Jushin Liger / Bio Armor Ryger

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"Jūshin Raigā (Beast God Liger)", also known as "Bio-Armor Ryger", is a 43 episode TV series which ran from 1989 to 1990. The show is based on the comic/manga by Go Nagai (creator of "Devilman", "Violence Jack", and "Cutey Honey") with character designs by Yorihisa Uchida (character designer for "Metal Jack" and director of "Guy: Awakening of the Devil").

Japan is under attack by the Drago Empire ruled by Empress Zara. With the aid of her Doru (Doll) Commanders, and her hordes of Drago-Knights, she plans on reawakening the evil god of human animosity and suffering, Drago. Conventional weaponry proves to be ineffective against the ferocious, oozing, Godzilla-like monster soldiers of Drago. Mankind’s only hope at halting the evil empire from resurrecting their dark lord is twelve-year-old Ken Taiga (Tiger). After witnessing the destruction of his school and the immolation of his would be girlfriend, a strange lion silhouette appears on his palm. Ken lifts his hand to the heavens and cries-- “LIGER!” This action summons the huge, humanoid, Bio-Armor suit, Liger. With the aid of this suit, Ken is able to defeat the Drago-Knights in a series of one-on-one monster smack-down fights.

Although most Go Nagai fans probably wouldn’t like the comparison, this show is a lot like a Shonen/boy version of the 1992 anime, "Sailor Moon". The Negaverse and the Drago Empire share a lot in common, and Zara is very similar to Beryl. Except for three very notable exceptions, i.e., bodacious babe Doll Satan, and studly Ryū Doruku (Dolk) and Doll Geist (first introduced as Dr. Geist- a pun on M.D. Geist!), Zara’s henchmen aren’t very attractive. She doesn’t have a harem of pretty boys. But she is, for most of the episodes, similarly stuck in one place while her underlings collect energy for their evil lord.

However, the lessons Ken learns are much darker and harsher than anything I saw in "Sailor Moon". Ken witnesses the deaths of a few of his friends and his own grandfather (and they don't come back), and he is forced to kill a possessed friend and even a little orphaned puppy! Also, even though the monsters explode when they are defeated, the audience frequently gets to see them decapitated or eviscerated first; one of the episodes has an attempted gang rape scene; and often, suddenly, watchers are flashed with shots of nude girls and/or underwear. These are all things I would expect to find in works from the minds that brought us "Devilman" and "Guy", but they still seem odd in what is obviously a series created to sell plastic toys to 7-10 year-olds.

Still, a fun, energetic show with a vibrant comic superhero style! Though mired in giant monster fights (which I love), Ken does somewhat develop as a character, and, from about episode 30 onward, the series even looks at the interpersonal relationships between some members of the Drago Empire (Doll Satan and Ryū Dolk, of course!). Also, "Jūshin Liger" has the very distinctive honor of being an anime/manga with a spin-off live action wrestler!


 Raiga 01

 Raiga 02

 Raiga 03

 Raiga 04
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Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

Presentation 8.60/10   Collection 9.09/10   Overall 8.66/10   Votes 63 votes
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