Un-Kamen Knowledge: Get To Know Your Belt Actors
Seven actors whose voices drive the drivers. (WARNING: May be somewhat spoiler-ish)
A Kamen Rider isn’t a Kamen Rider without a belt. You can take away his motorcycle or his cyborg origin or do a bunch of funky things with the mythos, but the belt stays. Ofeten called Drivers, these are the magical accessories that grant the Rider their powers like a Green Lantern ring, He-Man’s sword or whatever Sailor Moon uses at the time. However, despite fandoms around the actors who play Kamen Rider (both in-suit and out) the same can’t necessarily be said about those who voice the Drivers.
That changes now. Today, we’re going to introduce you to some of Kamen Rider‘s belt actors, starting with the current belt-
Show: Kamen Rider Drive
Belt: Drive Driver, unique among belts in that it was an actual person before the events of Drive took place.
Bio: Mr. Peppler is the host of “Tokio Hot 100” on J-WAVE, a Japanese radio station. He was also in an episode of Space Dandy and for extra irony points, voiced one of the drivers in the Japanese version of Crazy Taxi.
Show: Kamen Rider Gaim
Belt: All Sengoku Drivers and respective Lock Seeds
Bio: Hiratoko is the front man for Hermann H. & The Pacemakers, a rock group who are probably not named for anything in particular. (I didn’t see anything actually confirming this, but after watching some videos, I think it’s a pretty safe assumption.)
Show: Kamen Rider Gaim
Belt: All Genesis Drivers and Energy Lock Seeds
Bio: Miki is not new to Kamen Rider. In addition to being a legendary voice actor (including being the James to equally-legendary Megumi Hayashibara’s Jesse) he was the voice of Sieg in Kamen Rider Den-O.
Show: Kamen Rider OOO
Belt: Birth Driver
Bio: Nakata is also a veteran voice actor, having been in the business since 1985. He was also in several tokusatsu series, from Flashman to most recent being the Overlord Roshuo in Kamen Rider Gaim.
Show: Kamen Rider W
Belt: W Driver, Accel Driver, Lost Driver, all Gaia Memories
Bio: This was Tachiki’s fourth Kamen Rider, having previously done bit parts for Kuuga, Blade, and Decade. He also performed music for Blue Seed and Dynasty Warriors 4 to go along with his countless other voice roles, and seems to be the actor of choice to dub over Forest Whitaker in film.
Show: Kamen Rider Decade
Belt: Decadriver, Diendriver
Bio: Another famous announcer type, you may have just seen him in a web video for the new Deacadriver coming out soon. He was also the narrator for some King Of Fighters games and currently narrates Future Card Buddyfight. In an odd bit of Small World news, he dropped by Chris Peppler’s show Night Stories in 2006.
Show: Kamen Rider Kiva
Belt: Kivat Belt
Bio: You probably know him as the comic straight man for every anime in existence. He was also the voice of Kivat Bat III, a bat-like creature who teamed up with series protagonist Wataru by biting him and then turning into his belt buckle. In Gaim he played Demushu, joining fellow belt actor Joji Nakata in Overlord-dom.