Please welcome DREAMSWORD to the Decade chat! DreamSword was kind enough to share some thoughts on these two Ryuki episodes for Kamen Rider Decade, despite neither of them being animated like I'd promised.


KAMEN RIDER DIE: DreamSword! Thank you for joining me on this Decade project. We're going to be watching some Ryuki-ish episodes of Kamen Rider Decade in a little bit, but first I wanted to find out a little about how you got to this point as a Kamen Rider fan. To start with, how did you first discover tokusatsu as a genre?

DREAMSWORD: Well you see, unlike the commonwealth I knew about Toku practically since day 1. While you were all just learning to spell your names, I was being trained to conquer live action superhero television--

Okay no not really. Like alot of kids I got into it thanks to Power Rangers. And no joke, it's a show that I've been keeping up with for as long as I can remember. Me and it are the same age, and it's been with me basically my whole life. That then lead into other Toku like VR TroopersBeetleborgs, and Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I've done a few of these chats so far, and I want to say you're the first person to mention non-Rangers American toku as a formative influence. That's wild. Two part follow-up:
1) Rank those four American series from best to worst
2) What was it about those shows that got you so hooked, do you think? Kids are usually operating at a pre-critical level - it's okay if the answer is just Robots and Karate - but was there anything you can think of that made these shows so important to you?

DREAMSWORD: Well the first is obviously Power Rangers. No lie it's one of my favorite franchises to this very day for alot of reasons, or atleast, they feel like alot to me. I'm probably one of the few who's found something to legit love at least one major thing about every season. Atleast, in my experience.

Second would actually be Mystic Knights. I actually rewatched that one a couple years back with a good buddy of mine, and was surprised as to just how well it held up. Such a shame it was doomed to never get a second season.

Third and Fourth are actually pretty hard for me to decide on. But I guess it'd be VR Troopers and then Beetleborgs. I haven't seen either show in a good while, so maybe my opinion will have changed should I ever give them a rewatch, but I remember liking them alot, and my liking VR Troopers is what eventually lead to me discovering Android Kikaider, which is one of my favorite anime ever, so bonus points there.

There was alot that attracted me to Toku really. The fun action scenes and colorful special effects are pretty obvious ones, but there's so much more to them than that to me.

One major aspect for sure was just kinda the experience in and of itself of watching them? They were among shows that I'd watch along with my cousins alot, which added a whole 'nother layer of fun to everything. We'd always laugh with the dumb jokes of characters like Bulk and Skull, get hyped whenever anyone transformed, talk about who was the coolest character in each episode, etc.

And that brings me to what I think is the biggest aspect of this, and what I consider the biggest aspect I look for in any story I experience: The characters. Sure, none of them were super complex. None of them are(for lack of a better term) "deep" but not only did their actors bring the characters alot of charisma, there was always at least one character who I could relate to, or have fun watching, or feel real empathy for, or in the case of Zack from Power Rangers see as my idol. My philosophy has always been that characters should push the story and not the other way around, and I think the shows I grew up with had alot to do with that, Toku included.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Robots and Karate, got it. No, I'm kidding, I appreciate the explanation for each of those shows!
With Power Rangers being your main franchise, was it difficult to stick with it over the years? I know a lot of fans fall away from it as they get older, and you frequently joke about being the only modern-day Ranger fan on the boards. Did you ever feel any tension for sticking with Power Rangers all these years?

DREAMSWORD: (I mean the robots and karate are really cool don't get me wrong)

Eh... kinda? My experiences with the fanbase as a whole has certainly given a whole new perspective on some things to be sure. And yeah, I have gotten very uh... interesting, responses to my thoughts on various aspects of the franchise before, but again, to this day I have at the very least found at least one thing to love about each season, and as long as the shows in and of themselves are good or otherwise entertaining, that makes it worth it to me.

I'm very easy to please!

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Not to put you on the spot, maybe, but give me two things: What's your favorite Power Rangers series, and what's one you'd recommend to an adult who's never watched a Power Rangers show?

