YMMV / Kamen Rider Ryuki

  • Awesome Music:
    • Revolution, the Survive Form theme. It sounds awesome and even encompasses everything about Shinji's character in the second half of the series in its first verse, and everything about Ren in its second verse. Its debut alongside Shinji's Survive Form, with Shinji activating Survive for the first time and declaring that he definitely wouldn't die so Ren wouldn't become a killer, made the song and the scene one of the most iconic of the series and possibly the franchise.
    • And before we had that, we had Hatenaki Inochi (Boundless Life). Debuting alongside Shinji's first official transformation into Ryuki, it again says everything about Shinji while sounding badass at the same time.
  • Badass Decay: When Tiger first shows up, he's serving up The Worf Effect like nobody's business (even to Asakura), but as time goes on and his real character comes through, he proves incapable of winning any fight at all. A side effect of his deteriorating sanity, perhaps?
  • Complete Monster: Takeshi Asakura/Kamen Rider Ouja practically exists to murder people and look cool doing it. Not only does he rack up the highest body count amongst the Riders, who are pitted in a battle to the death where There Can Be Only One, but he's also responsible for the murder of an innocent woman (who turns out to be Kamen Rider Femme's sister, thus making getting revenge her reason for entering into the Rider Battle). To top it all off, he kills his own estranged brother by feeding said brother to his Contract Monster, Venosnaker... after revealing that he was the one who set the fire which burned down their home, killed their parents, and separated them during their childhood in the first place.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Gets a lot with Puella Magi Madoka Magica. This gets grimly hilarious when Gen Urobuchi, the creator of Madoka gets to write a Kamen Rider series. It took eleven years.Kamen Rider Gaim draws more comparisons with Ryuki and Madoka than any other series for the right reasons.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Most of the riders are assholes, the main character can almost never tell when he shouldn't trust somebody, and the riders who are good will likely die with everyone else. Not to speak about how this is the only series when you can't seriously blame anyone for trying to kill you, simply because that's the way things are supposed to be. Ironically, Shiro realizes that in the end, the cycle he's created will just cause more pointless despair, and uses the Time Vent to prevent the entire war altogether.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Asakura remains a popular villain in the Rider franchise. Up until Kitaoka's return in Chou Super Hero Taisen, he's the only Ryuki Rider to reappear in future installments with the original actor reprising his role, whether it's voice only (Decade) or in person (Ex-Aid).
  • Epileptic Trees: Odin was the subject of a lot of them due to his importance in the plot, the lack of direct explanation as to who or what he was (until the final episode) and certain promotional scans (such as one with him holding all three Survive Cards in his Gold Visor).
  • Evil Is Cool: Asakura is, undeniably, a complete and utter bastard. He wouldn't have nearly as much popularity if he didn't look so cool doing it.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • One hallmark of Kamen Rider and all Toku in general is the "Blind Idiot" Translation subtitles on bootleg Hongkong DVDs, so much that some characters get new names. Goro in particular keeps getting called 'Inagaki', presumably because he shares the pet name 'Goro-chan' with Inagaki Goro of the immensely popular boyband SMAP. Fast forward 6 years to 2009, and the real Inagaki Goro lands the role of (the non-canon) Kamen Rider G.
    • In a similar vein, Ren gets called 'Len' or 'Lian' a lot in the early eps of the bootleg DVDs. Kamen Rider Dragon Knight picked Len eventually.
    • Also of note is how Asakura's name was completely and senselessly altered to "Miyako".
    • Perhaps the funniest bad translation is when Zolda summons his giant side-held cannon. His visor calls out, "Shoot Vent!" The subtitle for that line? "Jet Plane Landing!" Well, the cannon's sorta jetplane shaped if you squint.
    • As noted above, a lot of people began comparing this to Madoka Magica. Apparently someone at Toei took note of this, since the writer for Madoka Magica would end up writing Kamen Rider Gaim.
  • Hollywood Homely: Asakura looks WAY too healthy and clean for somebody that's been homeless since childhood.
  • Ho Yay: Kitaoka and Gorou. Especially in their song, "Dear Friend", found on the soundtrack.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mitsuru may have been greedy, a backstabber when it came to deals, and only kept fighting for his selfish desire of happiness, but for most of his life, he never felt happy due to his father disowning him, unknowingly signed his own death sentence thinking he could use it to earn some money, and is hated by just about everybody else. And when he seems to have finally gotten a happy life with a girlfriend without killing anyone, Kanzaki dragged him back in even after he forfeited, and gets killed in the Mirror World while futily trying to call out to said girlfriend after being betrayed by his friend.
