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Series / Kamen Rider Dragon Knight

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Let's ride.
"Together, we'll be stronger."

The second attempt at adapting Kamen Rider for western audiences, after Saban's Masked Rider. Based on Kamen Rider Ryuki, chosen for its large number of Riders, including a woman.

Kit Taylor's life has been rough; in the year since his dad vanished, he's been moved into foster care and gained an unwarranted reputation as a troubled youth. But recently it's gotten weird: his dad has begun to appear in strange visions, telling him things like "don't be afraid of the dragon". Moving back into his old apartment, he finds a deck of strange cards, and he then begins to see things in mirrors including, sure enough, a dragon that seems to be following him around. Throw into the mix a biker who wants his card deck and won't take "no" for an answer. But when the biker gets into trouble, Kit follows his dad's advice and makes a contract with the dragon, becoming Kamen Rider Dragon Knight.

Afterwards, Kit's able to get the story out of the biker, named Len and a Kamen Rider in his own right: there's a world on the other side of our mirrors called Ventara. This world was invaded by an alien named General Xaviax, and they created the twelve Kamen Riders to defend themselves. However, one of the Riders betrayed them and Xaviax took over, stealing their Advent Decks (the source of their power). Now Xaviax has set his sights on Earth, searching for our universe's counterparts to the original Riders and manipulating them to do his bidding, while Len is trying to get the decks before they can be misused.

The show did well in non-North American markets (especially when it was imported back to Japan), in the U.S., Dragon Knight aired on a broadcast block managed by 4kids Entertainment. It suffered from low ratings due to lack of advertising and was cancelled around the tail end of the series. The last four episodes were not broadcast by them, and the final two were not broadcast at all, though they were uploaded to The CW's website. While 4Kids' didn't seem to care about the show, other CW executives liked it, and their running of several episodes within their daytime programming blocks resulted in the show ultimately winning an Emmy award for stunt coordination.

Received a sequel novel exclusive to Japan called Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight - 2WORLD 1HEARTS. The Riders are celebrating first anniversary of Ventara's liberation, but Kit had been held back by battle against the remaining mirror monsters. His arrival is further delayed by the connection between Earth and Ventara being severed along with attacks increasing once more. Len's appearance makes things only so much better. With no reinforcements on the way, the No Men have to accept the proposal of war veteran Colonel David Stuart and gather the earth Riders... all without anyone knowing about the arrival of a new enemy exceeding even the likes of Xaviax.

Not to be confused with The Dragon Knight or Knight Rider.

This series has a Character page.

Kamen Rider Dragon Knight contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Siren, natch.
  • Adapted Out: Alternative Zero has no direct counterpart in this show. Although considering that his costume is almost identical to the regular Alternative's, it's not surprising.
    • Biogreeza as well, although this is only due to how short his contracted rider, Camo, lasted.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: Siren, whose role is beefed up compared to her Japanese counterpart.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: When Maya starts hanging out with Troubled, but Cute Kit, Trent is concerned and Lacey approves (and even looks like she might try to steal Kit for herself).
  • All There in the Manual
    • The names of the Advent Beasts. The only way to get any sort of acknowledgment onscreen is by showing their Advent Cards, and only a few have been shown clearly.
    • The names of all the Ventara Riders are listed in the end credits of Episode 39.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Tired of being subtle, Wrath and Strike go to the bookstore, hold Lacey and Trent hostage, and then tear the place to pieces in a knock down, drag out fight with Len and Kase.
  • Alpha Strike: Torque's Final Vent.
  • Alternate Universe: Ventara.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The series concludes with Kit, Len and Siren facing down a new threat from the mirror dimensions.
  • Ascended Extra: Compare Siren, who is part of the show's central Power Trio, to her Japanese counterpart Femme, who only appeared in a single movie. The same could be said for pseudo-Rider Alternative, which Dragon Knight uses as Eubulon's combat form.
