Super Sentai

Tagged: Film | TV

Super Sentai (original title Sūpā Sentai Shirīzu), is a long-running (1975-current) Superhero franchise in the Tokusatsu genre, made by the Toei Company: it also includes the Power Rangers (1993-current) series. It is as of January 2021 the world's 32nd highest-grossing media franchise. The first two series, Himitsu Sentai Gorenger (1975-1977) and J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai (1977) – the latter discussed in the entry for the former – were not originally treated as part of the franchise, but have been since 1994. Given that they set the series' format, the decision to include them was a common-sense one: the main difference between these two and subsequent series is the latter prominently feature giant Mecha and giant Monsters.

Following J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai's disappointing ratings, it appeared that no further shows would be made; however in 1978 the Toei Company collaborated with Marvel Comics to produce the live-action Television series Spider-Man (1978-1979; vt Japanese Spider-Man): it was a success so Toei wanted to build on this, initially looking at making a Captain America series, then considered naming it Captain Japan, until deciding on using the Himitsu Sentai Gorenger/J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai format, but adding the giant monster vs mecha element from Spiderman (in this series Spiderman has a giant mecha ... it was a very different show from the Marvel Comics version). At the close of the eighties the series' ratings dwindled and it looked like it might be cancelled, but its popularity rallied; during the 2010s the ratings have been at their lowest, though there is no indication that the franchise will end.

Typically, each series involves a team of (usually five) superheroes in colour-coded costumes (that might sometimes be considered a type of Powered Armour) resembling garish spandex motorcycle gear, including the helmet. The teams are mainly male with one or two female members (on one occasion, none); each is skilled at martial arts and usually has a signature Weapon; they engage in choreographed fight scenes with the Villains' minions. They will battle an evil organization (examples have included many Aliens, a subterranean lizard civilization, beings from another Dimension and ancient Robots) that plots to rule or destroy humanity using agents with over-the-top costumes and designs (particularly their heads) who fill the "Monster of the week" role. From the third series, Battle Fever J (1979-1980), the villains can often either grow giant-sized or have giant mecha versions of themselves: these episodes climax with their battling and being defeated by the superheroes, who have their own giant mecha.

The superhero teams are young adults or teenagers whose origins, depending on a series' backstory, can vary from the humdrum (military, Scientists, ninjas, High School students) to the more exotic (from another dimension; from 170 million years ago; members of a galactic police force or thirtieth-century Time Police working in the twentieth century to prevent the villain's timeline meddling). The special effects reflect the relatively low budgets and contemporary techniques. Consequently they now often look cheap, but they can also display an inventive use of the resources available; they also keep to the tokusatsu tradition of having most mecha and giant creatures played by people in monster suits. If the mecha look like giant Toys it is because that is exactly what they are, the series having a large and profitable toy line.

As this is a formulaic show with (to date) 44 series over 45 years, each with circa 50 episodes per season (plus a miniseries and countless films), there has inevitably been considerable repetition. Nonetheless, depending on the strengths of the creative teams involved – whether it be with plot, special effects, choreography, acting, humour or characterization – some series are noticeably better at reworking the tropes than others. Amongst the most interesting are Himitsu Sentai Gorenger, Choushinsei Flashman, Choujin Sentai Jetman, Gosei Sentai Dairanger, Mirai Sentai Timeranger and Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger; whilst Gekisou Sentai Carranger is notable for Satire of the show's Clichés.

Since the early Eighties attempts had been made to adapt Super Sentai for the US market; finally, in 1993, Saban Entertainment sold the concept for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1996) to the Fox Kids television network. This took advantage of the fact that the Super Sentai superhero teams and nearly all the villains were masked: using their action sequences, it framed them with newly shot scenes featuring American actors. This was so successful that it led to the Power Rangers franchise (1993-current). All the 22 Super Sentai series between Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (1992-1993), which became Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season one, and Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (2013-2014) were converted into a Power Rangers series; of the seven subsequent series (as of January 2021), three have been (or are about to be) similarly adapted. In South Korea the Super Sentai series are released under the name Power Rangers, though they are not directly related to the American series; additionally, they have an original Super Sentai series called Power Rangers Dino Force Brave (2017; 12 episodes), which has been dubbed into Japanese as Jūden Sentai Kyōryūjā Bureibu (vt Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger Brave).

