Kamen Rider Geats: A Desirable But Nerve-Wracking Future

I’ve been very negative with Kamen Rider lately that it’s time to be actually positive for a change. And very quickly because the topic of this post is getting vastly updated every day. I don’t want to get too much into Revice yet, since I’m not sure if I want it to make posts about it later on, but I’ve been enjoying the hell out of it. Amazing plot, complex characters, and familial love that is the heart of the show. I haven’t been this excited about Kamen Rider since Build. And what better way to crank out more excitement than with the newest rider for this year.

“Ready?”
“Fight!”
Image from Kamen Rider Wiki

Kamen Rider Geats, because Shinobi was too good for us. Now, a lot of information has come out since the initial trademark. Far are we from the discussion that this would be based on Beowulf. But first, let me just say how hard this (original) poster slaps! Everything from Geats with that Faiz-like electricity around, to the neon lit buildings, to the fireworks like a parade going on, just pop out. For a first poster, it’s really gotten me interested.

And then the new one that just dropped, which is the same poster but with more riders edited in. And…we’re gonna get some weird looking rider heads this season. The more I look over this poster, the more this feels more like a typical live action-drama poster than a Kamen Rider one. Previous posters put more focus on the rider suits, so the background has little to no detail besides maybe a solid color. Look at Revice’s initial poster. It’s very abstract. Here, though Geats is front and center, there’s equal attention given to this street and the buildings surrounding the riders. The location is given more attention than usual, which makes me wonder why change the usual poster style.

After this, we got a story synopsis alongside the confirmation of his cameo in the Revice movie…plus some leaks. I could just give the synopsis for the show, but this is my blog! You can read the original synopsis on the Wiki page, so I’ll give my vastly superior version.

A Battle Royale Unlike Any Other Since Ryuki, Gaim, Ex-aid-

In a Japan, where the threat of the Jamato spreads, a game known as the “Desire Grand Prix” takes Korean poor people and masks them into “Kamen Riders” to protect the peace. Those who survive and win the game will have the ability to “create the ideal world they desire.” In other words, a world where the ATM is online 24/7 and young males stop going after lolis. In another other words, only true heroes will win.

One of these participants is Floating World Sound aka me getting canceled, a confident genius in Apex Legends and flossing who boldly states he’ll win at the end. As a participant, he becomes Kamen Rider Geats, the average american who uses a glock to get you to stop. For what ideal world he wants is yet to be seen, but hopefully it’s age appropriate..

The story of Geats is nothing the franchise hasn’t touched before. A rider war has become a staple by this point, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the only thing people know of this franchise is rider vs rider combat. I’m kind of tired of these. I feel like rider vs rider has become too formulaic at this point. The obvious cynical would say it’s to sell toys, and I agree. It comes across as an easy plot, so obvious in nature that no number of small changes fixes the same idea. I’m not saying rider wars are bad, but it’s become boring to me. According to an Oricon article, the concept behind Geats’ rider war was based on the popularity of Fortnite and Apex Legends. Now, I haven’t played the Fortnite cause the cringe prevented me. But, with the benefit of doubt, seeing how they take the mechanics of those games and applying it to Kamen Rider will be interesting to see. The prize also gives us so much potential for juicy character motivation. I can smell it.

Yuya Takashi returns as the head writer, who wrote Kamen Rider Ex-aid and Zero-One. I have my mixed feelings. I loved Ex-aid when it came out, even though most of this is just nostalgia cause I haven’t watched it in years. The goofiness was too much sometimes, but I remember it nailed the darker moments and managed to make how the riders work interesting while conforming to the typical toy formula. But, I did feel like Yuya and the writing team dropped the ball with Zero-One. The worldbuilding was all over the place, the tension was non-existent, and they really screwed the main character over. I’m excluding what happened in the last part since they did have covid to worry about, so a lot of this revolves around the first two arcs and the finale. I’m hoping Yuya and his team, whoever they are, have found their stride with the franchise.

