Hi. I’m Kamen Rider Die, and this thread is Kamen Rider Die watches Kamen Rider Saber (and writes fan-fiction)!

Which… okay, yes, I know. We’ll get to that.

This is yet another thread where I’m going to watch a Kamen Rider series for the first time, write up my thoughts/impressions/criticisms/”jokes”, and hopefully folks will be gracious enough to come along for the ride. I’ve done a whole bunch of these (over a dozen?), and they are always a delight. Very excited to get back into the rhythm of watching a new show on an almost-daily basis, after the hecticness of the end of 2022. I like watching these shows!

I don’t… I honestly don’t know a lot about Saber? It’s got a ton of Riders, the collectibles are books, and I genuinely dislike almost all of the helmets. I don’t like the headswords! Too tall and pointy! I couldn’t really get on board with Kabuto’s helmet either, so feel free to file this subjective analysis in the same folder as that one, labeled Kamen Rider Die Doesn’t Get It.

This would usually be the point where I’d write a ton of disclaimers and prohibitions, but I think we all know what time it is by now. Please don’t mention anything from future episodes of Saber, even teases; please don’t mention anything from Revice (watching that in the spring); be prepared for me to potentially spoil stuff from Kuuga through Zero-One (not on purpose to be mean, but as a way of analyzing what Saber’s storytelling is doing); I’m sorry I write this way (I’m doing my best, but I’m also doing my fastest); your participation isn’t required (in case you're more comfortable lurking), but it is greatly appreciated. Standard stuff, I think.

Less standard is this Watch Thread’s gimmick: me writing fan-fiction. Let’s talk about that.

I’ve never done it before, is sort of the short answer. It’s an element of fandom I’ve never taken part in, on either end. I’ve never (knowingly?) read any fan-fiction. I’ve never had a burning desire to craft my own story for a show I’ve been watching, either. It’s… I like doing this. Analysis, discussion. Fiction writing, it’s not my thing. But this show is (to my very limited knowledge) sort of about writing, so I figured – in the same vein as writing about toys and suits – that it could be interesting to force myself out of my comfort zone and see if there’s anything to be learned from writing some fan-fic.

Since we skimmed over the usual caveats and notices up above, let me spend a minute going over some stuff you should know about this whole Writing Fan-Fiction experiment/debacle:

THESE WILL BE VERY SHORT PIECES. The goal is to have each episode’s post be an analysis of the episode, followed by a short piece of fiction inspired by the episode. That means that, six nights a week, I’m going to need to watch an episode, write a page or so discussing the episode, AND THEN a little piece of fiction. That’s a lot! I cannot write, like, a short story a night for two months! Expect the fiction to be short scenes – a page or two at most, unless I’ve got a lot of free time and/or the muse hits.

THEY WILL NOT BE SERIALIZED (MOSTLY). I don’t really want to try and write an evolving narrative while I’m still trying to learn what kind of show Saber is. I’d rather just see what I’m inspired by each time. There might be sequels and callbacks and whatnot, but I think things are going to be more anthology-oriented.

THEY WILL PROBABLY NOT BE THAT SERIOUS ALL THE TIME. I don’t know, maybe pretty obvious! I like being dumb about this stuff, so that might be what gets me motivated here. I’ll try not to just goof around on it, though; the point is try and approach this seriously, so I’ll aim for a nice balance. On that topic…

I AM NOT TRYING TO BE AN ASSHOLE ABOUT THIS. While fan-fiction isn’t my thing, I respect the many people who work hard to produce it, and the fans that support them. The absolute last thing I would want to be is disrespectful. Even if/when I end up producing some weird garbage, please know that it is earnest weird garbage. I can’t guarantee I’m going to come out the other side of this project as a dedicated writer of Kamen Rider fiction – in fact, I can guarantee you that I will not be a dedicated writer of fiction, Kamen Rider or otherwise – but I want to try and meet this element of fandom where it lives. I’m not one of you, but I want to learn more about you.

So that’s what that’s all about! Watching Saber, writing about Saber episodes, and writing fiction about Saber. The schedule’s going to be the same as usual: new posts Wednesday through Monday, with Tuesdays off. I’m hopeful that there won’t be any extended breaks this time around, but if a day gets away from me and there’s a need to postpone a post, I’ll be sure to let you know. Here’s how we’ll be approaching all of Saber’s many spin-offs and ancillary content, in case you’re curious:

Episode 1-8
Swordsmen Chronicles 1: Slash and Buster
Swordsmen Chronicles 2: Kenzan
Phoenix Swordsman and the Book of Ruin
Swordsmen Chronicles 3: Espada
Swordsmen Chronicles 4: Blades
TTFC Direct Theater: Kamen Rider Saber 1
Out-of-Nowhere Dragon TVKun
Saber x Ghost
Specter x Blades
Movie Release Commemorative Combo Special (Special Issue/Zenkaiger 20)
Superhero Senki
TTFC Direct Theater: Kamen Rider Saber 2
Bonus Issue
Sword of Logos
TTFC Direct Theater: Kamen Rider Saber 3
Anime 1-4

POST REVICE (so, later in the summer)
Sabela and Durendal
Trio of Deep Sin

It’s so much stuff! So let’s not wait a second longer! Let’s watch Kamen Rider Saber and find out how this story begins!