‘Kamen Rider Ghost’ Is The Year’s Spookiest New Hero
So here's the good news: If the impending spookiness of Halloween has you in the mood for horror-themed superheroics, Kamen Rider Ghost has finally made its debut. As the latest series in the long-running tokusatsu franchise, Ghost combines all the dirtbikes and jumpkicks that we've come to expect from Kamen Rider with a premise that feels like the Japanese equivalent of Kid Eternity, focusing on Takeru, a young ghost hunter killed in the line of duty, who has to collect the souls of dead heroes so that he can use their power to wish himself back to life.
And here's the bad news: It's only airing in Japan.
That's not surprising --- Kamen Rider has never had the success that Super Sentai has on this side of the Pacific --- but given that everything I've heard about Ghost makes it sound ridiculously awesome, it is pretty disappointing.
Take, for instance, the way that Ghost gets new super-powers: By finding an object that belonged to a person and someone with strong feelings about that person, he's able to turn that object into an eyeball-shaped "Eyecon" that he can drop into his belt to access their powers. The first episode finds him taking on a form inspired by the legendary Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi; the second gives him a lightning-shooting Thomas Edison form --- making Kamen Rider Ghost the only piece of popular media of the 21st century to choose Edison over Tesla --- with the promise of upcoming forms inspired by Robin Hood and Isaac Newton.
The Newton form controls gravity, although one hopes for an ultimate attack involving dropping apples on the monsters' heads.
But yeah, Ghost remains without a legitimate outlet here in America, although personally, I'm hoping that Crunchyroll's legal distribution of Ultraman X (and recent high-profile releases of classic Super Sentai) might be a sign that we might be moving towards getting more Japanese superheroes over here in their original form.
It probably won't happen by Halloween, though.