Joining me for these Kiva-themed Decade episodes is a fan with the largest amount of Kamen Rider trivia I've ever encountered, Androzani84!


KAMEN RIDER DIE: Thanks for being a part of this Decade project! In a little bit we're going to watch some Kiva-themed Decade episodes - the least controversial of all Kamen Rider series to pay homage to - but first, I wanted to chat with you about how we got to be in a place where we could be two people talking about toku on TokuNation. Can you tell me a little about how you discovered the tokusatsu genre? What was your entryway into this world of superheroes and superhero merchandise?

ANDROZANI84: Well, my entry into tokusatsu isn’t that glamorous. Watched Power Rangers as a kid, got back into it through a parody on YouTube, discovered it came from this thing called Super Sentai, found a place I could check it out and from there, I found out about similar shows and that’s how I got here.
As for TokuNation, I don’t remember the exact details. I just found it online one day and hung around for months, before signing up to share an interesting thought and from there I just hung around.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: So, lemme delve into some of that. What was your first Power Rangers show? Do you remember?

ANDROZANI84: It was either Dino Thunder or Ninja Storm. I got DVDs for both around the same time, but I don’t remember which I watched first.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Do you remember what made you get into it as a kid? Were you a big fan of superheroes otherwise?

ANDROZANI84: Not particularly. I just got into it because I thought it was “cool”. Most of my interests back then weren’t really consistent (they still aren’t).

KAMEN RIDER DIE: No? Did you end up sticking with Power Rangers after you discovered Sentai shows?

ANDROZANI84: Somewhat. But it’s one of my more downplayed interests.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: The Super Sentai shows eclipsed it for you?

ANDROZANI84: Some did. But given that I tend to get new Sentai episodes more than new PR episodes, it became a bit more omnipresent in my mind

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Sure! I can see how a steady stream of Sentai would make it a bigger part of your fandom. Do you remember which Sentai show really hooked you on the Japanese versions? Was there a series that helped wean you off of Power Rangers?

ANDROZANI84: I can’t say there was. Though I think the show that got me hooked on Sentai in its own right was Liveman, the 1988 season.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Wow! That's a deep dive, relative to Power Rangers and etc. Why Liveman? Were you just going through all the series and that one was a good one, or were you pointed towards that show specifically?

ANDROZANI84: The first answer.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Tell me a little bit about Liveman, then. What about that show worked for you?

ANDROZANI84: I’d say it was the fact it managed to remain optimistic while having a few bleak moments with some degree of success. And there were some fairly good episode of the week plots as well.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Nice! Sounds like the sort of show anyone would get hooked on. With all of that toku watching, what led you to Kamen Rider? Any particular show or character that caught your eye?

ANDROZANI84: Well my first real exposure to Kamen Rider was Engine Sentai Go-Onger vs Gekiranger, which featured a trailer for the 2009 SHT shows (Shinkenger and Decade) at the end. And at some point, I decided to check out the first Super Hero Taisen film, and then soon after the Ninninger vs Drive special. I didn’t get in there fully until I saw the KR Zi-O was featuring some guest stars I’d recognise as one-off riders. And as a milestone show themed around time travel, it appealed to me a bit too much.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: This sort of answer always interests me: you got into the franchise through an anniversary celebration? Were you able to follow everything? I feel like a ton of the Legend Riders stuff would've been too perplexing to really enjoy. How were you able to follow it all?

ANDROZANI84: Well early on, there wasn’t a lot being referenced directly (aside from a few quirks and settings) and by the time I got to the second half, I’d caught up on a few more shows progress wise (so in short, I went from not knowing why the red and blue guy was saying “best match” about two random things to knowing who the guy with the blue streak in his hair talking about “shinigami party time” was)

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I admire that speed and dedication! Being the sort of fan who follows multiple franchises across multiple continents, it's only natural that you'd find your way to a toku fan site. You said that you stumbled upon TokuNation, and you lurked for a while before you started posting. What made you start interacting with folks on the board, do you think?

ANDROZANI84: Well like I said, I had an interesting point to make, so I made it. And then I found myself with more to say and I became a regular enough presence to be considered a veteran after only 2 years.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: And we're all grateful for your expertise and encyclopedic memory! Where do you find yourself hanging out on the boards? Any specific aspects of the fandom you're more interested in discussing?

ANDROZANI84: Well I’m more of a show discussion guy, but I do post in the fanfiction thread fairly frequently (mostly because fanfiction is one of my hobbies) I’ve also done some news articles if no-one else has covered the news.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: What about the merch? I know you've gotten yourself a decent collection of roleplay items.

