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Series / Ninja Sentai Kakuranger

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"Kakuranger! Ninja! Ninja!"

"Hiding from people and slashing evil! Ninja Sentai! Kakuranger, revealed!"

Ninja Sentai Kakuranger (Ninja Squadron Kakurangernote ) is the eighteenth installment in the Super Sentai franchise, airing from 1994 to 1995.

400 years ago, a band of Yōkai battled a group of ninjas, led by the legendary Sarutobi Sasuke. He and four other ninjas sealed the Yōkai away behind a magical door. In the present day, the Yōkai are set free when two of those ninjas' descendants, Sasuke and Saizō, are tricked into opening the door. Now, they and the three descendants of the other ninjas must put the Yōkai away as the Kakurangers.

This is the first Super Sentai with a Ninja motif; its characters are also compared to the leads of Journey to the West. It was also the first Sentai to feature a female as its leader and the first to have a non-human ally as a Sixth Ranger. Part of its charm is the distinct Postmodernism feel it has - the Narrator, and later the Youkai themselves, make a point of introducing their past selves directly to the audience, whilst being characters in the show, for example.

It was adapted into America as the third season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Notably, the suits were used for the Aquitian Rangers, who protected the Earth during the "Alien Rangers" story arc when the Mighty Morphin team was de-aged.

The series itself was the third Super Sentai to see a US release in May of 2016. It can be streamed for free at Shout! Factory TV.

Recurring Super Sentai tropes:

