Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Great Series at a Great Price
Ironman | Carmel, IN USA | 10/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the Definitive collection for Ronin Warrior (Samurai trooper in Japan) fans. Not only do you get the complete series (watch in either english or Japanese) but you also get the two OVA released later on. I shall review the three individually.
Ronin Warriors - *****
The Series that started it all for this franchise. The story is that these five teenagers were granted Mystical Armour to fight against the evil Emporer Tulpa and his Dynasty. Tulpa has 4 warlords each wearing Armour similar to that of the Ronins. It is up to Ryu, Sage, Sai, Kento, and Roen to stop the dynasty. Along the way the get allies in the forms of Mia, the daughter of an Archeologist studying the Armours, The ancient guardian of the Armours, White Blaze a white tiger who protects the Ronins as well, and a little boy who lost his parents to the dynasty (Sorry the name slips my mind at the moment). Overall this series is around 40 episodes of Hard Hitting action and great story.
Ronin Warriors New Adventure - ****
The New Adventure takes place around 6 months after the End of the series. In that time the five ronins have kept close contact with each other and are enjoying life. Then a mysterious african warrior shows up wearing a black Mystical Armour of Inferno. It is during this series of episodes that the Ronins began to realize what the true form of their white armour of Inferno and they must stop it. This one is not so much about story as it is action. In a way that hurt it a little but not much.
Ronin Warrior The Message - ***
This one ended up being an attempt to create a spin off to the series. In the beggining of this it has now been years since their last adventure and now they have become accustomed to normal life. A new sorceress shows wanting to destroy the armours and replace them with her own. She sets up doing this by either trapping them or Luring them into doing it willingly. The problem with this one is that it is too story driven. There is almost no action what so ever. In fact most of the story is Flashbacks to the previouse two as well as earlier episodes in this OVA. With this one each warrior is going through in his mind what it means to be a Ronin Warrior. In the end it is too story driven and eventually just becomes boring. It's still good, but not what fans would be expecting.
Overall this is a great series to get. Highly recomended."
Midnight Changeling | USA | 02/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Please check the version that you choose to buy. There are two versions of this boxed set, one is the real deal and the other is a bootleg. I'm not sure which version this one is because the one I purchased was labled as the official set. It wasn't till it came that I knew that it was labled Legandary Armor Samurai Troopers and was badly subtitled throughout the first five disks. That fact didn't really bother me because I know the story backwards and fowards and I also know some Japanese, but that might bother someone not that familiar with the anime. Of course there is always the option of watching the dubed version which I haven't seen any errors in.
Ways You Can Tell A Bootleg While Shopping Online:
1)It says Region All or Region Code None
2)Fewer disks - The official Boxed set has 12 disks and the bootleg only has eight
Ways You Can Tell A Bootleg After You Get It:
1)The Box has a compleatly different cover than the one advertised
2)The Box has the Japanese name instead of the English one
3)You go to watch the subtitled version only to relize that there are large gaps in the subtitling causing confusuion in the storyline.
4)the picture appears grany (I didn't have this problem, but it does happen from time to time)
5)You notice steps 1 & 2 in how to spot a bootleg online (in the event of false advertising)
I hope this helps. Ja ne!"
The Armor Legend Lives!
Faia Saiyajin | Wilmington, DE, USA | 05/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ronin Warriors. Man-oh-man. I love this series - matter of fact, it's one of my top 5 favorites. Called 'Yoroiden Samurai Troopers' in the original Japanese format, the story revolves around 5 teenage boys gifted with mystical yoroi (Armor) to battle the evil realm of the Demon Emperor Talpa and his minions.
The TV series starts off with the 5 lads: Ryo, Sage, Rowen, Kento, and Cye (Ryo, Seiji, Touma, Shuu, and Shin, in the Japanese). They're young, unsure, untried in battle. Five complete strangers pulled together by one common bond. And that is that they must save our world from a ghostly villain bent on conquering it. They must rally together and fight as one, 5 peices of a whole. Tentative bonds of friendship are forged under the burden they've shouldered, as the final battle draws nearer and nearer.
As far as plotline goes, it's not exactly as deep as Evangelion. Use the Armor, beat the bad guy. End of story. Add in one brainy gal, a jabbering cardigan-vested-blue-shorts-wearing half-pint and one large tame white tiger, and that's the series, right there. The bad guys almost always loose, and they're you're typical team of underlings who get beat up on by not only the good guys, but their master. ...or are they? Not exactly, says the typical old-and-wise-mysterious-priest.
With names like Anubis, Kale, Dais, and Sekhmet (in the dub version anyway, the Japanese knows them as Shuten Douji, Anubisu, Rajura, and Naaza), it's almost impossible to NOT like the villains, these Evil Warlords. At least, that's my opinion. Honestly I'd take the bad guys over the Ronin Warriors anyday. They're mean, they're cruel, they're persistent, and they're most definetly misguided. Score! Color me there, man. Things don't get any better for the poor baddies when one of them gets brought over to the good side, and his replacement is a very annoying, very powerful teenage girl who always appears surrounded by wisteria.
And that's when things start to get really interesting. It's an old-school series. There's a distinct lack of CGI animation, something the newer Toonami-Adult Swim set of anime fans will notice. The animation is completely hand-drawn, though most of the time it's hard to tell when the 3rd string animation team stepped in. There are battle cries, transformation sequences (complete with non-optional blowing cherry blossoms), cut scenes of characters posturing, and really swanky attacks with nifty names. So, yeah, at times, it's pretty corny. But if you, like me, get a good grin out of yelling the cries along with the characters, this is definetly a series for you.
As far as voice-acting goes, the English version isn't half-bad. Sure, the dubbed characters were stereotyped (let's not get into Rowen's New-Yorkah accent and Kento's surfer-boy slang, or Cye's quaint British charm), and there is some cheesy dialogue ('Yeah, well, yer momma wears army boots!' ... nice comeback, Ryo...), but what do you expect from a series dubbed back then? Granted, it's not as visually stunning as 'Ghost in the Shell : Innocence', or as smoothly-animated as 'Cowboy Bebop', but this is one series that every die-hard anime fan has to see. How's that saying go? 'Know Your Roots'?
Flare up now, man. Flare up now."
The Advent of the Ronin Warriors
P. Hardy | USA | 05/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
This BOX SET is a long time coming. Ronin Warriors has always been another of my few favorite anime cartoons I was graced to see on Cartoon Network's TOONAMI at a young age back in the late 90s' and 2000. This is the kind of Anime that shows quality even after several years. RONIN WARRIORS had a storyline that before the final series and last OVA was something of a marvel in its own right. The delivery of the TALPA story arcs and the mini arcs were written wonderfully; The characters were not so much as nice to look at as they were diverse and flawed characters with problems when it came to their armors. Even the villains had problems within their ranks besides having a hard time defeating the young warriors. The overall storylines premise is not so complex as it is dramatic (but overly so like some boy-oriented animes). With the end of Ronin Warriors (YST) it was apparent that an OVA was bound to follow its processor. In a final bout of not so well produced OVAs and Mini-series, YOROIDEN SAMURAI TROOPERS is followed by "GAIDEN" - "LEGEND OF THE INFERNO ARMOR" - and "MESSAGE." In 2002 an English adaptation of these three series was produced.
STORYLINE (RONIN WARRIORS): One day, Mia Koji and her grandfather decipher an ancient prophecy that describes the coming of a dark force that would shadow the mortal world and bring ruination to it. These things seem to be coming true when a news report televises a boy and large white tiger that happens to be causing quite a commotion in Shinjuku. Mia's grandfather recognizes him as a Ronin Warrior, a savior of the mortal world. As prophesied a dark shadow befalls the city of Japan and all denizens are captured, save for a boy named Yulie and Mia (respectfully). Ryo and his tiger White Blaze combat against a demon soldier sent by lord Talpa himself. He is joined by four others, Rowen of Strata, Sage of Halo, Cye of Torrent, and Kento of Hardrock. Together (in a sense) they defeat the Foot Soldier only to be told by the dark lord Talpa, the demon lord of the Netherworld, he intends on taking the mortal world for his own. At his side are his four Dark Warlords (Demon Generals), Anbuis of Cruelty, Dais of Illusion, Skemet of Venom, and Cale of corruption and darkness. From there the storyline chronicles the five cocky Ronin Warriors being separated in their second battle to trying to understand their armors better and so forth. They are assisted by Mia Koji (Nasuti Yagyu), a young student-teacher, and a mysterious warrior-monk known only as The Ancient (Kaos). From there it only gets better but, Ronin Warriors does manage to fall flat on its back in some areas of the series after Talpa's so called defeat. There were semi story arcs concerning the INFERNO ARMOR of Hariel. From Sarenbou to Lord Saberstrike and others, the arc of Ryo and the power draining Hariel armor soon became increasingly tiresome to a point where you frankly didn't care if Ryo beat the badie or not. You just wanted the Talpa to return and fast. And in the final story arc, Talpa seems close to world domination as he captures three of the five Ronin Warriors. Ryo and Rowen nearly powerless to stop him and his new foot-solider, Lady Kayura. This in my opinion is best story arc since the first one in the very beginning. Sure, it follows almost the same formula the first arc had but does it with more depth. The characters were better, the villains were villainous, and the drama was excellent. It was an overall excellent way to end the series. 4/5
