A couple of weeks ago, Kamen Rider KiVa ("King of Vampires") ended. I've followed the masked tokusatsu series for 40 weeks--a mad fun romp between two eras (1986 and 2008), between father and son, between laughter and tears. And through it all, I've witnessed KiVa and IXA's battle against the Fangires (vampiric stained glass monsters that feed on human lifeforce) and their ruling council: the Checkmate Four.
A year ago, I tuned in on KiVa because Engine Sentai Go-onger's pilot left me feeling cold. Sure, these are kids shows, but even I must draw the line when the show's got more than one cute animal-esque mascots. Magiranger wasn't like that! My beef with the Kamen Rider franchise is its solo heroes, although recent series (particularly Ryuki and now, Decade) feature more than just one or two Riders. I've always preferred an ensemble as opposed to a single protagonist.
But this time, I didn't mind as much. And so I started acquiring KiVa over the course of some 40 weeks. And enjoyed the show immensely.
With Kiva ended, the franchise moved on to its latest title--Kamen Rider Decade--the very next week. From the pilot I just viewed, I think it's got something of a Sliders-esque vibe going, with the masked hero traveling to the 9 other Rider worlds, parallel universes that were the homes of the previous actual Riders of the series. Episode 1 ended with Decade appearing, and being given an identity, in Hyuuga's (1998 series) world.