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This article is about a/an novel in Kamen Rider Gaim.

Kamen Rider Gaim (小説 仮面ライダー鎧武 Shōsetsu Kamen Raidā Gaimu, Novel: Kamen Rider Gaim), is a novel based off Kamen Rider Gaim. It is written by Gan Sunaaku and Jin Haganeya, supervised by Gen Urobuchi. This story will tell us about the real intentions of Kugai Kudo and Saver System, as well as provide some storyline to Kamen Rider Gaim Gaiden: Kamen Rider Knuckle.[1] The limited deluxe version novel included a CD of the song Dance With Me.

Sypnosis

After the final battle between Gaim and Baron was carried out, a secret society called Black Bodhi - who believed in the end times - starts to carry out their plans behind the scenes. Along with them is Kugai Kudo, an ominous man wandering in a different dimension. Mysterious Lockseeds are scattered throughout Zawame City, and chaos begins once again. It’s up to Takatora and Mitsuzane Kureshima to stand and defeat Kugai Kudo!

Takatora Kureshima travels around the world in search of Yggdrasill’s remnants so that they can continue to exploit the power of Helheim. Meanwhile, Mitsuzane Kureshima and Zack are in Zawame City, dealing with the mysterious Black Bodhi cult and Kugai Kudo who, despite being dead, appears among the living. Could this put to rest the intentions of Kugai from the Gaim Gaiden series?[2][3]

Plot

Prologue

The two are engaged in the final battle for the Forbidden Fruit.

Despite Kouta's attempts to reason, Kaito remained adamant in his belief that it was impossible to change the world without power. "That's it... it's over, Kaito!" Kouta lands a fatal blow and stabs Kaito through the stomach. Kaito falls in defeat. Kouta had won the battle.

Kouta is in tears. Kouta reassures him that no matter how much it hurt or how many tears he shed, he would continue fighting to protect everyone. Kaito admits that Kouta had finally obtained true strength, and fades away.

The intense battle is over. Kouta becomes the Man of the Beginning and leaves with Mai to create a new Helheim

A man appears promptly and disappears, leaving a message, "This isn't redemption." 

The story ends, and a new story is about to begin. 

Introduction to Kugai Kudo

Kugai Kudo used to be an aspiring researcher at the Yggdrasill Laboratories. Due to a freak accident to test Ryoma Sengoku's first Lockseed, Kugai was killed during the test and his body was destroyed. However as he was equipped with the Sengoku Driver, he was able to gain a physical appearance, stuck in limbo.

Kugai Kudo is wandering aimlessly in the land of the living. A mysterious figure appears. Kugai senses powers exceeding a human being, something even more extraordinary, something between a God and the Devil. The figure introduces himself as Maja and proclaims to be the observer of the world. 

"There is no need for me to be here. What's important now, is that you are present, Kugai." Maja explains to Kugai that, after dying in the accident, although he no longer exists in the human world, he has become a much more powerful entity, with the powers equal to an overlord. Maja passes Kugai a Zakuro Lockseed, telling him he would always watch over him. 

Introduction to the Black Bodhi

After the Helheim Holy Tree was destroyed due to Yggdrasill's destruction of Zawame's forests, the technology used to make the Sengoku Drivers and Lockseeds were leaked. To prevent its technology from being abused in order to exploit the power of Helheim for themselves, Takatora Kureshima traveled around the world. In Russia, Takatora defeats several members of the Russian underworld disguised as Kurokage Troopers, and finds a business card of a company named "Black Bodhi".

Takatora investigates and finds out that the Russian underworld has relations to an Asian affiliate, who is the head of a Foundation in a South Asian country. The Foundation provides Sengoku Drivers and Lockseeds to members of the Russian underworld. Takatora calls Oren Pierre Alfonzo over and hands him a Sengoku Driver.

Oren explains that the head of the Foundation, who co-currently is also the ruler of the unseen South Asian country has been arrested for attempting to rebel against the existence and powers of the Sengoku Drivers. After his arrest, his son Shapool has taken over the role of head of the Foundation and is working hard to get the organization back on the right track. They conclude that Black Bodhi and the Foundation could be working together secretly.

