Ryosuke Sakamoto, who played Red One on Choudenshi Bioman announced to the public that he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and he is scheduled to undergo surgery on September.
The announcement was made by the actor himself while attending the Akamatsuri (Red Festival) a yearly event held by reporter Mishio Suzuki, to the surprise of the actors and suit actors that played red heroes in past Super Sentai series join to celebrate tokusatsu and share stories, as well as the audience.
Sakamoto stated that he wanted to announce it publicly, asking his fellow actors and fans to give him support in this trying time.
What Sakamoto didn’t know was that the remaining members of the Bioman cast gathered especially for him to give him strength in this difficult time, abruptly coming onto the microphone and dashing onto stage.
Michiko Makino, who played Pink Five, retells the story on her blog.
Our Red Has Cancer, part 1
When I was told by Sakamoto, Bioman’s Red 1
that he had cancer, it was such an unreal moment
that I thought “What is this man saying? Is he joking?”
I did not want to believe it but it was true.
After making a few calls, Ota, Green 2 and Oosuka, Blue 3 came to
see him with me at his first chemotherapy session.
On the second one I came with Yellow 4, Tanaka.
Surgery is programmed for September.
He has esophagic cancer stage 3 with some spread to his lymph nodes.
Thinking of the possibilities I got all flustered,
Pink is there because Red is there
We cannot not have Red.
My heart just screamed that the 5 of us have to get old together.
On August 27th, the Red Festival was coming.
(A yearly event that gathers actors that played Red)
And he told us that he would announce his illness.
And that he wanted us to be there.
However, we had to tell him that we didn’t know, it was vague.
Afterwards, the organizer, Mishio Suzuki called me.
She told me that we should gather the whole team as a surprise for Sakamoto.
A real surprise. We didn’t tell anyone until the day.
Sakamoto called me 3 times, insisting on me attending.
I had to swallow my tears and tell him that I had rehearsals for the play I am doing…
The day for Red Festival came.
The four of us gathered at a nearby doughnut shop.
The script did not have us featured.
We received our special secret script.
Around the time he would make the announcement,
we were on standby in the background.
Legendary suit actor Kazuo Niibori announced a present for Sakamoto.
Pink: Sakamoto-san, you are not by yourself in this battle!
Yellow: That’s right! We are all with you!
Green: Hang in there!
Blue: I can’t wait to celebrate your good health together with you!
After our voices were heard, we joined Sakamoto on the stage.
He had no idea.
He just couldn’t contain his tears.
We just couldn’t either.
However, I could feel, more than ever
the bond that the five of us shared after that year of our youth
in which we fought together.
Bioman is eternal.
Red One is and will always will be our leader.
It may be a little weird me saying it but,
The other Red Heroes
people who love tokusatsu
Thank you. That was a night I feel truly grateful for.
The second part of her entry highlighted the photos from the Red Festival event with notable actors from various Super Sentai series, including Flashman and Maskman, sending words of encouragement. After the team assembled on stage, they performed their transformation pose on stage together and sang the opening theme with everybody.
Tokusatsu Network Senior Editor, Tom Constantine, attended the event, breaking the news to Team TokuNet as it happened, saying that everyone at the event were in tears and applauding to show their support. Additionally, Team TokuNet asked to send messages to Mr. Sakamoto from our own team and from Bioman fans across the world. Ms. Makino has been kind enough to help and relay these messages of support to Mr. Sakamoto.
If readers would like to comment with their message below or tweet your message on social media with the hashtag #GoRedOne and we will gather and translate them to deliver to Mr. Sakamoto.