When I first saw the promo video of Kamen Rider Kiva, I thought this is going to be one cool rider, especially after watching the OP. The show itself started kinda meh. The main rider's character, Wataru, is not cool at all. The actor is so scrawny that the fighting scenes are hardly believable. The henshin belt looks too toy-ish. The story, however, is quite interesting, flipping back & forth between 1986 and 2008. The 1986 side is the most interesting, featuring Otoya, whose character is much more interesting and funny compared to Wataru. The 2008 side became more interesting when Nago showed up as IXA, whose character has some personality issues related to buttons and hatred towards Kiva. Things are picking up on both sides, with the introduction Maya in 1986, and Mio in 2008, both as Queen. 1986 still holds the candle for slapstick comedy and hilarity thanks to Otoya. The downturn IMO started with the introduction of Emperor form. The problem is that the Emperor form is way way overused (probably mainly to sell the toys), the other forms of Kiva seemed to be forgotten. On the recent episodes, the focus has moved to 2008, with Taiga as the new king, and also Kamen Rider Saga. At this point, there is less and less scenes from the 1986 side. The story becomes pretty much like a dorama, a love triangle between Mio, Wataru, and Taiga, and how each of them are reluctant to tell the truth of who loves who. Boring! Even worse, Kiva got a new weapon, the "masturbating" sword. The sword has a slider, supposedly to control the power of the sword that can overwhelm and control Wataru. In order to use the power of the sword, Kiva has to move the slider up and down for almost every attack, thus I refer it as the "masturbating" sword. Not impressed. Not only that, Nago lost IXA, given to Kengo, an emo character that is really annoying. The worst part is that Nago, used to be a cool and tough character, now becomes the comic relief. *sigh. I hope the story will become more interesting with the revealing of the King in 1986 as Dark Kiva.
Animated GIF taken from TV-Nihon. Like I said, the "masturbating" sword.