The Chou Sei Shin Series (Ultra Star God Series) is a trilogy of tokusatsu shows aired from 2003-2006. Created by Toho (who famously produced the Godzilla movies), it was their attempt to break into the Henshin Hero market that was — at the time — dominated by Toei and their two major franchises, Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, with Tsuburaya's Ultra Series for good measure. The shows revolve around the title Ultra Star Gods: Humongous Mecha that are used by the protagonists to protect the Earth from an extraterrestrial threat.
The first entry was Chou Sei Shin Gransazer, aired in 2003. The Earth was once a highly advanced civilization until it was attacked by the Alien Alliance. The Earth built giant mecha known as Ultra Star Gods to defend themselves, but even with their power the Earth was eventually defeated. Millions of years later, the Lost Technology of that ancient civilization is stirring, awakening the ancient DNA lying dormant in twelve chosen warriors that calls them to fight a new alien threat once more.
The twelve heroes- the Gransazer- were each named after a starsign and arranged into four elemental Tribes: Fire, Wind, Earth and Water. The main protagonists are the Fire Tribe, and the three other Tribes originally enter as antagonists to them, either directly or indirectly. When all three members of a Tribe gather, they can awaken and summon their respective Ultra Star Gods.
The second entry was Gen Sei Shin Justiriser, aired in 2004, which reduced the number of core heroes from twelve to three. Long ago, a champion of the Earth called Noulan defeated and sealed away the evil Kaiser Hades, and entrusted her power- JustiPower- to a future generation. In the present day, a scientist named Doctor Zora aims to free Kaiser Hades, and in response the JustiPower awakens three chosen humans as warriors known as the Justirisers. Each one can summon a mecha known as a Star God Beast, and when it combines with another mecha called RiseRoss they can create a Phantom Star God.
The third entry was Chou Sei Kantai Sazer X, aired in 2005. In the year 3000, the Earth is consumed by darkness and conquered by Space Pirates. As humanity's last hope, they send three ships (and their pilots) back in time to Set Right What Once Was Wrong by preventing the Space Pirates' initial conquest of Earth. In the present day, Takuto Ando is recruited by the time travellers to become the third member of Sazer X, their elite fighting team. To save the Earth, they have to find twelve mysterious McGuffins called Cosmo Capsules which, when brought together, will grant one wish. Sadly, they do not summon a dragon to do this. Each member of Sazer X has their own ship and support team, and when a ship combines with a mecha known as a Core-Calibur, they transform into a Shooting Star God.
The three series were generally praised for the high quality of their giant mecha fights, which were fast and innovative, helped by the actual mecha costumes allowing for far more flexibility than the bulky suits that Super Sentai usually employs. Unfortunately, the Chou Sei Shin Series just wasn't popular enough to compete with Toei's established franchises, and the final installment would end with 37 episodes and a Bat Family Crossover movie.
This series contains examples of:
- Actor Allusion — Shidou Mika from Gransazers returning in Sazer X, executing the same reverse kick on Takuto that she did with Tenma when they first met. With identical results.
- This happened in Justiriser to Shouta, didn't it? Mika, Dentsuin, and Naoto made a cameo appearance in Justiriser. The only overt references to a past Chou Sei Shin series in Sazer X (besides the film) is the appearance of a Gadaru Seijin and the Gig Fighters.
- All Your Powers Combined
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle — Sazer X.
- Avenging the Villain — An example in Justiriser: The heroes kill Big Bad Kaiser Hades at the end of the second act of the series, and then his brother appears from nowhere to avenge him.
- Bittersweet Ending — Commander Shark being erased from time as a result of the heroes' success at the end of Sazer X.
- Dancing Theme — Sazer X
- Defector from Decadence
- Elemental Powers
- Evil Counterpart
- The Impactors and Bosquito in Gransazer.
- Demon Knight in Justiriser. And later Majin Daruga after stealing Demon Knight's powers and using them to become Kurogane.
- Jackall in Sazer X.
- The Four Gods — Used as the motif for the Star God Beasts in Justiriser
- The Empire:
- Warp Monarch in Chouseishin Gransazer. Ultimately subverted, as the Warp Monarch turn out to be much closer to The Federation, and are only trying to obliterate humanity because Belzeus tricked them into doing so.
- The Daruga Imperial Army in Genseishin Justiriser play this trope straight, and seek to conquer the entire universe.
- The Descal Fleet become this after conquering the Earth.
- Finishing Move
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere — Sazer X.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All
- The Steller Plates in Justiriser which need to be destroyed to unseal Kaiser Hades.
- The Cosmo Capsules in Sazer X.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Present in all three series.
- Chouseishin Gransazer has the Bosquito, an ancient and destructive evil that the Warp Monarch sought to eradicate by wiping all life off of Earth. Belzeus later unseals one as part of his plan to get the Warp Monarch to attack the Earth.
- Majin Daruga, Kaiser Hades' older brother, for the first half of Justiriser. While his younger brother's Hades Army are a sect of his Daruga Imperial Army, he and his forces remain distant from the story until receiving word of Hades' death.
- King Neo Descal is the man behind the Descal Pirate Fleets in Sazer-X, but he is absent from the plot for the first two thirds of the show, leaving Garade as the Big Bad for most of it.
- Lighter and Fluffier — Sazer X, at first.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Mirror Match — Takuto's fight against Black-Lio in the finale of Sazer X.
- Mook Carryover: The Gig Fighters used by Warp Monarch in Chouseishin Gransazer appear again in Sazer X as the Mooks of the Space Pirate Fleet Descal.
- People in Rubber Suits
- Power Trio
- The four tribes in Gransazer are each comprised of three people.
- The Justirisers are also a trio.
- Same with Sazer-X, at least until Shark-Sazer joins the team.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad — The Three Shogun of Sazer X. Quite possibly the most plot-integral Quirky Miniboss Squad ever.
- Sealed Evil in a Can
- The Bosquito in Gransazer. And there's more of it.
- Kaiser Hades for the first quarter of Justiriser.
- Sixth Ranger — Shark-Sazer in Sazer X.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil
- Super Mode — Riser Shirogane in Justiriser.
- Take a Third Option — A rare villainous example in Sazer X: The Man Behind the Man King Neo Descal appears from the future to ensure that the Earth is conquered. Instead of adhering to history and conquering the Earth by capturing all twelve Cosmo Capsules (which his minions have thus far tried and failed at) he decides to build a Doomsday Device on the moon that will essentially conquer Earth for him.
- The Man Behind the Man: Used in all three series.
- The Warp Monarch turn out to have been manipulated by Belzeus in Chouseishin Gransazer into attacking Earth, so he can use it as a foothold as part of his plan to become a Galactic Conqueror.
- In Genseishin Justiriser, the Hades Army turns out to be a section of the Daruga Imperial Army.
- King Neo Descal turns out to have been behind both of the Descal fleets in Chousei Kantai Sazer-X.
- Time Travel — Used surprisingly well in Sazer X.
- Transforming Mecha
- Wire Fu
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness