Sentai? Tokusatsu?

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Tachyon
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Sentai? Tokusatsu?

Post by Tachyon » Fri Sep 03, 2004 1:33 am

I'm hoping you guys can set me straight on some Japanese terms. What exactly does "sentai" and "tokusatsu" mean? When did they start being used?

I know Juu Rangers (Power Rangers) qualifies as sentai. Does Ultraman? The Godzilla movies? What's the best Japanese word to cover live action sci-fi/fantasy?
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Mechanical Specimen

Post by Mechanical Specimen » Fri Sep 03, 2004 4:39 am

To reward you with an answer to your question,tokusatsu is pretty much the Japanese term for "special effects" and numerous movies and tv series fall in this gerne.Ultraman,Kamen Rider are two long running series that fall under thetokusatsu cateogrey,where as Godzilla and Gamera would fall under the kaiju or monster gerne,though in the recent years the has been a noticeable combination of the two gernes.


Sentai pretty much stands for "Team",a show inwhich the heros all are part of a color coded team of heros,but these shows tend to be the more magical,colorful variety.

"Metal" is a sub gerne of the tokusatsu grabbag involving metallic or robotic heros as opposed to flashy costumed protagonists(The Americanzed VR Troopers was under the label in Japan as a "Metal Hero" show )


So in a since, tokusatsu is the more mainstream form of Japanese liveaction science fiction.

Hope this answers your question!

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Post by Grebo Guru » Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:34 pm

Sentai = "combat team"
The Super Sentai franchise has become the Power Rangers franchise here in the USA. There have been many more Sentai shows than Power Rangers shows.

Tokusatsu = "live-action special effects fare"
This covers Sentai, Godzilla, Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and all the other wacky, rubber-suit, live-action shows and movies Japan cranks out.

Metal Heroes
A tokusatsu franchise focused around armored-high tech heroes, often law enforcers. Includes Gavan, Spielban, Sharivan, Shaider, B-Fighter (Beetleborgs), Solbrain, Winspector, Exceedraft, Blue SWAT, Juspion, etc. (I think it includes Kikaider and Metalder as well...)

Kamen Rider
AKA Masked Rider, the equivalent of "Japan's Batman". A man-grasshopper who fights awful animalistic mutants. Generally dark in theme. There have been a lot of Kamen Riders.

Ultraman
The equivalent of "Japan's Superman". A red-and-silver super-alien who defends earth against giant monsters, backed up by a high-tech earth defense team. There have been loads of Ultramen.

Kaiju = "monster"
Giant monsters like Godzilla, Gamera, and many others. Yay!

Im sure Im forgetting a lot of categories here...

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Post by Tachyon » Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:19 pm

Thanks! That saves me from the mistake of calling Kamen Rider "sentai."
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