Ronin Warriors (known as Yoroiden Samurai Troopers in Japan) is a 39-episode Shōnen anime produced by Sunrise in the late 1980s. Centered around a group of young men who don transforming mystical armors, Sunrise designed the show to capitalise on the success of THE show about young men who don mystical armors — but with Sengoku flavor! The show found its way to the US in 1995 as Ronin Warriors, where it meshed well during the post-Power Rangers wave. The American dub remains one of the least MacekredAnime-to-American TV adaptations of its time in terms of cuts (with the exception of the name changes).The villain of the show is Master Talpa, supreme lord of the demonic Underworld, who spends most of the First Arc as a floating demonic mask (with an inexplicable-yet-menacing Welsh accent in the American dub). In the first episode, Talpa enters the mortal world and brings along a horde of demonic henchmen to help him take over Tokyo; Bratty Half-Pint Yuli (whose parents are captured during the invasion of Talpa's forces) and Mia Koji (a young student-teacher and researcher of ancient Japanese legends and antiquities) end up witnessing the takeover firsthand. Also witness to this event: five athletic young heroes in colorful armor, one of whom (Ryo) had wandered into the city with an enormous white tiger by his side minutes before Talpa's arrival. When Mia and Yuli find themselves threatened by soldiers of Talpa's Dynasty, Ryo and the other young heroes step in to rescue them. Talpa, sensing a threat to his rule, ends up casting the young heroes to the four winds with his supernatural powers; in turn, Mia and Yuli take it upon themselves to find and reunite the Ronin Warriors so they can prevent The End of the World as We Know It. But the young warriors have more than just Talpa and his low-level goons to worry about: Talpa also has four powerful warlords in his employ, who each have their own armor — and the power to unleash unspeakable horrors upon the world. (Of course, the heroes have Yuli on their side, so things pretty much even out.)After the warriors reunite, the group ventures deeper into Talpa's Dynasty stronghold and begin to discover the full extent of their powers...as well as the origins of their armors and the secret they share with the Dynasty Warlords and Talpa himself: long before Talpa came to conquer Tokyo in modern times, a mystic known as The Ancient One defeated Talpa in battle and sent his soul to the underworld, though his demonic armor remained in the mortal world. In an attempt to prevent Talpa from returning to the mortal realm, The Ancient One melted down Talpa's armor and remade it into nine separate armors. Five of these armors found their way to the Ronin Warriors, while the other four found their way to Talpa's Warlords. Even after discovering the truth, the Warriors press on into battle, and Ryo eventually defeats Talpa after the power of all five Ronin Warriors combine to give Ryo a new, far more powerful suit of armor.Following Talpa's defeat, several new foes show up to challenge Ryo and his Inferno armor while Ryo learns how to control its immeasurable power, but these villains end up as little more than a distraction from the true threat: Talpa, who still lives on in the Underworld, and his corrupted servant Lady Kayura, the last member of the line of Ancients and a force more powerful than even the Inferno Armor. Rather than wait for Talpa to invade the mortal world again, the Warriors venture into the underworld to put a stop to Talpa's schemes once and for all.Following the end of the series, Sunrise continued the story with the follow-up OV As "Gaiden", "Kikoutei Densetsu" ("The Legend of the Solar Armor"), and "Message", each of which feature their own distinct storyline and villains.With its cheesy-yet-enjoyable dub, lack of content cuts, and wide exposure due to syndication (and Toonami), Ronin Warriors helped pave the way for the mid-to-late 1990s anime boom to come. After fan demand became too loud to ignore, Bandai released the entire show on special double-sided DVDs: one side of the disc contained episodes of Ronin Warriors, while the other contained subtitled and uncut episodes of the original Yoroiden Samurai Troopers. After finishing the series release, Bandai released the OVAs (with a new dub!), then eventually released both the series and the OVAs together in a huge collector's set. The individual DVD releases also had a special "flip" cover: one side has a Ronin Warriors version of the cover, while the other side had the Yoroiden Samurai Troopers version, and while both sides shared similar layouts, the back-cover text and the logos stayed in line with each specific version of the show (right down to episode titles and character names). These releases have fallen out of print, though.
Ronin Warriors contains examples of the following tropes:
Also, Sage's Mental Notes can be found on Youtube. Not quite an Abridged Series, but very funny.
