Kamen Rider Kuuga
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|Kamen Rider Kuuga|
Cover of the first Blu-ray Box.
|Created by||Shotaro Ishimori|
|Narrated by||Fumihiko Tachiki|
|Opening theme||"Kamen Rider Kuuga!" by Masayuki Tanaka|
|Ending theme||"Aozora ni Naru" by Jin Hashimoto|
|Country of origin||Japan|
|No. of episodes||49 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||23–25 minutes per episode|
|Production company(s)||Toei Company|
|Original network||TV Asahi|
|Original release||January 30, 2000– January 21, 2001|
|Preceded by||Kamen Rider J|
|Followed by||Kamen 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. 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 widescreen presented in a letterbox format.
Long ago, the Gurongi Tribe terrorized the Linto (リント Rinto) people, until a warrior named Kuuga appeared and defeated the Gurongi, sealing their leader within a cave. In the present day, Kuuga's mysterious stone belt is excavated, freeing the Gurongi in the process. A multi-talented man named Yusuke Godai finds himself drawn to the belt, while the Gurongi resume their murderous game on the descendants of the Linto, humanity itself. Yusuke, working alongside the assembled Science Police, uses Kuuga's various powers to defeat the Gurongi, to ensure the happiness and safety of others. However, as the endgame draws near, Yusuke learns of a horrible revelation between Kuuga and the Gurongis' leader.
Main and supporting characters
- Yusuke Godai (五代 雄介 Godai Yūsuke): A young, multi-talented man who dons the Arcle belt, which turns him into Kuuga. He is a happy-go-lucky and honest person that fights to "protect everyone's smiles". Yusuke works at the Pore-Pore Tea Cafe, and continuously attempts to master 2000 different skills and talents which he uses to help others. He and his sister, Minori, lost their mother while they were both young and their father when they were older. He was born in Hokkaidō Prefecture on March 18, 1975.
- Kaoru Ichijo (一条 薫 Ichijō Kaoru): The police inspector who is leading operative of the Science Police force formed for fighting the Gurongi. 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 Gurongi. He was born in Nagoya City in Aichi Prefecture on April 18, 1974. After the Gurongi were defeated, Ichijo returns to Nagano.
- Sakurako Sawatari (沢渡 桜子 Sawatari Sakurako): A friend of Yusuke who translates the ancient "Lintonese" transcripts that tell of Kuuga and the Gurongi. 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 younger sister who works a teacher at a local daycare. Yusuke will occasionally visit 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 Hokkaidō Prefecture on September 4, 1977.
- Shuichi Tsubaki (椿 秀一 Tsubaki Shūichi): A trusted friend of Ichijo, he is the doctor that 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 Gurongi victims in order to determine causes of death.
- Hikari Enokida (榎田 ひかり Enokida Hikari): Another old friend of Ichijo, she is in charge of the Science Division of the Police Department. She studies the biology of the Gurongi 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 Gurongi, she was away from home quite often and her child felt alone and neglected.
- Tamasaburo Kazari (飾 玉三郎 Kazari Tamasaburō): He was friends with the father of Yusuke and Minori, who affectionately refer to him as Oyassan (おやっさん) like everyone else. He owns and runs the Pore-Pore Tea Cafe. He is a goofy, light-hearted character that keeps a scrap book of all of Kuuga's exploits from the newspaper, though unaware of Yusuke being "Number 4" 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 niece, who helps out at the Pore-Pore Tea while aspiring to be an actress. However, since the death of her acting teacher at the hands of Gurongi, 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 university student from America 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 head of the security department of the Metropolitan Police Department with the head of the Unidentified Life Forms Joint Investigation headquarters.
- Morimichi Sugita (杉田 守道 Sugita Morimichi): A detective of Investigation Department 1 of the Metropolitan Police Department.
- Tsuyoshi Sakurai (桜井 剛 Sakurai Tsuyoshi): A detective of Investigation Department 1 of the Metropolitan Police Department.
- Nozomi Sasayama (笹山 望見 Sasayama Nozomi): A policewoman of the unidentified life forms joint investigation headquarters who sends communication from headquarters.
- Mika Natsume (夏目 実加 Natsume Mika): The daughter of Prof. Natsume, one of Daguva's victims, she was greatly depressed when her father's murder was being overlooked for the Gurongi attacks, taking the findings her father had at their house. But after Yusuke reasons with her, Mika decides to aid in the Gurongi 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 to not to run from her fear and continue. Three months later, Mika is attending a special college.
