Battle Fever J
was the third Super Sentai
show, lasting from 1979 to 1980. Following up on the success of their tokusatsu adaptation
(which most of the early Sentai crew worked on after the end of J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai
), Battle Fever J
was originally intended to be a localization of the Marvel Comics
superhero Captain America
, which would have starred a Japanese counterpart named "Captain Japan". However, this idea was revised after Toei decided to resurrect the Sentai series (without Shotaro Ishinomori's involvement) following a two-year hiatus by adding a giant robot to the formula, putting the "Super" in Super Sentai (in fact Himitsu Sentai Goranger
were not part of the Super Sentai
franchise until years later
When the evil secret society of Egos arrives on Japan to take over the country, General Tetsuzan Kurama of the Defense Department gathers five young agents to form Team Battle Fever. Each agent has received specialized training from different organizations around the world and have developed their own fighting styles based on international dance moves.
Team Battle Fever is composed of:
The members of Egos are:
Recurring Super Sentai tropes:
- All Your Powers Combined: The Penta Force, which can be assembled as either a cannon or a boomerang.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: In some episodes they shout "FEVER" before transforming into their Ranger forms, although it's not really necessary to transform.
- Chest Insignia: The Battle Fever members all wear symbols resembling the flag of their country on their uniform.
- Color-Coded Characters: Although the members of the team are named after different countries, Battle Fever is notable for having the first black ranger (Battle Kenya note ), as well as the first official orange ranger (Battle Cossack). Interestingly, the Battle France suit was originally a sky blue outfit with a dark blue stripe matching the colors of his helmet (particularly noticeable when the team wear the suits for the first time, seen here◊), but the colors faded away as the series went on and it became pure white with a blue stripe instead (the same colors which would be used in the Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger version of the suit).
- Cool Airship: The Battle Shark, which stores the Battle Fever Robo and all of its weapons. From this point on, all the Sentai airships were mainly mecha carriers (not counting mecha components), until the last 80s series completely eliminated the tradition.
- Cool Bike: The Three Machines, also known as the Fever Machines, a set of three motorcycles for Cossack, Kenya and France.
- Cool Car: The Battle Fever Car driven by Japan and America. Unlike other Sentai cars, this one is just an inconspicuous green Mazda RX-7 with a supercharged jet engine.
- Dawson Casting: Keiko Nakahara was played by a fifteen-year-old actress. No sign (at least as far as subbers have gotten) that she is intended to be some kind of prodigy.
- Eye Catch: The eyecatch before the break features a still image of the Battle Fever team, while the eyecatch after the break features the Battle Fever Robo, after it is introduced.
- Finishing Move: The Penta Force
- Five-Man Band
- Home Base: The Secret Base Big Baser
- Humongous Mecha: Introduced this trope to Super Sentai with Battle Fever Robo. The addition of mecha is what made Sentai "super", thus prompting the franchise name change.
- In the Name of the Moon:
- Law of Chromatic Superiority:
- Monsters of the Week: The Egos Monsters (Egos Kaijin). Created directly by Satan Egos and considered his 'children' by the the generals and Egos himself, they actually outrank the generals and are highly honored, rather than being treated as one step above Mook status. The Evil Plan of the week is spearheaded by the villain of the week, who only does the "fire zap beams at the Rangers until getting blown up" bit once the plan is foiled.
- Mooks: Cutmen
- Mook Mobile: The Egos Fighter jets.
- The Movie: A theatrical showing of Episode 5 (Battle Fever Robo's debut episode)
- "On the Next Episode of..." Catch Phrase:
- Regular Caller:
- The Smurfette Principle: Miss America, whose codename uses a different head word than the male members ("Miss" instead of "Battle") . She's also the only one with a wig on her helmet.
- Theme Music Power-Up:
- Transformation Name Announcement: Naturally, our heroes must pose and announce themselves in turn and then as a team after the transformation. However, they only say their names instead of everyone getting a personal In the Name of the Moon phrase; don't expect a "full" roll call for a few seasons yet.
- Transformation Trinket: Subverted. While they don't physically transform, the suits are stored inside each member's "Battleceiver", a wrist-worm transceiver. This is clearly evident when Diane gives the Miss America suit to Maria. Also, in the episode where Kensaku dies, he clearly takes off his Battleceiver before leaving the Battle Fever base for the last time. Most transformations involve the team member in question turning around and saying "Fever!" but it doesn't seem to require doing anything with the Battleceiver (though presumably it wouldn't work if the Batteceiver was not present.)
- Weapon of Choice:
- Batter Up: The Command Bats. They have a nunchaku mode that is shown later in the series. The bats can transform into the team's individual weapons.
Tropes specific to Battle Fever J:
- Absentee Actor : Yukio Itoh, who plays Kensaku, does not appear in episodes #9-10.
- Hedder is also absent in #43, where Salome does most of his work.
- Anti-Hero Substitute: Makoto for Kensaku.
- But Not Too Foreign: Everyone was born in Japan and only trained overseas, save the (Japanese-American, 100% Asian-looking) Miss Americas. Multinational Team does not work that way!
- The Cameo: Risa Komaki, who provides the voice of Diane Martin, guest stars as a famous actress in #25.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Midori, one of the two girls who help the team at their base, disappears after episode 15.
- Clip Show: #23.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Kensaku wanted to have a day alone with someone who didn't like him being part of Team Battle Fever, so he decided to make it easier by leaving his Battlizer behind. Egos, sadly, took advantage of this and killed Kensaku.
- Dance Battler: All of the Battle Fever J memebers incorporate dance moves from their home country into their fighting.
- Though the "home country" part of this context doesn't seem to extend to Japan (whose kung fu moves are very much Chinese) and France (whose flamenco dance isn't as French as much as it is Spanish).
- Distressed Damsel: Subverted, as everyone gets kidnapped at least once.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Instead of the masked visors with the see-through holes used in Goranger and J.A.K.Q. or the shade-styles goggles used from Denziman and onward, the Battle Fever warriors each wore a face-like mask with two eye-shaped visors and sculpted noses and mouths meant to invoke an American superhero style (particularly Captain America). This is also why Miss America wears a wig on her helmet, something no other Sentai heroine has ever wore on her suit.
- Market-Based Title: Was called Ranger J when it was broadcast in Thailand.
- Oddly Named Sequel: The only Sentai season without a single Japanese word in its title and the second one not to have the word "Sentai."
- One-Winged Angel: Hedder's final form.
- Orwellian Retcon: The original LP for the Battle Fever J soundtrack depicted Battle France wearing the light blue suit he wore in early episodes. The CD version, first printed during the 1990s, changed to the white suit he wore in later episodes.
- Episodes 1–3, 5, and 7 have two versions: the original, in which Kenji Ushio plays Hedder, and the other in which he has been replaced by Masashi Ishibashi.
- Out of Focus: Diane.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Diane Martin was unavailable for filming (her poor grasp of Japanese may have also been a problem), and Yukio Itoh got married.
- Same Language Dub: Diane Martin can clearly be seen mouthing her actual lines; nonetheless, her voice was replaced by that of Lisa Komaki (aka Momoranger).
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Shiro can talk to animals.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Tomoko for Midori and, to a lesser extent, Maria for Diane.
- Tagalong Kid: Masaru (only he's not part of the Five-Man Band).
- That Russian Squat Dance: Battle Cossack's national dance.
- Transformation Sequence: Not yet! They just turn and say "Fever!" and are instantly suited; none of the ceremony that will later be associated with suiting up. (It's thought by many that they have to actually put the suits on without any kind of transformation action, but this is actually only done in the first episode when they first receive the suits.)
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head
- Widget Series: The costumes, the dancing... yeah, it's pretty weird.
- You Killed My Father: Diane joins the heroes when her father dies at the hands of Egos.
- You Look Familiar: The girl playing Yuki had previously played another role in episode 13, and the woman playing the human form of the very first monster returns in the last episode as Salome in disguise.