National Kid

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National Kid
National Kid title screen.jpg
Title card for National Kid.
Genre Tokusatsu
Format black and white
Created by Daiji Kazumine
Written by Nagayoshi Akasaka and Daiji Kazumine
Directed by Nagayoshi Akasaka and Jun Kaoike
Starring Ichiro Kojima (episodes 1-22)
Tatsume Shiutaro (episodes 23-39)
Theme music composer Masami Sano
Opening theme Song of National Kid (ナショナル・キッドの歌 Nashonaru Kiddo no Uta?), written by Masayoshi Onuki, sung by Victor Children's Chorus
Composer(s) Yasuo Fukazawa
Country of origin Japan
Original language(s) Japanese
No. of episodes 39
Production
Producer(s) Kazuma Nesaka and Masamichi Sato
Running time 30 minutes
Distributor Toei Company
Broadcast
Original channel NET
Audio format Mono
Original run August 04, 1960 – April 27, 1961

National Kid (ナショナルキッド Nashonaru Kiddo?) is a Japanese TV series produced by Toei Company[1] in 1960. Created by Daiji Kazumine, it was commissioned by Panasonic, then known as Matsushita Electric, to promote the National brand. Although not very famous in Japan, the series has obtained cult status in Brazil, where it was very popular.[2][3]

Development[edit]

In 1960, Matsushita Electric commissioned a science fiction superhero manga to Kodansha and a TV series to Toei Company in order to promote their National brand electronics.[2][4] The artist Daiji Kazumine was responsible for the comic.

National Kid was Toei's fourth tokusatsu series. Nagayoshi Akasaka, director of the series, was inspired by The Adventures of Superman when creating National Kid.[4]

The series was shot in black-and-white.[2] National Kid's production cost was high for the time's standards: each 30-minute episode had a production budget of 1.5 million yen, when the average money invested in a TV series in Japan that time was of 10 thousand yen per minute (300 thousand yen for a 30-minute episode).[5]

Plot[edit]

National Kid is a messenger from the Andromeda Galaxy thirty thousand light-years away, who is immortal and protects the Earth from invaders. His alter ego on Earth is Ryusaku Hata (旗竜作 Hata Ryusaku?)—or Massao Hata in the Brazilian dub--[4] the son and apprentice of the world renowned scientist, Dr. Masachika Hata, who holds his practice in a suburb of Tokyo. His powers include superhuman strength and flight. National Kid also carries the "Eroruya Ray Gun" (エロルヤ光線銃 Eroruya kōsen jū?) which was similar to the flashlight sold by National Electric. Hata raises five orphan children, which try to help investigating the strange phenomena in the series. When in danger, the kids call National Kid to rescue them via the "Magic Radio" (マジックラジオ Majikku Rajio?), a National radio transmitter.[6][7]

Story Arcs[edit]

The National Kid series comprises four story arcs serialized through 39 episodes.

Attack of the Incas (インカ族の来襲 Inka-zoku no Raishū?)[edit]

The first arc lasted 13 episodes. The story has National Kid defending the Earth from the Incas, an alien race who arrive from the planet Venus.[8]

Inca Venusians (インカ金星人 Inka Kinseijin?)

Concerned that the effects of nuclear tests on Earth could spread through space, the Incas invade and unleash massive UFO attacks on Japan. They worship a God called "Abika," with altars also furnished in their ship. They also release a virus in which National Kid struggles to find a cure. The hero flies into the mountains and uses his Eroruya Ray Gun to blow apart some boulders in order to uncover some rare minerals that helped in creating a remedy for the virus' effects. The remainder of the episodes primarily had National Kid saving children and himself from Inca attacks.

  • Aura (アウラ Aura?) (Inca Venusian captain) - played by Yoshiko Nogawa

Vemana and Kabia's boss. Act's cruelly, but speaks in very polite words.

  • Vemana (ヴィマナ Buimana?) (Inca Venusian executive) - played by Akira Katayama
  • Kabia (カビア Kabia?) (Inca Venusian executive) - played by Ichi Kubo

Undersea Devil Nelkon (海底魔王ネルコン Kaitei Maō Nerukon?)[edit]

The second story arc ran 9 episodes. Already using new techniques including blue screen, the special effects are significantly improved over the first story's efforts. This time National Kid battles an army of oceanic creatures called the Undersea People Coelacanth (海底人シーラカンス Kaiteijin Shirakansu?).

Undersea People Coelacanth (海底人シーラカンス Kaiteijin Shirakansu?)