  • All Your Powers Combined: One Yōkai, DaraDara, stole the powers of Ninjaman and most of the Rangers for great power.
  • Bakeneko and Nekomata: A cat youkai simply called "Bakeneko" appears as the Monster of the Week in the show's eighth episode, while a Kasha appears in episode 47.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Super Hengenote ! Doron Changer!"
  • Color Character: Another "[team prefix] [English color]" Sentai.
  • Cool Bike: The Shark Machines, much like the Goranger Machines and the Zaurer Machines, consisted of one solo bike for Red (the Shark Bridder) and two sidecar-equipped bikes for the rest of the team (Blue's Shark Slider shared with White, and Yellow's Shark Launcher shared with Black). They could be combined to form a Finishing Move called the Shark Driver.
  • Cool Car: The Nekomaru van, a sentient van with the face of a cat.
  • Crossover: Super Sentai World, a short 3D film where the Kakuranger team fought alongside the four previous Sentai teams (Fiveman, Jetman, Zyuranger and Dairanger). The main giant robot of each team was also present. This short film served as a predecessor to the annual Versus movies that began the following year.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Played straight even though the Yokai, by nature, cannot be truly destroyed, with their spirits returning to the underworld.
  • Eyecatch: The eye-catch before the break features a Kakuranger by a black background slashing the screen. All 5 Kakurangers are then seen in the open turning to the camera. After the break, the eyecatch features the Kyodai Jūshō (the Three God Generals and Ninjaman from eps. 36 onwards).
  • Finishing Move: The Raiko Naminote , an energy blast with the Kakuremaru.
  • Flaming Sword: Muteki Shogun allows Sasuke to use the Blazing Shogun Sword in ep. 20, when he was outnumbered and at a significant disadvantage besides.
  • Home Base: The Nekomaru, a cat-shaped van.
  • Humongous Mecha: The first Sentai series to feature two sets of combining mechas for the main team rather than just one. The team's Sixth Ranger also functioned as a third humanoid robot.
    • A Mech by Any Other Name: The Sanshinshōnote  and their components, the Kyodai Jūshōnote  and the Chōninjūnote . Tsubasamaru gets the unique classification of Seininjūnote .
    • Animal Mecha: The Kyodai Jūshō (and by proxy, the Jūshō Fighters) have humanoid forms with anthropomorphic characteristics, while the Chōninjū and Tsubasamaru are all animal-shaped. The name of each Kakuranger's mecha is a pun on the animal it's based on.
      • "Saruder" = saru (ape)
      • "Kark" = kaku (crane)
      • "Rogan" = garō (wolf)
      • "Kumard" = kuma (bear)
      • "Gammer" = gamagaeru (Japanese toad)
    • Combining Mecha: The Jūshō are the components of the Muteki Shōgun, while the Chōninjū are the ones for the Kakure Daishōgun.
      • Red Saruder + White Kark + Blue Rogan + Yellow Kumard + Black Gammer = Muteki Shōgun
      • God Saruder + God Kark + God Rogan + God Kumard + God Gammer = Kakure Daishōgun
      • Averted with the Jūshō Fighters, which are lightweight versions of the standard Jūshō that make up for their inability to combine with greater speed and flexibilitynote .
    • Motion-Capture Mecha: The Kakurangers could transform into their individualized Jūshō.
    • Mecha Expansion Pack: Tsubasamaru, a falcon-shaped mecha, served this function to either of the two Shōgun.
      • Muteki Shōgun + Tsubasamaru = Super Muteki Shōgun
      • Kakure Daishōgun + Tsubasamaru = Super Kakure Daishōgun
    • Mechanical Lifeform: The Sanshinshō are ancient deities, while Ninjaman is their disciple.
    • Transforming Mecha: Ninjaman, who can enlarge himself and transform into Samuraiman, counts as one.
      • Also, the Muteki Shogun could transform into a castle, but unfortunately, the toy version is unable to replicate this feature due to the limited articulation endemic to all Deluxe Sentai robots.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Kakurangers later gain the Kakuranger Ball, a mighty football to finish off Yōkai with. Now where have we heard that one before?
  • In the Name of the Moon:
    Sasuke: "NinjaRed, Sasuke!"
    Jiraiya: "NinjaBlack, Jiraiya!"
    Saizou: "NinjaBlue, Saizou!"
    Seikai: "NinjaYellow, Seikai!"
    Tsuruhime: "NinjaWhite, Tsuruhime!"
    All: "Hiding from the people and slashing evil! Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, revealed!"
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Sasuke is given the Hikarimaru sword by Sandayū that can be used to summon Tsubasamaru. He is also the first to get his Jūshō and Chōninjū. And his Journey to the West counterpart just happens to be the invincible badass one.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Yōkai absorb lightning made from depression and sadness to grow.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Part of Ninja White's costume.
  • Monsters of the Week: The Yōkai were all based on actual Japanese mythology and folklore.
  • Mooks: Dorodoros.
  • The Movie: Filmed alongside Episodes 7 and 8, but didn't premiere until after Episode 9 aired.
  • Narrator: He appears on the screen until he got "fired" at Episode 24. In Episode 39, he was presumably injured by Dorodoros.
  • Power Fist: The Shinobi Knuckles, the Rangers' weapons are attachments to them. As the JuuShou, they get better versions of these weapons.
  • Psycho Rangers: The Flower Kunoichi Gang, introduced in Episode 15, is an all-female variant. Notably, they were also the first team of Psycho Rangers who weren't simply Evil Knockoffs of the heroic rangers.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Ninja White, who unlike previous girls, is the leader of the team (although Ninja Red is still the lead character).
  • Supervillain Lair: The Skull Castle, a flying ship used by Daimaō.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Doron Changers, the first-ever handheld trinkets.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: As is the norm for Super Sentai, we generally have a new Yokai showing up with an Evil Plan Once an Episode, with our heroes then arriving on the scene to stop them.

