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Kamen Rider Build Passes the Baton to Zi-O

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Kamen Rider Build Passes the Baton to Zi-O

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The stars of the outgoing Kamen Rider Build and the incoming Kamen Rider Zi-O met in an event honoring the series.


The “Kamen Rider Zi-O X Kamen Rider Build Baton Pass!” event was held on August 24th in commemoration of the 20th installment in the Heisei Kamen Rider series.

Kamen Rider Build star Atsuhiro Inukai was at the event alongside Kamen Rider Zi-O star So Okuno. Eiji Akaso, who portrays Ryuga Banjo/Kamen Rider Cross-Z, and Kouhei Takeda, who portrays Kazumi Sawatari/Kamen Rider Grease, were also at the event.

When asked what Build meant to him, Inukai said “It taught me all about Kamen Rider. It’s the sort of experience that helped “build” me, isn’t it?”. “That’s such a lovely thing to say” said the moderator, “Thank ya!” replied Inukai.

Answering the same question, Eiji Akaso said “It was difficult to do the same role for an entire year, but it’s become like a treasure to me.” Takeda added “This is my second time having played a Kamen Rider, I wonder if I was able to surpass my previous role,” (Takeda previously portrayed Otoya Kurenai/Kamen Rider Dark Kiva in Kamen Rider Kiva).

When asked about any moments that meant a lot to him, Akaso said one of his most memorable experiences was doing a simultaneous transformation alongside Inukai’s Sento in Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FINAL Build and Ex-Aid with Legend Riders. Akaso kept messing up and needed to do the transformation scene over 30 times. Some of his mistakes involved having the belt get caught on his legs.

Speaking about the final episode, Akaso said it became difficult for him to look at pictures posted on the official website and Inukai mentioned that he enjoys the ending to the show and that reading the final script gave him goosebumps.

Okuno, who plays Sougo/Kamen Rider Zi-O in the upcoming Kamen Rider Zi-O, then received the baton from Inukai, who himself received the baton from Hiroki Ijima (Kamen Rider Ex-Aid) last year. Okuno reflected on the episodes that featured the Build cast members and said the simultaneous transformation felt “perfect” to him.

The Build cast then gave Okuno advice on how to handle being a Kamen Rider. Takeda said “I didn’t understand it ten years ago, but recently I’ve come to learn that you have to act like a hero at all times, even when you’re by yourself,”. Akaso said “You’re the only one who can play Sougo Tokiwa (Kamen Rider Zi-O), so you have to take care of yourself over the next year,”. Finally, Build’s star, Inukai, told the young actor “You’re going to be influenced by the staff and directors, you can’t give in. Look firmly at how the professionals on set act,”.

Following the advice from his predecessors, Okuno brought out the Ziku Driver belt and transformed into Kamen Rider Zi-O. Takeda laughed and said “It’s going to be a little sad I’m only going to be in Zi-O through a toy,” mentioning the fact that a Kamen Rider Grease Ride Watch will be sold.

Inukai finished the event by telling the fans how grateful he is for his time on Kamen Rider Build and that he views Kamen Rider as “an immortal series that you’ll be able to watch forever”.

Kamen Rider Zi-O begins on September 2nd and is the 20th installment in the Heisei Kamen Rider series. The series is produced by Shinichiro Shirakura (Kamen Rider Agito~Blade, Den-O, Decade, Amazons), Naomi Takebe (Kamen Rider Kiva, Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, Kamen Rider OOO, Kamen Rider Gaim, Shuriken Sentai Ninninger), and written by Kento Shimoyama (Shuriken Sentai Ninninger).

Source: Eiga Natalie

One of the founding members of The Tokusatsu Network. Jorge serves as an editor, writer, and regular podcast panelist.

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