The local hero based out of Los Angeles, California known as Fujiyama Ichiban has gained popularity over the past couple of years. Aiming to reach a wider audience, creator Michi Yamato has begun filming the live-action movie based on the character.
Originally presented in a bi-monthly magazine distributed to select business in South California, the character of Fujiyama Ichiban was created to introduce Americans to a piece of Japanese culture while also carrying a message of environmental awareness to children and adults alike. Michi Yamato, the creator of the character Fujiyama Ichiban, is a highly experienced martial artist, suit actor and stunt coordinator who has worked on many productions ranging from Japanese tokusatsu such as Robot 8-chan and Chōdenshi Bioman to American shows such as Masked Rider and Big Bad Beetleborgs. Through his company Samurai Action Studio, Yamato aims to bring his idea to life on the screen.
In Japan, aside from the well-known superhero tokusatsu franchises such as Kamen Rider, Super Sentai and Ultraman, there are many local heroes that represent a specific city or prefecture. These heroes spawn TV shows and movies that usually only air in their region. Fujiyama Ichiban was designed to be an authentic Japanese hero centered around Los Angeles and has gradually transitioned from magazine to stage shows that are performed throughout Southern California. And now, filming has begun on the live action movie titled Fujiyama Ichiban: The Movie.
The story revolves around a young college student named Sun Taiyo (played by Adam Forrest), who was born in Japan and raised in Los Angeles. The alien organization known as the Dark Matter Empire has captured Sun’s father, an environmental scientist developing technology to harvest and utilize natural energy, and is now targeting Sun. With the help of his mentor Tsurugi Sensei (played by Michi Yamato), he is able to transform into Fujiyama Ichiban using the solar-powered suit of armor developed by his college instructor, Professor Sebastian (played by Bob Telford). Sun fights side by side with his girlfriend Sakura Sugiyama (played by Yuuki Yamagiwa), who can transform into Sakura Ichiban. In times of need, new weapons and gadgets are delivered to our heroes with the help of the bird-robot Emerald.
No release date has been confirmed as of yet. But updates on the project can be found on their Facebook page.