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 "Now your power is at its peak."


The 2004-2005 series of Kamen Rider and the fifth installment in the Heisei Era.

Ten thousand years ago, a massive battle royale took place between the immortal Undead monsters, each one representing a species of creature on Earth. The Human Undead was the victor, and as a result the human race was allowed to multiply and populate the Earth as its dominant species. Meanwhile, the losing Undead were sealed into cards to slumber for eternity.

Fast forward to the present day. The Undead have been released from their confinement and have started a new battle royale for dominance over the Earth. To counteract this, the secret organisation BOARD has created the Rouse Card System and recruited two individuals- Kazuma Kenzaki and Sakuya Tachibana- to seal the Undead on behalf of the human race by merging with Sealed Category Ace Undeads to become Kamen Riders. Kenzaki merges with the Sealed Category Ace of Spades to become Kamen Rider Blade, while Tachibana uses the Sealed Category Ace of Diamonds to transform into Kamen Rider Garren.

Unfortunately, BOARD is swiftly destroyed by an Undead attack and Kenzaki finds that Tachibana has apparently betrayed the human race. A second opponent is found in Hajime Aikawa, an introverted photographer who hides a deadly secret: he is actually an Undead who can use the Sealed Category Ace of Hearts card to transform into Kamen Rider Chalice without the use of an external Rouzer device. The quartet of Riders is completed with Mutsuki Kamijo, who is chosen by the Sealed Category Ace of Clubs card to become Kamen Rider Leangle, only to have the evil Spider Undead sealed within slowly take over his mind and create a new, deadly enemy.

The show's slogan, "Now your power is at its peak", is a reference to a comment made by one character in regards to titular character Kazuma Kenzaki: that he reaches his maximum potential as Blade when he is fighting to protect others.

Now has a Character Sheet.

