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Series / Choujuu Sentai Liveman

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The full team, and yes, the blue one is a girl for the first time.

"My friends! Why have you sold your souls to the devil?!"

Chōjū Sentai Liveman (Super Beast Squadron Liveman) is the twelfth Super Sentai show, airing from 1988 to 1989. Daisuke Shima sang the Title Theme Tune.

Three students from Academia Island, an elite school funded by the U.N. for the purpose of researching space flight, are tempted by promises of power from the evil Great Professor Bias. They flee Academia Island, killing two of their classmates in cold blood during their escape.

Two years later they return as officers of "Volt", an evil cult who believe humanity should be conquered by the intelligent. Having changed their bodies, minds and names, they use their new powers to destroy Academia.

In response, three of their former classmates use cutting-edge power suits (originally designed as a new form of space suit) to fight against Volt as "the warriors who protect all living things": Liveman. They are later joined by two additional members: the siblings of the two classmates that died at Volt's hands, out for revenge.

Recurring Super Sentai tropes:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: This happens to almost every Volt member except Gou/Oblar, who survived. Unusually for a Sentai series, none of them are directly killed by Liveman, who grasp at every chance to save them. Kemp, interestingly, was a subversion until Gaoranger vs Super Sentai, where it was revealed that Yuusuke regularly mourns him. Mazenda, Ashura, Guildos, and especially Butchy played it straight.
    • Even Bias seems a lot more human in his final moments, with the usually emotionless Gash going out of his way to Let Them Die Happy. Finally, the end-credits scene is replaced with moments from across the series in the form of a hologram broadcast by Gash just before he shuts down. One of the Livemen laments that there wasn't a single scene of beauty, only fighting, in Gash's memories. You really will weep for every single person in this series that you thought you'd get to keep hating to the end.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The core team's individual weapons combine to form the Triple Bazooka. However, this seldom actually finished a monster off, permanently or temporarily to need the Giga Phantom treatment. The Bi-Motion Buster was the giant cannon that existed only to do that.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Like the series before and after it Liveman ends on this note. Sure they saved the Earth from Bias, and all of the Livemen survived and are free to return to their families and lives but nobody feels really happy about it. Despite wanting to save the Volt generals, all of them die except for Gou, the whole scheme ended up just being a selfish way for Bias to prolong his life so everything they all believed in was a lie, Bias himself dies pathetically having rejected the chance to use his science for good and as they watch Gash's memories which are nothing but violence between the two sides the Livemen can only lament the pointlessness of all of it before walking away. We've yet to see Megumi Tetsuya or Jun'ichi since (outside of in costume for some Crossover films), but in Gaoranger vs Super Sentai Yuusuke is still mourning everyone and rather morose over 10 years later, and over 20 years later in Gokaiger, Jou isn't much happier himself so it doesn't seem like the events of the show are something they'll get over any time soon.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Liveman!" Or, you guessed it, their individual names. (Generally "Liveman!" when transforming as a group, and their name individually.)
  • Calling Your Attacks
  • Color Character: The codenames for the Livemen consists of having their respective colors as the head word and their animals as the tail, a pattern later used by Choujin Sentai Jetman.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Liveman is also notable for being the first Sentai series to feature:
    • A female blue ranger (all the previous teams with female members had at least one pink, with the occasional female yellow and only one white)
    • A black and a green ranger at the same time (not counting X1 Mask's one-episode appearance in Hikari Sentai Maskman).
  • Combination Attack: The Spark Attack
  • Cool Airship: The Machine Buffalo, which was the last time that there was a single-purpose carrier for individual mecha. After this, they could combine or had alternative purposes, like the Vic-Trailer and Giga Bitus.
  • Cool Bike: The Moto Machines, a set of three bike (one for each of the original trio).
  • Cool Car: The Live Cougar jeep, originally built for the team in general, it later becomes the signature vehicle for Black Bison and Green Sai.
  • Deus ex Machina: Colon, on countless occasions. If our heroes are in serious trouble, she would most likely come on the scene and save them.
  • Eye Catch: A 360-degree shot of the Live Robo (looking ready to kick some giant ass) going out; the Liveman logo superimposed over a shot of Earth before the team appears below coming in. Both with their own little jingle.
  • Finishing Move: The Bi-Motion Buster, even after the Triple Bazooka was introduced.
    • Live Robo has the Super Live Crash, which is notable for how quick it is; the whole sequence appears to have been extended (starting with eps. 6) just to make it fit the kickass theme that was written for it.
    • Live Boxer has the Miracle Big Blow.
    • And Super Live Robo had the Super Big Burst.
  • The Heavy: There's six different Volt executives creating Brain Beasts to terrorize people, but Doctor Kemp and Doctor Mazenda are the ones who made the most. They're also the only two students of Bias who are worthy of completing his true plan, the rest are just disposable pawns.
