Kamen Rider Kuuga

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Kamen Rider Kuuga
Kamen Rider Kuuga, Blu-ray BOX 1.jpg
Cover of the first Blu-ray Box, featuring Kamen Rider Kuuga and his various forms.
GenreTokusatsu
Superhero fiction
Science fiction
Action
Drama
Horror
Created byShotaro Ishinomori
Developed byIshimori Productions
Toei Company
Written by
Directed by
  • Hidenori Ishida
  • Katsuya Watanabe
  • Takao Nagaishi
  • Nobuhiro Suzumura
  • Osamu Kaneda
  • Kōichi Kotō
Starring
Narrated byFumihiko Tachiki
Opening theme"Kamen Rider Kuuga!" by Masayuki Tanaka
Ending theme"Aozora ni Naru" by Jin Hashimoto
ComposerToshihiko Sahashi
Country of originJapan
No. of episodes49 (List of episodes)
Production
Producers
  • Yūmi Shimizu (TV Asahi)
  • Takeyuki Suzuki (Toei)
  • Shigenori Takatera (Toei)
Running time23–25 minutes per episode
Production companyToei Company
Release
Original networkTV Asahi
RCTI (2002-2004)
Picture format480i SDTV
Original releaseJanuary 30, 2000 (2000-01-30) –
January 21, 2001 (2001-01-21)
Chronology
Preceded byKamen Rider Black RX
Followed byKamen Rider Agito

Kamen Rider Kuuga (Japanese: 仮面ライダークウガ, Hepburn: Kamen Raidā Kūga, stylized in English as Masked Rider Kuuga) is a Japanese tokusatsu television series. It is the tenth installment of the popular Kamen Rider Series of tokusatsu shows and the first of the series to air entirely in the Heisei period, as well as the first standalone Kamen Rider TV series since Kamen Rider Black RX. It was a joint collaboration between Ishimori Productions and Toei, and was shown on TV Asahi from January 30, 2000, to January 21, 2001, replacing Moero!! Robocon in its timeslot. Kamen Rider Kuuga is the first Kamen Rider Series to be broadcast in a widescreen (letterboxed) format. It aired alongside Mirai Sentai Timeranger.

Synopsis[edit]

Long ago, the Grongi Tribe terrorized the Linto Tribe until a warrior acquired the power of Kuuga and defeated the Grongi, sealing their leader within a cave. In the present day, Kuuga's mysterious stone belt is excavated, freeing the Grongi as they resume their murderous game on the Linto Tribe's descendants: humanity itself. But a multi-talented man named Yusuke Godai finds himself drawn to the belt and becomes the new Kuuga. He helped assemble the Science Police to fight the Grongi to ensure the happiness and safety of others. But as the endgame draws near, Yusuke learns of a horrible revelation between Kuuga and the Grongi Tribe's leader.

Characters[edit]

Main and supporting characters[edit]

Yusuke Godai (五代 雄介, Godai Yūsuke)
A 24-year-old (later 25-year-old in episode 9) young, multi-talented adventurer. He is a happy-go-lucky and honest person that fights to "protect everyone's smiles". Yusuke helps out at the Pole Pole while staying at the shop, and continuously attempts to master 2000 different skills and talents which he uses to help others. He lost his father, a war photographer, when he was a sixth-grade elementary school student, before losing his mother at the age of 18. He was born in Hokkaido on March 18, 1975.
Yusuke dons the Arcle (アークル, Ākuru) belt, which contains a Spirit Stone Amadam (霊石アマダム, Reiseki Amadamu), the power source of the belt, and turns him into Kamen Rider Kuuga. Kuuga has the imperfect Growing Form (グローイングフォーム, Gurōing Fōmu), the main Mighty Form (マイティフォーム, Maiti Fōmu), the agile Dragon Form (ドラゴンフォーム, Doragon Fōmu) wielding the Dragon Rod (ドラゴンロッド, Doragon Roddo), the sniper Pegasus Form (ペガサスフォーム, Pegasasu Fōmu) wielding the Pegasus Bowgun (ペガサスボウガン, Pegasasu Bōgan), the strong Titan Form (タイタンフォーム, Taitan Fōmu) wielding the Titan Sword (タイタンソード, Taitan Sōdo), and the supreme Ultimate Form (アルティメットフォーム, Arutimetto Fōmu). Prior to his transformation into Ultimate Form, as a result of getting electric shocks, Yusuke obtains upgraded versions of Kuuga's four standard forms called Rising Mighty (ライジングマイティ, Raijingu Maiti) wearing the Mighty Anklet (マイティアンクレット, Maiti Ankuretto), Rising Dragon (ライジングドラゴン, Raijingu Doragon) wielding the Rising Dragon Rod (ライジングドラゴンロッド, Raijingu Doragon Roddo), Rising Pegasus (ライジングペガサス, Raijingu Pegasasu) wielding the Rising Pegasus Bowgun (ライジングペガサスボウガン, Raijingu Pegasasu Bōgan), Rising Titan (ライジングタイタン, Raijingu Taitan) wielding the Rising Titan Sword (ライジングタイタンソード, Raijingu Taitan Sōdo), and Amazing Mighty (アメイジングマイティ, Ameijingu Maiti) wearing a pair of Mighty Anklets.
During his fight against the Grongi Tribe, Yusuke rides the Try Chaser 2000 (トライチェイサー2000, Torai Cheisā Nisen, TRCS-2000) and later Beat Chaser 2000 (ビートチェイサー2000, Bīto Cheisā Nisen, BTCS-2000) police motorcycles provided by the Metro PD. The Armor Machine Gouram (装甲機ゴウラム, Sōkōki Gōramu), a stag beetle-like entity assisting Kuuga, can attach itself to Yusuke's motorcycles as armor to form the Try Gouram (トライゴウラム, Torai Gōramu) and later the Beat Gouram (ビートゴウラム, Bīto Gōramu), which can also combine with the energy of his Rising forms to become the Rising Beat Gouram (ライジングビートゴウラム, Raijingu Bīto Gōramu).
Kaoru Ichijo (一条 薫, Ichijō Kaoru)
A 25-year-old (later 26-year-old in episode 15) assistant police inspector of the Security Division of the Nagano Prefectural PD. He is sent to the Unidentified Life Form Joint Task Force Office, which is set up in the Metro PD to investigate and counter the Grongi. Like his father, who died on his tenth birthday, Ichijo is a model policeman who firmly believes in doing the right thing. Though he is very strict with himself, he will do everything he can, even bend police rules, to help Yusuke fight the Grongi. After the Grongi were defeated, Ichijo returns to Nagano. He was born in Nagoya on April 18, 1974.
Sakurako Sawatari (沢渡 桜子, Sawatari Sakurako)
A 23-year-old friend of Yusuke from a university and a graduate student at Jonan University who translates the ancient "Lintonese" transcripts that tell of Kuuga and the Grongi. At first, she was against helping because she was worried about Yusuke, but now she believes in him fully and works hard to help Yusuke understand his powers by deciphering the writings. She was born in Gunma Prefecture on October 30, 1976.
Minori Godai (五代 みのり, Godai Minori)
Yusuke's 22-year-old younger sister who works as a teacher at Wakaba Nursery School. Yusuke occasionally visited her there to entertain the kids. Like Sakurako, she was at first apprehensive about her brother transforming into Kuuga, but she believes in Yusuke and helps out however she can. She was born in Hokkaido on September 4, 1977.
Shuichi Tsubaki (椿 秀一, Tsubaki Shūichi)
A 26-year-old trusted friend of Ichijo from high school, he is the doctor who looks after Yusuke and treats him when he becomes injured, while also researching the effects of Yusuke's fusion with the Arcle. Though he's a light-hearted person, he was very serious and worried when talking about Yusuke's future transformations because of the constant dangers that surrounded the Kuuga legend. He also performs the autopsies of the Grongi victims in order to determine the causes of death.
Hikari Enokida (榎田 ひかり, Enokida Hikari)
A 34-year-old researcher of the National Research Institute of Police Science, she studies the biology of the Grongi in order to develop effective weapons against them. She also assists in the study of Kuuga and the Gouram. Because of the massive amount of work required of her to fight the Grongi, she was away from home quite often and her child felt lonely and neglected.
Tamasaburo Kazari (飾 玉三郎, Kazari Tamasaburō)
A 44-year-old former adventurer, he was friends with the father of Yusuke and Minori, who affectionately refer to him as Pops (おやっさん, Oyassan) like everyone else. He owns and runs the Pole Pole. He is a goofy, light-hearted character that keeps a scrapbook of all of Kuuga's exploits from the newspaper, though unaware of Yusuke being "ULF 04" and thinks that the name "Kuuga" is some nonsensical word made up by Yusuke. After learning the truth, however, he dons the Kuuga mark on his apron in the series epilogue. He was born on June 9, 1955.
Nana Asahina (朝比奈 奈々, Asahina Nana)
Tamasaburo's 17-year-old niece from Kyoto Prefecture, who helps out at the Pole Pole while aspiring to be an actress. However, since the death of her acting teacher at the hands of Grongi, Nana has been troubled until Yusuke finally helps her overcome her sadness.
Jean Michel Sorrel (ジャン・ミッシェル・ソレル, Jan Missheru Soreru)
A 27-year-old graduate student at Jonan University from France that shares the work office with Sakurako. He researched the broken fragments that later formed into Gouram. He has a crush on Enokida and hoped to help her reconnect with her child.
Sadao Matsukura (松倉 貞雄, Matsukura Sadao)
The 57-year-old head of the Security Bureau of the Metro PD and the head of the Unidentified Life Form Joint Task Force Office.
Morimichi Sugita (杉田 守道, Sugita Morimichi)
A 37-year-old detective of the First Investigation Division of the Metro PD who is also a member of the Unidentified Life Form Joint Task Force Office.
Tsuyoshi Sakurai (桜井 剛, Sakurai Tsuyoshi)
A 26-year-old detective of the First Investigation Division of the Metro PD who is also a member of the Unidentified Life Form Joint Task Force Office.
Nozomi Sasayama (笹山 望見, Sasayama Nozomi)
A 21-year-old policewoman of the Unidentified Life Form Joint Task Force Office who sends communication from headquarters.
Mika Natsume (夏目 実加, Natsume Mika)
The 14-year-old daughter of Professor Kokichi Natsume (夏目 幸吉, Natsume Kōkichi), and one of Daguva's victims, she was greatly depressed when her father's murder was being overlooked for the Grongi attacks, taking the findings her father had at their house. But after Yusuke reasons with her, Mika decides to aid in the Grongi matter as Jean's assistant. However, she is unable to follow and decides to take up playing the flute her father gave her. But while attending the 12th Arikawa Group Flute Competition, a hostage situation by a disgruntled government worker traumatizes Mika as Yusuke tells her not to run from her fear and continue. Three months later, Mika attended a special college.
Akiji Kanzaki (神崎 昭二, Kanzaki Akiji)
Yusuke's 52-year-old elementary school teacher, he served as an inspiration to Yusuke, and the two of them visit on certain occasions.
Junichi Chono (蝶野 潤一, Chōno Jun'ichi)
A 22-year-old young troubled man, he saw the Grongi as salvation until he was saved by Kuuga. He later researched trying to make a living until he was knocked out by Go-Gamego-Re (ゴ・ガメゴ・レ) while on his way to a contest.

Grongi Tribe[edit]

The Grongi Tribe (グロンギ族, Gurongi-zoku) is a mysterious ancient civilization whose members can transform into monsters to kill people for their ruthless game, referred to in their language as the "Gegeru" (ゲゲル, Game). The 200 members of the Grongi made their rival civilization the Linto (リント, Rinto), humanity's ancestors before they were defeated and sealed by the original Kuuga, Riku. However, the seal was undone in 2000 with the Grongi resuming their Gegeru on the human race that are the Linto's descendants to bring about the "Ultimate Darkness" (究極の闇, Kyūkyoku no Yami), when humanity will become as violent as the Grongi.

The Grongi are classified as Unidentified Life Forms (未確認生命体, Mikakunin Seimeitai, also known as "ULF"), while those that have a human form are labeled "B" (B群, Bī-gun). Each of the Grongi possesses a stylized Gedoruudo (ゲドルード, Gedorūdo) belt with a Magic Stone Geburon (魔石ゲブロン, Maseki Geburon). The naming pattern of the Grongi is "Group-Species-Creature type": the first part denoting their rank, the second part is the personal name, and the third part indicates the type of animal they resemble. Only 25 out of the 200 Grongi appeared in the course of the series.

In the series, the Grongi speak in their own native language (originally created by the producers as a cipher of Japanese language) which was left purposely unsubtitled during the original broadcast in order to prevent the audience from learning the series' mysteries and plot twists (as it was referred by them in the early episodes)). The Zu Group are the first to play in the Gegeru, then the Me, and finally the Go in the Gerizagibas Gegeru (ゲリザギバスゲゲル, Gerizagibasu Gegeru, Semifinal Game). The Gegeru is overseen by the two Ra Grongi, and the winner of the Gerizagibas Gegeru receives the right to challenge their leader, N-Daguva-Zeba, to a duel known as the Zagibas Gegeru (ザギバスゲゲル, Zagibasu Gegeru, Final Game) for the leadership of the Grongi.

The Ra Group (ラ集団, Ra Shūdan) are the judges of the Gegeru and are Daguva's right-hand men. The Nu Group (ヌ集団, Nu Shūdan) crafts the artifacts used by the other groups. The Zu Group (ズ集団, Zu Shūdan) contains lower-tier Grongi under Zu-Zain-Da, most of their kin slaughtered by Daguva as they failed to acquire the right to participate. Those who did qualify are brought into the Gegeru by writing their names on the portable Dodozo (ドドゾ, Board) blackboard and using the beads of their Guzepa (グゼパ) bracelets to mark the number of people they have killed. The Me Group (メ集団, Me Shūdan) are middle-tier Grongi led by Me-Garima-Ba, its members brought into the Gegeru by using the Bagundada (バグンダダ, Counter) abacus to predict the number of people they are to kill and the time period to accomplish that. The Go Group (ゴ集団, Go Shūdan) are high tier Grongi who can transmute their ornaments into weapons like Kuuga displays while in his Dragon, Pegasus, and Titan forms. Unlike the lesser tiers, the Go having Ra-Dorudo-Gu tally their kills for them while creating their personal rules of conducting their kills. The Go who completes the Gegeru, or the one who can defeat all the Go class Grongi, earns the right to fight Daguva for control of the entire Grongi Tribe. Their leader is Go-Gadoru-Ba, one of the three strongest Go Grongi who had modified themselves to alter their forms like Kuuga and Daguva. The lowest Be Group (ベ集団, Be Shūdan) were all murdered by Daguva without acquiring the right of the Gegeru.

