"Android Kikaider" aka "Kikaider: The Android of
Broadcast Dates: JULY 08, 1972 - MAY 05, 1973
|"Change! Switch on! One! Two! Three!" Jiro transforms into Kikaida! © Ishimori Pro/Toei Co. Ltd.
Timeslot: SATURDAYS 20:00-20:30
Network: NET (Nippon Educational Television; nee TV Asahi)
Original Story: SHOTARO ISHIMORI ("Shonen Sunday" magazine & Shogakukan Publications)
Planning: TOHRU HIRAYAMA & SUSUMU YOSHIKAWA
NET Producer: SHIN'ICHI MIYAZAKI
Music: MICHIAKI "CHUMEI" WATANABE
Music Placement: SCREEN MUSIC
Cinemaphotography: YUTARO INOKUMA & TOSHIHARU AIHARA
Lighting: HIROAKI KATO, DENKICHI YOSHIOKA & TOSHIO ISHIKAKI
Sound Effects/Mixers: MICHIO NAGAI, SATORU HIROTA & MICHI SONOMOTO
Art Direction: AKIRA INOUE, AKIRA HARUKI, FUMIYOSHI MORITA
Editors: KATSUO IBUKI, JUNJI MASHIMA, MASAKAZU HIROSHIMA, MASAO MATSUTANI
Continuity: KAZUKO GONDO
Assistant Directors: KAZUYUKI TOKUI, HIROSHI HASEGAWA, HIROYA NAKANO, TAKU EZURE, KAZUKI NISHIHARA, TARO SAKAMOTO
Fight Choreography: KAZUO MISHIMA
Costumes: KAIMAE PRODUCTIONS
Production Company: TOEI TV PRODUCTIONS
DAISUKE BAN as Jiro/Kikaida
HAJIME IZU as Dr. Komyoji
JUN MIZUNOE as Mitsuko Komyoji
MASAHIRO KAMIYA as Masaru Komyoji
SHUN UEDA as Hanpei "Hanpen" Hattori
MITSUO ANDO as Professor Gill
SHOZO IIZUKA as the voice of Hakaida
KENJI MAYAMA as Saburo/Hakaida
MASAAKI OKABE Narrator
WHAT IS "KIKAIDA"?
Riding astride his sidecar superbike, Jiro, a young man clad in blue denim, with a guitar slung across his back, swings his arms and transforms into a red and blue combat android known as Kikaida. The yin-yang patterned android, with exposed circuitry flashing under his glass-domed head, smashes through hordes of monstrous automatons in order to save Mitsuko and Masaru, the children of the scientist who created him, Dr. Komyoji.
|Kikaida, everready to battle Professor Gill's Dark Destructoids! © Ishimori Pro/Toei Co. Ltd.
Kikaida's mission: to reunite Mitsuko and Masaru with their fugitive father, and bring down the sinister secret group known as the "Dark." This underground organization composed of monster androids, is masterminded by the evil Professor Gill, who plots to take over the world through subversion and violence. Only Kikaida stands in his way. But, like all legendary heroes, Kikaida has a flaw: an incomplete "Conscience Circuit," which keeps him from being the "perfect android" -- a flaw that Professor Gill can exploit...
Conceived by the minds of Toei Creative Producer Tohru Hirayama and Manga Author Shotaro Ishimori, JINZONINGEN KIKAIDA (Android Kikaider) debuted on the Nippon Educational Television network on July 8, 1972. This colorful, exciting and outlandish superhero series was produced by Toei Television Productions on the heels of the ratings successes of KAMEN RIDER, SUPERHUMAN BAROM-1 and HENSHIN NINJA ARASHI, during the "Henshin Boom" on Japanese television in the early 1970s.
To Ishimori, this series gave him the opportunity to explore areas of the cybernetic/artifical superhero, which were rejected for the original KAMEN RIDER series. It also gave the great artist a chance to infuse the story with elements of his favorite story: "Pinocchio." The end result is a series that is a satisfying and more humanistic bookend to KAMEN RIDER.
|Carmine Spider, Green Mantis and Yellow Jaguar ambush Kikaida! © Ishimori Pro/Toei Co. Ltd.
In the background of the series, Dr. Komyoji was kidnapped by Professor Gill, and forced to build legions of Dark Destructoids, before he disappears in a lab explosion, after completing his work on Jiro. His creation, made in the moral image of his deceased son, escapes with Mitsuko and rescues Masaru, and KIKAIDA's story begins in earnest. But, like many other series at this time, most of the episodes are, more or less, formulaic.
The majority of episodes generally follow the same pattern, with the amnestic Dr. Komyoji wandering in search of himself from town to town, with his children in close pursuit -- aided by their comedy-relief sidekick, Ace Detective Hattori Hanpei (a descendent of the famous Iga ninja, Hanzo Hattori). Meanwhile, Professor Gill hatches another diabolical plot, schemes to recapture Dr. Komyoji, or tries to destroy Kikaida, by unleashing a new Dark Android in order to do his dirty work.
Just when it seems that all is lost, the sound of a melancholy guitar announces the entrance of Jiro, who comes to thwart the Dark Destructoids' devious plans. Professor Gill counters by playing his cataleptic flute, which paralyzes Jiro, as his incomplete Conscience Circuit tries to resist the command to cross over to the Dark side. Suddenly, some loud noise from a nearby explosion, heavy machinery, or some other lucky coincidence, blocks the sound of the flute, allowing Jiro to make the transformation into Kikaida and emerge victorious.
