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YMMV / Kamen Rider Dragon Knight

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  • Author's Saving Throw: In Ryuki, the only motorcycles shown were either the Rideshooter or the bikes used when Ryuki and Knight's beasts transformed. In Dragon Knight, every Kamen Rider has a personal motorcycle. Even better, transforming on the bike changes the bike too.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Dragon Knight by Cage9 set the action with a heavy rock theme. Overseas markets like it so much it was featured arguably even more prominently than in the United States, even in Japan alongside its counterpart below.
    • While the American theme is pretty awesome, Dive into the Mirror simply must be heard to be believed. Yes, that is the theme song in Japan. It might help explain why they loved the show so much.
    • Worth noting, defspiral contributed another piece of Awesome Music to Kamen Rider - namely, Leave All Behind, Accel's theme.
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  • Broken Base: Kamen Rider fans are quite divided. Some think it's a great adaptation and there are even those who claim it's better than Kamen Rider Ryuki due to the storyline and American made footage being pretty good. There are those who hate it for various reasons, some of whom hate it just for existing.
  • Complete Monster: General Xaviax/Kamen Rider Wrath is an arrogant alien warlord and the one behind all the tragedies throughout the series. Originating from the planet of Karsh, Xaviax devastated his own planet with a long-lasting civil war and decided to enslave civilizations from other planets, starting with Ventara. Having badly injured his former ally Eubulon and vented nine of the original Ventaran riders, Xaviax saw Earth as his next target. Kidnapping humans and leaving them in a coma, Xaviax manipulated a group of people into becoming riders, taking advantage of Kit's love for his father, one of his victims. Xaviax's ultimate goal was to not only make humanity his next victim, but to hunt for the Ventaran riders who had escaped from him, especially Len. Succeeding in bringing riders to his side, Xaviax orders his right-hand man to vent the agents whom he considers to be loose cannons, and was indifferent to his venting at the hands of a furious Len, possessing the body of a comatose patient to use him as his new puppet. Failing to achieve his goals, Xaviax made a final attempt to manipulate the riders before his death. While seemingly caring for his planet, his superficial charm, extreme methods and pride towards his own cruelty reveal his noble intentions as the empty excuses of an unfeeling tyrant with a superiority complex and a self-proclaimed evildoer.
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  • Continuity Lock-Out: Arguably the main reason why the show failed, but a rather odd case, considering that it doesn't have any prequels or sequels. It was far more serialized than Power Rangers, and as such, if you missed an episode, you'd have to either find it online or hope they repeat it. This, combined with the fact that it didn't have the brand recognition of Power Rangers (even though it's only real competition was Power Rangers RPM, which was Screwed by the Network by Disney) and the below-mentioned weak start, likely resulted in the show failing.
  • Cult Classic: Despite not being popular enough to start an American Kamen Rider franchise like with Power Rangers, this series still has many dedicated fans.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Strike for being an undisputed badass, Thrust for being a compelling flawed-yet-tragic figure (and still quite badass), and Sting for being a Woobie par-excellence.
  • Epileptic Trees: It's never directly stated what JTC stands for. Wrath's unique gold belt, sheer power, and a few mentions between Len and Vic seem to imply that Nolan, the original Wrath, might have been the leader of the Ventaran Kamen Riders.
  • Fridge Brilliance: It seems strange that in this series, Riders would be Vented if they took too much damage where in other series, they would just be ejected from their transformed state. But doing that would only put the Rider at risk as they may be too weak to attempt to transform again. The Advent Master, upon knowing this, set up a failsafe that would take damaged riders into the Advent Void so that they would have a safe place to eject to... at first.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Xaviax jokingly tells JTC that he shouldn't forget to feed the Minions at one point. Well, the novel has the monsters turn feral and start hunting people for food because Xaviax is not around anymore to keep them under control.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Although the show bombed in the US (the market it was made for) and was cancelled before finishing its run, Dragon Knight is insanely popular overseas, especially in Japan, with a DVD release and three music albums. DVDs also came out in Germany and Latin America. As a matter of point, Dragon Knight is so popular in Japan that they've started releasing action figures of the Riders - and these are specifically labeled as the Dragon Knight versions, not the Ryuki originals. They were even lucky enough to get a sequel in the form of a novel.
  • Growing the Beard: The first five or so episodes are awfully slow, with the plot poorly explained and not even that many Monsters of the Week to fight. The pace picks up once Torque and other Riders start showing up and getting in each others' way.
  • Ham and Cheese: William O'Leary, the actor who plays Xaviax. Also Mark Dacascos while playing Xaviax in disguise.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • So, you have a young man who has a Disappeared Dad (said dad is trapped in another dimension), rides a Cool Bike, and has to join in a battle against an Evil Overlord. One wonders if Kit would get along with Sam Flynn.
    • As noted on the trivia page, Jason David Frank almost got the part of Len, but the producers chose not to give him the part, not wanting people to associate the series with Power Rangers. Apparently Toei heard about this and thought it was a good idea, because during the run of Dragon Knight, Kamen Rider Decade, the Kamen Rider series airing at the time, had a "World of Shinkenger" crossover arc, and 5 years later it became a yearly tradition. For that matter, Mark Dacascos was almost the Red Ranger in the pilot for the Choudenshi Bioman adaptation that Saban attempted in the mid 1980's.
    • The Gelnewts, the minions of General Xaviax, were a Monster of the Week in Ryuki. In a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, the Gelnewts would eventually become canon minions in the Kamen Rider franchise in Japan in the crossover film between Decade and Kamen Rider Den-O, The Onigashima Battleship.
    • Story allusion crossing over with real life: You have a young man (18 years old to be precise) searching for his father and getting involved in much bigger plan, namely saving the world. It's ambigious what would happen if Kit and Tyler met, but Stephen Lunsford and Brennan Mejia seem to get along just fine, working together in Shot First Productions.
    • Probably a combination with Harsher in Hindsight: Dragon Knight has the message that end doesn't justify the means. Its source material, Kamen Rider Ryuki ponders over it at length, but doesn't make a solid statement. Then comes Kamen Rider Faiz, which starts with completely opposite statement. It's right there in opening theme - Justiφ's / end justiφ's the mean.
    • Len and Danny fighting each other. Matt Mullins (Len) would later appear in Mortal Kombat: Legacy and Mike Moh (Danny) would appear in Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist. That's right. You're watching Johnny Cage fight Ryu.
    • Tatsuhisa Suzuki playing Kit in the Japanese dub becomes this once he gets some live action tokusatsu experience in Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters as Usada Lettuce.
    • Stephen Lunsford (who now goes by the name of Stephen Ford) went on to retire from acting and write for the Marvel Cinematic Universe's WandaVision. Even in Japan, the MCU is very much considered an American equivalent to Tokusatsu.
  • Ho Yay: Between Kit and Len.
    • There also seems to be Les Yay with Maya and Lacey.
  • Iron Woobie: Thrust may be short-tempered and arrogant, but he's had his entire life ruined by Xaviax's machinations and just wants it back.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Xaviax.
    • And it works really well in one of his last plans. Not only did he capture Earth's version of Len's old mentor, Kamen Rider Wrath, and turn him into little more than a puppet for his own whims, but Xaviax posessed Wrath and used him in open combat against poor Len. And when it looked like Xaviax was finally vented, he stood laughing as Wrath's body was dissolved into the Advent Void, grinning at Len. And then he took Kit's deck, just to rub in how pointless his sacrifice was.
  • Mis-blamed: It's frequently believed that DK was cancelled by CW 4Kids; in truth, the last two episodes just didn't air before the cut-off point where old shows were cycled out for new ones. CW actually really liked the series and continued to market and air the show despite low ratings, it was just a time policy they couldn't break.
  • Moral Event Horizon: When Kit finally realizes Torque's been playing him like a fiddle the whole time, Drew smugly admits it and then vents Camo, a potential ally to his cause, in cold blood.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Final Vent
    • In the finale: Link Vent
  • Narm: Kit trying to make a sandwich and he struggles about not having what it takes to be a rider and his choices and almost destroy the sandwich.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Although not outright loathed, many viewers still preferred Sting over Kase.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Special Effect Failure: You can quite easily tell when the show switches over to Ryuki footage- that show plus Faiz and Blade all had this odd, videotape-style effect over the images, making the footage look soft and a bit blurry.
  • Tear Jerker: A huge one in episode 19. Chris gets vented protecting Len from Strike's Final Vent. The only thing that makes it sadder? Len and Kit saluting, fist over heart, as Chris did when as he disappeared from existence. Semper Fi, Chris. *sniff*
  • The Scrappy:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Camo is barely in two episodes before he gets vented. We never see his Final Vent, his Advent Beast, or- probably his most interesting ability- Copy Vent. note 
    • Cerebeast- the result of Strike's Advent Beast fusing with those of Sting and Thrust- is only briefly seen in one episode and never really put to any use.
    • To a lesser extent, Spear- who gets vented after barely being in four episodes and whose Advent Beast and Final Vent we also never see.
    • Incisor was only in three episodes before being vented, but his status as The Scrappy meant most weren't too broken up about that.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Discussed by Maya and Kase near the end, when they compare their respective methods of fighting evil - Maya took a go at Action Girl heroics but doesn't think it's her style, preferring to spread the truth as an Intrepid Reporter; Kase respects what she does. Since they're both girls, it also crosses with Real Women Don't Wear Dresses.
  • The Woobie: You'll DEFINITELY want to give Sting a hug after all the crap he goes through.


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