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Series / Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger

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Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger (roughly translated as "Knightosaur Squadron Dino Soul Ranger" and is a pun on "Ryu Soldier") is the 43rd program in the Super Sentai franchise that aired from 2019 to 2020 and the first Sentai entry in the Reiwa Era.note  It is the fourth dinosaur-themed installment in the franchise, following Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger (1992), Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger (2003) and Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (2013). This time though, the series' overall themes are also based on knights, and it is the first Sentai to be written by Junpei Yamaoka, a newcomer who is well known for writing J-Dramas (the most prominent would be Majisuka Gakuen).

Sixty-five million years ago, the Druidon Tribe sought to Take Over the World and at the same time, the Ryusoul Tribe took a stand against them. When a giant meteor fell onto Earth, ending the era of Dinosaurs in the process, the Druidon Tribe fled to space. The Ryusoul Tribe remained in Earth and made preparations for future threats by turning the remaining dinosaurs into the Kishiryu, before putting them into slumber.

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As the Heisei Era comes to a close and the Reiwa Era is about to begin, the Druidon Tribe, now stronger than last time, returned to Earth to finish what they started. In response to this, the Ryusoulgers have resurfaced to fight them once again.

It aired alongside Kamen Rider Zi-O in the Super Hero Time block, premiering on March 17, 2019, which makes it the first Sentai series since Gekisou Sentai Carranger to air in March.

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The Ryusoulgers are:

  • Koh / Brave Knight RyusoulRed: The Leader of the Ryusoulgers and a fighting genius who is bright, Hot-Blooded, and fearless, yet somewhat naive. He leads the team through even the worst odds. Partnered with Tyramigo the Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Melto / Wise Knight RyusoulBlue: A young man with an outstanding Photographic Memory who is rarely unprepared. He would always think things twice before acting, though he falls short when compared to Koh (whom he's jealous with) and Asuna. Partnered with Triken the Triceratops.
  • Asuna / Robust Knight RyusoulPink: A noble who is incredibly intuitive about things and is prone to say things at the wrong time. Despite being the only girl of the Ryusoulgers, she's actually their muscle and is embarrassed about it. Partnered with Ankyroze the Ankylosaurus.
  • Towa / Gale Knight RyusoulGreen: The Baby of the Bunch and a talented pacifist who refused to accept losing, especially towards Koh. He has unbelievable speed and a Big Brother Worship towards Bamba, but is Willfully Weak when using his talents. Partnered with TigerLance the "Tigersaurus", a fictional dinosaur heavily resembling a saber-toothed tiger.
  • Bamba / Majestic Knight RyusoulBlack: The Lancer of the Ryusoulgers, known for easily dispatching any enemy with his expert fighting skills. He has a genuine desire to protect the Earth and fights the Druidon Tribe to prove his strength. He's hostile to anyone, but has a soft spot for Towa, which he doesn't want to show. Partnered with MirNeedle the "Needlesaurus", a fictional relative of Stegosaurus.

Recurring Super Sentai tropes:

  • Action Girl: Among the core five, Asuna is the only ranger who is a girl, but she manages kick through her trials without help.
  • Five-Man Band: Initially a trio, Koh, Melta and Asuna are eventually joined by Towa and Bamba to form a team of five.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: It's only been six years since the last dinosaur Sentai. They've previously waited for about ten before recycling that particular premise.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Kishiryu.
    • Animal Mecha: Take a guess.
    • Combining Mecha:
      • Tyramigo + Triken + Ankyroze = KishiRyuuOh Fortress or KishiRyuuOh Three Knights
      • Tyramigo + Triken + Ankyroze + TigerLance + MilNeedle = KishiRyuuOh Five Knights
    • Leader Forms the Head: Played with. On the one hand, Tyramigo makes up a disproportionate amount of KishiRyuuOh Three Knights. On the other hand, all five Ryusoulgers can each take the lead with an alternate formation where they form its head and chestplate.
    • Mecha Expansion Pack: Each of the four non-Red Kishiryu can be used as this for KishiRyuuOh Three Knights. Yes, even Triken and Ankyroze, which are already part of the formation. There are a number of other expansion-pack mecha as well.
    • Tank-Tread Mecha: KishiRyuuOh Fortress
    • Transforming Mecha: Tyramigo/KishiRyuuOh
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Minosaurs would automatically enlarge themselves as part of their natural growth process if the necessary amount of human negative emotions and life energy are gathered.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Par for the course, but the reason why Toei is bringing back a dinosaur theme sooner than usual? It's because dinosaurs sell, and the franchise has been under a toy sales slump for the past four years. note 

Tropes Present in Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger:

  • Alternate History: Episode 2. Even the resident paleontologist has unearthed the existence of the Kishiryu while looking for dinosaur fossils, implying that the Kishiryu are a seperate species that existed alongside actual dinosaurs in this reality.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: An unusually large amount, even in a franchise that has mammals on dino teams. Both RyusoulBlack and Green are based on fictional dinosaur species. The dinosaurs/Kishiryu are all fictional genera/species, based off of but not identical too existing taxa. Tyramigo is a Tyrannosaurus, but not a T. rex; the same applies to Blue's Triceratops and Pink's Ankylosaurus. Black's and Green's Kishiryu species are completely made up: Black's is a Needlesaurus, a stegosaur; and Green's is a Tigersaurus, looking like a reptilian Smilodon.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
  • Casting Gag: Jiro Dan plays the elder of an ancient monster-fighting tribe, in a season where the monsters look like the ones in Ultraman. He's more than qualified, having actually been Ultraman.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Episode 1 has a *Drool* Hello gag involving Ui getting Kreon's goop on her; then episode 2 reveals that if any of it got in her mouth, she'd already be Victim of the Week.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Cerberus Minusaur tries to take a bite out of RyusoulBlack with KataSoul on, and noticeably injures its upper left fang. The payoff comes one week later when Koh has to get a live sample off of it to cure its poison, and lets it get close enough before snapping that fang off by hand.
  • Continuity Snarl: Much like with Abaranger in relation to Zyuranger, and Kyoryuger in relation to it's 2 Dino Sentai predecessors, the show's story about how the dinosaurs were killed off conflicts with the stories present from the previous 3 Dino Sentai series.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the previous three Dino Sentai entries, since the Monsters of the Week are made from humans and most of the Ryusoulgers' fights are Timed Missions. Not to mention, the Downer Beginning itself is rather graphic.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: The titular team's name is literally translated as "Knight Dragon Squadron Dragon Soul Ranger" and yet they're outright themed after dinosaur knights.
  • Downer Beginning: The first episode has the Druidon Tribe attacking the Ryusoul Tribe's home village, forcing the Ryusoulgers' masters to pull a Heroic Sacrifice in the process. While Gingaman has the Elder petrifying the entire Ginga Forest and Magiranger has Miyuki getting a Disney Death at the beginning, the on-screen deaths of the characters in question is one of the second most brutal openings in Sentai history, with Kyuranger tops that said treatment.
  • Evil Counterpart: Gaisorg, a Black Knight opposing the heroic Ryusoulger knights.
  • Human Alien: Episode 7 introduces Cardena and Fita, two musically-inclined aliens (to the extent that merely terrible singing is a Brown Note for them).
  • Knight in Shining Armor: The Ryusoulgers themselves.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Oddly Small Organization: Played with. The Druidon Tribe can seem to be the smallest villainous faction in all of Super Sentai, but that's because only two members are shown at any one time (Kureon and the general of the arc).
  • Pokémon Speak: Tyramigo roars in "TYRA!!"s. At least until he watches some TV with Kou and picks up some Japanese in Hulk Speak manner.
  • Punny Name: The series plays heavily on different meanings of the word "sou (ソウ)":
    • The Japanese pronunciation for the word "-saur".
    • It is also a way to pronounce "soul", minus the "l".
      • In that context, the name for the series' Monster of the Week, the Minosaurs, sounds a lot like "Minus Soul".
    • "Sou" can be written as "裝", which means "armament"
    • Gimmick-wise, the "sou" in the RyuSouls' names can be taken to mean "seems like it", one example being TsuyoSoul meaning "It seems strong".
    • When activating an armament RyuSoul in the RyuSoul Ken, it repeatedly announces "Sou!", which in this context means "Yes!". In full activation, it announces "Sou! Sono kanji!", which means "Yes! That's the spirit!"
    • The RyuSoul Changer's announcement of "Ryusoul kūru!" can mean "A RyuSoul has come!" but also sounds like "Ryu so cool!"
  • Prequel: The Super Sentai Strongest Battle mini-series not only serves as an epilogue for the Heisei Era Sentai, but also serves as a prologue for the Reiwa Era Sentai, which is the reason why Towa and Bamba showed up in the trailer.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Kou reveals himself to be 209 in episode 7.
  • Robot Buddy: Using the shrinking power of the Chiisasoul, Tyramigo can scale down to human size and hang out with the Ryusoulgers in their off hours.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: The Ryusoulgers are based on well-known prehistoric creatures (albeit heavily caricatured versions): a Tyrannosaurus rex, a Triceratops, an Ankylosaurus, a Smilodon, and a Stegosaurus.
  • Story Arc: Similar to Gaoranger, Magiranger, and obviously Kyoryuger, the series has a set of small arcs and their corresponding Arc Villains.
    • Episodes 1-6: Tankjoh Arc
    • Episodes 7-??: Wizel Arc
  • Super Senses: Episode 2 unveils "ears of a wolf" and "eyes of a hawk" Ryusouls. Episode 5 debuts a "super sense of smell" one.
  • Super Strength: The new "Beefy Soul" in episode 3. Used by a character that already has super strength, well...
  • Spanner in the Works: Episode 9 has a Monster of the Week that behaves more like a Lotus-Eater Machine, trapping our heroes by fulfilling their deepest wishes and then keeping them there - but Koh's deepest wish is to travel all over the world, which is pretty much the opposite of being trapped. This is precisely how he finds out what it is they're stuck in.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Druidon Tribe spend the past sixty-five million years fighting off hostile environments from outer space before returning to Earth. The Ryusoul Tribe anticipated this, and turned the surviving Dinosaurs into the Kishiryu just in case.
  • Whateversaurus: "Kishiryu" (Coming from "Kishi" (Knight) and "Kyouryuu" (Dinosaur)), "Needlesaurus", "Tigersaurus", and "Minosaur" are all made-up dinosaur names.
  • Victim of the Week: Borrowing a popular recurring theme from recent Kamen Rider, Minusaurs are created based on the desires of human hosts, and exist physically separate while draining the humans' lifeforce to grow giant eventually, by which time the humans' minutes are numbered.
  • Visual Pun: A number of RyuSouls and their armaments have their heads modeled to resemble modern man-made objects that are somewhat related to the ability they grant, sometimes more than they resemble actual dinosaurs.
  • Your Size May Vary: Tyramigo is just as huge as any other mecha during fights, but out of it he's shown to be only just as big as a slide while relaxing at a park.
    • Justified later, when the team regularly use a Shrink Soul to make him human-sized.

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