CHARACTERS (RONIN WARRIORS): One of the many problems I had with this series as a kid were the characters: Ryo and Yulie annoyed me the most, while Mia was simply disliked because of her outfit and her constantly being kidnapped with Yulie. Ryo I didn't favor so much because he was so over dramatic and quick to start the waterworks through his anger when things seemed their bleakest (usually concerning the Inferno Armor). But this dislike soon diminished when he got a little tougher and acted more like the "unofficial" leader near the end. The other characters, Sage, Rowen, Kento, Cye, and the Warlords were the most interesting for me. Sage and Rowen were the usual cool and collected personalities to balance out Kento's hot-headedness and Cye's hesitance to battle (in the OVAs any how). Kento and Cye were naturally the comic-relief but not so to the point that they were stereotyped in the way most people are used to. The five Ronins cannot be the loners in truth, because they cannot win alone or think their strength alone can defeat the dynasty. They all have to work, rely, and trust each other (and themselves) for their armors work in perfect unity. They all do eventually create a strong bond of friendship through hardship. The four Warlords and Kayura were complex characters, but ultimately corrupt and misguided souls who were too cool to hate. Talpa was the greatest villain throughout the entire series, never hesitant in what he had to achieve. At a more wiser age I seriously couldn't see why I disliked Ryo or Mia. Yulie remains undecided with me. - 4/5
ANIMATION/BACKGROUND (RONIN WARRIORS): I'll be the first to admit that the animation for Roinin Warriors in the beginning wasn't so stellar but it was far from horrible for a show created in the late 1980s. The series was known for using rehash scenes for battles or other things. Some the animation movements for the characters of vehicles were jerky or lame. (What cartoon isn't?). The animation for the series at that time only got better as it progressed. Simple things like the transformation scenes and sword fighting, physical combat showed off improvements. - 4/5; The backgrounds for the series were nicely drawn which is good thing - the paintings for rocky mountains and Talpa's castle were probably the best things to stare at in the background, other than that most of it was pretty average or just there for details. - 3/5
MUSIC (RONIN WARRIORS): The music for Ronin Warrirors was the next best thing in the series. Composed by Osamu Tozuka the score for the series is a great joy to listen to. Perhaps not as moving or dramatic as Kou Ohtani's score for Gundam Wing but just as good. By now, unlike Gundam Wing, Yoroiden Samurai Trooper soundtracks have been out of print for some years now. Finding them beyond the reaches of Ebay is a slim to none chance, respectfully. Nevertheless the Tozuka created a wide range of musical themes that spanned from Jazzy, melancholy piano solos (great for Ryo angst), to 80s styled rock. Even themes that sounded like they would be better placed in a peaceful moments went well with action sequences. Guitar and electric piano solos were barely spared throughout the series (especially during INFERNO transformation), the theme songs performed by Moriguchi Hiroko and Uranishi Mariko matched the atmosphere of drama of RW and thensome. However, Tozuka's downfall with the YST score is that sometimes, there were some pieces that was so overly dramatic or sappy that I wanted to gag when I watched the scene or listened to the music play in the background. Overall its not bad 80s styled music. - 4/5
VOICE ACTING (RONIN WARRIORS): Provided by, if not the well known, OCEAN GROUP of Vancouver, Canada, Ronin Warriors had ensemble of familiar and not so familiar voice actors lending their vocals to the enigmatic characters of the heroes and villains. In the first episode the VA's seemed comfortable in the positions of the Ronin Warriors, though there were some moments where they sounded kind of lame script wise ("You cruel devil, let them go now!" - Kento), but all in all they weren't bad. Matt Hill brings a silly serious kind of personality to Ryo of the Wildfire, with a recognizable "surfer dude" accent. Michael Donovan most notably lend his voice for the characters Sage and Cye, pulling off an almost good English accent for Cye and gruff American accent for Sage. I really wasn't too thrilled to find out Matt Smith was voicing Sage instead of Donovan in the OVAs. Jason Gray-Stanford is probably the best VA for Kento in the entire English dub production. I was sorely disappointed when they replaced him with Andrew Francis (Escaflowne, Monster Rancher) in the OVAs. He didn't have the same quirky and charismatic voice as Standford had. My favorite voice actor out of the four mentioned has to be Ward Perry; His Brooklyn accent for Rowen was the best and it made the character unique as far as the English dub for RW went.
