Friday, November 7, 2014

Kamen Rider 1986

I remember how I used to say that Kamen Rider Kiva should have filmed the 1986 scenes in the style of an '80s toku instead of just relying on colorful clothes and a random pop song here and there to lazily convey the decade. And then I had a thought for a blog post -- "Aha! Why don't I do a post where I cast the 1986 side of Kiva as if it actually WAS made in the '80s? That sounds fun!" So, I made my list.

Then I realized: someone did this at HJU in 2010. The scary part? I POSTED IN THAT THREAD! I don't really remember posting in that thread, but I did. And a couple of my picks are the same, but some have changed. I've approached this list with a certain amount of crazy logic. I tried to look at this as if it was a show being made in 1986; despite the original poster in that thread saying to do that, if you look at my old response, I'm pretty much just slapping up a lot of my favorite people without really thinking about the consequences. Say this Kamen Rider show was made in 1986 -- well, I have a lot of frickin' people from Flashman and Spielban on my original list. So, putting that ridiculous logic to use, I was like, "OK, I can't use those people. Pretend they're tied up with those productions. If this was 1986, Flashman and Spielban would be a lot less cooler if those people were wasted on this Kamen Rider '86 project."

I really tried to think about suitable people who wouldn't have been taken away from an '86 toku. I stuck mainly to toku people, but I tried not to use too many cast members from the same show, but that can be a pain in the ass. I remember the Kiva rumors in '08 describing the second Rider and his name was supposed to be Kamen Rider Hunter. "Kamen Rider IXA" sucks, the Hunter name is cooler, so that's what I'd name the character and show.

So, here's my picks and the thinking behind them:

Otoya Kurenai/Kamen Rider Hunter: Hiroshi Kawai (Changeman's Hayate/Change Griffin; Metalder's Kita; Janperson's Makabe)

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I think this is spot on casting. Otoya's supposed to be a woman-crazy, seemingly-frivolous guy, but he's supposed to be more deep down -- he's supposed to be competent and know his shit. Kawai could pull off those comedic moments without being obnoxious as heck to characters and viewers alike (unlike Kouhei Takeda). AND he knows how to kick-ass. And he should have played a Rider at some point, anyway.

Yuri Asou: Kiyomi Tsukada (Machineman's Maki; Juspion's Anri; Shin's Sarah)

I always thought there seemed to be something really likable about Tsukada, but she was always kind of given ditzy roles. And yet, she seemed like there was a side of her who could kick ass. (Shin touched upon this, but her part is so small -- and the Engrish makes her so embarrassing -- that it's not the same as if she had been given a full series part like this.) My original pick was Makoto Sumikawa (Spielban's Diana), who I think would make a perfect Yuri, but she was on Spielban in '86, and so cool there, I wouldn't want that show to lose her.

Jou Shima: Koji Moritsugu (Ultraseven's Dan/Ultraseven)

I liked the idea of an older toku guy playing this part, and someone who had presence and star power. The thing about Shima is he's supposed to be quiet and menacing, but he also shows a light side when he goofs around with Master for no good reason. Moritsugu was playing a lot of villains for Toei in the '80s, and we know he has that lighter side, so I think he'd be a good fit. My original pick was Jouji Nakata, but he's too damn awesome as Kaura to steal him away from Flashman. But I really also like that HJU poster's suggestion of Hiroshi Miyauchi. I think Toei was still too afraid to reuse main Rider actors in regular roles in '86, though.

Moritsugu went on to play the villain Tennouji in Blade, and was one of the only few bright spots of that show, IMO.

Akira Kido: Masayuki Suzuki

It's a small part, pretty insignificant. The guy just pops up to bring some occasional levity. This was Suzuki's job in the '80s. My original pick was Spielban's Mickey Curtis, because I had no idea at the time of who to pick for this part.

Jiro/The Wolf Man: Toshimichi Takahashi (Goggle V's Deathgiller)

This one was hard to cast, because you want somebody really cool who's not unavailable. I thought hard for a while, but quickly had the idea of JACtor Toshimichi Takahashi in the part. This guy is insanely underrated, I've seen him give good performances in the smallest, most forgettable stuff. Jiro needs to be a bit older, a bit cooler, a bit dangerous. This guy can do all that. The problem is, he was the suit actor and voice actor for Doctor Bio in Spielban in '86, but...that's a complete waste of Takahashi, really. I think Spielban could have taken that hit.

Ramon/The Creature: Tokie Shibata (Changeman's Nana)

I originally had Kazuhiko Oohara from Machineman as my pick, but then I thought...Ramon's obviously supposed to be a female. Why'd they cast a 14 year old boy and have him act so girly and dress in a sailor uniform and spin like Sailor Moon to transform? Shibata's the first teen actress to pop in my head. Why not? I wanted to avoid being lazy by using two Changeman people, but I figured it was a small enough role to cheat a bit.

Riki/The Monster: Strong Kongou (Bioman's Monster)

C'mon. Look at the guy. Is he not the perfect Frankenstein's Monster?

King/Kamen Rider Dark Kiva: Shinji Toudou (Takuya/Spiderman; Denjiman's Hedora; Metalder's Kirihara)

I always thought this guy should play a Rider, but he was entering villain territory by the mid-80s. So...good fit, I think. He's a bit older than the rest of my picks, but I think King should be older and more intimidating. My original pick was Yutaka Hirose, who would have been an AWESOME King if this was a show that was made in, like, 1990. In 1986, Hirose was on Flashman and still too young.

With Kawai and Toudou, I just realized I used two people from Metalder and shit, I was trying to avoid using people from the same show... But, honestly, they used Toudou so infrequently in Metalder, and I don't think his character and Kawai's ever crossed paths, so I don't think it's a big deal.

Maya: Kazue Itou

Itou is pretty cool, and she's not like other '80s pop-stars in that she kind of projects a more cooler image, can show a darker side of herself. She's a LITTLE on the young side, but I think she could have worked. And every '80s show needs a pop-star in its cast. My original pick was Maskman's Kanako Maeda, but I think she would have been too young to pull off the part.

Itou went on to play Gekiranger's Miki, who I always thought was pretty cool.

Bishop: Jun Yoshida (Shaider's Poe; Kamen Rider Black's Birugenia)

I was originally considering him for King, but thought he was too young. I really wanted to include him, though, so I thought he'd also work as a good Bishop.

Rook: Ritsuko Fujiyama (Message From Space's Kunoi; Dynaman's Zenobia)

I thought the villain side could use more women, and Fujiyama looks like she could break you the way Rook's supposed to be a big, tough son of a bitch who likes to break people for his own entertainment.

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