The Undersea People- ancient coelacanth fish that had evolved into human beings- declare war on the surface world. The Undersea People are uniformed in long black robes with triangular hoods. They have faces like a Komodo dragon, and their bodies are similar to the Creature from the Creature From the Black Lagoon movies. The Undersea People come to the surface world riding in an anglerfish-shaped submarine named Guilton, which was built in their undersea city 10,000 m below depth, causing seismic waves destroying naval ships.

  • Fish No.1 (フィッシュ1号 Fuishu Ichi-go?) - played by Akira Katayama
  • Fish No.3 (フィッシュ3号 Fuishu San-go?) - played by Nobuyuki Ezawa
  • Dr. Kawamura (川村博士 Kawamura-Hakase?) - played by Haruni Kubo

Underground Demon Castle (地底魔城 Chitei Majō?)[edit]

The third story arc ran 8 episodes. Ichiro Kojima leaves the series, and Tatsume Shiutaro takes over the role of National Kid until the series' end. In this arc, National Kid takes on armed forces from beneath the Earth's surface. The Underground People are looking for the formula to a rare element that will give them supreme power.[6] Once again UFOs attack Japan killing civilians.

Underground People (地底人 Chiteijin?)
  • President Heln (or Herrn) Stein (ヘルンシュタイン総統 Herun Shutain?) (Underground People) - played by Koji Matsuyama

Mystery of the Space Boy (謎の宇宙少年 Nazo no Uchū Shōnen?)[edit]

The last story arc ran 9 episodes. A space boy named Taro accidentally falls to Earth. Then Taro's father mistakenly threatens the destruction of Tokyo and unleashes the giant monster Gyabura for his boy's blunder.[6] Taro befriends Hata's students, and tells his father Earth is a peaceful planet. After this final threat, Ryusaku Hata reveals he is the Earth's hero National Kid and returns to Andromeda.

Reception[edit]

National Kid was unsuccessful in Japan.[2] Its premiere was on August 4, 1960, on Channel 10. The last of the 39 episodes aired April 27, 1961, after which time it was canceled.[4]

National Kid was first aired in Brazil in 1964, by TV Record. It was very popular in Brazil, and was rerun several times before 1970, when it was taken off the air by the military government's Ministry of Justice, banning all series with flying superheroes.[4][9]

A series of graffiti with the phrase "Celacanto Provoca Maremoto" ("coelacanth causes tsunami"), referencing the villains' submarine, appeared in several spots of Rio de Janeiro in 1977 as a meme.[2][10]

A fire in TV Record's archives destroyed National Kid's tapes.[4] The series was redubbed and achieved new popularity in Brazil in the 1990s.[2] Some episodes of the series were released in VHS in 1990 and in DVD in 2009.[11] In 2009 the National Kid character was portrayed in a Rio de Janeiro Carnival parade by the samba school Unidos da Tijuca.[2][4]

Main cast[edit]

The cast members of National Kid were:[4]

For the Brazilian version, voices were dubbed in Portuguese by:[4]

  • Emerson Camargo: National Kid
  • Cristina Camargo: Thiako
  • Maria Inês: Goro
  • Magaly Sanches: Kurazo
  • Rafael Marques: Tomohiro
  • Sônia Regina: Yukio
  • Osmano Cardoso: Dr. Mizuno

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ナショナルキッド東映チャンネル 特撮ヒーロー『ナショナルキッド 第1部』放送スタートのお知ら" [Announcement: tokusatsu hero National Kid's first season debuts on Toei Channel] (in Japanese). Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Maia, Roberto (January 23, 2013). "National Kid, o super-herói japonês que se imortalizou no Brasil" [National Kid, the Japanese superhero immortalized in Brazil.]. Contraversão (in Portuguese). Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ Senna, Paulo.Nostalgia -National Kid. O Globo. March 22, 2009. http://oglobo.globo.com/blogs/nostalgia/posts/2009/03/22/national-kid-171017.asp. Retrieved in September 18, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "National Kid (Nashônaru Kiddo - 1960)". Infantv. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ Cruz, Ricardo (February 17, 2009). "Awika Files #2- Kido? Kido! Nationaro Kiido!". Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Marques, Licia (July 11, 2011). "National Kid". União de Abobrinhas. Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  7. ^ "やっと会えたね、ナショナルキッド!". Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Nacional Kid" (in Portuguese). tvsinopse.kinghost.net. 
  9. ^ Senna, Paulo. Nostalgia -National Kid. O Globo. March 22, 2009. Retrieved in September 18, 2013.
  10. ^ Rouchou, Joelle (July 20, 1978). "Celacanto Revela Identidade-Tem 17 anos, estuda física e vai à praia em Ipanema.". Jornal do Brasil (in Portuguese) (Rio de Janeiro). Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  11. ^ Focus Filmes lança National Kid em DVD Retrieved in September 29th, 2013

External links[edit]