Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tokusatsu Review: Top 16 Main Kamen Rider Final Forms Introduction.

Please be sure to read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

Yep it's that time of the year again where the current Kamen Rider gets his Final Form and attains their defining stats, powers and in some cases a huge step in their character development. But the most important reason for this part of the franchise is of course that classic and essential part of mass entertainment no matter where you are in the world.
Yeah let's not kid ourselves here these shows relay on merchandising to keep the machine going and that's okay; money makes the world go round, people need to pay for food, homes, clothing, cocaine, to prevent Lord Xenu from conquering earth and whatever else they need it for. Now I know that it isn't all about the money but hey come on here people need to get paid for their hard work and provide for their families if they have one you know? I know that focusing too much on merchandising can kill a show in a snap but here's the trick, if the show's writing is compelling enough and people get invested enough with the show, then they'll buy the toys and whatnot of their favorite show to not only show their support but to keep a little piece of what they love in their homes to either show their kids or sell on eBay when the toy line ends. I kind of got off track there but the point is a Final Form more often then not helps to sell that years Rider to the fans, to help them decide how they stack up in the franchise. So this is my own personal list of the top 16 Final Forms of Kamen Rider as of 2015.

Now before we begin I will be laying down the criteria as to how I'll be ranking these forms. First is obviously aesthetics, first impressions are everything when it comes to judging something for the first time especially a Kamen Riders form, some might look really cool and badass, others however, might just look so nightmare inducing in it's heinousness that many would assume that the design was ripped right out of the Necronomicon. But yeah if it don't look good, you aren't going to be drawing in the casual passer by. Unless the intention is for them to watch out of shear hilarity by what they just saw, in which case; congratulations Joel Schumacher gives you his pity!
Yeah, the dude who gave this the seal of approval feels sorry for you, bra-vo!
Second, the powers that the form has. Final forms aren't much good if it can't help you take down the bad guys easier. I mean application beats out aesthetics any day of the week and a cool power can make up for a bad design most of the time. But for some of these, man that power better be worth it!

Third, its introduction and implementation in the series. One of the big WOW factors for the final form is in how the thing is introduced. The Rider is pushed to his absolute limit, the villain is about to kill him and make those that the Rider has been trying so desperately to protect suffer before begging for the sweet release of death. Then out of that desperation a new power emerges, symbolizing not only the Rider's resolve to protect those he cares for but also the culmination of their struggle against the threat the villain represents. But sometimes power like that can come at a cost, and the Rider will eventually have to pay the piper, and when that time comes, what will be lost?
Maybe just an arm and a leg. No biggie.
Fourth, my familiarity and feelings towards the Rider himself. Now keep in mind that I haven't seen every single Rider series so I don't know everything about the Riders or their series. I mean I've seen most of them and the four that I haven't I've seen reviews of their series so I at least have a general idea of what I'm working with. So if your favorite Final form isn't as high as you'd want it on the list, too bad, make your own and quit whining. Oh wait I forgot what internet I'm on.
Time to cover my house in bacon, again. Maybe this time I won't get brought to the nuthouse.
Finally, only final forms used in the Rider's respective series are going to be included in the countdown; so no Super Tatoba, no Meteor Nadeshiko Fusion States, and no Infinity Dragon Gold or anything like that. From the first episode to the last those are the parameters I'm going to be judging by and that is that. Now before we get to the list itself I might as well give my thoughts on the honorable mention; Kamen Rider Drive: Type Tridoron.
Why is this only the honorable mention? Obviously it's too new at the time of writing this post. The episode where it's introduced hasn't even been subbed so I can't comment on it without giving spoilers on its powers that I found on a Kamen Rider Wiki. So I just have the aesthetics to work with here; and oh lord this form.

I get what they were trying to do by incorporating Tridoron into the design but it just makes Drive look like if Ronald McDonald became a NASCAR driver. What kills it for me are the headlights on top of the eyes on the helmet, yeah obscure the field of vision even more then the extra plastic or whatever on the sides of the helmet that's practical costume design right there. Also the wheels on the feet don't help matters here. They just look like they'd hinder Drives maneuverability rather then help.
And you thought the big honking wheels on these things looked stupid!
Now for the cherry on top; the symmetry the suit could have had is ruined by the black left arm coming out from the Tire Shoulder-pad, but because the designers went the route they did with the tire they botched what could have been an at least passable design. In short a less then stellar looking Final form for a "meh" Rider for a unbalanced average series. Now again I would give more praise to Type Tridoron if I were allowed to talk about the buildup and powers but as of right now I can't. But wait! If Drive is the honorable mention why am I still calling this countdown the top 16? Well be sure to come back next time for the answer.

Kamen Rider is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Spaceballs is owned by  Mel Brooks, Brooksfilms and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
Batman and Robin is owned by Warner Bros, DC Comics and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment.
Fullmetal Alchemist is owned by Studio Bones, Square-Enix, Funimation, Viz Media and Hiromu Arakawa.
Troll 2 is owned by Claudio Fragasso, Filmirage and Epic Productions.