Thursday, September 11, 2014

Yoroiden Samurai Troopers / Ronin Warriors

Yoroiden Samurai Troopers (or Ronin Warriors as it is known in the West) is one of my childhood anime that I never managed to complete because of my tuition classes. Lol.. It has a similar concept to Saint Seiya and Shurato with boys donning magical armors to fight evil. Ironically, it pales in comparison to Saint Seiya which is still enjoying great success even up to these days. After watching the anime, I know why. In fact, Shurato is still many times better than Samurai Troopers.

Samurai Troopers has a very weak plot that cannot engage me. It took me more than 6 months to complete 39 episodes of the anime. The story begins with the Netherworld, led by Arago, which suddenly appears at Shinjuku to take over the mortal world. Arago is accompanied by 4 Warlords (and countless drones called Soldier of Doom) are opposed by our 5 Samurai Troopers. The first half of the series bores me to death with countless battles of any of the Warlords vs any of the Samurai Troopers. Each of them only has 1 special attack which keeps being repeated and somehow the 4 Warlords keep losing despite donning similar armors. At the end of the first half, Arago is successfully defeated when Ryo Sanada (the main character) is able to summon a new armor, called the Inferno Armor or Kikoutei, by combining the powers of all Samurai Troopers.

What happens on the second half is beyond imagination: the Netherworld is back with Arago still alive. What the heck -_- Other than the 4 Warlords, Arago has several powerful henchmen who are much stronger than the 4 useless Warlords but mysteriously never appear or even being mentioned on the first half the series. How lame. So it is a rinse and repeat for the second half on how Samurai Troopers will defeat Arago for the second time.

Characterisation is equally weak with bland personalities of the characters. Despite each person is associated with certain virtue (Ryo's is righteousness, Seiji's is grace, Toma's is wisdom, Shin's is trust, and Shu's is justice), these virtues are not clearly depicted in the characters' personalities. Okay, perhaps only Toma who is depicted as the most level-headed and "wise" one. Nasti is the girl among the main cast and I am quite surprised that she is not a damsel in distress. She is very useful as she provides a lot of information with regards to the history of armors. Jun serves as an irritating little boy who I don't know why he is even included as the side kick. Byakuen the tiger also does not seem to play a crucial role. 

As the story develops, it is revealed that many thousand years ago, Arago was defeated by Kaos who split Arago's armor to 9 armors. 5 armors are those donned by Samurai Troopers while 4 are corrupted and are used by the 4 Warlords. Basically Arago wants all these 9 armors to fight one another and gain strength because that indirectly makes him stronger as these armors are him afterall. The 4 Warlords used to be good and each also has a virtue. This makes them somewhat equal to our main Samurai Troopers and it does not make sense that the 4 Warlords keep losing. 1 of the Warlords, Anubis, repents and take place Kaos' place. Without the armor, Anubis surprisingly becomes much stronger than he used to be when he was a Warlord. It seems that when you become a good person, you will somehow be much stronger o_0

Anubis dies in the end and hands over his armor to Kayura who is Arago's strongest subordinate. Kayura is revealed to be the last descendant of Kaos' clan who is brainwashed by Arago. That explains why she is so powerful. In the of the TV series, Kayura and the 3 surviving Warlords decide to remain in the Netherworld to rebuild it and prevent it from attacking the mortal world. Literally what the fuck ending the whole series.

After the TV series, there are 3 OVAs: New York Gaiden (2 episodes), Kikoutei Densetsu (4 episodes), and Message (5 episodes) which are still unable to salvage the series.

New York Gaiden takes place in New York. Seiji is kidnapped by another random enemy who misuse his armor to attack civilians. This act is caught on TVs and the 4 Samurai Troopers fly over to New York to rescue Seiji.

Kikoutei Densetsu is the most exciting part of the whole series and OVA although in the end, the story also does not quite make sense. A new character, Mukala, is introduced. He comes from Africa and has the black Kikoutei. He can teleport to Japan as he aims to destroy Samurai Troopers' white Kikoutei. It is revealed that Kikoutei is so powerful that it can annihilate the whole world. These armors seem to have their own desire to keep on fighting, grow stronger, and in the end destroy the world. This OVA ends with both Kikoutei armors fight and destroy each other.

