Other Video Rental outlets include:
PO BOX 185
Succasunna, NJ 07876
Nippon Video Network
Tel: +1 (800) 206-7412
Tel: +1 (310) 324-3133
Fax: +1 (310) 324-3225
P.O. Box 260102
Bellerose, NY 11426
There are traders on the Internet as well. One well known and highly reliable source is John Wells. Visit his web page at Earthlink at: http://home.earthlink.net/~coolstuff/live.html -- it IS $17/tape, however he has been in business for a few years and has many satifised customers. For domestic Japanese television programming for children, it is a great deal. Unfortunately for Ultraman fans, he does not carry any Ultraman.
Finally, buy or trade copies of your own videos of tokusatsu with users here on tokusatsu-l (all transactions must occur in e-mail). Users who send money for tapes or send in tapes for trade without receiving videos are strongly encouraged to give out all the information about this person that you have so that others may not be ripped off by such con artists. Such persons with malicious intentions as thus described will be denied further posting/reading access to the mailing list.
Perhaps when tokusatsu's fandom grows, persons with enough money to process videos, get the rights from the original producers and a way to mass distribute tapes will take interest and begin doing so.
A rather extensive collection of Kamen Rider Music can be ordered from The Place on the Web at http://www.the-place.com and clicking on their Japanese Anime CDs link and then selecting K from their alphabetized list of CD titles. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate music for sentai or old/new Metal Hero series' there. Also, according to the source of this information, it took about a month to receive his CDs as well. Ordering over the phone is probably your best bet.
If you have any useful information to contribute to this section, it would be appreciated if you e-mailed me at and it will appear in the next release of this FAQ.
Two to four (usually three) directors work on any one single series. The first director is usually considered the main director; additionally, directors may be seen in two episodes of a series, back to back, because two episodes are shot inside of the same two-week schedule. There may be a guest director in some series' as well.
Special Effects are produced by Special Visual Effect Laboratory LTD., founded by Nobuo Yajima in the mid-1960s.
Though tokusatsu for the most part is marketed at the pre-teen viewers in Japan, the JAC's stunt team are recognized world-wide for their unmatched quality in martial arts action performances on screen.
Costumes typically take more abuse from the action rather than the explosions.
One of the greater advantages to tokusatsu being developed this way is that writers and producers have more control over the flow of the story unlike with American television. Usually, after a US network buys a program that was pitched, they will order 6-13 episodes, have them produced and let them run in either September, January, March, April, May or June (for summer shows). Should the A.C. Nielsen Media Research Company report to networks subscribing to their service moderate to good success for a program (or there be an enormous fan-base), a network may be apt to buy 13 more episodes to complete the season (or pick it up for a new season should the show started in Spring or Summer).
Because the writers of a program in hope don't know how long a show like this will run, they are forced to write episode by episode with one season feeling different from another. Since tokusatsu is usually fixed at a year-long run, writers can take their time about developing a plot, developing good characters while the production company can spend time auditioning actors and training them to perform in stunts. Nobody experiences burn out and the series never loses the original flare it had because it was all filmed at once.
If a show is so tremendously popular, they may produce a movie and several home videos. Music for the programs are always released on Compact Disc by Nippon Columbia and once a series is complete, it usually goes to home video in volumes anyway. Even more rare, they will make a follow-up tokusatsu (such as the Kamen Rider series'). However, fans are generally satisfied with a brand new sentai or Metal Hero to replace the concluded sentai or Metal Hero series.
Other companies licensed to manufacture toys for these programs include Takara, Capcom and Sega.
Six years later, Saban approached Toei Co., LTD with a proposal to produce a US Version of Choujinki Metaldar (which later became 1994's VR Troopers source footage for Ryan Steele's battle scenes and costume). However, he was unable to convince the three established television networks of America to broadcast dubbed live-action Japanese programs. Ironically, Metaldar was so unpopular in Japan, they only produced 39 episodes. Even the syndication market did not take well to this unprecedented form of children's entertainment.
In 1992, Saban returned to Toei proposing to produce an American version of Kyouruu Sentai ZYURANGER. Toei Co., LTD was (in both instances) very enthusiastic to have their programs brought to other countries (though they only focus on Japan for their target audience) due to the fact that it was an opportunity to receive indirect revenue from sales world wide.
Because Fox became the first non-Cable television network to be bold with its television programming unlike the established NBC, CBS and ABC (CBS and ABC, soon only ABC being the last original network airing Saturday Morning Children's Programs), Saban saw a golden opportunity to pitch an unorthodox program at Fox, a network of more than 130 affiliates nation wide. However, one of Saban's primary problems still remained and that was the fact that Japanese actors with English voice actors dubbed over was not going to be accepted by Margaret Losech, president of Fox Kids Network.
So, in a blinding rush, sets were built, a cast was auditioned for and hired off contract and non-union, two non-union crews were assembled and then some. By February, 1993; Saban Entertainment produced over 20 episodes and were producing more while Haim still pitched to networks. Fortunately, Saban Entertainment already had a large part to do with the success of Fox Kids and thus they had to allow Saban to air Power Rangers.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers aired Saturday Morning, August 28th, 1993 and was a surprise hit. Everyone involved in the production of Power Rangers never expected it to become so popular and so thus it now airs in 30 countries, has made billions in toys and even released an album of songs from the shows (ironically in tradition with most all sentai and tokusatsu series, though Ron Wasserman, the chief producer of Power Rangers' music never knew this or intended it).
Toei licensed ZYURANGER, and several other tokusatsu to Saban Entertainment with the understanding that certain liberties with the original film are not taken and they work closely with them to ensure that the original work is not violated in anyway. Many fans, however, find this extremely difficult to believe considering how if you pay close enough attention, sequences are just repeated over and over in multiple episodes just to fill time. As just one example.
Additionally, when Saban Entertainment ran out of ZYURANGER footage, the later half of the first season and all of the second and third season (save the Mighty Morphin Alien Ranger footage) was directed entirely by Jeff Pruitt, 2nd Unit Director and Stunt Coordinator for the Power Rangers since Episode #36 (succeeding Isaac Florentine). Jeff Pruitt lived with several Japanese stuntmen who were brought to America (and even Australia to film Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie) to film as Rangers, Putties, Tengas and monsters. They also brought in costumes (hero and villain) from Japan and hired a film crew from Toei to produce some footage. However, that was becoming too expensive and so thus the second and third season footage were being shot by an all American crew.
Toei was hired by Saban to film giant monster vs. "zord" (giant robot) footage for all scenes where monsters didn't exist (because no episode of ZYURANGER had some monsters seen fighting the MegaZord during the first season).