    • Inverted with Camo. His counterpart, Verde, was one of the Big Bads in a TV special (not to mention a 13th Rider made just for the special) and killed Kamen Rider Knight. In Dragon Knight, he barely even appears for one episode.
    • There's also Xaviax's Mooks, the Gelnewts. The original Gelnewt was a one-shot monster. Dragon Knight mass produces them into foot soldiers.
  • The Atoner: Eubulon
  • Avenging the Villain: Axe, the minute his brother Spear becomes vented.
  • Badass Biker: Technically everyone (Kamen Rider, remember?), but especially Len.
    • Played with for some of the Riders - Richie has a bike, but is never seen riding it, and actually gets it repossessed.
    • Brad/Thrust, being a professional motocross racer, probably deserves special mention.
  • Badass Cape: Siren, sometimes Wing Knight
  • Battle Couple: Len and Kase; her being MIA for 20+ episodes makes it take a while to actually occur in the series.
  • BFG: Most of Torque's arsenal.
  • Big Bad: General Xaviax.
  • Blood Knight: Camo.
  • Bond Creatures: The Advent Beasts, though the bond is generally downplayed compared to Ryuki: the beasts themselves are treated as little more than just another piece of equipment in Dragon Knight, while Ryuki's rule is "Fight or the dragon will eat you". Camo's beast never even appeared on the show.
  • By the Eyes of the Blind: The monsters can only be seen by Kamen Riders and those who have been taken through a mirror portal. These people can also see into Ventara through Earth's mirrors and reflective surfaces.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Kamen Rider!" Because no one would get "Henshin!" and "Transform!" sounds boring. Also, it's to reinforce the title.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Once a Kamen Rider is linked to his or her Advent Deck, the deck will always alert them to when there a monster attack, thus making them unable to refuse the call.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Len, to the point that it takes like five episodes to drag the Back Story out of him.
  • Canon Foreigner: In a non-human version, Dragon Knight actually shows Wrath's Final Vent on-screen, while Ryuki didn't show Odin's; until DK, the only way to see it was to play the PlayStation game.
  • Captain Ersatz: Wing Knight sometimes comes awfully close to being a Toku version of Batman. Especially when he explains he wasn't the leader, he was the Lone Wolf who fought at night...
    • Gets a little eerie when you realize that Batman canonically has a British counterpart called Knight, who wears a very similar visor. (Almost certainly a coincidence; Knight was essentially a forgotten relic of The Golden Age of Comic Books, though he was briefly brought back to prominence in Batman (Grant Morrison) around the time the show was airing.)
  • The Cast Show Off: Matt Mullins occasionally gets scenes to show off his martial arts skills. Mark Dacascos joins in on a late one when Eubulon and Len spar.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Len, particularly since that was not his role within the Ventaran Riders.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Maya's Aunt Grace, owner of the bookstore, vanished after the early eps once the producers had convinced their bosses that more drama and less comedy wouldn't hurt the ratings. While she clearly still owns the bookstore, her name is never even mentioned again after she vanishes.
  • Climactic Battle Resurrection: Eh, not so much. Half of the Riders only return in time to take part in a group Finishing Move.
  • Clip Show/Recap Episode: No less than three in a forty episode run. "The Many Faces of Xaviax", "Calm Before the Storm", and "A Dragon's Tale".
    • And the second clip show flashed back to the first clip show.
    • And the third clip show was the final episode. Because we really needed to see what we just saw happen over the previous 10 episodes during the final episode - leaving only 5 minutes for something resembling a finale. The characters from early in the series, including Kit's dad, one of Kit's primary motivators, pretty much just get a passing mention and nothing else. "Oh yeah, they got better and stuff. But who cares, I'm writing a BOOK!"
  • Compressed Adaptation: Dragon Knight was given 40 episodes to Ryuki's 50, including the incorporation of elements from Ryuki's supplemental materialnote .
