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Series / Dengeki Sentai Changeman

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Dengeki Sentai Changeman (Blitzkrieg Squadron Changeman) is the ninth Super Sentai series, running from 1985 to 1986. Until Goranger was retroactively included as a Super Sentai installment, it was also the longest with 55 episodes and two movies (both original works); in terms of episode count, it's still the second longest in the franchisenote . It was also the third series not to have a yellow warrior.

In order to save the world from threat of invasion by the Great Star League Gozma, a special force called the Earth Defense Force is set up. One day, the Gozma launch an attack on them and have them on the ropes. That is, until the Earth itself grants five officers the power of the Earth Force, which lets them become the Changemen.

The Changemen:


The Gozma

Recurring Super Sentai tropes

  • All Your Powers Combined: The Power Bazooka is notable for being the first Sentai finisher to be a combination of the team's weapons.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Let's Change!" or their individual codenames.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Notable for having the first female white rangernote , substituting yellow in this case (later shows would have white as a substitute for pink instead). However, just like Sun Vulcan, the codenames are animal-based (specifically based on mythical creatures).
  • Combination Attack: The Changeman have various team attacks with their side guns; the girls have their own set as well. Compared to most other Sentai teams, the Changeman lack personal weapons (the Power Bazooka components don't count), and they depend basically on their Change Swords (a gun that can turns into a sword and shield); they compensate for that with many individual techniques and combination moves.
  • Cool Airship: The Shuttlebase, which was actually a spaceship in addition to being their mecha carrier.
  • Cool Bike: The Auto Changer bikes, the first time each ranger had an individual bike.
  • Cool Car: The team's jeep, the Change Cruiser.
  • Curbstomp Battle: The Changeman are routinely subjected to them, but it's more prominent in the Aura Rigel arc, when Ahames gets new powers and starts ruthlessly attacking the team.
    • Later in the same arc, the Changemen get to be the stompers. They summon Change Robo to scare Ahames away and nonchalantly deal with normal size monsters. The arc's conclusion has the team learning to use their full power, overpowering Ahames' Rigel powers and destroying her force shield.
  • Eye Catch: The eyecatch before the break shows the Changemen preparing the Change Bazooka. After the commercial break, the Change Robo is featured with its sword at the ready, close to the screen.
  • Finishing Move
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Home Base: The Dengeki Base, although the Shuttle Base also served this role in some episodes.
  • Humongous Mecha: Once again there were three components, with an individual mecha for the red leader and two shared mechas for the rest of the team. This would also be the last time the heroes would have just one big robot.
    • Combining Mecha: Jet Changer 1 (Dragon) + Heli Changer 2 (Griffin and Mermaid) + Land Changer 3 (Pegasus and Phoenix) = Change Robo
  • In the Name of the Moon: Simple. They just shout their individual names, and then their team name (if they're all together).
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Hiryū has a mental link with Nana.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Gyodai's purpose on the show. Conveniently, Gyodai could only enlarge a monster once a day, since this power consumes too much of his strength, and by contrivance, he is also attracted to the energy discharge of the Power Bazooka, which serves as a sign as to when to use his powers. This becomes a Chekhov's Gun in the finale.
    • There's a notable two-parter where the Gozma try to engineer a way around Gyodai's "one monster per day" limit in a satisfying display of Genre Savvy.
  • Monster of the Week: The Space Beast Warriors.
  • Mooks: The Hidrer Soldiers, who are probably the ugliest and creepiest looking mooks in all of Super Sentai.
  • The Movie: Two in fact.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch-Phrase: "Let's Change! Dengeki Sentai Changeman!"
  • Supervillain Lair: The Gozmard.
  • Theme Music Power-Up
  • Transformation Trinket: Change Brace
  • Transformation Name Announcement
  • Two Girls to a Team: The second Sentai team to have two girls at the same time. However, instead of the now-traditional Pink and Yellow duo, this one had Pink and White. In later teams, White was more often used for female rangers as a substitute for Pink. It wouldn't be until 30 years later that a Sentai team would have another Pink and White female duo with Momoninger and Shironinger in Shuriken Sentai Ninninger.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: As is the norm for Super Sentai, we generally have Gozma 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
    • Bifurcated Weapon: The Change Swords.note 
    • Hand Cannon: The "Zooka" guns, one for each member and named after each of their respective animal. They are the first weapons in Sentai to use this trope.

