I am sure there are many people who will remember this super cool mystical samurai armor series: Yoroiden Samura Troopers, also known in the US as Ronin Warriors. Despite only watching several episodes, I remember how exciting the concept was. Who does not want to be the chosen one and don powerful armor? Not me, for sure!
Yoroiden Samurai Troopers (鎧伝サムライトルーパー, Yoroiden Samurai Toruupaa) originally ran in Japan from April 1988 to March 1989 for a total of 39 episodes. The anime was adapted for the US audience in 1995 as Ronin Warriors.
Sunrise, the studio that produced the anime, also created three OVA sequels after the anime ended. The first being Gaiden, followed by Legend of the Inferno Armor, and finally Message.
The English adaptation retains much of the story, with the exceptions of the title, some character names, as well as the opening and ending sequences. It even retains the original soundtrack. Speaking of which, did you know you can buy the Ronin Warriors TV series on DVD? Just follow the link below!
Talpa, the evil Emperor (known in Japan as Arago, the Demon Emperor) returns to conquer Earth. Five chosen teenagers stand in his way wearing powerful armors, each with its own virtues. Together, they will face four warlords sent by Talpa to take over humanity, starting with Tokyo of course.
Fond memories of Ronin Warriors
I do not remember most of the stories, since I only watched several episodes. However, I do recall watching some scenes where Ryo, the red Power Ra… I mean, Ronin Warrior changes into the white Inferno Armor. That is an unforgettable moment, when every other warrior lends their power to Ryo, when all the powers combine!
If you had not noticed, I really like anime or manga with magical armors. Remember that Saint Seiya TBT article? I have watched other similar anime series too. Most of which I have not written about, yet. They may come in the future.
How about that super sentai format of five colored heroes? I dig that too! Visually, the somewhat futuristic/robotic designs of the samurai armors won me over big time. It is a great medley of traditional and historical concepts with an advanced technology look.
Oh yes, White Blaze, the white tiger was the coolest pet that you could dream of. Back then, I did not realize there were white tigers around. They are less common and the rarity probably elevated their majestic and mythical status. If you are familiar with the Four Mythical Beasts of Chinese cardinal directions, the White Tiger represents the West.
Eons later, I am a little more knowledgeable about Japanese historical figures and myths. Knowing that the anime made references to famous military figures is interesting by itself. Ryo Sanada, the red samurai and the leader of the Ronin Warriors, is based on Sanada Yukimura (真田 幸村), a warrior in the Sengoku period. Japanese popular culture often depicts him as a hero. In most appearances, he often wears red samurai armor.
Sage Date (Date Seiji, 伊達征士), the green samurai, is based on Date Masamune. Masamune was a famous tactician and a warrior who lost an eye. Due to his fearsome reputation people often called him the “one-eyed dragon” (独眼竜, dokuganryuu). Although, reading up on Date Masamune seems to say that his armor was black and gold. I guess the creators had to take some creative liberties with the coloring to fit with the primary color scheme.
Thanks to the English dub, I did not know Ronin Warriors was adapted from an anime. Similar to the case with Voltron: Defender of the Universe, one of the earliest cartoons I watched. I could not distinguish between anime and cartoon. Nor did I know the differences in styles when the languages were changed.
Do you remember this series? What do you like most about Ronin Warriors? Let us know in the comments!
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