Hasbro's Power Rangers era and General Tokusatsu discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Samurai8472, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Beast Morphers: "Hangar Heist" is episode 6, and it's a pretty close adaptation of the plot and character arcs of Go-Busters episode 6, with the main addition of the model-rocket subplot to set up the Devon/Ravi tension and give Ben & Betty something silly to do, plus the location change to a remote hangar and the involvement of all three main villains. It works pretty well; even though the Red/Blue conflict is adapted from GB, it fits Devon's and Ravi's established characters perfectly.

    The robot head Scrozzle stole is the partial head of Beet J. Stag, the BuddyRoid partner of the fourth Go-Buster and himself the fifth Go-Buster. Looks like they're going to introduce his counterpart as an evil robot before he switches sides, even though the original character was not introduced as an adversary.


    Zi-O: Wow, this was a superlative episode. The character interplay was terrific, with Sougo, Geiz, and the two Wozes coming to a new understanding. I love seeing Sougo being so cheerfully encouraging toward his enemy -- he's a weird guy with his eternal optimism, but he kind of reminds me of Gentaro/Fourze and his desire to befriend everyone, especially his foes. Nice visual composition of the scene between Sougo and White Woz on the steps, too.

    It's also a nice idea to bring final closure to the unresolved status quo at the end of Blade -- to finally avert the Undead apocalypse instead of just putting it eternally on hold. They also finally resolved Amane's pathetic little-girl obsession with Hajime and let her grow up enough to pursue her own life, which was nice to see.

    Although this show does have a tendency to gloss over the worldbuilding elements that make it hard to reconcile the Phase I series into a common universe. Back in the Faiz tribute episode, they managed to bring back Takumi and Masato and their mutual hatred without saying one single word about Orphenochs, whose emerging existence and its likely transformation of the future of humanity was a driving factor in that season but immensely hard to reconcile with later seasons. Here, they do acknowledge the Jokers, mention the "Battle Fight" (yes, they actually called it that), and depict the Stone of Sealing, but they never mention the larger Blade mythology that those connect to, the battle of the Undead monsters for control of the Earth by the species they represent, and the previous battle that the Human Undead won 10,000 years ago.

    By contrast, it looks like the next episode will be mentioning some of the larger Agito mythology at least peripherally. That's another season about a whole new race of humans emerging, the Agitos, which also makes it hard to reconcile with other seasons. I wonder how they'll deal with the Worms when they get to Kabuto, or the Fangires when they get to Kiva. An integrated Kamen Rider continuity would be littered with multiple nonhuman races living among us.

    The CGI recreation of the Stone of Sealing wasn't quite right. In Blade, it appeared as a flat slab that was twisted smoothly around its center, one continuous piece, and it sometimes straightened out into a flat slab like the 2001 Monolith when it was activated. In this version, there's a sharp discontinuity between the flat portions and the twisted center.

    So there are six remaining powers -- Agito, Hibiki, Kabuto, Den-O, Kiva, and Drive (with the Ridewatches highlighted in chronological order). I guess that means they're counting the acquisition of the Kuuga and W Ridewatches in the movie, although we've only seen Sougo use the latter in the show. But Geiz already has the Drive Ridewatch, which he stole from Oma Zi-O along with the Ghost Ridewatch before the series began. Still, I'd be glad to see a Drive reunion episode, especially if they get Shinnosuke/Drive himself to appear. Ryoma Takeuchi was one of my favorite KR lead actors.

    Interesting that Hibiki through Kiva are consecutive, the 6th-9th Heisei seasons. I wonder why they left that block alone until so late. Agito was the 2nd and Drive the 16th. So far, the order of the revisits has been: 20 (Zi-O itself), 19, 18, 13, 4, 14, 12, 15, 17, 10, 3, and 5, with 1 & 11 only touched on in the movie.


    Oh, I see what you mean. Yeah, it's a similar approach with the "faces" on the shoulders and chest actually seeming to have lives of their own.


    Ryuusoulger: A pretty good one, with some fun character work and effective humor. I loved the "duel" between Red and Green, and the way they figured out the monster's psychology and how to use that to fight it. Tying the monsters in to human drives adds a nice new element (although, again, it's one often seen in Kamen Rider). The bit where Kureon (Creon?) figures out how to use Red & Green's competition against them is nice too.

    Still not crazy about the LEGO-style RyuuseiOh variations. "I've got a green tiger's hindquarters dangling off my arm! Fear my power!" Plus, why do they insist on lumping Pleistocene mammals in with dinosaurs in these things?
     
