Series: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters aka: Tokumei Sentai Go Busters
It's Time For Buster!
Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters (Special Mission Squadron/Spec-Ops Cell Go-Busters) is the 36th Super Sentai series, airing from 2012 to 2013.In the year 2012 of the Neo A.D. calendar, urban life is supported by a new, clean energy source known as "Enetron". However, a hostile force codenamed "Vaglass" is attempting to steal that energy for their own dark purposes.Thirteen years ago, the Vaglass computer virus infected the main computers of the Energy Management Centre that regulates Enetron. The virus quickly raged out of control and gained sentience, becoming a threat to the world itself. With no other option, the researchers sealed the virus away by teleporting the entire facility into hyperspace at the cost of their own lives.Now in the present, the agents of Vaglass are aiming to siphon enough Enetron to teleport the consciousness known as "Messiah" back into the real world. Opposing their evil plans is the secret special-ops division of the Energy Management Centre, codenamed "Go-Busters".
Hiromu Sakurada/Red Buster: The Leader of the Go-Busters and most skillful of the team.
Cheeda Nick: Hiromu's partner, a humanoid cheetah robot who looks out for him like an older brother. He's able to turn into a motorcycle, but ironically has no sense of direction.
Gorisaki Banana: Ryuji's partner; for a robot gorilla he's a huge worrywart. Often does mechanical work around the base.
Yoko Usami/Yellow Buster: The lonegirl of the group and has quite the temperament on her.
Usada Lettuce: Yoko's partner, a robot rabbit. Tends to be overbearing, leading him and Yoko to squabble a lot. Usually works as, well, one of theBridge Bunnies.
Masato Jin/Beet Buster: Wears gold. A gifted Megazord engineer who was once admired by Ryuji as a mentor figure. He vanished into hyperspace in 1999, but has somehow returned to the physical world after 13 years without any signs of aging. He is actually a digital avatar controlled remotely by the real Jin, who is still stranded in hyperspace. He's also a technical second in command.
Beet J. Stag/Stag Buster: A beetle-themed humanoid robot who transforms into the silver coloured fifth warrior of the team. Has a habit of showing off and stepping in front of pretty much everybody he's with whenever he talks, much to Jin's chagrin. Unlike Jin, he exists physically in the real world and functions as a marker used by the real Jin to transport his avatar and Buster Machines from hyperspace.
Messiah: The "god" of the Vaglass; a crazed artificial intelligence created thirteen years previously and sealed into hyperspace. Destroyed in #30 when Hiromu destroys his core, followed by his physical form being destroyed by the rest of the group.
Enter: One of Messiah's agents in the real world. Although he resembles a human, he is actually a virtual avatar remotely controlled from hyperspace by the real Enter. Loves to sprinkle his speech with Gratuitous French. Seemingly destroyed along with Messiah's core in #30 by Hiromu while piloting a Type Epsilon Megazord, he returns starting in #31 and reveals his new plans in #33 by having backed up Messiah into cards which will mature into new Messianic Metaloids. All of this was never really to bring back Messiah as Enter planned on using the information gained from the cards to become the perfect human. He is the actual Big Bad.
Escape: The second of Messiah's virtual agents in the real world. A Blood Knight who wields two guns called Gok and Magok, and refers to Messiah as "Papa". Is killed off in 44 when Messiah re-absorbs her as he continues to evolve his new body. Enter revives her but due to her current data being deleted with Messiah, all the current clones are based off the original data of Escape.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mission 45, the first episode to air in 2013, begins with the Busters and crew asking the audience if they had a good New Year's celebration.
By the Power of Grayskull!: The team's Transformation Trinkets announce "It's Morphin' Time!" after being activated. Once it's formed the majority of their costume, they say "Let's Morphin'!" to form the visor to their helmet and finish the change.
Hammer Space: Conspicuously averted; dimensional matter transport itself is an established technology used by both sides, and would seemingly be prominently featured throughout. Both the Go-Busters and Buster Machines have their weapons teleported in from their base. Go-Buster Ace even has backup swords on standby in case it should lose one.
On the other hand, the entire concept of subspace as used by the villains is this trope taken to its creepy conclusion.
