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Series / Kidou Keiji Jiban

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Kidou Keiji Jiban ("The Mobile Cop Jiban") is the eighth entry in the Metal Heroes franchise and the first entry in the Heisei period, airing from 1989-1990. Created by Keita Amemiya (of GARO fame) the premise for the series combines elements from Robocop and the 1970s tokusatsu Robot Detective.

Sometime in the not so distant future, a detective named Naoto Tamura transfers to the Central City Police Department. However, he is soon killed by agents of the evil Bioron organization, led by the nefarious Doctor Giba. Then he gets revived as a cyborg police officer called Jiban, who sets out to rid the world of the threat that once killed him.

See Lady Battle Cop, the female counterpart of Jiban (In the Spiritual Successor sense).

Recurring Metal Hero tropes include:

  • Action Girl: Youko Katagiri, who despite being just a normal policewoman, can square quite well against Bioron's grunts. Marsha and Karsha, as well as Mad Garbo later on, are this for the villain side.
  • BFG
    • The Daedalus initially, then the huge Autoderringer (with Machinegun and Final Cannon modes) once he gets his Perfect Jiban mode.
    • Not quite on the same scale, but the Maximilian Type-3 is considerably longer than the standard Metal Heroes sidearm.
  • Finishing Move: Jiban End, an energized slash through the enemy. Final Cannon becomes his new finisher post-ressurrection.
  • Laser Blade: The Maximilian Type-3's sword mode, used as the "Jiban End" attack.
  • Monster of the Week: Each episode sees a new Bionoid being sent by Bioron to carry out a criminal operation.
  • Mooks: Masques, the Faceless Goon fighting force of Bioron.
  • The Movie: The show has one where Jiban faces off Dr. Giba's creation named Daigibanoid.
  • The Syndicate: Criminal Syndicate Bioron, a futuristic underground crime organization that commits acts of terror using genetically-engineered monsters.
  • Transformation Sequence: Averted, shockingly. Naoto transforms into Jiban pretty much like Superman would — runs behind a pillar as Naoto, emerges as Jiban.

