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Metal Heroes is a franchise of Japanese live-action Action/Adventure programs produced by Toei.
In the US, footage from these series was adapted by Saban during the late-1990's in the same way they did with Super Sentai for Power Rangers, producing two shows, VR Troopers (1994-1995) and Big Bad Beetleborgs (1996-1997). The programs are popular in Japan, France, Brazil and Southeast Asia. It also gave us the wonderful acid trip Uchuu Keiji Shaider. Compared to even Kamen Rider, it was perhaps the darkest franchise of all tokusatsu shows in general and more adults liked it than the kids.
The NES game Shatterhand was produced by Japanese company Natsume and released for the both the NES and Famicom. Unlike in most instances, the American version Shatterhand was actually the original version of the game (although it was released later). Angel (a subsidiary of Bandai) agreed to publish the game in Japan for Natsume under the condition that they could modify it into a licensed game promoting one of their properties. Thus the game was re-worked to function as a Tokkyuu Shirei Solbrain video game.
The following shows were produced in the Metal Heroes franchise:
- Space Sheriff Gavan (1982-1983)
- Space Sheriff Sharivan (1983-1984)
- Space Sheriff Shaider (1984-1985)
- Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion (1985-1986)
- Jikuu Senshi Spielban (1986-1987)
- Choujinki Metalder (1987-1988)
- Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya (1988-1989)
- Kidou Keiji Jiban (1989-1990)
- Tokkei Winspector (1990-1991)
- Tokkyuu Shirei Solbrain (1991-1992)
- Tokusou Exceedraft (1992-1993)
- Tokusou Robo Janperson (1993-1994)
- Blue Swat (1994-1995)
- Juukou B-Fighter (1995-1996)
- B-Fighter Kabuto (1996-1997)
- B-Robo Kabutack (1997-1998)
- Tetsuwan Tantei Robotack (1998-1999)
It should be noted that there are three distinct trilogies within the franchise:
- The first three shows (Gavan, Sharivan, and Shaider) form the Space Sheriff Trilogy (Uchuu Keiji in Japanese).
- Winspector, Solbrain, and Exceedraft form the Rescue Mission Trilogy.
Other continuations include:
- Juukou B-Fighter and B-Fighter Kabuto are a continuation from one another as the Beetle Fighter Series.
- B-Robo Kabutack and Tetsuwan Tantei Robotack are also considered sharing the same universe, having a crossover of the two while having similar themes.
- A crossover episode also denotes that Jiban and Jiraya also share the same universe, despite having distinct themes.