Sunday, May 21, 2017

SUPER SENTAI TO THE RESCUE! Toei All-Stars Fight Bad Guys!

From left to right: Ryosuke Sakamoto, Koji Unoki, Toshimichi Takahashi, yours truly, Hitomi Yoshii, and Kenju Hayashi.  

Today, I had the privilege of attending a special event that included a Q&A session and even a couple of dramatic readings hosted by a slew of Toei actors from the '70s and '80s. There's a lot of folks to talk about, so let's get right to it!

With Ryosuke Sakamoto. 

The first actor I'll discuss is Ryosuke Sakamoto. Sakamoto-san starred as Red One in Choudenshi Bioman (1984-85) and has appeared on other tokusatsu programs over the years, such as Kamen Rider Black (1987-88). As many Super Sentai fans know, Sakamoto-san had a major health scare last year, as he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It was wonderful to see Sakamoto-san in such great spirits.

With Lisa Komaki. 

Also there was Lisa Komaki. Komaki-san played Peggy Matsuyama on Himitsu Sentai Goranger (1975-77), the original Super Sentai series. She was also the suit actor for and voice of actress Diane Martin as the heroine Miss America on Battle Fever J (1979-80). Komaki-san is always someone I look forward to seeing at these shindigs.

With Toshimichi Takahashi. 

Toshimichi Takahashi is an actor and suit actor who appears in numerous films and TV productions from Toei and other studios, including: Wolf Guy (1975), Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon (1977), Mechanical Violator Hakaider (1995), the Toho superhero series Megaloman (1979), and numerous Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Metal Hero series, beginning with Goranger. In this photo, I'm holding his High Priest Baraom mask from Kamen Rider Black.

Koji Unoki, Hitomi Yoshii, yours truly, and Kenju Hayashi.

As if that weren't enough, Hitomi Yoshii was another featured guest. She began her career acting in the late 1970s and acted movies for Toei and Toho, but here she is best known for playing the villainous High Priestess Bishium on Kamen Rider Black.

Koji Unoki, holding his Dyna Blue helmet, was likewise in attendance. He played Dyna Blue (both in and out of the suit) on Kagaku Sentai Dynaman (1983-84).

Last but not least was Kenju Hayashi, who has appeared on Battle Fever J, Nebula Mask Machine Man (1984), and Kamen Rider Black. His biggest tokusatsu credit is portraying Prince Megiddo on Dynaman.

Whew! So much to talk about. Everyone was very nice and a lot of fun to see. A great mixture of heroes and villains!

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