Kamen Rider Kiva was my first Kamen Rider series. I remember hearing when Kamen Rider Dragon Knight was coming and I knew I heard that name somewhere before. I remembered about Saban’s Masked Rider and I did some research finding out that Kamen meant Masked in Japanese. So that got me curious because why did an American show need to use a Japanese word in their title. Then I found the Kamen Rider series and soon later on the Super Sentai series with Go-onger being my first. I still do enjoy both shows, but I can agree that Kiva has many faults. To be honest though Kiva is a show I see tons of potential in though. There are many concepts that I enjoyed in the show, but many of them never reach fruition. A huge reason was how the show wasted time in the beginning and even in the later episodes made some bad decisions with time travel. Still the idea of a race trying to be dominant and the humans simply fighting back with some love triangles mixed in can actually work. Love stories with warring sides is not original, but there is tons of things you can do with that.
As I said before a big problem with the show was the beginning half where it felt like it stalled for time. Even for me some episodes got a bit harder to watch as the years kept passing by. I understand the significance of some of the episodes with Wataru needing to open up with others. Who knows this could have led to him actually revealing his secret to the others and not just having dumb luck doing it. Even if with this idea in the beginning the show still could have shown off big players. Rook was introduced fairly well into the show so why not introduce the rest of the Checkmate Four around the same time? Show the hierarchy that the heroes would have to deal with. The better part would be to only show their monster forms so they can blend in with even the audience not knowing who is who. Taiga easily could have been around in the show being a good friend towards Wataru and again could have been a great way to help him open up with others thanks to an old childhood friend. This could have even started the love between Mio and Wataru as they simply start out as friends along with Taiga being around. Developing the bond between the three early on would be nice. You can even have comedic parts slapped in too which Kiva had a little too much of that as well.
Reminding me of comedy, one of the biggest jokes in the series was the Azora Organization. They barely had any members and got their asses handed to them even years after their first confrontations with the Fangire. A nice sense of an upgrade would have been nice to see which we got with IXA a bit later on, but man this organization was still a joke. If IXA got powered up, why not a smaller troops of the powered down IXA? I know that is suit budget then and could have been a problem on its own, but I’m sorry the little gun blades barely did anything. At least give the troops with no armor a powerful weapon like the IXA Knuckle. Along with that line of thinking, IXA was a troubling rider. Nago started out as a crazy man with a button fetish, but later on I actually enjoyed him as a character. He started to learn his faults and tried to improve himself not only as a fighter, but also a person. I feel like this could have still been in, but they really made it over the top in the show. Just make Nago serious about taking down Kiva because of what the past events were. Nago was stubborn so I can see him having fights with Kiva way more than usual. Maybe having someone like Kamen Rider Saga show up earlier could get Nago to see what is really going on. Saga would be seen as another Kiva because he essentially is, or just scrap Saga and just get Dark Kiva in. Nago could have learned to work with Kiva even without him knowing it was Wataru. Later on Kengo becomes a member of the organization and I think it would have been better if he never became IXA, but was close to. Kengo could have been a solider quickly climbing up the ranks and get rid of the soldier personality and keep his up beat attitude. Nago would have seen many things about himself through Kengo again not only as a warrior, but also a person. It would have been a nice friendly rivalry as Kengo almost becoming IXA would strive Nago to be stronger and kinder.
A huge aspect of the show was the use of flashing back and forth between two different times. This introduced us to many other characters like Otoya, Yuri, and Jiro and his two allies. I feel the flashbacks were over saturated and sometimes were all not that needed just to show that a Fangire survived over the years. There are many important things that happen in the events of the past and there are two ways to still use it. The first one is to simply have dialogue explain what has happened and that is the easy way out. Again depending on how budget is, it could be the last resort. The other way is to simply limit the flashbacks and just have an episode focusing on the current time. This would also get rid of many glaring problems in the past. First is with Jiro, I really like this guy and his crew. They are surviving members of their race trying to well survive. They are also looking for mates and to be honest Jiro was close… until he became a rapist… Yea this is a good reason to limit the flashbacks to prevent issues like that! Just have them be good honest people trying to survive and hell even giving a lending hand to the organization like Jiro was. You can still have Otoya and Yuri fall in love, but do not make it so deep as the show did. It just went a little too far so when Otoya feel in love with Maya it felt like cheating. Another good thing that comes to limiting flashbacks means we can have some nice introductions earlier on. Like showing off King in the past and then having that cool realization that Taiga has some connections with him. Personally I really enjoyed King he was threatening as he was trying to exterminate other races. Pretty much I feel the show could have kept how Otoya tapped into Kiva’s powers and bloodline since I feel it was a high point for not only the character, but for the story as well. Just focusing on the signficant aspects of the past would easily put into stone of why the present is the way it is.
Aspects of the show I do heavily enjoy are the final arcs, but the build up to them were just weak which is thanks to not taking time with them. I enjoy the battles that Wataru had with Taiga and imagine if IXA actually could be more part of that too. Bishop is my favorite character of the show, he had a great actor and his part of the story was strong. Bishop wanted the current King to take the mantle and he feels things are ruining that so he does his own actions. Bishop even loses it and causes chaos which leads to the revival of the past king. Maybe having King being revived could have been much bigger than just being the final boss for the series. Make him into an actual character at this point because in the show was just a monster at the end. This is King, he wiped out many races so having him back should have shown that off. This could soon lead to Taiga and Mio being forced to fight under the past King. Mio tries to fight back which leads to her death by either King or Bishop. This both makes Wataru and Taiga have a crushing defeat, but together they get through it and fight the good battle. This gets rid of the silliness that was Wataru trying to kill himself by traveling into the past. An idea I brought up was if Jiro and his allies worked with the organization which could have led to a nice fight in the present. With Jiro helping out with IXA early on, the three do actually get to repopulate and with the time gap we have that is enough time to have the younger blood be in the battle of the present. Hell this would easily be a good way to give Kiva the three forms he gets. Wataru finding new allies by improving his social situation.
Now we get to the ideas of the form changes and to be honest Megumi can work with this. Megumi could actually be Wolfen since Jiro actually being a good person means he got to be with Yuri. Again this avoids the way too extreme rape plot point. Megumi was also the first person to get Wataru out of his house and then leading to her being a sort of power-up for Wataru would be a nice step forward. Now I know the reason why Kiva got the forms to begin with was because the three got changed into items. Still maybe you can have the offspring of the these three be the ones to give Wataru the weapons.The Emperor form can still be around in its entirety because it is the way Kiva gets to be like Dark Kiva. This was an aspect I thought of myself for Kiva and that when there is a new Kiva they start out as the base form and soon become their own version. With Kiva’s final form being called Emperor it does give off a lineage feel to it. Dark Kiva is just another form of Kiva, but it soon becomes the default for the King who uses it. Who knows we can simply have Taiga’s Kiva form be Saga because to be honest I feel that Saga was actually a pretty cool rider design and should have been used a bit more. This way we can keep Dark Kiva with King even when he is revived.
Well that is pretty much all I have on my mind about Kiva and how I felt it could have played out. Now with the aspects of filler episodes they can stay, but just do not have the flashbacks be part of them. Having the flashbacks signifies when something important is coming up. If you have any thoughts about Kiva, tell me. I am always interested to how others see certain shows. If Kiva is your favorite show of the franchise that is great because I still do like the show myself in some regards. It is a strange feeling I got with the show, I like it so much that I think of changing things around. Kiva had some cool concepts and designs so they just keep me thinking about Kiva in the end.