REVIEW: Kamen Rider: Reiwa The First Generation

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Starring

Fumiya Takahashi (Kamen Rider Zi-O: Over Quartzer)
Ryutaro Okada (The Smartphone Guy)
Noa Tsurushima (Kamen Rider Zero-One)
Hiroe Igeta (Silhouette of Your Voice)
Daisuke Nakagawa (Where Have My Skirts Gone?)
Shuya Sunagawa (Kamen Rider Zero-One)
Kazuya Kojima (London Hearts)
Tokuma Nishioka (Second Love)
Koji Yamamoto (Extro)
So Okuno (Watashi Ga Motete Dosunda)
Gaku Oshida (Make a Bow and Kiss)
Shieri Ohata (Daytime Shooting Star)
Keisuke Watanabe (Semiotoko)
Rina Ikoma (Corpse Party)
Soko Wada (Renai Kitanshu)
Ryuji Kasahara (Choujin Sentai Jetman)

96802598_170338534433516_7954933560006148096_oIt’s the beginning of a new generation for the Kamen Rider franchise, and after a series celebrating the past 20 years of the Heisei era it’s time to look toward the future. Kamen Rider Zero-One has kickstarted the Reiwa era in full force, but it seems Kamen Rider Zi-O has at least one more fight in him as the gang returns for the obligatory Winter crossover movie. But with Heisei Generations no more, it’s time for a new banner to rise. Kamen Rider Reiwa: The First Generation sees the baton properly passed to Aruto Hiden, forging a new Kamen Rider legacy for the Reiwa era.Reiwa-The-First-Generation-Soreo-HidenAfter waking up from a dream about the Daybreak Incident, Aruto Hiden finds himself in a world where not only is he no longer the president of Hiden Intelligence but Humagears are pushing humanity to the brink of extinction. At the same time, Sougo Tokiwa and his friends find themselves surrounded by Humagears – leading Woz to appear and the RideWatches to restore their memories of the past. History has changed, and at the centre of it is Hiden’s new Humagear president Will – also known as Another Zero-One.r333jubri0341With the human resistance fighting a losing battle, Aruto and Sougo travel back to 2007 to witness the events just before the Daybreak Incident. Not only do they encounter another Time Jacker with her own plans for the Kamen Rider powers, but Aruto discovers his Humagear father’s own involvement in the catastrophe. With past and present hanging in the balance, Kamen Rider Zero-One must forge his own legacy and become the start of a new generation.Reiwa-The-First-Generation-Ichi-GataThe Heisei Generations trilogy were some of the finest and most consistent films that the Kamen Rider franchise has put out in a while, so following them on with ones under a new banner was never going to be an easy feat. But while the format may remain mostly the same, there is one key difference between Reiwa the First Generation and its predecessors – the matter of legacy. Though the HeiGen films may have been primarily billed as crossovers between the currently airing Rider and their predecessor, in the case of all three what made them special was the inclusion of other Legend Riders as well. The first film gathered the (at the time) past five years of Riders for a powerful finale, FOREVER featured the (all too brief) reunion of Eiji and Ankh and as an anniversary movie FINAL’s impact goes without saying. But none of this matters to the Reiwa The First Generation. Even ignoring the logistics of trying to outdo FINAL, this is a new generation with a new story to tell. For many fans out there Zero-One will be their first Kamen Rider series the same way Kuuga was back in 2000 – and it’s their show just as much as it is longstanding fans’.Reiwa-The-First-Generation-FinisOf course, this would perhaps be an easy thing to achieve if not for the complications of including Kamen Rider Zi-O. This was a series that not only hinged itself on its anniversary element, but often revelled in the unrelenting mess the Kamen Rider chronology has become. For Reiwa The First Generation to work, all of that would need to be stripped. Not only that, but the series then has the added obstacle of having ended on a seemingly conclusive note. The Geiz, Majesty V-cinema may be on it’s way to undoing that, but with this film placed before that chronologically not only did it need to rewind that ending but also put the status quo back in place by the end of it. It could have very easily been a failure, but instead the film succeeds by largely stripping away that anniversary element and keeping Zi-O to its core concept – time travel.Reiwa-The-First-Generation-ZeroZero-OneUsing the Zi-O cast as more of a vessel to facilitate the story, Reiwa