|Super Sentai Series|
The official logo of the Super Sentai Series introduced in 2000 during the run of Mirai Sentai Timeranger
|Original work||Himitsu Sentai Gorenger|
|Films and television|
|Television series||See below|
|Video games||Super Sentai Battle: Dice-O|
Soul of Chogokin
Super Robot Chogokin
The Super Sentai Series (スーパー戦隊シリーズ Sūpā Sentai Shirīzu?) is the name given to the long-running Japanese superhero team genre of shows produced by Toei Co., Ltd., Toei Agency and Bandai, and aired by TV Asahi ("Super" refers to their use of mecha, and "sentai" is the Japanese word for "task force" or, literally, "fighting squadron" and was also a term used for Japanese squadrons in World War II). The shows are of the tokusatsu genre, featuring live action characters and colorful special effects, and are aimed mainly at children. The Super Sentai Series is one of the most prominent tokusatsu productions in Japan, alongside the Ultra Series and the Kamen Rider Series, which it currently airs alongside in the Super Hero Time programming block on Sundays. Outside Japan, the Super Sentai Series is best known as the source material for the Power Rangers franchise.
In every Super Sentai television series, the fight between good and evil is illustrated. The protagonists are a team of five (in some cases fewer or more) people who gain superpowers (magical or technological), wear color-coded uniforms, and use advanced weapons and martial arts skills to battle an antagonist group of evil beings threatening to take over the Earth. In most of the episodes, the team confronts and defeats an army of enemy soldiers and the "monster of the week" to thwart the antagonists plans, and in one last effort to defeat the heroes, an enlarged version of the monster appears to confront them, just to be defeated again when they call for huge robotic vehicles/animals ("mecha") that can combine to form one or more giant robots to fight it. Sentai Series with the giant robot element are specifically known as Super Sentai. While each Sentai Series is set in its own fictional universe, a number of TV, video and film specials feature a teaming up between one or more Sentai including the current team.
The first Sentai Series, Himitsu Sentai Gorenger, was created by Shotaro Ishinomori (creator of Kamen Rider and Cyborg 009) in 1975. He did not create any further Sentai Series after his second, J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai, was not received well. Following J.A.K.Q., Toei chose to work with Marvel Comics to produce the live action adaptation of Spider-Man (1978), which included the first giant robot in a Toei Superhero show. This concept was used in Toei and Marvel's project Battle Fever J (1979), which was deemed the first "Super" Sentai Series; Gorenger and J.A.K.Q. were retroactively added to the Super Sentai canon in order to note Chōriki Sentai Ohranger as the 20th anniversary series. The following production of Denshi Sentai Denziman was the first production solely by Toei and written by the collective penname of "Saburo Yatsude".
The term sentai is also occasionally used to describe shows with similar premises such as Voltron and the magical girl team in Sailor Moon, as Naoko Takeuchi deliberately used Sentai ideas.
Although the series originated in Japan, they were imported and dubbed in other languages for broadcast in several other countries.
Bioman, Flashman, Maskman, Liveman, Turboranger, Fiveman, and Jetman were broadcast in France in the 1980s and early 1990s, with Maskman and Liveman marketed as Bioman 2 and Bioman 3, respectively. Additionally, Liveman, Turboranger, and Jetman were broadcast in Spain and Portugal. Denziman and Goggle-V were both broadcast in Italy. In addition, some episodes of Bioman and Turboranger were released on VHS in Greece.
In Brazil, the first Super Sentai Series to air was Dengeki Sentai Changeman in 1988, on TV Manchete (now RedeTV!), and it made a tremendous impact at the time, being considered a cult classic. Due to the success of Changeman, other series were imported, such as Choushinsei Flashman, Hikari Sentai Maskman and Dai Sentai Goggle V. In place of later series in the franchise, the yearly iterations of the Power Rangers were dubbed into Brazilian Portuguese due to a general lower interest in tokusatsu programming in Brazil, as well as financial and bureaucratic issues.
