Series / Hikari Sentai Maskman
Hikari Sentai Maskman
Inside the human body, a mysterious power is hidden. With training and discipline, this infinite power can be obtained.
(Light Squadron Maskman) is the eleventh Super Sentai
series, running from 1987 to 1988. Not to be confused with the Korean animated series also titled Maskman
Commander Sugata, a master of the mysterious Aura Power, assembles a team of five martial artists and instructs them in the use of their inner Aura to offset the menace of Tube, a once peaceful empire now ruled by the evil Emperor Zeba, who seeks to extend his reign to the surface world. Red Mask Takeru's girlfriend Mio is in fact Iyal, Princess of Tube, who is sentenced to sleep forever in an ice coffin for falling in love with a surface dweller. Maskman fights for peace both on and beneath the earth.
The Maskmen are:
- Takeru (Red Mask): The leader of the team, trained in Karate. He is a racecar driver.
- Kenta (Black Mask): Second-in-command and the brains, trained in Kobudo. He worked as a mechanic.
- Akira (Blue Mask): Youngest member, trained in Chinese Kempo and broadsword. Turned evil once.
- Haruka (Yellow Mask): Action Girl, trained in Ninjutsu and raised without enjoying girly things, making her the strongest fighter on the team.
- Momoko (Pink Mask): The Chick, trained in Tai Chi Chuan. She is the Lady of War.
Tube's significant members include:
- Zeba, the Emperor of the Underground Empire. Actually an usurper who overthrew the previous Emperor in order to avenge his father's death.
- Igam, Prince of the Underground Empire and second only to Zeba. Iyal's twin sibling, who is actually a woman.
- Baraba, Commander of the Underground Empire. A skilled swordsman from the Baruga Clan.
- Anagamas, Evil Genius, through the use of Tube's lore, magic-using and The Plan.
- Fu-Min, a female ninja from the Fu Clan who serves Igam.
- Oya-Bu, a ninja from the Buyon Clan and Worthy Opponent.
- Kiros, an antagonistic Thief Knight who joins the rest of Tube. He vies against Takeru for Iyal's love.
- Okelampa: An Energy Beast. A burrowing critter whose only purpose is to bring the monsters up to size.
- Ungler Soldiers: The Mooks
Recurring Super Sentai tropes:
- All Your Powers Combined:
- By the Power of Grayskull!: "Aura Mask!" followed by their individual names.
- Ryo on the other hand yells "Change Power" to transform into X1.
- Calling Your Attacks
- Combination Attack:
- Cool Airship: The Turbo Ranger, not to be confused with the Sentai team that debuted two years later.note The ship is designed to resemble a sports car.
- Cool Bike: The Mask Roader, a set of bikes for each member except Red Mask, who gets the...
- Cool Car: ...Spin Cruiser, an armed buggy modified from an F1 race car.
- Eye Catch: The eyecatch before the break shows the Maskman team. The end of the commercial break features Great Five posing with Photo Electron Riser and the Five Shield.
- Finishing Move: The Shot Bomber and Jet Cannon.
- Five-Man Band
- Home Base
- Humongous Mecha: Introduced the first giant robot in Super Sentai formed from five components, which meant that every member of the team finally piloted an individual mecha.
- Combining Mecha: Masky Fighter (Red) + Drill (Black) + Tank (Blue) + Jet (Yellow) + Gyro (Pink) = Great Five
- Transforming Mecha: The Land Galaxy, a truck which transforms into the Galaxy Robo.
- In the Name of the Moon
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Takeru, being a racecar driver, was given the Spin Cruiser buggy as his personal vehicle, the only thing that could thwart a monster's scheme. Two episodes later, he manages to master the God Hand move.
- Make My Monster Grow: Okelampa's reason for living.
- Monster of the Week: They were called Chiteijū ("Underground Beasts"). A few of the early ones were actually two monsters in one, which were composed of an "Underground Doggler" and a "parasite" that would grant it power
- The Movie: The Maskmen tried to help a mermaid that was being deceived by Tube to sing a destructive song. Oh, and they had a Dancing Theme for opening.
- "On the Next Episode of..." Catchphrase
- Supervillain Lair
- Theme Music Power-Up
- Transformation Trinket: Averted. They wear a wrist device called the Masking Brace, but the actual transformation procedure is to glow with 'aura power' while doing Hand Seals, making a screen of it in front of them that suits them up as they pass through. The Masking Brace is simply a communicator.
- Two Girls to a Team: The fourth Sentai team in a row and once again another Yellow and Pink duo.
- Weapon of Choice
Tropes Specific to Hikari Sentai Maskman:
- Advertised Extra: X-1 Mask appears on the cover of DVD set Vol. 4, despite not being a regular.
- The Atoner: Igam became a nun.
- The Artifact: The number "5" on their emblem, which was decided back when the team was originally going to be called "Fiveman". When they actually made a show with that name a couple years later, the suits instead had V's on them.
- Barehanded Blade Block: One episode had Kenta learning this in order to thwart Baraba's scheme.
- Bittersweet Ending: Even though Takeru and Iyal are reunited in the end, it doesn't last long. She's become the new ruler of Tube and is forced to break things off with him.
- At least he still has his friends.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Takeru as a kid.
- Catch-Phrase: After fulfilling his weekly purpose, Okelampa exclaims "Yare Yare" ("Oh dear"/ "Good Heavens").
- In the Brazilian dub, he says "Eu tô cansado" (I'm tired), while in the Filipino dub, he says "Makauwi na nga" (I'm going home).
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Aura Power.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Dr. Catherine, Chief Sugata's other assistant in Episode 3 (the one played by a white girl).
- Cowardly Lion: One of the Monster of the Week turns Kenta into this.
- Dancing Theme: The movie opening.
- Darker and Edgier: One of the first attempts of Super Sentai to instill seriousness (as in Star-Crossed Lovers) in the series (before J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai was included).
- Dub Name Change: For some reason, when this Sentai was aired in Brazil, Takeru's name was slightly altered to "Takeo", while Haruka and Momoko were respectively rechristened "Sayaka" (no relation to Change Mermaid) and "Keiko".
- Not to mention the usual Filipino schtick. Apparently Takeru becomes "Michael Joe", amongst things.
- Eldritch Abomination: Turns out Zeba was actually the spawn of Rizal Doggler, a malignant creature defeated by the original Tube royal family. Driven by a seething hatred against humans from both sides of the crust, it proceeds to destroy the rest of the original family save Ial and Igam, corrupting Tube into becoming a militaristic Crapsack World using enslaved underground humans in an attempt to reach the surface world and extend its malicious grip.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Baraba's sorrow over his mother's death is what allows him to defeat Devil Doggler and obtain the Ground Empire Sword...
- Face–Heel Turn: Akira. Turns out he was just possessed by an evil spirit.
- Fake Defector: That one episode where Haruka and Momoko get 'brainwashed' into gangsters.
- Gag Sub: In the CS Centrl fansub of the series they took Okelampa's Catch-Phrase above and even though he exactly said "Yare yare", the subtitle will say amongst things like "Whatever..."note or "I need a bath..." or "I need a raise..." Could also go to Deadpan Snarker territory with lines like, "Why don't the Maskmen shoot me first?" It gets even more ridiculous and crazier in latter episodes with lines as "Don't worry, Kenta! You still have *insert all one-episode girl that interacted with him from the previous episodes, with the episode numbers mentioned*, you goddamn playboy!" (Note that this might cross the line since this is said after Kenta's girl of the week just tragically died)
- CS Centrl is pretty liberal when it comes to subs, actually. Just watch their Choujin Sentai Jetman subs (where else would you watch "aa, sonna..."note translated as "No way, Jose"note ?).
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Takeru delivers this twice on his teammates, first for Haruka, then for Kenta.
- Handsome Lech: Kenta.
- It Only Works Once: Despite its legendary reputation, Takeru's God Hand technique is only used once after its premiere in episode 6, and fails to damage its target.
- Keet: Akira is the Genki Guy of the team.
- Lensman Arms Race : Both, Baraba and Prince Igam, receive new weapons shortly after the Maskman team has gotten theirs first.
- Love Triangle: Takeru, Iyal and Kiros.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: The Galaxy Robo and Jet Cannon.
- Baraba and Prince Igam get theirs in the form of the Daichiteikennote and the Igam Dragon respectively.
- Mundane Made Awesome: When the Maskman are rushing in their new Galaxy Robo to go retrieve the stolen Great Five, they notice that the Monster of the Week is on their tail. So they stop to fight him... and we find out that Power Glows even applies to using the brake pedal.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Not very severe but the preview for episode one makes it look lighthearted and nothing very heavy.
- Only One Name: None of the Maskmen seem to have surnames, except Ryo Asuka, the one-off X-1 Mask.
- The Plan: Anagamas' plan to bury the Great Five depends on one, heavily.
- Posthumous Character: Dr. Yamagata (the inventor of the Galaxy Robo)
- The Power of Love: Takeru's love with Mio/Iyal usually is what pushes him forward.
- Power of the God Hand: While the effectiveness is questionable, the idea behind naming the Limit Break God Hand still stands.
- Shout-Out: Homages mecha anime Choudenji Machine VoltesV and Toushou Daimos both with Maskman's mecha, and key plot elements: The main hero's girlfriend is actually the princess of the invaders he fights as in Daimos, and Prince Igam is looked down upon by the rest of Tube for being related to the traitor Princess Iyal, mirroring Prince Hainel from Voltes. Galaxy Robo's Aura Road Spark is also a Shout-Out to Combattler V's Grand Dasher Wave. Ironically, the first two series mentioned are also big hits with Filipinos like Maskman is.
- Sky Surfing: The Jet Cannon can double as a 'sky surfing board'
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Takeru and Iyal
- Temporal Paradox: Igam tried to do this by traveling back in time and attempting to kill Takeru when he's a kid.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Haruka and Momoko. And of course, Igam and Iyal
- Villain Song: We Are Angler by Koorogi '73.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Akira mostly fights and continues training to make his mother proud.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Okelampa's final fate after he enlarges Anagamas for his final battle is unknown.