Series / Mirai Sentai Timeranger

"People from the the year 3000 AD and one man from the present have met by chance, to write a new page of history...!"

"Even if we can't change the future, we can change tomorrow."

Mirai Sentai Timeranger (Future Squadron Timeranger) is the twenty-fourth installment in the Super Sentai series, running from 2000 to 2001.

By the year 3000 AD, Time Travel has been discovered and thoroughly developed. To prevent possible abuses of this technology, it is regulated by the Time Police, an intergalactic organization that also captures dangerous alien criminals and holds them in cryogenic stasis for the length of their sentence.

One such criminal, Don Dorneiro, escapes from the Time Police, hijacks a prison ship full of convicts and flees to the year 2000 AD. Captain Ryūya of the Time Police sends four cadets to the past to capture him and his minions, Lira and Gien.

Unfortunately, the cadets have been deceived by Lira (masquerading as their captain) and are almost killed upon reaching the 21st century. With their Timeship destroyed, the cadets are trapped in the past until they can apprehend Don Dorneiro and his gang. To aid their mission, they have access to powerful transformation devices called Chrono Changers. However, the Timeranger Project requires all five Chrono Changers to be activated at the same time.

Enter Tatsuya Asami, an idealistic young man yearning to break free from his oppressive father and future as the heir of the prestigious Asami Group corporation. Happening upon the cadets, he becomes their fifth member and vows to change the future for the better even against the pessimism of the other four Timerangers. Later on, an old university acquaintance of Tatsuya, Naoto Takizawa, seizes some of the Timeranger technology for himself and becomes Time Fire, a Rival and Foil to Tatsuya himself.

A major theme in Timeranger is the nature of fate. The characters of the future, being from a period where Time Travel has been extensively researched, are resigned to the fact that the future is entirely predetermined. On the other hand, the characters from the present day are determined to change their own destinies: Tatsuya wishes to break free from the future that has been decided for him since his birth, while Naoto wants to gain power in a world where connections and nepotism mean more than hard work. Eventually, the team discover that the entire story was set in motion by one solitary person whose only wish was to change his own future.

The Heroes:

The villains, who call themselves the Londers Family after the name of the prison ship they have hijacked:

  • Don Dorneiro: The Big Bad. Likes money, power, women and money (in that order). Yes, he's that kind of Don.
  • Lira: The Dark Chick. Employed by Don Dorneiro to provide some fun and refreshment to his dark and dismal life. Freely admits that she is a Gold Digger.
  • Gien: An Evil Genius robot who acts as Don Dorneiro's right-hand man. He later goes Ax-Crazy and becomes The Starscream.
  • Zenitts: Robot Mooks.

Partnered with the Kamen Rider series Kamen Rider Kuuga before concluding its airing alongside the first episodes of Kamen Rider Agito in what would later be known as the Super Hero Time block.

Adapted as Power Rangers Time Force; the adaptation is one of the closest ever done to the original Sentai.

Recurring Super Sentai tropes:

