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Series / Kamen Rider Ryuki

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"Those who do not fight will not survive!"

Kamen Rider Ryuki is the 2002-2003 entry in the Kamen Rider franchise, and third in the Heisei Era.

Shinji Kido is a young, highly excitable Intrepid Reporter for the online news website ORE Journal. Whilst investigating a series of seemingly random disappearances, he stumbles across a mysterious card deck at the home of one of the victims. After picking it up, he finds that he is able to see hostile monsters living inside of reflective surfaces, and is soon sucked through into the Mirror World: a parallel universe that serves as their home.

He soon meets up with two people involved with this strange otherworld: Yui Kanzaki, a young girl looking for her missing brother, and her partner Ren Akiyama, a longcoat-wearing, Harley-riding stoic badass who has a card deck of his own and can use it to transform into Kamen Rider Knight. Despite the warnings of Ren and Yui, Shinji decides to make a contract with one of the Mirror Monsters to gain its power and fight as Kamen Rider Ryuki to protect the innocent. However, he has unwittingly entered into something far greater: the Rider War.


Thirteen Advent Card decks have been created for thirteen Kamen Riders, and There Can Be Only One. The mastermind behind the Rider War is Shiro Kanzaki, Yui's missing brother, and he offers to grant a single wish to the last Rider standing. Shinji is determined to stop the in-fighting between the Riders and concentrate on eliminating the threat of the Mirror Monsters, but Ren is equally determined to have his wish granted, and he isn't the only one. Ideals and friendships clash on and off the battlefield as the pressure of the war grows and the Riders are eliminated one by one.

Partnered with the Super Sentai show Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger after initially airing alongside the final episodes of Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger in what would later be known as the Super Hero Time block.

In addition to the main series, Kamen Rider Ryuki has three spinoffs. Kamen Rider Ryuki: Ryuki vs. Kamen Rider Agito is a DVD episode that was distributed by Televi-kun magazine where Ryuki crosses over with the preceding season (though it's All Just a Dream of Shinji's). Kamen Rider Ryuki Episode Final and Kamen Rider Ryuki Special: 13 Riders are a movie and TV special, respectively, set in Alternate Timelines to the main series. In 2018, Ryuki received a web-exclusive 3 episode miniseries called Rider Time: Ryuki, spinning out of Shinji's return cameo in Kamen Rider Zi-O.


The series was adapted for Western audiences in 2009 as Kamen Rider Dragon Knight. As part of the franchise's 50th anniversary, Shout! Factory announced both Ryuki and Kamen Rider Zero-One would come to the United States through their TokuSHOUTsu channel and online website.

Followed by Kamen Rider 555.

Voted #6 series in the Heisei era and #6 product overall in NHK’s All Kamen Rider Popularity Vote.

Recurring Kamen Rider tropes include:

Trope Vent!:

  • Abusive Parents: Yui and Shiro had parents who locked them up in the attic for extended periods of time and were neglectful to notice that Yui got sick and died. They'd eventually become the reason why The Rider War began.
  • Accidental Misnaming: In #4, Shinji (still barely knowing Ren, not knowing his name exactly) keeps yelling after Ren, mistakingly calling him "Ron".
  • All Just a Dream: The Hyper Battle Video.
  • Alternate Timeline:
    • The TV series, the 13 Riders special and The Movie all exist in their own timelines. This is a result of Shiro Kanzaki's overuse of the Reset Button. The TV series is actually his final attempt to do it again.
    • There's also a few SIC Hero Saga stories that serve as this. The first, World of If, which has Shinji become Ryuga and Yui takes Kagawa's place as Alternative, as well as having Ryuga and Ouja get survive forms; the second, Advent Calendar, has Ouja gathering all the Contract Monsters and combining them into Genosurvivor, only to have him and Genosurvivor get killed by Zolda's Final Vent (which also takes Zolda and his Contract Monster out), with Shinji's deceased brother possessing Shinji, becoming Ryuga, who wins the war and wishes all the riders back to life.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: When Asakura discovers that he has failed to kill his nemesis, Kitaoka, it prompts him to charge out in a suicidal rage and get killed by the police.
  • Anyone Can Die: And it does. With the possible exception of Knight, every single Rider that participated, including the two Alternatives, died in Ryuki. And yes, that includes the main hero.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Zolda and Tiger's Final Vents. For the former, it's Game-Breaker status is mitigated by a long build-up time that leaves him wide open to attack, and the fact that despite being able to wipe out large numbers in one go, he never manages to kill anyone with it. The one character who takes it head on is badly injured, but survives... and is killed by another rider moments later. For the latter, it's demonstrated that the gap between when Destwilder attacks and Tiger finishes the enemy off is a wide enough period of time for an aware rider to escape and survive (as both Asakura and Kitaoka managed to do).