The First Generation is instead able to pay homage to the legacy of Kamen Rider in different ways whilst at the same marking a new beginning in this nearing 50 year old franchise. Elements like an alternate future with humanity on the brink of extinction harkening back to movies like Faiz’s Paradise Lost or Kabuto’s God Speed Love (or even just Zi-O’s own twisted future, as Geiz comments upon) are more likely coincidental than anything else, but there’s much more going on here than just surface comparisons. And at the centre of all this is the film’s movie-exclusive Rider – Kamen Rider Ichi-Gata.Reiwa-The-First-Generation-Fuwa-YuaWhen the group travel back to the days leading up to the Daybreak Incident, Aruto discovers that his Humagear father Soreo not only creator the Zero-One Driver but also moonlighted as a Kamen Rider himself. The visual callbacks to Kamen Rider #1 speak for themselves, mixing Zero-One’s impressive suit aesthetics with the colours and layout of the very first Rider to create something truly special. But on top of this and the fact Toei have (perhaps knowingly so) created themselves the perfect V-cinema scenario, Ichi-Gata’s is one faucet of the film’s dive into the franchise’s roots. Its main antagonist, the Time Jacker Finis, plans to steal the past Rider powers from Zi-O so that they can return Kamen Rider back to it’s original purpose – a weapon. The concept of taking a weapon for evil and turning it into a force for good is the very foundation of Kamen Rider, and though Soreo’s story plays out very differently to that of Takeshi Hongo its message still remains the same. Here the core Kamen Rider story is reworked to fit within the confines of Zero-One, cementing it as the beginning of a new generation.812gGhLltFL._RI_Despite just how big of a thing Aruto being raised by a Humagear father feels like it should be, surprisingly it’s something that’s only really been part of the series in passing so was perfect for exploration in this film. Though there’s a lot of dealing in alternate futures not all of what transpires here is wiped from canon at the end, and even if was the emotional element would still be ever present. The dynamic between the two is strong – strong enough that it’s even easy to forget that there are other things going on in the film sometimes. But it’s a core that carries real weight across all of Zero-One, both challenging and cementing Aruto’s belief in human/Humagear coexistence. Reiwa The First Generation really is Aruto’s movie, and actor Fumiya Takahashi demonstrates exactly why he was chosen for the role.Reiwa-The-First-Generation-Horobi-JinAnd just because the Zi-O cast are used sparingly doesn’t mean that they aren’t used well. The film opens with a brief insight into their new lives but quickly dispels of that to return them to the status quo. It’s quite strange to see Sougo evolve into a mentor-like role to Aruto, not just giving him advice as the senior Rider but also as someone else who’s defied their supposed future. Meanwhile Geiz, Woz and Tsukuyomi may mostly be there for support but any excuse to get more Kamen Rider Tsukuyomi screen time is a good one. Though the story may stem from Finis’ plan a lot of the Zi-O stuff definitely feels more like background framework compared the emotional core offered by Zero-One, but any more would have definitely relied on the anniversary elements of the show. It’s hard to think of Zi-O as some sort of legacy character given that the series only ended last year, but the approach taken here certainly puts him on that path.Reiwa-The-First-Generation-Ichi-Gata-FightWith so much of the story rooted in both the past and the film’s new characters the roles of Zero-One’s supporting cast is rather significantly reduced, however that doesn’t mean that they don’t all get a chance to shine in this strange alternate world. We get to see Fuwa and Yua reimagined as resistance fighters, not only giving their relationship the ability to develop without the shackles of AIMS but also really emphasising their teamwork as Riders. Similarly Jin and Horobi may only play a small role as Will’s enforcers, but the pair are able to revel in the destruction without the skulking and scheming they do in the series’ main timeline. Izu is of course present too, remaining that all-important Humagear anchor for Aruto. Of course an apocalyptic future also requires an appropriate wardrobe change, with all the characters leaning into this in some