Kamen Rider Fourze

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"Space...a wondrous world, filled with infinite cosmic energy. Using the Astro Switches, these young people will open the door to the future of space. Space on your hand! Reach out and seize the universe!"
—Opening Narration

The 2011-2012 Kamen Rider series and the thirteenth entry in the franchise's Heisei era. Pronounced "Four-Zeh" as in "'Four-Zero",[1] i.e. Kamen Riders 40th anniversary series.

Amanogawa High School is a school that encourages every one of its students to be themselves, creating a diverse (but chaotic) student body. Arriving into this bedlam is New Transfer Student Gentaro Kisaragi, a cool guy with a Delinquent image who immediately vows to become friends with every single student in the school.

When the school is attacked by mysterious monsters named Zodiarts, Gentaro receives the Fourze Driver and Astro Switches from fellow students Kengo Utahoshi and Yuki Jojima. Using their power, he transforms into Kamen Rider Fourze to protect the students of Amanogawa High. Fourze can equip up to four Astro Switches at once, using them to equip attachments onto his arms and legs that boost his combat potential.

The plot's main driving element is Gentaro's goal in making friends with everyone in the school, even the Zodiarts Switchers. As such, many of the characters learn important life lessons from Gentaro as he tries not only to fight monsters, but also to befriend them and save them from themselves. The Zodiarts themselves show parallels to the darker sides of humanity and with each one that appears, it becomes harder and harder to free them.

Tropes used in Kamen Rider Fourze include:
  • An Aesop: Aside from #1-2, there seems to be a trend of aesops similar to what happened in Gokaiger:
    • #3-4: "Do stuff that's beneficial to yourself and not to latch onto others."
    • #5-6: "If you want to be friends with someone, you have to accept who they are."
    • #7-8: "You must decide your own life and not let others decide for you."
    • #9-10: "It's all right to be yourself and to know that you're never alone."
    • #11-12: "There are people who are willing to help you with your problems; don't push them away."
    • #13-14: "Love can break through even the most powerful of temptations."
    • #15-16: "Art is not about perfection, but more of the love and compassion you put into it."
    • #17-18: "If you want to be friends with others, you have to show who you really are."
    • #19-20: "Even if you have opposite ideals, that doesn't mean you can't still be friends."
    • #21-22: "Even when times are tough, you just have to persevere."
    • #23-24: "You can be a hero just by doing the right thing."
    • #25-26: "Growing up and graduating is a part of life, but you should look forward for a better future."
    • #27-28: "The best feeling in the world is to be able to make people smile."
    • #29-30: "Not all people are untrustworthy; there are people who will always be friends with you through and through."
    • #31-32: "Friendship is the power that can conquer the impossible. These are the bonds that shape humanity."
    • #33-34: "Everyone has the right to be normal for a change, even superheroes."
    • #35-36: "It's okay to have your dreams, but don't use shortcuts to achieve them. Use your passion, heart and friends to do so."
  • Arc Words: There is lots of mention of Hayabusa the satellite, from Yuki's interest, cosplay and song of it, to Shun's last name being rearranged to said space craft.
  • Artificial Gravity: In the Rabbit Hatch, there's a rather large switch on the wall with the label "Gravity Control".
  • Artistic License Engineering: #2 has Fourze using Massigler to attack the Orion Zordiarts by grinding it with the front wheel, until it spews sparks. That's right, Massigler is the only motorcycle in existence with front wheel drive!
  • Ascended Meme: Lots of fans have noted that Fourze looks a lot like Skyzel of Space Ironmen Kyodain. Guess who he's teaming up with in his movie?
  • Beauty Pageant: #3 centers on one. Keeping with the show's use of high school tropes, it's pretty obvious it's in the bag for Miu from the get-go. Gentaro tries to turn it into a real contest by saying he'll become her friend if he can find someone who can beat her. Unfortunately, the only candidate he can find is Yuki. And then episode then ends on a wham when a hidden-camera footage is played on the screen showing Miu throwing away fan letters and gifts from admirers, turning most of the student body against her.
  • Big Eater: Jun, one of Miu's sidekicks, is almost always seen eating, usually candy and snacks. She even has bananas hanging from the inside of her locker door!
  • Bittersweet Ending: #38 has Gentaro free Erin from the influence of the Zodiarts Switch, but Gamou insists that her memory gets erased so she remembers nothing prior to meeting Gentaro and Yuki. Thankfully, the ending gives us a positive note.
