Greetings, geeks of all ages! Exciting news for fans of Kamen Rider Saber and Zero-One. We finally have a date for the official Blu-Ray/DVD release of the Winter Movies. After the theatrical release on December 20th, the Blu-Ray/DVD Collection will be released on April 21st.
Kamen Rider Zero-One: REAL X TIME
“If God created the world in 6 days, then I will destroy it in 60 minutes and create paradise.” A sudden, large-scale, global terrorist attack begins when the mysterious S, Kamen Rider Eden, appears with thousands of supporters at his side. As the world around them falls into chaos, Aruto Hiden stands up against S. Together with Isamu Fuwa, Yua Yaiba, and their allies, they transform into Kamen Riders to fight the enemy while uncovering the truth behind the incident. Who is the unbelievably powerful S? What is the paradise that he is trying to create? Overcome the boundary between humans and AI and save the world in 60 minutes!
Kamen Rider Saber: The Phoenix Swordsman and the Book of Ruin
The sealed Book of Ruin is unleashed by the mysterious Immortal Swordsman. As darkness flows out of the book, the Real World and the Wonder World are swallowed up and at risk of destruction. Touma, alongside the members of the Sword of Logos, must fight the Immortal Swordsman and stop the crisis. What will befall Touma and the world as the end draws near?
With the official release of the movies coming soon, I’m looking forward to the chance to finally see them. As I don’t live in Japan, I did not have the opportunity to see it in theaters. Thankfully, with the home release a mere month away, it won’t be too much longer before I can. Kamen Rider Zero-One is one of my favorite seasons, and the movie looks to be an excellent conclusion to the story of the series. As for Kamen Rider Saber, while it started out rough, the show has become better as it entered its second arc. Hopefully the show can keep up the pace and deliver a great story with amazing action.
Greetings, geeks of all ages! We find ourselves in a new year, which means more opportunities for us to grow and change. Another year of life to be passionate about the things we love and care for. To that end, I want to start the year by sharing even more Kamen Rider related cosplay. I hope that seeing these incredible cosplay and seeing what is possible inspires you to go out and make your own cosplay. It doesn’t have to be Kamen Rider related, but if it is, please let me know. I might end up featuring you in one of these articles.
As I did before, links to the social media accounts of these cosplayers, as well as photographers and prop makers (if credited) will be linked at the end of their respective sections. Also, if you haven’t seen it already, be sure to check out the previous article here.
Our first entry here is a Rider from the first season of the Reiwa era, Zero One. This is the Humagear bent on bringing an end to the human race. This is Horobi, one of my favorite Riders in Zero One.
Our next entry comes in from the current season, Saber. While the show itself has been, shall we say, less than spectacular, the suit designs are still on point. There is no better example than Kenzan’s suit design. As our resident hyperactive swordsman with zero patience, Kenzan sounds an awful lot like a certain ninja protagonist.
Here we have something of a rarity in Kamen Rider: A female Rider. This is the very first female Rider in Kamen Rider history, Femme. She first appeared in the movie for Ryuki. While her appearance was limited to the movie, she has left a lasting impact on the fandom.
This here is probably one of my favorite suit designs of all time. Now, for people who are watching Build along with Kat and Tat, you have just seen this Rider pop up. If you’re watching it on your own time, do be warned that this does spoil a major villain from later in the series. Featuring a darker version of the main hero’s color scheme, we have Evol. He truly is, in my opinion, one of the greatest villains in all of Kamen Rider.
This entry features Psyga, a character that comes from the Faiz movie, Paradise Lost. This is another great suit design with another fun character. For some reason or another, he is the only character that speaks in fluent English for his appearance. I’m not sure why they would have him respond to Japanese speaking characters in English, but hey, I’m not going to question these things too much.
Rejoice, for the birth of a new king! Here, we celebrate the great King of Time and Space, Zi-O. The 20th Rider of the Heisei Era and the final one to be introduced before the start of the Reiwa Era. While his season doesn’t really focus on him as much, Zi-O is a fun season overall.
Following Zi-O, we have the Rider that comes after him. Reiwa’s own number one, Zero One. Zero One is a fantastic season of Kamen Rider and a great way to start off the Reiwa Era. I highly recommend it as a first season to jump into.
Now, let me preface this next entry by saying that this is something of a spoiler for people who are watching Zero One. However, allow me to proffer that, while it is a spoiler seeing the suit design, it doesn’t spoil the plot of the show in any way. It is two very different things seeing the suit and knowing who is in the suit. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at this amazing cosplay of Ark One. This mysterious villain appears to be a dark mirror of Zero One, mocking both his and his grandfather’s dreams by taking on the mantle of Kamen Rider. Who is it beneath the mask, and what in the world could this villain want?
Now, this last one has been featured before, however those were only suit test pictures from when he completed the suit. These pictures uploaded just the other day, so I figured it’d be a nice way to present the update. Here we have the S.I.C. Kamen Rider Ichigo cosplay from the last article. If I didn’t praise the design of the suit enough last time, let me reiterate: this suit looks absolutely incredible as a full-blown suit.