- Akiji Kanzaki (神崎 昭二 Kanzaki Akiji): Yusuke's 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 young troubled man, he saw the Gurongi as a salvation until he was saved by Kuuga. He later researched trying to make a living until he was knocked out by Gamego while on his way to a job interview.
The Gurongi 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".
In the series, the Gurongi 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 Final Gegeru. The game is overseen by the two Ra Gurongi, and the winner of the Final Gegeru receives the right to challenge their leader, N-Daguva-Zeba, for leadership of the Gurongi.
- N-Daguva-Zeba (ン･ダグバ･ゼバ N Daguba Zeba): The stag beetle-like lord of the Gurongi and primary antagonist of the series, given the codenames Unidentified Life Form #0 as his Imperfect Form and Unidentified Life Form #B13 as his human form. Spending most of the series killing 152 of his own kind who were unworthy to play in the Gurongi in Nagano, Daguva reveals himself to the police after killing Gooma and falling off the radar after six days of being sighted. After Gadoru is killed, he begins his endgame with an endless heavy rain and initiates a systematic genocide of all people in Japan. He is eventually killed by Yusuke in Kuuga Ultimate Form, bleeding to death and laughing in the hopes that Yusuke would become as violent as he is.
- Ra-Baruba-De (ラ･バルバ･デ Ra Baruba De): The first of the Ra to appear, assuming the form of a rose-tattooed woman, she is labelled Unidentified Life Form #B1. She serves as the judge for the Gurongi of the Zu and Me Group, and is responsible for authorizing any member of the Gurongi to enter the Gegeru. After several encounters with Kaoru Ichijo, and being wounded by him, she warns the other Gurongi to no longer underestimate the Linto. Once Daguva begins his rampage, she is encountered by Ichijo and hints that humans will soon become like the Gurongi before running off, with Ichijo being forced to shoot her with 8 Nerve-Breaking Bullets. Her body falls into the sea and is never found.
- Ra-Dorudo-Gu (ラ･ドルド･グ Ra Dorudo Gu): The condor-like Gurongi responsible for counting the kills by the Go Gurongi, Dorudo assumes the form of a robed man, and is known as Unidentified Life Form #47 and #B9. In battle, he wields a pair of tonfa as his weapons. After his abacus is shattered by Ichijo, he is forced to reveal his Gurongi form in a hit and run attempt to kill him, losing his status as the game's overseer and being forced to fight for his life against Gadoru and is killed by Sugita and Sakurai with the newly completed Nerve-Breaking Bullets.
The title of each episode was written with only two kanji, with the exception of Episode 6, "Azure Dragon".
- Revival (復活 Fukkatsu, 1/30/2000)
- Transformation (変身 Henshin, 2/6/2000)
- Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō, 2/13/2000)
- Sprint (疾走 Shissō, 2/20/2000)
- Distance (距離 Kyori, 2/27/2000)
- Azure Dragon (青龍 Seiryū, 3/5/2000)
- Grief (傷心 Shōshin, 3/12/2000)
- Archer (射手 Shashu, 3/19/2000)
- Siblings (兄妹 Kyōdai, 3/26/2000)
- Fierceness (熾烈 Shiretsu, 4/2/2000)
- Promise (約束 Yakusoku, 4/9/2000)
- Teacher (恩師 Onshi, 4/16/2000)
- Suspicion (不審 Fushin, 4/23/2000)
- Omen (前兆 Zenchō, 4/30/2000)
- Armor (装甲 Sōkō, 5/7/2000)
- Creed (信条 Shinjō, 5/14/2000)
- Preparation (臨戦 Rinsen, 5/21/2000)
- Loss (喪失 Sōshitsu, 5/28/2000)
- Artifact (霊石 Reiseki, 6/4/2000)
- Smile (笑顔 Egao, 6/11/2000)
- Secrets (暗躍 An'yaku, 6/25/2000)
- Game (遊戯 Yūgi, 7/2/2000)
- Uneasiness (不安 Fuan, 7/9/2000)
- Strengthening (強化 Kyōka, 7/16/2000)
- Wandering (彷徨 Hōkō, 7/23/2000)
- Myself (自分 Jibun, 7/30/2000)
- Ripple (波紋 Hamon, 8/6/2000)
- Clarification (解明 Kaimei, 8/13/2000)
- Crossroads (岐路 Kiro, 8/20/2000)
- Fate (運命 Unmei, 8/27/2000)
- Retaliation (応戦 Ōsen, 9/3/2000)
- Obstacle (障害 Shōgai, 9/10/2000)
- Cooperation (連携 Renkei, 9/17/2000)
- Tremble (戦慄 Senritsu, 10/1/2000)
- Emotion (愛憎 Aizō, 10/8/2000)
- Complication (錯綜 Sakusō, 10/15/2000)
- Approach (接近 Sekkin, 10/22/2000)
- Transition (変転 Henten, 10/29/2000)
- Gooma (強魔 Gōma, 11/12/2000)
- Impulse (衝動 Shōdō, 11/19/2000)
- Control (抑制 Yokusei, 11/26/2000)
- Battlefield (戦場 Senjō, 12/3/2000)
- Reality (現実 Genjitsu, 12/10/2000)
- Crisis (危機 Kiki, 12/17/2000)
- Archenemy (強敵 Kyōteki, 12/24/2000)
- Indomitable (不屈 Fukutsu, 12/31/2000)
- Decision (決意 Ketsui, 1/7/2001)
- Kuuga (空我 Kūga, 1/14/2001)
- Yusuke (雄介 Yūsuke, 1/21/2001)
- 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 Gurongi called Go-Jiino-Da. The video also previews Kuuga 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.
