Descent into Kamen Rider – Kamen Rider OOO

When creatures known as the Greeed reappear on Earth after 800 years of sleep, one of their number, the disembodied hand Ankh, allies with the itinerant Eiji Hino to battle them. Given a belt and three magic medals, Eiji transforms into the superhero Kamen Rider OOO. Meanwhile a mysterious organisation run by the cake loving Kousei Kougami seeks the same medals that the Greeed do leading to their paths crossing with Eiji and Ankh.

Kamen Rider OOO was the 2010-11 installment in the franchise and the most recent that had Yasuko Kobayashi (Kamen Rider Den-O, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) as head writer.

It shares a number of elements with Den-O, notably that of possession and the theme of human desires. Ankh possesses the body of the detective Shingo Izumi, altering his appearance just as radically as the various Imagin possessing Ryotaro did in Den-O. In OOO though, the possessee themselves does not play such a significant role, though similar to Den-O he does have a sister who does. 

In Den-O, the creatures known as Imagin travelled back in time and grant a human a wish in return for part of their history. In OOO it is a little less voluntary, as the Greeed open up a slot in a human, insert a medal as if it was a vending machine, and from that human’s desires a creature called a Yummy is created. 

It’s different enough to not seem a rehash, but similar enough that you can see a through line in the themes of the shows.

Tonally it’s definitely operating in a murkier moral area than Den-O, and while the laughs are there, they aren’t as plentiful as Den-O’s. Ankh is firmly in the anti-hero mode, and even seemingly pure hearted Eiji has a few missteps even the early episodes I’ve seen (such as trying to trick the detective’s sister into thinking he’s on a secret mission, rather than near death and being kept alive by a monster’s floating hand). 

At the same time, it is a show with a restaurant run by a constantly cosplaying woman, a hero who carries a spare pair of boxer shorts on a stick, a man who ices plot exposition onto cakes, vending machines that transform into motorcycles and a heroine who has comical superstrength. So it’s not super serious either.

That is probably enough Kamen Rider to keep me going for the time being, but if that changes I’ll let you know.