Tropes specific to Dengeki Sentai Changeman:

  • Against the Setting Sun: How the final battle between Dragon and Booba plays out.
  • Alien Blood: In episode 11, the Poleians have green blood.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The second movie, called "Shuttle Base is in danger! Also, Ahames makes a suicide run that takes out the Dengeki base.
  • Animal-Motif Team: All members of the Changeman have mythological animals as their motif.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Earth Force and Rigel Aura.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: An old wound seals Giluke's fate. Meanwhile, the Hidrer Soldiers are weakened by hitting the red spot on their chests.
  • Back from the Dead: Giluke dies on Episode 33 after one too many failures (compounded by Ahames getting the power boost from the Rigel Aura instead of him); he later comes back as a ghost in 39, and revives completely in 43, after draining residual Rigel Aura from Nana (which is enough to power him up as well).
  • Bad Boss: Bazoo doesn't give a damn what happens to his subordinates as long as the Changemen are destroyed. Not to mention his questionable recruiting methods.
  • Badass Biker: Mai, as showcased in Episode 15.
  • Baseball Episode: Two of them: 9 and 38, both of which dabble in Tsurugi's past as a star high school baseball player.
  • Breast Attack: In episode 20, a Gozma's large, huge-mouthed fish head minions fly to bite Change Mermaid's breasts, although they're not really visible through her suit.
    • Speaking of which, Change Mermaid's theme insignia is topless.
  • Butt-Monkey: In light-hearted moments, Hayate becomes this.
  • Darker and Edgier: Along with Growing the Beard, this series is well known for being more serious than many previous series and introducing perhaps the first truly despicable villain in sentai with Star King Bazoo.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: In episode 25, Yuma sings the Changeman opening theme to hurt the monster Zonos, who hates his really bad singing.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: After discovering that Star King Bazoo is actually the planet they believed he was on, the Changemen use ChangeRobo to blow up the entire planet and kill him.
    • On the other hand, that was Bazoo's plan all along. He (the planetoid, remember) would ride hidden in the tail of Halley's Comet to crash into the Earth.
  • Elemental Powers:
  • Enemy Civil War: While they both were conspiring to take out Bazoo, Giluke and Ahames weren't above sabotaging each other's efforts at conquest.
  • Evil Will Fail: While an Enemy Civil War is still present like in previous seasons, the central cause of the trope this time is Bazoo, a Bad Boss par excellence whose minions are all forced to work for him. This is notably the first season where some of the generals make full-blown Heel Face Turns, with three survivors and one case of Redemption Equals Death; by the end, Giluke is the only one who neither defects or goes insane.
  • Faking the Dead: Tsurugi pulls this in Episode 37.
  • Genius Loci: You know the planet where the team fights Bazoo in the finale? Yep, that planet is Bazoo.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Gyodai; in fact, he is more than often wakened up when it's grow time.
    • This is because growing the monsters takes a lot out of Gyodai's energies, so he sleeps that much to conserve them.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Shima, Gator, and Gyodai survive to defect from Gozma.
  • Heroic BSoD: The Changemen go through one during the mini-arc where Ahames, after bathing in Nana's Rigel Aura, becomes too powerful for them to handle. Notably, in Episode 35, Ōzora goes so far as to have a Despair Event Horizon.
  • His Name Is...: Episode 31 revolved around a MacGuffin with a recorded message from a space prophet revealing Bazoo's true identity. The Changemen played the message, but the Monster of the Week destroyed the MacGuffin before the message got that far.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Used in Episode 25. A Gozma monster causes destruction by singing along with the people he hears; he can't stand bad singing, like Change Pegasus'.
  • Kick the Dog: During one fight, Ahames's actions indirectly cause a school bus to crash. She really kicks the dog when she sends her monsters to try to thwart the Changemen from getting medical aid to the victims.