  2. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding "Beast Morphers"

    Meltatron? Hasbro, your Transformers are showing.

    Also nice shout out to Nasada(the Power Ranger equivalent of NASA)

    An evil Beet J Stag will be interesting or he could be like Vision from Marvel. He's built for evil but the rangers are able to capture him to be used for good.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    Oh yeah, I caught that. I thought they got the NASADA acronym from Megaranger stock footage or something, but the RangerWiki doesn't say anything about it (the organization there was INET).
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Beast Morphers: "A Friend Indeed" gave the Beast Bots some overdue development. It was a fairly nice story about the Rangers taking the Bots for granted and having to learn to appreciate them with all their personality quirks, but it would've worked better if previous episodes had done more to develop the Beast Bots, rather than just presuming prior relationships that we didn't really see much of until this episode.

    The monster and stock footage here (episode 7) came from Go-Busters episode 7, but unlike last week, the stories don't have much in common. That episode was about a clash between Red Buster and a clumsy novice mechanic assigned to maintain his giant robot, and the train-themed robot was stealing Enetron power from the city's wiring systems (since it was based on the kind of electric train that's powered by overhead wires, something that didn't come through in the adaptation).
     
  5. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Zi-o 31
    https://www.mp4upload.com/7sdsmz6h4i9m

    It was really nice to see the agito cast. Shouichi reemerging in the shadows was pretty cool.

    I can't believe we've known/heard of Rina Akiyama/ Mana in Agito since 2001. From young teen to Kamen rider Den-O to now. She looked a little more thin this time around.

    The Agito restaurant sign also got an update. The "O" is now the omega/Agito" symbol

    They gave Tsukuyomi something to do! Her name is code name? Seems like a bit late. We've still got Rider tributes and Zi-O's story to get through and fit in.

    Having Another Agito, as the only preexisting Another Rider, be dealt with by more than just Team Zi-O for once was a great idea.

    So would Another Agito's Another rider be Another Another Agito?



    Ryuusoulger 5

    https://www.mp4upload.com/pw4f1glwshqo

    Wow they really made it look like Tankjou was actually defeated. I believe that would have been the earliest death of a general in sentai history

    We got a MotW that didn't grow large because Tankjou was the main giant fight of the episode, even if Milneedle didn't exactly kill him.

    The thing i'm noticing about this season is that they're trying to make it look like no one is safe.

    First Ui and now Towa. I know there's been episodes where rangers have been poisoned but usually that's resolved by the end of the episode
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Zi-O: As usual, they're playing pretty fast and loose with continuity. If the police still have a G3 Unit, where have they been during the past 17 years of regular monster attacks? Not to mention that we've already seen more advanced police Rider tech since then, notably Accel, Drive, and Mach, so why drag the original prototype tech out of mothballs now? Okay, they tried to justify that last part a bit in the opening scene, but it's still a stretch. (Although the tech for Accel and Drive admittedly came from outside sources, and the attempt to mass-produce Mach for the police was, err, less than successful.)

    It's fitting that they'd use this story to reveal Tsukuyomi's amnesia backstory, since Shouichi had amnesia for most of Agito.

    Another Agito having the power to create more Another Agitos zombie-style is an interesting twist on the original idea that Agitos were potentially a new race of supernaturally powered beings, sort of like mutants in Marvel, rather than just a single individual.

    Aside from maybe his cameo appearance in the Decade movie, I think this is the first time we've seen Shouichi Tsugami addressed as "Kamen Rider Agito" instead of just Agito. They never used the term "Kamen Rider" in-series on his show; the beings with Agito powers were just called Agitos, and even G3 was called an "honorary Agito."

    Let's see... In Heisei Phase 1, I think the only ones that used the term "Kamen Rider" in-story were Ryuki, Blade, Den-O, and Decade. Kabuto called them by the English translation, Masked Riders (in that the two main forms were Masked Form and Rider Form). Hibiki called them Oni. Kuuga and Agito, and I think 555 and Kiva, just referred to the Riders by their individual designations with no blanket term for them as a class. In Phase 2, by contrast, the only ones that didn't use "Kamen Rider" in-story were Wizard (which called them Mahoutsukai/Mages) and Gaim (Armored Riders, halfway there), although both Wizard and Gaim did get called Kamen Riders in their pre-series crossover debuts with their predecessors.


    Introducing him with his sound effect, having his face obscured by the shadows and his belt light, and having him transform without a "Henshin!" call are evocative of his debut appearance, IIRC.