This series contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion — The Serpent Undead gets hit in the face with a taiyaki plate, leaving her face messed up; this was actually a Running Gag when the actress playing her was in the role of Wendinu in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger (but with less harmful implements like paint brushes, sooty explosions etc.).
  • A God Am I — Hiroshi Tennōji
  • Alien Blood — Undead bleed green.
  • Alternate EndingMissing Ace serves as an alternate ending to the series were Blade sealed Hajime.
  • Anti-Hero — Hajime Aikawa, start as type III but eventually mellowed into type II.
  • Artificial HumanYoshito Hirose.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance — the girlfriend of Hajime's Identical Stranger is the heiress to a taiyaki or fried-fishcake empire... who has Denise Richards-worthy fishlips.
  • Batman GambitUsed to defeat the Titan Undead. It'd been impersonating the group the entire time, making them unsure of who they could trust and making it hard to find. Hajime seemed to lose control and assume his Joker form and Kenzaki seemed to be unable to finish him. So the Titan emerged to try and finish the Joker himself, only to be caught by Garren and Leangle. Hajime returns to human form and reveals that was what they were hoping for. He only pretended to lose control and Kenzaki pretended to be unable to stop him so the Titan, who as an Undead fears the Joker and wants him done away with, would try to finish him itself, walking right into their trap.
  • Bat Out of Hell — Bat Undead/Garren's 8 of Diamonds Scope Bat.
  • Becoming the Mask — Hajime, who assumed the appearance of the Human Undead and found himself enjoying his new life.
  • Big BadHiroshi Tennoji. He isn't the final villain, but he was the one who unsealed the Undead and manipulates events from behind the scene the entire series, all in an attempt to become a God and rule the world.
    • Junichi Shimura/Kamen Rider Glaive/Albino Joker in the movie.
  • Big Badass Wolf — Wolf Undead/Chalice's Jack of Hearts Fusion Wolf.
  • Big Damn VillainsTennoji is beaten, but the Riders don't want to kill him, despite him still being a major threat, because he's defenseless at the moment. King of Diamonds is more than happy to do it for them.
  • Bittersweet Ending- Hajime is allowed to live on as a human, but the Sealing Stone still exists which means Kenzaki must keep as far away from Hajime as possible. Might also sort-of qualify as a Downer Ending.
  • Black Speech — The language of the Undead.
  • Brainwashed — Mutsuki, falling under the influence of the Spider Undead.
  • Can't Catch Up — Kamen Rider Leangle, touted as the 'strongest Rider' early into his debut, lived up to that at first, but became woefully outclassed when the others got their Super Modes. He tried to catch up, but never did. Though it should be noted that he never quite falls so far behind that he's useless, which ironically shows how his Ace Form was indeed the strongest.
  • Card Battle Game — Has elements of this: each Undead is sealed into a card that can then be slashed through a Rouzer to activate the card's special powers. Using certain cards in succession would activate a Rider's Finishing Move.
  • ~Chekhov's Gun~ — The password for the BOARD computer, "Double Joker".
  • The Chick — Shiori Hirose
  • Cooking Duel — For a little added flavour, this one was takoyaki[1] vs taiyaki[2], scored by customer sales.
  • Creation Myth
  • Deadly Upgrade — Blade's King Form. Chalice's Wild Form.
  • Death By Origin Story — The fate of Amane's father could be considered this, since it ties in directly with Hajime's origins. Double subverted later on when Yoshito Hirose, presumed dead after releasing the Undead in the first place, turns up alive — only for that 'Hirose' to later be revealed to be a Trial monster himself.
  • Driven to SuicideHajime attempts to kill himself after he can no longer control himself and prevent him from carrying out the Joker's destiny to destroy the world. But being an immortal Undead, this fails.
  • Elemental Powers
  • Empathic Environment — Leangle's first appearence is accompanied by omnious storm clouds that come out of nowhere. No explaination is ever given, but it makes for a great entrence.
  • The End of the World as We Know It — What happens if Joker is the last one standing.
  • Evil Albino — The Albino Joker. He's actually even worse than the normal Joker.
  • Evil Counterpart — Leangle's Rider System was created by Karasuma when he was forced to work with Undeads. Albino Joker works out to be an evil counterpart to the normal Joker Undead--lacking any of Hajime's woobish tendencies.
  • Evil Feels Good — Mutsuki Kamijō
  • Evil Is Not a Toy — Kerberos kills the scientists involved in its genesis upon creation.
  • Everybody Lives — All four Riders and their civilian buddies live (although Kenzaki is now an Undead and must avoid Hajime at all costs).
    • It's worth noting that the MotWs of this season don't really die either. As Undead, the only way to put them down is to seal them into cards — only the Trial Undeads and Roaches can be killed.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks — Hammerhead Undead/Chalice's 3 of Hearts Chop Head.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears — Polar Undead/Leangle's 6 of Clubs Blizzard Polar.
  • Everything's Worse with Bees — Bee Undead/Leangle's 2 of Clubs Stab Bee.
  • Evolving Credits
