Ninja Sentai Kakuranger

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"Hiding from people and slashing evil! Ninja Sentai! Kakuranger, revealed!"

Ninja Sentai Kakuranger (Ninja Squadron Kakuranger [1]) is the eighteenth installment in the Super Sentai franchise, airing from 1994 to 1995.

400 years ago, a band of Yōkai battled a group of ninjas, led by the legendary Sarutobi Sasuke. He and four other ninjas sealed the Yōkai away behind a magical door. In the present day, the Yōkai are set free when two of those ninjas' descendants, Sasuke and Saizō, are tricked into opening the door. Now, they and the three descendants of the other ninjas must put the Yōkai away as the Kakurangers.

This is the first Super Sentai with a Ninja motif; its characters are also compared to the leads of Journey to the West. It was also the first Sentai to feature a female as its leader, and the first to have a non-human ally as a Sixth Ranger.

It was adapted into America as the third season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Notably, the suits were used for the Aquitian Rangers, a separate team of Rangers that protected the Earth during the "Alien Rangers" story arc when the Mighty Morphin team were de-aged.

The Kakurangers are:[edit | hide | hide all]

The Sanshinshō [3][edit | hide]

The Yōkai[edit | hide]


Tropes used in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger include:

Recurring Super Sentai tropes:[edit | hide]

  • All Your Powers Combined: One Yōkai, DaraDara, stole the powers of Ninjaman and most of the Rangers for great power.
  • By the Power of Greyskull: Super Henge [7]! Doron Changer!"
  • Cool Bike: The Shark Machines, much like the Goranger Machines and the Zaurer Machines, consisted of one solo bike for Red (the Shark Bridder) and two sidecar-equipped bikes for the rest of the team (Blue's Shark Slider shared with White, and Yellow's Shark Launcher shared with Black). They could be combined to form a Finishing Move called the Shark Driver.
  • Cool Car: The Nekomaru van, a sentient van with the face of cat.
  • Crossover: Super Sentai World, a short 3D film where the Kakuranger team fought alongside the four previous Sentai teams (Fiveman, Jetman, Zyuranger and Dairanger). The main giant robot of each team were also present. This short film served as a predecessor to the annual Versus movies that began the following year.
  • Eyecatch: The eyecatch before the break features a Kakuranger by a black background slashing the screen. All 5 Kakurangers are then seen in the open turning to the camera. After the break, the eyecatch features the Three God Generals.
  • Finishing Move: The Raiko Nami [8], an energy blast with the Kakuremaru.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Home Base: The Nekomaru, a cat shaped van.
  • Humongous Mecha: The first Sentai series to feature two sets of combining mechas for the main team rather than just one. The team's Sixth Ranger also functioned as a third humanoid robot.
    • A Mech by Any Other Name: The Sanshinshō [11] and their components, the Kyodai Jūshō [12] and the Chōninjū[13]. Tsubasamaru gets the unique classification of Seininjū [14].
    • Animal Mecha: The Kyodai Jūshō (and by proxy, the Jūshō Fighters) have humanoid forms with anthropomorphic characteristics, while the Chōninjū and Tsubasamaru are all animal-shaped. The name of each Kakuranger's mecha is a pun on the animal it's based on.
      • "Saruder" = saru (ape)
      • "Kark" = kaku (crane)
      • "Rogan" = garō (wolf)
      • "Kumard" = kuma (bear)
      • "Gammer" = gamagaeru (Japanese toad)
    • Combining Mecha: The Jūshō are the components of the Muteki Shōgun, while the Chōninjū are the ones for the Kakure Daishōgun.
      • Red Saruder + White Kark + Blue Rogan + Yellow Kumard + Black Gammer = Muteki Shōgun
      • God Saruder + God Kark + God Rogan + God Kumard + God Gammer = Kakure Daishōgun
      • Averted with the Jūshō Fighters, which are lightweight versions of the standard Jūshō that make up for their inability to combine with greater speed and flexibility.[15]
    • Motion Capture Mecha: The Kakurangers could literally transform into their individualized Jūshō.
    • Mecha Expansion Pack: Tsubasamaru, a falcon-shaped mecha, served this function to either of the two Shōgun.
      • Muteki Shōgun + Tsubasamaru = Super Muteki Shōgun
      • Kakure Daishōgun + Tsubasamaru = Super Kakure Daishōgun
    • Mechanical Lifeform: The Sanshinshō are ancient deities, while Ninjaman is their disciple.
    • Transforming Mecha: Ninjaman, who can enlarge himself and transform into Samuraiman, counts as one.
      • Also, the Muteki Shogun could transform into a castle, but unfortunately the toy version is unable to replicate this feature due to the limited articulation endemic to all Deluxe Sentai robots.
  • In the Name of the Moon: "Hiding from the people and slashing evil! Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, revealed!"
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Sasuke is given the Hikarimaru sword by Sandayū that can be used to summon Tsubasamaru. He is also the first to get his Jūshō and Chōninjū. And his Journey to the West counterpart just happens to be the invincible Badass one.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Yōkai absorb lightning made from depression and sadness to grow.
  • Monsters of the Week: The Yōkai were all based on actual Japanese mythology and folklores.
  • Mooks: Dorodoros.
  • The Movie
  • The Narrator: He actually appears on the screen.
  • Psycho Rangers: The Flower Kunoichi Gang, introduced in Episode 15, is an all-female variant.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Ninja White, who unlike previous girls, is actually the leader of the team (although Ninja Red is still the lead character).
  • Supervillain Lair: The Skull Castle, a flying ship used by Daimaō.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Doron Changers, the first ever handheld trinkets.
  • Weapon of Choice

