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Series / Robot Detective

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K posing in front of Joker.
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Robot Detective was a series lasting through April 1973-September 27, 1973. It was a tokusatsu by Shotaro Ishinomori about an android named K who fought against the schemes of the terrorist organization BAD, who created robots to commit various crimes.


This series provides examples of:

  • Androids and Detectives: Pretty much
  • Arm Cannon: It's not used until later in the run, though.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": K's belt has a giant "K" on the buckle.
  • Cain and Abel: K's creator's brother is the Big Bad.
  • Chest Blaster: K has a cannon hidden in his right breast.
  • Chest Insignia: Belt variation - K wears a prominent "K" on his buckle.
  • Cool Car: Joker, K's souped-up patrol car. (Built around a Nissan Fairlady Z - Datsun 240Z in the US.)
  • Fantastic Racism: The Chief Inspector despises K because he is a robot and nearly resigns from his position at one point. He gets better later on though.
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  • Flying Car: Joker, literally.
  • Job Title
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Blow-up mode.
  • Monster of the Week: The criminal robots hired out by BAD fill this role.
  • Mood Ring Eyes: K normally has yellow eyes. They turn blue when he's sad, red when he's pissed (or during battle), and silver in Blow-Up mode.
  • More Dakka: Blow-Up form.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Or as much as this trope can apply to robots... If the situation warrants it, K will swap out parts for more suitable ones. (In episode 8, for example, he swaps in some anti-electricity equipment to deal with Kaminari-man's Thunder Beam.)
  • Nice Hat: K wears a bright-yellow flat cap whenever he's out and about.
  • Obviously Evil: Their name is BAD. That means they're probably, well, bad.
  • One-Letter Name: K, our eponymous Robot Detective. (One song refers to him as "Kei", though.)
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  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Ganrikiman (from Episode 14) doesn't seem to get recognized as a robot when in disguise despite the fact that his head looks like a giant pair of binoculars and only covers his face with a scarf.
  • People in Rubber Suits: Used to create K and the robots he fights.
    • Averted when K's wearing normal clothes - the suit actornote  is pretty obviously wearing only the mask.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Jihei Jigoku, the "information salesman".
  • Professional Killer: One way BAD operates is to sell out one of their robots for assassinations.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: K intentionally dresses like this (yellow cap, red blazer, white pants) to avoid scaring people, as robots aren't commonplace in the setting. Averted when he wears a snappy trenchcoat over all that (and this is an image that tends to stick).
  • Shout-Out: The series itself is a homage to Isaac Asimov's works, specifically the I, Robot series of stories. In particular, the Chief Inspector is a direct Expy of Elijah Baley, with his relationship with K mirroring Baley's relationship with R. Daneel Olivaw.
  • Something Person: BAD's robots tend to have names ending in "-man".
  • Spiritual Successor: Tokusou Robo Janperson has more than a few things in common with K.
  • Super Senses: K is equipped with various electronic sensory devices that aid him in searching for clues or tracking perps. These include very sharp hearing, radar, telescopic vision, and a spectrograph in his eyes.
  • This Is a Drill: K gets a Drill Arm in Blow-Up Mode.
  • Theme Naming: The plot of Episode Eight revolves around a trio of siblings named Ichiro, Jiro, and Saburo - "first son," "second son," and "third son," respectively.
  • Transformation Sequence: To get out of his disguise, he'd throw his coat and hat up in the air (they always folded together), and his Blow Up mode.
  • Turns Red: Literally, for Blow-Up mode.
  • Wall Crawl: Nanatsuman, the criminal robot in episode 5, could walk on ceilings with suction cups on his feet.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: K has no problem killing the Mooks, even though they are part-human(cyborgs). He has a policy of not killing humans...
    • Of course this leads to What Measure Is a Non-Human?. Since the Mooks aren't fully human (and of course are often trying to destroy the heroes) K can get away with killing them.

Alternative Title(s): Robot Detective K

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