This wraps up another Kamen Rider cosplay feature. I sincerely hope you enjoyed these cosplayers and that these have inspired you to go make your own. I myself have been looking at these and have been looking into getting started on making my own cosplay. Though, since I’m about to move places, haven’t started anything yet. But, when I do start, I will be sure to let you all know. I’ll write out the details of the process in an article and potential guide at some point in the future. Anyways, take care, hope you enjoyed, and until next time. Ciao~
25 years, Pokemon has been around for 25 years (since 1996). It’s difficult to imagine that much time has already passed by. Whether through playing the games, seeing merchandise, or watched the show, Pokemon has found its way into the lives of countless people. With the 25th anniversary of one of the most successful franchises coming up, I felt that it was more than fair to share my own Pokemon journey with all of you. So grab your Pokeballs, choose your starter, and collect those badges, it’s time to go down memory lane with Pokemon.
When Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green (Japan only for Green) first came out, I was only about 6 months old. It wasn’t until I was maybe 7 years old, I’m positive it was before I turned 10, when I first was introduced to Pokemon. I’m not sure if it was the show or the game that I encountered first (probably the show), but either way, I was in for a journey that would last a lifetime.
While I watched the show on and off, the first season will always hold a special place in my heart, since I had a handful of the episodes on VHS tapes. I would watch each one on repeat so many times, I’ve lost count. I even owned two of the movies The First Movie and Pokemon 2000) and both have had their fair share of views. These VHS tapes were honestly all that I had when it came to watching the show, that, and whatever aired on tv. I didn’t have the internet at home for a while, so I had no idea that (if there were) there were websites where I could watch all of the episodes. At the same time, I was happy with the tapes that I had. As long as they were there, I could watch Pokemon as many times as I wanted.
When it came to the games themselves, I didn’t start playing until not too long after my older sister did. I still remember when she got her GameBoy Color and Blue Version and the times where I would try to watch her play. After a few months (or so), when I had enough allowance money saved up, I went to my nearby game store to purchase a red GameBoy Color and either Blue or Yellow Version. While felt strange later on to be playing what is known by fans as the “first-generation” Pokemon games, while everyone else was playing the “third-generation” games (Ruby Sapphire and Emerald), I still found plenty of enjoyment playing what I had. I remember playing through Yellow Version numerous times, before finishing the final journey. I never captured all 150 Pokemon, but I was content with the teams I had created. After my adventures in the Kanto Region, it was time to move on to the next chapter of my adventure to become a Pokemon Master: the Johto Region.
In the Johto Region (second-generation), I began with Gold Version and learned about the changes in this new world. With new Pokemon types introduced and bigger challenges heading my way, I gradually had to come up with new strategies in order. Even with these newly obtained strategies, there were still the blocks in the road that led to some frustrations. One of these blocks was the infamous gym leader Whitney and her Miltank of death. Before anyone tells me in the comments how this battle was easy, I never consulted the internet or any friends on how to beat Whitney. I didn’t know that was an option at the time, so all I did was train and battle her until I won. In other words, my strategy was to simply overpower her team with mine and boy was it satisfying when I finally beat her. After that, the rest of my Gold adventure went relatively steady. Sure, there were some areas that lead to some frustrations (i.e. Icy Path, Whirl Isles, and Dark Caves), but I remained persistent. Eventually, I made my way to the Pokemon League to face the Elite Four and the champion. I’ll admit, the first few attempts were a struggle, but I eventually made it and became the new champion. However, the adventure didn’t end there, there was more to explore. Soon after, I was able to revisit the Kanto region from the first game.
Revisiting Kanto is like coming back to the house you were raised in for a nice visit. Sure, there will be changes, but it still gives that refreshing feeling of nostalgia. While I remembered what the teams of the gym leaders consisted of, it didn’t mean that they would just give me their badges for free. The battles still offered a challenge (some more than others) and it was overall fun to see the trainers again (not to mention the music was amazing). Once I battled Kanto’s gym leaders, I went ahead and took on the League again. It wasn’t until I did this, that I went to the final area for my ultimate test: climb to the top of Mt Silver and challenge the greatest Pokemon Trainer. As I began my climb, it became extremely clear as to why I couldn’t even hope to enter this area until obtaining all 16 badges. If you’re even hoping to challenge this trainer, you have to prove your worth by making the climb, and doing that is no walk in the park. I had to leave the mountain numerous times in order to heal my Pokemon and keep them in tip-top shape. Eventually, I finally made it to the peak of Mt Silver. And who was this mysterious trainer that was waiting for me? Why, the protagonist of the first game: Red. This battle was hell for me, mainly because, other than battles against other real-life trainers, I almost never fought an in-game trainer with a full party (6 Pokemon) team. Looking back, I must’ve challenged Red at least three times before I defeated him. After that, he silently takes his defeat, disappears, and the end credits play. So I finished playing Gold Version and did everything that I could really do (other than catching every Pokemon). What did I do after that? Did I save up to buy a GameBoy Advance SP and one of the third-generation Pokemon games to begin my next journey? No. No, I didn’t. Instead, I went ahead and bought Crystal Version, which became my favorite second-generation Pokemon game (in the main franchise).
While Crystal Version was almost the exact same game, there were numerous differences. One of these differences became one of the biggest game-changers to the franchise itself: the option to choose between playing as a girl or a boy trainer. Today, it might not seem so revolutionary, but back then, having that option at the beginning of the game changed everything. Along with this new option, there were some other new additions to the main game, which soon became a fairly consistent part of the main series. One of these main features is a more extended storyline along with being able to catch both legendary Pokemon from the other two games from the same region. The other feature, that still blows my mind to this day, is the fact that the Pokemon have their own little animation. This little feature is what made Crystal Version one of my absolute favorite Pokemon Games. There was also one little feature, which has become a part of the future Pokemon game: the Battle Tower. The Battle Tower isn’t necessary to clear in order to beat the game, but it gives the player an optional extra challenge. I’ve only tried it a couple of times, but I’ve never cleared it, plus I never found any enjoyment in them. But, as they say: to each their own.
