Rescue Police series actors help make event possible 30 years on

From left: Koichi Nakayama, Takayuki Miyauchi, Masaru Yamashita and Koichi Sakamoto

Last month, I organized Rescue Kanshasai II, an event to show gratitude for the Rescue Police series, in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. The series’ tokusatsu superhero action TV dramas broadcast in the early 1990s.

Two actors participated in the event: Masaru Yamashita and Koichi Nakayama, who played the leads in two of the special police dramas. Yamashita played Ryoma Kagawa aka Fire in “Tokkei Winspector” (Special rescue police Winspector) that aired for roughly one year from 1990. Nakayama played Daiki Nishio, also known as Solbraver in “Tokkyu Shirei Solbrain” (Super rescue Solbrain) that also aired for a year from 1991. Singer Takayuki Miyauchi, who sang the theme songs of both shows, joined the event as a special guest.

“Solbrain” was broadcast after “Winspector” ended, and the two share some setting and characters. Yamashita, who starred in “Winspector,” and Nakayama are on good terms despite appearing in separate dramas, because Yamashita appeared in “Solbrain,” too, as a veteran of the special police squad. His background includes training as an action performer at Kurata Action Club.

“At that time, I was all about action, so I was always clad in a sweatsuit,” Yamashita said. “On the other hand, Nakayama was good at skiing and surfing, and he was always dressed up fashionably. I felt like we were polar opposites of each other.”

Now, 30 years later, the two actors feel they have more things in common than differences.

“We may look friendly, but both of us are very stubborn,” Nakayama said with a wry grin.

The two now work together to create YouTube videos and other projects. We had an exciting discussion about their joint YouTube channel during the event that day. What excited the fans most was a video that recreated a famous scene from “Solbrain.” Kagawa, who is secretly investigating a case, bumps into Nishio and roundhouse kicks the younger cop without saying a word, giving no explanation of his mission.

Yamashita’s kick looked as sharp as it did more than 30 years ago. Nakayama’s acting when getting hit showed he had more experience and maturity than those days.

“Come to think of it now, he could’ve said, ‘I can’t say anything now but I’m on duty,’ before kicking me, even though he was carrying out a secret mission,” Nakayama said with a bitter smile.

“Yamashita’s moves are great,” he added emphatically. “That’s why I’ll make him do more from now on, so please stay tuned. He can do many things, like jumping from high places and blowing things up.”

Later, Miyauchi came on stage amid the happy and cozy atmosphere. He sang not only the opening and ending theme songs but also other songs from both dramas to the delight of the fans. Yamashita and Nakayama, who say they love singing, joined him in performing some of the songs. The actors also sang their original song, “Don’t wanna regret,” that incorporates their thoughts of late. The audience applauded loudly.

The two have been appealing to Koichi Sakamoto, the director of some of the “Kamen Rider” series TV shows and other tokusatsu works, to shoot a music video for the song. Sakamoto, who is an experienced director, was another guest at the event and rushed to the stage toward the end. He also used to belong to Kurata Action Club and was Yamashita’s junior. Seeing Sakamoto completely going along with Yamashita, I felt like I had just witnessed a strong bond between action specialists. Maybe the two and Sakamoto will go on to create some collaborative work.

The event had songs, games, candid talks and more. I believe the event was made possible by the two actors’ love for “Winspector” and “Solbrain,” and it is tremendously indebted to the fans who have never forgotten those two years from over three decades ago and have continued loving the shows.