Cult TV Essentials

Cult TV Essentials: Battle Fever J

Battle Fever J was the third incarnation of the Super Sentai series franchise. It changed the game as far as Super Sentai shows had gone previously and influenced many many shows in generations to come. It ran for 52 episodes which were originally broadcast between February 3rd 1979 – January 26th 1980. Unlike previous Super Sentai shows, in this incarnation our heroes have codenames that relate to countries from around the world: Battle France, Battle Cossack (Soviet Union), Battle Kenya, Miss America (United States) and Battle Japan. The show apparently took its inspiration from Captain America.

Battle Fever J also introduced the now famous concept of heroes controlling giant robots to defeat the monster of the week who would at some point grown to a gigantic size. This idea would be rehashed many times through the history of the Super Sentai series. The idea orginates from Toei’s Tokusatsu adaptation of Spider-Man.

Battle Fever J was the first series to use the term Super Sentai (unlike the previous two who were just called Sentai, without the “Super”) until Toei announced in 1995 that its predecessors Himitsu Sentai Gorenger and J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai were also part of the Super Sentai series, when Chōriki Sentai Ohranger was announced as the 19th Super Sentai team.

So what is the show about? Well we join General Kurama who assembles four young agents who have been dispatched around the world for training. They are joined by FBI investigator Diane Martin, whose father was murdered by Egos. The five don powered suits to become the Battle Fever team.

The Battle Fever team’s trump card is the Battle Fever Robo. Egos tries to stop the construction of the Robot, but the monsters they send to perform this task are defeated one by one by the Fever team. Egos then unleashes the “younger brother” of the Buffalo Monster, a giant robot replica of its “older brother”. The Robot, fortunately, is finished in time. Aboard it, the Fever team defeats the Buffalo Monster and its successors. The Fever team never stops, even when it lost two of its members (the original Miss America and Battle Cossack). With new members, the team defeats Hedder, now the Hedder Monster, and breaks into Egos’ headquarters, where they are fed into the Egos Monster Making Machine so that they may be used as material for a Battle Fever Monster. The team destroys the machine and slays the mysterious deity Satan Egos himself with the Lightning Sword Rocketter sword-throwing move.

 

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