  • Book Ends: #9 starts with Yuki and Gentaro racing to school; #10 ends with Tomoko joining them.
    • #15 shows the debut of Motoyama on the rooftop with his painting of Mount Fuji. Where do we see him in the following episode? Back on that rooftop, redoing that same picture and Abe meeting up with him.
    • Potechokin was the first Foodroid Miu played with. In #26, it's helping her pack.
  • Brick Joke: Tomoko with her devil-head inkblot, from #7 to #8.
    • That corner in the back of the school where the hoodlums attack Gentaro and fail (twice) is shown vacant in #5. Then #7 reveals that the hoodlums have found an alternate hangout outside school grounds.
    • A visual Call Back to the "trash" label for Gentaro appears in #6 - he's left for dead on an empty grassy slope, but when Tomoko finds him later on, he's suddenly surrounded by actual trash.
    • In #9, Gentaro and Yuki's reason for running is to be energized with the "full power of youth" returns when Gentaro successfully frees himself from rope binding him....then it's just revealed that Kengo got his foodroids to cut the ropes.
    • Remember how the fire alarm was ringing in the beginning of #21? #22 explains what happened; Ms. Haruka Utsugi kicked it in frustration.
    • In #18, Ohsugi starts screaming out "TEST!" to the class; five episodes later, they return and the countdown focuses on Gentaro's test. For your information, he got a 4.
  • Call Back: In #37, Ryusei temporarily reverts to his Stepford Smiler front from before he was outed as Meteor. This time however, it's to cover the fact that he was the first to crack during the astronaut test.
  • Catch Phrase: Gentaro's. (After transforming) "Space is awesome!"
  • Canon Welding: In #33 Foundation X reappears as Gamou's financial backers, tying Fourze into the same continuity started by Double and OOO.
  • Christmas Episode: Episodes 15 and 16 involve around Yuki helping the Glee Club, and the Kamen Rider Club having their own Christmas Party.
  • Competitive Balance: The Horoscopes.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Played straight. Scorpion's Dustards (read: Mooks) were able to overwhelm Fourze when they were attacking individually. Once they started attacking at the same time, Fourze got a break.
  • Continuity Nod: When seeing the interior of the Rabbit Hatch, one can notice two posters on the wall: One of Miu from #3, and another about JK Night in #5.
    • Miura gets mentioned in #8, stating that he was currently in the hospital after using the Zodiarts Switch. He appears in Episode 13-14, with the Kamen Rider Club trying to help him recover after becoming a Zodiarts.
    • Chouske is seen in #7 with all the other delinquents in a new hangout so Gentaro doesn't beat them up again.
    • Yuki brings up the witches of #9-10 to scare off Ohsugi in #11 - but he's stricken with acute Genre Blindness.
    • After the events in #11-12, Gentaro and company are seen screwing the locker to the wall.
    • In Movie Wars MegaMax, not only does Eiji remember Gentaro from Wonderful! Shogun and the 21 Core Medals, but Shotaro brings up meeting Eiji way back in A to Z: The Gaia Memories of Fate
  • Couch Gag: The camera goes into a hard zoom of a random Astro or Zodiarts Switch before the OP starts every week.
  • Crossover: Although it's not known to what extent this element will go, magazines have mentioned that there'll be urban legends in Fourze about the battles by previous Riders. The only confirmed one right now is about Rider 1.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: The Leo Zodiarts does to this Fourze and Meteor a multitude of times.
  • Delinquent: The group that Gentaro beats up in #2 and #3.
  • Elemental Powers:
  • Evolving Credits: Like with OOO, the opening is usually adjusted to highlight the latest Switches, but it's stopped at Switch #20 for now.
    • Episode 19's opening takes out Sonoda and adds Meteor. Episode 21's opening adds Magnet States and showcases the Switches starting with #21 (Stealth).
    • #35 adds Cosmic into the States montage. It also added Ryuusei into more of the Kamen Rider Club Shots, updated the States (including adding Meteor Storm into the credits), and Miu, Shun, Ohsugi-sensei and Gamou have new clips for the opening.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the Evolving Credits for #10 onwards, during the montage of Fourze using his various switches, Shield!Fourze flashes a peace sign from behind his shield.
    • #15. Some book artist thinks Perseus looked like Orlando Bloom.
    • The M-Bus Satellite was actually seen in the beginning of #1.
