2020-2021: Kamen Rider Saber

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
Does it even matter?
Not sure why I'm even bothering to respond to you given you've already stated you don't care about story, but yes, it DOES matter. He was hired to do a damn job and if he isn't writing at least 2/3rds of the show, then he ain't doing his fucking job. Toei should hire me to write their show. Not only will I write every episode, but I will make it a two year long show that will still have new gimmicks in both years while retaining a few of the cast members as the story would continue on. Nevertheless, it also matters because if the head writer isn't writing the majority of the show it means there isn't any consistency. Just look at Ghost for example. In episode 4, Takeru says he has 87 days remaining, but then episode 5 claims he has 57 days even though the episode kicks off with them trying to figure out who the rider was that stole the Nobunaga Eye Con. Did 30 days just magically go by in a few hours?
 
and if he isn't writing at least 2/3rds of the show, then he ain't doing his fucking job
Tbf that's not really a common thing to do. Toku writers often write from 1/3 to around half of the show, leaving rest to sub-writers (Arakawa wrote less than half of Kiramager, for example). Exceptions are usually shows where one writer does the entire show basically.
Fukuda took his Ghost team of Mouri and Hasegawa on Saber and show's vision appears to be coherent between these three (despite series having obvious production problems). It is still a pretty weird situation, but Saber's behind the scenes stuff is probably very interesting in general.
 

Captain Shark

An ocean of depression and misery
despite series having obvious production problems
Is that what's going on? I was unironically enjoying the hell out of it at first, but shortly after Kamen Rider Saikyo showed up the series went from "adventures traveling through books in fantastical settings" to "political conspiracy with back stabbing and everyone being melancholy" and I'm just thinking to myself if this was like what happened with Hibiki. I'm only at episode 34 so maybe it changes, but at this point half the series tries way too hard to act serious when it was never meant to. It's like Ex-Aid except they remembered to keep the damn opening theme. And what about the villains? We went from "monsters want to acquire a book with all knowledge" to "some corrupt guy and two lackeys (three if you count the phoenix wild card, why is the ground not corrupting around him like in the special?)" wanting the same thing. And then there's the monsters of the week, we had variety before, now it's just cat people. It made sense when the third Garo series did it because Mado Horrors were meant to be autonomous, here it's just whatever. What a let down, but predictable since having three good Kamen Rider series in a row is asking too much despite how badly Build, the worst tokusatsu ever made, really needs to be punished with quality.
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
You are the only one who said Saber got worse. The first episode was one of the worst atrocities to ever plague a Toku show. It made the Ghost premier look like a masterpiece.

Fukuda took his Ghost team of Mouri and Hasegawa on Saber and show's vision appears to be coherent between these three (despite series having obvious production problems). It is still a pretty weird situation, but Saber's behind the scenes stuff is probably very interesting in general.
Another thing that doesn't make sense about this though is that Fukuda stated Saber would have his full attention and by only doing 14 episodes, that was clearly a lie.

Eitherway, that's interesting about Arakawa considering the series never felt like it. Plus, he did at least half of Aba, Deka, and Gokai, so he still did his share of the work. Hell, Uehara usually wrote nearly every episode to every Metal Heroes series he did.
 
Is that what's going on? I was unironically enjoying the hell out of it at first, but shortly after Kamen Rider Saikyo showed up the series went from "adventures traveling through books in fantastical settings" to "political conspiracy with back stabbing and everyone being melancholy" and I'm just thinking to myself if this was like what happened with Hibiki. I'm only at episode 34 so maybe it changes, but at this point half the series tries way too hard to act serious when it was never meant to. It's like Ex-Aid except they remembered to keep the damn opening theme. And what about the villains? We went from "monsters want to acquire a book with all knowledge" to "some corrupt guy and two lackeys (three if you count the phoenix wild card, why is the ground not corrupting around him like in the special?)" wanting the same thing. And then there's the monsters of the week, we had variety before, now it's just cat people. It made sense when the third Garo series did it because Mado Horrors were meant to be autonomous, here it's just whatever. What a let down, but predictable since having three good Kamen Rider series in a row is asking too much despite how badly Build, the worst tokusatsu ever made, really needs to be punished with quality.
There are rumors what Fukuda had to rewrite stuff early on because show had to deal with covid issues being at its peak there (Zero-One was supposed to end at episode 41 at one point, so they had to rush the production of the first two episodes early on and only after that changed so they had 4 more weeks, while Zero-One was busy character-assassinating its cast for the finale). In the very first trailer you can see Wonderland looking a bit more different. Show’s initial advertisement made a big deal about using Unreal Engine to create CGI landscapes, but it’s barely used in the show outside special attacks. Show does seem to have a stronger grasp at its story than Ghost did right from the start, since most of lore and backstories show explain later were posted on some sites initially around, so “drama” was intended to be there in the first place likely.

Same was with Ex-Aid as producer Ohmori explained Drive made him understand how he should handle story progression and he stuck with it in Ex-Aid, Build and Zero-One, all of which have similar structures (starting with light-hearted arcs followed by a shake up which makes things more dramatic, etc). Saber’s not too different as well from it on paper, though it’s does a horrendous job at introducing its main cast (and not properly explaining what the conflict even is until like 15th episode) and its lack of proper foundation during Q1 hurts a lot of what show tries to do later on (it’s hard to care about Espada stuff during 12-13 episodes if he was barely in the show and doesn’t mean to the viewers as much as he’s supposed to mean to the characters).

Though I do think show got better during second arc, but a lot of it still suffers from bloated underdeveloped cast and trouble of not having well-defined status-quo with things happening too fast and sometimes feeling contrived (I also agree with you on it needing to have more motw, especially since Human Megid was such a good idea). It’s still a huge step up from Zero-One tedium for me and it’s nice to see a show with its own flavor and actual aspirations instead of rehashing a previous season like most recent shows did, but it likely will end up an idea over execution type of Rider series for me.

Another thing that doesn't make sense about this though is that Fukuda stated Saber would have his full attention and by only doing 14 episodes, that was clearly a lie.
Eitherway, that's interesting about Arakawa considering the series never felt like it. Plus, he did at least half of Aba, Deka, and Gokai, so he still did his share of the work. Hell, Uehara usually wrote nearly every episode to every Metal Heroes series he did.
He may have intended to do it, but we don’t know the extent of problems Saber team had to face. Saber wants to be this big fantasy epic with about five sides competing with complex lore and interconnected conspiracies all while having to minimalize its cast and having to do with as few sets as possible (most of them being CGI). Plus, at this point we can just say that Takahashi isn’t a good manager period. Add to that most people wanting to hate Saber off the gate because it’s Ghost team making the show and Saber having such a mess of Q1, proving them right with a lot of people not even making past it (there was that article around show’s eighth episode https://lovetokusatsu.com/2020/11/03/japanese-netizens-are-expressing-unhappiness-with-kamen-rider-saber-after-only-8-episodes/). Show had everything working against it. I’m willing to go easy on it here, because, while part of it was mishandled decisions, another part was having to deal with a lot of unfortunate situation with stuff they couldn’t control. If anything I can appreciate that they at least attempted to make an effort and improve and even succeeded somewhat. That’s more than Go-Busters achieved.

As for Arakawa, he always worked with a lot of sub-writers. It’s nothing new. Kiramager is the least he ever wrote for a his full-year show, but it’s keeping in line with his approach. A lot of writers leave stuff to sub-writers. Just look at Showa Riders, for example, where it was common for Masaru Igami to write about a third of the show.
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
Okay, so the last four episodes to the series just revealed that the douche isn't even writing the finale to his own series. Toei needs to fire that ***** and never hire him again. WOW! What a lazy piece of ****.

As for Arakawa on Kiramager, I'll give him some leeway considering the series stayed consistent throughout its entirety, so he was clearly communicating with his staff and it did happen during a pandemic.
 
Can't believe Fukuda wrote less than he did with Ghost; at least he wrote last few episodes for that series.
The ONLY other Rider/Tokusatsu shows I can think of, where headwriter didn't wrote last 4~5 episodes, was Kamen Rider Hibiki, but that because that show had major staff/crew change in middle, where second half felt like completely different from first; even despite that, Hibiki is still a better show than Saber (and Ghost).
I don't care what the "excuse"/conspiracy theory/whatever out there, but Fukuda did pretty lazy and sloppy job for this series.
While I haven't seen EVERY Rider series ever made, but as of this writing, Saber is definitely a bottom rock of franchise and it's probably one of my least favorite tokusatsu show in general I've seen so far.
Even Power Rangers in past decade are better than this; heck, I take Megaforce and Ninja Steel over this.
You know there's something wrong with the show if Power Rangers is better.