Oren contacts several comrades of the Parachute Regiment and learns that the arrested ruler will be sent to the capital, and the rebellion army will send Kurokage Troopers to rob prisoners and weaken the strength of the organization. Takatora and Oren try to intercept the arrest, but find out that the rebels are equipped with the Zakuro Lockseeds designated to detonate at specific timings.

Takatora and Oren locate the rebels' warehouse. There, they witness an artificial Helheim where the blank Zakuro and other artificial Lockseeds were made and sent to other places. A "Saver System" is found in the computer data, and Takatora deems it as a weapon of mass destruction. As they continue their investigation, the warehouse is suddenly set on fire, in which the duo escape.

As Takatora leaves, he hears Kugai calling out to him from the shadows.

Havoc in the City

Zawame City has undergone major restoration changes since peace returned. However, the number of street gangsters is increasing rapidly under the influence of a powerful gang leader named King. A majority of gangsters are suddenly being equipped with Zakuro Lockseeds, wreaking havoc in the city. 

Mitsuzane and Zack are in the city, dealing with the Black Bodhi cult as they work together to try to defeat the brainwashed gangsters, destroying the Lockseeds in the process. Even with Peko's addition, many gang leaders were still able to escape, rendering the Riders' efforts futile. 

Mitsuzane and Peko are unable to mitigate the threat and become helpless and in defeat. They seek solace in each other, and Mitsuzane ponders over his past wrongdoings and wonders if he could ever do anything to make up for it.

Kugai appears in front of them. Mitsuzane and Peko attempt to fight him, but realizes that he cannot be touched as he is able to freely switch from a human to an invincible entity. Kugai tells the duo that he will be the one to save mankind and leaves the two confused.

King uses the Zakuro Lockseeds to control his men to rob a bank. Upon hearing the news, Mitsuzane and Zack try to intervene but are stopped by Kugai, and the robbers manage to escape. The very next day, King was found killed by his own brainwashed henchmen, who had disappeared without a trace.

The Black Bodhi

With the death of King and the abrupt disappearance of the street gangsters, the city is back to normal again. 

A popular legend of a prayer is spread throughout the city. The prayer is believed to summon a Helheim fruit and contains a strong aura hence covered in a white cloth. Dangerous to civilians, it is also known to provide people who get in direct contact with the fruit a sense of ecstasy and relief. 

Due to the occurrence of havoc made by the gangsters, people are starting to worry about their safety and start joining the Black Bodhi organization, in return promises to protect them from any form of harm. 

Mitsuzane and Zack, are again placed in a helpless situation. After a while, Mitsuzane figures out a way to counter the organization but drops the idea with his fear of placing his fellow friends in danger again due to his ignorant wrongdoings. Chucky and Zack persuade Mitsuzane to forget the past and move on in order to have faith and trust in his friends. They are pleased knowing that Mitsuzane had finally changed for the better, for good.

Chucky suggests she join the Black Bodhi organization as an undercover. The rider duo devises a plan to get hold of secret information in the organization and ensures Chucky that they will protect her if anything goes wrong. She sneaks into the organization. She realizes that its believers are hypnotized by an unseen entity and are seemingly in a state of paralysis. The believers take a bus to an unknown destination, which she follows. 

Mitsuzane tracks her location through a radio communication. Zack heads towards her location to save her, and Mitsuzane stays to explore the Black Bodhi hideout. He is joined by Takatora. The Kureshima brothers find a "saver system" shaped in the form of a Bodhi Tree. Kugai appears again, and Takatora fights him. Mitsuzane tries to destroy the saver system but realizes that the system is not exactly a weapon of mass destruction, but a resurrection portal. 

Unknowingly, the system starts to operate, and tremors form around Zawame City.

Kugai's existence

The system rises from the ground and forms a Bodhi Tree in the middle of Zawame. A force runs through the city, causing the civilians to instantly become brainwashed and paralyzed against their will. Only those with the rider belts are able to regain their sanity. Hideyasu Jonouchi receives a new belt in time, escaping barely from the brainwashing process. 

