Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters
' entry in the "Returns"
series of post-season Super Sentai V-cinemas
. Unlike other Returns
movies, this one takes place during
its corresponding series (specifically between episodes 44 and 45).
Having seemingly defeated Messiah and the Vaglass for good, the Go-busters enjoy a peaceful day for once as they prepare for the new year tomorrow. However, their relaxation is shattered when a new enemy suddenly appears and begins wreaking havoc. The Busters immediately move out and intercept, but their machines are destroyed and they're subsequently overwhelmed on foot. Their enemy, a monster calling itself Azazel, announces that he has come to destroy the world, and with a single swing of his scythe, he kills the Busters and their buddyroids.
Cheeda Nick suddenly wakes up in a white void, hearing someone calling his name. That someone is God
(who looks like Enter
for some reason), and he decides to grant Nick one wish since Nick was exactly the 1,000,000th person to die that year (Beet J Stag was the 999,999th). God refuses Nick's wish to destroy Azazel, but Nick thinks of something else: hoping to spare him and his team from having to fight and ultimately die, He wishes for God to transport him and J to a world in which the Messiah incident of 13 years ago never occurred. This time, God complies.
Nick wakes up again in the garage of Hiromu's house, on the very same day that Hiromu joined the Go-busters in the original timeline. At first it doesn't look like anything has changed, but Nick quickly realizes that that couldn't be further from the truth: Hiromu's parents are alive and well, and Hiromu himself (who doesn't remember the original timeline at all) is all set to start his first day as a student teacher at the Energy Management Academy's Agricultural High School.
When they arrive at the school, they meet up with loads of familiar faces: Yoko is a normal (if a little standoffish) high school student, Ryuuji is a Hot-Blooded
P.E. teacher, Kuroki is the vice-principal, and Nakamura and Morishita are also student teachers. As it turns out, in this universe Kuroki had at some point decided to apply enetron science to agriculture and animal husbandry, and thus the school sits among vast amounts of farmland. While touring the farms, they run into Usada and Gorisaki, who are nonsentient robots, as well as Jin, who in this timeline has become a 40-year-old, foul-smelling
groundskeeper. J is there too, and while he does
remember the previous timeline, he's taking everything in stride.
Though this new world is massively different from the one they're from, Nick and J figure that they may as well get used to it. Until, that is, the school is attacked by an army of Buglars
! However, they're not
from the Vaglass. They're soldiers of the Machine Empire, Mechalius, Which is led by the evil Escape
- er, the evil Empress Tran Sister! Luckily, Kuroki and Jin had been secretly preparing for the coming of the Empire for 10 years, and recruit Hiromu, Yoko, and Ryuuji to fight as Red Cheetah, Yellow Rabbit, and Blue Gorilla alongside Jin and J (Gold Beetle and Silver Stag) to oppose the Empire as the Dobutsu Sentai (Animal Squadron) Go-busters!
What follows is... well, an entire Super Sentai
series truncated into about 15 minutes. More specifically, it shows what Go-busters may have been like had it been done in a campy, lighthearted style similar to the earlier Showa-era sentai series. This is accomplished by showing short snippets of various "episodes" of their series
:Episode 5: Deepening Bonds
Hiromu and Yoko's romance begins to blossom, and Hiromu and Ryuuji later earn each other's respect by beating the snot out of each other.Episode 15: The Green Wind Blows In
The busters are joined by a sixth buster
, Atsushi Doumyouji, aka Green Hippopotamus. Yoko immediately falls for him, starting a love triangle.Episode 28: Friend or Foe? The Mysterious Femme Fatale!
Hiromu finds out that the mysterious female agent, Pink Cat, is actually his sister, Rika!Episode 37: Farewell, Green Wind!
Atsushi dies, ending the love triangle.Episode 38: Newfound Power! The Black Gale!
Commander Kuroki fills the gap in the team left behind by Atsushi's death by becoming a buster himself, Black Puma.Episode 49: Long Live the Dobutsu Sentai!
The Go-busters' battle comes to a close when, with the assistance of Pink Cat, they finally defeat Tran Sister and end the threat of the Machine Empire.
Afterwards, the Go-busters enjoy a peaceful day for once as they prepare for the new year tomorrow. However, Nick's happiness turns to dread when he realizes that the day's progression is eerily similar to the new year's eve of the original timeline. Sure enough, Azazel appears and slaughters the Dobutsu Sentai Go-Busters just as easily as he did the Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters.
Nick wakes up in a white void and finds himself back at square one. Since everyone died in the same order as last time, Nick is once again the millionth person to die that year, and thus God entitles him to another wish. Realizing that changing the past did nothing to avert their fate, Nick nearly gives up, when he suddenly gets an idea thanks to J asking God to double
his Enetron. He asks God to transport him, J, Red Cheetah, Yellow Rabbit, Blue Gorilla, and Gold Beetle over to the Tokumei Sentai universe, to the time just before Azazel killed them. God complies.
