Okay, so this is a review of the Japanese Tokusatsu drama, Kamen Rider Decade, or as it said in English, Mask Rider DCD. Now, this series is short and to the point, it ran for only 31 episodes with two movies. The first movie was released with the 2nd movie being released in December 2007. Before I get into my review of the show, here are the basics.
The story revolves around the nine previous universes of the Heisei Kamen Riders merging into one, something that would destroy all the worlds. To prevent this, Tsukasa Kadoya transforms into Kamen Rider Decade and is told that to protect his own world he must travel with Natsumi and her grandfather to the other Kamen Riders’ Worlds (referred to as an A.R. World or Another Rider’s World) and eliminate the anomaly in that world. Along the way, confronting the mysterious Narutaki and the thief Daiki Kaitoh, they are joined by Yusuke Onodera of the World of Kuuga and Kivala of the World of Kiva.
Now for the most part and I wanted to try to keep this review short and to the point, which is that I enjoy the show and the idea of Decade. A Rider who could use any attack or form of any past Rider. Now given we only got the nine past Riders of the Heisei Era in terms of forms and powers, there were many hits near the end that there were cards of the past era of Kamen Rider and that there is a good chance he could also become them. Such as out of nowhere Decade got a Final Attack Rider Amazon Card.
Final Form Ride Cards, some people I’ve seen hate this idea of the show, in that Decade uses a card called Final Form Ride on one of the Heisei Riders and turns them into a weapon of some sort from that Rider’s setup. Such as Blade becoming a Blade, which was the funniest one of them all being called Blade Blade.
Anyways the whole point of this was to sell toys and shows like this and Sentai are geared to kids, kids who want to have toys. While many older fans of Kamen Rider may have found this as an insult to them and hoped nothing was done to the older era Riders in such form, well to them thank god that did not happen. I however what Decade did with them was cool. I like how some of them were used more than one time such as Blade, which I think got used 3 times. The first time, one by DiEnd Summon and once in the Sentai Team up. And Kuuga was used two times. For the most part that was it and this in no way made the show any worst than it could have been.
The next thing I like to discuss is the storyline. From the get-go, we have a character who doesn’t remember who he is or anything. All he wants is to take pictures of the world and find his place. He then gets tossed into an event that makes him Decade and is told that to save the world he must travel to the past nine Kamen Rider Worlds. From episode 1 to about 18 the story has a nice flow as we follow Tsukasa and his friends, we get a few things that were not explained, such as how the hell Kaitoh (Kamen Rider DiEnd) was able to travel between worlds, we never once see him using a wall of light such as we see other characters use and he is shown to have no base in which to go to for his travels.
While many will point out this is simply something that happens and is known for the series such as Every time (almost) when Tsukasa goes from being Decade to not being Decade his Henshin Device shows up out of nowhere or disappears as well as things being pulled out of thin air. This can be overlooked, but how Kaitoh travels between the words is beyond me. It’s never explained.
Form after Tsukasa gains the last Rider Card, this is where I feel and some people have pointed out that I’ve read the writers had no idea what they were doing. The Complete Form Episodes seem to come out of nowhere and it’s at this point cards start to show up and appear as if he just got them or had them the whole time. I think in terms of a show like this would have shown better storytelling and writing and given a feeling that they had planned this and it was not last-minute rewrites had they been shown before. Such as in episode 1 when Tsukasa looked at the cards, it would have been nice if he had a black card with nothing on it. Then in episode 21, oh look at that it’s the Final Kamen Ride card for Complete from. It would have been one of those oh snap moments.
Now how it was done is fine, but I like to know why his cards went blank after he fought Dark Kiva like that and then later in 21 were unlocked as well as Complete Form. Maybe I simply missed that this word was a Nega World, a Dark World if you have it. The next few seem more like total fan service than the plot and bring in the Dai-Shocker plot from the movie but then not giving us a reason for it being I have not seen the movie yet and won’t until some time next year. I believe a TV show should stand on its own two feet and not need a movie to explain things. This show could have easily been 50 episodes to a full season as almost all past Kamen Rider Shows have been.
Taken how they used a lot of old stuff and only had to do two new Rider Suits, I don’t see why they could not have given more in terms of the plot being so much stuff was a one-shot. Some people will complain about the recasting. For one, it did not bother me. I went and watched Blade after seeing the Blade episodes and if you ask me it was a good way of going about it. But it’s hard to have someone step in and do a role you love so much when the actor as it terms out shows up at the end of the series.
Now that I’m on the subject that is the only thing that bothers me about this show, the ending, and the flow of the ending. In a show like this, it was hard to see who the real bad guy was, which is Tsukasa the hero of the story. However the show ends on a cliffhanger, and many of the questions we have are not answered at all.
The one thing is it turns out the past Kamen Riders, aka the real ones we all know, are the ones who wanted Tsukasa to travel, and yet they were not clear in telling him “Kill the other Riders at all cost.” They simply tell him you have to travel to save the world to these nine words. Then out of the blue almost to the point, I felt that the actors they did get to come back were a bit out of character from their shows. I don’t see why Kiva would not simply say “You need to travel to the other nine words and kill those Riders.” Because that is what it came down to.
Tsukasa became friends with those Riders, which are different versions of the real nine. They don’t explain why they have to be killed such as there can’t be two of the same person. Nothing like that, it’s simple and we find out that Tsukasa failed and that he was met to kill them. Well, maybe he should have simply said that from the start and not play around with your words and confuse us. So now they want to kill Tsukasa which brings us to the Rider War we saw in Episode 1, but it’s different as the one shown had every Rider from the last 10 years, and this one we saw only had the nine vs Tsukasa as Decade, with and are you’re ready for this?
His new-found friend DiEnd runs up to him pointing his gun at Tsukasa’s face, a shocked Tsukasa says his name and then cut to DiEnd who is fired. We don’t see if he fires at Tsukasa or over his shoulder. The show ends there. What we get is a preview of the movie, which forms what is shown there are two Tsukasa. Now call me crazy, I don’t get that at all.
I say that because they say the first movie, All Riders vs Dai-Shocker takes place between the Amazon World and the Rider War World. In the movie Tsukasa becomes “Evil” being he was once the leader of Dai-Shocker, only finding he was wrong and helping the Riders defeat Dai-Shocker. From what I read about this movie, one is Evil and one is Good. So the question now is was the Tsukasa we followed through the show, granted he was sometimes an ass hole, but was the overall good guy the bad or good one? It would be one if he was the bad one, that would explain why he acted like an ass and then reveal to remember he was the Leader of Dai-Shocker. However, his travels and being with Natsumi and co changed him and made him a better person. This I can believe.
But what about the good one? You see the problem here, is there is a shot showing Decade Complete Form attacking Tsukasa. It’s unsure if this Complete Form is the other Tsukasa or not. There is also a line from the grandfather saying “this is the real world” of what? Is this Tsukasa world? I thought that was the world they went to in All Riders Vs Dai-Shocker.
You also have to remember that we meet Tsukasa’s sister in All Riders vs Dai-Shocker. So why didn’t she know about there being two Tsukasa’s? But then maybe he split after he left her. I don’t know and hope to hell it’s explained and not done so in a lame-ass way. I still think they should not have done a movie and simply did 2 more episodes.