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France Five! En garde!

France Five (フランスファイブ Furansu Faibu?), originally titled Jushi Sentai France Five (銃士戦隊フランスファイブ Jūshi Sentai Furansu Faibu, translated as Musketeers Squadron France Five) and later known as Shin Kenjushi France Five (新剣銃士フランスファイブ Shin Kenjūshi Furansu Faibu, translated as New Sword Musketeers France Five), is a French series produced by Buki X-1 Productions in 2000s. It is a homage to both Toei's ever-popular Super Sentai series (which was extremely popular in France in the 1980s) and another Sentai pastiche, Aikoku Sentai Dai-Nippon ("Patriot Squadron Great Japan") (1982) by Daicon Films (now Studio Gainax).

Glou Man Chou, ruler of the empire Lexos, desires to conquer planet Earth. However, the Eiffel Tower generates a barrier around the planet that keeps him from sending his armies en masse. Glou Man Chou sends his warriors and monsters to Earth in order to destroy the tower and enable a full scale invasion, but they are opposed by the France Five.

The series' fourth episode ended on a Cliffhanger with the fifth poised to be the Grand Finale. This was in 2005. Episode 5 was finally released online in 2012 with the true finale, episode 6, released in 2013.

In 2019, Maliki revealed she was part of the adventure as a storyboard artist and the artist of the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue... and that she is working with the team on an audio episode with art to celebrate the 20 years of France Five. Said episode is an Interquel between episodes 3 and 4, and can be watched here. Details here (warning: in french).

The France Five:

The Lexos:

Recurring Super Sentai tropes:

  • Big Bad: Glou Man Chou
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Most enemies; another Sentai standard.
  • Finishing Move:
    • "Jushi Sentai Hexagonal Attack"
    • "Botte Secrète de Nevers"
  • Humongous Mecha: The France Robot is a combination of two smaller mecha. A new, standalone France Robot appears in the final episode.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Cancrelax's job with every Lexostreum. And in the final episode, to Glou Man Chou himself.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: Machine Chanteclerc is Silver Mousquetaire's rooster mecha. In the final episode it combines with the new France Robot into the Robot D'Artagnan.
  • Monster of the Week: The Lexostreums.
  • Mooks: The Panous-Panous. Which means "not us, not us" (as in "don't hit us").
  • Sixth Ranger: Silver Mousquetaire who, in a funny subversion of the formula, enters the scene right in the first episode. But it is supposed to be a late episode of a bigger "series".
  • The Smurfette Principle: Catherine
  • Spandex, Latex, or Leather: Spandex for the heroes, naturally, since the series tries to stick very closely to classic Sentai. The villains are a bit more varied, with leather, dominatrix-style, for Extasy, spandex shorts and little else for Warduke, and flowing robes for Cancrelax and Glou Man Chou.
  • "Super Sentai" Stance: Of course. Most notably, during the Eye Catch for the earlier episodes.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Or Paris is, in this case. Justified, since the Eiffel Tower is protecting the Earth from a large-scale alien invasion.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Notably defied in episode 2, with Discostreum firing a blast just as the heroes try to transform, twice.
  • Transformation Sequence: For the France Five, naturally.

