Last weekend, the Tokusatsu Network attended Super Festival 65 was held in Tokyo, Japan, opening its doors to tokusatsu and hero toy collectors and sellers alike. Unique toys were on sale, ranging from Lockseeds to Transformers to vintage Goranger toys. However, the highlights were the talk shows, featuring original Godzilla actor Akira Takarada, Daisuke Ban (who played Kikaider/Jiro), Hakaider’s actor Shozo Iizuka, writer Shukei Nagasawa, and legendary tokusatsu actor, Kamen Rider V3’s Hiroshi Miyauchi.
Much of the Kikaider talk show centered around the episodes featuring Hakaider, all of which were written by Shukei Nagasawa. Nagasawa was one of the series’ writers from the beginning and discussed the pre-production period of the show when it was under the working titles of “Red Blue” and “Zero Diver”. Originally, Masaru Igami was the main writer, but Nagasawa took over for the final stretch of the show. He had a reputation for being able to get scripts in faster than other writers. When Kikaider began airing, he was writing for a number of other projects, including Kamen Rider. It was not an uncommon practice for the head show writer position to be passed down to another writer. Nagasawa created the idea for the Hakaider Corps in the show when he saw the extra stunt suits for the original Hakaider lying around behind the scenes. He thought it would be a waste not to use them in some way.
Iizuka (Hakaider) spoke briefly of his first tokusatsu voice roles for Toei, Kumon Death in Suki! Suki! Majô Sensei and Doruge in Superhuman Barom-1, before landing the role of Hakaider. Modern fans might recognize him as a recurring voice in a lot of the team-up movies, most recently as Demon King Psycho in Super Hero Taisen Z (reprising the role from Space Sheriff Sharivan.) Nagasawa discussed how they wrote the monster and battle cries into the scripts, which often would be represented by a series of marks which were actually be created later. Iizuka was fond of the monster Tankuuda in Space Ironmen Kyodain, where it was decided that the monster would repeat his name endlessly while he stomps along.
At the end of their segment, Iizuka quoted his characters’ infamous line – “Damn you, Kikaider“, much to the roar of the crowd (see clip below). The following talk show featured long time tokusatsu actor, Hiroshi Miyauchi, who portrayed Kamen Rider V3, Aoranger in Himitsu Sentai Goranger, Extraordinary Zubat and Big One in J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai, among many others. Miyauchi came out dressed as Kazami Shiro (V3s’ human form), complete with his henshin belt, white waistcoat and motorcycle helmet. At the beginning of the interview before sitting down, he joked that “Today, I am Kazami Shiro, so I won’t be talking about anything else” and when asked for a word or two at the beginning, he simply replied with a deadpan “Good Afternoon”. Miyauchi began the talk show by talking about his roles before tokusatsu. He often mentioned Key Hunter (1968-1973), a prime-time detective series starring Tetsuro Tamba and Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba, who Miyauchi considered his mentors. Miyauchi himself was a later addition to the cast and it was his biggest TV role up until V3. A lot of what he learned about filming action and fight scenes he learned from Sonny Chiba, whom he picked up the tradition of wearing gloves from him. Although, he revealed that it was actually done for safety reasons.
Going onto his iconic role, Miyauchi talked about how he originally misunderstood and thought the offer to play a Kamen Rider meant for him to be in the suit! Miyauchi discussed how he tackled the role of following up from the previous two heroes. He explained that he tried to differentiate between his character and the previous Double Riders; he tried to use very distinctive body language as Kazami Shiro. He turned to the audience and told them to watch V3 now and pay attention to how Kazami moves and acts. Miyauchi was very comedic throughout the show, making some good-natured cracks at both his predecessors – “V3 is three times as strong as either 1 or 2”. He jokingly asked if anyone from Toei was in the room, and proceeded to then comment on the phenomenon of the modern ‘pretty boy’ Riders that have been cast for the audiences’ mothers. He also had some fun ribbing the interviewer; when he gave a particularly long answer, paused to ask what the original question was again but when the interviewer tried to recall what it was, Miyauchi just continued on, answering it anyway.
Speaking about filming, Miyauchi recalled the sequence in the V3 movie when Kazami is on the beach running from explosions caused by Cannon-Buffalo’s guns. Even though the scene was quite dangerous because of how close he would be to the explosions, at the time he was very gung-ho about doing as many of his own stunts as he possibly could and considered that to be one of his favorite scenes of filming. Reflecting on his various tokusatsu roles, he approached each role differently and didn’t think when playing Aoranger/Zubat/Big One that “I’ll just play Kazami again.” He would try to give each one a different ‘voice’ and inflection. At the end, he posed for posed in his henshin pose, before asking everyone to get their cameras ready for his iconic Kamen Rider V3 Henshin.