Kamen Rider Zi-O First Impressions

The following article was submitted by STALK.

Studio: Toei Company

Episodes: Unknown, possibly around 50

Screenwriter: Kento Shimoyama

 

Summary

In the fall of 2018, a time machine appears before a hero born in the year 2000. The hero has always dreamed of becoming a king. A mysterious girl appears from the time machine, telling the hero “I come from the year 2068, a world without hope where the king of demons reigns supreme.” The girl has come from the future in a desperate effort to change her own time. The girl then gives the hero an ominous warning “You will become Kamen Rider Zi-O, King of Time, the demon destined to rule the world.”

Can this really be the hero’s fate? This is the story of a Kamen Rider who would be king, who will fight to save the past, present, and future, encountering the various Heisei Kamen Riders throughout space-time.

Source: Kamen Rider Zi-O

Things you need to know about Kamen Rider Zi-O

  • Sougo Tokiwa, the hero, is a young man born at the start of the Heisei era of Kamen Rider, 2000. This makes him as old as the modern Heisei Rider series
  • Tsukuyomi, the mysterious girl, is not your run-of-the-mill female protagonist, but a gun-toting bona fide badass who can hold her own in a fight
  • Geiz Mokyuin, Kamen Rider Geiz, is another rider from the same time as Tsukuyomi. He is one of the earliest debuting secondary riders, debuting at Episode 1.
  • The Time Jackers, the main antagonists, come from the same future as Tsukuyomi and Geiz. Both parties attempt to stop Oma Zi-O, Sougo’s future self, but with wildly differing methods.
  • This series is packed with cameos and plans to includes episodes featuring all the past Heisei Kamen Riders! In fact, Sento Kiryu and Banjo Ryuga, Kamen Riders Build and Cross-Z makes an appearance in the first two episodes.

 

 

Trivia

  • Kamen Rider Zi-O is based on an analog watch, with the secondary motif of Katakana. In fact, his faceplate literally says Rider in Katakana!
  • Kamen Rider Geiz is based on a digital watch, with the secondary motif of Hiragana. His faceplate also says Rider, albeit in Hiragana. Both Riders’ faceplates will change according to the armament they are using
  • The Ziku Driver, their transformation belt, is the first ever to incorporate a rotation gimmick.
  • The series is made to celebrate the 20th Kamen Rider series, in the vein of Kamen Rider Decade. In fact, the theme for this series is “Kamen Rider Kicks” both referring to the finishing move and the unique footprints of Kamen Riders.
  • Zi-O’s opening, “Over Quartzer” is sung by two veterans of Kamen Rider openings, ISSA from DA PUMP (Kamen Rider 555) and Shuta Sueyoshi from AAA (Kamen Rider Den-O). Apparently,, there’s also a surprise musician in there somewhere…

Source: Kamen Rider Zi-O

 

Verdict

For an introductory episode, Zi-O is actually pretty solid, as the plot of Zi-O’s future provides an interesting mystery, as well as the Time Jackers themselves. Furthermore, the return to the familiar monster of the fortnight formula, not seen since Wizard, is a nice throwback to simpler times.

As an anniversary series, I’m actually quite cautious as there are multiple allusions to Kamen Rider Decade (The Demon King/Destroyer of Worlds, Woz/Narutaki), but unlike Decade the Ride Watches aren’t that essential to the plot (yet). Also, the usage of Timelines instead of Parallel Worlds is a neat touch, since we actually get the original actors back.

In conclusion, Kamen Rider Zi-O has immense potential to be something incredible! This series could be the King of the Heisei Riders, in name and in plot. To this I say…RIDER TIME!

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