France Five provides examples of:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: "Operation: Gergovie" in episode 5, and the Robot d'Artagnan in episode 6.
  • Actor Allusion: Combined with Prop Recycling invoked in episode 6; the BFG that vaporizes Succulard is identical to Caleb's Nuclear Gun from Flander's Company. Ruddy Pomarede plays both Caleb and Succulard.
  • Allergic to Evil: The France Five's reaction when finally confronted to Glou Man Chou. Although not so much allergic as just buffeted by his enormous personal power.
  • Animesque:
  • Affectionate Parody: Very much so. The show can't be said to really "mock" Sentai, but rather follows every trope of the genre quite faithfully. The humor comes from the incongruity of setting a Sentai in France.
  • Arm Cannon: Zakaral
  • The Artifact: The France Cannon, which is only used to kill the monsters of the first two episodes, but is still shown and even mentioned in the lyrics of the opening song used for episodes 4-6.
  • Avenging the Villain:
    • Lady Warcry is Warduke's daughter, and wants to avenge her father.
    • A subversion with Glou Man Chou, as he doesn't care about Antoine killing Zakaral, figuring if Zakaral had been worthy he wouldn't have lost.
  • Babies Ever After: For Antoine and Sophie during the epilogue.
  • Baguette Beatdown: Yellow Baguette's weapons of choice, first as a sword and later as a staff. Starting episode 2, he throws croissant boomerangs as his calling card, in a manner resembling a certain anime series.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: In episode 6, Margarine turns into... Wargarine. She makes short work of the Mook Lieutenant that was close to killing the heroes five minutes before.
  • BFG: Wargarine sports several.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Earth is saved, Antoine marries Sophie... and yet Aramis is dead and Catherine is alone to mourn.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Extasy is actually Antoine's fiancée Sophie, captured and brainwashed into a willing member of Lexos.
  • Calling Your Attacks: With Punny Theme Name:
    • Babybomb (from Babybel, a french brand of cheese)
    • Camemblade (from Camembert, a french cheese)
    • Also "Double Cheese"; Red Fromage is fond of this.
  • Captain Geographic: But played for laughs. The themes for the heroes' powers and mecha are silly French stereotypes like cheese, wine, baguettes, and fashion. Honestly, they just don't cross into Captain Patriotic because they don't wear the Tricolore.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The last two episodes are much more serious than the beginning of the series. Again, it fits with the genre parodied, since the end of a Sentai series generally takes a turn for the drama.
  • Chainsaw-Grip BFG: Wargarine uses one.
  • Chef of Iron: Succulard
  • Cold Sniper: Snipostreum, the raptor-headed Lexostreum in the interquel episode, snips with a laser rifle. He brags that he never missed, and Cancrelax says that he can stay hidden and immobile for hours if need be.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Well, it's a Sentai after all.
  • Color-Coded Secret Identity: This Sentai trope is played straight as our heroes wear their associated colors as civilians.
  • Combination Attack: Attaque Triplée
  • Combining Mecha: Falcon D'Artagnan + Joan of Arc Mount = France Robot.
  • Coup de Grāce: The finishing moves are called thus.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Agony
  • Crossover: Catherine and Thierry appear in another French indie series, DAMNED Next, to retrieve some stray Panous-Panous who wandered into the already over-the-top fight scene. Hilarity ensues.
  • Darkest Hour: Episode 5.
  • Dirty Coward: Cancrelax
  • Drop the Hammer: Gorlock
  • Dumb Muscle: Again, Gorlock.
  • Enemy Mime: The Panous-Panous have been described as "ninja-mimes".
  • Evil Laugh: Glou Man Chou's is epic.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Glou Man Chou pulls absolutely no punches, and it's glorious.
  • Evolutionary Retcon: Several costumes were upgraded over the series. Namely, Margarine, the France Five suits, and France Robo itself. The Episode 1 costumes reappear in flashbacks during Episodes 3 and 6, explained away as prototypes for the current models which now have always been there.
  • Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Name!: As part of being a Sentai homage.
  • French Accordion: Blue Accordéon, of course, complete the set of French clichés associated with the heroes. He's sometimes seen playing the instrument, including in the opening credits.
  • Giggling Villain: Cancrelax can't say a line without cackling evilly.
  • Gratuitous English: In several places, such as calling their attacks and when doing their version of the Goranger Storm in Episode 3.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The full titles, and new theme tune.
  • Hand Wave: The reason why Black Beaujolais is immune to poison. Also counts as Fauxlosophic Narration.
  • Head Bob: The France Five in armor, yet another staple of Sentai.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Aramis dies shielding Antoine and Sophie from Zakaral's attack, just as the final cannon fires to destroy the Eiffel Tower.
    • Wargarine stays behind to protect Professor Burgonde and is killed by Zakaral. (She gets better.)
    • Antoine sacrifices himself at the end of episode 6, staying behind to stop Glou Man Chou from exploding on Earth. Subverted: Antoine survives.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Red Fromage in episode 6.