Regardless of my personal thoughts and overall reception of the series by audience, Fukuda will come back.
Consider the fact, Toei and Bandai has mentality of "Rider Prints Money", where they leaned more favor to Sentai over Rider in past decade, they would bring back Fukuda again, where he only ends up writing 8 episodes out of 48, and taking all the credits.

It's kind of weird that fantasy motif Rider (Wizard, Ghost, Saber) has been somewhat lackluster over past decade.
I guess fantasy doesn't blend with Rider compared to Sentai.
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
Technically Blade changed staff too, but that show got better from it, so you didn't notice it.

As for Fukuda coming back, will he though? From my understanding, both Ghost and Saber did terribly in toy sales. I don't see why they would let someone who has had two failures in a row come back for a third. But then again, Junko failed with Zyuohger and LupvsPat and here we are with Zenkaiger...
 
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Saber did worse than Zero-One, but I don't think its sales were terrible. Ghost sales were weak but mostly because of Drive's sales crush previous year (and still were an improvement).
Honestly, Fukuda episodes of Saber were, for the most part, among weaker ones, so I don't mind him writing less. I do think they should have made Keiichi Hasegawa main writer if he writes most of the show anyway (and his episodes tended to be better ones), but Saber's storybeats and developments are interesting on paper.
It's a very sloppy production but nowhere near the worst tokusatsu I've seen (not sure it even lands in my top 5 bottom Rider shows, though same was true for Ghost which I had a lot of problems with but still find overhated), especially after recently rewatching most of toku shows I actually can't stand. I'm not even sure it's worse than Zenkaiger which gets way less criticism than it deserves.
 
Technically Blade changed staff too, but that show got better from it, so you didn't notice it.

As for Fukuda coming back, will he though? From my understanding, both Ghost and Saber did terribly in toy sales. I don't see why they would let someone who has had two failures in a row come back for a third. But then again, Junko failed with Zyuohger and LupvsPat and here we are with Zenkaiger...
I never said changing the staff was bad; sometime it can improve the show.
As far as Komura goes, she would have done better job with Saber than Fukuda IMO.
Komura really needs another shot at Kamen Rider though.

Saber did worse than Zero-One, but I don't think its sales were terrible. Ghost sales were weak but mostly because of Drive's sales crush previous year (and still were an improvement).
Honestly, Fukuda episodes of Saber were, for the most part, among weaker ones, so I don't mind him writing less. I do think they should have made Keiichi Hasegawa main writer if he writes most of the show anyway (and his episodes tended to be better ones), but Saber's storybeats and developments are interesting on paper.
It's a very sloppy production but nowhere near the worst tokusatsu I've seen (not sure it even lands in my top 5 bottom Rider shows, though same was true for Ghost which I had a lot of problems with but still find overhated), especially after recently rewatching most of toku shows I actually can't stand. I'm not even sure it's worse than Zenkaiger which gets way less criticism than it deserves.
So far, this year, particularly the first half (January~June) has been pretty mediocre ~ lukewarm year for tokusatsu, despite anniversary year; Saber is terrible and Zenkaiger is OK for most part; strangely, Power Rangers Dino Fury, has been the best tokusatsu this year so far.
It's still a better anniversary year than 2016 IMO.
 

Shogun_Master

Why is every good TV show Cancelled
I haven't been watching power rangers at all & I haven't tried to get into Zenkaiger. I did get weirdly addicted to Twokaiser dance morph routines, though.

I've liked Saber fine. It had an awkward beginning & the world building kind of have up, but it's been pretty focused on the story it wants to tell & I like most of the cast. Definitely think it would've been worse if the head guy wrote more of the show. Generally, a lot of Japanese film/ tv writers don't tend to have big heads about it, like you may think, though they do get defensive about appropriateness of their art (& I don't blame them. America has seemingly grossly overreacted about 5x in the last two years about movies, shows & games.) From what I gathered from the special features on Ringu, the Japanese film market had a major crash that lasted through the 80s & 90s & barely anyone in that field as a writer/ director was making any damned money. They were all mostly working poor who did it because they loved doing so until about 15-20 years ago. I've even heard of people who worked on the Pokemon anime who feel bad for copyright infringers & don't turn them in for selling unlicensed merch & what have you. So, I don't think this was a result of the guy being lazy, I think it's a result of them wanting to make a good show & him being aware that they use him for a specific reason, but he's not the best show runner. We all have said as much since before Saber started. It's not my favorite season by a long shot, but I enjoyed what I've seen this far. Can't download beyond episode 40, though, so I guess I'll have to see if Shout does a Saber DVD after Zero-One & Ryuki to see the rest.
 