    • The Imagine Spot from #25 goes into "Friday In Hell" levels just before it ends.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In the opening, during the montage of Fourze using various Switches, Shield!Fourze can be seen flashing a peace sign and Flash!Fourze accidentally blinds himself. From #21 onwards, Fourze lampshades the nature of the Stealth switch by performing a ninja hand gesture before fading out, and plays Rock Scissors Paper against the Hand switch - but loses. In the next update, when Fourze activates his GiantFoot switch, he accidentally crushes himself.
    • #1 has a funny foreground event the first time we see the classroom, with one student invoking some kind of summon ritual amidst the classroom chatter.
    • #5. Sonoda and Ohsugi are discussing something while another teacher in the back is getting punked by a student, then retaliates with a headlock.
    • #9. While Kengo is pointing out the silliness of Yuki and Gentaro racing to school every morning, there's a couple of the "inmate" students doing an even more strenuous exercise behind him.
    • #10. More of an easter egg, but when the witches tie up the entire Kamen Rider Club, JK's hands are inexplicably tied into his JK finger salute.
    • #16: While the Kamen Rider Club (minus Gentaro) is admiring their Christmas Cake, the three Foodroids are fighting over party hats.
  • Golden Snitch: Played straight in #37. The Bonus Question in the astronaut entry exam is enough to get Gentaro and Yuki to the next phase, even though Gentaro couldn't answer a single one of the others.
  • Gratuitous English: Oh, where to begin?...
    • It doesn't help that Gentaro seems to have a hard time understanding the English words everyone is throwing left and right. (The best one is in the first episode, believing Miu calling Gentaro "Trash amongst Trash" meant "Man amongst Men"). He knows how to say "Thank you" in English, at least.
      • Against Unicorn in #6. Heck, Gentaro once said to Kengo that "[he] must think [he's] so smart by using katakana" in #2!
    • The detention teacher in #7 uses a few English words, but especially "bad boy" for Gentaro, which he always pronounces in a gleeful yet creepy way.
    • Episode 15 has Yuki, along with the Glee Club, sing a nice rendition of Jingle Bells.
      • In the same episode when JK goes to throw Fourze the Pen switch, he says "This is a Pen" (which may be a common phrase in English-as-a-second-language class if this clip is any indication).
    • And in #31, we have the PE Teacher acting as the English teacher due to Aries casting her in that role.
  • Halloween Episode: #9-10
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Gentaro and Shotaro in Movie Wars MegaMax.
  • High School Dance: The Prom which is the focus on #25-26.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode has a title written in four kanji which when taken together forms a sentence.
  • Institutional Apparel: Parodied. All students get school tracksuits, as seen in #8, but they're bright orange, making the "muscle" clique, who wears them the most, look like inmates.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Justified by the school environment (and gets rather egregious with Shun and Miu), though it should be mentioned that Gentaro wears his uniform to "JK Night" in #5 when everyone else has dressed to the nines (well, moreso than usual in JK's case.)
    • Gentaro subverts this: while he still has his jacket and pants, he'll sometime be depicted in different shirts. Also, starting with #15, the school is shown wearing winter coats, and Gentaro now sports a new jacket.
  • Meaningful Name: The name of Amanogawa High can be translated as "Milky Way".
  • Milestone Celebration: Fourze is romanized as "40", in connection with Kamen Rider's 40th anniversary.
    • According to The Other Wiki, the series is also in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's feat as the first human in space.
  • Multiform Balance
  • Mythology Gag: Gentaro winding up with the belt due to Kengo's condition brings to mind Hiroshi Fujioka's well-documented Game-Breaking Injury, which led to the creation of the second Kamen Rider. Not the only time it's been done, either...
  • Non-Serial Movie: #33 confirms that the events of Movie Wars Megamax particularly the business with Nadeshiko, and thus the existence of Rocket States are out of canon... but it's the first time we even hear about Subaruboshi High. However, Eiji recognizing Fourze places it in Shogun and the 21 Core Medals continuity, which itself is seperate from OOO series continuity... anyone's head exploded yet?
  • Numerological Motif: "40" of course.
    • People are starting to notice a pattern emerging: Decade (10, who can use one card at a time), Double (2, two minds sharing half a body), OOO (3, powers in three areas), and now Fourze (40, weapons and powers on four limbs).
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: #37. The 'project' built by a rival team for the astronaut test is obviously the RoboSapien.
