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"The evil Kilokhan lives inside computer circuits! With the help of Malcolm Frink, he creates Megavirus Monsters to attack electronic systems! Meanwhile, a freak accident turns Sam Collins into Servo! His friends join forces in their samurized attack vehicles! Together, they transform into... the SUPERHUMAN SAMURAI SYBER-SQUAD!"
Yet another in the wake of post-Power Rangers superhero shows adapted from Japanese tokusatsu series. Adapted from Denkou Choujin Gridman (Electric Superhuman Gridman), Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad (Yes, that is "Syber" with an "S") tells the story of Sam Collins, a high school student, guitarist and video game programmer who, after being hit by a power surge through his guitar, briefly vanishes, only to reappear with a wrist-mounted doohickey!
At the same time, the same power surge, presumably, strikes a military base. Using it as a distraction, the AI Kilokhan escapes into the internet. He pops onto the monitor of Sam's classmate, Malcolm Frink. Malcolm enjoys designing monsters, and Kilokhan offers to bring his monsters to life as Megavirus Monsters to attack computers. Malcolm agrees, because he's just that kind of malcontent.
Later, Sam, still having an unknown phlebotinum attached to him at the wrist, tries to call a girl he recently met, only to be interrupted when a Megavirus Monster attacks the phone company, disrupting every telephone on the planet. Dejected, he notices strange activity on his computer in the form of a model called the Servo Program. While he checks it out, yet another power surge hits, this time drawing him into Cyberspace. He takes the form of Servo, and is forced to fight the Megavirus, which he has been transported to. Later, the rest of the band, Syd, Tanker, and Amp, later replaced by Lucky, assist using 'helper programs', taking the form of various 'samurized attack vehicles' that can fight the Megavirus independently, join together into a single robot, called Xenon, or able to combine with Servo to from Synchro. Later, they gain another set of vehicles, able to transform into Drago, and to combine with Servo to form Phormo.
- Sam Collins - Matthew Lawrence
- Tanker - Kevin Castro
- Sydney "Syd" Forrester - Robin Mary Florence
- Amp Ere - Troy Slaten
- Lucky London - Rembrant
- Kilokahn - Tim Curry
- Malcolm Frink - Glen Beaudin
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Sam's girlfriend Jennifer is head cheerleader. Malcolm also pines for her too.
- All Just a Dream: In one episode, a Megavirus Monster in Sam Collins's alarm clock gives him a sequence of Dream Within a Dream nightmares. Eventually he wakes up for real and defeats it.
- AI Is a Crapshoot: Kilometric Knowledge-base Animate Human Nullity (Kilokahn). Really, what were they thinking giving him a name like that?
- An Ice Person: Plexton's sister Gramm was an ice virus, although she wasn't nearly as strong as her brother.
- As You Know: Quite often.
- Battle Cry: Each member of of the team had (at least) one.
- Sam: "Let's Samuraize, guys!"
- Sydney: "Pump up the power!"
- Tanker: "Let's kick some Giga-Butt!"
- Lucky: "Surf's up!"
- Amp usually has a random battle cry every episode he "samurized". Here's a few: "Two for a Dollar!", "Three for a Dollar!", "With a Cherry on Top!"
- Big Damn Heroes: Sam's teammates did this repeatedly whenever he was being overwhelmed by a virus and needed help. Sometimes they came in with their "helper programs", other times they simply sent him his sword and shield.
- Big Damn Villains: In one episode where Servo was Brainwashed and Crazy and actually began working with the virus, the rest of the Squad came in to stop him with Xenon. Xenon was winning against both Servo and the virus until Kilokahn intervened, using his powers to banish the rest of the Squad from Syberspace.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Tanker. The only things he likes more than beating up viruses are his friends and football, in that order.
- By the Power of Greyskull: "Let's Samuraize, guys!"
- Clingy MacGuffin: The device that allows Sam to become Servo is stuck to his wrist and can't be removed, which probably explains why he's the only one who ever becomes Servo, with one exception.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Amp was frequently called a "space cadet", and in fact it was revealed that he regularly attends space camp. In fact, in his farewell episode, he leaves behind a postcard that reads "Greetings from the Crab Nebula."
