Maboroshi Tantei & Tohl Narita

Maboroshi Tantei drawn by Jiro Kuwata

Before his participation in the Ultra Series, it is known that Tohl Narita was also involved in the production of the (sort of) tokusatsu TV series “Maboroshi Tantei,” literally “Detective Illusion.”

That was a series aired from 1959 to 1960 before I was born (in 1962) with 56 episodes based on the manga drawn by Jiro Kuwata, also known as the manga artist who drew the manga version of “Ultraseven.”

Maboroshi Tantei (played by Hiroshi Kato) is the protagonist boy detective whose real name is Susumu Fuji while I am not sure if the name “Detective Illusion” makes sense in English (the term “maboroshi” was often used for anything mysterious back then probably for no particular reason).

Anyway, Susumu disguises himself as Maboroshi Tantei by putting on a fantastic-looking eye mask and solves each case he faces.

He has his own motor vehicle called Maboroshigou (gou is often used as the suffix after a vehicle’s name like Ultra Hawk Ichigou (Ultra Hawk 1) or Thunderbird Nigou (Thunderbird 2) while the Pointer is usually called just Pointer.

The land and air amphibious vehicle is capable to travel in the air seemingly with its wheels retracted inward as Maboroshi Tantei regularly uses the car to rush to the scene with his theme music nicely played in the background on the regular basis.

While I don’t think so much is known about it, this Maboroshigou was allegedly designed by Narita, and I really like the design I find futuristic in its own way while not much is mentioned about the Maboroshigou by Narita himself just referring to it in one of his books as a miniature was modeled to make it fly in the air with wings attached to the prop.

Real-life Maboroshigou and its miniature next to it

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