"A martial art which grants the power of beasts through sensing one's own feral spirit: Juken. Juken is split into two opposing styles. One, a Juken of Justice: Geki Juken Beast Arts! The other, a Juken of Evil: Rin Juken Akugata! Martial artists destined to fight. Every day they aim for the top. They learn. They change."
Jūken Sentai Gekiranger (Beast Fist Squadron Gekiranger) is the 31st program in the Super Sentai series, airing from 2007 to 2008.SCRTC (pronounced "Scratch") is a sportswear company that acts as a front for a secret martial arts academy teaching the ancient art of "Juken". The academy specialises in the "Geki Juken Beast Arts" school of Juken, teaching students to harness their inner spirit of justice to generate a powerful force called "Geki".One day, a talented student of Geki Juken Beast Arts decides to defect from the academy in his pursuit of more power. He revives the opposing school of Rin Juken Akugata, an evil style that reaps strength from the suffering of others, and resurrects an army of undead Rin Juken fighters.Opposing him are the top three students of Geki Juken: the wild child Jan Kandou, the straightforward and honest Ran Uzaki, and the stylish Retsu Fukami. With their training and Gekichangers, they harness their Geki to transform into the heroes of Geki Juken Beast Arts: the Gekiranger.While on the surface, Gekiranger focuses on Chinese martial arts, it more specifically takes its elements from the Wuxia genre: split sects, constant competition in martial arts, and Wire Fu techniques very prominent in Wuxia media, to name a few. And also, since a major standpoint of the series is how heroes and villains alike strive to improve and perfect their skill, it was a notable entry exhibiting Character Development to both sides.Despite having some of the worst TV ratings and toy sales in Japan, it was met with sizable success in Korea and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Sentai series in the West.Note: The word "Ken" used throughout the page can mean either "Fist"/"Ken", alternatively "Kobushi", or "Martial arts"/"Kenpo", owing to the same Kanji.
Ran Uzaki / GekiYellow (Geki Ju Cheetah-kennote Wing Chun): The onlygirl on the team. Her focus is on spirit, and wields a Simple Staff and an Epic Flail. She is officially the team leader.
Retsu Fukami / GekiBlue (Geki Ju Jaguar-kennote Pigua Quan): A former artist and the team second-in-command. He is smart but selfish. Focusing on technique, his weapons are a pair of tonfas and a set of war fans.
Monster of the Week: A variation this time around. The monsters are essentially Rinshi (this series' footsoldier mooks) that are stronger than the other Rinshi. Proven by passing through the Chamber of Trials, defeating all the other Rinshi inside single-handedly. Then they can remove their mask and the animal motif on their forehead appears. They also gain the ability to transform into the shows traditional monster form.
The Movie: Gekiranger the Movie: Nei-Nei! Hou-Hou! The Decisive Battle in Hong Kong
The Smurfette Principle: The Gekirangers themselves only have one female member, even when the roster is extended from three to five. However, when Mele switches sides, she essentially serves the role of a second heroine, even though she's technically not a Gekiranger.
Super Mode: Literally and figuratively: "Super Gekiranger".
Rio and Mele can also become Mythical Beast King Rio and Mythical Beast Phoenix-Fist Mele respectively.
Super Geki Red/Geki Chopper: Super SaiBladenote SaiBlade + Super Geki Claw
Tropes specific to Juken Sentai Gekiranger:
Actor Allusion: Shafu's VA also voiced Korin before, and he apparently isn't shy about having it known; the same tone, the same way of speech, and the same use of "-ja" after sentences. note Although, do note that "ja" is also an actual particle in Japanese language. Even the "Show respect to your elders" part is there in Training 2!
Brilliant, but Lazy: Ken. He spent much of his study period in JuKenGyo wooing girls in a nearby village instead of training. But even then, he's really powerful already.
Breather Episode: Fittingly enough, the Christmas Episode. Episode 36 also counts, as it's a rather tame episode that falls between the destruction of the Three Kenma and the start of the Genjyuken arc.
Broken Faceplate: Jan gets a hole punched in his visor during his final fight with Rio.
All three of the pre-Super Gekiranger Kensei's voices are the official Japanese dub voices for Chinese Kung Fu actors: Yuu Mizushima is Sammo Hung (Gambou) and Shuichi Ikeda is Jet Li.
Character Development: Very, very heavy in the series. This is one of the main reasons Gekiranger is a fan-favourite.
For Jan, Rio, and Mele, sure. Ran, Retsu, Gou, and Ken, not so much.
Chekhov's Gun: The sealing technique the Kenma used on the Kensei. In the finale, Rio uses a special technique to download RinJyuKen into the Power Trio, Matrix-style, allowing them to get around Long's immortality by using it on him.
Chinese Vampire: The basis for the Rinshi. Also played straight in that they're undead.
Chosen One: Deconstructed with Jan and Rio. When Jan learns that his father declared that he would avenge his defeat at Rio's hands, he collapses under the pressure. Rio has a similar reaction upon learning that Long had been manipulating the entire course of his life, and ultimately both reject their fates.
Funny Bruce Lee Noises: Nunchaku Banki in the teamup movie with Engine Sentai Go-onger just loved this trope. Regardless of whether he was attacking, jumping, getting hit, or painfully getting knocked across the battlefield by exceptionally powerful attacks, he still made these noises.
Heroic Sacrifice: In episode 48 after Rio and Mele become good, they sacrifice their lives to protect the Gekirangers.
Idiot Ball: The other team members carry it when an impostor from the Mirror World replaces Retsu whom they cannot tell from the original. They even invent handy excuses for the impostor, like for him being suddenly left-handed, which he didn't think of.
