The hashtag #KamenRider received over 20,000 tweets on Saturday, reaching trending status on Twitter.
After a very eventful week known among fans as Rider Week/Heisei Week, the adrenaline of the Kamen Rider community achieved a new milestone. For a period of time on Saturday, July 11, the hashtag #KamenRider was on the trending page of Twitter.
The movement started thanks to the collaboration between Team Kamen Rider, TokuSHOUTsu, and Nerdist, in which there would be a live streaming of Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER on July 11. This would make it the first time it has been on an accessible platform in the United States.
In anticipation for the movie’s showing, the week leading up to the premiere saw Team Kamen Rider and TokuSHOUTsu encouraging fans to discuss their favorite things about Kamen Rider on social media. Team Kamen Rider held daily live streams with various guests talking about topics ranging from figures, cosplay, and in depth discussions about each Heisei series. Shortly before the premiere, a livestream was held through Nerdist that had guests from TokuSHOUTsu, Team Kamen Rider, TokuNation, and The Tokusatsu Network’s Editor in Chief, Nicole Amber.
As the hashtag continued to grow, reactions to the surge began to appear. James Gunn, best known for directing Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films, tweeted his support for the trend, to the welcome surprise of many.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 12, 2020
Toshiki Kashu, best known as Shouichi Tsugami in Kamen Rider Agito, also took note of the trend and expressed his happiness towards the boost in popularity.
I'm so happy.
— 賀集利樹 (@kashu_toshiki) July 12, 2020
Japanese news sites began to take notice as well, as news articles began to pop up discussing how it was suddenly trending in the United States thanks to the film’s stream. The presence of Kamen Rider fans in America has not been commonly known among Japanese fans and most involved in the show until recently.
Shinichiro Shirakura, a notable producer for Kamen Rider, tweeted in support as well. Regarding James Gunn’s tweets, he replied “It is our honor”, and continued to interact with fans for a short time. He also shared with fans that while there was an initial possibility of Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER having a theatrical release in the states, certain circumstances made it difficult. He thanked everyone for watching and enjoying the movie.
Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FOREVER will be available for viewing on all Shout! Factory platforms starting on August 1st.