Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight
|Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight|
|Created by||Shotaro Ishinomori|
|Developed by||Steve Wang|
|Opening theme||"Kamen Rider Dragon Knight" by Cage9
"DIVE INTO THE MIRROR" by Defspiral (Japanese version)
|Ending theme||"ANOTHER WORLD" by Kit×Len (Tatsuhisa Suzuki & Satoshi Matsuda) (Japanese version)|
|Country of origin||United States
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||40 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Yasuo Matsuo
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Adness Entertainment
|Original network||The CW (The CW4Kids)|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original release||January 3, 2009– December 26, 2009|
Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight is the Daytime Emmy Award-winning American Independent adaptation of the Japanese tokusatsu show Kamen Rider Ryuki, the twelfth installment of the Kamen Rider Series. It was brought to television by Steve and Michael Wang and produced by Jimmy Sprague through Adness Entertainment. The series had a sneak premiere on December 13, 2008 and began official broadcasting on January 3, 2009, then continued throughout the year. Adness chose to adapt Ryuki over the other Heisei Rider shows as it has a large number of characters (Ryuki had 13 Riders in total) as well as a female Rider. It is also the first tokusatsu adaptation of a Kamen Rider Series since Saban's Masked Rider, which was adapted from Kamen Rider Black RX. The show first aired in the United States on The CW Television Network during its CW4Kids programming block. Statements by director Steve Wang and lead Stephen Lunsford show that The CW had dropped Dragon Knight at the end of the year before its final two episodes aired in the US. The final episodes were uploaded to the 4Kids TV website on December 18, 2009. In 2012, all of the episodes were removed from the 4Kids TV website.
According to early licensing information for the series, Adness Entertainment had intended to also film a feature-length movie for Dragon Knight. In an interview, Steve Wang stated that they had written a story for a film, but that Adness was now raising money to bring over another Kamen Rider for broadcast in the US rather than a film or a second season of Dragon Knight.
To date, the company has not made any announcements regarding other Rider shows or any intention to begin production of the script written for the Dragon Knight film. This leaves Dragon Knight's fate uncertain. Though Adness still presumably retains the rights to the series proper within the United States, it may not have the rights to the footage or suits due to not having made use of either for the last five years. There appear to be no current plans to release Dragon Knight on domestic DVD within the United States itself, though it has seen international release, as detailed elsewhere in this article. International releases of Dragon Knight include a Japanese one by Toei, the company which holds the rights to Kamen Rider in Japan.
While searching for his missing father, Kit Taylor finds an Advent Deck—a special card deck that allows the carrier to transform into a Kamen Rider and utilize unique weapons and powers—and uses it to become Kamen Rider Dragon Knight. He butts heads with Len, who serves as Kamen Rider Wing Knight, but the pair join forces after Kit learns that an alien warlord named General Xaviax is responsible for his father's disappearance and intends on abducting him and the entire human race to gain power and rebuild Xaviax's homeworld. Xaviax tricks people on Earth into working for him by promising them whatever they want, or in some cases, by exploiting their fears and desperation. Kit wonders why Xaviax has to trick them and why he doesn't just find bad guys to do the work for him. Len tells Kit that the decks were only made for one person, and that only a person with an exact DNA match to the original Ventaran rider could use it. This is why Kit is able to use the Dragon Knight Deck: he is the exact Mirror Twin of Adam, the original Dragon Knight, who betrayed the original team. One of the new Earth Riders, Chris Ramirez (serving as Kamen Rider Sting and tricked by Xaviax into believing he is working in a special ops government program to fight alien invaders), joins forces with Kit and Len when he discovers he has been deceived, but is Vented—a process which traps defeated Riders in the "Advent Void" between dimensions forever and removes their Advent Decks—along the way. Kit vents Albert Cho, brother of Danny Cho, in retaliation. This leads to a personal hatred between Danny and Kit, as Danny seeks to avenge his brother against Xaviax's orders.
