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Non-Red Costumed Super Sentai Heroes Get the Spotlight

From left: Tsuyoshi Hayashi, Atsushi Maruyama and Takehiro Haruhira have fun on stage, clad in 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 I held every August until this year as a gathering of actors who have 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 yet are demanded to perform as they do, even down to their running speed. The event’s rebel title reflects its nature of actors who played non-red heroes ranting 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 ble-clad Tenmaranger in “Gosei Sentai Dairanger” (under the name Ei Hamura) came up with the idea of starting this event. Hayashi played DekaBlue in “Tokuso Sentai Dekaranger,” and Maruyama was Kyoryu Gold, who joined “Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger” midway as an additional fighter.

Following the tradition of the event, the trio came on stage wearing gakuran — the traditional high school uniforms for male students — arranged in a bad-boy style. Saying things like, “We’ve got loads of things we want to tell the red guys,” they looked hypermotivated from the beginning.

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

“The red guys get offers to appear in TV commercials on their own. The red guy of my show got rich and kept buying new pairs of sneakers one after another,” Hayashi grumbled.

“My show’s red guy could’ve appeared in Paris Fashion Week; his figure is so sleek” Maruyama said. “I played an additional fighter [in “Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger”] who stood next to the red guy. That’s why I was told [by viewers] ‘He’s got a big face’ and ‘His legs are short.’ That’s not my fault. It’s just that my red guy was an alien!”

As you can probably tell, their complaints were based on their love for the red guys, so the venue was filled with laughter from the beginning to the end.

Haruhira brought with him a Super Sentai picture-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 guys, mixing in jokes.

The second half of the event featured four other actors who have played 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 guys are all very assertive. But we’ve got to praise them,” Hirose said.

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

“The trouble with my show is the gold guy, not the red,” Kinjo said.

Then Kinjo, who is taking part as a guest fighter in “Ohsama Sentai King-ohger” currently broadcasting on Sundays, made a surprise announcement.

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

In fact, many of the actors who came to Hangyaku Matsuri this time celebrate an anniversary year for their shows this year or next year. “Kagaku Sentai Dynaman” is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

“Forty years means you become 20 twice. Isn’t that amazing?” Hagiwara said.

Above all, I think it’s great that the actors who are having anniversary years can get together and have fun regardless of the generation.

After the talks that evoked endless laughter, it was time for them to demonstrate their transformation sequences one after another. And the actors, who were just behaving like antiheroes by putting down red-costumed characters, suddenly tidied their expressions and performed the sequences, which looked almost divine.

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