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Five Mooks or so are easily defeated by Len without transforming. Later fights (note the plural, this happens two or three times) require two transformed Riders to go all-out against one. This is the result of the Gelnewt Monster of the Week in Ryuki getting demoted to Mook status in Dragon Knight, creating a jarring difference between reused and original fights.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Maya and Trent. Strike was one until Xaviax confirmed his theories.
  • Covert Pervert: We know Lacey's kinda boy-crazy, but one time her mind goes to the gutter awfully fast...
    Maya: I saw [Len] change right in front of me.
    Lacey: Ew, he changed? (gets a grin on her face) Boxers or briefs?
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: Actually eighteenth - that's when Kit got out of the foster care system and moved back into his old apartment, where he found his Advent Deck.
  • Darker and Edgier: Technically it was considered this, it was much more serious than Power Rangers and dealt with the slavery of an entire planet, and over all dealt with more mature themes. It also killed the Monster of the Week formula for an Arc-based one. Which caused a bit of Continuity Lockout.
    • Lighter and Softer: The series it was based on, however, featured monsters that came out of mirrors to kill people and the Riders were forced into There Can Be Only One type of battle royal, and most of them save for Shinji, Ren and Tezuka, were psychotic killers and con men who only fought for their selfish desires. Not to mention that if a Rider was defeated, they don't get Vented, they get killed!
  • Death by Adaptation: In the terms of dying early compared to the counterpart, Torque is vented around the same time that Thrust was vented, roughly a third of the way through.
  • Deck of Wild Cards: The only one of Xaviax's Riders who is both loyal and competent is James. Drew is a Smug Snake and The Starscream, Brad was a Token Good Teammate who Xaviax ultimately had to vent because he was a potential liability, Chris turned on Xaviax once he realized who the heroes truly were and the Cho brothers ultimately cared more about each other than Xaviax's goals as seen when Kit vented Albert causing Danny to defy Xaviax.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Xaviax did it to Adam in Episode 37 Enemy Within.
  • Disappeared Dad: Kit's father. He actually reappears with other missing people, but they're little better than in a coma thanks to Xaviax.
  • Doppleganger Spin/Attack: Wing Knight's Trick Vent. Sometimes the clones physically exist and will attack, but other times they're just distractions that vanish when hit.
    • Dragon Knight's Survive Mode has this as well, and it results in a three on three battle between Wing Knight and Adam as Dragon Knight when both of them put it into play during their confrontation.
  • Doom Doors: The iconic sound effect is used in episode twelve as the sound of Strike's motorcycle.
  • Dub Name Change: Notably averted for every Contract Monster except rather understandably, Genocider, who was renamed to "Cerebeast".
  • Easily Forgiven: Adam in spite of betraying his team TWICE, though afterwards he realizes his mistake.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Subverted. When both Kit and Adam are active at the same time, it's Kit (the good twin) that gets the black Onyx armor.
  • Fanservice: The debut fight of Kase/Siren is full of it. The heavy guitar helps.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Defeated Riders get "vented", that is, trapped between dimensions with no hope of escape. Ironically, it was intended to be a better alternative to death, where Eubulon could get them out.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Xaviax, who has some real talent in smooth-talking. He can also be a Large Ham on occasion.
  • Female Gaze: At least one episode has a blatant crotch shot of Len as he's dismounting his bike.
    • Male Gaze: Of course, Kase doesn't escape this either. Why else would she keep her Advent Deck in her back pocket?
  • Fight Clubbing: Thrust thinks he's doing this at first.
  • Finishing Move: the Riders' Final Vents.
  • Freudian Excuse: Xaviax jokes about this with the Cho brothers: "You're depraved on account of you're deprived?"
  • Foreshadowing: Vague one in how the existence of Master Eubulon is hinted at in #10. He is seen in the background of the picture Len shows Kit and Maya while explaining mirror twins. Also, Len says that there is no way of pulling anyone out of the Advent Void anymore.
  • Frankenslation: Kamen Rider Ryuki + original footage.
  • Fusion Dance: Strike steals Thrust's and Sting's decks, then can merge their Advent Beasts with his own.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Incisor's Advent Beast, Volcancer.
