Sunday, June 23, 2019

SHOWA HEROES OF THE 1970S! A Trio of Good Guys Joins Forces to Save the World!

From left to right: Shoji Ishibashi, Takeshi Sasaki, and Naoya Makoto. Photo by Brett Homenick.

I attended a Showa Hero event today that was headlined by three heroes of the '70s: Shoji Ishibashi, Takeshi Sasaki, and Naoya Makoto. It was a somewhat unusual grouping, as the three stars all headlined separate TV programs. But they are without a doubt three of the biggest heroes of the Henshin Boom of the '70s.

Naoya Makoto poses with his birthday cake. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Even though his actual birthday isn't until June 25, Makoto-san was presented with a birthday cake. Makoto-san commented that he will be turning 71 and that time flies. Indeed it does.

Naoya Makoto. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

For those of you not in the know, Naoya Makoto starred as the titular hero's human alter ego, Daisuke Misaki, in Tsuburaya Productions' Fireman (1973), as well as Tsuyoshi Kaijo/Akaranger in the original Super Sentai program Himitsu Sentai Goranger (1975-77).

I'd met him before at a previous Showa Hero event, and while I know he's attended other events since then, I'd never gotten a chance to see him until today. It's always a joy to meet a hero from Tsuburaya Productions.

Takeshi Sasaki. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Takeshi Sasaki was the actor who replaced the injured Hiroshi Fujioka on the original Kamen Rider (1971-73) series as Kamen Rider 2, and then teamed up with him later in the show.

It might be an exaggeration, but I'm not sure I'd ever seen a guest at any event in Japan sign as much memorabilia as Sasaki-san. Most fans in the line brought multiple (and I do mean multiple!) items for him to sign, and he took his time, carefully signing each one. It was quite interesting to see.

Shoji Ishibashi. Photo by Brett Homenick.

The final guest in the lineup was Shoji Ishibashi, who played Gentaro Shizuka on Iron King (1972-73).

He was the only guest I hadn't met before. Back in 2015, I briefly met his Iron King co-star Mitsuo Hamada at an event to which I'd arrived late. Ishibashi-san was very kind and was a great guest to meet.

And that concludes the most recent Showa Hero event.

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