Ōgon Bat

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Ōgon Bat as seen in a kamishibai

Ōgon Bat (Japanese: 黄金 バット, Hepburn: Ōgon Batto, literally "Golden Bat") is a Japanese superhero created by Suzuki Ichiro and Takeo Nagamatsu in 1931 who originally debuted in a kamishibai (paper theater).[1] Ōgon Bat is considered to be the world's first comic book superhero,[2][3] and is a precursor to later superhero characters such as the Japanese kamishibai character Prince of Gamma (debut early 1930s), and the American comic book characters Superman (debut 1938) and Batman (debut 1939).[1]

History[edit]

Kamishibai artist narrating a story on Ōgon Bat.

Ōgon Bat was created by sixteen-year old Takeo Nagamatsu and twenty-five year old Suzuki Ichiro in 1931 and was named after the Golden Bat cigarette brand. The two were inspired by drawings of mythological characters in Tokyo's Ueno Royal Museum to create a new hero based on science rather than mythology. The character debuted in a kamishibai, a type of traveling show in which a sequence of pictures are shown, narrated by a storyteller.[1][2][3] The character was popular enough to survive the decline of kamishibai following World War II, and was eventually adapted into manga (including one by Osamu Tezuka) and anime.[4]

The character featured in three live-action movies: Ôgon Bat: Matenrô no Kaijin, released in 1950; Ôgon Batto, released in 1966; and the comedy biopic Ôgon Batto ga Yattekuru, released in 1972.[citation needed] He also appeared in a 52-episode anime series that aired on Nippon TV from 1967 to 1968.[4]

Character description[edit]

Ōgon Bat is a being from ancient Atlantis who was sent forward in time 10,000 years to battle evil forces threatening the present day.[3][4] He has a golden skull-shaped head, wears a green and white swashbuckler outfit 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.[1][2][3] Ōgon Bat has an evil counterpart known as Kurayami Bat (暗闇バット "Dark Bat").[3] 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, a red eye and a blue eye.[3]

Film[edit]

Ōgon Bat
Directed byHajime Sato
Written bySusumu Takaku
StarringSonny Chiba
Distributed byToei Company (Japan)
Release date
  • December 21, 1966 (1966-12-21) (Japan)
Running time
73 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese

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).[citation needed]

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 known as Ogon Bat. When the Professor is taken captive by Gorgo, agent of the evil Dr. Erich Nazō (ナゾー), his daughter Mari pleads for Ogon Bat to save her father. As she starts to cry, her tears fall in Ogon Bat's tomb and revive him. From then on, Mari calls on Ogon Bat to fight against evil.

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 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)
GenreFantasy, Superhero
Anime television series
Directed byNoboru Ishiguro,[citation needed]
Kujiro Yanagida,
Seiji Sasaki,
Tadao Wakabayashi[4]
Produced byDaiichi
Yomiuri TV (Nippon TV)
Written byMitsuhide Shimauchi
Music byTanaka Masashi
StudioDaichi Doga
Original networkYomiuri TV, Nippon TV
English network
Original run April 1, 1967 March 23, 1968
Episodes52
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

List of anime episodes[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bradner, Liesl (2009-11-29). "The superheroes of Japan who predated Superman and Batman". Hero Complex. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  2. ^ a b c Bradner, Liesl (2009-11-27). "Origins of manga and anime". Culture Monster. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-07-07.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Davisson, Zack (December 19, 2010). "The First Superhero – The Golden Bat?". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Clements, Jonathan; McCarthy, Helen (2014). The Anime Encyclopedia, 3rd Revised Edition: A Century of Japanese Animation. Stone Bridge Press. p. 193. ISBN 9781611720181. Retrieved July 31, 2016.

External links[edit]