Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tokusatsu in review: kamen Rider Ryuki part 5

Ryuki Ends the First Rider war with the tale of a guy that just wanted to get by, The White Death’s final kills, and a massive Reset Button.
As If there would be any better way to deal with this kind of mess.


  1. I would have love if Tojo have been killed by another rider just to see how pathetic he had become.

    Despite how bad Shinji is, you gotta admit the final battle of Shinji was his most brightest moment in the entire series, I guess he had made that commitment far too late. You know what would have been more awesome? Ren took Shinji's deck and control both Darkwing and Dragreder as well as combining both Survive cards to become Mugen Survive to fight the final battle. Even better if he also has a Unite Card.

    Overall, Ryuki is really dark and depressing to me. I kinda enjoyed it to an extent but overall it really leaves a bad taste to my memory. Because unlike other dark and depressing shows like the ones you mentioned and I would also like to include Yuki Yuna is a Hero as well, this show doesn't have the very thing that made me like the show even more or even want to continue watching to see how it ends, hope. Throughout Ryuki, there is never any hope for the story or the characters would end well, and that's sad.

    Well I think that is enough depressing moment, as I will look forward to your review of one of the westernize Tokusatsu that I consider better than it's source material.

  2. Great review i want to know if you ever thought of reviewing toku manga like the kamen rider manga or the kikader manga both done shotaro ishinomori i ask you this before but didn't get a reply i hope i'am not annoying you

    1. oh and i meant done by shotaro ishinomori

    2. I've considered it, I just need copies and a proper event to do it with. LIke...A Convention panel or something?

  3. Excellent use of Real Folk Blues (i think it was that and not See You Space Cowboy. Need to double check). I'm surprised you didn't comment on Goro taking the Zolda deck for Kitaoka, though. I find that Goro was a Kamen Rider in character who had yet to have the power of such...until that moment.

    As for Shinji, I never had any grasp of his character when I watched it way back when...and now I see why. You're right. Even as we make jokes about him, Shirou Emiya, even his Fate route self, is still more nuanced than Shinji is, though UBW and Heaven's Feel are better in that regard. Though Ren feels more like Heaven's Feel Shirou.

    One last note, related to Time Vent, ever since your review of XIII-2, I've been curious as to what your concrete thoughts on how time travel stories are best conducted, particularly on how it should work. More importantly, would a trans-dimensional space where time doesn't flow as a hub to travel to different points in time really work in a setting? Just questions that have been bugging me since the review, or are you saving those for Den-O?

    1. There are actually two cuts of the song, and both names are used for it. the Cover of it I used to get around DRM had named it "Real Folk Blues", so that's what I went with.

      I was kind of trying to imply it through my words and the scenes I was presenting, foreshadow it for the reveal in the montage. Had I not done the montage, that would have been something I touched on.

      My main thing with time travel stories is this: establish your rules, Don't contradict them, and have it serve the story. Time Vent's use did not in any way serve the story.
      The only exception is, of course, if such are meant to Baffle even the Main cast who are then annoyed by it. LIke some episodes of Star Trek, Especially Voyager, where they call it out.
      I'll consider adding something to the SHTGP video when I get around to it.

  4. You know aside the darkness the series suffered from many details you mentioned. Shinji is a complete hypocritical sucker . Though I sometimes enjoy some of their (Inoue & Kobayashi) series despite those awful elements they keep a part of their works especially the ones in the shot list.
    A lot of hesei rider shows the secondary ones in Inoue's work were almost awesome and likeable exception of Kusaka that you would review on KR FAIZ in the future. Overall enjoyed these reviews plus waiting for dragon knight.

    1. Ryuki's being not much good enough to join the top 10 tier was very justifiable as I got why this was adapted as dragon knight now

  5. Another thought, and forgive me if it's rather long:
    I've come to see Ryuki as failed potential for another reason. Now, I know that for you and many others, this show does misrepresent the name of Kamen Rider, based on the examples of the Showa Era. They are paragons of heroism, I can get behind that, even as I could never muster the patience to watch all of it, same with Classic Doctor Who.

    However, I look at the labeling of ne'er-do-wells like Asakura, Masato, Sid, Kageyama, Fueki, Banno, and many other villainous characters in the franchise as Kamen Riders, even as they defy the heroic meaning in such a name, a certain way. For the record, though, yes, I too am pissed at their inclusion among the backup led by Date/Birth in Let's Go Kamen Rider for the fact that they're not heroic. But here's my take on it, and more importantly, where the failed potential lies.

    This specific failure lies in the fact that they might have addressed the term Kamen Rider in the same sense of the word hero, a word whose meaning has, shall we say, transformed over the ages. Villainous as they are, they are heroes in the neutral and ancient definition, simply of characters who have the capacity to perform superhuman feats and exert agency upon the world. But they are not heroes as the word has come to mean, no more than Medea, Bluebeard, Gilgamesh of the Fate franchise, or hell, Achilles in The Illiad are themselves heroic in that sense. Therefore, it is up to the protagonist, who the story's morality is centered around in this case, to prove he is worthy of the name Kamen Rider, to embody that transformed meaning of the word "hero". Alas, Shinji was a train wreck, and really, he too is only a hero in that archaic definition. And though Ren, as you said, DID earn the title of Kamen Rider, of a hero, the show's morality centering around Shinji and not him, thus framing him in the wrong when the two clash, I count this as massive failed potential. Shinji did not work for the name Kamen Rider, nor did he prove he earned it.

