Photo ©2007 by ironhide1990 [CC-by-2.0]
Japan is well-known for producing anime, which is their form of cartoons and animations. While anime is one of Japan’s most famous television genre in America, tokusatsu is one that is not that well-known. By definition, the tokusatsu genre is any live-action film or drama that usually involves plots with science-fiction and fantasies.
Many people do not know it, but the famous show Power Rangers in America actually originated from tokusatsu. Every single season of Power Rangers was adapted from seasons of another show in Japan called Super Sentai (trans. Super Squad). Super Sentai had origins dating back to the mid-1970s with it’s first season called Special Squadron Goranger. Eventually, after the 16th season of Super Sentai, Zyuranger, was completed in 1993, the American television company Saban would adapt it into the first iteration of Power Rangers. Power Rangers would take suit-fight scenes from the original Sentai show and have the American actors voice over the battles. The plots would usually follow along with the original material in order for the show to make some sense.
While I think it is amazing that Japan inspired America to create one of the most popular television shows. It disappoints me that many Americans are missing out on an amazing Japanese genre. Tokusatsu is just as influential in Japan as anime and it pains for me to see anyone that sees any tokusatsu show as just a rip-off and inspired from Power Rangers, when really Power Rangers was the inspired work.