There's also dutchmcgee101's Alternate Ronin Warriors, also on Youtube. Also not quite an abridged series in the strictest sense, but it's worth a look.
Accent Adaptation: Rowen, who is from Osaka, is given a New York dialect in the TV series; by the time the first OVA comes out, he has a new voice actor who drops the dialect all together. Cye has a British-English accent to emphasize on his polite nature. Talpa has a Welsh accent just for the hell of it.
Per the Rowen bit: remember that several years passed between the original dubbing of Ronin Warriors and Bandai's dubbing of the OV As.
All There in the Manual: In-depth background information on the characters and the armors can be found in Japanese publications and official novels written by script writers for the TV series. While general information about the characters can be found on the Internet, good luck finding translations of the novels that feature actual stories about the warriors' home lives.
Ambiguously Gay: Shades of this the Warlord Sekhmet/Naaza, though the show never draws attention to it. Not only is Sekhmet the name of a goddess, but his "snake-like" physical traits include large eyes with pink-shadowed lids. A lot of his taunts towards the heroes tend to be a bit suggestive.
Sekhmet: Feel my venom, biting into your flesh!
The English dub may have noticed this and given his character a deep, manly voice to counteract it.
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The transformation sequences use a stock phrase, "Armor of X! TAO Y!!" where X is the name of the character's armor and Y is their virtue. That "Tao Y" part was invented for the dub, and it's odd in a few ways.
The "Tao" part is actually Chinese. The Japanese equivalent of Tao, pronounced Do, is seen in the word Kendo. This could be plain ol' carelessness, but considering that the staff went to the effort to give Tao the revised "dao" pronunciation, it seems unlikely.
The Chosen Many: In episode 31, Badamon informs the three Dark Warlords about the Legend of the White Inferno Armor and how Hariel, the first Ronin Warrior, was able to summon its powers. This was only because of Executive Meddling that this character was even added and thus implicating that there were other Ronin Warriors in the past. In the original Japanese version, however, there were no other warriors to have worn the armors.
Code Name: The four Warlords have these. You didn't think those were their real names, did you?
The Ronins could also be considered to have these as sometimes they are simply referred to as their armor name.
Convection Schmonvection: The shows twists this around so much. When the heroes are split up, Ryo is found in an active volcano. His power is fire based, so the lava makes his mystic armor stronger, but it gives off heat. When Anubis throws two unarmored characters into the volcano, Ryo dives after them but realizes that his armor's heat will kill them if he grabs them, but the fact they're in a volcano doesn't bother him.
Well, it was a bit of a tough choice: let them fry in the volcano or fry them himself. In the end, Ryo loses the armor in order to save them.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: In the first episode, the Warriors have trouble with a single Dynasty Mook. Later in the series, they're massacring armies of them. To be fair, occasional (unsuccessful) attempts to subvert this trope occured.
The first episode itself could be a subversion, as that particular mook was using Anubis's weapon.
It was also explicitly stated that the more the Warriors fight, the stronger they become. That may very well have been their first battle (with the Dynasty, at least).
In the original Japanese version, Ryo states that the fight was the first time using his Finishing Move.
Teamwork also comes into play later on in the show; the Ronin spend the bulk of the first episode in a pissing contest with each other.
The Dark Side: The armors of both the Ronin Warriors and the Dark Warlords can be used for either good or evil depending on the will of the user; if evil thoughts cloud one's mind, they can be turned to working for Talpa. (The dub script had several Shout-Out lines to Star Wars in recognition of this.)
This is due to the armors' origins: they were all made from Talpa's armor after he was first defeated by The Ancient.
Demonic Possession: This happened to Mia's grandfather and Kayura after her necklace was broken.
Dismantled MacGuffin: The nine armors, which were all made from Talpa's armor after The Ancient defeated him. Inverted, as they actually do something.
Elemental Powers: The five Ronin armors are based directly on classical elements: Fire, Earth, Light/Lightning, Air/Void, and Water. The Warlord armors are based on the seasons as well as creatures: Spring/Ogre(Oni), Summer/Spider, Autumn/Serpent, Winter/Wolf.
Epic Fail: Episode 6: Sage tries to break open the boulder Kento is trapped in with his sword, but bounces off. Episode 11: The heroes attempt to transform, but nothing happens because the area had a Power Nullifier.
