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Series / Choujin Sentai Jetman

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Chōjin Sentai Jetman (Birdman Squadron Jetman) is the fifteenth Super Sentai series, running from 1991 to 1992. Notable for being a tribute to Gatchaman. Originally intended to be the origin point for the Power Rangers franchise, but Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger's Sixth Ranger proved to be a major draw for Haim Saban. The Title Theme Tune was performed by Hironobu Kageyama.

In the year 199X, an international defence agency called Skyforce creates a method to develop Super Soldiers by infusing humans with "Birdonic Waves". Five of the best Skyforce officers are chosen as the first subjects; unfortunately, the experiment is interrupted when an army of extradimensional invaders known as the Vyram launch a surprise attack on Skyforce's orbital base.

Four of the five Birdonic Waves fall to Earth and strike four random Japanese civilians, imbuing them with superhuman power. Ryu Tendo, the only Skyforce officer to successfully receive the Birdonic treatment, is tasked with recruiting and training these ordinary (and far from heroic) people to fight against the Vyram as the Earth's last hope: the Jetman.

Jetman is the 10th Super Sentai series to receive an English subtitled DVD release in North America courtesy of Shout! Factory, making it the first Super Sentai series with no Power Rangers equivalent and first pre-Zyuranger series to be made fully available fully intact in North America. Shortly before the set was released, the team appear for the first time on a North American DVD through Episode 51 of Mirai Sentai Timeranger, which was a look back at the entire Sentai series. The series is free to stream at Shout! Factory TV.

Recurring Super Sentai tropes:

  • Color Character: The codenames used the same "[color] [animal]" pattern as Choujuu Sentai Liveman, only based specifically on birds. This meant having a falcon was out of the question.
  • Color-Coded Characters: The Jetmen of course.
  • Cool Bike: Black Condor and Blue Swallow both got their own Jet Speeder motorcycles...
  • Cool Car: ...while Red Hawk gets the Jet Striker race car. Yellow Owl drives the Jet Bouncer jeep with White Swan.
  • Epic Fail: When Tranza built and deployed his enormous robot, Veronica, it was clear that the Jetmen didn't stand a chance against it. Then, for no other inexplicable reason other than wanting to kill the Jetmen himself, Radiguet decides that the best time to betray Tranza is just before Veronica lands the killing blow, allowing the Jetmen to survive and ultimately destroy the robot. If Radiguet had waited for the Jetmen to be killed and then betrayed Tranza immediately afterward, he would have achieved his goal of becoming leader of the Vyram and conquering Earth.
  • Eye Catch: The eyecatch before the break features the Jetman team (in civilian garb) posing somewhere in a side of a mountain. Their positions from left to right (from the viewer's view) features Black Condor seating with his right leg over his left leg, White Swan stands behind him, Red Hawk is at the center, Yellow Owl is in a side view, and sitting beside him is Blue Swallow. The end of the commercial break features the Jetman team in their Sentai forms in the same positions.
  • Feigning Healthiness: In the epilogue, Gai (aka Black Condor) is on his way to the wedding of his friends and teammates Ryu and Kaori. On the way, he witnesses a woman being mugged and intervenes, but by sheer bad luck is stabbed by the mugger. Realising the wound is fatal, he does his best to keep it hidden as he arrives at the wedding, eventually succumbing as the wedding comes to an end.
  • Humongous Mecha: Like Fiveman, the Jetman's main set of mechas could combine into two forms. This time both forms could be upgraded. The team also received a third robot.
    • A Mech by Any Other Name: The Jet Machines.
    • Animal Mecha: The Jet Machines are borderline examples, since they're really just jets with cockpits shaped like the respective birds each one is based on. The Garuda is based on the mythical creature of the same name.
    • Combining Mecha: Jet Hawk + Condor + Owl + Swallow + Swan = Jet Icarus (robot mode) or Icarus Haken (jet mode).
    • Transforming Mecha: The alien jet Bird Garuda, which transforms into the giant robot Jet Garuda.
    • Robot Buddy: Tetra Boy, a sentient support robot that could transform into the Tetrabuster cannon, which could be used by Jet Icarus or Jet Garuda.
    • Mecha Expansion Pack: The Garuda could combine with the Icarus in either of its two forms.
      • Jet Icarus + Jet Garuda = Great Icarus
      • Icarus Haken + Bird Garuda = Hyper Haken
  • In the Name of the Moon: Their role call consists of their individual names and "Choujin Sentai Jetman!"
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Red Hawk's vehicle, the Jet Striker, transforms into the Fire Bazooka.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Dimensional Bugs/Jigenmushi fulfill this role; if it can latch off the Dimensional Beast as it's destroyed, it can bring it back giant size. Alternately, it can release a great deal of energy to imbue the Dimensional Beast with power, causing it to grow on its own. Dimensional Bugs can be destroyed, thus keeping their Dimensional Beast from coming back. The Bio-Dimensional Bugs work the same way.
  • Minidress of Power: Once again worn by the female rangers.
  • Monsters Of The Week: The Jigenjū (Dimensional Beasts), which were created from material objects that were implanted with a breed of parasites known as "Jigenmushi" (Dimensional Bugs). Notable in that it had three sympathetic Monsters of the Week.