  • Expy — An in-universe version; the Missing Ace Riders' powers are modeled on the four from the TV series: Glaive is Blade, Larc is a combination of Garren and Chalice, and Lance is Leangle.
    • Also worth noting is two specific Trial Monsters, one modeled after Garren's battle style and another modeled after Leangle's battle style.
  • Finding Judas — Tachibana, when he works with Hirose's father to save Kenzaki from his own King Form.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning — Non video game example. Blade is lightning, Garren is Fire, and Leangle is ice. Chalice messes with the formula at times by serving as air/wind.
  • Four Is Death
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble
  • Frogs and Toads — Frog Undead/Garren's 3 of Diamonds Upper Frog.
  • Fun with Acronyms — BOARD stands for the "Board Of Archaeological Research Department.
  • Fusion Dance — The Rouse Systems work by merging the user's DNA with that of the Catagory Ace Undead. Though normally the human remains in control. Leangle has it rough because the Spider Undead was improperly sealed and can control him to some degree.
  • Good Feels GoodThe Tarantula Undead feels this way due to his love for human compassion.
  • Go Out with a SmileAccording to Hajime's flashback, the Human Undead did this when he willingly allowed himself to be sealed.
  • Gotta Catch Em All
  • Heroic BSOD — Kenzaki briefly goes through a phase of this after Tachibana's apparent betrayal.
    • Parodied later on with Kotaro when his date is revealed to be the Orchid Undead. His usually good cooking drops into Lethal Chef territory, although Tachibana can still eat it for some reason.
    • Tachibana is in this from the start of the series due to his fear the Rouse System might kill him.
  • Heroic SacrificeKenzaki in the finale, who sacrifices his humanity.
    • Tarantula Undead to save Mutsuki from being controlled by the Spider Undead. Although it didn't take until MUCH later on when Tiger Undead did the same.
    • Hajime in the movie, who switches places with Amane as the Albino Joker's power source so Kenzaki can destroy it and weaken the Albino Joker, killing Hajime in the process.
  • Hey, It's That Guy! — Sumiko Ozawa from Kamen Rider Agito makes a cameo appearance, with a similar enough characterisation to make her an Expy.
  • Humans Are Special — Humans have a great deal of traits that the Undead didn't start out with, such as compassion and caring about others. Some Undead who can assume human form ,such as the Tarantula Undead and Hajime discover this and perform a Heel Face Turn as a result of finding they actually like these traits.
  • Idiot BallThe entire final storyline of trying to save the world from the Joker would've been avoided if someone had had the bright idea to unseal the Tarantula Undead! What's even worse was there was an earlier storyline of trying to stop him from being sealed in the first place!
  • Ineffectual Loner — Hajime Aikawa
  • Japanese Beetle Brothers — Blade and Garren are in general Type A, though there are hints of Type B.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia — Hajime at one point, which leads into an encounter with an Identical Stranger.
  • Last-Name Basis — Kenzaki, Tachibana, and Hirose are almost never called by their given names.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: Decade and most social websites let you know that there is a Joker Undead let alone who The Joker Undead is.
  • Let's You and Him FightHiroshi uses his crossbreed Titan Undead to do this with both it's poison and shapeshifting abilities in an attempt to get the Riders to destroy each other. The Riders get wise and set up a fake battle with Hajime's Joker form in order to lure it out so it can be defeated.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Shiori Hirose arguably.
  • Messiah Creep — Kazuma Kenzaki
  • The Monolith — A twisty version acts as the Undeads' Battle Royale judge.
  • Morality Pet — Amane Kurihara to Hajime Aikawa, Sayoko Fukasawa to Sakuya Tachibana. Mutsuki's girlfriend Nozomi also qualifies.
  • Multiform Balance — With the exception of Leangle, all of the Riders have at least two forms.
  • Mythology Gag — Sakuya Tachibana (Kamen Rider Garren) shares his surname with the original Kamen Riders' mentor, Tobei Tachibana, alluding to his role as the most senior Rider in this season.
    • The red scarf from the Blade Vs Blade video, which nobody but the audience can see.
    • And Sakuya's former colleague Kiryu had an accident in which one of his arms had to be replaced with a mechanical appendage. Kiryu later retrofits it to release lethal electric currents, thereby referencing both Riderman and Stronger.
    • Instead of a spider monster in the first episode, we have a spider monster as a recurring villain of sorts, slowly turning Mutsuki evil despite being sealed in card form.
    • Hajime's Identical Stranger steps into the Cooking Duel with a ridiculous suit of armor, which he calls his Ultimate Form: a term that originated in Kamen Rider Kuuga, referring to the lead Rider of each season's final Super Mode. Not to mention that the armor was mostly black and gold just as Kuuga Ultimate Form was.
      • Also from Kuuga: the Undeads' belt buckles cracking open upon defeat happened to the Grongi as well (but are a valid plot device this time.)
    • The story parallels Kamen Rider Ryuki in several ways — ignoring the obvious use of cards, Riders in Ryuki and Undeads in Blade must fight and kill each other until one is left, and the last few episodes see the world swarmed with thousands of bug monsters for related reasons.
