Battle Fever J was the third Super Sentai show, lasting from 1979 to 1980. Following up on the success of their tokusatsu adaptation of Spider-Man (which most of the early Sentai crew worked on after the end of J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai), Battle Fever J was originally intended to be a localization of the Marvel Comics superhero Captain America, which would have starred a Japanese counterpart named "Captain Japan". However, this idea was revised after Toei decided to resurrect the Sentai series (without Shotaro Ishinomori's involvement) following a two-year hiatus by adding a giant robot to the formula.
Due to rights issues with Ishimori Productions (Ishinomori's production company, which produced the first two Sentai series), Battle Fever was briefly considered to be the first Super Sentai between 1988 and 1994, even being referred to as such in the first televised Super Sentai crossover in 1989. These issues would be cleared up by 1995, however, and Battle Fever is once again considered the franchise's third installment.
In 2020, the show was being made available on Youtube via the Toei Tokusatsu World Channel.note An HD remaster began airing on Toei Channel in 2021.
When the evil secret society of Egos arrives in Japan to take over the country, General Tetsuzan Kurama of the Defense Department gathers five young agents to form Team Battle Fever. Each agent has received specialized training from different organizations around the world and have developed their own fighting styles based on international dance moves.
Team Battle Fever is composed of:
- Masao Den / Battle Japan: The Leader; wields a spear. Wears red and white, the colors of the Japanese flag.
- Kensaku Shiraishi / Battle Cossack I: The Smart Guy, Big Guy and wielder of twin sai. The original second-in-command until Killed Off for Real. The only Sentai warrior (aside from his replacement) to wear orange until ToQ 6gou.
- Makoto Jin / Battle Cossack II: Cold Sniper and The Quiet One. A cowboy.
- Kyōsuke Shida / Battle France: The Lancer, a beautician and womanizer, not as much dedicated to his duty as Masao. A fencer and the new second-in-command after Kensaku's death. Wears dark blue and white (light blue in early episodes).
- Shirō Akebono / Battle Kenya: Kid-Appeal Character, Big Eater, Wild Child, and expert with a whip. Primarily wears a black suit with green and yellow lines.
- Diane Martin / Miss America I: The Chick and Faux Action Girl who wields throwing knives. She got wounded by a monster. Wears pink and has a wig on her helmet.
- Maria Nagisa / Miss America II: Action Girl. An FBI agent.
The members of Egos are:
Recurring Super Sentai tropes:
- All Your Powers Combined: The Penta Force, which can be assembled as either a cannon or a boomerang.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: In some episodes they shout "FEVER" before transforming into their Ranger forms, although it's not really necessary to transform.
- Chest Insignia: The Battle Fever members all wear symbols resembling the flag of their country on their uniform.
- Color-Coded Characters: Although the members of the team are named after different countries, Battle Fever is notable for having the first black ranger (Battle Kenyanote ), as well as the first official orange ranger (Battle Cossack). Interestingly, the Battle France suit was originally a sky blue outfit with a dark blue stripe matching the colors of his helmet (particularly noticeable when the team wear the suits for the first time, seen here◊), but the colors faded away as the series went on and it became pure white with a blue stripe instead (the same colors which would be used in the Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger version of the suit).
- Cool Airship: The Battle Shark, which stores the Battle Fever Robo and all of its weapons. From this point on, all the Sentai airships were mainly mecha carriers (not counting mecha components), until the last 80s series completely eliminated the tradition.
- Cool Bike: The Three Machines, also known as the Fever Machines, a set of three motorcycles for Cossack, Kenya and France.
- Cool Car: The Battle Fever Car driven by Japan and America. Unlike other Sentai cars, this one is just an inconspicuous green Mazda RX-7 with a supercharged jet engine.
- Eye Catch: The eyecatch before the break features a still image of the Battle Fever team, while the eyecatch after the break features the Battle Fever Robo, after it is introduced.
- Finishing Move: The Penta Force
- Home Base: The Secret Base Big Baser
- Humongous Mecha: Introduced this trope to Super Sentai with Battle Fever Robo. Its massive success made giant robots a core element of the franchise.
- In the Name of the MoonMasao: "Battle Japan!"Kensaku / Makoto: "Battle Cossack!"Kyousuke: "Battle France!"Shirou: "Battle Kenya!"Diane / Maria: "Miss America!"All: "Battle Fever!"
- Law of Chromatic Superiority:
- Make My Monster Grow: Averted; most of the monsters from Episode 5 and onward are assisted by a "little brother/sister"note who would fight the Battle Fever Robo. The only one who actually grew was Satan Egos himself for the final battle; the next series would introduce this trope as a regular feature.
- Monsters of the Week: The Egos Monsters (Egos Kaijin). Created directly by Satan Egos and considered his 'children' by the the generals and Egos himself, they actually outrank the generals and are highly honored, rather than being treated as one step above Mook status. The Evil Plan of the week is spearheaded by the villain of the week, who only does the "fire zap beams at the Rangers until getting blown up" bit once the plan is foiled.
- Mooks: Cutmen
- Mook Mobile: The Egos Fighter jets.
- The Movie: A theatrical showing of Episode 5 (Battle Fever Robo's debut episode)
- "On the Next Episode of..." Catch-Phrase:
- Regular Caller:
- The Smurfette Principle: Miss America, whose codename uses a different head word than the male members ("Miss" instead of "Battle") . She's also the only one with a wig on her helmet.
- Theme Music Power-Up:
- Transformation Name Announcement: Naturally, our heroes must pose and announce themselves in turn and then as a team after the transformation. However, they only say their names instead of everyone getting a personal In the Name of the Moon phrase; don't expect a "full" roll call for a few seasons yet.
- Transformation Trinket: Subverted. While they don't physically transform, the suits are stored inside each member's "Battleceiver", a wrist-worm transceiver. This is clearly evident when Diane gives the Miss America suit to Maria. Also, in the episode where Kensaku dies, he clearly takes off his Battleceiver before leaving the Battle Fever base for the last time. Most transformations involve the team member in question turning around and saying "Fever!" but it doesn't seem to require doing anything with the Battleceiver (though presumably it wouldn't work if the Batteceiver was not present.)
- Villains Act, Heroes React: As is the norm for Super Sentai, we generally have Egos sending out a MOTW with an Evil Plan Once an Episode, with our heroes then arriving on the scene to stop them.
- Weapon of Choice:
Tropes specific to Battle Fever J:
- Absentee Actor:
- Yukio Itoh, who plays Kensaku, does not appear in episodes #9-10.
- Hedder is also absent in #43, where Salome does most of his work.
- Anti-Hero Substitute: Makoto for Kensaku.
- But Not Too Foreign: Everyone was born in Japan and only trained overseas, save the (Japanese-American, 100% Asian-looking) Miss Americas and the first Battle Cossack. Multinational Team does not work that way!
- The Cameo: Risa Komaki, who provides the voice of Diane Martin, guest stars as a famous actress in #25.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The first half of the series is lighthearted for the most part. However, the second half of the series is noticeably more serious in tone, as Egos learns the team's secret identities, making their attacks much more personal and targeted. This coincides with Diane leaving and Kensaku being killed off, demonstrating just how much more dangerous Egos is.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Midori, one of the two girls who help the team at their base, disappears after episode 15.
- Clip Show: #23.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Kensaku wanted to have a day alone with someone who didn't like him being part of Team Battle Fever, so he decided to make it easier by leaving his Battlizer behind. Egos, sadly, took advantage of this and killed Kensaku.
- Dance Battler: All of the Battle Fever J memebers incorporate dance moves from their home country into their fighting. Though the "home country" part of this context doesn't seem to extend to Japan (whose kung fu moves are very much Chinese) and France (whose flamenco dance isn't as French as much as it is Spanish).
- Distressed Damsel: Subverted, as everyone gets kidnapped at least once.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Instead of the masked visors with the see-through holes used in Goranger and J.A.K.Q. or the shade-styles goggles used from Denziman and onward, the Battle Fever warriors each wore a face-like mask with two eye-shaped visors and sculpted noses and mouths meant to invoke an American superhero style (particularly Captain America). This is also why Miss America wears a wig on her helmet, something no other Sentai heroine has ever wore on her suit. However, while sculpted noses and eye-shaped visors were never used again for a team, sculpted mouths would go on to become a commonly-used helmet design element in later series.
- The Battle Fever-style design would only be used again for X1 Mask, a One-Shot Character from Hikari Sentai Maskman whose helmet was based on a rejected design for the Maskman uniform; and Stacaesar, a villainous ranger that combines elements of Battle Japan and X1 Mask in the 45th anniversary series Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger.
- The appearance of the giant monsters (see Make My Monster Grow) is also distinct. Though most Sentai viewers would expect them to emerge only after the Monster of the Week is destroyed, they are infact frequently introduced by their 'older brother/sister' counterparts before the Battle Fever finish their battle on the ground.
- Lampshade Hanging: A few times when the giant robot sent by the villains shows up, Shirou makes fun of it, saying things like, where do they get the money for those?, how many more can they have, or why don't we have a second robot?
- Market-Based Title: Was called Ranger J when it was broadcast in Thailand.
- Nonstandard Character Design: Monster Roselinka and Hand-to-Hand Combat Monster are not People in Rubber Suits like the other Monster of the Week enemies; instead being humans in costumes with their faces visible.
- Oddly Named Sequel: The only Sentai season without a single Japanese word in its title and the second one (of four) not to have the word "Sentai." Of course, the latter is also a case of Early Installment Weirdness, as only one series had used the word Sentai at this point.
- One-Winged Angel: Hedder's final form.
- Orwellian Retcon: The original LP for the Battle Fever J soundtrack depicted Battle France wearing the light blue suit he wore in early episodes. The CD version, first printed during the 1990s, changed to the white suit he wore in later episodes.
- Episodes 13, 5, and 7 have two versions: the original, in which Kenji Ushio plays Hedder, and the other in which he has been replaced by Masashi Ishibashi, in particular refilming Hedder's scenes for episode 4 would be complicated by Masashi Ishibashi having played the Monster of the Week Bengal Tiger before taking the role of Hedder.
- Out of Focus: Diane.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Diane Martin was unavailable for filming (her poor grasp of Japanese may have also been a problem), and Yukio Itoh got married.
- Same Language Dub: Diane Martin can clearly be seen mouthing her actual lines; nonetheless, her voice was replaced by that of Lisa Komaki (aka Momoranger).
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Shiro can talk to animals.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Tomoko for Midori and, to a lesser extent, Maria for Diane.
- Tagalong Kid: Masaru (only he's not part of the Five-Man Band).
- That Russian Squat Dance: Battle Cossack's national dance.
- Transformation Sequence: Not yet! They just turn and say "Fever!" and are instantly suited; none of the ceremony that will later be associated with suiting up. (It's thought by many that they have to actually put the suits on without any kind of transformation action, but this is actually only done in the first episode when they first receive the suits.)
- The Unreveal: Satan Egos' body is entirely hidden underneath black robes. We never get to see what he looks like underneath, not even when he grows large to fight Battle Fever Robo in the series finale.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head
- Widget Series: The costumes, the dancing... yeah, it's pretty weird.
- You Killed My Father: Diane joins the heroes when her father dies at the hands of Egos.
- You Look Familiar: The girl playing Yuki had previously played another role in episode 13, and the woman playing the human form of the very first monster returns in the last episode as Salome in disguise.