"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daisuke Ban's So Cal Autograph Sessions!


Los Angeles' own Anime Jungle, purveyors of everything from anime to tokusatsu in Little Tokyo, is proud to be presenting two autograph sessions with Mr. Daisuke Ban, popular star of KIKAIDA, KIKAIDA 01, INAZUMAN and BATTLE FEVER J, for the upcoming 70th Annual "Nisei Week Japanese Festival". Back in the mid-1970s, the local broadcasts of KIKAIDA took Hawaii by storm, and the series was subsequently aired on Japanese language stations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other US cities. KIKAIDA made a strong return to Hawaii back in 2001, and is still going strong — even outside of the Islands — due to the successful release of the English subtitled DVDs produced by JN Productions and Generation Kikaida.

Created by mangaka Shotaro Ishimori and creative producer Tohru Hirayama, JINZONINGEN KIKAIDA (Android Kikaida) debuted on the Nippon Educational Television network on July 8, 1972, and received outstanding viewer ratings. 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 TRANSFORMING NINJA ARASHI, during the "Henshin Boom" on Japanese television in the early 1970s. The popular 43-episode series was quickly followed by KIKAIDA 01 (starring the late Shunsuke Ikeda).

Riding astride his sidecar superbike, Jiro (Daisuke Ban), 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 (Jun Mizunoe) and Masaru (Masahiro Kamiya), the children of the scientist who created him, Dr. Komyoji (Hajime Izu).

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 (Mitsuo Ando), 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...

On Saturday, August 14th, Daisuke Ban's first appearance in Los Angeles will have him signing autographs at the Anime Jungle Shop at the Japanese Village Plaza, 319 E. 2nd St. #103, from 3:00-4:00pm (admission and autographs are free), followed by a Dinner & Talk Show at Focus, Salon de Cafe at 319 E. 2nd St. #202. Tickets are $40 (including dinner and tip) and must be ordered through Anime Jungle (in-store pick-up only). Seating is limited to 30. For further details and information, call Anime Jungle directly at 213-621-1661.

On Sunday, August 15th, Daisuke Ban will be participating in the Nisei Week Japanese Festival's Grand Parade through Little Tokyo at 5:30 pm, replete with Cosplayers. This will be followed by the final Autograph Session at the Anime Jungle Shop at the Japanese Village Plaza from 8:00-8:30pm (admission and autographs are free). Copies of all of JN Productions/Generation Kikaida's DVDs for KIKAIDA, KIKAIDA 01, INAZUMAN and KAMEN RIDER V3, and other Japanese Superhero goods, will be available for purchase at Anime Jungle.

Come down and welcome KIKAIDA's Daisuke Ban to the Jungle!

1 comment:

Scumbalina said...

Damn! I'm going to be in LA in September. I can't believe I'm going to miss this! Have fun! :-D