|“||This is my stage now!||„|
|~ Kouta's pre-battle catchphrase|
|“||This power exists to protect those who can't fight!||„|
|~ Kouta Kazuraba|
Kouta Kazuraba (葛葉 紘汰 Kazuraba Kōta), also written as Kota Kazuraba in different publications, is the main protagonist and the titular character of the Kamen Rider series installment, Kamen Rider Gaim. He first gains the ability to transform by accident when he finds the Sengoku Driver, being called Armored Rider Gaim (アーマードライダー鎧武 [ガイム] Āmādo Raidā Gaimu) by DJ Sagara. Throughout the series, Kouta is determined to protect Zawame City from the ongoing Helheim Invasion and other invaders, gaining the title of Kamen Rider Gaim (仮面ライダー鎧武 [ガイム] Kamen Raidā Gaimu, lit. "Armored Warrior") when aiding his predecessors during the finale of Kamen Rider Wizard and the Heisei vs Showa Rider conflict.
He is portrayed by Gaku Sano.
Growing up, Kouta's parents died in an accident causing him to be raised by his older sister, Akira Kazuraba. Kouta throughout his High School years bumped into Kaito Kumon on various occasions. Sometime after High School, Kouta joined Team Gaim as one of their dancers to express himself as the youthful young adult he was. However, he later quits Team Gaim to help lessen the load that his sister deals with to financially sustain the two of them. This act of quitting causes his fellow dancer, Mai Takatsukasa. to resent him as she views that Kouta simply got bored of dancing and has grown up to do "boring" adult work.
Beat Riders Saga
Kouta, a young adult, was called by Team Gaim's leader, Yuya Sumii, who wants to show him something that can help their team. However, Kouta is unable to find his old friend and is pulled into a mysterious forest with his former teammate, Mai. There, Kouta finds a mysterious belt and uses it with a freshly ripened Lockseed to fight an Inves that targets him and Mai. Quickly, Kouta realizes that the Sengoku Driver is not a toy after his near-death experience with Zangetsu. Trying to find a means to put the belt to its best use, Kouta uses his newfound powers to battle Inves in the Inves Games, earning Kouta the name of "Armored Rider Gaim" as he becomes Team Gaim's official member in Yuya's stead.
Eventually, Kouta and Mitsuzane set up a new Inves Game that takes place within the Helheim Forest to lure out the puppet master behind the Sengoku Drivers and to uncover the identity and intentions of the White Armored Rider. During this event, Kouta and Mitsuzane manage to persuade the other Armored Rider teams to participate as a distraction (unknown to them) so that Kouta can investigate the humans present in the forest and the "White Armored Rider". From the games, Kouta learns that the Armored Riders are guinea pigs for the Yggdrasill Corporation and that the Sengoku Drivers feedback data to Yggdrasill. Learning that Sid has been using Kouta and the other Armored Riders, Kouta tells Sid that he isn't a rat in their maze. Kouta, along with Team Gaim later dance off during their Christmas event with Kouta reminiscing about being an adult and that one doesn't become one because they want to, but rather it just happens.
Yggdrasill Saga & Helheim Saga
Kouta finds himself along with his fellow Beat Riders as scapegoats for the rampant Inves attacks as they naturally find their way to Zawame City. Kouta is unable to save those who are injured by these Inves and struggles with killing a human-turned Inves and former rival, Ryoji Hase. Stripped of his Sengoku Driver alongside Kaito, he meets Ryoma Sengoku, the belt's creator. Later in Kouta's cell, Kouta receives the recognition and admiration of DJ Sagara and is granted the Lemon Energy Lockseed and Genesis Core. While combating Yggdrasill's efforts to take back the Prototype Sengoku Driver.
Kouta helps restore the Beat Riders' name by assuming his newfound powers, Jimber Arms, and learns the truth of the Helheim Forest and what Yggdrasill has in store for Zawame City. Kouta, despite knowing half of the truth behind Helheim, attempts to persuade Takatora to find a different way to save humanity.
As Kouta wins and steals the Cherry Energy and the Peach Energy Lockseeds, he finds himself clashing with Zangetsu Shin and has a struggle between ideals of what's best for humanity. However, Takatora reveals to Kouta that his ideals are a contradiction as Kouta discovers that when he discovered the Sengoku Driver, he killed the friend he was looking for, Yuya Sumii, a human-turned Inves.
