As you might already know from the constant chatter about the Power Rangers and Kamen Rider, we here at ComicsAlliance are pretty big fans of Japanese tokusatsu. Something about those live-action shows where teenagers with attitude transform to kick monsters and summon giant robots just speak to us on a fundamental level. That said, the actual behind-the-scenes origins of the franchises is even more interesting than the stuff that makes it on the screen.

It's a complicated story, but thankfully, the folks at ToyBountyHunters have decided to break it down for us. In the first two parts of It's Henshin Time, their multi-part examination of the history of Super Sentai and its American counterpart, they get into the origins of the franchise, starting with creator and CA favorite Shotaro Ishinomori and a look at Kamen Rider and the first two (and a half) installments of the Sentai franchise. It's interesting stuff, so check out the videos below!




There's a lot of interesting connections in these videos, including the idea that Ishinomori followed up Cyborg 009, his first breakout success that told the story of a young man kidnapped and made into a cyborg only to rebel against his evil creators, with Kamen Rider, the story of, uh, a young man who was kidnapped and made into a cyborg only to rebel against his creators, before refining the formula into what would become the Sentai series. I also had no idea about that long-lost second, non-Ishinomori show that gets left out of the history.

These only scratch the surface of the series and haven't yet gotten to the American Power Rangers, which is understandable, since it didn't get imported until 17 years into the franchise. Still, it's interesting to see the roots and foundations, as well as the promise that the next installment will show how Japanese Spider-Man introduced the idea of a giant robot, putting the "super" into Super Sentai. One hopes that they will also explain why Spider-Man rides around in a giant lion and a car shaped like a bull.

Until then, you can get a more musical history of the first 35 Super Sentai teams thanks to the closing credits from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, soon to be adapted as the American Power Rangers Super Megaforce:



Admittedly, it's a little less informative than the documentary, but hey! You can dance to it!

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