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Space Sheriff Gavan was the first installment of the Metal Heroes franchise, as well as the first part of the Space Sheriff Trilogy. It aired from 1982-1983.
Sometime in the not so distant future, Earth is invaded by the evil Don Horror and his Makuu Empire. Rather than simply cause the Endofthe World As We Know It, Horror wishes to cause fear and panic amongst the populace, as well as steal every valuable his mooks can get their hands on. To thwart them, Space Sheriff Gavan of the Galactic Union Patrol arrives on Earth. Under the guise of Retsu Ichijōji, Gavan and his sidekick Mimi fight the never ending battle against evil.
This work features examples of:
- Another Dimension: Don Horror can send Gavan to an alternate dimension, Makuu Space, in which the Monster of the Week's strength and powers are increased threefold.
- By the Power of Greyskull: "JOUCHAKU!", which is the Japanese word for "electroplate".
- Chekhov's Gunman: A minor victim of the week comes back as Sharivan!
- Completely Different Title: The series was known in France as X-Or.
- Cool Bike: The Cyberian, a cherry-red four-wheeled superbike that can fly. Gavan uses it to chase the Monster of the Week into Makuu Space in order to finish it off at the end of each episode.
- Crossover/Milestone Celebration: Returns for the Metal Heroes' 30th anniversary in one of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger's movies, Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan the Movie.
- Becomes a case of And the Fandom Rejoiced.
- Finishing Move: "GAVAN DYNAMIC!" A powerful Laser Blade slash that can either split the monster in half vertically or just straight up cause it to explode.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Gavan is the son of a human woman and a Human Alien man.
- Hand Blast: "LASER Z(ETTO)-BEAM!" Arrow-shaped bolts of energy that fire forth from Gavan's index and ring fingers.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Kenji Ohba is Gavan.
- Instant Armor: Gavan can materialize his combat armor in .2 seconds (.05 in the French dub). Every time this happens, the narrator informs the audience of this fact, then shows a slowed-down version of the Jouchaku/electroplating process where we can actually see the Gavan suit being beamed down from Gavan's ship.
- Laser Blade: Trope Namer!
- Last-Episode New Character: Space Sheriff Sharivan appears in the last episode when Gavan's on the ropes.
- Monster of the Week: With a rare few exceptions, Gavan kills the monster at the end of every episode, and faces off a new one the following week.
- Mooks: Don Horror systematically sends a bunch of disposable foot soldiers to try and soften up Gavan before deploying the Monster of the Week.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The former Space Sheriff who betrayed Gavan's father in the past is named Hunter Killer. Gee, with a name like that, you'd think his Face Heel Turn wouldn't have surprised anyone. Not to mention Don Horror...
- Original Generation: Gavan's Evil Counterpart Gavan Bootleg, who will appear in the crossover movie with Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.
- Production Foreshadowing: Space Sheriff Gavan is referenced in Episode 45 of Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan. The episode introduces a space pirate named Inazuma Ginga, who was once caught in a trap by the Galactic Police, fleeing to Earth from them. Former Super Sentai writer Shozo Uehara was already working on Gavan by the time Sun Vulcan was ending and Gavan began airing on the same month Sun Vulcan concluded.
- Shout-Out: Received one in RoboCop, whose suit was inspired by Gavan's.
- Gavan's name is a Shout-Out to French actor Jean Gabin, famous for playing numerous police officers, among many other roles.
- Space Police: It's in the title.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Marin becomes this to Mimi when the latter is Put on a Bus for a few episodes.
- Don Horror's voice actor change; see below.
- The Other Darrin: After episode 10, Shozo Iizuka came down with bronchitis (which is a disease that loves to infect actors and singers) and called in Suspiciously Similar Substitute Takeshi Watabe. However, Iizuka would return in an even more memorable role in Space Sheriff Sharivan as the psychotic Psycho.
- Transformation Sequence: Naturally! The pose is quite well known as well.
- Here's Ohba Kenji doing it in 2009 or so.
- Transforming Mecha: The bottom part of Gavan's spaceship, Dolgiran, can separate and transform into the Chinese dragon-styled Denshi Seijuu (Electronic Starbeast) Dol, which is armed with lasers (from both the eyes AND the claws), fire breath, and a nasty tail whip attack.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Mimi, with her "Laser Vision" pendant.