The classic tokusatsu hero franchise Kamen Rider will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an anime series. An anime adaptation of the manga series Fuuto PI (Fuuto Tantei) will arrive in 2022, they announced on Saturday (Japan time).
Just to be clear, this anime series will likely be a somewhat different version of Kamen Rider, if it follows the manga. Fuuto PI takes place in the Kamen Rider W (or Kamen Rider Double) universe, and is considered to be a sequel. But the manga apparently focuses quite a bit on the hard-boiled detective work of Shotaro Hidari and Philip of Narumi Detective Agency. Kamen Rider Double doesn’t show up until the middle of the first volume.
Technically speaking, this will also not be the first animated version of Kamen Rider. It rarely happens, but occasionally the bug-suited hero does show up in animated form. For example, Kamen Rider SD featured chibi versions of various Kamen Riders. There was also Imagin Anime, an OVA spin-off of Kamen Rider Den-O. Kamen Rider also showed up in the comedy anime series Crayon Shin-chan.
But this would be the first serious TV anime interpretation of Kamen Rider, rather than a spin-off or a gag series. That’s probably why the Kamen Rider 50th anniversary website (incorrectly) refers to Fuuto PI as ‘the first-ever Kamen Rider animation.’
Producer Hideaki Tsukada acknowledges the difficulty of adapting a story to a different format in his comments on the website.
‘But there was none of that disconnect when live-action drama Kamen Rider W was followed by the manga… It was stimulating because the story was new, but there was also a refreshingly new technical aspect,’ he said.
Hopefully that will apply to the anime version as well.