  • Nice Hat — Part of Mutsuki's Smug Snake wardrobe, hinted at early on in the opening credits.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain — Nice job killing Tachibana's girlfriend and freeing him of the fear that was crippling him in battle Isaka.
  • The Obi-Wan: Noboru Shima
  • Oh Crap — The first time Kenzaki fights a "Trial" (artificial creatures created from hybrids of human and Undead DNA), he fells it with the Lightning Sonic. As usual, he throws a Blank to attempt to seal it... the Blank is absorbed instead.
    • The first time Leangle uses his 'Remote' ability on other Rider's cards.
  • One-Winged Angel — The Albino Joker's final form in The Movie.
    • Tennōji after fusing with Kerberos.
  • Outside Context Villain — The Albino Joker in The Movie. Having sealed every Undead already with there being no indication of there being another one, he comes out of nowhere and what really throws them off is how intelligent he is compared to the normal Joker, who in his natural state is a raging beast. By the time they figure that out, he's already played them like fiddles and gotten what he wants.
  • Panthera Awesome: Lion Undead/Blade's 3 of Spades Beat Lion, Jaguar Undead/Blade's 9 of Spades Mach Jaguar and Tiger Undead/Leangle's Queen of Clubs Absorb Tiger.
  • Power Gives You Wings — Blade's and Garren's Jack Forms.
  • Primal Fear — Tachibana's fear of his body degenerating due to prolonged use of the Rouze System. Turns out it was all in his head.
    • Something of a ~Chekhov's Boomerang~ given later everyone learned of the nature of the Rouzers and King form later in the series turning users into Undead.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kenzaki and Tachibana.
  • Rhino Rampage — Rhinoceros Undead/Leangle's 4 of Clubs Rush Rhinoceros.
  • Rule of Funny — Tachibana and Mutsuki whipping out their Rouzers untransformed in Blade Vs Blade (followed by shooting Kazuma in the butt and whopping him on the head respectively). Shiori Hirose can lift heavy objects with one hand. Clearly there is only one reason.
  • Scary Scorpions- Scorpion Undead/Leangle's 8 of Clubs Poison Scorpion, again.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can — Joker, who is sealed by Hajime's Sealed Category Ace of Hearts and the Sealed Category Two of Hearts/Human Undead. Later is unsealed due to Blade's King Form and then resealed by Using the Category King of Hearts to enable Chalice's Wild Form
  • Shoot the Dog — Tachibana attempts to kill Hajime to save the world from being overrun with monstrous roaches.
  • Smoke Out — Squid Undead/Leangle's 9 of Clubs Smog Squid.
  • Smug Snake — The evil version of Mutsuki Kamijo.
  • Stop Helping Me! — Done entirely for humor in the Hyper Battle Video. A Trial has impersonated Kazuma, and he asks Tachibana and Mutsuki for help. Each of them in turn says "I know who the impostor is!", pulls out his personal weapon (while not transformed)...and attacks the real Kazuma, getting him shot in the ass and bashed over the head respectively.
  • Super Speed — Jaguar Undead/Blade's 9 of Spades Mach Jaguar.
  • Super-Powered Evil SideHajime has one in his true form: Joker.
  • Swapped RolesHajime and his takoyaki-making Doppelganger. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Take a Third Option — In the finale, Kenzaki stops The End of the World as We Know It and spares Hajime by turning himself into an Undead- thereby restarting the battle royale- then fixing it so that there will never be a winner.
  • Theme Naming — The Riders are all named after the suits of the Minor Arcana, and their given names all contain some reference to being first.
    • "Blade" references the suit of swords, and the "Kazu" in "Kazuma" means "one".
    • "Garren" is a corruption of "galleon" (a kind of coin), referencing the suit of coins, and the "Saku" in "Sakuya" means the first day of the lunar month.
    • "Chalice" references the suit of cups, and "Hajime" means "beginning".
    • "Leangle" is a corruption of "liangle" (a type of polearm), referencing the suit of wands, and "Mutsuki" means the first month of the lunar calendar.
  • This Is a Drill — Shell Undead/Chalice's 5 of Hearts Drill Shell.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Hirose Yoshito again.
  • Trademark Favourite Drink — Kotaro orders milk by the crates.
  • Turtle Power — Tortoise Undead/Garren's 7 of Diamonds Rock Tortoise.
  • Weapon of Choice
  • What Could Have Been — Each of the 52 normal Undead is pretty much this. Each had the chance to be the one whose species could've ruled the Earth, the Human Undead just managed to win out. This includes lions, tigers, spiders, grasshoppers, and even some species of plants. Yeah, Orchids could've ruled the world.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human? — As The Lancer, Tachibana has no problems with fighting the Undead Hajime. As The Messiah, Kenzaki begs to differ.
  • Where Are They Now? Epilogue
  • You Have Outlived Your UsefulnessTennoji loves to do this. First to the Riders when they're not of use anymore, and then to the scientists that helped him create the Kerberos.
    • The Albino Joker kills off the two other movie Riders once he's done using them as Unwitting Pawns.
  1. Toasted pastry balls with chunks of octopus
  2. Toasted fish-shaped waffles usually with jam
  3. The latter's also counts as his Super Mode.