    I wonder if she'll be back as Naomi in the Den-O episodes, and if they'll remark on the resemblance.


    I didn't recognize him as the actual "Another Agito" from the old show -- the recycled suit with the usual name/time stamps added on. Of course, that was "Another" in a different sense -- just another one of the various potential Agitos whose power had grown enough to let him transform. And I don't think he was overtly called "Another Agito" in-story, just behind the scenes and in the merchandise.


    Ryuusoulger: I'm impressed by how these guys don't beat around the bush. The Ryuusoulgers thought of the obvious strategy that most Sentai/Ranger teams overlook: If there's a specific single monster responsible for creating the other monsters or enabling them to grow giant, target that monster! Get rid of the guy who creates the giant monsters and you don't have to fight each one individually. And in return, Creon broke henshin etiquette and had the Minusaur attack Towa while he was attempting to transform, rather than standing around waiting politely for the whole transformation rigmarole like so many monsters do. (Although in Kamen Rider, at least since Blade, they've shown that the transformation fields/energy matrixes/whatever provide shielding against attacks while the henshin is in progress, and can sometimes even strike the enemy during the henshin, like with Zi-O and Geiz's mask kanji. And Go-Buster Oh having a defensive shield during fusion was a plot point in its debut episode.)

    Although I notice they've already started streamlining that weird "tribal dance" henshin sequence here, which is probably for the best.

    Speaking of dancing, it was tonal whiplash to go from Banba screaming at his brother's apparent death to "Let's do the happy dance!"

    Meanwhile, sometimes when I watch Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, I can't help wondering... how the heck do they get up onto all those roofs in order to have dialogue scenes while staring out at the scenic cityscape? Aren't they trespassing? I rarely spend any time on the roof of anything (unless you count the university plaza that has a building underneath it), but these characters do it all the time.
     
  7. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mar 27, 2007
    I think it's partially they get permission(We'll be out in a few hours!) to Toei office rooftops

    This roof is infamous. They love to do photo shoots of characters. Some at the time aren't even revealed yet!

    [​IMG]

    Photoshoot with Kyuranger's ShiShiRed for example

    [​IMG]

    One day you're doing your laundry and the next super sentai red is across the roof having a phootshoot.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    Yeah, the real-world reasons are obvious. I'm talking about in-story. How do these guys keep getting up on the roofs of these random buildings? Why do they even want to? Okay, here I guess Banba wanted the vantage point to use his super-vision RyuSoul, but so many other times it just seems gratuitous. The Timejackers in Zi-O hang out on roofs and ledges all the time, and there was that one where Geiz was randomly standing on the edge of a roof, a Timejacker forced him off of it, and Woz saved him.

    Then there's the huge amount of time they spend filming in and around Ajinomoto Stadium, especially in Kamen Rider. I keep seeing these scenes where two characters are randomly meeting or having a conversation in the stands of the empty stadium, and I keep wondering, "Why, in-story, are they even there?"
     
  9. element7ero

    element7ero Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2019
    I come in peace and don't want to live in pieces...
    • was "raised" on MMPR, my fave was red Ranger (Jason) and I crushed hard on Kimberly :adore: :D
    • to this day I dislike Tommy and all his Ranger incarnations
    • liked the 2018 movie (except the suit and Zord designs)
    • was mind blown when I found out that most of the Power Ranger footage was from Japanese TV series that run since decades! :eek:
    • my first "original' SuperSentai was KyuRanger and Sasori Orange is my fave Ranger ever! Even imported an action figure of him as an adult :biggrin:
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    I gathered that pretty early on, from articles I read, though I didn't know the details. And back in those days it was easy to tell the difference between the American and Japanese footage because the latter was shot on much grainier film stock. These days it's all shot in HD so it's harder to spot the differences unless you know the Sentai (or Kamen Rider) well enough to recognize certain locations, or if you notice certain differences in how the action is handled. (For instance, the Ninninger footage in Ninja Steel featured a lot more of the ninja tricks/illusions/magic that are standard in Japanese fantasy portrayals of ninjas, while the new footage was more just straightforward action.)

    I remember back when MMPR season 2 was first on, I was pleased by how much more original footage they were shooting and I thought it would be nice if they stopped recycling Japanese footage altogether and did a fully original show. Now I'm much more familiar with Super Sentai and I generally prefer the originals to the adaptations.
     
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  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    Here's a New York Times article about the difficulties Japan is having with preparing its computers etc. for the upcoming switch to the Reiwa Era:

    Japan Has a New Emperor. Now It Needs a Software Update.