  • Home Base: The tortoise shaped GranTortoise. It's friggin' big, too - proportionately at least twice the size of the Humongous Mecha stages available at the time.
  • Humongous Mecha: For the first time in Super Sentai, two giant robots could combine into a stronger giant robot. The Live Robo wasn't originally designed to combine with anything else, so the fact that the toy designers were able to make it work at all is amazing.
    • Animal Mecha: Introduced the concept to Super Sentai. Jet Falcon and Aqua Dolphin resemble their namesakes only somewhat. Land Lion, on the other hand, looks exactly like a giant lion with guns on its back. Averted with the Bison Liner and Sai Fire, which were just semi-trailer trucks with tractor units resembling the heads of their respective namesakes.
    • Combining Mecha: One for the original trio and another one for the two latecomers.
      • Jet Falcon (Red) + Land Lion (Yellow) + Aqua Dolphin (Blue) = Live Robo
      • Bison Liner (Black, with Red and Yellow co-piloting occasionally) + Sai Fire (Green, with Blue) = Live Boxer
    • Mecha Expansion Pack: Live Robo + Live Boxer = Super Live Robo, for the first time ever.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Albeit as basic as they come; rarely does their role call consist of more than:
    Yūsuke: Choujuu Sentai...
    All: Liveman!
  • Instant Expert: Played straight, subverted and averted; see below. This is perhaps the only Sentai series that can justify this with the character's backgrounds.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: To the extent that Yuusuke is the only one with a personal finishing attack for some time.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Guardnoid Gash fulfills this role with his Giga Phantom cannon. (The giant MOTWs seem to lose their sentience, growling instead of talking, and focusing entirely on combat.) Without some external assistance, only Chaos Phantom Energy-powered entities (=Brain Beasts) will grow giant - but Gash still fires through Liveman, who dive out of the way.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Part of Blue Dolphin's costume is a very small miniskirt.
  • Monster of the Week: The Brain Beasts or Zunōjū, using the "(theme)-Brain" naming pattern. In keeping with the series theme, a number of them are tests or experiments or realizations of a theory first, and fighters second if at all. The show is commander-geared, so while the individual Brain Beasts can speak and have personalities, they are only rarely given any characterization beyond being a walking prop or plot device (increasingly so as time passes).
  • Mook Mobile: The Boffler fighters, which resemble headless dragonflies and are also capable of land and underwater movement as well.
  • Mooks: The Jimmersnote . In something of a departure from formula, they are consistently depicted as being rather tough, and Liveman (in and out of uniform) initially has some trouble fighting them. There are also 'Dummyman' variants who can take on a superficial human form.
  • Oddly Small Organization: As with Bioman, Volt consists of Bias, his students, and a crapton of robots.
    • Unusually, Liveman itself consists of only Yuusuke, Jou, Megumi, and Colon for a while, with absolutely no supporting organization.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch-Phrase: Every episode ends with a "To Be Continued" and the next episode being previewed.
  • Robot Buddy: Colon, though she subverts it by having few built-in functions and relying heavily on external devices.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Unlike the last four teams, Liveman only had one girl (Blue Dolphin), partly because the roster originally consisted of three members and the fourth and fifth members (both male) were added later on. However, Liveman did provide the franchise its first female blue ranger (and the only one who wears a normal shade of blue as well, since subsequent female blues like Blue Swallow and Hurricane Blue wore lighter shades). You can also make an argument for counting Colon as the show's second heroine, as she occasionally assists the team in combat.
  • Supervillain Lair: The Zuno Base is a Space Base - notably, the heroes can't fly up that high, and it's effectively untouchable.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The Liveman theme always plays when the team is defeating a Brain Beast.
  • Transformation Trinket: Introduced the twin-bracelet style trinkets with the aptly-named "Twin Brace."
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: As is the norm for Super Sentai, we generally have Volt 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:

Tropes Specific to Choujuu Sentai Liveman

  • Academy of Evil: Volt is basically an academy for training Evil Geniuses, particularly when it comes to using science to forsake your humanity out of your own rapacious egotism.
  • Action Girl: Besides Megumi there's Colon. Actually, until Tetsuya and Junichi join, she's basically all the backup Liveman has.
  • Affably Evil: Great Professor Bias is notable for being pretty reasonable for a Sentai Big Bad. He frequently gives guidance to his students and encourages them when they do well. When they fail, rather than just Bad Bossing them Bias also explains where they messed up. This lasts until about 3/4 of the way through, when it's revealed to really be a way of manipulating his students. Then the "affable" goes right out the airlock.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Butchy... does not take finding out he's a robot, and that all of his (apparently happy) memories of being a Chibuchi resident were fake, very well. He is destroyed just after (arguably) completing a Heel–Face Turn.
    • There's also Mister Tanaka, a malfunctioning Dummyman who fell in love with Colon.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Episode 42 has the Volt attempting to destroy the Gran Tortoise, using a brainwashed Tetsuya.
  • Anatomy Arsenal: Dr. Mazenda outfits her cyborg body with a ridiculous amount of weaponry, including at least three different Arm Cannons in her fingers, palms, and elbows.
  • And I Must Scream: Dr. Kemp has his brain removed from his head while he's still alive, so it can be used in Bias' Fountain of Youth. His body turns into a mindless Brain Beast, and his consciousness remains alive in the immobile brain, unable to see, hear, feel or do anything.
  • Anyone Can Die: Provided you're not human or if you're in Volt. The only one to survive is Goh Omura/Dr. Obular.
  • Badass Normal: Arashi Busujima. A tough-as-nails gang leader, he beat one Brain Beast into submission and blew up a weapon/attack-absorbing one with a suicide charge.
  • Bad Boss: While Bias can come off charming and interested in helping his students learn, he also practically weaponizes favoritism and demoralizing speeches to keep his generals in-fighting for the 1000-point competition and deflect suspicion from his plot to steal their brains when they're smart enough.
  • Best Years of Your Life: This is a major theme of Liveman, with all of the main characters being socially-active university students. But while it's important to appreciate your "seishun" years, it's equally important to mature and grow out of them; for example, Yuusuke grows from a Hot-Blooded playboy into a dependable and courageous leader. Great Professor Bias is obsessed with defying age and returning to his youth, not for a second chance at life but to re-live it over and over.
  • Bound and Gagged: The first literal happening in Sentai (previous titles didn't use gags), in which Megumi is the victim (when she's taken hostage to force Yuusuke fight a swordsman-type Monster of the Week)
  • Butt-Monkey: Before Darker and Edgier hits on full throttle, this is Jou's role. Somewhat literally, in the infamous first dinosaur episode.
  • The Cameo: Dorothée, eponymous presenter of the Club Dorothée show that aired Liveman and other Super Sentai series in France, cameos in episode 30 as a scuba diver.
  • Cast from Hit Points:
    • Guildos can endlessly revive his personalized Guildo Zuno. It's not initially clear he's doing it under this trope... until Green Sai basically forces Guildos down to zero on his own.
    • Oblar's Benkyou Zuno ('Study-Brain') is also this, as he made it from his own physical material; it drained him to the point that he turned back into Gou temporarily.
  • Chinese Vampire: One Monster of the Week transformed the souls of Academia's departed into jiangshi in order to build an army of these.
  • Climax Boss: The two major story arcs other than the intro and finale arcs both end with a major enemy:
    • Obular Brain, a clone of Obular's monster form created by Kemp, Mazenda, and Ashura, is used in an attempt to kill the original and the Livemen, and its defeat marks Goh Omura's Heel Face Turn.
    • Immediately after that defeat and the introduction of Butchy comes a new story arc which ends with Giga Volt, Bias's ultimate creation that ultimately leads to Yusuke allowing Tetsuya and Junichi into the group as Black Bison and Green Sai, thus also creating Super Live Robo.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Played straightish, but subverted towards the end. Dr. Mazenda willingly made herself more cybernetic, embracing its dehumanizing effects to preserve her youth and beauty, and then becoming robot-below-the-neck 'Machine Mazenda' afterwards to better defeat Liveman. Though eventually she reconsiders - ironically, it's only after she becomes Robo Mazenda that she recovers her humanity.
  • Darker and Edgier: Overall, the first three-quarters of the series a bit (especially compared to the Heisei shows), but not so much they can't crack jokes from time to time; even then, happiness is fleeting and rare, compared to the tragedy that at least half the episodes end on. The last quarter or so, starting with the return of Goh Omura and the first big hints at Bias's true agenda, is one long dark story arc - no humor, lots of death and explosions.
    • To make things even worse, Volt took some terrible cues from Shocker, such as modifying humans in order to forsake their humanity and become sociopaths, out of a belief in their own superiority and right to rule their fellow humans. It certainly sounds like something out of a work under Ishinomori's creative influence.
    • Liveman is also notable as being one of the few Sentai series to be darker than both the Metal Heroes series and Kamen Rider series that aired concurrent to it, Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya and Kamen Rider BLACK RX respectively, both of which had much more light-hearted and goofy plotlines.
  • Death by Origin Story: The deaths of Takuji Yano and Mari Aikawa during the very first episode.
  • Deus ex Machina: Kemp, of all possible people, reverses Bias's Fountain Of Youth in the end.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: You'd think people would less surprised at Mazenda and Kemp joining Volt considering every conversation with them was about how humanity in general was inferior to them.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Professor Bias is rendered senile in the finale, so Gash has to fight the Livemen by himself. After they are defeated and the base explodes he gives Bias a False Reassurance: the explosions he hears are actually fireworks to celebrate the conquest of Earth.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune:
    • The opening and ending tunes are sung by Daisuke Shima, who plays Red Falcon.
    • Megumi's actress, Megumi Mori, sings her image song Spark! Ume E.
  • Dumb Muscle: Arashi Busujima was this prior to his education at the hands of Bias, to the point of not being able to do math that went higher than he had fingers - 8+4 in particular stumps him. (The actor pulls this off so well that Arashi and Ashura are almost completely different characters.)
  • Dynamic Entry: Several times during the show - especially the mecha - but also something Colon has to do by default owing to her lack of firepower.
  • Education Mama: Omura had one mean mother who eventually goes all out to help her son gain back his self-worth.
  • The '80s: Much of the show, but the theme song especially. The end of the opening sequence has a moonwalking Colon. Not to mention the early CGI wireframes seen in the transformation and Bimotion Buster sequences.
  • End of an Age: The last series feature a independent non-mecha carrier vehicle on a daily basis (although this concept was resurface once more with Abaranger) and the last Sentai series to air before the death of Emperor Hirohito.
  • Engrish: The Live Blasters are labelled "Librastar".
  • Everyone Went to School Together: The other main hook of the show - the original three Liveman members and Volt generals are pretty familiar with each other, if never out-and-out friends. Often played up for drama, once or twice for humor.
  • Evil Former Friend: Kemp, Mazenda, and Oblar were all once classmates of the Livemen before they turned evil. The third one pulls a Heel–Face Turn though.
  • Evil Genius: All of Volt. Each of their generals is competing to level up their IQ so they can become the biggest evil genius.
  • Evil Plan: The entire plot is a scheme by Bias to maintain his immortality by raising one of his subordinates' scores to 1000, creating a Fountain of Youth.
  • Evil Is Visceral: Not as prominent as in most examples, but Volt often invokes this style. The Brain Beasts are created from artificial brains and many have organic parts visible in their bodies.
  • Evil Will Fail: Played unusually straight for a Super Sentai; notably, Liveman doesn't defeat Volt so much as outlast it. (It's worth noting that, given when it was made, this isn't a metaphor for the Cold War so much as the ruthlessly competitive element of then-modern society.) The ways in which Bias squandered his (at first) loyal Lieutenants' time with competition rather than coordination and cooperation - all the way up to just before the finale - pretty much made Volt's ultimate self-implosion inevitable.
    • This applies to each of the individual Volt students as well all of whom fail to find the fulfillment they sought in Volt. Obular winds up being surpassed by his fellow students and kicked out, Ashura loses his super-intelligence and goes back to being dumb, Mazenda regrets mechanizing herself to the point of forsaking her humanity, and Kemp loses his body and becomes a Brain in a Jar.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • In episode 22 the end credits are updated to include Volt's newest members, Guildos and Butchy, as well as Doctor Ashura replacing Obular, who left Volt the episode before.
    • In episode 30 the end credits get updated again to include Tetsuya and Junichi now that they've joined the Livemen.
    • The intro also gets updated starting with episode 31 to include the newest Livemen as well, although the beginning still only shows Yusuke, Megumi and Jou facing Kemp, Mazenda and Obular even though Obular was Put on a Bus episodes before.
  • Foreshadowing: If you pay close attention to things like Bias smirking whenever his students, particularly Kemp and Mazenda, become motivated to try harder, you'll pick up a few clues about his true plans for them.
  • Freudian Excuse: Gou had an Education Mama who made him spend all his time studying rather than play outside, leading him to believe intelligence was the only thing that mattered and eventually causing him to fall under the sway of Bias.
  • Freudian Trio: Yūsuke is the Ego, while Jou and Megumi go back and forth on being the Id and Superego. Jou is cocky but laid back, while Megumi is responsible but quick to emotion.
  • Genius Bruiser: Dr. Ashura, who was the result of Great Professor Bias taking a dimwitted thug and artificially amplifying his intelligence. Before him there was Dr. Oblar, who gave himself a permanent monster form with enhanced strength.
  • Glass Cannon: Quite a few of the MOTWs are this in practice - on a few occasions, the heroes spend more time fighting the Jimmers - as they aren't always built with combat in mind. You'd think the enlarged ones would be tougher, but they all tend to go down fairly quickly.
  • Grand Finale: As the next series, Turboranger takes place in the transitional period between the Showa and Heisei eras, it's the final entry in the Showa series that started with Himitsu Sentai Gorenger.
  • Hammerspace: It's possible to summon up just a Liblaster from a Twin Brace, but this is only done once when Yuusuke needs to point a gun at a possible intruder.
  • Hand Cannon: While Mazenda literally has cannons in her hand(s), Gash has his Gashgun. The handle and barrel are practically in a straight line, and whatever ammo it uses is enough to knock a Liveman onto their back. And is apparently too powerful to use on someone he plans on taking a brain from...
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Just as Butchy was reforming and about to dance with Megumi to solidify it, Bias activated his self-destruct mechanism.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Obular, who loses his memory once his Applied Phlebotinum fails, and ends up becoming a priest. Also, all the Volt commanders make some form of this, with the exception of Guildos - Omura is just the only one who lives. Butchy gains some form of friendship with Megumi and tells her goodbye before dying, Arashi actively fights against Volt and does a suicide run on a Brain Beast, Mazenda changes herself into a robot and drops herself off of a cliff as a final middle finger to Bias, and in his last moments Kemp (reduced to a brain in a jar) rebels.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Arashi Busujima, formerly Dr. Ashura dies this way, strapping dynamite to himself to blow up Battle Brain in one heck of a Dying Moment of Awesome. Colon is aware of her status as a robot, and pulls something close to this about once every 10 episodes or so, but she survives until the end.
  • Homage: The original trio have the same colors and similar animal motifs as their counterparts from Sun Vulcan.
    • Vul Eagle and Red Falcon are both based on birds of prey.
    • Vul Shark and Blue Dolphin are both based on large aquatic animals.
    • Vul Panther and Yellow Lion are both based on big cats.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Yes, Bias, make Gash, the only person who you trust with your true plan, walk incredibly slowly. Surely it won't cause, oh, I don't know, one of your enemies following him into your lair right as you're about to initiate Mass Hypnosis, sparing the enemy because he's not on Earth.
  • Hope Spot: For a second, it looks like Colon might actually beat Kemp Brain and save the day in the Live Robo. Then she discovers that she can't operate it effectively by herself...
  • If It Swims, It Flies: Averted by Aqua Dolphin (which uses tank treads on land, although it can also make dolphin-like jumps out of the water and land safely) and Gran Tortoise (never leaves the water). ...Then then there's the flying Machine Buffalo.
  • Immortality Immorality: Mazenda (part of her motivation for turning herself into a cyborg was so that she would remain beautiful forever) and, to a greater extent, Bias, who manipulated everything so that he could extend his immortality. Naturally, they get subverted towards the end.
  • Improbably High I.Q.: All the members of Volt have ridiculously high IQs. In fact, Bias' goal is to raise their IQs to 1000.
    • There's a problem with this, though - those numbers are Bias' scores for their brains (he wants a 'thousand-point brain'), and it seems that they're closer to test scores.
  • Infinite Supplies: GranTortoise apparently provides this.
  • Instant Expert: This show, surprisingly for a Super Sentai, mostly doesn't play it straight.
    • They built their own equipment and mecha, and have been training for two years, so they know how everything works from the first episode.
    • Live Robo, on the other hand, they can pilot only because they're very smart.
    • Same goes for Volt. Kemp, Mazenda, and Obular have had the same two years to get to know their own abilities. Arashi, in becoming Ashura, is given a (reversible!) genius boost.
  • Insufferable Genius: Most of Volt - Gash has the good sense to stay in the background.
  • Karmic Death: Impressively, only Bias and Gash die this way, when a senile Bias ignited the Zuno Base's thrusters when there was no chance of getting off the ground. The show is notable in that none of the generals are directly killed by Liveman, who do their damnedest to save them somehow.
  • Kick the Dog: In #17, there wasn't any reason for Kemp to rig the shoes he gave the Victim of the Week to explode, he had already got what he wanted from her in exchange for them, he just did it purely out of spite.
  • Kirk Summation: It technically happens after the villains are defeated, but once Bias finally perishes all of the Livemen lament how the hypercompetitiveness of the Volt members was their undoing and how they were too caught up in their own egos to appreciate the beauty of the world.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai spoils that Kemp and Mazenda die, which also gives away Obular's survival. Of course, it's possible to come to entirely the wrong conclusion if your introduction to Liveman is seeing its Red Ranger standing at the graves of four of his acquaintances.
  • Let Them Die Happy: As the crashed Brain Base explodes around them, Gush tells the now senile Bias that the explosions are fireworks celebrating his conquest of the Earth and pretends to hear his hallucinations of people cheering his name.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Their casual clothes. Averted in the middle of the series, when they were given different clothing, but later returned to their original clothes in the final episodes. (It's never justified or explained in-show, but they were forced to leave Academia in a 'clothes on their backs' sort of way.)
  • Market-Based Title: Since Choudenshi Bioman was the first Super Sentai series shown in France, this one was called "Bioman 3: Liveman" there.
  • Mass Hypnosis: One part of Bias's ultimate goal, along with immortality and eternal youth. Once he has a completed Giga Brain Wave, he's able to use to mass brainwash every human being on Earth into before before him and hailing him as their master.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Jimmers are built to be Volt's mass-produceable robot soldiers.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Not just new mecha but new team members.
    • Also new weapons for Red and Yellow that can combine with Blue's weapon to form another BFG. Possibly subverted since the BFG is smaller and weaker than their first one - but apparently faster to combine and fire than the Bimotion Buster - and Red's new weapon is basically his old one with a longer, flashier looking handle (allowing him to do a two-hand grip and the "Falcon Break" attack).
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: In the opening, though you have to pause to really tell that it's this trope.
  • Mister Seahorse: Junichi winds up pregnant in episode 31 due to a Monster of the Week.
  • Monster Clown: The Pierrot Brain, a Brain Beast created out of a creepy clown doll, although it was actually a lot more tragic than most Brain Beasts.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Considering Kemp, Mazenda and Obular all received their "doctor" titles from Volt, they're most definitely this.
  • Mythology Gag
    • As well as reusing the Power Trio, complete with matching color scheme, from Sun Vulcan, Animal Motifs return with matching categories for the primary colors, that is birds for red, aquatic animals for blue, and big cats for yellow.
    • Going all the way back to Goranger, the Blue Ranger goes The Straight and Arrow Path while Green wields Battle Boomerangs.
    • Bias has 11 brains hooked up to his Giga Brain Wave setup, and needs a 12th brain to complete it. There were 11 Sentai series before Liveman, the 12th.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Subverted by Bias when it emerges that he's repeatedly led groups of students to become disembodied brains to serve as the power of his Fountain of Youth — so he was recycling an evil scheme, just not the main one.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Bias' removal of Kemp as a friendly from Sniper Brain's targetting parameters in Episode 35 causes it to interfere in Kemp and Yusuke's second duel at Academia Island through Friendly Fire, preventing the professor from killing the weakened Ranger. Kemp is then blamed for the resulting loss. Although considering Bias was using the Livemen as Unwitting Pawns to make his students try harder, he may have done this intentionally.
  • The Nudifier: By accident, Gou ends up naked in episode 41 as the Brain Beast Of The Week was trying to make him completely invisible, but only took off his clothes initially.
  • Oh, Crap!: Kemp, when he sees the Five-Man Band assembled for the first time. And Ashura, when he sees the Super Live Robo for the first time.
  • Only Sane Man: When Bias temporarily mind-controls everyone on Earth towards the end, only Yuusuke, untransformed and aboard the Brain Base, can stop him.
    • Colon, on the other hand, gets ready to mix it up in the Live Robo.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: After Yuusuke succeeds in stopping Bias, then in the midst of planet-wide mind control, with a Falcon Blade to the gut and several Liblaster shots to his Brain Room, Bias grows really, really old, having artificially prolonged his life with the brains there. Somehow. This marks the point where the already dark ending arc starts getting really dark.
  • Phlebotinum-Induced Stupidity: shows up from time to time - Ashura's extra intelligence makes him a slightly less effective face-to-face fighter than Arashi, for example. Bias accidentally turning into a child after using Kemp's brain to rejuvenate himself is the most notable though - he's not any less intelligent, but instead has the recklessness you'd expect from that form.
  • Phlebotinum-Proof Robot: At the penultimate episode of the series, Bias actually succeeds in brainwashing all of Earth, even the Liveman (sans Yuusuke who snuck aboard the Zuno Base on outer space) fall victim to this, with only their assistant Colon, who is a robot, being unaffected due to not having a human's mind which Bias could control.
  • Product Placement: Jou's apparently a Seicross fan, and has a My Pet Monster doll on the rearview mirror of his car.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Great Professor Bias has lived for a much longer period of time than he appears, keeping himself young through the Giga Brain Wave.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Dr. Mazenda and Arashi. Kemp, in his last few seconds of life, comes round as well. Butchy doesn't get as far as Redemption, but his last moments makes it clear that he would have, if not for Bias blowing him up.
  • Redemption Equals Life: Gou. It's not mentioned what his lifespan is, but he's apparently retained his superhuman-ness in human form as a bonus - karma pays off nicely in this show.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Colon. She's obviously mechanical, but it's kinda hard to tell if she's giving exposition or reminding the audience when she announces, towards the end, that she's a robot and therefore immune to planetary mind control.
    • "Human" might not be the right word here, but Guildos and Butchy were sufficiently lifelike enough to fool the three super-geniuses in Volt and Liveman.
  • Robosexual: #23 hints Colon has a thing for Yusuke. If her motorcycle ride with Yusuke at the end is any indication, Yusuke may reciprocate.
  • Robot Girl: Colon. Not Mazenda, until she turns herself into Robo Mazenda, specifically to keep Bias from taking her brain.
  • Robot Maid: Colon, assigned to run the GranTortoise base, seems to have been intended to be this. In practice, she was over-engineered to have a near-human personality and enough defensive capability to support Liveman in battle.
  • Shirtless Scene: Jou and Yusuke on the beach at the end of episode 22.
  • Shout-Out: In episode 6 we have a dinossaur named Gon.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Bias got younger and gloats his Evil Plan... Megumi is the one that tells that his plan is just full of bullshit.
  • Slurpasaur: Gon, the timeslipped dinosaur in episodes 6 and 7.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: The rangers are under the sway of a mind-control gas early on. Colon saves them with the antidote... fired from a bazooka.
  • The Smart Guy: Initially averted - the protagonists and antagonists all qualify for the trope - and then deconstructed, more or less starting with Obular's breakdown.
    • Volt as a whole kinda shows what happens when you let this trope be the thing by which everything is measured.
    • That said, Yuusuke and Jou were near the bottom academically - and yet they still built their own mecha.
    • Megumi totally plays this straight, though.
  • Spanner in the Works: The entire reason Bias's plan is stopped is because of Yusuke, who boarded Gash's shuttle just before it took off. If he'd been even a bit slower, he wouldn't have been able to go to the Brain Base and everyone on Earth would have been brainwashed into becoming Bias's slaves.
  • Special Effects Evolution: The quadrupedal Land Lion looks awesome for 1988, and is the first of its kind in Sentai Mecha. Your impression upon seeing it in the first episode will be "YES".
  • Standard Snippet: Gustav Holst's "Mars, Bringer of War" is used as Volt's leitmotif.
  • Stock Footage: From episode 18 onwards, the Live Robo (and Live Boxer) combination sequences started getting cut sometimes, apparently to make room for more story. No in-universe explanation is givennote , so it looks like they can suddenly summon the mecha fully combined - either Fridge Logic or Fridge Brilliance, since the manual combination sequence isn't necessary for a successful combination.
    • Otherwise played straight with the Bimotion Buster and Gash's Giga Phantom sequences (though it wasn't long before they cut his walk back from firing it.
  • Stone Wall: Colon has no offensive weaponry, but once took a hit to save Yuusuke and give him the morale kick he needed.
  • Storming the Castle: Yuusuke sneaks into the Brain Base and takes down almost all of Bias's remaining forces before confronting Bias himself, resulting in the base breaking down and the planet being saved from the Giga Brain Wave.
  • Taking the Bullet: This is how Mari and Takuji die in the first episode, shielding their friends from Tsukigata's laser blast. This also demonstrates The Worf Effect on how advanced Volt's technology is as the two had been wearing the prototype protection suits.
  • Techno Babble: The explanation given for Chaos Phantom Energy, which apparently powers Volt's stuff. (The way it's shot - the camera closes in on Kemp's lips and twitches as he gives a manic description of it - is the "Babble" part of it.)
    • Basically, Chaos Phantom Energy is given off when... stuff blows up. Really.
  • Three Plus Two: The series starts off with three members like Sun Vulcan, but then two new members are added in Episode 30. It was intended to have three Livemen all the way through, but was changed at the insistence of the producersThis practice would be repeated in some later Super Sentai shows (namely Hurricaneger, Abaranger, Gekiranger, Go-onger, and Go-Busters), but in those cases, the new heroes were planned from the start.
    • It's actually inverted at the beginning of the series, where five protagonists are shown at the beginning. Then two of them get killed.
  • Time Traveler's Dinosaur: The 6th and 7th episodes involved a young T-Rex pulled from the past. The 6th episode has the Monster of the Week use its time-based powers to bring the T-Rex to the present, where a young boy befriends it and nicknames it Gon. The 7th episode has the villains put Gon under mind control and test if Gash's Giga Phantom cannon can make it giant since the Giga Phantom normally only works on the villain's created monsters. Unfortunately for the Liveman, Gon does become giant, forcing the Liveman to fight and slay it with their mecha.
  • Token Non-Human: Guildos and Butchy are the only alien students of Volt. They're actually robots, but are still examples.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Given that he's the youngest of the five and that there wasn't much to show that he could do this, it's very surprising to see Jun'ichi/Green Sai continuously destroy Guildos' personal Guild-zuno until Guildos himself basically self-destructs from the strain of reviving himnote .
  • Transhumanism: Every human member of Volt adheres to this somehow. However, and with the exception of Bias himself, it's always a means to an end rather than the end itself.
  • The Unfought: Notably, none of the Volt leaders save Kemp (and even then, only his body) get a massive battle that ends up killing them. Obular leaves the scene after a clone is killed, Guildos is defeated indirectly via a Brain Beast linked to him, Butchy is killed by Bias, Arashi reforms and performs a Heroic Sacrifice, Mazenda is fatally wounded and turns into a robot to save herself from Bias and Gash, and Gash briefly fights Yuusuke before both of the remaining Volt leaders are killed in their base's explosion.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Dr Kemp created a Brain Beast that runs on this at one point, which it drained off from nearby sources - Liveman, innocent bystanders, Dr Kemp... The only solution turned out to be to not fight Volt with entirely justified rage, and fight to protect people. ...and for Kemp to stay a good distance away from Ikari-Zuno (Rage-Brain) during battle.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Justified, for once. Liveman is an Oddly Small Organization early on (Volt has an enormous HR advantage), making an effective defense difficult, and don't seem to even be aware that the Brain Base is in space, making a proactive attack impossible.
  • Villainous Breakdown: ALL of the Volt members save Gash get this one way or another, for certain definitions of 'breakdown':
    • Obular finally gives in to the humanity inside him, and forces a million-to-one transformation back to human.
    • Guildos is reduced to confused wandering after learning his true nature.
    • Butchy, realizing he is a robot like Guildos, is forced to continue working for Bias against his will. He ultimately decides that being in Volt is absolutely horrible and tries to leave, only for Bias to kill him.
    • Ashura reverts back into Arashi and, as a final middle finger to Bias, makes a suicide charge into the Monster of the Week.
    • Mazenda, after realizing Bias and Gash were using her the whole time, flees and turns herself into a complete robot. Interestingly, this breakdown was built up through the entire series.
    • Kemp, who prided himself on being Bias' star pupil, is surpassed by everyone in Volt and only regains his spot by default when he is the last Volt commander remaining. His obsession with being the best- and a delusional belief that he was "special" in the eyes of Bias- leads him to willingly offer himself to Bias, only to be betrayed and sacrificed.
    • Bias is reduced to an old man and goes completely senile and delusional in his final moments.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Poor Mari and Takuji get killed off pretty early within the first episode.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Huh - Live Boxer looks really bulky and boxy compared to Live Robo... wait, they COMBINE?!?!" It's a given nowadays, but it's very difficult to overstate just how impressive this was when you'd never seen it before. And it wasn't even planned from the start.
    • #43. Wherein we learn that Guildos and Butchy are robots. This is where the show changes course and starts getting dark.
      • This is in-universe as well. Liveman notwithstanding, even the Volt commanders look uncomfortable at this revelation (Mazenda particularly) and Butchy is sobbing after learning that they were robots. Yes, Bias gave him the ability to cry. We find it out when he's using an attack projected from his eyes; we find it's weakening because even as he fights, his tears are distorting it.
  • Wham Line: Words that would change Sentai Forever....
    Gattai! SUPER Live Dimension!
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
    • Colon is generally treated like a human female for plot purposes (the ludicrously high level of her AI isn't touched on), albeit one with the added benefit of being mechanical, and therefore more chances at Heroic Near-Sacrifices.
    • With the exception of Dr. Oblar, all the (formerly) human Volt doctors stay on as face characters and are all humanized in one way or other when they "leave" Volt.
    • Even Butchy gets an episode to prove this, and he's non-human by every definition of the phrase.
    • A general rule of thumb is, if it's not Colon, it's not surviving the show.
  • Wicked Cultured: Bias definitely embodies refined and well-spoken evil. Kemp also shoot for this, but most of the time he just comes off as pompous.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The Liveman barely thwart ANYTHING. Bias even succeeds in his ultimate plan of Mass Hypnosis, making him one of the few, if not only, Sentai villains who succeeded in their plans. The only reason he was stopped was because Yuusuke was able to get onto Zuno Base before everything was ready and Kemp rebelled at the last minute.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Bias has a habit of doing this, but only towards the end - he's surprisingly forgiving for most of the show. He destroys Guidos and Butchy when they discover their true nature. He strips Ashura of his intelligence when he discovers sensitive documents in the Volt mainframe hinting at Bias' true goal. And finally, he sends Gash out to kill Mazenda and Kemp when they achieve scores of 1000, since he needs their brains to power his Fountain of Youth.
  • You Killed My Father: Black Bison and Green Sai are the younger siblings of the two who developed the power suits and were killed by Volt. By the time they're introduced, the original three have long since been fighting to protect everyone from Volt, but Tetsuya and Jun'ichi are really just out for blood.


Video Example(s):


"Viva Bias!"

In an oddly human moment for a killer robot, Guardnoid Gash cheers up the senile Great Professor Bias by feeding his master's dying delusion that he won.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ComfortTheDying

Media sources: