So, starting with the Den-O (re)watch.
Personally, I didn’t realize before the link between Den-O and Ryuki, but now I do, and Ryuki being my favorite it’s inevitable that I’m going to be drawing conclusions, the first of which involves Ryotaro himself and the ways in which he is like Shinji, and the ways in which he’s not. Obviously, they’re both “Fail!Riders”, but their attitudes are very different. Ryotaro is resigned to be bullied, both by other people and by the universe itself, really, while Shinji kind of… just creates his own shenanigans, but meets everything with what can only be called feistiness. But really, even in this first episode, the real similarity between them is their drive to do the right thing. Shinji gets involved in things that are not his business out of his sense of justice, and Ryotaro, even when kicked to the curve, is always all about doing the right thing… to the point protecting those that have wronged him. And there’s kind of an innocence, I think, in that, in their overpowering goodness.