Tokusatsu is one of the biggest, yet still completely niche genres in the world because while major franchises such as Godzilla have managed to make a mark outside of Japan, many of the other releases in this genre have not had that same luck. You have some success thanks to shows like Power Rangers that adapt original Super Sentai programs for English language audiences, but massive franchises such as Kamen Rider have rarely been available to watch for those outside of Japan. Anime fans will recognize the struggle of waiting for news on potential releases until the advent of streaming, and now Kamen Rider fans can celebrate a major turning point.
Shout! Factory has announced that an all-new, completely free streaming channel, dubbed TokuSHOUTsu, will be coming to Pluto TV on Tuesday, March 17th. Available through the Tech + Geek section of the streaming service on Channel 681, the streaming platform will be offering series such as Kamen Rider, Ultraman Leo, and various Super Sentai offerings for the first time in the United States.
Pluto TV is a completely free service that streams programs on a scheduled live TV basis (that also offers some On Demand videos as well), and TokuSHOUTsu will be available 24/7 as a part of it now. This includes the United States debut of the very first entry in the Kamen Rider franchise from 1971, which means that all 98 episodes of that series will be legally available for the very first time.
Here's the planned line-up from the TokuSHOUTsu channel as detailed by Shout! Factory in a press release:
- KAMEN RIDER: SEASON 1 – The original Japanese television series follows the exploits of a masked, motorcycle-riding hero who fights the forces of evil.
- ULTRAMAN LEO – The series features the survivor of Planet L77 of the Leo constellation, who takes the human form of 20-year-old Gen Ootori.
- SUPER SENTAI –A number of series on which Power Rangers is based, where original color-coded superhero teams battle out-of-this-world villains, their armies, and incredible monsters. The offering includes Chojin Sentai Jetman, Super Sentai Zyuranger, Gosei Sentai Dairanger, Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, Chouriki Sentai Ohranger, Gekisou Sentai Carranger, Denji Sentai Megaranger, Seijuu Sentai Gingaman, Kyuukyuu Sentai Gogofive, Mirai Sentai Timeranger, Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger, and Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger.
- LET'S TALK TOKU – A new, original weekly talk show for anyone with an interest in tokusatsu. Hosted by Squall Charlson, and featuring a variety of guest hosts, Let's Talk Toku gives viewers an inside look into everything toku, including masked superheroes, kaiju monsters, cyborgs, aliens, villains and, of course, the toys.
- BACKLOT – Select episodes from Shout! Factory TV's original series that grants an inside look at favorite series and films, covering Godzilla, Gamera, Gorgo, Power Rangers and much more.
- LIVE EVENTS – Events and convention stunts such as Power Morphicon livestreams.
More programs are expected to be added to the service as it continues, but this is quite the major offering from the outset! Are you excited to jump into the world of Tokusatsu for the first time? Ready to revisit these series again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool things @Valdezology on Twitter!0comments