Tokusatsu fans in the West have long been left out in the cold when it comes to watching legal streams of their favorite shows, but a shift towards making these shows available in the West has begun in recent years.
While some are available on other websites, there are two key resources when looking for tokusatsu: Crunchyroll and Shout! Factory.
Crunchyroll specializes in bringing the latest anime to viewers hours after they’re broadcast in Japan and have recently struck up various streaming deals with Tsuburaya that have lead to 9 series being available with English subtitles on their website.
Shout! Factory specialize in older and niche programs, as such, there are various Godzilla and Gamera movies available via their website. In addition to their kaiju selection, Shout! also offers the first two of their Super Sentai releases, Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger and Gosei Sentai Dairanger, for streaming on their website.
Shout!’s streaming option is completely free while Crunchyroll offers two models: viewers can pay a monthly subscription for their premium member service and receive episodes in as little as an hour from when they aired in Japan or sign up for a free account and watch the latest episodes one week after their air date.
The Ultraman franchise features a giant sized hero fighting giant monsters, often joined by a “science patrol team” who pilot high-tech vehicles to help in the battles. The original Ultraman and Ultra Seven are well known to older generation tokusatsu fans and mainstream viewers alike thanks in part to nationally broadcast runs they received. In the present day, there are more Ultraman shows streaming than any other series at the moment for viewers in the West.
- Ultraman: The grandfather of the modern tokusatsu hero shows, Ultraman is available in its entirety. This series is also available on Hulu.
- Ultra Seven: A unique take on the Ultraman formula, back when Ultra Seven wasn’t a sequel but a reboot of Ultraman.
- Ultra Q: The very first show in the Ultra franchise, featuring monsters and a traditional sci-fi formula over hero action.
- Ultraman Mebius: The 40th anniversary series, often called a fan favorite, features a return to the original shared universe of the first 7 shows, along with cameos from some of the original Ultras.
- Ultraman Max: The series that came before Mebius, a fast and fun series highlighting great action and unique directing, thanks in large part to the amazing cast of high profile directors who lent their talents to the show. (including Takeshi Miike)
- Ultraman Leo: One of the greats from the original Showa era of Ultraman shows. Leo features a dramatic story line with high intensity action and the return of a fan favorite character from a previous series.
- Ultraman 80: The last traditional Ultraman series until Ultraman Tiga, over a decade later. 80 is a unique experience all its own with one of the most bizarre looking Ultraman characters.
- Ultraman Nexus: Nexus was a dramatic take on the typically family friendly series, with darker story lines than usual.
- Ultraman X: The most recent Ultraman series and the very first tokusatsu to be simulcast to overseas viewers as it airs in Japan.
- Ultraman Ginga/S: Ginga and Ginga S were the pair of shows that introduced the Spark Dolls gimmick to the franchise.
- Ultraman Gaia: The 1998 entry in the Ultra Series. Gaia is known for being the brainchild of prolific writer Chiaki J. Konaka, and for featuring two dueling Ultramen.
Known in the west primarily for its Power Rangers adaptations, the Super Sentai shows have long been seen as an impossiblilty for legal releases in the west but thanks to Shout! Factory’s efforts, fans are seeing releases following the shows that Power Rangers used for footage.
- Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger: The series the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is based on and the first time a Sentai has been legally streamed in the US.
- Gosei Sentai Dairanger: The second Sentai released in the US. Suits from this martial arts and chinese mythology inspired series were not used in the second season of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
Other Tokusatsu Productions
Unless otherwise noted, these shows and movies are English dubbed, possibly edited versions of the productions.
- Johnny Soko and His Flying Robot: (Giant Robo): One of the earliest examples of a giant robot in tokusatsu TV show, brought to you by the producer of the original Kamen Rider series, Tooru Hirayama. This series is dubbed into English.
- Monster Zero
- Godzilla’s Revenge
- Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster
- Godzilla, King of the Monsters (Edited American Version)
- Gojira (Uncut Japanese Original)
- Godzilla Raids Again
- Godzilla vs the Thing
- Terror of Mechagodzilla
- Godzilla vs Megalon (Subbed and Dubbed)
- Destroy All Monsters (Subbed and Dubbed)
- Gamera: Super Monster (Subbed in Japanese)
- Gamera vs Zigra (Subbed in Japanese)
- Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (Subbed in Japanese)
- Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion (Subbed in Japanese)
- Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (Subbed in Japanese)
- Gamera vs Gyaos (Subbed in Japanese)
- Gamera vs Barugon (Subbed in Japanese)
- Gamera vs Jiger (Subbed in Japanese)
- Gamera vs Viras (Subbed in Japanese)
- Gamera vs Guiron (Subbed in Japanese)