The Tokusatsu Network sat down with the creators behind Yabai Kamen to speak to them about the origins of the company and the character.
What is the origin of the Akunohimitsukessya Inc.?
Since 2006, Japan has been going through a Mascot Character Boom, and ever since, we have seen the birth of many Local Heroes and Local Characters. 10 years later, this Boom started to settle down, and with all these characters undergoing various activities in their local regions, the concept took root as a part of Japan’s culture.
However, we felt there was one thing that was missing from these characters: There was a lack of regular shows where these characters could give dreams and hope to children. These characters are the allies not only of justice, but also of the people, and as part of their story, having a villain is a must.
With this in mind, we founded the first monster specialist company in 2016, with the goal of being villains to all the local characters, spreading fear and despair to children, and creating a reason for the characters to fight.
What was the inspiration in the making of Yabai Kamen?
For Yabai Kamen, we did not include any animal or inorganic substances, nor did we create the character’s era setting.
For example, if Yabai Kamen were an ancient evil, he could not fight against the hero’s with a setting in the future. It is a monster that was born from the striking design and coloring that is intuitively evil. In order to keep the concept of heroes first, he has continued to fight, whilst deliberately keeping his setting closed.
Furthermore, the word “Yabai” (Bad) in his name, is a Japanese slang used with many meanings that denotes human emotion. We wanted a hero that could bring out that human emotion, and be easily used with any type of hero. This wish led us to naming our character “Yabai.”
The suit itself went through a bit of a design change over the years, how was the process for creating the first suit and what lead to the changes over time?
The reason why the design of Yabai Kamen went through several retakes is a real story, similar to Iron Man. Tony Stark used his incredible talent and abundant funding to repeatedly make retakes, but Akunohimitsukessya Inc. turned its wounds into funding and continued to make retakes.
Akunohimitsukessya Inc. was founded using the 1 million yen that our founder Sasai received when he cancelled his life insurance. When it started, we were poor, and it was difficult even to afford food. Even though we had an ideal image and technology we were striving for, the lack of money was overwhelming.
To deal with this, we thoroughly sold the service of losing to the hero, and with the money we gathered bit by bit from losing, we were able to change the design for Yabai Kamen.
How do the eyes on the mask change on command so seamlessly?
The same way everyone winks at cute girl.
Yabai Kamen got caught looking at some cats recently, does he have a favorite breed of cat?
— ㍿悪の秘密結社 ヤバイ仮面 (@yabai_kamen) July 31, 2019
Apparently he likes Scottish Fold, but he feels bad because their ears are always folded, so he thinks they are scared of him.
Yabai Kamen seems to have received some upgrades recently. Could you explain what they are?
In Japan there is a terrible custom, called overtime service. This idea of working without pay, until the job is done, is the serious fighting form of the Japanese. Yabai Kamen’s recent powered up form is born from the salaryman spirit of “I can work a bit more…”
The name of that form is “Yabai Kamen Service Overtime Mode.”
The Yabai Kamen crowdfunding campaign has done very well, would you like to explain what the plans are for those who are unfamiliar with it?
To everyone in English.
I'm making American comics, so please look forward to it?? pic.twitter.com/WhsKkqLVlj
— ㍿悪の秘密結社 ヤバイ仮面 (@yabai_kamen) August 4, 2019
Akunohimitsukessya Inc. has continued to provide the service of fighting with many characters and losing since its founding in 2016. We are not a venture capital that spare financial capacity to create many works, we have simply continued fighting every day, and over the last 3 years we have become “a page in the story” of many heroes.
In that time, we received many letters from children who come to watch the shows. We believed that losing was the only meaning for evil. But when we meet children who want us to win, that basic idea was overturned, and for the first time thought “We want to have our own story…”
However, the lack of funding has not changed, so we decided to use Crowdfunding to collaborate with people all over Japan, to produce our work in the form of American comic books.
We often get asked “Why comic books?” The reason is that we often get many comments on Twitter etc. from overseas accounts who ask “What is this character?!” or “It’s cool but I don’t know what it is!” Since we went to the trouble of making something, we wanted people all over the world to enjoy it, not just in Japan. With this is mind, we decided to publish an English version of the comic, not just Japanese, at the same time.
Is there anything you’d like to share about Yabai Kamen or future Akunohimitsukessya Inc. projects?
What is the ultimate goal of any company? We believe that the foundation of any company should be to continue to exist.
Comic books really are a great medium. One character can continue to be loved across generations, and this is an unprecedented stage for both our company and for our character Yabai Kamen. We have been thinking “How would Yabai Kamen fight against American heroes…?”
As we mentioned earlier, we are a company and group of monsters who started with enthusiasm, without any backing, tips or connections. But we would like to continue fighting, and dream of seeing Yabai Kamen playing an active role in the comics of an authentic publishing company.
Firstly, our company will be exhibiting a booth at Tokyo Comic Con 2019. If there is anyone even slightly interested, please come and say hello. We will have an official translator on the day.
And to those great people who read this article… “Would you like to help us in our wrong doing??”