All information regarding Kugai Kudo and his experimental records at his time of death has been deleted, alongside all data of the Helheim Holy Tree. Takatora speculates that the information could be stored in Ryoma Sengoku's computer. The Kureshima brothers attempt to break into the computer's security system, up to no avail. Just as they were about to give up, a short clip pre-recorded by Ryoma starts playing.

Ryoma had already predicted Kugai's return and knew Takatora would be intelligent enough to find out where to gather the information. It was awkward to be seen in third-person, but he couldn't really care less about what was happening in the world as he spoke. Ryoma explains that Kugai Kudo's powers are similar to an Overlord, and his form cannot be restricted by matter. He could be defeated over and over again, and he would still be resurrected. However, he is unable to interfere with the matters of the living. The only reason why he is able to gain a physical appearance is due to the Sengoku Driver he is equipped with. Although Ryoma had previously destroyed Kugai's rider belt, Kugai was likely able to control his believers using the Zakuro Lockseed to replicate a new Sengoku Driver for him.

Ryoma also explains that he had tried to prove the existence of the Golden Ringo Lockseed using the Ringo Lockseed. Although his experiments were unsuccessful, the appearance of Kamen Rider Mars had no doubt confirmed that the Lockseed exists. He figures out that Kugai could be making a Golden Ringo Lockseed of his own with his own Over Lord powers. 

Takatora, Mitsuzane, Hideyasu, Zack, and Oren gather in the city and transforms to fight Kugai, resting in a form of a Lotus Position. Kugai declares his intention to assimilate all human beings, and turn them into Overlords. He brings the souls of Zawame's citizens by his side and disappears. On the rosette of the Bodhi Tree Kugai was sitting on, is a Golden Ringo Lockseed.

The belts are no longer able to protect the riders. The five of them dissolves and disappear into the light. 

Mitsuzane's perspective

Trapped in the land of light, Mitsuzane starts to feel the hostility of the human race. He is confronted by an unearthly being which tells him that this is the ultimate evolution. He is unable to break free and becomes tormented by the endless mocking of unholy desires and evildoings. Then all is silent. 

When Mitsuzane snaps out of his dream, he is faced by his brainwashed brother, who has transformed into Kamen Rider Zangetsu Shin. Zangetsu suddenly goes on a violent attack on Mitsuzane in his horror, as he transforms into Kamen Rider Ryugen. Zangetsu easily overpowers Ryugen, but Ryugen accidentally deals a fatal blow on Zangetsu and he falls on the floor, dying.

Zangetsu transforms. It is Takatora. Mitsuzane cannot comprehend the fact that he had just killed his brother, committing a wrongdoing once again. All of a sudden, the body of Takatora suddenly shifts into Kouta Kazuraba's. Mitsuzane is in a state of confusion and despair. He is unable to understand what is going on and slowly develops a sadistic perception that nobody had actually cared about him, leaving him all alone in this world. He falls back into the darkness. Kugai appears and urges Mitsuzane to join his side. He nonchalantly rejects his offer, and Kugai torments him. 

In the darkness, Mitsuzane feels the existence of mankind. An unknown person approaches him and calls him a 'hero'. He asks whether there are people stranded in his similar situation. Sensing Mitsuzane's weak personality, the man encourages him to gather courage and move forward, never to give up. He shows Mitsuzane what is truly expected of a warrior, and the importance of Kamen Riders in the world. 

"Everybody can be a hero!". Mitsuzane finally remembers who he truly was. In his hand's grasp, is a Lockseed he fondly remembers. Breaking through the darkness, he runs into the light. 

The final showdown

Knowing that Mitsuzane has escaped from the illusion, Kugai summons Kamen Rider Duke to stop him. However, Duke disappears upon Mitsuzane locking the Dragon Fruits Energy Lockseed into his Genesis Core unit. The four other riders also had escaped from their respective illusions and gathered.

