his friend and bring peace to the world.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Bereke Scrubs (over Midnight Crew Subs and KITSubs); First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider Skyrider (Shōwa, 1979-80)

Kamen Rider (1979)/Skyrider Now Fully Subbed - Orends: Range (Temp)

A kidnapped scientist is forced by the terrorist organization Neo Shocker to create superpowered soldiers for them.  Instead, he gives injured camper Hiroshi Tsubaka extraordinary powers, allowing him to fight as the high-flying Skyrider.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: KITSubs; First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider Super-1 (Shōwa, 1980-81)

仮面ライダースーパー1」第8話「闘え一也!死のドグマ裁判」 | サンダーストームのブログ

Kazuya Oki undergoes a cybernetic surgery to prep himself for space travel, but before he can head for the stars, the International Space Development Program’s base is attacked by the Dogma Kingdom.  After training under a martial arts master, Kazuya fights the Dogma Kingdom as Kamen Rider Super-1.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Bereke Scrubs (over SXIG)

Kamen Rider Black (Shōwa, 1987-88)

KAMEN RIDER BLACK (TV): KOTARO MINAMI RESPECT THREAD |

Two stepbrothers are kidnapped by the Gorgom cult and undergo surgery to become candidates for the next Gorgom Creation King.  One of the brothers, Kohtaro Minami, escapes and vows to save his brother.  He becomes Kamen Rider Black, and fights to defeat Gorgom.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Bereke Scrubs (over Century Kings Subs, encoded by Bunny Hat); First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider Black RX (Shōwa, 1988-89)

Discuss] BLACK RX is my all time favourite Rider suit design. Interested to  see what everyone else's favourite suit designs are. : KamenRider

A direct sequel to Kamen Rider Black, Kohtaro settles down after defeating Gorgom, but is kidnapped by the Crisis Empire and flung into space.  Morphed and evolved by the sun’s radiation, Kohtaro fights the Crisis Empire as Kamen Rider Black RX.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Bereke Scrubs (over Stone Subs, encoded by OZC-Live); First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue (Shōwa, 1992)

Shin Kamen Rider/Prologue - Version 3

The first of three Kamen Rider films released during the Heisei era hiatus period.  Doctors experiment on Shin Kazamatsuri, a motorcycle racer, in hopes of finding ways to strengthen the human body against diseases.  Unbeknownst to them, their research is funded by a crime syndicate who seek to use the research to create their own genetically-enhanced super-soldiers.  Kazamatsuri is fused with grasshopper genes and is turned into a humanoid grasshopper.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Official release; Toei Tokusatsu World Official Youtube Channel 

Kamen Rider ZO (Shōwa, 1993)

HTOP on Twitter: "27 years ago Kamen Rider ZO was released, which is my  favorite Kamen Rider movie. I think it beautifully condenses everything  that the franchise is about into a 45

The second of three Kamen Rider films released during the Heisei era hiatus period.  Lab assistant Masaru Aso is experimented on and given the ability to turn into a grasshopper-like being called Kamen Rider ZO.  He uses his power to fight the “perfect being” known as the Neonoid.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Official release; Toei Tokusatsu World Official Youtube Channel 

Kamen Rider J (Shōwa, 1994)

仮面ライダー: Kamen Rider J (仮面ライダーJ)

The third of three Kamen Rider films released during the Heisei era hiatus period.  Reporter Kouji Segawa sacrifices himself to save a little girl, but is resurrected by spirits of the earth as Kamen Rider J.  J is known for being the first rider to grow in size to fight large kaiju.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Official release; Toei Tokusatsu World Official Youtube Channel 

Kamen Rider Kuuga (Heisei, 2000-2001)

Kamen Rider Kuuga Coming To Streaming | Den of Geek

Happy-go-lucky hero Yusuke Godai uses the ancient power of the ancient hero Kuuga to fight the Gurongi, the revived members of an ancient monster tribe.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Official release; TokuSHOUTsu, Tubi TV; First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider Agito (Heisei, 2001-2002)

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Seen as a spiritual successor/sequel to Kuuga, an amnesiac named Shouichi Tsugami transforms into a powerful warrior in the presence of monsters known only as “The Unknown”.  Meanwhile, the police force create their own man-made Kamen Rider modeled after Kamen Rider Kuuga, titled G3, to fight against the Gurongi, known here as “Unidentified Life Forms”.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Official release; TOKU streaming service (paid). OR Gomen Rider Scrubs (over TV-Nihon); First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider Ryuki (Heisei, 2002-2003)

It's 03/02/21, Happy 19th Birthday Kamen Rider Ryuki! : KamenRider

13 Kamen Riders in possession of 13 respective card decks form contracts with monsters from a mirror world and fight for survival in the Rider War, a battle royale that ends with only one rider standing.  Journalist intern Shinji Kido finds himself sucked into the mirror world and enters the Rider War as Kamen Rider Ryuki to protect the real world from the mirror world’s many monsters.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber:  Official release incoming; TokuSHOUTsu, Tubi TV; First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider 555 (or Faiz) (Heisei, 2003-2004)

