Ōgon Bat

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Ōgon Bat from a Kamishibai [1]

Ōgon Bat (Japanese: 黄金 バット, Hepburn: Ōgon Batto, literally "Golden Bat") is a Japanese superhero created by Takeo Nagamatsu in 1931 who debuted originally in the kamishibai (paper theater).[2] Ōgon Bat is considered to be the first Japanese superhero[3] and is a precursor to later superhero characters such as the Japanese kamishibai character, Prince of Gamma (debuted early 1930s), and the American comic book characters Superman (debuted 1938) and Batman (debuted 1939).[2]

History[edit]

Kamishibai artist narrating a story on Ōgon Bat.

Ōgon Bat debuted in a kamishibai, a type of traveling show in which a sequence of pictures are shown, narrated by a storyteller.[2][3] The character was popular enough to survive the decline of kamishibai following World War II and was eventually translated into manga, including one by Osamu Tezuka,[citation needed] and in anime form.[4]

The character features in three live-action movies: Ôgon Bat: Matenrô no Kaijin, 1950; Ôgon Batto, 1966; and, the comedy biopic Ôgon Batto ga Yattekuru, 1972. He also appears in the 1967, 52-episode anime series on Nippon TV.[4]

Character description[edit]

Ōgon Bat has a golden, skull-shaped head, wears a green and white costume with a high-collared red cape, and carries a rapier. He lives in a fortress in the Japanese Alps. His superpowers include superhuman strength, invulnerability, and the ability to fly.[2][3] Ōgon Bat has an evil counterpart known as Kurayami Bat (暗闇バット "Dark Bat").[citation needed] His main enemy is Dr. Erich Nazō (ナゾー), the leader of a crime syndicate bent on world domination, who wears a black costume and mask with bat-like ears.[citation needed]

Film[edit]

Ōgon Bat
Directed by Hajime Sato
Written by Susumu Takaku
Starring Sonny Chiba
Distributed by Toei Company (Japan)
Release date
  • December 21, 1966 (1966-12-21) (Japan)
Running time
73 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

A live-action film version of Ōgon Bat was released theatrically by Toei in Japan on December 21, 1966 starring Sonny Chiba as Dr. Yamatone (ヤマトネ博士, Yamatone Hakase).

Plot[edit]

Professor Yamatone and his family visit present day Egypt, and discover an ancient tomb belonging to a god of justice, (and) protector of the weak. When the Professor is taken captive later by Gorgo, agent of the evil Dr. Erich Nazō (ナゾー) (also known as Dr Zero), his daughter Mari pleads for the god of justice to save her father. As she starts to cry, her tears fall into the ancient tomb, reviving Ogon Bat, who comes to her aid. From then on, the little girl calls on the Ogon Bat to fight against evil - usually in the form of Doctor Zero.[citation needed]

Cast[edit]

  • Sonny Chiba as Dr. Yamatone (ヤマトネ博士, Yamatone Hakase)
  • Wataru Yamakawa as Akira Kazahaya
  • Hisako Tsukuba as Naomi Akiyama
  • Emiri Takami as Emiry Beard
  • Andrew Hughes as Dr. Parl
  • Hirohisa Nakada as agent Shimizu
  • Kōsaku Okano as agent Nakamura
  • Kouji Sekiyama as Space killer Nazō
  • Youichi Numada as Keroido
  • Keiko Kuni as Perania
  • Keiichi Kitakawa as Jackal
  • Yukio Aoshima as police officer

Anime[edit]

Ōgon Bat
黄金バット
(Ōgon Batto)
Genre Fantasy, Superhero
Anime television series
Directed by Noboru Ishiguro,
Kujiro Yanagida,
Seiji Sasaki,
Tadao Wakabayashi [4]
Produced by Daiichi
Yomiuri TV (Nippon TV)
Written by Mitsuhide Shimauchi
Music by Tanaka Masashi
Studio Daichi Doga
Original network Yomiuri TV, Nippon TV
English network
Original run April 1, 1967March 23, 1968
Episodes 52
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

List of anime episodes[5][edit]