Various Sentai Series such as Fiveman and Choushinsei Flashman were also broadcast in Malaysia sometime in the 1990s dubbed in English. Almost all Super Sentai Shows were broadcast in Thailand since the 1980s; there, most new shows were exclusively broadcast on Channel 9 a year late from its Japanese debut in the late 1980s to early 1990s until Power Rangers replaced Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger in the mid-1990s. Since then, the series have appeared on various channels. Hong Kong airs Super Sentai Shows three years after their original Japanese release and dubs them in Cantonese. In Indonesia, many Super Sentai series have been broadcast on RCTI, Indosiar, and SCTV, dubbed into Indonesian.
J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai was the first Sentai Series to be shown in the Philippines in the late-1970s, but it was Himitsu Sentai Gorenger (retitled Star Rangers) that most fans are familiar with. Just as in France and Brazil, Choudenshi Bioman (first aired in ABS-CBN and the last tokusatsu dubbed in English in the country) and Hikari Sentai Maskman (the first Super Sentai Series dubbed in Filipino by the IBC-13 network) were broadcast in the Philippines in the 1980s. In fact, Choudenshi Bioman was so popular that many people from that generation came to associate all the Super Sentai series as continuations of it. During the early 90's, some other series were shown, such as Kousoku Sentai Turboranger, Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman, Choujin Sentai Jetman and Dai Sentai Goggle V.
In 1995, ABS-CBN aired Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on its Friday night children's show block. From then on, the American franchise was preferred over the Japanese versions. The Japanese series remained available, however, in some cable channels that specialize on anime and other tokusatsu shows.
Super Sentai has also been broadcast in South Korea, dubbed from Japanese to Korean, the first sentai to have appeared in Korea was "Choushinsei Flashman" titled "Jigu Bangwidae Flash Man" (Earth Defence Squadron Flashman") released in video format in 1989 by the Daeyung Panda video company followed by "Hikari Sentai Maskman" and "Chodenshi Bioman". Throughout the 90s, "Dai Sentai Goggle Five", "Dengeki Sentai Changeman", "Choujuu Sentai Liveman", "Kousoku Sentai Turboranger" were also released in video format. Recently, Tooniverse (formerly Orion Cartoon Network), JEI-TV (Jaeneung Television), CHAMP TV/ANIONE TV (DAEWON BROADCASTING), Cartoon Network South Korea, and Nickelodeon (South Korea) have broadcast Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger, Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, Mahou Sentai Magiranger, GoGo Sentai Boukenger, Juken Sentai Gekiranger Engine Sentai Go-onger, Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger, Tensou Sentai Goseiger, Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger and Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters under the titles of Power Rangers Dino Thunder, Power Rangers S.P.D., Power Rangers Magic Force, Power Rangers Treasure Force, Power Rangers Wild Spirits, Power Rangers Engine Force, Power Rangers Jungle Force, Power Rangers Miracle Force, Power Rangers Captain Force and Power Rangers Go-Busters respectively. Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger is currently dubbed as Power Rangers Dino Force.
After Honolulu, Hawaii's KIKU-TV had success with Android Kikaider (called Kikaida) and Kamen Rider V3 in the 1970s, multiple Super Sentai Shows, including Himitsu Sentai Gorenger and Battle Fever J, were brought to the Hawaiian market (all broadcast in Japanese with English subtitles by JN Productions). Gorenger was also broadcast on Japanese-language stations in Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, in 1976–77. J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai was also broadcast in Los Angeles following Gorenger. In 1985, Marvel Comics produced a pilot for an American adaptation of a Super Sentai Series, but the show was rejected by the major US TV networks. In 1986, Saban Productions produced a pilot for an American adaptation of Choudenshi Bioman, titled Bio Man. In 1987, some episodes of Kagaku Sentai Dynaman were dubbed and aired as a parody on the USA Network television show Night Flight.