N-Daguva-Zeba (ン・ダグバ・ゼバ, N Daguba Zeba)
The stag beetle-like lord of the Grongi and primary antagonist of the series, called by his kin as the "harbinger of ultimate darkness" (究極の闇をもたらす者, Kyūkyoku no Yami o Motarasu Mono). Sealed away by the previous Kuuga, Riku, Daguva was resurrected in modern times in his Imperfect Form (不完全体, Fukanzentai), labeled as "Unidentified Life Form 0" (未確認生命体第0号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Dai Zero-gō) by the police, slaughtering Riku's sleeping body and the archaeologists who broke the seal. Spending most of the series killing 152 of his own kind he deemed unworthy to participate in the Gegeru, Daguva resurfaces in his fully restored Perfect Form (完全体, Kanzentai). By the time he resurfaces after killing Goma, Daguva assumes the guise of a white-suited young man with an aura whom the police labeled as "Unidentified Life Form B13" (未確認生命体B群13号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Bī-gun Jū-san-gō). After Gadoru's death, Daguva begins his endgame with endless heavy rain and initiates a systematic genocide of all people in Japan. He is eventually killed by Yusuke after an epic fight that pushed the other to his limits, Daguva dying from his injuries while mocking Yusuke would become as violent as he is.
Ra-Baruba-De (ラ・バルバ・デ)
A rose-like Grongi who is only seen in her disguise as the "woman with the rose tattoo" (バラのタトゥの女, Bara no Tatu no On'na) wearing the Gegeru Ring (ゲゲルリング, Gegeru Ringu), labeled "Unidentifiedfife Form B1" (未確認生命体B群1号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Bī-gun Ichi-gō). She serves as the judge for both Zu and Me Groups, authorizing any member of the Grongi to enter the Gegeru. Following her many encounters with Ichijo, including one where he injured her, Baruba realizes the humans can no longer be underestimated. Once Daguva begins his rampage, she is encountered by Ichijo and hints that humans will soon become like the Grongi before running off, with Ichijo being forced to shoot her with eight nerve-breaking bullets. Her body falls into the sea and is never found.
Ra-Dorudo-Gu (ラ・ドルド・グ)
A condor-like Grongi armed with a pair of tonfa, assuming the form of a man in black with white robes on him while labeled "Unidentified Life Form 47" (未確認生命体第47号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Dai Yonjū-nana-gō) and "B9" (B群9号, Bī-gun Kyū-gō). He carries the Bagundada abacus which he uses to count the number of kills by the Go Group Grongi until Ichijo destroyed it with a marking bullet. This forces the purposeless Dorudo to fight for his life against Gadoru as Ichijo arrives to the scene, Dorudo ending up being killed by the Sugita and Sakurai using the completed nerve-breaking bullets.
Nu-Zajio-Re (ヌ・ザジオ・レ)
A salamander-like Grongi and the last of the Nu Group, labeled "Unidentified Life Form B14" (未確認生命体B群14号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Bī-gun Jū-yon-gō). Posing as a middle-aged man, Zajio manages to remain in hiding with his existence unknown to the police while creating the items used by the Grongi. With Goma's aid, Zajio obtains discarded pieces of Daguva's buckle and refines them to create a means for a Grongi to have the same abilities as Daguva and Kuuga, so those in the Gegeru can defend themselves against Daguva. In the end, Zajio is eventually killed by Daguva just as he finished his final work. Like Baruba, Zajio's true form was never revealed.
Zu-Goma-Gu (ズ・ゴオマ・グ, Zu Gōma Gu)
A photophobic vampire bat-like Grongi labeled "Unidentified Life Form 03" (未確認生命体第3号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Dai San-gō) and "B2" (B群2号, Bī-gun Ni-gō), Goma initially murdered a preacher named Father Jose and disguised himself to use a church as a base of operations before Ichijo uncovered the truth and the Grongi is ultimately forced to retreated. Following Zu being removed from play, wearing a trenchcoat and fedora to protect himself, Goma becomes Baruba's underling. But Goma retrieved a discarded piece of Daguva's buckle and had it refined before using it evolve himself into his Enhanced Form (強化体, Kyōkatai) to have freedom of movement in daylight. But it also increased Goma's bloodlust as he turns on Baruba and intended to kill Daguva to gain his power, driven off by Gadoru as the final stages of his evolution take effect. Fully evolved into his armored Ultimate Form (究極体, Kyūkyokutai), Goma nearly kills Kuuga when Daguva finally arrives. Goma runs off to fight Daguva, only to be slaughtered by him with his corpse used to develop the nerve-breaking bullets. Goma's name in Japanese comes from the readings for "fiend" (強魔, Gōma).
Zu-Zain-Da (ズ・ザイン・ダ)
The hotheaded rhinoceros-like leader of the Zu Group, labeled "Unidentified Life Form 22" (未確認生命体第22号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Dai Nijū-ni-gō) and "B3" (B群3号, Bī-gun San-gō), assuming the form of a hulking strongman with a temper. Soon after his group was removed from the Gegeru in favor of the Me Group, Zain starts acting on his own after the Grongi Tribe's first lair was raided, attacking trucks and impaling drivers with his horn. He overpowered Kuuga in both human and Grongi forms when Me-Biran-Gi (メ・ビラン・ギ) intervened as Zain stole his turn. While Zain resumes his attack on large motor vehicles, Yusuke manages to perfect his Mighty Kick to finally kill the Grongi.
