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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Japan's Kamen Rider OOO is taking Malaysia by storm

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

One of Japan's most enduring superheroes, Kamen Rider, is invading Malaysian shores.

Get ready! Masked rider superhero Kamen Rider OOO is taking Malaysia by storm!

Kamen Rider is a Japanese science fiction television series created by Japanese Mange artist, Shotaro Ishinomori, which started in 1971. The series features a motorcycle-riding superhero – whose alter ego is Eiji Hino – with transforming powers which he uses to battle super-villains in the name of world peace.

Toys based on the character were launched earlier and are brought in by Litt Tak Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Japan's Bandai Namco Group. The leading toy distributor for Japanese action toys in Malaysia, Litt Tak has been working with Bandai over the years to bring in toys from popular franchises such as Power Rangers, Ultraman and Ben 10.

Their latest collaboration sees the introduction of Kamen Rider OOO (pronounced as "Oh's"), the most successful Kamen Rider character in the history of the franchise.

"We are extremely excited about the prospect of Kamen Rider OOO making its way to Malaysian shores for the first time, and we are ensuring that Kamen Rider OOO makes a great impact in this market," said Litt Tak executive director Tan Ee Chian, during the launch, which was also attended by Bandai sales manager (SEA) Shinsuke Kojima, Bandai sales manager (Hong Kong) Yun Keichin, and Yusei Nagamatsu, manager of Toei Co Ltd.

In the Kamen Rider OOO television series, Eiji Hino, a man with a tragic past, receives a belt and three medals that allow him to transform into Kamen Rider OOO. Meanwhile, evil animal-like beings awaken after an 800-year slumber to attack humans and feed of their desires, and Eiji has to use his new-found powers to battle Greeed and their minions, the Yummy monsters, and as a result discovers his purpose in life.

A cosplayer dressed as Kamen Rider 000 performs at the launch, as Litt Tak executive director Tan Ee Chian (left), and Bandai sales manager (SEA) Shinsuke Kijoma look on-- M. Azhar Arif/The Star 27 Feb 2014.

A cosplayer dressed as Kamen Rider 000 performing at the launch of toys based on the character.

In the show, Kamen Rider OOO collects special coin-like O-Medals that enable the hero to change into various forms or "combos" to handle various battle scenarios.

Nagamatsu explained that each medal has "the power of different animals or insects", giving Kamen Rider different powers and abilities, such as the speed of a cheetah, the amazing jump of a kangaroo and the strength of a gorilla.

The title "OOO" represents the three medals used by Kamen Rider to transform from an ordinary man to a villain-fighting superhero. The title also illustrates the infinity symbol (∞) with an additional circle to signify that Kamen Rider is "over infinity".

As the television series is targeted at young boys, Nagamatsu said that the series intends to promote the idea that "good fights evil". "We try to encourage the boys to be strong and brave," he said.

While video games have been getting the attention of children in the recent years, Tan believes that parents would want their children to get away from those games and build social skills, as well as run wild with their imaginations.

Kojima concurred, stressing the matter of family, which happens to be the most important message of the franchise. "We want to provide precious time for family bonding," said Kojima.

The Kamen Rider toy range is available at all major departmental stores in the country with prices ranging from RM9.90 up to RM399.90, while the television series is expected to debut in the second quarter of the year.

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