A Mech By Any Other Name: "Buster Machines" for the Go-Busters' standard mechs and "Megazords" for humanoid mechs, including those used by both Vaglass and the Go-Busters. Human-sized bots are "-loids" (Buddyloids for the Busters, Metaloids for Vaglass).
Spell My Name with an S: The official spelling provided by all Japanese publication refers to the human-sized robots as "-loid"◊; however, the English speaking fandom prefers "-roid" as in "android". The whole ambiguity of R and L in Japanese doesn't help things, along with show having the English text as "BUDDYROID" in earlier episodes and "METALOID" in later ones.
Transforming Mecha: Each Buster Machine can transform from a vehicle mode (Buster Vehicle) to an animal mode of some sort (Buster Animal). Buster Machines CB-01 Cheetah and BC-04 Beetle both have an additional Megazord mode as well (Go-Buster Ace and Go-Buster Beet).
The Buddyzord LT-06 Tategami Lioh has three modes (Megazord, lion and motor-trike) much like the Ace and Beet. The Lion and Tricycle forms can both be used as rides for Ace or Beet.
Combining Mecha: For starters, Nick, Gorisaki, Usada, and Ene-tan combine with the Buster Machines to get them to do anything more complicated than their vehicle mode.
Law of Chromatic Superiority: The red and gold Buddyloids and Buster Machines have more features than the others. CB-01 Cheetah and BC-04 Beetle have humanoid modes in addition to their vehicle and animal modes, and can wear other Buster Machines as armor. Cheeda Nick can also turn into a motorcycle, and Beet J. Stag becomes the fifth warrior, Stag Buster.
Hiromu receives a second mecha in #35, the Buddyzord LT-06, along with an exclusive weapon called the Lio Blaster. It should be noted that the other team members have used the mecha and the weapon on occasion though.
Monster of the Week: Metaloids, evil machines created by a virus that Enter injects into other machines or living beings.
Make My Monster Grow: Averted. Instead of Metaloids growing into giant-size, Messiah sends a giant companion robot called a "Megazord" to assist the Metaloid (or take over the attack if the Metaloid is already destroyed). They come in at least four types (Alpha, Beta Gamma, and Delta).
Unlike other series, this is justified in the case of the Megazords. Sending them into real space takes a tremendous amount of energy so Vaglass is only able to send one at a time. In #3, Enter even suggests that they hold off sending Megazords until they can gather sufficient Enetron to dispatch multiple Megazords at once. In the same episode, it was revealed that a slow transfer time uses up less Enetron.
Mooks: Buglers, mechanical foot soldiers of the Vaglass.
Super Mode: #33 introduces the Custom Visors, which convert the Buddyloids into additional armor that enhances the team's natural powers, but requires the Busters and their Buddyloids to be in sync to function properly.
Theme Music Power-Up: Significantly more effective in the second half of the season, after the Retool resulted in a brand new OP, because each time a major plot-important battle goes down, they play the original OP.
Theme Naming: The first names of each of the Buddyloids are a combination of the animals they're modeled after and their respective partners, while their last names is a reference to their favorite foods.
Cheeda (Cheetah + Sakurada) Nick (a play on niku, which means meat)
Gorisaki (Gorilla + Iwasaki) Banana
Usada (a reference to his partner Usami and usagi, Japanese for bunny) Lettuce
Beet J. Stag's middle initial stands for Jueki (plant sap), which is the kind of fluid commonly drank by beetles, and is also the first letter in "Jin" and "Jet".
Even the movie-exclusive Ene-tan gets in on the food-theme naming, being named for the series' power source Enetron, which the other Buddyloids have sometimes been seen drinking as if it were soda.
Enter and Escape are named after keyboard keys starting with "E", and have opposite meanings (to enter is to go into something, to escape is to get out).
The mecha seem to be taking a different approach - Go-Buster Ace, and Go-Buster Oh, with "oh" meaning King.
Followed by an actual Go-Buster King.
Three Plus Two: Two additional Busters, Beet and Stag, joined the team later in the series.
Title Scream: The first OP averts for the first time since Ninja Sentai Kakuranger's "title sing." The second OP brings the Title Scream back. (Though, it's at the end of the opening instead of at the beginning, where the previous Title Screams were.)
