Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger (roughly translated as "Mecha-World Squadron Full Throttle-ger") is the 45th program in the Super Sentai franchise and the third entry of the Reiwa Era. It began running alongside Kamen Rider Saber on March 7, 2021, following a prelude movie triple-billed with that of the Mashin Sentai Kiramager and Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger movies on February 20. It is the 45th anniversary season and the second crossover Sentai season after Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.
The Super Sentai exist in multiple parallel worlds. One of these worlds is Kikaitopia, a once-peaceful land of Ridiculously Human Robots called Kikainoids, now under the tyranny of the Kikaitopia Dynasty Tojitendo, who seek to lock up all the other worlds in order to rule over The Multiverse, with Earth being their last target. To prevent this and save the worlds already dominated by the Tojitendo, Kaito Goshikida, a young human whose parents went missing after discovering The Multiverse, teams up with four rebelling Kikainoids to face them. Harnessing the powers of all 45 Super Sentai, they transform into the Zenkaigers, fighting at full-force, full-throttle!
The Zenkaigers are:
- Kaito Goshikida/Zenkaiser (White/All Colorsnote ): The Token Human and The Leader of the Zenkaigers who aims to be "Number One" at everything and has No Sense of Personal Space. His parents invented the Zenkaiger tech before they went missing. His form is based on the Varidorin aircraft as a Gorenger.
- Juran/ZenkaiJuran (Red): The oldest of the Kikainoids who thinks he's a Cool Old Guy but is actually more of a Grumpy Old Man and an Attention Whore who loves parties and is Hopeless with Tech. His form is based on Daizyuzin.
- Gaon/ZenkaiGaon (Yellow): A Mellow Fellow Animal Lover Kikainoid who is the Team Chef. He also considers humans as animals and doesn't get along with the Kikainoids, as such he acts like a Jerkass to other mechanical lifeforms. His form is based on GaoKing.
- Magine/ZenkaiMagine (Pink): The only female of the team as well as the Kikainoids. She claims herself to be introverted but in reality, she's a brazen fantasy Otaku who doesn't like cleaning at all. Her form is based on MagiKing.
- Vroon/ZenkaiVroon (Blue): A Constantly Curious Kikainoid with the personality of a serious Student Council President who sometimes comes off as Innocently Insensitive and has a habit of falling in love with anyone regardless of their race. He is also a Neat Freak. His form is based on DaiBouken.
Recurring Super Sentai tropes:
- By the Power of Grayskull!: Change Zenkai!note
- Dancing Theme: The Zenkai Dance. But in a twist on the norm, this series has Kaito and the Kikainoids dancing in the opening this time, as opposed to the ending, which this show lacks.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title ends in a word with kai as the last syllable.
- In the Name of the Moon: A particularly Mythology Gag laden one.Kaito: The Secret Power! Zenkaiser!Juran: The Dinosaur Power! ZenkaiJuran!Gaon: The Hundred Beasts Power! ZenkaiGaon!Magine: The Magical Power! ZenkaiMagine!Vroon: The Rumbling Power! ZenkaiVroon!Kaito: The five warriors, assembled!All: Kikai Sentai, Zenkaiger!
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Played with. The Movie features the union of the Red Rangers of all Sentai up to this point. However, Akaranger points out that Zenkaiser, the leader of the Zenkaigers, is not Red.
- The Movie: Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger The Movie: Red Battle! All Sentai Rally!!, released just prior to the series debut on TV.
- The Smurfette Principle: Magine is the only female of the core team.
- Transformation Trinket: The core team uses their sidearm gatling gun Geartlinger to transform, along with the Sentai Gears, gears that harness the powers of all 45 Super Sentai.
- Zenkaiser uses Gear #45, representing the Zenkaigers, whilst also being based on Himitsu Sentai Goranger.
- ZenkaiJuran uses Gear #16, based on Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger.
- ZenkaiGaon uses Gear #25, based on Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger.
- ZenkaiMagine uses Gear #29, based on Mahou Sentai Magiranger.
