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Clockwise from top-right: Ban, Sen, Umeko, Jasmine, Hoji, Tetsu
"S.P.D.: Special Police Dekaranger. Five detectives who fight with cool, yet burning, hearts. Their mission: To combat space criminals who have invaded Earth. They will protect the peace and safety of all humanity!"
Tokusō Sentai Dekaranger (Special Investigations Squadron Dekarangernote Deka is a Japanese slang term for "detective") is the twenty-eighth program in the Super Sentai franchise, airing from 2004 to 2005.Twenty Minutes into the Future, the Earth has become part of the greater universal picture and ushered in a new era where aliens walk alongside humans in everyday life. Of course, with powerful aliens come powerful criminals, and the elite intergalactic organisation tasked with protecting the peace is the S.P.D.: Special Police Dekaranger.The story focuses on the Earth Branch of the S.P.D, and the five members of its Dekaranger division. Led by legendary S.P.D. commander Doggie Kruger, the Dekaranger are tasked with solving crimes committed by the various alien criminals on Earth. Although the Dekaranger have the authority to execute the most dangerous of criminals, they must attain a "Guilty" verdict from the highest court in the galaxy before they can do so.The series is composed of a number of individual case files, loosely-connected by the presence of the shadowy Agent Abrella, a black market Arms Dealer who supplies many of the villains with their equipment.
Eyecatch: The first half of the eyecatch features the "dog" part of the "n" character howling before pulling back to show the logo and the five rangers in attack position. After the commercial the eyecatch features the ranger(s) of the episode shooting the screen. Later after the debut of Deka Master and Deka Break, the eyecatch also sported either Deka Master slashing or Deka Break punching the screen.
Evolving Credits: Maybe the ultimate example: since Sentai shows have a habit of having the villain in the credits and Dekaranger has no main villain, a shot of the monster of the week is inserted in the credits for each episode. As a result, no two episodes share the same title sequence.
When Tetsu joins the squad, he is added to the credits, replacing the scene of the two patrol vehicles and Hoji's motorcycle. In a similar vein, Doggie's shot is also modified after he becomes Deka Master. Swan-san gains the same old shot though.
Infant Immortality: AVERTED. In the first episode! The one responsible gets his at the hands of Deka Red.
In the Name of the Moon - Every member gets to say an entire sentence along with their name and number. Quite possibly the longest in Super Sentai history when Dekaranger came out, but later shows have followed Dekaranger's lead (with Magiranger's arguably being the longest so far).
Red: "One, to hate inhuman crimes!"
Blue: "Two, to pursue mysterious cases!"
Green: "Three, to investigate using futuristic technology!"
Yellow: "Four, the hideous evil of space..."
Pink: "Five, ...to exterminate them with all possible speed!"
Break: "To attack wicked evil! To smash the darkness of fear! The Daybreak Detective, Deka Break!"
alternately, Break: "Six, it's good to be invincible!"
All: "S.P.D.! [all announce their names one by one]! Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger!"
Master: "Cutting down hundreds of evildoers! Hell's Police Guard Dog, Deka Master!"
Two Girls to a Team: A triumphant return of this tradition after a whopping six years of just one heroine per team. In addition to the two main girls (Yellow and Pink, the eighth time this combination was used), the series also had three guest heroines (Swan, Bright and Gold) for a total of five female rangers, enough to match the amount of male rangers.
Beware the Nice Ones - The eccentric Sen-chan is usually very nice but cross him and you'll be in a world of pain.
Big Bad - Agent Abrella. He's a unique one compared to other major super sentai villains. He does not have any authority or control of the Monster of the Week but instead provides support for their plans.
Call Back - In Magiranger vs. Dekaranger, the Dekarangers stop a giant Alienizer via Formation U2 from taking off with a building with the Ozu siblings and Umeko inside. A similar technique was used in the first episode to stop an Alienizer from terrorizing a bus.
Car Fu: In Dekaranger vs. Abaranger, the Abarangers steal an SPD squad car to chase after the real villain, who is disguised as a crow. Ranru decides to launch the car off of a ramp to follow the crow into the air. They actually manage to fly through the air for a goodly time, too. The impossibility of this move is given a deadpan lampshade by the Dekarangers:
Disney Death: Doggie Kruger during the 3-episode finale. He gets better.
And before that, Ban in the first part of said finale. But in a case of Truth in Television, after Tetsu had "killed" him with his Hyper Electro Fist to separate Jellyfish, who had used Grand Theft Me on Ban and who would have killed him anyway if separated from him, Tetsu then used the same attack to restart Ban's heart!
Don't Try This at Home: In Episode 17, they tell kids not to imitate Umeko (who has just drunk sake) and that you need to be at least 20 to drink (in Japan). Becomes hilarious when you realise that UMEKO HERSELF is giving the warning!
Drunken Boxing: In episode 17, the MOTW used this technique, then Umeko perfected it against the MOTW.
Dynamic Entry: Hoji becomes exceptionally depressed over a mistake he made in combat in an early episode, and Ban, unable to talk him out of it, simply waits for his depression to become a complete distraction before letting loose with "SNAP OUT OF IT" scream and a dropkick. Not a perfect use of the trope since Ban was already there, but it was unexpected either way.
Human Aliens: Justified: most aliens living on Earth have human forms they can use to better interact with humans, even though there's apparently no real attempt at a Masquerade. Some of them naturally look like humans with some modifications, like the females of the Zamaza race, who look perfectly human apart from having small horns above the ears.
Humanoid Aliens: With only a few exceptions, all the aliens the Dekarangers interact with are humanoid in shape.
Hotblooded - Actually all of them but Ban does it in spades.
Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Averted on a technicality. The Dekarangers don't judge the Alienizers themselves, but a special mode on their Licenses sends all known evidence and current bioreadings to "the highest court in the galaxy", which somehow returns a verdict in seconds that the Rangers then carry out.
Leg Cannon: The Dekaranger-Robo's left leg is formed by Deka Blue's machine, whose main weapon is the Gyro Vulcan, a Gatling gun.
Limited Wardrobe: Justified because they are officers and therefore wear uniforms. Strangely averted occasionally by Doggie who wears various clothing in his flashbacks (though mostly show his bare body).
Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Subverted in the non-massive crossover movie, Dekaranger vs. Abaranger, when Hurricane Red shows up in the middle of a heated battle- but it turns out to be the villain in disguise.
Also, the various Humongous Mecha are references to Rescue Sentai GoGoFive mecha: Dekarangerrobo = Victory Robo; Dekabaserobo = Grand Liner; Dekabikerobo = Linerboy; Super Dekarangerrobo = Max Victory Robo; Dekawingrobo = Victory Mars
The SWAT mode firearms are recolored versions of Solbrain's main weapon.
Ban tries to do this once. It didn't work. The narrator lampshades this by asking the audience if it will work.
Rape Is Funny When It Is Hermaphrodite On Male: The Alienizer in #45 clearly wants to mate with Tetsu, not only kiss. It is even remarked that his species tries harder if resisted. When the Dekarangers still thought a female team member was targeted, they were concerned, but with a male team member they are amused and don't help him.
Screw the Rules, I Have Connections! - The criminal who used the trope was a son of a very rich father. He thought it permitted him to murder people as part of a game. Sen didn't really care though and gave the guy his just reward.
Sempai/Kohai: Tetsu considers the Earth Division rangers (especially Ban) as his sempai.
She Is Not My Girlfriend: In the Magiranger VS Dekaranger special. When Miyuki Ozu, the mother of the five main rangers in Mahou Sentai Magiranger, asks them to guard the Flower of Heaven for her, she says that they're the happiest couple she knows. Both Doggie and Swan deny that statement, but most fans know otherwise.
It's obvious they like each other, in episode 36, it looked like Swan was about to kiss Doggie, but she just gave him the award she got. Also, in Episode 45, when the possibility of Swan having a secret admirer (who could be a criminal) was raised, Doggie looked a little upset and quickly said no when Swan offered to be bait to catch said admirer. Later we see Tetsu disguised as Swan trying to lure out the admirer, and Doggie seems really angry by the sound of his voice (jealous much?). Turns out, the admirer liked Tetsu and his race pretty much falls in love with Anything That Moves. Doggie sighs in relief that no one was after Swan.
Shout-Out: Dekaranger is best described as head writer Naruhisa Arakawa's year-long love letter to pop culture. Here's a small handful of the Shout Outs:
The entire concept of the series, the "Tokusou" in the name, the narrator who repeats the same description every single episode (and was once self-parodied in the show), and the birdman in charge of the organization are all references to Metal Heroes, especially the Space Sheriff shows.
Star Fish Aliens: Do not appear much, since most of the aliens in the show are humanoid, but examples are Lovelians, who look like tree/lobster thingies with long arms and one leg, and Pyrians, which are sentient flames.
The main Dekarangers are all named after kinds of tea: Bancha (common green tea), Hojicha (charcoal-roasted tea), Sencha (high-quality, un-ground green tea), jasmine tea, Umecha (tea with dried plum).
The aliens from Algol in The Movie. Since Algol sounds like "alcohol", the writer decided to name them all after different kinds of liquor: Whinsky, Giin, Brandyl, and Volka (whisky, gin, brandy, and vodka). In the third movie, their remaining brother, Barbon (bourbon), appears.
Shiratori Swan: Her surname "Shiratori" literally means "white bird". Those kanji are usually read "haku-chō", which also literally means "white bird" but the name of a specific bird. Three guesses which one; first two don't count. Pin-Pon! It's her given name: Swan. (This must be a double or triple Punny Name, as well.)
The four Deka Vehicles are named after different dog breeds: Machine Bull(dog), Machine Doberman, Machine Husky and Machine Boxer.
Use Your Head: Jasmine's Deka-Machine has a reinforced cockpit, used for (as she puts it) "'DON' to itte miyou! DON!"note Literally, "Let's give it a 'DON' and see how it goes!" Usually, it doesn't do much, and she gets knocked for a loop.
Umeko also does this using the Dekaranger-Robo in Episode 12. It was extra funny because she actually leaned forward in her command chair and got right up in the camera's face to deliver it. Though her face was hidden by her visor, you could tell she was pissed.
Viewers Are Morons: Has to constantly remind us of Sen's thinking stance, or that Jasmine is a ESPer. They think we have memories of goldfish.
Villainous Breakdown: Normally Agent Abrella is a calculating opportunistic arms-merchant, setting up wars so his business will flourish. In the series, he mostly stayed behind the scenes and sold Mooks and Humongous Mecha to the Villain of the Week. But when the Dekarangers foiled his plans just too many times,he starts direct attack on the Dekabase, killing the hundreds of employee's working there., thus turning from a cold-hearted merchant into a bloodthirsty murderer.
Wholesome Crossdresser: Tetsu becomes this whenever he has to go undercover for a mission. It ends up getting him into trouble with a lovestruck alien criminal both times. He even does it in the Magiranger Cross Over movie, alongside Hikaru/Magishine.
Although not when he's undercover in Boukenger vs. Super Sentai.