I hated it when he decided to drop the accent and opt for his "Gades" (of Escaflowne) accent in the OVA as well. It was like he got lazy or something. Paul Dobson, Richard Newman, Matt Smith, & Ward Perry were all excellent choices for the Dark Warlords. In the question of Lady Kayura's voice actor, I favor Jane Perry's characterization of the female warrior over Masako Katsuki's. Mostly because Jane Perry's trademark laughter and delivery of lines is better than Katsuki's, not because the Japanese VA is horrible. On the contrary. However, the best of the villainous voices had to the gender-questionable Mina Mina as Talpa. Whether or not this is a man or woman remains to be seen, but this actor was probably the BEST voice actor in the entire series. He/she performed perfectly as the dark lord and pulled of his/her lines amazingly it gave me chills. Lastly, Lalainia Lindbjerg (DBZ - Bulma Briefs) and Christopher Turner were an amazing Mia Koji and Yuil when compared Maggie Blue O'Hara and Danny McKinnon. However, the one time the English dub messed up was in the second Episode "Glory for Anubis." Most of the voice actors (except Matt Hill, Paul Dobson and others) were completely changed or characterized differently.
Mia was voiced by STARGATE SGI-1 fame Teryl Rothery, Peter Wilds voiced both Kale and Dais. The script was even bad, Matt Hill said "Flare up now" at the wrong time and did a less than stellar performance in this episode. I was glad when everything was normal by the third episode, though this kind of problem was noted again in the later episode "Warriors Return" -- in which Ryo rushes to save Rowen and the others from captivity (Kale is voiced by another actor: Supposedly Scott McNeil or Peter Wilds again). - ENGLISH 4.1/5. As for the Japanese voice acting: It too was excellent for Japanese voice acting standards, the pronunciation of their names was a bit strange for me at first -- Mia's Japanese name sounded like the group was saying "Nasty" and not Nasutei----. If anything, the Japanese dub has better information on the original storyline for the series itself as opposed to the changes in RW. Another plus is that Ryo was voiced by a male actor and not female, as were the others if memory except Cye serves. Their vocal performance overall sends a charge through me, especially when they cry "BUSO! - REKKA (Tenkuu, Kongo, Korin, and Suiko)!" and their sure-kills. Their overall energy from the actors is what makes the Japanese dub better than the English dub. - Japanese - 5/5
DVD: The DVD has none of the obvious BANDAI special features (trailer previews), maybe the credits section and scene selection but that's about it. Manufactured as a Duel Disc, the Japanese version of Ronin Warriors (Yoroiden Samurai Troopers) is placed on the second side of the DVD complete with the usual ENGLISH subtitles. The downfall of this BANDAI produced DVD set is that none of the DVDs have 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound along with the usual 2.0 sound, which is a major disappointment when you've got a theater system wanting to be used to its full extent. Another I have with the DVD production is the need for two-sided discs. It would've been mightily simpler to two both Languages and Episode formats on one disk. Yes, it would've meant the loss of the YST DVD menu (it would've been better if there were animated menus anyhow) but it wouldn't have made a difference I suppose. ---- 3/5
[GAIDEN & INFERNO]:
(GIADEN): While "Gaiden" is probably regarded as the most plotless of the three OVAs. But it is most possibly the more faithful, for the atmosphere to Ronin Warriors/YST is maintained in this two part OVA. The plot is fairly simple: A couple of NYC mooches are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time when they decide to taunt and tease a mysterious figure, who in turn promptly kills them save one person. This figure turns out to be the armor of Halo. The armor is seemingly under the control of a dark priest named Shikaisen. Elsewhere Ryo Sanada is celebrating his 17th birthday (and Kento's big win on the lottery) and ponders the absence of Sage before overhearing a news report of an armored assailant killing several people in NYC. He proceeds to go to America without telling the others but Kento and Cye are quick to discover his plans and join him on the plan to New York. Meanwhile in NYC Rowen, Mia, and Yulie travel to the university Sage was supposed to have gone to inspect the authenticity of a sword supposed to belong to the Date family. They discover that he was never even there to begin with, thus they try to unravel the mystery of their friend's disappearance. From there the Ronin Warriors are forced to confront their ally [the armor