One of my fondest childhood memories was excitedly anticipating 6pm on a Saturday. No, it’s not because my mother was going to prepare a favorite dish. It’s when Goranger is shown on one of the local channels. Goranger was one pay for research paper of the first Sentai series to come out of Japan. They were also one of my favorite heroes. It’s been almost three decades (!) since I’ve seen Goranger but I still have a soft spot for it. It practically defined my childhood.
Sentai are one of the quirky genres that can be categorically confirmed as purely Japanese created. If you’re confused about what Sentai is then just look at any of the current iterations of the Power Rangers, because the Power Rangers are absolutely Sentai. The Sentai phenomenon spawned so many different titles and heroes that only the most hardcore sentai fan would even recognize all of them. But a common theme does run through all of the sentai series and heroes — the preference for distinctive colors to identify individual heroes, distinctive designs on the helmet, a group of four or five, and unique abilities for each sentai hero. With the emergence of Super Sentai, other conventions became established — separate vehicles that could either form into a robot or enter a robot and a first battle with a villain that culminates with the robot battle.
Adults watching a sentai series now may find it quite silly. But in our childhood, they were the pinnacle of cool. I admit, they are still the coolest things I’ve seen on TV, and I still secretly long to become the Aka Ranger.