- Costume Copycat: Tanker was forced to take Sam's place as Servo on one occasion when Sam wasn't available.
- On a larger scale, in the toyline, the main Servo figure was repainted numerous times to represent armored versions of Tanker, Syd and Amp (along with the requisite Servo repaints and chromed figures). These armored forms did not appear in the show.
- Deadpan Snarker: Malcolm Frink, who goes out of his way to insult everyone around him on a regular basis.
- Distaff Counterpart / Spear Counterpart : Sam travels to an alternate universe in one episode, where he meets a version of Malcolm who's a nice guy, a computer genius and essentially a male version of main-universe Sydney. Main-universe Malcolm's role is filled by Yolanda Pratchett, the principal's daughter and friend to Sydney and Jennifer, serving as a black female version of Malcolm in that she colludes with Kilokhan and creates the Mega-Virus Monsters.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: In one episode, Amp scored the highest on a national aptitude test. He's very hurt when everyone assumes that there was either a mistake in the scores or that he cheated.
- Everything Is Online: Telephones, wristwatches, and pompoms, among other things.
- Exact Words: In one episode, Syd tries to design a "good" megavirus monster, and Kilokhan agrees to animate it, promising that he won't make any changes. So he gets Malcolm to reprogram it for him.
- Expy: Servo and Xenon bear a striking resemblance to Ultraman and Optimus Prime respectively. This is not a coincidence, since the original Japanese series (Gridman) was a co-production between Tsuburaya and Takara.
- Fantastic Slurs: Kilokhan refers to humans as "meat-things".
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In one episode, Amp, who always says something random when they do By the Power of Grayskull, says "I'll show you yours if you show me mine." Yeah, that's backward, I know.
- Heel Face Turn: Both Malcolm and Kilokhan, on separate occasions. It doesn't take either time.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Sam Collins's sister. Sam talks with her through the laundry chute, and she drops objects on Sam's head.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Combined with The Hero Dies and Senseless Sacrifice and subverts all three of them at once. When Servo is battling Kilokhan, it's clear that he's outmatched and tells Malcolm, who by now has gotten a Heel Face Turn, to reboot the computer to destroy them both. Malcolm does so, with Sam being ready to sacrifice himself to destroy Kilokhan. All three tropes are turned on their heads as Sam's consciousness escapes the computer and returns to his body, and it turns out that Malcolm had already backed up Kilokhan on a floppy disk, so Servo's sacrifice would have been in vain. Go figure.
- And everyone loses their memories of the event, which is why Malcolm notices that Kilokhan is missing and re-installs it onto his computer. *gonk*
- It's like we're watching a Cosmic Retcon in action. "Those past twenty minutes? Ignore them, they never happened!"
- Apparently, they thought they were getting cancelled, so they used the Gridman finale for this blockbuster ending where Kilokhan finds where Sam lives, fails to kill Malcolm in a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness moment, does kill Sam dead with an electric jolt before he can enter the net as Servo, there's a touching Take Up My Sword scene with Malcolm, and when Malcolm tries to become Servo, it turns out the Servo program has saved Sam via Brain Uploading. Sam battles Kilokhan personally in the bowels of Servo's own program (with the villain destroying all of the helper programs except the already-summoned sword and shield) takes the battle to Kilokhan's own turf, and has to use the power surge from the rebooting to wipe it and Kilokhan out for good. He appears to be destroyed too as Kilokhan - along with the area of the net that is him as much as his body - breaks up, but Servo manages to survive, and leaves for parts unknown hoping that he can return to his human life, somehow, someday. Damn. When they had to do more episodes, there was no way to do it but to tack on a "It all got undone somehow and nobody remembers" ending. And when they had to end the show, it feels like a Cut Short as they'd already used up the Grand Finale. The last episode could've been any old episode.
- Humans Are Special: Servo keeps telling Kilokhan that this is the reason he always wins. For his part, Kilokhan doesn't believe that Servo is a human, because inferior "meat-things" could never defeat his superior programs.
- Humongous Mecha: Zenon and Drago, which were formed by combining different vehicles and could also transform into armor wore by Servo.
- Importation Expansion: Like Power Rangers, the show shot an entirely new plot around the Gridman fight sequences.
- Insufferable Genius: Malcolm Frink certainly has the "insufferable" part down. As for the "genius" part, well, he certainly thinks he is one...
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Most of which come from Amp, and tend to be rather well-written.
- Knife Nut: Hock had large knife-like blades on his hands, large knife-like blades in his tail and a large knife-like blade in the center of his face. Notice a pattern here?
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Or at least power surges.
- Man Versus Machine
- Merchandise-Driven: Well, duh, but this the toyline was absolutely terrible with Palette Swapped Servos. Just a cursory eBay search came up with a half-dozen; not only Environment Specific Action Figure variants but some labeled as "Syd" and "Tanker" figures.
- Misapplied Phlebotinum: Malcolm isn't all that interested in helping Kilokahn Take Over the World; he just wants to make Sam Collins miserable and steal his girlfriend. Malcolm often has to practically trick Kilokhan into going along with his small-scale plans. Of course, this doesn't necessarily prevent Kilokhan from enjoying the mayhem that results.
- Monster of the Week
- Mythology Gag: In the Alternate Universe episode Tank incredulously remarks there's probably one where they're all Japanese.
- Name's the Same: The show's production coordinator's name? Michael Moore!
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Kilokhan's counterpart in the original Gridman is called Khandigifer.
- Not Quite Dead: Malcolm always has another copy of the Megavirus to bring back later, although he doesn't reuse them very often. Also averting No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup.
- This also applied to Kilokhan himself in the Christmas episode. Malcolm had already backed Kilokhan's data up on a floppy disk before the battle with Servo that ultimately destroyed him. When Malcolm booted up his computer and tried to reload his files, Kilokhan was revived.
- Once an Episode: Elizabeth, Sam's little sister, calls him to the laundry chute and dumps something mesy on his head. The list includes ice cream, marshmallows, and on one rare occasion, her piggy bank.
- Other characters have fallen victim to this too. Elizabeth once dropped a bunch of cookies on Tanker, and she dropped a mousetrap on Malcolm. Ouch.
- Outdated Outfit: Sydney's outfits, especially her Blossom-style hats, are vintage-early 1990s and look positively quaint by today's standards.
- Personality Swap: There was a monster that did this. When it used its powers on Servo, he turned evil.
- Playing with Fire: Recurring fire virus Plexton was one of these, spitting both fireballs and fire waves at his enemies. Kord was another example, being able to generate heat of up to 10,000 degrees Celsius on his body and concentrate that heat into fireballs.
- Product Placement: Gee did COMPAQ hope this show would help drum up business?
- Possibly not, as in one of the early episodes Sydney remarks Sam's computer was a piece of crap until becoming Servo somehow turned it into a supercomputer.
- Punny Name: Amp Ere = Ampere, the SI unit of current.
- Put on a Bus: Amp moves away, leaving behind a postcard that says "Greetings From The Crab Nebula."
- Rule of Funny: The effect of the Megavirus Monsters on the real world is usually something comedic, such as turning the school principal into the hippie he had been in the 1960s.
- Show Within a Show: Whenever a TV show or movie is shown playing and it's not a plot-advancing newscast, it's always Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors. Not that it's ever identified within the show.
- Stalker with a Crush: Malcolm wanted Jennifer to pose for him so he could draw her. How does he get her to do it? Uses a virus to trap her in the Digital World and freeze her in place on his computer screen. Ick.
- Surfer Dude: Lucky London
- Take That: In a scene where Sidney demonstrates her synthesizer's voice manipulation:
Amp: This is so freaky! I sound like an alien, or a... green can-opener or something!
- Technology Marches On: Kilokahn boasts processing speed of 400 megabytes.
- Teen Genius: Malcolm and Sydney both qualify.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Kilokahn will sometimes withdraw viruses if he thinks they're too valuable to lose, most notably Plexton and Hock. Sometimes they come back, with improvements.
- What's the point of withdrawing viruses if they can simply scan them again as Malcolm keeps the drawings?
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World
- Wham! Episode: The Christmas Episode. See Heroic Sacrifice.