Toei Company, one of Japan’s oldest and largest entertainment production and distribution companies, has announced that they’ll be making their classic slate of Tokusatsu TV series available to stream on YouTube, starting in April.
Tokusatsu is the Japanese label for action series and films centered around special effects, with the word translating literally to “special filming.” Films like Godzilla and series like Super Sentai, in which actors dress up in special costumes, are foundational examples of the genre. Most Americans know Tokusatsu by way of Power Rangers, which served as a Western adaptation of Super Sentai, of sorts, premiering in the ’90s.
Toei’s YouTube channel, officially titled Toei Tokusatsu World Official, will launch on April 6th and feature approximately 70 classic series from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Titles include spin-offs from the popular Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises, as well as animated series like Daimos and Mirai Robo Daltanious.
The shows will all begin with two episodes available, in Japanese with English subtitles, with more episodes to be added subsequently.
As a big fan of the iconography surrounding these shows, but little history actually watching them, I’m thrilled to have such a treasure trove of content to explore. For free, no less! I’ll be there, April 6th.