Tokusatsu original by Toei
Japan has been split into three separate nations by Pandora’s Box, a mysterious artifact brought back from Mars. In the Eastern region of Touto, attacks by mysterious beings known as the Smash are escalating. The only one who can battle them is the amnesiac genius Sentou Kiryuu, who both fights the monsters and quests for his lost memories as Kamen Rider Build!
Zigg’s verdict: From The Ground Up
It’s safe to say that it’s been a tough few years to be a Kamen Rider fan. The one-two punch of the anaemic Ghost and the garish Ex-Aid have turned many away from the franchise, myself included, and it hasn’t helped that sister series Super Sentai has meanwhile been putting out some of it’s best product in years. So Build comes in with a lot to prove, and it seems like the production crew know it, since this first episode gets the proverbial kitchen sink thrown at it. It’s a bit of a mess, but by and large a successful one. There’s a compelling mystery at the heart of the story that’s well set up, with lots of interesting branches to explore further down the road and some classic Kamen Rider tropes played with in the ‘human experimentation’ angle. The action is solid, if perhaps a little laden with bad CGI, and the supporting cast is diverse and seems intriguing. Most importantly of all, out lead character Sentou appears likable and the show itself demonstrates the balance between campy comedy and actual plot that’s at the heart of all good toku productions. Not everything is rosy – I’m not very sold on the belt or powers (the gimmick being essentially a reskinned Double doesn’t help) but I feel a lot more optimistic about Kamen Rider than I have in a while, and that’s nice to write.
Iro’s verdict: Hopefully This Can Build a Good Story
My Kamen Rider experience is limited, seeing as the only one I’ve watched to completion is Gaim, while I dropped Ghost and Ex-Aid when my attention waned. I’m glad to say that I enjoyed Build’s premiere, with a cool-looking main Rider and some intriguing plot hooks already being thrown into the pot. It’s tough to set things up in a mere 20 minutes, but we got it: here’s why the world is weird, here’s our main character, and here’s his base motivation. I just worry that it’ll have trouble keeping me intrigued as it continues, and it’s far too early to really be able to tell. Still, I’m more interested in Kamen Rider now than I have been in years, so I guess that’s a good thing.
Euri’s verdict: Seeing W
I don’t have a whole lot to say about this show without parroting surprise at it being pretty good, but what I will say is that in my limited experience of the Kamen Rider franchise, this episode reminded me of when I was watching through OOOs and Fourze. Perhaps this is because it’s so similar to W which preceded these two shows, but if it’s aiming to emulate that era of Kamen Rider, I’m in. I enjoyed Ghost for a few episodes before falling off and Ex-Aid was a dud from the start, so if this show is looking at the older series’ for inspiration, I’m totally on board.