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What is Sentai? 3 Sentai is one of the most popular genres in Japanese popular fiction, and this frenetic flavor of sci-fi action-adventure first came to America as the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers franchise during the early 1990s. There’s been at least one new Sentai series on Japanese television each and every year since the late 70s, and thanks to the success of the Power Rangers, similar shows have been a staple of American kid’s television for two decades now.
Sentai adventures emphasize teamwork: an elite squad of 5-6 colorful, spandex-clad superheroes use phenomenal gadgets, martial arts talent and equally colorful giant robots to battle alien monsters the size of small office buildings. As a genre, Sentai is predicable and formulaic to a fault: each episode follows a similar pattern. The Sentai team investigates some crisis, fights some low level adversaries until the episode’s real villain reveals itself. After battling the episode’s mastermind to a standstill, the villain grows to enormous size thanks to vile magic or alien technology, and to finally destroy the villain, the heroes must do the same, activating their own mecha or tapping into size changing circuitry built into their costume.
Alone, you’re powerful. You’re a skilled martial artist wearing an armored body stocking capable of shrugging off small arms fire and backed by an array of crime fighting gadgets years more advanced than anything else on Earth. As part of an elite Sentai, though, you’re unbeatable! When backed by your allies, your kicks sail higher, your punches are stronger, and your weapons find their mark more often. You’re as skilled at watching your friends’ backs as you are your own, and together your Sentai is definitely more than the sum of its parts.
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