Hi. I’m Kamen Rider Die, and this thread is “Kamen Rider Die rewatches Kamen Rider W (and watches Fuuto P.I.)”!

If you’ve been a part of one of these threads before, welcome back. (If you’re brand-new… gimme a minute! Got some old business to clear out first.) I super-appreciate everyone’s patience over the last few months, since I wrapped up the Revice thread. It’s the longest break I’ve taken since I started doing these threads regularly, and while it felt weird to not be getting into a new show after a while, I definitely needed the break.

The joke was that it was a break from writing about Kamen Rider, but not a break from Kamen Rider itself. I spent the intervening months cleaning up all the weird formatting errors in previous threads, as well as any migrated image links, so all those old threads should be substantially more readable now. (I mean, they’re definitely more legible; as for readability… like, I still wrote them. This is my only gear!) I also finished setting up an archive of those old threads over at KamenRiderDie.com, complete with some snazzy header art by TheRaizin. Every post on that site links back to the discussion here, so hopefully it retains some of the conversational feel that made these threads such a blast to be a part of. (For me, at least.)

I also finally got in some cabinets to display a closet’s worth of Figuarts, which took a little while to build and populate. Pictures are here, if you’re curious how much this franchise has entered my bloodstream.

So, yeah. That was my second half of 2023. But it’s 2024 now, which means we are back to watching Kamen Rider, back to writing about Kamen Rider, and back to talking about Kamen Rider with all of you.

As charted out in the final Revice post, this is the start of Phase 2 for the Kamen Rider Die Watches threads. The first Phase was me watching all of the shows from Heisei and Reiwa that I never watched; this Phase is me writing up all the shows I’d watched before. Specifically, we’ll be covering W through Ex-Aid, alternating with some other franchises I’ve never seen. (Full details here!) First up, Kamen Rider W and Fuuto P.I.

W was… I think it was the third Kamen Rider show I ever watched? Ex-Aid was first, then the first season of Amazons, then W. It’s been literally hundreds of episodes of Kamen Rider since I was watching W, which makes thinking about it sort of weird. First, I basically remember almost none of it. I don’t retain these shows super well. (I frequently need to consult Wikis to recall names of characters I’ve spent months writing about.) Each new show obliterates the one before it, and I’ve watched probably 20 shows since W. It’s atomized. I think there was a hat? Maybe?

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I loved W, from the all-time great opening song, to the charming performances, to the utterly unconvincing romance between Terui and Akiko. (Well, maybe I didn’t love everything.) I liked the two-episode mystery format. Sawa from Build is in a follow-up V-Cin? Again, random details, not much memory of individual episodes and/or how they slot together to form a season-long narrative. It’s largely going to be new to me, but new to a much more knowledgeable fan than the guy who first watched them.

Which is the second weird part to these threads: I have a much better grounding of the franchise’s tropes and patterns than I did when I was coming off of a show and a half in 2018. I’m rewatching W, but I’m also doing it through the lens of the ten Heisei shows before it, and the nine after it, and the five Reiwa shows that are in progress. It’s… it’s like a reunion, more than a rewatch. It’s an older me, encountering a piece of art that was significant to my development as a fan, trying to see if there’s nuance I’d overlooked; if there’s a change in my palette. (Maybe I’ll even find Akiko and Terui’s relationship to be layered and believable! WHO KNOWS!) I’m interested to find out how much that’s the case.

And speaking of cases… Kamen Rider W! I’ll be watching the whole series, as well as any ancillary material, in as close to broadcast order as possible. (I’m using the OZC-Live subs for the main show, if that matters to you.) Here’s what my viewing order is going to look like over the next few months:

W 1-4
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 1
W 5-8
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 2
W 9-12
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 3
W 13-14
Movie War 2010
Special Event supported by Windscale
W 15-16
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 4
W 17-20
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 5
W 21-24
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 6
W 25-28
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 7
W 29-32
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 8
W 33-36
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 9
W 37-40
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 10
HBV: Farewell Beloved Recipe
Gaia Memory Library
W 41-44
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 11
26 Rapid-Succession Roars of Laughter
W Forever *
W 45-46
Hardboiled Delusion Diary 12
W 47-49
Final Stage
Movie War Core *
Fuuto PI 1-12
Fuuto PI The Stage (???)

The stuff with an asterisk is a thing I’ve written up before – those’ll get reposted, maybe with some updated commentary. I’ve never watched the HBV(s), the stage shows, or the Hardboiled Delusion Diaries, so that’ll all be brand-new for me. Fuuto PI is also new, and we’ll watch that after the live-action stuff. If I’m lucky, maybe someone’ll even post the Fuuto PI stage show!

Posts will go up daily, except for Wednesday. (Tuesday used to be the toughest day to post, but now it’s Wednesday.) I’ll always try and give a shout if something’s going to cause a day to be skipped, but I try to make that as rare as possible. I like keeping a steady cadence to this stuff!

A few quick ground rules for the new phase of these threads:

PLEASE TRY AND KEEP DISCUSSION TO THE CURRENT EPISODE, OR ANYTHING POSTED PREVIOUSLY IN THE THREAD. While I’ve seen the whole series and may occasionally bring up later details, I’d really prefer to keep the discussion to where we’re at in the show. Like, if I just posted Episode 12, let’s try and chat about that Episode, not what’s going to happen in Episode 14. We’ll get to 14! But the individual episode posts should hopefully invite discussion about that episode’s plot points and developments.

STUFF’S GOING TO GET SPOILED, THOUGH, MAYBE. I’ve already spoiled one plot thread already, and this is only the introductory post, so. Again, I don’t want to constantly be talking about upcoming storyline turns or character developments, but it’ll probably happen. Think of these Rewatch threads as a fan commentary: You would never listen to a commentary before you watch the movie, so maybe watch W before getting too deep into this thread. (Unless you don’t really care about spoilers, in which case – go nuts!)

ALWAYS BE A GOOD PARTNER TO YOUR THREADMATES. I’ve spent years being delighted by all of your generosity and inquisitiveness, and I’d love for that to continue in this thread. Be polite in your disagreements, effusive in your praise, and patient in your debate. We’re all here because we love Kamen Rider shows, even if we don’t like the same things about them.

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE. The writing on these threads are always… uh, let’s be polite and say “idiosyncratic”. I just write down my reactions to Kamen Rider shows, in hopes that it’ll evoke discussion. I don’t write well, and I don’t really write concisely. This… it’s all like this, but about Kamen Rider, and over a multi-month span. Please don’t look to this thread for a synopsis of every element of every episode; please be okay with me spending an entire episode post gushing about a single scene. Also, it’s been months since I was last doing this all regularly, so it may take me a minute to get those muscles working correctly. Might be some mental sprains! Might get lost inside a paragraph! Please bear with me, but please don’t hope for too much!

THE KEYWORD IS “PARTICIPATION”. It’s always fine if people prefer to read and lurk, but the true joy of these threads is when folks jump in with their own takes. The memories, the pet peeves, the personal anecdotes, the interpretations… it’s all so great to experience. My posts are only ever a jumping off point for discussion, which means they’re only useful if people respond. The more we get a discussion going, the more I want to talk about these shows. Your posts are the wind powering my criticism city! That’s the metaphor you get if I don’t have anything to respond to!!!

I think that about does it! Now it’s time to count up our sins with KAMEN RIDER W!