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YMMV / Chargeman Ken!

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  • Accidental Innuendo: Ken refuses Hoshi's request to see his "Charging Go" because Ken considers it unacceptable even among friends, but Hoshi tells him that it doesn't matter because he took him to where no one can see. It results in an Accidental Innuendo-induced Ho Yay because most Japanese audience mishear "Charging Go", "tomodachi (friend)", and "Boku zettai shaberanai yo (I won't talk about it to anybody)" as "Charging Bō (Charging Stick)", "homodachi (homosexuals)", and "Boku zettai shaburanai yo (I won't suck it)" respectively.
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  • Awesome Music: The Opening Theme, "Chargeman Ken", is a powerful song that encapsulates the heroism of the titular character. Such a shame that the actual series is of very poor quality.
  • Canon Defilement: Played for Laughsnote . Many fanworks make Ken a bigger bastard than he is in the actual series. Others make Hoshi go from having some Ho Yay with Ken to being a full-out pedophile.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny:
    • A meta example: When Discotek Media licensed the show, they went all out in using its awfulness as a selling point, from pointing out all of the hilarious scenes and memes, even on the DVD box set, to intentionally writing the episode descriptions in a way that lampshades just how awful everything is and pointing out their flaws.
    • Crunchyroll also gets in on the humor, as this is their description on the show's page:
      Infamous among anime fans in Japan, this 1974 series by Knack Productions is known for its nonsensical plots, absurdly incompetent animation, and brutal 10-year-old hero. See young Ken Izumi gun down wave after wave of ineffectual aliens, while dealing with misaligned animation cels, repetitive music, and a near total lack of sound effects. The best joke is that none of this was meant as a joke.
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  • Designated Hero: Ken, which is part of why the show is so hilarious. He basically goes around doing horrendous and needlessly cruel things, and he gets no reprimand or punishment because it's all supposed to be in the name of justice and defending Earth from the Juralians. It's almost like he does stuff like that so often that no one is surprised by it anymore.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Hoshi and Dr. Volga are extremely popular among MAD makers, far more than the hero is. Both only appear in one episode.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The Jurals' human disguises pretty much always end up handsome or hot.
  • Fridge Horror: Seen here.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Crossovers with Touhou Project are so common that they have their own tag on Nico Nico Douga, 東方充電男note , with nearly 600 videos.
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  • Ho Yay: Hoshi and Ken in the fourth episode. This becomes irrelevant when Hoshi is revealed to be a Jural.
  • It Was His Sled: In the fandom, it is pretty much well-known that Hoshi and many, many other one-shot characters are Jurals.
  • Lost in Medias Res: The very first episode. No explanation whatsoever is given as to what the Juralians are, why they want to conquer the world, or where Ken got his powers.
  • Memetic Mutation: The entire damn series. The number of videos uploaded to Nico Nico Douga and YouTube (although most if not all of the YT videos are re-uploads of the fansubs for accessibility) and fan art devoted to the series just keeps increasing. For the more traditional meaning of meme, many lines have mutated in Japan. Here are some examples:
    • How dare you sell such a schizo record!" (よくもあんなキチガイレコードを!)
    • Europe is our TARGET!
    • "Dr. Volga, forgive me!" (from the most popular episode, "Dynamite in the Brain".)
    • A single phrase from Maou, "Never mind!" (気にするな) turned Episode 47 into the one episode Chargeman Ken fans normally think out when they hear about him.
    • Knife Fight Friday! Explanation 
    • WEIIII!!!
  • Memetic Psychopath: Ken himself is often exaggerated in memes and fanworks to be a much worse person than he is in the show. This is largely due to how Ken constantly guns down the Juralians in the name of justice, with nobody ever questioning if he really needs to be that brutal.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Many, many characters, up to and including, but not limited to: the Chinese delivery man in Episode 29, the mentally disturbed, muscular man in a bra from Episode 23, Hitomi, a girl and Maou-sama's disguise who appears in Episode 10, and Mr. Matsumoto, an agricultural complex worker from Episode 62.
  • Padding: Prevalent throughout the series, with one of the most blatant examples being Episode 37 that begins with 36 seconds of a plane flying. Even more baffling due to each episodes’ 5-minute runtime and the plots needing all the time they can get.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Many fans root for the Juralians because Ken is such a Designated Hero.
  • Self-Fanservice: Fairly common in the fandom, and not just in Rule 34. Aged up versions of Caron and Yuuichi (or even their usual selves) are especially prominent in this respect. And then there's Ms. Nagisa... Though she and other characters like Hoshi, who were meant to look good but didn't due to Off-Model animation, can be considered a subversion.
  • Signature Scene: Ken dropping Dr. Volga as a human bomb to destroy a Juralian spaceship.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The animation is godawful even by mid-70's standards. Recording quality is bathroom level; 95% of sound effects are missing (Ken's laser gun is often the only exception). The pacing is horrendous; episodes can and do switch from too-quick to sluggish on a dime. Finally, the "hero" is a certified jackass. This show is terrible. And it's glorious.
  • Ugly Cute: Barican was certainly intended to be a cute character but the art and animation are so bad this is the best way to describe him.
  • Uncanny Valley: Close-ups of the characters' faces (especially Ken and Caron's faces) are often drawn in a very realistic style that often falls into this trope. It's particularly noticeable with their eyes and lips.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Despite being a cruel Evil Overlord, some fans actually find Maou to be a way more likable character than Ken, if only because Ken is somewhat more one-dimensionally ruthless and thorough in his hatred of Juralians.
    • Miyuki, from Episode 20. A nice girl who actually shows concern when Ken ditches Barican to take her to the place she was going to. Upon being revealed as a Jural, Miyuki simply flees. Ken chases her down and coldly shoots her in the spine.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • The villain in Episode 23 commits suicide. This isn't so bad back then but is downright unthinkable to depict in a children's anime today, given Japan's notoriously high suicide rate.
    • The show's occasional and outright use of the word kichigai ('crazy', 'lunatic', 'loony', 'crackpot') is another example, thanks to censorship.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Most people have only heard of Chargeman Ken! from the infamous "Dr. Volga, forgive me!" scene. And safe to say, the entire fanbase is basically there to meme relentlessly on the series.
  • What an Idiot!: Maou is notorious for this. In Episode 47, a Jural comes up to him, wanting to talk with Maou regarding Chargeman Ken.
    You'd Expect: Maou, noting that Ken is very good at killing Jurals, decides to listen to one of his loyal soldiers.
    Instead: "Never mind!".
    Then: The Jural reasonably explains that Ken has killed lots of their brethren and prevented them from carrying out the invasion of Earth as Maou planned. Maou says that Chargeman Ken is insignificant and says that the Jural should not be concerned about him, after which Maou sends out the X-Corps to attack an airport.
    The Result: Ken defeats the Juralian spaceships and slaughters (presumably) the entire X-Corps.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: It's targeted towards children, but has blood, violence towards children (including a sister almost stabbing her brother), animal death and more than one on-screen suicide, all handled in a very juvenile way.


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