Introduction & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Joe Sewell

Sep 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/7/99
Archive-name: tv/sentai/intro-faq
Alt-tv-sentai-archive-name: intro-faq
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: Sat, Mar 27, 1999
Version: 1.3.3
FAQ-maintainer: Joe Sewell <>

What's New:

- Corrected the URL for the Tokusatsu (formerly Sentai) home page.
- Corrected the note on "For Sale" posts.

Q: What is "sentai?"

A: According to Ben Dunn, editor of Antartic Press' now-defunct magazine,
"Sentai," Sentai is Japanese for "task force." The formula involves an
evil group (demons, monsters, "space aliens," or whatever) who want to
conquer the Earth. A group of teens or young adults, who also happen
to be skilled in the martial arts, is empowered to stop them. They get
their clocks cleaned, see their nemesis-of-the-show grow, and summon
the obligatory giant robot, which destroys the evil monster. For
example, the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is a sentai show

. Sentai can also be used as a catch-all term to refer to any Asian
live-action SF/Fantasy show. This is the definition that inspired (Thanks to Ben Dunn, editor of Antarctic Press'
"Sentai" magazine, for this inspiration.) According to Eugene Glover
(, the correct word for this genre is
"tokusatsu" (or "Special Effects").

Q: What is

A: is an unmoderated newsgroup created for discussion of
sentai/tokusatsu shows. These shows include originals, such as
Ultraman, Ultra Seven, Gridman, Metalder, and Zyuranger, plus
"modified imports," such as TNT's Ultra 7 [based on the original Ultra
Seven], Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad [Electronic Warrior Gridman],
VR Troopers [Metalder& Spielban/Spielbal], and Mighty Morphin' Power
Rangers [Zyuranger/Juranger et al]. Related features, such as The
Ultraman (which was animated) and Ultraman: The Adventure Begins (also
animated), can be included here as well (note that these are "related"
in that they are related to live-action shows).

. Animated sentai shows, such as Battle of the Planets [Gatchaman] &
Voltron [Go Lion & Dairugger XV] are probably also fair game, but you
may want to post these to and to rec.arts.anime, to get
the most interest. (Heck, it's unmoderated, so anything goes ... but I
hope we're all adult enough to leave flames & other junk in Email, if
we must indulge in them at all.)

Q: Waitaminnit, Ultra 7 is a "modified import?"

A: It's halfway between the Ultraman (the one with Hayata) shows, which
were relatively direct translations of the original, and Syber-Squad,
which mixes Japanese footage with American footage. Ultra 7 (using the
number, as TNT does) replaces a lot of dialog, probably so it fits
with the mouth movements, rather than the original story. A net.friend
of mine who has seen the original tells me several stories were
drastically changed, even ruined, by the substitute dialog. (Details
from someone involved in the translation are given in Sentai #5;
basically the company that did the translation was given no firm
direction on what to do.)

Q: Can we post binaries?

A: NO! Binary postings should be left to the alt.binaries.*
hierarchy. It may seem a small thing to some folks, but some sites
just don't have the storage space to handle binary postings; with all
binary articles in alt.binaries, it's much easier for a site to filter
out binary postings. If you want to post a picture or a sound, put it
in one of the existing binary groups, or propose an group in alt.config (but read the FAQ on
proposing alt groups first ... I did it right, so can everybody else).

Q: Can we post items for sale?

A: Absolutely. In fact, I'd encourage folks to cross-post items for sale
or items wanted. Other groups which may be interested are, rec.arts.anime.marketplace, and
rec.arts.sf.marketplace. (I've been informed that rec.collecting is
NOT a good place to do this; they expressly prohibit "For Sale"
postings. Check with the group's FAQ before cross-posting.)

Q: Where are the FAQ files for this group?

A: Right now, this is it, as far as textual FAQ's go. The Ultraman FAQ
is now available on the Web only; point your browser to to see it. To the
best of my ability, I'll be following the standard guidelines for
USENET FAQ's for the text-only FAQ's, so it'll be posted to
news.answers & alt.answers (and, of course), and
archived at & the equivalent sites elsewhere. (Since the
Ultraman FAQ is HTML only, it will not be regularly posted. Due to
its size, I have decided not to make a textual version to post

. This FAQ, and others that I may submit, will be posted automatically
by the automated FAQ server maintained by the news.answers moderators.
Posting will be every 30 days, or roughly monthly (though, obviously,
it may skip a February once in a while). Check the Last-modified and
Version lines at the top of this message to determine if it's a new
version or just a repost.

Q: How can I contribute to the FAQ?

A: Emailing me is your best bet. If you want to start a FAQ yourself,
let me know. (You can do it yourself, if you wish, by following
the guidelines published in news.answers.) If you've got a FAQ
idea that doesn't need to be archived anywhere, post away; otherwise,
follow the news.answers guidelines, or Email the FAQ to me
( and I'll take care of the rest. Some FAQ's may
be archived elsewhere, for example on the Tokusatsu home page
(; this wouldn't necessarily
affect posting/archiving via news.answers.

Q: What's the distribution for this group?

A: The default, which is world-wide. The standard bit about limiting the
distribution of individual messages applies here (for example,
mentioning a fan club in New Jersey is probably best done with a
Distribution: line of nj,ny & perhaps other nearby areas). Discussion
of the "modified imports" may be best distributed to "usa," but
perhaps not. (It depends.)

. Please note, though, that since this is an alt group, not everybody
will carry it. Some newsadmin's refuse to carry the alt groups in
general, while others carry all of them. It depends.

Q: Will there be any "celebrities" here?

A: We've had a few already. Ben Dunn of Antarctic Press has shown up in
the past, and we've had King Wilder, director of Ultraman: The
Ultimate Hero.

Q: These Japanese shows sound great! How can I get videos?

A: This has become one of the most frequently asked questions.
Unfortunately, this is one of the most frequently asked questions for
which I have no answer. Previous versions of this FAQ had two
companies listed; for various reasons, I have removed mention of
these companies (one, according to some Email letters, has had
difficulties fulfilling orders, while the other has requested

. The best thing to do is to check out Web search engines, such as
Alta Vista ( and Yahoo
(, to find companies who will market &
distribute videos.

. Individuals may also have videos of the various sentai shows. Why
not ask in the newsgroup?

This FAQ is copyright 1994-1999 by Joe Sewell. This FAQ may be distributed
freely, provided the entire contents are provided, including this notice
and all headers. Individual questions & answers may be quoted with
attribution (e.g. "from the Intro FAQ"); the attribution
does not need to include the author's name (but I won't argue if you do
include it <g>). Distribution via CD-ROM or other computer-readable media
is permitted, regardless of the sale price of the product; I would appreciate
a free copy of any CD-ROM on which it is distributed (one is sufficient,
although I would appreciate copies including revisions to this FAQ ...
I won't argue against copies of all updates, of course <big grin>).

Information provided in this FAQ is not warranted to be at all correct,
for all legal purposes. The author's best attempts at accuracy were
performed prior to releasing this FAQ, however inaccuracies may creep in.

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