Lists of the Super Sentai Television series and films (with IMDb links) appears below. There have also been numerous Videogames, Manga and stage shows. [SP]

see also: Kamen Rider.

List of the Super Sentai television series

  • Himitsu Sentai Gorenger (1975-1977; vt Secret Squadron Gorenger; 84 episodes) IMdb
  • J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai (1977; vt The Jackers; vt J.A.K.Q. Blitzkrieg Squad; 35 episodes) IMdb
  • Battle Fever J (1979-1980; 52 episodes) IMdb
  • Denshi Sentai Denjiman (1980-1981; vt Denjiman, Electric Fighters; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan (1981-1982; vt Sunvulcan; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Dai Sentai Goggle-V (1982-1983; vt Dai Sentai Goggle Five; vt Goggle V; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Kagaku Sentai Dynaman (1983-1984; vt Dynaman; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Choudenshi Bioman (1984-1985; vt Bioman; vt Super Electronic Bioman; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Dengeki Sentai Changeman (1985-1986; vt Blitzkrieg Squadron Changeman; 55 episodes) IMdb
  • Choushinsei Flashman (1986-1987; vt Supernova Flashman; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Hikari Sentai Maskman (1987-1988; vt Maskman; vt Bioman 2; vt Light Squadron Maskman; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Choujuu Sentai Liveman (1988-1989; vt Bioman 3; 49 episodes) IMdb
  • Kousoku Sentai Turboranger (1989-1990; vt Turborangers; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Chikyu Sentai Fiveman (1990-1991; vt Sky Rangers; vt Earth Squadron Fiveman; 49 episodes) IMdb
  • Chōjin Sentai Jetman (1991-1992; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (1992-1993; vt Galaxy Rangers; vt Dinosaur Squadron Zyuranger; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Gosei Sentai Dairanger (1993-1994; vt Star Rangers; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger (1994-1995; vt Ninja Rangers; 53 episodes) IMdb
  • Chouriki Sentai Ohranger (1995-1996; 48 episodes) IMdb
  • Gekisou Sentai Carranger (1996-1997; 48 episodes) IMdb
  • Denji Sentai Megaranger (1997-1998; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Seijuu Sentai Gingaman (1998-1999; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGoFive (1999-2000; vt Kyūkyū Sentai GoGo-V; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Mirai Sentai Timeranger (2000-2001; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger (2001-2002; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger (2002-2003; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger (2003-2004; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger (2004-2005; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Mahō Sentai Magiranger (2005-2006; 49 episodes) IMdb
  • GoGo Sentai Boukenger (2006-2007; 49 episodes) IMdb
  • Juken Sentai Gekiranger (2007-2008; 49 episodes) IMdb
  • Engine Sentai Go-onger (2008-2009; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger (2009-2010; 49 episodes) IMdb
  • Tensou Sentai Goseiger (2010-2011; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (2011-2012; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters (2012-2013; 50 episodes) IMdb
  • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (2013-2014; 48 episodes) IMdb
  • Ressha Sentai ToQger (2014-2015; 47 episodes) IMdb
  • Shuriken Sentai Ninninger (2015-2016; 47 episodes) IMdb
  • Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger (2016-2017; 48 episodes) IMdb
  • Uchu Sentai Kyuranger (2017-2018; 48 episodes) IMdb
  • Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger (2018-2019; 51 episodes) IMdb
  • Super Sentai Strongest Battle (2019; original title Yon-shū Renzoku Supesharu Sūpā Sentai Saikyō Batoru!!; 4-episode mini-series) IMdb
  • Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger (2019-2020; 48 episodes) IMdb
  • Mashin Sentai Kiramager (2020-2021; 39 episodes) IMdb
  • Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger (forthcoming 2021-2022) IMdb

List of the Super Sentai films

OVAs are asterisked.

  • Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Movie (1975; adapted tv episode) Fan wiki
  • Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Blue Fortress (1975; adapted tv episode; vt Himitsu sentai Gorenjâ: Aoi daiyousai) IMdb
  • Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: Fire Mountain's Final Explosion (1976; adapted tv episode; vt Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Volcano's Last Big Eruption) Fan wiki
  • Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Bomb Hurricane (1976; adapted tv episode) IMdb
  • Himitsu Sentai Gorenger: The Red Death Match (1976; adapted tv episode; vt Himitsu sentai Gorenjâ: Makkana moushingeki!) IMdb
  • J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai: The Movie (1977; adapted tv episode) IMdb
  • J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai vs. Gorenger (1978) IMdb
  • Battle Fever J: The Movie (1979; adapted tv episode) Fan wiki
  • Denshi Sentai Denjiman: The Movie (1980) IMdb
  • Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan: The Movie (1981) Fan wiki
  • Dai Sentai Goggle-V: The Movie (1982) IMdb
  • Kagaku Sentai Dynaman: The Movie (1983) IMdb
  • Choudenshi Bioman: The Movie (1984) IMdb
  • Dengeki Sentai Changeman: The Movie (1985) Fan wiki
  • Dengeki Sentai Changeman: Shuttle Base! Crisis! (1985; vt Dengeki Sentai Changeman: Shuttle Base! The Critical Moment!) Fan wiki
  • Choushinsei Flashman: The Movie (1986) Fan wiki
  • Choushinsei Flashman: Big Rally! Titan Boy!! (1987) Fan wiki
  • Hikari Sentai Maskman: The Movie (1987) IMdb
  • Kousoku Sentai Turboranger: The Movie (1989) Fan wiki
  • Gosei Sentai Dairanger: The Movie (1993) IMdb
  • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: The Movie (1994) IMdb
  • Super Sentai World (1994; 9-minute 3D short) IMdb
  • Chouriki Sentai Ohranger: The Movie (1995) IMdb
  • Chōriki Sentai Ohranger: Ohré vs. Kakuranger* (1996) IMdb
  • Gekisou Sentai Carranger vs. Ohranger* (1997) IMdb
  • Denji Sentai Megaranger vs. Carranger* (1998) IMdb
  • Kyukyuu Sentai GoGoFive: Sudden Shock! A New Warrior!* (1999) IMdb
  • Seijuu Sentai Gingaman vs. Megaranger* (1999) IMdb
  • Kyukyuu Sentai GoGoFive vs. Gingaman* (2000) Fan wiki
  • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai* (2001) IMdb
  • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger: The Fire Mountain Roars (2001) IMdb
  • Mirai Sentai Timeranger vs. GoGoFive* (2001) IMdb
  • Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger: Shushutto The Movie (2002) IMdb
  • Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger DELUXE: Abare Summer is Freezing Cold! (2003) IMdb
  • Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger vs. Gaoranger* (2003) IMdb
  • Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger vs. Hurricaneger* (2004) IMdb
  • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger The Movie: Full Blast Action (2004) IMdb
  • Mahō Sentai Magiranger The Movie: Bride of Infershia – Maagi Magi Giruma Jinga (2005) IMdb
  • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger vs. Abaranger* (2005) IMdb
  • GoGo Sentai Boukenger The Movie: The Greatest Precious (2006) IMdb
  • Mahō Sentai Magiranger vs. Dekaranger* (2006) IMdb
  • GoGo Sentai Boukenger vs. Super Sentai* (2007) IMdb
  • Juken Sentai Gekiranger: Nei-Nei! Hou-Hou! Hong Kong Decisive Battle (2007) IMdb
  • Engine Sentai Go-onger: Boom Boom! Bang Bang! GekijōBang!! (2008) IMdb
  • Juken Sentai Gekiranger vs. Boukenger* (2008) IMdb
  • Engine Sentai Go-onger vs. Gekiranger (2009) IMdb
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger the Movie: The Fateful War (2009) IMdb
