|Primary Characters of Den-O: Hana, Naomi, Momotaros, Kintaros, Urataros, Owner and Ryoutaro|
What I'm here to talk about is the influence Den-O had on the future Riders along with the series as a whole and it's success as a series as well, along with why it has become so popular and continues to gain movie adaptations to this day.
Kamen Rider Den-O hit the nail on almost everything. Characters were a lot of fun, the actors portrayed their characters perfectly, it was full of comedy that was very slapstick-ish, had awesome forms and great fights, etc. One thing it lacked though was Plot. Den-O's plot is forgotten about for a good half of the series. But this is where the directors realized. "Hey, Look at that. Sure, we've thrown out the serious plot like we had in Kabuto (I use that as an example as it was the series just before it) But it's ratings are still great and the toys are selling well too!" That's right, they realized Kids don't necessarily care about "Deep, dark plots". Since then, Kamen Rider has indeed changed: This is evident in the more recent series (W-OOO) in which it's shown that those shows prioirty clearly wasn't their plots: it was the comedy aspect of the series and the toys. People will argue and say that W's plot was darker, and sure, it was darker then Decade and Kiva's before it, but was it the dark everyone seems to want in Kamen Rider? The Faiz-Level Grimdark plot?
Moving on to another point entirely, IS this good or bad? The change? I for one think it's good. People seem to forget that these Tokusatsu (Along with MOST Toku) is directed towards children. So, think about it for a second. The series like Den-O or W are CLEARLY more popular with the children, they also bring in a lot of opportunities for toys, which children can then get their parents to buy. Toei makes MOST of it's money this way. If they went back to a more "Darker" series, the children of today wouldn't enjoy it as much and then, guess what? The toy sales and ratings would begin to decline. If they decline too much, Kamen Rider might very well be canceled. So I think the changes to the franchise Den-O has bought are in fact a good thing, as it's made Kamen Rider more enjoyable for the children in Japan who watch it, along with us other toku fans outside of japan (Unless you're a Black/RX Fanboy. Then all you are likely to do is complain).
Since then, Den-O has gone down hill though. I myself have yet to watch ALL the Den-O movies (All except Climax Deka) but I've heard it pretty much went down hill straight away. I've been told Climax Deka was a godawful movie (It was however the first Canon crossover since Showa era Riders) and Final Countdown was only mediocre at best (It did however introduce an awesome new rider, Kamen Rider New Den-O). Final Countdown was the last Den-O movie. Untill Den-O started anew with something of a "Mini-Series" mostly comprised of films that started in the 2009 series, Kamen Rider Decade.
|It's time for a Super-Climax.|
This is due to the fact that the fanbase in Japan, is, well, children. Children didn't care about things like the actor getting changed out, they just enjoyed Den-O. After the Super Den-O trilogy, Den-O then went to star in the 40th Anniversary movie along with OOO and Kamen Rider 1, Showing that Den-O was still on top.
To recap, Den-O's popularity is mainly because the Kamen Rider fanbase is indeed children in Japan. The ratings and toy sales are mostly thanks to the Children, I think that international Kamen Rider fans have very little to do (Sure, they buy some figures and toys. But I'm sure more sell in Japan itself.) with how popular the series is, which is why Toei continues the fashion of Den-O-Esque Kamen Rider series. I personally however love this, and really hope it doesn't stop anytime soon. Keep in mind everyone, next year is Kamen Rider Den-O's 5th Anniversary! Meaning we might even see a return of Takeru Sato (Which would make Den-O basically the best thing ever).
I hope you all enjoyed reading this and look forward to the next Retrospective, I have some idea's but will be taking suggestions on our Facebook page. Until next time, guys!