|This article is about a set of all the shows and films in the Kamen Rider Series.|
The Heisei Kamen Rider Series (平成仮面ライダーシリーズ, Heisei Kamen Raidā Shirīzu) is the second production era of the Kamen Rider Series. It refers to Heisei (平成), also known as the Heisei era, the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of the Heisei Emperor, Akihito, from January 8, 1989, the first day after the death of the previous Emperor, Hirohito, father of Akihito, to his abdication on April 30th, 2019, announced years earlier, in August 2016, causing the media for the era last years to acknowledge the end of the era. In accordance with Japanese customs, Akihito will be posthumously renamed "Emperor Heisei", upon his future death.
Being completely absent from television during the 1990s, the Kamen Rider franchise was kept alive mainly by stage shows, musical CDs, and the Shin, ZO, and J movies, though many fans classify the movies as part of the Showa series as they treat Shotaro Ishinomori's passing in 1998 as the end of the Showa era (also Kamen Rider are mostly TV series, so early Heisei movies acted as extensions of Showa series). As of the film Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai, Toei has adopted and acknowledged this same classification for the 90s movies out of respect to Ishinomori and long-time fans of the franchise, making Riderman, Shin, ZO and J become Main Riders.
The Kamen Rider series was truly revived in the Heisei Era, starting with Kamen Rider Kuuga in 2000. As this was noted in Kamen Rider Decade (2009), the tenth Heisei era series which initially united the first nine Heisei series, also giving focus on the Showa period despite being 38 years since the start of the series due to Decade's position as the 25th Rider hero (The explanation would be that Decade acts as an anniversary series for the whole franchise, marked by the checkpoint of being the 10th Heisei Series).
In 2009, post-Decade installments starting with Kamen Rider W (2009-2010) and ending with Kamen Rider Zi-O (2018-2019), encompassed what fans recognize as the Heisei Era Phase 2 (often wrongly referred as Neo-Heisei Era). Toei unofficially recognizes this division of the era, since its series have a different airing period, and that its series contains the greatest amount of new trends.
- Heisei Kamen Rider Series Phase 1 (平成仮面ライダーシリーズ第1期, Heisei Kamen Raidā Shirīzu Dai Ichi-Ki): 2000-2009 (Kuuga - Decade)
- Heisei Kamen Rider Series Phase 2 (平成仮面ライダーシリーズ第2期, Heisei Kamen Raidā Shirīzu Dai Ni-Ki): 2009-2019 (W - Zi-O)
Kamen Rider in the Heisei era
- Continued from Kamen Rider in the Showa era
Start of the Era
Toei announced its new project, Kamen Rider Kuuga, in May of 1999. It was part of a Kamen Rider revival project that Ishinomori had worked on since 1997, planning for a leadup into the 30th anniversary. However, Ishinomori passed away in 1998, before he could see these shows materialize. During the summer of 1999, Kuuga became publicized through magazine ads and commercials. On January 30, 2000, Kamen Rider Kuuga premiered to high ratings, introducing rookie actor Joe Odagiri. It led to the creation of the Odagiri effect, where least targeted audiences are seduced, as it happens, adult women (notably young mothers), actually became great part of the audiences, because of Joe Odagiri's handsomeness. The series was so well-recieved, that it even won the 2000 Seiun Award. The Hyper Battle DVD trend started and stayed for every series since then.
- Kamen Rider Kuuga (49-part series)
- Kamen Rider Kuuga: Special Chapter: Director's Cut of Ep. 1 and Ep. 2
- Kamen Rider Kuuga vs. the Strong Monster Go·Jiino·Da: Hyper Battle DVD
- First Dream of the New Year: DVD
- Good Job: DVD
The Machine is Working (2001-2006)
Kuuga was followed by the 30th Anniversary series, Kamen Rider Agito (Masked Rider AGITΩ) in 2001, which began several trends throughout the Heisei Series: multiple Kamen Riders (Agito featured 4: Agito, Gills, G3, and Another Agito); the ending theme playing during the climactic scene instead of the end credits (this would be briefly broken in Hibiki and Ex-Aid with respectively Akira Fuse and Daichi Miura's songs); and the relationship to Honda and Shoei for the Kamen Riders' motorcycles, and other motor vehicles and equipments. However, Agito stayed quite similar to Kuuga even referring to the latter in-series. A summer movie marked the start of the regular trend consisting in double-billing movies with Super Sentai's, thing that hasn't been done since Kamen Rider World in 1994.
