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Kamen Rider 1

Kamen Rider 1 statue outside the Bandai HQ in Tokyo.

Kamen Rider 1 is a fictional character and main superhero or henshin character featured in Japanese tokusatsu. He first appeared in the television series Kamen Rider, the first in the famous Kamen Rider franchise of tokusatsu programmes. The primary protagonist of the series, Kamen Rider 1 is a motorcycle-riding superhero modelled upon a grasshopper. One of the most recognisable and iconic characters in Japanese entertainment, Kamen Rider 1 is as irrecoverably burnt onto to the cultural subconscious as the series itself.

In the original series, he was portrayed by Hiroshi Fujioka, who also performed most of his own stunts. Later, he was portrayed by Masaya Kikawada in the film Kamen Rider The First and its sequel, Kamen Rider The Next.

Takeshi HongoEdit

OverviewEdit

The character, before being transformed into a powerful hero, Takeshi Hongo was a college biochemistry student. Born in 15 August, 1948, he is an intelligent young man who enjoyed riding motorcycles, in the first episode of the series he witnessed the murder of a scientist at the hands of a Shocker kaijin named "Kumo Otoko" ("Spider Man"). He is then kidnapped and forced to undergo a procedure that turns him into a super-powered cyborg, but escapes before he can be brainwashed to do Shocker's bidding.

After this initial introduction, the series becomes, as with most tokusatsu programmes of the era, fairly formulaic. Each episode sees Hongo meeting another of Shocker's mutants, interacting briefly with supporting characters, such as his mentor Tachibana Tobei, and ultimately defeating the enemy, often with trademark "Rider Kick" or "Rider Punch" attacks.

However, this formula was drastically altered during the filming of episode ten. Fujioka, while attempting to perform a stunt on his motorcycle, shattered his leg. The surrounding episodes were quickly edited or otherwise altered to account for this, but Fujioka's injury forced him to take a longterm hiatus from acting, so production company Toei hired a new actor, Takeshi Sasaki, to play a new Kamen Rider character, dubbed Kamen Rider 2. In the show, it was explained that Shocker had built a duplicate of their original Kamen Rider cyborg in an effort to combat the threat that Hongo posed to their organization. This new character was introduced in episode 13, as Hongo's character was gradually phased out, a process that had been occurring since episode 11.

By the time Fujioka had recovered from his injuries, Kamen Rider had become fairly successful, and Fujioka found other work, so Sasaki continued to portray the main character of the series until episode 49, when Fujioka returned to the series full time. During this time, the two characters worked together as the "Double Riders", and Takeshi's character was written out. By episode 53, through the end of the series with episode 98, Hongo was the sole protagonist, but Sasaki returned for guest spots intermittently, in episodes 72-3, 93-4, and the finale.

Kamen Rider 1 and his partner Kamen Rider 2 next appeared in the sequel Kamen Rider V3. The titular V3 was Kazami Shiro, a junior of Hongo's, and begged them to turn him into a Kamen Rider after the murder of his family by the Destron organisation. Despite initially refusing, when the young man was mortally wounded assisting them, the two Riders transformed him into Kamen Rider V3, possessing both Kamen Rider 1's "skill" and Rider 2's "strength". The Double Riders were apparently killed detonating an atomic bomb, but reappeared alive and well later on in the series.

The Double Riders would make appearances in most succeeding Kamen Rider TV series, with the exception of Kamen Rider Amazon, Kamen Rider Super-1 (although they show up in the Super-1's movie) and Kamen Rider BLACK. Kamen Rider 1 would lead the senior Riders one last time in the final episodes of Kamen Rider BLACK RX. This would prove to be the last time the 10 original Riders appeared together onscreen. Starting with Kamen Rider Kuuga, no past Riders appear in the current TV series from the franchise.

Manga VersionEdit

Unlike in the TV Series, after a bike accident during his race course with his mentor Tobei Tachibana, Hongo awoke during the procedure that turns him into a super-powered cyborg, but escapes before he can be brainwashed to do Shocker's bidding. Then he battled some Shocker Kaijins just like in the TV series, but until he fights 12 Shocker Riders, then he was subsequently killed but 1 of the 12 named Hayato Ichimonji had received a head injury and then he regain his good consciousness, then he comes to destroy all 11 Shocker Riders and becomes Kamen Rider 2 by reprising Hongo's role during his recovery. At the mid-end of the manga story, Hongo was resurrected and returned to battle along with Kamen Rider 2 to destroy Shocker once and for all.

Kamen Rider: Seigi No KeifuEdit

Hongo Takeshi stars the main character to the 1971 Timeline in this crossover game. (Although for a time, he is replaced as the playable character by Ichimonji.) Hongo must fight off Shocker and General Zol, who is slowly turning human beings into werewolf kajin as part of a much larger part in the not-so-distant future. Eventually, he travels to 1988 along with Kamen Rider V3 and Kamen Rider Agito to aid Kamen Rider BLACK in the final battle. Hiroshi Fujioka returns to voice the role. Kamen Rider 1 appears in his second outfit (although the green version of his classic outfit is available as an unlockable).

