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Kamen Rider Gaimu: Opinions and a Short Guide

Recently there has been a nice torrent of information regarding Toei’s 15th Heisei Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider Gaim. Like the other series, Gaim has a running theme, this time revolving around fruits and breakdancing.

Wait, fruits and breakdancing?

The first inkling of the extremely unique concept came as a rather rude shock to Kamen Rider fans, and was met with a barrage of negativity and nicknames, of which include “Kamen Rider Fruit Ninja” and, following the revalation that Gaim was not going to make the customary Cameo in his predecessor, Kamen Rider Wizard’s film, “That-arrogant-little-snot-who-doesn’t-have-the-common-courtesy-to-save-his-sempai.”

However, these fears have largely been allayed with the Press Conference for Kamen Rider Gaim that was held last Thursday.

The premise of the series involves a town controlled in a feudal like manner by the Yggdrasil mega corporation. In order to pass time, young people in the town indulge in breakdancing as well as summoning monsters known as “Imbess” from another dimension to stage arena-style fights.

As with every show that involves summoning “something” from another dimension, this has a catch, every summon opens the door from said dimension to the world Gaim takes place in. So, due to countless holes in the dimensional fabric, Imbess now have the liberty to stroll from their world into the Gaim universe.

Gaim and his fellow riders, three of them, actually, help to defend the world from these Imbess.

The riders in the Gaim universe share a similar belt, known generically as Lock Seed Drivers, they transform with the use of “lock seeds” which seem to be fruits embedded in silver locks. In order to transform, the rider has to push a lever, shaped like a knife into the fruit part of the Lock Seed. Confusing? Here’s a comic that supposedly show’s Gaim’s henshin sequence.

Is that an oversized orange falling on him?

The highly amusing english translation to the comic (Courtesy of DecaEnd, Found on Henshin Justice) Does not appear to clear the air, much:

Black bubble: Lock On! -sound effect-

White bubble: Transform!

Text to the right: insert a Lock Seed and a giant orange from a different universe will appear! (slightly cut off but I think that’s it )

Text next to the belt: once you cut LockSeed with the blade on the belt….
The giant orange will also be sliced!

Black bubbles: Orange Arms! Runway, On Stage!

Each rider has their own forms, called arms, each based on a fruit. Confused? Here’s some profiles:

Name: Kota Kazuraba/ Kamen Rider Gaim

Orange Arms
Pinapple Arms

Kota used to be the second main dancer in the Gaim street-dance crew. However he backed out of the scene in order to get himself a job and protect his younger sister, his only surviving relative.

“Passing through the audience, on stage!”

Name: Kaito Kumon/ Kamen Rider Baron, Barong, Balong (Whatever the fanbase is into)

Banana Arms

Brought up in a poor family, Kaito has the mindset that “the weak will be exploited by the weak.” As such he sees himself as society’s persecutor.

Name: Mitsuzane Kuwashima/ Kamen Rider Ryugen

Grape Arms

A member of team Gaim, Kota treats him as a younger brother. He is in actual fact a member of Yggdrasil’s ruling family, a fact he does not want his friends to know about. Mitsuzane yearns to rebel and carve his own path and can be seen as young, brash and rebellious.

Name: Takatora Kuwashima/ Kamen Rider Zangetsu

Muskmelon Arms

Taktora is Mitsuzane’s older brother and is a big-deal in the corporate world. Pragmatic, cold and a ruthless realist who is often unscrupulous in reaching his goals, Takatora nevertheless loves his family and has a soft spot for his younger brother.

The designs for the four riders are based on Armour designs from different cultures. Gaim’s suit resembles Japanese Shogun Armour, Baron’s suit is built around western knight armour, Ryugen is designed based on Chinese armour and Zangetsu also appears to be built around Japanese armour designs.

I have to admit, I was very skeptical about the designs particularly since they were first exposed to audiences in the form of two horrendously low resolution photos claiming to show Gaim and Baron. I, personally am still horrified by Baron’s banana shoulder pads, but the rest of the riders really don’t look half bad. Sure, Ryugen looks a tad flashy, but then again, there’s no kill like overkill.

The crew behind this show has made people genuinely curious about the final product, not that it’s surprising, especially considering that Gen Urobuchi, the same guy who wrote Madoka into the dark Moe-violence fest it is, will be writing for the show.

Other members of the Crew include director Ryuta Tazaki (Akibarangers) and Takayuki Shibasaki (Tokumei sentai Go-Busters).

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