Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Top Ten Creepy Kamen Rider Children

 I've mentioned before that Toei tends to revisit the themes and character types it really likes, and it's pretty obvious that for Toei, and especially Kamen Rider, creepy children rank up there. They rank so high that though this list was originally meant to include both Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, by the time I'd finished counting all the creepy children populating Kamen Rider I'd completely run out of space for, well, Kibaranger.

 "Children", in this sense, means any character under the age of eighteen, albeit with a focus on characters towards the lower age range. With that aside, let's view the nanny's nightmare gallery!

 10. Shizuka (Kamen Rider Kiva)
 Generally, Shizuka was actually a pretty inoffensive character. So inoffensive in fact that sometimes even the writers forgot she existed. Then Wataru hooked up with his love interest Mio and suddenly the normally sweet, slightly bland Shizuka went insane. Suddenly lit in an eerie fashion usually reserved for camp pantomime villains and, well, the Devil, and sporting horns and a tail, she began actively trying to break Wataru and Mio up (the part where she started claiming Wataru was engaged to her was a particular highlight, because she was about thirteen).

 Then just as suddenly she forgot all about her crazy jealousy and returned to normal, for no readily apparent reason. What just happened? Did she suffer a minor psychotic break and everyone was too polite to ever mention it again?

 9. Mezuru (Kamen Rider OOO)
The face that launched a thousand nightmares.
 Technically Mezuru isn't a child at all, but since she decides to take the human form of a thirteen year old girl we'll roll with that. The really creepy thing about this is despite looking like a prepubescent girl she still acts like the adult she is, including having strange quasi-oedipal scenes with her fellow villain Gameru. Unless you're Humbert Humbert there is something unsettling and upsetting about seeing a thirteen year old girl screaming "I want all of you inside me!" at a massive monster... thing.

 8. Kitazaki (Kamen Rider 555)
 The first of two 555 characters on this list, Kitazaki is only so low because he was pretty inefficient. He certainly didn't lack in creepiness, walking around with a worrying lack of empathy or compassion, and more interested in entertaining himself than anything else. And while it's this childish disposition that made him creepy, it's also the reason he wasn't as much of a threat as he could have been, because it's difficult to get truly worried about someone who you can save yourself from with just a well-timed paper aeroplane.

 7. Philip (Kamen Rider W)
 Hang on just a second, I hear you saying. Why is Philip creepier than Kitazaki? Kitazaki spent most of his time either being weird or trying to kill someone or doing both at the same time. And to that all I have to say is did Kitazaki ever try to elope with a member of his own family?

 "That's not fair, Philip didn't know Wakana was his sister when they made that plan!"

 No, that's true. But after he did find out they were related, do you remember the first thing he said? It was pretty much "that explains why I feel this connection to you then". What kind of sicko responds to "you're my brother" with "that totally explains why I want to bone you!"? You'll also notice Philip was still keen to elope with her even after that; it was basically only her attempted murder of him that put him off.

 Oh, and the whole being a psychic reanimated dead person thing too. That is quite scary.

 6. Lost Ankh (Kamen Rider OOO)
 When we first meet Ankh's other half (or, more accurately, other 95%), he's in his real form, an adult-sized fabulous multi-coloured bird... thing. However, one of the first things most of us noticed was that this mysterious character had a high, cute voice (the same voice as the non-threatening chirpy teenage hero of Kingdom Hearts, actually) and referred to himself as "boku" (whereas our Ankh uses the informal "ore"). He wasn't the scary, intimidating figure we'd been expecting. Then at Kazari's suggestion he took on the human form of the cutest little plaid-shirted boy since Goseiger's Nozomu.

 If you showed the paragraph above to someone who's never seen OOO their first thought would be "there are talking birds in this show? What a trip". But their second would be that Lost Ankh isn't a villain. And here's what makes him so creepy: despite the cute appearance, way of talking and almost kind of endearing brother-esque relationship with Kazari, Lost Ankh is still a villain. Not just because Kazari is shepherding him either; this isn't some "sweet little boy has misunderstood which side is the right one" kind of deal. Lost Ankh doesn't do much or say much right now, but the two things he does want to do are decidedly villainous: 1) create Yummies (he even attempted to do this with Kazari), and 2) get his arm back, regardless of the fact that it's developed a personality of its own and is for all accounts another individual.

 He also wears red with purple, which any right-minded person will tell you is basically a crime. A crime against fashion.

 5. Alternate Wataru (Kamen Rider Decade)
 The first questions most people asked upon seeing the Decade version of Kiva's world was "where is IXA? Where is Saga? Where is Megumi?" The Kiva world we saw in Decade was a strange, lonely one where Wataru is Prince of the Fangires and Fangires and humans seemingly live in peace.

 Why do they live in peace? Because the second a Fangire tries to feed themselves, Wataru has guards kill them. To be fair, he's obviously not thrilled with this solution, but never do we see anyone mention trying to find an alternate energy source for Fangire like Taiga does at the end of the Kiva series. Nor does anyone mention creating a prison for these Fangires. No, obviously the best option is execution, without a trial first. You know what we call the mass slaughter of a group of people based on their race or ethnicity (or, in this case, species)? It begins with "g" and it ends with "enocide". And dead people. It ends with a lot of dead people.

 4. Ramon (Kamen Rider Kiva)
 It's easy to forget Ramon, because Kiva's Arms Monsters didn't do very much, and the little they did do was usually down to Jiro. Ramon, the creepy fish monster who moonlighted as an even creepier sailor-suited little boy, usually faded into the background. The thing is, what he was doing in the background was usually kind of creepy.

