A grasshopper-like, motorcycle-riding cyborg (joined by another one later in the show) fights the evil organization that transformed him for their evil deeds.
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1973   1972   1971  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Hiroshi Fujioka ...
Shinji Nakae ...
Jirô Yabuki ...
Wakako Oki ...
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Storyline

This series debuted 2 Kamen Riders. Kamen Rider 1, and Kamen Rider 2. This 98 episode series depicted Hongou Hayato's battles against Shocker, and Rider 1 and 2 had allies, specifically, FBI Agent Take, played by Sonny Chiba's brother, Jirou. Written by Hongou

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Details

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Release Date:

3 April 1971 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Kamen Rider  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(98 episodes)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star 'Hiroshi Fujioka' fractured his thighbone in a motorcycle stunt for Episode 9 ("The Terrifying Cobra-Man") and was out of commission for a time. As a result, until Episode 13 ("Tokageron and the Great Monster Army"), his Takeshi Hongo/Masked Rider character was milked out for another four episodes by having him stay in costume (but played by another actor) or stock/unused footage of Hongo out of costume was used, and was dubbed over by voice actor Rokurô Naya. But this could not be carried out indefinitely, for after several options at the Toei Studio, they decided to introduce "Masked Rider 2"/Hayato Ichimonji (played by Takeshi Sasaki), to take over after the fallen star. After two guest appearances, Fujioka returned for good in Episode 53 ("Monster Jaguarman - Deathmatch by Motorcycle Fight"). The show then had two heroes (as opposed to one). See more »

Quotes

Hayato Ichimonji: [his "henshin" phrase] Henshin!
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Connections

Spoofed in Uchu kaijû Gamera (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Raidâ Akushon
(Rider Action)
Performed by Masato Shimon
Lyrics by Shôtarô Ishinomori
Music and arrangement by Shunsuke Kikuchi
(Second ending theme episodes #72-88)
(Second opening theme episodes #89-98)
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User Reviews

An innovation to the Japanese superhero genre!
18 May 2000 | by See all my reviews

Rarely was there ever such a hero as Shoutarou Ishinomori's MASKED RIDER in the tokusatsu field before that time. Manga/anime characters such as Kazumasa Hirai/Jirou Kuwata's EIGHT-MAN (the granddaddy of the genre) and Ishinomori's own CYBORG 009 were similar to MASKED RIDER, but the more popular superheroes in tokusatsu was ULTRAMAN, its sequels (notably ULTRA SEVEN) and imitations. Toei producer Tooru Hirayama, attempted to bring back the Masked Superhero genre, but their drafts were unsuccessful, until Ishinomori published a 100-page one-shot comic-book story called SKULLMAN in early 1971. Though the character of Skullman was more of an antihero than his resulting TV counterpart, the comic was successful enough for Hirayama to request changes from Ishinomori, turning Skullman into a grasshopper variant (a design chosen by his then five-year old son Jou) called "Masked Rider Hopper King," which was shortened to just "Masked Rider," and the rest was history!

The show concerns a runaway cyborg grashopper-man who sets out to avenge the death of his teacher and the loss of his humanity (he is, in reality, scientist/motorcycle racer Takeshi Hongou) by fighting the evil forces of Shocker, the Nazi-like organization that transformed him in the first place (he was meant to be the perfect weapon against society). As the "Masked Rider," Takeshi Hongou rides the super motorcycle Cyclone, and with super-speed and super-strength, performs high-flying rechniques such as the Rider-Jump to reach the top of buildings, or his killing technique, the Rider-Kick!

The show began as dark, serious and violent, but many complications (including star Hiroshi Fujioka temporarily leaving the series due to a stunt-related accident) forced the series to change into the more kid-friendly and somewhat comical series that everyone's more accustomed to. However, it's still a fun, action-packed series with plenty of monsters and henchmen that Masked Rider and Masked Rider 2 (a similar Masked Rider, Hayato Ichimonji, played by Takeshi Sasaki, took over from the fallen Fujioka as star for a time) fight each week!

The series ran for 98 episodes, and would be impossible to do a detailed review here, suffice to say that I thought the less-complicated sequel series MASKED RIDER V3 (1973) was even better than the original! Still, MASKED RIDER was the one that started it all for morphing superheroes (or "henshin" heroes) as we all know, and is the most important show in this genre! I highly reccommend the early episodes, from 1-13, but the rest is still fun and action-packed to watch! HIGHLY RECCOMMENDED!!!


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