Are Kamen Rider Occupations Influencing Children’s Dreams?
A nationwide survey was held for boys up to 6th grade. For the first time in years, “Scholars and Professors” won first place. Until then, “Soccer Player” had won for 7 years in a row. People speculated that Japanese natives have been awarded various Nobel prizes since 2014, which fueled the children’s change of hearts. However, most believe it’s due to the influence of Kamen Rider. For years, the hero has been unemployed until recently, where the main hero has had a elite profession.
In Kamen Rider Build, the main character is a genius physicist who has the highest IQ of any other Heisei Kamen Rider. He transforms by combining two Full Bottles to create the “best match”. He can change his form at any time with matching bottles. It seems too much of a coincidence that “Scholar/Professor” would rank in first place.
In 2016, “Doctor” ranked in first place within the top 5. People believe this was due to the influence of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, that starred a team of doctors. The protagonist of Kamen Rider Drive in 2014 was a Detective. In 2014 and 2015, both “Police Officer and Detective” ranked third. In 2015, Kamen Rider Ghost starred a young man who was a ghost, so he likely had no influence on the rankings. In recent years, the occupations of Kamen Riders are said to be much more “elite”. It’s likely their jobs will influence children.
Let’s think about the occupations of previous Kamen Riders.
Kamen Rider 1 was an excellent Scientist, while No. 2 was a freelance photographer. There were a few scenes of him working. But children asked about their source of income. They wondered “Can you earn money by defeating Shocker or Phantoms?” The occupations of Riders continued to change. V3 was a university student, X was a scientist, but Amazon was about a man raised in the Amazon.
When the Showa Era ended, we entered the Heisei period with Kamen Rider Kuuga. Promoting “ikemen” Riders and multiplying Riders in a single work became more prominent. Their jobs were not seen as serious as previous series. Kamen Rider Ryuki worked as a journalist trainee, while Kamen Rider W was a (half-boiled) Detective. Heisei Riders have often appeared as unprofessional, juggling part-time jobs, or just doing housework.
Kamen Rider Kuuga’s Yuusuke worked part time in a restaurant but was mostly an adventurer. Kamen Rider OOO’s Eiji and Gaim’s Kouta were unemployed most of the time. Kamen Rider Wizard’s Haruto was a mage, but didn’t have a proper job. Fourze’s Gentaro was a high school student, so he obviously had no job, but later became a teacher. Most of the time, their occupations (or lack-of) had no influence on the storyline.
On the other hand, articles that assume the annual income of Riders often circulate online. Kamen Rider Black RX is the winner as a helicopter pilot, with an estimated annual income of over 10 million yen. Kamen Rider Drive is a civil servant, and likely makes a low income, but he has a more stable occupation.
How would the income influence a Rider who hopes to become married in the future? Being a Kamen Rider is an upstanding and solid job. But, most interpret it as a temporary event in their lives, and the characters move on if they survive to the end. What about their spouse? For women, many may want a man with a more stable profession to help the household and be there for their children. A man who’s a Rider, with a stable career, and is a handsome Heisei Rider seems to be preferred.
In other heroic works, the main characters often have elite jobs with positions of power and decide to be super heroes on the side. Many think of Batman and Iron Man. Superman had a more modest job as a newspaper reporter. Kamen Rider Drive was both a police officer and Kamen Rider, which are both seen as heroes to children. Having a heroic occupation can lead to a sense of excitement in children. So, will the next Rider follow in this trend?
If you think about making their positions more elite, it could lead to politicians and Prime Ministers. Members of the Diet are likely incompatible with the battles. However, it’s hard to say if we won’t see a young, upcoming political who is trying to change things from the inside.
In the trend of Kamen Rider Drive, there’s also the possibility of more civil servants, such as firefighters and emergency personnel who are already heroes to children. There are many vehicles that could be used instead of a bike or car to help Riders protect Japan from evil.
Children are also influenced by atheletes. You can think of movies like Shaolin Soccer or the recent Kamen Rider Gaim: Great Soccer Battle! Golden Fruits Cup!. Teams could band together, like in baseball. Even figure skating could create powerful movies like a “Four Rotation Kick”, similar to a Rider Kick. Youtubers, Day Traders, CEOs, or even a professional female business woman starring as the protagonist.
While our ideas may seem delusional, we eagerly await the announcement for the next Kamen Rider coming this Autumn.