Kamen Rider Kuuga (character)
Kamen Rider Kuuga (仮面ライダークウガ Kamen Raidā Kūga) is a fictional superhero who serves as the protagonist and eponymous character of the 2000 Kamen Rider Series Kamen Rider Kuuga. Unlike other Heisei Rider series that have at least 2 characters who are considered Kamen Riders, Kuuga is the only Kamen Rider appearing in this series. He is referred to simply as Kuuga. His motif is the stag beetle. Kuuga's name in Japanese comes from the readings for "clear-self" (空我 Kūga). "Godai" translates to "five great" and is also one of the names for the five elements in Japanese philosophy. This relates to Kuuga's forms and their relations the five elements.
Yusuke Godai (五代 雄介 Godai Yūsuke, portrayed by Joe Odagiri) is a young, happy-go-lucky, multi-talented man said to possess 1999 (later 2000) different abilities. He is an honest person who fights to protect everyone's smile. He and his younger sister, Minori, lost their mother while they were young and later their father in Afghanistan when they were living with their father's friend Tamasaburo Kazari. Yusuke's trademark, along with his positive-thinking ideology, is to always give a thumbs up (the Roman sign to convey that everything is alright) to everybody around him.
On the day he returns to Japan from Indonesia with a mask for Sakurako Sawatari, at the airport, Yusuke's life changes. Sawatari had assisted in Professor Natsume's archaeological finding of the Linto (リント Rinto) Tribe and a mummified corpse. The finding creates a disruption, unsealing a strange monster who attacks the archaeologists. Receiving a distress call from them, Yusuke goes to the excavation site, seeing the light that marks the rebirth of the Gurongi Tribe. Arriving at the scene at daybreak, he finds the police investigating and meets detective Kaoru Ichijo and finds a strange belt tied to the visions he's been seeing. He later meets Ichijo as he and Sawatari are brought to the police station to learn that the archaeologists were slaughtered by the mysterious monster, later referred to as "Unidentified Life Form #0", before being given the belt, the Arcle, to translate the markings on it.
However, as they leave, the two encounter the Gurongi Zu-Gumun-Ba attacking the station. Upon being revived, Yusuke puts on the Arcle to fight him. The belt fused onto him as he assumes Kuuga's Growing Form and saves Ichijo from the Gurongi, while the detective recognized Yusuke. Following the fight Yusuke took an 11-hour rest. Afterwards Sawatari suggests they return to Tokyo as Ichijo visits, telling him not to meddle in police affairs and to go see Shuichi Tsubaki. Later that night, Yusuke goes against Ichijo's wishes to help fight Zu-Gooma-Gu, only to be beaten by the stronger monster and later get chewed up by Ichijo. After seeing the daughter of the late Professor Natsume cry over her father's death, Yusuke resolves to fight to keep people from suffering. This allows him to assume Mighty Form, taking name of "Kuuga" as he saves Ichijo from Gooma and destroys Gumun. Starting with inspector Ichijo, Yusuke eventually gains the trust of the police force by receiving the TryChaser 2000 from Ichijo. While brought to doctor Shuichi Tsubaki for a confidential check-up, Yusuke learns that the Arcle's fusion onto him is more complex as it had spread into his muscular and nervous systems.
During his first battle with Zu-Baduu-Ba, Kuuga assumes Dragon Form and eventually masters it with Sawatari's aid to kill Baduu. Then while fighting Me-Badjisu-Ba, Kuuga assumes Pegasus Form but is overwhelmed by his enhanced senses as Badjisu escapes, vowing revenge on Kuuga. Unable to change, Yusuke decides to help Ichijo by finding Mika Natsume, who is on the verge of suicide because her father's murderer was not yet caught. After talking to Mika, Badjisu attacks and Yusuke is able to effectively use Pegasus Form's power to kill the Gurongi sniper. While dealing with Me-Giiga-Gi and Minori's apprehensive feelings for being Kuuga, Yusuke takes Titan Form to defeat Giiga after convincing Minori that it will be all right.
On the way reunite with his teacher, Shoji Kanzaki, Yusuke must ask Sawatari to go in his place, as he has to deal with the rampaging Zu-Zain-Da. During the fight Kuuga is overwhelmed by the Gurongi's power, which leaves even his Mighty Kick useless. Yusuke however, perfects his Mighty Kick in the next encounter, destroying the Gurongi and fulfilling his promise to Kanzaki. Yusuke later meets Junichi Chono, a young man who lost his faith in humanity and thought he could relate more to the Gurongi. However, his encounter with Me-Biran-Gi proves otherwise when Kuuga saves the boy before killing the Gurongi. During the fight however, Yusuke feels the reawakening of the Gouram as it was excavated and whirled to life to make its way towards him, providing its power for him to counter Me-Gyarido-Gi.
Later, Yusuke survives poisoning by Me-Ginoga-De, due to the Amadam countering the poison with shock therapy. He comes to the police's aid to destroy Ginoga and later his clone. Following that, Yusuke begins to feel a numbing pain during his next few battles as Kuuga against stronger Gurongi, learning that it may be tied to a greater power that may be needed as he believes that stronger Gurongi will eventually appear. After training to bring out the "golden power" with Enokida's help, Yusuke's battle against Me-Garima-Ba leads to an upgraded version of Kuuga's Titan Form, Rising Titan.
The next two fights allow Yusuke to become Rising Pegasus Form and Rising Dragon Form while learning that the Arcle had fused further into his body. After healing from wounds delivered by Go-Gamego-Re, Yusuke meets Chono who had become an artist since their last encounter before finding the Gurongi and killing him once achieving Rising Mighty Form. He accidentally caused mass devastation in the process. Due to the incident, the BeatChaser 2000 would not be given to Kuuga as the Go-Badaa-Ba finally begins to play, saving Kuuga as his final victim. While Ichijo convinces his fellow officers, Yusuke is aided by Morimichi Sugita in tracking down Badaa until Ichijo arrives with the BeatChaser, which allows Kuuga to destroy Badaa. However, the incident with the sadistic Go-Jaraji-Da influences Yusuke's behavior for the worse, causing him to subconsciously assume Kuuga's Ultimate Form while killing the Gurongi in a brutal rage.
Later, Yusuke goes to Enokida to investigate how he turns everyday objects into weapons like the Go Gurongi before going after Go-Zazaru-Ba. When he battles an evolving Gooma, he worries that two Gurongi fighting each other was a very bad omen. This is made worse when Yusuke learns the "Kuuga" character is actually an incomplete Gurongi character. Kuuga may be tied to Number 0, later revealed as the Gurongi lord N-Daguva-Zeba when he arrived to slaughter Gooma before going to Tokyo for end-game. Yusuke's fears were confirmed as Sawatari fully translates the Linto text and the Gurongi characters on it, revealing his mental well-being during the incident with Jaraji while also realizing that he'll be alright as long as he doesn't fight out of hate. After learning from Enokida that the Gurongi may share Kuuga's ability to change form, Yusuke leaves when Go-Jaaza-Gi makes her move. During a flawed attempt to get her, Kuuga senses Daguva and gets hurt while his guard is down before he finally kills Jaaza in the next confrontation. After a post-discussion of the recent Gurongi/Kuuga connections after the death of Go-Baberu-Da, Yusuke makes his way to the 12th Arikawa Group Flute Competition, having a brush with Daguva before arriving to the Arikawa Group building after a hostage situation is resolved with Mika traumatized by the incident. As he escorts Mika to her train, Yusuke tells her not to run away even if things get scary.
During the battle with the last of the Go Gurongi, Go-Gadoru-Ba, Kuuga is overwhelmed by the Gurongi's ability to assume forms similar to his own. Severely wounded as a result, Yusuke is brought to the hospital where after a question of ethics, Tsubaki agrees to induce an electro-therapy charge after her heart gave out. By the time she leaves the hospital, Yusuke arrives to the stadium where Gadoru is fighting Ra-Dorudo-Gu. However in the ensuing rematch, Kuuga assumes the dark-armored Kuuga Amazing Mighty Form to kill Gadoru. With all the Gurongi warriors dead, Daguva finally reveals himself, overpowering Kuuga's Amazing Mighty Form and cracking the Amadam while killing numerous people. He spares Kuuga so he can get even stronger.
Knowing that he has no choice but to break his word and assume that form, Yusuke pays visits to his friends one-by-one, knowing that he may not come back, with Sawatari realizing his intentions as Daguva finally makes his move, telling Yusuke to meet him at Mount Kuro. With Ichijo joining him, Yusuke tells him to shoot him in the Arcle should he go berserk and become the entity that brings ultimate darkness, though the officer is reluctant to do that. Ichijo also apologizes to Yusuke for dragging him this far, though he only wants an adventure, but Yusuke doesn't think of this as a burden because it allowed him to meet and befriend Ichijo.
Once assuming Ultimate Form, powered by his gentle nature rather than hatred, Kuuga battles Daguva to the point of exhaustion, continuing even when both revert to human form and nearly gets himself killed. However, despite both coming out of the fight badly wounded, Daguva dies from his wounds while Yusuke survives. Three months after the final battle, Yusuke had begun a new adventure to travel the world, starting at a Cuban beach where he helps some kids before walking off, continuing his adventure.
Kamen Rider Kuuga
Kuuga has eleven forms in total (with an additional form appearing in the movie Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker with his alternate incarnation). His first form is Growing Form. He has four base forms that he relies on and would upgrade throughout the series that he can alternate between by saying "Super Transformation!" (超変身! Chō Henshin!). His armor can change color depending on the form being used at the time. Like the Go Gurongi, Kuuga can alter any item he has into a weapon by temporarily changing its atomic structure. Later in the series, it was revealed that Kuuga may have been from Gurongi origin instead of the Linto.
Growing Form (グローイングフォーム Gurōingu Fōmu) is Kuuga's first, weakest form. Kuuga reverts to his Growing Form if seriously injured and then is unable to transform for 2 hours. In the first few episodes, he is labelled as "Unidentified Life Form #2" (未確認生命体第2号 Mikakunin Seimeitai Dai Nigō) and thought to be a different being from his other form. Although his power is weaker in this form, he can still use a weaker version of his finisher, called Growing Kick (グローイングキック Gurōingu Kikku), though it's only 1/3 as powerful as the Mighty Kick. Therefore, Kuuga must strike his opponent three consecutive times to destroy him. While in the series Kuuga's forms are called by colors, the Growing Form is called the White Kuuga (白のクウガ Shiro no Kūga).
Mighty Form (マイティフォーム Maiti Fōmu) is Kuuga's default form and has red armor, originally referred to by the police as "Unidentified Life Form #4" (未確認生命体第4号 Mikakunin Seimeitai Dai Yongō). Yusuke was first able to transform into this form while fighting Zu-Gooma-Gu. In this form, Kuuga uses his Rider Kick the Mighty Kick (マイティキック Maiti Kikku) attack to kill the Gurongi. Later in the series, Mighty Form was enhanced by the golden power into Rising Mighty (ライジングマイティ Raijingu Maiti), with golden trimmings. The Mighty Anklet (マイティアンクレット Maiti Ankuretto) attaches to the right leg, upgrading Kuuga's Rider Kick to the Rising Mighty Kick (ライジングマイティキック Raijingu Maiti Kikku), which destroys his target and unleashes an explosion with a 3000-meter blast radius. By episode 46, Kuuga's Rising Mighty had become permanent and further advanced into the gold-trimmed and black-armored Amazing Mighty (アメイジングマイティ Ameijingu Maiti), which seems to be a perfect "Mighty-Type" form. He gains an additional Mighty Anklet, and it is attached to the left leg. Then both Mighty Anklets together, can deliver the deadly Amazing Mighty Kick (アメイジングマイティキック Ameijingu Maiti Kikku) dropkick attack. But even with Amazing Mighty, he was easily defeated by the Gurongi's leader, N-Daguva-Zeba. While in the series Kuuga's forms are called by colors, the Mighty Form is called the Red Kuuga (赤のクウガ Aka no Kūga).
Dragon Form (ドラゴンフォーム Doragon Fōmu) is a blue form that allows Kuuga to be more agile and quicker, but his physical strength is lower than Mighty Form. Dragon Form enables Kuuga to run and jump quickly in order to pursue the enemy. However, it also gives Kuuga less protection, yet it is better-suited for quick movements and more jump power. To make up for his lack of strength, he uses the Dragon Rod (ドラゴンロッド Doragon Roddo) staff as his weapon, transformed from any long pole or stick-like object. His finishing move is Splash Dragon (スプラッシュドラゴン Supurasshu Doragon), an aerial thrust attack to the torso. Dragon Form was later upgraded by the golden power into Rising Dragon (ライジングドラゴン Raijingu Doragon), gaining a golden trim with his weapon enhanced into the Rising Dragon Rod (ライジングドラゴンロッド Raijingu Doragon Roddo) voulge and his finishing move improved into Rising Splash Dragon (ライジングスプラッシュドラゴン Raijingu Supurasshu Doragon). While in the series Kuuga's forms are called by colors, the Dragon Form is called the Blue Kuuga (青のクウガ Ao no Kūga).
Pegasus Form (ペガサスフォーム Pegasasu Fōmu) is a green form where Kuuga's senses are heightened to extreme, superhuman levels, enabling him to see, hear, and hit his opponents with deadly precision. It also allows Kuuga to detect the enemy's position, despite whatever ability they may have to avoid detection. However the drawback is that he can only stay in this form for a limited amount of time, due to over-stimulation on his nervous system (only 50 seconds), and if Kuuga was to exceed this limit, he will forcefully revert to Growing Form. Kuuga uses the Pegasus Bowgun (ペガサスボウガン Pegasasu Bōgan) crossbow, created out of any gun-like object, commonly Ichijo's hand gun. His finishing move is Blast Pegasus (ブラストペガサス Burasuto Pegasasu), a blinding fast arrow shot from the bowgun. Once he upgraded to Rising Pegasus (ライジングペガサス Raijingu Pegasasu), Kuuga's time limit gets extended by 30 seconds (1 minute and 20 seconds) and can use the Rising Pegasus Bowgun (ライジングペガサスボウガン Raijingu Pegasasu Bōgan), an upgraded bowgun for his Rising Blast Pegasus (ライジングブラストペガサス Raijingu Burasuto Pegasasu), which rapidly fires three arrows. While in the series Kuuga's forms are called by colors, the Pegasus Form is called the Green Kuuga (緑のクウガ Midori no Kūga).
Titan Form (タイタンフォーム Taitan Fōmu) is a purple form with increased defense, allowing him to withstand most attacks long enough to attack at close range by sacrificing his speed. This form has much larger armor, which is mainly silver with large purple trimmings. Although this armor provides superior protection, it still leaves parts of his body exposed, thereby making him still susceptible to damage. He uses the Titan Sword (タイタンソード Taitan Sōdo) that can be created out of short pole, blades or stick-like objects, normally the control handle of his bike. His finishing move is Calamity Titan (カラミティタイタン Karamiti Taitan), a powerful sword thrust when Kuuga twists the blade after it is impaled. This was also the first form to be upgraded by the newly found golden power, becoming Rising Titan (ライジングタイタン Raijingu Taitan), turning his armor purple with gold trimmings. As a result, Kuuga can now use the longer and bigger Rising Titan Sword (ライジングタイタンソード Raijingu Taitan Sōdo) for the Rising Calamity Titan (ライジングカラミティタイタン Raijingu Karamiti Taitan) attack, or he can create an additional Rising Titan Sword to use in the even stronger Double Rising Calamity Titan (ダブルライジングカラミティタイタン Daburu Raijingu Karamiti Taitan) attack. While in the series Kuuga's forms are called by colors, the Titan Form is called the Purple Kuuga (紫のクウガ Murasaki no Kūga).
Ultimate Form (アルティメットフォーム Arutimetto Fōmu) is the most powerful and dangerous form of Kuuga, which combines the powers of all his past forms together, it has black armor with both gold and "slightly visible" silver trim all over his body. Ultimate Kuuga has a much different design, with five horns and a black belt core, as well as spiky-looking armor. However the most dangerous risk was that Yusuke would lose control and become like Daguva, a monster bent on destroying everyone and everything; a living weapon whose only purpose is to fight endlessly. However, due to Yusuke's gentle and kind nature, he manages to retain his will as he uses the newly unlocked form against Daguva, retaining the Red Eyes (レッドアイ Reddo Ai) color of Mighty Form, opposed to the original Black Eyes/Dark Eyes (ブラックアイ／ダークアイ Burakku Ai/Dāku Ai). When in battle, Ultimate Kuuga is able to see a monster's human form, and every attack he deals causes his opponent to bleed, no matter how powerful the enemy's armor may be. This form can also utilize the same powers as Daguva, which includes pyrokinesis, as well as utilizing the Dragon Rod, Pegasus Bowgun, and Titan Sword, with similar "Rising"-type weapons, but in a black-gold color scheme, but this was never shown in the series. Kuuga Ultimate Form's most powerful attack, is the Ultimate Kick (アルティメットキック Arutimetto Kikku), which is stated to be able to destroy the whole universe at its full power. This form was also known as the Supreme Warrior (凄まじき戦士 Susamajiki Senshi) and Ultimate Kuuga (アルティメットクウガ Arutimetto Kūga). Kuuga Rising Ultimate (ライジングアルティメット Raijingu Arutimetto) was first appeared in Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker and first used by his A.R. World counterpart, Yusuke Onodera when he was attacked and brainwashed by the Stone of Earth used by High Priestess Bishium. In which later first appeared in the last special episode of Kamen Rider Wizard, marked as his first time using this form. Much like Kuuga's other forms that were given a "Rising" upgrade, Rising Ultimate is evolved and true form of Kuuga's Ultimate Form. In this form, Kuuga has a Rider Kick called the Rising Ultimate Kick (ライジングアルティメットキック Raijingu Arutimetto Kikku) and the flaming Rising Ultimate Punch (ライジングアルティメットパンチ Raijingu Arutimetto Panchi).
The Arcle (アークル Ākuru) is an ancient belt created by the Linto tribe and used by the previous Kuuga. While being attacked by Zu-Gumun-Ba, Yusuke grabbed the belt and after putting it on, it immediately fused into his body. When he transforms it reappears around his waist and is always the same color as his current form. A stone embedded in the belt, called Amadam (アマダム Amadamu), is the source of Kuuga's power and able to extend the lifespan of a person. Furthermore, the Amadam is present in Daguva as well.
The Gouram (ゴウラム Gōramu) is a mysterious, stag beetle-shaped entity formed from the fragments found at the original excavation site. After its initial formation, the Gouram assimilated various other metals as it made its way to Tokyo and find Kuuga. It assists Kuuga in aerial transportation and becoming barding or horse's armor for Kuuga's bike. However, after a certain amount of time, it reverts to its shattered fragments until Yusuke replenishes it by touching its Amadam. It is very maneuverable and capable of a top air speed of 500 km/h (310.69 mph). However, after it became exposed to the golden power, Gouram returns to the Police Science Division in a new, different color, as well in one piece.
The TryChaser 2000 (TRCS 2000) (トライチェイサー2000 Torai Cheisā Nisen) is Kuuga's personal bike. A new model of police motorcycle, it was designed to be faster and powerful than the conventional bikes utilized by the police force. Its other unique feature is its activation: To activate, it requires both the Try-Acceler Rod, the bike's right grip that functions as a start-up key, and a four-digit keycode. Ichijo would give the prototype to Yusuke, believing he is the only one who can successfully beat the Unidentified Life Forms. Yusuke would later alter TryChaser's color scheme via a keycode, giving it its signature red, white, and gold look with the Kuuga insignia on it. It is broken mid-series when Kuuga fights with Go-Badaa-Ba.
The TryGouram (トライゴウラム Torai Gōramu) is what ultimately results when the Gouram finally finds Kuuga. It attaches itself to the TRCS 2000 as armor. While in this form the bike is faster and capable of ramming opponents via the TryGouram Attack (トライゴウラムアタック Torai Gōramu Atakku) in a similar manner to Kuuga's Mighty Kick.
The BeatChaser 2000 (BTCS 2000) (ビートチェイサー2000 Bīto Cheisā Nisen) is an upgraded model of the TryChaser 2000 that was designed specifically for Kuuga, it is faster and more durable than the TRCS model and more resistant to the corression caused by Gouram. Yusuke utilized this bike in order to track down and defeat Go-Badaa-Ba. Like the TryChaser, this vehicle was also upgradable by the Gouram and even Kuuga's golden power.
The BeatGouram (ビートゴウラム Bīto Gōramu), like Try Goram, is the combination of the BeatChaser 2000 and the Gouram. It is later enhanced by Kuuga's golden power to become the Rising BeatGouram (ライジングビートゴウラム Raijingu Bīto Gōramu). Unlike its TryChaser incarnation, the Gouram returns to the Police Science Division when inactive, now intact and in a different color. It was used only once, in order to destroy Go-Baberu-Da.
- Televi-Kun, March 2009.
- Televi Magazine, January 2001.
- In In the Kamen Rider Kuuga video game for the PlayStation, as well as in the Kamen Rider Decade Super Adventure DVD, Kuuga performs the attack with one leg.
- The attack is formally named during the recap in Kamen Rider Kuuga vs. the Strong Monster Go-Jiino-Da.