Captain Shark

An ocean of depression and misery
After getting to episode 43 I don't know what the hell this story is trying to be anymore. Was Logos supposed to be the real villain? Shortly after becoming Kamen Rider Solomon he dies and Megidos kinda take over again. Was it Desast? He was in a forced subplot with Kamen Rider Kenzan that felt like it was just there to eat up screen time. Side note but every rider that wasn't Saber, Blades, Buster, or Solomon I had to look up on the Kamen Rider Wiki because they never say say them in-show for some reason. Was it Charybdis? He started off as a monster of the week that.... stuck around for too long and then got dissolved by some guy. Was it that some guy/Storious? All we know is he stuck a lot of souls in books and it seemed like most of it was off screen. And where are the monsters of the week? It's like it forgot it's supposed to have new creatures every so often. Reminds me of the Doomcock rumors around Star Trek Discovery where Paramount didn't bother covering more than the allotted budget. Was it Viktor? No, he was just a good guy that dressed weird and broke the fourth wall. Him not doing that every episode indicated weird changes that messed up the series.

Saber is kind of like a reverse version of Gaim: A solid third dragged down by lackluster two thirds and not enough monsters of the week. Difference here is Gaim had the good stuff after the Kikaider crossover while Saber started good until they killed off Kamen Rider Calibur. First third was legit toku win. Say what you will about Hibiki, it at least kept its themes and monsters of the week after the production mess.
 

Shogun_Master

Why is every good TV show Cancelled
The place I normally download from hasn't been allowing the downloads to actually go through since the end of June. I've tried looking for an alternate source, but no luck. Plus, I broke my old phone & my new one is apparently only occasionally compatible with my computer (either that, or I just haven't quite figured out how to make it work) & half of what it tried to download, irregardless of what it is either won't go through, or won't move to my laptop. Not kidding. I've even been having trouble with PDFs on occasion.
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
The place I normally download from hasn't been allowing the downloads to actually go through since the end of June. I've tried looking for an alternate source, but no luck. Plus, I broke my old phone & my new one is apparently only occasionally compatible with my computer (either that, or I just haven't quite figured out how to make it work) & half of what it tried to download, irregardless of what it is either won't go through, or won't move to my laptop. Not kidding. I've even been having trouble with PDFs on occasion.
Are they not showing up on Nyaa?
 

Shogun_Master

Why is every good TV show Cancelled
Never heard of that site until just now. But, I have no way to decrypt torrents. I was mostly getting them off of Dramacool, who just let you download mp4s directly.
 

Shogun_Master

Why is every good TV show Cancelled
So, I found an avenue to continue watching the series. One episode away from the end of Saber, now, barring those two specials that they did & looking forward to starting Revice. I do have to ask, did the last 7 episodes of the series turn anyone around on Saber, assuming you watched them?

I am looking forward to the Zenkaiger crossovers too. Those specials always seem to make the Superhero Taisen movies infinitely better, if you watch them all back to back, like they're one big movie.
 
Some story behind Saber's production from Figure Oh 284.

The setting before the change by Corona:
Touma is a lone wolf who meets hard-headed swordsmen from various organizations in various cities, and through battles they gradually deepen their bond and eventually come together to fight a great evil.
In order to save Luna, who has disappeared into another world, Touma has been preparing himself by acquiring knowledge and practicing swordsmanship for many years.
Only Touma remembers that Luna disappeared, so he became a novelist with the idea that if he wrote a novel about it and spread the word, he could get a clue.
As he searches for Luna's whereabouts, he discovers the existence of a mysterious organization led by swordsmen, and ends up at the Sword of Logos base on his own. In the process, he gained knowledge on how to use the flaming sword Rekka and he knows a lot about swordsmanship, so he is suddenly very strong.
He is a man who has prepared everything to save Luna, because he knows everything from books.
The three who use the Seiken Swordriver are holy knights and special beings who can use three Wonder Ride Books at the same time.
The Seiken used by Buster, Kenzan, and Slash are specialized combat swords derived from the Swordrivers.

Changes by Corona:
Start off with the swordsmen not being at odds with each other.
Add Tassel to fill in scenes that cannot be filmed in Wonder World and Corona.
Add Touma's bookstore and Northern Base because road movies are impossible.

Producer Kazuhiro Takahashi:
"Anyway, there were too many characters and items to be released before the end of the year."
 

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