The CD Collection--Kamen Rider Kuuga! 8cm CD Singles

Welcome back to CCLemon99.com! Last month I took a break from both making videos and talking Tokusatsu on the site. That doesn't mean I wasn't busy, though. I wrote a two part post about a 28-CD box set covering the singles of Akina Nakamori between 1982 and 1991. In Part One I talk about 1982-1985. Part Two covers 1986-1991. It was a bit of a passion project, but I really like how it turned out.

I need to make a return after being dormant for awhile. Granted, my return to writing about Tokusatsu only comes a month after taking a break, but there has to be something fitting that I can talk about. Something that heralded the return of a beloved franchise after it laid dormant for awhile. Something that put the franchise back on the map...

Unfortunately I couldn't think of anything, so here is a post about some CD Singles from Kamen Rider Kuuga.


Kamen Rider Kuuga! c/w Aozora ni naru

Without seeing a single episode of this show I managed to get this CD Single back in 2000. I was kinda out of Tokusatsu at the time, but was wildly intrigued by the return of Kamen Rider after being virtually absent for the entirety of the 1990s. I had to listen to this song a few times since I couldn't quite make heads or tails of it. The Timeranger opening theme song is a departure from the norm, but the Kuuga theme song is other-worldly. At the same time I thought "Well, if Kamen Rider exists in the year 2000 he would have this theme song.".

Hats off to Masayuki Tanaka for the awesome vocals (who you know from Ultraman Gaia's theme song as well as .......THIS). I'm kinda surprised Toei went with him rather than trying to coax Masato Shimon out of retirement once again... I mean, it would have made sense, no? Regardless, Tanaka was an excellent choice. The only questionable thing about it is the obvious nods to Pink Floyd's Welcome To The Machine. Stoner garbage band aside...I actually like the song.

The series ending song is the much more straight-forward Aozora ni naru. Ahhh yes, I love this song. Between this one and the late 90s Sentai ending theme songs, you're on your way to a sweet playlist for your next Summer BBQ. Singing this one is Jin Hashimoto who is someone that never really did too much on his own, but makes his bones as a vocal trainer. He definitely has some chops. We'll be hearing more from him in this post, but beyond that he did sing a handful of songs in Kamen Rider Agito as well as a lone song for Kamen Rider Hibiki.

I might as well point this out now. All of the singles on this page except for the final two include Karaoke versions of both vocal songs.


TRY & CHASE c/w power of soul

Now that the theme songs are out of the way, let's get into the image songs. The first single from Kuuga features songs from... Masayuki Tanaka and Jin Hashimoto. Really?! Well...

TRY & CHASE is the theme song for Kuuga's first bike, the Try Chaser 2000. This one is a little generic, but I actually dig it. Inoffensive songs like this are kinda a dime-a-dozen on song collections, but this one is a little smoother than comparable songs.

The second track, power of soul is where it's at on this one. Jin Hashimoto has some pretty good range, but that also kinda works against him on this one. His vocals are TOO LOUD. It really sounds like he's in the room singing over the Karaoke version of the song. It's like he's singing in 3D if such a thing were possible. I can't knock him for that, though. Maybe I dig it because it sounds like a leftover 90s song. Listening to the Karaoke version is a bit of an experience as well...


Red Desire c/w Blue Higher

Alright let's get into this single by...Masayuki Tanaka and Jin Hashimoto. They're trolling us, right?

Red Desire is the rockin' image song I've been waiting for! To be perfectly honest, if you told me this was intended to be the theme song, I wouldn't be shocked. It reminds me of a toned down Crescent Moon from Mikazuki. I love this song!

Blue Higher is also pretty damn rad. It's nice that this single was able to follow a musical theme between the two songs. It's hard to say which is the better of the two, but I will say this... Jin Hashimoto almost sounds like he's doing an impression of Masayuki Tanaka on this one. It sounds like a completely different singer than the guy who did power of soul, but it's definitely him. It's a great single with some great shredding.


Believe in Miracle c/w Edge of Green

Let me guess...Masayuki Tanaka and Jin Hashimoto? Close! This time around it's Kazumi Murata and Jin Hashimoto.

Believe in Miracle is the image song for Sakurako Sawatani and sung by her actress Kazumi Murata. It's a slow song, with a pretty self-explanatory message when you look at the title. Murata isn't the best singer, but it's not too bad of a song. Maybe it shouldn't have been the lead song on the single because...

...Edge of Green is awesome! If there was ever a song to nail an intro, it's this one. I didn't end up getting this single until a year after it came out. I think this is the CD that may have gotten me into my costly love affair with Amazon Japan. What really got me into it is Hashimoto's performance of it in Masked Rider Live 2000 (the only live show worth your time...I mean it...and the crowd for this show was having none of it...what the hell...). It's a rad song that tries to trick you into thinking it's slow.


Bara no Okite c/w Purple Pride

This one is something new, that's for sure. The first track is Bara no Okite, the character song for the Rose-Tattoo Woman by Mie Nanamori. Honestly, this song is pretty good for what it is. Luckily the version used on the single is the song version, the version from the Song Collection is a spoken-word version that...I don't recommend. This one is pretty solid, though.

Purple Pride is the return of a familiar Rider voice. This one is sung by Norio Sakai, who you might remember from the Gridman themes as well as several Kamen Rider BLACK songs. Yep, Long, Long Ago 20th Century is one of them. Honestly, though, this one is kinda weak. It has a little bit of an industrial drudginess that sneaks in and out, but other than that is a flat-ish rock song. Sakai sings the hell out of, though. You gotta love that.