DREAMSWORD: Ooooh man.

Well at the risk of anyone reading this immediately dropping off here, my favorite season is without a doubt the first season of Mighty Morphin'. Not solely because it was the first, but because of just how absolutely fun it is to watch!

Like, I already wrote a huge dissertation on MMPR before on the boards, so I'll try to make it brief here. Essentially, outside of growing up with it, probably the absolute biggest reason I personally love MMPR is because it's so insane, so fast paced, so positive, and such a rush of pure adrenaline that I'm never bored. It's always a great way to pass the time!

As for what I'd recommend... hmm. It really kinda depends? Like, if you just want an absolute rollercoaster of crazy, MMPR is definitely the way to go. But if you want something that's more serious and dramatic(as much as a show like this can be), I'd say Lightspeed Rescue is pretty good as a starter. Or if you want more of a focus on comedy, Ninja Storm is all about that. And lastly, if you want a show that's got a great balance of comedy and drama, then SPD is a great season all around.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: This thread is being run by someone who found value in the second half of Hibiki; I don't think you need to be worried about folks bailing over unpopular opinions.
As a lifelong Ranger fan, how'd you find your way to Japanese tokusatsu?

DREAMSWORD: Well, I actually have a good friend of mine to thank for that one. I love telling this story.

A few years back when all of PR first dropped on Netflix, I decided I wanted to watch all of it again, from start to finish. Coincidentally, at the same time, said friend I mentioned actually was asking me about the franchise, as he had somehow missed that entire craze growing up.

Now, I suck at explaining things in general, so he wasn't really getting it. So, half-jokingly, I said to him "Well you could just binge the whole show with me if you want." And to my absolute surprise, he said yes! As such, we began gunning through every season, and now he's a fan of Power Rangers too!

About halfway through that binge, he began to explore other aspects of Toku as a whole. Now, I actually avoided the Japanese side of things for the most part due to my negative experiences with the fandom(I dabbled a little in Zyuranger beforehand due to them). But, that was around the time Kamen Rider Gaim had just finished airing, and was huge stuff around the internet, so he got into it and liked it alot. He asked me about it, and I wasn't really keen on jumping into a show a bunch of people I didn't have a good time with were praising.

But, he convinced me. We started with Kamen Rider Dragon Knight as a sort of gateway into Kamen Rider as a whole (I had seen Masked Rider before but it'd been over a decade by then, natch), and uh, didn't like that one very much! We then watched the Showa Trilogy Movies (ShinZO, and J) and while I thought they were decent, I still really wasn't feeling it. But, he convinced me to give the franchise one last shot, so I rolled a die on which season for us to watch, and it landed on Kuuga. And oh my GOD am I so happy it did because I absolutely love that show. It became one of my favorite TV shows of all time and now I'm a KR fan thanks to it.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Kuuga's no Agito, but it's nice to hear that you're a fan. It's a bit of an underdog show!
With Kuuga getting its Jean-shaped hooks into you, where else did you look for Japanese shows? More Rider, or did you delve into something else?

DREAMSWORD: I'm telling you now man, without Jean, they'da been done. The Agito Seed would not exist without Jean.

Now, I haven't gone super deep into the JP sides of things, but I have begun to slowly dabble here and there. Like I said before, I got into the Kikaider anime before, and when I found out that there were live action versions, I of course needed to check those out.

Oh what's that? Not only was Metalder the show that VR Troopers used footage for, but was also heavily influenced by Kikaider? Gotta watch that. Wasn't super keen on how Power Rangers Mega Force was handled? Goseiger and Gokaiger are pretty solid ways to experience those stories. Saw the first Garo anime and loved it, so of course now I gotta try the live action show out.