After my journey in Kanto and Johto, Pokemon found a special place in my life, as I continued via various pathways. It was a number of years before I returned to playing the main games, so I played some of the spin-off games. While I still haven’t beaten it to this day, I have many fond memories of playing Pokemon the Trading Card Game. This also lead to my sister and I purchasing many packs (and even a pre-assembled deck) and occasionally dueling each other, although I almost never won against her (thankfully she could never use her 200HP Wailord card). I even still have my Pokemon cards in a binder with numerous card-storing pages. Pokemon Pinball was also an enjoyable game for the GameBoy Color, even though neither my sister nor I got super far (as far as I can tell). Once I turned 13 or 15 (I forget the exact age), the Pokemon pathways lead to many new possibilities.
When I received my Nintendo DS Lite for my birthday (which I still cherish despite how beat-up it has become over the years), I was able to journey to not only the Sinnoh and Unova regions, but to the world of the Pokemon Rescue Team games. This was also the end of those days where I’d frantically search for batteries and the sore necks during car rides at night. Now you’re probably wondering, “Hey Tracy, how did you get sore necks from playing Pokemon during car rides?” Well, allow me to share a secret technique that my sister and I used. We call it the ancient technique of “tucking a flashlight under your chin.” Yep, that’s it, that’s the secret. But yeah, with the new hand-held gaming systems having lit-up screens, those days were long gone. We do occasionally look back at those days with fondness and some relief, but they were fun days.
Back to the topic of Sinnoh and Unova, I still enjoy exploring both regions. I will say this though, Platinum will always be one of my all-time favorite games in both the Pokemon franchise and as a game in general. I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s just something about it that makes it a perfect game. The way the story flows, the characters, and even the overall design of the new Pokemon make the game really stand out. Speaking of the game standing out, there’s one other important part of not only Platinum but of all of the fourth-generation Pokemon games: Cynthia. Long before fairy-types were even a thing, Cynthia was one of the most difficult and terrifying league champions to face (she still is). With her overpowering Garchomp as her ace Pokemon and Spirittomb as an obstacle near the beginning of the fight, she was the champion that no trainer could afford to hold back against. Speaking of which, I would have to give some credit to Alder (Black & White) and Iris (Black & White 2) for providing a challenge as well (in my opinion). Despite knowing the weaknesses of Iris’s Pokemon (most being dragon-type), the added mixture of different types keeps trainers on their toes. While I little memory of battling Alder, I would say that I had some struggles against him. I will also say that BW and BW2 were enjoyable games. The stories were engaging, the music was amazing, the environments were fun to explore, I enjoyed interacting with the new characters, and the designs of the new Pokemon were interesting (in my opinion).
Along with playing the mainstream Nintendo DS Pokemon games, I was also able to play some of the spin-off games. One series that I will forever enjoy are the Rescue Team games. The idea of playing as the Pokemon themselves, and the main character originally being a human, was such a mind-blowing moment in Pokemon history. I still remember playing the demo at Target numerous times and having so much fun with a game that I wouldn’t be able to play for at least another 7 years or so. I’ve played most of the titles and even though I haven’t played all of them to completion, I still have a blast playing each one.
The only other spin-offs that I have memories of playing, are the Pokemon Colosseum games and Pokemon Conquest. I feel like Conquest was one of the more forgotten spin-off games. It was a strategy game where the feudal lords of Japan had Pokemon of their own and in the end, you end up battling against Oda Nobunaga himself (who had a shiny Raquaza). I never finished playing the game, but I remember having a lot of fun playing it. Now the Pokemon Colosseum games, these were games that hold a special place in the hearts of numerous Pokemon fans. While Pokemon Stadium was one of the first to make the idea of 3D model Pokemon battles a reality, Colosseum took that idea to another level. Before the mainstream games for the 3DS, Colosseum were games that had a full story for players to enjoy. In both games, your character travels across the Orre region in order to save Shadow Pokemon (Pokemon whose hearts have been corrupted) from an evil organization. Whether it was with the help of another character or with the use of a special gadget, the main character could identify whether or not they were facing a shadow Pokemon. When I revisited both games, after playing the 3DS games, I still have an amazing time playing them. In all honesty, there are some character models that I wish would return to the mainstream games. Heck, it would be awesome to face the main characters from these games in battle, just to see what type of teams they would’ve put together. While I rarely used this feature, it was awesome that players could connect their GameBoy Advance and battle with their teams from the third-generation games in 3D models. I spent most of my time with the sequel title Pokemon Colosseum XD: Gale of Darkness, but I’m still planning on playing the first game all the way through.
Fast forward a handful of years later, I’m just starting my college adventure. All of a sudden, I hear news of two new Pokemon games for the 3DS: X and Y. This was when the dream from the Colosseum games finally became a reality. Although I had to wait a while, I was able to play Pokemon Y and I still remember fans losing their minds from the announcement. This was the first 3D Pokemon adventure on a handheld system. And with new Pokemon games come new features, and there were more than plenty of those. Thanks to wireless connections to the internet, players could trade and battle with anyone from across the globe. There was also a new feature where players could interact with their Pokemon in order to strengthen their friendship levels. This would come back in future games. Another big feature that would return in future games was the ability to customize your character. In each town or city, there would be shop where you could buy clothes for your character to wear. In one or two cities you could even change their haircut and eye color. The possibilities were nearly endless. However, there was one feature that changed everything: Mega Evolution. For those of you that don’t know, there are a handful of Pokemon that have another form that can only be unlocked in battle. This new form leads to new abilities, some of which can be terrifying to face. One other big change to the Pokemon universe was the introduction of fairy-types (which can still be terrifying). With this new type, players no longer felt any fear towards the dark/ghost-type Pokemon and dragon-types had another weakness to add to the list. Soon after X and Y, there was an announcement involving the remakes of Ruby and Sapphire for the 3DS (renamed Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire).
As someone who hadn’t played the third-generation Pokemon games (only watched walkthroughs), it was a fun way to enjoy the story and, to a certain degree, how the game was played. Sure, it wasn’t the most difficult game, but I still had a blast playing it. There were times where I would look up both the original and new soundtrack and compare the songs. Some of the songs were given a serious upgrade and sounded much better than the original version. There were even changes and improvements to the designs of locations and characters. What was even more amazing was the new “chapter” added after the game’s story is completed: The Delta Chapter. With this new chapter, we were introduced to a new character and story, which led to a new theory. This theory involved the idea of parallel universes, which almost led to the destruction of one of these universes (possibly the original third-generation games). But yeah, these new 3D Pokemon games were, and always will be, a big part of Pokemon history.
As the final Pokemon games for the 3DS, the Sun and Moon games were a somewhat refreshing addition to the series. Taking place in the Alolan region (basically Hawaii), trainers explore different islands and take on the different trials (as opposed to the traditional gyms) in order to prove their skills. These games were kept some of the same features from the previous 3DS titles, but also introduced something new: regions having different forms of certain Pokemon. These forms varied from interesting and enjoyable to the bizarre. For example, the Alolan Vulpix and Ninetails had majestic, wintery form (to symbolize their change from fire to ice-types), while Alolan Exeggutor has a long neck (making it look like a palm tree) with a tail and has become a grass/dragon-type. About a year after Sun and Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were announced. Honestly, I wish these games were part of a dlc (downloadable content) pack instead of a full game, since they’re basically the same game but with some changes and additions. I never even finished Ultra Sun because I felt like there was no point, which made me feel even more cheated from the amount I spent on the game. In other words, it left a bad taste in my mouth. Things did get better, however, after the Nintendo Switch came out.
Within two years after the release of the Switch, two new Pokemon games were released. The first being another remake of the first generation games: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee!. I chose Let’s Go Eevee! mainly because I love Eevee more as a Pokemon and I knew that I was going to catch a Pikachu later in the game anyways. So far, I’ve been having an enjoyable time playing it. The game is colorful and an overall delight. However, the only thing that I still have to get used to is the Pokemon Go style of catching Pokemon in order to make your Pokemon grow stronger. I understand that Pokemon Go is still a big thing and it does work with the Switch, it’s just not my thing when it’s part of a main title. It honestly makes training my team a huge hassle. Other than that, I haven’t had any personal issues with the game. After Let’s Go Eevee!, I pre-ordered and soon played Pokemon Shield. I still remember hearing fans complaining about the game and wondering why they weren’t enjoying it. To be honest, I personally didn’t find anything wrong with the game in terms of story, gameplay, or even graphics. Sure, later on I looked into some of the things (mainly graphics related) that were the source of the complaints and I could understand their reasons. Are Sword and Shield bad games? Not really. Sure, they’ll have flaws and aren’t perfect, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be cast aside. From the sounds of it (since I haven’t finished the first expansion), the new dlc for the games have been pretty fun. After Sword and Shield, fans are waiting patiently for new Pokemon titles to be announced. One big titles that many are excited for, is New Pokemon Snap, which is a relaxing-looking game (the sequel to the original title for the Nintendo 64) where you take pictures of Pokemon in their natural habitats. Given how things are going today, I’ll most likely be unable to play this new title until a while after it comes out. As someone who never played the original game, I’m looking forward to playing it sometime in the future. After that, who knows what will come next. Many, including myself, are hoping for a remake of the fourth-generation games (specifically Platinum). If that does happen in the future, it would be interesting to see what the developers will do with 3D graphics, especially on the Switch.
After 25 years (maybe 15 for me), it’s amazing to look back and see how far this wonderful franchise has come. From the games, to shows and movies (even a live-action one), to a trading card game, to merchandise and even books, it seems like anything can be done with Pokemon. I can’t wait to see where things are going to go next. Since you’ve all spent time reading my personal journey of Pokemon, tell me: when did your Pokemon adventure begin? What are some of your favorite memories of Pokemon? Feel free to leave them in the comments, I really want to know how it all started. Until then, this is Tracy Preston/CuriousCat-13: signing off.
As a fan of Kamen Rider, I have always held an appreciation for people capable of making Cosplay. Even more so when they can create armor that looks like it came straight from the set. I certainly hope to join their ranks one day, but for now, I’ll be content looking at the Rider Cosplay they create. So please, allow me to share some of my favorite Cosplays with you. Links to the cosplayer’s and photographer’s social media will be provided whenever they are available.
The thumbnail comes courtesy of Showtime HERO, taken at Indonesia Comic Con.
Mist Match! Cobra!