I guess if we’re giving the main rider multiple final forms. I guess now’s the time for multiple base forms.
Source: https://twitter.com/Ben77878871/status/1551950790901768193

Originally, I was only gonna talk about the one form announced, but so many magazine scans came out while writing this post that I have to constantly change it. We got a look at Geats as a whole and it’s a lot to take in. The most consistent feature is his kitsune mask, which is Geats’ defining feature among all the riders. I had to get used to it the first time I saw it. My main nitpick is that it looks too much like Revi’s mask. The fox ears are way to much like Revi’s exaggerated eyes. Geats didn’t look like our 2022 rider. He looked like a Revice movie rider. Hell, because he’s on one of the Revice movie posters, I thought he was gonna be a secret evil rider. But no. This is our main rider. Over the last few weeks, though, I’ve grown to accept it for what it is. Still not a fan but it’s a small problem.

The rest of Geats is absolutely weird. So, his base suit, called the Entry Form, is nothing. It’s a fully black jumpsuit with the only notable thing, besides the mask, is this silver cross section thing that splits his torso and legs where the belt, called the Desire Driver, is. This is where the gimmick comes in, called Raise Buckles. He’s like Double and Build where gimmick items are reflected in only one half of the body. However, Geats’ whole stick is that it’s the torso and legs that are split and not one half of the body vertically. He’s basically OOOs in that regard. For example, in the picture above, the silver body is “magnum” while the legs are “boost.” Unlike Build or Double, he doesn’t need both of them to transform. In leaked footage of his appearance in the movie, Geats only transformed into his Magnum form before adding Boost later. In new shots from a toy magazine, Geats is shown with a new form called “water,” that is shown only on his torso, and he’ll also get forms called “arrow” and “hammer”.

Before I talk about how the driver works, it looks too much like the Zero One Driver. I mean look at the two pictures, you can’t unsee it. But I’m not mad. At least they stole from a good driver. You know, from themselves. Sleek and badass looking, almost like the Tesla of drivers. The Desire Driver looks premium, really fitting with the futuristic look of the poster. Now, the information we got was how the hell the Desire Driver works. I read an earlier rumor that stated the driver will change plates similar to the Sengoku Driver. Well, that seems to be true. The rider symbol in the middle is a small chip that you can take out. We actually got a look at a new rider in the future, who looks to have a purple bull theme. The driver’s circle not being as complete as the Zero-One driver is because some raise buckles fill up the detail and are detachable. Strangely, only some buckles do this. Others like the hammer and water buckles are smaller. Finally, it was revealed that the entire front of the belt can rotate like the Ziku Driver. Which means, for the first time, one of the gimmick items that is one part of a whole isn’t limited to one side. Boost may have been shown for the legs, but newer pictures show it as torso armor. Jesus, this is one of most advanced Drivers in the franchise. I can’t wait for the budget to dip by episode 23.

Finally, the henshin sounds revealed by…leaks. I was never gonna escape them. What I heard was something I’ve been wanting for so long. Simplicity. No long as standbys, no long ass jingles that border on songs, and no exaggerated voices (although I do get it’s for the target audience: kids). After Saber, the fun of long henshin jingles died for me. I wanted something like the early heisei series. Henshins that got right to the point, sounds that actually make sense in universe, but were still had that Toku flair to not be border line “realistic.” God that phrase has lost meaning. Just enough of a grounded feel. And Geats delivers. The voices they got are robotic and threatening. The delivery of noises and phrases get to the point. All the henshin says is, “Magnum. Ready? Fight!” That’s it, and I love it. The driver sounds like fighting game announcers, which I guess makes sense for the theme of the show. Gives an in-universe reason for existing. Fans do love the longer, more exaggerated henshins the series is known for. But for me, Toei ran it to the ground. Seriously, Xross Saber is a fucking song. Geats’ driver noises fit the darker tone we’re getting with this series, and I appreciate that.