- ZenkaiVroon uses Gear #30, based on GoGo Sentai Boukenger.
- Other Sentai Gears include:
- ZenkaiJuran, ZenkaiGaon, ZenkaiMagin and ZenkaiVroon are all call-backs to 4 mechas (Daizyuzin, GaoKing, MagiKing, and DaiBouken respectively) that the Go-Busters' mecha transformed into in the climax of their movie with the Gokaigers via mecha Gokai Changes.
- The main team being composed of one Token Human and four non-human aliens from a parallel dimension was done before in the previous anniversary series, though the Zyumans were given human forms as disguises by their transformation devices.
- Family Theme Naming: The Goshikida family are all one big Internal Homage to Super Sentai; in addition to the Meaningful Name referencing the archetypal Sentai, Kaito's parents are named after Himitsu Sentai Gorenger's theme song singers Isao Sasaki and Mitsuko Horie, while his grandmother Yatsude takes after Sentai producers' collective pen name Saburo Yatsude.
- Fusion Dance: Super Warumono Wald appears to be made up of several Sentai Big Bads.
- Legion of Doom: The Episode 0: The Beginning movie has one including Yakyu Kamen, Bio Hunter Silva, Yaiba of Darkness, Kingon of the Bigfoot, Damaras, Basco, Sally, General Schwartz, Kyuemon Shingetsu Kibaoni, Raizo Gabi, Quval, Bangray, Eridoron, Destra Maijo and Zamigo Delma, flanked by Mooks from every Sentai show.
- Meaningful Name: The Goshikida family name contains the kanji for "five colors".
- Kaito's is a special case, taking the kanjis "da/田" and "kai/介" and combining them forms an alternate "kai/界", which means "world", giving his full name an alternate meaning of "Five-Colour World Person/五色界人".
- Mythology Gag:
- The series takes heavy references to Himitsu Sentai Goranger, from Zenkaiser's and Secchan's designs, to their role-call phrase, and even the Gatlinger's standby jingle is based on the instrumentals of the show's ending theme.
- Each Zenkaiger's color is associated with the head of their respective mecha:
- The Varidorin is a single-piece aircraft that is mainly colored white.
- TyrannoRangers Guardian Beast Tyrannosaurus forms the head and main body of Daizyuzin.
- GaoYellow's GaoEagle forms the head of GaoKing.
- While MagiPinks MagiFairy does not form the head of MagiKing, it does form the head of the alternate formation, MagiDragon.
- BoukenBlue's GoGo Gyro provides the helmet of DaiBouken.
- Non-Standard Character Design:
- While Zenkaiser is fairly normal, if ornate, the rest of the Zenkaigers are very obviously mechanical and far more armored than usual, looking more like Metal Heroes.
- The inverse also applies within the team; as Zenkaiser is the Token Human while his form is based on a Cool Plane instead of a proper humanoid mecha, he comes off more like a Ranger-shaped Anthropomorphic Personification than a Robot Soldier like the rest of the team is.
- Oddball in the Series: It is safe to say that this time, the rulebook has not only been thrown away, but trashed and burnt. Normally, there are multiple rangers, who summon mecha. This time, there's just one human ranger, and the rest of the team ARE the mecha. While it is not uncommon for someone other than the red ranger as the leader, they still tend to be the The Face of the team or take some kind of protagonist role, while Zenkaiser, the white ranger, takes this role instead (though he technically wouldn't be the first).
- Retraux: Zenkaiser has holes in his visor, reminiscent of Gorenger and JAKQ's helmets. The holes were needed back then due to the way the visors were made, but nowadays a visor can be any color and still let the suit actor see out of it. This just ups the homage aspects towards those two series even more.
- Rhyming Names: Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger. Also in that they deal with parallel worlds, also known as "sekai", while episode titles play with the word "kai".
- When Dimensions Collide: The series starts off a month after Kikaitopia has overlapped with Earth, bringing the Kikainoids over to our world. The Monster of the Week, Walds, also causes Earth to overlap with the parallel world each of the Walds represent through their own presence.