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Non-red costumed Super Sentai heroes take the spotlight


From left: Tsuyoshi Hayashi, Atsushi Maruyama and Takehiro Haruhira have fun on stage, wearing bad boy style gakuran school uniforms.

For the first time in five years, I held Hangyaku Matsuri, a talk event with cast and staff from tokusatsu sci-fi superhero TV shows. This event started as a counterpart to Akamatsuri (Red Festival), which until this year I held every August as a gathering of actors who played red-costumed leaders of superhero teams in the TV dramas of the Super Sentai series. Hangyaku Matsuri, which can be translated as ‘rebel festival’, features actors who have played superheroes other than those in red costumes. The non-red characters tend to be overshadowed by the red guys, but they are expected to perform as they do, even down to their walking speed. The rebel title of the event reflects the nature of actors who played non-red heroes railing against those who played the red guys.

The stars of the event this time were Takehiro Haruhira, Tsuyoshi Hayashi and Atsushi Maruyama. Haruhira, who played the black-clad Tenmaranger in “Gosei Sentai Dairanger” (under the name Ei Hamura) came up with the idea to start this event. Hayashi played DekaBlue in “Tokuso Sentai Dekaranger,” and Maruyama was Kyoryu Gold, who joined “Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger” as an additional fighter halfway through.

Following the tradition of the event, the trio took to the stage wearing gakuran – the traditional high school uniforms for male students – arranged in a bad boy style. Saying things like, “We have a lot of things we want to tell the red guys,” they seemed hyper-motivated from the start.

“When Akamatsuri started, the red guy on my show invited me to join him as a guest. I arrived at the venue at 6am and my turn on stage was after 9am. The red man stood on stage the whole time and left me alone,” Haruhira said angrily.

“The red boys receive offers to appear in TV commercials themselves. The red guy from my show got rich and kept buying new pairs of sneakers one after another,” Hayashi grumbled.

“The red man from my show could have appeared at Paris Fashion Week; his figure is so slim,” Maruyama said. “I played an extra fighter [in “Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger”] who stood next to the red man. That’s why I was told that [by viewers] ‘He has a big face’ and ‘His legs are short.’ That is not my fault. It’s just that my red man was an alien!

As you can probably tell, their complaints were based on their love for the red boys, so the room was filled with laughter from start to finish.

Haruhira brought a Super Sentai card show he created to teach the other two, who are younger than him, the history of the series. He told us the history of the annoying red boys, and mixed in jokes.

The second half of the event featured four other actors playing non-red superheroes: Satomi Hirose (Ninja White in “Ninja Sentai Kakuranger”), Takeru Shibaki (Gao Blue in “Hyakuju Sentai Gaoranger”), Sayoko Hagiwara (Dyna Pink in “Kagaku Sentai Dynaman”) and Yamato Kinjo (Kyoryu Blue in “Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger”).

They all sent signals of rebellion combined with love.

“The red boys are all very assertive. But we must praise them,” Hirose said.

“The red guy in my show is kind of a goofball and cute,” Shibaki said.

“The problem with my show is the gold man, not the red one,” Kinjo said.

Then Kinjo, who is participating as a guest fighter on “Ohsama Sentai King-ohger,” currently airing on Sundays, made a surprising announcement.

“On tomorrow’s broadcast… I will probably defeat the enemy,” he said, causing the audience to burst into laughter.

Many of the actors who came to Hangyaku Matsuri this time are even celebrating an anniversary year for their shows this year or next year. “Kagaku Sentai Dynaman” is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

“Forty years means that you will be twenty twice. Is not that great?” Hagiwara said.

Most of all, I love that the actors who have anniversary years can get together and have fun, regardless of generation.

After the conversations that evoked endless laughter, it was time for them to demonstrate their transformation sequences one after another. And the actors, who were simply acting like anti-heroes by portraying characters dressed in red, suddenly cleaned up their facial expressions and performed the sequences, which looked almost divine.

I would definitely like to make this event one of my regular shows and highlight many more Super Sentai superheroes.

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