Our first cosplay is of a character I’m sure many people should recognize if you’ve been watching Build alongside Kat and Tat (consider supporting AAOG on Patreon to get access to their Build reactions if you aren’t already). The resident smug snake of the show, Blood Stalk. Personally, I’m a big fan of him specifically because of his personality. He’s so nonchalant and smug, it’s great.
A preface for our next entry: this suit is actually based on an action figure series known as the S.I.C. series (stands for Super Imaginative Chogokin, later became Superior Imaginative Chogokin). These figures are made to look more monstrous/organic and they look absolutely amazing. This one in particular is based on a figure of the original Kamen Rider released in 2014, and I am such a huge fan of how the full-sized suit looks.
Here we have another non-Rider character Cosplay. This time, it’s the delinquent Imagin Momotaros. He’s a great character and extremely popular. Fun fact: Momotaros’ VA in the show is also the voice for Kibutsuji Muzan from Demon Slayer.
Here we have yet another example of an S.I.C. based Cosplay of a Rider. This time, we have our Orange Samurai Gaim being represented here. Honestly, this is one of my favorite S.I.C. figures. The armor design for Gaim here is spectacular and a great show of how good the S.I.C. line really is.
Our last entry for this Cosplay Feature will be one of the movie-exclusive Riders. This is Ichigata (meaning Type-1) from the Zero One movie “Reiwa: The First Generation”. Honestly, Ichigata is one of my favorite movie Riders of all time, easily getting into my Top 5 movie Riders.
I really am appreciative of all the hard work and effort that these Cosplayers put into creating these costumes. It’s so impressive how close they can get to making it look exactly like it does in the show. Or, in the case of the S.I.C. cosplays, capturing all of the details of the figures. I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse of the World of Tokusatsu Cosplay, because I fully intend to showcase more of these Cosplays.
If this is the first Article of mine that you’re reading, welcome, and consider reading some of my other Kamen Rider-related articles. You can read my 2-part article on all of the Heisei Era Seasons of Kamen Rider here and here.
Fans have been clamoring to return to the world of Remnant and the time has finally arrived with RWBY coming back for Volume 8. After what transpired in the previous season, things are about to heat up with Team RWBY as they try to save what has left of Atlas as well as Remnant from Salem and her invading army while also avoiding a clash with General Ironwood’s own military after his betrayal. We got to sit down with writer Kerry Shawcross and Ruby herself, voice actress Lindsay Jones on what viewers can expect for the rest of the season.
With the first two episodes out in the open, both Shawcross and Jones have looked back at the process it took for them to put volume 8 out after a year since it was first announced. “It’s just kind of crazy how the pre-production was so well planned out that we were able to kind of prepare for COVID. But at the same time, the team is working so hard from home to adjust during the COVID period. So I have seen people from the production team go above and beyond, and I feel like every volume they just take it one step further,” Jones said. Shawcross addressed how the split with Team RWBY will affect the season moving forward. “We’ve essentially got a three-way war going on. We’ve got Ruby and our heroes as a unit. We’ve got Ironwood and we’ve got Salem.”
With every volume, RWBY has tackled themes like strength in numbers and being true to yourself. In volume 8, the characters are all trying to figure out what is most important to them after finally coming back together. “I think from a broader standpoint, I think this season is a lot about figuring out what is important to you and making sure that you stay true to that,” Shawcross explained. Despite being together, the group also has different ideologies as to what the next course of action is for Atlas and for Remnant, as Jones informed us. Speaking on Ruby’s relationship with the team, she said, “There is that emotional separation between her and Yang, between her and Blake. Same with Weiss, obviously with a bigger global separation with the Atlas as a whole and their role in the world of Revenant.”
The voice actress also spoke on how she has connected with Ruby over the years as she has has grown from a novice hunter into a leader. “There is a little piece of us in every character we play because as an actor, you have to have that connection, that emotional connection with the character you’re playing with. Ruby, it goes so much further than that.” Jones expressed just how connected she is from Ruby, having played her for a while. “As far as my connection with the character itself, I feel like she is a huge reflection in my growth and my 20s…We in the real world are dealing with a lot of distrust. I completely understand where Ruby is coming from that standpoint.”
This season has also given other characters more prominence, like Oscar. Shawcross went into some detail on the relationship with Oscar and Ozpin in Volume 8. “Things between them are complicated and will continue to be complicated. Its a really interesting relationship. But it is still two people that trust each other but have had moments of conflict and figuring out how to get past that.” He also added about the journey Penny would be going through this season. “Penny is part robot, but she’s also part human. Figuring out what your path is and how you’re interpreting what is going on. We haven’t seen that in chapter one with her…and she’s kind of pushing back now. That’s going to continue to play into some things with her and Winter.”
With COVID still in the world, it hasn’t stopped Rooster Teeth from working on RWBY’s current season, which is still in production. “We are still working on Volume 8 and we are also working on Volume 9. In some ways, it has changed in larger ways and some in less meaningful ways. We’re really trying to find that balance of making sure everybody working on the show and their quality of life remains great. Making sure the show is great as it can be.” Jones agreed with how well she and the crew have been adjusting to their workload. “The spirit and soul are still there and I think that is a fantastic testament. When you get in the booth, it doesn’t feel any different to me. Despite working remotely, Jones looks forward to getting things back to normal. “I would still love to work up toward a group recording in some setting. Maybe once COVID is over, we can look into that?”
So what can fans expect for the rest of Volume 8? In one word, Jones described it as a “spectacle” and praised the animation. “Reading what I read in the script, I feel like anytime I read the scene descriptions, I get really into it and to see that come into fruition animation-wise, is a whole different story. That translation is beautiful and those animators are wizards.” Adding to that, Shawcross tells fans to expect a lot to come out this season. “A very dense season is what I will say.”
Check out our video from the interview above and don’t forget to tune into RWBY on Rooster Teeth’s website.
In 1990, Nintendo released a new game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), with Intelligent Systems as one of the developers: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. As the first game of the series, Fire Emblem was one of the games that popularized the tactical role-playing game (RPG) genre of gaming. It followed the story of Prince Marth (one of the first Fire Emblem characters that were playable in Super Smash Bros.) and his quest to save and reclaim his kingdom. Now, 30 years later, the game is finally going to be available outside of Japan for the Nintendo Switch (with an official English translation and for only $5.99) on December 4th of this year.
In my younger years, (est. 11 years old) I had played some of the Fire Emblem series, mainly The Blazing Blade and The Sacred Stones for the Gameboy Advance and Path of Radiance for the Game Cube. I spent countless hours playing these games and had a fantastic time bonding with the characters, story, and gameplay. Sure, it took me a while to finally beat Path of Radiance, but I loved the journey that the game took me on with all of the characters. In case you haven’t noticed, Fire Emblem has left a pretty big impact on my life. It wasn’t until the release of Shadow Dragon for the Nintendo DS that I learned about the first game of the series. Since that moment, I think I was about 16, I waited patiently for the day when I’d get the chance to finally play the game that started it all (mainly because I didn’t care for the cardboard cutout like visuals of Shadow Dragon). Hearing the reveal of the first game coming out for the Switch felt like a dream come true. And the Anniversary Edition (at the lovely price of $49.99)? Sign me up with the pre-order, please.
With the re-release of Shadow Dragon and the Sword of Light, it brings up a pretty big question: will this happen for any other previous games of the series? We’ve had The Blazing Blade and The Sacred Stones made available for the Wii U, so maybe we can get the Radiance games or even games that came out not too long after the first one? It would be a great way to introduce newcomers and veterans, that never got the chance to play specific titles in the series. While there are sites where you can download emulators in order to play specific games, but that’s not always a surefire way to experience a game. Not every emulator program will work for you and it can lead to more frustrations than enjoyment. I’m honestly lucky that I had people tell me what programs worked for them before searching on my own (in case you’re wondering, I would go to Vimm’s Lair).
While Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light will only be available for a limited time (four months, so until around April), I am thrilled to finally be able to experience the game that started the series. It will be interesting to see how the game plays without everything that was added in the newer additions to the series (character supports, weapon triangle, etc.). In other words, the game is going to have a gap in the levels of the challenge it brings. Sure, this version will allow you to rewind and retry the moves you make, but it’ll still be a fun challenge. What do you all think? Are you looking forward to the re-release of a classic and the beginning of a popular series? Feel free to let me know in the comments down below, I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of it. Until then, this is CuriousCat-13/Tracy: signing off.
Greetings, geeks of all ages! Welcome back to Tokusatsu 101, your introduction to the wonderful world of Toku and Kamen Rider. I am Zach J., TD (not an actual title), your guide throughout this series of articles. Last time, I explained the genre of Tokusatsu and gave a basic overview of Kamen Rider. In this article, we’ll be going over the different Eras of Kamen Rider. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get cracking!
The Imperial Calendar
Before I explain the different eras, I must explain what the division of eras is based on. In Japan, they have their own calendar called the Imperial Calendar. This is based on the current reigning Emperor of Japan. In anime and other Japanese media, I’m sure you’ve heard references to different periods of time. Most notably, Demon Slayer takes place during the Taisho Period. There are many different Periods of time that are commonly referred back to, such as the Edo Period, the Sengoku Period, and the Meiji Period. It is these different periods of time are what make up the Imperial Calendar. Currently, there are three eras that concern us when talking about Kamen Rider: the Showa era, the Heisei era, and the Reiwa era.
The Showa era, the era of Emperor Hirohito which went from 1926 to 1989, is the first era of Kamen Rider. The first Kamen Rider debuted in 1971, and marked the start of a cultural phenomenon in Japan. The story begins when biochemistry student Takeshi Hongo is kidnapped by the evil organization Shocker and turned into a cyborg. He escapes their clutches before they can brainwash him into obeying them. This proves to be their undoing, as Hongo now devotes himself to fighting Shocker wherever they appear as the Kamen Rider.
After this first season, we would get 9 more seasons of television during the Showa era. Including Black RX, which was being filmed during the transition from the Showa to the Heisei era, and the 3 films that were made in the 90s, the Showa era has 15 main Riders (technically 14 since Black and Black RX are the same person). They are counted as Showa Riders even though they were not produced during the era itself.
Return of the Rider
The Heisei era, the era of Emperor Akihito which went from 1989 to 2019, marks the return of Kamen Rider. After the last film produced for the Showa era in ’94, there would be no new Riders until the new millennium. In 2000, Kamen Rider made its triumphant return with Kamen Rider Kuuga. After unearthing an ancient tomb, a group of archaeologists find themselves under attack by a strange creature. This unidentified lifeform follows them when they take. In order to fight this monster, Yuusuke Godai dons the belt and becomes Kamen Rider Kuuga.
