The Power Rangers, Godzilla and Ultraman share certain characteristics, for all these series belong to the same genus. the tokusatsu
Giant robots, costumes with special powers, and above all, huge monsters that threaten to destroy the city. All of these elements are characteristic of the genre known as tokusatsu and encompasses productions like Power Rangers , Godzilla and Ultraman, Japanese classics as well as Kamen Rider and Super Sentai.
What is the tokusatsu?
As always, define a genre can be difficult, because there are many elements that come together to try to accurately describe a cultural phenomenon. The term was first used in the fifties by the Japanese press to refer to films that used special effects, and given the ambiguity of its origins, costs to get a more or less solid definition.
However, we could say that Tokusatsu (特 撮) literally means “special effects” ; but to genus it covers much more. Hirofumi Katsuno In his essay entitled Kikaida for Life: Cult Fandom in a Japanese Live-Action TV Show defines it as:
Although tokusatsu literally means “special effects” are used to refer to live-action movies or television shows that have kaijus, henshin and sentai.
The origin of tokusatsu is closely linked to bunraku and kabuki theater where rudimentary puppets were used. However, it was not until the mid-twentieth century, with the birth of Godzilla href=”http://hipertextual.com/2014/05/diez-curiosidades-monstruosas-godzilla”> charges form, including several of its features.
What they have in common Godzilla and the Power Rangers?
The tokusatsu covers various topics such as science fiction, fantasy and horror, while that has certain aesthetic characteristics. Everyone remembers the poor quality of the special effects of the action sequences of the Power Rangers, how he looked at the zipper suit Ultraman, all those details that seem fruit of the technological limitations of the time, but which are actually part of the particular aesthetic of this kind.
Donald Richie mentioned in” A Hundred Years of Japanese Film “referring to the Power Rangers:
Even more subtly, the quality low-budget special effects and Dinosord Megazord is a ritualized repetition Japanese tradition established many decades ago by Godzilla … unlike the prevailing ideology in the United States, which holds that good special effects depend on the latest technological advances, the Power Rangers have an old-fashioned futurism, twee, which is sufficient itself.
Also, another feature of the series and films tokusatsu is just the use of people dressed to represent monsters who will fight with the players on a scale representation of the city. This technique is known by the name of suitmation and involves also usually film the scene more framerate for the characters seem slower .
This is further ago obvious when you see the most recent seasons franchises like Kamen Raider, in which monsters, action scenes and special effects retain the rudimentary and even ridiculous feature, but that is special and unique productions of this kind.
The most popular subgenres of tokusatsu
As mentioned earlier, there are many types of tokusatsu productions differentiated by the type of characters and actors. Among them are the kaiju , which literally means monster and embraces beings as Godzilla, Mothra and Gamera. In fact, is no coincidence that in Pacific Rim have used this word for monsters Titanic that threaten the world.
Another subgenre is that of the Henshin , which means “transformation.” In this type of production the heroes are transformed using any device and reciting a particular phrase. For example, when shouting “Henshin” Kamen Rider. Another example is the classic Ultraman henshin.
The subgenus sentai includes groups of heroes , as in the case of Super Sentai, which would be adjusted in 1992 to create the famous Power Rangers and as well as the latest seasons of Kamen Raider (Wizard, Gaim and Drive). In the sentai heroes also be transformed using certain artifacts and assembled to create giant robots .
As a curiosity, despite being adaptations, all that Super Sentai and Power Rangers have in common are action scenes, costumes and robots, along with some villains. The script and the actors are completely different, so it could distribute the Power Rangers series in Japan without any problems.
August 11, 2015
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