Manga: Tentai Senshi Sunred
This is the story of the battle between good and evil which takes place in the city of Kawasaki.
Sunred, a masked hero of justice. Florsheim, an evil organization bent on taking over the city. Legions of monsters ready to fight.
That's how the story would be. Sunred is a bit of a jerk who wears his mask at all times. While mooching off of his girlfriend Kayoko, he deals with Florsheim on a daily basis, just not as you'd expect. He's on (grudgingly) friendly terms with the leader, General Vamp, and helps him move into a new house, clean his place, and occasionally meet to fight as heroes and villains do.
The support cast consists of several monsters from Florsheim and other evil organizations going about their daily lives.
Created by Makoto Kubota in 2005, Tentai Senshi Sunred (Astro Fighter Sunred) runs on Young GanGan
, a Seinen
magazine. Currently there are 12 Volumes published. In 2008 the manga got an Animated Adaptation
running for 26 episodes, later in 2009 a 2nd Season was made, also with 26 episodes.
Tropes in Sunred include:
- Accidental Misnaming — The first time Sunred and Hengel meet, Hengel steadfastly refuses to get Sunred's name right, calling him "Red Moon", "Red Mask" and "Star Red", among others.
- Adaptational Attractiveness — As noted in Fan Service Pack below for Kayoko's beauty evolution in the manga, the anime disregards her initial plain and chubby design, to stick with the later hot housewife from the very begining.
- Affectionate Parody — Of the Sentai genre. Exactly what do Sentai heroes do when they hit middle age? It doesn't exactly look good on a resume, and it's not like they have retirement benefits.
- Always Someone Better — One episode deals with Sunred's feelings of inadequacy when stacked up against Shachihokoider Great. It is subverted when Vamp reveals that Shachikoider is a lying liar: His nephew works in the evil organization Shachihokoider is supposed to be the Arch-Enemy of, and they've never heard of him.
- Amusing Injuries — In the anime, Sunred's beatdowns usually result in this.
- Antagonist in Mourning — Vamp goes through this on a more personal level. Sunred's not dead, he's just angry at them, ridding Vamp of the dynamic he's used to. Which is, oddly, him being angry and lecturing them.
- Art Shift — A special chapter contained in the first Volume of the manga has a few instances with Sunred and Vamp drawn in high-detailed art; it is from a manga that one of Vamp's underlings, Duo, drew himself, and Sunred and Vamp are the ones reading it. In truth it was a joint work with Sunred's creator, Makoto Kubota, and Ji-Hyoung Song (DOUBLE-S) the artist of Until Death Do Us Part; DOUBLE-S is the one drawing the high-detailed bits of the chapter.
- Audience Shift — The manga is explicitly seinen. The anime was made Lighter and Softer and ended up completely kid-friendly (without really losing much of the subversive humour of the original), and ran on the Japanese KIDS channel in an evening timeslot.
- Bad Bad Acting — Florsheim's attempt at a 'hostage' taking, complete with delivering their demands to Sunred via video tape. "Mister X" (Vamp with a paper bag on his head) reads his lines incredibly flat, and the "hostage" (who is seen happily playing video games) has to be prompted to utter a very unconvincing "help, save me.".
- Bait-and-Switch Credits — Sunred is never seen doing any of the heroic things he does near the end of the credits in the show itself, though he apparently did them at one point. The second season furthers this, including more power-up weapons and attacks that the audience will never actually see Sunred using.
- The first opening theme does show him selling his superbike and donning his civvies (plus mask), so it's not entirely bait-and-switch. Likewise, the second opening has him charging his gun from a wall socket.
- The credits constantly create the implication that the Weather Trio members acted more like sentai heroes way back when, but when the show goes into actual flashbacks, you see that they pretty much acted the same as they do now, they just wore their suits back then.
- Beware the Nice Ones — Weather Yellow is openly friendly towards Vamp and Florsheim and happily joins them for food and drink and wastes away the evening laughing about the good old days... But when two of the monsters ask him for a practice round, he goes all out and turns out to be a much more vicious fighter than Sunred.
- BFG — The Corona Buster, an oversized gun whose blasts are visible from space, appears in the second season's opening.