  • Gilligan Cut: Maya swears up and down that Michelle won't reduce her to just getting coffee. Guess what?
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Despite being made for an American audience, the show kept the "Kamen" in Kamen Rider untranslated even though the English name "Masked Rider" was also used in Japan at the time (though they switched to "Kamen" exclusively soon afterward). Producer Steve Wang stated in an interview that he prefers the actual Japanese moniker over the translated form, but he also wanted to distance Dragon Knight from Saban's earlier attempt at making an Americanized Kamen Rider series, simply titled Masked Rider.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Eubulon VS General Xaviax. That is all.
  • Healing Hands: Kase displays this ability when healing Kit's injured leg. She learned it from Eubulon, who later uses it on Hunt.
  • Heroic Sacrifice/Taking the Bullet: Sting
  • Human Aliens: Xaviax and Eubulon look human most of the time (they're actually The Greys).
  • Human Popsicle: The Ventaran Riders (at least after losing Eubulon) took turns protecting Ventara, taking one year out of every twelve, with the remaining Riders kept in stasis.
  • Hunting the Rogue: Kamen Rider Strike is sent by General Xaviax to destroy his colleague Torque after the "con-man" tricked Xaviax and tried to strike out on his own. He's too clever by far and is vented by Strike despite pleas for mercy.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Kit very easily believes Drew when he tells him that Len is working for Xaviax, despite repeatedly seeing him fight Xaviax's monsters. (Even alongside Kit!)
    • During his fight with the Cho brothers, Len decides to leave their Advent Decks for them to retrieve instead of taking them with him, which ultimately leads to Chris's venting in "Semper Fi."
    • Siren sees Dragon Knight fighting (and losing to) Axe, so she decides to jump in and fights Axe. After forcing him to retreat, she attacks Dragon Knight, claiming he's working for Xaviax. So instead of just letting Axe vent him like he was so close to doing, she decides to jump in, fight Axe, and then fight Dragon Knight, who she's convinced is evil. HUH?
      • She even has the gall to say to him "Looks like your partner just deserted you." REALLY, KASE???
  • I Have Your Father: Strike pulls this.
  • Kick the Dog: When Maya decides to go behind Michelle's back so she won't steal the credit for her investigation, Michelle frames her for libel and gets her fired - then offers to help get her job back if she can be let in on the story. After Maya politely tells Michelle where she can shove her blackmail, Michelle eavesdrops to steal the story anyway.
    • Pet the Dog: Michelle eventually realizes what a bitch she was being and apologizes.
  • Lancer vs. Dragon: James Trademore serves as The Dragon for the Big Bad Xaviax, while Len is The Lancer and Deuteragonist to Kit. James meets his demise at Len's hands as retribution for venting Len's girlfriend Kase.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Adam, who wanted out of the Rider gig so he could be with a girl.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Xaviax hands out Kamen Rider advent decks to people, then manipulates them to fight his enemies. Less successfully, Torque.
  • Meaningful Name: Richie the rich kid.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Every Rider has their own agenda, and a couple episodes have brought together everyone active at the time for large brawls.
  • The Men in Black: The No Men, the show's government agents.
  • The Mentor: Eubulon. On a smaller scale, the Ventaran Wrath mentored Len and Len mentors Kit.
  • Mirror Monologue/Rage Against the Reflection: Len, after Sting's sacrifice. Of course, being a Rider, his fist just goes through.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Len, a couple times. The first time, "I sense that guy (Richie) is Incisor", can be written off as a cover for recognizing Ventara!Incisor's Earth double. "I sense that Torque has just been vented", however, is harder to handwave.
    • This is possibly explained as an advanced form of Spider Sense in that the Advent Void... or their decks... or something keeps letting the Riders know when people are in danger. And it never lets up. This in itself is kinda cool, as the idea's similar to the noises made by the Mirror World in Ryuki.
