What I Believe Went Wrong With Saban's Masked Rider
I always have the same reaction when it comes to Saban's Masked Rider
If there's any licensed adaptation by Saban that was so stupid it was his version of Masked Rider. I felt like the whole show is really that bad. The whole series was first introduced through Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and later, it seemed to become a standalone show. So what's the big deal with Saban's Masked Rider and why I really don't like it?
Now I have nothing against lighter and softer if it's done properly but the way Saban's Masked Rider was carried out felt more like it was a bootleg fan film than a licensed adaptation. Yes, Saban was able to secure the rights from Shotaro Ishinomori but the show went so bad that any possibility of Saban's staff securing Kamen Rider rights may be ruined. Please note that Kamen Rider Dragon Knight is by Wang Brothers, not Saban. I felt this show really ruined itself and the image of Kamen Rider to the American fans.
Granted, Masked Rider Black RX (the show it was based from) didn't get so much of a good reception but still, the show it was based from was miles above Saban's Masked Rider. I know Black RX does get criticized for having lower quality than the prequel Kamen Rider Black (which I agree), but still I'd watch Black RX over Saban's Masked Rider. Saban's Masked Rider might as well be better off forgotten... and at times, I feel like Kamen Rider Decade which I also hate so much deserves a little more sympathy for four decent episodes!
The difference is obvious... Count Dregon's design is completely inferior to General Jark...
I can't really forget all the tons of bad editing and why they were lazy to film some scenes on their own? Even Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers during its first season bothered to film its own footage and later episodes, they just filmed more original footage to complement the American audience. You can observe ho wmany times footage slips here and there and even Colonel Tasmadder got slipped into the episode "Water Water Everywhere" and in "Invasion of Leawood" you would notice Joe and Reiko got slipped into it? WTF LAZY!!!!! Sad to say but this stupidity has also made it into the Neo Saban era with Power Rangers Samurai.
Now let's compare the Dregon/Nefaria original footage vs. how Bandora as Rita was dealt with. Now I thought it was obvious that Rita's lips (through Bandora footage) didn't match but at least later, when Rita returned, they focused on Carla Perez herself and no longer kept inserting Soga Machiko footage. But in Saban's Masked Rider, the whole insert General Jark footage as Dregon really fails big time that maybe even a child can tell something is not right.
Should I also mention the ACTING? Ted Jan Roberts really pales compared to Tetsuo Kurata, no questions asked. I always felt like slamming my head every time Ted Jan as Dex would do his acting and wow, it really pisses me off. If there's any point that I'll give to Kamen Rider Decade is that at least Masahiro Inoue could ACT. Tetsuo may have not liked Black RX for excessive humor but hey, he was really doing his best to act his part. Ted Jan really looked unenthusiastic with his role and so are the rest of the cast.
If I want to have another acting comparison let's compare Jennifer Tung and Atsuko Takahata. Jennifer makes Nefaria look like a joke even when she wants to be threatening. Atsuko herself knows how to carry her role just like she was Space Witch Gilza or as Maribaron, she was incredibly scary even if Black RX had excessive humor.
I could talk about the writing and production of Saban's Masked Rider is so very downhill even during the time it had a crossover with Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers to give a preview of the upcoming series. Seriously you call the Crisis Empire's counterparts here INSECTivores when they don't look like insects at all? When you look at the monsters of Kamen Rider Black RX you can see some of them are based on plants, mammals, robots and most of them DO NOT look like insects. I always thought that the name Insectivore does not sound a bit appropriate for Crisis Empire.
Black RX still had real plot buildup... something Saban's Masked Rider ignored the need for it more than once. I know Black RX's history of Crisis is really in crisis considering how it unfolded but still, much of Crisis' history was still better written than how Black RX handled it. Most people may know by now that General Jark is NOT the main antagonist but he was the subordinate of an even greater idiotic superior Grand Lord Crisis. I thought that Crisis' self-destruction because of its ruler's stupidity was still much better written than how Saban's Masked Rider handled itself.
It just made me think maybe that's why Saban didn't get the rights to Kamen Rider again. Either he really thought it was best to stick to adapting Super Sentai as Power Rangers or that, he just felt like giving up on it. Maybe Toei even thought the idea wouldn't really work for the United States. Again, I don't really mind Kamen Rider getting adapted but just do it right.