While he is still trying to figure out what to do with the revelation that he killed Yuya, Kouta's spirit is shattered along with the ideals borrowed from both Mai. Entrusted by DJ Sagara, Kouta receives the Kachidoki Lockseed along with a new purpose: to destroy the iron rule of the world. Through his newfound purpose, Kouta annihilates an armada of Kurokage Troopers and is able to trade blows with Zangetsu Shin. He ultimately destroys the Scalar Weapons that threaten Zawame City.
Kouta and Mai witness Kaito actually smiling and dancing, having a great time before deducing that something is off with Kaito.
Later he is forced to reveal what he has been hiding from Mai, thinking he no longer has the right to be near Team Gaim and his friends. However to his shock, Mai comforts Kouta, telling him that he doesn't need to keep the burden to himself and that she's there for him. Gaining a job at Drupers, Mai does his shifts for him as the two start to spend more time with each other. In one of these times spent together, the two find a robot by the name of Jiro. Kouta lets Jiro stay at his apartment showing Jiro that they need to protect people. However, Jiro is overwhelmed by two conflicting processes and wishes to protect those he cares about and wants to regain his lost memories. Kouta reboots Jiro, allowing Jiro to regain his lost memories and become Kikaider, and the two gang up against Hakaider (Ryoma). In the aftermath, Kouta bids his farewell to Jiro, the latter unable to recognize Kouta, which saddens him.
Over Lord Saga
Aware of the Over Lord's existence, Kouta seeks out to find them, only to realize that they have become disillusioned after centuries of boredom. As the Over Lords view the human race as apes, Kouta struggles to gain their attention to stop the invasion of the forest. However, Kouta's journey to gain the Over Lord's support runs dry as he stops the fight between Demushu and Baron. Kouta teams up with Oren as the two aid Yggdrasill from Demushu's rampage, and Kouta's unwavering resolve allows Takatora to realize that the Over Lords are the key to saving humanity rather than culling humanity through Project Ark.
Through a long chain of events to encourage the Over Lords to stop their invasion of Helheim, Kouta is forced to battle Zangetsu Shin numerous times, who in reality it's Mitsuzane masquerading as Takatora to destroy their newfound friendship and trust. When a battle breaks out in the Helheim Forest with Baron, Zangetsu Shin, Sigurd, and Over Lord Demushu. Demushu escapes into the city and starts to wreck Zawame. Kouta and Kaito enter the city to stop him, but the two are overpowered and Kouta is gravely injured in the ensuing battle through Marika and the Kurokage Trooper's interference. With the help of Kaito, Kouta makes his way back to Team Gaim's garage where he listens to Kaito's reasoning for wanting to be strong before Kouta collapses due to heavy injuries and exhaustion. Coming to his time of need is DJ Sagara, prepared to give Kouta the means to become stronger with the key-like Lockseed created from the Forbidden Fruit. However, even though he heals Kouta's wounds with his abilities, he still tests Kouta to see if he really wants the power. Kouta struggles to surpass Sagara's otherworldly abilities and obtains the new Lockseed, the Kiwami Lockseed, and thus joining Baron, Knuckle, Marika, Bravo and Gridon in fighting an Enchanted Form Demushu. Kouta transforms into Kiwami Arms in battling Demushu overpowering him with ease and destroys Demushu.
Forbidden Fruit Saga
With Zawame in tatters, the remaining Riders form a group that constantly patrols the outskirts of Zawame. Kouta comes to learn Yoko's allegiance and realizes that he doesn't know what he will do after the Inves Invasion. He eventually fights Zangetsu Shin once more and helps destroy Dyudyuonshu and learns that Zangetsu Shin is an imposter. While trying to figure a way to save the remaining survivors of Zawame, he loses his sister as she gets captured with the remaining survivors. Kouta and Kaito defeat Grinsha after witnessing the powers granted by the Forbidden Fruit as Rosyuo redirects warhead missiles aimed at Zawame.
Kouta eventually learns that Mitsuzane envies his optimistic, naïve nature and that he has found him unworthy of being with Mai before promptly attacking him. When Takatora stops Mitsuzane, Kouta learns that the two are siblings and Takatora later explains to Kouta that if Kouta was his brother in place of him, Mitsuzane wouldn't have become the person he is now. Kouta later tries to stop the siblings from fighting, but is interrupted by the Grasshopper Monster, a being from the future as Kouta witnesses through a Crack: his own future and his Over Lord counterpart, Lapis. When Kouta arrives at the pier, he sees Takatora's Sengoku Driver destroyed alongside the Melon Lockseed. Returning back to the Garage, he faces off against Ryoma Sengoku and appears to be on equal footing with the Professor, indicating Kouta's strength compared to their last encounter.
