Category Archives: Cast & Staff

Kenjiro Yoshino/Kenbo Kaminarimon


Mechataro (center) along with his buddies provoking Daisaku and his friends

Mechataro referred to in my yesterday’s post was played by Kenjiro Yoshino (1956-present) while he was a child actor to be known as Kenbo Kaminarimon in later years with great popularity.

Although he seems to have left the show business in the early 1980s, I remember he often appeared in TV shows and movies and voiced some anime characters when I was a kid. Beside being a child actor, he was also a rakugo (Japanese traditional storytelling) performer registered with the Rakugo Art Association after apprenticeship under Sukeroku Kaminarimon.

As I said in yesterday’s post, Mechataro in Booska is portrayed as a mischievous, impudent boy who is mean to Daisaku as he always tries to outdo Daisaku in rivalry along with his buddies who are also at odds with Daisaku’s friends.

Nevertheless, Mechataro is a nice guy at heart and there were times he tried to help Daisaku and Daisaku’s buddies when they were in trouble. Basically, no real bad guys appear in Booska, which makes me feel really at ease when watching it.

Chibirakun (rightmost)

While Yoshino impressively acted Mechataro in Booska, he also appeared in Ultraman Episode 23 as a boy who tried to rescue pigeons he had kept in a village attacked by Jamyra.

Yoshino voiced Chibirakun in the show “Chibirakun,” the tokusatsu series produced by Tsuburaya Productions and aired from 1970 to 1971, as well afterwards under the name of Kenbo Kaminarimon.

As his voice was changing at the age of 14 then when he voiced Chibirakun, it is actually hard to associate Mechataro with Chibirakun.

Although he cannot be found in TV shows today anymore, I really wish him good luck and happiness as he made us happy watching the shows in which he appeared when we were kids.

Chikao Otsuka


Chikao Otsuka as Oniyama in “Kaiju Booska”

Chikao Otsuka (1929-2015) was a voice actor who should be so much familiar and unforgettable to a person in my generation as he voiced a great number of characters especially in anime products we watched when we were kids.

While we enjoyed watching animation shows from the United States back then as home-made TV shows were not so many as in later years yet, “Dick Dastardly” in “Wacky Races” and “Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines” was voiced by him, and his acting made the character (“Black Maou” meaning “Black Devil King” in the Japanese version of the show) so popular in Japan.

Otsuka was also an actor who appeared with his face shown in “Ultra Q,” “Ultraman” and “Kaiju Booska.”

 

In Booska, he played a school teacher named Oniyama while the teacher appeared in Booska Episode 41 talked about in my yesterday’s entry.

He played a man who got his shoes cleaned by Itachi in Ultra Q Episode 10, one of the crew on a Japan Coast Guard patrol boat that was attacked by Ragon in Ultraman Episode 4 and a rest house manager in Ultraman Episode 21 who was troubled by unusual events caused by Kemlar.

In addition to his voice-acting in which he voiced many foreign actors including Charles Bronson as an actor regularly voiced by him, Otsuka should be best known in Japan as the voice actor for Nezumi Otoko (Rat Man) in the anime “Ge Ge Ge No Kitaro.”

His son, Akio Otsuka (1959-present), also plays an active role as a voice actor while he played, say, Black Jack in the anime series with his attractively deep voice.

Michio Kida


Booska #35

When watching the Booska Episode 35 “Let’s Go To The Galaxy!,” I found an actor who looks familiar to me among the characters.

That was Michio Kida (1912-1994) who impressively played Yasui, the fortune teller persistently chased by Alien Shadow in Ultraseven Episode 23 “Find Tomorrow” because his ability to foresee the future intimidated the aliens as it could possibly spoil their plot to blast the Terrestrial Defense Force weaponry development facility.

In the Booska episode, Kida acted Orihime’s father comically, and Kida also appeared in Booska Episode 5 in which he played a kendo (Japanese swordsmanship with the use of bamboo swords) teacher who was easily beaten by Booska in a kendo match in spite of his stately presence.

And, after his appearance in “Ultraseven,” Kida performed a magician in “Kaiki Daisakusen (Operation Mystery)” Episode 1 “Man Who Gets Through The Wall” as a side character who just appeared for a short while.

A strong impression made by his role of Yasui makes it even more suitable for Kida to act a magician.

Kaiki Daisakusen #1

According to a book authored by Yuriko Hishimi who acted Anne in “Ultraseven,” Kida brought his grandson to the set when his Ultraseven episode was being filmed as the boy begged to take him there.

Hishimi writes she remembers Kida said to her with a laugh that the boy showed him respect for the first time with admiring words “Grandpa, you are great!.”

While I have read a few more stories like this uttered by other actors who appeared in the Ultra Series, these stories tell us how much popular the series were among us kids back then.

Photos of Kida as Yasui alleged to have been recently discovered

Senkichi Omura


Senkichi Omura/Ōmura (1922-1991) is widely known among tokusatsu fans as an actor who often played a minor part eccentrically while he frequently appeared in the Ultra Series along with Toho movies including the kaiju films.

Even playing a bit part, his extraordinary presence was so impressive that he firmly remains anchored in our memory while he often played a victim of the case.

As far as the Kūsō Tokusatsu Series (original Ultra Series) are concerned, he appeared in Ultra Q Episode 1 as a construction site workman addicted to alcohol who first found Gomess showing up in the tunnel under construction.

In Ultraman Episode 29, he played a miner addicted to gold who was rescued out of the gold mine suffering from mental confusion and acting frantically in the SSSP underground tank Vellucidar/Belsider due to blood loss and a high fever.

In Booska (although this is not included in the original Ultra Series), he appeared in Episode 9 as a burglar dressed like a pirate who tried to steal boxes of dynamite and in Episode 30 as a school janitor falling down the stairs in surprise when he came across Chamegon.

In Ultraseven Episode 2, he acted a drunken office worker who was assaulted by Alien Waiell on his way home late in the evening, and, as you know well, the man shapeshifted into another Alien Waiell after he was brought in the TDF Medical Center.

Omura also appeared in Ultraseven Episode 41 as a man who witnessed a kappa (Alien Tepeto) when fishing.

It seems that he is also known to have creepily acted the human form of Alien Steal in Ultraman Ace.

Omura’s hobby is described online as horse riding.

Although he was not often covered in publications related to tokusatsu in life unfortunately, Omura was another actor who gained popularity among Japanese tokusatsu fans.