|This article is about a/an movie in the Kamen Rider Series.|
|Kamen Rider The First|
|A movie for Kamen Rider Series|
|Release date December 5, 2005|
|Written by Toshiki Inoue|
|Directed by Takao Nagaishi|
Kamen Rider The Next
Kamen Rider Hibiki & The Seven Senki
Kamen Rider Kabuto: God Speed Love
Kamen Rider The First (仮面ライダー THE FIRST Kamen Raidā Za Fāsuto?, translated as Masked Rider The First) is a movie for the Kamen Rider Series. The film is an adaptation of Kamen Rider, though there are many differences between the film and the original programme; some of these, however, are due to a closer reliance on the original Kamen Rider manga by Shotaro Ishinomori.
The film was released theatrically on December 5, 2005, though it had several early screenings around Tokyo during the previous two months, beginning on October 23, at the Tokyo Film Festival. It was released on Region 2 DVD on April 21, 2006. American anime distributor Media Blasters released the film subtitled-only on Region 1 DVD on April 3, 2007, but this version of the film is no longer in print.
The film's theme song is "Bright! our Future" by Da Pump, though the opening features a small portion of the original Kamen Rider theme song, "Let's Go!! Rider Kick", sung by Masato Shimon. The film was produced by Ishimori Productions and Toei, who have also produced every previous television series and films in the Kamen Rider franchise. It was followed by a sequel, Kamen Rider: The Next.
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College student Takeshi Hongo is abducted into terrorist organisation Shocker (Sacred Hegemony Of Cycle Kindred Evolutional Realm), at the hands of a cyborg Inhumanoid (Kaijin) known as the Bat. There, he undergoes painful reconstructive surgery, turning him into an Inhumanoid himself. Unlike the original series, he does not escape prior to mental condition by Shocker, and becomes one of their soldiers, nicknamed "Hopper". He carries out a mission successfully, and meets Shocker's Major Agents, including Dr. Shinigami. Hongo receives his orders— Kill those who have seen Shocker's Inhumanoid soldiers.
However, what he doesn't realise is that the two witnesses are the journalist who had interviewed him prior to his kidnapping, Asuka Midorikawa (Rena Komine) and her fiancé Katsuhiko Yano (Hassei Takano). Attacking the two along with Shocker soldier Spider, it is here that Hongo remembers his humanity, and has an epiphany with regards to what he should do. Despite his efforts, Katsuhiko is killed by Spider, and Asuka finds Hongo next to the body. Blaming him for Katsuhiko's death, she begins to follow him, attempting to ascertain why who she thought was a normal college student is a murderer.
Meanwhile, at Shocker headquarters, it is revealed that those who undergo Shocker's treatment need periodic blood transfusions, lest they reject their cybernetic components. Though Hongo seems to lack the need for the transfusions, he is labeled a "traitor" by Shocker and must be destroyed. It is here that Dr. Shinigami reveals his plan to create a second soldier based on Hopper's design to do the job.
Hongo, having now abandoned Shocker, visits Tobei Tachibana, who gives him his motorcycle, the Cyclone. He is then able to defeat Spider. Asuka meets Hayato Ichimonji, who is identical to her fiancé, who she thought was dead. He reveals that "Katsuhiko Yano" was an alias. What he doesn't tell Asuka is that he has been kidnapped by Shocker and turned into the 2nd Hopper. His mission: defeat Hongo at any cost.
The film also features a subplot, interspersed throughout. It involves two terminally ill hospital patients, who get a chance to live after an offer by Shocker. The couple is taken to Shocker's island base, where they laugh and play under the watchful eye of Shocker's sinister bird logo. It is only then that it is revealed that this part of the film has been a flashback, taking place around a year ago. The two had undergone the reconfiguration and surfaced in the current story as Shocker soldiers Cobra and Snake, who branded Ichimonji a traitor for failing Shocker by putting his feelings for Asuka first.