ANDROZANI84: Well that was something that I started collecting when I found at least two separate local sellers at a big convention and picked up some stuff there (even if it did result in a bill of over 200). Before that, I got a Zodiarts switch off Amazon since it was a reasonable price for a 7 year old item.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Roleplay stuff is sort of a blindspot for me, so let me ask you some follow-up questions. Do you try to go deep on an individual show (every Shift Car, for example), or do you just get a couple things for each series (the main Henshin devices for a Rider show and that's it)?

ANDROZANI84: I mostly stick to a few easily sourceable things, but KR Saber and Zenkaiger have been where I go all in on collecting (for the former, I got the Swordriver, the three emblems for it, the Wonder Combos for each emblem, the Kenzan gear [the sword and the regular belt], the first quarter power ups and the Xross Saber. For the latter, I got both transformation items, the regular storage belt and the two main robots.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: That sounds very fun. I'll sometimes see people's roleplay collections and get a little envious. Then I'll realize I've got no space (and less money) for another collection in my life, so I'll be content with my envy.
On the topic of slightly negative emotions that need to be tamped down in order to function, let's talk about Kamen Rider Kiva! Kiva was on your shortlist of shows you were interested in discussing. Can you talk about why you listed Kiva as an option? What about that series caused a reaction?

ANDROZANI84: Well Kiva is a personal favourite and Decade was kind of my full introduction to it (beyond a few brief appearance of the suit elsewhere), and someone commented that he was surprised by how much of a drastically different AU it was to the original, which had just come out last year, and that got me to check it out. So I basically thought it would be fun to be able to do something of a compare and contrast. Plus, the Kiva episodes are the end of the introductory arc to the series, with the dynamics until our secondary shows up being fully established and I thought it might be good to analyse who effectively it comes across.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Makes sense to me! For the actual Kiva series, any parts of that you remember more fondly than others? Favorite characters, or favorite storylines?

ANDROZANI84: Well for moments I remember, I’d say it would be the “Otoya possession” and “Nago in ‘86” two-parters, mostly for allowing the formulae to be played with. For favourite characters, I’m definitely fond of where both Maya and Yuri go as the series goes on. And my favourite storyline would probably be episodes 44-6, purely for how it wraps up the ‘86 plot line and paves the way for the end of the ‘08 plot line.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I'm with you 100% on Maya and Yuri. I don't know if anything on that show topped the two of them detonating Rook across the decades.
Speaking of decades! ANDROZANI84! Wake up! The world's our stage, and it's time to watch some Decade episodes!



A tuxedo and a pink (magenta?) violin case tells us that we’re in the World of Kiva! It’s a world where Fangires and humans coexist, but that dream of coexistence hides a nightmare under the surface. While Onodera works to convince a very small Wataru to lead the Fangires away from violence, Tsukasa more or less gives himself over to violence, executing Fangires and brawling with special guest star Kamen Rider Kaixa. It… these guys are not really getting how teamwork goes. That division gives a new Fangire the chance to steal the throne, putting Fangires on a path to destroy humanity!


Wee Wataru runs from his defeat, willing to let humanity be destroyed since that’s what monsters do. It’s Onodera who saves the day, giving a Worthy Of Kuuga pep talk that reframes the situation around friendship and believing in yourself. Tsukasa is sort of around enough to maybe get the bullet points, while not totally seeing how they might apply to his role as multiversal savior/destroyer. With Wee Wataru restored to power, our Team leaves the World of Kiva with a new set of cards, a new tiny bat lady, and more threats from Mysterious Fisherman!


KAMEN RIDER DIE: Look at him! Look at our tiny new Wataru (...Wee Wataru?) in his classic home. I was definitely not prepared for this depressed 10-year old to be our Kiva, considering we just saw Classic Wataru only three episodes earlier. Initial thoughts on our petulant prince?

ANDROZANI84: Well coming off Kiva directly in terms of shows, Decade would have to do something drastically different to stand out for Kiva. The kid works alright, he’s got a good actor behind him (which is very difficult with child characters) and he does work as a younger, more inexperienced AR counterpart.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Yeah, he was a really good actor, and not even just for his age. He's got to balance a lot of tricky emotions (anger, sadness, hope, fear), and do it all in a way that doesn't alienate the audience. I feel like he hit the bullseye.