仮面ライダー: Kamen Rider Faiz (Φ) Blaster Form (仮面ライダーファイズ Blaster Form)

The Orphnoch are seen as the next evolutionary step in human evolution.  The Smart Brain corporation tries to use the Orphnoch to take over the world, developing Rider Gear to help them find the Orphnoch king.  The Rider Gear is stolen, and one of the gears, the Faiz Gear, ends up in the hands of Takumi Inui, who must now fight against Smart Brain and the Orphnoch as Kamen Rider Faiz.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Agony Subs

Kamen Rider Blade (Heisei, 2004-2005)

Tokusatsu News Network on Twitter: "Are you one of those people who stay up  at night wondering about the genius behind Kamen Rider Blade memes? In this  article, we delve into the

52 demons known as the Undead fought to the death in the past in an event known as the Battle Royal, and have been uncovered in the present by archaeologists, setting in motion the next Battle Royal.  The BOARD organization equip Kazuma Kenzaki and Sakuya Tachibana to fight as Kamen Rider Blade and Kamen Rider Garren respectively against the Undead.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Turn Up Scrubs (over TV-Nihon, encoded by Bunny Hat); First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider Hibiki (Heisei, 2005-2006)

Kamen Rider Hibiki Episode 46 | OZC Live

An Oni named Hibiki takes on a high-schooler as an apprentice as he fights against monsters known as the Makamou.  A music-centric season where the Kamen Riders are all Oni.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Shushutto Scrubs (over TV-Nihon, encoded by OZC-Live); First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider Kabuto (Heisei, 2006-2007)

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A young man named Soji Tendo trains his entire life to gain access to the Kabuto Zecter and get his revenge on the human-imitating Worms walking amongst humans.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Earthly Subs

Kamen Rider Den-O (Heisei, 2007-2008)

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High School dropout Ryotaro Nogami finds himself possessed by four benevolent Imagin, wish-granting demons from the future, who have come to the present to gain corporeal forms through making contracts with humans. Ryotaro and the four Taros fight together as one against the other Imagin as Kamen Rider Den-O, travelling through time on the time-travelling bullet train, the Den-Liner. 

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Earthly Subs (encoded by OZC-Live); First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider Kiva (Heisei, 2008-2009)

My Shiny Toy Robots: Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Kiva

In 2008, a reclusive young man named Wataru Kurenai fights against the Fangire race as Kamen Rider Kiva.  In 1986, Wataru’s father Otoya Kurenai fights the Fangire race alongside Fangire hunter Yuri Aso using the Kamen Rider Ixa module.  A season with two concurrent plotlines in the past and present, weaving together to reveal the truth behind the Fangires and Kiva himself.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Railler Subs (encoded by OZC-Live)

Kamen Rider Decade (Heisei, 2009)

My Shiny Toy Robots: Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Decade

Nine worlds, each representing the first nine seasons of the Heisei era, are merging into one, causing catastrophe across the multiverse.  Amateur photographer Tsukasa Kadoya uses his powers as Kamen Rider Decade to travel to each of the worlds and eliminate the anomalies that lie within them in order to protect his own world.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Rider-Time Subs

Kamen Rider W (or Double) (Heisei, 2009-2010)

ARK XLR on Twitter: "I kinda hope that Kamen Rider Saber has a lady  vocalist for the OP It's pure superstition, but I think lady vocalists are  a good sign… https://t.co/g7JhsU3GzF"

In windy Fuuto city, hard half-boiled detective Shotaro Hidari and the mysterious genius Philip fight as Kamen Rider Double, the two-in-one Kamen Rider.  They investigate crimes committed by Dopants, criminals who use thumb drive-like devices called Gaia memories to become superpowered monsters. 

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: W-Time (encoded by OZC-Live); First two episodes on Toei Tokusatsu World Official

Kamen Rider OOO (Heisei, 2010-2011)

My Shiny Toy Robots: Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider OOO

The medal-based monsters known as the Greeed awaken after an 800-year slumber.  Traveler Eiji Hino is given the OOO (pronounced Oh-z) Driver as well as three medals by the disembodied hand of one of the Greeed, and uses them to become Kamen Rider OOO and fight against the Greeed.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Over-Time Subs

Kamen Rider Fourze (Heisei, 2011-2012)

Kamen Sentai: Kamen Rider Fourze Series Review

Transfer student Gentaro Kisaragi finds that his high school is the hotbed for paranormal activity.  Along with his friends, Gentaro finds himself able to teleport between his school and a lunar base on the moon, within which he finds the Fourze Driver.  Using the Fourze Driver to become Kamen Rider Fourze, Gentaro fights against the monstrous Zodiarts attacking the city.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Over-Time Subs

Kamen Rider Wizard (Heisei, 2012-2013)

What Kamen Rider Teaches Us - The Tokusatsu Network

A mystical ritual unleashes the monsters known as Phantoms into the world.  Haruto Soma, a survivor of the ritual, finds that he now has powers and uses the Wizardriver to become Kamen Rider Wizard in order to protect the world from Phantoms.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Over-Time Subs

