Actor: Takashi Hagino
Formerly of Changerion
Asakura is not an anti-hero. He is not a hero. He is insane. This may be a physical condition he was not treated for. When he was still only a child he either burned down or there was just a fire at his family's house. His parents were killed, and he was burned badly on the shoulder. There was reason to believe he might have been responsible so he was put in foster care and his baby brother was adopted off, identity buried. Asakura was told he was dead. And when he found out differently, he had to finish the job. We know now of five murders he has committed for certain. A girl whose family name was Kirishima, Akira (his brother who had taken a different family name, Mihara), Tezuka Miyuki (Kamen Rider Raia), Jun Shibaura (Gai) and Mitsuru Sano (Impaler). And four of those murders happened in the Mirror World so can never be proven. And one of them happened in the movie which took place in a different reality, so perhaps you can't count it. (I believe Asakura's brother being named Akira was an in-joke referring to the actor's character Akira from Changerion, pictured right.)
His history is laced with violence. The need to fight is so much a part of him that, when held in a cell, he started slamming his head against the bars without caring when his skin broke and he bled. When Kitaoka refused to defend him and mocked him, his rage was tremendous. It must have attracted Kanzaki like a moth to a flame. A powerful, enraged spirit, with a grudge against Kitaoka. A perfect Rider. Of course, Takeshi's first meeting with Kanzaki quite astounded him. A stranger appears in his cell, a man who vanishes whenever he tries to strike, and then offers him escape. He took it. The officers never had a clue how he managed it.
He didn't know about the monsters until Jun Shibaura explained to him. He didn't even know Kitaoka was a Rider, something also explained by the boy. Coming into the Mirror World he has advantages the others don't. And those do not come from being a Rider. They come from his very nature. He is a fighter. He knows how to fight. Where they often fire a weapon, he goes into a physical confrontation. However powerful the others are, they simply are not as good at that as he is. Zolda learns quickly to keep his distance and almost succeeds in taking Oja out, except that Oja uses Gai as a Rider-shield and then destroys him. There was nothing left but the shattered pieces of Gai's card deck.
He is an extraordinary creature of craft. Wounded from battles with the others, he was stumbled upon by Reiko. She wanted to interview him, find out how he had escaped when the police thought he'd died in the flaming wreck of his vehicle. He played his injuries to the hilt, gaining her sympathy and tricking her into bringing his brother, Akira, to him. Venosnaker ate the man. While he fundamentally feels betrayed by Kitaoka, as the lawyer who was supposed to have defended him, he finds the others a bit of a laugh. Ren he respects as a fighter but mocks for his weakness. Shinji he feels a slight respect for the boy's power and finds somewhat puzzling. Raia and Gai are dead and forgotten. He actually likes Goro.
I think I have to rephrase this, because although I cannot confirm it unless it's been written somewhere (in a book that I cannot read)... I think I know why Asakura had extra contract cards. The thing is he DIDN'T have extras until he killed the other Riders. When he killed them, their contract cards came to him. This would fit in with the theory that the Riders are meant to cosolidate power for the final one to use. However, he didn't seem to get Impaler's beast.
One thing has happened in the series that throws a bit of hesitation into naming Asakura totally evil. His monsters led him aboard a ship, where three other monsters were amusing themselves snatching crew and passengers. Asakura found a terrified girl named Mika and stayed with her in silence on the ship until he had to hide from investigators. She conceived of him as her savior. He conceived of her as bait to bring the monsters close enough that he could fight them and give their force to his own. So he waited, watching over her until the monsters came again. Much to his annoyance, Knight and Ryuuki joined the battle. Oja found that his Final Vent didn't work against the monster's combined spinning defense. The monsters escaped and, once again, Asakura stood guard outside the hospital Mika was in, waiting for the monsters to come back. They would. They always do. They never let their targets go until it or they are dead. She came out and brought him flowers. Venosnaker, peeved, snapped at her. She braved the attack and held the flowers out until he took them, then she collapsed. I remember Asakura studying the flowers as if they were the most peculiar thing he'd ever seen. Sensing Mika's weakness, the monsters targetting her closed in. Asakura tossed the flowers away and went happily into battle.
It took Oja, Zolda and Knight using their Final Vents at the same time to break the trio's warding. Oja's monsters went after their energy force. Knight and Zolda called theirs to prevent this, but Ryuuki sent in Dragredder to clear the way. Because of him, Oja's trio got the power they hungered for.
The battle over, Asakura waited. He waited until Mika was out of surgery. He waited until she opened the curtains of her room and looked down at him. She would be all right, and now he could leave. We don't know that is why he waited. We don't know why he waited at all. But Shinji was of the opinion that he had learned something about Asakura. Insane as he is, he would fight to protect someone. Though I think the circumstances were considerably outside the norm.
Asakura we lost finally to no Rider battle. He destroyed Zolda's Magnagiga, and then found to his amazement that Zolda had gone and changed identities on him. Kitaoka had been replaced by Goro, who died fighting him. Leaving the Mirror World, Asakura's thoughts were in chaos as he struggled to understand what had happened, why Kitaoka hadn't come, why Goro had died in his place. Probably for the first time in his young life he tried to wrap his head around reasons, but he couldn't understand. Finally he gave up and instead went to meet his fate. He died in hail of gunfire. His executioners were the police, it says in the final Ryuuki book. But I wish rather he'd died fighting instead of shot down like a rabid animal.