Tokusatsu (特撮) is a Japanese term that applies to any live-action film or television drama that features considerable use of special effects (tokusatsu literally translates as "special filming" in Japanese).

Tokusatsu entertainment often deals with science fiction, fantasy or horror, but movies and television shows in other genres can sometimes count as tokusatsu as well. The most popular types of tokusatsu include kaiju monster movies like the Godzilla and Gamera film series; superhero TV serials such as the Kamen Rider and Metal Hero series; and mecha dramas like Giant Robo. Some tokusatsu television programs combine several of these subgenres, for example the Ultraman and Super Sentai series. Tokusatsu is one of the most popular forms of Japanese entertainment, but most tokusatsu movies and television programs are not widely known outside Asia.

Tokusatsu had two major periods, dubbed the "Monster Boom" and the "Henshin Boom". The Monster Boom was started by Godzilla and famously saw the rise of many daikaiju pictures in the film industry. Henshin Boom was started by Kamen Rider, and it greatly influenced how action heroes worked and its effects can still be seen today in the superhero and action-adventure genre.

Suitmation (スーツメーション Sūtsumēshon?) is a term originally used in Japan for a tokusatsu technique to portray a daikaiju (giant monster) using a suit actor in a monster suit, often moving through scale model scenery to give the impression of large size, as well as filming them at a higher framerate, to make them appear slower.

The term can be used when puppet does not apply, since the puppet is being worn by an actor, and when costume does not apply, since the costume is also being controlled by a puppeteer.

The technique was initially developed by Eiji Tsuburaya for use in Godzilla films and then used for his Ultra Series productions.

The following are considered suitmation: the creature costumes of some B-movies, notably An American Werewolf in London, and the American television satire Dinosaurs; the full-body costumes of Jim Henson's Creature Shop, in particular the pre-Creature Shop creations of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth; and also other creations of his such as Big Bird and Sweetums.

The 2009 film Where the Wild Things Are uses a suitmation technique combined with computer-generated imagery to depict the Wild Things.

Toku series and franchises include:A suit actor (スーツアクター sūtsu akutā?) is a member of, usually, a Japanese tokusatsu production who works similar to a stunt performer. However, the suit actor does all of his or her stunts while in a full costume that normally obscures their identity from the viewer (typically the transformed character) and performs pantomime, as an actor's voice will generally be dubbed during after-recording process (アフレコ afureko?).

Super Sentai, Metal Heroes and Kamen Rider franchises on this list were adapted, with varying degrees of success, by Saban Entertainment to produce the U.S. series Power Rangers, VR Troopers, Big Bad Beetleborgs and Masked Rider. Kamen Rider Ryuki was later adapted into Kamen Rider Dragon Knight. As for the original Japanese shows, good luck finding official releases outside of Asia....

Tokusatsu Tropes have their own page.

Names To Know In Tokusatsu:

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