Warrior of Love Rainbowman
is Toho's first toku
show that aired in 1972-1973. It was created by Kohan Kawauchi, who is also responsible for the first tokusatsu, Moonlight Mask
The toku series began with Takeshi Yamato, a pro wrestler who goes to India to learn discipline from the old sage Daibadatta. When Daibadatta trains him, he gives Takeshi Yamato the Henshin Hero
abilities that allow him to transform into Rainbowman. He has seven different forms
, each based off a different element
and day of week. He goes back to Japan and meets Mr. K, a foreigner so bent or revenge he wants to destroy Japan, and leads the Shine Shine Dan (literally Die Die Army). He makes it his goal to stop them.
The series was successful enough to receive a 1982 anime remake, which replaced the title hero with a robot named Rainbowman, who was piloted by Takeshi Yamato.
Warrior of Love Rainbowman provides examples of the following tropes:
- Anti-Villain: Strangely averted. It's implied that most of the Shine Shine Dan are WWII vets suffering from violent post-traumatic stress, but the show treats them as just a bunch of monsters.
- Blessed with Suck: See Healing Factor.
- Big Bad: Mr. K.
- Cliff Hanger: Kawauchi is a master at them.
- Elite Mooks: The flamethrower-carrying members and the DAC.
- Eye Scream: Takeshi is blinded in one episode by gunfire.
- Expository Theme Tune: And how!
- Faceless Goons: The Shine Shine Dan's army.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The Shine Shine Dan song gets away with calling the Japanese "yellow monkeys".
- Gratuitous English: The mooks and officers answer to Mr. K with "YES SIR!"
- Healing Factor: If wounded, Takeshi can go into a healing trance in which his body is frozen. However he is unaware of his surroundings and is very vulnerable to attack when he is in this state.
- Healing Hands: Daibadatta has a form of this, but Rainbowman has to learn it.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Actually averted for once, as both the Shine Shine Dan Army and DAC hit Takeshi in several episodes.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Rainbowman destroys Dr. Borg's underground base by carpet-bombing it with lightning.
- Lyrical Dissonance: The second ending theme is an uptempo tune with a cheerful kids choir as backup — about the villains' desire to destroy Rainbowman.
- Manly Tears: Takeshi cries a lot during the series.
- Monster of the Week: Sort of. The "monsters" were human assassins with strange abilities and costumes, and they didn't really show up until episode 13.
- Mook Chivalry: Both subverted and played straight: The goons shoot at the same time, but they melee attack like typical mooks.
- Multiform Balance / Elemental Powers: Rainbowman possesses seven different superhero forms called "Dashes", with the seven Dashes representing yin and yang (the Moon and the Sun) and the five elements (wu xing) of ancient Chinese philosophy.
- Our Cyborgs Are Different: Cyborgs in the series were not just mechanical humans, but also insane homicidal maniacs with super strength and dark circles around their eyes.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: The anime version toned down the political messages heavily.
- Religion of Evil: The Shine Shine Dan.
- Scary Black Man: Pagora, also a cyborg.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Takeshi sings his own theme song (the first ED of the show) in episode 43.
- World War II: Mr. K's motivation
- Vain Sorceress: Iguana and her mother.
- Villain Song: Shine Shine Dan's Theme.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Dash 1 does nothing but make Takeshi able to squeeze through small crevasses. Later on it's given one offensive ability; the ability to cause thunderstorms, but it's used once.
- Yellow Peril: Both inverted and played straight. Some of the villains are Americans who see the Japanese as this, while Big Bad Mr. K actually is.
- You Have Failed Me: Whenever a mook is about to be nabbed by the police or an officer fails one too many times, Mr. K pulls out a device called "The Vaporizer" and reduces them to bone fragments or skeletons.