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!!