Written and Media by Paul Anderson.
Anyone whose read my previous reviews know that nostalgia plays a big role in my judgments. To be perfectly honest, the appeal of Ronin Warriors is almost completely fueled by nostalgia. Anyone who was raised on the Toonami block on Cartoon Network might remember this series. It was one of those hidden gems that passed the time between your arrival home from school, and the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. It’s 39 episodes kept it on the block for a brief time, so it was easily forgotten.
To my elementary school mind this show was crazy awesome, and was one of my favorite non-DBZ shows on Toonami. I was really disappointed when the series ended, and was pulled from the block. New shows were added, I got caught into the new programming, and after a while I forgot about the show completely. While I was in middle school, I was looking up information about Toonami, and came across an image from the series. I began researching the series, eventually breaking down and buying the series on DVD.
The series was made in the late 1980s, and dubbed in 1995. It’s important to remember that, because it really shows. The series is over 20 years old, geared for kids, and is incredibly cheesy. Looking back, it’s hard to take seriously, but my inner child somehow still finds it’s awesome. Chances are if you somehow remember this obscure Toonami gem, you’d probably enjoy giving it a second look.
If you’re looking for a serious anime, this is definitely not it. Though the dub is half the problem, I somehow don’t think a subbed version would solve much. Normally I can survive a dub no matter how terrible, but if you’re serious about giving this a try, the best experience will be the sub.
The show starts with the Demon lord of the Netherworld, Talpa, as he begins his conquest of the human world. 5 warriors equipped with magical armor and weapons, known as the Ronin Warriors, stand up to stop the evil Talpa. They’re basically samurai Power Rangers minus the Zords. Before you call it lame, they do have a white tiger as a companion, which is pretty cool.
It’s really hard to recommend this series to people who haven’t experienced it in childhood. If you want to try it, as I said watch the Japanese version with the English subtitles. Also avoid the OVAs, Original Video Animations; at the very least avoid the second one. The original ending is plenty satisfying, the OVAs were unnecessary, and ended up being incredibly confusing. The series is cheesy, which might give it value if you’re looking for a lighthearted series, or a laugh. Overall I still really enjoy the series, but despite that I have to give the show a 6/10.