Monday, March 20, 2017

Ronin Warriors Was... Awesome, But Slow-Going.

I know I'm pointing it out being slow given that it's such an old series, but I am not saying it's bad. It's just... a clear indication of its time.

Ronin Warriors (also translated as Legendary Armor Samurai Troopers) opens on a normal-looking town, and briefly zooms in on a small boy named Ulli (Jun), having a fun day with his family. He meets an unusual young man walking through town with his pet white tiger, whom is causing quite a scene, so he is hurried away. We then cut to a woman named Mia (Nasti), who is warned about an oncoming threat by her cryptic grandfather, and before she is given any substantial information, the town is suddenly under the attack of the evil Emperor Talpa, the demon lord of the netherworld. Under his assault, anything and everything electronic is silenced and cut out, and the people are tormented by his dark army of Dynasty Warriors, under the control of the Four Emperors he has granted special armor and powers.

But lo and behold, the young man from before with the tiger steps in to try and fight back the dark army, showing that he is one of the Ronin Warriors of the prophecy. As the very first fight starts, the other warriors conveniently and mysteriously join in to help him, immediately forming the full team from the get-go. And as they learn to fight together and back each other up, Talpa sees their threatening power, and casts them all out of the town, intending to destroy them. From there, the series goes into a small arc of the five finding each other in their elements, as they were guided there by the supernatural power of their armors to help them recover, while fighting off Tulpa's evil army along the way.

The characters themselves are admittedly a little... bland. Ryo of the Wildfire is the headstrong and loyal leader, Kento (Xiu Li) of HardRock is a bit of a glutton but is the strongest of the group, Sage (Seiji) of the Halo is the mature but aloof warrior, Cye (Shin) of the Torrent is the oldest and calmest of the bunch, and Rowen (Touma) of the Strata is the brilliant tactician & the voice of reason. Mia and Ully travel with them, and largely help them gather back together, but Ully is more of the childish innocent "never give up" cheerleader while Mia acts as the big sister and informant to the group. And the tiger, known as White Blaze, acts as their guardian during battle. There's also an extra character that helps with some form of mystical powers known only as The Ancient, but he's only seen every so often.

The villains are all about as diverse as the heroes, being the four Warlords and Talpa himself, each being a direct counterpart to each other. The good guys represent positive virtues, the bad guys represent evil forces that counter them, and it's a constant war of good versus evil. Very basic, but the fight scenes are very well executed, and you really feel the pain and impact of each sword strike against the armor. The heroes all have very defined abilities and elements they draw from while the villains seem to call from a near infinite dark energy. And the voices all the characters carry are very diverse and fitting for their personalities, even if their dialogue is a bit stale and forced. Buit again, it's an element of the times.

I'll be honest, the slow dialogue was one of the most difficult parts of the series, so much so that it had me dozing off briefly for a few seconds on a couple episodes. But for anyone looking for a bit of classic good old-fashioned butt kicking of a group of samurai warriors using magical attributes, I'd recommend this one any day of the week. It truly is a classic, and well worth the time to watch.

Also, while I know the time gap is huge, why did Ryo end up sounding like a watered-down Viewtiful Joe???

If anyone wants to suggest a post, feel free! I'll talk about almost anything!

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