  • Love to Hate: Asakura.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Kitaoka runs on the stuff. Several riders would have similar traits or be outrightly alikened to him. Asakura would have couple moments too, showing that he can be quit cunning despite his barely even Hair-Trigger Temper and insanity. And yeah, other insane yet cunning riders would be alikened to him too.
  • Memetic Loser: Kamen Rider Scissor isn't treated well by the fandom at all. Not only is he alive for two episodes total and killed off for the sole purpose of demonstrating the consequences of breaking the Mirror Monster contract, his Deck is a gimped version of Shinji's (His Sword Vent is replaced by his short bladed Scissors-Visor, his Guard Vent only has one shield instead of two, his Strike Vent has no ranged attack...), and his Final Vent is a little more than using his monster to perform a cheerleader flip. Oh, not only that; at two episode appearances, Scissors (along with Grant/Camo from Dragon Knight) also holds the distinction of being the Rider who appeared in the TV series with the shortest appearance time in the entire franchise.
  • Memetic Mutation: TATAKAE (The Japanese word for fight) is commonly used by the fanbase to refer to this series due to its premise and heavy use of the word.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Sudoh firmly cements his villainy after taking advantage of Shinji's trust and getting information on Ren, he sics Volcancer on Ren. Later he revealed to have crossed it before he ever appeared given that he routinely sicked Volcancer on anybody he didn't like.
    • Jun already showed himself to a bastard, but he managed to one up himself when he planned to use ORE journal to set up a nation wide version of his deranged game that drove people to murder each other.
    • As a child, Asakura set fire to his own house and killed his parents in attempt to kill his little brother because he found him annoying.
    • Toujo crosses it when he kills Kagawa, believing that sacrificing those closest to him made a hero.
  • Narm:
    • Verde's Final Vent is one of the nastiest: with his chameleon monster's tongue acting as a bungee cord, he drops in on his opponent, grabbing him upside down, then bungees back up, flipping around twice before SMASHING his opponent head first into the concrete. Then the dust clears and we see the victim's legs still sticking into the air for a bit before toppling over. ...Yeah.
    • Sometimes the result of Special Effects Failure - watch in ep 39 as Ren is dramatically HANDED his BFS weapon from offscreen.
    • When the maggot monsters are about to molt and evolve into more powerful creatures, the first thing they do is... jerk around like they're in Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Sudoh's death where he gets eaten alive. Onscreen.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Behind every reflective surface (Mirrors, windows, any body of water, YOUR FRICKING COMPUTER SCREEN) is a monster...wait, I mean an army of monsters that is just waiting to have you for dinner. They will pull you through the portal into the Mirror World, and kill you, leaving no trace behind and making it impossible for anyone to figure out how you were killed. If by some fluke you avoid the initial attack, they will not just try for someone else. They will keep hunting YOU down specifically until they get you. Also, the Mirror World is very hostile to those not native to it, and if you are there for too long, you will dissolve and die anyway (if you haven't already been eaten)note . Pleasant Dreams.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Asakura is an Ensemble Darkhorse as the archetype evil rider of Heisei era, but considering just how evil he is everybody in the show hates him.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Being one of the early Heisei Rider shows, there's no way that it avoids this. The Riders fight and kill each other, the only truly redeemable characters of the main cast are Shinji and Yui, and literally every main character dies. Not to mention, in Episode Final, Yui commits suicide on-screen in an attempt to stop the Rider War.
  • The Woobie: Yui. Let's count the ways, shall we? She and her brother spend their early childhood locked up in their home by their own parents, with nothing but drawing and a not-so-imaginary world to comfort them. Then, she suddenly dies at age seven, and is replaced by her Mirror World self in her brother's Deal with the Devil. Following their parents' deaths, she and Shirou are forcibly separated. Twelve years later she finds out that she's not even real, she's only living on borrowed time and will disappear forever once she turns twenty, and that her brother is perfectly willing to manipulate twelve people - two of which are her closest friends - into killing each other in his mad scheme to save her. And that her drawings with her brother are what became the Mirror Monsters that are snatching people away and devouring them in seconds. She then gets to find all this out by being targeted for death by those who've worked it out, snatched by monsters, and finding herself starting to disintegrate at times. And it can all only be settled by convincing her brother to let her death stick. The final scenes make it clear that to the world, Yui died long ago and stayed that way. (Her grandmother is all alone in the tea-house, and there's a picture of Shiro and Yui as kids.)
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