Himitsu Sentai Gorenger(秘密戦隊ゴレンジャー,Himitsu Sentai Gorenjā) is a Japanese tokusatsusuperhero television series. Gorenger, created by Shotaro Ishinomori, was the first in the long-running Super Sentai series of tokusatsu programming. The series aired on NET (now TV Asahi) from April 5, 1975 to March 26, 1977 for 84 episodes. The title Toei gives this series for international distribution is Five Rangers.
When world peace is threatened by the emergence of a terrorist group called the Black Cross Army, a peacekeeping organization called EAGLE, the Earth Guard League, is formed by the United Nations to combat the threat. The Black Cross Army sends five operatives to destroy each EAGLE branch in Japan, killing everyone except for five agents who manage to survive. The five surviving agents are summoned to a secret base located underneath the snack shop "Gon" where they are recruited by EAGLE Japan's commander Gonpachi Edogawa to become the Secret Squadron Gorenger and are given electronic battlesuits that endow them with superhuman strength and speed. The five dedicate themselves to stopping the Black Cross Army and its leader, Black Cross Führer.
The International Secret Defense Organization EAGLE (国際秘密防衛機構イーグル,Kokusai Himitsu Bōei Kikō Īguru) is a peacekeeping organization created by the United Nations to protect the world from the terrorist group known as the Black Cross Army. EAGLE develops the battlesuits and advanced technology used by the Gorengers to counteract the Black Cross Army's cyborg technology.
The Gorengers transform into their costumes by shouting the word "Go!". Prior to battle, the team shouts "Five members assembled, Gorenger!" (５人揃って、ゴレンジャー！,Gonin sorotte, Gorenjā!).
Tsuyoshi Kaijo (海城 剛,Kaijō Tsuyoshi)/Akarenger (アカレンジャー,Akarenjā, Red Ranger): 24-years-old. The younger brother of the Kantō EAGLE base captain, Tsuyoshi and his teammates were playing soccer when the Black Cross Army launched the attack that killed his brother. Tsuyoshi is trained in combat planning and strategy and was also a striker for the Kantō EAGLE branch's soccer team. Tsuyoshi is the team leader and coordinates group attacks such as the "Gorenger Storm" or "Gorenger Hurricane". He carries a number of special weapons such as a tranquilizer gun (Silver Shot) and a multi-purpose whip (Red Vute) whose end transforms into weapons such as a drill or claw (Red Hunter). Tsuyoshi appeared in the final episode of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, receiving his powers back in the form of the Akrenger Key as the Gokaigers left Earth.
Akira Shinmei (新命 明,Shinmei Akira)/Aorenger (アオレンジャー,Aorenjā, Blue Ranger): 25-years-old and the oldest member of the Gorenger team. Akira was training in the snowy region of Touhoku when the Black Cross Army attacked. He is a marksmanship instructor, skilled in archery and piloting. He wants to become a racing driver. As Aorenger he is the second-in-command. He pilots the Gorenger's aircraft "Variblune" and "Varidreen". He is armed with the "Bluechery" and "Ultra Bluechery" bows, which can fire specially designed arrows known as Blue Arrows and Blue Arrow Rockets.
Daita Oiwa (大岩 大太,Ōiwa Daita)/Kirenger I (初代キレンジャー,Shodai Kirenjā, Yellow Ranger) (1-54, 67-84): 23-years-old. Called Dai-chan by Shinmei, Peggy, and Yoko, Oiwa is a jovial engineering recruit at EAGLE's Kyūshū branch who was training with his comrades when the Black Cross Army attacked. Adept in mechanics and mathematics, he has a hard time solving simple word puzzles and riddles. As a judo champion, Oiwa is physically strong. He is armed with the "Ki Sticker" (Yellow Sticker), a polearm whose head can be outfitted with various attachments such as a punching fist. He also utilized the "YTC" (YTC is an abbreviation of Yellow Transceiver) radio which can jam electronic circuitry. Oiwa was later promoted to Chief of the Kyūshū EAGLE branch, but soon returned to active duty with the Gorenger after his replacement is killed by the Black Cross Army.
Daigoro Kumano (熊野 大五郎,Kumano Daigorō)/Kirenger II (２代目キレンジャー,Nidaime Kirenjā, Yellow Ranger II) (55-67): After Oiwa became the commander of the Kyūshū branch for a time, Kumano replaced him. Kumano was killed by a flying blade from Can Opener Mask.
Peggy Matsuyama (ペギー松山,Pegī Matsuyama)/Momorenger (モモレンジャー,Momorenjā, Pink Ranger): 18-years-old. Peggy worked at EAGLE's Hokkaidō branch as a chemical analyst and weapons engineer specializing in explosives. Fashion conscious, Peggy often wears go-go boots and short hip-hugging hot pants. She is armed with heart-shaped earrings that double as high impact bombs. She also carries heart-shaped "Momo Card" throwing shurikens and a "Momo Mirror" jamming device that confuses and confounds her opponents.
Kenji Asuka (明日香 健二,Asuka Kenji)/Midorenger (ミドレンジャー,Midorenjā, Green Ranger): 17-years-old, Kenji is the youngest member of the team. He was training at EAGLE's Kansai branch. He has a happy-go-lucky temperament. Unlike the other four, Kenji was the only one unharmed when the Black Cross Army attacked, as he was tending to pigeons on a rooftop, thus saving him from the poison gas used in the attack. Kenji is armed with the razor-sharp "Midomerang" (Green boomerang) which was either flung at his opponents or used as a hand weapon for cutting and slashing. His weapon was later upgraded to the "New Midomerang", which was a bit bigger. He also carried the "Mido Puncher" which was an updated slingshot weapon that can be used to fire pachinko pellets and sometimes explosives.
Birdies: Removable rockets that are clipped to the side of the Gorengers' belts that they use for flying.
Weapons: the team possess individual weapons which they pull out of their visors.
Red Vute (レッドビュート,Reddo Byūto), New Red Vute (ニューレッドビュート,Nyū Reddo Byūto), Yari Vute (ヤリビュート,Yari Byūto), Drill Vute (ドリルビュート,Doriru Byūto), Red Hunter (レッドハンター,Reddo Hantā), and Silver Shot (シルバーショット,Shirubā Shotto): Akarenger's signature weapons.
Bluechery (ブルーチェリー,Burūcherī) (used in episodes 1-42), Ultra Bluechery (ウルトラブルーチェリー,Urutora Burūcherī) (used in episodes 43-84): Aorenger's signature weapons.
YTC (YTC,Wai Tī Shī), Ki Sticker (キーステッカー,Kī Sutekkā) (with three attachments: Rock, Paper, and Scissors): Kirenger's signature weapons.
Gorenger Machines (ゴレンジャーマシーン,Gorenjā Mashīn, 1-54): Gorengers' motorcycles. Armed with explosives that self-destruct to destroy the Navarone, which exploded, taking the Navarone with it.
Red Machine (レッドマシーン,Reddo Mashīn): The Gorenger Machine driven by Akarenger. The Red Machine has no sidecar.
Blue Machine (ブルーマシーン,Burū Mashīn): The Gorenger Machine driven by Aorenger. Kirenger rides in the sidecar.
Green Machine (グリーンマシーン,Gurīn Mashīn): The Gorenger Machine driven by Midorenger. Momorenger rides in the sidecar.
Star Machines (スターマシーン,Sutā Mashīn, 55-84): The replacement for the Gorenger Machines. Like their predecessors, these motorcycles self-destruct to destroy the Black Cross Castle.
Red Star (レッドスター,Reddo Sutā)
Blue Star (ブルースター,Burū Sutā)
Green Star (グリーンスター,Gurīn Sutā)
Varitank (バリタンク,Baritanku, 42-84): A six-wheeled tank with claw arms that rolls out of the beak of the Varidorin. Usually piloted by Aorenger and Yoko Kato.
Variccune (バリキキューン,Barikikyūn, 69-84): A passenger-carrying balloon for the Gorengers. Usually piloted by Momorenger.
Variblune (バリブルーン,Bariburūn, 1-42): An early bulldog-like VTOL aircraft, propelled by helicopter blades under the craft. Its "mandibles" can open up and deploy various tools depending on the situation, and can store the Gorenger Machines. It blew up with Iron Man Mask Temujin aboard (but not the Gorengers).