way. Metsuboujinrai.net especially, who really know how to dress to impress for humanity’s impending extinction.Reiwa-The-First-Generation-Ichi-Gata-FightA Kamen Rider movie outing is always the perfect excuse to raise the bar visually, but the between both the series itself and this movie Zero-One and its director Teruaki Sugihara are making sure that the Reiwa era sets a whole new standard. Reiwa The First Generation features some incredible action set pieces, ranging from a full-cast warehouse battle to more emotionally-charged fights like the showdown between Zero-One and Ichi-Gata. These visuals are only enhanced by the brilliant suit design, not only stemming from Ichi-Gata but also the clashing visuals of Another Zero-One and Zero Zero-One – Aruto’s movie exclusive form accessed through the ForceRiser rather than his standard Driver. The reimagining of Zero-One with the ShotRiser’s more guerilla-like aesthetics is the perfect look for this film’s setting, and the quality of Zi-O’s monster Riders just continues to be unparalleled with Another Zero-One. So much so that even Another #1, the kind of CGI monstrosity most Rider fans would have laughed at a few years ago, turns out to be pretty impressive. We’ve clearly come a long way from the days of Movie War Core that’s for sure.75241132_827563240996000_3901096538436272128_nKamen Rider: Reiwa The First Generation does everything it needed to do and so much more. It neatly fills that crossover void, offers a satisfying epilogue piece for Zi-O (if you choose to ignore the subsequent V-Cinemas that is) and enriches Zero-One’s story in a way that won’t result in the series relying too heavily on it. For regular Kamen Rider viewers it’ll mostly seem like business as usual, but through clever righting and just the right level of homage it truly does feel like the first of a new generation. Although the jump from Heisei to Reiwa doesn’t feel quite as monumental as the jump from Showa to Heisei did, hopefully both this and Zero-One will be remembered just as fondly in future Reiwa era milestones.

REVIEW: Kamen Rider Zi-O NEXT TIME: Geiz, Majesty

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Starring

So Okuno (Watashi Ga Motete Dosunda)
Gaku Oshida (Make a Bow and Kiss)
Shieri Ohata (Daytime Shooting Star)
Keisuke Watanabe (Semiotoko)
Rihito Itagaki (The Promised neverland)
Ayaka Konno (The Golden Piggy)
Kentaro Kanesaki (Local Boys)
Kimito Totani (Kamen Rider Decade)
Kohei Murakami (Cutie Honey: The Live)
Minehiro Kinomoto (Kamen Rider W)
Hiroaki Iwanaga (Kamne Rider OOO)

Geiz-Majesty-Geiz-HospitalNo matter how finite a Kamen Rider series ending seems these days, a V-Cinema sequel is pretty much a certainty. After Kamen Rider Build quickly restored the memories of its cast in its NEW WORLD duology, it’s now time to see where the characters of Kamen Rider Zi-O are headed next in Kamen Rider Zi-O NEXT TIME: Geiz, Majesty. When we last saw the gang Tokiwa Sougo had used the powers of Oma Zi-O to rewrite time, creating a world where he and his friends live an ordinary life in the present. As its title suggests, the film focuses on Myokoin Geiz as well as featuring guest cameos from a number of secondary Kamen Riders.Geiz-Majesty-Time-JackersIt’s September 2018, and Myokoin Geiz is gearing up for his next big judo tournament. His friends Sougo and Tsukuyomi are by his side to cheer him on, as are fellow students Heure and Ora. But when Geiz suffers a career-ending injury during the tournament, he’s forced to give up his dreams of becoming a champion. At the same time, Geiz is also approached by White Woz – who presents him with a RideWatch and Driver, urging him to become a saviour once more. Crossing paths with Riders from across history as well as the world-hopping treasure sniper Daiki Kaito, Geiz slowly inches closer to taking up the mantle of a Kamen Rider once more. Why are White Woz and Diend here? And why is Geiz being told that his best friend is destined to become a ruthless overlord?Geiz-Majesty-White-WozGiven how blasé the Build V-Cinemas were about undoing large parts of the series ending it seemed reasonable to expect Kamen Rider Zi-O to do exactly the same, especially since the 20th anniversary series had a much looser approach to continuity. But immediately Geiz, Majesty manages to defy all expectations by actually showing a great deal of respect for the new status quo. Rather than try to tear huge chunks of it down to bring back the memories of core