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 takes place between Episodes 22 and 23.
S.I.C. Hero Saga
Kuuga had two S.I.C. Hero Saga stories published in Monthly Hobby Japan magazine. The first titled Masked Rider Kuuga: Odyssey (MASKED RIDER KUUGA -オデッセイ- Kamen Raidā Kūga -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: Dark Side (MASKED RIDER KUUGA -DARK SIDE- Kamen Raidā Kūga: Dāku Saido) continues the expansion of the series mythology. Odyssey ran from February to May 2002. Dark Side ran in a separate special issue titles Hobby Japan Mook S.I.C. Official Diorama Story S.I.C. Hero Saga vol.2.
- Odyssey chapter titles
- Linto (リント Rinto)
- Gurongi (グロンギ Gurongi)
- Gouram (ゴウラム Gōramu)
- Daguva (ダグバ Daguba)
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 Gurongi as Kamen Rider Kuuga. Ichijo is still trying to research the remains of the Gurongi Tribe until rumors of a mysterious "white warrior" (白い戦士 shiroi senshi) surfaces 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.
- Yusuke Godai (五代 雄介 Godai Yūsuke): Joe Odagiri (オダギリ ジョー Odagiri Jō)
- Kaoru Ichijo (一条 薫 Ichijō Kaoru): Shingo Katsurayama (葛山 信吾 Katsurayama Shingo)
- Sakurako Sawatari (沢渡 桜子 Sawatari Sakurako): Kazumi Murata (村田 和美 Murata Kazumi)
- Oyassan (Tamasaburo Kazari) (おやっさん（飾 玉三郎） Oyassan (Kazari Tamasaburō)): Kitaro (きたろう Kitarō)
- Minori Godai (五代 みのり Godai Minori): Wakana Chizaki (千崎 若菜 Chizaki Wakana) (Played as Wakana Aoi (葵 若菜 Aoi Wakana))
- Shuichi Tsubaki (椿 秀一 Tsubaki Shūichi): Yoshitaka Otsuka (大塚 よしたか Ōtsuka Yoshitaka)
- Hikari Enokida (榎田 ひかり Enokida Hikari): Kaori Mizushima (水島 かおり Kaori Mizushima)
- Nana Asahina (朝比奈 奈々 Asahina Nana): Shio Mizuhara (水原 詩生 Mizuhara Shio)
- Jean Michel Sorrel (ジャン・ミッシェル・ソレル Jan Missheru Soreru): Serge Vasilov (セルジュ・ヴァシロフ Seruju Vashirofu)
- Mika Natsume (夏目 実加 Natsume Mika): Yuka Takeshima (竹島 由夏 Takeshima Yuka)
- Sadao Matsukura (松倉 貞雄 Matsukura Sadao): Yudai Ishiyama (石山 雄大 Ishiyama Yūdai)
- Morimichi Sugita (杉田 守道 Sugita Morimichi): Takashi Matsuyama (松山 鷹志 Matsuyama Takashi)
- Tsuyoshi Sakurai (桜井 剛 Sakurai Tsuyoshi): Nobuyuki Yoneyama (米山 信之 Yoneyama Nobuyuki)
- Nozomi Sasayama (笹山 望見 Sasayama Nozomi): Eri Tanaka (田中 恵理 Tanaka Eri)
- Hitoshi Kashiwabara (柏原 仁 Kashiwabara Hitoshi): Takashi Kikuchi (菊池 隆志 Kikuchi Takashi)