Message introduces another character, Suzunagi who wants to control the 5 armors, summon Kikoutei armor and destroy the whole world as revenge. Message begins quite interestingly with Seiji finding a book which tells stories that exactly resembles all the fights that Samurai Troopers have gone through. This makes our heroes rather emo as they are wondering whether their lives have been foretold according to this book. A little of flashback brings us to Suzunagi's childhood when her whole family is killed somehow because of these armors and that is how she wants a revenge. I honest don't know what is going on but in the end, Suzunagi becomes good again after being reunited with her mother's spirit and the Samurai Troopers get new armors. Does it make sense? I think it does not. Lol..

The final reason which makes Samurai Troopers suck is how lousy the armors are. Saint Seiya has cool armors based on the various constellations and Shurato has cool armors based on Hindu mythology. Samurai Troopers armors are based on elements such as fire, water, wind, etc but the design of the armors do not even incorporate any of these elements. The armors look boring and too generic. I believe Samurai Troopers is intended to be a shonen genre for teenage boys who will not be impressed with boring action stuff: only 1 attack per person and recycled fighting scenes.

Truthfully, I regret the 8 months I spend to watch this crap, man! Haha.. Having said that, I am still interested in getting their action figures from Bandai. Too bad they are limited edition and the prices are not justifiable. There are a lot of great artwork but Samurai Troopers does not even have a proper artbook!! Jeez.. Damn irritating.. I bought a lot of Samurai Troopers artbooks and most of them are screenshots from the anime. So where do those awesome pictures online come from sia!!


Unknown said...

If you dislike it so much, why would you bother getting action figures for it? Now *that* is the only thing that doesn't make sense in your entire post. Did you ever even make the effort to try to understand this series, especially its final OAV? If not, then your claim to it being "crap" is completely meaningless. Btw, the new figures you're referring to as much more than action figures, they're little models. A lot of painstaking detail is put into them. If you want the figures so bad, then I have news for you: you like the design of the armors, contrary to what you claim. So sorry to be the bearer of such horrible news.

darkrose said...

Looks like I have comment from an anonymous fanboy/girl who cannot take others' opinion which is different from his/hers.

Liking a series and liking its merchandises are separate matters altogether. Just an example, I don't like Final Fantasy VII. But I still play the game, I still play as FF VII characters in Dissidia, I still watch FF VII: Advent Children, I still buy some of their Play Arts. Still it does not make a fan of FF VII or make me like FF VII.

Similar to Yoroiden, I am not going to re-watch it again, I am not going to recommend it to other to watch. But it does not mean I don't enjoy the art (and hence I collect the artbooks) or I want to to have their toys (models, action figures, whatever you want to call them is up to you).

Oh and I only said the armors are too boring and generic. I did not say that I like or hate the design.

Unknown said...

Did you not remember your own entry before replying to me? Did you even read anything I wrote instead of getting caught up in the idea that someone with a "differing opinion" was just hating on you? If you had, you would have realized what I was actually saying.

Yes, you say that the armors are boring and generic. Therefore, why would you be interested in seeing them in a highly detailed action figure? Do you even realize the huge contradiction there? If you wanted to be more honest with yourself, you would have just said that you preferred the Saint Seiya armor designs and that you thought them more interesting, but that those of YST were still interesting and original in their own way. You should look up old samurai helmets, then you'll be able to see that several have design elements very similar to those of YST, and in fact they likely inspired those of YST. So, generic? Definitely not.

No duh that YST's armors are based on elements, but that doesn't make them generic. In fact, if you had bothered to research anything about the series, you'd know that the armors being elemental isn't even remotely the point.

Btw, I'm a fan of Saint Seiya too, so don't think that influences my opinion. The armors of Saint Seiya certainly have an interesting design, but I've always preferred those of YST because of how practical and simply good-looking they are. Unlike in Saint Seiya, they aren't designed to be anything other than armors or represent anything else. As far as the two series in general, my overall preference is absolutely for YST. It doesn't have the melodrama that Saint Seiya has, which can have its appeal in parts, but its characters are also much more personable than those of Saint Seiya: more easy to identify with, more realistic backgrounds, more real emotions. To me, whereas Saint Seiya is more just mythical shounen fun, I actually care about the boys of YST a good deal more than as a collection of heroes.

