From hundreds of millions of years ago, in the age of the dinosaurs, 5 warriors revive in the present time!
Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (Dinosaur Squadron Beastrangernote "Zyu" is an alternate romanization of jū or "beast".) is the sixteenth entry in the Super Sentai franchise, which aired from 1992 to 1993.170 million years ago, humans lived in peace with dinosaurs, until the evil witch Bandora appeared, killed the dinosaurs, and began to attack humanity. The Guardian Beasts, great gods in the form of prehistoric-animal-shaped Humongous Mecha, sealed her away on the stray planet Nemesis. In modern times, astronauts exploring Nemesis accidentally release Bandora and her followers from captivity, and she again starts to attempt to kill humanity, starting with the children. The ancient wizard Barza, in disguise as a landlord, releases five warriors from the five prehistoric human tribes to fight Bandora's forces alongside the Guardian Beasts.This series is very important for three reasons:
Color-Coded Characters: Subverted. The Zyurangers don't use color-based codenames like most other Sentai teams, instead being named after a respective totem beast. Dragon Ranger, being the sixth ranger, is named after a mythical creature instead of an actual prehistoric beast like the rest. The American version plays this straight.
Cool Bike: The Zaurer Machines, much like the Goranger Machines, consisted of an individual bike for the red ranger (Geki's Road Zaurer 1) and a pair of sidecar-equipped bikes for the rest of the main team (Goushi's Side Zaurer 2 and Dan's Side Zaurer 3, which were shared with Boi and Mei repectively).
Since the Zyurangers never drove their bikes in their transformed states (other than in the opening intro and commercial bumpers), the only time the bikes were ever shown in Power Rangers was in the background of one fight scene. However, the bikes were still carried over by the merchandising and the toy versions were sold as the "Battle Bikes"
Dead All Along: Burai died during a cave-in after being sealed. He's only around because Daizyuzin temporarily resurrected him.
Eye Catch: The eyecatch before the break features the main 5 Zyurangers in their vehicles and stopping in front of the camera. The title card can be seen on the bottom right of the screen. After the break, the eyecatch features the main 5 mecha. Starting in episode 32, a new version was introduced with the team posing before the break and the mecha after.
A Mech by Any Other Name: The individual mechas of the six Zyurangers were known as the Shugozyunote Guardian Beasts, while King Brachion gets the unique classification of Zyukishinnote Beast Steed God.
Combining Mecha: Like the Five Machines and the Jet Machines, the five original Guardian Beasts could combine in one of two forms, although one of the first combination is just a transitional form of the other.
Tyrannosaurus + Pteranodon + Zyu Mammoth + Triceratops + Saber Tiger = Beast Tank Dino Tanker, which then transforms into Daizyuzinnote Great Beast God.
Transforming Mecha: Daizyuzin is technically a transformed version of Dino Tanker, although later episodes skip the Dino Tanker formation when the five main Guardian Beasts combine. The form King Brachion takes when it pulls out its twin tail cannons is also considered a transformed mode called Super Beast Tank King Tanker, although it is never referred by that name on the show.
Mecha Expansion Pack: Dragon Caesar functioned not only as a partner to Daizyuzin, it could also replace the Tyrannosaurus and Pteranodon in combining with the other Guardian Beasts, forming a completely different giant robot. Later Daizyuzin gets the ability to combine with Dragon Caesar itself, along with King Brachion, a brachiosaurus-based mecha that served as steed for the other giant robots.
Dragon Caesar + Zyu Mammoth + Triceratops + Saber Tiger = Gouryuzinnote Mighty Dragon God
Daizyuzin + Dragon Caesar = Zyutei Daizyuzinnote Beast Emperor Daizyuzin
Zyutei Daizyuzin + King Brachion = Kyukyoku Daizyuzinnote Ultimate Daizyuzin
Law of Chromatic Superiority: The Tyrannosaurus is the only one of the five main Guardian Beasts that is bipedal and can stand toe-to-toe with some of the early Dora Monsters. After Burai's death, Geki also inherits the Dragon Armor, as well as the Zyusouken, allowing him to become the Armed Tyrannoranger and summon Dragon Caesar. How's that for an advantage?!
Merchandise-Driven: For one interesting example, later on in the series, there are several appearances of cute plushie versions of the Guardian Beasts, often given to kids as gifts from the Rangers or other kids. Of course, these plushes were really made. (They even had motorized walking functions and made various growls and roars.)
Daizyuzin: By your powers combined, I have been resurrected!
Anachronism Stew: With the exception of King Brachion, none of the creatures represented by the Guardian Beasts even existed in the Jurassic Period 170 million years ago. Tyranosaurus, Triceratops and Pteranodon are all from the late Cretaceous. Then there's the Wooly Mammoth and Sabretooth Tiger, which are not actual dinosaurs.
