I recently went to a toy sale at my local mall and found a whole stash of Kamen Rider 555 action figures. I immediately grabbed a Kamen Rider Kaixa figure (which is one of the coolest figures in the bunch). It was a 12-inch figure that lights up just like in the series — signifying that the armor is powering up.
Getting my hands on a Kamen Rider figure made me think of the other genre that is as popular as Sentai — the Tokusatsu genre. Tokusatsu is a looser grouping, not like the more genre specific sentai. Tokusatsu literally means Special Effects and is actually a contraction of two words tokushu satsuei, which means special photography.
The tokusatsu series runs the whole gamut of subgenres from science fiction, fantasy and even horror and monsters. Some of the most popular tokusatsu series or shows aside from Kamen Rider are the Ultraman series, the Godzilla and Gamera series, and even Doraemon.
The Tokusatsu is another one of those distinctly Japanese pop culture references that make their culture so unique.