Mirrorman (TV series)
|Created by||Tsuburaya Productions|
|Starring||Nobuyuki Ishida, Junya Usami, Takako Asai|
|Country of origin||Japan|
|No. of episodes||51|
|Running time||24 minutes (per episode)|
|Original channel||Fuji Television|
|Original release||December 5, 1971 – November 26, 1972|
Mirrorman (ミラーマン Mirāman?) is the title superhero of a tokusatsu science fiction/kaiju/superhero TV series, Mirrorman. Produced by Tsuburaya Productions, the series aired on Fuji TV from December 5, 1971 to November 26, 1972, with a total of 51 episodes. This was Tsuburaya Productions' first non-Ultra superhero (even though there were concepts that were similar to Ultraman, which became Tsuburaya trademarks). Like Ultra Seven, Mirrorman was more of a dark and brooding science fiction drama than most other shows of its ilk. But by Episode 26, major changes were forced upon the series by the network (making the action lighter and the hero more like Ultraman), it became a typical action-oriented superhero adventure of its era.
There was a spin-off, a short series titled Mirror Fight, broadcast on TV Tokyo from April 1, 1974 to September 27, 1974, with a total of 65 short-episodes. It was similar in concept to the earlier Ultra Fight.
Over the years, there were several sequel series rumors. In 2005, this somewhat came true in Mirrorman REFLEX, a straight-to-DVD series that would be later compiled into a film. Featuring no characters or connection to the old series, REFLEX has a darker tone on par with the first half of the original television series.
In 1980s, an evil alien race known simply as the Invaders are about to take over the Earth, using assorted daikaiju (giant monsters) and other fiendish plots. Assigned to investigate this threat is an organization called the Science Guard Members (SGM). But another hope comes from someone, unbeknownst even to himself, possessing otherworldly power. Professor Mitarai, the leader of SGM, finally shares a secret with his foster son, young photojournalist named Kyôtarô Kagami ("kagami" = Japanese for "mirror"), a secret only he himself knows: Kyôtarô a half-cast of an alien father and a human mother (both of whom are missing — captives of the Invaders). Kyôtarô discovers that he is actually the son of Mirrorman, a superhero from the 2nd Dimension.
However, the original Mirrorman was defeated by the Invaders' toughest monster King Zyger (explained in Episode 14), but his son Kyôtarô survived, and shares the same powers as his namesake. Naturally, the young man had difficulty accepting his destiny, but he soon realizes that he is the only one who can save the Earth from the Invaders, when they try to assassinate him. In order to transform into Mirrorman, Kyôtarô must stand in front of any reflective surface (mirrors, water, etc.), and flash his Mirror-Pendant, and utter the words "Mirror Spark".
In Popular Culture
The nickname "Mirrorman" was applied by the mass media and internet to Kazuhide Uekusa, an economist who was arrested in 2004 for sex offences involving peeping under girls' skirts with a hand-held mirror.
Cameos and other appearances
The characters of Chief Murakami, Yasuda and Nomura would later return in Jumborg Ace. A bank of Mirrorman can also be seen in an episode.
The monster Gorgosaurus also appears in Ultraman Taro.
The monster Dustpan would appear again the Thai/Japanese co-production The 6 Ultra Brothers vs. the Monster Army.
Mirror Knight, an homage to Mirrorman, appears in the film Ultraman Zero The Movie: Super Deciding Fight! The Belial Galactic Empire.