    • Some of the Visors used by the Riders. While some are dual purpose weapons and card scanners or are easily accessed, Ouja and Odin have large staffs that look cool but they don't use at all in combat and must we pulled out of Hammerspace just to be used. By contrast, Ryuki just slides a card into a gauntlet on his arm and done.
    • Ouja's use of multiple Monsters gives him both impressive power and a more varied arsenal than most other Riders... but it means he has three monsters to feed whereas everyone else only has to take care of one—-on top of which, two of those monsters kinda hate him because he stole them after having killed their original Riders.
  • Back from the Dead: Yui Kanzaki, and this is the driving force behind the entire story.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: In a show where There Can Only Be One and you have someone who doesn't wish to fight the other Riders as your main character, that's when the resident Anti-Hero comes in, though when it comes to killing them, then you have the psychopathic Blood Knight and a Heroic Wannabe to fall upon.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Shinji gets a few, including one in the first few episodes where he saves Ren from Volcancer after it turns on and consumes Scissors.
  • BFG: Zolda loves these, as he has two: two shoulder-mounted rocket launchers and an artillery cannon that's three times as long as he is high.
  • BFS: Kamen Rider Knight's Wing Lancer is almost six feet long.
    • Alternative's sword also qualifies.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The real ending has Shiro Kanzaki pressing the Reset Button again, only this time, he and Yui die in that reality
  • Blessed with Suck: Becoming a Kamen Rider means you gain cool powers, but you're also bound to fighting the other Riders and monsters, and if you stop fighting, your Contract Monster eventually eats you.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: See Hilarious in Hindsight over on the YMMV page. A full list about halfway down this page.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The ending of The Movie, and one of the possible endings of the Special.
  • Bond Creatures: The Mirror Monsters that are neither monsters of the week nor under Kanzaki's direct control.
  • Boring, but Practical: Ryuki's Advent Deck. Unlike Knight, Raia, and Odin, it has no special cards at first, making it seem a bit dull. However, it's got shields, a long range fire blaster, a sword, and can let him summon a dragon, meaning that he's got weaponry for any sitiuation.
  • Brainwashed: The Odin Advent Deck turns the user into Kanzaki's puppet.
  • Breakable Weapons: Shinji's weapon in his "Blank" form (before he becomes Ryuki) is a pathetic thing that breaks after one hit.
  • Captain Ersatz: Ren Akiyama/Kamen Rider Knight bears more than a few thematic resemblances to a certain other Dark Knight. Not that we're complaining.
  • Cameo: Several members of Kamen Rider Agito's cast, including three of the Riders, appear in Episode Final.
  • Canon Immigrant: Kamen Rider Abyss, originally created for Kamen Rider Decade, turned up in the Rider Time: Ryuki mini-series.
  • Card Battle Game: Each Rider uses Advent Cards to activate his/her powers.
  • Cardboard Prison: Asakura breaks out of jail multiple times for one reason or another, the first by traveling the through the Mirror World, the second by hiding the Contract Card for Metalgelas under his shirt when Kitoaka had the police take the rest, and the third by taking advantage of the sympathy a Genre Blind lawyer had for him.
  • Cassandra Truth: #28 has Shinji reappearing in past episodes, and all his attempts to warn everybody of the future are promptly ignored.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Tojo and Sano.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The wielders of the Rider Decks were chosen by Shiro Kanzaki, but they can be actually be used by anyone, as noted in the following examples:
    • Shinji and Miyuki were not the original owners of their Rider Decks (which is actually an important plot point in Shinji's case). Shinji found the Ryuki deck after its original owner disappeared (presumably killed), whereas Miyuki inherited the Raia deck from his friend Yuichi after Yuichi was eaten by his Contract Monster. We see the original Ryuki in the 13 Riders TV special.
    • After Kitaoka dies from a terminal illness in the finale, his servant Goro inherits the Zolda deck and challenges Asakura instead.
    • The 13 Riders special ends with Ren dying and Shinji becoming the new Knight.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Normally, the Riders will have a black colored spandex on their suits, with their armor color being the identifier between one and the another (For example: Ouja's armor color is purple). The three main Riders (Ryuki, Knight, and Zolda) inverts this: Their armor colors are pretty much the same (a combination between grey/silver), but it's the spandex colors that differentiates them (Ryuki is red, Knight is dark navy blue, Zolda is green).