It's like I was trying to tell you before: you can't call a series crap just because you didn't understand it. You can only say that *you* didn't like it.

Of course you can like the merchandise of a series without liking the actual series, but if you dislike the armor design, why would the one merchandise for this series that you want to buy be the highly detailed and quite expensive figures? If anything, what I would recommend to you would be the soundtracks, and if you think you'd like them, the song albums as well.

I didn't leave an anonymous comment n purpose, it was just the default setting.

darkrose said...

We just have to agree to disagree. You will still not change my mind that I think the armors are generic and boring. To me, the armors look very alike and only differ in colour.

Without watching the show, will people be able to tell the elements (or the values) behind each armor? I doubt it and hence I say the armor look generic. The 1980s-1990s artstyle does not help either.

Can't help but to compare with similar series from the same era (eg. Saint Seiya or Shurato). I don't think their armors are generic because each armor is unique/different. Even without being familiar with the series, people can rough tell different identities.

But that is only in the anime. When I see the action figures, the different colours stand out and look great on display. That is better than Saint Seiya's which are overwhelmed by yellow/golds and black/purplish as most of their figures are gold saints and the spectres. Having said that, the different colours does not change the fact that they are very similar in the design i.e generic looking.

Ultimately, it comes to personal preference. You think that the series is great but I think it is crap. So let's not try to change each other's perception

darkrose said...

By the way, my apologies if I sound defensive, irritated, or angry. I actually appreciate your time to visit, read, and comment. Thank you for that :)

Unknown said...

I never tried to change your mind, merely pointed out that you're contradicting yourself, which you still are. However, while we're on the subject of opinions, if you say I will *never* change your mind, that just tells me you're closed-minded.

No one is asking you to research anything, but if you're that interested in the figures, it means that the armor design is what first caught your eye even if you'll deny it and continue to call it generic. What that tells me is that you don't find the armors generic at all, just the concept of good and evil behind the show. Btw, you're only partly right: the full armors all look completely different with varied style elements, but the undergears are what all look exactly the same, which is the point really, because all the armors have the same origin. Also, one could easily make the case that all the armors of Saint Seiya, especially all the armors of the Gold Saints, all look pretty alike too, and the latter don't even differ in color.

You not knowing the values behind the armors doesn't make them generic; it just means that you don't know. That isn't even a reason for them to be generic though, since it's their design elements that vary so much. The 1980s-1990s comment is an insult to anime of that time, and I'd advise you to be more respectful of them for two main reasons. First, the anime of that time had far better plots and scenarios than most craptastic modern anime that have, for the most part, run out of original ideas to the point that the same stupid concepts are being repeated with barely any variation. Second, and most obvious, the anime series of that time was what defined and popularized anime with fans outside of Japan, especially in America. Besides, how can you even insult the style of the 1980s-1990s if you like shows like Saint Seiya and Shurato? That just makes no sense.

You say that even without being familiar with the series, people can roughly tell the different identities of each boy from Saint Seiya and Shurato, but that's no more true than for YST. The armors of all three shows are just as color-coded, the armor pieces all cover the same body areas. If anything, YST is the much more easily identified one because its colors specifically fit elements, such as dark blue being associated with the sky and outer space, light blue with water, orange with earth, red with fire and green with light. Also, if you have a problem with things that look generic, I would think you'd like that the boys of YST have a much wider variety of facial designs than the boys of Saint Seiya or Shurato. Just have a look at these three pictures:

I'll only say this for your sake, because you're the one missing out: don't dismiss this series based solely on what you claim to think about the armors. Watch it for what it is, understand it the way it's meant to be understood, ask yourself questions (and you can also ask them to people at a forum called Samurai Fanservice, Google it if you want, it's currently relatively active), and most importantly, enjoy the amazing music that it has to offer. I'd even recommend the drama CDs, pretty much all but one or two have been translated and there is one for each boy, and they have amazing insight.

And sorry if I started this thread with a cynical comment, but you really are contradicting yourself.

Unknown said...

You were saying that the armors seemed generic to you because they all looked similar, but I found a pic that emphasizes their differences because it doesn't show the undergear:

darkrose said...

You mention that Saint Seiya and Shurato have characters with similar faces. This highlights what I am trying to say about 1980s-1990s artstyle: the things from the same series can look very similar/generic. Was it an insult? I don't think so and I am not insulting 1980s-1990s art style. No idea where you get the idea that I am insulting when you are the one who used the words "craptastic" and "stupid".

About "generic", people can tell that armors from Saint Seiya and Shurato are inspired by different animals (I don't mention zodiacs for Saint Seiya specifically because people may not be able to see Leo's armor is based on Leo zodiac. But they can tell the element of a lion from the armor. That's just an example), even without watching the show!

Can people say the same thing for YST armors? You know light blue = water and deep blue = sky/space because you have watched the series. Ask people to match the 5 colours and 5 elements, I am sure there will be people who say light blue = sky and deep blue = water.

That is what I mean when I describe the armors as generic. People will not be able to tell anything just by looking at YST armors. People need to watch the show first to understand. Compare that with Saint Seiya, for example. I pity people who can't tell that 1 armor is based on a horse (perhaps people cannot tell it is a pegasus) vs a dragon vs a duck/goose. And I meant identities of the armors, not the identities of each boy.

Oh and we are talking about armors. Why did you even go to undergear? I don't regard that as part of the armor.

Are you even a collector of things? Collectors can't collect generic things? You are wrong on that part. And I only mentioned that I find the armor "boring and generic". I did not even say that I dislike the designs. That is your own interpretation. I may dislike the series, I may not like the characters, I may think the armors are boring/generic, they do not necessarily mean that I should not want to collect them. And vice versa, I can even collect figures from a series I don't know anything about because simply I like the figures for they are -which does not necessarily mean I like the series.

This will be my last reply. I am not going to continue with this discussion as clearly your purpose is not to discuss about the anime but to prove that your opinion is right and my opinion is wrong (and that I am close minded and I am contradicting etc). When I said "A", in your reply you claimed that I said "A + B" when "B" is your own feelings/interpretation. That is not how people discuss about things.

And for your sake, I am not missing out on anything even if I don't understand or I can't appreciate this series. You are the one who seem to be very perturbed with the fact that I am not fan of the series and can't love the armors the way you do.

Unknown said...

You are the one who called the show crap, not me. I referred to the more modern shows as craptastic, which most of them are. I'm not even talking about my opinion of them, which is admittedly low, but about the observations I've seen several other people make regarding the decline of quality of anime in general over the past few years. Most of everything has already been done so now concepts are being reused and not well. The few original shows that come out every season are the good ones.

There is usually one person responsible for character design in an anime series, so of course the characters will look similar, but from what I can see, there are a lot more similarities between all the boys of Shurato and Saint Seiya than there are between all the boys of YST, and that was the point I was making. This isn't to say that any of these character designs are bad, but if you want to talk generic, you'd have much more grounds for doing so with Saint Seiya and Shurato than you would have for YST.

I'm sorry, but what you're saying about how people are "able to tell" that the armors of Saint Seiya are inspired by different animals is not only obvious, but also completely unnecessary. You would have to be blind or willfully ignorant to not recognize not only the shape of the armor before the boys wear it, but also the shape of it that's shown either in stars or as a fully-animated animal behind them during their special attacks, and nevermind the fact that they as Saints are known as Pegasus Seiya. That last one wouldn't be something that a non-fan would necessarily know, but as for the others, any non-fan who is into the armor designs enough to recognize them would know those things.

It's pretty much as obvious as, for YST, saying that you recognize what element the Rekka armor represents as a non-fan. Even if you don't know that Rekka means "raging fire", and even if you've never seen the armor's special attack (not to mention the 3rd episode where Ryou literally draws power from the magma of a volcano, which is the absolute extreme of his armor's elemental power), when you see the red of his armor, you will not exactly be put in mind of any element other than fire. So let's not pretend that shounen in general doesn't have really easily recognizable elements, especially when it comes to all of its main characters.

Btw, no, I don't know the elements because I watched the series, I know it because any person with a sense for these things will obviously know them. In the first place, these armors are based on elements and there are five boys. The normal expectation is therefore that there will be five *different* elements, and that two won't repeat. No one who guesses that the light blue represents water is going to think that the other darker blue must also be water. That doesn't even make sense.

People will not be able to tell anything about the armors of Saint Seiya without watching the show either, that's your bias talking. And that's especially true depending on which versions of the armors they even see to begin with, as well as the angle of the picture showing the aromrs. These three pictures are all very different:

If anything, the armors of YST are much recognizable to anyone with a knowledge of Japanese history, because their designs are inspired by real samurai armors. Also, in the second episode, the boys all introduce themselves and give their full names, linking them further to Japanese history with their names: Sanada, Date, Mouri, Hashiba (and Shuu is Chinese).


Unknown said...


I mentioned the undergear because when you first see the full armor, you see it on the boys and they wear undergear, and the full armor goes on top of it. I was explaining that the undergear is the only generic (ie identical) part of the armors. Not to mention the boys don't even wear the protective face plates of the armor 99% of the time. (full armor with undergear) (full armor without undergear)

Collectors collect things because they like them, not because they call them "boring and generic". People who find things boring and generic don't like them, as that is a reason for disliking something. If I find a TV show boring, I'm not going to watch it. You're just grabbing at straws here in claiming that calling something boring means that you can still enjoy it, not to mention that you also called it generic. Two negatives do not make a positive. If you collect figures of any kind for a series you know nothing about, it is because you *like* their looks, not because you find them "boring". I'm not saying that you like the series itself, which you'll notice is not the part of your argument that I am refuting, but that you like the figure designs enough to want to buy them. Otherwise, would you just go around buying every figure in the world no matter how ugly it is to you? No, the standard for collecting is finding beauty and interest in something. If you find it boring (ie not even worth looking at) and generic (not interesting), then you are not going to think to yourself that this would be a nice addition to your collection. If you want the figure of a series you know nothing about, it's because you find the design of the figure itself fascinating (the very opposite of boring), and in the case of YST, the figures represent the design of the armors. As such, it is not the armors that you find boring and generic, but rather the plot of the show itself. That's what I've been trying to point out to you. In other words, that your opinion of the show's plot has pretty much nothing to do with your thoughts on the armors' designs.

Oh believe me, I would discuss the anime itself, but it's not like you would be interested since you've already decided you would never watch it again, and the only words you use to describe it are lame, lousy and crap. Instead of actually providing a detailed review, all you do is summarize the plot of the TV series and OAVs and interject opinions and exclamations. You don't ask yourself questions about anything and you make rather puzzling declarations like how you think this series has no artbooks, even though you acknowledge that it has a lot of great pictures online. Btw, there is a big difference between mooks and artbooks. A mook is basically "a thin book with the look, design, and layout of a magazine, usually having a Japanese anime theme"; in other words, a magazine book. More details about it can be found here:

Aside from that, we're not talking about opinions here. Sure, I think that you're missing out on a really great series, especially since you've watched it but never bothered to actually *think* about what you were watching, instead condemning the whole series as one giant trope. However, what I'm trying to point out to you is that however much you dislike the plot of the anime, that's not a valid reason to say that the armors themselves are generic and boring, least of all if you find them interesting enough to spend cash on figures for them. If you want to act all outrageous at someone pointing out your obvious contradiction, that's on you.

Unknown said...

To clarify one thing you said which is not true, or at the very least misinterpreted:

- Your A was to say that the armors were boring and generic. Those were your words, not mine.
- Your B was to say that the anime was crap, lame and lousy. Again, your words.
- Your C was to say that you wanted to buy the figures (which are the exact same design as the armors from the anime) because you found them interesting.

I only pointed out the existing contradictions, I never once put words in your mouth.

However, I have to say that I find it amusing that you claim to have "hated" the series so much yet you watched not one or two episodes, or even 5 or just the first season, but rather the whole thing. And by the end, having hated it so much up to that point, you decided to put yourself through more "torture" by looking up and completely watching through all of the OAVs. I have to think that you're either a masochist or lying to yourself on some level about how much you hated it.

I should tell you I have some experience with that, and amusingly enough, related to Saint Seiya. It was a very strange time for me because at first I loved it and bought tons of stuff for it, then I thought I did not like it anymore because there was a definite lack of background, personality and general relatability with the characters. So I basically sold all my Saint Seiya stuff, even rare and expensive stuff that had taken me quite a while to find, but then I started to miss it again within a year. At the very least, I have bought back the special CD sets.