Bad Future: The Guardian Beasts showed Geki what would happen if he failed to unite the team. It's not a pretty picture.
Benevolent Genie: Djinn was found by a group of children who use his power for a number of innocent albeit selfish wishes, however Djinn genuinely seems to like his young Masters and enjoys playing with them.
Then again, the show's mecha are actually avatars of gods, so it's one god blowing up another god as opposed to some random guy.
Burai tries this by firing an energy blast at Daizyujin. It wasn't a smart move.
Played more straight with Burai firing an energy blast at a giant Guzzler, knocking him over. This is the same monster that vastly overpowered the Zyurangers, laid down a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Gouryujin, and later very nearly killed Mei (despite being injured) until her guardian beast's intervention. Still, Burai's intervention still wasn't enough to kill him, but props for trying. Then Mei killed it herself.
Mei singlehandedly killed Boogaranan making her the only Zyuranger to do such a thing when small. The closest anyone came was Goushi who temporarily defeated Dora Chimera in a rage with a superpowered attack with the Mothbreaker from a cliff. The same toad monster that Mei killed very easily handled the other Zyurangers.
A few regular kids were able to restrain Pixie, who turned out to be a very powerful Dora monster.
A little girl named Soari used her jewel to defeat Reiger, who was mopping the floor with the Zyu Rangers to that point.
Disney Death: Daizyuzin seems to be destroyed, but it turns out it was just revitalizing itself.
Even Evil Has Standards: When Bandora gave Grifforzer the ability to talk, Lamie claims his first words to her were "The battlefield is no place for a woman. Go home and do some laundry or something." Not only was Lamie visibly pissed about this but even Bandora was not pleased about it.
Family-Unfriendly Death: Dai Satan's head blows up rather graphically after he's been hit with the Grand Banisher. Also, Kai is blown up while still inside the Dora Talos and even visibly catches on fire. What the heck, Toei?!
Do note that this series was supposed to be Lighter and Softer than Choujin Sentai Jetman, which had plenty of adult themes. Now try considering their idea of Lighter and Softer in light of this. In some ways that can be chalked up to Values Dissonance as Zyu Ranger had just as many dark elements as previous Sentai (such as Dora Franke's various transformations) but the overall tone was more light and comedic, for example, Bandora as ruthless as she was, was also a Large Ham who had petty schemes such as interrupting a family dinner with Dora Circe because she was on a crash diet (and how she was too hungry to bother with enlarging Dora Circe).
Fish Out of Temporal Water: Averted; the Zyurangers adjust incredibly well to modern civilization in-spite of being away for millions of years.
Foreshadowing: Gora sells its soul to Bandora when its eggs are destroyed, hinting at Bandora's own backstory.
Forgotten Phlebotinum: A Super Sentai guidebook reveals that the Zyurangers can pull off a combination attack with the three Saurer Machines, called the Saurer Buster (source◊). However, this combination is not even mentioned on the show itself, as they never rode the bike in costume.
Zyutei Daizyuzin at one point had Dragon Caesar's chest plate and drill tail on each Z-pad. They were removed from the suit used on the actual show since it was too uncomfortable for the suit wearer to bear.
The back of the Dragon Ranger's Hikaru Chogokin action figure reveals that he can perform the Babel Attack with the other five Zyurangers by standing atop Boi's and Mei's shoulders, forming the "Super Babel Attack".
Dragon Caesar was meant to have a force field barrier called the "Pentagon Barrier", projected from the lights on its chest. While the move was never used in the series, it did end up being used by the Dragonzord in the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers video game for Sega Genesis.
Friend to All Children: The whole team. They're shown hanging out with the local kids on numerous occasions and many children treat the rangers as close friends even before they inevitably have to be personally saved from a monster or other evil plot. Makes sense, because Bandora is a Child Hater and her main target are children.
Furo Scene: There's one episode where Mei participates in this. With an old lady.
Gag Boobs: Dan once jokingly tried to put apples on his chest, as in 'Apple Boobs'. Mei was not amused.
Gratuitous English: The honorary titles of each of the five main Zyurangers. Geki is referred as the purinsu (Prince) of the Yamato Tribe instead of ouji, Mei is the purinsesu (Princess) of the Rishiya Tribe instead of the hime, and the other three are naito (knights) of their respective tribes instead of kishi.
Heel-Face Turn: Burai starts off as a villain out of a desire for revenge against Geki. The two of them bury the hatchet at the end of Burai's intro arc, thus Burai's Heel-Face Turn.
Homage: According to a Japanese column written by Tsuyoshi Nonaka (chief director of Plex, the company that did the set and costume designs for Super Sentai), the design of the Daizyuzin is based on GoLion (better known to Westerners as Voltron), while the transformation sequence from Dyno Tanker to Daizyuzin was inspired by Daitetsujin 17.