  • Rated "M" for Manly: Football, hot girls, and Hot Blood in the first episode ALONE. It's already looking like Fourze will be the most manly Kamen Rider ever made.
  • Recycled in Space: Motif-wise, literally.
  • Rule of Three: Shown all over the place. Miu and Ritsuko lead a posse of three, Power Dizer went through three users aside from Kengo (Miu, Shun and JK) and has three modes, there are three female members of the Kamen Rider Club, etc.
  • Running Gag:
    • That bunch of thugs hanging out at the back of the school who attack Gentaro on sight, and fail, twice so far.
    • Gentaro's constant misunderstanding of English words (i.e. trash, knight).
    • And there's also Kengo's constant reminder of the gathering that it's not a club and telling Miu she's not the president of said club...Well, until #12 that is.
    • Gentaro breaking something or hitting someone with his henshin pose.
    • Gentaro asking why certain leg switches (Brush, Hand, etc.) are on the leg in the first place.
    • The debut of a Foodroid also shows the food they were based on. The only exceptions are Burgermeal and Softonya.
  • Shout-Out: The Astro Switches are named after Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi's Twitter profile.
  • Signature Style: Yes, Koichi Sakamoto has a hand in this show, and just to hammer it home we have Fourze jumping off a flying bike to kick the enemy in #2. Other elements of Sakamoto's style are present such as the wire-fu (in mild doses when compared to Power Rangers) and filming at an angle. The Kalishplosions did not get carried over, thankfully.
  • Space is Just Awesome: Tends to happen with any person entering the Rabbit Hutch and realising where it really is for the first time.
  • Space Is Noisy
  • Talent Contest: Episode 3 features a contest for School Queen, in which the candidates showcase their talents and deliver a speech as to why one should vote for them.
  • Thousand Paper Cranes: In #37, Gentaro's group--while in a space isolation test--is making ten thousand paper cranes to pass the time. Gentaro actually tries to get Ryusei to calm down by saying "think of Jiro when you do it!"
  • Two-Teacher School: Ohsugi and Sonoda are the only regular staff members to appear on the show. Two other teachers appear briefly for two episodes each.
  • Wham! Episode: #11: Kengo's now seemingly stuck on the moon because the Pyxis Zodiarts destroyed the locker that acts as its teleporter.
    • #13. Aside from bringing back an old Zodiarts Switcher, the identity of the Scorpion Zodiarts is finally revealed.
    • #14. The Principal is revealed to also being a Zodiarts.
    • #18. Sonoda is no more as she's been cast to the Dark Nebula and the Virgo Zodiarts has replaced her.
    • #19. The Dragon Zodiarts is stronger than both Fourze and Meteor, Kengo has seemingly quit the KRC and has ended his friendship with Gentaro and the Magnet States have flown into the sky.
    • #22. Think that Gentaro defeated the Pegasus Zodiarts? You'd be wrong. Introducing: the Cancer Zodiarts!
    • #25. Miu and Shun are graduating, Yuki's Club President, JK is now the pilot of Power Dizer and Miu states to Shun that she wanted to go to prom with Gentaro while Fourze and JK are getting their asses kicked by three Zodiarts.
    • #27: Ryuusei's timing for getting the Idiot Ball had to be when he was fighting Cancer, thus revealing his true identity. And when Ryuusei needs to talk to Tachibana, Tachibana will not let him transform now that someone knows who he is. At the same time, Cancer has gone into Nova mode due to him absorbing the souls of other students!
    • #29: Remember the time where Ohsugi took the locker to Rabbit Hatch around 18 episodes back? He now knows about Rabbit Hatch and took the only switch capable of stopping Musca!
    • #30: At the end of the episode, Aries Zodiarts has appeared.
    • #31: Ryuusei kills Gentaro with the one-inch punch and for doing so Tachibana revokes his powers as Meteor, which leads to the Kamen Rider Club finding his identity out.
    • #33: In Movie Wars MEGAMAX, we see that Foundation X was slightly involved in Astro Switches. Now we know that they really are!
    • #34: Hayami has activated Supernova Form and notes that the Chairman can evolve into Sagittarius Zodiarts.
  • World of Ham: Judging from the fact that this is from the man who wrote Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, this should not be surprising at all!
  • Zettai Ryouiki: The girls have Grade B as a whole.
  1. In Japanese phonetics
  2. The 1000 words is supposed to be writing the kanji for 'Reflection' 1000 times