In 1993, Haim Saban produced the first installment of the Power Rangers franchise by dubbing the action sequences from 1992's Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger and filming new footage with American actors for the story sequences. This trend has continued, with each successive Super Sentai show contributing the action sequences to the Power Rangers series the following year. In 2009, the Disney-owned production company was shut down in favor of re-broadcasting the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers newly reversioned. On May 12, 2010, it was announced that Saban bought back the rights to the Power Rangers franchise and planned to premiere a new season based on Samurai Sentai Shinkenger on the Nickelodeon network. The series premiered on February 2011 as Power Rangers Samurai. Two years later, Saban adapted Tensou Sentai Goseiger and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger into Power Rangers Megaforce and Super Megaforce, respectively. At the 2014 San Diego Comic Con, Shout! Factory, who has the exclusive DVD rights to seasons one through seventeen of Power Rangers, announced that they were going to release Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger subtitled on DVD in the U.S.
The following is a list of the 39 Super Sentai Series and their years of broadcast:
- Himitsu Sentai Gorenger (1975–1977)
- J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai (1977)
- Battle Fever J (1979-1980)
- Denshi Sentai Denziman (1980-1981)
- Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan (1981-1982)
- Dai Sentai Goggle-V (1982-1983)
- Kagaku Sentai Dynaman (1983-1984)
- Choudenshi Bioman (1984-1985)
- Dengeki Sentai Changeman (1985-1986)
- Choushinsei Flashman (1986-1987)
- Hikari Sentai Maskman (1987-1988)
- Choujuu Sentai Liveman (1988-1989)
- Kousoku Sentai Turboranger (1989-1990)
- Chikyu Sentai Fiveman (1990-1991)
- Chōjin Sentai Jetman (1991-1992)
- Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (1992-1993)
- Gosei Sentai Dairanger (1993-1994)
- Ninja Sentai Kakuranger (1994-1995)
- Chōriki Sentai Ohranger (1995-1996)
- Gekisou Sentai Carranger (1996-1997)
- Denji Sentai Megaranger (1997-1998)
- Seijuu Sentai Gingaman (1998-1999)
- Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGoFive (1999-2000)
- Mirai Sentai Timeranger (2000-2001)
- Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger (2001-2002)
- Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger (2002-2003)
- Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger (2003-2004)
- Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger (2004-2005)
- Mahou Sentai Magiranger (2005-2006)
- GoGo Sentai Boukenger (2006-2007)
- Juken Sentai Gekiranger (2007-2008)
- Engine Sentai Go-onger (2008-2009)
- Samurai Sentai Shinkenger (2009-2010)
- Tensou Sentai Goseiger (2010-2011)
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (2011-2012)
- Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters (2012-2013)
- Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (2013-2014)
- Ressha Sentai ToQger (2014-2015)
- Shuriken Sentai Ninninger (2015–present)
- 1975: Himitsu Sentai Gorenger
- 1975: Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Blue Fortress
- 1976: Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Red Death Match
- 1976: Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Bomb Hurricane
- 1976: Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: Fire Mountain's Final Explosion
- 1977: J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai
- 1978: J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai vs. Gorenger
- 1979: Battle Fever J
- 1980: Denshi Sentai Denziman
- 1981: Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan
- 1982: Dai Sentai Goggle-V
- 1983: Kagaku Sentai Dynaman
- 1984: Choudenshi Bioman
- 1985: Dengeki Sentai Changeman
- 1985: Dengeki Sentai Changeman: Shuttle Base! Crisis!
- 1986: Choushinsei Flashman
- 1987: Choushinsei Flashman: Big Rally! Titan Boy!!
- 1987: Hikari Sentai Maskman
- 1989: Kousoku Sentai Turboranger
- 1993: Gosei Sentai Dairanger
- 1994: Ninja Sentai Kakuranger
- 1994: Super Sentai World
- 1994: Toei Hero Daishugō
- 1995: Chōriki Sentai Ohranger
- 2001: Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger: The Fire Mountain Roars
- 2002: Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger: Shushutto The Movie
- 2003: Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger DELUXE: Abare Summer is Freezing Cold!