  • I Fell for Hours: Red Fromage and Zakaral exchange some words while they're both falling from a building.
  • In Medias Res: Implied with the first episode.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Red Fromage before his Heroic Sacrifice in episode 6.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: The standard one of these for Sentai series — why the Big Bad doesn't send all his monsters at once — is justified. The Eiffel Tower projects a force field around planet Earth, meaning that the Big Bad can only send small squadrons of troops to Earth at a time, including a monster, some Panous-Panous and his two lieutenants.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Zakaral
  • Lampshade Hanging: In episode 6:
    Yellow Baguette: Hey, is it over? Usually, when it explodes, it means we won!
    Blue Accordéon: Hu, no, usually it grows up first...
  • Large and in Charge: Glou Man Chou
  • Laser Blade: Wargarine
  • Libation for the Dead: Done by Black Beaujolais in episode 3, by pouring wine on the tomb of his late mentor.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Catherine was absolutely smitten with Silver Mousquétaire, but loathed Aramis for his rudeness. It wasn't until he revealed his motives that they patched things up. And then he died.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Done by Robot d'Artagnan in episode 6.
  • Malaproper: Professor Burgonde can't get any figure of speech right.
  • Meaningful Name: Aramis, Jean Pétri, the monsters' names, and many others.
  • Monumental Damage: The Lexos finally manage to destroy the Eiffel Tower in episode 4, opening the door for them to launch their full-scale invasion.
  • Never Trust a Title: Episode 5 "Farewell, France Five! The Day of Glory has Arrived!"... ends on a Cliffhanger.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Cancrelax turns out to be this in the fifth episode.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Albert
  • The Power of Hate: Blue Accordéon figures out that this is what gives Warduke a boost in his last stand. His hatred is so strong, it's able to create a duplicate of his, invisible to the naked eye.
  • The Power of Love: Antoine manages to break through Extasy's brainwashing by finishing the proposal he made to Sophie just before Lexos abducted her.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Zakaral leads one in the last couple episodes, with Gorlock, Succulard, Agony and Lady Warcry.
  • Shock and Awe: Glou Man Chou's favorite way of punishing those who failed him, or smiting his foes, is with lightning.
  • Shout-Out: Along with being a huge homage to Dai-Nippon, the series has frequent callbacks to other Sentai shows:
    • The original opening (episodes 1-2) is a remix of the Bioman theme, while the ending (episodes 1-2) is a remix of Jetman's closing theme — both of which were broadcast and extremely popular in France.
    • Also, the teleport fly-by from episode 2 onward is a blatant Jetman homage.
    • The team's mecha follow early '80s Sentai conventions: One jet, one tank, and a main carrier.
    • Blue Accordéon's original bow-and-arrow weapon in episode 1.
    • The Olympic Crusher attack in episode 3 is not only a throwback to the Goranger Storm but a shot-for-shot nod to Gaoranger Storm attack featured in Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai.
    • Before using France Robo's fencing thrust final attack in Episode 3, he quotes Cyrano de Bergerac:
      Red: At the envoi's end, I touch!
    • France Robo's appearance in Episode 6 is a complete homage to the launch sequence of Mazinger Z.
    • When Red's cockpit moves after the big robot combination in Episode 6, it looks remarkably similar to Duke Freed's "Chute In" sequence from when he'd activate Grendizer (probably more appropriate to say...invoked Goldorak).
    • Speaking of which, the password to make the robots combine? alea jacta est (lit. "The Die Is Cast") — a regular catchphrase in Asterix.
    • The subtitle for episode 5 is the second line of La Marseillaise (i.e. the French national anthem).
    • The final battle of Episode 6 has several visual nods to Episodes 5 and 6 of GunBuster.
    • For the ultimate full-circle, Glou Man Chou inadvertently quotes the French narration to Battle of the Planets. Which is the first International adaptation of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. Which is considered to be the ultimate forerunner of the Super Sentai franchise.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: Blue Accordéon and Yellow Baguette twirls their weapons to make a shield against Glou Man Chou's lightning.
  • This Cannot Be!: Naturally said by Glou Man Chou during the ultimate battle.
  • Torso with a View: Succulard in episode 6 ends up with a wide hole in the torso (although the chain wrapped around him is undamaged...).
  • Voice of the Legion: Glou Man Chou
  • Weaponized Landmark: The series revolves around the idea that the Eiffel Tower is a shamanic totem holding the evil galactic empire at bay.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The series' final ending.
  • Wolverine Claws: Cancrelax has a Freddy Claw, more accurately. Although being the Evil Genius, he's never seen using it in a fight.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Warduke pulls out a swinging neckbreaker, a suplex and a powerbomb during his final appearance.