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France Five (フランスファイブ Furansu Faibu?), originally titled Jushi Sentai France Five (銃士戦隊フランスファイブ Jūshi Sentai Furansu Faibu?, translated as Musketeers Squadron France Five) and later known as Shin Kenjushi France Five (新剣銃士フランスファイブ Shin Kenjūshi Furansu Faibu?, translated as New Sword Musketeers France Five), is a French series produced by Buki X-1 Productions in 2000s. It is a homage to both Toei's ever-popular Super Sentai Series (which was extremely popular in France in the 1980s) and another Sentai pastiche, Aikoku Sentai Dai-Nippon ("Patriot Squadron Great Japan") (1982) by Daicon Films (now Gainax).
Glou Man Chou, ruler of the empire Lexos, desires to conquer planet Earth. However, the Eiffel Tower generates a barrier around the planet that keeps him from sending his armies en masse. Glou Man Chou sends his warriors and monsters to Earth in order to destroy the tower and enable a full scale invasion, but they are opposed by the France Five.
The series' fourth episode ended on a Cliff Hanger with the fifth poised to be the Grand Finale. This was in 2005. Episode 5 was finally released online in 2012 with the true finale slated for later this year. We hope.
France Five provides examples of the following tropes:
- Baguette Beatdown: Yellow Baguette's weapons of choice, first as a sword and later as a lance. Starting Episode 2, he throws croissant boomerangs as his calling card, in a manner resembling a certain anime series .
- Big Bad: Glou Man Chou
- Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: Red Fromage
- Calling Your Attacks with Punny Theme Name:
- Babybomb (from Babybel, a french brand of cheese)
- Camemblade (from Camembert, a french cheese)
- The Cameo: The eyecatch illustration from Episode 1 appears in the Happy Lesson OVA.
- Some Panous-Panous, along with Pink a la Mode and Black Beaujolais appear in the opening fight of another French indie production, Damned Next.
- Color Coded for Your Convenience: Well, it's a Sentai after all.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Warduke in the fourth episode
- Eleventh-Hour Superpower: Operation: Gergovie in Episode 5.
- Enemy Mime: The Panous-Panous have been described as "ninja-mimes".
- Evolutionary Retcon: Several costumes were upgraded over the series. Namely, the France Five suits and France Robo. While the series treats the new suits like they've always been there, the old ones are explained away as prototypes via a flashback in Episode 3.
- Five-Man Band: The France Five, naturally:
- Gratuitous English: In several places, such as calling their attacks and when doing their version of the Goranger Storm in Episode 3.
- Gratuitous Japanese
- Just Eat Gilligan: The standard one of these for Sentai series -- why the Big Bad doesn't send all his monsters at once -- is parodically justified. The Eiffel Tower projects a force field around planet Earth, meaning that the Big Bad can only send small squadrons of troops to Earth at a time, including a monster, some Panous-Panous and his two lieutenants.
- Libation for the Dead: Done by Black Beaujolais in Episode 3, by pouring wine on the tomb of his late mentor.
- Mooks: The Panous-Panous. Which means "not us, not us" (as in "don't hit us").
- Never Trust a Title: Episode 5 "Farewell, France Five! The Day of Glory has Arrived!"...ended on a Cliff Hanger.
- The Other Darrin: Catherine/Pink a la Mode--The original actress left during the production of Episode 3. This unfortunately happened before they could record the ADR so there is a jarring difference between her out-of-suit and in-suit lines. Starting Episode 4, Catherine was played by a new actress who looked nothing like her...complete with a new costume.
- Because of the stretch of time between episodes, there have been a few other minor cast change-ups. Most notable, Magarine, the team's Robot Girl.
- Also take note of the different helmets in the Episode 1 opening.
- Shout-Out: Along with being a huge homage of Dai-Nippon, the series has frequent callbacks to other Sentai shows:
- The original opening (Episodes 1-2) is a remix of the Bioman theme, while the ending (Episodes 1-2) is a remix of Jetman's closing theme--both of which were broadcast and extremely popular in France.
- Also, the teleport fly-by from Episode 2 onward is a blatant Jetman homage.
- The team's mecha follow early 80's Sentai conventions: One jet, one tank, and a main carrier.
- Blue Accordéon's original bow-and-arrow weapon in Episode 1.
- The World Cup Shoot attack in Episode 3 is not only a throwback to the Goranger Storm but a shot-for-shot nod to Gaoranger Storm attack featured in Gaoranger VS Super Sentai.
- The Smurfette Principle: Catherine
- Weaponized Landmark: The series revolves around the idea that the Eiffel Tower is a shamanic totem holding the evil galactic empire at bay.