Overall: There is no reason for Gaim or Madoka to exist; Ryuki nailed it already
Ryuki has so many strong central themes. I think at one point I heard someone say it was one of Kobayashi's weaker as she was starting out, but damn I feel like it handled it so much better than Madoka did. Ryuki has this overall thing about dreams and believing and not giving in to the negativity of others, where Madoka went all your dreams are pointless shut up GIRLS!
Ryuki's themes about what it means to be a hero work so well, and watching Shinji trying to stick fast to his ideals but wavering because it's just not easy; should he be trying to stop the rider battle, what if those he loves are sacrificed to do so, what if those he loves die because he didn't. We explore it more on Toujou but it is part of what pushes Shinji to his limits.
Ryuki uses it's other riders to help look at different angles, different dilemmas, what has pushed people to this situation. Ren is using the rider battle to save his girlfriend; can we tell him it's wrong to fight when he does what he's doing for someone else's sake? Kitaoka does it to save his own life; can we tell him it's wrong to want to live? Tojo wants to be a hero and is definitely wrong because of his warped views on what that means. In the actual themes of that, to stop the rider battle, you have to sacrifice someone (though actually you're sacrificing like 3 people, maybe more, when we factor in it's keeping Kitaoka and Eri alive), is that okay as long as it's saving the lives of many?
It's very simple that Shinji doesn't know, he wants the fighting to stop cause he doesn't want people to die, but people are going to die for/if it stops. Shinji is getting pushed on a trolley problem that just seems to get worse the more he looks at it.
It's just real good.
It's also interesting with the other riders, who have a dream they hope for if they win, but a lot of the time they end up just achieving it through their own means, luck, perserverance, or realising that it's actually not what they want. They get there because of themselves, not because of some wish promised to them. It's a thing about perserverance, and not giving in.
Also comedy in this show is fantastic, but as always Inoue's comedy stands as both hilarious and makes me wish I didn't exist due to the secondhand embarrassment.
Anyway this show has way too many riders!
Yep, these three were sure here and were absolutely nothing but I'll assume Takaiwa was Odin or here for Oma Zi-O scouting or something.
Ultimately, of course I recommend Ryuki, they nailed it. Except for all the unnecessary riders.
List of Series
Lupinranger vs Patoranger