Follow TV Tropes


Series / Tokusatsu GaGaGa

Go To
The most important things are taught by Tokusatsu!

Tokusatsu GaGaGa is a Dorama based on a comedy seinen manga by Niwa Tanba and serialized in Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits seinen manga magazine, produced and aired on NHK on Fridays as part of the Drama 10 block on January 18, 2019 until March 1, 2019.

The series follows Kano Nakamura, a seemingly ordinary office lady who is secretly a gigantic fan of tokusatsu TV series, to the point where she often imagines herself as a special effects hero in order to get through the difficulties of her daily life. Because her co-workers look down on otaku, Kano has to keep her obsession under wraps. Throughout the series, she meets similar people with the same problems of being an otaku and has to put up with her mother who doesn't like her hobby and wants her to be a lady in the traditional sense.


Tokusatsu GaGaGa provides the following tropes:

  • 12-Episode Anime: Even shorter at 7 episodes.
  • Ascended Extra: Charahiko, who goes from being a character so inconsequential that Kano can't remember his name in the manga to one of the more trusted and valued employees of her company in the show. He's still a bit of a jerk though.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Due to the shorter length of the show in comparison to the currently running manga, episodes usually try to adapt anywhere from 4 to 5 chapters at a time. From episode 3 on, the order of the chapters adapted changes, with adaptations coming from much later arcs in the series with the chance of an earlier chapter or two being adapted with them.
    • Justified given the pace of the manga in introducing characters, as they wouldn't have been able to include Kitashiro if they'd done a direct adaptation.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The finale has Kano continue to go on with her tokusatsu hobby, but with more confidence with the "imaginary nephew" technique.
  • Arc Words:
    • All the most important things in life are taught by tokusatsu!
    • If you like something, your gender or age shouldn't matter.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Harshly deconstructed. After finding out that her daughter is still an otaku after all these years, Fumi delivers this to Kano while screaming at her to grow up. This proves to be the breaking point for Kano who not only responds in kind, but declares her hatred for her mother before point-blank telling Fumi that she doesn't want her in her life anymore.
  • Audience Surrogate: Kano is this to tokusatsu otaku. She records and watches the newest episodes of currently airing shows, saves up and purchases mountains of merchandise and dvds, and even memorizes the opening themes of her absolute favorites. This is made extremely clear in the first scene of the show when she's able to recognize that Juushowan and Stranger V had the same writer just off of one strongly written line.
    • This isn't just limited to tokusatsu fans, as there are plenty of geeks who worry about their interests being too weird to share with anyone, especially geeks who are outside of the age range of that content. Many of Kano's worries about being discovered and shunned for her hobbies are extremely relatable.
    • In series, the toku characters act as surrogates for Kano, her friends, and family. Mr. Yakuza is Chelda, Yoshida is Toraiger, Kitashiro and Miyabi are the extra hero Shelotl and her mother is Juushowan's main villain. Kano herself is dually represented by Shishi Leo (her favorite character from the series) and Emerjason (who has been with her since childhood and was the reason she reconnected with Toku in her teens).
      • This is reinforced in episode 4, where all of the characters sing karaoke and copy the poses of their aforementioned surrogate characters.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 5. Made even better by the fact that Kano gets the idea to go to the beach from a beach episode of Juushowan.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Emerjason does this to deliver a PSA about suspicious actions in the middle of the night... which immediately leads to a policeman viewing him as a suspicious figure.
  • The Cameo: Hiroshi Miyauchi, who has starred in several different tokusatsu roles, makes an appearance at the end of episode 7 as a shopkeeper.
    • While he doesn't actually make an appearance in the show, BOYS AND MEN member Yukata Kobayashi can be seen on the website for Bee Boys. One of his most recognizable roles is as Kaito Kumon in Kamen Rider Gaim.
  • Casting Gag: Bee Boys, the idol group that Kitashiro and Miyabi are fans of, is made up of various members of real-life idol group BOYS AND MEN. Much like BOYS AND MEN, Bee Boys are based in (and sing songs about) Nagoya, Japan.
  • Closet Geek: Kano is a huge tokusatsu fan, but keeps it a secret since her co-workers don't think too kindly of otaku. She later meets other characters who try to hide their own nerdy interests.
  • Cool Big Bro: Kano's brother Nozomu, very much so.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: After overhearing coworkers insult a man they heard was an otaku, Kano secretly wishes them to have their favorite show be delayed for golf for 5 straight years.
  • Ditzy Genius: It is made very clear in the series that Kano is just as intelligent as she is erratic in her thought process... which is A LOT to say the least.
  • The Dutiful Son: Nozomu, Kano's older brother, despite feeling just as smothered and exasperated as his little sister, still visits their mother every year with his family, whereas Kano does everything in her power to avoid doing such a thing until she has no other choice.
  • Expy: Bestial Storm Juushowan is this to Juken Sentai Gekiranger (Specifically the Super Gekiranger looks), while Rescue Machine Emerjason combines Space Sheriff Sharivan, the Robot Buddy members of the Metal Heroes' Rescue Police Trilogy, and Tokusou Robo Janperson.
    • Love Cute plays heavily off of the Pretty Cure franchise.
  • Face of a Thug: Mr. Yakuza, who initially serves as a source of Kano's fear, but later turns out to be a nice guy who really likes Love Cute.
  • Happy Flashback: We're shown one with Kitashiro acting fairly contradictory to her appearances in the show so far. Shortly after this, we're given the reason why she's so different these days: her friend Miyabi outed her as an idol fan in front of her coworkers and they mocked her about her interest until she eventually found a different job.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Kano and Yoshida become fast friends despite them being about a decade or so apart in age.