Tropes specific to Ninja Sentai Kakuranger:

  • Actor Allusion: The sexy red outfit worn by Amikiri in #17 is not so different from the one actress Ami Kawai previously wore as Karsha in ''Jiban'' #12.
    • Ittan Momen from #25 is voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama, which explains why he's riding a motorcycle and always saying 'baby'!
    • #46 has a Monster of the Week that summons manga characters to battle out heroes. The most fearsome of them is played by Yoshinori Okamoto, veteran suit actor usually in the role of The Dragon (eg. Biohunter Silva), now in a Dragon-esque role to the monster. (This is itself a Call-Back to the first couple of episodes, as he also played the Original Kirigakure Saizou. Then joke then becomes Saizou getting his ass kicked by his still-unimpressed ancestor.)
    • In #35, Tsuruhime reunites with her childhood friends Yukiyo and Tsukiyo Yamasaki to become the Punishment Sailor Sisters against the Monster of the Week. The Yamasaki sisters' actresses, Noriko Tanaka and Kei Ishibashi, had previously starred with Satomi Hirose as the main trio of Yuugen Jikkou Sisters Shushutorian .
  • Adaptational Villainy: Some of the evil Yokai the Kakurangers battle were simply mischievous in the original myths.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: You can't help but feel a little sad that the Kakurangers had to destroy Oboroguruma.
  • All Up to You: Sasuke escaped getting his powers siphoned by Daradara; so he saved the day.
  • Americans Are Cowboys: Jiraiya, especially in episodes 3 and 38.
  • Animal Motifs: The wolf is the basis for Saizō's Humongous Mecha.
  • The Atoner: Gali, Jiraiya's master, murdered his father after being forced to do so by a Yōkai. He then spent the following years training Jiraiya to kill him one day.
  • Baby Carriage: The Monster Of The Week in episode 10 puts Sasuke in a baby carriage, and sends it down a flight of stairs to crash into Exploding Barrels. he gets out in time with rope escape ninpo
  • Bad Luck Charm: Kanedama distributes these in his episode in the form of coins, attaching them to houses and causing misfortune to fall upon the residents. He then poses as a "Youkai Exorcist" to try to con people into paying him to "remove" the curse (and, because he is a money-obsessed Youkai, he demands more and more from each person he "helps," to the point of ransacking houses).
  • Berserk Button: Don't call Ninjaman "Blue Squirt"note , or else you'll meet Samuraiman!
  • Bicep-Polishing Gesture: Saizō and Seikai both do this in episode 13, one after the other, in the space of a couple of seconds - thing is, Saizō does it to the fleeing Kanedama ('up yours!'), and Seikai does it to everyone else ('alright!').
  • Big Damn Heroes: In mecha fights, sometimes Tsubasamaru, and later Muteki Shogun would show up out of nowhere.
  • Big Eater: Seikai. One Monster of the Week, Gakitsuki in Episode 7, actually exploits this by entering Seikai's stomach and forcing him to eat nonstop, before causing him to bloat until he reaches kaiju size. The rest of the episode is devoted to finding a way to get the Youkai out and return Seikai to normal.
  • Big "WHAT?!": In episode 34, Sunakake Babaa tells the rangers that if she wins, she plans on marrying the Infernal King. This gets a huge "What?" from the rangers, as well as the surprised King himself.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Jiraiya's English dialogue often contains hidden jokes and snarkery.
  • Born Unlucky: Poor Saizou. Whether it's getting duped (along with Sasuke) into opening the Seal Door, getting his car and clothes sliced apart (with a kid photographing the whole incident), he and Seikai getting turned into kappas, or getting a "Great Curse" out of a fortune cookie, it seems misfortune has it out for him, especially whenever he's the focus character.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens oh so many times to the heroes, sometimes with the gag too. Daimaou's Youkai Gang is a rather kinky group. Tsuruhime winds up in this predicament more than anyone as, you know, she's the girl. Sasuke always avoids this, because he's based on the guy who's never caught: Sun Wukong, and he's the red one.
  • Camp: Well for this Sentai, you've got a... super hammy Narrator, lots of "WHAM!!" comic effect and a Funny Foreigner to the boot. Is it good? Holy Ninja, Batman! IT IS!
    • Cerebus Syndrome: Midway of the series, however, the Narrator is gone, and the series started getting edgy and dramatic, particularly the episodes to get their final scrolls.
