Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Homoerotism in Kamen Rider

As I did with Super Sentai and Power Rangers, I decided to mention a couple of cases of homoerotism in Kamen Rider. What that means is innuendo or hints at a character being same-sex orientated. I am sure there are a lot of people who pair other same-sex Riders but these are some that seem more 'out there' than others. And it would be only natural since there are more male Riders than female in the series.

Shinji Kido (Ryuki) and Ren Akiyama (Knight)
[Kamen Rider Ryuki]
Shinji was more like a puppy with Ren, very eager. But Ren tried and tried, to push Shinji away. In the end, when Shinji died, Ren couldn't shy away from his feelings anymore, about how he felt for him. I don't think it was overtly homoerotic but it had to have tinges in there, since they had a potential love triangle between them and Yuri. In the 13 Riders TV Special, Ren was the one who died and he believed in Shinji so much to give him the Knight deck.

Goro Yura and Shuichi Kitaoka (Kamen Rider Zolda)
[Kamen Rider Ryuki]
Shuichi was a lawyer and worked on a case for Goro, which caused him to miss an appointment or something dealing with his cancer, so Goro felt guilty. He agreed to be his assistant, but he was very loyal and the best assistant anyone could ask for. Back in 2002, I asked my friend if there were any gay characters in Kamen Rider and she said Goro was the closest thing, that they wouldn't say it specifically but Goro clearly loved Shuichi. Shuichi would even coerce Shuichi like a lover would. Goro had once wanted to run over Ohja but Shuichi stopped him, saying it was his business to do that and appreciated it. Shuichi of course had female love interests. But in the end, Shuichi died of cancer, Goro took his place and died as well.

Shun Kageyama (PunchHopper) and Sou Yaguruma (Kick Hopper)
[Kamen Rider Kabuto]

The younger Shun is Sou's very subservient, devoted, and faithful. He believes in Sou, and in turn, Sou clearly cares a lot for Shun. When Tendou caused Shun to be in the hospital, Sou's grudge for Tendou grew stronger. After Sou left Shadow, Shun becomes the new Kamen Rider TheBee and believed the traitor was Sou, and sets a trap for him. Even though he eventually found out that Sou was innocent, and Shun's attitude towards Sou was dire. He tells Sou there is no place in Shadow for him anymore. Shun becomes more ruthless and is loyal to ZECT instead. Eventually he loses TheBee and ZECT discard him. Sou returns as Kick Hopper. Shun is then about to lose his life to Worms and his former comrades, Sou returns to save him. Shun asks Sou to "come to hell" with him, and offers him a place as his "brother". Shun tells Sou that he's the only one who would even look at him.

Len (Wing Knight) and Kit Taylor (Dragon Knight)
[Kamen Rider Dragon Knight]
In the beginning of the series, even though there was some chemistry between Len and Maya and Kit and Maya; there was some unmistakable chemistry between teacher Len and student 'Little Kit Taylor' as Xaviax called him later on. Len convinced Kit to work together as a team. Later on, Len's anger towards Adam (Kit's duplicate) for betraying him felt like a jilted lover. Oh, and come on, when Kase came in the picture, Kit felt like his hero Len was over him, he felt like the third wheel, man out. Len oblivious to this, just saw Kit as a jealous punk that needed to calm down. Kit was hurt, so hurt that he had 'nightmares' of murdering the two. Come on, at the point Venting was like killing, in Kit's subconscious mind at least.

441 Mania interview between Stephen Lunsford and Matt Mullins:

TVO: For Stephen and Matt. Many fans have made note in the Japanese versions, there's sometimes a bit of a suggestive, homo-erotic element to the Kamen Rider duos. And then the fans saw that scene in the living room with Kit and Len, and Len is sleeping on the couch with Kit on the floor. And Len covers Kit with the jacket. Fans thought you were honoring the Japanese material. Or is it more like an older/younger brother thing?
SL: I would like to say its an older/younger brother thing. However there are some interesting aspects to the series because we made fun of one episode in particular that we called gay for pay on the set. And it's funny, its the episode where I'm like helping Len outside of Ventara. And I'm like holding onto Len outside of a junkyard. And he's like, "I have no place to go!" Because he's like a hobo.
MM: Yes, I am a hobo . . . that can kill people!
SL: I'm like holding on to him going, "You can crash at my place." And like we looked at the picture, a still from that--
MM: Oh, its so funny.
SL: Looking at that, its difficult to have a show like that where its like a duo and not have some type of thing like that. But I just laugh at that.
TVO: I thought him giving you the jacket was like a cool, Indiana Jones sort of thing.
SL: Yeah, I like that more than what everyone else is suggesting.

I am sure there is more, I just don't know them, let me know.

1 comment:

Nights said...

Ironically, in "Kamen Rider Den-O", Ryotaro couldn't flirt with women and has been known to run from some, which led some of us to believe Ryotaro/Den-O may not have an interest in women, but the movies proved that wrong because he has a grandson. I also notice Kamen Rider Decade doesn't flirt or anything, and makes Kuuga pick his brides himself, but then again, there is no proof he has an interest in men.