Interestingly, KIKAIDA changed radically with the introduction of Jiro's "brother," Saburo in Episode #36. Created by Professor Gill's greatest scientists, this knife-weilding, black leather-clad cyborg transformed into Kikaida's greatest foe: Hakaida. Stronger and more powerful than his older brother, Hakaida's "Evil Circuit" was programmed with but one mission: "Destroy Kikaida!" But, no one ever realizes the truth behind Hakaida's supremacy over his fellow Dark Destructoids: his cybernetic body is operated by a living, human brain -- Dr. Komyoji's brain! It is in this last story arc of the series where the stories became more grim and less formulaic, as KIKAIDA reached its powerful and emotional crescendo.
|The fantastic Sidemachine takes Kikaida into another battle. © Ishimori Pro/Toei Co. Ltd.
While KIKAIDA wasn't allowed the budget to realize the ambitions of Ishimori's Dark Destructoid designs, as was achieved with KAMEN RIDER, KIKAIDA still had as much action, spirit and kinetic energy as its sister series. KIKAIDA also had something more important: a plot full of heart and soul, well-defined characters (whom you cared about), engaging subplots, and an amazing score by Michiaki "Chumei" Watanabe. To those who saw the series growing up, KIKAIDA left a great impression on its viewers and was successful enough to spawn a sequel: KIKAIDA-01 (1973-1974), both of which are still beloved today.
Introduction to Unabridged KIKAIDA Factoids
In the early 1970s, I was a young Tokusatsu Fan who used to bother the staff of Fuji Television (which offered Japanese-language programming on the old KEMO-TV 20 in San Francisco), trying to get them to run one of the then-new Ultraman series, to no avail.
One fateful December day in 1975, I ran into Fuji Television's President, and he told me "We've got a superhero series coming up for you!" I was elated, "Is it ULTRAMAN TARO!?" "No," he responded, "it's called KIKAIDER, it'll start in two weeks on Sunday nights. There will be a preview on our news show this weekend -- please watch it." Looking back, I think that I was disappointed with his answer, at the time.
Before this, all I knew of KIKAIDA were from photos in books and magazines I had, as well as one sole English-language article in Issue 114 of "Famous Monsters of Filmland." I wasn't sure I was going to like this show; after all, there were no giant monsters or heroes.
Of course, I watched Fuji Television's news show the following weekend, and the clip was from the first episode: Grey King Rhino blows up the bridge, Jiro transforms into Kikaida, and rescues Masaru. I was floored -- it looked like this show was going to be fantastic! I became an instant Kikaidamaniac from that one clip.
Every Sunday night at 8:00 pm, I faithfully followed the adventures of "Kikaider: The Android of Justice" (as it was called on Fuji Television, who subtitled the show as well), through sickness, family gatherings, holidays at Grandma's house, etc. I never missed an episode.
As a result, I became a fan of all of the Toei Tokusatsu Heroes, and the entire spectrum of Japanese superheroes at large. Before, Godzilla and Ultraman were my thing, but not anymore, a whole new world was opened to me. For better ("Look at all this cool stuff!") or worse ("Look at my empty wallet!").
Before KIKAIDA, I had already started to try an figure out the Japanese language on my own, to discover what they were saying in all these colorful magazines and books. It would seem I became obsessed and, after seeing KIKAIDA, it seemed that there was more that was needed to be read. This started me down the road of compiling facts and figures about the shows, movies, studios and the people behind them -- a never-ending task, that keeps uncovering more fascinating information and trivial facts.
What you will find below, are the unabridged notes written and compiled for JN Productions' Hawaii DVD release for KIKAIDA. Here you will find interesting anecdotes and asides in the what's-and-where's of KIKAIDA, as well as trivia about the Guest Stars, People Behind-the-Scenes, and more (including some real useless information!) -- beyond what was included on the DVDs! Entries for all 43 episodes will be added as each of the DVDs are released by JN Productions -- which I hope will add to your appreciation and viewing pleasure of KIKAIDA. Enjoy!
"KIKAIDA: A Viewer's Factoids" appears with the full blessings and consent of JN Productions. I am grateful to be a part of this joint project on their fantastic KIKAIDA DVD series. For information on how to obtain your own copies, go to the official Generation Kikaida website [http://www.generationkikaida.com].
My thanks go out to everyone at JN Productions, including Joanne Ninomiya and Chance Gusukuma. Much Mahalos!
Sources: JINZONINGEN KIKAIDA series (1972-1973), Jinzoningen Kikaida Program Notes (Toei Television Productions, 1972), Genshokku Kaiju Kaijin Daihakka (Keibunsha, 1972), Zoku Genshokku Kaiju Kaijin Daihakka (Keibunsha, 1972), Jinzoningen Kikaida Zukan (Kurosaki Shuppan, 1972), Kaijin, Jinzo, Chojin Zukan (Akita Shoten, 1972), Uchusen Graphic: Jinzoningen Kikaida/Kikaida-01 (1987, Asahi Sonorama), Visual Zenshu Jinzoningen Kikaida (Kodansha, 1987), Henshin Heroes Album (Asahi Sonorama, 1987), Making Of Toei Heroes 2 (Kodansha, 1987), Henshin Hero Daizen (Kodansha, 1995), Kikaida Senka (Seiunsha, 1997), Jinzoningen Kikaida Tribute (Kadokawa Shoten, 2000), Switch On! Jinzoningen Kikaida (Kadokawa Shoten, 2001), Kikaida Daizen (Fubatasha, 2002).
Click here to go to THE UNABRIDGED KIKAIDA FACTOIDS
For more information on KIKAIDA, and how to get KIKAIDA on DVD, check out the Generation Kikaida website!