Varidreen (バリドリーン,Baridorīn, 42-84): A peacock-like replacement for the Variblune. Usually piloted by Aorenger and Kirenger. It was lost in the Gorengers' destruction of the Black Cross Castle, but a new Varidorin is seen later in JAKQ vs. Gorenger.
Gorenger Storm (ゴレンジャーストーム,Gorenjā Sutōmu): At Akarenger's command, Momorenger would produce a silver ball called the "Rengerball". It was passed among the various Gorengers like a soccer ball, until Akarenger would kick it at the episode's monster, at which point it would cause the monster to explode.
Gorenger Hurricane (ゴレンジャーハリケーン,Gorenjā Harikēn): In this variant, Momorenger would produce a finned, multicolored grenade the size and shape of an American-style football. It was passed among each Gorenger until Aorenger set it up for punting by Akarenger. Once launched towards the monster, it would transform into an object that was usually either anathema to the monster's personality (such as a magnet to disrupt a mechanical clock monster) or a gift (such as a bowl of ramen to a skeleton-themed, starving monster). Either way, the object explodes with the monster caught in the explosion. In episode 44, it is called Gorenger Storm Hurricane. In episode 73, the ball transforms into the Gorengers' weapons (Red Hunter, Yari Vute, Blue Arrows, Ki Sticker, Momo Card and Mido Puncher). In J.A.K.Q. vs. Gorenger, the Gorengers combine the Gorenger Hurricane with J.A.K.Q.'s Big Bomber (ビッグボンバー,Biggu bonbā) to create the Gorenger Hurricane Big Bomber (ゴレンジャーハリケーンビッグボンバー,Gorenjā Harikēn Biggu bonbā) to destroy the Big Four Robo.
Gonpachi Edogawa (江戸川 権八,Edogawa Gonpachi): Commander of EAGLE's Japan branch. When operating in public, Gonpachi disguises himself as the cook at the snack shop "Gon" (ゴン), which is the secret entrance to the Gorengers' headquarters. The shop later becomes the fruit parlor "Gon".
Commander Edogawa is assisted by a trio of secretaries/secret agents: Yoko Kato (加藤 陽子,Katō Yōko) (a.k.a. Agent 007), Tomoko Hayashi (林 友子,Hayashi Tomoko) (a.k.a. Agent 008), and Haruko Nakamura (中村 春子,Nakamura Haruko) (a.k.a. Agent 009). They act behind the scenes but occasionally help the Gorengers in the field.
Black Cross Army
The Black Cross Army (黒十字軍,Kuro Jūjigun) is a terrorist group led by the Black Cross Führer whose goal is the eradication of the human race and the absolute domination of the world. They utilize advanced technology and magic to create an army of superhuman operatives to attack EAGLE and Gorenger. Most of the Black Cross operatives are humans who have been enhanced through surgery. They had various secret bases across the globe. The main headquarters was the flying Black Cross Castle (黒十字城,Kuro Jūjijō), which orbited high above the ground.
Black Cross Führer (黒十字総統,Kuro Jūji Sōtō): As the leader of the Black Cross Army, he was often referred to as the "Machine Monster". He could not be easily killed by a conventional weapon. He had supernatural powers and was supremely intelligent. He kept his identity a secret even among his generals but revealed himself as a sentient alien machine construct that was part of the Black Cross Castle. He could also disguise himself as either a male or female human. He was destroyed when the Gorengers launched their Five-Star Cassiopea Attack, and he exploded (after revealing himself as the Black Cross Castle).
Sun Mask (日輪仮面,Nichirin Kamen, 15-20): The so-called "Star of Africa" (アフリカの星,Afurika no Hoshi). He was a ruthless tyrant who was renowned for his successive victories in Africa. He was called to Japan to eliminate the Gorengers by any means necessary, though his cowardice interferes in his operations.
Iron Man Mask General Temujin (鉄人仮面テムジン将軍,Tetsujin Kamen Temujin Shōgun, 20-42): The so-called "Mongol Demon" (モンゴルの鬼,Mongoru no Oni), he was recruited from Black Cross Army's Gobi Desert operations. A cold and sadistic operative, he is a brilliant tactician and also formed his own army called the Steel Brigade (鋼鉄軍団,Kōtetsu Gundan). Vain and prideful, he often lets his ego disrupt his operations.