Though powerless against Kugai's powers, Mitsuzane finally steps up and transforms into Ryugen Jimber Dragon Arms. Kugai transforms into Saver Golden Arms, and the two enter an intense fight. Mitsuzane defeats Kugai, but Kugai is once again resurrected. The other riders transform into Gridon, Bravo, Knuckle, and Zangetsu.

Zangetsu attains two new forms, Suika Arms, and Jimber Melon Arms and aids in the combat against Saver who has changed into Darkness Arms. The riders continue to defeat Saver, and Saver begins to lose his mind after resurrecting repeatedly. Finally, Saver transforms into Maja Arms, intertwining between a rider form and a snake form. 

The riders are exhausted, but they do not give up. They manage to destroy Saver's rider form, exposing his snake form which enlarges into a giant snake. The riders have fought into a void of emptiness, where dreams become reality. Through Takatora’s thoughts, Kamen Riders Sigurd, Marika, Duke and Baron return and helps the tired riders to fight Saver. Finally, Zangetsu lands a fatal blow to a heavily injured Saver, destroying him in the process. Zawame City has returned to normal. 

Kugai's world has started to collapse. The riders find themselves stuck with no way of escape.  What appeared to be the remains of Saver has slowly combined together achieving Saver's final form, the Predator Saver with an appearance of a giant skeleton T-Rex. It charges at them and is about to land a blow...

At that very moment, the Man of the Beginning appears and opens up a crack and the Riders escape, barely from Predator Saver. The riders are relieved. Mitsuzane promises Kouta that if he were to ever fall into danger, even on the other universe, that he would arrive. They would forever remain good friends. Proud, Kouta gives him a thumbs up. 

The Demise of Kugai Kudo

Upon reaching the real world, they meet Kugai, who has turned into an exhausted, weak dinosaur entity. The fading Kugai crumbles slowly as he advances towards Kouta. "Gold....fruit...I want to use the power...save humanity..."

"What do you exactly want to save?" 

"Through me....humans...."

"What do you really want to save... Do you want to resurrect yourself into the world?"

"Save me....save...me...." Kugai cries out as he finally fades away. Kouta re-enters Kugai's mind, and Kugai asks him when is he ever going to fight, to which Kouta replies that as long as he is alive, he will fight. "Then die! The world is full of pain." "I am in a place where nothing exists," Kouta exclaims peacefully, as he disappears from Kugai's mind. 

These are the words given to those who have disappeared from the world and can no longer be conveyed towards.

"Rest in peace... Kugai."   That is a man that has ceased to exist.

Ending

Kouta wanders in the land of the living. He approaches and eavesdrops a conversation a girl is having with her mother about a legend of a fellow man who has become a god. 

"He should have only one place different from us - he has no companions, right?" Thinking about the girl's words, Kouta reminisces about Team Gaim and his closest friends, providing him with strength. Looking up at the sky, the planet was once a barren land that could not be reached by light. Now, with his powers, he is capable of creating a miracle. "I will fight, no matter how tears I shed, I will move forward."

His transcendental consciousness alerts him of something. He stands up and opens a crack and faces a new battlefield. Stuck to his morals to guard humanity, never to abandon anyone in need, Kouta ensures that he will use his powers to protect regardless of any human being or entity, to stop sorrow.

Switching into his Man of the Beginning form, as graceful as a shining knight, he shouts "Henshin!"

"This is my stage now!"

Characters

Armored Riders

Kamen Rider Ryugen Mitsuzane Kureshima
Kamen Rider Zangetsu Takatora Kureshima
Kamen Rider Gridon Hideyasu Jonouchi
Kamen Rider Bravo Oren Pierre Alfonzo
Kamen Rider Knuckle Zack
Kamen Rider Saver Kugai Kudo

[4][5]

Allies

Notes

GaimNovelCover

First cover for the novel

  • At the first version of the cover, Jin Haganeya's name was typed under the "supervisor" position along with Gen Urobuchi, the final version of the cover corrected this error later.
  • Apart from Gridon and Bravo getting new belts and regaining their ability to transform, this novel introduces several new Armored Rider forms:[4][5]

References