Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark
Category Year 1974 Subtitle English sub Watch Now

Five Riders vs. King Dark tentatively titled Kamen Rider vs. King Dark is the second movie based off the Kamen Rider Series, Kamen Rider X. It unites the first five Kamen Riders.

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark is the sole original theatrical work accompanying the TV show Kamen Rider X. Earlier in March of 1974, the third episode was trimmed to Cinemesco size and screened as part of the spring box office at Toei Manga Festival. Although the central hero of this movie is indeed Kamen Rider X, the name of a specific Kamen Rider is not attached to the title for the first time in the Kamen Rider Series.

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark

In the year of production, 1974 (Showa 49), the “henshin boom” caused by Kamen Rider had passed its peak and Mazinger Z, produced by Toei Animation for Fuji Television, represented a new exciting phenomenon for young audiences, giant robot animation. As a result, the giant robot King Dark was introduced in the X TV series as the leader of G.O.D.. This film reflects the process of conversion as the series’ antagonists changed from Shinwakaijin (Mythical Monsters) under Apollogeist and the G.O.D. Secret Police, to the Akuninkaijin (Villain Monsters) led by King Dark. Chiko and Mako feature as supporting characters.

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark was screened with Mazinger Z vs Great General of Darkness as part of the “Play with Finger 5! Toei Manga Festival”. Reflecting the trend of the times, Mazinger dominated the combined theatrical poster. In succession, guest appearances are made by the first four Kamen Riders. Having returned to Japan, it is explained that #1 has been in New York, #2 in Paris, V3 in Moscow, while Riderman returns from Tahiti. Though Riderman was previously established as having been seemingly killed at the climax of X’s preceeding show, Kamen Rider V3, this film shows Riderman had survived, leading the way for his numerous reprisals. Notably, Riderman, as the fourth Kamen Rider, introduces himself as “Kamen Rider 4”, the name given to him by V3 upon his presumed death.

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark

The past four Riders mostly appear post-henshin; only appearing in human form as they transform at the strange castle. This transformation is composed of archive footage depicting Takeshi Hongo/Kamen Rider 1 (Hiroshi Fujioka) and Hayato Ichimonji/Kamen Rider 2 (Takeshi Sasaki) from the 1972 film Kamen Rider vs. Shocker, Shiro Kazami/Kamen Rider V3 (Hiroshi Miyauchi) as seen in the 1973 film Kamen Rider V3 vs. Destron Mutants, and the stock transformation sequence of Joji Yuki/Riderman (Takehisa Yamaguchi) from the Kamen Rider V3 TV series. Curiously, the sound effect used for Hongo’s transformation is completely different to the iconic sound used prior and since.

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Uniquely, Rider 2, while performing his Rider Kick, calls out “#2 Rider Kick!” and later “Rider #2 Kick!”. Riderman is seen with the Power Arm on his left arm, as opposed to his cybernetic right arm, during his fight against Neptune. During the final battle, he is not seen to wear a Cassette Arm at all.

Five Riders vs. King DarkFive Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark

In regards to action scenes, trampoline jumping was performed with the desired effect being achieved with the indoor horizon background against rainy weather. Depending on the cut, the celling of the studio is reflected. The composition of the drama is reversed, and G.O.D.’s “Drought Operation” was never specifically drawn. Before the premiere, a big “tie-up” event was held at the Isetan Shinjuku store.

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark

In the following year, theatrical releases of succeeding shows Kamen Rider Amazon and Kamen Rider Stronger would be screened as part of the Toei Manga Festival in spring and summer, having been respectfully “blown-up” from Amazon’s sixteenth episode and Stronger’s seventh episode. Five Riders vs. King Dark would be the last original theatrical production of the Kamen Rider Series for six years before being ultimately followed by Eight Riders vs. GingaOh, attached to Kamen Rider (Skyrider), which was released in spring of 1980.

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark

Five Riders vs. King Dark

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