Kamen Rider OOO: A Many-Medalled Hero and a Series’ Origins
While I felt it was too late to cover the 2009-2010 Kamen Rider series Kamen Rider Double, now seems like the perfect time to actually make write-ups on the 2010-2011 Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider OOO (OOO is pronounced as Ozu or the Os in Cheerios).
Now, since a good number of my current readers probably have little idea of what a Kamen Rider is, much less Kamen Rider OOO, here’s a short bit of text for you to get to know the series.
The Kamen Rider series is a long-standing set of television shows in Japan (with some American remakes) that basically feature ordinary people being given an extraordinary power. The franchise began in 1971, and continues to this day with the above mentioned Kamen Rider OOO, which actually began nearly three hours ago in Japan.
Currently, the Kamen Rider series is split into two eras, known as the Showa and Heisei eras, with the Showa era lasting from 1971 to the 1990s and the Heisei Era beginning in 2000 moving into the present. Whereas all Showa Kamen Riders were essentially good men given their powers by surgical alteration into cyborgs or some such, Heisei Kamen Riders are often more conflicted (with some choosing to be evil) and their powers are often given by either mystical means or as a technological breakthrough. Signature aspects of a Kamen Rider series tend to be the use of belts as a tool or transformation device and a finishing move, which is usually a kick attack. More recently, form changes, or the transformation of the Kamen Rider into different forms to adapt to varying battle conditions, has been a staple of the franchise.
Moving on to the topic of Kamen Rider OOO, let me begin by saying this: I am quite excited for this new series. If the previous Kamen Rider series, Kamen Rider Double, had Gaia Memories (imagine USB sticks that gave you superpowers) as a hook for transforming the main protagonists into Kamen Riders, OOO uses a three-medal system for giving the main character, Eiji Hino, the powers of a new Kamen Rider.
By inserting three medals into a special belt and then passing a circular handheld scanner through the medals and saying “Henshin,” Hino transforms into a Kamen Rider that possesses the attributes given by those medals. From the information given so far about the show, OOO fights against the Greed, monsters who have recently awoken from an 800-year rest. The Greed usurp the desires of human beings, turning them into monsters known as the Yummy (Yeah, that sounds weird).
Information provided prior to the first episode of Kamen Rider OOO points to a combination system for OOO, with him being able to use at least three different medals of the Red, Yellow, and Green colors. This would thus result in a potential set of 27 base combinations, not including a powered form that is sure to come midway through the series.
Strangely enough, information also points to a disembodied Greed hand (yes, that’s a bad pun) being the giver of these medals to Hino. This Greed, named Ankh or Anku, appears to do this for his own motives in the above video, as a disembodied hand can barely protect himself. With the powers of a Hawk (Taka!), Tiger (Tora!), and Grasshopper (Batta!), Hino becomes the many-medalled hero known as Kamen Rider OOO, who will presumably fight for justice.
I’ll have more information on the first episode as well as thoughts once subs become available. Till then, sit tight, and maybe check Wikipedia if the idea of a Kamen Rider interests you. Cheers!
EDIT: If you watch the first video in this post, which is the TV Sized opening for the show’s theme song, Anything Goes, you will notice some things such as…
1. A dancing disembodied demon hand,
2. Underpants being carried on a stick,
3. And a vending machine that turns into a motorcycle. No joke.