If It Swims, It Flies: Quite arguable with GekiShark: It never floats through air, and jumps out of a small "pool" of Geki when summoned. But then another question pops up on how it approaches the base Mecha.
GekiPenguin, however, completely averts this by floating around on a small jet surf-board.
Ki Attacks: Spammed for all its worth: Geki Juken has "Gekiwaza", Rin Juken has "Ringi", Gen Juken has "Gengi". But they all boil down to "[School Name] Technique".
Lampshade Hanging: When Ran lets being team captain go to her head, Elehung and Michelle refer to her as Moe and Tsundere respectively, even remarking that those tropes are popular lately.
Language Barrier: In episode 43 (the Christmas special), Ken meets an English-speaking boy named Carl who he thinks is sad because he's poor on Christmas, but is actually sad because his mother died on Christmas. Hilarity ensues as Ken continually misunderstands the boy throughout the episode.
The fact that Ken kept misunderstanding the English-speaking Carl while the others at SCRTC questioned his ability to communicate with the boy is even funnier when you consider that the actor who portrayed Ken (Sotaro Yasuda) is American. He was probably the ONLY member of the main cast who would have had any idea what the kid was saying!
Ken Hisatsu. "Hissatsu" means "finisher" or "final strike", Ken means "fist". He's the last warrior to appear; so he's the "Finisher Fist".
Most of The Rin Ju Den Kenshi, save Rio and Mele, have names based on the Japanese for their theme animal, but with the first Kana moved to the endnote Rin Ju Mantis-Ken - Makirika: "Kamakiri"/"Praying Mantis"; Rin Ju Jelly-Ken - Rageku: "Kurage"/"Jellyfish".
Brusa Ee, the grand founder of Juken, is named from Bruce Lee. Also, when written in Kana, his name his a combination of "Bruce" and "Sai/Rhino".
Retsu, Gou, Ran, and Jan are named to say "Let's go run and jump."
Mythology Gag: Heart, Technique, and body as the core elements to a Sentai? We also got that in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, where all three were the essence of Kakure Style Ninjutsu. It's relatively obscure, but worth mentioning regardless. What's more, just like Kakuranger, they had a female, who was not the Red Ranger, as the team's official leader.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Five Deadly Venoms, and later the Kenma, which literally translates into "fist demon". Corny, but nothing with the word "demon" in its name is bad, especially here. Later we get the Four Mythical Generalsnote Shigenshō and the Mythical Beast Kingnote Genjūō. It's also revealed that Long's true identity is something called the Infinity Dragonnote Mugen Ryū.
Oddly Named Sequel: This is thus far the last series to have "ranger" in its title unabbreviated. Every series afterwards uses the short form, "-ger" note Except for Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, but that doesn't have any form of the word "ranger" in its title..
One-Winged Angel: Long. Interestingly, he gets his butt kicked after transforming, and fights in his usual armored form in the finale. Then again, it's a giant dragon...
At the end of Lesson 43, the Gekirangers pose like the Imagin from Kamen Rider Den-O, whose colors they parallel (Jan = Momotaros, Ran = Kintaros, Retsu = Urataros, Gou = Ryutaros, Ken = Sieg).
A Shout-Out to previous Sentai: Rio being mainly black-colored, learning Gryphon-ken, and later gets counted as a ranger (unofficially) whereas in Dengeki Sentai Changeman, we have a Black Ranger called Change Gryphon...
Significant Anagram: The Monster of the Week will typically have as its name the katakana of the Japanese name for the animal it represents, with the first kana shifted to the end (for example, a frog (kaeru)-themed enemy is called Eruka).
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Even the other two Kenma fear Maku and his Dorinki (as do the good guys—even when he was initially killed, his heart was removed to assure that he would never be resurrected. As is often the case, the impossible took a while.)
Spell My Name with an S: An alternative spelling to Master Shafu's name is "Xia Fu". Considering the series take heavily from Chinese Wuxia, it makes sense.
Not to mention "Jyan", "Retu", and "Mere" from The Movie's opening sequence.
And Brusa Ee. A possible alternative on his name is a combination of "Bruce Lee" and "Sai"/"Rhinoceros", his Kenpo style, thus "Brusa I".
The Four Gods: The Shigenshou are based on this trope. Sanyo the Basilisk (Genbu), Sūgu the Chimera (Byakko), Mele the Phoenix (Suzaku), Long the Dragon (Seiryū), and Rio the Griffin (Huánglóng). Lampshaded with Sūgu, as his prior identity had white tiger powers and he was nicknamed "Byakko" because of it.
Interestingly, Long could also represent Huánglóng given his gold outfit and status as True Final Boss
Theme Naming: All five of the Gekirangers' names contain two Kanji for Family Name, and two Kana for First Name. And the first syllables of the core group's names when combined spell "Kung Fu".note "Kan-Fu-U"
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Sure, the Gekirangers and people associated with SCRTC are around the Kensei long enough to get used to their unusual appearances(Jan's even fascinated by them), but even ordinary people don't bat an eye at the sight of talking animal people who aren't wearing costumes!
Wax On, Wax Off: Shafu's all-time favourite, but other masters also employ this concept in their own ways.
Unwitting Pawn: Rio, whose whole life turns out to have been masterminded by Long.
Wham Episode: Training 40. After three relatively-lighthearted episodes spotlighting most of the characters' relationships with their families, all of which ended well, we get this episode. Jan finds out who his father is and what became of him. It's not pretty. At all. Jan has a Heroic BSOD. Gou flips out too, since Jan's father was a friend of his. Rio and crew hand the Gekirangers their asses in a Curbstomp Battle before issuing a challenge to Jan. Then the episode ends.