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Home > Kamen Rider Black Sun, A Series Review

Kamen Rider Black Sun, A Series Review

Kamen Rider Black Sun

A Dark New Era For The Classic Hero Has Begun

A New Kamen Rider

The Kamen Rider Series is a science fiction TV show produced by Tokusatsu and created by manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori. This series has also been adapted into movies, manga, and animations. The Kamen Rider series began with the 1971 TV series Kamen Rider, which follows college student Hongo Take as he defeats a terrorist organization that has conquered the world. The original series spawned television and film sequels, which launched a second monster craze (also known as the Henshin Boom) on Japanese television in the early 1970s, influencing superhero and action-adventure genres in Japan.

Kamen Rider Black Sun, directed by Kazuya Shiraishi, is a reboot of Kamen Rider Black, produced in 1987. This version delivered a completely different story plot from the original version.

The Storylines in the Show 

Throughout the 10-episode TV series, the director presents a different story. Unlike the original TV series, the main storyline is not merely about the titular character defeating the Kaijins and antagonists to protect the humans; instead, Kamen Rider Black Sun tells a story about a group of Kaijins fighting against the government to protect their rights in society. From the first episode, the audience will be able to learn about the setting of the story plot by seeing the crowds of humans protesting to banish Kaijin from the country. On the other side, there are groups of both Kaijins and humans protesting for the Kaijins to continue living in the world with equal rights. Nevertheless, both of factions do not know there’s a mutually beneficial relationship between humans and the Kaijins’ group. The Gorgom Party and the government and the leader of the Kaijins utilize this relationship. In this setting, the protagonist, Minami Kotaro, and his brother are fighting against this chain between humans and Kaijins and giving freedom to all of the Kaijins. Nevertheless, although it seems that both of them are fighting for the same goal, the protagonist’s goal is different from his brother’s, which leads to the bifurcation between them in the story. Overall, although the tempo of the story points proceeds quickly, they still cover a lot of details in the character’s curves by showing two different timelines to present the plots.

The Performances of Presenting the Characters

To completely deliver the story and themes to the audience, the most challenging component for the actors in this TV show is the change in the characters’ beliefs. Throughout each episode, the characters, like Kotaro, stick to their beliefs and missions. However, two different aspects of this TV show require the actors to present in a different style. One of the components is the difference in timelines. In the show, the director utilizes the periods of present and the past to demonstrate the story and introduce the characters. Hence, the actors need to perform differently with their current ages and younger versions. In the past, Kotaro was more of a character who was active and reckless, so the actor makes it very believable to the audience, and it shows a great difference in Kotaro from the past and the present.

Kamen Rider Black Sun

The other component that highlights the significance of the actor’s performances is the individual’s belief and goal in this show. Due to the political dilemma, every character has their own goal, making them allies and enemies at the same time. Hence, it is crucial for the actors in this show to present the inner conflict and make the decision to choose the path for their lives. From these two components, the actor’s performances are believable and closely tied to the changes in their characteristics and goals. 

In addition to the believable performances of the characters from different timelines, the actors performances also highlight the benefit chain between characters. As the audience watches the storylines through the conflict between kaijins and humans, the audience can also make assumptions about the standing point of each character from different parties by analyzing their facial expressions and actions. 

The Use of Cinematography in a Realistic Setting

As a TV show under the Kamen Rider series, Kamen Rider Black Sun exhibits an entirely different approach to presenting the story with aesthetic values in cinematography. Unlike Kamen Rider Black (1987), the director of Kamen Rider Black Sun presents the story in dark tones to show the seriousness of the plot. Not only that, but the director also fully utilizes the screen language and framing to present each theme. When there is a new character introduced to the story plot who has high power, the low-angle shots represent that the character has the control and power to rule the system.

Since it is a Kamen Rider series, the fight scenes are also one of the most crucial aspects of this show. To highlight the realism in the show, the director does not use exaggerated shots with numerous movements to present fighting scenes; instead, the director utilizes static camera angles to present the fight scenes, and the fights are not very long in terms of duration because it is realistic that people get tired very quickly during a fight.

With the change in color grading, the audience will be able to realize the timeline they are currently watching. When the story plot is happening in the past, the director utilizes a nostalgic color tone for the audience to know that this is about things that happened in the past. Even more, with the mise-en-scene like the costume can also make the audience realize which timeline they are watching without pointing out the year of the story happening. 

The Overall Rating

Although Kamen Rider Black Sun falls under one of the Kamen Rider series, it is a completely different and independent work from previous shows. It presents a realistic world with issues of discrimination against races and people’s resolutions to change the world. The technique of presenting the storyline with different timelines, plot settings, and cinematography makes this TV show an artistic work that is exciting for both Kamen Rider fans and other audiences.

Kamen Rider Black Sun is available for purchase on Prime Video.

Kamen Rider Black Sun

Kamen Rider Black Sun (2022) Official Toei Company Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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