what's your favorite upgrade/power-up device/weapon in super sentai and kamen rider?
Thanks for the question! I didn’t have to think long or hard about the Super Sentai answer even though it is a slightly problematic one. That answer is Minityra from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger.
Let me start with the problem I have with it. This is a power up for only one member of the team, a member who gets most of the focus in the series to the deteriment of just about everyone else’s development. It’s symptomatic of the biggest problem with the show, too much focus on Daigo/Kyoryu Red. I understand that but I still love this little power up. Why?
Well, first off it’s adorable.
It is a tiny, friendly, dog-like version of Gabutyra shrunk down to pet-sized to help out his best friend. That’s just too cute. Second, when needed, he turns into a friend-shaped gun.
When used in this mode, he functions as the power up for Kyoryu Red, turning him into Kyoryu Red Carnival!
While the power up looks ridiculous, it totally fits the theme of Samba and a sort of Brazilian Carnival costume. Plus, it combines with the Gaburevolver to form an even bigger gun. I like it so much, I got one for myself!
Now, on the Kamen Rider front we have a LOT more to choose from. Super Sentai teams/members may get one big power up a season but Kamen Rider has become famous (or perhaps infamous) in recent years for the number of power ups given to a hero. Just look at the previous series, Kamen Rider Ghost. His first major power up (that changed his form) was Toucon Boost Damashi.
After that he becomes Grateful Damashii:
Before finally ending up with Mugen Damashii, his ultimate form.
This isn’t even counting all of his myriad forms gained through the use of different Eyecons. These are just the major powered-up forms resulting from big events in the story and a need to take on tougher foes and challenges.
Of course, Kamen Rider Ghost doesn’t have my favorite power up. I am just using that as an example. No, for sheer aesthetics and cool factor I have to give it to Kamen Rider Gaim’s Kachidoki Arms form.
The entire series has a kind of Samurai vibe going with Armored Riders and the Sengoku Drivers but nowhere is this more evident than in this form. It is Samurai armor, complete with battle standards that can be used as weapons or left on his back to proclaim his presence on the battlefield. I like this look so much better than his final power up and think it’s one of the best looks for any modern Kamen Rider.
Narratively, I’m not so keen on it but that’s more just an issue I have with Gaim as a series. Strictly based on design, this one wins hands down! Heck, I even think it looks amazing using the ridiculous Hinawadaidai-DJ-ju gun!