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Series / Tomica Hero Rescue Force

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"Save the life! Rescue Force, explosively suppress the extreme disasters!"

A toku that serves as the Spiritual Successor to Madan Senki Ryukendo, taking the Rescue genre and seeing just how outlandishly awesome it can make it. The plot centres on the titular Rescue Force, a team of rescue workers equipped with high-tech equipment designed to stop extreme natural disasters. It carries a Rescue Police vibe in that their equipment is designed primarily for rescue efforts, not to fight evil. Despite this, the show slowly crept towards evil-fighting with antagonists Neo Terror artificially creating extreme disasters and sending Mooks to interfere with the rescue efforts.

With the same writing staff, stunt crew and suit aesthetic, any fan of Ryukendo will probably like Rescue Force. And with the name of a toy company in the title of the show, there should be no doubt that it's Merchandise-Driven all the way.


The show got a sequel with a new branch of Rescue Force in the form of Tomica Hero Rescue Fire.

If you liked this show, try out Machine Robo Rescue, which also takes the Rescue Genre to new heights, except with sentient giant robots working with kids. Or PAW Patrol, the Rescue Genre with Precious Puppies and Transforming Mecha.

This show contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Rei Kozuki
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: At the start of every episode and occasionally at the end.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Hikaru Todoroki/R1
  • Alternate Continuity: The movie (which introduces one of the vehicles and one of the characters before they were actually introduced in proper context).
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Averted with Rescue Striker's AI. Even when it begins malfunctioning dangerously in one episode, it realizes what is happening and politely requests to be replaced if it keeps malfunctioning.
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  • Base on Wheels: Rescue Phoenix (actually more of a "base on wings").
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Three Great Commanders of Neo Terror are largely treated as jokes for the first portion of the series. Then episode 13 happens and they actually fight themselves, and come within a hairsbreadth of winning using the End Crisis Maker.
  • Big Bad: Batsu.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy Daaen, though sort of subverted in that said brainwashing actually amplified Oobuchi's hatred of humanity from the incident where he went AWOL, qualifying it partially as More Than Mind Control.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In episode 40 a couple of people try to put up posters and one suggests putting one on the fourth wall
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Eiji loses all his stoic-ness when he dons the R5 suit, becoming ridiculously Hot-Blooded. He's also every bit as skilled and awesome at his job as he is hotblooded.
  • Camp: It is from people who brought you Ryukendo, after all.
  • Car Fu: Noticeably absent when it would make sense to run over the Mooks in the way.
  • Celebrity Star: The episode with Daisuke Naito, a real life boxing champion. Played ridiculously over-the-top: suddenly everyone (even the villains!) is enthralled with boxing, and constantly talk about how awesome Naito is. The man himself is introduced with a Twinkle Smile.
    • It doesn't help that before that, he made appearances at the end of several episodes in a Rescue Force uniform to give encouragement messages to the kids watching at home.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: When Batsu is killed.
  • Chainsaw Good: Rescue Crusher in Mantis Mode.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Later episodes give the impression that the actors are trying to make each other corpse with their ridiculously over-the-top acting.
  • Combining Mecha: The culmination of all these mecha is God Striker, a multi-armed vehicle that can fly, despite all the weight on it. Like Ryukendo, God is only the halfway mark. The new vehicles are added onto the old to create Great God Striker, a flying monstrosity of a mecha.
  • Companion Cube: Juri's medical training dummy.
  • Cool Car: The "Core" vehicles which form the cockpit of the Humongous Mecha.
    • In the movie, Core Striker Fire has a built in chamber for a Transformation Sequence and a Javelin/Pickaxe weapon hidden underneath and is thus automatically the coolest.
    • The Tomica company is primarily known for its' 1/64 scale diecast toys based on real cars. If you have a Japanese car that wasn't made primarily entirely for export, chances are there's a Tomica model of it.
  • Cool Old Guy:
    • UFDA Director Reiji Osakabe (R0) in the movie. It certainly doesn't hurt that he's played by Hiroshi Fujioka. He later shows up in Rescue Fire, where he takes on more of an Old Master vibe.
    • Juri's martial arts-practicing grandfather in one episode (who at one point even steals the R5 suit to help his granddaughter out).
  • Crew of One: Rescue Striker and Rescue Saver. Their Base on Wheels appears to have a crew of five.
  • Cute Bruiser: "Kajiba no Super Power!!!"
  • Dancing Theme: In the movie.
  • Deadly Gas: The final extreme disaster.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: In the movie, Neo Terror blows up a bridge, causing its car to fall out of the race while Rescue Force carries on.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Daaen.
  • Doomsday Device: Instead of your typical Monster of the Week, these are the main threat each week (though some do have a combat mode as well). Machines causing 'mega disasters'.
  • Doppelgänger: Episode 40, which has Juri (played by Emi Hasegawa) meeting... famous idol Eri Haseyama. And then they swap places, so Eri Haseyama is acting as Juri and Juri, played by Emi is acting as... Eri... yeah, don't think too hard about this episode.
  • Elite Mooks: Maens personal bodyguard are completely black versions of the axts with horns and red bows as well as being armed with swords.
  • Evil Counterpart: AI Daaen (and its Black Core Striker.)
  • Fallen Hero: Daaen/Oobuchi, Neo Terror's leader, was the previous R1. Now he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist seeking to wipe out humanity to 'reset' the Earth.
  • Fan Sequel: Some enterprising people decided to merge this show with 21 Jump Street, resulting in 21 Jump Street Rangers, which takes place years after the original team's adventures.
  • Finishing Move: Final Rescue. Them being reserved for the killing blow is justified by the fact they need expressed permission to use them and if they were used at the wrong time, they could easily make the situation worse.
  • Five-Man Band
    • The Hero: Hikaru Todoroki/R1
    • The Lancer: Kyosuke Jinrai/R2 (Hikaru and Kyosuke are best friends.
    • The Big Guy: Rei Kozuki/R3 (Not an exact fit, but she is the most capable member of the team in a fight)
    • The Chick: Juri Shiraki/R4
    • The Smart Guy and The Mentor: Eiji Ishiguro/R5
    • Sixth Ranger: Natsuno "Nancy" Nanbu/RU and technically also Reiji Osakabe (R0) in the movie, though he doesn't lurk outside of the action for long.
      • The original team apply as well, though we have to guess a little bit. Obuchi/R1 was probably The Hero with his Kouhai and best friend Eiji Ishiguro/R5 serving as The Lancer. Naomi Okamura/R3 being the lady who created a lot of Rescue Force technology would mark her out as The Smart Guy. Kamiya's fighting talent and strength would indicate that he's The Big Guy while Natsuno "Nancy" Nanbu/R4 is implied to have been the Team Mom.
  • Gender Bender: One episode has Maaen creating some kind of virus to turn all men into women.
  • Genre Throwback: Eiji as R5 is basically a Showa Era Toku protagonist, complete with In the Name of the Moon proclamations, an abundance of ham, and being as Hot-Blooded as they come.
  • Heroic Resolve: Known in the show as "Rescue Soul".
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: The team need to secure approval from either captain Eiji Ishiguro or commander Natsuno "Nancy" Nanbu before they are allowed to use a Final Rescue. This is explained as being because if used at the wrong time, it could easily make the situation worse.
  • Hot-Blooded: see Heroic Resolve
  • Humans Are Bastards: Daaen's motivation.
  • Humongous Mecha
    • Rescue Striker + Rescue Saver = Rescue Max
    • Rescue Striker + Rescue Diver = Super Rescue Max
      • Mecha Expansion Pack
      • Rescue Max + Rescue Drill + Rescue Dozer = Rescue Max Drill Dozer
      • Super Rescue Max + Rescue Crane = Super Rescue Max Crane
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Maaen
  • Joshikousei: When Neo-Terror release a virus that turns men into women Hikaru ends up wearing this.
  • Kawaiiko: Maaen, when she's not in a bad mood.
  • The Lad-ette: Rei Kozuki
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Baatsu launches several of these in the second-to-last episode.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: Several, including a shovel, a ladder, a crane, a bulldozer, a fan, and of course a drill.
  • Mission Control: Eiji Ishiguro, the commander of Rescue Force who makes the final call regarding the use of a Final Rescue.
  • Monster of the Week: Played With. While the villains do use a different Crisis Maker or other Doomsday Device each week, they're generally made to cause disasters first and many (especially early on) can't fight back if the Rescue Team manage to get past their disaster and get a bead on them.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds!: Less than 0.1% chance of winning? Pssh, whatever.
  • Nice Hat: Reiji Osakabe's skewed fedora in the movie. His signature move seems to be tweaking the brim downward with two fingers (though he tosses the hat away before he Chakusous into R0)
  • Nitro Boost: Rescue Drill's Final Rescue: Drill Boost.
  • Non-Serial Movie: Probably, no one's explicitly stated the canonicity of the movie but the Rescue Zamber, Rescue Diver and Zero Fire appear in different ways in the movie than they do in the series. Also one episode involves Rei winning a pair of tickets to ride the "Mach Train" which happens in the movie but with different results.
    • If it is canon it probably takes place between episodes 38 and 39.
  • Not Quite Dead: Maaen.
  • Old Superhero: Done in only a way Tokusatsu could: when Eiji dons his R5 suit and returns to action, the fact he's from the previous generation is played having him act like a Showa Era tokusatsu superhero rather than a more modern one.
  • Post-Final Boss: The Big Bad dies in the penultimate episode, and afterwards, the final Super-Disaster is easily taken care of.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Super Rescue Max. It's Rescue Max, but with wings!
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The Three Great Commanders of Neo Terror (and Maaen, though she's technically not a robot.)
  • Roar Before Beating: Rescue Shovel and Rescue Dozer seem to have very animalistic A.I.
    • Most of the sapient Extreme Disaster do this as well.
  • Robot Buddy: The A.I. of the Rescue Commanders.
  • Rollerblade Good: Rescue Max
  • Rule of Cool: There is not a lot of explanation for how anything works really.
    • A noticeable example is Mantis impact. How can a chainsaw create a cutting beam-wave?
  • Serial Escalation: How needlessly cool can this show make the Rescue genre? What kind of Wave-Motion Gun will be used to save the city this week?
    • Delightfully subverted in the final episode as well. The big danger isn't solved by whipping out the biggest guns, but by 'explosively suppressing' your fear and doing what has to be done.
  • Shout-Out: To Madan Senki Ryukendo, naturally.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Rescue Heroes in that it has personal antagonists and the heroes actually stop the disasters.
  • Super Mode: R1 Max.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The Supreme Commander, aka Nancy.
  • Stock Footage: In every episode, noticeable when characters are suddenly standing in front of an all black background.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: In droves. You've got Rescue Breaker, which has eight modesnote  (granted, only seven of which are preserved in the actual toy); Rescue Crusher, which has threenote  (one of which uses Rescue Breaker's Break Drill mode); and R1 Max's Max Divider, which also has three (well, five, if you count the three sub-modes of Divider Mode)note .
  • Terrible Trio: Neo Terror's "Three Great Executives": Maaru, Saan and Shiika.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Most episodes.
  • This Is a Drill: Obvious for a show like this. Rescue Breaker as Break Drill; Rescue Crusher in Drill Mode (which uses Break Drill as an attachment); the medium vehicle Rescue Drill (actually a Drill Tank).
  • Transforming Mecha: The Rescue Vehicles.
  • Transformation Sequence ("Chakusou!")means Equip
  • Verbal Tic: Apparently being a Neo Terror android/virtual construct means you come with one of these. Great Commander Saan suffixes his sentences with "gansu"; Shiika suffixes them with "gossu"; Maaen has a habit of suffixing sentences with "no da;" the Axto Mooks only say "zansu!" over and over.
    • Maaru is the only exception, though you might be able to present a good case in her habit of using "mou!" whenever she's disappointed. (Though it really doesn't happen that often.)
  • Victory Pose: Upon learning that he is in consideration to be the driver of a new Transforming Mecha, Kyosuke's first priority is...To decide on his Victory Pose.
    • Another episode features Hikaru and Kyosuke spending their free time trying to synchronize their victory poses so that it'll look cooler when they complete something.
    • Mere seconds after Rescue Max's First victory Kyosuke realises that he and Hikaru need to update their "Bakushin Kanryou!" pose.
  • Villainous Harlequin: Maaen, Daaen's "daughter" (and the next step up the Sorting Algorithm of Evil).
  • Walking Spoiler: Batsu, who possesses Daaen and later assumes the guise of Maaen, is the true Big Bad.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Most Final Rescues. It's easier to list those which are not


Video Example(s):



The Rescue Force team equips their suits to attack the fire.

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Example of:

Main / TransformationSequence

Media sources:

Main / TransformationSequence