Ultimately, the Riders team up after Bat attempts to kidnap Asuka and turn her into an Inhumanoid, which enrages Ichimonji enough to cause him to turn on his former masters. They defeat Shocker's three cyborg soldiers at their island base, but Shinigami and other Major Agents have survived, and they're already in the fashioning of a new base of operations while plotting a new scheme to eliminate Riders, once and for all.
|Hopper 1||Takeshi Hongo|
|Hopper 2||Katsuhiko Yano|
Several actors in this film have appeared in previous Kamen Rider productions. Hiroshi Miyauchi plays Tobei Tachibana, a character who has appeared in numerous other Kamen Rider shows, acting as a sort of father figure to the Riders. Miyauchi is known for portraying the title character in 1973's Kamen Rider V3. Hassei Takano, who portrays Hayato Ichimonji (Kamen Rider 2) in the film, also starred as Miyuki Tezuka (Kamen Rider Raia) in the 2002 series Kamen Rider Ryuki. Hideyo Amamoto posthumously reprises his role as Dr. Shinigami through archival footage from the original Kamen Rider series.
The crew of The First also features many returning faces. Director Takao Nagaishi is a longtime tokusatsu director who has helmed several episodes of 2006s Kamen Rider Kabuto. Nagaishi was also an assistant director on the original Kamen Rider series. The film was written by Toshiki Inoue, a popular fixture in anime and tokusatsu screen writing. He has written virtually every theatrical film in the Kamen Rider franchise, as well as all the episodes of Kamen Rider Agito (except for one) and Kamen Rider 555. He also served as a writer on Kamen Rider Kuuga, Kamen Rider Ryuki, Kamen Rider Blade, and Kamen Rider Hibiki. Inoue is the son of the late Masaru Igami, who was the chief writer on the original Kamen Rider series, as well as Kamen Rider V3, Kamen Rider Stronger, and New Kamen Rider.
Differences between film and televisionEdit
- The movie has a great deal of elements from the original television series that spread across from the beginning to end, although several of these conflict with the film's timing. Takeshi Hongo originally had to ride his motorcycle at high speeds to power his Typhoon belt and transform into his Rider form while Ichimonji Hayato was able to power the Typhoon by arm movements. Although Hongo was able to do the same eventually, the movie version can do it from the beginning.
- The Riders' "transformation" movement is also different from the actual series. In the series, Hongo and Ichimonji perform a series of stylish hand-waving, then jump into the air to complete the transformation. The hand movements are implemented later in the movie, as battle poses before their confrontation with the Bat, but have no connection to their transformation. In this movie, they simply open up their leather jackets (or polo shirt, in one of Ichimonji's cases), revealing the Typhoon Belt (and their body armor), then snap on their helmets and faceplates on their heads to transform.
- Dr. Shinigami appears from the very beginning of the movie, although in the original series, he appeared after the defeat of Colonel Zol, the first Shocker general.
- The character of Ichimonji Hayato was completely rewritten. In the television series, Ichimonji was a photographer who was kidnapped to become Shocker's new Kamen Rider, although he was rescued by Takeshi Hongo before he could be brainwashed; the two were allies from the beginning. In the film, Ichimonji was originally Katsuhiko Yano, the lover of Asuka Midorikawa. Katsuhiko was killed by Spider, and Hongo/Hopper was framed for it. Katsuhiko's corpse was recovered and turned into a cyborg similar to Hongo. His brain was altered to believe he was a man named Ichimonji Hayato in competition for Asuka's affection. Ichimonji originally served as Hongo's enemy, and later a hesitant ally. He disappears at the end of the movie, leaving his helmet on the road.
- Asuka Midorikawa shares the same last name as one of Hongo's professors who had worked for Shocker, Professor Midorikawa. In the original series, it is Professor Midorikawa who saves Hongo before he can be subjected to brain surgery by providing the distraction to allow Hongo to escape, only to ultimately be murdered by the Spider. Asuka also shares a similarity with Professor Midorikawa's daughter, Ruriko; both had witnessed the death of their respected loved ones (Professor Midorikawa for Ruriko, who was her father, and Katsuhiko Yano for Asuka, who was her fiancé) with their own eyes and originally thought that Hongo was to blame for it. Then both of them ultimately found out the truth and forgave Hongo.
- Takeshi Hongo (本郷 猛 Hongō Takeshi?): Masaya Kikawada (黄川田 将也 Kikawada Masaya?)