cast members, the film instead takes the opportunity to tie up a few loose ends whilst fleshing out the new versions of these characters. Its first half is almost purely an exercise in world-building, giving Geiz (a character who despite developing over the course of the show didn’t have a whole lot to work with outside the conflict) a backstory and purpose – with only hints of the past stringing the story along. While this often makes Geiz, Majesty a slow burn, it gives the often frenetic Zi-O a much steadier flow as well as the assurance that there may actually be more stories to tell in this part of the Kamen Rider universe.MV5BMjFjMjNjYjQtMjEwYi00ZTQ5LWJmMTEtYTc3YzE0Yjc1NjMwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTc5MDI5NjE@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,739_AL_Had they not been involved prior in time-travelling shenanigans and post-apocalyptic futures, a high school would have been the perfect setting for Zi-O, because it’s surprising how very little any of the characters have changed despite this wildly different setting. Sougo is still the happy go lucky dreamer he always was, but now he shares this present day life with both Geiz and Tsukuyomi. While Geiz might not be actively opposing Sougo the same way he did before, his once murderous intent has mellowed into a healthy rivalry between the two friends. He doesn’t understand Sougo’s dream and berates him for it, but underneath that tough exterior is very clearly a man who believes in and would do anything for his friends. Tsukuyomi remains the arbitrator between the two, and though it’s hinted that Geiz has feelings for her that doesn’t look to be reciprocated (yet), so the character retains an independence that the Build ladies weren’t so fortunate to keep.Geiz-Majesty-Another-DiendEven the Time Jackers, whose change from time meddling villains to adjacent high school clique (plus weirdly sinister teacher) is undoubtedly the biggest amongst the cast, don’t feel that different. Although their high school lives revel in all the cliches attached to that particular genre, both the story and characters fit into a place nicely. A cast being this malleable can often be a sign of underdevelopment, but this transition feels so seamless it makes you wonder if all this had been carefully planned from the start. The parallels between Sougo as “the overlord” and Geiz as “the saviour” are drawn much more closely here, and Geiz as a judo enthusiast is a particularly clever way of drawing out those qualities in this down to Earth setting – both to audience and Geiz himself.Geiz-Majesty-Zi-O-RidersThe appearance of White Woz and Geiz’s progression to a saviour was one of the more interesting developments in Zi-O, but the story really struggled with realising it – resulting in it quickly becoming overshadowed and some concepts being outright dropped. As such it’s great to see White Woz back again here in such a commanding position, and Zi-O is the kind of series that needs minimal sci-fi trickery to comfortably pull it off. Though still somewhat vague the idea of Geiz as the saviour is explored a little more here, especially with how the definition of one differs between Geiz and Woz. Keisuke Watanabe really amps up the sinister this time around, continuing to create a notable divide between the two versions of his character and raising even more questions about exactly what Woz is. Diend is a lot of fun as he always is, acting as something of a catalyst for Geiz despite simply being into the plot for his own typically selfish desires.ddmh590-ef2b39ee-4881-42f0-bcec-ce5b47dd1d16Another thing Geiz, Majesty does exceptionally well is how well it integrates its guest cast into the story. Being a Zi-O product cameos from past Riders was pretty much obligatory, with the film including appearances from Akira Date/Kamen Rider Birth, Ryu Terui/Kamen Rider Accel and Masato Kusaka/Kamen Rider Kaixa on top of Kaito’s own larger involvement in the plot. Though the obvious route would be to just bring them in as part of Diend’s powers, it’s actually only Kusaka who only turns up this way (and surprisingly cooperative at that). With Akira and Ryu their day jobs prove just as important as their status as Riders, and both are a big influence on Geiz’s next steps in life following his injuries. As great as some of the big name cameos and continuations in the Zi-O series were, this more nuanced approach feels like it has much wider implications for the