Kamen Rider Gaim (2013) poster
8.0
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,277 users
# of Watchers: 2,768
Reviews: 4 users
Ranked #2317
Popularity #4355
Watchers 1,277

In this installment of Toei's long running Kamen Rider franchise Kouta Kazuraba, a young man coming into adulthood in the secluded Zawame City, reunites with some friends from the street dance team he was a part of in his youth only to find that the captain of the team has disappeared in some sort of other world and left behind a strange belt buckle and padlock. Moments later, Kouta and his friend Mai are attacked by a monster called an Inves, Kouta uses the belt buckle and padlock to transform into Kamen Rider Gaim and defeats the monster. However, this is just the beginning of things for Kouta and Mai as they continue to search for their old team captain, run into more Kamen Riders both friendly and adversarial, and uncover a plot that could change the fate of all humanity. Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Norsk
  • Country: Japan
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 47
  • Aired: Oct 6, 2013 - Sep 28, 2014
  • Aired On: Sunday
  • Original Network: TV Asahi
  • Duration: 24 min.
  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 1,277 users)
  • Ranked: #2317
  • Popularity: #4355
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Photos

Kamen Rider Gaim (2013) photo
Kamen Rider Gaim (2013) photo
Kamen Rider Gaim (2013) photo
Kamen Rider Gaim (2013) photo
Kamen Rider Gaim (2013) photo
Kamen Rider Gaim (2013) photo

Reviews

Completed
Robert
2 people found this review helpful
Dec 6, 2022
47 of 47 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 9.5
This review may contain spoilers

One of the Most Thrilling Kamen Rider Series of the late-Heisei II era!

I think it's no news to critics and fans of shows like 'Kamen Rider' and the long-running 'Super Sentai' series that both shows have become increasingly trite, bubblegum-cute, nonsensical outings that treat their target child and young adult audiences like fragile dolls who can't handle anything heavy and prefer just to binge on the latest toys advertised by the show. It can be somewhat distracting and annoying.

At first, I thought that Gaim would be another victim of this increasingly prevalent trend with these shows and was thoroughly prepared to hate the show, even more so when I listened to the opening song of the series which is not my cup of tea at all!

Color me shocked when I realized a few episodes in how mesmerizing and dark this show actually turned out to be.

This show utilizes the concept of fruit for the Rider designs and weapons and dance as its central themes throughout its run. It also delves into an interesting take on the Norse legends. name-dropping mythical names such as Yggdrasil and Helheim (the Norse underworld). The way they incorporated these concepts into the show was quite interesting, especially as they unveiled the master strategy of the various villains confronted by the Riders throughout the show.

The basic plot follows the exploits of the lead character, Kamen Rider Gaim/Kouta, who is a former beat dancer who ran one of the leading dance gangs in their city. He leaves the gang and helps his elder sister out by working part-time jobs and basically living life as a young adult. He is dragged back into the city wise turf wars between beat dance gangs when his close friend (and eventual love interest) Mai and other friends beg him to help their squad when their territory is threatened by a rival beat dance gang led by Kouta's rival, a power-hungry and vengeful young man Kaito. With the disappearance of their captain, Kouta's best friend, they are outmatched - due to the fact that the corporation that took over their formerly small village, Yggdrasil Corporation, has been utilizing the beat dance gangs as experimental subjects by feeding mechanized 'Lock Seeds' which have 'virtual' monsters that they use to fight for turf and reputation, egged on by the local DJ extraordinaire, DJ Sagara.

Kouta, Mai, Kaito, and other members of the gangs discover that these virtual monsters are actually terrifyingly real when they burst out into the real world and start terrorizing the city. Kouta is granted a mysterious driver belt that grants him the power to use the lock seeds to assume the mantle of Kamen Rider and begins to defend the city, which rapidly begins to become ungovernable as the schemes of Yggdrasil Corp. assume shape and even dark secrets concerning the Lock Seeds and the mysterious realm of Helheim come to light.

This show tackles classism, the obligations of those in power, trauma and the horrors it can induce in a population, the concept of what makes one human, and several other surprisingly heavy themes as the characters face increasingly terrifying odds that bring out the best and worst in each of them. There are several plot twists that hook into the show as it unfolds and it makes no bones about killing off characters when they want to, no matter how seemingly important they may be to the plot.