- Kamen Rider Agito (51-part series)
- Kamen Rider Agito: Three Great Riders: Hyper Battle DVD
- Kamen Rider Agito: Project G4: Summer Movie
- Kamen Rider Agito Special: A New Transformation: TV Special
The third series in the Heisei era was Kamen Rider Ryuki (Masked Rider Ryuki) in 2002, which began the relationship with the record label Avex Group and its artists to perform theme songs for the series, such as voice actor Rica Matsumoto for Ryuki, leader of the boys band DA PUMP, ISSA for 555, pop singer Nanase Aikawa for Blade, YU-KI of TRF for Kabuto, AAA for Den-O, and GACKT for Decade, as well as the introduction of the group RIDER CHIPS, deemed the official band for Kamen Rider in the same way Project.R will be later for Super Sentai. Using the concept of thirteen Riders, Ryuki took a turn away from previous series, however, resulting in lower than expected ratings. The series and franchise as a whole was helped to continue in large part due to the toy sales of Kamen Rider Ryuki. A special episode was brodcasted, and asked audiences to choose the ending by calling a phone number.
- Kamen Rider Ryuki (50-part series)
- Kamen Rider Ryuki: Ryuki vs Kamen Rider Agito: Hyper Battle DVD
- Kamen Rider Ryuki: Episode Final: Summer Movie
- Kamen Rider Ryuki Special: 13 Riders: TV Special
The next series, Kamen Rider 555 (Masked Rider Φ's), continued with strong toy sales and slightly lower ratings than Ryuki. This year marked the start of the Super Hero Time block on TV Asahi, along with Super Sentai Series. However, both the fifth and sixth series were plagued with behind the scenes problems.
- Kamen Rider 555 (50-part series)
- Kamen Rider 555: Hyper Battle Video: Hyper Battle DVD
- Kamen Rider 555: Paradise Lost: Summer Movie
Kamen Rider Blade (Masked Rider ♠) has become the second lowest rated Kamen Rider Series as well as being noted for poor toy sales. The Riders transform using Undead Cards to seal more Undead and power up into various forms. During the course of the series, the main writer and director crew were fired to allow franchise veterans to return as main writers.
- Kamen Rider Blade (49-part series)
- Kamen Rider Blade: Blade vs. Blade: Hyper Battle DVD
- Kamen Rider Blade: Missing Ace: Summer Movie
- Kamen Rider Blade: New Generation: Compilation Special
Kamen Rider Hibiki, the sixth series, became one of the most controversial series in the history of the franchise. Introducing new themes and taking on a different look, while the series broke the chain of each series having lower ratings than the last since Agito, its toy sales were relatively low. As with Blade, a new directing and writing team was brought onto the show during the midterm of the series. These two series also are the only ones in the Heisei Era to have two completely different openings. During Hibiki's run, Kamen Rider The First was produced and released. Written by Toshiki Inoue, the film was an original re-imagining of both the manga and original television series. Various characters from the original series had their storylines altered to fit the time span of the movie. Masaya Kikawada portrays Takeshi Hongo / Kamen Rider 1 and Hassei Takano (previously Miyuki Tezuka/Kamen Rider Raia in Kamen Rider Ryuki) as Hayato Ichimonji / Kamen Rider 2.
- Kamen Rider Hibiki (48-part series)
- Kamen Rider Hibiki: Asumu, Transform! You can be an Oni, too!!: Hyper Battle DVD
- Kamen Rider Hibiki & The Seven Senki: Summer Movie
- Kamen Rider The First: Reboot Movie
In 2006, Kamen Rider Kabuto, the seventh series, celebrated the 35th anniversary of the show. The series brought back many conventional aesthetic conventions of the Kamen Rider legacy with bug-themed designs. The main Riders were Kabuto, Gatack, TheBee, Sasword, Drake, KickHopper and PunchHopper. Kabuto was one of the most successful Heisei-era Kamen Rider series. It could be noted that it is the first series to be filmed in 720p, since other Heisei series were filmed in 1080i.
