SOURCESThey've got their hands on the card deck and are now confronted with the Mirror World, a world filled with scenes of carnage in which monsters feast on humans and the thirteen Masked Riders fight valiantly for their own ambitions. But for what? For whom? Appointed by the Crimson Dragon, the warrior sets forth to discover the answers to these questions. His card is a weapon for countering destiny. He continues his battle with the egoistic Evil Monsters as well as the fragility of his own being. That's right! He must battle for survival! -- From Vol. 1 DVD Cover

About Kamen Rider Ryuuki | Interview with Kobayashi and Matsuda | History Changed?

Yasuko Kobayashi, born April 7, 1965. She worked on Janperson in '93, Gingaman in '98, was the main writer on Time Ranger and GEAR Fighter Dendoh in '00, wrote for Strawberry Egg and Cyborg 009 in '01 and is now the main writer responsible for the Ryuuki storyline. She says she never saw Kamen Rider. This woman has really developed her craft.

Toshiki Inoue is the other primary writer for the Ryuuki scenarios. Episodes 7-10, 15, 16, 24, 25, 29, 30, 41-44, the movie and 13 Rider Special were all his work.

Ryuuki VS Agito ||| 13 Riders Special ||| Episode Final Door

What the Riders hold in common Those not seen Contrast Rider Power

Riders in order of appearance in the series, with the exception of Verde, Femme and Ryuuga, who never did.

Other important people in the show, not in order of importance
Ore Journal Staff
Daisuke Okubo, Nanako Shimada, Reiko Momoi, Shinji Kido and Megumi Asano
Kanzaki Family
Shiro Kanzaki, Yui Kanzaki and Sanako Kanzaki
The Lawyer's Man Friday
Goro Yura
Seimeiin University Lab 401's
Professor Hitoshi Ejima, Shiro Kanzaki, Hajime Nakamura, Eri Ogawa, Tamiya and Nishimoto.

Sheesh, the number of vital characters Yasuko Kobayashi is juggling....

TV Asahi's Ryuuki pages

Ore Journal Site Monsters Riders

Tokyo-based TV Asahi telephone numbers:
03-3587-5111 or 03-3587-5445
Feel free to tell these people you love Ryuuki.

I can't believe how many times I've tried to write this. It's just there's so much to say and I get all finger-tied. I haven't seen much of the older Kamen Rider series. They never really caught my interest, so it's not like I can compare them. I have seen Kuuga which was in 2000, and Agito which was in 2001. And I'm watching 555, which is 2003. I received this e-mail recently: read your comments on Ryuuki on your website and wanted to correct you on two things. Kuuga and Agito took place in the same reality. The G3 system created by the Metropolitan Police Department was modeled after Kuuga, to protect people after he left, and in case creatures reappeared. Kuuga may have also taken place within the reality of the original Kamen Rider series: one episode has GODAI Yuusuke doing an impression of Professor Hongou, who was Kamen Rider One. See? I don't know the histories, but to me the stories seemed quite far apart.

But boy were the fans hilarious. I watched Ryuuki with interest at first because the same writer who did Timeranger is responsible. I was not remotely disappointed. Kamen Rider fans, however, were a different story. I'm told that there were some who refused to watch it altogether because the hero didn't have the traditional look. And certainly people threw hissy fits over the premise, being that 13 Riders had to kill each other. Some people had their fits over the card decks, because they figured the show was driven by the cards so that collectors would buy them. The rumors abounded throughout the series' year. During mid-summer I was receiving e-mails from people who insisted that the show had been cut short, and would end on its 43rd episode. That dismayed me, I was loving it and could see no way to wrap up the tale decently that soon. Then the movie skimmed through theatres. I saw it at least seven times.

I don't know if that 43rd episode rumor was true or not, but if it was, I can imagine this: "Yasuko, they want us to stop it at 43." "WHAT?! Are those people out of their minds?! Oooooh. Okay. They want a movie, We'll give them a movie all right... Oh, Inoue-saaaaan...." (as was pointed out to me and I checked to confirm, Original Writer:石ノ森章太郎 Scenario Writer: 井上敏樹) The movie was titled "Episode Final" and they weren't just whistling Dixie, either. It was the ending of the series. Some tell me that in the wake of the movie, toy sales and series interest lept. I don't know, I only know that the children I teach were unwavering in their love of Ryuuki well before that. The series had a special, which was a retelling of the story from a different angle and changed everything, thus allowing us to see all thirteen Riders in their armor. Good stuff, but it wasn't the same as the series, which meant you had to cull things that might be true for both out of it.

It wasn't until after Christmas that it became actually clear that the series wasn't heading for quite the same ending as the movie, but they were very clever about that. There was a conspiracy, too. Not a single book released slipped up and revealed the true identity of one movie character. If you hadn't seen the movie (or read my summary or had it slipped to you by some other obnoxious twit), you remained clueless. And of course by this time fan-speculation on how the ending would be was REALLY going wild. "Ryuuki and Knight will face each other as the last, and the camera will close on that scene!" "Odin will take the Survive Cards and use it to save Yui!" "Ryuuki will get all the Survive Cards and use them to bring forth the Phoenix!" "Odin will reverse the flow of time and make them all live through it again to change the ending (you're getting closer, here)!" But what happened was what none of us really expected, even those of us who were closest to right.

Kamen Rider Ryuuki stayed true to its premise to the very end, and I am so glad. The ending was unexpected, both before and after. Very clever. For they had their cake and ate it, too, AND licked the frosting off the beaters!

13 Riders would fight to the death. Some people will complain, because we're three short in the series. Verde, Femme and Ryuuga never appeared. I'll complain about Femme not appearing because she was the only girl. However, if you do a proper headcount you actually DO hit thirteen. Knight, Ryuuki, Scissors, Zolda, Raia, Gai, Oja, Odin, Alternative, Alternative Zero, Tiger, Impaler and Goro as Zolda. 13 Riders, to amass the power needed to give a new life to a girl doomed to cease to exist on her twentieth birthday. Shiro Kanzaki's intention was for Odin to give that power to his sister, Yui, but she didn't want it and at last he let it go, destroyed Odin and let the power fall to the dying Ren, who used it to save Eri. And then... then Kanzaki tried to take it back and start over again from the beginning. Perhaps this time he could save Yui. But she came to him, and instead they moved into the Mirror World. Thirteen years of events altered significantly because Shiro and Yui Kanzaki died. There were never any Kamen Riders, no monsters lunging out of mirrors to gobble people up. Masashi Sudou probably was still a homicidal lunatic. Shuichi Kitaoka probably will still die of cancer. Jun Shibaura is proably still an obnoxious brat. Takeshi Asakura possibly was still a berserker whirlwind madman. Satoru Toujou is surely still an accident waiting to happen. The only one likely to come out totally on top in this is Mitsuru Sano.

Translated by my friend Koji:

2003, 1-19 was the final air date of Kamen Rider Ryuuki. A month before, we had this interview with Satoshi Matsuda (Knight=Ren Akiyama), and Yasuko Kobayashi, the scenario-writer for the series, talking about Ren's character.

12/19/2002 Interview with Yasuko Kobayashi and Satoshi Matsuda

Kobayashi: Ren can't be a totally cold person
Matsuda: He's trying to be hard but can't quite be completely, that's so Ren.

Editor: In the beginning of the series, how did you feel when, after you wrote the script, Matsuda-san was chosen to play Ren Akiyama?

Kobayashi: I think it was when I was writing the scenario for episode 1 and 2, I first saw his photograph. "He fits the character well," was my thought. In the picture, his hair was dyed? It wasn't black.

Matsuda: It was white.

Kobayashi: But then there was nothing out of place about him, as an image.

--: Until the relationship between Shinji and Ren was created, did you have trouble writing the script?

Kobayashi: Not really. but I rewrote the fight scene in front of the mesh fence in episode 3 or 4 many times. Ren doesn't want to confront someone head to head, so I had to substitute it with an object, like the 30,000 yen debt.

--: On the 11th episode he loses a part of memory and wanders off, the scenes where he walks through all those places like Omote-Sando where he fought in his past made an impression.

Matsuda: At that time, a lot of things I didn't know kept popping up and it was surpise after surprise.

Kobayashi: Ren had so many things in his past.

Matsuda: In the beginning, I think when we were choosing costumes at the Ooizumi Studio taking. When we met each other, Director Tazaki said Ren's past was so much a mystery so he asked me to suggest all kinds of ideas. So I worked hard and wrote everything I could think of on paper, and gave it to the director and producer.

Kobayashi: Something like that happened? I didn't know.

Matsuda: After giving it to the director, I asked him if I wrote anything wrong to please let me know, but he said nothing. In my view I was trying to make it into a cohesive shape and fix any errors I might have made.

--: After that, Eri regains consciousness, Ren gets nervous as opposed to his usual contained self, and starts picking fights everywhere.

Matsuda: He gets slapped by Yui.

Kobayashi: That was Stage-director Ishida's idea. Although it seemed weird, we just wanted to have Ren beat someone.

Matsuda: Ryuuki or Zolda wasn't a good idea.

Kobayashi: That's when we chose Odin. Although I feel sad for Odin. Matsuda-kun, did you expect that scenario?

Matsuda: I did, that's why when I get a new script, I am very interested in reading it. I don't know if my guess will be right or not, but I wonder what's going to happen at the end. Things like that.

--: I thought in the beginning Yui and Ren were going to have a relationship?

Matsuda: She's like a little sister to him.

Kobayashi: There's no emotion of romantic love. They are tied together with trust, I guess. I was writing a story for when Ren and Yui first met, but it never came up.

--: I think the relationship between Ren and Shinji, how it got closer or farther apart, the dramatic tension throughout the year was most interesting.

Kobayashi: But the two didn't have much play time.

Matsuda: You're right.

Kobayashi: I didn't want to dismantle the tension between them, even if one of them wanted to joke around, it didn't catch the other. The theme was the two not getting along so their conversations were never really able to be fun.

Matsuda: There were some in there.

Kobayashi: As for Ren, even if Shinji comes close, he doesn't care for him. Most people would just give it up, but Shinji is different.

Matsuda: That's why he can't forget about Shinji, and he has to look at him in a different way.

Kobayashi: And so Ren can't be a totally cold person.

Matsuda: He's trying to be hard but can't quite be completely, that's so Ren. That's what I like about him.

Kobayashi: In a lot of places, that comes out.

Matsuda: Like how he shows his vulnerability, when he knows Shinji can't see him.

Kobayashi: When Ren's depth is presented, Matsuda-kun gives us a soft, tender expression. Almost as if he'll start crying. It's only a little, but....

Matsuda: Really?

Kobayashi: About in tears should I say? Like when Shinji has found something, you suddenly realize it.

Matsuda: Is it?

Kobayashi: That's "Ren" I think. As though we can see his true character under his mask? It wasn't like that in the first few episodes. It's just that he's so human like, and honest. He can't accept someone's death calmly. He can't be the cool one.

Matsuda: That's what makes Ren's character so human.

December 19, Tokyo, Yuurakucho

*Now that we think about it, wasn't Kamen Rider Ryuuki the story of two Kamen Riders, "Dragon" and "Knight". Built from the feedback of the script writer to the actor, and the actor to the script writer. That's how the character of Akiyama Ren was created. This magazine was published about when the final episode aired. I hope this interview will help the readers; it is a testimony to solve this spaceship-like story.

From Kamen Rider Ryuuki Chozenshu Final, pg 57
English below






Shiro rolled back history multiple times?!

The mirror world disappeared and everything disintegrated. But Yui's last wish got through, and Shiro rolled back the clock to start a new history.
However, with the verification of several pieces of information, one begins to develop a sneaking suspicion that history has been changed before, several times.

I mean, we have three records of the Riders' fighting. Apart from the history where Ren survived to the end there were two other histories that differed just a bit from that one. One: Ren and Shinji both survived -- the history wherein Yui sliced her wrist and took her own life. The other, wherein Ren fought and died, and Shinji took his place as Knight and kept fighting. But in both cases Yui, knowing the truth, rejected the "New Life", bringing it all to naught.

And so Shiro tried to start a new history and start the fighting again. It seems as though Shiro was also modifying history in small ways, for example when Odin's Time Vent was used simply to restore the torn picture of Yui and Shiro. But something odd happened, for there was a record of Shiro dying in America doing his experiments with the Mirror World. It was confirmed that he existed at the same time in Japan. Because of his modifications, history was distorted. However, no matter what he wanted there were some things he could not seem to change. He did not want Shinji to become a Rider because he would try to stop the fighting. Yet each time Shinji did. Perhaps it simply had to be. Even fighting, even Ren surviving... Shiro at last realized, "You'll only refuse again. Again, rendering all this useless. Yui..." and at last started a new history. For it was Yui's wish. The wish for a world without the fighting, where everyone lived and was well. But the Yui who was born in that world did not live to grow up.

It would take anyone quite a while to discover just how many times Shiro has re-run history and made alterations in an effort to repair events.