Tropes specific to Ninja Sentai Kakuranger:[edit | hide]

  • All Up to You: Sasuke escaped getting his powers siphoned by Daradara; so he saved the day.
  • The Atoner: Gali, Jiraiya's master, murdered his father after being forced to do so by a Yōkai. He then spent the following years training Jiraiya to kill him one day.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call Ninjaman "Blue Squirt" [17], or else you'll meet Samuraiman!

(YOU CALLED ME) BLUE SQUIRT???!!! EXPLOSION OF ANGER!!!

Kappa: Oru-kay! Hai yew! Rook oba he-yah!

  • Heroic Lineage: The modern Kakurangers are descendents of the originals, some 24 generations down the line (in Tsuruhime's case). The modern ones all get to meet their ancestors when they get their Doron Changers - and we find out that the ancestors aren't exactly thrilled with their descendents' lifestyles.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!
    • First of all, Jiraiya is played by Kane Kosugi, a.k.a. the son of the legendary Sho Kosugi... who's playing Jiraiya's master Gali. Kane himself has since appeared in several Hollywood movies.
    • Reiko Chiba plays a nature loving female ninja named Reika in Episode 25 who wears an outfit similar to what Mei (Reiko's previous Sentai character) wore in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger.
    • Reiko's former on-screen rival Ami Kawai (Lamie in Zyuranger) plays the human form of the monster Amikiri in Episode 17.
    • Masaki Tachi (Radiguet) plays a man who gets 'cursed' into Mokumokuren in Episodes 5-6.
    • Hakumenro (Tsuruhime's father) is played by Godai Takayuki, formerly the second Vul Eagle in Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan
    • As some of the previous show about 'previous heroes cast as villains', this time we had Remi Hoshikawa being one of the Flower Kunoichi Gang. This would have an effect below.
    • Tarō, one of the Dog Twins, was played by Keisuke Tsuchiya (Kazu/Kirin Ranger in Gosei Sentai Dairanger). The other twin, Jirō, was played by Keisuke's actual twin brother Daisuke, who played Kazu's evil twin in one episode of Dairanger, although he is much better known for being Takuya Kai/Blue Beet in Juukou B-Fighter (where Keisuke played his Evil Counterpart Black Beet).
    • Episode 35 is a Reunion Show where Satomi Hirose (Tsuruhime) teams up with her co-stars from Yugenjikko Sisters Chouchoutrian: Kei Ishibashi and Noriko Tanaka.
    • The reporter on episode 9 - Rika Kishida better known as Kaori Rokumeikan/White Swan.
    • Hey, It's That Voice!: You might find yourself waiting for Ninjaman to yell YATTE YARUZE!!!
    • Thanks to the previous two entry, later on, Saizo's voice actor would voice various Super Sentai Monster of the Week in the future.
    • And later in the future, Teruaki Ogawa/Sasuke would play as Black Knight Hyuuga
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: The team goes out and fights monsters in BROAD DAYLIGHT, and summons giants to fight giant monsters. They have to be the most visible ninjas ever.
  • The Hit Flash: Of the Batman "POW!" "WHAM!" type. (In English, of course.) This is the likely reason why not much Kakuranger footage was used for Power Rangers.
  • Hot Dad: Hakumenrou might not be that much of a Bishonen, but for someone who fathered Tsuruhime, he's rather dashing.
  • Humanity Ensues: The Flower Kunoichi Gang were once cats. They change back later.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: One Yōkai, Zashiki-warashi, wished to make friends with humans, including Jiraiya, rather than kill them. This costs him his life.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The mysterious masked man Hakamenrou turns out to be Tsuruhime's missing father.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: "Super Sentai World," which stars the Kakurangers and all-four of the previous Super Sentai.
  • McNinja: Jiraiya.
  • More Dakka: Super Muteki Shogun
  • Mythology Gag: The close-quote of the roll call in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger is very reminding of this series'.

Yousuke: "Unknown to the people."
Nanami: "Unknown to the world."
Kouta: "Striking at evil from the midst of shadows!"
Yousuke: "Ninpuu Sentai..."
All: "Hurricanger!"
Yousuke[19]: "... has arrived!"

  • Name's the Same: Toei used the name "Jiraiya" for a previous tokusatsu hero.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If only Sasuke and Saizō weren't such good citizens.
  • Ninja: They wouldn't be the last.
  • No Fourth Wall: Beginning with Episode 25 (following the departure of the narrator), the monsters begin to explain to the audience themselves the mythology behind them.
  • Only One Name: The Kakurangers are never given family names on the show.
  • Portmantitle: Kakuranger is a combination of kakure (the Japanese word for "hiding") and renja ("ranger").
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: "Seibai!"[22] Accompanied with a thumbs down.
  • Prop Recycling: One of the various background Yōkai in #3 is in fact the Combined Four Deva Kings from Gosei Sentai Dairanger in a different outfit and given a red wash.
  • Real Life Relative: Jiraiya, played by Kane Kosugi, was the pupil of his father's killer, Gali. In real life, Gali was played by Kosugi's father, Shou.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Shuten Douji Brothers.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Or, more precisely, Sealed Evil Behind the Door. This was where most of the Yōkai were when the show started, and where Daimaou ended up.
  • Shout-Out: When the Kappa is brought back to life as a cyborg he has the legs of a Zaku and the right arm of a Zakrello.
    • Reika's participation in battle alongside Sasuke gives tribute to Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger battles. Reika herself is an homage to Mei (who was played by her actress), her twin daggers are a nod to Boi (that team's Yellow), and unlike the Kakurangers' attacks, her blows strike Sword Sparks off the Dorodoros. What may be another Zyuranger nod are the non-urban shots of the Super Stealth Beasts running together.
    • Episode 35, the one with the Punishment Sailor Sisters, is a shout-out to Sailor Moon. The villains' plot is Sailor Moon-esque compared to the other episodes, the girls' Sailor costumes (Tsuruhime also gets to wear one) are a blatant visual reference, Tsuruhime and the Sisters confront the episode's Yōkai with an In the Name of the Moon speech worded quite similarly to the Trope Namer's, and it's Tsuruhime (the female leader of the team and who is a colour match for Usagi more or less) who finishes off the Yōkai single-handedly.
  • Stock Super Powers: The Kakurangers each have a special Ninja Arts technique.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Shuriken show up, wielded by all of the rangers. Most are of them are small. Each ranger has unique shuriken which resemble their ranger symbol. NinjaRed also has a Fuuma Shuriken, with his first Humongous Mecha wielding a bigger version that it rolls at enemies to kill them. The rangers also use Caltrops on a few occasions. Each of them has a wakizashi in Ranger form, and finally NinjaRed's third Humongous Mecha wields a pair of ninja-to.
  • The Stoic: Jiraiya doesn't talk much since "He can't speak Japanese!" (he gets better later).
  • Surprisingly Good English: Jiraiya is played by American-born Kane Kosugi, so his English is free of the usual Japanese accent. This is most jarring in the roll call, where he pronounces "Ninja Black" in an American accent (specifically he has a Californian accent).
    • In episode 3, his introduction, he says a buttload of things in perfect English.
      • Most of his dialogue in that episode is in flawless English, and even later episodes have him slipping into it.
  • Synchronization: If Daradara is injured, Ninjaman is injured instead. He can only be injured instead if Daimaou is injured.
  • Team Pet: Nekomaru, their... bus. He even has its own theme song.
  • Theme Naming: Each Kakuranger is named after a ninja from actual Japanese folklore. Justified - they're all descended from said ninjas, and their names are taken from their ancestors.
    • Sasuke: Named after Sarutobi Sasuke.
    • Jiraiya: Named after the hero of the folktale Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari.
    • Saizō: Named after Kirigakure Saizō.
    • Seikai: Named after Miyoshi Seikai.
    • Tsuruhime: Named after Ōhōri Tsuruhime. (referred to as Shodai Tsuruhime)
  • Tuckerization: The one-shot character Reika is played by Reiko Chiba ( who played a Sentai warrior two years ago).
  • Youkai: The villains are all these. Every major one of them, sans Yugami and the Flower Kunoichi Gang, refers to a creature of Japanese myth.
  1. Kakuranger is a portmanteau of Kakure, which means "hidden", and Ranger
  2. Unfortunately, he was written with no counterpart, but Yulong is left over from Journey To The West
  3. Three Divine Generals
  4. Invincible General
  5. Hidden Great General
  6. The Flower Kunoichi Gang
  7. change
  8. Lightning Wave
  9. She's the brains and quite more skilled in some aspects of leadership than Sasuke.
  10. A bumbling fool, though on the bright side, he's a Friend to All Children. Ironic, since his namesake, Kirigakure Saizō, was The Lancer and The Smart Guy to Sarutobi Sasuke. Nor is his Journey To The West counterpart, Sha Wujing, who's The Big Guy.
  11. Three Divine Generals
  12. Giant Beast Generals
  13. Super Stealth Beasts
  14. Holy Stealth Beast
  15. Their names are just like the others, only they all begin with "Battle" (i.e. Battle Saruder, Battle Kark, ect.).
  16. Gun and Laser Knife modes.
  17. It's a pun: "Blue Squirt" is the direct word-by-word translation of "Aonisai", which can has varying meanings between "Novice", "Greenhorn" and "Sucker".
  18. In case you didn't notice, that's what also happened to his Journey To The West counterpart
  19. The line is not limited for him alone though.
  20. Evil spirits that dwell within the earth, gather the anger and hatred of all living things, and grant evil power unto Zashiki Warashi.
  21. Evil spirits that dwell within the earth, grant power unto (monster's name.)"
  22. "Judgement!"