Episode Name Premiere Date
1 "The Birth of Golden Bat" (黄金バット誕生) April 1st, 1967
2 "Mammoth Killer" (マンモスキラー) April 8th, 1967
3 "Ge-Georg" (ゲーゲオルグ) April 15th, 1967
4 "Crisis" (危機一発) April 22nd, 1967
5 "Man Eating Plants" (人食い植物) April 29th, 1967
6 "In Pursuit of the Melon Bombs" (メロン爆弾大追跡) May 6th, 1967
7 "Monster Sand Beronya" (怪獣サンドベロニヤ) May 13th, 1967
8 "Space Monster Alligon" (宇宙怪獣アリゴン) May 20th, 1967
9 "Worm Monster Gaigon" (怪物ガイゴン) May 27th, 1967
10 "The Battle of Uranium Island" (ウラン島大決戦) June 3rd, 1967
11 "The Mystery of Finkhamen" (謎のフィンカーメン) June 10th, 1967
12 "Dr. Jinger's Poison Mushrooms" (ジンガーの毒キノコ) June 17th, 1967
13 "Mutant 5" (ミュータント5) June 24th, 1967
14 "Atomic Black Gyatt" (原子ブラックギャット) July 1st, 1967
15 "Nero the Destructor" (破壊魔ネロ) July 8th, 1967
16 "Ghilton, the Stone Man" (岩人ギルトン) July 15th, 1967
17 "Galgar the Monster Bird" (怪鳥ガルガー) July 22nd, 1967
18 "The Star of Polynesia" (ポリネシアの星) July 29th, 1967
19 "Bat vs. Bat" (バット対バット) August 5th, 1967
20 "The Land of the Blue Flame" (青い炎の国) August 12th, 1967
21 "The Queen of Root Sigma" (ルートシグマの女王) August 19th, 1967
22 "The Mystery of Volcano Peron" (謎のペロン火山) August 26th, 1967
23 "Black Mask the Thief" (怪盗ブラック仮面) September 2nd, 1967
24 "The Devil's Ruby" (悪魔のルビー) September 9th 1967
25 "The Robot City" (ロボット都市) September 16th, 1967
26 "Rayman Boldo" (光線人間ボルド) September 23rd, 1967
27 "The Eye of Tarangé" (タランゲーの眼) September 30th, 1967
28 "Sword of the Queen Axis" (アキシスの剣) October 7th, 1967
29 "Mystery of the Space Bat" (宇宙コウモリの謎) October 14th, 1967
30 "Superpowered Cyborgs" (超能力改造人間) October 21st, 1967
31 "The Ghost Tower" (ゆうれい塔) October 28th, 1967
32 "The Devil's Giant Statue" (悪魔の巨像) November 4th, 1967
33 "The Invisible Monster Glassgon" (透明怪獣グラスゴン) November 11th, 1967
34 "The Great World Flood" (世界大洪水) November 18th, 1967
35 "Underground Monster Mogurah" (地底怪獣モグラー) November 25th, 1967
36 "The Great Explosion" (地球大爆発) December 2nd, 1967
37 "Two-Headed Monster Gegera" (双頭怪獣ゲゲラ) December 9th, 1967
38 "The Dinosaur Trap" (恐竜の罠) December 16th, 1967
39 "The Skeleton's Pilotage" (骸骨の水先案内) December 23rd, 1967
40 "The Day of Darkness" (地球暗黒の日) December 30th, 1967
41 "The Indian Princess" (インドの女王) January 6th, 1968
42 "The Witch and Monster Hiidoro" (妖婆の怪獣ヒードロ) January 13th, 1968
43 "The Cyclops in the Mine" (廃坑の一つ目怪獣) January 20th, 1968
44 "Revenge of the Liger Man" (ライガーマンの逆襲) January 27th, 1968
45 "The Death-bringing Woman" (死を呼ぶ女) February 3rd, 1968
46 "The Bat Hag and the Monster Shelgon" (こうもり老女と怪獣シェルゴン) February 10th, 1968
47 "The Mysterious Gerontium 90" (幻のゲロンチューム90) February 17th, 1968
48 "The Little Assassins" (小さい暗殺者) February 24th, 1968
49 "The Bat Man" (怪人こうもり男) March 2nd, 1968
50 "Circus Monster Gablar" (サーカス怪獣ガブラー) March 9th, 1968
51 "The Resurrection of Dark Bat" (よみがえる暗闇バット) March 16th, 1968
52 "The Crumbling of the Nazō Empire" (ひびわれるナゾー帝国) March 23rd, 1968

References[edit]

  1. ^ lorZ, Acciai. "Segreti di Pulcinella - rivista di letteratura e cultura varia". Segretidipulcinella.it. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d Liesl Bradner (2009-11-29). "The superheroes of Japan who predated Superman and Batman | Hero Complex – movies, comics, pop culture – Los Angeles Times". Herocomplex.latimes.com. Retrieved 2015-06-19. 
  3. ^ a b c Liesl Bradner (2009-11-27). "Origins of manga and anime | Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  4. ^ a b c Clements, Jonathan; McCarthy, Helen. The Anime Encyclopedia, 3rd Revised Edition: A Century of Japanese Animation. Berkeley, California.: Stone Bridge Press / Google Books. pp. Unpaginated. ISBN 978-1611720181. 
  5. ^ "黄金バット". Marumegane.com. 1968-03-23. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 

External links[edit]