Thundermask & Tohl Narita


“Thundermask” is another TV tokusatsu series I remember I watched as a kid while it aired from 1972 to 1973 with 26 episodes, and it is the giant hero’s name featured in the series.

It was coproduced by Toyo Agency and Hiromi Production and the serial manga version was drawn by Osamu Tezuka, but it is not that Tezuka authorized Thundermask as it was just made into the manga by him.

While it seems that this tokusatsu product was planned by Mushi Production that Osamu Tezuka (author of “Astro Boy Atom”) founded as a TV tokusatsu series featuring “Majin Garon” authored by Tezuka, it came to a halt (Mushi Production folded afterwards in 1973).

It looks like some of the former Mushi Production employees formed Hiromi Production and took over the plan as another tokusatsu show featuring a new hero.

It is said that Tohl Narita was called in to have him design the new hero but was picked out to get him to join the production of “Totsugeki! Human!!” and he left the project at the outset.

It is explained that they brought the new hero into being based on the draft drawn by Tohl Narita (as “Greenman”) was redesigned into Thundermask by a manga artist and designer Makiho Narita who belonged to Hiromi Production (no blood relationship to each other although their family names are the same Narita).

While it is unknown how much the design by Narita was incorporated into the hero in the end, if Thundermask was fully designed by Tohl Narita, two tokusatsu heroes designed by him, Human and Thundermask, could have showed up in front of us.

An image borrowed from online showing the character (possibly Greenman) obviously drawn by Tohl Narita (left) and Thundermask apparently illustrated by someone else

10 thoughts on “Thundermask & Tohl Narita”

  1. Dear Booska-san
    From The pictures, It means that Tezuka’s Thundermask manga was drawn after Tohl Narita and Makiho Narita’s designs ?

      1. How nostalgic! The cover tells these shows aired in Thailand almost at the same time as in Japan. It is amazing! No wonder we can share so many things in common about the tokusatsu series broadcast back then!
        Thanks for sharing this!

        1. I think may be Thailand is The only one country in asia or in The World That have Tokusatsu history paralleled with japan. Since The early 60’s to late 70’s, about 75% of Japan’s Tokusatsu movies and T.V.series was released and broadcasted in Thailand. For example The early Tokusatsu Show like Gekko Kamen (月光仮面) and Nanairo kamen (七色仮面). I’ve read this data from an old tv.program magazine of that time.

          1. Oh, I didn’t know that at all. No wonder they are known so much in Thailand.
            Gekko Kamen and Nanairo Kamen were the series before I was born (thanks for the Chinese characters you properly typed in!), so it is just amazing to learn about that.
            I don’t think many people in Japan know about it.
            Thanks for the information!

    1. Right. Tezuka just drew the manga based on the design and maybe the settings done by the other people.
      I think the design drawn by Tohl Narita looks fairly good. I wanted to see it appear as Thundermask or Greenman for real!
      The above image you kindly posted makes me wonder where it came from.

      1. I cut and edited this picture from tezuka’s manga page.(the picture below) I feel like tezuka’s thundermask manga is like humor comic than super heroes comic.

          1. Looks like the story and settings are totally different from the TV Thundermask.
            Thanks for letting me know abut it!

        1. I see. It is fantastic that Tezuka drew the Narita version of Thundermask even in a single scene! Thank you for your effort to show them to us!

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