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Manga / Lord of Lords: Ryu Knight

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In a world where a giant sword stands upon a land full of adventure and magic, a world called Earth Tear. This is the story of heroes who journeyed tirelessly across Earth Tear!

Ha-ou Daikei or Lord of Lords Ryu Knight is a manga created in 1993 by Takehiko Ito (of NG Knight Lamune & 40, K.O. Beast & Outlaw Star fame). An anime adaptation was produced by Sunrise in The '90s, airing in 52 episodes from 1994-1995.

It takes place in the mythical world of Earth Tear where, far off in the distance, a giant sword can be seen thrust into the very land itself. Legend has it that whoever journeys to the Earth Blade will become the greatest warrior alive and one of the many warriors to take up this quest is the young aspiring knight-in-training, Adeu the Sonic.

Life is not easy for the idealistic young warrior who, in his very first appearance, gets all of his money suckered out of him by a pair of street urchins. The world is closer to a post-apocalyptic, Fist of the North Star-esque land than the standard fantasy medieval setting in parts, and people are consistently terrorised by outlaws riding powerful mecha called Solids. Fortunately, Adeu has a secret weapon of his own: one of the legendary Ryu, which outclasses any Solid in combat power, the Ryu Knight, Zephyr. With Zephyr at his side Adeu is almost unstoppable but the challenge has only just begun.

Eventually he is joined by Paffy, a princess and an apprentice mage who is on a journey to strengthen her powers. Accompanying her are Sarutobi, a ninja who acts as her bodyguard, and Izumi, one of her own retainers and a noble priest with amazing strength. Together the four battle against the evil that infests Earth Tear and draw ever closer to their ultimate goal - the Earth Blade itself.

Though not the most popular giant mecha anime, it was successful enough to get 3 OVAs and a video game.

Here's some tropes from the Ethos of Chivalry!:

  • Achilles' Heel: Solids, Ryus, and Dooms require mystical energy called mist surrounding them constantly to absorb and use as fuel; this makes them useless in tight spaces such as caves without mist tanks.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Helldragon tribe is not presented in any sympathetic way to speak of.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The Spirit Stones.
  • Anyone Can Die: Downplayed. The series gets very trigger-happy when it comes to axing off heroes and villains alike as the series crawls toward the finale, complete with the full Death Is Dramatic flourishings, but nearly every casualty on the heroes' side are brought back in time for a Big Damn Heroes.
  • Awful Truth: Galden is half human, half Helldragon.
  • Bad Boss: Literally every Helldragon tribe higher-up promotes this as a matter of course through liberal applications of You Have Failed Me, starting with Doan to Idoro. Rigel, The Dragon, is probably the worst in this aspect, murdering his own minions left and right for virtually no reason whatsoever.
  • BFS: As mentioned, the Earth Blade, which is clearly as tall as a large mountain at least. According to a village elder in the middle of the series, its actually the sword of Earth Tear's god, embedded in his shield, making that a BFS of a different variety. Its uncertain to what degree this is true, as whilst its a creation myth, the elder turns out to be a Helldragon, and yet acknowledges the creation myth when he follows up with explaining the origins of the Helldragons.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Everyone save for Katze and Hittel do this.
  • Cannon Fodder: The average Solid, mainly due to the pilots driving them, is one of these, no bones about it.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Here's one lesson from the Ethos of Chivalry!"
    • "Number one! A Knight must always [lesson]!"
  • Eye Scream: Whenever Galden summons Steru, he pulls the Mist Tarot out of the "eye" on his armor and it seems to cause him some degree of pain.
  • The Gunslinger: Hittel
  • Heel–Face Turn: At the very last moment, Galden, and the previously corrupted Steru turns into a Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • When Paffy realises that the man she was betrothed to has effectively sold her country to the enemy, she almost completely loses her faith in humanity. Fortunately Adeu is able to step in before it goes that far.
    • Adeu himself falls victim to one as well in the near-finale.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Four of the eight heroes seemingly die, but they get better in the finale.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Hagu Hagu for Paffy. Given that he's, you know, a small, fuzzy fairy.
  • Idiot Hero: Adeu, so very, very much.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: Ryu Knight Zephyr, although significantly more useful than the typical examples of this trope, was just a card when Adeu got it handed to him. He was quickly disabused of that notion, though.
  • Jerkass: Katze is not the most pleasant person to be around. She does get better eventually.
  • Kill It with Fire: Paffy's trademark Honoun spell, and also her reaction to any slimy or scaly creatures the party comes across.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Adeu certainly aspires to be one, but he's not quite there yet.
  • Magic Knight: Galden, somewhat justified since it is revealed by Idoro that he is half helldragon.
  • Man Behind the Man: Idoro was manipulating Galden the whole time to prepare the way for the real villains of the show.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Subverted because save for Adeu and his Zephyr everyone gets their upgrades late in the series especially for poor Sarutobi.
  • Mind Control: Eventually, Adia (a Helldragon) attempts this on Galden by using a special ruby on Steru. This fails because Adeu was nice to him and he breaks it by STABBING HIMSELF.
  • More than Mind Control: Galden, for over half the show, is controlled by light mind manipulation and outright being manipulated by Idoro. This starts cracking later.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Ryus, suits of armor with great energy. And they are RPG-class themed to boot!
  • Ninja: Sarutobi. And his kit reflects it, even in-mech.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The second half of the series reveals the Helldragon tribe, the primary antagonists of the series that are said to have been spawned by their god Meditto's sword. They are also reptilian aliens from outer space with highly advanced technology. Later in the series it is revealed that some of them resemble humans to pilot dooms (their Humongous Mecha).
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Gratches
  • Real Robot: Despite the presence of the Ryus (see Super Robot below), these exist in-universe to a mild degree as 'Solids'. There's a great deal of variants throughout the series, but they do seem to be part of standard militaries, and many of them clearly use mundane weaponry - like guns - over some form of mystical counterpart. Despite this, their power source is a mystical ether known as 'Mist', same as any Ryu, and any Solid without proper legs lacks clear propulsion - the sphere's they stand on evidently don't spin or anything.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Hagu Hagu, the show's mascot.
  • Samurai: Gesshin
  • Super Robot: The Ryus of course. Aside of being more powerful than any Solid (though this doesn't account for skills of the respective pilots), they're summoned from out of cards, one can cast magic through them, channel the power of the gods, they have higher grade weaponry (such is the implication with Zephyr's sword being required to kill a dragon), can upgrade into various super modes through mystic gems, and are capable of flight without actual propulsion. They also may or may be armours given to Earth Tear by its creator god.
  • Shock and Awe: Paffy and Galden have lightning based attacks.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Katze is a cowardly, money-grubbing weapons merchant who has a keen eye for details. Hittel is the Elven Typhoon. Together they are one impressive team.
  • To Be a Master: The entire reason Adeu began his journey.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When Hittel's at the controls, Derringer takes one of these.
  • The Undead: At one point Idoro summons an army of skeletal warriors and dragons to kidnap a few of the main characters, even her flying fortress is castle support on top of a giant whale skeleton.
  • White Mage: Izumi.
  • Why Did It Have To Be Ghosts: Izumi.

Alternative Title(s): Hao Taikei Ryu Knight, Lord Of Lords Ryu Knight