    Interesting how some Japanese folks interviewed in the article are complaining about the country's adherence to imperial eras and advocating a final move to the Gregorian calendar everyone else uses. I guess I've gotten used to shows like Kamen Rider and Super Sentai using both Gregorian and Showa/Heisei dates interchangeably -- I didn't realize this was seen as a problem.

    And if they give up using era names, then how will future tokusatsu shows and kaiju movies differentiate their production phases??
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    Beast Morphers: "The Cybergate Opens" jumps forward quite a bit relative to Go-Busters; after episodes 6-7 adapted episodes 6-7, episode 8 now jumps ahead to adapting GB episode 15, the debut of Beet Buster and Stag Buster, i.e. the Gold and Silver Rangers. Interestingly, while Beet Buster/Jin was the oldest member of the team and a seasoned veteran (though light and joking in personality), here they've gone in the reverse direction and made Nate, the youngest cast member, into the Gold Ranger. Although the egotistical personality of Stag Buster/Beet J. Stag seems to have come through relatively intact in the Silver Ranger/Steel.

    The show's choice of insects to base the new Rangers' powers on was a bit odd. I get it that American audiences aren't that familiar with the Japanese rhinoceros and stag beetles, but it's weird to substitute a praying mantis for the former, since it doesn't have anything like the Gold Ranger's "horn" structure. At least the scarab beetle they used for Steel is of the right taxonomic order, though much plainer-looking than the stag beetle.

    As for the story itself, it was reasonably effective, giving Nate an opportunity to prove himself in a crisis, and building on his desire for family as a way to give emotional substance to his creation of a robot "brother." But there was so much plot development built into this one that there was less room for character stuff. The Ben & Betty comic-relief bits didn't work that well, making them dumber than usual, in that they didn't even realize that "losing" their tracker chip on the villains' truck was a good thing. Also, why would the monster toss out two of his precious barrels of stolen Morph-X just to slow down Ben & Betty? Just drive faster!
     
  13. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kamen Rider Zi-O episode 32

    https://www.mp4upload.com/krcl5naiqthq

    Now THIS is how you do a tribute episode! Having "Believe Yourself" play brought back many memories of when I was first was exposed to this odd Japanese franchise. I had never seen anything like this and the music was so emotional and catchy

    Seems like they're dropping the baggage of "the past rider doesn't remember being a rider due to the ride watches"

    They should use more musical queues from the past series. Sometimes I think Kamen Rider tributes tend to be a bit low key/subdued or not as flashy as super sentai

    And what a Rider Kick! That fight scene with both Trinities was fantastic. I loved Tsukuyomi's exasperated look when Woz started annoucing the combined forces of Trinity form and Zi-O Trinity


    Ryuusoulger Episode 6

    https://www.mp4upload.com/tuohkecmffqr

    The first time these five worked together was really nice. The transformation and roll call with all five was worth the wait.

    Five Knights has a wide variety of attacks while remaining fairly mobile. The way Tankjou was dispatched was a bit silly though.

    Looks like the druidon are based around chest pieces

    Kureon= pawn
    Tankjo= rook

    There's a new general this week named Wizuru who is based on the bishop piece
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    Pretty nice tribute episode; I'm hard-pressed to think of a previous one that used so much from its source series, both characters and concepts/story elements. They nicely used Shouichi's amnesia backstory and his carefree, come-what-may personality to tie into Tsukuyomi's amnesia arc, and gave us the "sixinity" of the two Trinity forms together, a handy juxtaposition. They even called back to Shouichi's brief time as G3 -- one of the funniest bits of Agito, where the G3 team recruited Shouichi to be their substitute Kamen Rider without realizing he was already Agito.

    Still, a lot was glossed over, particularly where Mana was concerned. The core arc of Agito was that the Agito Riders were among the first of an emerging race of supernaturally powered humans, and the villains were trying to kill them off to prevent their emergence, and some factions in the police and government were willing to let them once they realized what the future held. The modern KR world has no room for that backstory, so they had to pretty much ignore it, including the fact that Mana was a psychic herself and therefore a nascent Agito. Really, in the subsequent 18 years, she should've matured to her full powers, along with many others. But here she was nothing more than a waitress. (Much like Rina Akiyama's other character Naomi.)


    I think that happened because the Ridewatches/Another Riders were created in the past, while lately they've been sticking to the present.


    Yeah, I've noticed that they almost never do that. I seem to recall that Decade reused past Riders' trademark cues a fair amount, as do the various crossover and Generations movies -- not just the pop songs, but their instrumental fight music too. But Zi-O tends to stick to its own soundtrack, until now.

