(フランスファイブ Furansu Faibu
?), originally titled Jushi Sentai France Five
(銃士戦隊フランスファイブ Jūshi Sentai Furansu Faibu
, translated as Musketeers Squadron France Five
) and later known as Shin Kenjushi France Five
(新剣銃士フランスファイブ Shin Kenjūshi Furansu Faibu
, translated as New Sword Musketeers France Five
), is a French series produced by Buki X-1 Productions in 2000s. It is a homage to both Toei's ever-popular Super Sentai
series (which was extremely popular in France in the 1980s) and another Sentai pastiche, Aikoku Sentai Dai-Nippon
("Patriot Squadron Great Japan
") (1982) by Daicon Films (now Studio Gainax
Glou Man Chou, ruler of the empire Lexos, desires to conquer planet Earth. However, the Eiffel Tower generates a barrier around the planet that keeps him from sending his armies en masse. Glou Man Chou sends his warriors and monsters to Earth in order to destroy the tower and enable a full scale invasion, but they are opposed by the France Five.
The series' fourth episode ended on a Cliffhanger
with the fifth poised to be the Grand Finale
. This was in 2005
. Episode 5 was finally released online
in 2012 with the true finale, episode 6, released in 2013.
The France Five:
France Five provides examples of the following tropes:
- Allergic to Evil: The France Five's reaction when finally confronted to Glou Man Chou. Although not so much allergic as just buffeted by his enormous personal power.
- Affectionate Parody: Very much so. The show can't be said to really "mock" Sentai, but rather follows every trope of the genre quite faithfully. The humor comes from the decalage of setting a Sentai in France.
- Arm Cannon: Zakaral
- The Artifact: The France Cannon, which is only used to kill the monsters of the first two episodes, but is still shown and even mentioned in the lyrics of the opening song used for episodes 4-6.
- Avenging the Villain:
- Lady Warcry is Warduke's daughter, and wants to avenge her father.
- A subversion with Glou Man Chou, as he doesn't care about Antoine killing Zakaral, figuring if Zakaral had been worthy he wouldn't have lost.
- Baguette Beatdown: Yellow Baguette's weapons of choice, first as a sword and later as a staff. Starting episode 2, he throws croissant boomerangs as his calling card, in a manner resembling a certain anime series.
- Beware the Nice Ones: In episode 6, Margarine turns into... Wargarine. She makes short work of the Mook Lieutenant that was close to killing the heroes five minutes before.
- BFG: Wargarine sports several.
- Big Bad: Glou Man Chou
- Bittersweet Ending: The Earth is saved, Antoine marries Sophie... and yet Aramis is dead and Catherine is alone to mourn.
- Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: Red Fromage
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Extasy
- Calling Your Attacks with Punny Theme Name:
- Babybomb (from Babybel, a french brand of cheese)
- Camemblade (from Camembert, a french cheese)
- Also "Double Cheese"; Red Fromage is fond of this.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The last two episodes are much more serious than the beginning of the series. Again, it fits with the genre parodied, since the end of a Sentai series generally takes a turn for the drama.
- Chainsaw-Grip BFG: Wargarine uses one.
- Chef of Iron: Succulard
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Well, it's a Sentai after all.
- Combination Attack: Attaque Triplée
- Coup de Grâce: The finishing moves are called thus.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Agony
- Crossover: Catherine and Thierry appear in another French indie series, DAMNED Next, to retrieve some stray Panous-Panous who wandered into the already over-the-top fight scene. Hilarity ensues.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy:
- Warduke in the fourth episode.
- #4 is when the villains in general start getting savvy. Rather than coming up with some roundabout way to allow an invasion by hypnotizing tourists or some such thing, Zakaral sneaks some big guns to Earth and uses them to just blow up the thing keeping the bulk of their armies out.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: Most enemies; another Sentai standard.
- Dirty Coward: Cancrelax
- Drop the Hammer: Gorlock
- Dumb Muscle: Again, Gorlock.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: "Operation: Gergovie" in episode 5, and the Robot d'Artagnan in episode 6.
- Enemy Mime: The Panous-Panous have been described as "ninja-mimes".
- Evil Laugh: Glou Man Chou's is epic.
- Evil Is Hammy: Glou Man Chou pulls absolutely no punches, and it's glorious.
- Evolutionary Retcon: Several costumes were upgraded over the series. Namely, Margarine, the France Five suits, and France Robo itself. The episode 1 costumes reappear in flashbacks during episodes 3 and 6, explained away as prototypes for the current models which now have always been there.
- Fingerless Gloves: Thierry (Black Beaujolais), definitively the badass variant.
- Finishing Move:
- "Jushi Sentai Hexagonal Attack"
- "Botte Secrète de Nevers"
- Five-Bad Band: The villains, even though Zakaral only shows up in the last couple episodes, and by that time Warduke and Extasy are out of the game.
- Five-Man Band: The France Five, naturally:
- Giggling Villain: Cancrelax
- Gratuitous English: In several places, such as calling their attacks and when doing their version of the Goranger Storm in episode 3.
- Gratuitous Japanese: The full titles, and new theme tune.
- Hand Wave: The reason why Black Beaujolais is immune to poison. Also counts as Fauxlosophic Narration.
- Head Bob: The France Five in armor, yet another stapple of Sentai.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- Wargarine stays behind to protect Professor Burgonde and is killed by Zakaral. (She gets better.)
- Antoine sacrifices himself at the end of episode 6, staying behind to stop Glou Man Chou from exploding on Earth. Subverted: Antoine survives.
- Heroic Second Wind: Red Fromage in episode 6.
- I Fell for Hours: Red Fromage and Zakaral exchange some words while they're both falling from a building.
- In Medias Res: Implied with the first episode.
- It Has Been an Honor: Red Fromage before his Heroic Sacrifice in episode 6.
- Just Eat Gilligan: The standard one of these for Sentai series — why the Big Bad doesn't send all his monsters at once — is parodically justified. The Eiffel Tower projects a force field around planet Earth, meaning that the Big Bad can only send small squadrons of troops to Earth at a time, including a monster, some Panous-Panous and his two lieutenants.
- Knight of Cerebus: Zakaral
- Lampshade Hanging: In episode 6:
- Large and In Charge: Glou Man Chou
- Laser Blade: Wargarine
- Libation for the Dead: Done by Black Beaujolais in episode 3, by pouring wine on the tomb of his late mentor.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Done by Robot d'Artagnan in episode 6.
- Make My Monster Grow: Cancrelax's job with every Lexostreum. And in the final episode, to Glou Man Chou himself.
- Malaproper: Professor Burgonde can't get any figure of speech right.
- Meaningful Name: Aramis, Jean Pétri, the monsters' names, and many others.
- Monster of the Week: The Lexostreums.
- Mooks: The Panous-Panous. Which means "not us, not us" (as in "don't hit us").
- Never Trust a Title: Episode 5 "Farewell, France Five! The Day of Glory has Arrived!"... ends on a Cliffhanger.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Cancrelax turns out to be this in the fifth episode.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Albert
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: Zakaral leads one in the last couple episodes, with Gorlock, Succulard, Agony and Lady Warcry.
- Shock and Awe: Glou Man Chou's favorite way of punishing those who failed him, or smiting his foes.
- Shout-Out: Along with being a huge homage to Dai-Nippon, the series has frequent callbacks to other Sentai shows:
- The original opening (episodes 1-2) is a remix of the Bioman theme, while the ending (episodes 1-2) is a remix of Jetman's closing theme — both of which were broadcast and extremely popular in France.
- Also, the teleport fly-by from episode 2 onward is a blatant Jetman homage.
- The team's mecha follow early '80s Sentai conventions: One jet, one tank, and a main carrier.
- Blue Accordéon's original bow-and-arrow weapon in episode 1.
- The Olympic Crusher attack in episode 3 is not only a throwback to the Goranger Storm but a shot-for-shot nod to Gaoranger Storm attack featured in Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai.
- France Robo's appearance in episode 6 is a complete homage to the launch sequence of Mazinger Z.
- When Red's seat moves down after the robots combine in episode 6, it looks remarkably similar to Duke's seat doing the same when he'd activate Grendizer (probably more appropriate to say... Goldorak).
- Also, the password to make the robots combine is alea jacta est, a regular catchphrase in Astérix.
- Also in the climax of episode 6, there are several nods to episodes 5 and 6 of GunBuster.
- Sixth Ranger: Silver Mousquetaire who, in a funny subversion of the formula, enters the scene right in the first episode. But it is supposed to be a late episode of a bigger "series".
- The Smurfette Principle: Catherine
- Spandex, Latex, or Leather: Spandex for the heroes, naturally, since the series tries to stick very closely to classic Sentai. The villains are a bit more varied, with leather, dominatrix-style, for Extasy, spandex shorts and little else for Warduke, and flowing robes for Cancrelax and Glou Man Chou.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff: Blue Accordéon and Yellow Baguette, against Glou Man Chou's lightning.
- "Super Sentai" Stance: Of course. Most notably, during the Eye Catch for the earlier episodes.
- This Cannot Be!: Naturally said by Glou Man Chou during the ultimate battle.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Or Paris is, in this case. Justified, since the Eiffel Tower is protecting the Earth from a large-scale alien invasion.
- Torso with a View: Succulard in episode 6 (although the chain wrapped around him is undamaged...).
- Transformation Is a Free Action: Notably defied in episode 2, with Discostreum firing a blast just as the heroes try to transform, twice.
- Transformation Sequence: For the France Five, naturally.
- Voice of the Legion: Glou Man Chou
- Weaponized Land Mark: The series revolves around the idea that the Eiffel Tower is a shamanic totem holding the evil galactic empire at bay.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The series' final ending.
- Wolverine Claws: Cancrelax's (Freddy Claws, more accurately).
- Wrestler in All of Us: Warduke pulls out a swinging neckbreaker, a suplex and a powerbomb during his final appearance.