Kamen Rider is More Human Than Human

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw that I recently discovered a ten-year old upload of a veeeeeery early promo to Kamen Rider ZO. I had to watch it several times to dissect it. Why...does this exist? It also had me thinking of some of the other weirdness, mostly unlicensed, from that era. 

I guess we can start with that promo.

It starts with some stock music with stock lightning effects. Why not? ZO was born during a drunken sketch surgery in a lightning storm...I think this may be coincidence more than anything though.

We're then given a slow teaser scroll over random action footage of...

Kamen Rider Black???

It is!

I mean...c'mon. One of those other bits of weirdness is incredibly lazy English title screen that flashes in the middle of all of that.

I don't know why that tickles me so much, but it does. It looks like it should be preceeded by "Honey I Shrunk The...". 

In addition to the random footage of an silhouetted Kamen Rider Black fighting off any identifying lighting, the only new thing this preview had to offer was the SFX Kamen Rider ZO logo (minus the ZO title).

Don't forget to check it out during Golden Week 1993!

So what's the story? Well this video was uploaded by Sho Tomas on 02.April.2010. It's always hard to say who is the source in this type of situation, but one commenter fills in some of the gaps on what the origin of this trailer is...

Basically this video was shown during the Kamen Rider World (not that one) exhibit in 1992 in Seibu Department Store. (Fun fact...and a bit of a tangent--the Seibu Department Store that was in Los Angeles, CA is currently one of my favorite places in the world since it's now the Petersen Automotive Museum). Another commenter also pointed out that the music is the same tune later heard in the B-Fighter sausage ad. Sure enough... 

So what's the point of this promo? Did Shin Kamen Rider rub some people the wrong way enough to warrant a hastily produced trailer to show that a traditional Rider with traditional sound effects would return soon? The profile of the Black suit isn't that much of a difference from the ZO suit, but they're really not giving us eagle-eyed peeps credit enough for not spotting the re-used suit right away. 


That Masked Rider logo as well...how much of a fun Easter Egg would that have been if it ended up on the Sega CD game for the North American release?

The Black/ZO connection is coincidentally something that makes a lot more sense when you look to the manga world. When Kamen Rider ZO's manga adaptation was released it featured a new Kamen Rider Black adventure. Hmmmm. Again--this is a total coincidence, but one of those little weird things that have you scratching your head.


For some reason this whole trailer situation brought up some weird memories of misplaced Kamen Rider in media. If you were around in the 90s, you likely remember White Zombie's More Human Than Human. It's catchy as hell and I remember it's Blade Runner-inspired title more than a lot of other songs from the period. What if...just what if Rob Zombie had Kamen Rider in mind at the time?

The evidence is, well, present...


My local music shop had a $1 bin full of CDs that were dumped off from a local radio station. Since this was the 90s, this is how you got cheap music without spending $20 on an album for one...maybe two songs. I definitely got this one for the cover and got the song as a bonus (albeit the stinky radio edit). 

That's not where the story ends, however. You see...it's established that Rob Zombie is/was a Tokusatsu fan. Rob Zombie has a brother. Meet Spider One of the band Powerman 5000. They had a big hit in 1999 with When Stars Collide. Prior to that the band had a handful of albums and a debut EP. The debut EP from 1994 was called True Force...and boy did it have some great artwork...

Yeah...that is a incredibly thinly disguised Kamen Rider Black. It didn't end there though. Their first album, The Blood-Splat Rating System, was released the following year and had some equally brilliant artwork.

There are two things to unpack here...

Kamen Rider Black appears again. This time the only disguise is that his head was pinched thanks to some lousy editing. I tried to find the source for this image, but really got nowhere.

Also this. I think they felt the need for some random Japanese and managed to stumble on a product warning that says it's for ages three and over. It definitely feels like it would've come from a Dairanger toy as I talked about in the past. So I checked my stash and noticed this...



Yeah, so the product safety warning was taken from the DX Daibuster?? 

At the end of the day what do Kamen Rider Black, Kamen Rider ZO, Kamen Rider J and Gosei Sentai Dairanger have in common??

Eiji Kawamura.


Leave Kamen Rider Black alone!

I promise that my album of Tokusatsu medleys will be my next post.

Take care!


P.S. I tried to work in that wonky Saban's Masked Rider logo with Kamen Rider J...here it is anyway...


  1. I love it when random bands nicked toku/anime imagery in the 90's. I know there was one that took footage from the Patlabor movies for a music video.

    1. Yeah. I feel like anime had two types of fans in America in the 90s. Nerds and Metal Bands. Hahaha.

      Personally I prefer things like Beastie Boys' Intergalactic. I was a fan of theirs way before that, so I was floored when that video came out. The video for Body Movin' is also pretty good in that sense since it splices in footage from the film Danger: Diabolik.