- Kamen Rider Kabuto (49-part series)
- Kamen Rider Kabuto: Birth! Gatack Hyper Form!!: Hyper Battle DVD
- Kamen Rider Kabuto: God Speed Love: Summer Movie
Improving the franchise (2007-2009)
The year 2007 brought Kamen Rider Den-O (Masked Rider Den-O), the eighth series, taking a turn from past Kamen Rider series, introducing a Kamen Rider that is completely unsure of himself. The series makes use of a large vehicle, the DenLiner; a bullet train that can travel through time that also houses weaponry designed to combat the giant versions of Imagin (this series' kaijin) called Gigandeaths. This series only had two Riders, Den-O and Zeronos, but they had multiple forms that they could switch between, similarly to Black RX, Kuuga, and Agito. Due to the large popularity of Den-O, a second theatrical production, crossing over with the 2008 series Kamen Rider Kiva, was released in theaters April 12, 2008, becoming the top film in its opening weekend. In addition, Animate produced an OVA titled Imagin Anime that features SD versions of the Imagin that are contracted to Den-O and Zeronos that have been featured in the company's other Den-O products. Finally, a third movie, called Saraba Kamen Rider Den-O: Final Countdown with two more new Riders serves as an epilogue to the series. The third original film was the first for any series. Takeru Satoh, the actor who portrayed the lead character of Den-O for the television series and first three films, claims that this is because of the series' comedy. Den-O media kept being released until 2010, during OOO run, and way later in the Reiwa Era, because of the time traveling theme of the series. There was also a sequel to Kamen Rider The First in 2007, entitled Kamen Rider The Next, based on the events of Kamen Rider V3. It featured Kazuki Kato (previously Kamen Rider Drake in Kabuto) portraying Shiro Kazami / Kamen Rider V3. Kikawada and Takano also reprise their roles as Takeshi and Hayato.
- Kamen Rider Den-O (49-part series)
- Kamen Rider Den-O: Singing, Dancing, Great Training!!: Hyper Battle DVD
- Kamen Rider Den-O + Shin-O: TV Special
- Kamen Rider Den-O: I'm Born!: Summer Movie
- Momotaros' Summer Vacation: Movie Bonus
- Kamen Rider The Next: Reboot Movie of Kamen Rider V3
- Kamen Rider Den-O: Final Trilogy Special Edition: Director's Cut of Ep. 47-49
In 2008, the ninth series, Kamen Rider Kiva (Masked Rider Kiva), was produced for Shotaro Ishinomori's 70th birthday (that is also 10 years after his death). This time the series follow a story of a dad and his son through two eras, 1986 and 2008, the overall having a vampire/bat motif. In the same lineage than Den-O, the Main Rider uses external entities to shift into different forms. Like 555, the main hero is a monster (though this time it is a hybrid human-monster).
- Kamen Rider Kiva (48-part series)
- Kamen Rider Den-O & Kiva: Climax Deka: Spring Movie (with Den-O)
- Momotaros's Let's Go Kiva!: Movie Bonus
- Imagin Anime: Den-O DVD Series
- Kamen Rider Backwards-Kiva: Queen of the Castle in the Demon World: Net-Movie
- Kamen Rider Kiva: You Can Also be Kiva: Hyper Battle DVD
- Kamen Rider Den-O + Shin-O: TV Special
- Kamen Rider Kiva: King of the Castle in the Demon World: Summer Movie
- Saraba Kamen Rider Den-O: Final Countdown: Second Den-O Movie
- Imagin Anime: Momotaros Forever! -Imagin Terminal Station-/The Movie: Movie Bonus Special
- Imagin Anime 2: Den-O DVD Series
In 2009, Kamen Rider Decade (Masked Rider DCD), was introduced as a tenth anniversary for the Heisei Era, featuring the title character traveling to other worlds to save them and recover his memories. To commemorate this milestone, Japanese recording artist GACKT was brought onto the project to perform the series' opening theme Journey through the Decade, and later the summer movie theme song The Next Decade. Gackt also jokingly expressed interest in portraying a villain in the show. Also announced in 2009 was a fourth film for Den-O, later revealed to be the beginning of the Cho-Den-O Series of films, starting with the film Cho Kamen Rider Den-O & Decade Neo Generations: The Onigashima Warship. There are two movies that serve as an epilogue: Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker and Kamen Rider Decade: Final Chapter. This series is noted for having the shortest running time as a television series, running for only 31 episodes compared to other series, who have run generally for almost 50 episodes. In the March 2009 issue of Kindai magazine, Decade's lead actor Masahiro Inoue stated that Decade was only slated to run for 30 episodes.
- Kamen Rider Decade (31-part series)
- Kamen Rider G: Net-Movie
- Cho Kamen Rider Den-O & Decade Neo Generations: The Onigashima Warship: Spring Movie (with Den-O)
- Kamen Rider Decade: Protect! The World of Televikun: Hyper Battle DVD
- Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders Super Spin-off: Net-Movies
- Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dr. Shinigami: Net-Movie
- Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker: Summer Movie
Unlike the previous Showa Rider era which were mostly episodic in nature with a standard "Rider stops the sinister plots of an organization", the Heisei era was defined by a more traditional Japanese Drama series slimmed down for children to enjoy and the storylines are considerably darker than the Showa TV series.
The Heisei Riders are often seen fighting against one another rather than strictly working with each other, first seen in Kamen Rider Agito, but solidified by Kamen Rider Ryuki and its 13 Kamen Riders. Unlike their Showa Shocker Riders, the evil Riders often have a personality behind their sinister motivations, and, unlike Shadow Moon, can show no signs of redemption even at their final moments. This helped create drama as well as improve sales of the toys.