franchise as a whole. The early entries in the Movie War series perfectly captured the idea of a shared Rider universe where characters from different series could easily run into each other, and now this film is reinforcing it. Not bad from a series that was throwing continuity and coherency in the air as if it didn’t matter not so long ago.ddmh590-ef2b39ee-4881-42f0-bcec-ce5b47dd1d16Though the majority of the costumed action doesn’t come until the very end Geiz, Majesty certainly doesn’t struggle in building hype for it – with all four of Zi-O’s Riders getting in on the action. It might all be centred around Geiz but getting to see Kamen Rider Tsukuyomi properly in action is a real treat, and cements the fact that she should have been given a Driver in the show far, far sooner. Geiz does get some of the spotlight with his new Majesty form though, which does have a certain charm to it despite essentially being Grand Zi-O done on a fraction of the budget. The RideWatches strewn across the body might look ridiculous, but then vibrant colours, giant shoulders and gold cape definitely give it that majestic quality. A culmination of secondary Riders isn’t something that’s ever been done before in this fashion so it’s quite the spectacle, with that final attack still having that anniversary charm that’s truly a joy for any Rider fan to behold.fireshot-capture-030-1165-vシネクスト「仮面ライダージオウ next-time ゲイツ、マジェスティ」予告-youtube-www.youtube.comOf course the same can be said for the monster suits as well, with the Another Riders getting another moment in the spotlight with Another Diend. Diend is notable among Riders for having already had a monster variant in the form of Chinomanoko Diend, who’s not been forgotten here as the heads are largely identical. The rest of the suit is much more straightforward Rider version though, pairing nicely with the Another Decade seen at the end of the series proper. With Another Decade having been the final adversary of the series, it was only fitting that Diend also get his due here as well.Geiz-Majesty-Rider-KickKamen Rider Zi-O NEXT TIME: Geiz, Majesty isn’t just a great film – it also feels like an assurance that series might start being written with these releases in mind. Rather than undoing Zi-O’s ending it enhances it, developing the cast in this brand new setting and working earnestly towards new stories that could be told in it.

REVIEW: Kamen Rider Zi-O the Movie: Over Quartzer

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Starring

So Okuno (Watashi Ga Motete Dosunda)
Gaku Oshida (Make a Bow and Kiss)
Shieri Ohata (Daytime Shooting Star)
Keisuke Watanabe (Semiotoko)
Katsuhisa Namase (Mixed Doubles)
ISSA (Kamen Rider: The First)
Syuusuke Saito (Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger)
Tomoya Maeno (Prison 13)
Jiei Wakabayashi (Lock-On Love)
Noritake Kinashi (Kamen Norider)
Fumiya Takahashi (Kamen Rider Zero-One)
Yu Inaba (Kamen Rider Drive)
Chris Peppler (Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3)

Kamen-Rider-Zi-O-Over-Quartzer-QuartzersKamen Rider Summer movies have always marched to their own beat. Though there’s been a more consolidated effort to bring them into series canon since Kamen Rider Double, throughout the Heisei era they’ve ranged from side stories, true endings and even alternate universes. When the 20th anniversary and finale of the era has to top all of that, it better have some pretty big plans in store. Following on from Be the One’s strange new idea of being named after the show’s opening theme, Kamen Rider Zi-O the Movie: Over Quartzer is another cinematic opportunity for Kamen Rider Zi-O to round out the Heisei era in style. But whereas Heisei Generations FOREVER was most definitely a 20 Kamen Rider Kicks celebration of the main 20 Heisei series, this particular film is a little more interesting in its approach…Kamen-Rider-Zi-O-Over-Quartzer-BarickxsAfter experiencing a strange dream where a mysterious new Rider ushers in the Reiwa era, Tokiwa Sougo receives a call for help from Krim Steinbelt. Teaming up with Go Shijima, Zi-O and his friends travel back to 1575 in order to protect Steinbelt’s ancestor from an unknown assailant. Their travels take them back to the Battle of Nagashino, and the group learn that the ruthless Nobunaga isn’t quite like the history books suggest. Presented with the Drive Ridewatch upon his return, Sougo now has all the powers of the 20 Heisei Riders. But as the Ridewatches suddenly disappear, a