Later, Kase, a fellow survivor of Ventara like Len, joins forces with Len and Kit to fight Xaviax. In addition to training Kit as a Kamen Rider, Len and Kase tell Kit all about the twelve Riders who banded together as the protectors of Ventara—a world opposite to our own—to take Xaviax down. However, due to the unintentionally–traitorous actions of Kit's predecessor, Adam, General Xaviax vented most of the Riders. Furthermore, Xaviax continues to send out Riders who fight to eliminate Kit, Len, and the other Riders who oppose him. After Kit is Vented, Xaviax recruits Adam to once again become Dragon Knight. Unlike when Xaviax convinced Adam to 'betray' the Riders by playing to his desire to remain with the girl he loved, Xaviax now uses a combination of blackmail and using Adam's girlfriend as a hostage in order to force Adam to work for him.
Meanwhile, Len uses his Advent Deck to awaken the Advent Master Eubulon—who brings back the Ventaran Kamen Riders from the Advent Void—and Kit, who becomes Kamen Rider Onyx. He also brings back Kase, though Eubulon is forced to briefly reassign the Advent Deck to Maya Young while Kase is trapped in the Advent Void. Once Kase is better, Maya gives back the deck and the Riders head for Xaviax's base to destroy him. In the end, all the Ventaran Riders have finally regain their decks, while all the Earth Riders have been released from the Advent Void & returned to their normal life after Eubulon erased their memories, leaving Kit as the true owner of the Dragon deck after the previous owner Adam retires his deck thus officially becoming Kamen Rider Dragon Knight & the only active Earth Kamen Rider and leaving the Onyx deck inactive. But as the remnants of Xaviax's army and other dangers continue to threaten Ventara & Earth, Kit, along with Len, Kase and the other riders continue to protect both planets.
A pre-show pilot was filmed in 2006, featuring Matt Smith as Kit and Kandis Erickson as Maya. It was produced as a proof-of-concept piece to pitch the show to Toei and American networks. The pre-show pilot was eventually leaked online in December 2008.
- Stephen Lunsford as Kit Taylor/Adam/Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, Kamen Rider Onyx
- Matt Mullins as Len/Kamen Rider Wing Knight
- Aria Alistar as Maya Young/Kamen Rider Siren
- William O'Leary as General Xaviax
- Marisa Lauren as Lacey Sheridan
- Taylor Emerson as Trent Moseley
- Kathy Christopherson as Michelle Walsh
- Carrie Reichenbach as Kase/Kamen Rider Siren
- Tony Moras as Richie Preston/Ian/Kamen Rider Incisor
- Christopher Foley as Drew Lansing/Chance/Kamen Rider Torque
- Christopher Babers as Grant Staley/Van/Kamen Rider Camo
- Scott Bailey as James "JTC" Trademore/Price/Kamen Rider Strike
- Keith Scaduto as Brad Barrett/Cameron/Kamen Rider Thrust
- Michael Cardelle as Chris Ramirez/Quinn/Kamen Rider Sting
- Mike Moh as Danny Cho/Hunt/Kamen Rider Axe
- Tony Sano as Albert Cho/Chase/Kamen Rider Spear
- Mark Cameron Wystrach as Vic Frasier/Nolan/Kamen Rider Wrath
- Jeff Davis as Frank Taylor
- James Patterson as Detective Grimes
- Jamison Jones as Agent Phillips
- Mark Dacascos as Eubulon
- Camila Greenberg as Sarah
In July 2006, producer Aki Komine received special permission from Toei to produce a pre-show pilot for an American production of Kamen Rider. Komine approached filmmaker and long-time Kamen Rider fan Steve Wang and his brother Michael Wang to help develop, write, and direct a pre-show pilot. Komine subsequently obtained the rights after Toei was pleased with the pre-show pilot. The show then received independent financing from Komine and his partner Fumio Sebata.
Komine chose to adapt Kamen Rider Ryuki for merchandising purposes due to the amount of Kamen Riders and monsters the show had. Steve employed his brother Michael and long-time friend Nathan Long to write the show. Long and the Wang brothers wrote the story and structure of the show to connect with the action/effects footage of Kamen Rider Ryuki, a technique done in previous Americanizations such as Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, Power Rangers and Saban's Masked Rider. Some key elements and minor characteristic traits from Kamen Rider Ryuki were kept but other elements had to be remade to meet the standards and practices for American children's programming. Bandai initially pushed the filmmakers to aim the show for five-year-old children but Steve wished to aim the show towards a young adult audience.
Toei has officially marketed the Kamen Rider franchise as "Masked Rider" for English markets. However, Steve convinced Toei to keep the title of the show as "Kamen" Rider instead of "Masked" Rider, stating, "Growing up, I never watched ‘Masked Rider’… it was always KAMEN RIDER and seeing it called ‘Masked’ always felt strange. I’m just not a fan of using descriptions to name a character such as ‘Masked’. That’s like calling Darth Vader 'Armored Sith Lord'. It’s silly to me." This decision was also made to avoid confusion with Saban's Masked Rider.
Akihiro “Yuji” Noguchi choreographed the action sequences of the show. Due to the show using a majority of the action/effects footage of Kamen Rider Ryuki, pre-planning was established so that the new footage matched the backgrounds and stunts of the Japanese footage however, the crew shot a majority of new footage to use less of the Japanese footage on some episodes. The suits for the Kamen Riders and monsters were re-fabricated and sent by Toei. The costume department was always on-set to have the suits camera-ready due to taking "abuse" not only from the American production but the previous Japanese production. The suit for General Xaviax was the only original design from the American production, designed by Steve Wang.
Dragon Knight was shown in Brazil on Rede Globo during its TV Globinho programming block before being replaced by a re-run of Dragonball in September 2009 (due to the early and daily exhibition); Brazil's Cartoon Network was then the only venue airing the show until it came back to TV Globinho as a part of its Saturday Morning timeblock in January, 2010. The show was aired in Mexico on Televisa and in Venezuela on Venevisión. It also aired in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein on RTL II. but RTL II cancelled the show after 17 episodes due to low ratings. The dubbed version of the series also aired on Indonesian's free-to-air TV channel Indosiar on Sunday mornings at 6:00 am (UTC+07:00). There are currently plans to air the series in Colombia on Caracol TV, in Italy on Mediaset, in Latin America on Cartoon Network, and on other Cartoon Network affiliates in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, and Australia. On the Australian digital free-to-air channel GO! the show airs on Tuesday mornings at 7:30 am.
It was also broadcast in Japan on Toei's satellite subscription channel Toei Channel in the fall of 2009 as part of the Heisei Kamen Rider series 10th Anniversary project. Voice actors brought onto the project include Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Kit/Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, Hiroki Takahashi as Richie Preston/Kamen Rider Incisor, Hiroshi Kamiya as Chris Ramirez/Kamen Rider Sting, Hideo Ishikawa as Vic Frasier/Kamen Rider Wrath and Takahiro Sakurai as Danny Cho/Kamen Rider Axe. The dub was then aired again on TV Asahi in 2010.
Previous actors from the Kamen Rider franchise who lend their voices to the cast include:
- Satoshi Matsuda (Ren Akiyama/Kamen Rider Knight in Ryuki) as Len/Kamen Rider Wing Knight.
- Yuria Haga (Mari Sonoda in 555 and Mio Suzuki in Kiva) as Maya Young.
- Kōji Yusa (Urataros in Den-O) as Drew Lansing/Kamen Rider Torque.
- Tomokazu Sugita (Kivat-bat the 3rd in Kiva) as JTC/Kamen Rider Strike.
- Kenji Matsuda (Kamen Rider Zanki in Hibiki and Jiro/Garulu in Kiva) as Grant Staley/Kamen Rider Camo.
- Shouma Yamamoto (Takato Shiramine/Kamen Rider Rey in Kiva: King of the Castle in the Demon World and Taiga Nobori/Kamen Rider Saga in Kiva) as Brad Barrett/Kamen Rider Thrust.
- Ryouta Murai (Yusuke Onodera/Kamen Rider Kuuga in Decade) as Albert Cho/Kamen Rider Spear.
- Miyuki Sawashiro (Kiva-la in Decade) as Kase/Kamen Rider Siren.
- Hōchū Ōtsuka (Deneb in Den-O) as Xaviax.
- Tsuyoshi Koyama (Kamen Rider Odin / the Visor Voice in Ryuki) as Eubulon.