The Heisei era also had Toshiki Inoue feeling the series toyetic nature prevents it from being a traditional J-Drama along the lines of GARO and like Jetman's novelization wrote several adult oriented novels based on the series which was focused on the dramatic aspects of the series and less focus on the toyetic nature of the series. His Ryuki novelization for example had made Imperer and Raia nameless riders as the Ryuki TV series intentions with Imperer and Raia was to show the cruel nature of the Rider War and it's effect on good natured people.
Another change was often the Rider belts are (usually) worn rather than implanted, presenting the possibility that the Rider could lose the belt, be deprived of his abilities, and have other people don the belt instead.
Heisei Rider productions
- Kamen Rider Kuuga (仮面ライダークウガ, Kamen Raidā Kūga) (2000-2001)
- Kamen Rider Agito (仮面ライダーアギト, Kamen Raidā Agito, Masked Rider ΑGITΩ) (2001-2002)
- Kamen Rider Ryuki (仮面ライダー龍騎, Kamen Raidā Ryūki) (2002-2003)
- Kamen Rider 555 (仮面ライダー555（ファイズ）, Kamen Raidā Faizu, Masked Rider Φ's) (2003-2004)
- Kamen Rider Blade (仮面ライダー剣（ブレイド）, Kamen Raidā Bureido, Masked Rider ♠) (2004-2005)
- Kamen Rider Hibiki (仮面ライダー響鬼（ヒビキ）, Kamen Raidā Hibiki) (2005-2006)
- Kamen Rider Kabuto (仮面ライダーカブト, Kamen Raidā Kabuto) (2006-2007)
- Kamen Rider Den-O (仮面ライダー電王, Kamen Raidā Den'ō) (2007-2008)
- Kamen Rider Kiva (仮面ライダーキバ, Kamen Raidā Kiba) (2008-2009)
- Kamen Rider Decade (仮面ライダーディケイド, Kamen Raidā Dikeido, Masked Rider DCD) (2009)
- Kamen Rider W (仮面ライダーＷ（ダブル）, Kamen Raidā Daburu) (2009-2010) - first series of the "Phase 2" era
- Kamen Rider OOO (仮面ライダーＯＯＯ（オーズ）, Kamen Raidā Ōzu) (2010-2011)
- Kamen Rider Fourze (仮面ライダーフォーゼ, Kamen Raidā Fōze) (2011-2012)
- Kamen Rider Wizard (仮面ライダーウィザード, Kamen Raidā Uizādo) (2012-2013)
- Kamen Rider Gaim (仮面ライダー鎧武（ガイム）, Kamen Raidā Gaimu) (2013-2014)
- Kamen Rider Drive (仮面ライダードライブ, Kamen Raidā Doraibu) (2014-2015)
- Kamen Rider Ghost (仮面ライダーゴースト, Kamen Raidā Gōsuto) (2015-2016)
- Kamen Rider Amazons (仮面ライダーアマゾンズ, Kamen Raidā Amazonzu) (2016-2017) - extra series of the Heisei period
- Kamen Rider Ex-Aid (仮面ライダーエグゼイド, Kamen Raidā Eguzeido) (2016-2017)
- Kamen Rider Build (仮面ライダービルド, Kamen Raidā Birudo) (2017-2018)
- Kamen Rider Zi-O (仮面ライダージオウ, Kamen Raidā Jiō) (2018-2019)
- Kamen Rider Decade: The Last Story
- Kamen Rider W: Begins Night
- Movie War 2010
- Episode Red: Zero no Star Twinkle
- Episode Blue: The Dispatched Imagin is Newtral
- Episode Yellow: Treasure de End Pirates
- Kamen Rider Skull: Message for Double
- Kamen Rider OOO: Nobunaga's Desire
- Movie War Core
- Beginning: Fight! The Legendary Seven Riders
- Kamen Rider OOO: Ankh's Resurrection, the Medals of the Future, and the Leading Hope
- Futo: The Conspiracy Advances: Gallant! Kamen Rider Joker
- Kamen Rider Fourze: Nadeshiko, Descend
- Movie War Mega Max: Gather! Warriors of Glory
- Kamen Rider Fourze
- Kamen Rider Wizard
- Movie War Ultimatum
- Kamen Rider Wizard: The Promised Place
- Kamen Rider Gaim: Sengoku Battle Royale
- Sengoku Movie Battle
- Kamen Rider Gaim: Advancement of the Last Stage
- Kamen Rider Drive: The Challenge from Lupin
- Movie War Full Throttle