Seiji Takaiwa steps down as main suit actor for Reiwa era of Kamen Rider.
In a surprise announcement, it was revealed that Yuya Nawata will take on suit acting duties for the upcoming Kamen Rider Zero-One, taking over the job previously held by veteran suit actor Seiji Takaiwa. Nawata has previously handled the suit acting for Kamen Rider Genm in 2016’s Kamen Rider Ex-Aid and is currently the suit actor for Kamen Rider Geiz alongside Takaiwa in the titular role of Kamen Rider Zi-O. In a recent interview, the two suit actors spoke about the baton being passed down from one generation to the next.
At 50 years old, Takaiwa says that he is happy to be passing on the baton to the 36 year old Nawata, though he will still be involved in the production of Kamen Rider Zero-One. Nawata states that he felt a mix of both joy and anxiety at the prospect of playing the lead in a Kamen Rider series, but was happy to receive the offer of the role of Zero-One. Speaking on his senior, Nawata called Takaiwa’s work in suit action the “golden standard” with his ability to convey facial expression despite wearing a mask. Takaiwa did not have much in the way of advice to give Nawata and expressed his confidence in his taking on the responsibility of the role.
Starting out in 1992 as DragonRanger in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, Takaiwa has portrayed several red heroes in the Super Sentai franchise in such as Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, Mirai Sentai Timeranger and Mahou Sentai Magiranger to name a few. Takaiwa has provided the suit action for 18 of the main 20 Heisei era Kamen Riders with the exceptions of Kuuga and Hibiki. This distinction gave him the apt nickname of “Mr. Heisei Kamen Rider.”