Me-Garume-Re (メ・ガルメ・レ)
A smart chameleon-like Grongi, labeled "Unidentified Life Form 31" (未確認生命体第31号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Dai Sanjū-ichi-gō) and "B4" (B群4号, Bī-gun Yon-gō). Originally Zu-Garume-Re (ズ・ガルメ・レ), he is promoted between the Gegeru of Unidentified Life Forms 10 and 11, desiring to become a Go and played a part in murdering Nana's acting teacher. Posing as a man with wild blonde hair, Garume's turn came as he uses his cloaking abilities to hide at high areas, dragging his victims with his tongue to hang them while smashing their faces against a surface, announcing his next location to kill, going for the Komazawa Square and then at the Central Tower, where the police stand by. Learning of a five-minute window, the police attempt to use flash grenades to disrupt Garume's chromatic cellular makeup while learning the reason for the Grongi attacks. Though the visible Garume outruns the police, he runs into Kuuga as they battle. But once Garume turns invisible to escape, he is killed by Kuuga's Gouram-aided Blast Pegasus. The encounter with Garume, who tends to speak Japanese, together with Ichijo's experience with Baruba, leads to the police to realize that the Grongi are capable of speaking their language as well.
Me-Garima-Ba (メ・ガリマ・バ)
The mantis-like leader of the Me Group, labeled "Unidentified Life Form 36" (未確認生命体第36号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Dai Sanjū-roku-gō) and "B6" (B群6号, Bī-gun Roku-gō). Garima has a tattoo on her right pointer and thumbnails and a green streak in her hair while in her human form. While Garume begins his Gegeru, Garima receives a double-bladed scythe/lance as the Go arrive and she was on a train at the Ochanomizu Station, killing those in the 4th cabin as the others left. Deciding to continue playing as one of the Go, she tracks down the remaining the 288 who left the train prior and strikes them down with her weapon, her victims unaware of their death until they look back to face her. When Kuuga attempts to fight her in Titan Form on the Gouram, Garima manages to endure the Try Gouram Attack and escape in the confusion, wounded but able to continue the Gegeru with her scythe-katana. She was about to kill Sakurako when Yusuke arrives at her aid, assuming Rising Titan and running through Garima.
Go-Bada-Ba (ゴ・バダー・バ, Go Badā Ba)
A grasshopper-like Grongi, labeled "Unidentified Life Form 41" (未確認生命体第41号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Dai Yonjū-ichi-gō) and "B8" (B群8号, Bī-gun Hachi-gō). The first of the Go to appear when he intervenes in Kuuga's fight with Goma before leaving the scene and then formally introducing himself when Go-Bemiu-Gi (ゴ・ベミウ・ギ) starts to play. Assuming the form of a young man wearing a red scarf (which pays homage to Kamen Rider 1) and carrying a coin, Bada rides a motorcycle named the Bagibuson (バギブソン, Cyclone) as his weapon that can reach speeds of 400 km per hour. When his turn came, he begins to kill 99 motorcyclists. When the Try Chaser 2000 is damaged, Kuuga is left at a disadvantage as Bada leaves with a promise to save him in his Gerizagibas Gegeru. By the time Bada reached 98, he decides to finish off Kuuga. However, after being barraged with bullets, Bada is driven into a secluded location where Kuuga meets him on the Beat Chaser 2000, outrunning him and assuming Rising Mighty before he fatally knocked Bada off his motorcycle.
Go-Gadoru-Ba (ゴ・ガドル・バ)
The fierce rhinoceros beetle-like leader of the Go Group and one of the three strongest Go Grongi, labeled "Unidentified Life Form 46" (未確認生命体第46号, Mikakunin Seimeitai Dai Yonjū-roku-gō) and "B11" (B群11号, Bī-gun Jū-ichi-gō). Armed with various weapons similar to Kuuga, he assumes the form of a man in militant garb. As the Go's leader, he intervenes in the fight between Go-Zazaru-Ba (ゴ・ザザル・バ) and Goma and later comes to Baruba's aid against a power-mad Goma when Kuuga arrives to witness him putting the bat-like Grongi back in his place. With Daguva going to Tokyo soon, he and the other two remaining Go Grongi undergo the same process as Goma to ready themselves. After his two allies were killed, Gadoru is the last of the Grongi to play. After undergoing training to ready himself, Gadoru heads to the police department to find worthy opponents to fight as part of his Gerizagibas Gegeru. When confronted by Kuuga in his default Grapple Form (格闘体, Kakutōtai), Gadoru reveals his new ability to use the different powers of Kuuga, Quick Form (俊敏体, Shunbintai), Shooting Form (射撃体, Shagekitai), and Herculean Form (剛力体, Gōrikitai), before defeating Kuuga at full power in Shocker Form (電撃体, Dengekitai). But due to Ichijo, Gadoru's Gerizagibas Gegeru had to be reset as the Grongi attempts to kill Dorudo for failing his part. After Dorudo retreats, angry Gadoru attempts to kill Ichijo upon being wounded by the officer's nerve-breaking bullets as Yusuke arrives to battle the Grongi as Kuuga. Once taking their fight to the woods, Kuuga assumes Amazing Mighty and destroys Shocker Form Gadoru.