It comes rain c/w Beatchaser 2000

Perplexing title aside, this song is a neat song. I can't really say too much about Shingo Katsurayama's singing of his character, Kaoru Ichijo's, song. That's why Karaoke versions exist, though, right? Slow and moody songs are great.

Dude. How could they have a song called It comes rain and follow it up with Beatchaser 2000 on the same CD? I just noticed that. I've had this CD for over fifteen years and I juuust noticed that.........

Anyway, Beatchaser 2000. This is the image song for Kuuga's second bike...Beatchaser 2000. I'm not sure which of Kuuga's bikes I like better, but goddamn does this one win when it comes to songs. Jin Hashimoto sings this one and does so in a less soulful, but more rockish way to match up with the up-tempo beat. Great song! It gives TRY & CHASE a spankin'...I mean, a total lickin'. Straight up finished it off...stroked from existence...flicked from the face of the earth...


Rising your power to gold c/w Sokouki Gouram

Right! So Norio Sakai is back once again and this time they gave him a way better song. Rising your power to gold, which...is a bad title until you realize it isn't, is an uptempo rock song that is much more suitable to Sakai's booming voice than Purple Pride was. Also...once again, big shout out to the Kuuga song collection for being so great. Timeranger was off being weird with it's songs while Kuuga kinda kept the momentum going. Outside of the opening theme song, Kuuga really does have a Rider song collection at heart. It's all very tight and controlled. Toshihiko Sahashi did a great job composing the series and it's songs.

However, songs like Sokouki Gouram need to exist as well. This one is interesting. Remember when I ripped apart the endlessly annoying Mickey in my "English Version" post? Well, she sings this one and it's, uh, a very different animal. Mickey-T's singing is full-on operatic for Gouram's image song. It makes for a pretty cool song, I'll give it that.


Tanpopo no ohana c/w Say Alright!

Feh. OK, so Tanpopo no ohana is a waste of time being on a single, let alone the title track. There are two songs from the Kuuga song collection that didn't end up on a single: Kyuukyoku no yami and Love Is My Life. Neither one is great, but either would have been a better choice to be on a single. Tanpopo no ohana is the nursery song sung by Aoi Wakana for her character Minori Godai. She isn't a bad singer at least...but this song isn't exactly heavy lifting. Meh. Series like Fiveman even had the decency to hold off on the nursery song and included it on it's post-series Song Collection.

As the farewell song to the regular singles, Say Alright! is great. Sure, it has a passing resemblance to the GoGo Five ending theme song, but I love the hell out of it. To make matters better, this one is sung by Jin Hashimoto in probably his most natural performance of probably all of the Kuuga songs. This one might be hidden toward the end of the series, but I think it's a great song. Say Alright! indeed!


Joe Odagiri "t" c/w Sora e tobu toki

These next two singles might seem a little...off but I assure you, they are officially part of the Kuuga song collection. Can I just say...what even is this CD cover?

"t" Yes, it's just "t"...quotations and all, is hipster nonsense from Yuusuke Godai himself, Joe Odagiri. Honestly, I like the chorus, but the rest of the song is just...first draft mehness. It isn't even worth analyzing any further.

The second track is Sora e tobu toki, which features...singing! You know what, this wouldn't be a bad song if it weren't in English. The lyrics in the liner are in Japanese. So...what exactly happened? This disc is really baffling so far...

Track three is a remix of Sora e tobu toki. A bad one.

The fourth and final track is called "t" (Plugged). Oh boy, more "t". Actually, you know what...I like this one. Is it enough to redeem the rest of the CD? Nah, but this one is actually worth listening to. Maybe this whole CD was a slow con. "t" was the demo song, Sora e tobu toki was the second song since "t" wasn't getting any traction. It was remixed, of course. Finally, "t" (Plugged) was the result of putting his nose to the grindstone and finishing the damn thing. "t" (Plugged), you're alright. I may or may not have used this song in a video on my channel. Good luck finding it.....


Bricks Carry On c/w Yuuki wo kureta hito e

Another non-series, but series related, single. Bricks is made up of keyboardist Masakazu Itakura and Shingo Katsurayama...who you might remember as Kaoru Ichijo from the series and singer of *sigh* It comes rain. I promise, no more dicking around...

The title track from the single is called Carry On. You know what, this one isn't a bad song at all. It's a nice little rock jam that also happens to be a bit on the light side. It's pretty good. Katsurayama does a much better job singing this than he does It comes rain. Carry On is a much more polished song. I can't say it tugs on any emotions, but it didn't make me want to give it the finger...so take that whichever way you want to.

The second track is Yuuki wo kureta hito e. A decent enough song, but a total slow jam. Katsurayama's singing just isn't that good on the slower stuff.

The third and final track is the Karaoke version of Carry On.


Recommended Pick: Red Desire/Blue Higher all the way. There are tons of great songs featured in this post, but this one is easily the best combination. I mean, you could go the safe route with the Shudaika (OP/ED), but why not treat yourself to the good stuff?


It feels good to get this one off my chest since it doesn't leave a whole lot of 8cm Singles left for me to review. Actually, that's kind of a lie. I have tons left. All of Metal Hero, all of the Fushigi Comedy shows, and tons of random stuff...plus some Ultraman and Rider stuff... OK, so I'm nowhere near done with 8cm CD Singles. At least I'm ten CDs closer now. Heh.

I hope you enjoyed the post. There are plenty more on my CD Collection page. I will be back soon with...something. I'm not sure what. I have a few really weird ideas that I've been kicking around. Maybe one of them will make it to the site later in the month. Stay tuned.

Thank you!



  1. Kuuga and Agito's suit are really alike they both have biceps

    1. This is back when they felt some sort of obligation to carry on a tradition...so yeah...

    2. When i discovered them without knowing what a biceps was this design choice looked even weirder