Mirai Sentai Timeranger provides particular-to-this-series examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Tatsuya, when Ryūya took his Chrono Changer and he had to lead his father's company.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Tatsuya is surprised to learn Rouge was jailed alongside the other convicts, when all she did was steal jewelry and knock some people unconscious. Yuri explains to him that in the future, that can get you frozen once you hit your third strike.
  • All Just a Dream: Case File 38's adventures through movies is just Shion dreaming.
  • Almighty Janitor: Sometimes the rangers get jobs that involved cleaning.
  • Always Someone Better: Naoto to Tatsuya. However, Tatsuya also feels the same way: because Tatsuya comes from a rich family with great social influence, no one will take him seriously.
  • And I Must Scream: It is confirmed that the criminals are aware during crystasis. It's described in one episode as constantly feeling like you're about to fall asleep but never actually doing so. Somewhat justified in that it wouldn't be much a punishment to just fall asleep and wake up.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Arguing every step of the way while being chased by your enemies should certainly make them qualify...
  • Big Eater: Domon.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The disaster in 2001 AD that would have wiped out two-thirds of the Earth has been averted, and Tatsuya and Yuuri finally confess their love to each other. But she and the other rangers have to return to the future; depending on whether or not Captain Ryūya was telling the truth about the changes made to history, it may be the same future the rangers came from: one where Domon is still banned from the ring, Ayase is definitely going to die and Yuuri's family is still dead. Due to Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger VS Timeranger not happening, Tatsuya will never get to see them again, even though he promised himself he'll see them again someday in some way or another..
  • Broken Aesop: In episode 17, an aesop is taught that fighting is wrong, even in self-defense - in a Super Sentai series, where fights are the preferred method of problem solving.
  • Broken Bird: Yuuri has hints of this as her family was murdered when she was ten.
  • Casanova Wannabe: The reason why Domon never seems to get a student for his self defense class.
  • Catch-Phrase: 'Time's Up' and 'The End'
  • The Chessmaster: Ryūya. But he still fails.
  • Conspicuous CG: Used slightly jarringly for the transformation sequences of the main five, but they try to cover it up by heavy use of rotating the angle at which the viewer sees the CG Timerangers (this works better for some than others).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Dorneiro actually manages to get rich enough and becomes an executive of a company.
  • Cooking Duel: Not exactly between two cooks but an iron soba chef Domon against a food taster Londers.
  • Crime Fighting With Cash: The City Guardians and when Naoto became TimeFire.
  • Darker and Edgier: Timeranger is quite possibly the most straight-faced and serious Super Sentai series in the early 2000s, as opposed to the late 80's and early 90's Sentai combined: Monsters of the Week doing real-life criminal activities, two Rangers with a higher risk of dying (Ayase has terminal illness, while Naoto dies from a Zenitt gunshot in the back), the Big Good who is actually the mastermind behind the villains' actions, and a mentally defective Ax-Crazy Cyborg with Omnicidal Maniac fantasies and delusions of godhood. This also heavily influenced the American Power Rangers adaptation, which was the darkest season of that respective series until RPM.
  • Deadly Doctor: One episode had a Mad Doctor monster taking over a hospital.
  • Death Seeker: Because Ayase has the incurable Osiris Syndrome, he practically chooses to completely forget his well-being to protect people.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Inverted with the Londers criminals who, while being consumed by a ball of fire, are merely refrozen. Played straight with the G-Zord and Gien's creations, including Neo Crisis.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Yuuri, thanks to Character Development.
  • Expy: Don Dorneiro is a Fat Bastard alien mob boss, much like Jabba the Hutt.
  • Fantastic Racism: Not to the extent of Time Force, but still, we never do see any human criminals get the freezing treatment.
  • The Fatalist: The characters from the year 3000 AD. Augmented by the fact that they are from a time period where Time Travel has been greatly researched and accept it as common knowledge that the future cannot be changed. The series never answers the question of whether it is possible, but it does instil the message that whether or not time is predetermined, you have to possess hope for the future.
  • First-Name Basis: Every Timeranger whose suit color isn't red.
  • Flung Clothing: Sometimes part of the rangers' transformation sequence to reveal their Chrono Suits. They usually throw said clothing on their opponents' faces.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Lira's specialty.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Sion. His usually odd job is also fixing broken electronics.
