Thursday, September 18, 2008
Leif - Kamen Rider - Japan, May 1981 - Age 6
Here's one of those coin-operated rides, this one in Japan. Maybe Leif's first "motorcycle ride." Our sons enjoyed the Japanese children's shows immensely, even though they didn't understand that Japanese. One of their favorites was "Kamen Rider Super One," and it featured masked characters in cool, bright colored suits on matching souped up motorcycles. They had special powers, and fantastic belts that had things that lit up and whirred. They went through a series of ritual motions to invoke their special powers.
Our boys had toy versions of the fancy belts, and some masks. There might have been other parts of the toys sets, too, but those are the ones I remember. They loved pretending to be these heroes. They had all the hand motions down, and here Leif is standing on the cycle in the perfect Kamen Rider pose.
I'm sure watching that show had some influence on his interest in riding cycles in his adult years, but he probably would have gravitated to that anyway, because it was fast, thrilling, and dangerous.
Kamen Rider was only one of the Japanese shows they watched with fervor. Peter Anthony and his friend Darren could give me a complete and accurate list, but I remember Ultraman 80, Gundam, and Space Battleship Yamato (or Space Cruiser Yamato) known in English as Star Blazers. They were watching the Japanese genre now known as anime long before they became popular in the USA, and their enthusiasm for it never ended, right into adulthood.