- Hayato Ichimonji/Katsuhiko Yano (一文字 隼人/矢野 克彦 Ichimonji Hayato/Yano Katsuhiko?): Hassei Takano (高野 八誠 Takano Hassei?)
- Asuka Midorikawa (緑川 あすか Midorikawa Asuka?): Rena Komine (小嶺 麗奈 Komine Rena?)
- Tōbei Tachibana (立花 藤兵衛 Tachibana Tōbei?): Hiroshi Miyauchi (宮内 洋 Miyauchi Hiroshi?)
- Haruhiko Mitamura (三田村 晴彦 Mitamura Haruhiko?): Eiji Wentz (ウエンツ 瑛士 Uentsu Eiji?)
- Miyoko Harada (原田 美代子 Harada Miyoko?): Ryoko Kobayashi (小林 涼子 Kobayashi Ryōko?)
- Shocker Staff: Lady (ショッカー幹部・美女 Shokkā Kanbu Bijo?): Mayumi Sada (佐田 真由美 Sada Mayumi?)
- Shocker Staff: Youth (ショッカー幹部・若者 Shokkā Kanbu Wakamono?): Issa Hentona (辺土名 一茶 Hentona Issa?)
- Shocker Staff: Elderly Gentleman (Dr. Shinigami) (ショッカー幹部・老紳士 Shokkā Kanbu Rōshinshi?): Hideyo Amamoto (天本 英世 Amamoto Hideyo?)
- Spider (スパイダー Supaidā?): Itsuji Itao (板尾 創路 Itao Itsuji?)
- Bat (バット Batto?): Kanji Tsuda (津田 寛治 Tsuda Kanji?)
- The Member of the House of Representatives (代議士 Daigishi?): Renji Ishibashi (石橋 蓮司 Ishibashi Renji?)
- The Private Secretary (秘書官 Hishokan?): Hirotaro Honda (本田 博太郎 Honda Hirotarō?)
- Megumi (めぐみ Megumi?): Hitomi Nakahodo (仲程 仁美 Nakahodo Hitomi?)
- Shocker Combatmen (ショッカー戦闘員 Shokkā Sentōin?, Voice): Katsumi Shiono (塩野 勝美 Shiono Katsumi?)
- Hopper 1 (Kamen Rider 1): Hiroshi Maeda (前田 浩 Maeda Hiroshi?)
- Hopper 2 (Kamen Rider 2): Mark Musashi (マーク 武蔵 Māku Musashi?)
- Spider: Akira Ohashi (大橋 明 Ōhashi Akira?)
- Bat: Makoto Arakawa (荒川 真 Arakawa Makoto?)
- Cobra: Mizuho Yoshida (吉田 瑞穂 Yoshida Mizuho?)
- Snake: Yumi Sunaoshi (砂押 裕美 Sunaoshi Yumi?)
- Opening theme
- "Let's Go!! Rider Kick" (レッツゴー！！ライダーキック Rettsu Gō!! Raidā Kikku?)
- Ending theme
- "Bright! our Future"
- Lyrics: ISSA
- Composition: ISSA & YUKINARI
- Arrangement: YUKINARI & UNAShinji Tanahashi
- Artist: Da Pump
A sequel was produced in 2007 called Kamen Rider: The Next. The film included the rider Kamen Rider V3 who had his own show in 1973, which was a sequel to the original Kamen Rider show. The film is often considered by fans to be one of the most dark, and violent Kamen Rider adaptions in the series. The film was pointed out for its horror elements as well.
- Due to the appearance of Takeshi in Kamen Rider Kabuto, it can be assumed that this movie and its sequel are in the same universe as the main Kamen Rider series.
- This is, to date, the only Kamen Rider film that western fans can purchase.
- ↑ Hideyo Amamoto's appearance in the film is only through various pieces of footage recorded before his death in 2003, including several from the original Kamen Rider series.
- Official Kamen Rider The First website.
- Kamen Rider The First at Wikipedia
- Kamen Rider The First at Japanese Wikipedia
- Paul "Igadevil" Sullivan, Kamen Rider The First review.
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