The Shōwa period (昭和時代 Shōwa jidai, literally "period of enlightened peace/harmony"), or Shōwa era, is the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of the Shōwa Emperor, Hirohito, from December 25, 1926 through January 7, 1989. After his death, Hirohito was posthumously renamed "Emperor Shōwa" on the 31st of January, 1990.
The Super Sentai series started in the Shōwa era, the Heisei period started during the last episodes of Choujuu Sentai Liveman, with Kousoku Sentai Turboranger being the first Super Sentai title of the Heisei period.
Super Sentai in the Shōwa period
Although having success with Kamen Rider and other transforming heroes, the mid-1970s were a difficult time in their development. While two KR series were produced in 1974, both showed mixed successes for NET (the network that would later become "TV Asahi") and Toei: Kamen Rider X, the first series of the year, was a success in developing a more "mechanical" hero who used weapons for combat; while Kamen Rider Amazon, an experiment in developing a more dramatic story, was deemed a failure. With creator Shotaro Ishinomori electing to move his next Kamen Rider series to another network (the series that would become Kamen Rider Stronger, which would air on TBS), they decided to instead develop a new team, devised by the concept of being "Five Riders" working together against a common foe while furthering concepts brought from Kamen Rider X in developing a more dynamic spy-type series.
After several failed concepts, Ishinomori and his friend and partner Toru Hirayama came up with an idea by combining elements of the manga "Cyborg 009"'s superhero team dynamic with elements of Kamen Rider. The show went through many titles, "Red 1", "Five Ranger", "Guts Ranger" and "Five-nin Ranger". Eventually, the series concepts dropped the "-nin" suffix in the title and changed the English word "Five" to its Japanese counterpart "Go", creating the word "GoRanger". After the concepts of the characters got a little more reworking, the show finally got its proper title, Himitsu Sentai Gorenger. Once it aired on TV on April 5, 1975, it became another of the many successes of the manga artist and the Toei television producer and became the first of what would eventually become the Super Sentai Series. Shouzou Uehara, a writer notable for his work on the Ultraman franchise and the main writer of The Return of Ultraman, was brought on as main writer of the series, with a corp of writers brought in to write for this series, including Susumu Takaku and Hirohisa Soda, who in particular made a name for himself working as a writer for Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, an anime which was seen as an inspiration for the franchise.
Shōwa Sentai Series
- Himitsu Sentai Gorenger (1975-1977)
- J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai (1977)
- Battle Fever J (1979-1980)
- Denshi Sentai Denziman (1980-1981)
- Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan (1981-1982)
- Dai Sentai Goggle V (1982-1983)
- Kagaku Sentai Dynaman (1983-1984)
- Choudenshi Bioman (1984-1985)
- Dengeki Sentai Changeman (1985-1986)
- Choushinsei Flashman (1986-1987)
- Hikari Sentai Maskman (1987-1988)
- Choujuu Sentai Liveman (1988-1989)
- Though most likely not intended as such, the first stanza of Super Sentai Hero Getter (the ending to Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger) lists all 12 of the series from the Showa period, from Gorenger to Liveman.