  • Larynx Dissonance: Shima has a male voice as an effect of Bazoo's brainwashing performed by Michiro Iida (who would later voice the titular hero of Choujinki Metalder). She does talk in a female voice, however, in episode 10 where she's in disguise and in 46 where she is rendered amnesiac, revealing her true nature. Once Booba breaks Bazoo's hold on her near the end of the series, leading to her Heel–Face Turn, her voice reverts to female for good.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Mai and Yūma.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: The Changemen start channeling the Earth Force into the Power Bazooka when a trio of Ahames's best monsters put them on the ropes.
  • Mythical Motifs
  • Pink Means Feminine: The very first aversion of the franchise. Even if she's the pink one, Mai certainly fulfills the tomboyish role a lot when compared to the prim and proper Sayaka.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: The Changemen's ally, Nana, gets one once the Rigel Aura in her awakens.
  • Punny Name: Gyodai's name is a play on the word "kyodai" or "huge". Naturally, Gyodai's powers consists of making monsters grow.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The late episodes air in 1986, when Halley's Comet was approaching Earth. That was borrowed to set up the last plot. As Halley's Comet approaches Earth, hidden behind it is a planet that could crash into the planet. The hidden planet is actually Star King Bazoo's true form.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Episode 45 dealt with Tsurugi being stuck in his Change Dragon form. Unlike in other instances where it is treated as a minor annoyance at best, here it's treated as a real threat. After all, the power amplification granted by the uniform takes a toll on its user if worn for prolonged periods of time; plus, being unable to take off his uniform (helmet included), Tsurugi would be unable to feed and could also die by malnourishment.
  • Ship Tease: Episode 19 is basically a huge tease for Tsurugi/Sayaka.
  • The Speechless: The Gozma monsters, all of whom can talk (and sing!) on human scale, are suddenly reduced to growling beasts upon getting the enlarging ray.
  • Spot the Imposter: In Episode 22, a Gozma monster captures Sayaka and changes into her, however after failing nearly every security check in the base the Changemen prove to be quite on the ball and automatically assume something's wrong rather than constantly writing it off.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Hayate sometimes gets more screen time than the other Changeman.
  • Starfish Character: Jangeran near the finale.
  • The Starscream: Giluke.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The fake arrest orders for Yūma Ōzora in Episode 5 are written in English. Although they do make some odd translation choices ("Dengeki Sentai" is translated as "Lightning Party"), it's pretty comprehensible and grammatically correct for a one-scene prop that was written for a Japanese TV show.
  • That's No Moon!: Bazoo is revealed to be the planet they thought he was on.
  • Theme Naming: The full names of each of the Changemen.
    • Change Dragon: Hiryu Tsurugi means "flying dragon" and "sword"
    • Change Griffon: Sho Hayate means "soar" and "hurricane"
    • Change Pegasus: Yuma Ozora means "courageous horse" and "great sky"
    • Change Mermaid: Sayaka Nagisa means "bright" and "beach"
    • Change Phoenix: Mai Tsubasa means "linen robe" and "wings"
      • Also, funnily enough, Gator's family are named after footwear: Gator from geta (Japanese wooden clogs), his wife Zoorii (from zoori, slippers) and their son Waraji (straw sandals like those worn by samurai).
  • Theme Tune: Changeman was the first series to have a theme song sung by legendary anime/tokusatsu theme singer Hironobu Kageyama, who would later go on to do several songs for Dragon Ball Z.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Happens after Ahames gets more powerful. The Changeman's full power starts showing in episode 35.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Mai and Sayaka. Mai's extreme tomboyishness only lasts for the first 10 or so episodes though before she levels out a bit.
  • Training from Hell: Commander Ibuki puts the future Changemen through this just as the Gozma first attack. Episode 36 reveals they weren't the only ones.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ahames loses her mind when she finds out that her home planet was destroyed all along.
    • Pretty much every other member of Gozma, apart from Bazoo and Super Giluke, goes through some sort of this towards the finale. Booba also didn't break down, granting him to a Dying Moment of Awesome.


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