  • Christmas Episode: Episode 45.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Happens to Saizou in Episode 17.
  • Credits Gag: If the Youkai has a human form, the actor is credited under that role instead. For example, the (voice) actors for Kappa and Rokurokubi are in the credits as "Glasses Man" and "Sunglasses Woman".
  • Creepy Doll: Konakijiji, the Youkai for Episode 10, gives off this vibe with his general design. He also assembles a "family" of literal creepy dolls imbued with the souls he's stolen from humans.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: See Saizō's entry in the Five-Man Band entry? Well, don't think he'll just end up an annoying moron. When push comes to shove, he's still a very competent ninja.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Karakasa, who looks like a human with face paint, even in her "monster" form.
  • Dancing Mook Credits: The ending theme. Notable in that the sequence was filmed first, and the song written to match it afterwards.
  • Darkest Hour: Episodes 42-44, where Daimao creates Daradara and comes closer than ever to defeating the Kakurangers.
  • Denser and Wackier: Very much so. Compared to its predecessor, the series practically ran on Camp, complete with a Large Ham of a Narrator, lots of "WHAM!!" comic effect, a Funny Foreigner, and tons of cartoonish humor on BOTH ends. That is, until the scroll arc kicks in and things got a lot more serious from there. (Hell, you could probably trace back to when Junior and the Flowery Kunochi Team made their first appearance.) Keep in mind though, the series still managed to have a lot of cartoonish moments, but there's a marked change from the beginning episodes to the later episodes, especially during the final arc.
  • Distressed Dude: Seikai tends to get into trouble and captured first amongst the teamnote . Sometimes, he COULD turn the table around, to be fair.
  • Documentary Episode: Led by The Narrator in Episode 39, and taking the form of him and a camera crew appearing on camera. (Surprisingly, he and the camera crew actually get into the Youkai Mansion during filming.)
  • Escape Battle Technique: Using their ninpo, the Kakurangers can disappear in a puff of smoke. Both the Gokaigers and Zenkaigers have used this technique when accessing the Kakurangers' power.
  • Elemental Powers: These are best exemplified by the graphics of their Beast General transformations.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble:
    • Sasuke: Phlegmatic (middle of the road variety)
    • Tsuruhime: Choleric
    • Saizō: Melancholic
    • Seikai: Sanguine
    • Jiraiya: Supine
  • Exploding Barrels: See the Baby Carriage trope above.
  • Famous Ancestor: Every Kakuranger. Three of them are members of the Ten Braves, one of them is a famous female commander, and the other is a folk hero.
  • Funny Foreigner: Jiraiya combines being this and a badass. Justified as how his actor didn't really know Japanese in the beginning and had to learn throughout the filming of the show.
  • Fun with Subtitles: The subtitles that name the Youkai will always be accompanied by an arrow pointing toward the Youkai. "This guy" —>, because clearly there is a possibility that they will be mistaken for someone else.
  • Gashadokuro: Gashadokuro is The Dragon to his father Daimaou. Fans of Power Rangers, however, will probably recognize him better as Rita Repulsa's boneheaded brother Rito Revolto.
  • Gratuitous English: Averted by Jiraiya, played so straight that it hurts by Kappa and Rokurokubi.
    Kappa: Oru-kay! Hai yew! Rook oba he-yah!
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Young Noble Junior's human form wears enough leather and studs to make Rob Halford proud.
  • Heroic Lineage: The modern Kakurangers are descendants of the originals, some 24 generations down the line (in Tsuruhime's case). The modern ones all get to meet their ancestors when they get their Doron Changers - and we find out that the ancestors aren't exactly thrilled with how their descendants turned out.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: The team goes out and fights monsters in BROAD DAYLIGHT, and summons giants to fight giant monsters. At one point, a TV Crew documents one of their battles. They have to be the most visible ninjas ever.
    • Their Kakuranger gear is intended for use during battles with Youkai, which are almost always highly public. Their actual ninja gear is much more subdued and what you'd expect - black gear, shin guard, bracers - except for Tsuruhime, who wears white... but even that's not so visible inside a dark office building.