    • Their mid-season upgrade in question of monsters of the week are called Biao-Jigenjū (Bio-Dimensional Beasts), which are inanimate objects possessed by Biao-Jigenmushi (Bio-Dimensional Bugs), which are the same as normal Jigenmushi, but are pre-implanted with animal DNA, creating a bizarre hybrid between animal and whatever object the Baio-Jigenmushi merged with.
  • Mooks: The Grinam Soldiers.
  • The Narrator: Tsutomu Tareki narrates the series.
  • Psycho Rangers: The Shadow Jetman team in Episode 25. They are shadows of the Jetman given life by the Monster of the Week, Light Armadillo. The only one who doesn't get his own Evil Counterpart is Black Condor, who's absent during the time the Shadow Jetman were created.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Let's see. A military officer who lost his colleague and love interest to an early villain attack; a womanizing Ineffectual Loner; a rich and spoiled princess; a clumsy, self-deprecating farmer and an energetic High School Tomboy who's Only in It for the Money. Why yes, these guys are our world's last hope against the Vyram.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Inverted. The Red Ranger here is the only one who's not a rookie by the start of the series. Instead, it's the other four Rangers who must be trained to fight, and must learn how to solve (or at least put aside) their own personal issues to help him defeat the villains.
  • Sixth Ranger: Rather tragically subverted. When it looked like Ray, Kanna and Dan, the three human-like warriors from Dimensia would fill this spot (they had transformations and special powers, not unlike the Jetman team), Radiguet appears, kills Ray and Kanna, then hijacks their Humongous Mecha, Jet Garuda, to assist the monster Semimaru in defeating the Jetman team. The third and youngest warrior, Dan (who was away with Ako when his teammates were killed), dies from wounds in battle against Radiguet shortly after that, but not before wrestling control of Jet Garuda away from the villain. Only the aforementioned Jet Garuda mech remained as testimony of their intention to aid the heroes against the Vyram.
  • Supervillain Lair: Check out the Vyrock! Radiguet uses it to armor himself and hide his wound during the final battle in episode 51, only for Jet Garuda's talon strike to dislodge and destroy it.
  • Transformation Trinket: See By the Power of Grayskull!. The trinket is two — the Cross Changer itself, and the Corresponder, which serves as the communications device for the team, and as the key to form Jet Icarus and the Icarus Haken (the square piece on the right side would be detached from the Corresponder and into the "Bird Lock" in the Jet Machines),
  • Two Girls to a Team: White and blue instead of the traditional yellow and pink (although White Swan did have pink accents on her suit). Notable that it was the second time both of these colors were used for female rangers (following Change Mermaid and Blue Dolphin) and the first time they were used together on a core team (not counting Mahou Sentai Magiranger, which had the white-clad Magi Mother joining her daughters Pink and Blue during the final story arc). This would also be the last Sentai team with two female rangers for the next three years.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: As is the norm for Super Sentai, we generally have Vyram sending out a MOTW with an Evil Plan Once an Episode, with our heroes then arriving on the scene to stop them.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: For the first time since Bioman, the heroes do not have individual weapon preferences. They do have:
  • Bringer Sword + Bird Blaster = Jet Hand Cannon (which fires the "Bird Bomber" finishing blast)
  • Beak Smasher + Bird Blaster = Smash Bomber (which fires a a finisher also called the Smash Bomber)

Tropes significant to Choujin Sentai Jetman

  • A House Divided: The Vyram elite mostly, but the Jetman team is also this to a lesser degree.
    • The Vyram elite are not even remotely interested in cooperating with each other to defeat the Jetman team; they take it as a contest of sorts, to see who would succeed in defeating the heroes and conquering Earth on their own, in order to determine who should rule their faction — with the result that no Vyram ever helps their comrade in battle (excluding Grey when he starts having feelings for Maria), and Radiguet in particular being a prime exhibit of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, even going as far as working temporarily alongside the Jetman team for so long as it benefits his own power plays. Radiguet and Tran/Tranza do compete for the position of Vyram leader and try to upstage one another (which leads to a full blown Enemy Civil War between the two), while Maria and Grey eventually lose their interest in the power struggle, after Grey develops feelings for her and Maria and Ryu learn who she really was.
    • On the other side, while the Jetman team always gets their job done in the end, for much of the first half of the series (and some of the second half) they barely come to work together as a team, as they are divided over their own personal issues (since most of them are actually civilians, still unadjusted to the professional discipline expected from soldiers) and the conflict among Ryu and Gai over Kaori's affections. This causes that oftentimes a member of the team (usually Gai) goes AWOL, while the rest of the team is forced to fend off the Vyram's attacks by themselves, struggling to even make a dent on the enemy before the lost member finally rejoins the team in battle. Gai is by far the most reluctant member of the team, and as such he must be constantly reined in and reminded that Earth's fate is at stake. This dynamic changes at the end of Episode 32, when they finally coalesce as a true team, and Gai in particular stops being detached and antagonistic towards Ryu.
  • Aborted Arc: In one episode Raita mentions that he has a crush on Kaori. This is never brought up again.
  • The Ace: Ryu and Gai, for different reasons. Ryu was already a trained soldier before the series started and thus did not need to undergo the Training from Hell that the others (minus Gai) did. Gai was just naturally talented (and had a history of getting into fistfights).
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted. While Kaori dates Gai for a while, it was boy scout Ryu whom she is more attracted to and ends up marrying, although it's that close from playing straight: Kaori and Gai almost really got together genuinely... until Gai met Kaori's parents and decided that marrying her meant having to deal with those parents that didn't fit well with his style, so he broke off with her.
  • Animal Motifs: A flock of birds!
  • Animal-Motif Team: The entire Jetman team consists of members themed after various birds.
  • Anchored Ship: The big obstacle between Ryu pursuing Kaori is he is still hung up over Rie, who he thought was dead but was brainwashed into becoming Maria. And he throws himself into the job of being a Jetman to deal with his grief.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: The Neo-Jetman team from Episode 40 and 41, who are assembled by Chief Ichijō (Odagiri's rival) to replace the depowered original team. They end up being less effective than the original team. For what it's worth, they subvert having the attitude of anti-heroes, and they're far more civil and noble than their extremely unpleasant commanding officer, and it's they who defy orders and choose to sacrifice their Birdonic Wave energy to repower their more experienced seniors.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Near the end, Rie manages to stab Radiguet in the back, literally. Granted, she hardly gets the blade in very deep, and she ultimately dies for her troubles. But her attack creates a weak spot on the Count's back. In the final battle against Radiguet, he's nearly indestructible with his armor on, except for the spot where Rie stabbed him. Focusing the attacks on that spot is the only way the Jetmen could defeat him. And they ultimately manage to finish the job by driving the Birdonic Saber into that wound and running him all the way through.
    • Previously, Radiguet also tells the Jetmen to attack the gem on Empress Juza's forehead. It works... she gets weakened just enough for Radiguet to finish her off.
  • Babies Ever After: If the Toei Hero Encyclopedia 2 is to be believed Ryu and Kaori have a son, named Gai, 6 years after the final battle. It's also mentioned that Raita will soon be a father as well.
    • The manga epilogue has this as well except that instead of a boy, Ryu and Kaori had a girl named Aya.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: The people of Berserk, a world located in the Back Dimension which was conquered and ravaged by the Vyram, have the ability to turn anything they touch into deadly weapons. They (or at least Duran, Ru and their deceased, unnamed Old Master) are still rather kind, peaceful people, not different from most humans in physical aspect or morality.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A girl named Saki, who becomes Radiguet's girlfriend, after Empress Juza had erased Radiguet's memories and turned him into a human (as punishment for rebelling against her), makes the wish that her amnesiac boyfriend be able to recover his memories. Radiguet, being Radiguet, doesn't make things end well for Saki after he does recover from his amnesia, cementing himself as the cruelest bastard in the show, and one of the evilest villains in the entire Sentai franchise.
  • Big Bad: Downplayed. The Vyram have no leader among them and are essentially a four-way Big Bad Ensemble, with their leader being whoever can defeat the Jetman.
    • After having no leader for almost 20 episodes, Empress Juuza, the Evil Overlord of Vyram returns and retakes command. She lasts two episodes before being killed.
    • Later in the series, Tran becomes Tranza and becomes much stronger, which he uses to assert himself as the Vyram's new leader. At least until Radiguet takes him out.
    • Ultimately, Radiguet serves this role in being the most active and personal enemy to the Jetmen.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Vyrock's interior is large enough for a full-scale kaiju battle to comfortably take place within a single chamber, but from the outside it doesn't appear nearly as large.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Rie becomes herself again and is saved from being Maria, but dies soon after when she sacrifices herself to wound Radiguet. Ryu is able to move on from her death and marries Kaori. Gai is stabbed to death by a random mugger in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue (even more bittersweet is that he was saving a woman who got mugged). None of the other Jetmen notice, despite him collapsing right next to them.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The inside of Vyram's base.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Radiguet vomits a torrent of deep, crimson blood after being fatally stabbed in the back by Jet Icarus.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • Conflicts within the Sentai team and the villains' side was very often relegated to special cases or saved for the last arcs of the series. Here both Jetman and Vyram have a lot of tension and inter-organization drama going on outside of their clashes and this tension serves the narrative purpose of developing both sides of the fight.
    • This series' third robo, Tetra Boy, isn't a fortress mecha that can fuse with the other two like Turbobuilder and the Magma Base in the past two series, instead acting independently in battle except when it needs to transform into a bazooka for Jet Icarus. It's thus the first series since Maskman where not all the robots can fuse into one by the end of the series.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Jeff, in the manga epilogue.
  • Cassandra Truth: In episode 4, Kaori tells her fiancé she can't marry him because she's a superhero. He laughs... until the Monster of the Week attacks.
  • Catchphrase: Gai is very fond of the word "Ii ka..." ("Listen up..." or "Now, look here...")
  • Chest Blaster: Serves as the finishing move for Great Icarus, the "Bird Maser". Jet Garuda also has one called the "Garuda Burst", though it is less powerful.
  • Chick Magnet: And of course, Gai is a classic male Chick Magnet, hitting it off with Kaori and just about every unnamed female bystander he ever runs into.
  • Cooldown Hug: Ryu tries in many times to recover the human side in Maria aka Rie, talking to her and letting her to hit him without returning the aggressions. But he only can stop her attacks when he hugs her, one time even causing Maria to drop her weapon. In the end, when Maria is turning into a vampire, Ryu stops her attack hugging her and finally he kisses her, combining the souls of Rie and Maria into one only body.
  • Creator Cameo: The final episode features cameos by Kazuo Niibori and Naoki Ofuji, the suit actors for Red Hawk and Black Condor, as the priest who conducts Ryu's wedding with Kaori and the mugger who stabs Gai respectively.
  • Cross Dresser: Only one occasion. Raita isn't the Master of Disguise, but he manages to pull it off with kimono, wig and make-ups.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: The crucifixion of the Jetmen in #43.
  • Darker and Edgier: Acknowledged by most fans as one of the darker installments of Super Sentai. The series opens with the Vyram leading a rather murderous first attack on Earth, with the villainous organization's consistently shifting focus on its treacherous cast of villains leading to rather dramatic tension on both heroes and villains side besides the usual conflict. The Dimensional Beasts are quite lethal to civilians and many people are killed off in the Vyram's schemes without being brought back, and sometimes rather graphically. Similarly, in contrast to the rather whimsical happy-go-lucky dynamic of the Fivemen, the Jetman are barely capable of working as a team at first and even after Gai and Ryu's rivalry leads to some dramatic clashes and tension on the side of good. And that's without mentioning the amounts of side characters and allies that are killed off by the Vyram.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Kaori's reason to join the Jetman was to break out of the Idle Rich shell she lived in and do something for once, even if that something was fighting legions of demonic beings from another dimension.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Rie/Maria dies in Grey's arms in episode 49.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A blood-red diamond is turned by Vyram into a Hate Plague-mongering Dimensional Beast. As if people didn't fight over "blood diamonds" in real life...
  • Downer Ending: Not the show itself (as noted above, it ends on a bittersweet note), but episode 42. The robot G2, who is already quite tragic due to the circumstances behind his existence, dies unnoticed — Tranza rejects him for being defective, Grey doesn't care about him, Radiguet doesn't even seem to know he existed after Tranza rejected him, the Jetmen did not know about him since they never met, and Maria who he does bond with is incapacitated when he saves her life and brings her to Grey. It's very hard not to feel depressed after watching that episode...
  • Dude Magnet: The women in the show tend to end up attracting pretty much every man they interact with regularly.
    • Rie is the object of Ryu, Radiguet, and Grey's affections. Albeit Radiguet's affections are clearly twisted since he's a complete sociopath and tried to brainwash her into an obedient servant.
    • Kaori has a fiancé at the start of the series who is still into her, has instant chemistry with both Ryu and Gai, and Raita also harbors a crush on her, which he chooses not to pursue.
    • For good measure, Odagiri also tells the team she's got dozens of suitors practically knocking her door down, and it's possible Raita might have a crush on her as well.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Some of the earlier episodes had the Jetmen using some odd attacks on the Grinam, including Ryu's "Wing Punch" which caused Grinam's heads to explode, and Kaori using some sort of strange sheet which produced waves of pink energy.
  • Eldritch Location: The Vyram's base, a brain-shaped ship called the Vyrock, is an unsettling location where time and space are warped. It isn't unusual for the Vyram elite to be walking along the walls or ceiling with no issue. For the handful of times a stranger is there they can barely navigate the change in gravity or random doorways moving around.
  • Enemy Civil War: Radiguet and Tranza seize power from each other back and forth.
  • Enemy Mine: Radiguet and Ryū team up to defeat Tranza once and for all. Considering what kind of person Radiguet is, no surprise that he'd turn against Ryū once he served his purposes.
    • Radiguet did it before too, when he gave the Jetman the hint on how to beat Juza.
  • Evil Will Fail: Had Radiguet not been a backstabbing bastard in the name of trying to rule all for himself, the Jetman would more likely be defeated by either Juza or Tranza, who took over Vyram by legit means (Juza being the first ruler, Tranza by overpowering the rest of the Vyrams with his sheer power post-aging). In both cases, they were yanked away from defeating the Jetman because Radiguet decided to pull an Enemy Mine so he can stay on top of the Vyram leadership chain, and thus giving the Jetman time to grow stronger and defeat Radiguet when he's on top and surpassed the two in power.
  • Expy: The whole series was an intentional expy of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.
    • Ryu Tendo has a fair amount of Ken Washio in him (Ace Pilot, cool and calm Standardized Leader, his relationship with Rie Aoi is similar to that of Ken and his father Kentaro in that they (Ryu/Ken) believe the other person (Rie/Kentaro) to be dead, but the said other person isn't really dead at first, only to later die for real in a Heroic Sacrifice. They also go into a Heroic BSoD and get away from their team at the worst possible moment.
    • Gai Yuki is as much of a violent Anti-Hero and Jerk with a Heart of Gold as Joe Asakura is. They also die at the end of the series. Although Joe comes Back from the Dead in a second series while Gai simply stays dead.
    • Raika Oishi is the Jetman's Big Guy and an Acrofatic fighter just like Ryu Nakanishi, and also with Self-Deprecation tendencies.
    • Ako is a female, but a Tomboy and the youngest and most immature team member, like Jinpei.
    • Being a wealthy, spoiled young lady Kaori is the most different from her Gatchaman counterpart, Jun, but they're both The Heart of their team and sometimes Kaori still acts as somewhat of a Cool Big Sis to Ako, like Jun often does with Jinpei.
    • The Icarus Haken is reminiscent of both the Gatchaspartan from Gatchaman F (a large triangular, wedge-shaped ship formed by a fusion of the member's individual ships) and the New God Phoenix from Gatchaman II (a bird's head motif on its forward fuselage and nose). The Icarus Haken also has a "Firebird mode" like the God Phoenix and New God Phoenix (it also seems to cause a physical and mental strain on the team members inside it when activated, even).
    • Maria is a tragic villainess, brainwashed by the Big Bad of the show, but dies as herself, just like Gel Sadora, The Dragon of Gatchaman II.
    • Tran is a child who is rapidly aged into an adult, again like Gel Sadora.
    • Radiguet himself has some similarities with Count Egobossler, too: They both have blue skin and are evil aristocrats with the nobility title of Count.
  • Fake Defector: In Episode 34, titled "Traitorous Ryu". Comes complete with heroic version of Actually a Doombot.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: In episode 43, the team (minus Kaori) shrinks and enters Chief Aya's body to get out a monster that was mind-controlling her.
  • Fan Fic: Received an adaptation as Power Rangers Take Flight.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Tranza's ultimate weapon is the super-powerful demonic mecha... Veronica.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The Tetra Buster was completely forgotten about after episode 41. The alternate forms of Jet Icarus and Jet Garuda, with their various unique weapons, also see barely any use during much of the show's latter half.
  • Four Is Death: The Vyram Elite.
  • A God Am I: Radiguet says that the Vyram are humanity's gods when he first reveals himself. He also claims that his "holy body is now invincible" after merging with the Vyrock during the final battle in episode 51. Also referred to his blood as "holy blood" at some point.
    • Empress Juza, with a side of Evil Matriarch, as she fashions herself "the Mother of All Creation".
  • Groin Attack: Stay away from Kaori and Ako if you value your nads. Poor Raita.
    • Also, if you're a Mook, careful around Gai. He's not above SQUEEZING your groin.
    • Tetra Boy was also fond of punching the enemy in the nads, too.
  • Hate Plague: Used by a diamond-themed Monster of the Week.
  • Hate Sink: The commander of the Neo Jetmen, Ichijou, plays this really straight. Being The Neidermeyer that immediately takes helm to boot the original Jetmen? Check. Treating even his Neo Jetmen as expendable trashes? Check. Is a Dirty Coward? Check. Is jealous of Aya and only doing things to boost up his own career AND spite on her? Check. He's designed deliberately to ensure that even Radiguet could have a partial point when he declared that Humans Are Bastards.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Darn it, Dryer Dimension tries to be a terrifying menace, but can't resist helping people in need. By the end of the episode he gives up evil and becomes a hairdresser. Really.
    • Trash Dimension is the same. He never wants to harm anyone in the first place, because the main part of his mind comes from a teddy bear which Ako used to care a lot for when she was a child. He gets forced into being evil by Maria, but comes back to his senses thanks to Ako, only to have a disgusted Maria kill him, inadvertently enraging Blue Swallow in the process.
    • Dramatically happened to Radiguet of all people. After Juuza wiped out his memories, he became human and was having basically something of a good, decent and un-monstrous life. When he regained his memories, he became basically evil again. But then, his ex-girlfriend, Saki, reached out to him and asked if he truly enjoyed his time as a human if he could learn to love. Radiguet was stunned for a bit and actually considered how he felt... but then proceeded to retort with disgust that he could never feel love for anyone. He then proceeded to kill Saki to empower his monster project. So, Radiguet's answer is basically "I tried once. Didn't like it."
  • Headbutting Heroes: Ryu and Gai fight a lot among themselves, almost as much as they do the Vyram. They do it at first over Gai not wanting to be a part of the team, and after that is solved, they continue because of their Love Triangle with Kaori.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: In episode four, Kaori steals someone's bike in order to make it to the fight with the Monster of the Week on time.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ryu becomes a Stepford Smiler when he finally realizes Maria is Rie. He completely loses touch with reality and hallucinates that she's still with him, driving resident Jerk with a Heart of Gold Gai to tears. Then, Rie's death pushes him into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Radiguet. Fortunately for Ryu, Kaori quickly snaps him out of it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: A thwarted example occurs at the end of the series when Ryu uses his Jet Striker to kill Radiguet. It doesn't work out as Radiguet destroys the Jet Striker and the other Jetmen rescue him.
  • Hidden Depths: Played around in the 11th episode. A drink from the Vending Machine Dimension makes a hidden aspect of the the Jetmen's personalities become their dominant one: Ryū becomes a Lazy Bum, Gai becomes a Messianic Archetype (counts as a hidden depth for his Sociopathic Hero tendencies, he's actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold), Raita becomes a jerk, Kaori turns into a rich snob worse than her pre-development phase, Ako turns into Girly Girl. They get better in the end...
  • Hope Spot: Brutally in Episode 24 — After getting curbstomped by Empress Juza's fully-grown monster Semimaru, the team is rescued by Jet Garuda, piloted by three warriors from another dimension. After a whole episode of making it compatible, the warriors set off with Jet Garuda to save the day and combine into Great Icarus! But then Radiguet murders then and Gundamjacks it. Dan, the last surviving member of Jet Garuda's crew, manages to kick Radiguet out of the Jet Garuda, though at the cost of his own life. His Heroic Sacrifice allows the Jet Icarus and Jet Garuda to combine, allowing the Jetmen to destroy Semimaru once and for all.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Noodle Dimension. Inspired by instant ramen and created by Tran, anyone affected by eating his noodles get extremely aggressive and try to get everything done as quickly as possible until they die of overworking themselves. He didn't count on Yellow Owl eating his noodles, which caused him to kill the monster as fast as possible.
  • Human Head on the Wall: In his final episode, Tranza shoots 4 of the 5 Jetman with a rifle that turns them into plaques on his wall. They get freed by an Enemy Mine between Ryu and Radiguet.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Vyram's motivation for attacking Earth. As if they were any different...
  • Humans Are Bastards: Lampshaded by Gai.
    • Though with some, as Aya coined, 'pathetic excuse of human being' like Commander Ichijou, Radiguet might be partially right (though he's still no better).
  • Hypocrite: Especially Radiguet in terms of the trope above:
    Ryū: Why do you attack humans!?
    Radiguet: Because they're ugly and foolish like bugs. And bugs deserve to be squished!
    Ryū: No! Humans are not like that! They are able to love and develop...
    Radiguet: *goes One-Winged Angel*
    Ryū: Well, humans are not ugly. You ARE!
  • Image Song: Honoo no Condor, for Black Condor. Listen, while he kicks some Vyram butt
  • Instant Expert: Averted with everybody (except Ryū, for whom the trope doesn't even apply). Cue Training from Hell to the other four (or three, since Gai's not the training kind). However, the trope is played straight outside of combat: the team all somehow become experts at repairing and upgrading giant robots and futuristic weapons on very short notice, since they apparently don't have any kind of pit crew at the base to do it for them.
  • In the Back: Rie stabs Radgiuet in the back before dying. It doesn't immediately kill him, but does help finish him off by giving him one unarmored spot.
  • Instant Costume Change: Played with. When any of the team's transformation is cancelled while within their mecha, rather than reverting to what they were wearing before transforming like in most shows, they end up in their fighter pilot uniforms for some reason. This is most obvious in the final episode, where they're detransformed rather early on in the mecha battle and spend the rest of it in the flight suits, despite being in civilian clothes prior.
  • Jerkass: Supreme Commander Akira Ichijou, big time. Borders on Hate Sink territory.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As the series progresses, Gai shows himself to be one.
    • Dan, the youngest of the three Dimensian warriors who brought Jet Garuda with them. He is quite a bit of a pervert towards Ako but is genuinely smitten with her, and she comes to return his feelings. Alas, their relationship died with him, killed by wounds from Radiguet in the very same episode. Naturally Ako mourned his death the most.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Tran, before his growth.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Radiguet's torture and Say My Name of the badly wounded and defeated Tranza is both uncomfortably brutal as it is still satisfying.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The first part of the show's actually kind of goofy. Most of the darkness Jetman is known for came after Empress Juuza showed up. note  It's as if that was when the producers stepped in and told them to pick a tone and stick with it.
  • Lady in Red: In episode 7, Kaori wears a sexy red dress while posing as a jilted ex-lover of Ryu.
  • Last of His Kind: The Dimensian Soldiers Ray, Kanna, and Dan; each of whom possess powers similar to the Jetman. All three are introduced and killed off within two episodes.
    • Duran and Ru, the last two inhabitants of planet Berserk. At least they do get to live peacefully on Earth.
  • Leotard of Power: Worn by the male rangers.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Ryu is still hung up over losing Rie. Kaori likes Ryu. Gai likes Kaori. Raika also likes Kaori (but chooses not to pursue her). Kaori doesn't like Gai at first. Gai hates Ryu's guts. Then we find out that Rie is still alive as Maria, and that Radiguet and Grey like Maria... also, Kaori starts liking Gai, but Gai breaks up with her and lets her to be together with Ryu.
  • Morality Pet: In one episode, Radiguet loses his memories and is turned into a human by Empress Juuza. During this period, Radiguet falls in love with a human girl named Saki, and learns to appreciate the beauty of mankind. This doesn't last long after Radiguet regains his memories and returns to his old ways. Just to be sure, he kills Saki as if to prove that there is no good within him.
  • Nonindicative Name: The name of the jet mode of their giant combining mecha is the Icarus Haken, not the Jet Icarus. Same thing applies to the Jet Garuda, which is the robot form of the Bird Garuda jet (well, at least the jet mode of Bird Garuda does resemble a bird, so at least that one makes sense).
  • No-Sell: In the final battle, the Jet Phoenix just bounces off Radiguet's final form. Later in the fight, when he's used the Vyrock as an armor, it puts up a barrier that effortlessly dispels Great Icarus' Bird Maser.
  • Not So Invincible After All: Gai. A year of surviving against the Vyram does him no good to a stab by a mere mugger.
  • Novelization: The Jetman novels by Toshiki Inoue, which were published a few years after the TV series ended, managed to be Darker and Edgier than the show itself. The giant mechs and Dimensional Monsters were eliminated completely in favor of having the Jetmen fight human test subjects that were subjected to Vyram's experiments. Empress Juza also has a bigger role than in the TV series.
  • Odd Name Out: Their mecha, Jet Icarus, Jet Garuda and... Tetra Boy?
  • Oddly Small Organization: Might be justified early on, considering that it isn't made clear just how much of Skyforce was onboard the Earth Ship before the Vyram destroyed it, but later episodes feature almost nobody from Skyforce except for the Neo-Jetmen and their obnoxious commander. The Jetmen are even shown helping to construct Tetra Boy when, by all logic, that should be done by contractors or other Skyforce employees, as opposed to the only five people who can fight against the Vyram.
  • Official Couple: Ryu and Kaori get married in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Older Hero Versus Younger Villain: The older heroes Jetman against younger villain Vyram Tran.
  • One-Winged Angel: Radiguet has a monstrous form he assumes, "Radigan", whenever he gets pissed. But that's nothing compared to his giant monster form as "Raguem", which he uses in the final few episodes. This form has his "Radigan" head in the torso, which turns into his normal head when he speaks. During the final battle in episode 51, he merges with the Vyrock base, which gives him extra armor to cover his back wound, only for Jet Garuda to punch it off and destroy it. This exposes the wound and ultimately leads to his defeat.
    • Much like Radiguet, Empress Juza also has a monstruous form called "Demon Empress Juuza". Although unlike him, she doesn't have a final giant form.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Played around. Gai stated that he's the only one allowed to complain about Ryū.
    • Radiguet prevents Veronica from winning for Tranza twice, due to the fact Radiguet refuses to let somebody else beat the Jetmen.
  • Opposites Attract: Subverted with Gai and Kaori, they were way too opposite for their relationship to last any longer.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Averted. Even though Radiguet is the Big Bad, he is more prone to jump into the battlefield. His 'superior', Empress Juza, also did not like sitting on the throne way too often.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: In #48, Maria transforms into a vampire, slowly transforming into a more monstrous form. The victims do not die of blood loss, but evaporate.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Majins from Episodes 30-32. There is no previous references to them, and no long-term effects on the plot. They're just there to give the Jetmen someone else to fight besides the Vyram for a few episodes.
  • Punny Name: Ōishi (Raita's surname) means "big rock," like the ones he throws or drops from his ship. It also a play on oishii, meaning delicious, a reference to his weight.
  • Right Hand Versus Left Hand: The Vyram Elite often fail their battles, not because the Jetmen are superior to them, but because one of them is always trying to sabotage the success of the other. In particular, Radiguet and Tran/Tranza are the biggest culprits of this.
    • Then, in the heroes' side, we have Ryu and Gai more or less constantly talking with their fists to each other. Yeah, there's a lot of infighting in this show. A LOT.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gai and Ryū.
  • Refusal of the Call: Gai, in the first three episodes (though he is only introduced in the second).
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The combined team's ship motif this time is the Garuda, supplanting The Phoenix from Gatchaman. The Icarus Haken actually retained the Phoenix motif from Gatchaman's (New) God Phoenix but it doesn't get used a lot.
  • Rescue Romance: Gai and Kaori, which eventually broke due to their conflicting personalities.
  • The Reveal: Maria is really Rie Aoi, alive and brainwashed by Radiguet. Not terribly surprising, given that they're both played by the same actress.
  • Rule of Cool: Jet Swallow's Wing Cutter attack, which would be very dangerous in real life.
  • Runaway Bride: In Episode 4, Kaori temporarily abandons the team to marry her long-standing pseudo-boyfriend Soichiro Kitaooji, but after realizing that she belongs with her teammates and that Soichiro is an elitist who doesn't care about people of a lower class than he or Kaori, she delivers a Groin Attack to him and runs out of the church to rejoin her teammates in fighting Road Dimension.
  • Say My Name: When Tranza takes over the Vyram and forces the other three to submit to him, in particular, he tortures Radiguet until the latter calls him "Tranza-sama". When Tranza is finally badly defeated and beaten down, Radiguet turns this on him, even more brutally torturing the already brutalized Tranza than the latter ever did to him. His pained scream of "Radiguet-sama") seems to have mentally broke him, as the last we see of him, he's left to rot as a drooling and screaming vegetable in a mental hospital.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Raita and Gai.
  • Shirtless Scene: Raita in a lot of episode 26.
    • Gai and Raita in the hot tub in episode 39.
    • Gai in his swim briefs jumping into a pool in episode 44.
  • Shout-Out: The entire series is a Shout-Out to Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.
  • Standard Snippet: Mars, the Bringer of War by Gustav Holst is used as Semimaru's leitmotif.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Ryū and Rie, a.k.a. Maria.
  • The Starscream: Radiguet isn't content to be anyone's minion. Every time someone else rises to power in the Vyram he always plots to oust and usurp them.
  • Strange Salute: Firstly, during every "Super Sentai" Stance sequence Red Hawk would do a high kick and clap his hands under his thigh for... some reason. Then there was the two-fingered salute he gave while utilizing the mecha (which makes more sense, as it was a military-like salute and he was the only military officer on the team).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Jetman had an official tie-in epilogue in manga form, in which the now-deceased Gai was replaced by new team member, Jeff Kenzaki/Green Eagle.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: Episode 12 has Raita and Kaori riding a bus, while the passengers are killed one by one whenever the bus goes into a tunnel. Everybody starts accusing each other, and while there is a Red Herring in the form of the bus driver, who is actually a fugitive criminal, the actual killer turns out to be the bus itself, which has become a Dimension Beast.
  • Tie-In Novel: Jetman the novel, written by Toshiki Inoue.
  • Time Travel: In episode 26, the team is thrown thousands of years back in time. However, since Raita tackled the monster while it was doing this, he ended up thrown somewhere else and stuck for most of the episode with a primitive tribe which worships him like a god due to him introducing them to fire and agriculture... Plus, among these tribesmen, there happens to be a Vision Of Another Self of Kaori who falls in love with Raita. And, considering Raita's own feelings for Kaori...
  • To Hell and Back: Ako, Gai and Raita in Episode 27. The "back" part is thanks to Ryu.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Eventually subverted with Ako and Kaori. Kaori becomes less shallow and materialistic over the course of the series, while initially tomboyish Ako becomes more looks-conscious, grows out her hair and eventually becomes a heavily made up idol singer after the events of the show.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Tran, after forcing himself into adulthood and transforming into Tranza, becomes way more assertive with the other Vyram members and more aggressive against the Jetmen.
    • Most of the team qualifies, as they start out as civilians with no combat experience whatsoever — by the finale, they're taking names. It's telling that when a specially-trained squad is sent in to replace them, through a combination of factors and not counting their dickish officer's incompetence, they end up being far less effective than said civilians who've had a nearly a year's worth of experience and naturally working out their personal issues to become a more tightly-knit team.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted. Enemies often attacked to prevent them from transforming and the heroes have to either escape or knock them off balance long enough to transform.
  • Transformation Name Announcement
  • Uniformity Exception: Inexplicably, Gai's fighter pilot helmet is black, as opposed to his teammates having white helmets with colored emblems, possibly to make him more distinct.
  • Villain Song: The Grinam get one, "Sad Soldiers Grinam" sung and composed by series composer Kazuhiko Toyama.
  • Villainous Rescue: Radiguet has done this lots of times for the Jetmen for one reason or another when another bad guy was close to defeating them.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Ako is still a high school student when she joins the group.
  • Wedding/Death Juxtaposition: In the series finale, Gai is on his way to Ryu and Kaori's wedding when he stumbles upon a woman being mugged. Gai manages to stop the mugging but is stabbed in the process. He misses the wedding ceremony but manages to make it to the reception and give his blessing to his friends before dying.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Three years after the final battle, Ryū and Kaori get married, Ako becomes an idol singer, Raita runs a farm, and Gai becomes a businessman... and gets stabbed to death in a random act of heroism..
    • The Toei TV Hero Encyclopedia compilation goes further by showing Ryū and Kaori recounting their adventures six years later, while raising their infant son Gai.
    • Episode 28 of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (which was a tribute to Jetman) adds another layer to the epilogue, in which, at some point, Raita started selling his produce over the Internet and became wealthy.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Jet Icarus' sword teneded to get broken whenever the show needed to indicate it was fighting a really tough baddie.
  • Year X: The show's first episode establishes that it takes place in the year 199X. Interestingly, Rie's apparent death takes place in the year 1991, but a video monitor in episode 1 shows a date of December 23, 1990 — although it's likely that said video was made before the Birdonic experiments took place.
  • Your Size May Vary: The Jet Machines. When the machines are seen uncombined in flying shots (such as the opening sequence, where they fly between the buildings of the city), they seem to be roughly the size of normal fighter jets. Their combined form, the Jet Icarus, however, is a behemoth that towers over the same buildings that the Jet Machines can comfortably fly between.
    • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: When you consider that size among mechs in Super Sentai are generally inconsistent anyway, between all the kibble that flattens into the suit and all humanoid mechs having the same average height (regardless of whether they're an individual component, a proper combined robot, or even combinations of two robots) even when the toys' mechanics dictate that none of them should be as tall as each other. For example, DX Jet Garuda towers over DX Jet Icarus, yet the two are of the same height in the shownote . Moreover, Great Icarus should be a giant that towers other monsters and yet is no taller than either Icarus or Garuda, it's hardly worth pointing out. This is pretty much true for most multi-robo combiners since Liveman, with only mecha that were meant to tower over everything else in the first place, like carrier or base mecha, being the exception.


Choujin Sentai Jetman op

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / TitleThemeTune

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