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Masked Rider Ryuki TV Box 1 (1 - 24)
(Item No Longer Available


Intro:
   Shinji Kido was once your average guy. He is working as a reporter for his intern job at ORE (Open Resource Evolution) Journal, is carefree, and his only worry is how he can get through the day without being harassed by his fellow [and wacky] co-workers. One day, while investigating a scene, Shinji finds a strange deck of cards. This is where our story truly begins….
   From that point on, Shinji is thrown into a world, let us call it the “Mirror World”, and from there, he begins his adventures as a Kamen (Masked) Rider. At first, he is just a no-named Rider, but when his seal card attracts Dregredder, the big red dragon flying around, he is transformed into Masked Rider Ryuki. His life just got a lot more complicated.
   After meeting a fellow Rider, Ren Akiyama (a.k.a. Masked Rider Knight) Shinji begins to learn the true purpose about the Riders. He also teams up with Yui Kanzaki, a woman who is looking for her brother and who also may be the reason that the Riders were formed. You see, there are 13 Riders in total, but there can be only one. Sound familiar?
   But Shinji’s only goal is to protect humanity from the monsters that appear in the Mirror World. The only way to battle these evil enemies is to transform into a Rider and jump through any piece of reflection. Once there, a great battle ensues until only one is left standing. Then, the energy from the creature rises into the air, only to be eaten by a fellow Rider’s partner (i.e. Dregredder ). But that is only half the battle
   The other half is fighting amongst fellow Riders. Each with their own goals and special attacks, but ultimately sharing the same vision: Becoming the final Rider to survive and gain the power that is to be given to the victor. But with Shinji’s selflessness, things have just gotten interesting.
   Now throw in a rich lawyer, a fortune teller, and an ex-con, and this can only lead to an unpredictable tale where your morals and humanity are better left on the other side of the mirror. As you step through the glass, just remember that Masked Rider Ryuki Part 1: Episodes 1-24 is just the first half of the story. You do not know what you just got yourself into.

Packaging:
   Front: Even though there are four Riders on the front, there are really only three. In the very back is Masked Rider Ryuki, in front of him are Zolda (the green one) and Knight, and finally in the very front is a clearer shot of Ryuki. If you look closely in the very back, you can see Ryuki’s dragon, Dragredder. The series logo as well as title (in Japanese and English) is right at the bottom of the case.
   Outer Spine: At the top of the spine is Masked Rider Ryuki (the same that was on the front case). Below him is the series title in both languages, with the “part” number below that.
   Back: Along the top of the back case are five character screenshots. From left to right, they are: Shuichi Kitaoka, Yui Kanzaki, Shiro Kanzaki, Ren Akiyama, and Shinji Kido. The card that is below the pictures is the final vent card for Ryuki. To the right of the card is what appears to be Ryuki on his dragon cycle (although this new outfit AND vehicle have not been introduced yet). Finally, the two Riders shown are Oja (on the left) and Knight (on the right). As usual, the series logo, title, cast & crew credits, and DVD specs are all at the bottom.
   Flaps: The picture on the left outer flap shows Masashi Sudou, the short lived Masked Rider Scissors. His human and Rider form are shown, as well as his final vent card. The right outer flap shows Masked Rider Ryuki and his bike that takes him to the mirror world.
   The faces of Ryuki and Knight (with their final vent cards) are on the inner left flap. Also behind the left flap is disc one. The pictures behind the disc and on the label ARE NOT THE SAME! Behind disc one is Masked Rider Ryuki, with Dragredder, posing for his final attack. The label shows the same picture of Ryuki that was on the front case, holding his card.
   The picture behind disc two shows Masked Rider Knight with his partner, Darkwing. The label on the second disc shows the same picture of Ryuki that was on the outer right flap (you know, with him and his vehicle).
   Finally, we see Masked Rider Zolda (holding his big gun) and his robot, Magnugiga. The picture on the label is the same as the background picture for disc two (Masked Rider Knight).

