Kamen Rider Kabuto was the sixteenth instalment in the popular Kamen Rider Series of tokusatsu programs. It is a joint collaboration between Ishimori Productions and Toei. The first episode aired on January 29th 2006, and with the final episode airing on January 21st 2007, completing the series with 49 episodes. The series represents the 35th anniversary of the Kamen Rider Series, as indicated by a notice at the beginning of the pilot episode reading, in Japanese, “Kamen Rider 35th Anniversary Production.” Kamen Rider Kabuto is the first Kamen Rider Series to be broadcast in high-definition format. The series’ catchphrases are “Walking the path of heaven, to rule everything!” and “I am justice.”
Seven years prior to the series, a meteorite struck the Shibuya district in Tokyo. An alien lifeform, known as the Worms, emerged from the meteorite and became a threat to humanity. Souji Tendou has trained seven years while waiting for the Kabuto Zecter so that he may properly take up the mantle of Kamen Rider Kabuto. Making many enemies while at the same time meeting other Riders with mysterious origins, Tendou attempts to accomplish his goal at all costs: to destroy all Worms that threaten humanity. He meets ZECT operative Arata Kagami, who later becomes Kamen Rider Gatack. The two soon work together to save humanity from the alien Worms—but not before uncovering the conspiracies within the ZECT organization and the “Natives” species.
Zecters, also known as the Masked Rider System, are a compilation of mobile systems that affect space/time. They were created by the Natives, a species of Worm that arrived on Earth 35 years ago. These Natives in turn gave the Zecters to humans so that they may protect them from alien Worms that would arrive later. The Zecters appear instantaneously from the ZECT headquarters to the selected personnel so that they may transform into the respective Rider to fight any Worms in the vicinity. Each Rider (except for the Hopper Riders and the Kabutech Riders) possesses two forms: the bulky armored cocoon-like Masked Form and the sleeker Rider Form which can use the Clock Up, a system that allows the Rider to move at high speed. They also have the ZECTroopers to help them. Worth noting is that the Zecters have a mind of their own and can reject their present user in search of another one if they so choose.
There are eight known Zecters within the Masked Rider System, each allowing the user to become a different Rider. Most Zecters are based on insects, with the exception of the Sasword Zecter, which is based on a scorpion.
- Kamen Rider Kabuto
- Kamen Rider TheBee
- Kamen Rider Drake
- Kamen Rider Sasword
- Kamen Rider Gatack
- Kamen Rider KickHopper
- Kamen Rider PunchHopper
- Kamen Rider Dark Kabuto
There also exist two other Zecters known as the Perfect Zecter and the Hyper Zecter. The Perfect Zecter serves as a primary weapon while the Hyper Zecter is a power-up device that enhances the powers of the original Zecter. Both were only used by Kabuto in the series, but Gatack got to use the Hyper Zecter in the Hyper Battle DVD.