Super Hero Time (スーパーヒーロータイム, Sūpā Hīrō Taimu) is a programming block on the Japanese television network, TV Asahi, featuring new episodes of tokusatsu television series from the Super Sentai and Kamen Rider series. Both series have decades of history and have been intertwined in the public imagination for some time, not least of all because the driving creative force behind both was manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori and they were both produced by the same production company, Toei Company; however, they did not air together until 2000 with Kamen Rider Kuuga and Kyukyu Sentai GoGoFive, though at the time they were not acknowledged together. Super Hero Time airs every Sunday morning, from 9:00 to 10:00 JST.
Starting in the late 1960s, the hour was originally meant for educational children's programs. Over the years the hour began including henshin hero programs, one of the first being Warrior of Love: Rainbowman (愛の戦士レインボーマン, Ai no Senshi Reinbōman).
In 1987, Toei's Choujinki Metalder was moved from a Monday evening 19:00 JST time slot to a Sunday morning 9:00 JST time slot, followed by a move of Kidou Keiji Jiban to 8:00 JST Sunday morning in 1989. Similarly, in 1997, Denji Sentai Megaranger was moved from a Wednesday evening 17:00 JST time slot to the Sunday morning 7:30 JST time slot, pairing it up with B-Robo Kabutack. The Super Sentai Series programs would continue to air at 7:30 JST after the Metal Hero Series ended and Moero!! Robocon aired in its slot in 1999 and was followed by the premiere of Kamen Rider Kuuga in 2000.
Although a Super Sentai Series and a Kamen Rider Series aired side-by-side, the Super Hero Time branding of the shows did not begin until the 2003 broadcast season (known as SUPER Hero Time (SUPERヒーロータイム) until 2005). As a part of the Super Hero Time block, actors from the programs often interact with each other to promote each other's shows, films, and perform skits. Satoru Akashi (Mitsuomi Takahashi) and Souji Tendou (Hiro Mizushima) talked about each other's franchises, and Master Sha-Fu (voiced by Ichirō Nagai) often showed up on the Den-Liner to talk with the Imagin and Ryotaro Nogami (Takeru Satoh) in cartoonish caricatures.
For the 2009 television season, Kamen Rider Decade only aired for 31 episodes, allowing for the broadcast of Kamen Rider W for a full 49 episode run. This has introduced an offset of 5 months between the series premieres of the yearly Super Sentai Series (which premieres in mid February) and Kamen Rider Series (now premiering in late September or early October), instead of an approximate month long offset that had existed before (Kamen Rider Series premiered in mid-January).
The Super Hero Time block is part of the larger Nichi Asa Kids Time (ニチアサキッズタイム, Nichi Asa Kizzu Taimu, "Sunday Morning Kids Time") block, which begins at 7:00 JST and concluded with the airing of a shōjo anime (beginning with Ojamajo Doremi, then Ashita no Nadja, and since 2004 the Pretty Cure franchise (Currently airing Tropical Rouge Precure), all of which are produced by ABC Osaka) at 9:00 JST. All shows are properties of Bandai.
On October 1, 2017, the Super Hero Time lineup moved to 9:00 to 10:00 JST, and the two shows swapped blocks, begin with shōjo anime at 8:30, then Kamen Rider at 9:00, and Super Sentai at 9:30. The former broadcast slot was replaced by a news program titled Sunday Live, featuring Noriyuki Higashiyama of the Johnny’s Entertainment idol group, Shonentai.
Pre-Super Hero Time Line-ups
|Premiere date||19:30 JST|
Kamen Rider ► Super Sentai ► Other series
|1973||February||Kamen Rider V3|
|1974||February||Kamen Rider X|
|1974||October||Kamen Rider Amazon|
|1975||April||Himitsu Sentai Gorenger|
|1978||July||Message from Space: Galactic Wars|
|1982||March||Uchuu Keiji Gavan|
|1983||March||Uchuu Keiji Sharivan|
|1984||March||Uchuu Keiji Shaider|
|1985||March||Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion|
|Premiere date||7:30 JST
Other series ► Kamen Rider
|1997||February||Denji Sentai Megaranger||B-Robo Kabutack|
|1998||March||Tetsuwan Tantei Robotack|
|February||Seijuu Sentai Gingaman|
|February||Kyukyu Sentai GoGoFive|
|2000||January||Kamen Rider Kuuga|
|February||Mirai Sentai Timeranger|
|2001||January||Kamen Rider Agito|
|February||Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger|
|2002||January||Kamen Rider Ryuki|
|February||Ninpu Sentai Hurricaneger|
Super Hero Time Line-ups
September 2003 - September 2017
October 2017 - April 2019
|Premiere date||9:00 JST
|2017||October||Kamen Rider Build||Uchu Sentai Kyuranger|
|2018||February||Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger|
|September||Kamen Rider Zi-O|
|2019||February||4 Week Continuous Special Super Sentai Strongest Battle!!|
|March||Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger|
May 2019 - Ongoing
|Premiere date||9:00 JST
|2019||May||Kamen Rider Zi-O||Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger|
|September||Kamen Rider Zero-One|
|2020||March||Mashin Sentai Kiramager|
|September||Kamen Rider Saber|
|2021||March||Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger|
|September||Kamen Rider Revice|
|2022||March||Avataro Sentai Donbrothers|
|TBA||Kamen Rider Geats|
On certain weeks, the block would go on hiatus for TV Asahi to air certain events happening that particular week (or, in the case of new year's, is simply just a generic one-week break). Notable examples include:
- The third weekend of June - U.S. Open
- However, due to the time difference between the U.S. and Japan, Super Hero Time may still be broadcast as usual depending on the year. In 2021, there was no global broadcast, so the block was aired as usual.
- The first weekend of November - Japan Collegiate Ekiden Championships
- The last weekend of December / first weekend of January - New Year's break
Before the change in broadcast time, it was sometimes suspended due to the United States Women's Open Golf (early July) (however, due to the time difference between the U.S. and Japan, it was aired as usual in some years). In addition to these, sports broadcasts such as the Olympic Games and FINA World Championships, variety specials, and special news programs for emergencies may cause one or both of the programs in the block to be pushed back a week.
In certain cases, only one of the two shows is aired while the other half of the block is replaced with an event or (in the case of Drive and ToQger) emergency news coverage. Notable examples include:
- Kamen Rider Drive - Why is Rinna Sawagami Nervous?
- Kamen Rider Ghost - Exciting! A Free Man!
- In place of a Ninninger episode, Ressha Sentai ToQger vs. Kyoryuger: The Movie, where the Ninningers made their pre-series debut, aired on 7:00 a.m. that day before Ghost aired.
- Kamen Rider Ex-Aid - Goodbye Me!
- Aired alone for the Japanese broadcast of the United States Women's Open Championship.
- Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger - Number 26: The Hidden Auction
- Aired alone for the airing of the first game of the 100th Japanese High School Baseball Championship.
The most notable and longest delay was the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan and the nation’s state of emergency order in mid 2020 which put production of new episodes of Kamen Rider Zero-One on hold for five weeks. Kiramager was also delayed for a brief period as one of its cast members became infected with the highly contagious virus. This hiatus was done to keep the production staff and crew of Toei studios out of harm’s way until new health and safety protocols for filming could be devised and the state of emergency was lifted by June of 2020.