From Super Hero to Buck Naked

Super Sentai is aimed at young boys, who dream of becoming super heroes. Namco Bandai churns out toys and video games to help fulfill that fantasy. But the kids aren't the only ones fantasizing. Their moms are, too.

Possible NSFW Photo ahead.

The Super Sentai series, known as Power Rangers in the West, is an offshoot of the tokusatsu boom of the 1950s and 60s. The word "sentai", or squad, was used by the Japanese military, and Super Sentai, featuring a squad of colorful rangers, was Japan's alternative to Western games of cowboys and indians or war.

Besides the bad ass and colorful costumes, one constant has been that the superheros are played by handsome young men. As Japanese website, The-Pookies.net pointed out, in the last few years, more and more moms becomes fervent Super Sentai fans. According to the site, "There are so many hot young dudes." Certainly, it's not only moms who like hot young dudes, so no doubt, there are a wide array of Super Sentai fans.

But since many mothers end up either watching the shows or movies with their kids—or at the very least buy toys or video games—it's important that the male actors appeal to women in much the same way that it's important that pet owners find pet food appetizing. (The Super Sentai series do have attractive female characters, too. Perhaps for the dads?)

From Super Hero to Buck Naked
(Madhouse)

The current and 35th Super Sentai series is Gokaiger, but the 33rd series was
Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, which had some wonderfully designed ranger outfits (the faces of their helmets were covered with kanji characters).

And former Fineboys fashion magazine model Tori Matsuzaka played the red ranger. He's gone on to appear in TV dramas, and this October he's releasing a new photobook, which has his first nude photo. The photo (pictured) isn't that revealing, but he's naked!

"I pictured the photographer as my lover," the 22-year-old Matsuzaka told Sanspo, "and I got into it like you would for a film shoot."

Matsuzaka's new photo book goes on sale October 25 in Japan. This ain't your mother's Super Sentai. No, well. Maybe it is.

(Top photo: KBC | Fuji TV)
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You can contact Brian Ashcraft, the author of this post, at bashcraft@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.