Philosophy over coffee

Remembering the Heroes

In Interesting, Size: Venti on January 4, 2009 at 6:51 am

As we grow up, our definition of what heroes are or who they are in our lives is modified.  Some look up to their dads, some to their partners, and some even to political and socially-figures in their countries as life heroes.  Meanwhile, there are those who take a more social definition of it and look at firefighters, at times the cops, and more importantly the soldiers fighting in wars to be members of the same group.  But have a trip down memory lane, from 10-15 years ago and none of what has been said above would apply.

As kids, our world revolved around skilled, powerful, and masked men- ginormous or regular-sized, who wore jumpsuits of different colors.  Thanks to the Japanese, we managed to find more than a simple pasttime but more reasons to shout out loud at home as our favorite characters transformed from being humans just like us.  And thanks to my friend Niq’s post on her blog about MMPR, nostalgia got me digging up the past and scouring all over the net for photos most familiar to us and would easily remind us how much we loved these shows.


Originally aired from February 4 ’84 to January 26 ’85 in Japan through TV Asahai, Choudenshi Bioman became known to many of us as simply Bioman.  The story’s five heroes are identified by the color of their armor:

Red 1, a pilot

Bioman Ability: Choudenshi Radar

Weapons and Attacks: Fire Sword and Spark Sword; Diving Attack and Sky Punch

Green 2, a race car driver

Bioman Ability: Choudenshi Scope

Weapons and Attacks: Hurricane Sword and Green Boomerang; Break Action

Blue 3, a swimmer and the one I identified with

Bioman Ability: Choudenshi Ear

Weapons and Attacks: Electric Sword; Super sky Diving

Yellow 4, a photographer

Bioman Ability: Choudenshi Holograph

Weapons and Attacks: Thunder Sword and Bio Arrow

Pink 5, a flutist

Bioman Ability: Choudenshi Barrier

Weapons and Attacks: Laser Sword and Pink Flash; Spin Chop


Together, we shout:  Bio Team Fight! Bioman!


And what are superheroes without the villains? Remember Dr. Man, Farra and the rest of the gang?



Then there was Maskman.  I’m having a hard time remembering if this was shown the same time as Bioman. But memory serves that this came after.  Even if it aired between 1987 and 1988, I’m not sure I saw it during those two years. I was only 3 then.  Called in Japan as Hikari Sentai Maskman, it was the eleventh installment in Toei’s Super Sentai series (Bioman was eighth).  The plot apparently does not hold a stark difference from Bioman. Only the way the heroes are called as well as the way they turn into heroes.  Similr to Bioman, I pretended to be Blue Mask. The Filipino counterpart of Blue Mask being called Adrian (but he was called Heydrian) certainly helped.


I have less recollection of this series except that they use their hands to transform into Maskmen.  I can hardly remember the villains, even how their robot looked.  All I know is I had a toy of their fighter jet, before it turns into a humongous robot.  As they transform (below), there’s still fascination in seeing the fiery background as the blower blew on their faces and let their hair flutter, as if a strong force of wind just blew past them.


See the Maskmen utilizing their Shot Bomber (left) and the Jet Cannon where Red Mask is standing on (right) is one of my favorite toys in my childhood.



Pulis Pangkalawakan. Belonging to a gang of three, he usually fulfills his mission with Annie, with the aid of Commander Com.  Headquartered at the giant spaceship Vavilos, capable of firing Vavilos Beam from its wings, Uchuu Keiji Shaider as known in Japan also fights for world peace through his motorcycle and Shaider Cutter (heard on TV as Kata)


Along with Maskman’s Jet Cannon, I head the immense pleasure of owning a miniature Vavilos, which transforms into a gun called the Big Magnum.


For additional nostalgiic pleasure, don’t forget Ultraman and Mask Rider Black.

A quick note about Ultraman: I was highly fascinated by the sheer number of Ultraman robots.  Without any recollection of their names, all I could remember was being amazed at how human they were.  Although with powers, it was a break for me from robots. Their enemies, however, remained fugly.


If I remember it right, this creature gave Ultraman one of his toughest battles.


Lastly, the black-bee looking hero.


Even after what seemed like an eternal childhood, it comes surprising for me to know that Bioman and Maskman only had 51 episides each and Shaider, even less- 48.  Just look at that. As a kid, your day was never complete without seeing any of those series and the sheer entertainment we got was enough for us (or me at least) to not care or even recognize that that entertainment emanated from years of recycled episodes.

How about singing along, at the very least watching again, each of their opening songs?





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