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Series / Space Ironmen Kyodain

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Space Ironmen Kyodain (宇宙鉄人キョーダイン Uchū Tetsujin Kyōdain) is a Japanese tokusatsu science fiction superhero TV series. It premiered in 1976 and ran for 48 episodes.

The show was produced as a joint effort of Shotaro Ishinomori and producer Hirayama Tôru from Toei Company.

An alien empire called the "Robot Army Corps" kidnap a human scientist, Dr. Hayama, and two of his three sons. He's forced to improve their technology. He has to go along with them despite being angry and resentful and feeling guilt over it.

One year later when the empire is sufficiently advanced, the Robot Army Corps plan to invade Earth. However, the invasion is surprisingly stopped by two robots. It is revealed that Dr. Hayama programmed the personalities of his two kidnapped sons into those super-powered robots to stop the Robot Army and also to look after his youngest son. His older robot-sons Jouji and Ryuji, now called "Skyzel" ("sky" for sky) and "Granzel" (zel for "ground"), have super strength and can transform into a jet and a car. They try to fulfil their father's wishes and honour his legacy.

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Available on YouTube as part of Toei's Tokusatsu World Channel.


The series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absent Aliens: While Dada robots appear, no organic Dada aliens ever appear in the series. There's a good reason for that - they died off as a result of environmental pollution long ago, leaving behind a robot army with some very broad orders.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Dada Robot Army were originally sent to find a planet for the Dada people to emigrate to, as their own homeworld had been ravaged by industrialization. The Robot Army Corps eventually found a suitable planet in Earth, but with the people of Dada having died off at that time, they interpreted their migration order as a directive to invade the planet.
  • Alien Invasion: This time it's alien robots who are the ones attacking Earth.
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  • Brain Uploading: Skyzel and Granzel are robots implanted with the minds of Jouji and Ryuji. Even though they're copies, they act like and identify themselves as the originals. They even have screens inside their heads that can display their human faces.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Dada Army seems to be aware of this rule, as they end up scrapping their Quirky Miniboss Squad and using their parts to build an even stronger robot, who proves much more effective against the Kyodain.
  • Cool Big Bro: When your older brothers are a pair of badass, transforming robots, you can definitely claim they're this.
  • Create Your Own Hero: Of a sort. The Dada Army kidnapped Dr. Hayama to force him to work for them, but that led to him building Skyzel and Grounzel and sending them to Earth to fight back against the Dada aliens instead.
  • Downer Beginning: The first episode has Kenji's father and older brothers being abducted by Dadaroids.
  • The Hero Dies: Skyzel and Grounzel sacrifice themselves in the final episode to save the Hayama family.
  • Imagine Spot: There are often scenes in which Kenji sees Skyzel and Granzel doing something funny and then imagining/remembering his original brothers doing the same thing, with the scene cutting to the brothers acting as themselves.
  • Lucky Translation: The Robot Soldiers' "Dai" chant sounds a lot like they're saying "die!" in English.
  • Mechanical Monster: The Dadaroids, specialized members of the Robot Army Corps with unique military/technology motifs.
  • Merchandise-Driven: As with other Toku shows of the time, Kyodain was made partly to sell toys.
  • Monster of the Week: Zig-zagged quite a bit. The first half saw the Kyodain facing individual Dadaroids sent to attack Earth, though plenty appeared for more than one episode and several appeared alongside other Dadaroids. By the second half, this formula was done away with completely and the MOTW fights were replaced by encounters with a group of recurring villains in the Death Five, and later Black Knight.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Death Five-Member Team, a group of five elite Dadaroids who get sent in to deal with the Kyodain when they thrash enough regular Dadaroids.
  • The Quisling: Heinkel in episode 2 is an Earth Defense Force officer cooperating with the Dada aliens in the hopes of being named ruler of Earth once it's taken over.
  • Punny Name: "Kyodain" is a portmanteau of "kyodai", meaning "siblings"
  • Red Shirt Army: The soldiers of the Earth Defense Force, who assist the Kyodains but unlike them can't do much against the Dada Robot Army.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Skyzel and Grounzel were built by Dr. Hayama to look over Kenji in place of his actual brothers.
  • Robot Buddy: Gonbesu GA-49. It separates into two parts - its head, like a flying saucer, and its body, which resembles a huge bowling ball - when fleeing or attacking an enemy.
  • Shout-Out: The planet Dada is a shout-out to the art movement of the same name, as the series is described as having a very odd design, reminiscent of Dada art.
  • Sibling Team: Skyzel and Granzel are brothers who fight evil robots as a duo.

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