Overwhelmed by Azazel, the Tokumei Sentai Go-busters are saved by the timely intervention of the Dobutsu Sentai Go-busters. Both teams (save for Nick and J) are understandably confused by this development, but decide to leave the questions for later and team up. Where one team alone had failed, the combined strength of the two teams (totaling nine Busters) manages to turn the tables on Azazel. After a pitched on-foot battle capped off with a Humongous Mecha
fight, Azazel is finally defeated, averting the Busters' terrible fate.
Afterwards the two teams commend each other on a job well done, and Nick explains that his wish created the parallel Dobutsu Sentai world. As they ponder what will happen now, Gold Beetle figures that, since Azazel has been defeated and thus never killed Nick, it means that Nick never made the wish that created the Dobutsu Sentai, and thus they will soon stop existing. The Dobutsu Sentai members are okay with this, as saving the world is a pretty satisfying note to go out on. As they fade away, the Tokumei Sentai Go-busters swear to protect the world that the Dobutsu Sentai helped save.
This movie contains examples of:
- Acting for Two: The voice actors for the three Buddyroids all get to have on-camera roles (while still playing the Buddyroids as well). Cheeda Nick's actor plays a man who gets lost, Gorisaki Banana's actor plays a school teacher, and Usada Lettuce's actor plays Atsushi Doumyouji/Green Hippopotamus!
- Actor Allusion: The extra roles of the buddyroid voice actors each have something to do with their corresponding buddyroid. Nick's actor getting lost is a nod to Nick's horrible sense of direction, Gorisaki's actor comments on the copious heating pads that Dobutsu!Ryuuji wears (Gorisaki always worried about Ryuuji overheating), and Dobutsu!Yoko is immediately attracted to Usada's actor.
- Alternate Universe: The premise.
- Attack Its Weak Point: In the end, Red Buster and Red Cheetah discover that Azazel's scythe is the source of his powers and destroy it, allowing him to be destroyed for the first time.
- Big Bad: Great Demon Lord Azazel.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Dobutsu Verse mecha are shown to only be able to use its full power with six Busters in the cockpit (which is why Black Puma needs to join the team after Atsushi dies). When all nine Busters pilot it in the Final Battle with Azazel, it's capable of defeating Azazel when neither it nor Go-Buster King (it's alternate counterpart) could so much as phase him with the teams piloting it solo.
- Cross Counter: Hiromu's and Ryuuji's argument in episode 5 is capped off by this.
- Curbstomp Battle: Both versions of the Go-Busters' fights with Azazel end this way. They return the favor later on.
- Diabolus Ex Nihilo: Azazel. It's implied that he's related to the Mayan Doomsday, and supplementary materials call him a "Demon Lord". But beyond that, nothing about who he is, where he came from, or why he wanted to destroy the earth is ever explicitly revealed.
- The Machine Empire Mechalius comes out of nowhere as well, but possibly justified in that we only see bits and pieces of the Dobutsu timeline rather than the full story.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The two sets of Go-Busters manage to destroy Great Demon Lord Azazel, who is implied the supernatural bringer of the Mayan Doomsday.
- Editorial Synaesthesia: Whenever groundskeeper Jin enters the scene, his overwhelming stench causes the screen to turn a murky greenish-brown color.
- Eureka Moment: Nick gets the idea to team up the two universes' teams when J wants to wish for twice as much Enetron.
- Fast Forward Gag: In the later "episodes" of Dobutsu Sentai Go-Busters, the the title card readings are humorously sped up.
- Fish out of Water: Nick is routinely baffled by how different the Dobutsu Sentai universe is. J, on the other hand, is in his element from start to finish.
- Five-Man Band: The Dobutsu Sentai's lineup has some variations from the Tokumei Sentai.
- For Want of a Nail: Shows what would have happened if the Messiah incident had never occurred.
- In Spite of a Nail: Even in a world without that incident, a group of enemies cause a different version of the Go-Busters to be formed, and the same thing happens on the New Year that happened in the main timeline.
- Funny Background Event: J pulls off tons of these whenever he's not the focus of the shot, wandering around and picking up random things. For example, when the other members of the Dobutsu Sentai huddle together during a harrowing mecha battle, J quietly joins them while cradling one of the cockpit's decorative plastic flamingos.
- Interquel: The story is set between episodes 44 and 45 (after Escape and the revived Messiah are killed, but before Enter reappears).
- In a Single Bound: Parodied, naturally. In many series, rangers often use this technique to board their mecha, but Dobutsu!Kuroki and Gold Beetle learn the hard way that it's not terribly easy to do, especially when you're older. At different times they attempt to pull this off, only to leap barely a foot into the air and strain their backs.
- Instant Expert: Hiromu, Ryuji, and Yoko of the Tokumei Sentai had been training since their childhoods to prepare for both fighting as busters and piloting the buster machines. Hiromu, Ryuji, and Yoko of the Dobutsu Sentai, on the other hand, are recruited by Kuroki with no prior training and are then sent to fight monsters and pilot their mech that same day. They win.
- In the Name of the Moon: While the Tokumei Sentai had a pretty simple roll call, the The Doubutsu Sentai's is more elaborate:
Hiromu: Savannah Hunter! Red Cheetah!
Ryuji: Jungle Warrior! Blue Gorilla!
Yoko: Field Jumper! Yellow Rabbit!
Jin: Arboreal Leader! Gold Beetle!
J: Juice Drinker! Silver Stag!
Hiromu: Dobutsu Sentai...
Atsushi: Wetland Swimmer! Green Hippopotamus!
- Lighter and Softer: The Dobutsu Sentai universe, as compared to the Tokumei Sentai universe.
- Make My Monster Grow: Unlike the regular universe, Mechalius uses this trope to start its giant fights, so rather than fighting separate Megazords, the Dobutsu Sentai just fight giant versions of the monster they just fought.
- Azazel starts out at giant size then shrinks down to fight the Go-Busters when he's defeated their mecha. After the combined might of both sets of Go-Busters destroys him in the first onfoot fight, he returns to giant size for one last fight.
- Mayan Doomsday: Gorisaki mentions this at the start of the movie. It's heavily implied that Azazel is the bringer of said doomsday.
- Motion Capture Mecha: The Dobutsu Sentai's mechs. Their control system is the ambiguous kind that responds to the Busters' body movements, but also appears to accept input from a "console" made of what looks like a small tree trunk. This is, of course, in stark contrast to the Tokumei Sentai's mechs, which have much more realistic (or rather, plausibly complicated)-looking cockpits and controls. Naturally when the two teams team up in the end, the Tokumei Go-Busters are understandably confused until the Dobutsu Sentai ones show them how it works.
- Oh Crap: Azazel has one when Go-Buster Perfect Animal (the Dobutsu Sentai's version of Go-Buster King) powered up by having all nine Go-Busters in the cockpit at once No Sells his attack. He has another one when it's preparing the Go-Buster Miracle Flash that destroys him.
- Outside-Context Villain: Azazel is not affiliated with the Vaglass, and his title of "Great Demon Lord" indicates that he's a supernatural entity, something that the Go-busters never faced at any other point in their series.
- Palette Swap: The Green Hippopotamus and Black Puma suits are repaints of Blue Gorilla's and Red Cheetah's suits respectively.
- Romantic Plot Tumor: Implied to be the case in the Dobutsu Sentai Go-busters "series" as part of the parody. Episode 15 kicks off a Love Triangle, and it remains a plot point all the way until Episode 37 (The only episode shown inbetween those two (28) even has Red Cheetah and Pink Cat discussing it).
- Self-Parody: Showa-era Super Sentai tropes are exaggerated and lampshaded to such a tremendous degree that even the Akibarangers would be proud.
- Sixth Ranger: Green Hippopotamus.
- Shout-Out: Loads of them, often to other classic and/or lighthearted Sentai.
- A green Sixth Ranger that later dies in the red's arms. Hmm...
- In the final battle with Azazel, the Dobutsu Sentai summon their Humongous Mecha by saying its name, followed by "Kourin!"* . This is the same incantation used by the Goseigers during their mecha summonings/combinations.
- The Dobutsu Sentai's "Go-Buster Ball" attack is a direct reference to the "Goranger Storm" attack from Himitsu Sentai Goranger, and is executed in the exact same way.
- Super Multi-Purpose Room: The entrance to Kuroki's secret base is a staff room in the school that becomes an elevator leading to the base.
- "Super Sentai" Stance: While the regular Go-Busters had more subdued posing sequences, The Dobutsu Sentai take it the whole nine yards. Funnily enough, J's posing is perfectly in sync with the rest of the Dobutsu Sentai despite never having done it before, leaving Nick wondering how he even knows what to do.
- Tempting Fate: Gorisaki notes that a lot of crazy stuff had happened that year, and he hopes that they can see the year off without any more trouble. Nick immediately yells at him to not jinx it.
- There Are No Police: Lampshaded. Just before the Dobutsu Sentai's first Humongous Mecha battle, J notes that the authorities don't respond any quicker in this world.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Some of the lyrics to the Dobutsu Sentai's theme song are nonsensical, such as "Unflying dove! Friendless cabbage!".
- World of Ham: So, so much. In keeping with the Showa-era parody theme, the Dobutsu Sentai (especially Hiromu, Ryuuji, and Kuroki) gloriously over-act at just about every opportunity.