    • And then there's Ninjaman... who subverts this with Voluntary Shapeshifting. Kinda hard to see a 8-centimeter-tall ninja, even if he's Ninjaman.
  • The Hit Flash: Of the Batman "POW!" "WHAM!" type. (In English, of course.) This is the likely reason why not much Kakuranger footage was used for Power Rangers. Frequently appears over the picture, rather than as a separate card, and is most often used when they throw their shuriken.
  • Hope Spot: The Kakurangers complete their quest for the Hidden Scrolls, finally defeat Young Noble Junior using Kakure Daishogun, and destroy the Seal Door, seemingly preventing the arrival of Daimao. Sadly, they're too late, and Daimao arrives anyway to conquer Earth, taking over as the Big Bad for the rest of the series.
  • Humanity Ensues: The Flower Kunoichi Gang were once cats. They change back later.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: One Yōkai, Zashiki-warashi, wished to make friends with humans, including Jiraiya, rather than kill them. This costs him his life.
    • When we first see Oboro-guruma (Eps. 3), he's working as a cabbie and having a spectacularly bad day. He's had his ear pulled on by a kid, his cab soiled by a nauseous drunk, and his fare meter ripped out by an ungrateful customer - at which point he snaps and changes into his Youkai form, chasing down that last guy.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: #35. Tsuruhime is reunited with her two "sisters", who have had some adventures of their own together.
  • Karakasa: The Monster of the Week of the episode "Karakasa Dance Queen" is a humanoid paper umbrella resembling a beautiful young woman that tricks two pranksters into getting Saizo, Sekai, and Jiraiya to put on shoes that forces them to dance at her command.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Young Noble Junior. While the show still maintains plenty of comedy, and Junior has his quirks and silliness (just watch him jam out on his "guitar" and gently play on his grand piano), it's with his appearance that things begin to take a more serious turn. Junior's Youkai proves to be more formidable than those previously encountered, he displays a serious streak of ruthlessness, and his schemes see the Kakurangers come close to defeat on a few occasions. And when the Kakurangers try to directly confront him, he's absolutely no slouch in battle (as Jiraiya and Sasuke both learn the hard way). While the show would still maintain plenty of comedy, even after Junior's arrival and eventual defeat, his time on the show certainly represented a slant in a more serious direction.
  • Lady in Red: In episode 17, Amikiri wears a sexy red dress whilst in her human form.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Justified by the fact that the Kakurangers are traveling in a bus... But they all appear to have at least one change of clothes (Seikai tried to sell their laundry at a flea market once) and they switch to summer outfits once it's warm enough.
    • Clothes Make the Legend: Their ninja gear is very limited (largely to facilitate the henshin sequence, it seems), but has apparently been passed down through the ages and is utterly distinctive.
    • Amusingly, Sasuke seems to subvert this - his outfit changes every so often, much more than the others, but because it's always the same kind of clothes it's hard to see.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The mysterious masked man Hakamenrou turns out to be Tsuruhime's missing father.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Yugami, who first appears aiding Tengu in Episode 11, and then gets a few appearances throughout the early half of the show inventing weapons for Young Noble Junior's Youkai before he is ultimately killed in Episode 31.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: "Super Sentai World," which stars the Kakurangers and all four of the previous Super Sentai.
  • McNinja: Jiraiya.
  • More Dakka: Super Muteki Shogun
  • Morphic Resonance: The youkai in human form usually retain some aspect of their personality or appearance, such as Kappa’s goggles or Binbogami’s clown makeup. This is exploited by Saizou at one point to disguise himself as Daimaou in human form with his black cloak and glasses to trick an obsessed female youkai.
  • Mythology Gag: The close-quote of the roll call in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger is very reminding of this series'.
    Yousuke: "Unknown to the people."
    Nanami: "Unknown to the world."
    Kouta: "Striking at evil from the midst of shadows!"
    Yousuke: "Ninpuu Sentai..."
    All: "Hurricanger!"
    Yousukenote : "... has arrived!"
    • At one point Junior performs a ritual to Zashiki-Warashi evil, with the incantation "Daichi no akuryou tachi yo. Ikeru momo no subete no ikari to nikushimi wo atsume, kono zashiki-warashi ni aku no chikara wo atae yo"note  This is very close to Bandora's Make My Monster Grow incantation in Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, "Daichi ni nemuru akuryou-tachi yo. (monster's name) ni chikara wo atae yo."note 
    • Also when the Flower Kunoichi Gang posed as a teacher, they taught the children songs that was taught in the first episode of Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman by Five Yellow/Remi Hoshikawa. The 'gag' part? One of the Flower Kunoichi Gang members is played by the actress of Remi (Keiko Hayase)
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Second only to Magiranger in this, especially in the early episodes. Any hopeless situation will be quickly resolved with an all-new ninjutsu technique.
  • Never Say "Die": You can probably count on one hand the number of times the Youkai directly say they're going to kill someone. They're usually content just to send someone to hell, or defeat them, etc. (Justified on a meta-level by how they themselves don't necessarily 'die'.)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The whole story started because Sasuke and Saizō were such decent citizens...
  • Ninja: They wouldn't be the last.
  • No Fourth Wall: Beginning with Episode 25 (following the departure of the narrator), the monsters begin to explain to the audience themselves the mythology behind them.
    • Incidentally, the narrator is an in-universe character to begin with. He at one point has to move his narration stage to avoid getting caught up in the Kakuranger's training, and on one occasion got caught up in Enra-enra's laughing gas (who then proceeds to do his own explanation).
  • Nue: Nue is the personal herald of Daimaou and a major Knight of Cerebus for the series, lacking the comic traits found in most of the series' previous monsters. He appeared in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers as Hate Master.
  • One-Winged Angel: This season is the first time we see the heroes of the series receive one each. In particular, Samuraiman is the true form of Ninjaman.
  • Only One Name: The Kakurangers are never given family names on the show.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Averted. They're hardly middle-class, but working a crepe stand through Nekomaru apparently provides enough money for five adults to survive day-to-day. The key word there is 'survive', as Saizo buying a Kei-car or Seikai selling off a change of their clothes at a flea market is a clear source of concern for them.
    • Outright is discussed and justified by The Narrator at one point, who notes that as a traveling band of Youkai hunters, they can't just stop and work normal jobs for money.
    • It appears that, prior to becoming scouted (read: shanghaied) by Tsuruhime, this was how Sasuke and Saizou were living.
  • Portmantitle: Kakuranger is a combination of kakure (the Japanese word for "hiding") and renja ("ranger"). For an extra layer, throw in that kaku is what you call the angles in a polygon in Japanese, which explains the symbols each of the heroes has on their headbands.
  • Postmodernism: For whatever reason, they decided to take the show in this direction. Granted, some of the odder Yōkai abilities wouldn't easily work without it (the manga episode especially).
  • Post-Modern Magik: The Youkai have evolved with the times, and take on forms more relevant to the era the show takes place in or are jokes on the legend surrounding the Youkai. Kappa wears swimming goggles, Rokurokubi is a punk rocker, Oboroguruma is a cab driver in human and Youkai forms...
    • The design theme for them was, apparently, "Bronx Yōkai".
  • The Power of Rock: A villainous example, as Young Noble Junior rocks out as part of the ritual to open the Seal Door and summon Daimao.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Seibai!"note  Accompanied with a thumbs down.