ANDROZANI84: Plus he has to spend scenes with just the suit actors, which can be very tricky to pull off

KAMEN RIDER DIE: He was grounded in an interesting way, I thought. He played things small and sad, which is the exact right tone for this story. It never became, like, histrionic or whatever. It was just this kid, in a world he was sure he was going to let down.
I thought that part was the most interesting switch-up between Classic and Wee, how the story is centered so fully on a protagonist who fundamentally doesn't believe in the heroic expectations being thrust upon him. Like, that was Classic Wataru's story for maybe two episodes, and the rest was pretty fully about his certainty that humans and Fangires could co-exist. Did that shift in narrative work for you? Did it still feel enough like a Kiva story?

ANDROZANI84: Yeah, the divide between humans and Fangires, while obviously truncated for the purposes of this two-parter, did suitably echo Kiva proper, even with this being the one official televised Kiva storyline without the involvement of Inoue and Takebe (the producer).

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I think it helped some to have access to so much Kiva stuff: all of the monster suits, the throne room set, the Kurenai house interior and exterior, a bucket of rose petals, etc. Way more than last story's Kuuga Around The Edges approach, this one felt like they dropped us entirely into a Kiva episode.

ANDROZANI84: Yeah, the most that took me out of it was the voice doubles for the court. While Bishop sounded near dead-on and Rook didn’t live long enough to register either way, Garulu, Bashaa and Dogga’s replacements sounded pretty off. At least we got Kivat’s VA.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: And Puppet Hands came back! But yeah, I'm awful at picking out foreign language voice actors, but even I was like That Ain't Jiro. I'd imagine someone who's way more dialed into the VA part of the show would find the replacements distracting.

ANDROZANI84: I mean, if you’re watching Decade, you do have to expect a few replacements. It makes the ones who do come back (ie. Kaixa) stand out more (and can be excused with the alternate universe concept, which is Marvel’s reasoning for why What If has a few replacement VAs)

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Sure, but part of me's like... I get not being able to have someone on set, but how tough would it be to get Ramon's actor to record an afternoon's worth of lines somewhere in post? How hard could that be?

ANDROZANI84: Well if I recall correctly, the two Toei anniversary shows based on returning actors do rely on ones who were (at the time) still working and able/willing/affordable enough to come back.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: And that's fair. I don't want to make it sound like reuniting ten years worth of actors was some cake-walk. People could be unavailable for any number of reasons, and I don't want to get mad at a show for that. Especially when that show told such a fun Onodera story!

KAMEN RIDER DIE: While this is nominally a Kiva story, it was WAY more of an Onodera story to me. It's about the specific outlook he brings to this series, how his Kuuga-y need to protect smiles fills in the gaps of Tsukasa's I'm Not Here To Make Friends pragmatism. It's all in how these two treat Wee Wataru: Onodera is kind, attentive, and present. Tsukasa is gruff, dismissive, and vaguely-to-intensely threatening. As the first story in Decade with Onodera as part of the Team, how'd you like this story?

ANDROZANI84: He definitely strikes me as the one who handles the people side of things (Tsukasa is the guy who gets things done, Natsumi is the one trying to make sense of this, Grandpa is the friendly old coot and Kivara is an almost literal vamp).
And it is nice to see him working hard to typify and help someone he barely knows after being sent to a strange place. It’s something most people would probably turn down.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I mean, my all-time favorite Kuuga stories are the ones where Godai has to help a kid through a tough time in a non-superhero way, so this was maybe more of what I love from Kuuga than the actual Kuuga spotlight story. Onodera is SO KUUGA in this story. He's got this amazing rapport with this kid, where he's giving Wee Wataru all of the support (emotional and physical) he needs to make the right decision, but Onodera won't ever force Wee Wataru to make that decision. It's got to be that kid's choice, no matter the cost. I really love that type of story, and I thought the Onodera actor 1000% delivered in those emotional scenes.

ANDROZANI84: Yeah. Sure, he may have lost twice to the bad guy posse, but points for trying.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: He didn't even mind being briefly devoured by a tiny prince. Onodera is a friendly, easy-going guy!

ANDROZANI84: Amen to that

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Tsukasa, however... hoo boy.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I liked how there's an equal amount of light and dark in this story about Kiva, and how Decade uses its two Riders to get at those feelings. Onodera is the part of Kiva that's optimistic and human, where the world is only a little bit of work away from having room for everyone. Tsukasa is the part of Kiva that will always be aware of its differences, be convinced it's going to all fall apart.

ANDROZANI84: It’s best shown with how they enter the main conflict. Tsukasa transforms and goes in guns blazing without hearing everything, while Yusuke just shows up and volunteers to help after it gets explained to him.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Yeah, this whole story for Tsukasa is about everyone telling him what he is, and that he's bad. It's mirrored by Wee Wataru's story, where he's convinced he can't be friends with humans. They're both characters who have internalized negative judgments, and find it easier to live down to failure than work hard for acceptance.

ANDROZANI84: And it’s the fact that Wataru accepts his darker side that allows Tsukasa to do likewise and get the Kiva cards.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Wee Wataru becomes okay with his own doubts, while vowing to work hard to overcome them. It's not something Tsukasa can fully embrace yet, but there's that little scene he has with Natsumi, where he seems to feel less okay with being seen as a destroyer than he maybe let on. There's an inkling that he'd like to maybe not be called a Devil on every world he goes to.
How are you liking Tsukasa at this point in the series? Do you feel like he's a solid enough lead?

ANDROZANI84: I mean, he does have a fairly functional arc (trying to find his place in the infinite realities), but I’m not going to be naming him a favourite just yet.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Is it that he didn't enjoy the chocolate fondue as much as the other characters?

ANDROZANI84: Well it’s more the fact he’s still struggling with guys like Kaixa and the Hoppers, given he can one-shot guys like the Rook. At least with Wee Wataru, you could argue he’s holding back by using Kuuga for the duration of the fight

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Ha ha, yeah, Rook did not exactly live up to his reputation here. Speaking of that Kuuga fight, though!

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I didn't think most of the action in this story was anything special (the final fight against the Fangire was pretty forgettable), but this Kuuga Forms vs Kiva Forms fight! Oh man! So amazing! How'd you like it?

ANDROZANI84: Well I like that they’re comparing and contrasting the equivalent transformations (eg. Titan form vs Dogga). Though I do wonder how Dogga felt forcibly being turned into a sword and a rod

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I never thought the weapon forms of the Fangires had feelings/thoughts. A little horrifying if true, but, like: Final Form Ride. I don't know. I don't know if they're aware of themselves in those forms! God, I hope not!
Still, I liked how this fight felt like it was for the fans. Who Would Win In A Fight is the most ancient fandom discussion, and doing the Kiva Forms Vs Kuuga Forms part was a blast. It's all those little deep cuts and references getting moments in the sun. A fight like this is so irrelevant to the story being told (Decade and Kiva are basically in two parallel stories after this), but it's real, real fun to watch.

ANDROZANI84: You could say the same thing about Kusaka’s appearance.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I could, but the Kiva forms are based on the Kuuga forms, so it feels more like a deep cut than just Kaixa showing up. Did that feel as resonant to you, Kusaka tugging at his collar and trying to murder a Rider?

ANDROZANI84: Not really. But that’s more because this was my second/third season when watching for the first time (I forget at what point I started watching Drive). But in general, it is more fanservice than anything symbolic

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I guess? That part filtered into Mysterious Fisherman's weird conflict with Decade, so it felt a little less referential than the form change stuff.
I think that covers everything I had in my brain from these episodes of Decade. Anything you were looking to discuss? Any cool trivia to share?

ANDROZANI84: Well since this is a Kiva thing, I prepared my usual Fact Fangire-le, as I promised earlier.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I am ready for it!

ANDROZANI84: Beetle Fangire

True name: Atonement of the Garden Divided, the International Dateline" (贖罪の園を分断する、日付変更線, Shokuzai no Sono o Bundan suru, Hizukehenkōsen)

Human identity: none

Rank: King

Class: Insect

Main actor: Mansaku Ikeiuchi

KAMEN RIDER DIE: So, okay, let's talk about Wee Wataru's pops. I don't know if that story, the generational part of the plot, worked even a little? It felt ENORMOUSLY tacked on for me.

ANDROZANI84: Yeah, it’s pretty much taking out the “father and son” aspect that’s pretty much Kiva’s “thing” and replacing it with a generic “cycle of revenge” story. The two don’t even get a personal moment.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: They don't! And that's a huge problem!

ANDROZANI84: It’s also hard to care for the guy when we don’t even get a name for him. And he brazenly murders the Arms Monsters midway through the episode.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: And his whole plan... so, is he trying to motivate his son to be better than him? Or was that just a happy accident? I can't tell if he's doing this FOR Wee Wataru or IN SPITE of him. The dad's motivations in this story are impossible to track.

ANDROZANI84: And on that note, I’ve got nothing left to talk about the episode, so I’ll simply say “thanks for having me” and sign off until I comment on the next two-parter.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Thanks! And our trip through different realities takes us to the World of Ryuki next. Dragons! Mirrors! Legal-- legal drama? Okay! We'll cover all that and more as TOKUNATION WATCHES KAMEN RIDER DECADE continues its Journey through the Decade!