Random nonsense

Why you should watch Tokusatsu

As many of you already know, I am a big fan of Tokusatsu.  Which for most people, can best be explained as “The Power Rangers” and related shows, in their original Japanese forms.  From Wikipedia:

Tokusatsu (特撮?) is a Japanese word that literally means “special effects.” It is primarily used to refer to live-action Japanese film and television dramas that make use of special effects.

The term “tokusatsu” is a contraction of the Japanese phrase “tokushu satsuei” (特殊撮影?), meaning “special photography”. In production, the special effects director is given the title of “tokushu gijutsu” (特殊技術?), Japanese for “special techniques” or “tokusatsu kantoku” (特撮監督?), which is Japanese for “special effects director”, the title usually used by English language productions.

Tokusatsu entertainment is often science fiction, fantasy, or horror, but movies and TV shows in other genres can sometimes be classified as tokusatsu as well. The most popular types of tokusatsu are kaiju monster movies (the Godzilla and Gamera film series), superhero TV serials (the Kamen Rider and Metal Heroes series), and mecha dramas (Giant Robo). Some tokusatsu television programs combine several of these subgenres (the Ultraman and Super Sentai series).

Tokusatsu is one of the most popular forms of Japanese entertainment, but most tokusatsu movies and television programs are not widely known outside Asia. In recent years, however, tokusatsu has begun to develop a small but loyal and growing fanbase outside of Japan

My fasination started of course when I was in like kindergarten, when my favorite shows were Power Rangers, VR Troopers, Big Bad Beetle Brogs, etc.  These shows are classic, and I don’t care how old you are, You can still go back and watch your favorite shows from when you were a kid. But it wasn’t until recently that I discovered, in the true magnificence of the internet, that these shows had been imported VIA fansubs.

I had watched fansubed anime before (Ragnarok the Animation), but the thought had never crossed my mind that people were fansubbing live action shows, let alone the originals of my favorite kids shows!  I always knew that Power Rangers was adapted from a Japanese TV show, because every time they morphed, the footage suddenly got darker, the fighting suddenly got much more intricate, and the character stances suddenly changed.  But watching the original footage, with the original characters and story lines, it was like my favorite TV show had been redone and taken to the next level.

Super Sentai still reaches out to the same audience in Japan that Power Rangers tries to reach here.  The main difference I suppose, is that they aren’t taking an original show and trying to re-work it for an American audience.  It’s the original work (always better) for a Japanese audience.  Which think is better, because here all parents do is submit complaints to the FCC that their kid’s shows are too violent / homosexual.  Really Power Rangers these days might as well be Barney the Dinosaur fighting off the boogey man with huge explosions


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