Tokusatsu is just a term for Japanese live-action special effects shows usually involving giant monsters fighting people in high-tech spandex. It’s where Power Rangers, Ultraman, and Masked/Kamen Rider come from. While a few series and movies have been released (not counting Godzilla and friends, who also count) there hasn’t been a place to see it outside of home video and one highest-tier TV channel, Toku. Now Shout Factory has created an entire channel on live streaming cable-like but ad-supported Pluto TV dedicated solely to this genre of Japanese science fiction. Let’s see what you get.
They also dedicated a YouTube channel for clips and hopefully a full episode I can use on Saturday Night Showcase.
So what shows will be airing on this channel? /Film has a list:
- Kamen Rider: Season 1 – The original Japanese television series follows the exploits of a masked, motorcycle-riding hero who fights the forces of evil.
- Ultraman Leo – The series features the survivor of Planet L77 of the Leo constellation, who takes the human form of 20-year-old Gen Ootori.
- Super Sentai –A number of series on which Power Rangers is based, where original color-coded superhero teams battle out-of-this-world villains, their armies, and incredible monsters. The offering includes Chojin Sentai Jetman (never a Power Rangers series), Super Sentai Zyuranger (became Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Gosei Sentai Dairanger (also Mighty Morphin, home of the Thunderzords and White Ranger), Ninja Sentai Kakuranger (Ninja powers, Zords, and Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers), Chouriki Sentai Ohranger (Power Rangers Zeo), Gekisou Sentai Carranger (Power Rangers Turbo), Denji Sentai Megaranger (Power Rangers In Space), Seijuu Sentai Gingaman (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy),Kyuukyuu Sentai Gogofive (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue), Mirai Sentai Timeranger (Power Rangers Time Force), Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger (Power Rangers Wild Force), and Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger (Power Rangers Ninja Storm).
- Let’s Talk Toku – A new, original weekly talk show for anyone with an interest in tokusatsu. Hosted by Squall Charlson, and featuring a variety of guest hosts, Let’s Talk Toku gives viewers an inside look into everything toku, including masked superheroes, kaiju monsters, cyborgs, aliens, villains and, of course, the toys.
- Backlot – Select episodes from Shout! Factory TV’s original series that grants an inside look at favorite series and films, covering Godzilla, Gamera, Gorgo, Power Rangers and much more.
- Live Events – Events and convention stunts such as Power Morphicon livestreams.
The first promo above also indicates that kaiju movies will also air there at some point. How can you see these shows? Pluto TV can be streamed right from your computer (here’s the link to the channel) or can be streamed via app to numerous smart devices, game consoles, streaming devices like Apple TV or Chromecast on Pluto TV’s channel 681. If that doesn’t work for you, every show mentioned (except for live events because they’re, you know, airing live but you can track down highlights from the events, and Let’s Talk Toku at least for now) are available on-demand from Shout Factory TV in the links I added above or on DVD and/or Blu-Ray from Shout Factory themselves. This should get you thorough the current house arrest from that nasty virus running around.