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Otaku USA Magazine : A Chat With Nathan Long

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
* The Pen Is Mightier Than The Card (www.otakuusamagazine.com).

Below are some quotes by Nathan Long. Be sure to visit the link above for much much more. And watch for Kamen Rider in the next new issue of Otaku USA Magazine in stores sometime this week.

I watched ALL of Kamen Rider Ryuki, several times, but more so I could catalog the fights than for the plot. I think that's the biggest misconception I find when I snoop around the various Rider forums. I wouldn't call Kamen Rider Dragon Knight an adaptation of Kamen Rider Ryuki. We used the fight footage and some of the basic themes, but the Dragon Knight story has no real relation to the Ryuki story.

The things we kept were: the costumed footage, the idea that each of the riders would have a different reason he or she was fighting, the look and attitude of Ren, and the concept of a female reporter. Other than that, we started with a blank slate and created the story from scratch.

...We wanted to make something original - something that came out of our heads rather than just a carbon copy of an old show. Believe me, if someone had come to us and asked us to make a completely new Toku show from the ground up, without adapting some previous property, we would have jumped at the chance. That would have been so cool! The decision to use Ryuki as a base was not ours, it was the producers', and it was primarily budgetary. They didn't have a lot of money, and re-using existing action scenes was a lot cheaper than shooting new ones...

...I am hoping that the viewers will see Kamen Rider as more than just a Power Rangers clone, but I don't know if it will happen. I tell people that it's more like 'Heroes' for teens. I hope that description will at least convince them to give it a chance. We'll see.

...Aside from Kit and Len, who carry the main drama of the series, Torque (Zolda) might have been my favorite. His real name is Drew Lansing, and he's a twisty little con-man, always working the angles and keeping one step ahead of the people he's swindling. Those kinds of characters have always appealed to me.

I also liked writing Michelle Walsh, who starts out as a fairly minor character - a rival reporter who gives the female lead a hard time - but who really changes and develops in interesting ways as the series goes on.

Femme/Siren had barely any screen time in Ryuki, will she catch more of a break than her Japanese counterpart?: She is an entirely different character in Dragon Knight than she was in Ryuki. I don't want to give anything away, but she is tougher and cooler and more hard-edged, and she is going to get way more screen time.

...I hope the fans will love it. I think it is miles cooler and more sophisticated than Power Rangers, and I think that if people stick with it, they're going to really enjoy the ride. My biggest fear is that the audience that we'd really like to get - kids from 10 to 16 - will see the colorful hero armor and decide its kid stuff and won't watch it. All I can say is, give us five episodes. If we haven't hooked you by then, I'll eat my hat.

...As far as more Kamen Rider or working with Steve and Mike again, we gotta wait and see how well KRDK does. I would be up for doing another series if they ask us. Steve, Mike and I are also hanging out and discussing other ideas - movies, series, etc that we might do on our own. It's all just talk right now, but we'll see.

Stick with us. Like I said earlier, give us five episodes. The first episodes are great, but as we went on and everybody got more comfortable in their roles they got even better. The story arc spans the whole forty episode series, and nothing at the beginning is as it seems. I like making things twisty, so trust me, there's more curves in this thing than a Pussycat Dolls show. You're going to like the ride.

I think both Steve and I would have a lot of fun doing another Guyver movie...

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