Volcano Mask General Magman (火の山仮面マグマン将軍,Hinoyama Kamen Maguman Shōgun, 42-54): He was recruited from the volcanic Eldgja region in Iceland. He is the leader of the ruthless Eruption Battalion (噴火軍団,Funka Gundan). He commanded his own mobile battle fortress dubbed Moving Fortress Navarone (移動要塞ナバローン,Idō Yōsai Nabarōn) (named after the Nazi Cannons off the Greek Aegean Islands in World War II). He had the ability to fire napalm missiles from the top of his "volcano" Mask. He is impervious to the Gorengers' weapons and is a master combatant.
Commander-in-Chief Golden Mask (ゴールデン仮面大将軍,Gōruden Kamen Daishōgun, 54-84): Black Cross Army's top general. A supernatural entity that was mystically awoken through Black Magic and Black Cross Führer's powers. Golden Mask took command of Black Cross Army's elite Africa Troopers (アフリカ軍団,Afurika Gundan). He is versed in sorcery and keenly interested in astrology. He can repel most of Gorengers' attacks.
Steel Sword Dragon (鋼鉄剣竜,Kōtetsu Kenryū, Movie): A renegade Black Cross Army operative who was imprisoned by Black Cross Führer for his recklessness and rebelliousness. He was later freed by Black Cross Führer in exchange for his help in destroying the Gorengers. He was an incredibly strong fighter and was impervious to harm. Wielded a mighty dao that could destroy almost any object.
Zolders (ゾルダー,Zorudā): Black Cross's faceless leather-suited foot soldiers, altered with enhanced strength and speed and brainwashed to be absolutely loyal. They carry a variety of weapons including machine guns, bazookas and iron swords. Specialized divisions include the Black Cross Camouflaged Ninja (黒十字忍団,Kuro Jūji Nindan) as well as a squad of mystics who serve Black Cross Führer and are adept at the black arts. The Zolders pilot air fighters called Condolers (コンドラー,Kondorā) (small) and Battlers (バットラー,Battorā) (large). They can be heard shouting "Hoi" when attacking their victims.
Episodes aired on Saturdays at 7:30 PM JST.
Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Movie(秘密戦隊ゴレンジャー,Himitsu Sentai Gorenjā) (Movie version of Episode 6)
Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Blue Fortress(秘密戦隊ゴレンジャー 青い大要塞,Himitsu Sentai Gorenjā: Aoi Daiyōsai) (Movie version of Episode 15)
Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Red Death Match(秘密戦隊ゴレンジャー 真赤な猛進撃！,Himitsu Sentai Gorenjā: Makka na Mōshingeki!) (Movie version of Episode 36)
Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: Fire Mountain's Final Explosion(秘密戦隊ゴレンジャー 火の山最後の大噴火,Himitsu Sentai Gorenjā: Hi no Yama Saigo no Daifunka) (Movie version of Episode 54)
The series was adapted into a manga written and drawn by Ishinomori and published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine from May 4, 1975 to August 17, 1975. In this series, the Gorengers are all teenagers and Tsuyoshi's father is the head of EAGLE's Kanto branch. Tsuyoshi is given the Akarenger outfit by his father before he is murdered by the Black Cross Army. Tsuyoshi becomes Akarenger and recruits the others to become the Gorengers and avenge his father's death.
In the Philippines, Gorenger was dubbed into English and released as Star Rangers in 1978 and shown on Saturday afternoon on RPN-9. In this version, aside from their color designations, the Gorengers also had numeric designations, in order of their introduction to the enemy prior to battle: Akarenger = Star 1, Aorenger = Star 2, Kirenger = Star 3, Momorenger = Star 4, and Midorenger = Star 5. The series was broadcast in Thailand on Channel 7. In the United States, the original Japanese version was broadcast in Hawaii on Honolulu's KIKU-TV with English subtitles from 1975 through 1976, and the actors made personal appearances to promote the series. An unsubtitled version was also broadcast in California, on Sacramento's KMUV-TV in 1976, San Francisco's KEMO-TV in 1977.