  • Continuity Snarl: Both the movie and the 13 Riders special for this series suffer from this. The issues involving Episode FINAL are covered on that page. As for the 13 Riders special, it's implied that it takes place around the time Shinji receives the Survive card, during one of Odin's Time Vents, although there's different characterizations for Tiger, Imperer, Femme, and Ryuga (since the former two had not appeared at that point, and the latter two did not appear anywhere else outside of Episode FINAL at the time), and Shinji is given the deck, which is already contracted to Dragreder, by Koichi Sakakibara, who was Shiro's pick for Ryuki, as opposed to what happens in the show (where Shinji finds the deck, uncontracted, in Koichi Sakakibara's apartment, and it's implied that Dragreder ate Koichi prior to the start of the series).
  • Cool Sword: Ryuki, Knight, Ouja, Odin, Femme, Ryuga and Alternative each have one of these.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Averted. It looks very much like one at a glance, but the Rider War happened because a human, Kanzaki, made it happen. And for all the power he has, controlling the Mirror Monsters and the strongest Rider, his desires are just as much out of his reach as the rest of the casts.
  • Covers Always Lie: In a combination of Bait-and-Switch and Never Trust a Trailer, the ending of #6 shows a shadowed figure wearing gloves taking out a Card Deck and transforming into Zolda, and the next-episode preview showing an unkempt bearded man wearing gloves doing a transformation pose. And at the start of the next episode, said man is shown walking away after Zolda fights a Monster... only for the next time that Zolda's Card Deck appears on-screen be when Kitoaka takes it out of his pocket.
  • Darker and Edgier: Even within the franchise as a whole, Ryuki has most of the Riders as bad as their monsters they fight, revolving around humans trying to kill humans more than anything else; some have sympathetic reasons for seeking the wish the winner will receive but are still trying to kill people; some are as murderous as any villain. Of thirteen Riders, fifteen if the Alternatives count, there are two that you would consider pure "good guys" and they spend most of the series unable to actually steer the course of events as the Big Bad holds all the cards. In the end, everyone dies, and to reset it, one of the remaining main characters must also die. It's complicated, but not only is she gone, but in the new, reset world, no one will ever know that she was their friend, or what she did to save them. One of the final scenes is her aunt, all alone in the Local Hangout that they once ran together.
  • Deadly Game: Jun Shibaura/Kamen Rider Gai, who creates a video game based on the Rider War that soon spills over into real life.
  • Deconstruction:
    • Of the ensemble Henshin Hero genre. See Five-Man Band below for one example.
    • The series also deconstructs competitive fighting games and fighting game tournaments. Competitive Balance can get shot down real quick through dirty tactics and said game is fixed, with the host of the tournament having full control of the resident Game-Breaker.
    • It also deconstructs the Mons. Let's say you form a contract with one of them. Great! Now you can use their body parts as weapons to fight people who also use their monster's body parts to fight. You also have to fight other monsters to give your monster something to eat, unless you come to the conclusion that you can simply feed people to your monster (as Scissors and Ouja prove). If you don't fight the monsters? Then your monster gets hungry and decides to eat you. It also happens if you don't even want to fight or you're forced not to. Or even if your Advent Card (the one you use to sic your monster on other people) or Deck (the thing you use to transform) get broken. And it's not like there's a good chance your monster will even be loyal to you anyways. Especially if you have two other monsters working for you that you snagged off their dead masters, or you just happened to luck out and contract a monster that comes in herds. Wow.
    • There's also a deconstruction of the Let's You and Him Fight and Conflict Ball tropes. Whereas in other Kamen Rider shows, they fight each other for different reasons or misunderstandings, here they have no choice but to fight each other. The entire point of the show is to stop the fighting. This might be an Unbuilt Trope though, since the two tropes didn't have a massive occurrence until right after this show.
    • Phlebotinum Rebel, one of the central tropes of the Kamen Rider franchise, is also deconstructed, as attempting to use the Advent Decks against Shiro and his aims is doomed from the outset due to the fact that he reserved the most powerful Advent Deck for his own use by perfectly brainwashed drones. Not to mention that he can just time travel if things get too hairy.
      • Thirteen Riders took this trope to hell. Not everyone supports Shinji's attempts to stop the fighting and it resulted in all the remaining riders (about 9 of them) teaming up to kill him and Ren. And in the alternate ending, where he did stop the fighting, Shiro simply resets time and has the fight happen all over again.
    • Since Kazuya Taki from the first series, up until Makoto Hikawa, most audiences would assume that cop is our hero's best friend. Then Masashi Sudo reminds us that bad cops exist.