What I love about this show is the way that it launches the concept of the Rider War in the Heisei-II era of Kamen Rider (this concept pops up periodically a few times in the earlier Heisei period shows in titles like Ryuki, 555, Decade). Unlike Decade which had the concept but was more of an anniversary event than one specific to one show, this is probably the first proper Rider War since Ryuki.

All of the characters showcased throughout the show go through several traumatic events that warp them from their starting point to their ultimate fates, and several of the characters are not 'good' or 'evil' but are delightfully wavering through the various shades of gray. Some start off as heroes and end as villains, some remain antagonists whose actions impact the story for good or ill.

I love this show so much because it took one of the most nonsensical themes imaginable (fruit!) and crafted a thrilling story that hooked me from start to finish. It is one of the best iterations of the modern Kamen Rider that has been crafted and holds up so well, nearly a decade after its debut. It also showcases an element that I feel elevates Kamen Rider from its main competitor, the Super Sentai Series. Unlike Super Sentai which over the last several years (with notable exceptions) has become annoyingly trite and flaky, Kamen Rider manages to carry heavy social, economic and class-driven themes under the wrapping of the most ridiculous concepts. Gaim is a perfect example of their ability to follow the trend of pushing toy sales while telling compelling stories (but the most extreme example of this is a later entry, Kamen Rider Ex-Aid). Super Sentai has failed more often than not to capture the spirit of their Showa and early Heisei-era offerings, by dumbing down their shows to their audiences; one of the reasons why I find myself enjoying Kamen Rider more than Super Sentai more and more these days!

Ignore the lower rating of this show. I don't know why its rating is only 8.0, but it deserves to be at least an 8.5 if not higher. Definitely one of the best Kamen Rider shows of the last decade.

Rewatch: I rarely rewatch shows, but I have rewatched this one a few times. Its themes are heavy and can contain some disturbing content that might lower one's willingness to invest in watching the whole thing over again, but it's definitely one that deserves to be revisited from time to time!

Rating: 9.5/10

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Completed
Pandora
4 people found this review helpful
Dec 13, 2016
47 of 47 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
I enjoyed watching Kamen Rider Gaim for the most part; I liked a lot of the suit designs in the show and I really enjoyed the soundtrack. I also found it refreshing that Gaim dropped the 2 episode story formats in favor of a more plot driven formula that older Heisei series had. However, I was not at all impressed by anything else the show had to offer. The show didn't really do anything poorly, it just didn't do much well.

Kamen Rider Gaim suffers from one of the most nonsensical plots in a Rider series with extremely arbitrary reasoning behind anything that occured behind the show. Expect "Because i felt like it" to be the main explanation for why anything important happens in Gaim. The main character himself seems to rely on plot devices to achieve his goals rather than actually developing into a competent human being that functions on any sliver of logic. Oh yeah, the acting from the main character himself and a few others isn't the best. Despite all of this, the story is strangely addictive to watch; Nothing really makes sense and everything is a mess but you'll find yourself wanting to see what happens next anyway.

Gaim is a multi-rider show so you can expect a lot of rider vs rider fights in place of typical rider vs monster fights. If you're into multi-rider shows, you may get some enjoyment from the fighting in this show. However, the fighting choreography for Gaim was a letdown compared to the previous show, Kamen Rider Wizard, which had very stylish fighting choreography with lots of great stunts. The titular rider, Gaim, has a very bland approach to his fight scenes and this also applies to many of the other characters in the series. I can only really think of two characters who I felt had good fight scenes but they don't get nearly enough screentime to make much of a positive impact on the show.

Kamen Rider Gaim is an enjoyable watch under its many flaws. The comedy gags can be entertaining and the henshin scenes are still very fun. I would argue that Kamen Rider Gaim is a good show in itself but not a good Kamen Rider show. It's definitely worth the watch if you want some mindless fun but it wouldn't be anywhere near a classic. Honestly, Kamen Rider Gaim would have been a better show if you removed Gaim himself from the show. There are lots of characters so you'll definitely find at least one you like. Give Gaim a shot if you haven't but don't expect anything amazing.

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Details

  • Drama: Kamen Rider Gaim
  • Country: Japan
  • Episodes: 47
  • Aired: Oct 6, 2013 - Sep 28, 2014
  • Aired On: Sunday
  • Original Network: TV Asahi
  • Duration: 24 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 1,277 users)
  • Ranked: #2317
  • Popularity: #4355
  • Watchers: 2,768

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