Essentially, I realized that I don't have to look too deep into a series to be able to just enjoy it for what it is. Try to make too much of it, and you won't like it or will easily find it boring. This was the case for me with Saint Seiya, and I believe it might be the case with you for YST.

About Shurato, I have seen it and found it a good deal more interesting than Saint Seiya. The characters were all more interesting, better fleshed out and more sympathetic. It is better put together in my opinion.

Unknown said...

To discuss only the parts of your post addressing the anime:

Arago is back in the second season but he has no power in the Human World, like in the first season, without having the nine armors. As you can see, he can't come to the Human World before the final episode as a result. Also, Saranbou is not a henchman of Arago, he is another demon who is against him, and the same is true for Kenbukyou. Kokuyouen is the only one who acts as Arago's servant. Dara, the one in the Youjakai, is a weakling who only fights the troopers with the sword made from 3 troopers' power.

The virtues, you can see them reflected as such:
- Ryou is the one always concerned for his friends, never capable of sacrificing them, to the point of self-sacrifice, this is especially obvious in the first 10 episodes
- Seiji is the most formal and proper of the group
- Shin is the most kind of the group and friendly with everyone
- Shuu is easily angered by tricks used to hurt his friends
- Touma is cool-headed to the point of almost appearing cold at times, and is usually the one to figure out what is going on

You can read more about them here:

The main point of YST, and one that the creators tried to go into but did not have time, is that
Also, check out AiTsunami's comment near the bottom of this thread regarding the hearts (virtues):

And a quote from the following page relatin even more to your confusion about the hearts: "Yeah, Shin trying to learn his "heart" in the TV series is a little confusing... Shin had to learn how to purify Nise Suiko (like what they did with Suzunagi later on). I like how those episodes are about the Troopers trying to grasp that they should be fighting with the purifying power their armors already came with... (Ikeda explained in an SK doujinshi interview he tried to explain this concept well before "Kikoutei Densetsu" and "Message" with those three episodes, but ended up feeling that the "let's blow everything up with the Kikoutei" idea began to take over the TV series and the "heart's power" concept got put on the backburner... and from how things sounded, he was starting to wonder if fans were even getting the point of the "hearts" and was it even worth keeping them at all)."


Unknown said...


First of all, my bad about the unfinished sentence before the second link in that last post, but you can see what I meant by the quote. Basically, the hearts are the true, stronger power than the (elemental) power of the armors.

Nasuti, to me, is easily one of the best anime female characters I've ever seen. Not only is she not a damsel, as you say, she's also not a bitch or stupid. She's very resourceful and helpful to the troopers throughout the entire series and OAVs.

About the OAVs. Gai Den is pretty much a fanservice OAV. The other OAVs never refer to it. In Kikoutei Densetsu, that is not when the world-destroying potential of the white armor is revealed to the viewer, since we knew this from Badamon in episode 31. Even the troopers have some idea that its power is dangerous when unchecked, as is evident in episode 25, when they are all worried after it called a Youja Gate in episode 24. Also, one part of what you said is mistaken: the Kikoutei armors do end up both being destroyed, but because the troopers and Mukara destroy them, also destroying their own armors in the process.

Message is the introspection portion of the franchise. The troopers reflect on their fears, doubts and painful battles, so that is the reason why it doesn't use new footage. Message had a pretty big budget, therefore the animation quality is high, and that wasn't an issue. Suzunagi's family was killed because they re-enacted the play about the troopers' story, which is why Suzunagi wants revenge on the troopers. She made the new armors with the intent to summon the Kikoutei after trapping the troopers in them. The armors were made from her negative feelings, but they also had Suzunagi's love for her mother, allowing for her to be redeemed in the end with the help of the troopers who purified her spirit. Therefore, no negative feelings were left in the armors in the end, unlike the armors from Arago's body that had links to the Youjakai.

Well, I hope this helps you understand a few things.

Unknown said...

I forgot to show you these before:

It's a page of results, and there's animal versions of all the YST armors. The Shuten one not appearing in these is here: