Kaiju no Kami Reviews - Kamen Rider Black Rx (1988) Series

Discussion in 'Henshin Justice Unlimited' started by Dr Kain, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    Due to the success of Kamen Rider Black, Toei decided to have its follow up a direct sequel that not only brought Minami Kotaro back to the forefront as the show's lead character. Furthermore, Toei decided to set it into the Showa Kamen Rider universe for what would end up being a grand send off to the Showa period due to the emperor's passing while the show was on the air. Is Kamen Rider Black Rx a worthy successor to Kamen Rider Black, or should it have featured a new character? Watch to find out.

     
  2. mbozzo

    mbozzo New Member

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    Black RX was later made into Masked Rider. It was not Saban's best work. :mad:
     
  3. Black Fang

    Black Fang Member

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    Contrary to what most fans say, I don't consider Black a great classic and RX a travesty. In fact I think the two shows complement each other: RX is strong where Black is weak (building up the plot and the tension over the episodes until the climax), and Black succeeds where RX is lacking (having a more intense, personal story). Black is a fancy car that keeps stalling whenever it gets running, things begin to happen plotwise only to languish as the show wastes time with filler. Even Nobuhiko is never really defined as a character: in one episode Kotaro remarks casually that he is very bright, which means he will be also as Shadow Moon. This happens very late in the show. On the other hand, RX has a weak start (and a mediocre sendoff for Shadow Moon), but starting with the Roborider-Biorider arc the pace begins to pick up slowly but surely. I also liked the idea of Kotaro building a "Bat Family" of sorts (with Reiko, Joe, Shigeru and Kyoko), even though it wasn't developed all that well. I consider Kotaro the Stephan Zweig of the Rider series (for anyone who has read his "The World of Yesterday", with Black being his WW1 and RX his WW2.)

    You can argue that RX should've been its own show, but as it was it's decent. It's not the disaster fans make it out to be, and Black is not the perfect epic they pretend it is either. Watch Black and RX together, and have some fun.
     
  4. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    The thing with Black is, the filler was entertaining and the show went somewhere. Not to mention the villains were developed. Rx was boring, too silly, and none of the villains received any development. Not to mention they waited until the last few episodes to kill them all off instead of spacing their deaths out over the course of the series. There is no reason why Gatezone needed to live until episode 44. He should have been offed back in like episode 20. Then they could have gotten rid of Gedorian around 30, have Dasmander actually do something instead of stand around telling everyone he was going to report them, etc. Oh, and maybe make General Jak be a character? He's pretty much the Dokoku of the Kamen Rider franchise, but less interesting.

    Now I do agree Black is not perfect. I love the show, it is my second favorite Kamen Rider series, but it has its flaws. In fact, I can't say there is any flawless Kamen Rider show as even the best of them all, Blade, has that goofy Hajime 2 parter.

    I did an experiment while watching this series though. My girlfriend did not like Black one bit, so I wanted to see if maybe Rx was to her liking. To my surprise, she said she wishes we were rewatching Black instead as she found it to be even worse. That also help seal the deal to me that Rx is such an inferior series and it wasn't just because I was blinded for my love of Black.
     
  5. NeonZ

    NeonZ Member

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    I thought Black RX had a better structure than Black. The large cast and Kotaro having a more established character compared to Black Kotaro (who always just randomly stumbled on unrelated Golgom plans), alongside more variations (in addition to far fetched invasion plots, you also get monsters sent specifically to kill Black RX) made the standalone plots work better. It also had a better spread of multi-parter stories, rather than leaving all of them to the last fourth of the series, even if none of the villains died until the final 8 episodes.

    However, like you say there, as characters the villains are much flatter, and what Black RX does with its plot really annoys me. It's pretty clear that the idea of Crisis being near destruction and needing to move away to Earth and change Earth's atmosphere to be compatible with Crisis people didn't come until after halfway through the series, which is why they also had to add a retcon about how the previous people from Crisis seen on Earth had to undergo a treatment to withstand Earth's atmosphere, even though it makes no sense since beforehand we also saw members of the resistance and even civilians appearing on Earth, not just Crisis Empire members (note how the resistance to Crisis is never mentioned at all in the 2nd half of Black RX even though it got multiple episodes early on). It's a bizarre story direction in general though, since it results in a planet with billions of innocents dying.

    And then there's the treatment of the past Riders in the final few episodes, with them not even being allowed to kill recycled monsters. With so many commanders around and their lack of personal connection to Black RX they really could have let the past Riders kill some of them too.
     
  6. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    Not only that, but we never even saw the riders outside of costume. Half of the time they were shown in Rx was when they were training in the gravel pits of Arizona.

    One thing they could have done with Basgun was show us how he got the high ranking he has. Why is he the leader of their naval forces if he doesn't have royal blood in him? Is that a helmet over his head or is that his race? If it is a helmet, what does he look like underneath? Does he need the helmet to live?

    Why is General Jak the general?

    Also, where the hell were Katsumi and Kyoko? Kotaro never once mentioned them.
     
  7. NeonZ

    NeonZ Member

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    Yeah, they cheapened out on the Riders, and didn't get their actors. They didn't even cast unique VAs for all of them. It was just 3 to 4 people depending on the episode. Still, even if remaining suit-only they could have been better handled. Although Skyrider had many episodes with the actual actors, some of the most memorable team ups involved suit-only Riders (Stronger's first appearance and episodes 27/28 with all 8 Riders joining together to face Neo-Shocker after they destroy a city with a not-nuke).
     
  8. Black Fang

    Black Fang Member

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    I don't see much difference between either show's villains character-wise. I think people are still too hung up on how "epic" Shadow Moon is and the personal nature of his fight with Black. Black had some good ideas involving Golgom, but as I said, too often the show stalls and does nothing. Birugenia appears, seems like a game changer, he ends up doing nothing. Shadow Moon at last awakens, looks like a game changer, nothing happens until the finale. And so on. The Priests aren't much: they soon stagnate into "Ha ha humans are foolish, we will take over" almost every episode. Yes, villains in real life via shadow government, et al are like that, but it gets boring in a TV show.

    Even regarding Kotaro's search for Nobuhiko, he never really does that unless the episode demanded it. If this had been a Phase 1 Heisei show, I'd bet that there would have been a long arc dedicated to Kotaro searching everywhere and following any leads as to his brother's location. Zubat did that a decade prior, and that was also an Ishinomori hero.

    You do remember that Dasmander was the Crisis Emperor in disguise, right?

    Sometimes I wonder if the fact I read and watch a lot of stuff outside of tokusatsu/scifi/fantasy makes me appreciate certain things that other fans either take for granted or dismiss as "bad" or "stupid". I watched Black and RX for the first time thirteen years ago; I rewatched them after reading the aforementioned "The World of Yesterday" (by pure chance, it wasn't planned). Hence my view of both shows as I mentioned earlier. I wasn't an RX hater and thought Black was overrated even back then, but now I actually do value RX for the things it at least tried to do.
     
  9. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    See, that is the thing, it hinted at Dasmander possibly being the Emperor, but they never stated he was indeed the emperor. It wouldn't make sense for him to be the emperor anyway, and if they did make him be the emperor, it would have been a plot twist that was out of place due to the way the cardboard was portrayed throughout the series. It just doesn't jive with the stuff they had him do during the show. And even if it was, it was executed in such a poor many that it was shitty story telling. Either way, they fucked up there.

    I do think Rx did have some really well done moments, especially when dealing with Joe the Haze before he became comic relief, but I really hope I never have to watch Rx ever again. It is right up there with Decade and Ghost in my book.

    Now I definitely would have loved to have seen what Black could have been if it had been a Heisei show since the Heisei era focuses on the overarching story rather than just the plot of the week.
     
  10. Black Fang

    Black Fang Member

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    RX is leaps and bounds better than Ghost. Ghost is an even bigger waste of potential than RX, which is a shame because the Alain-Fumi arc was wonderful.

    It's not a possibility of Dasmander being the emperor. He *is* the Emperor. It's shown right there on screen. There's no ambiguity. Whether you liked that or not is another matter.
     
  11. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    I don't know, even in the final battle they treated Dasmander as a different person compared to the emperor. Either way, it's stupid because it doesn't match up with how Dasmander acted earlier in the show.

    I'd say Rx is on the same level as Ghost as the only reason I actually didn't drop Rx after a few episodes is because I was reviewing it. Ghost didn't have that luxury. Though, I guess one day I will have to review Ghost, so I will at some point have to actually sit through that ADHD atrocity.
     
  12. Black Fang

    Black Fang Member

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    I don't follow. The Emperor disguises himself as Dasmander to observe his subordinates, or else is an avatar created by the Emperor to do that. Why would he not take on a different personality?


    The Emperor is literally conjuring him up.
     
  13. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    In the final battle, Kotaro defeats Dasmander and the emperor shows up. Kotaro asks him who he is and he says he is the emperor. He never once said he was Dasmander in disguise.
     
  14. Black Fang

    Black Fang Member

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    And then he shows that Dasmander is an extension of himself. Dasmander also turns into the Emperor after being defeated. One of us is missing something here. Just look at what's happening on screen at the 7:04 and 13:35 marks.
     
  15. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    I see what is happening, but none of that is specifically stated. That's like saying Chaos is the same person as Gabranth in Final Fantasy, that Golbez is Zemus in Final Fantasy IV, and Kuja and Necron are the same characters in FFIX.
     

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