Transformation Is a Free Action: Subverted, transformations happen in real time and there have been cases where the Go-Busters have had to dodge while performing it while the mecha transformations happen very rapidly. Go-Buster-Oh's transformation takes longer, but the components of Blue and Yellow Busters' mecha circle Go-Buster Ace and form an energy field before it begins to protect it during the combination.
Transformation Sequence: Averted for the first 9 episodes, doing transformations without stock footage ala Kamen Rider. A stock transformation sequence was introduced though, possibly for budget reasons, but it's rarely used.
Also subverted with the mecha, who transform in live action as well. Played with when it comes to Go-Buster-Oh, who does have a transformation sequence, but is implied to happen in in real time protected by an energy shield.
Further subverted by Great Go-Buster, as all its component parts are always assembled in the hangar instead of having a transformation sequence out in the field.
Acting for Two: In Mission 12, Yoko discovers she has a Doppelgänger, a Chinese actress named Angie Sue. They look exactly alike except for their hairstyles. Naturally, they're played by the same actress.
In Mission 17, we are treated to Beet Buster (whose actor previously did Magi Yellow) saying "maji de ikuze"*
meaning "Time to go seriously"
while performing the Magiranger hand gesture. The Magi*
shorthand for magic
pun was often used in Magiranger.
#30 has Jin running over Messiah with BC-04, bringing to mind how another golden mecha back in Magiranger (MagiShine's Travelion) ran over one of the villains. It was The Dragon that time; here it's the Big Bad!
This allusion is taken to its logical conclusion in Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger, when thanks to the Go-Busters' ultimate power, Jin (and J) get to pilot MagiKing. Jin even points out how natural it is.
Filmloid (the Metaloid for Mission 20) is voiced by Kenichi Suzumura, whose mannerisms should remind you of a certain Imagin.
In #35, Hazuki Saburou is basically a rehash of Ichirou Mizuki's role back in Kamen Rider Double, particularly his primary complaint about Masato's work ("It should MOVE me! With a BANG!!").
All There in the Manual: The official names of Enter's and Escape's monster forums, "Enter Unite" and "Escape Evolved", are never mentioned on the show and only appeared in secondary sources such as TV Asahi's official site for the show.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Enter actually launches an infiltration of the EMC's base as early as #6, though he started it off in #4. #26 has another infiltration that plays out somewhat less seriously.
#29 has the biggest one yet, complete with command staff and maintenance crew up in arms to hold them off as Great Go-Buster is about to enter hyperspace.
Alternate Timeline: The first Sentai to follow the trope, seeing that Enetron is already present at 2012 and before, but nowhere in sight during Gokaiger and any Sentai titles previously*
Although, with the exception of Denziman with Sun Vulcan and Gokaiger, all of the sentai series take place in different universes from one another.
Big Damn Heroes: Hiromu in #1, arriving on Cheeda Nick's bike mode and shooting out the monster's eye when it has his team mates on the ropes, weakening it enough for them to finish it off while he takes on the Megazord in Go-Buster Ace.
Bilingual Bonus: In Mission 12, the actress Angie Sue sends the Go-busters an e-mail in English. It's never translated into Japanese, outside of its overall meaning as a thank you as stated by Ryuji. Those fluent in English can read most of it, and can also tell that it's not written by someone who is a native speaker and is borderline Engrish. It only appears a few seconds on screen, so it has to be paused to be read.
The opening sequence includes random English text. That text is the HTML source code of the English Wikipedia Super Sentai page.
Bittersweet Ending: Hurray! Messiah has finally shutdown! It's surely a victory for the Go-Busters! Except for the fact that all the scientists trapped in cyberspace are all dead now, including Hiromu's parents and Yoko's mom.
Though Jin seems to be still alive, they couldn't take back his real body out of cyberspace so he is there until further notice.
In the series finale, the Vaglass are defeated once and for all but Jin dies. To put it in perspective, the last permanent death of an official hero was a decade ago.
A Boy and His X: Red Buster plays it the straightest as his buddyloid, Cheeda, stands by him the most compared to other buddyloids who stay in the headquarters.
