Sunday, April 10, 2016

SHOWA HERO EVENT IN NAKANO! Battle Fever J Cast Members Reunite for Their Fans!

Battle Fever J alumni Kenji Ohba, Narimitsu Kurachi, and Daisuke Ban converge on the Nakano Sun Plaza for a special reunion event! Photo by Brett Homenick.

Sunday, April 10, saw a special event that reunited principal cast members of the hit Super Sentai program Battle Fever J (1979-1980). Held in the Nakano Sun Plaza in Nakano, Tokyo, many fans of Super Sentai gathered for this extraordinary event. The official title of the meeting was Showa Hero Talk and Sign, and it was a big hit with attendees.

Actor Narimitsu Kurachi poses with fans of Battle Fever J for photos. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Narimitsu Kurachi portrayed Battle France on Battle Fever J, but he also appears in Toho's The Imperial Navy (1981) and Toei's The Imperial Japanese Empire (1982). On television, Kurachi-san can be seen in guest appearances on Toei's Spider-Man (1978-79) Denshi Sentai Denziman (1980-81) and Space Sheriff Gavan (1982-83).

Kurachi-san was a very friendly and personable guest. He even performed a bit of flamenco dancing onstage! Of the three guests, I spent the most time speaking with Kurachi-san. He's a true gentleman!

Actor Daisuke Ban gives a thumbs-up to Battle Fever J and its many fans! Photo by Brett Homenick.

Also in attendance was Daisuke Ban, a prolific tokusatsu star who is well known among American fans for his starring roles in Kikaider (1972-73) and Inazuman (1974). Ban-san went on to play Battle Cossack in Battle Fever J.

Ban-san was likewise very friendly, but having already met him at a special Kikaider event in Los Angeles in 2010 and (very briefly) at a Super Festival a couple of years ago, I already knew that! It's always great to meet this legend of tokusatsu.

Kenji Ohba poses with two different generations of fans! Photo by Brett Homenick.

The guest who seemed to attract the most attention was Kenji Ohba. Ohba-san's resume could easily take up the rest of this blog post. He appears in Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon (1977), Legend of the Eight Samurai (1983), and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), among many other credits. Ohba-san started as a suit actor on such classic Toei programs as Kamen Rider (1971-73), Kikaider, and Robot Detective (1973). As a regular performer, Ohba-san appears on Battle Fever J (as Battle Kenya), Denshi Sentai Denziman, Space Sheriff Gavan, and Space Sheriff Sharivan (1983-84).

Ohba-san took his time with his fans, giving each person quite a bit of attention. Many fans brought multiple items for him to sign. Even though he is not as well known in the West as the Toho stars, the Japanese fans certainly are aware of his accomplishments, and it was great to see their reaction to him.

Many thanks to Ms. Kojima for staging another great event. I hope to attend the next one!

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