Since 2000, there has been 1 season of Kamen Rider a year, every year. This means that the Heisei era has 20 seasons of Riders. Every production has a new crew that leads the charge and oversees each season. Alongside each season, they also produce 1 to 2 movies with that years’ Rider. If a season is popular enough, it will also receive extra side productions well after the season is over. For instance, Kamen Rider Gaim, which finished airing in 2014, is receiving a new Gaiden production in the near future.
The Reboot Riders
During the Heisei era, 2 separate reboots that aren’t counted towards the Heisei Generation Riders were made. There are 2 films that reboot the original Kamen Rider, with Kamen Rider V3 appearing in the second film. These reboot films are much darker in tone than their original counterparts. Kamen Rider The First is a Sci-Fi Action flick, while Kamen Rider The Next is mainly a Horror film. While I am not a fan of the muted color palette of the films, I am a huge fan of the updated suit designs.
The second reboot project is Kamen Rider Amazons, which is available on Amazon Prime Video in the west as Amazon Riders. Compared to regular seasons of Rider, Amazons is bloodier and more violent. Imagine if Tokyo Ghoul was a live-action show involving men in suits fighting each other. The story of Amazons unfolds across two seasons and a final film. I absolutely love Amazons and would highly recommend it if you’re a fan of Tokyo Ghoul.
New Age of Heroes
Now, we find ourselves in the Reiwa era of Kamen Rider. The Reiwa era, the era under Emperor Naruhito which began last year, is the current era of Japan. With the changing of Emperors comes the dawn of a new era. As such, the generation of Reiwa Riders starts with Zero One, which debuted on September 1st, 2019. In a new age of technology, artificial beings known as Humagear have become a large part of modern society. Humagear are capable of performing any tasks associated with their designated roles. After his grandfather passes away, Aruto Hiden has the responsibilities of a Tech CEO thrust upon him. In order to protect the Humagear his grandfather created, Aruto assumes the role of Kamen Rider Zero One.
As of the writing of this article, we are only 7 episodes into Kamen Rider Saber, the current season.
Issues in Continuity
In regards to continuity, most seasons of Rider are standalone with little to no crossover. The first five seasons of the Showa era are the exception, as they are closely interconnected. There are only a few instances in the Heisei era of the stories being connected. Even then, those instances are little more than a brief mention of a previous Rider. It’d be more accurate to call it an Easter Egg for fans who have seen that season of Rider than it is an important plot point. The other instance of series crossover besides the movies is a cameo of the Rider from the next season. Starting around the second half of the Heisei era, the Rider of the upcoming season will cameo in the last episode of the current one.
However, there are specific crossover movies that brings together two or more seasons of Riders. These crossovers typically release during the winter time of each season, with later movies being loosely canon to the season it’s tied to.
Boy was that a slog, but I’m glad you got through the entire article and made it all the way here. Congratulations! You don’t really win anything here, but hey, thanks for reading all the way through this article. I know it’s a bit of a long one, but that’s only because there is so much history to cover when it comes to Kamen Rider. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability. Tune in next time when I give generic summaries of the Heisei era seasons and give my recommendations for which ones are good to start on.
Greetings, geeks of all ages! Tokusatsu is a genre that I, as a geek, am absolutely in love with. As Kat and Tat have started reacting to Kamen Rider, I think it is appropriate to teach everyone here about Tokusatsu. So allow me to be your guide and show you the greatness that is Kamen Rider. I am Zach J., TD. (not an actual title), self-proclaimed Professor of Tokusatsu.
The Tokusatsu Genre
I’m sure the first thing you want to know is this: “What in the world is Tokusatsu?” Simply put, Tokusatsu is a genre of live-action media that heavily uses special effects. The term “Tokusatsu” is a contraction of the phrase “特殊撮影 [Tokushu Satsuei]” which can be translated as “Special Effects Filming”. Typically speaking, most productions of Tokusatsu are either Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, or a mix of all three. A very famous example of Tokusatsu is the Godzilla film series. The original movies all involved making special sets for men in rubber suits to destroy as kaiju.
There are many different Toku shows out there, with some of them having American adaptations. The most successful example is Power Rangers, the adaptation of the Super Sentai series. However, there were many other attempts to bring Toku shows to the West. If you grew up in the 90’s, I’m sure you were at least aware of VR Troopers, Big Bad Beetleborgs, and Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad. These shows were adaptations of Kikaider, the Metal Heroes series, and Gridman respectively. Naturally, Kamen Rider also had two American adaptations in Masked Rider and Kamen Rider Dragon Knight.
Genealogy of Justice
There are a great number of Toku shows to talk about, but today we will focus on Kamen Rider. So, what exactly is it about? To put it simply, Kamen Rider is a series that explores the idea of justice and the choice to uphold it, regardless of origin. From the very first season to the current season, the main story theme remains the same. Whether you’re a brilliant physicist, a wannabe hard-boiled detective, or a humble novelist, it is your choice to use your power to fight for what you believe in.
Each season tackles the theme of justice with different motifs and story devices. One season revolves around the misadventures of a young man down on his luck. He is frail and timid, but through his journey finds strength and confidence as he defends the people around him. Another season centers around rival groups of dancers trying to become the best at what they do. However, as the story continues, they find themselves trapped in a battle that risks the very fabric of reality. They must learn to deal with the grim realities of the world or become victims of it. Whatever the themes are, I’m sure there is a season that will appeal to you.