Bratty Teenage Daughter: In Mission 27 the Scientist's 17 year old daughter is this, only showing up at her father's work place to collect her allowance. She gets better when she discovers that her father really does care about her contrary to her belief he didn't because he worked long hours therefore she did not really get to see him often.it
Breather Episode: #28 can qualify since it's just plain silly (even for sentai standards!) although it suffers Mood Whiplash at the very end when Jin's enetrton supply is stolen. Episode 34 could also count as such but then again suffers Mood Whiplash when the final fight comes.
Episode 45, it gives the viewers a chance to relax before things get serious again.
Chekhov's Gag: Beet J. Stag's habit of jumping in front of Jin in order to upstage him comes in handy in Mission 25 when the Monster of the Week tries to use his candlelight to give Jin nightmares just as he had to Hiromu, Youko, and Ryuuji when they looked into it. Since Buddyloids are immune to it, J is unaffected and Jin is able to slash the wick and put the flame out.
Though it's entirely possible that avatars are immune too as Jin is not really there.
At the start of #4, Mission Control tells the Go-Busters that transporting through Cyberspace is unreliable, and even using Metaloids as a beacon, enemy Megazords can be as far off the mark as three kilometers. When Enter shows up right outside one Enetron tank and is blatantly obvious about it, Hiromu realizes that he's just a diversion and their real goal is another district's tank, three kilometers away behind a nearby mountain range.
In #14, when rescuing Yoko after she's kidnapped by the second Tubaloid, Hiromu attempts to fool it by impersonating Enter, right down to the voice, but is discovered once it realizes that Hiromu has a heartbeat. Turns out, this is because Enter is actually an avatar in the real world, and his real body is in Hyperspace.
Episode to episode it's fairly standard, and even more comedic than most series (the Buddyroids will bring back pleasant memories of the Engines), but some of the darkest things in franchise history happen in this series. Wherever you'd say Like You Would Really Do That, it turnrs out they would. It doesn't hit you 'til the end, because it's not until it's all over that it becomes final that yes, they did really have the Rangers forced to sacrifice the lives of their parents and all the rest of those researchers in order to render Messiah Only Mostly Dead, and one of their teammates also had to be sacrificed to finish the job. It's better than letting Messiah absorb the whole world, of course, but it really feels like they lost. Especially after all the Hope Spots that make it seem like they're going to Screw Destiny on points where other teams always have; usually "X can't be saved" where saving X is a Series Goal just means it'll happen awesomely in the last couple of episodes, and there's always a dangled thread of hope like "there's still some of their data in those Messiah cards," or "there's still some of Jin's data in Enter." In the end, it always serves only to make the fact that there's nothing they can do even more painful.
Deconstruction: Go-Busters is much more explicit about the sort of aftereffects that would be involved in a giant robot attack than the usual Sentai series. The Busters often spend just as much time rescuing people from collateral damage or cleaning up the aftermath of the battle than they do actually fighting the robots.
Also, while definitely not the first Sentai series to have a Mission Control and support crew, it is likely the first to realistically depict the amount of logistics that these crews have to do to give assistance to the team (instead of simply showing them typing on computers). For instance, the first episode shows that a large number of technicians are needed to coordinate the launch of Go-Buster Ace. Hiromu also needs to inform the base minutes before that he will be using the mech to give them some prep time, instead of simply 'summoning' it instantly.
It's worth noting, however, that it's not the first or the most "logical/realistic" by far; Rescue Sentai Go Go Five was pretty much an entire series of a serious take on that.
Another deconstructed is towards the Civilian Powers from Power Rangers. The powers are the results of upgrades and those same upgrades also grant side-effects, like freezing at the sight of chickens, slowing down to a grind, or the real clincher, going Ax Crazy if you use your powers too much.
Department of Redundancy Department: In the updated version of Gokaiger's Super Hero Getter which includes Gokaiger and Go-Busters, Go-Busters line is "Tokumei Mission, Go-Busters." The problem is that "Tokumei" translates to "Special Mission", so in full English, the line is actually "Special Mission Mission, Go-Busters."
Also, the command to form the Combining Mecha is "Combine Operation, Tokumei Gattai", which one fansub group translated as "Combine Operation, Operative Combination".
