Series / Choujin Sentai Jetman

Chōjin Sentai Jetman (Aviator Squadron Jetman) is the fifteenth Super Sentai series, running from 1991 to 1992. Notable for being a tribute of Gatchaman.

In the year 199X, an international defence agency called Skyforce creates a method to develop Super Soldiers by infusing humans with "Birdonic Waves". Five of the best Skyforce officers are chosen as the first subjects; unfortunately, the experiment is interrupted when an army of extradimensional invaders known as the Vyram launch a surprise attack on Skyforce's orbital base.

Four of the five Birdonic Waves fall to Earth and strike four random Japanese civilians, imbuing them with superhuman power. Ryu Tendoh, the only Skyforce officer to successfully receive the Birdonic treatment, is tasked with recruiting and training these ordinary people to fight against the Vyram as the Earth's last hope: the Jetman.

The Jetmen:

The Shadow Dimension War Party Vyram:

Recurring Super Sentai tropes:

Tropes significant to Choujin Sentai Jetman

  • The Ace: Ryu and Gai, for different reasons. Ryu was already a trained soldier before the series started and thus didn't need to undergo the Training from Hell that the others (minus Gai) did. Gai was just naturally talented (and had a history of getting into fistfights).
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted. While Kaori dates Gai for a while, it is boy scout Ryu whom she is more attracted to and ends up marrying.
  • Anchored Ship: The big obstacle between Ryu pursuing Kaori is he is still hung up over Rie who he thought was dead but was brainwashed into becoming Maria and throws himself into the job of being a Jetman to deal with his grief.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: The Neo Jetman team from Episode 40 and 41, who are assembled by Chief Ichijō (Odagiri's rival) to replace the original team. They end up being less effective than the original team.
  • Babies Ever After: If the Toei Hero Encyclopedia 2 is to be believed Ryu and Kaori have a son, named Gai, 6 years after the final battle. It's also mentioned that Raita will soon be a father as well.
    • The manga epilogue has this as well except that instead of a boy, Ryu and Kaori have a girl named Aya.
  • Big Bad: Downplayed. After having no leader for almost 20 episodes, Empress Juza, The Leader of Vyram comes back to life. She lasts two episodes before being killed.
  • Animal Motifs: A flock of birds!
  • Bittersweet Ending: Gai is stabbed to death by a random mugger in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue (even more bittersweet is that he was saving a woman who got mugged). None of the other Jetmen notice, despite him collapsing right next to them. Rie/Maria sacrifices herself after finally remembering who she was.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The inside of Vyram's base.
  • Blood from the Mouth: How Radiguet dies.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Jeff, in the manga epilogue.
  • Cassandra Truth: In episode 4, Kaori tells her fiance she can't marry him because she's a superhero. He laughs...until the Monster of the Week attacks.
  • The Casanova: Gai.
  • Catch Phrase: Gai is very fond of the word "Ii ka..." ("Listen up..." or "Now, look here...")
  • Cross Dresser: Only one occasion. Raita is not the Master of Disguise, but he manages to pull it off with kimono, wig and make-ups.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: The crucifixion of the Jetmen in #43.
  • Darker and Edgier: Acknowledged by most fans as one of the darker installments of the Sentai franchise.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Kaori's reason to join the Jetman, to break out of the Rich Idiot with No Day Job shell she lived in.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A blood-red diamond is turned by Vyram into a Hate Plague-mongering Monster of the Week. As if people didn't fight over "blood diamonds" in real life...
  • Drink Order: Ryu and his hot, sugar-free milk. On the contrary, Gai orders whiskies all the time.
    • In one episode they almost share some Wild Turkey, but then the alarm goes off.
  • Enemy Civil War: Radiguet and Tranza seize power from each other back and forth.
  • Enemy Mine: Radiguet and Ryū team up to defeat Tranza once and for all. Considering what kind of person Radiguet is, no surprise that he'd turn against Ryū once he served his purposes.
    • Radiguet did it before too, when he gave the Jetman the hint on how to beat Juza.
  • Expy: The whole series is an intentional expy of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The Tetra Buster was completely forgotten about after episode 41.
  • Four Is Death: The Vyram Elite.
  • A God Am I: Radiguet says that the Vyram are humanity's gods when he first reveals himself.
  • Groin Attack: Stay away from Kaori and Ako if you value your nads. Poor Raita.
    • Also, if you're a Mook, careful around Gai. He's not above SQUEEZING your groin.
  • Hate Plague: Used by a diamond-themed Monster of the Week.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Darn it, Dryer Jigen tries to be a terrifying menace, but can't resist helping people in need. By the end of the episode he gives up evil and becomes a hairdresser. Really.
    • Gomi Jigen was the same. He never wanted to do no harm to anyone in the first place, because the main part of his mind comes from a teddy bear which Ako used to care a lot for when she was a child. To see what else happened, refer to Nightmare Fuel in YMMV. Anyway, he came back to his senses thanks to Ako, only to have a disgusted Maria kill him, inadvertently hitting a Berserk Button in Blue Swallow in the process.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: In episode four, Kaori steals someone's bike in order to make it to the fight with the Monster of the Week on time.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Ryu becomes a Stepford Smiler when he finally realizes Maria is Rie. He completely loses touch with reality and hallucinates that she's still with him, driving resident Jerk with a Heart of Gold Gai to tears.
  • Hidden Depths: Played around in the 11th episode. A drink from the Vending Machine Jigen makes a hidden aspect of the the Jetmen's personalities become their dominant one: Ryū becomes a Lazy Bum, Gai becomes a Messianic Archetype (counts as a hidden depth for his Sociopathic Hero tendencies, he's actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold), Raita becomes a jerk, Kaori turns into a rich snob worse than her pre-development phase, Ako turns into Girly Girl. They get better in the end...
  • Hope Spot: Brutally in Episode 24 - After getting curbstomped by Queen Juuza's fully-grown monster child, the team is rescued by Jet Garuda, piloted by three warriors from another dimension. After a whole episode of making it compatible, the warriors set off with Jet Garuda to save the day and combine into Great Icarus! Then Radiguet murders them and Gundamjacks it.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Noodle Jigen. Inspired by instant ramen and created by Tran, anyone affected by eating his noodles get extremely aggressive and try to get everything done as quickly as possible until they die of overworking themselves. He didn't count on Yellow Owl eating his noodles, which caused him to kill the monster as fast as possible.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Vyram's motivation for attacking Earth. As if they were any different...
    • Though with some, as Aya coined, 'pathetic excuse of human being' like Commander Ichijou, Radiguet might be partially right (though he's still no better).
  • Hypocrite: Especially Radiguet in terms of the trope above:
    Ryū: Why do you attack humans!?
    Radiguet: Because they're ugly and foolish like bugs. And bugs deserve to be squished!
    Ryū: No! Humans are not like that! They are able to love and develop...
    Radiguet: *goes One-Winged Angel*
    Ryū: Well, humans are not ugly. You ARE!
  • Image Song: Honoo no Condor, for Black Condor. Listen, while he kicks some Vyram butt
  • Instant Expert: Averted with everybody (except Ryū, for whom the trope doesn't even apply). Cue Training from Hell to the other four (or three, since Gai's not the training kind).
  • In the Back: Rie stabs Radgiuet in the back before dying. It doesn't immediately kill him, but does help finish him off.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As the series progresses, Gai shows himself to be one.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Tran, before his growth.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The first part of the show's actually kind of goofy. Most of the darkness Jetman's known for came after the Queen showed up. Though it certainly had dark moments before that point (Faucet Jigen, anyone?). It's as if that was when the producers stepped in and told them to pick a tone and stick with it.
  • Last Of Their Kind: The Dimensian Soldiers Ray, Kanna, and Dan; each of whom possess powers similar to the Jetman. All three are introduced and killed off within two episodes.
  • Leotard of Power: Worn by the male rangers.
  • Love Triangle: Ryū is still hung up over losing Rie. Kaori likes Ryū. Gai likes Kaori. Kaori doesn't like Gai. Gai hates Ryū's guts. Then we find out that Rie is still alive as Maria, and Grey likes Maria... Also, Kaori starts liking Gai, but Gai broke up with her and lets her to be together with Ryū
  • Morality Pet: In one episode, Radiguet loses his memories and is turned into a human by Empress Juza. During this period, Radiguet falls in love with a human girl and learns to appreciate the beauty of mankind. This doesn't last long after Radiguet regains his memories and returns to his old ways. Just to be sure, he kills the girl.
  • Nonindicative Name: The name of the jet mode of their giant combining mecha is the Icarus Haken, not the Jet Icarus. Same thing applies to the Jet Garuda, which is the robot form of the Bird Garuda jet.
  • No Sell: In the final battle, the Jet Phoenix just bounces off Radiguet's final form.
  • Not So Invincible After All: Gai. A year of surviving against the Vyram does him no good to a stab by a mere mugger.
  • Novelization: The Jetman novels by Toshiki Inoue, which were published a few years after the TV series ended, managed to be darker and edgier than the show itself. The giant mechs and Dimensional Monsters were eliminated completely in favor of having the Jetmen fight human test subjects that were subjected to Vyram's experiments. Empress Juza also has a bigger role than in the TV series.
  • Odd Name Out: Their mecha, Jet Icarus, Jet Garuda and...Tetra Boy?
  • Official Couple: Ryū and Kaori get married in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Played around. Gai stated that he's the only one allowed to complain about Ryū.
  • Opposites Attract: Subverted with Gai and Kaori, they were way too opposite for their relationship to last any longer.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Averted. Even though Radiguet is the Big Bad, he is more prone to jump into the battlefield. His 'superior' Empress Juza also doesn't like sitting on the throne way too often.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: In #48, Maria transforms into a vampire, slowly transforming into a more monstrous form. The victims do not die of blood loss, but evaporate.
  • Punny Name: Ōishi (Raita's surname) means "big rock," like the ones he throws or drops from his ship. It also a play on oishii, meaning delicious, a reference to his weight.
  • Right Hand vs. Left Hand: The Vyram Elite often fail their battles, not because the Jetmen are superior to them, but because one of them is always trying to sabotage the success of the other.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Except for Ryū, everyone's a Jetman by accident. Originally, the plan was for five members of the military to take the role, but Vyram's attack caused things to go off the rails.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gai and Ryū.
  • Refusal of the Call: Gai, in the first three episodes (though he is only introduced in the second).
  • Rescue Romance: Gai and Kaori, which eventually broke due to their conflicting personalities.
  • The Reveal: Maria is really Rie Aoi, alive and brainwashed by Radiguet. Not terribly surprising, given that they're both played by the same actress.
  • Rule of Cool: Jet Swallow's Wing Cutter attack, which would be very dangerous in real life.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Raita and Gai.
  • Shout-Out: The entire series is a Shout-Out to Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Ryū and Rie aka Maria.
  • The Starscream: While technically the Big Bad, Radiguet pulls this twice. When Empress Juza comes back to claim her place as ruler of the Vyram, Radiguet kills her. Later, Tranza seizes control and has the rest of the Vyram leaders pilot his robot. Radiguet teams up with Ryū and beats Tranza within an inch of his life, but spares Tranza, who winds up in a mental hospital.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Jetman had an official tie-in epilogue in manga form, in which the now-deceased Gai was replaced by new team member, Jeff Kenzaki/Green Eagle.
  • Time Travel: In episode 26, the team is thrown thousands of years back in time. However, since Raita tackled the monster while it was doing this, he ended up thrown somewhere else and stuck for most of the episode with a primitive tribe which worships him like a god due to him introducing them to fire and agriculture... Plus, among these tribesmen, there happens to be a Vision Of Another Self of Kaori who falls in love with Raita. And, considering Raita's own feelings for Kaori...
  • To Hell and Back: Ako, Gai and Raita in episode 27. The "back" part is thanks to Ryu.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ako and Kaori. Though, by the end of the series, it became a subversion. Kaori becomes less shallow and materialistic over the course of the series, while initially tomboyish Ako becomes more looks-conscious, grows out her hair and eventually becomes a heavily made up idol singer after the events of the show.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Tran, after forcing himself into adulthood and transforming into Tranza, becomes way more assertive with the other Vyram members and more aggressive against the Jetmen.
    • Arguably, most of the team qualifies, as they started out as civilians with no combat experience whatsoever - by the finale, they're taking names.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted. Enemies often attack to prevent them from transforming and the heroes have to either escape or knock them off balance long enough to transform.
  • Transformation Name Announcement
  • Villain Song: The Grinam get one, "Sad Soldiers Grinam" sung and composed by series composer Kazuhiko Toyama.
  • Villainous Rescue: Radiguet has done this lots of times for the Jetman for one reason or another when another bad guy was close to defeating them.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Three years after the final battle, Ryū and Kaori get married, Gai became a businessman and gets stabbed to death in a random act of heroism, Ako becomes an idol singer, and Raita runs a farm.
    • The Toei TV Hero Encyclopedia compilation goes further by showing Ryū and Kaori and their son, Gai six years later.
    • Episode 28 of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (which was a tribute to Jetman) adds another layer to the epilogue, in which, at some point, Raita started selling his produce over the Internet and became wealthy.
  • Your Size May Vary: The Jet Machines. When the machines are seen uncombined in flying shots (such as the opening sequence, where they fly between the buildings of the city), they seem to be roughly the size of normal fighter jets. Their combined form, the Jet Icarus, however, is a behemoth that towers over the same buildings that the Jet Machines can comfortably fly between.

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