The scene inside the warehouse defined most of his character. Because he has these newfound abilities, he will use it to protect the world from Shocker but there are also doubts within him if he is still human or somewhat not human because of him being a cyborg. This one factor made Hongo, Hongo. Even though he is not anymore human, he still a human emotionally. The struggle within him is one of the factors that made his character interesting to watch.
As for Kamen Rider’s first design, it was simple and straight to the point. To be honest, there is something with the original Kamen Rider design that I liked most that is missing in the upgraded versions that most new fans saw. Rewatching this episode made me realize what was lost in the upgraded versions, the sadness in the classic design. As I watch his fight against the early Shocker foot soldiers, I can see the sadness with his character unlike the newer versions where it felt like he is a hero being cheered by millions. This sadness is one of the factors why the first episode was strong. Kamen Rider is a melancholic hero who fights for the sake of humanity so that they won’t experience the same pain he had.
Overall, the first episode is really good. I can't believe that everything started in this episode and 45 years later, it's still going strong! The episode established many staples in the franchise, such as bug-themed heroes of justice with a sad back story that rides motorcycles.
Originally posted on Orends: Range back in February 25, 2011. Made some minor changes to better reflect the present.