- Big Eater — Tiser, who eats near-constantly and with childlike enthusiasm.
- Big Fun — Weather Yellow, who has what several characters describe as "a hell of a beer belly" and is a total blast to hang out with.
- Boss Subtitles — For hero, monster and human alike.
- Chaste Hero — Villain edition though. All the sexual references and innuendos seem to pass over Vamp's head.
- Christmas Cake — Kayoko, who's near 30. She already has a boyfriend, so she's lucky in that regard.
- Clothes Make the Superman — Averted. In a total break from the general Sentai and Tokusatsu medium, Sunred does not need his costume to keep his Super Strength, Nigh Invulnerability or any other powers. He does constantly keep his Cool Mask on (which does have some air filters and other abilities), and apparently has a costume that grants him a power-up (called "Firebird Form"), but the former appears to be a stylistic choice and the latter is kept stashed in Sunred's closet because he never needs it. The one time he ends up dressing up as some other sentai hero, it doesn't seem to change his power level at all.
- Comically Invincible Hero — Sunred would be a Boring Invincible Hero if the show was at all about a standard Sentai dynamic, which it is not.
- Commander Contrarian — Antkiller will generally gainsay (and subsequently abuse) his two mole sidekicks on general principle. See also Jerkass.
- Contractual Genre Blindness — Florsheim. Despite being constantly curb-stomped and otherwise completely non-villainous they still follow genre conventions and fight Sunred on a weekly basis, because they're an Evil Organization and fighting heroes is what Evil Organizations do. Sunred is much less genre blind and finds the whole thing annoying, though apparently not annoying enough to actually try to stop it.
- Cooking Show — General Vamp's Quick Recipes, a regular segment. Season 2 introduces Vamp & Kayoko's Quick Recipes.
- Cool Mask — Sunred is never seen without his mask.
- Cool Old Guy — Vamp. It's unknown exactly how old, but he seems to be in his fifties in the very least and a veteran in the sentai villains biz.
- Couch Gag — The end of the opening has Sunred selling his bike for an increasingly lower price. Season 2's opening features the Sun Shoot slowly charging up after its use (except for the episode where Kayoko unplugged it so she could vacuum the apartment). The intensity of the blast of the Corona Buster (as seen from space) also changes in each episode.
- The S2 opening even has Antkiller wheeling Sunred's bike down the sidewalk.
- Crossover — The Pudding Empire, which appears in the first half of season 2, are from Go! Go! Pudding Empire, creator Makoto Kubota's previous work.
- Curb-Stomp Battle — Sunred vs. anyone. However, because the show isn't about the fight between good and evil, it doesn't really matter.
- The Absilin Brothers vs. anyone.
- Weather Three vs. anyone.
- Florsheim vs. Devil Eye Army
- Cuteness Proximity — Almost anyone when they get near the Animal Soldiers. Special mention goes to Reiji, a stuffed dog who's the intersection of this and The Casanova as the best selling host of a club.
- Usacots gets the brunt of this. More than one of his attempts to kill Sunred have been interrupted by girls squee-ing over him.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check — "You oughta quit the world domination thing and open a restaraunt."
- Cyborg — Parodied (of course) when Florsheim's scientist create a hideous Monster-Machine Fusion Cyborg by combining a horrible moth monster with... A piece of water pipe. Red is notably unimpressed.
- Deathbringer the Adorable — Hellwolf, the newest member of the Animal Soldiers, who's as cute as Usa and the rest. Subverted in that he actually is terrifying under the full moon. But the moon has to be fully out. A cloudy night (which is when Vamp schedules the fight) renders him powerless.
- Dirty Old Man — Hengel is a proud pervert.
- Do-Anything Robot — Is there anything P-chan can't do?
- Drunk on Milk — Vamp, on cola.
- Emergency Impersonation — Sunred once receives the suit of Sakyun, a fellow toku hero, back from the laundromat. So he decides to put it on and impersonate his friend. Sunred-as-Sakyun then goes off to fight Florsheim for the hell of it. Curiously, this is the closest Sunred ever gets to acting like an actual toku hero, and he's not even in his own outfit.
- Evil Old Folks — Vamp. For a certain level of 'evil'.
- Evil Tastes Good — And they'll show you how to cook!