Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials: Kamen Rider Black

Kamen Rider Black, translated as Masked Rider Black, is a tokusatsu superhero television series. It is the eighth instalment in the famous Kamen Rider Series of tokusatsu shows. It is a joint collaboration between Ishimori Productions and Toei, and aired on the Mainichi Broadcasting System and the Tokyo Broadcasting System from October 4, 1987 to October 9, 1988, with a total of 51 episodes.

With its very dramatic storyline and its twist of the Kamen Rider having a tragic relationship with his nemesis, the instalment not only became very popular in Japan, but also in many countries where it was aired. The series is often regarded as a TV classic and is considered by many as the most popular Kamen Rider show of the late 1980s, as well as one of the most famous of all Kamen Riders in the Showa Period. Kamen Rider Black RX was a direct sequel to this series.

After being kidnapped by the cult Gorgom on the night of their 19th birthday, stepbrothers Kotaro Minami and Nobuhiko Akizuki were submitted to a cyborg surgery with the purpose of becoming the candidates for the next Gorgom Creation King. Both of them are called Century Kings and are destined to best each other in a final battle – whoever wins will become the next Creation King. Kotaro escaped before getting brainwashed (which is the final step in the surgery), with help from his foster father, and turned against Gorgom. He soon finds out the horrific truth from his stepfather: Gorgom originally killed his true parents and, since both Kotaro and Nobuhiko were born on the day of a solar eclipse, referred as “Black Sun” and “Shadow Moon”. Kotaro, taking on the name of Kamen Rider Black, was determined to rescue his stepbrother from Gorgom while protecting Japan. However, later in the series, Nobuhiko emerged as Shadow Moon to fight Kotaro with the survivor becoming the next Creation King.

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