|Kamen no Ninja Akakage|
|Network||KTV, Fuji TV|
|Original run||April 5, 1967 – March 27, 1968|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Susumu Ishizaki|
|Original run||13 October 1987 – 22 March 1988|
|Red Shadow: Aka Kage|
|Directed by||Hiroyuki Nakano|
Akakage (赤影 Red Shadow?) is a fictional Japanese superhero featured in several manga, tokusatsu, anime and live movies and TV shows since his first appearance in the 1967 TV series, Kamen no Ninja Akakage, produced by Toei Company Ltd..
Akakage, created by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, is a ninja who wears a red-and-black costume and a stylized red mask. His adventures take place in Feudal Japan, and he and his ninja sidekicks Aokage (青影 Blue Shadow?, a little boy) and Shirokage (白影 White Shadow?, an old man) fight evil warlords, wizards and daikaiju using modern high-tech gadgetry (a blatant oddity in a period setting).
1967 tokusatsu series
Kamen no Ninja Akakage (仮面の忍者 赤影 Masked Ninja Akakage?), produced by Toei Company Ltd., aired on KTV and Fuji TV from April 5, 1967 to March 27, 1968, with a total of 52 episodes (divided into four segments). Akakage was played by Yuzaburo Sakaguchi, Aokage was played by Yoshinobu Kaneko (younger brother of fellow child actor Mitsunobu Kaneko of Akuma-kun and Giant Robo fame) and Shirokage was played by Fuyukichi Maki.
This was Toei's first color tokusatsu superhero show and Japan's first color live-action ninja TV series. Aokage's footage from the series was also used to create several Watari films with the titles like The Magic Sword of Watari (not to be confused with the unrelated 1966 film Watari, Ninja Boy).
It's the late 1500s. Japan is in the midst of a long period of civil wars. As some seek to unite Japan in order to bring peace there are others who ferment conflict in order to empower themselves. Three ninja, Akakage, Aokage and Shirokage, working for those who seek peace and unity, do battle against evil ninja and their daikaiju (giant monsters).
- Akakage is a the best swordsman of the three and a master of disguise. The crystal in his mask fires an energy beam. Akakage appears on the scene proclaiming "Akakage Sanjô!"
- Aokage is a young boy who likes to play with explosives and uses a chain weapon.
- Shirokage is armed with a pole weapon and flies using a large kite.
1987 anime series
2001 live-action film
Red Shadow (RED SHADOW 赤影 Reddo Shadō Akakage?) is a loose remake of the 1969 film for the original Akakage series. It was released in 2001, and was directed by Hiroyuki Nakano, it stars Masanobu Ando in the title role. The story, characters and their costumes were however re-designed from scratch.