    • Then there's the deconstruction of the Secret Identity and Living a Double Life, but only for poor Shinji. His time as a Rider constantly interferes with his work when he has to go off save people instead of investigate cases or write articles, and because his coworkers have no idea his pay is docked and he's only saved from being fired due to his enthusiasm and his friendship with his boss. He moans that he'll never become a journalist, though fortunately before the only time his Rider powers actually DO help his job in #18 and #19.
  • Deflector Shields: The Seal Advent Card, which protects the wielder from the attacks of a Mirror Monster in the real world.
  • Diving Save: Satoru Tojo meets his end in this way to save a father and son.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Knight's Trick Vent. Jumps between this and Doppelgänger Attack; sometimes the clones physically existed and would attack, but other times they were just distractions that would vanish when hit.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Justified with Zolda's Magna Visor. He can fire it without cocking the gun, but he has to cock it to slot Advent Cards.
  • Dynamic Entry: Femme's first appearance in the movie is her crashing through the ceiling and cutting up some Mirror Monsters before landing on her feet.
  • Elemental Powers: Some of the Riders have one.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: What happens if the Rider War runs on for too long.
  • Everybody Lives: How the TV series ends.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Megumi unknowingly gives Reiko one that leads her to realizing the connection between the disappearances and mirrors, and ultimately to the truth about the Rider War. Comically enough, while doing so, Megumi actually missed the opportunity to learn the truth much sooner.
  • Everything Fades: Riders' corpses evaporate after a short while.
    • Or, in a slightly more horrifying example, a Rider who reverts to human form in the Mirror World is stuck. For about five minutes until their body dissolves.
  • Evil Twin: Kamen Rider Ryuga and his Contract Monster, Dragblacker.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Asakura claims to have developed this trait to survive on the streets. Later on we see him take Kitaoka's seafood spaghetti and finish it, oyster shells and all.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Reiko gains one out of nowhere in #5; a possible case of Written-In Infirmity, as she mentions in-show that she contracted pinkeye.
  • Fanservice: Megumi. That is all.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Flash Step: One of Odin's abilities, which is part what made him nearly unbeatable, his opponents couldn't touch him. Also, Femme gains this with her Guard Vent.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The Mirror Monsters not allied with any specific Kamen Rider. They mostly show up to battled in a Monster of the Week fashion, and like the Contract Monsters, they never speak and display so little personality that they appear to be around the level of hungry animals.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Scissors' Contract Monster, Volcancer.
  • Gratuitous English: Okubo spouts this on occasion, but not as much as the Riders' Visors do.
  • The Hero Dies: Shinji in #49. Timeline reset notwithstanding, he remains the only protagonist Rider to not survive the story.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tezuka, Tojo, Shinji and Goro.
  • Heroic BSoD: Both Shinji and Ren go through these at various points in the story. Asakura has a Villainous BSoD of sorts at the end.
  • I Call It "Vera": Shimada names her iMac 'Amaryllis' and her laptop 'White Milky'.
    • Megumi tries to rename the laptop "Gosaku". Shimada does not approve.
      • Neither did the laptop.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: The original holder of the Raia Advent Deck was Yuichi Saito, a pianist who had suffered a career-ending injury; his wish would have been to repair the damage to his hands, but he refused the call.
  • Idiot Ball: In #25, Asakura, who by this point has already established a reputation for being extremely evil, tells Reiko that he might be able to change if he was to reunite with his brother. Reiko, who is normally one of the smartest and most competent characters on the show, honors his request without question and tracks down his brother (much to said brother's chagrin). When they do reunite, Asakura doesn't change at all and instead feeds his brother to his Contract Monster.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Asakura does this frequently. Whenever he is caught by police, he always finds a way to get his deck back and/or get Venosnaker to help him out. Highlight to his escape from a heavily escorted police wagon.
  • Identity Impersonator: Two fake decks were made for Kamen Rider Tiger so no-one would know who was behind the mask. In a later example, Goro takes Kitaoka's place as Zolda when the latter finally succumbs to his cancer.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Most notably Raia, Imperer and Verde.
  • Irony: Despite the fact that Raia's Contract Monster, card visor and weapon all contain the word "Evil", he is actually one of the few genuinely good Riders.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Kitaoka has the bloody variant.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Shinji when trying to change the past after Odin used his Time Vent, nothing he does manages to have an effect. The closest he came was warning Kitoako that Asakura would become a Rider and break out of jail. Kitoaka believed him, but decided against preventing Asakura from becoming a Rider because there had to 13 Riders in the battle the winner to get the prize.
