1987 was a special year for Japan’s Toei Company. The anime and tokusatsu giant had several defining television programs that year. The sixth installment of their Metal Hero series Chōjinki Metalder, the eleventh Super Sentai series Hikari Sentai Maskman, and the international hit Saint Seiya are to name a few. To top off the year, Toei would debut a brand new Kamen Rider series by legendary manga artist, Shotaro Ishinomori. The hero had not been on the airwaves in five years, with the last broadcast being a special, titled Birth of the 10th! Kamen Riders All Together! starring Kamen Rider ZX.
Kamen Rider Black and Battle Hopper
Kotaro Minami (Tetsuo Kurata)
October 4th, 1987 marked the television premier of Kamen Rider Black 仮面ライダーBLACK (Masked Rider Black), the eighth installment of the mega-popular series that originally began in 1971. The new series not only showcased state of the art special effects, but also realistic monsters by Rainbow Industries. Kamen Rider Black would stand out for it’s dark, heavy, atmosphere and drama that would never be topped. On the other hand, Kamen Rider Black was highlighted by super fast paced action and some of the Japan Action Club’s best fighting choreography. Kamen Rider Black’s soundtrack is one of the best in any Japanese TV series to date. The songs really moved the program along much like Toei’s Uchu Keiji Gavan, hyper and exhilarating. Like the U.S. kid’s program Captain Power, Kamen Rider Black also integrated an interactive toy line called the TV Power Series.
The Gorgom Priests (Bishum, Darom and Baraom)
The story begins when, during their 19th birthday party, stepbrothers Kotaro Minami (played by Tetsuo Kurata) and Nobuhiko Akizuki (Takahito Horiuchi) and kidnapped by three evil priests, Darom, Baraom, and Bishum, who are members of the Darkness Society Gorgom. Kotaro and Nobuhiko undergo biogenetic surgery and are fitted with the legendary King Stones, which will turn them into high level cyborgs of the dark age, known as the Century Kings, Black Sun and Shadow Moon. Every 50,000 years, two Century King’s must battle to the death to become the next era’s Creation King who will rule the world.
The Gorgom are interrupted by Professor Akizuki, who allowed this tragedy to happen to his sons, by thinking he was helping them avoid an age of dictatorship. Realizing his mistake, Professor Akizuki tries to stop the priests, but only Kotaro narrowly escapes, before his mind is tampered with, on a bio-engineered living motorcycle, Battle Hopper. During his pursuit by the Gorgom priests, Kotaro is severely beaten and is subjected to a high voltage electrocution which forces his body to react and activate the King Stone within his body. Black Sun is born, but Kotaro renames himself Kamen Rider Black and vows to destroy the Gorgom and protect the world.
Rock Turtle Kaijin
Through out the series, Kamen Rider Black battled the Gorgom’s Kaijin (Humanoid-Monster), which were everything from bats, spiders, lizards to a wooly mammoth and even a cactus. Kotaro became Kamen Rider Black by doing a combination of arm movements and saying the word “Henshin” (change or transform) to activate his Henshin Belt and transform. Kamen Rider Black would defeat his enemies by using his “Rider Punch” or “Rider Kick” which usually causes them to explode. With the arrival of a new enemy, the Gorgom’s Sword Saint Birgenia, Kamen Rider Black inherit’s a second motorcycle Road Sector, which has super speed to aid him in battle. Eventually everything leads to the unavoidable conclusion, Black Sun vs. Shadow Moon to decide the next king of all creation.
Kamen Rider Black And Road Sector
Dai Kaijin Darom, Kamen Rider Black, and Shadow Moon
Every fan has that defining movie, TV program, or character that sticks with them for the rest of their life. Whether you’re into Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Buffy, or an anime fan, we’re all guilty of watching those episodes or movies over, over, and over. Kamen Rider Black is my guilty pleasure. Nothing since has given me that feeling I had in those golden days of driving to JBC Video every week in 1987 to rent that VHS and see the next episode. You memorize every music note and even remember the all the commercials that played with it. Back in those days it was a little tougher getting merchandise of your favorite show. In Chicago there was no G-Fest, Anime Central conventions or Pony Toys yet. So everything you found in small Japanese grocery stores were treasures. One of my best friends, Frank Kurtz owned a comic shop back in the day and was able to snag a few toys for me. I was lucky enough to be able to order CD’s from good ol’ JBC Video as well. Yep I’m geek personified when it comes to Kamen Rider Black. I still have one pack of unopened Kamen Rider Black gum, which I think is now petrified. One day I'll hopefully be lucky enough to get a to get a Tetsuo Kurata autograph. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t notice, this is the show where my blog got it's name “Black Sun”.
Kamen Rider Black CDs
Kamen Rider Black Hit Collection and Original Soundtrack
Tetsuo Kurata sings the title track.
Black Action is the best Rider song ever period.
Kamen Rider Black Songs & Drama
This CD kicks ass! You get Kamen Rider Black, talking and fighting between song tracks. Shadow Moon even shows up.
Kamen Rider Black Laser Discs, DVDs, and the Video Hero Promo VHS
Yep I double dipped.
Weekly Shonen Sunday #41 1987
The manga premiere of Kamen Rider Black.
A lucky day at the Japanese bookstore. This was on the shelf.
Digest versions of the manga.
October, November, and December 1987 issues of TV Land and TV Kun.
January through Semptember 1988 issues of TV Land.
January through September issues of TV Kun.
Believe it or not, I haven't missed an issue of TV Magazine or TV Kun since 1986.
Yep I still get them today. TV Land is no longer published.
Miscellaneous Kamen Rider Black books.
Kamen Rider Black Deluxe Henshin Belt
This was the first item I ever got on Ebay.
Kamen Rider Black TV Power Series
Kamen Rider Black snap together models.
Inside my display case. Notice the pack of gum on the bottom.
More display case.
RAH 450 Kamen Rider Black
One day I'll get the Shadow Moon.
SIC Kamen Rider Black and Black RX
SIC Kamen Rider Black and Shadow Moon