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.
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Cast & Credits
ZI-O is about our main protagonist, Sougo Tokiwa. He had this motivation into becoming king. However, what he doesn’t know is that it would lead to a post apocalyptic future where he has done multiple of horrible things known as Omha ZI-O. In order to stop this from happening, two time travellers Geiz Myokuin and Tsukuyomi must stop him. Once Sougo is given the Ziku Driver from his future follower, Woz and the ridewatch he found he is able to transform into Kamen Rider ZI-O.
The Opening theme: “Over Quartzer” is a grand step up from it’s previous rider opening theme. I like the instrumentals. And the singers are the people that sung previous Kamen Rider Openings, ISSA for Faiz and Shuta Sueyoshi for Den-O.
Woz: No lie Woz was the only character that had some type of likability, He may not have the most developments but just his screen time was a delight. And how can you NOT like it when he says “IWAE”.
A Great Middle: From the Wizard arc till around the Blade Arc (the moment he gets Trinity), it felt like ZI-O could’ve have potential. Showing Sougo that he does have some decent characteristics other than “I want to be king”. And to boot Geiz having some sort of respect of Sougo. May I say more?
Awesome Insert songs: Like the Opening theme, I also like the OST and insert songs. Makes me feel estatified of the fights. Especially with songs like “Toki no Ouja” and “Next New World”
Future Riders: I think this was actually good, despite being another way for Woz getting three various forms. I mean it does show we do have riders in the future. But this is the branch if Oma ZI-O is defeated on Oma Day. The riders themselves are really likable. And to make it better the actors for said Rider are from Toei previous works. Shinobi (Kinji from Ninninger), Quiz (Hiromu from Go-Busters) and Kikai (Jiro from Kikaider).
But unfortunately this is where the positives end.
Geiz: He’s an example of a wishy washy character. The thing is that at one point he wants to destroy Sougo, then he doesn’t want to, wants to again…. See where I’m coming from? Without that he’s just a generic secondary character with little to no motivation of his own. Just a plot device and when that gone he’s just there.
Tsukuyomi: There are characters that are just used for plot device like Vernage from Build and there just characters that just fucking there. She only reminds Sougo about his fated future. The moment Sougo becomes ZI-O II. She realizes he’s dangerous. She’s goes future into the past and find out what lead the whole situation of Sougo’s dream. And I think to myself….. WHY DIDN’T YOU DONE THAT SOONER? The next thing is the amnesia thing, I mean most this stuff of her past feels the writers did this very last minute because they didn’t know what to do with her. You know what else that was last minute…. Making her a Kamen Rider… Again…. WHY DIDN’T YOU DONE THIS SOONER?
Geiz Revive: The thing I don’t have a problem with secondary riders having a second form. But it wasn’t really consistent on how it was used. Woz mentioned how every time Revive was used it causes damage to his body. I just think that they should’ve done more with that. But instead the “consequences” was just used for the sake of plot. If you gonna put that type of consequence at least do it more than just it’s arc that’s all I’m saying for this.
Time Jackers: OMG are they are a joke. They don’t much until after the fanservice stuff is over. Uhr, I think he should’ve been the guy that transitioned to good. I mean there was to much potential into that. The guy suffered so much during the Kikai arc, had some suspicions from Swartz, etc. Hora, I mean she did nothing accept be the girl of the group. But what pissed me off is that he betrays Uhr AFTER he saved her and there was no development onto that. Then there’s Swartz… Honestly, he’s the best one of the trio (and that’s not saying much) I mean had so much clever plans into his objective. Even though him being the final boss was predictable… I kinda like that he did everything just so he can be king and to save his world. But the problem is that like most of the stuff ZI-O it’s just last minute stuff.
The Final Episodes: I did not like this on Build for literally making the world become one. It felt like an excuse to not make characters die permanently, and just reset everything because “character development what’s that?” But ZI-O does this but ten times worse because none of these characters aren’t worth caring about. It didn’t need to do this. To add insult to injury, Tsukuyomi became a Kamen Rider…. In the penultimate episode. Yeah it's good that we got a female rider that didn’t die… But god dammit WHY NOW of all things. If anything most the stuff in the final 7 episodes should’ve happened earlier. The ZI-O 2 stuff with Hiryuu, Uhr and Hora discovering Swartz intentions, etc. But no we need fanservice first and story second.
Half assed Cameos: Yeah, I like that previous actors that returned but they don’t do much with it. It’s just remember them, they used to be in (insert previous Heisei season) and that’s it. They don’t do much other than give Sougo a ridewatch. Imo the Agito arc did this the best. Souichi at least helped the ZI-O team and did more than just give main rider a ridewatch. There’s also the Kabuto arc, but Kagami didn’t really do much, it mainly focused on the Hopper Hell Brothers and that’s it. He became Kabuto and that’s it. Again, I like the cameos but dammit you need to do more for them at least.
Do I recommend this?: Hell No! This show fails both story wise and fanservice wise.
Overall, ZI-O is a badly written series that has too many inconsistences, plot holes that aren’t mentioned again, Gimmicks that are just there for the sake of gimmick sake, Bland as fuck characters (minus Woz), cameos with very little substances may I say more? I wanted to like ZI-O but with the bad outweighs the good in an insignificant matter, How can I? As a fanservice show, it fails as well, even one of my favorite arcs (Wizard) doesn’t give Wizard any justice. I mentioned before they were just there. If you like this series... good, but you can’t ignore the glaringly obvious flaws.
4/10 (With the fanservice and Woz)
1/10 (w/o them)