Kamen Rider (仮面ライダー), translated as Masked Rider, was a popular and successful Japanese tokusatsu television series created by Shotaro Ishinomori. The series spawned the widly popular Kamen Rider franchise. It was aired on MBS-NET from April 3, 1971 until February 10, 1973. A manga adaptation was featured in Shonen Magazine during the same period.
The story takes place in a world plagued by SHOCKER (Sacred Hegemony Of Cycle Kindred Evolutional Realm), a mysterious terrorist organization. To fulfill its plan of world domination, the group recruited its agents through kidnapping, turning them into monstrous cyborgs using advanced technology and, ultimately, performed DNA manipulation. However, one of the victims was rescued just before the final step, and his name was Takeshi Hongo (本郷 猛 Hongō Takeshi). With his sanity and moral conscience remaining intact, Hongo assumed the identity of the costumed grasshopper-like "altered human" (改造人間kaizō ningen) superhero Kamen Rider and battled Shocker with his newly acquired powers of strength & speed as well as his customized super motorcycle Cyclone.
The Kamen Rider original series produced a great number of spin-offs which remained until today. Several Kamen Rider series were aired in Japan after the first Kamen Rider finished. After Kamen Rider Black RX ended production in 1989, the series was put on hold.
There were occasional releases of Riders such as the 1990's "Movie Riders", which were Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue (considered by some fans to not be an actual Kamen Rider for various reasons), Kamen Rider ZO and Kamen Rider J. After original creator Shotaro Ishinomori's death, the Kamen Rider franchise was restarted in 2000 with Kamen Rider Kuuga. Since then Kamen Rider has become popular again and has a strong fanbase across Asia.
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