Super Sentai

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Super Sentai Series
The official logo of the Super Sentai Series introduced in 2000 during the run of Mirai Sentai Timeranger
Creator Shotaro Ishinomori
Toei Company
Marvel Comics
Original work Himitsu Sentai Gorenger
Films and television
Television series See below
Traditional Rangers Strike
Video games Super Sentai Battle: Dice-O
Toys S.H. Figuarts
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 "fighting squadron"). The shows are of the tokusatsu genre, featuring live action characters and colorful special effects, and are mainly aimed 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.

Series overview[edit]

In every Super Sentai Series, the protagonists are a team of people who transform ("henshin") into superheroes and gain superpowers (color-coded uniforms, personal weapons, sidearms and martial arts skills) in order to battle a group of evil beings that threaten to take over the Earth. In every episode, the heroes thwart the enemies plans and defeats an army of enemy soldiers and the "monster of the week", and in one last effort to defeat the heroes, an enlarged version of the monster appears to confront them, only to be defeated again when the heroes call for their "mecha" (huge robotic machines that can combine to form one or more giant robots) to fight it. While each Super Sentai Series is set in its own fictional universe, various TV, video and film specials feature a team-up between one or more teams.

The evolution of the Super Sentai Series from its roots in Shotaro Ishinomori's Himitsu Sentai Gorenger.

The first Super Sentai Series, Himitsu Sentai Gorenger, was created by Shotaro Ishinomori (creator of Kamen Rider and Cyborg 009) in 1975.[citation needed] He did not create any further Sentai Series after his second, J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai, wasn't well received.[citation needed] Following J.A.K.Q., Toei Company, which produced Gorenger, chose to work with Marvel Comics to produce a live action adaptation of Spider-Man (1978), which included the first giant robot in a Toei superhero show.[citation needed] This concept was used in Toei and Marvel's next project Battle Fever J (1979), which was deemed the first "Super" Sentai Series;[citation needed] Gorenger and J.A.K.Q. were retroactively added to the Super Sentai canon in 1995 in order to note Chōriki Sentai Ohranger as the 20th anniversary series.[citation needed] The production of Denshi Sentai Denziman in 1980 was the first Super Sentai Series produced solely by Toei and the first to be written by the collective penname of "Saburo Yatsude".[citation needed]

The term sentai is also occasionally used to describe shows with similar premises such as Voltron[citation needed] and the magical girl team in Sailor Moon, as Naoko Takeuchi used Sentai ideas as inspiration in the creation of the Sailor Soldiers.[1]


Although the Super Sentai Series originated in Japan, various Sentai series have been 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.[2] 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 Rede Manchete and it made a tremendous impact at the time, being considered a cult classic.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]


Various Sentai Series such as Fiveman and Choushinsei Flashman were also broadcast in Malaysia sometime in the 1990s dubbed in English; Malaysia briefly switched to showing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but the distribution was cancelled due to fears that "Morphin" sounded too much like "morphine" and may encourage drug abuse amongst the child viewers. 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 (Both shown in RPN-9). 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. However, in 2000, after ABS-CBN finished Power Rangers Turbo, they switched back to the Super Sentai broadcasts dubbed for the Philippine broadcasts. This continued from Denji Sentai Megaranger through Mirai Sentai Timeranger, before the channel switched back to the American Power Rangers editions in 2004 for the broadcast of Power Rangers Wild Force.

South Korea[edit]

Super Sentai has also been broadcast in South Korea, dubbed from Japanese to Korean. The first series to air in South 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, Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters and Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger under the titles of Power Rangers Dino Thunder,[3] Power Rangers S.P.D.,[4] 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, Power Rangers Go-Busters and Power Rangers Dino Force respectively. Ressha Sentai ToQger is currently dubbed as Power Rangers Train Force.[5][6]

United States[edit]

Main article: Power Rangers

After Honolulu, Hawaii's KIKU-TV had success with Android Kikaider (called Kikaida) and Kamen Rider V3 in the 1970s, multiple Super Sentai series, including Himitsu Sentai Gorenger and Battle Fever J, were brought to the Hawaiian market (all broadcast in Japanese with English subtitles by JN Productions).[7] Gorenger was also broadcast on Japanese-language stations in Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, in 1976–77.[citation needed] J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai was also broadcast in Los Angeles following Gorenger.[citation needed] 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.[8] In 1986, Saban Productions produced a pilot for an American adaptation of Choudenshi Bioman titled Bio Man.[9][10] In 1987, some episodes of Kagaku Sentai Dynaman were dubbed and aired as a parody on the USA Network television show Night Flight.[citation needed]

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.[11]

In 2009, the Disney-owned production company was shut down in favor of re-broadcasting a new reversion of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season one.[citation needed]

Saban Brands announced on May 12, 2010 that it had 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.[12][13] The series premiered on February 2011 as Power Rangers Samurai. In 2014, Saban adapted Tensou Sentai Goseiger and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger into Power Rangers Megaforce and Super Megaforce, respectively.[citation needed]

At the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International, Shout! Factory, who has the exclusive DVD rights to seasons one through seventeen of Power Rangers, announced that they would release Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger subtitled on DVD in the U.S.[14] A year later at the same convention, Shout! Factory announced they will continue the Super Sentai DVDs with Gosei Sentai Dairanger.[15] In January 2016, Shout! Factory announced that they will release Ninja Sentai Kakuranger on DVD.[16]


TV series[edit]

The following is a list of the Super Sentai Series and their years of broadcast:

Theatrical releases[edit]

V-Cinema releases[edit]

Televi Magazine Super Video/Special DVD releases[edit]

  • 1992: Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Dino Video
  • 1994: Ninja Sentai Kakuranger Super Video: The Hidden Scroll
  • 1995: Chouriki Sentai Ohranger Member Notebook
  • 1996: Gekisou Sentai Carranger Super Video
  • 1997: Denji Sentai Megaranger Super Video: You Can Be One Too! A Mega Hero
  • 1998: Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Super Video: The Secret Fruit of Wisdom
  • 1999: KyuKyu Sentai GoGoFive: Five Lessons of Rescue Spirits
  • 2000: Mirai Sentai Timeranger Super Video: All the Strongest Hero Secrets
  • 2001: Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger Super Video: Showdown! Gaoranger vs. GaoSilver
  • 2002: Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Super Video: Super Ninja vs Super Kuroko
  • 2003: Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger Super Video: All Bakuryuu Roaring Laughter Battle
  • 2004: Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger Super Video: Super-Special Technique Showdown! DekaRed vs. DekaBreak
  • 2005: Mahou Sentai Magiranger Special DVD: Great Presentation! The Super Magic of the Gold Grip Phone ~Goru Gooru Goo Goo~
  • 2007: Juken Sentai Gekiranger Special DVD: Gyun-Gyun! Fist Sage Great Athletic Meet
  • 2008: Engine Sentai Go-Onger Special DVD: It's a Seminar! Everyone GO-ON!!
  • 2009: Samurai Sentai Shinkenger Special DVD: The Light Samurai's Surprise Transformation
  • 2010: Tensou Sentai Goseiger Special DVD: Gotcha☆Miracle! Total Gathering Collection
  • 2011: Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger Special DVD: Let's Do This Goldenly! Roughly! 36 Round Gokai Change!!
  • 2012: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Beet Buster vs. J
  • 2013: Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: It's Here! Armed On Midsummer Festival!!
  • 2014: Ressha Sentai ToQger: Farewell, Ticket! The Wasteland Super ToQ Battle!
  • 2015: Shuriken Sentai Ninninger: AkaNinger vs. StarNinger Hundred Nin Battle!

Parody and homage[edit]

The Super Sentai Series has 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[19] The most recent tributes have been the Thai TV series Sport Ranger[20] and the French online series Jushi Sentai France Five[21] (now Shin Kenjushi France Five); the latter being so popular in Japan that anison singer Akira Kushida recorded its opening theme.[22]

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).[23]

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.[citation needed]

In 2013, Gainax produced EA's Rock (エアーズロック Eāzu Rokku?), a 13 episode miniseries of live action shorts which parodied the Super Sentai Series. 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.[24][25]


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. Akibaranger is made for adult fans 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.


  1. ^ McCarter, Charles. "Public Interview with Takeuchi Naoko". EX:CLUSIVE. Archived from the original (Q & A Interview) on October 8, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-30. 
  2. ^ "Japan Hero > Cho Denshi Bioman review". Archived from the original on November 13, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  3. ^ "파워레인저". Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  4. ^ "파워레인저 S.P.D.". Archived from the original on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  5. ^ 파워레인저 [Power Rangers Dino Force] (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  6. ^ "Programs Coming Soon". Daiwon Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  7. ^ "Battle Fever J". Retrieved 2015-06-05. 
  9. ^ Bates, James (August 12, 1986). "A Crop of New Shows Sprouts From Saban Firm's TV Success". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 29, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Haim Saban, producer, in Hollywood, Washington, Israel". The New Yorker. May 10, 2010. p. 4. Retrieved May 29, 2010. 
  11. ^ "tokusatsu-l". Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  12. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2010-05-12). "Saban re-acquires rights to 'Rangers' - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety". Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  13. ^ "Power Rangers | Seasons | Samurai". Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  14. ^ "Shout Factory Confirms North American Zyuranger DVDs.". Retrieved 2015-06-15. 
  15. ^ "Shout! Factory Licenses "Gosei Sentai Dairanger"". Crunchyroll. 2015-07-11. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  16. ^ Kelley, Shamus (January 23, 2016). "Super Sentai Kakuranger Coming to DVD". Retrieved January 24, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Jūden Sentai Kyōryūger Super Sentai Series Revealed". Anime News Network. 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  18. ^ モチーフは電車 戦隊モノ新作は「烈車戦隊トッキュウジャー」 (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports. 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  19. ^ GAINAX Co., Ltd. (2006-01-05). "GAINAX NET|Works|Animation & Films|DAICON FILM|愛國戦隊大日本 (Aikoku Sentai Dai-Nippon あい こく せん たい だい にっ ぽん)" [literally "Patriotic Squadron Great Japan"]. GAINAX NET (in Japanese). GAINAX Co., Ltd. p. 1. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 愛國戦隊大日本 (Aikoku Sentai Dai-Nippon あい こく せん たい だい にっ ぽん, literally "Patriotic Squadron Great Japan") 
  20. ^ "Sport Ranger". Broadcast Thai. Retrieved 2011-03-30. [dead link]
  21. ^ pilotalex (2004-11-17). "France Five". France Five. France Five. pp. 1, French, and Japanese. Retrieved 2007-03-26. Jushi Sentai FRANCE FIVE 
  22. ^ pilotalex (2005-02-25). "オープニング&エンディング". France Five (in Japanese). France Five. p. 1. Retrieved 2007-03-26. フランスファイブを見た串田氏のほうから、主題歌を歌ってみたい!との友情にとんだ申し出があり、氏みずからフランスファイブのために曲を作詞・作曲してくださった。 
  23. ^ "美肌泉隊 SPAレンジャー". Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  24. ^ "コミックナタリー - GAINAX初実写TVドラマ、大橋裕之キャラデザの戦隊もの". Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  25. ^ "エアーズロック - ニコニコチャンネル". Retrieved 2012-06-22. 

External links[edit]