Super Sentai

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 franchise of TV series produced by Toei Co., Ltd., Toei Agency and Bandai, and aired by TV Asahi ("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 aimed at children. The Super Sentai Series is one of the most prominent tokusatsu franchises 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

In every Super Sentai Series, the protagonists are a team of people who transform into superheroes and gain superpowers – color-coded costumes, signature weapons, sidearms and fighting skills – in order to battle a group of evil beings that threaten to take over the Earth. In a typical 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 series was originally created by Shotaro Ishinomori, known for his creation of Kamen Rider and Cyborg 009, and he developed the first two television series Himitsu Sentai Gorenger and J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai. Toei Company put the franchise on hiatus for a year, collaborating with Marvel Comics to produce the live action Spider-Man, which added giant robots to the concept of tokusatsu shows. This concept was carried over to Toei and Marvel's next show, Battle Fever J. The giant robot was used throughout the following Super Sentai programs.

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

Power Rangers

Main article: Power Rangers

In 1993, American production company Saban Entertainment turned 1992's Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger into Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for the Fox Kids programming block, combining the original Japanese action footage with new footage featuring American actors for the story sequences. Since then nearly every Super Sentai series that followed (with a few exceptions) became a new Americanized season of Power Rangers;[2] most countries also switched from Super Sentai to Power Rangers, such as France, Brazil, Thailand, and the Philippines. In 2002, Saban sold the rights to broadcasting of Power Rangers to Disney's Buena Vista Entertainment, who handled the franchise until 2010, broadcasting on ABC Kids, ABC Family Channel, Jetix, and Toon Disney. In 2010, Saban bought back the rights to Power Rangers and moved the show to the Nickelodeon network for 2011.[3][4]


TV series

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

Theatrical releases

V-Cinema releases

Televi Magazine Super Video/Special DVD releases


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.[8] Additionally, Liveman, Turboranger, and Jetman were broadcast in Spain and Portugal. Denziman, Goggle-V, Sun Vulcan and Battle Fever J were broadcast in Italy. In addition, some episodes of Bioman and Turboranger were released on VHS in Greece.


Various Sentai Series such as Fiveman and Choushinsei Flashman were also broadcast in Malaysia sometime in the 1990s dubbed in English and starting with Hikari Sentai Maskman, these are later dubbed in Malay. 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 on RPN). Just as in France and Brazil, Choudenshi Bioman (first aired on IBC-13 and later in RPN9 and ABS-CBN was the last tokusatsu dubbed in English on Philippine television) and Hikari Sentai Maskman (the first Super Sentai Series dubbed in Filipino on IBC) were broadcast in the Philippines in the 1980s. ABS-CBN became the first network in most records to air Super Sentai and Power Rangers. 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 that Hikari Sentai Maskman was marketed as Bioman 2 Maskman on local TV. During the early 1990s, some other series were shown, such as Kousoku Sentai Turboranger, on IBC-13 Chikyu Sentai Fiveman and Chōjin Sentai Jetman which became the last Sentai series to broadcast on TV5 in 1995 and Dai Sentai Goggle V. In 1995, ABS-CBN aired the American-produced Power Rangers until 1999.

South Korea

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 Super Sentai series a year following their original Japanese broadcast, but have changed the titles to "Power Rangers".[9][10][11][12]

Latin America

Flashman and Liveman were broadcast in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru in the early 1990s and later repetitions in the early 2000s. Flashman arrived with Spanish dubbing done in Brazil and Liveman in Venezuela.

In Brazil, the first season of Super Sentai that aired was Dengeki Sentai Changeman in 1988, TV Manchete, current RedeTV!, and caused a tremendous impact in his time, being considered a cult classic. For the success of Changeman, other series were imported, as Flashman, Maskman and Goggle V.

United States

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).[13] 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.[14] In 1986, Saban Productions produced a pilot for an American adaptation of Choudenshi Bioman titled Bio Man.[15][16] In 1987, some episodes of Kagaku Sentai Dynaman were dubbed and aired as a parody on the USA Network television show Night Flight.

In 2014, Shout! Factory announced at San Diego Comic-Con International that they would begin sale of subtitled DVDs of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger.[17] Shout! Factory then released box sets of Gosei Sentai Dairanger in 2015[18] and Ninja Sentai Kakuranger on May 17, 2016.[19] Chōriki Sentai Ohranger will be released on DVD in November 2016.[20]

Parody and homage

The Super Sentai Series has been parodied as well as emulated in various ways throughout the world.

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.[21] The most recent tributes have been the Thai TV series Sport Ranger[22] and the French online series Jushi Sentai France Five[23] (now Shin Kenjushi France Five); the latter being so popular in Japan that anison singer Akira Kushida recorded its opening theme.[24]

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).[25]

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.[26][27]


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. "tokusatsu-l". Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved 2006-12-03.
  3. Littleton, Cynthia (2010-05-12). "Saban re-acquires rights to 'Rangers' - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety". Retrieved 2010-05-12.
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  13. "Battle Fever J". Retrieved 2015-06-05.
  14. Carvell, Tim; Mcgowan, Joe (October 28, 1996). "Showdown In Toontown Children's Television, Once a Sleepy Business, Is Becoming as Hotly Competitive as the Grownup Variety. Turner, Fox, and Disney Are Trying to Topple Viacom's Nickelodeon--But How's a TV Mogul to Know What Kids Really Want?". CNN. Fortune. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  15. Bates, James (August 12, 1986). "A Crop of New Shows Sprouts From Saban Firm's TV Success". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  16. "Haim Saban, producer, in Hollywood, Washington, Israel". The New Yorker. May 10, 2010. p. 4. Retrieved May 29, 2010.
  17. "Shout Factory Confirms North American Zyuranger DVDs.". Retrieved 2015-06-15.
  18. "Shout! Factory Licenses "Gosei Sentai Dairanger"". Crunchyroll. 2015-07-11. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  19. Kelley, Shamus (January 23, 2016). "Super Sentai Kakuranger Coming to DVD". Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  20. Kelley, Shamus (21 May 2016). "Chouriki Sentai Ohranger Coming To DVD". Den of Geek. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  21. 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")
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  23. pilotalex (2004-11-17). "France Five". France Five. France Five. pp. 1, French, and Japanese. Retrieved 2007-03-26. Jushi Sentai FRANCE FIVE
  24. 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。
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External links

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