Rescue Police Series Actors Recount Memories from Filming

From left: Koichi Nakayama, Takayuki Miyauchi and Masaru Yamashita pose on stage.

This spring, I organized an event with the lead actors of the first two shows of the Rescue Police series, which aired from 1990 to 1993. Masaru Yamashita played Ryoma Kagawa, who wears a special suit and fights crime, in “Tokkei Winspector” (Special rescue police Winspector). Koichi Nakayama played the dual role of human persona, Daiki Nishio and superhero, Solbraver, in “Tokkyu Shirei Solbrain” (Super rescue Solbrain). Both actors appeared as guests at a recent concert by singer Takayuki Miyauchi, who sang the theme song of both shows, and they have strengthened their friendship since then.

We decided to hold the event because the actors said they would like to convey their gratitude to fans for continuing to support them over the years.

The stories of Winspector and Solbrain relate to each other, with many overlapping characters and settings. Unusually for a superhero show, Yamashita also appeared in Solbrain as a semi-regular character, Night Fire, from midway. Therefore, the two actors are good friends just like Ryoma and Daiki in the series.

During the event, the pair discussed their memories of various things that happened during shooting.

“I wanted to do action scenes. I even thought I didn’t need any lines,” Yamashita, who had trained at Kurata Action Club, said cheerfully.

Nakayama was still an acting newcomer with no experience in action. “I was a complete beginner in everything,” Nakayama said. “Once I messed up 30 times. I was most freaked out when I was told off, ‘Jump into the rapid waters in Nagatoro and get lost.’”

In both shows, Hiroshi Miyauchi played the boss of the lead actors. Since Miyauchi is a well-known actor who made his name starring in “Kamen Rider V3,” the two younger actors grew up watching him on TV and said they were nervous about meeting him in person. Miyauchi was kind as well as strict, they said.

“No matter how many times I made mistakes, he never scolded me. He even gave me advice and helped me,” Nakayama said.

“I was supposed to talk during a meal, and I said my lines holding a spoon. And [Miyauchi] told me not to do so because that’s not good manners for a superhero,” Yamashita recalled.

I enjoyed listening to behind-the-scenes stories about Miyauchi in which he displayed mentorship to younger heroes.

Halfway through the talk event, Takayuki Miyauchi joined and passionately sang the theme songs of Winspector and Solbrain. Yamashita and Nakayama, who said they love singing as well, displayed their lovely singing voices. The two actors even demonstrated their superhero characters’ costume-change sequences, called “chakka” and “plus up,” respectively (transformation equivalent in most other tokusatsu superhero shows). The 2½-hour event was full of fun moments and went by quickly.

“Playing a hero has been a great treasure of my life,” Yamashita said in his closing address. It’s the same for us fans, too. The fact that we were able to hear again, more than 30 years later, about the lead actors who loved and cherished the programs in which they appeared, will be a treasure in our hearts and a happy memory that will sustain us fans for a long time to come.

Suzuki is a Yomiuri Shimbun senior specialist and an expert on tokusatsu superhero films and dramas.