Hello. Welcome. Alternately, welcome back.

It's been a weird couple weeks without watching Kamen Rider. (Plenty of talking about and thinking about Kamen Rider, though, I wasn't comatose.) I like to take a little break after bingeing a series, to let my brain reset a bit and maybe address some non-watching-Kamen-Rider parts of my life I've let linger. It makes for a strange mental process, that decompression.

The first few days, it's like getting outside after being cooped up indoors too long. You're just enjoying the freedom to move around, breathing in the air, not feeling like you've got something to do. It's relaxing, almost liberating. You've got all this time back, and you can apply it towards so many things that you've neglected. Cleaning gets done, projects get tackled, even movies and TV shows you've been putting off can get watched. It's like you found a third day in the weekend.

But, there's this turn for me, after the first week. Major stuff is completed, the big stuff I've been putting off. Then, it's just free time ahead until I start up the next series. That free time, though... the reflex is to fill it with watching Kamen Rider. I have to keep forcing myself to do other things, watch other shows, find other distractions. But it's not really choosing to do those things, it's choosing to do those things because I'm not watching Kamen Rider. The time off, it starts to feel like a punishment, that I'm depriving myself of what I want for some unclear reason. Why aren't I watching Kamen Rider? Because I thought I needed a couple weeks off? Why? Why not just one week off? Why am I having this argument with myself when I could be watching Kamen Rider?

Well, now I am. Break-time is over, let's get back to work.

Let's watch Masked Rider Ryuki.

First, some preamble, a little bit of disclaimer, I'll try and make it brief(er than that weird confession about how I've gotten maybe actual addicted to watching Kamen Rider).

If you've not read one of these before, my name is Kamen Rider Die, and this is going to be a thread where I watch Masked Rider Ryuki for the first time and talk about it. (There'll also be a one-off thing on my Riderversary, March 16th, it's not a Ryuki thing but it'll probably land here for my convenience.) I've been a Kamen Rider fan for only a couple of years, since 2018, and I've watched Ex-Aid, Amazons, W, OOO, Fourze, Wizard, Gaim, and Drive. I've been on the boards since last September, where I've watched and talked about Ghostthe Ex-Aid moviesBuildKuuga, and Agito. I really like doing these little discussions, seeing what folks make of these shows. This is all very freeform, I don't want to keep anyone from having fun on the TokuNation boards. I've only really got a few guidelines for these threads:

ON SPOILERS

FOR ME: The big one. I haven't watched Ryuki before, and I desperately want to enjoy it episode by episode. I get that most people reading this thread will have already seen Ryuki before. (I think of these, sometimes, as like a commentary track. Why would you ever listen to those first?) I ask that you please not talk about stuff that hasn't happened yet for me on the show. Like, don't even hint at things, because then my brain starts expecting things and that sucks. Also, I do plan on watching Faiz through Decade, Zi-O, and Zero-One in the future, so please don't mention anything from those shows. The eventual "Kamen Rider Die watches Whatever” thread thanks you in advance.

FOR YOU: Because I'm a hypocrite, I will probably spoil things from shows I've watched before in this thread. If you haven't watched any of the shows I listed in the paragraph a few up from here, consider this a spoiler warning. (Also, man, watch OOO! It's great! You can do it in a couple days because you won't want to stop!)

ON TONE

SERIOUS ANALYSIS: I will take this show maybe weirdly seriously. I enjoy the action and monsters, I dig the effects and the merchandise, but I love the storytelling. There's always a crazy amount going on under the hood of these shows, and I genuinely lose sleep thinking about some of it. These threads exist mostly because I needed to get all of these Kamen Rider thoughts out of my head so I could live some semblance of a normal adult life. (Or a reasonable facsimile, I got good days and bad y'all.) These posts might get borderline evangelical about what a show is doing right, and occasionally long-winded and unsparing in the criticism when it all goes wrong. Just, like, get ready for me to get weird about themes and motifs and stuff.

DONE STUPIDLY: But, I mean, I'm not doing this as a job, I'm doing this for fun, and this is still a superhero show designed to get Japanese children to beg their parents for toys. It's not Infinite Jest or whatever. While I will take this show very seriously, I will take it seriously in some incredibly dumb ways. I will, especially in the early-going, make up stupid names for characters if I can't remember their real names. I will create running jokes about random stuff because it entertains me. I will try to balance scholarly insight with absurdist humor. It's, again, it's going to get weird. I don't know. That's not for everyone, is I guess how I want to warn you.

ON PARTICIPATION

BE THE ONE: Honestly, these posts are largely intended as conversation starters, jumping-off points. I like to get these thoughts out there, into the world, out of my brain, but the real fun for me is talking about those thoughts with other fans. My thoughts, it's like a first draft of a way to talk about these shows. Everyone jumping in with their thoughts, their analysis, what they found in the show, those are the revisions and notes and improvements that really make something interesting. That's what I love. I love reading what other people think about these shows, so please, if you've got a thought on Ryuki, share it.

BE THE LIGHT: I want these threads to be fun and welcoming. If you ever feel like I'm being unfair to this show, or unwelcoming to other fans, please let me know publicly or privately. I don't ever want these things to be a drag on the fandom. I love this fandom! You folks are the best!

I think that's everything? It's time, maybe? Time for Masked Rider Ryuki?

Let's do it! Ryuki! WE'RE DOING THIS, EVERYBODY!

oh also i didn't tell shout factory to pull those original kamen rider episodes just so we'd all have time to talk about ryuki for the next couple of days okay you're just being paranoid

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