While anime may be the most popular media output from Japan, it is not the only way the country has permanently influenced the popular culture of other countries. Tokusatsu is another big aspect of Japanese media, influencing movies, TV shows and, of course, anime as well. Despite this, many people in the West don’t really know what the term means or how widespread it is.
From mean giant monsters and robots to brightly colored teams of superheroes, Tokusatsu is most synonymous with countries with a certain Big G and some mighty Rangers. Primarily confined to live-action, the genre has had an undeniable influence on the development of anime and manga, namely outlandish concepts that connect fans to anime. Here’s how the house Godzilla built was instrumental in creating the mansion that is anime.
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What is Tokusatsu and what does the word mean?
In the most literal of translations, “tokatsu” simply means “special effect”. Any movie or TV show that includes some sort of high-flying extravagant special effects can thus be classified as a tokutsu feature. At the same time, the Japanese style has acquired several sub-styles that are more explanatory of what the term is known for. For example, there are productions “Kaiju/Daikaju”, these words are translated as “mysterious beast” or “giant monster”. Grandfather of this style will definitely be original godzilla and its sequel, which brought its giant monster to life through miniatures that made its rampage through Japan seriously realistic. Monsters are typically depicted by people in suits that range from grotesque and goofy to high-tech and terrifying.
Beyond this huge variety of kaiju, there are also smaller versions of superheroes in tokusatsu TV shows as per-episode enemies. Where TV Franchises Include ultraman, Kamen Rider And Super SentaiThe latter was eventually adapted in the West to make power Rangers Chain. Ultraman is also an example of another subgenre: Kyodai Hero, in which the protagonist changes his shape to fight equally humble threats. All these shows are derived from “Kaijin” (strange person) Nayak Lehar which started with the series super giant And moonlight maskWhich was in many ways the Japanese equivalent of Superman and Batman.
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How has Tokusatsu influenced anime and manga?
Many of the greatest tokusatsu hero franchises have been adapted into manga and even anime at one point or another. an example would be Himitsu Sentai Goranger (also spelled goranger) — a manga based on the original Super Sentai Chain. Similarly, mature-rated tokusatsu series Garo Received an Anime Follow-Up While ’90s Tokusatsu Show gridman It was recently rebooted into a mecha anime franchise. 2007 anime skull manu There was an adaptation of the manga of the same name, which itself was the actual vision of franchise creator Shotaro Ishinomori. Kamen Rider, Even That Series Is Leaping With Anime Kamen Rider W getting an anime sequel futo pi,
Beyond outright adaptations, there are other ways in which the anime industry has mirrored tokusatsu. In the case of sailor MoonThe character of Tuxedo Mask is heavily inspired by the above Moonlight Mask. A totally magical-girl style, with live-action, tokusatsu setup is essentially a more feminine take on beautiful guardian sailor moon Bringing things full circle. Ginyu Force of dragon ball g Team-based heavily parodies the over-the-top antics of tokusatsu Super Sentai, Saint Seiyaaka knights of the zodiacSimilarly an original anime based on Tokusatsu’s trappings.
Mumen Rider one-punch man very clearly based on Kamen Rider, while samurai flamenco Tokusatsu is a kind of cross between concepts and American superheroes. There is also a lot of crossover in terms of acting talent, with some suitable actors in Tokusatsu becoming voice actors in anime themselves as well. Given the acrobatic and derogatory names of attacks in tokusatsu shows, it can also be argued that similar concepts in shonen anime and manga find their roots there.