  • Gold Digger: Lira even tells Dorneiro outright that she'll keep loving him if he keeps giving her money. But when Dorneiro died she also said that even without the money she will still have liked Dorneiro a little.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Happens to Naoto in Case File 35, a episode named "Tomorrow Isn't Coming".
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: T.A.C. essentially shuts down because he just doesn't seem to have the crucial data the rangers needed thanks to Ryūya.
  • Identical Grandson: Ryūya says he came from the Tatsuya's bloodline and they're both played by Masaru Nagai (although Nagai changes his hairstyle when playing Ryūya).
  • Identical Stranger: By the finale, Tatsuya notices five people resembling his friends (including Naoto), only to realize that they were not them.
  • I Have Your Wife: Well your Robot Buddy alarm clock in one episode.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Naoto used this excuse once.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ayase and Naoto. Naoto borders a lot more on the Jerkass though, but gradually becomes more willing to work with the other rangers as the series progresses.
  • Karma Houdini: Lira, possibly. She escapes to the future before the Great Disappearance was supposed to happen. For all her robberies and other crimes, she's not caught, at least in the present day. We don't know if she paid for her crimes in the year 3000.
  • Killed Off for Real: Naoto and Ryūya.
  • Lethal Chef: Yuri. She got better in the later episodes. Domon's soba chef friend Sugara also counts and he got better.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: A kid named Taichi in one episode.
  • Mad Scientist: Gien, especially in the later episodes where he completely went bonkers for death and destruction.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Captain Ryūya. He orchestrated everything, including Dorneiro's release and Naoto's death, because he saw a glimpse of two possible timelines - in both of which he would die - and wished to change history so that he would survive. He succeeds in changing history, but is killed in a different way instead.
  • Meaningful Name: All three main villain are named after forms of currency; specifically, Dolnero from dinheiro, Lila from lira and Gien from Yen, the former two are currencies of Portugal and Italy, respectively (and the first one is still the Portuguese word for "money").
  • Moment Killer: There was a breakfast scene where Tatsuya and Yuri were alone and enjoying themselves over pancakes when Sion suddenly bursts in, making the couple bounce several inches from each other.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Dorneiro's reaction after Gien's conversion to a robot.
  • Mythology Gag: A dinosaur-based Sixth Ranger who dies after passing his henshin device and mecha to the Red Ranger. How haven't I seen this before?
    • Also, his Zord is a T-Rex and his color is red (another Zyuranger reference).
    • The mecha shares similarities as the mecha from Choujin Sentai Jetman.
    • G-Zord, anyone?
  • Multiform Balance: The red, sword-wielding Time Robo Alpha is generally sturdier and better in close combat, while the blue, gun-wielding Time Robo Beta is more agile. Time Jet Gamma is for sturdy defenses and safe time travel.
  • Official Couple: Honami and Domon (They even have a child!) and Tatsuya and Yuuri via Last Minute Hookup in the finale. But of course Yuuri and Domon still have to return to the future...
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: It came to the point that Yuuri shielded Dorneiro from Gien's attack because she wants to be the one to arrest him and complete her revenge.
  • Only Sane Man: There was one episode (Case File 21) where the rangers drank a 30th century wine and rendered them to think like playful children. Sion, being an alien, wasn't affected.
  • On the Next: A special case of this for the next episode previews for Case Files 3 to 22, the blurb before the shouting of the "On the Next Episode of..." Catchphrase reads:
    They travel the present, past and future
    to explore the future all by myself.
    Heroes of Justice going over time and space,
    whose name is TIMERANGER!!
    • After that, when the next episode catch phrase is said, the above blurb (Excluding TIMERANGER) disappears to say "next", and the TIMERANGER word zooms in leading to the episode preview itself.
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: Weaponry in Sentai can get boxy enough, but the Vol Units and Voltech Bazooka are tech explicitly from the future, and they really take the cake.
  • Pet the Dog: Naoto has his moments, especially when it involves a little girl and his pet birds.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Dorneiro helps out the Timerangers when Gien releases Emboss because Emboss was threatening civilization, and that would mean no more money for Dorneiro to get his hands on.
  • Prison Ship: The villains hijack a Prison Ship and name themselves after it.
  • Psychic Powers: An alien that Sion befriended had telekinesis.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Tatsuya and Naoto.
  • Replacement Goldfish: It's very subtly implied by Don Dorneiro in the episode where he dies that Lira is a younger clone of his dead mother. She is unaware of this and doesn't pick up on the "confession".
  • Robot Buddy: T.A.C. and then later Robota.