 Remember when Jiro first hooked up with Yuri and was planning to get her to bear his half-werewolf children? (I swear this plot point happened, even if most people have understandably repressed it.) You know who thought that was a great idea? Ramon. You know what he thought was an even better idea? Following Jiro's lead and knocking up someone else with his demon fish sperm. At no point did anyone say "how is someone inhabiting the body of a thirteen year old boy ever going to manage to knock a woman up?" That would be the first thing I'd ask.

 Remember the time the Arms Monsters kidnapped Wataru so he could yank a sword out of his pet castle dragon's insides? (Again, this happened.) Do you remember what Ramon said as the boy they'd sworn to protect lay unconscious and helpless on the floor? He suggested they kill him. Oh, but the moment Wataru wakes up it's all "hi Wataru!" and "can I help you, Wataru?" and "is that thirteen year old girl you hang out with capable of childbirth yet, Wataru? No reason".

 3. Teruo (Kamen Rider 555)
 555 had so many villains coming and going that it was hard to know who the final villain was going to be. It was quite a surprise when rather than being Kitazaki or Smart Lady or even turn-coat Kiba, it turned out to be some random kid. So random, in fact, that when writing this list I had to look this kid's name up. Admit it, for a second when you saw the name you had a moment of "Who?" as well.

 Teruo is an orphan who suffers from black-outs. It's when he blacks out that the personality of the Orphnoch King takes over and begins trying to grow stronger so it can complete its plans to wipe out all of humanity. Teruo himself is largely incidental to this, being more of a vessel for the King than an active participator, but unfortunately that makes him ten times creepier. Obviously the Orphnoch King needs to die, but how can you get rid of him when killing him means killing an innocent kid? This wasn't a moral dilemma 555 spent a lot of time on, because obviously Kiba and Takumi's anguished telephone calls were more important, but it's a pretty chilling one to consider.

 2. The OverLord of Darkness (Kamen Rider Agito)
 This kid's already been mentioned in Five Things Toei Loves but no mention of creepy children in Kamen Rider is complete without bringing up a character who is essentially the closest thing Kamen Rider has to a depiction of Satan.

 So if he's meant to be the Devil, you may ask, why isn't he at number one? It's hard to get much creepier than the actual embodiment of all evil.

What Toei thinks Satan looks like.
 The OverLord of Darkness sits in second rather than first place because the reveal of his identity is one of the most hilariously silly things I've ever seen in Kamen Rider, and I've seen Starfish Hitler. Agito spends so much time carefully building up the tension and the atmosphere around this child, around why he could possibly be doing the things he's doing, about what terrible motives and powers he might have. Then finally, we come to Agito's grand climax, and all is revealed:

 "He wants to kill everyone."


 "And that's it. Just kill everyone. Kill all the people, kill all the things."

 "But why?"

 "What do you mean, 'why'? 'Kill everyone' has been a good enough motive for every other Rider villain, why are you suddenly pitching a fit? Look, um, he doesn't understand them. He thinks they're weird and possibly have cooties. There, is that good enough?"

 "I just thought... after you made such a big deal of it..."

 "Look, leave me alone. He's the Devil, okay? Killing everything is just what the Devil does. Where's my prune juice?"

 1. The Nogami family (Kamen Rider Den-O)
 Just... the Nogami family. Okay, so Ryoutarou and Kohana are not mentally children, but they've both been de-aged to be between the ages of around ten to sixteen (depending on what part of the series or movies you're watching). And they have been creeping me out ever since.

Manlier at fifteen than at nineteen.
 Think about it. One day you're about nineteen. You've got issues as it is; like your whole world's blinked out of existence, or you're surrounded by four (sometimes five, on a bad day) brightly coloured dudes who want to use your body for who knows what. Plus you spend most of your time on a train, and the amenities on trains aren't that great, time-travelling or not. The next thing you know, you're prepubescent again. You will now have to go through puberty for the second time, while still remembering everything that sucked about the first time.

 Wouldn't you be just a little bit bothered by this?

 Ryoutarou and Kohana barely even mention the fact that their respective testes and breasts have suddenly retreated back into their bodies. As he matures through puberty for the second time Ryoutarou seems bizarrely unfazed by the fact that not only is his voice getting deeper, it's getting deeper than it was the first time around. Kohana doesn't care that her hymen is more like The Cat That Came Back The Very Next Day than a functioning part of her body.

 Okay fine, Den-O is a kid's show and I don't expect Ryoutarou to suddenly interrupt a fight scene with important news on the state of his returning wet dreams but jeez, you guys. At least look a little bothered.


  1. I think they did mention an "energy collection" thing in the Kiva world. The woman Kiva killed first off said that it wasn't "natural" and wanted to hunt the regular way, though.

    And I never got why Ryoutaro got kiddified. I mean, I understood why Hana did. Airi probably gets with Yuuto alot later so Hana is born later. But what happened to Ryoutaro that it didn't affect Airi too? O.o

  2. I rewatched the episode just before I wrote the post, just to check, and nope, no energy collection mentioned.

  3. can tell me why nogami family in number 1??? also them wasn't children(except kohana) and she not too creepy, did all of them creepy??? (-_-')

  4. Can you do more lists ? How about brother/sisters without parents , or Kamen Riders who are part of the enemy ?