Sunday, May 13, 2018

LIGHT SPEED ESPER! A Day in the Company of One of Japan's Youngest Heroes!

 Kiyotaka Mitsugi. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Today was all about the the Senkosha-produced superhero TV series Light Speed Esper (1967-68). I attended an event today during which three episodes of the series were screened (from the Blu-ray), which was followed by an interview with the star of the show, Kiyotaka Mitsugi.

Of course, Mitsugi-san starred as the titular hero in Light Speed Esper, but he'd probably be better known in the West for his portrayal of ZAT member Jiro Nishida in Tsuburaya Productions' Ultraman Taro (1973-74). Super Sentai fans may recognize Mitsugi-san from his role as Dr. Hoshikawa on Chikyu Sentai Fiveman (1990-91). 

I asked Mitsugi-san about the difference between working on Esper and Ultraman Taro. He said that, as an adult, he was able to make requests of the crew, but even though he was the star of Esper, as a 14-year-old boy he felt he couldn't make such requests.

As you'd expect, it was a fun afternoon, and I certainly enjoyed meeting Mitsugi-san for the first time. I hope it won't be the only time!


  1. Well, sort of known for Taro - he leaves the show around 8 episodes in, though he does return for an episode.

    1. Sure, but I'd wager more American fans have seen him on Taro than Esper ... or have even *heard* of Esper!