Kamen Rider The First movie seriesEdit

Much like the series, Hongo was a college biochemistry student, but he was captured by the Shocker's agent Bat due to being a "ideal" candidate for their experiment, forced to undergo a procedure that turns him into a super-powered Inhumanoid cyborg code-named Hopper, whose purpose was to eliminate any witnesses to Shocker's actions. Hopper later proves to be Shocker's finest work as he lacks the need for transfusion to survive like other Shocker Inhumanoids. 'Hopper's' first mission was to assassinate two witnesses who coincidentally were the journalist who had interviewed him prior to his kidnapping, Asuka Midorikawa, and her fiancé Katsuhiko Yano. It was during the assault that Hongo reclaimed his sense of humanity, though too late to save Katsuhiko as Asuka finds Hongo next to Katsuhiko's lifeless body, believing he was the murderer as she attempts to uncover how a seemingly normal college student could become a murderer. The incident left Hongo with an epiphany, deciding to use his new found power to stop Shocker's evil and protect all that he holds dear from them. Meanwhile, Shocker uses the body of Katsuhiko to create a second Hopper known as Ichimonji Hyato to destroy the traitorous "Hopper I". The two Riders eventually team up to save Asuka, when she uncovered the existence of Shocker itself. In the end, Hongo and Asuka confessed their love for each other.

Hongo returned in the movie's sequel, Kamen Rider The Next, taking place two years after the original film. Hongo has severed ties with Asuka, and is now a science teacher at a Japanese high school, to which he is severely disrespected and mocked by his rowdy students until a public display of his abilities as a reconstructed human scare the student body into fearing him. During this time, helping his student Kotomi in the mystery behind Chiharu, Hongo becomes involved with Shocker's latest plot to use nanomachines to remodel all of Japan instantaniously, forcing him to reside his fight against them. Hongo's Rider uniform has aged poorly in the last two years, going from blue to a darker shade of dull green (in conjunction with the events of the original TV series costume) as well as sporting numerous scars and dents. Reuniting with an ailing Ichimonji and later making an ally of Shocker's newest soldier, Hopper Version 3, Hongo puts an end to Shocker's plot once again. In the end, due to the various complaints received by the parents of his frightened students, Hongo quits his position as a teacher, but gains a friend in Kotomi.

Kamen Rider 1 StatisticsEdit

Abilities:

  • Rider Height: 180 cm
  • Rider Weight: 70 kg
  • Jumping Power:
    • high jump: 15.3 m
    • long jump: 18.7 m

Because he was meant to be Shocker’s greatest altered human, Kamen Rider 1 has the ability to hear at long distances up to 4 kilometers. He can break a meter thick tree trunk as well as a metal rod 10 cm thick with his Rider Chop. His Rider Kick has enough power to bend steel supports of buildings.

TransformingEdit

Kamen Rider 1 uses the power of the wind to fight. To transform Rider speeds on his Cyclone and leaps into the air, creating wind-pressure against his Typhoon belt. The pressure spins the wheel in the center of his belt which then activates the micro-nuclear engine and allows him to transform. The “old” Rider did not have a shout or a pose when he transforms.

Rider HenshinEdit

Hongo shouts"Rider Transform!" and throws his right arm at a diagonal to his right then rotates it clock-wise until it’s a diagonal to his left, then he retracts it to his waist and thrusts out his left arm at a diagonal to his right. After that pose Hongo leaps into the air where the wind-pressure activates his transformation.

The First Movie VersionEdit

Hongo simply opens up his leather jackets (or polo shirt), revealing the Typhoon Belt (and his body armor), then puts on his helmet and snaps his faceplate to it to transform.

EquipmentEdit

Typhoon BeltEdit

The Typhoon Belt} is Hongo's transformation belt. Its original use was as one of Shocker's tools for human alteration. His first belt has a white strap until he receives an upgrade (along with a new costume) with a red strap similar to Kamen Rider 2's belt.

CycloneEdit

  • Maximum Speed: 400 km/h
  • Jump Power: 30 m (40 m after alteration)
  • Engine: Nuclear Engine, 200 horsepower.
  • Designer: Hiroshi Midorikawa; Tobei Tachibana (The First/The Next)
  • Base Model: Suzuki T20 (original model); Honda SL350K1 (original model prior to henshin; second model); Honda CBR1000RR (The First/The Next)

The Cyclone is a machine given to Kamen Rider by Professor Midorikawa. Cyclone takes the form of an off-road bike and can be ridden by people other than Hongo. When Hongo transforms into Kamen Rider the switch for the bike is also activated and the bike becomes an on-road bike. In episode 40 when Rider 1 goes to save Rider 2 the Cyclone has a similar form to Rider 2’s Cyclone. It’s assumed that the Cyclone was upgraded while he was overseas. In Kamen Rider The First, Cyclone was designed and created by his mentor Tobei Tachibana. He rides the Cyclone even in human form or rider form.

New CycloneEdit

  • Maximum Speed: 500 km/h
  • Jump Power: 50 m (40 m after alteration)
  • Engine: Nuclear Engine, 250 horsepower.
  • Designer: Takeshi Hongo, Kazuya Taki, and Tobei Tachibana
  • Base Model: Suzuki Hustler TS250III

A new machine designed by Hongo, Taki and Tachibana. New Cyclone transforms automatically when Hongo does.

Attacks using the CycloneEdit

  • Cyclone Attack: An attack where Rider No. 2 rams an enemy while riding the Cyclone while the Cyclone Cutters are exposed.

ReferencesEdit

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