    It bugged me that the Another Agitos were just blowing up, when we'd seen before that they were live people infected with the transformation rather than just disposable goons. So did Zi-O, Geiz, and Woz just kill several dozen innocent bystanders? They should've done it like the usual Another Rider thing where the infected person is restored to normal at the end. (I had the same issue with the Masquerade Dopants on W. For some reason, even the seasons that spare the lives of the individual humans-turned-monsters feel free to kill them off in droves when they're just background goons.)



    Yeah, pretty effective. But the high point was Koh's badass move of getting bitten so he could break off the fang. The moment where Towa reverse-stabbed the Minusaur pouncing on the giant robot from behind was an effective action beat too.

    I'm having a hard time liking Banba, though. His eagerness to kill the infected humans is disturbing, and it's annoying that he still acts like a loner jerk after what they've just been through.

    The bit with the abbot turned kebab vendor would've been more effective if I'd remembered that the abbot was a character that existed in this show.

    It's interesting how many Super Sentai and Kamen Rider shows involve food trucks/street vendors. The Kakurangers worked out of a crepe truck. Kamen Rider Wizard frequented a donut truck whose operators were regular supporting characters. The cops in Agito liked to eat at a ramen cart. And so on. But then, I've been struck all along by how many KR series revolve around restaurants and coffee shops as well, either as the characters' place of employment/residence or as their effective or actual headquarters.


    I figured they'd hurl him into space somehow, but the way they did it was goofy, yes. And it's too easy the way these guys can just whip out any superpower they need on the spur of the moment.

    And the giant robot designs are still ridiculously overcluttered and cumbersome. As are all the designs, really. In the Zi-O episode, I was noticing how much more overthought and cluttered the modern Kamen Rider suits and henshin sequences are compared to the relative simplicity and elegance of Agito's.


    Weird that they have only one villain and one henchman, and then kill off the first villain before bringing in the second. I wonder how long it'll be before we get a sense of a mastermind or archenemy behind all this.

    But then, it wouldn't be the first Sentai series to lack a strong villain at the start. Kakuranger, as I recall, had nothing but random yokai attacking with no guiding force until about midway through the series.
     
  15. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ha. It was interestng to see how far in 18 years the Kamen rider franchise has changed. From a subtle and reserved form as Kamen rider agito trinity to Zi-on trinity
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    When I did my watch-through of the whole Heisei era of KR, I kept an eye out for when they introduced things like talking henshin devices (Faiz, I think) or transformation effects that hovered in midair around the Rider (Blade). I also tried to keep an eye out for when they got sophisticated enough effects that they could do the modern kind of moving-camera henshin with the animation tracking with the characters, rather than just holding the camera still. I think maybe that was in Den-O or thereabouts that we started to see complex digitally animated henshin sequences shown from multiple camera angles -- or maybe Kabuto if you count the animation of the "Masked Form" heavy armor being jettisoned to reveal the sleeker "Rider Form" -- but there were occasional camera moves with the simpler henshins in Blade. There was some experimentation with this as early as Kuuga, where they imperfectly animated the materializing armor pieces to track the actor's body as he moved, a flawed but ambitious effect. But it must've taken a lot of work, since afterward they started just having the Rider stand still for the henshin and change pretty much all at once.

    I think Den-O was the first time the henshin belts played musical jingles, and OOO is the earliest one I can recall with a "singing" driver.
     
  17. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mar 27, 2007
    Emma Lahana who previously played Kira in 2004's Power rangers dino thunder and currently is on Marvels "Cloak and Dagger" is being harassed by Power Ranger fans who won't stop calling her "Kira"

    She corrected them and some would REFUSE to call her by her name.

    https://twitter.com/emmaklahana/status/1106223102990520320
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    Happy Reiwa Era, folks!
     
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  19. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I was just looking through the foreign Amazon Original Series, and they have Kamen Rider Amazons or as they call it on there, Amazon Riders. Is it worth checking out?
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    I haven't tried that one, only read about it. Apparently it's out of the main Kamen Rider continuity (such as it is) and is much darker, more adult, and more violent, with the title characters basically being from a race of human-eating monsters. On the other hand, its head writer is one of my favorite tokusatsu writers, Yasuko Kobayashi, who did Kamen Rider Ryuki, Den-O, and OOO and some of my favorite Sentai seasons including Gingaman, Timeranger, and Go-Busters. So I'm at once tempted and reluctant.

    https://kamenrider.fandom.com/wiki/Kamen_Rider_Amazons