Also, special shout out to GrandComplete for getting me into my first ever Korean Toku! His thread on Legend Heroes revealing that the entire show was officially up YouTube for free was a great push to check it out, and man oh man was I glad I jumped on that because it's become one of my favorite Toku too. Seriously, to anyone reading this, if you haven't checked that show out yet, do it. It's got something for just about everyone, I feel.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Legend Heroes has, without a doubt, the most passionate fanbase of any show on TokuNation. Y'all are very very into this series, and it's pretty fun to see.
It sounds like your toku viewing, Power Rangers aside, is pretty scattershot? Random series here and there, rather than catching new episodes weekly as they go out. Am I getting that right?

DREAMSWORD: For sure. I actually prefer to binge nowadays rather than watch stuff as it airs, with a few exceptions here and there.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: How'd you get over to TokuNation, then? I feel like it's predominantly used by folks keeping up with all the latest news, Like, right now it's a lot of Revice reveals, or Zenkaiger stuff, that sort of thing. Admittedly, I found TokuNation, and I'm not watching any current series, but I'm never one to emulate or be held up as a typical fan. What made you join TokuNation and start posting?

DREAMSWORD: Toys, actually.

I got into action figures back in 2016, but didn't have the income to really be serious about it until a few years later. When I did, one of the sites I found that tended to cover alot of stuff was ToyArk. And surprisingly no one, one of their affiliates was TokuNation.

Saw the site, used it solely for news, then one day I just kinda got curious? Started lurking the boards for a few months, and noticed how the community was surprisingly chill compared to other communities that I'd had to deal with up to that point. So I went "screw it, let's give it a shot" and well, here I am, annoying everyone with my passion for Power Rangers, haha.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Well, they've incorporated the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into their cosmology, so I guess Power Rangers is now validated as a franchise. It's finally okay to be passionate about Power Rangers.

DREAMSWORD: now if only it were valid to be a fan of other american toku qq

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Where do you spend the most time when you're on the boards? I know you've staked out a couple areas - your toku anime thread, and the Memory of Heroez Let's Play - but are there other parts of the toku fandom that you're more interested in talking to folks about? Which threads do you hit up the most?

DREAMSWORD: Uhhh, I suppose that'd be the general discussion topics? I kinda just browse most of the posts in general, really. I feel like I'm the most active in the general ones though. That or covering the Fan First Fridays for people who don't feel like watching the streams themselves.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: It's a public service, and I hope people appreciate it.
Speaking of reporting as a public service! KAMEN RIDER RYUKI!
You offered up Ryuki as one of the Phase 1 series you'd be interested in talking about. Why did Ryuki make your shortlist?

DREAMSWORD: Because I love it.

I loved its characters, I loved the props, I loved the suit design, I liked the card aspect, I love that it started the tradition of the belts talking, I loved that it was way better than Dragon Knight, and I think most importantly, I loved its atmosphere. It was very engrossing!

KAMEN RIDER DIE: The suit design, the way it spreads across every Rider, is incredibly boss. Very excited for -slash- financially dreading the point when we finally get the cast of Ryuki as Seihous.
Ryuki is a show that really made me love its arc, but more after the fact than during the individual episodes. There's a weight to every character, and how hard most of them have to work to put anyone ahead of themselves, and I loved that I was watching a hero show that didn't take heroism as a given. Any particular Riders from the cast stand out to you? Any faves?

DREAMSWORD: Raia was definitely my favorite. In just a few episodes, he established himself as arguably the most important character of the entire story, and I feel that putting his arc towards the center of the show's run further emphasized just how much of the story was impacted over the decision he made to put the good of others over himself. He also did a great job at encapsulating one of the many messages of Ryuki: That we all have to forge our own paths in life, and our actions can and will make a great impact on those who care about us.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Kamen Rider Quarters! Yeah, he was a hoot. I appreciated his sideways take on sacrifice, how fate was just another way of saying that you can't fight who you are inside. Him and Scissors really blew open the concept of what Ryuki was going to be, and they helped grow the franchise into what Phase 1 would eventually become in Decade.
Speaking of Decade! DREAMSWORD! Stop staring into that mirror and get ready to watch some episodes of Kamen Rider Decade!