    • Another bit of Hilarious in Hindsight here: "Seibai!" is also pronounced by the Shinkengers when using most any human-size finisher. Both probably picked it up from Abarenbo Shogun.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Kakurangers are this in spades. To boot, we have a highly-trained ninja who just so happens to be a wealthy heiress, a Hot-Blooded, childish slacker, a bumbling fool who's great with kids, a Butt-Monkey who's a notorious Big Eater, and a Funny Foreigner whose badassery is tempered by his bad Japanese (but don't worry though, his English is amazing). Then they get joined by a Voluntary Shapeshifting robot ninja/samurai who was stuck in a blue vase for around 1000 years. They somehow still manage to work together to defeat and seal away the Youkai Army Corps and run a crepe shop, though it wasn't without its difficulties in the beginning.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Shuten Douji Brothers (who are orange and blue, but are actual Oni).
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Ninjaman, who had been sealed in a blue vase for 1,000 years after being duped into attacking humans by Daimao.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Or, more precisely, Sealed Evil Behind the Door. This was where most of the Yōkai were when the show started, and where Daimaou ended up. Justified, as killing Daimaou would result in all the Yokai being revived and him turning into a Hate Plague, effectively making him more dangerous dead than he is alive.
  • Series Continuity Error
    • Early in the series, Jiraiya claimed that he couldn't speak Japanese. Later on, we get flashbacks of Jiraiya from before he became a Kakuranger speaking perfect Japanese (unless it was just Translation Convention).
    • Episode 20 has Muteki Shogun speak to Sasuke and loan him his sword. A few episodes later, the Rangers (including Sasuke) are surprised to find out that Muteki Shogun is a Mechanical Lifeform.
    • There is a slight temporal discrepancy regarding when the war between the Three God Generals and the Yokai which led to Daimaou's sealing took place; #24 claims that it took place 2000 years prior, then #36 claims that it took place only 1000 years prior. The very next episode adds to this by having Daimaou celebrate his 1200th birthday.
  • Shirtless Scene: Jiraiya in episode 9.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: As the series got more serious, particularly when Junior and Daimao started becoming more prominent, the comedic Announcer who spoke to the audience stopped appearing.
  • Shout-Out: When the Kappa is brought back to life as a cyborg he has the legs of a Zaku and the right arm of a Zakrello.
    • Reika's participation in battle alongside Sasuke gives tribute to Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger battles. Reika herself is an homage to Mei (who was played by her actress), her twin daggers are a nod to Boi (that team's Yellow), and unlike the Kakurangers' attacks, her blows strike Sword Sparks off the Dorodoros. What may be another Zyuranger nod are the non-urban shots of the Super Stealth Beasts running together.
    • Episode 35, the whole Punishment Sailor Sisters gimmick is a parody of Yuugen Jikkou Sisters Shushutorian as it serves as a reunion for Satomi Hirose (Hanako Yamabuki / Tsuruhime) with her TV sisters Noriko Tanaka (Yukiko/Yukiyo Yamabuki) and Kei Ishibashi (Tsukiko/Tsukiyo Yamabuki).
      • On top of that, it's chock full of Sailor Moon references as well. The villains' plot is Sailor Moon-esque compared to the other episodes, the girls' Sailor costumes (Tsuruhime also gets to wear one) are a blatant visual reference, Tsuruhime and the Sisters confront the episode's Yōkai with an In the Name of the Moon speech worded quite similarly to the Trope Namer's, and it's Tsuruhime (the female leader of the team and who is a colour match for Usagi more or less) who finishes off the Yōkai single-handedly.
    • Episode 7, the Monster of the Week has the iconic outfit of Terry Bogard. Also, the monster's cap has the word "Hungry" on it as a reference to Terry's moniker, "The Legendary Hungry Wolf".
  • Something Person: Ninjaman / Samuraiman is a rare example of a Sentai hero following this trope.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Shuriken shows up, wielded by all of the rangers. Most are of them are small. Each ranger has unique shuriken which resembles their ranger symbol. NinjaRed also has a Fuuma Shuriken, with his first Humongous Mecha wielding a bigger version (it can double as a shield) that it rolls at enemies to kill them. The rangers also use Caltrops on a few occasions. Each of them has a wakizashi in Ranger form, and finally NinjaRed's third Humongous Mecha wields a pair of ninja-to.
