Who wouldn’t want to wear a ridiculous bug costume and ride around on a motorcycle beating up monsters that invade your planet? That’s the basis behind Kamen Rider, which has been a tremendous hit across the community for damn near decades.
The series got its start way back in 1971 and has come back for various spin-offs and side stories since. One of those side stories is Kamen Rider Zero-One, which aired between 2019 and 2020 and gained great success from its community. So, as expected, Shout! Factory decided to give it a home release for people to enjoy even more.
The end result is definitely something fans of schlocky action (and, in some cases, even schlockier stories) can fully embrace. It won’t win any Lord of the Rings level of awards, but in its own right, it’s something that many should enjoy. As any Kamen Rider fan should.
How’s This For Destiny?
The story revolves around Aruto Hiden, a kid who doesn’t want to follow the business route of his family at the robot-creating Humagears. Instead, he prefers to be a comic and let his humorous side fly.
However, when a group of terrorists hijack his family’s robots and end up taking out someone close to him, Aruto changes his tune. He takes control of his company and then creates the Kamen Rider Zero-One variation, a hero that can set out to stop these enemies.
Joining him along for the ride is a virtual assistant to help track down threats and keep him level-headed. Some might think of this as an Iron Man/Jarvis scenario, but the way it plays out in Zero-One is definitely more on the level with its humor.
The story isn’t the greatest told in something like this, but there are some interesting elements with actions that tie into consequences; as well as a neat corporate element that’s all too real to see in business these days. Of course, when it comes to kicking butt and taking names, Zero-One does that too. It does so with a wink in its eye towards the original Kamen Rider as well, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
In the end, if you’re a fan of something of this genre, there’s a lot to enjoy here. We’re talking 46 episodes and a movie, so you’ll be content with the set. Considering it sells for about $50 new, that’s fairly exceptional value.
A Good Presentation and Extras Galore
Kamen Rider Zero-One benefits greatly from a solid presentation, with 1080p resolution across 1:78:1 anamorphic widescreen. While this makes some of the cheesier effects easier to see, it’s beautiful handling of the material all the way. The audio is good too, though only in Japanese, so if you were expecting an English dub, you might be disappointed. At least there are subtitles that are easy to follow.
There’s also a handful of good extras in this set. They include a REALxTIME bonus (as hinted on the box), which spells out most of the story in about an hour. It’s a good “catch-up” sort of extra, though some might prefer to go through the episodes themselves.
In addition, a Presidential Special pair of episodes tell more of Aruto’s side of the story, providing an interesting perspective. There’s also a Shooting Special episode, along with Super Work War Battle 1 and 2 pieces that provide a “best of” glimpse of the show. Overall, they’re worth checking out. However, I really would’ve liked some sort of behind-the-scenes look. Making a series like this is probably a blast.
Don’t Bug Out
Even though I still prefer the original Kamen Rider for nostalgic purposes, Zero-One is an outstanding set from Shout! Factory. It features a lovely package with sharp visuals and solid Japanese dialogue, a few extra episodes, and a whole lot of content for a great price. Don’t let the weird cover art “bug” you – there’s plenty to enjoy here.
VIBE Rating: 8/10