    • Kano and Damien also count, with the former being 24 and the latter going on to the 3rd grade.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kitashiro. While she initially seems to mirror Kano's mother in the opinion that having childish hobbies is unbecoming of an adult, it's later revealed that her attitude comes from having a similar hobby of being a closeted idol fan. After realizing that Kano was also a closeted otaku and reconnecting with the person who exposed her secret on accident, She becomes friends with the rest of the group. She still retains a lot of the gruffness and sarcasm she started the series off with, but she is definitely lighter than before.
  • My Beloved Smother: Kano's mother Fumi, who wants her to ditch the hobby and make her a proper lady. Unfortunately, she's handled this terribly throughout Kano's life by putting excessive pressure on her, screaming at her, bullying her and burning her toku magazines in front of her daughter with the excuse that it's some garbage she found.
    • In fact, it's because of Fumi that Kano feels so much anxiety towards being revealed as an otaku. She even perceives her as Juushowan's main villain in memories of her own childhood. Not exactly the healthiest of mother/daughter dynamics.
    • Gets deconstructed in the final two episodes where Kano has had enough of Fumi's abuse after one too many slights and insults in rapid session - declaring that she hates her mother and wants her out of her life... in public.
  • Precision F-Strike: In episode 6, Kano calls her mother an old bitch before smacking her in the face in retaliation for Fumi's earlier actions.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Kano hits hers in episode 6.
  • Running Gag: Damien's proverbs and especially Kano reading (or attempting to read) them.
    • Charahiko speculating on Kano's (nonexistant) boyfriend.
    • Yoshida seems to carry full boxed sets of tokusatsu shows on her and will break them out at the slightest opportunity to get more people interested in her hobby.
    • Speaking of Yoshida, both her and Kitashiro have moments where they are jaded by the youth of their respective friends. This is clearest when both react to Miyabi's statement that she had various colors of backpacks to choose from when she was a kid, when both of them were only able to have red ones due to gender roles.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Kano refers to the child she befriends in episode 1 as 'Damien' due to his presence and hairstyle resembling the character from The Omen.
    • Later in episode 1, Kano defeats a karaoke monster who had attempted to goad her into revealing her secret fandom. The location she imagines defeating him in is a quarry owned by Chichibu Mining & Co., used often in climactic battles in various tokusatsu shows.
    • In episode 2, Charahiko recognizes the actor for Toraiger as being from 'Something House'.
    • In episode 4, Kano attempts to persuade the office that personal plans are an adequate reason to go home early. When she believes she's successful, she turns to the screen and makes reference to returning home "to our valley" as the writing for it appears and is done in the style of the logo for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
    • Another Terrace House reference in episode 5, as "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift plays when the cast imagines Kano playing beach volleyball. The song was used as an opening for the series in its original broadcast in Japan.
    • Two in the finale: The blurb in the VHS cover for the final volume of Emerjason says "Emerjason fights for rescue", a take on Janperson's blurb in the opening sequence ("Janperson fights for justice"), as well as the said show's finale almost mirroring that of Choujinki Metalder's (minus the "he can never go back to his human form" part).
  • Show Within a Show: The Toku series Bestial Storm Juushowan and Rescue Machine Emerjason, as well as Mr. Yakuza's fave Magical Girl show Love Cute.
    • Much of the show is made up of scenes from Juushowan, with pivotal plot points being foreshadowed in the broadcast. For example, Kano meeting and befriending Yoshida in episode 1 is prefaced by Shishi Leo meeting Toraiger in the woods.
      • The final episode uses the in series ending of Emerjason to parallel Kano's memories of her return to being a tokusatsu fan.
  • Smash Cut: In episode 1, Kano remarks on how she prefers to sing karaoke, which leads to a scene of her singing the main theme of the show while standing on top of a couch. The scene quickly cuts away to bring her back into reality.
    • And again in episode 4, as Kano and Yoshida prepare to sing the main theme of the show to end their night of karaoke.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 6 involves Kano meeting Mr. Yakuza's mother who is the polar opposite of her own. While she has and still does have reservations about a boy/man who is a massive nerd for a girl's children's anime, she recognizes that it was because of the empathy he felt for Tiara in "Love Cute" that he was able to continue going to school when he felt pressured to be more traditionally masculine and why for all his intimidating looks he's a very kind person. She therefore accepts him for who he is and deals by having a lot of fun at Love Cute's expense. Afterwards Fumi makes a surprise visit and, arriving at Kano's apartment when she's not home, finally sees her toku collection. Kano, bolstered by the understanding between her friend and his mother, thinks this is an opportunity. She calmly and openly that she doesn't think it matters what you like if you enjoy it, how she's gained real friendships through her hobby and she's in a really good place. Her mother silently listens... then slaps her across the face, degrades her friends, claims no one will want her past 30 and then starts talking about her friends eventually leaving her when THEY find partners. Kano is left in shock, picturing her friends as the Juushowan being defeated. It comes to a head when Fumi rips the arm off of her Shishi Leo figure (the character she most empathizes with). Kano snaps, slaps her mother and estranges her. All of this happens in a fancy restaurant her brother had booked to try and keep the peace between them.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Damien, who provides an insightful 'proverb' at nearly every appearance in the show. By episode 4, Kano is eagerly awaiting the wisdom of the kid, to the point where she'll even look around to see where his proverb has appeared.
  • Youre Not My Mother: Kano all but screams this at Fumi's face when she's had enough of the latter's insults of her hobbies and insistence on pushing her own unwarranted ideals on her daughter, regardless how many years Kano rejected them. Though Kano does take steps to mend their relationship in the final episode.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: