A Real-Life Kamen Rider Is Patrolling the Streets In Japan
You may recall this story from last summer about a guy riding around Japan’s Chiba Prefecture on a Batpod while wearing a very accurate movie Batman costume.
Well, step aside, Dark Knight. Japan’s got a new motorcycle-riding hero, and this time, he’s a Japanese-born character. Someone with a very accurate Kamen Rider costume has been riding around in Fukuoka Prefecture, specifically in the city of Kitakyushu (and at one point, the surrounding farmland). His mission? To put an end to drunk driving.
We know that because one of the major differences between this Kamen Rider’s costume and the original 1970s TV uniform is an armband that says “Stop Drunk Driving” on it. The costume is otherwise very faithful, and the motorcycle is also basically perfect.
Japanese news site Matome Naver has identified this Kamen Rider as an artist named Shinjiro Kumagaya, who mostly makes sculptures out of cans. The only reasonable backstory is that Kumagaya was kidnapped by the evil terrorist organization Shocker to be transformed into a mutant cyborg, but escaped before his brain was totally subsumed by their brainwashing. Now he travels the highways of Kitakyushu advocating for safe driving. It’s the only explanation that makes sense.
If you’re unfamiliar with artist Shotaro Ishinomori’s original Kamen Rider manga, that’s the basic origin story of poor, original Kamen Rider Takeshi Hongo. The live-action tokusatsu TV series started in 1971, the same year as the manga. In the years since, an astonishing 25 other Kamen Rider series have aired, all with new characters wearing different costumes.
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