Masked Rider - The First
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Takeshi Hongo, a man of extraordinarily keen intellect, has his promising future snuffed out by an evil secret society known as Shocker. They create experimental cyborgs in an attempt to take over the world. Eventually, Hongo is turned into a cyborg Masked Rider 1 but soon regains his self-awareness. Realizing that he is now controlled by evil, Hongo escapes. Shocker views Hongo as a traitor and dispatches a new, nearly identical cyborg Masked Rider 2 to destroy him. But they're too evenly matched and their duel ends in a draw. Growing impatient, Shocker sends two new cyborgs Snake and Cobra to kill them both. KAMEN RIDER THE FIRST is a new adaptation of the popular original manga created by Shotaro Ishinomori.
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated Unrated (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 5.5 x 0.75 inches; 4.8 Ounces
- Director : Takao Nagaishi
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
- Run time : 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Actors : Ryoko Kobayashi
- Subtitles: : English
- Language : Unqualified
- Studio : Tokyo Shock
- ASIN : B000JU8H74
- Number of discs : 2
- Best Sellers Rank: #181,869 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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Aside from the Ryuki's Dragon Knight and the abysmal Masked Rider adaptations and Generation Kikiada's DVD release of V3, there is no way to obtain one of Japan's greatest superhero franchises here. (unless you do it the sort-of-illegal way by torrenting or streaming fansubs. Which in most cases is your ONLY option aside from horribly subbed Hong Kong releases from shady dealers).
I'm glad that the movie that re-imagined the origin of the original Kamen Rider did get a release as it tells the bare bones of what Kamen Rider is. Dude with kung fu and superpowers activated by a belt and rides a motorcycle, kicks the butt of terrorists/aliens monsters/cyborgs who want to conquer/destroy the Earth.
The message the franchise has had throughout the course of its history is having the courage to face against impossible odds and that even the unlikeliest of people can make a difference for the greater good.
I only wish another company would buy the distribution rights so we USA KR fans could get more releases. I really want Kamen Rider Double on DVD or Blu-ray on my shelf with official English subs...And Kuuga..and Agito...and...well you get the idea.
However I later learned of the Japanese Kamen Rider concept when I saw that Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight (which still has yet to have a DVD release, sadly), listed in its opening credits that the show was based on a show called Kamen Rider created by a man named Shotaro Ishinomori. Since I liked Dragon Knight I recently began researching the concept on wikipedia and TVTropes and a few fan sites. (This research has led me to create my own novel series inspired by the concept) I learned of Masked Rider The First via Wikipedia, and while I was leery of the name, expecting it to somehow be related to Saban's adaptation, I was more than pleasantly surprised.
From all I have learned, The First is an attempt at a condensed retelling of a 1971 show by the name Kamen Rider (literally translated, it becomes Masked Rider, as Kamen is the word for Mask and Masked in Japan), which revolves around a man named Takeshi Hongo, who is abducted by a terrorist organization called Shocker (which is apparently actually an acronym for Sacred Hegemony Of Cycle Kindred Evolutional Realm. Yeah, I don't get it either.) and transformed into a super powerful cyborg initially called Hopper since his armored mask is designed to look like a grasshopper, and brainwashed into becoming a willing servant of Shocker. He breaks free of his mind control and begins to oppose Shocker, using the powers they themselves gave him. This prompts the creation of a second Hopper, Hayato Ichimonji, who is betrayed by and in turn betrays Shocker outright.
These two characters, though never explicitly called Kamen Riders, proceed to battle Shocker's forces over the last half hour of the movie in an attempt to save a girl who is the love interest of both men, and who has seemingly gained an affection for Hopper/Rider 1. Ironically, the second Hopper, Ichimonji, was her fiance until he was apparently killed and later resurrected by Shocker as Hopper/Rider 2.
If the movie is this good (and it is. The ending song, Bright! Our Future is all kinds of awesome even if I don't understand a word of it since the song wasn't subtitled) the series must have been something else for being a show made in 1971. Well worth the money if you can find a copy.