    • No matter the timeline, Shiro Kanzaki can never stop Yui's death or prevent Shinji from becoming a Rider.
  • Ironic Echo: In the very first episode, Yui walks right up to Shinji and asks: "Are you a Kamen Rider?" (He wasn't one yet, but he had found the deck) Flashforward 48 episodes later, and after Yui has faded away, Reiko, who has seen Shinji transform and enter a mirror, and learned who the Riders are, as well as nearly everything important about the rider war, asking him the exact same question.
  • It's All My Fault: Shinji, in the movie, realizes that because he couldn't keep his promise to meet Yui again when he was a child, the entire Rider War happened.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The main series itself is pretty easy to decipher (There Can Only Be One Kamen Rider, the Big Bad wants to win the war for himself with OP powers so he can save his sister) but the metaplot (This isn't the first Rider War, as the Big Bad keeps time travelling so he can find a way to save his sister, but Shinji becomes Ryuki and delays the killing) is a little harder to see. It's only implied in any way in the movies.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Kitaoka faking his own death (well, Zolda's death) at the hands of Technical Pacifist Shinji (which sends him straight into a Heroic BSoD) was the moment that really established him as a total dick.
    • Even Asakura feels the need to hammer this one home, about halfway into the series; he asks Reiko to help him meet with and reconcile with his brother Akira, his only surviving family after a fire claimed the lives of their parents. Then announces that he was the one who started the fire in the first place, and proceeds to finish the job by feeding his brother to Venosnaker.
    • Kagawa's personal policy, which he tries to teach Shinji: to be a hero, kick one dog if it means saving ten. Shinji believes otherwise.
    • Non-human example: Darkwing put Eri into a coma before the start of the series, and after she regained consciousness, it went after her again.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Ren Akiyama undergoes a spot of this, which serves as helpful exposition into his backstory.
  • Lovecraft Lite: So you've got a Mirror World which kills people that stay there too long, Monsters that can appear pretty much anywhere and pull them into it, and a shady antagonist who has nigh-godlike powers to control these monsters and even time.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: In #26, Kitoaka's injured and can't load his cards, and Shinji as expected agrees to be a pal and loads them into his own visor. Shinji expects to get to wield another Rider's weapons, but finds out for a Rider to activate a weapon they only have to be loaded into a visor, it doesn't matter whose, and Kitoaka gets his own weapons even though Shinji's using them in his gear.
  • Meaningful Name: The Survive cards are handed out to riders so they can survive most of the fights. Shinji REALLY lives up to this, as he used the card for the first time, not to kill Mirror Monsters or Riders, but to survive so Ren won't go insane.
  • Mistaken for Dying: In #30, Shuichi is convinced he should see his ex-girlfriend Megumi again because she's dying. Except her only problem is low blood pressure, she just thought she's dying because she exaggerates drama.
  • Monster of the Week: The eponymous Mirror Monsters.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Shinji Kido/Ryuki and Miyuki Tezuka/Raia are unambiguously good, if not flawed in their reluctance to fight against the other Riders. While Ren Akiyama/Knight and Shuichi Kitaoka/Zolda are both portrayed sympathetically and are more often than not Shinji's allies, they're still complicit in the Rider War's continuation, making them land mostly in the grey territory. Most of the other Riders such as Takeshi Asakura/Ouja and Satoru Tojo/Tiger fall into the evil category, and even Shiro Kanzaki can be argued to be within a very dark shade of grey.
  • Morality Pet: Goro acts as the foil to Shuichi's Jerkass behavior, never attempting to hide it once. Yui is this to Ren.
  • Multiple Endings: The 13 Riders TV special that allowed viewers to phone in and choose one of two endings. The Bolivian Army Ending where Shinji decides to fight won.
  • Mundane MacGuffin Person: Yui, who has been Dead All Along and is actually the centerpiece of the Rider War, as the person who runs it is her Knight Templar Big Brother is trying to rig in his favor so that he may save her life.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Watch as Shimada sets up her laptop in the cafe like an assassin assembling a sniper rifle. "Click...on...Send!"
    • Also, Megumi and Goro's "standoff" in #30.
  • Mythology Gag
    • Most Kamen Rider series feature a spider monster in the first episode; Ryuki raises the bar with a Giant Spider that comes back to life once.
    • Also, the second encounter is often a bat. Guess which Rider Shinji meets first.
    • Goro sometimes does Rider 1's and Agito's henshin poses as part of his Red Herring routine.
    • The Double Rider Kick appears a few times: once at the end of the Hyper Battle Video (Ryuki and Agito), and once when Shinji and Ren have to fend off a Mirror Monster unmorphed.
    • A minor one design wise: Ryuki's eyes, Knight's mouthpiece, and Zolda's antennae all evoke the original Rider.
    • Though the whole routine isn't the same, Shinji and Ren's henshin poses incorporate those of Rider 1 and Rider 2, respectively.
    • Ren's first memory on recovering from his Laser-Guided Amnesia (see above) is an image on a woman in a white dress on a beach, just like Shoichi (they were actually Ren's girlfriend and Shoichi's sister respectively).
    • Shiro Kanzaki went by the name Shiro Takami when he studied overseas. Both names allude to Shiro Kazami, better known as Kamen Rider V3.
    • The effect of Freeze Vent on CGI monsters like Genocider looked an awful lot like Duke Org Loki's freezing-and-capturing of the Power Animals in Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger.
    • One way to distinguish between the two Alternative Riders is the silver stripes on Alternative Zero, a reference to the primary difference between the first two Kamen Riders (Hayato Ichimonji's suit had the silver stripes).
    • Shinji and Ren have Rider #1 and Rider #2's poses, respectively.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Ouja's fusion monster is called Genocider.
    • Subverted with Evildiver, who belongs to one of the good guys at first.
    • When you deal with a final attack called End of World, you know that it's in your best interest to keep out of the area.
  • No Body Left Behind: Those who die in the Mirror World disintegrate into nothing.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Shinji makes his debut fight after entering a contract with Drageder and saves Ren, and Ren replies by trying to kill him, nearly succeeding until Yui threatens Ren into stopping.
  • Not Me This Time: Shinji and Ren hear about a ship where all the occupants disappeared and realized it was done by Mirror Monsters, and when they investigate they find Asakura and naturally assume it was his doing, and obviously don't believe him when he denies it, but he turns out to have been telling the truth and a trio of Buzzstingers not connected to him were the real culprits.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Used straight and averted; Kanzaki keeps the blueprints of the Advent Decks to himself but before he could do so, Kagawa read his work and used his Photographic Memory to reproduce it.
  • Not Quite Dead: Kamen Rider Odin, three times.
  • Note to Self: After Odin's Time Vent has caused him to relive the entire Rider War up to that point, including the deaths, Shinji uses this tropes. Hundred of Postit notes in both his room and his office (to the frustration of Yui and Ookubo) all with the same words: Punch where there's Golden Feathers. It lets him score the first hit on Odin at that point...... And has no effect.
    • The punch may not have caused damage, but it proved to Shinji that he could fight against Odin and the time loops, even if the only real change he could make was landing a punch where he couldn't before. This is important as only Shinji, not being chosen by Shiro Kanzaki, can fight against the loops. He will always become a Rider, no matter what Kanzaki does.
  • Oddball in the Series: How different Ryuki was when it was new is something that goes over the heads of many because many of its ideas remained in the franchise. Non-insectoid Riders? Only Agito ever changed that. Carrying around a Transformation Trinket in their pockets like it's Super Sentai? That was out of the blue. Highlander-like plot? That's the one part that wasn't touched again until Gaim. Black-and-Gray Morality was also new to the series. Even the Theme Song being less 'root for the hero' and more 'J-pop song that sorta touches on the series' themes' was new. Today this series is a lot less idiosyncratic because the aforementioned elements stuck, to the point of being quite passé. But when Ryuki was new, it was very much Kamen Rider In Name Only, with nothing but the main duo having the Rider 1 and 2 poses to suggest that it was supposed to be a KR series.
    • In fact, the reason The Movie is an alternate ending without going into a full-on Elseworld (like the other KR movies of the decade) or an extra-long episode (like most Toku films) is because they didn't know they were going to get a full season at that point.
  • Ontological Inertia: Shinji discovers this the hard way, and later Shiro Kanzaki comes to realise it too.
  • Out of Character: Played for comedy in the Ryuki vs Kamen Rider Agito Hyper Battle Video special. Ryuki, Knight, Zolda and Ouja team up against an evil Agito. The latter 3 act like stereotypical heroes of justice, despite the fact they act very selfish in the real series. Lampshaded by Shinji when even Ouja, an Ax-Crazy murderer, proclaims he is a fighter of justice. In the end, the whole sequence is revealed to have been a dream, much to Shinji's dismay.
  • Pet the Dog: Even Asakura of all people gets a chance, when he saves a small girl from three bug-like Mirror Monsters. Admittedly it was just so he could destroy them himself, but still. It's worth noting that the initial rumors only mentioned 'three monsters', making Asakura a prime suspect of sorts (because he had contracted Jun's and Tezuka's monsters as well after killing them), but Shinji and Ren gave him the benefit of the doubt.
    • An offscreen version takes place earlier in the series, when Kitaoka helps out another little girl by paying for her mother's surgery. There's some kind of pattern here...
      • Sort of a pattern. See Diving Save above for an example with a little boy.
  • Phantom Zone: Mirror World.
  • Police Are Useless: AND HOW. Justified with the Mirror Monsters, they have almost no way of finding or fighting them, but even when Asakura is in a position where his Mirror Monsters can't help him, half the time they still fail to slow him down.
  • Power Copying: Ryuki Survive's Strange Vent card always transforms into a copy of the next card his opponent will use.
  • Power Levels: Each Advent Card has a listed Attack rating in multiples of 1000. These seem very unreliable since a clash between Knight and Scissors' Final Vents left Knight taking more damage... until Scissors' Deck broke to pieces moments after.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Raia.
  • Recap Episode: #28, sort of. Time Vent's use effectively recaps the story to that point.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Shinji and Ren.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Tojo.
  • Reset Button: Time Vent.
  • Reset Button Ending: Happens at least five times, probably more.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Because he was never chosen by Shiro Kanzaki, Shinji is the only one who can resist the memory-erasing effects of Odin's Time Vent.
  • Running Gag: In #3, Shinji racks up a 50,000 yen debt to Ren after Yui smashes a store window to save his life, and Ren volunteers to pay for it. This debt is constantly increasing throughout the series: Ren's itemised bill includes charges such as "Keeping Me Awake Fee" and "General Annoyance Fee".
  • Save the Villain: Shinji attempts this twice, once when Odin used his Time Vent, and having some memory of how things occurred with Suuichi, tries to prevent his death, but fails. Later does this for Asakura of all people, because a girl his saved, abit for less then heroic reasons, seeing him would encourage her to get better, he makes sure that he can feed his Contract Monsters on a trio of Mirror Monsters he was hunting.
  • Say My Name: "Yui."
    • Miho/Femme's "ASAKURA!!!" in Episode Final.
    • A hilarious example by Shinji: "RON!!"
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Shiro Kanzaki attempts to do this multiple times to get the ending that he wants. While he is successful in altering inconsequential details, he never manages to save Yui or prevent Shinji from becoming a Rider.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The transporting of Asakura in #36, to The Silence of the Lambs — only they didn't put a muzzle on him until #40. And just to hammer it home, he stages another jailbreak by swapping places with his victim, strapping the victim into his Hannibal chair while he himself gets carted out on a stretcher.
    • In one episode, Combattler V can very briefly be seen playing on a TV.
  • Significant Name Shift: Inhabitants of Ore Journal office usually call Shinji Kido by his last name or as a dumbass/idiot/some variation. After he earned their respect with bravery in a hostage situation, they mostly switch to calling him by his first name.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Kamen Rider BLACK, both series features a conflict between Kamen Riders as the main point of the story. While BLACK has the titular Rider and his step-brother turned Rival are the only competitors who were fated to clash to the death for the right to rule the world, Ryuki features a total of 13 Riders (and 2 additional Pseudo Riders) competing to the battle to the death with the winner granting a single wish.
  • Stepford Smiler : Mitsuru Sano (Kamen Rider Imperer).
  • Stock Sound Effects: The sound for the belt forming is a magic sound effect used in RPG Maker.
  • Summon Magic: The Advent Advent Card summons that Rider's Contract Monster.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Mirror Monsters. Any time a human catches they attention, they will chase it relentlessly until either they kill and eat it, only pausing if they need to fight to defend themselves or, if it's a Contract Monster, threatened by a Sealing Card or their respective Rider entering a Contract. Over the series Shinji and Ren end up guarding people from Monsters that failed to eat them.
  • Superpower Lottery: You've got Zolda with the Game-Breaker Final Vent, you've got Ouja who gets three monsters, you've got Imperer who has a herd of monsters, you've got Odin who was designed to win the Rider War and then you've got Ryuki, who needs to use up one card to summon a serviceable hand weapon. Lampshaded when Raia chooses to use Copy Vent to 'borrow' one of Ryuki's weapons rather than use his own.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: Ryuki Survive's Drag Visor-Zwei and Knight Survive's Dark Visor-Zwei.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Zolda's Final Vent, aptly named "End of World"
  • These Hands Have Killed: Ren does this after he kills Kamen Rider Odin in self-defense.
    • Shinji, after he thinks he's killed Zolda.
  • This Is a Drill: Knight's Final Vent.
  • Time Travel: Scads of it. It was only used twice in the series, once in attempting to remove Shinji from the war and the second time to make sure it never happened in the first place, but the entire metaplot is that Shiro Kanzaki obssessively reset time again and again to find a way to save Yui. The TV series is his final attempt, with Yui finally convincing him to end it all.
  • Transforming Mecha: Dragreder and Darkwing evolve into Dragranzer and Darkraider, which transform into Cool Bikes.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Justified, since none of the real combat takes place in the normal world, and the Riders have to go into the Mirror World to fight. Since most of the Riders want their beasts to get stronger by absorbing the energy of enemy Monsters (Aside from Kitaoka) and the monsters only attack in the Mirror World, they have all the time they need to transform. Survive form also justifies this, as anyone who activates it is protected by auras of Wind or Fire (depending on the card used) while they transform.
  • Trope Codifier: Ryuki influenced later Rider shows A LOT. Collectible devices, talking Transformation Trinket (Though that was actually for their weapons) and rival Riders? Ryuki was the one that started the trends that would be present in every show afterward.
    • It also popularised many of the tropes established with Battle-Royale style anime in Japan, being the first to present combatants fighting alongside supernatural entities, and the idea of the battles being fought for the sake of a wish being granted.
  • Unbuilt Trope: Ryuki is often credited as being a Trope Codifier to many of the battle-royale tropes used in much of Japanese media, but a closer look at it shows that it deconstructs those tropes just as often. Fighters never play fair, bypassing Fighting Game-style Competitive Balance with dirty tricks up their sleeves that have just as much to do with engaging in as they do avoiding direct confrontations in combat, and even a few of the fighters die outside of the fight anyways. However, much of that doesn't matter, since the man in charge of the whole thing has access to the most powerful being in the battle royale, wanting to win it himself and not intending for anyone else to get the wish being offered up. But it's not any easier on his side of the story either, since no matter what he tries, there will always be one person that doesn't submit to the rules, and he'll make the oh-so tiniest mistake that causes him to lose no matter what he has on his side. Essentially, Ryuki shows how the battle-royale is painful and pointless for anyone involved, and even the happiest ending possible in the series makes it so that the fight never started in the first place.
  • Upgrade Artifact: Played straight and subverted. When Shinji becomes Ryuki, he suddenly gains the knowledge of how to hold a sword properly, how all his new abilities work and how to perform one hell of a flying side kick. However, as far as his general combat technique goes, he's useless when he first becomes a Rider and only marginally improves when he upgrades to Ryuki. He slowly gets better as the series progresses; by the end his fighting skills are up there with the best of them.
    • Played even straighter with the other Riders. Kitaoka is a terminally ill, golf-playing lawyer. Shibaura is a computer nerd. Kagawa is a mild-mannered middle-aged academic. Only Ren (bar room brawler), Sudo (hardened cop) and Asakura (psycho outlaw) have plausible fighting skills.
      • Then again, those Riders are never shown to have good hand-to-hand skills. Kitaoka sticks to ranged combat and is woeful at hand-to-hand. Shibaura and Kagawa's deficiencies are made up by the sheer power of their armour.
    • Survive Cards play this even straighter: Shinji and Ren become much more powerful, and barring Shinji justifiably being mystified by the aptly named Strange Vent, they immediately knew how to use all of their new weapons and powers.
  • Villainous Rescue: Ryuga makes his appearance in Episode Final by entering the fight between Femme and Ouja, then saving Miho from getting killed by Asakura and proceeds to curbstomp Asakura.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: While this may apply to some of the Riders, Shiro Kanzaki is the biggest example in the series. All he wants to do is save Yui's life, and it could even be argued that by recruiting people such as Shibaura, Asakura and Takamizawa, he'd be doing the world a favor by ridding the world of such deranged criminals through having them kill each other off.
  • What If?: Miyuki, a.k.a. Kamen Rider Raia, was the original owner of the Survive Shippu card, but willingly gave it to Ren. Since then, Toei has released art and figures of what Raia Survive and Exodiver, the Survive version of Evildiver, would have looked like.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Shiro Kanzaki. He and his sister are raised by abusive parents, and he's forced to watch Yui die while being unable to save her. Even once the Rider War begins, he has to watch her die over and over again due to repeatedly failing to save her.
  • The Worf Effect: Played straight with most of the Riders' debuts, such as when Zolda breaks out his Final Vent for the first time against both Ryuki and Knight. Subverted when the maggot monsters' first battle after evolving into a more powerful form is with Ouja, and he tears through a whole mob of them to start with.
  • Zerg Rush: Imperer's Final Vent. Also the Sheerdragoons (later Raydragoons) towards the end.