Team Decade arrives in the World of Ryuki, where criminal justice cases are decided by a dozen superheroes battling it out in a mirror dimension. It's a take on Jury Duty that probably increases civic engagement by 80-90%, a detail that might not mean much to Natsumi after she is framed for murder. As Tsukasa and Onodera team with Kamen Rider Ryuki to sort out the facts from the fictions, the reclusive Kamen Rider Knight looks more and more like the culprit!

It is, of course, not Kamen Rider Knight who framed Natsumi, since it's all Ren can do to keep from crying at Shinji's cutting remarks and aggrieved insults. Nope, it's Kamen Rider Abyss, our new-to-Decade legacy character. A well-applied speech from Onodera on the need to trust people gets Decade on the right track, and a well-applied speech from Decade on the need to compromise for a team (I know, I know) gets Ryuki on the right track. Together, they defeat Abyss and free Natsumi. Tsukasa even frees a soon-to-be-eaten chicken, for an extra dash of heroism!


KAMEN RIDER DIE: Look at them! Look at our heroes, and their special bond. Specifically, look at how weird Onodera finds it to exist next to Tsukasa.
We've spent a few episodes dancing around Tsukasa's... let's say unpleasant attitude, but this one spends a ton of time on Tsukasa at Faiz Plus-levels of shitting all over his friends and teammates. DreamSword! How are you liking our team of heroes at this point in the series? Are you loving their natural warmth and camaraderie?

DREAMSWORD: Okay so uh, I guess I'll be upfront with everyone here, and before anyone says anything, yes, I am aware that this is gonna sound extremely hypocritical of me given I just got done saying that I don't ask for much in order to be entertained, but uh...

I kinda don't like any of the characters in this show? Like, at all? If we wanna just stick to the interplay between our main cast, and even more specifically in these episodes, Onodera is the one who does alot of the legwork and yet gets none of the credit, Natsumi is given alot of importance for literally sitting around and doing nothing, and Tsukasa? Well, he outright admits that he's a sociopath and spends this entire two-parter unironically trying to get his "friend" the death penalty for murder.


KAMEN RIDER DIE: So, while I can't say it's easy to like Tsukasa and/or even worth it (especially in these episodes!!!), I will push back on some of that.
Tsukasa's someone who never seems to take these worlds seriously. It's a bit Isekai, where Tsukasa thinks of this as A World Based On The TV Series "Kamen Rider Ryuki", so all of the peril is illusory, and all of the people are fake. He's not, like, invested in the narrative. Natsumi being held prisoner and tried by a dozen battling Kamen Riders isn't, like, The Night Of. Tsukasa can't pretend she's really going to get executed, because this world isn't real to him. He thinks it's funny for Natsumi to get charged with murder, and it sort of is? She clearly didn't do it, and this story is dumb, so why not tease her about it while also working to secure her freedom?

DREAMSWORD: Because someone he supposedly cares about's life is on the line, and unless I missed something, there's nothing to indicate that it's not?

Also I don't find "the plot is dumb" to really be defense here. And while yes, I agree that the plot IS stupid, when it comes to serious matters, you might maybe wanna show at least a little concern, maybe?

I also get that Tsukasa at the end outright admits that he's a sociopath, but not only does that do nothing to endear me to him, it also just highlights how inconsistent I feel the overall writing of this show is. For example, in the very first episode he outright agrees to take on the mission to kill the Kamen Riders, but come episode 2 he's all "Huh, what am I supposed to do in these different worlds!?"

No joke, my current interpretation of Tsukasa is that he has really bad short term memory loss, because even when he blatantly delivers the Moral of the Two Parter at the end of all of these, he seems to retain all of none of that information. That or maybe he's just saying things to try and look cool next to these other Riders? (Or maybe the writers are desperate to make more specifically Decade look cool?) It's not something my tastes in characters and their stories can really work with, ya know?