Jeez that’s a lot to take in. And I’m alright with a majority of it.

I love Magnum Boost, and I’m guessing every combo form, because it looks the most complete. I also love the bulky proportions. I like my riders thicc. Despite appearing to be another animal based rider, he’s more mechanical in design like Faiz or Drive. Diminishes the fox motif but I’m fine with that. We’ve had so many animals riders in the past 3 seasons that I’m fine with an abstract based rider. The colors are also striking. The white, or silver, mixed with the red gives off a vehicle look. Which makes sense since this form is based on a gun and a motorcycle. Dude got so mad at the restricted japanese laws on custom bikes that he decided to wear the thing. Also insert joke about using his second amendment right. Insert into monster’s cranium. This a really good looking base form. Very simple but executed in the right way. This guy leaves an impression.

Unfortunately, every other form sucks. We’ve had a lot of “blank” forms in the franchise. Their barely seen, only shown once on their own before being reduced to the midway to the real form. But Entry Form Geats is the worst one. Other blank forms like Gaim’s and Den-O’s are still bare bones, but they’re still recognizable and have their own identity. Entry form doesn’t have that. It looks like a Rider grunt, which are usually made to be as basic and forgettable as possible. These guys aren’t meant to last…unless you’re the Revice Demons Corps. Why are they a thing again? I understand why the Entry form was designed like this, as it’s easy for the suit designers to switch around the auxiliary form parts. But the Entry Form feels too basic that it makes forms like Leg Boost (the one where only the legs have armor) come across as cheap and lazy.

Because of the entry form’s lazy look, it makes the half forms also appear unfinished. Especially the recently revealed Water Form and Hammer Form. This seriously cannot be the finished product. Now, because it may come up in later retrospectives…possibly, I have no issue with auxiliary forms that are just add-ons. They aren’t fully different forms, so they have more uses without having to destroy the show’s budget. Fourze did this well, showing off all the ways the Astroswitches can be used and combined throughout the entire season rather than shoving them in the first 10 episodes and never bringing them back. Geats ain’t this. The astroswitches add on to an already finished design, while the raise buckles forms come across as trying to compensate for a half-finished figure.

Hell, the water form spraygun is just a retool from Kamen Rider Build’s firetruck form just painted from white to sky blue. WHAT!? Which leaves a lot of questions as to why they need to do a retool so early. I mean if they feel like that was the best aerial ladder prop they’ve made then I guess retooling it is fine. Not saying they shouldn’t use their previous assets since these shows don’t have the biggest of budgets. It doesn’t even look that bad by all means. But it does leave a bad impression when seasonal fans know retools and repaints are usually reserved for later in the season and in the movies.

Whatever the case, while I love Magnum Boost and the bulkier design aesthetic we’re presented, the entry forms and half forms leave a lot to be desired and almost border on cheap. Hopefully, watching the show may change my view. If this is Geats’ entry form, I can’t imagine-oh, I think every rider is gonna share it. Oh dear lord…

Overview

Geats is an exciting next step for Kamen Rider, even with my gripes. The early heisei call backs, the survival game’s potential for more darker moments, and the driver’s more serious tone makes me look forward to what’s to come. Hopefully, Bandai doesn’t lose their damn mind and make half of the belts premium bandai. Can we all agree that Bandai doing that to Revice’s drivers is one of the weirdest moves they’ve done. I mean, could you imagine being a kid and loving riders like Aguilera and Demons, only for their belts to be limited run on a website. Parents must have been annoyed at their kids raging on about the newest belt being a limited item around 47 bucks that has to be pre-ordered or else they wouldn’t get it. Bandai have a real sick sense of humor. Like sure you get a shit ton of money, but you don’t have to waggle that in our faces while you make us pay for barely repainted mobile suits or Kamen Rider items that should have been retail. That’s not even counting the shipping. I mean what kind of jackass does that-

I… got off topic. I’ll go now and watch more reveals age this post. Good bye and have a good day.

-Samuel Argueta