Cast of 1999 Sentai series also reunite for first time in 18 years.
Kenji Shibata, who played Daimon Tatsumi, GoYellow, in 1999’s Kyukyu Sentai GoGoV (Rescue Sentai GoGoV), was the subject of this week’s episode of Bakuhou THE Friday, a weekly news magazine program. In the episode, it was revealed he has an inoperable brain tumor.
Shibata was considered the most popular member of his show’s cast and was a hit among housewives at the time, but he inexplicably vanished from the entertainment world almost immediately as the series ended.
Shibata revealed that symptoms appeared towards the end of his time on the series. His right hand would often shake uncontrollably, he felt discomfort in his right eye and suffered from double vision. Examination revealed the brain tumor. The tumor is centralized in an area where various parts of the nervous systems meet, meaning it cannot be removed. Shibata has undergone five surgeries to ease the symptoms.
As a result of the tumor’s progression, Shibata now lives with paralysis on the right side of his body. He was also found to have osteonecrosis of the femoral head, which deals with an interruption of blood flow to the bones. Due to this, his bones eventually fractured and he lost major hip function. Shibata had artificial joints placed but lives with regular pain in his hips and must use a walker to get around.
Shibata currently lives by himself in Kanagawa Prefecture and is able to carry out a majority of his daily tasks on his own but speaks slowly and has a difficult time saying certain words.
This was the first time the entire cast reunited in 18 years, with Shibata saying it’s because he thought of them as his real siblings and didn’t want them to see him suffering and being afraid of death.
Shibata is currently an assistant teacher at a nursery and is pursuing his own teaching license. He is also able to drive a car independently.
At the reunion, Ryuichiro Nishioka, who plays GoRed, mentioned that it’s difficult to enjoy their 20th anniversary in the way other Sentai are enjoying their 10th anniversaries because Shibata hasn’t been around and that “it’s because GoGoV is five people”.
Source: Bakuhou THE Friday