In a short conversation with Mai and Kaito about what they plan on doing after the Inves Invasion is over, Kouta reveals that he doesn't know what's in store for his future. This hesitation, along with the fact that he cannot accept Mitsuzane as the person he currently is now, allows the latter to defeat Kouta and Kaito in their next encounter when Mai is kidnapped and Peko is brutally beaten. Though, Kouta and the rest of the Armored Riders break into the Yggdrasill Tower through a secret passageway, the remainder of the Armored Riders are left behind as decoys to allow Kouta to gain entry into the tower. Kouta and Ryoma are the last ones left and the two are able to defeat Shinmugurun. The two rush to the site where the kidnapped citizens' life energy is being drained. Kouta and Ryoma encounters Redyue, but Ryoma abandons Kouta when the latter is thrown in a hallucination where Yuya's role as an Inves and Kouta's role as a Rider are reversed. In this hallucination, it reveals that the world will reject Kouta and his newfound power because he's no longer "human". Kouta, however, reveals to Redyue that he will fight, even if he's alone, for the future that he desires. Breaking through the hallucination, Kouta unintentionally generates Helheim flora around him, now finding his resolve and clearing his doubts.
Once he meets up with Kaito, the two face off against Rosyuo, who tests their abilities and their resolve. Though Kouta is able to prove his resolve to Rosyuo, his Kachidoki Lockseed is destroyed. Rosyuo is then backstabbed by Redyue and is brutally murdered by her when she discovers that he no longer bears the second Golden Fruit. Kouta, in a fit of rage of witnessing Rosyuo's death, rejuvenates the Kachidoki Lockseed and transforms into Kiwami Arms, utilizing the power to control Helheim's flora against Redyue and kills her with an Orange Charge with the DJ Gun. Kouta later fights off against Mitsuzane, unable to injure Mitsuzane due to their past friendship. Kouta resolves to not fight against his former friend and gets himself impaled while breaking the Yomotsuheguri Lockseed. Kouta forgives Mitsuzane once more before collapsing, supposedly dying from his wounds. His body was found by Chucky and Peko as the two went to take him back to the garage. He then had a vision of Mai as the Woman of the Beginning, who told Kouta that she is no longer human and about Kaito planning to change the future once he gains the Forbidden Fruit.
Revived, he heads out to face Kaito, who in turn transforms into Lord Baron and fights Gaim Kiwami Arms. Kouta is defeated due to his wound not being fully healed, but an ally-turning Zack tells him to run, having him to be curious about his plan. After Kouta's wound has been fully healed, he would eat one of the Helheim's fruits and told Akira that he would help others despite of him losing his humanity until the rescue team arrives. Taking his sister to the team, Kouta decides to remain in Zawame to confront Kaito. Before that, Mai appears to him and having Kouta realize his future to fight for his friends. Arriving at where Kaito was, he told Kouta that he wants a world where the weak are never trampled. He would protest about it, seeing that many people have fought to protect their world as Kaito believes that it leads them to death. Kouta reiterates that true strength is not based on power alone and engages Kaito in an all out war between the two Inves factions. In the outcome in the alternate and main timelines, Kouta defeats Kaito and accepts the Golden Fruit from Mai, evolving into a new form with blonde-hair and dons Kiwami Arms-esque armor. Kouta reveals his intent to Sagara that he plans on eliminating the Inves and the Helheim invasion by relocating them to a different world, far from Earth. By doing so, he grants Kaito's wish of creating a world where the weak must suffer to become strong. Kouta, along with Mai and Sagara, departs to a new world.
Now as a Man of the Beginning, Kouta has the ability to speak to others through their dreams. He intercepts Takatora's dream to wake up from his coma, before talking with him about supporting Mitsuzane's future and redemption from now on. Kouta appears before Mitsuzane four months later to aid him against Kougane and frees the girl from Kougane's control. The two kill Kougane with a double Rider Kick. After a brief talk with Mitsuzane, he then leaves Earth. Kouta watches Mai talk to Kaito one last time before the two depart to their new world, which has been terraformed and resembles Earth.
Kamen Rider X
Kamen Rider Amazon
Kamen Rider Super-1
Kamen Rider ZX
Kamen Rider Black/RX
Kamen Rider Kuuga