Sunday, October 18, 2015

MIRRORMAN AND FIREMAN TAKE TOKYO! Three Heroes Reunite at a Fan Gathering in Nakano!

Nobuyuki Ishida (left) Mitsuru Saijo (middle), and Naoya Makoto (right) pose for photos at the Nakano Sun Plaza for a gathering of Tsuburaya Productions fans. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

On Sunday, October 18, a special event for fans of two of the most notable non-Ultraman programs from Tsuburaya Productions was held on the 15th floor of the Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo. Many fans turned out for this event, and when I learned of the opportunity to meet three heroic actors from Tsuburaya Productions for the first time, I was eager to purchase a ticket.

Nobuyuki Ishida and Mitsuru Saijo, both of whom played different forms of Mirrorman, share a laugh onstage at the Nakano Sun Plaza. Photo by Brett Homenick.

The event began with a Q&A with all three actors jointly answering questions. Nobuyuki Ishida played Mirrorman's human alter ego Kyotaro Kagami on Mirrorman (1971-72) and made guest appearances on Jumborg Ace (1973), Super Robot Red Baron (1973-74), and Kamen Rider Super-1 (1980-81).

Naoya Makoto starred as Fireman's human alter ego Daisuke Misaki in Fireman (1973), as well as Tsuyoshi Kaijo/Akaranger in the inaugural Super Sentai program Goranger (1975-77).

Mitsuru Saijo is a retired suit actor who played Mirrorman and Fireman in the suits. Moreover, he played Redman in Redman (1972), Jumborg 9 in Jumborg Ace, and Zoffy in Ultraman Taro (1973-74).

Meeting actress Yoshimi Ashikawa was a surprise highlight of the event. 

As a surprise bonus guest, actress Yoshimi Ashikawa made an appearance and happily posed for pictures with fans. Ashikawa-san is known for her guest appearances on Mirrorman, Fireman, and Kamen Rider V3 (1973-74). She was also in the movie Nostradamus (1994), in which Ulf Otsuki plays the title role.

After the Q&A portion of the event wrapped, it was time for autographs and photos. During this time, I enjoyed speaking with many fellow fans who all share a passion for SFX films and TV programs.

 Posing for a picture with Naoya Makoto, whose impressive acting career spans several decades.

The first actor I met was Makoto-san, who was very friendly. Makoto-san's credits in the realm of SFX speak for themselves, but he also appeared in numerous films for Toei Studios during the 1970s. As a film buff, it was quite an honor to meet him for the first time.

Striking a familiar pose with suit actor Mitsuru Saijo, who has brought many Tsuburaya heroes to life.

It was also a privilege to meet suit actor Mitsuru Saijo, who played so many memorable heroes on TV during the 1970s. He was in great spirits and offered several different poses to all the fans who approached him for photos.

Locking hands with Nobuyuki Ishida, Mirrorman himself!

The last guest I met was Nobuyuki Ishida, otherwise known as Mirrorman's alter ego. Like the other guests, he was especially friendly with everybody he met. If there's a chance to meet this guests again at another event, I will happily take it!

It was a very enjoyable event, and I must commend organizer Ms. Kojima for bringing all the talent on hand together. The event ran very smoothly, and the guests and attendees had an excellent time.

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