traitor reveals himself amongst them. The Quartzers have arrived to rebuild the Heisei era – their leader none other than…Tokiwa SOUGO?Kamen-Rider-Zi-O-Over-Quartzer-WozMuch like the way the story develops in the series itself, nothing ever really comes easily in Kamen Rider Zi-O and Over Quartzer is certainly no different. Producer Shinichiro Shirakura has publicly remarked that the film is canon and takes place before the series end, while director Ryuta Tasaki places the film in an alternate timeline. While the existence of alternate timelines in Zi-O doesn’t mean these two things cancel each other out, it does make placing it something of a headache since there are some big moments and reveals that don’t really get mentioned in the show. However that same show didn’t start getting good until it broke free of all its self-imposed rules, and much like other Rider Summer movies ultimately it doesn’t really matter where it takes place. Usually these things are their own beast, and given Over Quartzer’s surreal construction it is very much that.Kamen-Rider-Zi-O-Over-Quartzer-Kamen-Rider-GOver Quartzer is a film of two very different halves. The first half of the film acts as the Kamen Rider Drive portion of Zi-O as a whole, since its focus was absent from both the show and Heisei Generations FOREVER. But other than featuring appearances from both Gou and Krim, in reality it actually has very little to do with Drive itself. Instead it takes Zi-O back in time to get more mileage out of another staple piece of Heisei Rider – Toei’s Edo period set. The comical romp through Nobunaga and the Battle of Nagashino is a lot of fun, but in the grand scheme of things doesn’t seem to serve any more purpose than that. Seeds are sown about how history is written and Geiz’s serious demeanour is always fun in a comical setting, but it certainly isn’t the Drive tribute many were hoping for even if it is great to see Mach again.UntitledThe second half of the film is where things get a lot more interesting, but also where the little semblance of internal consistency Zi-O had is effectively thrown out of the window. We get some much needed backstory on Woz, however it’s completely unlike anything fans could have possibly expected and just raises further mysteries about the character and ultimately his relation to Ohma Zi-O. Likewise Tokiwa SOUGO and the Quartzers are interesting villains, but feel quite far removed from what we learn in the series and how the real Sougo is set up to become a king. And despite the reveals concerning Woz, the issue of his allegiances still remains very shaky and ultimately not that bigger part of the film itself. All the emphasis is placed on these strange reveals, and as a result the story becomes so fractured that it’s difficult to process it all in the grander scheme of things. Even stranger is that Gou continues to be included in the story, partnered up with Gyuzo – Nobunaga’s bodyguard from the past who takes a strong liking to Geiz. Perhaps it was that the writers just felt Gou would be wasted only appearing in half a film, and along with everything else going on in Over Quartzer it’s to just sit back and accept it’s bizarre story beats as they come.Kamen-Rider-Zi-O-Over-Quartzer-Barickxs-Zonjis-ZamonasBut look past all of the story inconsistencies and plot holes and it turns out, whether intentionally or otherwise, that Over Quartzer is actually kind of brilliant. Over its 20 years the Heisei era has become an entangled mess of alternate worlds and shallow continuity between series, turning it into a far more complicated web than the Showa era ever was. Not only is Over Quartzer fully aware of this, but uses it to create an utterly ridiculous plot that has far more value in a meta sense than it does in-story. But the Quartzers plan to effectively “reboot” the Heisei era and erase all the complicated legacy of the Heisei Riders is only half of its genius – the rest of it comes when you take a closer look at the villains themselves. Amongst the Quartzers are three new Riders – SOUGO himself is Kamen Rider Barickxs, and he is flanked by Kamen Rider Zonjis and Kamen Rider Zamonas. Each of these three Riders’ names and designs are loosely based upon existing ones – Barickxs is a cross of Black and Black RX, Zonjis a mix of Shin, ZO and J and finally Zamonas Alpha, Omega and Neo from Kamen Rider Amazons. What do all of these Riders have in common? They’re all technically part of the Heisei era but usually discounted from the 20 main ones. Black, RX, Shin, ZO and J have all been instead grouped with the Showa Riders (due to both the closer involvement of Shotaro Ishinomori and to better emphasise the “new beginning” Kuuga started), while Amazons is a spin-off series that completely stands on its own. This means that the plot of Over Quartzer sees the excluded Heisei Riders fighting back against the main ones in an attempt to be recognised. Zi-O may have a loose grasp on continuity at times, but that concept is pure genius.Kamen-Rider-Zi-O-Over-Quartzer-ZI-O-OhmaOver Quartzer’s love for the more specific and less recognised parts of Heisei era doesn’t stop there either. While in terms of actor cameos this film may be a very loose Drive tribute, but the suit cameos are something really special. Naturally it includes appearances from all 19 previous Heisei Riders, but the true cheer out loud moments are the appearance of faces you’d never expect to see here. Hot on the tails of the Kamen Rider Zangetsu stage play we get to see Zangetsu Kachidoki Arms in all its glory, with the character magically bursting from a flyer for the play itself no less. And while fans continue to lament at the sad lack of a proper Kuuga cameo, the appearance of the 2015 manga version version is both beautifully realised on screen and acts as a reminder that not all Rider’s origins are as much on paper as they are the silver screen. Even the Goriders get in on the action, fondly remembered as one of the more successful creations of the Super Hero Taisen film series. But perhaps the biggest surprises of them all are the even deeper cuts, the ones that almost certainly placed here for the older fan to enjoy. Honestly who ever thought we’d see Kamen Rider G again, and in a “proper” piece of Kamen Rider fiction no less? Finally, the appearance of Takeshi Kinashi/Kamen Norider is something that will probably be lost on most fans outside of Japan but just shows the impression Kamen Rider has had throughout the Heisei era. Anyone can pick their favourites from the standard 20, but celebrating those finer aspects of the era is just as important and in this respect Over Quartzer shines in ways Heisei Generations FOREVER didn’t.rewrewrwerwerewrThe birth of the Reiwa era is also marked in proper fashion too, and not just through the appearance of Kamen Rider Brain, the era’s real first Rider. Zero-One’s cameo at the beginning of the film is so strangely timed yet works so well with Woz’s character, and the behind the scenes knowledge that during filming he was replaced with Kikaider 01 to avoid spoilers just makes me love the scene even more. Zero-One is of course back again at the end of the film for the more conventional kind of new Rider cameo, and much like Zi-O’s own in Be in the One is does a great job of getting the powers and personality of the character across in a few short minutes. Finally if there’s one thing you can always rely a Kamen Rider Summer movie to be its eye-candy. Between the well-staged crowd sequences, escalating action sequences and barrage of suit actors Over Quartzer’s second never lets up on the spectacle. The ever increasing gaudiness of Zi-O’s forms scales back for the far more refined Kamen Rider Zi-O Ohma Form (NOT to be confused with Ohma Zi-O himself), which along with the three Quartzer Riders makes up a winning streak of movie-exclusive suits. The final attack as dumb and it is beautiful, harnessing not only the Riders’ final forms but also their series logos and the larger 20 Kamen Rider Kicks anniversary logo into another piece of meta brilliance. Through all its flaws this film never stops having fun, and the audience will be having fun right alongside it.unnamedKamen Rider Zi-O the Movie: Over Quartzer is a mess, but it is absolutely the best kind of mess. Much like watching Godzilla do a silly dance in Invasion of the Astro Monster or fly around using his atomic breath in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, there comes a point where you have to abandon looking for logic in tokusatsu and just accept it for the ridiculous fun it often is. Every explanation Over Quartzer has just raises further questions, but it’s completely sincere in its celebration of the Heisei era. It’s both a continuity nightmare and a meta masterpiece, and never ever stops being fun. If a big screen summer movie of kid’s superhero show celebrating its 20th anniversary is doing that, then it’s hard to see it as a bad thing.