  • The Stoic: Jiraiya doesn't talk much since "He can't speak Japanese!" (He gets better later on).
  • Surprisingly Good English: Jiraiya is played by American-born Kane Kosugi who was not exactly bilingual in Japanese. His debut episode has him speaking many of his lines in his native English. This is even evident in the team's roll call where he pronounces "Ninja Black" in an American accent (specifically, in a Californian accent).
  • Synchronization: If Daradara is injured, Ninjaman is injured instead. He can only be injured instead if Daimaou is injured.
  • Taken for Granite: Daimao subjects Hakumenro to this once he discovers that Hakumenro has been Playing Both Sides, having only pretended to betray humanity in order to investigate the Youkai from within.
  • Team Pet: Nekomaru, their... bus. He even has its own theme song.
  • Theme Naming: Each Kakuranger is named after a ninja from actual Japanese folklore. Justified - they're all descended from said ninjas, and their names are taken from their ancestors.
    • Sasuke: Named after Sarutobi Sasuke.
    • Jiraiya: Named after the hero of the folktale Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari.
    • Saizō: Named after Kirigakure Saizō.
    • Seikai: Named after Miyoshi Seikai.
    • Tsuruhime: Named after Ōhōri Tsuruhime. (referred to as Shodai Tsuruhime)
      • Also applies to the Flower Kunoichi Gang, where every one of them has a flower name (Ayame = iris, Sakura = cherry flower, Suiren = water lily, Yuri = lily - the regular kind - , Ran = orchid)
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Practically a Once an Episode utterance, most commonly said when the Kakurangers confront the Monster of the Week and call them out for their crimes.
  • Token Good Teammate: EXTREMELY downplayed in the case of Karakasa, a late-season youkai who had a personality more befitting that of those early in the season, evil but more comic relief than most of the late-season youkai. Played straight with Oboroguruma who just wanted to be a cab driver. If people would have treated him fairly, he wouldn't have snapped and the Kakurangers wouldn't have had to intervene.
  • Tuckerization: The one-shot character Reika is played by Reiko Chiba (who played a Sentai warrior two years ago).
  • Vanity License Plate: Nekomaru's license plate is "Shinagawa-56 Go 5656" - '56' can be read as 'goro', and 'goro-goro' is the Japanese onomatopoeia for 'purring'.
    • Similarly, Oboro-guruma has 459HEL (which wouldn't be legal in Japan...). '459' = 'shigoku' = 'Jigoku' = Hell. Kind of a blink-and-you-miss-it, since it's only really visible when he's giant-sized.
  • Wandering the Earth: Unlike most Super Sentai where the battles take place in a City of Adventure, the Kakuranger actually travels across all of Japan, finding and stopping Youkai.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Noppe'rabou is a Flesh Golem in the modern age, and can revive himself by rejoining his individual parts. Then Samuraiman steps on his abdominal flap, resulting in his reviving normally... and he explodes and dies, apparently feeling the chill through his belly.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Averted with Karakasa, the umbrella queen monster whose monster form still looked extremely human. Some speculate that her incredibly human appearance is why she was never used in Power Rangers.
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: Mokumokuren and Nurikabe's purchasing expensive jewelry with potatoes temporarily turned into cash, makes the paper. However, the show takes it a few steps further, by making it Jiraiya's English-language newspaper and putting the article in the world news section.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Youkai are perfectly willing to target children, but one who really stands out for this is Bakeneko in Episode 8 who kidnaps children in order to chop them up and serve them for other Youkai to eat! And the Youkai only get worse from there.
  • Youkai: The villains are all these. Every major one of them, sans Yugami and the Flower Kunoichi Gang refers to a creature of Japanese myth.


Video Example(s):


Today is Friday in California


(Taken from Episode 46 of Ninja Sentai Kakuranger.)

How well does it match the trope?

5 (20 votes)

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Main / GratuitousEnglish

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