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger Returns: Special Act* (2010) IMdb
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger vs. Go-onger: GinmakuBang!! (2010) IMdb
  • Tensou Sentai Goseiger: Epic on the Movie (2010) IMdb
  • Gokaiger Goseiger Super Sentai 199 Hero Great Battle (2011) IMdb
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger the Movie: The Flying Ghost Ship (2011) IMdb
  • Come Back! Tensou Sentai Goseiger: Last Epic – The Gosei Angels Are National Icons!?* (2011; vt Tensou Sentai Goseiger Returns; vt Kaettekita Tensō Sentai Goseijā: Rasuto Epikku – Gosei Tenshi ga Kokuminteki Aidoru ni?!) IMdb
  • Tensou Sentai Goseiger vs. Shinkenger: Epic on Ginmaku (2011) IMdb
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie (2012) IMdb
  • Kamen Rider × Super Sentai: Super Hero Taisen (2012) IMdb
  • Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters the Movie: Protect the Tokyo Enetower! (2012) IMdb
  • Kamen Rider × Super Sentai × Space Sheriff: Super Hero Taisen Z (2013) IMdb
  • Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger: 10 Years After* (2013) IMdb
  • Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Returns vs. Dōbutsu Sentai Go-Busters* (2013) IMdb
  • Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: The Movie (2013) IMdb
  • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: Gaburincho of Music (2013) IMdb
  • Heisei Riders vs. Shōwa Riders: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai (2014) IMdb
  • Ressha Sentai ToQger the Movie: Galaxy Line S.O.S. (2014) IMdb
  • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters: The Great Dinosaur Battle! Farewell Our Eternal Friends (2014) IMdb
  • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: 100 Years After* (2014) IMdb
  • Ressha Sentai ToQger Returns: Super ToQ 7gou of Dreams* (2015) IMdb
  • Ressha Sentai ToQger vs. Kyoryuger: The Movie (2015) IMdb
  • Shuriken Sentai Ninninger the Movie: The Dinosaur Lord's Splendid Ninja Scroll! (2015) IMdb
  • Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3 (2015) IMdb
  • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger: 10 Years After* (2015) IMdb
  • Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger the Movie: The Exciting Circus Panic! (2016; vt Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger the Movie: The Heart Pounding Circus Panic!) IMdb
  • Come Back! Shuriken Sentai Ninninger: Ninnin Girls vs. Boys FINAL WARS* (2016) IMdb
  • Shuriken Sentai Ninninger vs. ToQger the Movie: Ninja in Wonderland (2016) IMdb
  • Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Returns: Life Received! The Earth's Monarchs' Decisive Battle!* (2017) IMdb
  • Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger vs. Ninninger the Movie: Super Sentai's Message from the Future (2017) IMdb
  • Chou Super Hero Taisen: Kamen Rider vs. Super Sentai (2017) IMdb
  • Space Squad: Uchuu Keiji Gavan vs. Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger* (2017) IMdb
  • Uchu Sentai Kyuranger the Movie: Gase Indaver Strikes Back (2017) IMdb
  • Uchu Sentai Kyuranger: Episode of Stinger* (2017) IMdb
  • Engine Sentai Go-Onger: 10 Years Grand Prix* (2018) IMdb
  • Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger en Film (2018) IMdb
  • Uchu Sentai Kyuranger vs. Space Squad* (2018) IMdb
  • Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger the Movie: Time Slip! Dinosaur Panic (2019) IMdb
  • Lupinranger VS Patranger VS Kyuranger* (2019) IMdb
  • Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger VS Lupinranger VS Patranger (2020) IMdb
  • Mashin Sentai Kiramager: Episode Zero (2020) IMdb

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