Episode 16: Ryo and the other Ronins storm Talpa's palace, complete with Theme Music Power-Up. He then proceeds to execute his signature attack on the castle in order to force Talpa out. Then the music stops and the attack bounces right back in their face. Quite entertaining to watch.
Specifically, it forces him to hold the Idiot Ballwhen it comes to the human characters Mia and Yuli. Talpa just can't see them as anything other than weak, inconsequential children even after they've saved the Ronins several times and acquired an artifact which can destroy his power. If he had just thrown the bulk of his forces at Mia and Yuli (or brainwashed a human assassin to take them out on the sly if he didn't want to confront the heroes directly,) he would have had no problem taking over the world.
Evil Is Dumb: Anubis becomes more powerfulafter his Heel-Face Turn, with only a possessed Kayura and Talpa himself being legitimate threats to him. It's justified, though, as he's the strongest of the four Warlords, and becomes even more powerful after he takes on the powers of The Ancient.
Evil Twin: Red Torrent and The Black Armor of Inferno.
Gratuitous Japanese: Mostly averted as the Japanese comes in small, managable bites. The TV series dub pronunciation of Ryo (Rye-oh) plays it straight, though.
Grievous Harm with a Body: When your opponent is an evil spirit in a giant suit of armor, you gotta expect he'll grab one of your party and use him to club the rest of you...
Heroic BSOD: Most of our heroes suffer from one at least once, but the most notable case occurs when Dais successfully tricks Kento into thinking his armor is slowly turning him evil (and this was before the Ronin Warriors learn of the armor's origins as part of Talpa's armor. Yuli snaps him out of it.
Interim Villain: The anime had some shmo take over as #1 Bad Guy for the handful of episodes after Tulpa was defeated and before he came back.
Keep Circulating the Tapes: Many fans didn't believe the show would ever be put out on DVD. And while the entire animated series was eventually released on DVD in the early 2000s, within the last few years, Bandai Entertainment decided not to retain the rights to the show.
Little Miss Badass: Lady Kayura is physically twelve years old, but only a handful of the cast can fight her and not get stomped into the ground. The final battle could've ended in half the time if the writers didn't abruptly take her out of the plot.
Limited Wardrobe: When not in their armors, the Ronin are always seen wearing the same civilian clothes. Except for the ending, where the armors transform into monogrammed jackets.
Mia and Yuli also tend to always wear the same thing, even if they have access to other clothes.
The Load: Yuli and Mia. Mia's case smacks of Real Women Never Wear Dresses as she makes appreciable contributions to the team, but not through combat. And by the end of Message, Yuli manages to start taking his own levels in badass.
Losing the Team Spirit: Cye, when he hesitates to help his friends summon the White Armor in Legend of the Inferno Armor. It all goes downhill from there.
Mad Scientist: Shikaisen's cohort in the first OVA is simply referred to as "The Mad Scientist."
That comment might have been made because of Rowen's surprise that Kayura's a young girl instead of a full-grown lady like her title suggests. Also, that was said the first time he had actually seen her-previously he had only heard her voice and seen her silhouette.
Intelligence and common sense are not related in any way.
However, wisdom and common sense tend to go hand-in-hand.
This could also be a result of Good Bad Translation: it's handled a little more gracefully in the original, where Touma expresses surprise that Shuten and Kayura are human as opposed to the dub's "You're a man!"/"She's a girl!".
Oh Crap: The reaction of the three Warlords when the redeemed Anubis calls forth his armor again. Fully justified, as he begins to administer pain.
Anubis: If this is your will, Ancient One, then I shall become the Ogre once again. To arms.
Older Than They Look: Depending on how you interpret their physical ages versus how long they've actually been alive, the Warlords and Kayura can both invert this and play it straight — Anubis is physically 17, but has been alive for centuries thanks to Talpa.
One-Man Army: Each of the Ronin is capable of laying waste to countless Dynasty soldiers.
On the Next: Left out of the English dub and DVDs for the TV series, yet left intact for the OVAs.
The Other Darrin: A rather extreme, albeit brief example, occurs in the American dub. According to several sources, the entire primary cast had head colds when recording the first couple of episodes, so the studio had to use temporary replacements. As a result, fans heard a rather obvious Vocal Evolution between episodes 1 (primary cast), 2 (the replacements), and 3 (primary cast).
The OVA series also makes do with replacing a few of the characters' voices.
Painful Transformation: Watch anytime Ryo assumes either of his armors, seems pretty painful to him. The others as well to a lesser extent. but maybe YMMV.
Definitely in pain when he's forced to don Inferno by Kayura and the Nether Spirits and it's corrupted in the process.
Parental Abandonment: Yuli, briefly, although he gets them back later on. Also, all of the Warriors. They're only 14, people.
Passing the Torch: Manga only because by the end of the series, the Ronin Warriors do the Heroic Sacrifice in order to destroy Talpa, but not before Ryo leaves Yuli his Wildfire Armor.
In the spinoff manga, Shin Yoroiden-Samurai Troopersthere are at least three new warriors with their own suits of armors. But the series was canceled before anything else could be developed.
Powered Armor: Subverted, since the armors operate on magic rather than technology. However, they do share similar qualities in that they can withstand intense heat, allow breathing underwater and in space, and possibly even fly (Strata).
Confirmed in the Tenkuden Drama CD: it details the incident where Touma first used Tenku to fly.
Protagonist Power Up Privileges: Ryo was the only one who got a powered up armor, doing so by taking the powers of four of the eight remaining armors, usually meaning his friends.
Well, it could be argued that he'd already redeemed himself by becoming the first of the Dark Warlords to rise up against Talpa, which led him to become the successor to The Ancient.
Rewarding Vandalism: In the second episode, Mia and the Ronin Warriors are seen stealing food from subway vending machines.
Ronin: Averted. Despite the group's name, there is no indication they are former vassals of a feudal lord.
One could argue that the armors themselves are the Ronin, since they were formerly part of Talpa's armor.
A Ronin is a 'master-less samurai' (literal meaning is 'wave-tossed man'). While the term does typically refer to a samurai who had a master and then lost him/her, the meaning has become somewhat garbled, in that it could also refer to a samurai who never had a master in the first place. Ronin are also frequently portrayed as being either bodyguards or mercenaries.
You could even go so far as to say that the Ancient One is their master, and that our heroes didn't become true Ronin until the Ancient One sacrificed himself to provide passage to Talpa's castle. To justify why they were always called Ronin, the Ancient One had a tendency to do all his work behind-the-scenes, giving them the appearance of being master-less.
Required Secondary Powers: As powerful as the White Armor is, Ryo's Wildfire swords aren't able to handle that power, requiring Ryo to get the more potent Soul Swords Of Fervor to fight on.
Satanic Archetype: The show presented a ha'sa'tan/Satan equivalent in the form of Arago (Talpa in the American dub), absolute Emperor of the demonic nether-realms, and, in general, literal Adversary of all mortals.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Talpa and the Evil Dynasty, which were sealed by the Ancient over 1000 years ago.
Sealed Evil In A Six Pack: When the Big Bad was defeated in ancient times, his armor, the seat of most of his power, was converted into a set of 10 armors, so that if the Big Bad returned, he'd have a hard time getting them back together. Unfortunately, even without the armors, he was still absurdly powerful.
Simple Staff: The Ancient One carries a khakkhara (monk staff), complete with its characteristic rings. However, it wasn't always a staff; back when Talpa first tried to conquer the Earth, it took the form of a sword with the rings around the hilt.
Transformation Is a Free Action because either the enemies are willing to wait and fight a fully armored Ronin to get a better challenge out of the battle, or possibly the actual armoring up sequences only take mere seconds in the real world.
And subverted in the third episode: Ryo tries to take the stance to get his full armor back on. Anubis is having none of that.
True Companions: The Ronins form this as almost all of them come from various broken homes.
Twenty-Four-Hour Armor: Subverted; while the Ronin and Warlords wear their full armor during battles, they wear smaller, form-fitting "underarmor" the majority of the time.
Weapon of Choice: All of the main cast has unique weaponry; katana, yari (spear), kusarigana (sickle-chain), nodachi (two-handed sword), yami (longbow), and many more.
Justified in two cases: Shin's family traditionally trained in the yari and bo, and Seiji's family trains owns a kendo dojo. Admittedly, their associated weapons (trident and greatsword) don't quite fit, but the training is there.
The Worf Effect: This happened more often once the White Armor showed up. The Saber Stryke arc justified this as Ryo's normal swords were getting progressively damaged from channeling the White Armor's power.