There comes a question in every toku fans life that is "What is the best Kamen Rider Series?" I'd Answer 555, Kabuto or Black. Another question that comes up in a lot of Toku fans is "What series do you recommend to beginners?" It's something I'll answer later, but I have to say one series comes to every Rider fans mind when they get this question. That series is the W-Boiled-Extreme series known as Kamen Rider W. It's a great series too. To find out why, read my review. What is it about this series that's universally loved by toku fans everywhere?
Is it the story that makes this series so good? Without spoiling too much, here we go... It takes place in the futuristic neo-noir city of Fuuto. The Sonozaki family gives Criminals who were originally cannon fodder to the police Flash Drive like devices known as Gaia Memories to power them up and turn them into monsters known as Dopants. The Gaia Memories also make the user so insane that they could possibly die, like heroin. Shotaro Hidari after the death of his boss makes it a point to beat all the monsters and save the city from the spread of these drug like devices. He teams up with revealed to be family member of Sonozaki, Philip to become Kamen Rider Double (who reverse engineers the Gaia Memories to transform). He also has his coworker Sokichi Narumi and later rival turned friend Terui Ryuu (aka Kamen Rider Accel) to team up with them. They also have the Fuuto Citizens who have not been infected. The series had major and small twists, and even had simple yet complex stories in each episode and the series as a whole. Each story is a 2 parter save for the last episode. The story is such an easy series to get into, and it's especially recommended to Mystery story fans.
The 2 leads compliment each other nicely. Shotaro Hidari (Who can use the Joker, Metal, and Trigger memories) is the action man, and Philip (later revealed to be Raito Sonozaki. He can also use the Cyclone, Heat, Luna, and Fang memories) is the brains. They both make Kamen Rider W (who also has access to the Xtreme Memory (which can turn them into CycloneJokerXtreme, with a cool prism Motif to him)). Akiko Narumi is the girl, and a bit of whiner, she could really be something as a detective she didn't whine all the time. Terui Ryuu/Kamen Rider Accel is someone who wants fore action as a policeman than the detectives. He has a cool suit and a even cooler Super form Known as Trial. Shroud has an interesting secret I won't spoil but she offers the Riders with arsenal to defeat the Dopants. The Dopants are unique rider monsters that feel more fun than past Heisei-era monsters. They're lead by the Sonozaki family, but the True Creator is revealed later in the series.
This is the first series to use more toyetic items that are not cards, items similar to Auxilary Mechs in Super Sentai, this was before it got old. The monsters might be goofier than say OOO, but they're more unique. The neo-noir setting plus the kind of futuristic atmosphere is such a good mix. The rider designs are very good, you need to see them for yourself. W has a pretty good arsenal for various toys that you could get at Toys R Us stores all over Japan. It also has the best Heisei era opening theme for the rider series.
It's a real good series that I could recommend to just about everyone. I didn't discuss this, but the ending isn't the best (won't spoil, but it does have a stupid retcon), but anyone could find something to like about this series, I give this 3.75 Gaia Memories out of 4.
Next December... Kamen Rider OOO, but this Christmas...
KAMEN RIDER W: THE MOVIE!!!!!!