    (Continued in next comment)

  6. (Continued from previous post)
    Related to this is the franchise's own difficulty distinguishing human and monster. Sometimes, the worst monsters are ones who never lost their physical humanity, while the most humane are the ones who lost it or were never physically human in the first place. Let's put it this way, though you might disagree. To be a Kamen Rider DOES involve losing an aspect of one's physical humanity. To be capable of superhuman feats and have inhuman traits and abilities is grounds to make you a physical monster. However, the ones who live up to the IDEAL of Kamen Rider are those whose CHOOSE to stay humane even as they no longer can be physically counted as human. And because of that, the villainous Kamen Riders are no different than the monsters that need to be destroyed so that they cannot bring harm to anyone nor rob them of their freedom to be for whatever reason. Hence why the likes of those ne'er-do-wells I mentioned above deserved to be in that lineup alongside Akira Date. (Though Scorpioworm should not have been among the monsters for that same reason, even if Sasword was somehow in that same lineup anyway. Same goes for Tarantula Undead, and the Frog and Grizzly Fangires. I know, you also hate that movie too.)

    Honestly, I think this attempt to be gray about the terms and yet STILL try to be black and white about it is an aspect of something that at least I find is a big problem in general Tokusatsu writing, though there are exceptions. It's a personal pet peeve of mine in the franchise that the word justice is constantly thrown around like it's an absolute. It's frankly not a concrete enough goal that the heroes can fight for, and thus, there is no nuance for you to get behind them. Never mind that different people can have their own perspectives on what justice means, even those who have similar aims have different approaches. To save the woman you love or avenge a friend, both harmed by the scheme of a man who intends to spill as much blood as he can to force feed his unwilling loved one with. To ensure your liege can pass away in peace, free from scores unsettled even if you must carry it on yourself. To stop a madman who intends to conquer the world and save those he has abducted. To protect the ability of others to dream and smile. To prevent the strong from crushing those who aren't strong enough. To give a chance to those physically inhuman but innately humane to live in peace with others. To foster friendship. To save the soul of a brother that was stolen by a malevolent destiny, and to protect the family that took you in and gave you a new lease at life. And of course, to protect humanity's freedom. And yes, even if you must sacrifice your own chance at personal peace in the process.

    Again, I apologize for the thesis that spans two long comments posts. Just that these are some personal thoughts about the title of Kamen Rider, how it can technically be equated to transformation of meaning of the word "hero", and unintentionally, the difference between being a human and a monster versus being humane and monstrous, and that superhero tokusatsu is sometimes in the belief that fighting for justice is as clear cut as Nago initially thinks it is.

    1. *slow clap* Very, Very Nice. And I agree on several of your points.
      The 'human' thing I've addressed elsewhere, specifically in my virtolic Review of Kamen Rider Taisen, and is something I entirely agree with. Even if you are no longer physically human, if you retain who you are morally and ideologically before you were transformed into 'X', then to me you retain your humanity.
      And it's something I'll be addressing again in November.
      that reminds me, kaixa day is tomorrow...
      And yeah, The definition of hero has changed from what it once was, but has been consistent for a long time. Even in ancient tales, heroes were still considered to be people who did great services to humanity, even if they were not whole-ly good people. (though some of the fate examples may be a little off. By the 4th war, it'd started summoning people that weren't strictly heroes)
      As For villainous Kamen riders later, this is the series that would more-or-less open the door for all of that and the dissociation of the title from the meaning, and I've always considered such being a theft of the identity that is merely retained because of the similarities in powerset past this. Drive recently with Banno has him steal the Rider technology for his own purposes, and he's titled a rider simply because of the means, not the ideology, which began to Crop up in Agito and Ryuki.
      And yes, that's a pet peeve of mine as well. I'm a 'balance' guy, and there are a LOT of things that are the moral decision to make, but situationally wrong to perform; and Ryui had that come up a lot as said by Shiro Emiya at one point, "Just because you're right, doesn't mean you're correct." But what I think normally helps is when it is showcased as an Anomally, that these should NOT be people who have the title, and their defeat is showcasing who should be considered one, as informed in-part by Kamen Rider Eternal, who was one that may at one point have merited it, but fell from grace into an antagonist. But too many, and show that the hero is the anomally to the rest in his show, or the hero himself is anomalous to the greater themes?
      Thought-provoking read, thank you for your time writing that.

    2. I guess that's a better way of putting it, theft of identity. At the very least, it highlights that these villains (most of them anyway) have nuance to their villainy, and shown generally, crossover material aside (among other problems those have), that the series has outgrown the days of Shocker's MWAHAHAHAHAHA I'M EVIL FOR EVIL'S SAKE that has since made them obsolete, as one of the posts I saw on your Twitter sidebar feed pretty much said. After all, in varying cases, most villains with substance don't outright see themselves as evil, and at worst, thinks they're the real heroes, the ones truly following the ways of the world, even if that includes putting them above all creation. So, if I remember right from your earlier Ryuki videos, their use of the name is a selfish appropriation, and where the duty of the heroes proving their own worth of the name comes into play while showing these pretenders of their unworthiness. Or in this case, it should've but didn't.

      Also, nice inversion of Shirou's line. Yes, I agree that the inverse can also be true. Shinji may be right....or wants to be right (and the show demands we treat him as right)...but he is FAAAAAAR from correct. Not even within the same galaxy as "correct". It would've been fine if his acts of stupidity at the start was born out of something else, like desperation and despair rather than pure bullheadedness, but regardless eventually addressed by the middle and overcome (i.e. REAL character development). Sadly, no dice. You know who was pretty much like Shinji (even if there was a reason beyond his control for his idiocy) but got better about it? Luke fon Fabre of Tales of the Abyss.

      I look forward to your scourging of Masato Kusaka, good sir!