    • The fact that the Riders' ability to sense when they are needed never letting up is at least in part responsible for how Xaviax tricked Adam. As Len explains to Maya, Adam felt trapped by his own good nature. He points it out by asking her, "If you had an alarm clock that let you know whenever there was someone in danger, could you ignore it?" Like all the heroic Riders, Adam could not, and he was desperate to get his life back. Xaviax was more than willing to use that against him. Adam himself explains this in part when he tells the team how he wound up in his situation, though he didn't reveal to them a very key fact. Xaviax was essentially holding his girlfriend hostage while at the same time using her as emotional blackmail material to force him to sabotage the Riders' attempt to save Earth.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Advent Deck spinning to initiate the Transformation Sequence is a callback to the Showa Riders' belts, which involve spinning as one of their common elements.
    • Episode 18 has Danny, Kamen Rider Axe, almost transforming by holding his deck right hand instead of his left. Axe's Ryuki counterpart, Tiger, transforms with the deck in his right hand as well.
    • The Link Vent used to destroy Xaviax in the finale bares a striking resemblance to Showa Riders' Rider Synchro ability, involving forming a circle or semi-circle with outstretched hands and linking their Transformation Trinkets together for one combined blast.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Genocider. Renamed Cerebeast in Dragon Knight according to the merch. Still not the kind of name you want to hear. The creature itself wasn't exactly going to inspire most people to think it was harmless either.
  • Never Say "Die": Defeated Kamen Riders don't die, they get "vented". Eventually justified as something you can return from.
  • The Nth Doctor: Since an Advent Deck is locked to the DNA of its user, to become Kamen Rider Wrath, Xaviax must possess the body of the Wrath suit's designated user or his double. The show never makes Wrath's true identity clear, but the official website tells us its Vic Frasier, a construction worker who was comatose after an accident (he was actually life-drained by Xaviax the same way Kit's father was). As such, Xaviax gets a different actor for a span of several episodes.
  • Oh, Crap!: For a brief, brief instant as the collective riders are pulling their Link Vent cards out, Xaviax's Smug Snake exterior actually slips into a facial expression that says this.
    • There's also the moment when Torque first unleashes his Final Vent. Even suited, the way Wing Knight takes one look at Magnugiga powering up and stops short before he legs it just says it all.
  • One-Winged Angel: The minions upgrade from the red versions (Gelnewts) to the white versions (Sheerghosts) against Wrath (and get beaten anyway.) From then on, all Mooks are Sheerghosts, though. Also, in an earlier episode, before Sheerghosts are properly introduced, there's a flashback to Ventara of Sheerghosts transforming into blue, dragonfly-like monsters (Raydragoons) when battling Siren, Wing Knight, and the original Strike (and getting beaten anyway.) The last couple of episodes have armies of all three types as the Riders storm the castle. They get beaten anyway.
  • The Only One: Len from Kamen Rider Dragon Knight not only starts out like this, he wants to keep it that way at first because he doesn't believe anyone from Earth can be trusted with the Kamen Rider Advent Decks, particularly Kit, who is the mirror twin of the Rider who betrayed the team. The fact that most of the Earth Riders actually tend to be bad guys (though a few are innocently duped or framed) doesn't help matters any. He gets better about it as the series goes on, and then it's revealed that he wasn't the last of the Ventaran Riders to escape being vented anyway.
  • Opt Out: When the Riders and The Men in Black start uniting to take out Xaviax for good, Lacey asks to be excused and goes home.
    • Written-In Absence: The real reason she goes home is because her actress had to take time off for personal reasons.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: in "Xaviax's Wrath"
  • Paint It Black: Dragon Knight becoming Onyx in Kit's dreams. (Averted in actual events; the Dragon and Onyx Decks are separate objects.)
  • Parental Abandonment: Acknowledged; when Kit learns Xaviax might have taken his dad, he reflects that he thought his dad just needed some time away.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: Michelle, when Kit tricks the No-Men and escapes from custody: "slippery little weasel!"
  • Phantom Zone: Ventara is the "we can fight without affecting Earth" kind, and the Advent Void is the "bloodless alternate to death" kind.
  • Plug 'n' Play Technology: Xaviax's teleporter beacons take USBs.
  • Power Copying: Camo's and Sting's Copy Vents.
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: But we'll give it a pass because it belongs to the Marines: Semper fi, or "Always faithful". Sting uses it a couple times in the episode of the same name.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Kit's visions of his dad, and later, of Onyx
  • Reflective Teleportation: The Ventara is an alternate dimension which can only be accessed by Kamen Riders through reflective surfaces.
  • The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: Not only were the last two episodes only viewable online, but a sequel novel came out exclusively in Japan.
  • Rings of Activation: Transforming into a Kamen Rider is accompanied by two large rings intertwining across the body before vanishing in a flash of light, leaving the Rider in their armor. The rings also act as a protective barrier while the Rider is changing.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Axe and Wing Knight, though the latter is able to finish his rather quickly.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: The Roswell incident was Eubulon landing on Earth.
  • Sarcastic Confession: As Michelle puts it, Maya can't expose the truth about the Kamen Riders... but there's nothing stopping her from writing a "fictional" account.
  • State Sec: There is a secret organization called the No Men. Their job includes protecting the world from potentially dangerous aliens and even capture one of the heroes who they feel could be a threat. They've even gone to the length of infiltrating a blogging site to play down the conspiracies that are being uncovered.
  • Stock Footage: Being based on Ryuki, the show makes various uses of the fight scenes from the original.
    • This tends to lead to some odd continuity issues though. In A Rider's Challenge, Incisor is somehow vented even after he is shown still standing after Wing Knight's Final Vent, bringing to question exactly how he was "defeated." Of course, in Ryuki, Scissors was defeated because his deck was smashed by Ren in that same Final Vent, and he was subsequently consumed by Volcancer because his Contract card was destroyed; not something that can be shown to kids.
  • Storming the Castle: Upon learning the location of the building where Kit's being held captive by the No-Men, Maya, Len, and Kase rush off to save him. Ironically, he escapes before they even get to him, but that doesn't stop Len and Kase from going in and wreaking complete havoc.
    • And then Eubulon and the freed Riders (plus Maya and Trent) storm Xaviax's castle in the finale.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Kamen Rider Dragon Knight! Together we can fight the fight!"
  • Token Competent Minion: It would not be an exaggeration to claim that Kamen Rider Strike is Xaviax's most reliable and efficient henchman, having vented two heroic Riders before he was taken out by Len. By contrast, Xaviax's other minions are either untrustworthy (Torque), reluctant (Thrust), stupid (Axe and Spear) or just plain useless (Camo and Incisor).
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Played with. Partially justified as transformation sequence projects an energy sphere that knocks everything back, protecting the Rider. Activating the transformation sequence is where the fun comes in. Subverted when Cho Brothers challenged Len. He snatched their decks away, forcing them to fight barehanded. Played straight when Brad let Len transform so they could have a fair fight.
  • Trash the Set: Grace's Bookstore in "Kamen Rider Wrath." after Wing Knight and Siren are lured there by Xaviax/Wrath and Strike, a brutal fight ensues, the bookstore ends up utterly smashed apart, and the heroes end up in full retreat.
  • Upgrade Artifact: The Advent Decks, to a certain extent. Though when Maya becomes Siren, it looks like Eubulon did most of the work in that regard.
  • Wham Episode: "Xaviax's Wrath". The Knights pull out Survive Mode to finish the fight for good. The result? Every last remaining Earth Rider gets vented - including Kit - leaving it once again down to just Xaviax and Wing Knight.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: At least Chris thinks so, when Maya's trying to cheer him up about his asthma weakness by complimenting his "heart". Strike shares the sentiment: "You do have heart - just no lungs!"
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: No accent, but the first two are how Maya eludes the No Men's surveillance.
  • A Wizard Did It: Everything Eubulon does up to and including the finale.