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Super Sentai Series Review: Dengeki Sentai Changeman

Well it's just in time for Throwback Thursday isn't it? This time let's look at one of the 80s great masterpieces known as Dengeki Sentai Changeman!

Changeman is a mixture of a military Super Sentai together with the space theme. The Earth Defense Force's Commander Yui Ibuki puts a lot of soldiers under extreme training. At first, the soldiers don't understand why they have to be placed under such extreme measures. This was all part of preparation of fighting the Great Star League Gozma and the awakening of the Earth Force. With their new powers they must defend the Earth from the Gozma invasion

The heroes

Changeman's heroes are five military soldiers chosen by the Earth Force. The heroes are Hiryu Tsurugi (Change Dragon), Shou Hayate (Change Griffin), Yuuma Oozora (Change Pegasus), Sayaka Nagisa (Change Mermaid) and Mai Tsubasa (Change Phoenix). They are the soldiers who were chosen by the Earth Force to fight the Gozma. Hiryu is the typical leader who has his struggles. Shou looks like a prototype to Jetman's Gai Yuki. Yuuma is a naive soldier which is in contrast to Shiro Izumi's later role as badass Burai of Zyuranger. Sayaka is the first female white ranger and the team's inventor. Mai is a different type of pink ranger with her being tougher than Sayaka. 

What was fun to watch was how each of them had their conflicts. Hiryu and Shou are pretty much rivals due to their differences. It's almost like a foreshadow of later rivalries such as Ryu Tendo and Gai Yuki in Jetman or Satoru Akashi and Masumi Inou in Boukenger. Yuuma presents himself as someone who wants to open a fried pork restaurant but gave up on his ambition due to his duties. Sayaka has one special episode where everyone gave up on her but Hiryu. Mai may be tough but she also has a soft side. 

The villains

The villains in Changeman are pretty much a United Alliance of Evil though they don't span in several series like Power Rangers in Space. Their leader is known as Star King Bazoo who holds an alliance of aliens from several planets he's conquered. Members of his team are his second-in-command Captain Giluke, Buuba, Ahames, Gator and Gyodai as the starting villain roster. A later villain known as Queen Ahames arrived to make the Changemen miserable. They are all pressured into joining the Gozma cluster if they don't want to see their planets obliterated. Their aim is to conquer the Universe for Bazoo and promote a Darwinian or survival of the fittest rule in the Universe. It seems that Bazoo destroys planets if he finds them not fit enough to serve him. They are served by the Hydra Soldiers in their conquest of planets. 

They are a pretty interesting bunch. Not all the villains are truly evil while others have their goals. Buuba is a space pirate who's drafted into Gozma until he started to see them for their cowardly ways. Shiima is a princess of Amanga who's groomed to be evil since childhood. Captain Giluke used to work with Queen Ahames to seek for their freedom but failed. Later, both Giluke and Ahames would become bitter rivals as the show went by. Gator isn't exactly evil as his service to Star King Bazoo is to protect his family. Gyodai was simply captured and enslaved to enlarge the destroyed Space Monsters.

Final thoughts

Changeman is what one could call as a great innovative breakthrough done by Hirohisa Soda. What could be a coincidence (or not) was that 1985 was when the Empire Strikes Back turned five years old. The show might be the first space series while Juspion also aired that same year. The success of the Space Sheriffs may have also played a role in creating the series. 

The success of Changeman may have also been the reason why next year's Super Sentai series Flashman was also space themed. It could have been cool if both series had a VS. Movie though the trend didn't return until Ohranger. A shame really that both Flashman and Changeman could have had a cool crossover even if wouldn't be canon.

IMO, it's one Super Sentai that's worth watching with all the cool action and storytelling. I recommend it as one of the 80s Super Sentai masterpieces. 

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3 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Where i can find it for download ?

  2. In Brazil (I'm Brazilian), this was the first super sentai to go on the open tv and it was a terrible fever. Brazil loves the Changeman!

  3. Grown Up in the Spandex subs, but their releases a little bit too slow. - Buy Video Games for Consoles and PC - From Japan, Korea and other Regions
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