Bit of irony in this, considering that when Power Rangers first came out, some people first thought Daizyujin/Megazord was a Voltron ripoff!
When Burai reveals himself as Dragon Ranger, the heroes initially think they're gaining a new ally. Instead he starts kicking their butts... hard.
When Burai is close to dying, Barza tells the Zyurangers about the Water of Life, which would be able to restore him. But when Dan and Goushi finally get their hands on said water, they are told Burai's life is already forfeit.
Jerkass Gods: Daizyuzin is a decent God, but he can be rather heartless about certain matters especially concerning Burai. He is however open to debate on certain issues if the Zyuranger can make a decent case.
Kids Are Cruel, Start of Darkness: Bandora was actually a decent sorceress back in the days, but Kai was a little monster who broke dinosaur eggs for lulz. So obviously when the dinosaurs found out, they chase him off to a cliff, resulting his death. Bandora, doting mother she is, decided to take vengeance on the dinosaurs as a result and kickstarted the storyline...
Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Mei (while she CAN count as the Tomboy, it was only on one occassion and she usually spends her time doing light feminine things) and Lamie (really sensual with her relationship with Grifforzer)
Living on Borrowed Time: Burai only has forty hours to live; he can only extend his time with his time-stopping magic chamber.
Limited Wardrobe: Justified in that they were ancient warriors in modern day, so they were not accustomed to how people in that age change clothes from day to day. The use here would evolve into Custom Uniforms in later seasons.
This can also happen when an episode ends with the Zyurangers seemingly unable to defeat a monster, then transitions into the cheery end credits song accompanied by the Zyurangers engaging in such activities as practicing baseball and retrieving a girl's balloon.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If Bandora hadn't been so determined to make Burai use up his remaining life, he wouldn't have died, and his spirit wouldn't have been able to open the doorway to the demiplane where she was holding the Guardian Beasts captive.
Pet the Dog: Bandora loves her monsters and Grifforzer and Lamie's son.
Portmantitle: The title was meant to be a portmanteau of "Jurassic" and "ranger"note as in "Juranger", which is closer to the actual Japanese pronunciation of Jūrenjā, which also serves as a Pun-Based Title, since jū is Japanese for "beast". However, the producers ended up transliterating the Jū portion of the title as "Zyu" on the show itself.
Protected by a Child: Bandora kidnaps a little boy and forces him to make an invincible swords for Dora Knight. Because he made the sword, it can't hurt him, as the villains find out when he tries to take a hit for the Rangers.
Recap Episode: Episode 40 includes some recaps of previous episodes, with a focus on Burai's story.
Riddle of the Sphinx: A victim of Dora Sphinx is asked this question; as with everybody not named Oedipus, the victim fails to answer it right.
Rule of Symbolism: The Zyurangers are survivors of a tribe of dinosaur-evolved humans. When the Guardian Beast Tyrannosaurus combines with the other four Guardian Beasts to form the Dyno Tanker, which then transform into Daizyuzin, it is essentially a dinosaur evolving into a man.
Satanic Archetype: Witch Bandra's true master is named Dai (Great) Satan. He looks nothing like the usual depiction of the Judeo-Christian devil, being a floating blue head who yells a lot, and is mostly just an evil spirit that just happens to be named "Satan" (as opposed to being the "actual" Satan). When footage of Dai Satan was used for Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, he was renamed "Lokar" and his role on the story was demoted to a monster who simply served Rita Repulsa.
Spell My Name with an "S": Bandōra's name is spelled "Bandra" on her palace, despite the fact that the "ō" in her name is a long vowel and definitely not silent. The title itself also qualifies, since the word for beast in Japan is normally transliterated as Jū and the title is pronounced "Juranger". Oddly enough, most fans transliterated the mecha's name as "Daizyujin" instead of the more consistent "Daizyūzin" (Kunrei style) or "Daijūjin" (Hepburn style).
Suddenly Voiced: Grifforzer originally could only speak in grunts, growls and roars. In the episode after Lamie appeared, Bandora gave Griffozer a voice as part of her payment to Lamie.
Swiss Army Tears: In episode 4, a child in the Continent of Despair who fears his mother to be dead begins to lose hope, and, due to the nature of this realm, turns into stone. His mother's tears, when they are reunited, return him to normal.
Tears of Blood: Bandora suffers from this while harnessing the darkest of magic to summon Dai Satan.
This Is a Drill: One of the signature weapons of Dragon Caesar is its drill tail. When it combines into Goryuzin, the drill becomes the tip of a spear.
Tyrannosaurus rex: Geki's Guardian Beast. Well, duh, you can't have a dinosaur-themed show without this one dino.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Despite the strange prehistoric attire wore by the Zyurangers when unmorphed, very few civilians seems to realize who they are until they literally transform in front of them.