Super Hero Time
|Type||Weekly programming block|
|September 28, 2003|
Super Hero Time (スーパーヒーロータイム Sūpā Hīrō Taimu?) is a programming block on the Japanese television network, TV Asahi, featuring new episodes of tokusatsu television series from the Super Sentai and Kamen Rider series. Both series have decades of history and have been intertwined in the public imagination for some time, not least of all because the driving creative force behind both was manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori and both were produced by the same production company, Toei Company; however, they did not air together until 2000 with Kamen Rider Kuuga and Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGoFive (which was later replaced by Mirai Sentai Timeranger), though at the time they were not acknowledged together. Super Hero Time airs every Sunday morning, from 7:30 to 8:30 JST. The block is shown all over Japan via the All-Nippon News Network. Though, in other prefectures, one or both shows can be seen on other stations which are not affiliated with ANN.
Starting in the late 1960s, the hour was originally meant for educational children's programs. Over the years the hour began including henshin (transforming) hero programs, one of the first being Warrior of Love, Rainbowman (愛の戦士レインボーマン Ai no Senshi Reinbōman?).
On October 4, 1987, Toei's Choujinki Metalder was moved from a Monday evening 19:00 JST time slot to a Sunday morning 9:00 JST time slot, followed by a move of Kidou Keiji Jiban to 8:00 JST Sunday morning on April 2, 1989. Similarly, on April 6, 1997, Denji Sentai Megaranger was moved from a Friday evening 17:00 JST time slot to the Sunday morning 7:30 JST time slot, pairing it up with B-Robo Kabutack. The Super Sentai Series programs would continue to air at 7:30 JST after the Metal Hero Series ended and Moero!! Robocon aired in its slot on January 31, 1999 and was followed by the premiere of Kamen Rider Kuuga on January 30, 2000.
Although a Super Sentai Series and a Kamen Rider Series aired side-by-side, the Super Hero Time branding of the shows did not begin until the Autumn 2003 broadcast season (known as SUPER Hero Time (SUPERヒーロータイム?) until the 2005 broadcast season). As part of the block, actors from the programs often interact with each other to promote each other's shows, films, and perform skits. Satoru Akashi (Mitsuomi Takahashi) and Souji Tendou (Hiro Mizushima) talked about each other's universes, and Master Xia Fu (voiced by Ichirō Nagai) often showed up on the Den-Liner to talk with the Imagin and Ryotaro Nogami (Takeru Satoh) in cartoonish caricatures. The 2008 broadcast introduced new changes to the block, including scenes from the show's episode.
For the 2009 television season, Kamen Rider Decade only aired for 31 episodes, allowing for the broadcast of Kamen Rider W for a full 49 episode run. This has introduced an offset of five months between the series premieres of the yearly Super Sentai Series (which premieres in mid February) and Kamen Rider Series (which premiered in early September since then), instead of an approximate month long offset that had existed before (Kamen Rider Series premiered in mid-January). This offset was shortened to four months after the finale of the 53 episode-long Kamen Rider Wizard, delaying the premiere of subsequent Kamen Rider Series to early October. Since 2014, a special one hour episode featuring both the Super Sentai and Kamen Rider series running at the time airs on late March, called the "Spring Break Combined Special" (春休み合体スペシャル Haruyasumi Gattai Supesharu?).
The Super Hero Time block is part of the larger Nichi Asa Kids Time (ニチアサキッズタイム Nichi Asa Kizzu Taimu?, "Sunday Morning Kids Time") block, which begins at 7:00 JST with a Mētele-produced shōnen anime (currently Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096) and ends at 9:00 JST after the airing of an ABC Television-produced shōjo anime (currently the Pretty Cure series). All of the shows are properties of Bandai Visual, who also sponsors the block. While Super Hero Time began airing with such anime in its inception, the "Nichi Asa Kids Time" branding did not begin until March 4, 2007.
This block has been shown on TV Asahi (Tokyo), Me~tele (Nagoya), ABC (Osaka) and all other stations of the All-Nippon News Network (Nationwide) via satellite. In other parts of the country, some stations not affiliated with ANN are showing either one or both shows.
- Yamanashi Broadcasting System (YBS) (affiliated with the Nippon News Network, owned by Nippon TV) - Super Sentai
- UHF Television Yamanashi (UTY) (affiliated with the Japan News Network, owned by TBS) - Kamen Rider
- Kitanihon Broadcasting (KNB) (affiliated with the Nippon News Network, owned by Nippon TV) - Super Sentai and Kamen Rider (formerly)
- Tulip Television (TUT) (affiliated with the Japan News Network, owned by TBS) - Kamen Rider (until Blade)
- Fukui Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) (affiliated with both NNN and ANN) - Super Sentai
- Fukui Television Broadcasting (FTB) (affiliated with the Fuji News Network, owned by Fuji Television) - Kamen Rider
- Broadcasting System of San-in (BSS) (affiliated with the Japan News Network, owned by TBS) - Kamen Rider
- San-in Chūō Television Broadcasting (TSK) (affiliated with the Fuji News Network, owned by Fuji Television) - Super Sentai
- Shikoku Broadcasting (JRT) (affiliated with the Nippon News Network, owned by Nippon TV) - Super Sentai and Kamen Rider
- Television Kochi (KUTV) (affiliated with the Japan News Network, owned by TBS) - Super Sentai and Kamen Rider (formerly)
- Miyazaki Broadcasting (MRT) (affiliated with the Japan News Network, owned by TBS) - Super Sentai and Kamen Rider