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Well, when I say "this story is dumb", I mean it more from the perspective of Tsukasa not really thinking Natsumi stabbed an editor to death with a fork. That's so laughably out of character that he's not going to spend a ton of time wringing his hands about it. Also, the story for these episodes is dumb.
I don't know if I see Tsukasa as being someone who's forgetting lessons? I think it's more that he can't see how the things he's saying to and about the other Riders also relates to him. He's great at reading other people, but he can't apply that perception to his own behavior. In the Kiva episodes, where he's like You Can Overcome Your Inner Darkness To Be A Good Person Even If Other People Think You're A Monster, he never once considers that he's also talking about himself! He is very bad at analyzing his own behavior!

DREAMSWORD: Yes he is. And I'd be willing to give him a fraction of a point in these episodes if his stance were more "Everything will work out because I'll save her. No duh she didn't do anything." But, at the very least with RiderTime's' subs (those are the subs I'm using) every chance he gets he instead goes "Yeah she totally did it" without any sort of indication of irony, which is backed up by every other character telling him to shut his dumb mouth.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Look, we're friends, but let me be completely honest with you: If we both landed in the world of a TV show, and you got charged with murder, I would probably spend a little time acting shocked at your previously-unseen malevolence. If I knew I could also get you out of prison? Yeah, for sure, I'd be like Oh He Definitely Did It.
I am honestly laughing about it right now.

DREAMSWORD: I pray you never become a lawyer then.

Which, by the way, to give this two-parter some credit, even they knew better than to try and have Tsukasa ever try to practice any sort of law on screen, because they knew that that'd be huge stretch even by Decade standards.

(Also yes I would expect such teasing but like this is SERIOUS BUSINESS Tsukasa! Do the teasing afterward!)

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Tsukasa is too familiar with Kamen Rider tropes to waste an opportunity to tease Natsumi. His real business is trying to get over on his friends, and he is always serious about that business.
On that note!

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Even as Tsukasa is hilariously/"hilariously" letting Natsumi twist in the wind and telling villains that Onodera is a happy idiot, this story is all about drilling into Ryuki's themes of teamwork and understanding. It's a story all about believing in other people enough to let their morals inform your own, and working hard to help other people accomplish their goals. Did all of that come across for you? How'd you feel about the Ryuki-ness of this story's themes?

DREAMSWORD: Oh man, I feel like this is gonna be hard for me to convey properly, given what everyone else in the thread has said about the show so far.

Of the three two-parters that have happened so far, this was the one where I feel like I almost gave it a pass? But in the end, I still feel as though it fell short.

Like yeah, a big part of Ryuki was everyone's own sense of justice and how that forms their personal goals and beliefs, and how even the mere attempt at getting to know others can open up new worlds for you and expand your own viewpoints. Teamwork was infact a thing, yeah(just like almost every Toku ever), and how in the end you can never truly know someone's intentions.

So I THINK I get the general idea of this, which was to make all of that extremely literal. A literal justice system which is determined not by facts or the general populace's understandings of how things work, but rather placing lives literally in the hands of other people, where might makes right and the idea that the Rider who comes out on top MUST be correct because hey, "the truth always wins out in the end." I get all that, I really think I do.

But to me, Ryuki, and almost every show I watch in general, is about way more than just plot elements? The core of any story to me is its characters, and unfortunately, with the way the staff of Decade decided to handle the general "story" of the show, we don't get any of that here. So to me, my response to this entire thing was "This isn't Ryuki." Which I know someone is gonna immediately think "Well it's supposed to be different." And YES, I understand that, but I still think this could've all been handle alot better, though I feel if I do on for much longer this'll just spiral into a rant aimed at the show itself rather than these episodes specifically.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Weirdly, while I agree with you about it missing the feeling of Ryuki's aesthetics and performances, despite a dozen suits, I think the themes as portrayed through Tsukasa and Onodera were a solid, if abbreviated, take on Ryuki's messages. The idea of Tsukasa learning to trust in Onodera despite super not liking him or even understanding his worldview... that's pretty much Shinji and Ren? That's two guys who are not even slightly friends, who are also willing to go along with the other out of respect. It's separating out Friendship from Teamwork, and I thought that was something Ryuki was pretty unique at in toku.

DREAMSWORD: I see where you're coming from, but I can't really fully agree on that? If you take Tsukasa at his word (and again, this is obviously going to vary depending on subs), he kinda just lets Onodera do whatever, rather than outright working with the guy?

Speaking of Onodera and "teamwork" I love how Onodera never once figures that since Kamen Riders, even ones that no one has ever heard of, are just allowed to enter the Rider Fight with no real hassle, that he could maybe Henshin and help Tsukasa out in any of the fights. Very cool, Toei.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Or maybe Onodera, sweetheart that he is, just wants to let Tsukasa feel like a hero? Tsukasa is all I'm A Destroyer, so Onodera letting Decade fight to save Natsumi (note: not really what Tsukasa's doing) is part of the way he's supporting his friend.
Oh! That reminds me of another fun Onodera/Tsukasa thing from this story. There's a point where Onodera gives his big speech, about how people who push other people away are maybe doing it because they secretly fear letting their friends down, and when he starts it... Tsukasa has this profile expression where he's like Is This About Natsumi? He completely doesn't get that Onodera is talking about him, and I love it.

DREAMSWORD: Yeah I have no idea what any of these characters end up seeing in Tsukasa, really.

But from an acting perspective, yeah, whoever is directing this show clearly loves to portray things via facial expressions. One thing I noticed no one pointed out about the previous two episodes(unless I missed that post, sorry!) was at the end how Tsukasa seems to be taking all the accusations of being "the Devil" to heart... even if he does nothing to improve that situation, mind you.

Still, good on the actors for being able to pull that sort of thing off effectively.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: He's only vaguely aware that it's weird to be yelled at by strangers, instead of by your own friends. He's a hero for our times.
And every hero needs a villain, which brings us to this guy:

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Kamen Rider Abyss! I think!

DREAMSWORD: Yeah I wasn't fond of that suit. If it turns out that it was designed by the same dude who made the original Ryuki suits then like, wow, did they miss the mark.
Granted, given the twist of who exactly Abyss is at the end of it, maybe that was part of the point? Hard to tell with Decade.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Yeah, I don't... I don't get him. I don't understand why he's doing what he's doing. This is the second monster plot in a row where the villain's motivations are mostly opaque to me. Why is Abyss here? Why did he kill Momoi? Why frame Natsumi? Why did he need to be an Undead? I think the reason he killed Momoi was because she suspected him of being a monster, but why is this all so convoluted? And why in the world would you have a reveal like the end of this story, when it's a monster type that doesn't mean anything to the heroes? Help me with this, DreamSword.

DREAMSWORD: Well surprisingly enough even to me, I can actually answer most of those questions(I think)!
Abyss killed Momoi because she somehow found out he was an Undead from Another World. Why he felt the need to frame Natsumi, uh... well Fisherman Guy is helping him so maybe that's who he got the idea from? As for why he had to be an Undead in the first place, well, that's twofold, and it's basically for meta reasons. Him being an Undead is literally just a hook for the audience, rather than the characters themselves, and also gives a direct reason as to why the Blade World is the one we're most likely going to next. Outside of that, he's basically just a villain for the sake of the arc having one.

If I can give Decade credit for one thing in terms of its writing, it's that the show, at least so far, is surprisingly serialized, even if I find its overall plot messy and practically non-existent.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: The only part of that I'd squint at is Mysterious Fisherman giving Abyss the idea to frame Natsumi, since Mysterious Fisherman offers to spring Natsumi in order to keep her safe. That's a little too convoluted to be intentional, even for this show.
It sounds like you thought Abyss was a good villain, suit aside? Did you like him better than the last two obstacles for Decade?

DREAMSWORD: Oh no, I wouldn't say he was good per se. Just like, acceptable, I guess. If we're comparing him to Not Daguva and Hobo Fangire though, then yeah, I suppose he would qualify as a step up, since he does at least kinda fit with the theme of twisted justice.

Just, man that suit. There have been plenty of Kamen Rider suits that I felt looked better in action than on paper, but Abyss to me just falls flat on both levels, yikes.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I can't say it stuck out to me one or another? It's just part of the vague Ryuki But Not As Good vibe these episodes had to me. Which, hey, maybe we should talk about the World of Ryuki!

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I didn't care for it, really. I think it starts with Not Shinji and Not Ren, who I thought were both badly written (Shinji's willing to believe Ren is a murderer because Ren quit his job a couple years ago?) and super bland actors. I spent the entire story not really caring if these two former besties (a billion percent Not Ryuki, the two of them having a deep and soulful friendship) could get over their completely inexplicable conflict. Thoughts on our two-episode setting?

DREAMSWORD: Yeah I totally agree. I feel like I pretty much already elaborated on this earlier with my stint on my attachment to characters, and AR Ryuki most certainly did not deliver on that front. My boy Raia didn't even show up!

Also what the heck was with the first third of the first part having so much focus on Scissors? Was he a meme in Japan at the time or something?

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Scissors is stupidly popular. Always has been, always will be. Also, if you want to chump out a Rider to show how serious a character is, you definitely want to chump out Scissors. That's his thing! Demonstrating stakes! It's the third thing he loves, besides treachery and onions!
But, hey, let's talk about the Riders in this two-parter. As much as I wish we'd gotten personalities for everyone, I kind of liked the idea of becoming a Kamen Rider in this world as being like jury duty. It's not some huge part of your life, it's just something you get drafted into and have to care about for maybe a day or two. That's such a bizarre idea, and the show does almost nothing with it. (It's a little relevant to Abyss'ssss alibi, and Shinji's erroneous belief in Ren's guilt, but that's about it.) Do you feel like the show could've spent a little less time on dumb echoes of past storylines, and a little more time on their actually-clever world-building?

DREAMSWORD: I mean yes, but at the same time, I feel like Decade's' main goal really isn't storytelling or world building and more just Riders beating eachother up? Speaking for me personally, I really don't care too too much either way, given my general distaste of the show right now, but I can see how someone might want more meat out of an interesting concept. But then you know, there's also the idea that most of the target demographic wouldn't really care about that, so... I dunno, it is what it is.

KAMEN RIDER DIE: Sure, I can see that. The Shinji/Ren story is there to be something for Onodera and Tsukasa to reference and learn from, so you can't really cut it. I guess it's just that I thought the actors and writing for that part of the story (i.e. the bulk of it) were mediocre.
Not to tee you up by pointing out a part of this story that let me down, but was there anything from this story you wanted to discuss? Anything we've overlooked so far?

DREAMSWORD: From these episodes specifically? They totally screwed up how Time Vent works, and all for something totally unnecessary too. (Abyss eating himself.)

The Mirror World is also kinda just there? There's like a one-off line about how Riders don't die when defeated there but like, that most certainly doesn't seem to be the case given the various scenes with Scissors?

Also if someone out there can please explain to me what the heck they were getting at with Scissors' line about eating leaks, please inform me because that threw me through a total loop. I'M STILL CONFUSED!

KAMEN RIDER DIE: I like that Time Vent got used to eliminate a two-episode story I wasn't that crazy about. The implication that the only person who needed to learn anything in that story was Tsukasa... ha ha, YES. All for that!
As for those two different subs of Scissors's taunt? I think he's just doing a badly-worded fanservice thing, playing the heel, but hopefully someone else in the thread will have a take on it that's more compelling to you.
Once we finally get that sorted out, it'll be off to the World of Blade for TOKUNATION WATCHES KAMEN RIDER DECADE! The first episode of our Blade story is called "Welcome to the Blade Restaurant", and I have literally nothing to say after that.

(Well, one thing. Lining up a time for the next story was a little tricky, so our Journey through the Decade will be continuing next weekend. See you then!)