The Man Behind The Mask
Kamen Rider is the brain child of Shotaro Ishinomori, a man many revere as the King of Manga. Known for his high-speed drawing style, Ishinomori is responsible for creating Kikaider, Inazuman, and the Super Sentai series. He dedicated his life to the creation of many series, writing over 128,000 pages of manga in his lifetime. This feat was recognized posthumously by Guinness World Records for Most Comics Published by a Single Author. Without a doubt, he has made huge contributions to Japan’s pop culture, creating two of its biggest superhero franchises.
Influence on Japanese Pop Culture
Today, Kamen Rider is undeniably a large part of Japanese culture. Without a doubt, Kamen Rider is the gold standard of superhero in Japan. It has been referenced in many anime, video games, live-action dramas, and even western animation. Kamen Rider has made a handful of actors very popular in Japan. Most notably Takeru Satoh who played the hapless Ryotaro Nogami in Kamen Rider Den-O, Masaki Suda who played the mysterious amnesiac Philip in Kamen Rider W (pronounced Double), and Sota Fukushi who played the high school delinquent Gentaro Kisaragi in Kamen Rider Fourze (pronounced Four-zay).
However, perhaps the biggest thing going for the series is its endless supply of merchandise. Ranging from action figures to clothing and even candies, merchandise for the show is everywhere. Something that I have gotten into collecting is the role-play toys and gimmick items. These lovely little items allow you to act out the transformation sequences and finishers from the show. And while it is expensive, it is a price I will gladly pay to support the series I love.
There is so much more to cover with Kamen Rider, and I intend to cover it. Over the next several weeks, I will write out more in this series of articles I am dubbing Tokusatsu 101. Stick around for the next part of this article series in which I will cover the Eras of Kamen Rider and the continuity of the seasons, or lack thereof.
With the coronavirus affecting the world, it has dampened almost every business. The pandemic has hit Hollywood so severely as multiple film projects had to be put on hold for the safety of its staff and crew. Some films were awaiting release but had to ultimately be pushed back to a later date once the outbreak had come down. With everything put to a halt, it’ll be hard to imagine how the industry will pick back up once everything is back to normalcy. Some of these films started filming even before the coronavirus hit, but most of them remain incomplete afterward.
Many studios had to hit pause on many of their films that were supposed to start production this year. Disney had a number of projects in the works, including the sequels to Avatar, Marvel’s upcoming film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and a live-action adaptation of Peter Pan & Wendy. Even Sony had to stop pre-production on their video game adaptation of Uncharted for a couple of weeks, causing the studio to move the release date to March 5, 2021. Universal’s upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion was in the middle of production in Hawaii, but they had to stop after the pandemic hit. Warner Bros. may have been hit the hardest since they had multiple big-budgeted films in production like The Batman, Matrix 4, and the next installment to Fantastic Beasts. On top of that, an untitled film about Elvis Presley was in production from the studio, where Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were among the first celebrities to be exposed to the virus.
Production on a couple of indie films were also affected by the coronavirus, forcing most of them to stop filming. Blumhouse was working on a thriller with actor B.J. Novak titled Vengeance, which was being filmed in New Mexico. Other small-budget films were supposed to be shot overseas during the time the pandemic hit. Films The Forgiven and Official Competition were both scheduled to be shooting in Spain until the coronavirus hit, causing production to be delayed. Films like Mission Impossible 7 were also set to film in Italy, where the pandemic hit the hardest. It would be difficult for travel as flying to Europe has been impossible with the pandemic affecting countries worldwide.
While we don’t know the scope of how long the pandemic will last, it’ll certainly leave a huge impact on the movie industry as studios scramble to determine when is the best time to start production again.
For a geeky person, dating is always nerve-wracking, wondering when your inner geek will become full-fledged outer geek to your new love interest. When they spot the Harry Potter doll sitting on your bedside table? When they stop by unannounced when you’re six hours into a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon, hair a mess, chin greasy with buttered popcorn? Someday it will come out.
But what if you’re not actually the nerd of the relationship? What if the other person in your relationship is the one that brings the real nerdiness to town? Sure, you can recite every episode of Buffy that James Marsters ever appeared in, but what if the person you love most the world can spend 14 hours straight playing World of Warcraft with breaks only for a new bowl of cereal? Perhaps you were prepared to disclose your geekiness to your new partner, but are you prepared to be the one dating the geek?
In my case, I wasn’t. I was used to being the quirky one with unusual interests. For the first year my now husband and I were in a relationship, I didn’t know he was a major geek. He wasn’t hiding it, but circumstances were such that when I did see him play video games it seemed to align with school vacations and be the exception not the rule. He had mentioned being a top-ranked WoW player years before, but as I come from the books/movies/tv sector of the geekdom, I didn’t really know what that meant. We spent more time at my apartment and he studied abroad for five months. When he returned from his trip we both moved to new apartments. I started spending more time at his place and saw…the set up.
It’s a modest one, to be sure. A massive Craigslist-find pressboard desk. A home built PC. A 40-inch tv screen. A chair he bought at flea market for $10. But the hours he spends at command central, fully engaged, began to surprise me. A year into our relationship all pretense was done away with. I spent the weekends on his couch doing homework while he played Ark with his roommate in the other room and his best friend who lived a floor above, talking to each other for hours via headset despite being less than 15 feet away from each other.
And I had to admit—maybe I didn’t get to be the geek in this relationship.
Since then, I’ve taken on a role many partners have who are in relationships with serious gamers—Warcraft Widow, i.e. I get a lot of alone time on raid nights! Like anyone with a life partner who is seriously committed to a hobby, I’ve come to realize what exactly it means to love a geek, and how much fun you can have along the way.