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|Kamen no Ninja Akakage|
|Original network||KTV, Fuji TV|
|Original run||April 5, 1967 – March 27, 1968|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Susumu Ishizaki|
|Original network||Nippon Television|
|Original run||13 October 1987 – 22 March 1988|
|Kamen no Ninja: Akakage|
|Released||May 20, 1988|
|Red Shadow: Aka Kage|
|Directed by||Hiroyuki Nakano|
Akakage (赤影 Red Shadow?) is a fictional Japanese superhero featured in several manga and anime, as well as live action movies and TV shows. Akakage first appeared in the 1967 TV series, Kamen no Ninja Akakage which was produced by Toei Company Ltd..
Akakage is a ninja who wears a red-and-black costume and a stylized red mask. He was created by Japanese manga artist Mitsuteru Yokoyama. His adventures are set in Feudal Japan, where Akakage and his ninja sidekicks, Aokage (青影 Blue Shadow?, a little boy) and Shirokage (白影 White Shadow?, an old man) fight evil warlords. The ninjas use their superhuman fighting powers and high-tech gadgets to defeat these warlords in a genre referred to as daikaiju, in which protagonists combat a range of humanoid monsters.
1967 Tokusatsu series
Kamen no Ninja Akakage (仮面の忍者 赤影 Masked Ninja Akakage?), was produced by Toei Company Ltd., and 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 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).
The story is set in the late sixteenth century, when Japan was in the midst of a long period of civil wars. While some seek to unite Japan in order to bring peace, there are others who encourage conflict in order to bring more power to themselves. Akakage, Aokage and Shirokage are all good ninjas working for those who seek peace and unity and battling against evil ninjas and their daikaiju (giant monsters).
There is also a series of episodes to the character, Kamen no Ninja Aka-Kage (仮面の忍者 赤影 Kamen no Ninja Akakage?, Akakage, The Masked Ninja), 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 Kanekoof Akuma-kun and Giant Robo fame) and Shirokage was played by Fuyukichi Maki.
Aka-Kage, made 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, where he and his ninja sidekicks Aokage (青影? a little boy) and Shirokage (白影?an old man) fight evil warlords, wizards and daikaiju using high-tech gardgets (a blatant oddity in a period setting).
- Akakage is 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 Sanjō!"
- Aokage is a young boy who plays 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.