- Junichi Shiina (椎名 純一 Shiina Jun'ichi): Makoto Hatayama (畠山 真 Hatayama Makoto)
- Tatsuhiko Ebisawa (海老沢 達彦 Ebisawa Tatsuhiko): 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 (神崎 昭二 Kanzaki Akiji): Takashi Inoue (井上 高志 Inoue Takashi)
- Junichi Chono (蝶野 潤一 Chōno Jun'ichi): 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)
- Sayuru Enokida (榎田 冴 Enokida Sayuru): 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)
- Ra-Baruba-De (Rose-Tattooed Woman) (ラ・バルバ・デ（バラのタトゥの女） Ra Baruba De (Bara no Tatu no On'na)): Mie Nanamori (七森 美江 Nanamori Mie)
- Ra-Dorudo-Gu (ラ・ドルド・グ Ra Dorudo Gu): Tenmei Basara (婆裟羅 天明 Basara Tenmei)
- Zu-Zain-Da (ズ・ザイン・ダ Zu Zain Da): Akira Nogami (野上 彰 Nogami Akira)
- Zu-Gooma-Gu (ズ・ゴオマ・グ Zu Gōma Gu): Mitsuru Fujio (藤生 みつる Fujiō Mitsuru)
- Zu-Baduu-Ba (ズ・バヅー・バ Zu Bazū Ba), Go-Badaa-Ba (ゴ・バダー・バ Go Badā Ba): Nobuyuki Ogawa (小川 信行 Ogawa Nobuyuki)
- Nu-Zajio-Re (ヌ・ザジオ・レ Nu Zajio Re): Tadashi Takatsuki (高月 忠 Takatsuki Tadashi)
- Me-Biran-Gi (メ・ビラン・ギ Me Biran Gi): Hironobu Ohashi (大橋 寛展 Ōhashi Hironobu)
- Me-Garume-Re (メ・ガルメ・レ Me Garume Re): Masaharu Mori (森 雅晴 Mori Masaharu)
- Me-Garima-Ba (メ・ガリマ・バ Me Garima Ba): Miho Kido (木戸 美歩 Kido Miho) (Played as Miho Iijima (飯島 美穂 Iijima Miho))
- Go-Buuro-Gu (ゴ・ブウロ・グ Go Būro Gu): Koichi Takao (高尾 晃市 Takao Kōichi)
- Go-Bemiu-Gi (ゴ・ベミウ・ギ Go Bemiu Gi): Seiko Ito (伊藤 聖子 Itō Seiko)
- Go-Gamego-Re (ゴ・ガメゴ・レ Go Gamego Re): Kazuyoshi Sakai (酒井 一圭 Sakai Kazuyoshi)
- Go-Jaraji-Da (ゴ・ジャラジ・ダ Go Jaraji Da): Masayoshi Okawa (大川 征義 Ōkawa Masayoshi)
- Go-Zazaru-Ba (ゴ・ザザル・バ Go Zazaru Ba): Chiaki Sato (佐藤 千秋 Satō Chiaki) (Played as Chiaki Asakura (朝倉 ちあき Asakura Chiaki))
- Go-Jaaza-Gi (ゴ・ジャーザ・ギ Go Jāza Gi): Sumire Arai (あらい すみれ Arai Sumire)
- Go-Baberu-Da (ゴ・バベル・ダ Go Baberu Da): Kensho Sakurai (桜井 顕生 Sakurai Kenshō)
- Go-Gadoru-Ba (ゴ・ガドル・バ Go Gadoru Ba): Masato Gunji (軍司 眞人 Gunji Masato)
- N-Daguva-Zeba (ン・ダグバ・ゼバ N Daguba Zeba): Kenji Urai (浦井 健治 Urai Kenji)
- Narration: Fumihiko Tachiki (立木 文彦 Tachiki Fumihiko)
- Opening theme
- "Kamen Rider Kuuga!" (仮面ライダークウガ! Kamen Raidā Kūga!)
- Ending theme
- "Aozora ni Naru" (青空になる, "Into the Blue Sky")
- Lyrics: Shoko Fujibayashi
- Composition: Toshihiko Sahashi
- Artist: Jin Hashimoto (橋本 仁 Hashimoto Jin)
- Odagiri effect - a television phenomenon named after Joe Odagiri which first occurred in Kamen Rider Kuuga.