On TV Asahi affiliate broadcasts of the Japanese-dubbed Dragon Knight, the song "Dive into the Mirror" by defspiral, is used as the opening theme. The group also performed as Wilma-Sidr for Kamen Rider W. The song "ANOTHER WORLD", sung by Tatsuhisa Suzuki and Satoshi Matsuda under the pseudonym "Kit×Len", was used as the ending theme.
International DVD releases
In addition to airing outside the United States, Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight is available on DVD in certain countries. In Brazil, 13 DVD Volumes containing all 40 episodes were released by PlayArte Home Video even though their site only lists the first two. In Germany, Season 1 – Vol. 1 and Season 1 – Vol. 2 were released on DVD by EuroVideo and m4e (Made For Entertainment) in February 2010, but no other volumes were released due to the show's cancellation over there. On July 21, 2010, Toei released the first DVD box set of Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight containing the first 20 episodes along with a DVD release of the Special Event that took place on January 2010 in Japan. Throughout the summer of that year, Toei released 10 DVD Volumes of all 40 episodes as well as a second box set with the last 20 episodes. In most parts of Asia, 10 DVD Volumes and 2 DVD box sets of all 40 episodes were released by MediaLink.
|Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight|
|Developer(s)||Natsume (Nintendo DS)
|Distributor(s)||Bandai Namco Games|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer (Wii only)|
Nintendo DS version
The Nintendo DS version of the game was developed by Natsume. The player uses Advent Cards to perform special attacks based on how much the Advent Gauge is filled up, with the Final Vent being used when all three bars are full. The Advent Gauge is charged by touching and holding the Rider until all three bars are full. The player must select two different cards before each battle, with Final Vent, the Rider's Contract Beast, and the Rider's primary weapon (sword vent or strike vent, etc.) automatically in each Rider's deck. Contrary to the show, the cards Copy Vent, Steal Vent, Freeze Vent, Confine Vent, and Strange Vent can all be used by any character.
The game's "Ventara Mode" is a series of missions where the player must fight Advent Beasts and other Riders, with a chance of unlocking them (as well as more Advent Cards) in a certain mission. Xaviax is the final boss for all players except Wrath, who fights Dragon Knight as the final boss due to Wrath being possessed by Xaviax as in the show, and defeating Xaviax yields a different game ending for each of the playable Riders. Xaviax himself becomes a playable character in "Duel Mode" and "Advent Master Mode" (an arcade-style mode) once all 13 Riders are unlocked and the player has defeated every mission (including defeating Xaviax himself) available in the "Ventara Mode" for each Rider. In addition to the 13 Riders and Xaviax, twelve of Xaviax's assorted monsters from the show can be used as playable characters in the "Duel Mode"
Despite being a fighting game, it only supports single player.
The Wii version was developed by Eighting and uses a modified engine based on Kamen Rider: Climax Heroes for the PlayStation 2, which was also developed by Eighting. The two games use the same stages and music. Similarly, Dragon Knight and Onyx's character models were recycled from Ryuki and Ryuga's character models. Play mechanics for Dragon Knight, however, were changed significantly. The Rider Gauge (now Advent Gauge) does not charge and can only be filled by attacking the opponent without special attacks. Depending on how much the Advent Gauge is filled up, the player can perform special attacks by using an Advent Card, with the Final Vent being used when the gauge is full. The player can select any Advent Card before each fight. Contrary to the show, each Rider has access to the Advent Cards "Confine Vent," and "Return Vent," which- respectively- disable an opponent's card and counteract the effects of Confine Vent. Each Rider is allowed to have five Advent cards at once and each card can only be used once per round. Final Vent is always in a player's arsenal and cannot be removed.
Unlike the DS version, the player can only unlock the rest of the Riders in Arcade Mode and "Mirror World" modes. Xaviax is only a non-playable boss in both Arcade and "Mirror World".
The game's "Mirror World" mode is a feature not in Climax Heroes and is a series of missions where the player not only fights against other Riders in one-on-one battles, but also defeats Advent Beasts in beat 'em up-like stages, which were not featured in the Climax Heroes series until Climax Heroes OOO for the PSP and Wii, with more stages and kaijins. As the player progress, not only is he able to use other Riders, but he gains Rider Points to buy more Advent Cards in Card Mode.
Unlike the single player-only DS version, the Wii version supports up to two players.
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