of Halo] while searching for Sage. The animation for GAIDEN is a little more dated than the animation used in the series, which made me wonder if this was before or after the series. Of course such thoughts were truncated upon learning its release date (but anything's possible). You can visibly see the frames in each shot of the animation, most notably the opening theme and their transformation sequences. The music hails mostly from the series while adding a little something new, but is an ultimately cheesy 80s type soundtrack. The characters were pretty much the same in the series if not more mature. The original character Luna (or Runa) didn't pan out as much as I would've liked her to and she was dealt with in a lousy way as well. The romance between her and Ryo was nonsensical at best; They just met in the 1st episode and suddenly their becoming involved with each other. Unrealistic. The voice acting on the English dub is a major disappointment as expressed above; Most of the voice actors were replaced by different ones or the original voice actors really didn't put any sort of effort into characterizing the characters. An annoying point of the English dub is that they pronounce Ryo name RE-OH instead to RYE-OH (this did this in the English dub for "Princess Nine"). The Japanese is basically the best on the DVD and a welcome refuge. All in all Gaiden gets a 4/5.
(INFERNO): Inferno was my least favorite out of the two. While there seemed to be more substance in terms of storyline in this four part miniseries, it all felt much to melodramatic. The Ronin Warriors, are enjoying their summer vacation are suddenly thrust back into the world of heated battles that never seem to end when an African warrior appears in Japan and wordlessly challenges Ryo to battle. The warrior of wildfire tries his best to defeat the new "foe" but is outmatched in every aspect of their battle. Sage, Rowen, Kento and Cye don't fare well against the warrior either. Cye suddenly has a bout of reluctance for battle and refuses to part in any of their situation. After Ryo and Sage are captured, Cye runs off, abandoning his armor and his friends at the same time. Because of their separation, the warriors are easily manipulated by their armors. I really didn't like the plot where the white inferno armor is suddenly a corrupt and evil entity with no virtue of its own, bent on controlling the armors and their bearers. Its counterpart the black inferno armor and its bearer was a sort of lousy addition to the storyline as well. The animation was much better than GAIDEN, in every term of the word. You can truly see that the animators had more resources and time to put into the motion of the characters. However, in the final episode it starts to get patchy; Scenes like the ellipse, the Ronin's flash backs, and then the scene where the silent warrior's sweetheart and White Blaze are hit by the Inferno armors blast are the most visible notes of poor animation. The voice acting is the same in English, probably because I do not favor the changes. The Japanese dub is still the way to go if you want to watch this mini-series. - 3/5
(MESSAGE): Now this five part mini-series was just a plain waste of time and production. There is simply no rhyme or reason to it. MESSAGE was more or less a poor attempt to revitalize the YST series by introducing a so-called "villain" that "kidnaps" the Ronin Warriors, trapping them in new armor. Ryo goes to recuse them but in a manner I didn't expect and was disappointed by. This so-called villain is consumed with sorrow and hatred toward war and those who wage it due to a traumatizing moment in her childhood. So its only natural that she goes after the Ronin Warriors. But the sad part is that even if each episode focuses on the main characters (Rowen, Cye, Sage, Kento, and lastly Ryo), it does little to explain anything about MESSAGE's storyline if there was one. This was more or less an archive show, for there were mostly nothing but flashbacks from the series and previous OVA's with new footage thrown in as an added bonus. Twenty-one minutes of pure torture and pain, confusing dialogue trying to explain an unexplainable complex of the characters, choppy editing and Audio choices that does nothing to nullify the fact that this mini-series was pointless endeavor. I would sorely advise skipping this DVD and never watching it. Some things were better off left alone. --- 1/5
TOTAL: All in all the RONIN WARRIORS BOX SET is a must buy for fans of the show. However, if a little more thought had been put into the production of the DVDs and the OVAs themselves, then this was be a no-questions-asked buy. But every diamond has its flaws and Ronin Warrior's shows theirs. ---- [a 4 out of 5]"