In 1972, from Nippon Gendai and Senkosha, came a tokusatsu show that was somewhat unique. In response to various terrorist attacks happening throughout the Japanese countryside, the National Security Organization of the United Nations has sent two cowboy heroes, the playboy Gentaro Shizuka, and the bumbling comic relief Goro Kirishima. Those of you who are genre-savvy might think Gentaro would be the titular Iron King, based on his appearance and mannerisms, but it's actually Goro that transforms to fight evil.
Not to be confused with The Iron King, the first book in the Iron Fey series.
This show provides examples of:
- Achilles' Heel: Iron King uses large amounts of water in order to function, and must recharge after every battle.
- The mechs of both the Shiranui Clan and the Phantom Militia can be instantly destroyed by destroying their corresponding remote control
- All There in the Manual: BCI Eclipse's DVD release came with a show runner interview, which got into details that the series couldn't touch due to it's short length. For example: the reason Iron King requires water is because he's powered by a reactor that uses water as fuel for some sort of atomic reaction.
- Badass Normal: Gentaro may not be able to transform into a giant hero like Goro, but he's still no slouch in a fight. He plays a key role in winning many of Iron King's battles, whether by taking out the Monster of the Week's controller or by challenging the monster itself with his grenades and Iron Belt.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Goro, considering he's the titular hero despite being the comic-relief.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: "Iron Shock!"
- Cowboy: Gentaro and Goro
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The third story-arc's alien-based villains, the Titanians, have a rather familiar-looking salute
- First-Episode Twist: Children who watched this show for the first time were probably surprised when Gentaro and Iron King were able to be in the same scene at the same time
- Hour of Power: Like Ultraman, Iron King's powers run on a time-limit with glowing jewels that indicate how much time he has left. The difference here is that Iron King's reasoning for the time-limit is that he's a Hydrogen-powered cyborg, and thus requires lots of water.
- Ho Yay: Gentaro and Goro, several times throughout the series.
- Make My Monster Grow: The Titanians can grow on command and transform into more monstrous forms.
- Monster of the Week: Each of the three main villain groups has their own method of giving Iron King a new baddie to fight every week:
- The Shiranui Clan use humanoid Humongous Mecha, commanded by their agents remotely.
- The Phantom Militia also use remote-controlled mecha, but theirs are modeled after reptilian Kaiju.
- The alien Titanians ditch the remotes and themselves grow giant and transform into individualized insect kaiju forms.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: While Goro completely changes size and shape when transforming into Iron King, he's always seen rushing towards the nearest source of water after he transforms back. Combine this with Gentaro's knowledge of Iron King's Achilles' Heel, one has to wonder why he didn't connect the dots until the final episode.
- Revealing Injury: Near the end of the Phantom Militia arc, the villains discover Iron King's true identity when Goro gets shot in the leg and Iron King later shows up with a limp.
- Shout-Out: Gentaro yells "Rider Kick!" while jump-kicking a Titanian in episode 20. Unfortunately, since he's not the real deal, the Titanian being targeted no sells the attack.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: Yukiko
- Transformation Trinket: Goro's Turning Hat
- Ultraman Copy: The hero of the show is a red and silver giant who transforms from a human to fight Kaiju, and has his gems serving as a Critical Annoyance when he's running low on energy. His design takes more cues from Ultraseven than the original Ultraman's however.
- What the Hell, Hero?: While Gentaro's constant flirting with every attractive female they meet rivals Brock, at least Brock would know better than to flirt with a nun! (Although Japanese Christians themselves are a rarity, so this is to be expected.)
- Whip Sword: Gentaro's signature weapon, the Iron Belt, can be used as both a sword and a whip. He can even use the whip effectively against dai kaiju!