Video:
   Where to begin? Well for starters, the episode previews were cut out from all the episodes on the first disc and all the episodes (except for thirteen) on the second disc. The good news is that every episode on disc three had the episode previews. However, on episode seventeen, the episode preview cuts out a few seconds before it finishes.
   Another annoying reoccurrence happened on discs one and two only: The dreaded DVD-R menu at the top right of the screen. If it happened once or twice, I would have had no problem with it. But it sometimes happened once or twice in ONE EPISODE! The picture would freeze for a split second as the menu appeared, but then resumed as normal.
   In terms of video quality, it is very evident that this was taken from a TV source. While the video was far from horrible, it was nowhere near as sharp and clear as it should have been. There was a lot of pixilation that was throughout every episode. I could not help but think of the graphics for Dragon Ball Z: Budokai for the Gamecube when I was watching these episodes. Just look very carefully at the actor’s faces and you will know what I am talking about.
   If you can help it, try not to watch these episodes on your computer. On my laptop, during the night scenes, it was extremely difficult to see and the pixilation really showed on the monitor. When I watched it on the TV, it was like watching a TV episode that had been recorded onto a tape (in my opinion).
   On episode seven (at 02h22m57s) and on episode nineteen (at 50m12s) an ad runs across the bottom of the screen for a few seconds. On episode eleven (at 56m09s) there are two enlarged pixilated blocks that appear on the screen and then the picture froze for a moment. I have taken a screenshot to show the blocks and this looks to be a result of bad data on the disc. My guess is that it occurred during the encoding process. Finally, on episode seventeen (at 04m31s), there are a few tracking lines that run down the screen for about two seconds. Thankfully, this never happened again!
   Aside from this, there were no other video problems that I noticed. At best, the quality is average, but it is not something to sway you away from wanting to watch this series. Oh, and the episodes were presented in widescreen format. And yes, you can see the top and bottom black bars on the screen.

Audio:
    Ah, the only part of the DVD that was p-e-r-f-e-c-t. The 2.0ch Dolby Digital sound coming through my speakers produced a clear audio, that did not alter in any way on any one of the three discs.

Subtitles:
   What really surprised me about the subtitles was how grammatically correct they looked, but had a lot of errors at the same time. As I have just stated, the sentences were written correctly, with the first letter being capitalized, commas where needed, and an end punctuation mark. But it was the constant minor Engrish or spelling errors that really lowered the quality of the sentences. There were only a handful of sentences where I was a little confused of the meaning, but the other 99.9% of them I had no trouble understanding what was going on. Once you get past the incorrect names that they use, it really is not that bad as it seems.
   An interesting thing to note was that while the subtitles remained the same quality on all three discs, disc one had a different color for them than discs two and three. The subtitles on disc one were a dark yellow, while the ones on discs two and three were a very light yellow/white color.    The opening credits were always subtitled, and for the episode previews that were included on the discs, they were also subtitled. Below is a list of the majority of spelling mistakes throughout all three discs, in alphabetical order of course:

Correct = Incorrect

Darkwing = Black Wing
Eri Ogawa = Aikawa
Final vent = Final befall/final advent
Goro [Yura] – Inagaki
Guard vent = protection befall
Jun [Shibaura] = Jeepu
Kanzaki = Shenyuan/Shenchi
[Kamen Rider] Gai = Kai
[Kamen Rider] Knight = Nate
[Kamen Rider] Zolda = [Kamen Rider] Drawda
Nanako [Shimada] – Mimika/Sakama
Ren [Akiyama] = Lian/Lain
Shinji [Kiddo] = Janse
Shuichi Kitaoka = Bagon
Strike vent = Powrful befall
Sword vent = Befall/weapon advent
Takeshi [Asakura] = Miyako
Tezuka [Miyuki] = ::Chinese characters::/Taka
Trick vent = Powerful befall
Yui [Kanzaki] = Yuy
Yuichi = Yuy
Yukari = Yuriga

Chapter Breaks:
    The break count for disc one was different from the other two. The first disc had eight chapter breaks in total. There was one for each episode and the break was at the very beginning of it.
   Discs two had twenty-five chapter breaks in total. The first break was the AV logo screen, and then there were three per episode. For disc two, here is how the breaks were divided up:

1- Beginning of episode [pre-opening credits]
2 – Beginning of episode [post-opening credits]
3 – About 0:10m into the episode [Don’t ask me why].

   Finally, disc three had twenty-six chapter breaks. As before, the first break was for the AV logo screen, and then there were three for each episode. So who does that extra break belong to? It is part of episode twenty-four and it is for the episode preview. Even though each episode on that disc had a preview, the final episode was the only one to get a break for it. Just like disc two, the breaks were divided in the same manor.

Content:
   The episode count for each disc is as follows: Disc one [episodes 1-8], disc two [episodes9-16], and disc three [episodes 17-24].
   At the beginning of disc one (once you pop that DVD in your player), the AV logo screen appears for 0:05s, before going straight to the main menu. If you think you have seen the last of the logo screen, you are sadly wrong. Instead of playing right when you put the disc in, the screen starts up [on discs two and three] right before the beginning of the first episode. As for the presentation of the DVDs, I must warn you that these menus are very boring and unattractive. Since the only difference between each disc was the pictures on the page, I will not go into super detail about who was on what page. Just know that a lot of them featured Ryuki (duh), Knight, and Zolda.
   The main menu gives you three options to choose from: PLAY, CHAPTERS, and SUBTITLES. Just be warned now that there is no music playing anywhere on the menus. It is so quiet here….    Anyway, the chapters menu just had the episode numbers listed, since there were no actual titles to any of the episodes. On discs one and two, the numbers are written in Japanese, but disc three has the numbers in the universal language (i.e. 5=5. Not 5 = ::Japanese character::).
   Finally, the subtitles menu gave you your choice of reading the sentences in Chinese or English.
   Like I said before, these were some boring menus. Don’t you think a flying Darkwing towards you would have been cool?

Conclusion:
   Dr. Kain, smile for you have another fan of Masked Rider Ryuki. Even though I have only watched two Masked Rider series (555 being the first), Ryuki is quickly becoming one of my favorite series. The whole concept of it makes it worth seeing, and the way they end every episode just leaves you begging for more!
   Each character is unique in his (or hers…you never know) way and there personalities really shine when they scream “henshin” and become a Rider. My favorite two as of now are Knight and Oja (yes Dr. Kain, smile again). When you first meet Ren, he is a very dark and serious fellow, who really deserves to be Knight. As for Takeshi Asakura, just the thought of having an escaped convict be able to transform and gain power, is just amazing to think about. It is about time the really evil people in society get a chance to star. Aside from OZ what other shows have prisoners starring in it? Yeah, I thought so!
   All the while, Shinji is still working at his intern job and that is where all the comic relief comes from. It really all stems from the other intern, Nanako Shimada, who has to be one of the oddest people I have ever seen. To call her “weird” is an understatement and here is why. In one episode, she wins a stuffed animal at an amusement park and takes it out on a date.
   Then there is still Yui Kanzaki who is in search of her brother, who may have the biggest role to play in the Rider vs. Rider game. Did he create the cards? They still have not gone too much into it, but he is definitely not innocent from the affairs. Plus, throw in some strange mirror world monsters, and you have got yourself a live action Japanese show! So go in front of a mirror, scream “henshin”, and get ready to enter a world where your only partner is yourself (and maybe a dragon).


Email me at jpolan@drew.edu if you have any problems, concerns, or comments.


Publisher: AV
Discs: 3
Episodes: 24
Price: $21.00

Reviewer: Polanator
Reviewed On: 08/31/2004
Click on Image for Full Size


All three DVDs had the same plain and boring main menu. There was not even any music playing in the background!


From the DVD-R menu that would pop up in the beginning of the episode, this looks to be bad data that was encoded on the disc. And the picture froze.


Meet Shinji Kido. Just another regular guy. Yup, nothing excting about him....


...except that he is MASKED RIDER RYUKI! I bet you did not see that coming!


Wow, did you know that there is a Japanese Batman?! Oh wait! That is Masked Rider Knight. My bad.


Takeshi Asakura: An escaped con and extremely dangerous. And did I mention? He just becamse the newest Masked Rider [Oja].


No matter how cool Knight is, Masked Rider Zolda has some of the best weapons in the series. Have you seen his big gun yet?


Why do they even have the mirror world monsters? The show just needs nonstop Rider vs. Rider fighting!


Most of the comic relief comes from the members of ORE. Especially Nanako Shimada. Oh that crazy, crazy girl.

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