Kidou Keiji Jiban provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Arch-Enemy: Madogarbo to Jiban. Madogarbo is specifically created by Dr. Giba to counter Jiban and she doesn't use gloves to do that. Jiban barely can do anything against her until he becomes Perfect Jiban.
  • Back from the Dead: Jiban twice.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Mayumi. It's never explained what's exactly her power, but it's she who ends up saving Jiban in his most dire situations, including help to revive him.
  • Bioweapon Beast: The Bionoids, each of which is gene-spliced together and designed to wreak as much havoc as possible.
  • Black-and-White Morality: In contrast to its inspiration, here, the police, including Jiban, are all in the side of good, while the Bioron syndicate are all evil.
  • Came Back Strong: Oh, hell yes. As a bulletproof cyborg with a Laser Blade the first time, and with a BFG the second.
  • Can't Catch Up: Madogarbo and Queen Cosmos are way above of Jiban's power at first. Madogarbo can tank a shot from Daedalus and gets even stronger after receiving Queen Cosmos' DNA. Queen Cosmos herself is an alien with extraordinary psychic powers that Jiban can't even scratch for a good amount of the show. When Jiban is remade into Perfect Jiban, he finally shortens the power gap significantly.
  • Cool Big Bro: Mayumi looks up to Naoto and views him as her older brother.
  • Cop Show: Toku style, and with Bioweapon Beasts as the perps.
  • Crossover: A rather odd one. Episode 31 involves Jiban teaming up with a character from the previous Metal Hero show and it's not the protagonist Jiraiya. It's his kid brother Manabu.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Naoto acts like a klutz so people won't find out that he's Jiban.
  • Darker and Edgier: Jiban is definitely a lot more serious than it's lighthearted predecessor Jiraiya and could even give Metalder a run for its money with how dark it gets. Jiban fights his battles with the Bioron syndicate alone and with few allies who can support him, there's a substantially higher number of deaths and an overall bleaker tone.
  • Death by Origin Story: Naoto's backstory during the time he was killed in the line of duty by a Bioron attack. It didn't last long when Dr. Igarashi rebuilt him into Jiban.
  • For the Evulz: Bioron's modus operandi not only have a lot of this, but they are sadistic to extreme. If they have a chance to make Jiban pass through the ringer, you can bet they will do exactly this. The amount of damage and physical punishment that Jiban endures is so ridiculous that whatever is the problem you can have with his law enforcement against Bioron can be forgotten, because it is totally justified.
  • Good Is Dumb: Invoked by Naoto, who pretends to be dumb so no one will suspect him as Jiban. Yoko and Seiji, respectively Naoto's veteran and superior at the police department, are unable to see through Naoto's act.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the last two episodes. Jiban loses literally everything in his last stand against Bioron. His close allies, headquarters, vehicles, weapons and even the right to be with his little sister.
  • Hong Kong Dub: Doctor Giba seems to be speaking English dubbed over with Japanese in his scenes.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Not played for laughs. Jiban takes a lot of punishment in many of his fights, to the point you question how he can even remain functional after so many blows.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Jiban has this authority against members of Bioron only. Considering most are Bioweapon Beasts created specifically to kill people, it's pretty understandable.
  • Lady in Red: Karsha. In particular, the sexy red dress she wears in episode 12.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Jiban is powerful enough to play this straight with anything up to and including the Autoderringer Machinegun Mode, which he still holds two-handed (it isn't fantastically accurate and a few shots will generally miss to the sides of the intended target). The Final Cannon mode, however, pushes him back a foot or so per shot, and it's an Energy Weapon.
  • Light Is Not Good: In a contrast to usual toku villain garb, Bioron's top brass all wear white uniforms or have light-colored appearances.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Jiban is later remodeled into Perfect Jiban. Improved armor, replacement of forearm-mounted support weapons with hardpoints and the Autoderringer. When he calls for them, the Needricker and Powerbreaker (a giant claw) appear on his forearms.
  • More Dakka: The Autoderringer. The Machine Gun Mode can demolish a full-sized warehouse on its own, while the Final Cannon launches a laughably overpowered deadly energy blast.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Acting like an ignorant idiot, Naoto dispels any suspicion about anyone who thinks he's Jiban. Bioron and Yoko eventually discover his secret in the last two episodes.
  • One-Man Army: Jiban fights his battles against Bioron solo. He is described as this, word for word, during the song "Perfect Jiban".
  • Our Hero Is Dead: In what must have been a particularly traumatizing moment for Japanese children, Jiban falls over dead in episode 35 after getting thrashed by Queen Cosmo and an emperpowered Mad Garbo and a Bionoid. The next episode sees him being rebuilt and getting an upgrade.
  • Pragmatic Hero: In the last two episodes. Jiban is subjected to a full attack from Bioron after they discover his civil identity and decides the only way to actually put an end on them is forgetting his human feelings. He does, at least for enough time to defeat the whole organization once for all and save Mayumi.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: It's a mainstay of the Metal Heroes that they have light-up eyes of some kind or another, often activated when they're powering up for a finishing blow. Jiban's eyes actually are red.
  • Restraining Bolt: Complete aversion — Jiban's version of the Prime Directives give him greater freedom and authority instead. Far more than he conceivably needs, in fact. But he's a cyborg fighting literal monsters, so it's strictly exceptional.
  • Ship Tease: Yoko have quite a lot of these with Jiban, not so much with Naoto, despite a hint or two. Things doesn't work out between them, though.
  • Shout-Out: Jiban's origin comes straight out of RoboCop, right down to the thigh-holstered gun. A nice case of inspiration going full circle: RoboCop's design was partially inspired by Space Sheriff Gavan, the original Metal Heroes series.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Bioron is sometimes spelled as Biolon.
  • Super Cop: What do you do when there's a Bioweapon Beast terrorizing people? Send in a Jiban.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: The Maximilian Type-3 — Gun, Shock baton and Sword modes.
  • Taking You with Me: The Monster of the Week from Episode 25 attempts to pull this on Jiban as a last-ditch effort. It fails, naturally.
  • Totalitarian Gangsterism: Bioron behaves a lot more like a terrorist organization than a crime syndicate. Their end goal is to take over Japan before moving on to world domination.
  • Villain Song: Biolon gets one that gets reused in universe as a "The Villain Sucks" Song.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Jiban's origin. Essentially describes his "Perfect Jiban" powerup, too.


Video Example(s):


Kidou Keiji Jiban

Critically injured in an attack by Criminal Syndicate Bioron, rookie detective Naoto Tamura was rebuilt as the cybernetic police officer Jiban to combat the Bioron threat.

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