Episodes[edit]

The title of each episode is written with only two kanji.

  1. Revival (復活, Fukkatsu, 1/30/2000)
  2. Transformation (変身, Henshin, 2/6/2000)
  3. Tokyo (東京, Tōkyō, 2/13/2000)
  4. Sprint (疾走, Shissō, 2/20/2000)
  5. Distance (距離, Kyori, 2/27/2000)
  6. Azure Dragon (青龍, Seiryū, 3/5/2000)
  7. Grief (傷心, Shōshin, 3/12/2000)
  8. Archer (射手, Shashu, 3/19/2000)
  9. Siblings (兄妹, Kyōdai, 3/26/2000)
  10. Fierceness (熾烈, Shiretsu, 4/2/2000)
  11. Promise (約束, Yakusoku, 4/9/2000)
  12. Teacher (恩師, Onshi, 4/16/2000)
  13. Suspicion (不審, Fushin, 4/23/2000)
  14. Omen (前兆, Zenchō, 4/30/2000)
  15. Armor (装甲, Sōkō, 5/7/2000)
  16. Creed (信条, Shinjō, 5/14/2000)
  17. Preparation (臨戦, Rinsen, 5/21/2000)
  18. Loss (喪失, Sōshitsu, 5/28/2000)
  19. Artifact (霊石, Reiseki, 6/4/2000)
  20. Smile (笑顔, Egao, 6/11/2000)
  21. Secrets (暗躍, An'yaku, 6/25/2000)
  22. Game (遊戯, Yūgi, 7/2/2000)
  23. Uneasiness (不安, Fuan, 7/9/2000)
  24. Strengthening (強化, Kyōka, 7/16/2000)
  25. Wandering (彷徨, Hōkō, 7/23/2000)
  26. Myself (自分, Jibun, 7/30/2000)
  27. Ripple (波紋, Hamon, 8/6/2000)
  28. Clarification (解明, Kaimei, 8/13/2000)
  29. Crossroads (岐路, Kiro, 8/20/2000)
  30. Fate (運命, Unmei, 8/27/2000)
  31. Retaliation (応戦, Ōsen, 9/3/2000)
  32. Obstacle (障害, Shōgai, 9/10/2000)
  33. Cooperation (連携, Renkei, 9/17/2000)
  34. Tremble (戦慄, Senritsu, 10/1/2000)
  35. Emotion (愛憎, Aizō, 10/8/2000)
  36. Complication (錯綜, Sakusō, 10/15/2000)
  37. Approach (接近, Sekkin, 10/22/2000)
  38. Transition (変転, Henten, 10/29/2000)
  39. Goma (強魔, Gōma, 11/12/2000)
  40. Impulse (衝動, Shōdō, 11/19/2000)
  41. Control (抑制, Yokusei, 11/26/2000)
  42. Battlefield (戦場, Senjō, 12/3/2000)
  43. Reality (現実, Genjitsu, 12/10/2000)
  44. Crisis (危機, Kiki, 12/17/2000)
  45. Archenemy (強敵, Kyōteki, 12/24/2000)
  46. Indomitable (不屈, Fukutsu, 12/31/2000)
  47. Decision (決意, Ketsui, 1/7/2001)
  48. Kuuga (空我, Kūga, 1/14/2001)
  49. Yusuke (雄介, Yūsuke, 1/21/2001)

Specials[edit]

  • Kamen Rider Kuuga Super Secret Video: Kamen Rider Kuuga vs. the Strong Monster Go-Jiino-Da (仮面ライダークウガ 超ひみつビデオ 仮面ライダークウガVS剛力怪人ゴ・ジイノ・ダ, Kamen Raidā Kūga Chō Himitsu Bideo Kamen Raidā Kūga Bui Esu Gōriki Kaijin Go Jiino Da): Televi-Kun's special video. In the episode, Yusuke reads through newspaper clippings of his actions as Kuuga before he is called upon to fight a new Grongi called Go-Jiino-Da. The video also previews Kuuga's Rising Mighty Form.
  • Kamen Rider Kuuga: New Year Special (仮面ライダークウガ 新春スペシャル, Kamen Raidā Kūga Shinshun Supesharu, 1/2/2001): A rerun of Episodes 17 and 31, and an extra episode, labelled as Episode 46.5 First Dream of the New Year (初夢, Hatsuyume).
  • Good Job (乙彼(お疲れ), Otsukare): A short extra episode, jokingly labelled as "Episode 50".
  • Special Chapter (特別篇, Tokubetsuhen): It is compiled from the first two episodes with extra footage.

Production[edit]

Toei announced a new project, in May 1999. Kuuga was part of a Kamen Rider revival project that Ishinomori had worked on in 1997, planning for a leadup into the 30th anniversary. However, Ishinomori died before he could see these shows materialize. During the summer of 1999, Kuuga became publicized through magazine ads and commercials.

Kuuga also marks Toei's very first Kamen Rider series to be shot in 1080i, though the broadcast, including the recent home video releases, has been scaled down to Standard definition instead.

Manga[edit]

Kamen Rider Kuuga: Extra Episode "Trust" (仮面ライダークウガ エクストラエピソード「信頼」, Kamen Raidā Kūga Ekusutora Episōdo Shinrai) is a manga adaptation, published in the TeleCoro Comic magazine. It took place between Episodes 22 and 23.

In 2014, an manga adaptation of Kuuga is published, written by Toshiki Inoue and drawn by Hitotsu Yokoshima with the characters of Kamen Rider Agito added.

S.I.C. Hero Saga[edit]

Kuuga had two S.I.C. Hero Saga stories published in Monthly Hobby Japan magazine. The first titled Masked Rider Kuuga Edition: Odyssey (MASKED RIDER KUUGA EDITION -オデッセイ-, Masukudo Raidā Kūga Edishon Odessei) written by series producer Shigenori Takatera expands upon the mythology of Kuuga featuring original characters Riku (リク), the previous Kuuga chosen by the Linto, and the original N-Daguva-Zeba (Incomplete) (ン・ダグバ・ゼバ(不完全体), N Daguba Zeba (Fukanzentai)). The second story Masked Rider Kuuga Edition: Dark Side continues the expansion of the series mythology. Odyssey ran from February to May 2002. Dark Side ran in a separate special issue titled Hobby Japan Mook S.I.C. Official Diorama Story S.I.C. Hero Saga vol.2.

Odyssey chapter titles
  1. Linto (リント, Rinto)
  2. Grongi (グロンギ)
  3. Gouram (ゴウラム, Gōramu)
  4. Daguva (ダグバ, Daguba)

Novel[edit]

Kamen Rider Kuuga (仮面ライダークウガ, Kamen Raidā Kūga), written by Naruhisa Arakawa, is part of a series of spin-off novel adaptions of the Heisei Era Kamen Riders. The story takes place 12 years after the series, where Yusuke Godai defeated the Grongi as Kamen Rider Kuuga. Ichijo is still trying to research the remains of the Grongi Tribe until rumors of a mysterious "white warrior" (白い戦士, Shiroi Senshi) surfaces on the internet, which reminds Ichijo of Godai. The novel was originally planned to be released on November 30, 2012, however it was delayed until June 2013.

Video game[edit]

A video game based on the series, developed by KAZe and published by Bandai, was released in Japan on December 21, 2000 for the PlayStation. It is a fighting game similar to Tekken.

International broadcast[edit]

Cast[edit]

  • Yusuke Godai: Joe Odagiri (オダギリ ジョー, Odagiri Jō)
  • Kaoru Ichijo: Shingo Katsurayama (葛山 信吾, Katsurayama Shingo)
  • Sakurako Sawatari: Kazumi Murata (村田 和美, Murata Kazumi)
  • Pops (Tamasaburo Kazari): Kitaro (きたろう, Kitarō)
  • Minori Godai: Wakana Chizaki (千崎 若菜, Chizaki Wakana) (Played as Wakana Aoi (葵 若菜, Aoi Wakana))
  • Shuichi Tsubaki: Yoshitaka Otsuka (大塚 よしたか, Ōtsuka Yoshitaka)
  • Hikari Enokida: Kaori Mizushima (水島 かおり, Kaori Mizushima)
  • Nana Asahina: Shio Mizuhara (水原 詩生, Mizuhara Shio)
  • Jean Michel Sorrel: Serge Vasilov (セルジュ・ヴァシロフ, Seruju Vashirofu)
  • Mika Natsume: Yuka Takeshima (竹島 由夏, Takeshima Yuka)
  • Sadao Matsukura: Yudai Ishiyama (石山 雄大, Ishiyama Yūdai)
  • Morimichi Sugita: Takashi Matsuyama (松山 鷹志, Matsuyama Takashi)
  • Tsuyoshi Sakurai: Nobuyuki Yoneyama (米山 信之, Yoneyama Nobuyuki)
  • Nozomi Sasayama: Eri Tanaka (田中 恵理, Tanaka Eri)
  • Hitoshi Kashihara (柏原 仁, Kashiwabara Jin): Takashi Kikuchi (菊池 隆志, Kikuchi Takashi)
  • Junichi Shiina (椎名 純一, Shiina Jun'ichi): Makoto Hatayama (畠山 真, Hatayama Makoto)
  • Gohei Ebisawa (海老沢 吾平, Ebisawa Aira): Fujio Mori (森 富士夫, Mori Fujio)
  • Tsurumaru Kameyama (亀山 鶴丸, Kameyama Tsurumaru): Katsuaki Nishide (西手 勝秋, Nishide Katsuaki)
  • Akiji Kanzaki: Takashi Inoue (井上 高志, Inoue Takashi)
  • Junichi Chono: Daisuke Uchida (内田 大介, Uchida Daisuke)
  • Keiko Motoki (元城 恵子, Motoki Keiko): Rie Okada (岡田 理江, Okada Rie)
  • Atsuko Enokida (榎田 篤子, Enokida Atsuko): Machiko Naka (中 真千子, Naka Machiko)
  • Sae Enokida (榎田 冴, Enokida Sae): Kentaro Niibo (新穂 健太郎, Niibo Kentarō)
  • Hiroyuki Yashiro (社 広之, Yashiro Hiroyuki): Yutaro Kamata (鎌田 雄太郎, Kamata Yūtarō)
  • Shuto Terashima (寺島 周斗, Terashima Shūto): Tomoaki Takagi (高木 智晃, Takagi Tomoaki)
  • Kanako Suyama (須山 可奈子, Suyama Kanako): Yukako Mino (三野 友華子, Mino Yukako)
  • Woman With the Rose Tattoo (Ra-Baruba-De): Mie Nanamori (七森 美江, Nanamori Mie)
  • Zu-Goma-Gu: Mitsuru Fujio (藤生 みつる, Fujiō Mitsuru)
  • Zu-Zain-Da: Akira Nogami (野上 彰, Nogami Akira)
  • Me-Garume-Re: Masaharu Mori (森 雅晴, Mori Masaharu)
  • Me-Garima-Ba: Miho Kido (木戸 美歩, Kido Miho) (Played as Miho Iijima (飯島 美穂, Iijima Miho))
  • Nu-Zajio-Re: Tadashi Takatsuki (高月 忠, Takatsuki Tadashi)
  • Zu-Badzu-Ba (ズ・バヅー・バ, Zu Bazū Ba), Go-Bada-Ba: Nobuyuki Ogawa (小川 信行, Ogawa Nobuyuki)
  • Ra-Dorudo-Gu: Tenmei Basara (婆裟羅 天明, Basara Tenmei)
  • Go-Gadoru-Ba: Masato Gunji (軍司 眞人, Gunji Masato)
  • N-Daguva-Zeba: Kenji Urai (浦井 健治, Urai Kenji)
  • Narration: Fumihiko Tachiki (立木 文彦, Tachiki Fumihiko)

Theme songs[edit]

Opening theme
Ending theme
  • "Aozora ni Naru" (青空になる, "Become the Blue Sky")
    • Lyrics: Shoko Fujibayashi
    • Composition & Arrangement: Toshihiko Sahashi
    • Artist: Jin Hashimoto

See also[edit]

  • Odagiri effect – a television phenomenon named after Joe Odagiri which first occurred in Kamen Rider Kuuga.

References[edit]

External links[edit]