- 2004: Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger The Movie: Full Blast Action
- 2005: Mahou Sentai Magiranger The Movie: Bride of Infershia ~Maagi Magi Giruma Jinga~
- 2006: GoGo Sentai Boukenger The Movie: The Greatest Precious
- 2007: Juken Sentai Gekiranger: Nei-Nei! Hou-Hou! Hong Kong Decisive Battle
- 2008: Engine Sentai Go-onger: Boom Boom! Bang Bang! GekijōBang!!
- 2009: Engine Sentai Go-onger vs. Gekiranger
- 2009: Samurai Sentai Shinkenger the Movie: The Fateful War
- 2010: Samurai Sentai Shinkenger vs. Go-onger: GinmakuBang!!
- 2010: Tensou Sentai Goseiger: Epic on the Movie
- 2011: Tensou Sentai Goseiger vs. Shinkenger: Epic on Ginmaku
- 2011: Gokaiger Goseiger Super Sentai 199 Hero Great Battle
- 2011: Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger the Movie: The Flying Ghost Ship
- 2012: Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
- 2012: Kamen Rider × Super Sentai: Super Hero Taisen
- 2012: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters the Movie: Protect the Tokyo Enetower!
- 2013: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: The Movie
- 2013: Kamen Rider × Super Sentai × Space Sheriff: Super Hero Taisen Z
- 2013: Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: Gaburincho of Music
- 2014: Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters: The Great Dinosaur Battle! Farewell Our Eternal Friends
- 2014: Heisei Riders vs. Shōwa Riders: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai
- 2014: Ressha Sentai ToQger the Movie: Galaxy Line S.O.S.
- 2015: Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3
- 1996: Chōriki Sentai Ohranger: Ohré vs. Kakuranger
- 1997: Gekisou Sentai Carranger vs. Ohranger
- 1998: Denji Sentai Megaranger vs. Carranger
- 1999: Seijuu Sentai Gingaman vs. Megaranger
- 1999: Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGoFive: Sudden Shock! A New Warrior!
- 2000: Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGoFive vs. Gingaman
- 2001: Mirai Sentai Timeranger vs. GoGoFive
- 2001: Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai
- 2003: Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger vs. Gaoranger
- 2004: Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger vs. Hurricaneger
- 2005: Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger vs. Abaranger
- 2006: Mahou Sentai Magiranger vs. Dekaranger
- 2007: GoGo Sentai Boukenger vs. Super Sentai
- 2008: Juken Sentai Gekiranger vs. Boukenger
- 2010: Samurai Sentai Shinkenger Returns
- 2011: Tensou Sentai Goseiger Returns
- 2013: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Returns vs. Dōbutsu Sentai Go-Busters
- 2013: Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger: 10 Years After
- 2014: Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: 100 Years After
- Televi Magazine Super Video/Special DVD
- Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Dino Video
- Ninja Sentai Kakuranger Super Video: The Hidden Scroll
- Chouriki Sentai Ohranger Member Notebook
- Gekisou Sentai Carranger Super Video
- Denji Sentai Megaranger Super Video: You Can Be One Too! A Mega Hero
- Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Super Video: The Secret Fruit of Wisdom
- KyuKyu Sentai GoGoFive: Five Lessons of Rescue Spirits
- Mirai Sentai Timeranger Super Video: All the Strongest Hero Secrets
- Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger Super Video: Showdown! Gaoranger vs. GaoSilver
- Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Super Video: Super Ninja vs Super Kuroko
- Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger Super Video: All Bakuryuu Roaring Laughter Battle
- Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger Super Video: Super-Special Technique Showdown! DekaRed vs. DekaBreak
- Mahou Sentai Magiranger Special DVD: Great Presentation! The Super Magic of the Gold Grip Phone ~Goru Gooru Goo Goo~
- Juken Sentai Gekiranger Special DVD: Gyun-Gyun! Fist Sage Great Athletic Meet
- Engine Sentai Go-Onger Special DVD: It's a Seminar! Everyone GO-ON!!
- Samurai Sentai Shinkenger Special DVD: The Light Samurai's Surprise Transformation
- Tensou Sentai Goseiger Special DVD: Gotcha☆Miracle! Total Gathering Collection
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger Special DVD: Let's Do This Goldenly! Roughly! 36 Round Gokai Change!!
- Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Beet Buster vs. J
- Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: It's Here! Armed On Midsummer Festival!!
Parody and homage
The Super Sentai Series have been airing in Japan for the past 37 years, and have been parodied as well as emulated in various ways throughout the world. In Japan, it has been parodied in the form of the manga and anime Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman and Astro Fighter Sunred. Several other media have featured Super Sentai parodies, such as the Ginyu Force in Dragon Ball, the Karakura Superheroes in Bleach, and the Prism Rangers of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness.
There have been many tribute series that pay homage to the long-running franchise, starting with the Japanese fan film Patriotic Squadron Great Japan (愛國戰隊大日本 Aikoku Sentai Dai-Nippon?) created by what is now Gainax. The most recent tributes have been the Thai TV series Sport Ranger and the French online series Jushi Sentai France Five (now Shin Kenjushi France Five); the latter being so popular in Japan that anison singer Akira Kushida recorded its opening theme.
As part of the Omoikkiri Ii!! TV television program, they produced a series of features on various spas and onsen around Japan titled Bihada Sentai Sparanger (美肌泉隊ＳＰＡレンジャー Bihada Sentai Suparenjā?, Handsome Muscle Spring Corps Sparanger). This featured tokusatsu and drama actors Takashi Hagino (Changéríon of Choukou Senshi Changéríon and Kamen Rider Ouja of Kamen Rider Ryuki) as Spa Red (ＳＰＡレッド Supa Reddo?), Kento Handa (Kamen Rider Faiz of Kamen Rider 555) as Spa Blue (ＳＰＡブルー Supa Burū?), Kengo Ohkuchi (Emperor Z of Ressha Sentai ToQger) as Spa Green (ＳＰＡグリーン Supa Gurīn?), Masashi Mikami (Bouken Blue in GoGo Sentai Boukenger) as Spa Yellow (ＳＰＡイエロー Supa Ierō?), and Kohei Murakami (Kamen Rider Kaixa in Kamen Rider 555) as Spa Murasaki (ＳＰＡムラサキ（紫） Supa Murasaki?, "purple" or "violet" in Japanese, a running joke would involve people referring to him as Spa Purple).
The boy band Kanjani Eight has since 2005 had a series of skits called "Kanjani Sentai Eightranger" in which they dress up in different colored suits in their concerts and portray characters. In 2012, the skits were turned into a film titled Eightranger (エイトレンジャー Eitorenjā?) starring the band as parodies of themselves.
In 2013, Gainax produced EA's Rock (エアーズロック Eāzu Rokku?), a 13 episode miniseries of live action shorts parodying the Super Sentai series filmed at an airsoft shooting range and bar in Tokyo's Kichijōji neighborhood called "Shooting Bar EA". The series' characters are all former members of a fighting troup called Sensation Warriors Gokan Five (感覚戦士ゴカンファイブ Kankaku Senshi Gokan Faibu?, "gokan" is Japanese for the "five senses"). EA's Rock is broadcast on the Tōmeihan Net 6 Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations (TVS, CTC, tvk, MTV, KBS, SUN) as well as Nico Nico Douga.
Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger (非公認戦隊アキバレンジャー Hikōnin Sentai Akibarenjā?) is a Toei-produced parody series that premiered in April 2012 on BS Asahi and Tokyo MX. Made by the same production team as the main programs, Akibaranger is geared towards an adult audience who were fans of the Super Sentai Series as children. The story features three otaku who live in the Akihabara district of Tokyo who receive technology from a scientist to fight an evil threat that at first only exists in their delusions, but eventually starts materializing itself in the real world. Like Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Akibaranger also features guest appearances by veteran Super Sentai actors (as themselves rather than their characters), as well as voice actors and musicians who have worked in both anime and tokusatsu. A second season aired on April 2013.
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- Official Super Sentai Website (Japanese)
- Toei Video's Super Sentai DVD Soft Guide (Japanese)
- Bandai's Super Sentai website (Japanese)
- Toei International Special Content: Super Sentai Series