  • Screw Destiny: By the end of the series, "You were also told that you can't do what you want to do. You can't return to the future. Even if you can't save the future, let's just save tomorrow."
    • Also, "I don't know what history is meant to be. But I can't just stand here!"
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: How Tatsuya initially got his black belt. Though to be fair, it was his father's idea.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sion and Domon.
  • Shirtless Scene: Domon, Tatsuya, Ayase, and Shion for a little bit on the beach in Case File 27. And Tatsuya in Case File 38 during the kung-fu movie scene.
  • Shout-Out: The G-Zord.
    • There are some obvious nods towards The Matrix, including a Bullet Time scene in the first episode, along with Time Robo Beta's first fight containing a 360-Degree camera spin as the mech fires on the MotW in midair.
    • The Time Robo is a homage to Jet Icarus from Choujin Sentai Jetman, which also had a jet mode for its mecha.
      • The similarities to Jetman don't end there. The Timerangers themselves are sort of an inversion of the Jetmen, with a Rookie Red Ranger and four more experienced time cops, whereas Red Hawk was the only Jetman with actual training. Gien also has some parallels to Tranza.
    • Case File 38, among it's movie moments has the rangers ride flying bicycles in front of a full moon in a homage to Film/E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Yuri in one episode, after a lady Londers made fun of her tomboyishness (Can't cook or do feminine things).
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it TAC, Takku, or in the case of the TV Nihon subs, Tock?
  • Surprisingly Good English: The V-Commander, Naoto's Transformation Trinket, speaks several complete sentences of perfect English.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Honami has Domon Jr. (renamed Mirai in Gokaiger) in the finale. Though of course Domon didn't die but just went back to his time...
  • Take a Third Option: In Case File 50, the rangers from the future learn from Captain Ryuya that he saw that there were only two possible ways the timeline could go. Option one was the year 3000 being slowly destroyed by the black holes in the sky sucking up buildings, but then Ryuya prevented that from happening by going to the year 2000 and saving Gien's life. Option two was the Great Disappearance of 2001 when two-thirds of the world's population would disappear into the black holes in the sky caused by the fight between the V-Rex and Gien's robot. In both options, Ryuya (as Time Fire) is killed. Despite the promise of a great life in the year 3001, the rangers are against all the lives lost in the past, so they go back in time and help Tatsuya destroy Gien's robot, so the Great Disappearance never happens. The results as to how that changes the year 3001 are not revealed.
  • Thanking the Viewer: The final episode (Actually the Sentai history recap special) ends with Tatsuya and the gang in their Timeranger uniforms without their helmets thanking the viewer for supporting the show. Yuuri also adds that they will see each other again someday somewhere else, and they all say their goodbyes.
  • This Is a Drill: The City Guardian's Raimei battle tank had a drill but never got to use it.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The last 4th of the series, once Captain Ryūya and the G-Zord show up.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Time Fire's V-Rex
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Not exactly married to Lira, but Dorneiro is not exactly handsome at all. Well to humans anyway.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Everyone to Ryuuya, but Gien and Naoto are the most important.
  • Verbal Tic: Robota ends most of its sentences with the word "time."
  • Vertical Mecha Fins: Time Robo Beta has very tall shoulders.
  • Villain Teleportation: Actually, this is only one to show "how" that the villains teleport themselves (Gien used his device to teleport).
  • Was Once a Man: Gien, who was originally a simple, but good natured young man who ended up trying to help Dorneiro out. After he was nearly killed, Dorneiro had his brain transferred to a robotic body, only to result in making Gien into a psychopath.
  • Wife Husbandry: Averted in episode 33; guest character Emily, whom Ayase guarded, asks if she can marry him later. Ayase ''sort of'' agrees, but he knows he can't do it.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Yuuri and Tatsuya.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:
    • Despite manipulating everything to change history and avoid his death, Ryūya still dies on the same date he would have originally died, just a thousand years later and by a different method.
    • As for Tatsuya, he will eventually become the head of the Asami Group just as history dictated... but on his own terms.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Ayase having an incurable disease means he only has around a year or two to live.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Lira, even more than Shibolena and Denus up to point that she "always has it" (basically, never appear without one), but she has pink hair. Sion, on the other hand, tends to dye his hair colors like blue and green.
  • You Killed My Father: Dorneiro also killed Yuuri's mother and younger sister.