The Toei Lineup Announcement Event 2014 took place in Tokyo on January 30th. Toei Producer Shinichiro Shirakura talked about “Heisei Riders vs Showa Riders: Kamen Rider War feat. Super Sentai” to premiere on March 29th.
This Spring’s “Great Rider War” will have the 15 Heisei Riders (including the currently airing Kamen Rider Gaim) fight against the 15 Showa Riders (headed by Kamen Rider 1). It has already been announced that Hiroshi Fujioka, who played the main character in the first series (1971-1973) would be reprising the role after 38 years. This movie, with an unprecedented Showa vs Heisei Riders premise, is said to be the grand sum of the spirit and history of the franchise.
Producer Shirakura spoke, firstly, about how the Riders were classified. The group from “Kamen Rider” (1973) to “Kamen Rider J” (1994) comprise the Showa Riders, and the group from “Kamen Rider Kuuga” (2000) to “Kamen Rider Gaim” (2013) are classified as Heisei Riders. “This separation,” he points out, “is something that not us, but the fans, established, and that we incorporated. Strictly speaking, there are Heisei born Riders in the Showa group.”
One of the main points of the movie is the 15 vs 15 scenario. Shirakura explained it as “the point in which Heisei has finally aligned with Showa and in which both are equal”. When the Kamen Rider following Gaim is created, “Heisei Rider history will actually surpass Showa, making it a massive turning point for the whole franchise’s history.
The cast includes on the Showa side, Fujioka as Takeshi Hongo/Kamen Rider 1, Ryo Hayami as Kamen Rider X/Keisuke Jin and on the Heisei side, Kento Handa as Kamen Rider Faiz/Takumi Inui, Masahiro Inoue as Kamen Rider Decade/Tsukasa Kadoya, among others. The presence of actors from past series makes the Showa vs Heisei scenario a reality. So far, Toei has created numerous Kamen Rider and Super Sentai “VS” works, to which Shirakura bluntly declared: “It’s always been something ‘vs’ something. There is no real fighting. Even if there is confrontation, they befriend each other in the end and join forces. This has been the same for 40 years”. He then, announced that “In this “Great Kamen Rider War” a score will be settled. Showa or Heisei, there will be a victor”, giving this movie a different approach.
Obviously, details regarding how the plot concludes were not revealed, but expectations for the March premiere are high. Finally, Shirakura talked about both his career and his roots: “Additionally, I have worked on Heisei Riders, but grew up on Showa Riders. Personally and emotionally, I completely root for the Showa Riders. My body is Heisei and my heart is Showa. But, I shouldn’t be boring you with such silly things… (laughs”.
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