Episode 42 Enter makes a Messianic Metaloid out of a Megazord. The resulting Delta Megazord that transports in is the MegazordMegazord
Does This Remind You of Anything?: #25. The RousokuZord taking out an Enetron structure by setting it literally aflame (the fire never spreads from the spire, looking like a huge candle) may remind older viewers of the case of oil rigs being deliberately set aflame in the Middle East, an incident that preceded the Gulf War.
Dual Wielding: Ryuji does this in the 8th episode when facing the Drillloid.
Early-Bird Cameo: As is a recent tradition started by Goseiger, the three Go-Busters make their debut in Gokaiger vs. Gavan, where they foil Basco's attempt to take the Gokai Galleon as the Gokaigers are busy rescuing Gavan, as well as Yoko giving Sally a pile of fruit to eat.
Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger make their first apperance in Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger, resulting in an awkward moment when Kyoryu Red finds he is alone when he comes to assist Red Buster and Gokai Red, the rest of his team ran late and only arrived after the two Reds took their leave.
Epic Tracking Shot: A low-tech but effective example in #5, where the image is simply rotated at the same speed as Blue and Yellow's particularly difficult 360-flipping moves.
Everything Is Online: On the plus side, Enter can't just remotely hack into random machines to create Metaloids. On the minus side, how do you infect a fork with a computer virus? Or a candle? Or a rubber eraser?!
Final Boss, New Dimension: Invoked, the Go-Busters decide to drag Enter and his Megazord Omega into Hyperspace for the Final Battle to avoid causalities, as well as allow them to remove the Messiah Card from Hiromu's body.
For Want of a Nail: The premise of Go-Busters Returns, where the team meet alternate versions of themselves from a timeline where the Messiah incident of 1999 never happened. The alternate team are known as the Dōbutsu Sentai (Animal Squadron) and their codename system is a deliberate throwback to the one used in Liveman and Jetman (i.e. Red Cheetah, Yellow Rabbit, Blue Gorilla and Gold Beetle). Since the Buddyloids don't exist in this universe, Kurorin replaces Beet J. Stag as the fifth warrior under the alter-ego of Black Puma.
Fling A Light Into The Future: Realizing that sending Messiah to subspace wouldn't defeat it for good, Hiromu's father essentually did this with the three Busters and Buddyloids, inserting in them a program that can counter the Metavirus.
Freeze Frame Bonus: The opening has excerpts from the English Super Sentai Wikipedia page scroll down at one point (in HTML code). See here◊.
It also pops up in some monitors throughout the series, like the one that appears right when Mission 04 starts.
Funny Background Event: In Mission 21 while Gorisaki Banana and Masato Jin are having a conversation about Ryuji at a park, Beet J Stag rides a zipline on the playground then starts running around the playground with a bug net conversing with a large piece of equipment that has a grasshopper head. He continues this while waving the bug net in the air and eventually falling on his face.
Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: In #47, this is how Hiromu manages to get past his weak point, by having the other team members quickly attack him whenever he freezes.
Hide Your Pregnancy: A la Escape, which becomes questionable if you know what to look for around episode 25, and extremely apparent with scenery tricks, camera angles, and wardrobing done to hide it by episode 42. However, this did not hinder the plot in any way. In fact instead of writing her out of the show (no way they could write in an avatar becoming pregnant) it was effectively concealed by Enter and Escape's upgrade transformations.
I Meant to Do That: In Mission 28, when the Metaloid uses its powers to disguise its Buglers as the original three Busters and the Busters as each other and Enter, J jumps in and starts attacking everyone as part of a supposed effort to work out who's who. When one of his attacks then throws Hiromu (who's been turned into Yoko) into a nearby fountain where the water returns him to normal, J insists that he planned that one.
Identical Stranger: The actress that the Go-Busters protect in #12, Angie Sue, looks exactly like Yoko.
Instant Expert: Averted; the team has been training through simulations for 13 years, even Hiromu who was sheltered by his sister all this time.
Kansas City Shuffle: #9 has the Go-Busters rescue Usada, who has been kidnapped by Enter. Yoko comes up with an extremely elaborate rescue operation that involves using stand-ins for herself and Hiromu to distract Enter long enough for her to execute the rescue.
Knight of Cerebus: Enter was already a pretty serious villain, but after Messiah's defeat, he's gotten much more unstable, taken control of the Vaglass, manages to scare Escape into helping him, and on top of that, obtained the much more powerful Messianic Metaloids who's goal is to absorb people until they evolve into a new Messiah. And then, just to further the trope more, he becomes the Big Bad.
Meaningful Name: The code for the Buster Machines indicate the animals and vehicles they can transform into. Buster Machine GT-02 for example, is a Gorilla that can transform into a Truck. Subverted by the CB-01, which is a Cheetah that transforms into a sports car, which combines with Cheeda Nick (who transforms into a Bike). The number at the end (0X) also indicates their owner. When X is a number, it indicates that the owner is a Buster, whereas letters indicates that it's an auxiliary mecha not owned by anyone in particular.
Mistaken for Dying: Ryuji in #21, thanks to a rather cruel joke played on Gorisaki by Jin.
Mood Whiplash: Mission 45 takes place between Mission 44, a Climax Boss battle and one of the heaviest episodes thus far, and Mission 46, featuring the returns of both Enter and Escape, another very serious episode. 45 itself is a slapstick-heavy filler episode, and while there was a week's break between it and 44, watching the two back-to-back is incredibly jarring.
Go-Busters takes a lot of cues from Power Rangers, apparently paying tribute to Saban's show on the eve of its 20th anniversary. Some of the specifics:
The use of "It's morphin time!" and "Megazord".
Civilian powers (from several Disney-era seasons, particularly Dino Thunder and Operation Overdrive). Further, the Busters got their civilian powers and were chosen to be Rangers because their parents are the ones who engineered the tech - right out of SPD.
That the gold member of the team is an eccentric genius scientist believed lost when the Big Bad was unleashed, but turns out not only to still be alive, but in possession of powers brings to mind Gem, only (hopefully) less insane.
The Monster Making Method, which involves using completely random items like Forks and Drills, is something that has repeatedly been used in many Power Ranger seasons.
The Buster Machines seem to be a mash-up of the Engines (animal/vehicle gimmick) and the Gosei Machines (removable head gimmick).
Go-Buster Beet takes its cues from Rescue Sentai Go Go Five's Red Ladder (and by extension, the Victory Robo itself), since they both have extendable arms. BC-04 even resembles the Red Ladder's base design, despite being based on different vehicles (BC-04 Beetle is a crane, Red Ladder is a firetruck).
BC-04's placement in the Great Go-Buster formation is the same as Gorai Beetle in the TenraiSenpuujin; remember that they're based on the same animal.
Tategami Lio also brings to mind Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger - sharing the spinning mane of Yellow's mecha, has a bluish-purple color scheme, and is driven by Red.
It's a reference to Messiah's birth being on Christmas Day, the celebration of the birth of the Christian Messiah. It's pretty ironic.
Oddly Named Sequel: The first Sentai season since Rescue Sentai Gogo Five that doesn't use the suffix "-ranger" or "-ger" in its title. It is also the only Sentai title that has the team's name pluralized.
The same is true of Enter's outfit worn under his overcoat.
Older Than They Look: Jin, who looks exactly the same as he did thirteen years ago, due to being an avatar that doesn't age. Lampshaded in #17 where Ryuji points out that Jin is technically forty years old, but Jin insists he's still 27 thus Ryuji is the oldest and should give him money.
Only in It for the Money: Why Kazuya, Ryuji's high school friend, decided to cooperate with Enter after the hard work he made to the Buster Machine was not done the way he did in his years as an Engineer. This was before he decided to forget it after seeing Ryuji fight off the Drillloid to prevent Vaglass from securing the blueprints of Buster Machine BC-04.
Overt Operative: It's Super Sentai. "Secret" agents or no, they still have colorful suits and giant robots.
Painting the Medium: The audio noticeably becomes glitchy when Ryuji overheats and goes berserk.
Production Foreshadowing: Remember in the little handover clip at the end of the last episode of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, with Marvelous about to punch Hiromu in the face, and Hiromu catching the punch? Now watch the end of Go-Busters #4.
The Televi-Kun DVD starts with Beet J Stag singing a song In The Style Of Ichirou Mizuki, well before the man himself would appear on the show.
Poorly Disguised Pilot: The two-parter (#31-32) featuring the new Gavan, which was a glorified promo for his new movie.
Prop Recycling: Other than the fact that Megazords use parts of the Metaloids' costume, any Metaloid with 2 at the end reuse previous costumes, especially if they are repaints. Mission 45 opts to hang a lampshade on it by reusing the Eraserloid prop as Omochiloid, using the same plot point of it piggybacking on Hiromu's back to go somewhere, and then having J and Hiromu point out that this whole plot seems familiar.
Race Against the Clock: Zigzagged. The timer that shows how long before an enemy Megazord materializes ticks with varying paces, but there's nothing that states that the Go-Busters absolutely must defeat the Monster of the Week before the countdown finishes; in fact, more often they simply split up and bring in their Humongous Mecha while simultaneously fighting the monster if there isn't enough time, or they defeat the monster well before the countdown finishes and have plenty of time to get into their Buster Vehicles.
Reality Subtext: The whole premise of Enetron itself, thanks to the protests against reliance on nuclear energy, after the Fukushima nuclear plant failures in the wake of the 2011 earthquake.
Similarly, the finality of everyone from the energy center sent into hyperspace being Killed Off for Real could be seen as a coping mechanism for all the lives lost in that earthquake. Compare Mahou Sentai Magiranger, which starts with a Disappeared Dad, the remaining parent becoming a Missing Mom by the first episode, and yet both turn up alive and well by the end.
Retool: Episode 28 has a new OP, removing the narration and bringing back the title scream. The new opening isn't that different, however. Episode 30 kills off the Big Bad and the next two episodes are devoted to a crossover with Gavan, leaving the fanbase fearing a complete abandoning of the original plot and the decline of Go-Busters' quality. #33 reveals they were wrong, since the plot's picked back up, with Messiah getting a new can and Enter stepping up as the new Big Bad.
Also from this point onward the show introduced more "Toyetic" items like the Powered Custom and had less of a focus on the Spy aspect.
Right Behind Me: The plot of #9 is kicked off by a feud between Yoko and Usada after she walks in on him ranting about her poor test scores and how "she doesn't need to be getting any dumber!", all while Hiromu and Ryuji look on and wince.
Robot Buddy: Each Go-Buster has a "Buddyloid", a human sized robot companion that is capable of transforming into the control panel of their individual mecha.
Sexy Santa Dress: All four of the girls wear some variant in the Christmas special. First is Escape, who appears in a black Santa dress in #43 alongside Enter, who is in a male version obviously. And at the party at the end of #44, Nakamura wears a more traditional girl Santa costume, Yoko wears a Little Red Riding Hood esque Santa dress with leather boots while Rika wears a slightly naughtier sleeveless dress.
Go-Buster Beet's combination even mimics GaoGaiGar's arms - both arms are a single piece that passes through a hollow torso until it's midway through. The camera angle of it coming in is even the same.
Something Completely Different: Between the change from spandex to leather, promotional materials calling it the "first in a new era of Sentai", and the Milestone Celebration that is Gokaiger, it seems Go-Busters is going to some interesting new places. This is also the first Sentai series since 1999's Gogo-V not use the suffix "-ranger" or "-ger" on the title.
Soundtrack Dissonance: #20. when Filmloid traps Hiromu in an illusion that his family is back with him, Jingle Bells can be heard playing in the background, and it continues playing during Yoko and Ryuji's fight against Filmloid.
Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Hyperspace transfer times for Vaglass Megazords seem to depend on how soon the writers need it to appear. For example, the ShovelZord in Mission 1 took 3 minutes and 30 seconds to transfer. In Mission 3, the NeedleZord took 42 minutes to completely transfer. Taken Up to Eleven with the TiaraZord, which takes over twenty hours to transport.
It should be noted however, that the slower transfer time was acknowledged in series. Also note that it was implied to be that the slower the transfer time, the less Enetron used in the process.
The Watson: The newest support personnel, Miho Nakamura, has little to no knowledge of what the Vaglass are or even how the Go-Busters got their powers, and is in frequent need of explanation. Good thing too since if she didn't the viewers would have a hard time keeping up.
Hiromu: When he panics, he completely freezes up. Even when in mid air, at which point he will be stuck floating. Chickens are the thing he fears the most (a phobia resulting from a childhood trauma and actually unrelated to his weakpoint), so more often than not it's the sight of a chicken, even a picture of one, that will freeze him up. While not as bad, yelling "chicken" at him will make him move like a rusted robot. The fast food chain KFC is known in Japan too, so his fear could be called a "Colonel panic", which would be a pun on Kernel panic, the Unix-variant of a Blue Screen of Death.
Ryuji: If he uses his Super Strength too much, he will overheat, much like an overclocked computer. And when he overheats, he goes Ax Crazy and starts lashing out at anyone nearby, friend or foe, until he either cools down or collapses.
Yoko: If she runs out of energy, she will stop moving. As a result, she has to eat sweets. Her weakpoint could be compared to a computer with a faulty battery.
Cursed with Awesome: Let's reiterate, she regenerates her powers by eating sweets. However, in practice, for a while it actually rendered her a Faux Action Girl, as she'd run out of power and fall on her face a few minutes into standard Ranger action and need to be rescued Once an Episode, in exchange for a "power" that's something every Ranger has (jumping is the standard method of Humongous Mecha entry, after all.) Lately, though, she's able to endure much longer.
Wham Episode: Mission 30: Messiah and Enter are gone! And with them, all the researchers, the Rangers' parents included, who'd been digitized. It's only episode 30, so clearly this can't stand, but we're given no kind of hint as to how it'll be reversed - the preview for the next episode is all about a Cross Over with the new Space Sheriff Gavan and gives us nothing on where the Go-Busters' story goes from here.
Mission 33 then proceeds to be another one by revealing exactly where the Go-Busters' story goes from here. Enter's far more dangerous now that he's in charge instead of Messiah.
Mission 43 AND HOW! Escape steals 2 Messaiah cards, powering up Megazord Zeta, seemingly kills Enter by CRUSHING him to death, and then a Curb-Stomp Battle occurs where she blows away the Buster Machines with a single blast! All of this in a Christmas Episode no less!
Mission 46 has Enter return with Escape, revealing at the end of the episode that he can recreate her from a flower. He also turned J's pet stag beetle into a Metaloid. Yes. Enter can infect living beings, such as plants and animals, with Metaviruses!
Mission 47 finds yet another way to top the above, TWICE. 1) Enter found out Hiromu's weakpoint 2) How did he find out? ...After a Final Buster, even after getting vaporized and utterly annihilated along with the Messiah cards, he still respawns. His backup is stored in Hiromu, who is the receptacle for Card #13. Cue massive Oh Crap.
Two from Mission 28: One from Jin: "They took the entire Enetron supply that I had in hyperspace" and one from Enter: My majesty, Messiah...Your evolution is at hand!"
From Mission 47, Enter drops this massive bombshell: "Red Buster, you are my back-up. As long as you are alive, I will always revive!".(Context - the missing 13th Messiah Card is inside Hiromu)
Mission 48. "Let's...morphin'."
"Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Everyone gets back together for Yoko's high school graduation party sometime after the finale, with Ryuji now an engineer, Hiromu and Nick back as a family with Rika, and J traveling the world and exploring (and guarding) nature
The Worf Effect: Despite all the training, the superhuman abilities, and the battles against the Vaglass, the core 3 Go-Busters are foiled by a mere cat burglar in #41.
Write Back to the Future: In Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger, Yoko, Beet J. Stag and Gai are trapped in the Edo era, and end up informing their friends left behind in the present of what happened by leaving a message with the Shiba clan which is kept in the family until the present.
Writers Cannot Do Math: In Mission 44 Enter mentions that Messiah came to power 13 years ago. It should really be 14 years ago as the series started with it being 13 years ago almost a year has passed and that Christmas should mark 14 years.
Averted with Ryuji as the writers haven't forgotten that he celebrated a birthday some time during the series as Mission 45 mentions that he's 29 where he was previously 28 at the start of the series.