Kamen Rider Gaim (Heisei, 2013-2014)

TV Time - Kamen Rider Gaim (TVShow Time)

In the corporation-run Zawame City, dance crews try to bring joy back to the city, competing in dance battles and using the mysterious lockseeds to battle creatures called Inves from another dimension against each other.  Portals begin opening up across the city and Inves come through, rampaging throughout the city with no one to control them.  Ex-dancer Kouta Kazuraba finds a Sengoku Driver and transforms into Armored Rider Gaim to fight against the Inves and the Yggdrasill Corporation.  Rival dance crew leaders gain access to similar powers, which leads to a Sengoku period-like war within the city.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Aesir Subs

Kamen Rider Drive (Heisei, 2014-2015)

Kamen Rider Drive Episode 15 | The Glorio Blog

Recently-demoted beat cop Shinnosuke Tomari works with the Tokujo Special Investigation Unit and inventor-turned-sentient-belt Krim Steinbelt to fight against the time-shifting cyborgs known as Roidmudes as Kamen Rider Drive.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Over-Time Subs

Kamen Rider Ghost (Heisei, 2015-2016)

My Shiny Toy Robots: Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Ghost

Aspiring ghost hunter Takeru Tenkuji is killed on his 18th birthday by members of the monstrous Gamma race.  He’s brought back to life on the condition that he must find 15 Eyecons, representing the spirits of 15 historical figures, within 99 days, or else he will cease to exist.  As Kamen Rider Ghost, he fights the Gamma not only to save himself, but to protect the world.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Over-Time Subs

Kamen Rider Amazons (2016-2017) 

JEFusion | Japanese Entertainment Blog - The Center of Tokusatsu: Kamen  Rider Amazons Episode 2 Clips - Dual Amazons First Encounter

A gritty reimagining of the original Kamen Rider Amazon series, produced by Amazon for Amazon Prime Video.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Official release; Amazon Prime Video

Kamen Rider Ex-Aid (Heisei, 2016-2017)

Kamen Rider Ex-Aid Impressions - The Reimaru Files

A mysterious virus called the Bugster Virus causes monsters known as Bugsters to emerge from its victims.  With the help of gaming corporation Genm Corp’s Gamer Drivers, medical intern and gaming genius Emu Hojo fights on behalf of the Cyber Rescue response team as Kamen Rider Ex-Aid to get rid of the Bugster menace.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Excite Subs (encoded by OZC-Live)

Kamen Rider Build (Heisei, 2017-2018)

My Shiny Toy Robots: Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Build

Ten Years after a mysterious box from Mars split Japan into three regional factions, amnesiac inventor Sento Kiryuu uses the Build System to fight against the evil organization Faust as Kamen Rider Build, and bring unity to Japan once more.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Over-Time Subs (encoded by OZC-Live)

Kamen Rider Zi-O (Heisei, 2018-2019)

JEFusion | Japanese Entertainment Blog - The Center of Tokusatsu: Kamen  Rider ZI-O Episode 1 Preview

High Schooler Sougo Tokiwa has dreams of one day becoming a king.  When two resistance fighters from the future come to the present to warn Sougo that he’ll one day become a world-conquering Demon King, Sougo’s life is thrown into disarray.  As Kamen Rider Zi-O, Sougo fights against Time Jackers seeking to disrupt the fabric of space and time, while travelling through time to meet the Heisei Kamen Riders who came before him.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Over-Time Subs (encoded by OZC-Live)

Kamen Rider Zero-One (Reiwa, 2019 – 2020)

My Shiny Toy Robots: First Impressions: Kamen Rider Zero-One

A failed comedian inherits his grandfather’s A.I/Android company and fights both as a Kamen Rider against rogue androids corrupted by an anti-human terrorist organization, and as Hiden Intelligence’s CEO against corporate rivals.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: Official release incoming; TokuSHOUTsu, Tubi TV 

Kamen Rider Saber (Reiwa, 2020 – 2021)

Tokusatsu Suits on Twitter: "Kamen Rider Saber (2020) - Episode 1 Suit:  Kamen Rider Saber Brave Dragon… "

A young novelist fights against mystical creatures from a magical alternate world alongside an ancient sect of sword-bearing Kamen Riders.

How to watch it/Recommended Subber: GenmCorp Subs

Afterword

Kamen Rider as a series is very easy to get into; you pick a season that interests you, and you hop in.  However, Kamen Rider as a media is extremely difficult to source legally, which  is a barrier that needs to be traversed in order to engage with the franchise.  With time, it will become increasingly more accessible for North Americans (sorry Europe, you’re still left in the dust here), and by supporting official releases like the upcoming Kamen Rider Ryuki and Kamen Rider Zero-One localizations, that progress can hopefully come faster.  Until then, salute to all the subbers, scrubbers, and encoders translating and localizing this series without any financial compensation, as without them, Kamen Rider’s presence wouldn’t be nearly as big as it is today.